Getting into praying five times a day is as easy or as hard as you make it. To make it even easier for new Muslims and those ready to embrace the religion of the household they were born into, I’ve put this list together to help you in your journey. And May Allah swt accept every salah you make with the intention of drawing closer to him, Ameen.
GET A QURAN
You’ll get a lot of Quran’s during your journey. The Quran is the verbatim word of Allah as sent down to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) via the Angel Jibril (Gabriel).
It is essential during the first initial period of your Islam and then regularly for the rest of your life, that you get in as much Quran reading as possible.
Find a translation that you find easy to read and follow. It may take some time but when you find the one that you like, it’s an amazing feeling.
I’d recommend the following:
And especially The Qur’an by A.B al-Mehri.
This one in particular is produced by The Quran Project, an organisation based in my hometown of Birmingham that provides free Quran’s to new Muslims. You can check out their website here.
a prayer mat
When I first became Muslim I had no clue about prayer mats and why I’d potentially need one. Until I started my first full time job. There were no spare offices for me to pray in so I used to pray behind my car in the damp cold car park.
Alhamdulillah, its not as bad as it sounds but having to explain why I had dust on my trousers after every lunch break was getting more difficult by the day. So I bought a prayer mat.
It doesn’t have to be a fancy one, it could just be plain. The purpose of the mat is to ensure that the surface you’re praying on is free from impurities. It’s best to have one you can use at home and one on the go. Some of them even fold up as small as a purse making them easy to pop in your bag.
This is an example of a prayer mat they have in the multi faith room in Grand Central Station in Birmingham. It was so pretty masha Allah. I personally go for the plain mats with no markings on them just to ensure that I don’t get distracted during my prayer.
appropriate prayer clothing
Getting the right clothes to pray in will make you feel so much more comfortable in the act. You may not be wearing full hijab right now, but when it comes to the prayer you have to be dressed appropriately for the act to be accepted.
For women, your face and hands can be uncovered just as if you were around males that are non- mahram to you (I’ll discuss non-Mahrams in another post). The clothes must be loose fitting and not see through.
For men, they must cover their navel to their knees as well as the shoulders and torso if they have the means to do so. It is also important that the clothes be clean and free from impurities like blood, urine etc.
If you can, treat yourself to a nice prayer garment. Something that’s easy to pull on 5 times a day and portable is necessary.
When I first began to pray regularly, on the odd chance I could get out of the office, I used to visit a small masjid. A lovely older Somali lady saw me praying once and the next day she had sewn me a two piece prayer garment. I must have looked so uncomfortable pulling down my sleeves and shirt mid salah she thought she’d help me out. To this day I still pray in the same outfit praying that Allah swt rewards her for thinking of me.
All prayers must be directed towards Makkah, the Holy City. This is to show unity amongst the Muslims in our prayer.
You can get Qibla (Ka’abah) compasses on your phone or as actual compasses. As long as your phone is calibrated, a qibla compass app is one of the best apps you can download as well as a Quran app.
Having one means you can pray anytime, anywhere and face the same way as your new brothers and sisters in Islam.
Depending on where you live, prayer times will change. It”s worth having a quick Google search
for your nearest masjid. If they have a website, you’ll be able to access their prayer time table easy.
Here’s an example of what a short prayer timetable will look like on the website.
For each one of these times, there is an associated prayer. As you can see, the prayers are split evenly throughout the day and the symbols to the left show the position of the sun for every prayer.
Both the start time and the ‘jamat’ time are there. Jamat simply indicates the congregational prayer. If your masjid has a prayer space for women, it’s worth going to get a feel for what it’s like praying with other people.
This isn’t an exhaustive list but it’s a start. It can be daunting knowing what you need from what you don’t need at the start of your new journey as a Muslim but, simplicity is key.
What do you think are new Muslim essentials? Comment below and share the khayr (good)!