Answered by Shaykh Irshaad Sedick
I’ve been looking into Islam for the last year. When I think about reverting, I realize that I don’t have genuine faith, and the only reason I would like to revert is I like the hijab and the lifestyle. I couldn’t practice things like opposing LGBTIQ+, the evolution theory, being under a man’s care, not being close to my male cousins, or TRULY believing in the hereafter. Even so, the fact that, now that I know about Islam and the Prophet, I’ll go to Hell distresses me. Should I revert or don’t?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.
All praise belongs to Almighty God, Who guided you to find out about Islam and ask your beautiful question. May God guide our hearts, tongues, and deeds to that which perpetually pleases Him.
From your question, I get the sense that you have already come to believe in the one and only God, His last and final messenger (may God bless him and give him peace), and have accepted that what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) brought is the truth.
If my sense in the above is correct, you have already believed inside. Still, you are reluctant to formally embrace the guidance that God has instilled within you because of your understanding of some more nuanced issues of Islamic belief and practice.
Should I Embrace if I’m Not Ready to Submit Fully?
As for your question, you should embrace Islam as it appears that God guided you to this point for a special reason, and as you’ve indicated, now that you know the truth, you wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt and consequences of rejecting it.
Our humble advice is that you discuss your concerns with a renowned, learned, and God-conscious scholar of Islam who could address your understanding or possible misunderstanding of your described issues. Even if you are not prepared to live according to all of Islam’s laws yet, that you embrace it and become an imperfect believer (like the rest of us), rather than a disbeliever being untrue to herself and her newly-found faith.
Faith Comes in Stages
As indicated, you may not be at the stage wherein you regard yourself as a true believer, but that is okay. All Muslims struggle with attaining true faith, but the vital element is that one should continue to struggle, and in the case of those who have not yet done so, submit and then begin the struggle. Faith will come as God is most gracious.
God says, “˹Some of˺ the nomadic Arabs say, “We believe.” Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “You have not believed. But say, ‘We have submitted,’ for faith has not yet entered your hearts. But if you obey Allah and His Messenger ˹wholeheartedly˺, He will not discount anything from ˹the reward of˺ your deeds. Allah is truly All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an 49:14]
We sincerely hope that the above has shed light on your question, and we hereby extend an official invitation to you to embrace Islam, the divinely-inspired and perfect way of life.
I pray this is of benefit and that Allah guides us all.
Shaykh Irshaad Sedick was raised in South Africa in a traditional Muslim family. He graduated from Dar al-Ulum al-Arabiyyah al-Islamiyyah in Strand, Western Cape, under the guidance of the late world-renowned scholar, Shaykh Taha Karaan.
Shaykh Irshaad received Ijaza from many luminaries of the Islamic world, including Shaykh Taha Karaan, Mawlana Yusuf Karaan, and Mawlana Abdul Hafeez Makki, among others.
He is the author of the text “The Musnad of Ahmad ibn Hanbal: A Hujjah or not?” He has served as the Director of the Discover Islam Centre and Al Jeem Foundation. For the last five years till present, he has served as the Khatib of Masjid Ar-Rashideen, Mowbray, Cape Town.
Shaykh Irshaad has thirteen years of teaching experience at some of the leading Islamic institutes in Cape Town). He is currently building an Islamic online learning and media platform called ‘Isnad Academy’ and pursuing his Master’s degree in the study of Islam at the University of Johannesburg. He has a keen interest in healthy living and fitness.