YOU ARE NOT ALONE
We work alongside Cambridge Crescent, a volunteer run group dedicated to supporting anyone who is interested in Islam or has already taken the testimony of faith – called the shahadah.
Whether you know a little or have been learning about Islam for years, this in-person support group with other converts is a valuable source of information, guidance and practical help.
Even if you’re not local, they can connect you with a network of helpful new Muslims!
The amount of information available online regarding Islam can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing, with trustworthy and relevant resources hard to identify…
Whether you need to learn to pray, want to understand the Qur’an or would just like to learn more about Islamic spirituality and practice, we have collated a thematic list of helpful resources to help get you started.
This visual guide covers how to physically perform the ritual prayer, also known as Salah. It covers exactly what to say and when during both the compulsory Fard prayers as well as the optional Sunnah prayers for all five daily prayers.
For more context around what Salah is, its importance and requirements including ritual ablution or Wudu, see this comprehensive guide on learning to how to pray.
Whilst videos are more helpful when it comes to learning to pray, books are also very helpful. Here are some of books we recommend on Salah.
Having a connection with the Qur’an is at the heart of being a Muslim. Listening to its verses, as they were revealed by Allah, is both spiritually nourishing and a meaningful act of worship. Just as important is understanding and contemplating on the meanings of those verses – the gateway to a deeper connection with Allah and His Message.
Follow along as our former Imam, Ali Tos, recites the entire Qur’an in one-hour segments, with translations available in multiple languages.
For translations of the Qur’an and to learn about more about its stories, themes and styles we recommend these books.
Every Friday, during the congregational prayers, known as Jum’a, one of our Imams delivers a sermon in English, which we record and make public shortly afterwards. These short reminders cover a range of topics and are a great resource for all Muslims.
Tim Winter, also known as Abdal Hakim Murad, is not only our chair of trustees but also also Dean of nearby Cambridge Muslim College. If possible, we recommend hearing him speak in-person at one of their public events. Alternatively peruse their YouTube channel, or sign up to their online learning platform. His older lectures can be found at Cambridge Khutbas Etc, though this is no longer maintained.
If you have specific questions about normative Islamic practice we recommend Seekers Guidance, an online resource with free courses and answers to common questions from qualified scholars.
We also recommend these books, which cover everything from being Muslim to spirituality and the Messenger of God to whom the Qur’an was revealed – the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Shahada ceremonies generally take place at weekends between 1-6pm, although this may vary. Each appointment is a one– hour slot (though the testimony of faith itself lasts only a few minutes) and takes place in the mosque’s classroom. This is the same for both sexes.
Yes, Covid-19 restrictions permitting (see later), we encourage you to invite any close family members or friends you wish to have present. Muslims, those of other faiths and none are all welcome. Please note that the mosque has an upper limit on the numbers it can accept, so please check in advance if you plan to bring a large party.
Anyone who visits the mosque is permitted to take photographs of the mosque and its gardens, though we would ask that you refrain from taking pictures of people engaged in prayer. The shahada ceremony itself takes place in a private setting (unless otherwise agreed/discussed with the imam in advance) and is therefore not open to the public/other worshippers to take pictures/videos. Should you or your guests wish to take pictures/video footage at your shahada ceremony you are welcome to do so. For any other queries regarding photography please contact the mosque.
There is no need to memorise the ‘shahada’ or ‘testimony’ in advance, or worry about your Arabic pronunciation, as the imam will recite very slowly and guide you through the process on the day. However, if you still desire further guidance on the correct pronunciation, see this step by step tutorial.
There is no need to adhere to a certain dress code (for example, women are not required to wear hijab), however as you are entering a mosque, you are encouraged to dress appropriately.
New Muslims are encouraged to visit the mosque to learn and practise Islam. Details of our prayer times and events (both physical and virtual) can be found online. We also encourage you to connect with our local convert group, the Cambridge Crescent. Established 10 years ago, the group is run by and for converts as well as those with immediate family members who have converted. To get in touch with the group please ask the mosque for details.
The certificate has no legal validity but is required as proof of entering Islam when travelling to perform Umra or Hajj (the lesser or the greater pilgrimage). It can also be used to ensure a convert is accorded a Muslim burial, or to support claims that the deceased’s Will should be followed in accordance with the principles of Islamic inheritance.
The mosque retains a physical and digital copy of the certificate for its records.
Ceremonies are held at the mosque which includes everyone entering the mosque having to submit to a temperature check and providing contact details for NHS Track & Trace. Shoe bags and face masks are also required, as well as your own prayer mat should you wish to pray. If the mosque is required to make further adjustments due to any new government guidelines issued relating to Covid-19, you will be advised at the time of making your appointment. If you are unable to attend the mosque in person, we also continue providing this service virtually. Please ask for details when contacting the mosque.
Yes of course. This is common and you may have a number of reasons for wishing to do this.
You can take your shahada anywhere with any Muslim man or woman. You need two adult Muslim witnesses to be present. This can be in someone’s home or workplace, in a garden, on the beach or on a mountain. As the prophet Muhammad, God’s Blessings and Peace be upon him, said (Sahih Muslim), ‘The whole earth has been made a mosque for me.’ The mosque is a fitting place, as it is a place of prayer and remembrance of God from morning till night all year round, and thus brings dignity to the occasion.
For safeguarding purposes, if you are under 18 you need parental or guardian consent to take your shahada at Cambridge Central Mosque. However, this does not stop you from entering Islam informally. You can take your shahada anytime, anywhere; please see below.
We ask that you bring a form of photo identification, such as a driver’s licence, student ID or passport to be shown to the Imam prior to the Shahada ceremony. Photocopies or scanned copies of your document will not be taken.
When you take your shahada we ask for your name, phone number and email address. This is for the mosque’s internal records and also (if written consent is given) to pass on to the Cambridge Crescent Group, a local group set up to support those who have converted to Islam. We also ask that you provide a form of photo identification; please see below.
The Imam, two witnesses and any one else you wish to bring!