Circumcised (khitan) before embrace Islam?

In Islam they talk about cleanliness; I am not circumcised, and I want to convert to Islam as soon as possible, at least before or right after Ramadan. I do not have the means (money) to get the procedure done. Am I required to get circumcised before embracing Islam? Or am I supposed to do it at the time? I was told it is a very painful procedure. Please help me with this question.

Circumcision for males is one of the important rites in Islam. The Prophet, peace be upon him, tells us that it is one of the five ingredients of natural religion and therefore part of the common legacy of Prophets, peace be upon them.

If lack of funds is holding you back from embarking on this procedure, there may be some Islamic centers or mosques in the city which may be of assistance to you in this matter--if I am right in my guess that you are from Toronto. You are eligible to apply for funds from Zakah for this purpose.

As for your question whether you need to do it before converting to Islam, I should say, there is no such absolute requirement. It is up to you to decide when to do it. You may do it either before or after taking the formal shahadah (testimony of faith). However, it is not recommended to postpone it indefinitely after you have embraced Islam.

You need not worry about the procedure itself. In most cases, it is not at all different from a minor surgery; it should normally take only a few days to heal. So don’t let this thought hold you back unless you are suffering from some severe health complications that may adversely affect the healing process.

If, in your specific case, it has been determined to be the case, then you need not undergo the procedure. This determination, however, is left to reliable, expert medical practitioners in the field. May Allah inspire us to do what is right and acceptable to Him.