Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Learning to grow and mature into your Islamic duties is a journey that reverts/ converts all have to learn how to do. Having some guidance as to what and how you should be doing things is one of the main reasons I set up this blog. When I reverted, I was fortunate enough to have this guidance but I can see how I would have struggled without it.
Too Much Information?
One thing that concerns me and that I see a lot is when sisters (and brothers) revert to Islam, they’re given a whirlwind of information and expected to absorb it all and become a perfect Muslim because they’re fresh in the deen. This is totally wrong.
When you first revert to Islam, the first few years are FULL of mistakes and as an Ummah we need to acknowledge that and help brothers and sisters on the straight path. This is all part of the journey to grow and mature into your new Islamic life, and that’s what it is – a lifestyle change. Everything you knew, everything that you thought was you changes in an instant and people expect you to walk, talk, act and dress in a way that you may not yet be comfortable doing just yet.
Growing to become a better Muslim is a journey we’re all on, and we shouldn’t expect people who are coming to the deen to just ‘get it’ when you don;t know where they’re coming from or what lifestyle they have lived previously.
Allah has not put hard restrictions on Jannah, He swt does as He wills so what right do you have to force people – Allah swt gives hope. We should all know of the hadith in which a prostitute used her shoe to draw water from a well to give a stray dog some water. For that action alone, Allah swt gave her Jannah. So who are you to impose restrictions on His mercy?
Honesty is the Best Policy
Being honest with people who come to the deen is one of the best pieces of advice that I could ever give to someone who is advising reverts. When I first became Muslim, I found there was a lot of sugar coating going on. Yes, we need to comfort our reverts/ converts and help to guide them, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be honest about what Allah swt expects from them. We should trust that Allah swt has guided them and that He will keep them firm on the deen because their heart yearns for His love. Often, we stunt people’s growth by leaving this honesty behind. I would rather tell someone, “yes it is hard to find time to pray and hijab will be a struggle at first but trust in Allah swt and I’ll be here to help” rather than, “no you don’t have to wear hijab and missing a prayer isn’t a big deal.” See the difference?
Once they taste the sweetness of imaan, they will come to these obligations themselves inshaAllah. This is depicted beautifully in the hadith in which a man came to the Prophet (saw) and said he would pledge his allegiance but only for 2 prayers a day.
Remember what your imaan was like in the beginning – don’t make people hopeless from the start by putting restrictions on their growth or by removing all obligations so they stagnate in their imaan. It’s a difficult balance to strike but inshaAllah a worthy one to work towards.
Allah has a plan for how people will grow – that’s His plan, not yours. Nouman Ali Khan explains it beautifully in an ayah of Surah Al- Imran below.
So, this was my contribution to the Muslimah Bloggers theme “GROW” for the month of August. Better late than never!