Islam is the second largest religious group in the world. It entails about 1.8 billion of followers or more than 24% of the world population. Nowadays, many studies are showing that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and may become the world’s largest religious group by the second half of this century. The main cause behind this growth is the massive number of conversions to Islam other than any further religious groups or communities. Changes in the social characteristics give a greater number of estimation of conversions to Islam.

Conversion to Islam is a simple process whereby a non-Muslim takes on a new religious identity with no official registration through the pronouncement of ‘shahadah’, adopts new beliefs and practices. He learns to live as a Muslim through performing capable practices of five pillars of Islam. Converts are exhilarating their physical body and emancipating them from the slavery of whims and fancies of ebullient lifestyles. They are gaining tranquility and inner peace when being submitted to God and are attaining a sense of calmness.

What Are the Major Reasons Behind These Conversions?

Doctrine of Islam is very simple and rational, many readers acknowledged this could be the main reason behind huge number of conversions to Islam. Concepts of Islam about God and prophet Muhammed [Pbuh] are simply gaining the attention of thinkers on their beliefs, because there are no any unclarified beliefs in divinity or any else. Discrimination in the church among the followers based on races could be count as a reason for conversion of many cross believers to Islam. There is a dominant statement in Islam: “no race, gender or social status is better than the others, all are based on one’s actions and intentions”. Considering this, there in Islam can’t have any discrimination among the followers regarding their race, gender, or social status. This approach also took a protagonist role for surging counts of newcomers.

Chaotic lifestyle of the public

Today’s society is disintegrating for lack of discipline, especially in the city life. A key part of the society who maintain the luxurious lifestyle, are gradually becoming the most stressed and mentally weakened part of society, as some countries made Euthanasia (painless killing of a person who is suffering from an incurable disease) legal. The tedious lifestyles through getting the extreme level of cheerfulness and freedom without any barriers led them to be the affecter of an incurable mental disease, and the next step towards them is only to answer the death.

Through the disciplined lifestyle of Islam, to many people it seems to hold out the promise of helping them get their lives back in order again. As a result, these converts maintain their life in a disciplined form of living and having a particular order in day-to-day routines. Islam will instruct a number of limits throughout the life of a Muslim, and they will have daily schedules to be performed and is upon them to practice their scheduled obligatory actions on the time. Thus, the structured and ordered lifestyle of a Muslim assists him for being more creative and helpful for himself.

Role of media coverage in the proliferation of Islam

Approaches of media coverage against Islam also have a great role for raising the number of newcomers to Islam. Because they are expressing Islam as a terrific religion with some examples like the incident of 9/11 or any other terrorist groups. Meanwhile the readers will browse about Islam for further information, but to their surprise many found the peace and beauty in Islam and will lead them to the idea about conversion. Furthermore, several converts are saying that some Muslim named personalities are curtailing its broad concepts through their unjustified activities. But when a man reads about prophet Muhammed [Pbuh], he can’t approach Islam in such a way, and will tolerate with all other religious groups and its followers.

Individuals about their conversion

Kareem Abdul Jabbar, retired basketball player of America states that he got attracted to Islam due to its existing equity and equality. When he was an Afro-American Christian, had faced several exploitations regarding his race. Also, the words of Malcolm X were thoroughly subjugating his thoughts and were literary instructing him to do something for the emancipation of his enslavement. Another convert Joram Van Klaveren – the former member of great wilders’ far right Dutch party – was answering for a questionnaire that:” he was getting ready to write an anti-Islam book and had to follow Islamic texts and works as prior references for encompass the views against Islam. But works like ‘Muhammed’ by Martin Lings formed some variations on him, and plucked his hostility towards Islam and Muslims, and gradually shaped him as a practicing Muslim.

Lucy Bushill Mathews – a convert and chief operating officer of national zakat foundation – portrays background story of her conversion through her own book (welcome to Islam: a convert’s tale). She had expressed: “The message in Christianity is much more confusing. And gradually I interacted with a lot of people, read a lot of books, and went to different talks. It became very clear for me that Islam was a holistic message for humanity, the fact that there is an oneness of God.  Also, an American Muslim interviewed in a recent book (Neighbours: Muslims in North America. Friendship Press, 1989) gave the following reasons, when asked why Afro-Americans are turning to Islam? First on his list is racism in the church. “The discrimination that we feel makes Islam attractive to us because it’s a way of rejecting the culture that will not have us”.

Islam acts as the deliverance for low caste people

There in India the existing caste system paved the way to Islam for many low caste people. They found Islam as the only one religion which consider every follower as one of them and congregate everyone at same place regardless of class variations. Many choose Islam to attain the minimum consideration as human beings, and the remaining are hoping equality with neighbours and social status. An article published in ‘The New York Times’ writes about a man named Dorai Danapalam who chose Islam for his economic development. He was a rickshaw driver and realized; the embracement of Islam will pluck every social barrier that exist on him and his family. This article also explains about a dozen village and a few thousand people of India who informed as they will reject Hinduism and embrace Islam.

In conclusion, these day-to-day conversions are taking Islam to the peak of most followed religious group. It may partially affect the other great numbered religious groups, and compel them to rethink and reform their beliefs, perhaps these conversions may lead to enlighten the ideas of other social groups. We can take a deep breath to attend the revolutionary changes that is to be held in upcoming decades.

By Amal Ihsan KP