Certificate of Conversion to Islam to Marry Malaysian


I am a U.S citizen planning to marry my Malay girlfriend in Malaysia in a Malay Muslim wedding. I am not Muslim but want to convert. It is my understanding that I must present a Certificate of Conversion otherwise called the Shahada for us to Register the marriage. Can anyone provide any information at all about where I can obtain a Certificate of Conversion that the regristration office in Malaysia will accept?

I once considered getting married to my wife in KL and was directed to go to some building beside the National Mosque. Not sure if that is the right place to visit for enquiries. Finally I converted and married in Indonesia. I guess you will get better replies than mine from others here.

Thank you for your input Hansson:)

"I am a U.S citizen planning to marry my Malay girlfriend in Malaysia in a Malay Muslim wedding. I am not Muslim but want to convert. It is my understanding that I must present a Certificate of Conversion otherwise called the Shahada for us to Register the marriage. Can anyone provide any information at all about where I can obtain a Certificate of Conversion that the regristration office in Malaysia will accept?"

What you can do is go to a mosque near you and ask for the Imam and tell him you want to convert. The shahada is not a certificate but the words you say to convert and you do it in both Arabic and English and those words will appear on the certificate. Two or three responsible people of the mosque will create the certificate and sign it, and you bring that to Malaysia. No, you dont have to do it in US, but if you do it here and then quickly marry, the authorities will not believe your conversion was sincere and this has potential to cause problems. If you convert in US, and time passes, the conversion will be seen in a better light. Since many people have done this with no sincerity towards Islam, you may be seen as an abuser of the system which they would not take well.

My personal advice is 1) think thrice 2) convert in US and let time pass, 6-12 months 3) learn how to pray, learn to recite the shahada perfectly without pauses or stumbling 3) learn more about Islam including things like the pillars of Islam and the pillars of marriage and your and your spouses Islamic responsibilities in marriage. There is much material out there to read.

You have to understand something. Marriage and conversion are independent, they have nothing to do with each other. If the authorities see that you have been on Islam, praying, practicing the ways and then, lets say by accident you met a nice Muslim gal, then it makes more sense. If you plan the conversion around the marriage you can likely be barred from registration and it was all for nothing because the conversion was fake.

Apart from this, have you ever met her family? Do you have the father's permission to marry? He would be expected to appear at the wedding to give away the bride.  Not only that, you will have to pay to marry, that money goes to the father, then you have the wedding/party expense, then the dowry to the girl. Without the dowry, the average expense youd have is around USD17,000-20,000. Then the honeymoon expense, then on to Immigration and that nightmare. If you have no permission to marry you can elope but then you will have court to contend with for the next 6-12 months upon your return.

Speaking of Immigration, I dont know your plans but if you want to marry to stay in the country, Immigration knows the game and it will not be easy. In fact your life could become a nightmare. Also, if that, she will have to sponsor you for a visa and she, not you, will have to prove a good income.

There is much involved here and so, if you truly love the girl, truly want to convert because you love Islam and have the money, then I will suppose there isnt anything you wouldnt do to achieve the end.  Good luck to you!

Oh, I forgot something important, if you convert to Islam in Malaysia, you wont get a certificate quickly maybe not for many months. The mosque you go to will adopt you, so to speak, as a new convert and then teach you and monitor you for months to make sure you are truly Muslim and follow all the ways and rules in willingness and sincerity. There is no such thing as an office you hop into for a certificate. Conversion isnt so easy like that.  Further, your girlfriend would be expected to take a marriage course from the government too.

Having said that, since your conversion will be in steps over time before any certificate, do you have the time and ability to stay in Malaysia during all that?

Oh....and....if you decide to convert in US, dont talk about marriage, talk about how much you love Islam and why converting, and why converting at this time. Buy a Quran and start reading it.

Obviously this all works better when there is true sincerity. I can tell you the big part is Islam, marriage/love are small things in comparison. This is how authorities view it and how you should too. If you are not into all this and not real about Islam consider dropping the matter to save yourself and your gf lots of problems. I certainly dont wish to show disrespect to Islam by showing someone how to circumvent it for personal gain. I dont mean you, im just saying.

Didnt your gf tell you all this already? She should know all this better than me. Anyway, you can also google about Islamic conversion in Kuala Lumpur, there should be a lot a published info about details and it may help you decide things.

Hi there,

If you are in KL - first go to Religious Department and bring at least 2 witnesses in order for you to convert. The witness can be your gf, her father, your friends etc. This is the address ; Kompleks Pusat Islam Jalan Perdana, 50676 Kuala Lumpur.

My husband did his last year and it was smooth process for him. My suggestion, perhaps you can ask your gf/family to write down the shahada and at least you can practice it. All the wording are provided at the office too, so dont worry too much, even the officer there will assist you to verse it.

Hello puertasdecielo...

The process for a foreign man to marry a Malay Muslim woman is quite cumbersome and involves several steps and a multitude of paperwork beyond simply providing proof that he is a natural born Muslim or has converted. How cumbersome depends on which state your fiancee lives in, as each state has an Islamic Affairs department that must provide its permission to marry before a marriage can take place. If you and your fiancee have not already done so, it would be wise for you to visit the appropriate office to obtain a copy of the requirements to see what must be produced by both sides. You would also be wise to find yourselves a sympathetic imam from your fiancee's community who can cut through the paperwork and requirements to advise you on what must absolutely be provided and what can be dispensed with. Such an imam can also inform you on the conversion and conversion documentation process.

The requirements for such a marriage in Malaysia are the same regardless of whether you are simply getting married for show (to satisfy her family) before whisking your bride off to live with you in the US, or whether you intend to uproot yourself from the US and live with your wife here in Malaysia. What needs to be factored into either of these scenarios is your intention with regard to your conversion to Islam.

A Muslim marriage here in Malaysia comes with serious religious rights and responsibilities on your part -- particularly with respect to divorce and any children born during your marriage. Knowing these and getting them right is important to safeguarding your own rights as well as avoiding a situation where your wife and children are left in legal limbo with the Malaysian authorities in the event of a future divorce and either you return to the US from here, or she returns to Malaysia from there.

If you intend to live in Malaysia with your wife, then there will also be family expectations concerning your travel back to the kampung for family events, participation in religious observances and ceremonies (i.e., fasting and tarawih prayers during Ramadan, attending Eid prayers, attending tahlil ceremonies for deceased family members, going for Umrah or Hajj etc.), and your outward behavior as a Muslim (no drinking of alcohol, no eating of pork, etc.). How sincere you are in your attempt to practice Islam and adapt to your wife's family culture will determine to a large extent your wife's future "face" and relationship with her family after marriage.

Best regards.

I think I know someone from the UK who did this. If you PM me, I can try to put you in touch with him.

I did this about 20 years ago to marry my ex-wife, and used the same paperwork to marry my current wife (both Malay Muslims), and it wasn't that bad. But OTH I'm a practicing Muslim convert so I don't mind the 'family stuff' that goes with being in a Muslim marriage.

But if you're converting for the sole purpose of getting married then you'll have some issues with family and possibly even your spouse. Personally I would NOT recommend doing it. I know of at least one marriage like that and it's working out okay because the Malaysian wife has basically quit practicing Islam. I know of one other where the wife does pray and fast, but the husband does not and it's working okay. But it's a late in life marriage (she's was in her 50's and he was over 60 when they got married) and not as much family issues to deal with.

I originally converted in Singapore (who don't issue a certificate to foreingers, or at least didn't back then), and had to do it again at the religious department (again in the building next to the National Mosque). I was living in Malaysia at the time, but the process was slow enough and I was about to move from Johor to KL. So we ended up getting married in Thailand first and doing a 2nd ceremony in Malaysia a few months later. US immigration will not accept a 3rd country marriage, so if your plan is for her to join you in the US you will either have to do the paperwork to get married in Malaysia first or bring to the US on fiance visa and get married there.

Most of the people I know that have done what you're doing (at least 5-6 I've known over the years) have just done the paperwork and get married in Malaysia. It's not that huge of deal, but does (like everything in Malaysia take time).

Another thought, can someone find out if the Religious deparment would accept a certificate of conversion from one of the Islamic Societies back in the US. I don't know if any issue such certificates and what you have to do in order to obtain one, my guess is to attend a course on Islam and pronounce the Shahada in front of two witnesses at the center. Just a thought, never known anyone to go that route, but it's worth asking the question.

Really easy - or at least it was for me.
I popped to the Malaysian students' hall in London, recited the declaration of faith, walked out (after a lovely meal) with a nice certificate.
The authorities at the Islamic centre next to that beautiful mosque in Shah Alam issued me with an ID card confirming I had become a Muslim.
Islamic law is clear on this subject; once you say the declaration of faith in front of two Muslim men, you're a Muslim. No one should be rude enough to dispute your conversion.

A serious note - A lot of people convert only for marriage, something I strongly recommend not doing.

http://selangor.attractionsinmalaysia.c … h-Alam.php

And what if you attempt to marry abroad and convert back your marriage into Malaysia?

That can be tricky, you still need documentation that you're a Muslim at the time of marriage and it needs to be done Islamically. But register the marriage as quickly as possible (make sure you know the procedure BEFORE you get married in the US). I've known people to do it and it's worked out okay. The only issue is that you'll need to have the marriage reconized in Malaysia if later in life you decide to move to Malayisa with your spouse (as I have).

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