Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
This article was first published on The Muslim Bricks, and now you can read it on ChristalBlogs too
When I came to Islam, I never imagined my life would change so much. I never dreamed of praying in the masjid, wearing hijab or fasting during the month of Ramadhan. But all of these things became obligatory upon me, just as they are upon other Muslims whether they were born into the religion or are reverted just as I am.
On reflection, I wish I would have given these things more consideration so that I could take my obligations as seriously as I was supposed to, subhanAllah.
With this in mind, this post is about changing your life for Islam and what changes you should anticipate, especially as a revert.
1. Planning your day around salah
You may not know how to pray in Arabic yet but it’s still important to plan your day around salah. The five daily prayers are essential to a Muslim’s life and are a vital connection to Allah swt. Even if you don’t know how to pray at all, you can still take that 5 or 10 minutes to reflect upon Allah and make dua that He swt makes it easy for you to learn.
We live in a perpetual rat race, so taking the time out to pray and contemplate our Lord will keep our hearts firmly grounded in the akhriah and not in this duniya.
Taking the time to plan your day around salah now will save you the trouble (and anxiety) of trying to hold on to the salah later inshaAllah.
2. Using “everyday Arabic”
This is something I really struggled with in the beginning because I never understood why people would say “Wallahi”, “InshaAllah”, “SubhanAllah, or “Alhamdulillah” so much. When I realised they were a type of dhikr (remembrance of Allah swt) I started to use them just as much!
If you feel uncomfortable saying the Arabic terms around your family and friends to begin with, you can say them in English inshaAllah. It makes for a great introduction to Islam and giving dawah to others.
3. Hijab (not just on your head)
Whether you’re a new Muslim, born Muslim or even non-Muslim hijab is a hot topic right now. In the physical sense, hijab is a piece of cloth that you use to cover your head and chest area. In the spiritual sense, hijab is so much more than that. Hijab dictates the way you carry yourself, how you speak and how you interact with others. It protects your hayya (modesty) physically and spiritually.
Abu Hurayrah reported: The Messenger of Allah (saw) said, “Modesty is part of faith and faith is in Paradise. Shamelessness is part of impudence and impudence is in the Hellfire.” [Tirmidhi]
The importance of hijab is often played down to the expect that we just see it as a nothing more than garment, or played up so that that clothing aspect is insignificant and our actions are all that matter. Everything in Islam is balanced and there for a reason to nurture our imaan – hijab is no different.
Just as the Quraysh were educated about hijab, we sisters (and brothers) should educate ourselves about it’s importance. I would urge sisters to adopt the hijab of the body and of the soul, even if they don’t understand the reasons behind it.
“We hear and we obey.” [Qur’an, 2:285] This should be our motivation and we should make dua’a that Allah swt gives us the tawfique (the understanding).
4. Eating Halal
This may not seem like such a big deal but when you become Muslim, you will find yourself checking the packaging on everything. Certain sweets will become impermissible because they contain gelatine and you’ll have to avoid some restaurants because they serve pork products but alhamdulillah taking care of the body that Allah swt has given you is a form of ibaadah (worship).
Eating wholefoods and foods that are responsibly sourced are all part and parcel of eating halal, it’s not all samosas and pakoras! There are plenty of websites that can help you to identify if foods/restaurants are halal or not and they’re a great help if you’re out and about and want a quick bite!
This is your journey and putting Allah swt at the centre of your ambitions can only mean success inshaAllah. Not only are you changing your life for Islam, you’re changing it for the love of Allah swt. When your relationship with Him swt is right, everything else will fall into place.