Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Following on from My Vision for Reverts, I thought it was important to set out some of the things I have learnt along the way as a revert. I came to this deen thinking that it would be impossible for me to read Qur’an after such a short amount of time and Arabic was well and truly off the table. But I was wrong. I now realise that if I would have used my time more effectively in this first year, that I would be a lot further on in my learning than I am now inshaAllah.
So, for those reverts that are just starting out, here’s what I’ve learnt so far about gaining ”ilm (knowledge) as a Muslim revert.
Don’t Be Ashamed to Start With the Basics
As much as I love to delve into the ‘nitty gritty’ of the religion on subjects like fiqh and madhhabs (schools of thought), it’s important to get a proper grounding in the basics. When I say basics I mean, learning how to make wudu and pray, learning about modesty (hayya), learning about the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and learning how to correct your character to be in line with the values and principles of Islam. In the hadith of Jibril (as), he says he came to teach the Prophet (saw) his religion. In that hadith alone, you can learn a great deal about the deen. It’s better to be a master in one discipline than a jack of all trades.
Along your journey, you’ll find that there are people who have been Muslims for years, they’ll know the rulings on whether or not you can eat prawns but their salah is incomplete, their wudu is flawed and they lack hayya (may Allah swt protect them and guide them on the straight path, Ameen). There’s nothing wrong with getting a solid grounding in the basics, we’ve all heard the story about the man who built his house on sand. Having a strong foundation can only mean a strong structure when you learn more about the deen in the future inshaAllah.
Take Your Time
It’s not a race between you and other Muslims to learn the most surahs or hadiths. Take your time to learn with the right intentions and Allah swt will bestow beneficial knowledge on you inshaAllah. In the beginning, I felt like I rushed my learning just to keep up with my friends. So I may have learnt the surahs with tajweed but when I recited them, I had no connection with them. It took Umar ibn Al-Khattab (ra) 12 years to learn and ponder Surah Baqarah subhanAllah.
The end goal is about retention AND application.
Remember WHY You’re Learning
This partly relates to the previous point. By taking your time and remembering the intention behind your learning, it not only brings you closer to Allah swt, it becomes a form of ibaadah (worship).
“If Allah wants to favor someone, He grants him comprehension (understanding) of this religion.” [Bukhari]
This comprehension can only come with true dedication and understanding of the source of worship and your efforts, Allah swt. Most of the time, when you’re rushing through learning surahs or memorising hadith you can forget why you’re learning these things. If you’re learning something new, think about how you can apply it to your everyday life as a form of obedience to Allah swt. Connect everything to Allah swt and He swt will put barakah in it.
If your’e a revert, how did you adapt to learning about the religion? In light of this article, I plan to make a list of the essentials of a revert learning programme. If you’d like to contribute, please drop me a message via my social media platforms inshaAllah.