Please note: The answers on constitute friendly advice rather than fatwas. Where relevant, we translate the opinions and fatwas of respected scholars and present them in our answers.

She is hesitant to convert to Islam

I feel an incredible sense of comfort in Islam. I read the quotes and I'm in the process of learning Arabic and understanding the Quran, and it's safety.I've been getting waves of depression and anxiety so having something feels very nice. But I'm not Muslim. I grew up not having a religion and I'm already 16, it's difficult to really fall into something like that. I'm not sure if converting to Islam is right for me or if I'm just fascinated by the religion. May I ask your advice regarding this?

Converting to Islam can be a multi-year process, so there is no need to hurry. But once you believe in your heart that the Quran is truly from God and that Muhammad is His final messenger, then you are Muslim whether you officially convert or not. At that point you can start practicing Islam little by little, the most important part being performing the five daily prayers. I recommend reading a beginners’ book on practicing Islam, such as Being Muslim in order to know how to start.

Think of Islam as just a tool that helps you know God and worship Him in the best way possible. The point is not Islam, the point is knowing God. So your focus should be on God before anything else, and reading and understanding the Quran is a great step toward that, so it is great that you are trying to learn Arabic and understand the Quran.

But keep in mind that Islam is not a miraculous cure for depression and anxiety. Islam helps you achieve your purpose in life, which is to be an ideal servant of God. There will be good times and bad times, and there will be tests and hardships. Islam helps you deal with these difficulties and will help you find meaning and consolation, but it will not take the difficulties away.

Best wishes.

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