introducing the unlocking series
Following on from my “5 Thoughts on Becoming Muslim” article, I was speaking to a friend of mine who reverted around 6 months ago about how she’s finding the deen so far. Based on her responses I decided to create the Unlocking Series.
The Unlocking Series is an ongoing project, ideal for new Muslims or those interested in coming to the deen (way of life). Insha Allah it will demystify Islam from a revert perspective. If you have any questions or issues you’d like to to address in the series, comment on this article or connect with me via social media insha Allah.
I wish muslims would have asked
When I came to Islam, there was A LOT of questions from Muslims and non-Muslims curious about why I’d chosen Islam. Out of the many questions there was the usual. Is your husband Muslim or did you revert to get married, will you still do “normal” things, what religion were you before becoming Muslim and my favourite, are you going to wear hijab straight away.
So, when I asked my friend how she was finding Islam so far, these are the 5 questions I asked her that I wished someone had asked me.
muslims, Help me pray
The first thing I asked her about was salah (prayer). Before becoming Muslim, there was nothing comparable to the 5 daily prayers in my life. I worshipped God (Allah) every Sunday and went to Bible study on Wednesdays. Apart from that, there was nothing. When you become a Muslim, the prayer becomes obligatory on you and finding someone or something to teach you the basics is essential.
One book I’d recommend that I own myself is “How to Pray” by Mustafa Umar.
It’s your connection to Allah swt and the blessed relief we get from this life everyday. Don’t you want that for your fellow Muslim sister?
I also asked her if she was comfortable with the steps of wudu (ablution). Because no one tells you about wudu before you become Muslim! It’s become such a taboo to ask if someone has wudu, it may pressure people into praying salah without it which we know is impermissible.
what about hijab?
After that, I asked her about hijab. And not the usual way people ask like “why don’t you wear hijab?”, “where’s your hijab?” or “you know it’s haraam to show your hair!”
We have to remember as Muslims that any advice we give must be given with the correct adab (character) and sincerity. I asked her how she felt about hijab and the topics around it. You’ll find with most people that come to Islam, they know about hijab. However, it’s something completely new trying to implement it in your own life. Prior to Islam, most people would have no concept of veiling themselves. We have to be understanding and nurturing as the Prophet (saw) was with the Bedouin Arabs of his time. They were uncivilised, addressed him in the harshest of ways and one even urinated in the masjid subhanAllah! But the Prophet (saw) never turned them away or condemned their Islam.
Ask me About the mosque
It can be terrifying going to the mosque by yourself, especially when you’ve had no exposure to it before. Not everyo
ne will greet you with a smile which is why it’s nice to go with someone. My experience was different in the sense that I wasn’t scared to go to the mosque. I started to go regularly before I became Muslim just to get a feel for it. That doesn’t take away from the reality of most wanting to embrace Islam.
It’s all laughter and hugs when you take your shahadah. After that, a lot of sisters feel isolated because those same sisters that embraced her then have now forgotten about her. Let’s make a special effort to invite our sister’s to the mosque. For classes or just to pray salah. Everyone should feel comfortable in Allah’s house.
want to learn qur’an?
It’s never too early to learn Qur’an. Everyone has to start somewhere. A small qaidah with the Arabic alphabet, an English translation of the Qur’an or even a simple tafsir of Surah Fatihah is a great gift for a new Muslim. I didn’t come to Islam through reading the Qur’an but through the good character of the Muslims around me, alhamdulillah may Allah swt reward them. Continue to show them that good character by reciting Qur’an with them, helping them with tajweed or recommending a reciter that they can listen to regularly. It’s so frustrating missing out on the Qur’an because you can’t read it for yourself.
Ready for fasting?
Fasting has become ‘trendy’ of late but knowing how to fast the prophetic way is something you may have never encountered before Islam.
The idea of going without food and water from sunrise to sunset is a terrifying idea, especially when the weather starts to warm up during the summer months. Reassure you’re reverted sisters that inshaAllah they will get through it. Don’t scaremonger them by telling them the punishments of breaking or leaving the fast. Provide them with positive encouragement and tell them about the rewards.
Help them identify which foods to enjoy and which foods to avoid so they can get the most out of their suhoor (pre-dawn) and iftar (post-sunrise) meals.
Invite them for iftar when the time comes inshaAllah so they have someone to break their fast with, sharing food is an act of charity that we should all try and participate in. Ramadan can be one of the loneliest times for a new Muslim. Everyone’s posting pictures of their meals, laughing and bonding and you may just be breaking your fast with cereal and a bottle of water. I’ve been there and it can be very isolated. Alternatively, if you can’t make it to iftar with them, help them make the most of the alone time they now have. Some of my happiest memories as a Muslim are those quiet nights I spent reading Qur’an by myself or breaking my fast alone.
InshaAllah this article helps the next time you meet and greet reverts in your community. Accepting Islam is the first step on the road to jannahtul firdous! Wouldn’t you like to be a part of that?