A man took his Islamic declaration of faith at a mosque in Blackburn.

The man known formerly as Craig changed his name to Muhammad after taking the ‘Shahadah’.

The Shahadah is the Muslim declaration of faith and the first Pillar of Islam. It professes that there is ‘No God but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger’.

The man who is said to hail from Whitebirk uttered the words in front of witnesses at the Masjid Al-Hidayah, Milham Street after weekly Friday prayers.

A message read: “Alhamdulillah after Jummah (Friday) Salaah in Masjid Al-Hidayah, Blackburn a brother took his Shahadah and changed his name from Craig to Muhammad in the blessed month of Rabbi-ul-Awwal. “Allah accept the Shahadah and make this new life of a means of his salvation in this world and the hereafter.”

In a recording of the moment the man is welcomed into the community by an imam at the mosque: “We feel privileged and I cannot express my joy and happiness brother Muhammad that you have been enlightened. Your heart has been expanded.”

He adds: “We as a community are obliged to welcome brother Muhammad as part of our family. When ever one comes into the doors of this masjid don’t think of them as someone else’s – they are ours. They belong to this masjid.

“We are inviting him collectively as a community. You are now part of our family. You are embraced into the fold of Islam. You are now just like my brother. You are now like my blood brother. You are more than welcome to come anytime (to the mosque).”

The imam encourages the new Muslim to realise that the ‘learning process of this deen (faith) is a lifetime journey’.