Bismillahir rahmenir raheem,
Asalaamu alaykum everybody,
Following on from my “5 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Became 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. InshaAllah 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 inshaAllah.
I remember when I reverted, 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 reverting to Islam, these are the 5 questions I asked her that I wished someone would have asked me.
Ask Me about My Salah
The first thing I asked her about was salah. 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.
It’s your connection to Allah swt and the blessed relief we get from this duniya to conversate with Allah swt, every day. Don’t you want that for your fellow Muslim sister?
I also asked her if she was confortable with the steps of wudu, 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.
Ask Me about Around the Topic of 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 revert, they know about hijab but again, 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 turnt them away or condemned their Islam.
Ask Me about Going to the Mosque
It can be terrifying going to the mosque by yourself, especially when you’ve had no exposure to it before. Not everyone will greet you with a smile which is why it’s nice to go with someone. I regularly invite my friend to the mosque for sister’s circles and talks for this reason. 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. It’s all laughter and hugs when you take your shahadah but after that, a lot of sisters feel isolated because those same sisters that clapped at her shahahdah are now not embracing her with the same warmth when they meet. Your name may have slipped their mind or they don’t remember you but it’s important to greet everyone, even those sisters who aren’t complying strictly with hijab with a warm smile, it’s sunnah!
Ask Me if I 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 frustarting missing out on the Qur’an because you can’t read it for yourself.
Ask Me if I’m Prepared for Ramadhan
Fasting has become ‘trendy’ of late but knowing how to fast the prophetic way is something you may have never encountered before Islam. My friend has some experience of fasting from her husband who’s Muslim but prior to reverting I’m sure she has never tried it herself.
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.
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.
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!
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You