June 22, 2010

Dear New Converts/Reverts (whatever floats your boat)

I wanted to make a post about this for the LONGEST but I kept forgetting. Today this is what I put as my status
Islam's awesomeness is NOT dependent nor is it strengthen by who comes in to the religion or weakened by who leaves it.  Rather it lays with Allah swt, His Book and His MessengersPeople have come in and left during the time of the Prophet (saw), in the 1400+ years since then and they will continue to do so until the end of time.  So why are you stressing when people leave? Just say inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiuun, ask Allah swt to spare you their trials, give shukr for still having iman and keep it moving.

Similar thing when people come in, YAY and alhamdulillah for it, Ask to be blessed with even more iman, make du'a for the newest convert, help however you can, give shukr and keep it moving.
As a new convert people will make you feel like you are the most awesomemest thing that has ever happened to Islam since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw).  Sorry to burst your bubble BUT you aint.  Its totally awesome that you found your way to Islam and inshaAllah it can benefit you in this life and in the hereafter but your conversion in no way raises Islam's awesomeness just like someone leaving it (inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi rajiuun) in no way decreases it.  YOU either benefit from Islam or YOU don't but that is about it.
  1. Get used to the fact that you may be on your own for MOST of your learning curve. Don't worry its no big deal just keep asking Allah swt for guidance and to make it easy for you. You should definitely hook up with practicing Muslims and start attending classes at the masjid.
    • HERE is a tutorial for praying
    • Islam was revealed over 20+ years and NO ONE expects you to be perfect right out of the gate.  This in no way absolves you from your responsibility to learn though ;)
    • You should also learn about the prayer for guidance aka Istikhara as it will be IMMENSELY valuable to you in your growth. 
  2. You will be a novelty and people will come and stare at you like "WHAT?! someone chose to be Muslim on their OWN?!" yeah, just smile and keep making du'a, the novelty will soon wear off and they may even forget they ever met you.  Fame is fickle my friend.
  3. Muslims are not the best ambassadors for Islam you may witness some atrocious behavior from them but they are only human.  Correct the behavior if you can + make du'a for them and if you can't, make du'a for them anyway.
  4. Don't let people lie to you and tell you that you will find the sahabah if you travel to Muslim majority lands.  NOT AT ALL.  You will find people struggling to practice their faith like anywhere else on this beautiful planet of ours. Don't get disheartened just be realistic.  
  5. Find older practicing Muslims to learn from and make friends with older converts (I don't only mean age but how long they have been in the religion) as they can be invaluable in helping you navigate your new world plus give you insight on how to deal with issues.  They have been there and can give you better advice than someone who hasn't.
  6. Attend classes at the masjid as you can learn a lot from them and it will also help you socialize and meet the community.
  7. Blogs are great but you really don't know who is behind the keyboard or if they are even knowledgeable to be giving you Islamic advice.  Me included. Same with youtube.
  8. Don't get sucked in to sectarian bashing, no one likes to have their beliefs bashed.  IF you think you are on the truth make du'a that Allah swt guides them and you to the truth and keeps you on the truth.
  9. You may want to rush and make your family Muslim but that may not happen and you need to understand that. As someone who absolutely abhors being proselytized to let me tell you that your behavior after Islam is way more important than your talk.  Why would they want to convert to Islam when they can't see any benefits in you after it?  (the hereafter is completely different but they can't see that can they?) They can only see the here and now as well as your actions.
  10. DO NOT BASH YOUR PREVIOUS RELIGION. DO NOT AND I MEAN DO NOT.  It's not right nor is it sunnah to do so.  You also don't get any brownie points for low blows.  Your family and friends may still be adherents to that religion and I am sure it wont go over well for you to be bashing their beliefs it will also not garner you any supporters. It also wont make you a better or stronger Muslim for it.  Tolerance people tolerance.  Instead focus on practicing your new found faith and hope that the positive changes in you might make those around you consider Islam.
  11. Be careful and don't engage in topics that you know very little about specially with people you know very little about.  Not because it will make you look like a fool but rather you can innocently get entangled in a web that may bring you lots and lots of trouble.
  12. Being a brand new Muslim is like being the newest kid in the playground, you may want to be popular and play with the other kids but be careful on who you choose to be your friend and always pray istikhara when possible. It will save you lots and lots of heartache.

ps. What is the difference between a non Muslim and a Muslim? besides aqidah not much, they are both people struggling with their whims and desires. No one is immune to the human condition.

to be continued...


Amira said...

WOOT! Mashallah Tuttie well written and great advice. Kudos.

Iman (Lifes Balance Beam) said...

Mashaallah! this was right on time, can i make a suggestion for the next post?

of course starting with tauhid and the basics...a lot of women feel that hijab is the most important thing when they convert and its not, its actually like one of the smallest, and they never start with the fundamentals so they wear hijab and niqab and abaya and they dont even know why

okay i know we shouldnt get into whats halal and haraam off rip, but advice for the sisters that have like non muslim boyfriends and the likes, and vice versa

any who, good job! i love the post, im gonna show it to a few folks inshaallah!
jazakaallahu khair :D

LK said...

Fabulous advice.

AlabasterMuslim said...

I love converts.
Actually, I just love muslims in general.
However, i do think there is a big difference between a muslim, and a non muslim.