The answers on are based on the research of Ikram Hawramani in the Quran, hadith, scholarly works and respected fatwa sources. You can view Ikram Hawramani's credentials on the about page. Please note that we do not issue fatwas, we only compile the opinions of respected scholars (even when a fatwa is not explicitly cited) to make their opinions accessible to English-speaking Muslims. If an answer does not cite fatwas, please feel free to leave a comment asking for a fatwa citation and we will update the answer as soon as possible to include fatwas.

IslamQA: Can you come back to Islam if you left the religion?

Can you come back to Islam if you left the religion?

A person can come back to Islam in an instant if they wish. All it takes is for them to pronounce the shahada while believing in it in their heart, and they will be Muslim again.

And God knows best.
Asking questions is temporarily unavailable. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Learn Quranic Arabic with my book!
Available in both paperback and Kindle formats.
Commenting rules: Politeness is the only rule. We respect your right to disagree with anything we say. But comments with profanity and insults will be deleted.
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 years ago

I wanted to ask if someone was to be raised as a Muslim but then were led astray and did bad things later on as a teenager. Then realised that they want to come back to Islam. Can they go to the imam and tell them that they want to do their shahadah again? Or is there other ways of doing there shahadah?

2 years ago

السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be with you

Remember that Allah swt is the most merciful, so don’t dwell or lose hope.

It is good for any muslim to say shahada constantly.. say it as often as possible..
أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله
Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad Rasulu Allah

“I testify that there is no god but God (Allah), and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God (Allah). ”

but if you mean a formal “conversion” at a mosque as some people have.. unless of course you think it will give you a boost of imaan and be beneficial to you, get you reintroduced to the masjid community etc..

what you should focus on is asking yourself why did you turn away from islam when it could have been of most help to you.. and what can you do within yourself to prevent that ever happening again and how can you strengthen your faith.. and do lots of dua to Allah(swt) to make your faith stronger and make you firmer upon the deen..

Allah says: “Say: O my Servants who have transgressed against their souls ! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah: for Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Sûrah al-Zumar: 53]

This verse speaks about those who repent. It tells us that any sin, no matter how major, is expiated by sincere and proper repentance.

There are conditions for repentance to be sincere and proper . The first of these is that the penitent person desist from the sinful act. The second is that he feel deep and genuine regret for having committed the sin. The third is that he resolve, in his heart, never to return to the sin again. Finally, if the sin caused a transgression against the rights of another person, he needs to do his best to make amends .

When Allah sees this sincere repentance from one of His servants – a servant who truly turns to his Lord in fear and hope – He not only forgives the sin, but replaces those sins for good deeds to the servant’s credit. This is from Allah’s infinite grace and munificence.

Allah says: “Unless he repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful,” [Sûrah al-Furqân: 70]

Allah says this right after mentioning the sins of polytheism, murder, and adultery . However, this blessing is only for one who has faith, whose repentance is sincere, and who strives to work righteous deeds.

Allah’s generosity is so far-reaching, that we are not only forgiven through our specific repentance for each sin that we commit, but we can attain forgiveness simply through our constant appeals to Allah to forgive us.

Another way that we attain Allah’s forgiveness is through the performance of good deeds. Allah says: “Establish worship at the two ends of the day and in some watches of the night . Lo! Good deeds annul evil deeds. This is reminder for the mindful.” [Sûrah Hûd: 114]

Some scholars are of the view that his verse is only speaking about the forgiveness of minor sins, and that major sins need specific repentance. They cite the following verse in support of this interpretation:

“If you shun the most heinous sins which you are forbidden, We will do away with your small sins and admit you to a gate of great honor.” [Sûrah al-Nisâ’: 31]

They also cite a number of hadîth, including the hadîth related by `Uthman that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Any Muslim who offers the prescribed prayer, doing justice to its motions and to the humility that it requires, it will expiate for the sins that preceded it, as long as the person did not commit a major sin.” [Sahîh Muslim]

However, Ibn Taymiyah and a number of other scholars consider the verse “Good deeds annul evil deeds” to be general in meaning . It applies to all sins, major and minor. Even if a person’s good deeds do not expiate for the sin directly, there can be no doubt that those good deeds weigh in the balance of deeds on the Day of Judgment in a person’s favor. Whoever has his good deeds outweigh his evil deeds on that Day will attain salvation.

Allah says: “The balance that day will be true: those whose scale (of good) will be heavy will prosper, and as for those whose measure (of good deeds) is light, their souls will be in perdition, for that they wrongfully treated Our signs.” [Sûrah al-A`râf: 8-9]

Ibn Mas`ûd said: “People will be take into account on the Day of Judgment . Whoever has a single sin to his account more than his good deeds will enter the Fire. Whoever has a single good deed to his account greater than his sinful deeds will enter Paradise.”

Then Ibn Mas`ûd recited Allah’s words: “…those whose scale (of good) will be heavy, will prosper”.

Then he said: “Indeed, the balance will weigh an atom’s weight one way or another.”

Allah also forgives us our sins through the difficulties that we face in life . When we are stricken with illness or suffer from circumstances, we will earn forgiveness if we bear them patiently seeking Allah’s reward.

Allah forgives our sins on account of the supplications that others make to Allah asking for our forgiveness, including our funeral prayers. We earn forgiveness through the charity we gave in our lives that continue to provide benefit to others after our deaths. We earn forgiveness if we have pious children who beseech Allah on our behalf .

A Muslim’s sins are likewise forgiven through the punishment he may receive in the grave. Sins are also forgiven by the intercession that the Prophet (peace be upon him) will make on that day, and then by the intercession of those who are granted intercession. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “My intercession is for those who committed major sins from among my followers.”

Above and beyond all of this is the mercy of the Most-Merciful Lord who pardons on that Day all sins as He pleases, as long as the person meets Him worshipping Him alone without ascribing to Him any partner .