Answered by Shaykh Farid Dingle
Question: Assalamu alaykum
A long time ago I decided to become a Muslim, but I am not actually sure if I recited the Shahhadah or not. I have seriously conflicting memories on whether I did or not. But I came to assume I converted anyway, became a devout Muslim for a brief time, then committed kufr. Then eventually I decided to reconvert. This time, I properly recited the Shahhadah and did Ghusl.
Regardless of whether I did properly convert the first time, did my recitation of the Shahhadah count, even though it was with the intention of reconverting, not converting? Also, I recited the Shahhadah by a whisper. Does it still count? What should I do?
Answer: Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Just assume you became Muslim at that earliest time.
The significance of the testimony of faith (the Shahadah) is only your legal status in a Muslim country, that is to say whether or not you can marry a Muslim woman, and whether or not you can inherit from other Muslims.
You become a believer by believing, regardless of making the testimony of faith.
I pray this helps.
[Shaykh] Farid Dingle
Shaykh Farid Dingle grew up in a convert family in Herefordshire, UK. In 2007, he moved to Jordan to pursue traditional studies. Shaykh Farid continues to live in Amman, Jordan with his wife and kids. In addition to continuing his studies he teaches Arabic and several of the Islamic sciences.
Shaykh Farid began his journey in sacred knowledge with intensives in the UK and Jordan (2004) in Shafi'i fiqh and Arabic. After years of studying Arabic grammar, Shafi'i fiqh, hadith, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh) and tafsir, Sh. Farid began specializing in Arabic language and literature. Sh. Farid studied Pre-Islamic poetry, Umayyad, Abbasid, Fatimid, and Andalusian literature. He holds a BA in Arabic Language and Literature and continues exploring the language of the Islamic tradition.
In addition to his interest in the Arabic language Shaykh Farid actively researches matters related to jurisprudence (fiqh) which he studied with Shaykh Hamza Karamali, Shaykh Ahmad Hasanat, and continues with Shaykh Amjad Rasheed.