Prophet Muhammad(SAW) taught that Allah(SWT) said:
"I am as My servant expects Me to be. I am with him when he makes mention of Me.
If he makes mention of Me to himself, I make mention of him to Myself;
and if he makes mention of Me in an assembly, I make mention of him in an assembly better than it. And if he draws near to Me an arm's length, I draw near to him a fathom's length. And if he comes to Me walking, I go to him running." (
Buhkari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn-Majah).
Some Questions & Answers
I was a Christian. Alhumduillah, I reverted to Islam. Do I have a special reward?
Sahih Bukhari Volume 1, Book 3, Number 97:
Narrated Abu Burda's father: Allah's Apostle said "Three persons will have a double reward: 1. A Person from the people of the scriptures who believed in his prophet (Jesus or Moses) and then believed in the Prophet Muhammad (i .e. has embraced Islam). ."
How can I find out about the experiences of other reverts who come back to Islam?
stories of reverts from around the world..
Is there a website dedicated solely to converts/reverts? click here for converts website
An analysis of the posted stories of reverts, along with anecdoctal
evidence, and talks by converts suggest that one of the major sources
of concern is dealing with non-Muslim family members and relatives.
Daughters for example reflect on their mothers reaction to seeing them pray islamically and wearing hijab for the first time. Undoubtably there will be many questions--
and some converts hide their Islam until they are ready to deal with these inevitable questions. (By the ways their is nothing wrong with doing this if there is a valid reason. Check the stories of the Sahabah as well as Quran 40.28 "a believing man of Pharaoh's family, who hid his faith...".) To the numerous challenges that will be thrust your way about your practice of Islam
respond islamically (e.g. politely) and with knowledge. "Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and the best of speech; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious." Quran 16:125. However if they dishonor and mock your religion even after you have told them to stop remember this. "And indeed He has revealed to you in the Book that when you her God's messages rejected and mocked at, do not sit with them until they enter into some other discourse, for then indeed you would be like them." Quran 4:140. However, if they respect Islam do not reject them. We have the example of Asma and her mother. Sahih Bukhari Volume 8, Book 73, Number 9: Narrated Asma' bint Abu Bakr: My mother came to me, hoping (for my favor) during the lifetime of the Prophet asked the Prophet, "May I treat her kindly?" He replied, "Yes." Ibn 'Uyaina said, "Then Allah revealed: 'Allah forbids you not with regards to those who fought not against you because of religion, and drove you not out from your homes, that you should show them kindness and deal justly with them.'.......(60.8)"
In summary while good manners (adhab) and ties of kinship are recognized and honoured in Islam they cannot be at the expense of Islam itself. "There is no obedience to a created being if it involves disobedience of the Creator" (reported by Ahmad, 1041; a saheeh hadeeth). Check out different parts of this website (and in particular the Dawah Section ) as well as other Islamic sources. Inshallah, you will find knowledge to thus be your ally. If you read the stories of other converts you will find that (1) time (2) grandchildren (3) knowledge (4) the example set by you are factors that help one's family become more understanding over time. In the words of one revert " Little by little, my family seems to be more understanding. I believe this has to do with my behavior now as compared to my previous behavior (note: e.g. behavior before and after Islam)." Find support in your new brothers and sisters in Islam (including other reverts who have gone through what you are going through now), in reading the Quran every day, and most importantly in Allah(swt), remembering well the Quranic ayat "Is not Allah sufficient for His servant?" Quran 39:36
Sometimes reverts are overwhelmed by trying to adopt all of Islam all at once.
Relax, breathe, you don't have to know and do all the Islamic rites within ten minutes of pronouncing Shahada. What you should do however, is to make sure you are sincere and working hard to make yourself the best Muslim you can be. Any month, any year, anytime. Prophet Muhammad himself did not expect the people to obsorb it all at once-- in one day! Sahih Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 469: Narrated Ibn Abbas:
When the Prophet sent Muadh to Yemen, he said to him, "You are going to a nation from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the Tauhid of Allah. If they learn that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night. And if they pray, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them Zakat of their properties and it is to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to that, then take from them Zakat but avoid the best property of the people." If fact if one reflects about the Sahabah (companions of the prophet(saws)) most of the Quran had not even been revealed when some of them became Muslim. Many rites were only defined long AFTER they had declared shahada. In fact, Prophet Muhammad spent 23 years teaching Islam to the Sahabah! Do not overwhelm yourself to the point that you then become in danger of not practicing those rites. The best deeds are those good deeds practiced continuously even if they are small. Sahih Bukhari Volume 7, Book 72, Number 752:
The Prophet used to construct a loom with a Hasir at night m order to pray therein, and during the day he used to spread it out and sit on it. The people started coming to the Prophet at night to offer the prayer behind him When their number increased, the Prophet faced them and said. O people! Do only those good deeds which you can do, for Allah does not get tired (of giving reward) till you get tired, and the best deeds to Allah are the incessant ones though they were few."
Consider the case of water cascading against a mighty set of boulders. Puny though the water may seem, over the centuries it will wear away even the mightiest of rocks. Inshallah, you will rise to the best you can be but approach it with dogged perseverance rather than unsustainable overexuberance.
(The following example is taken (not verbatum) from Sunan Abu Dawud, #3662)
The prohibition of alcohol in Islam is an interesting, illustrative example. The first ayat on alcohol Allah(swt) revealed Quran 2:219: "They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some)
utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness." Then Allah(swt) banned drunkness during prayers. Quran 004.043 :
"O ye who believe! Draw not near unto prayer when ye are drunken, till ye know that which ye utter,.." Finally in Quran 5:90 Alchol was completely banned "O ye who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones, and (divination by) arrows, are an abomination,- of Satan's handwork: eschew such (abomination), that ye may prosper. " By that time, Muslims were ready to fulfill Allah's command. But notice God's Mercy and Wisdom in gradually preparing the Muslim nation to fulfull His command.
I realize that I cannot do everything at once, but as a new revert should there be some sort of priority in my actions?
Yes. After "La ilaha ill-llah, Muhammad-un Rasulu-llah" (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah) one of the most important things to do is prayer .
Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0151:
" It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah b. Mas'ud that he observed. I asked the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) which deed was the best. He (the Holy Prophet) replied: Prayer at its appointed hour."
(While we have used the word prayer you should try to use the Islamic term salat.Prayer, in popular parlance, is the the act of asking God for something. Salat includes "prayer" in the "dua" section. However its much richer. For example, much of salat is spent glorifying Allah(swt).)
You should also try to set aside at least 1/2 -1hr everyday in "Islamic Studies". Knowledge is a duty on every Muslim from cradle to grave. Reading the Quran everyday will help you learn Islam and improve your iman (belief). (Most pious Muslims read the whole Quran at least once a year). Here are some more books (e.g. Resources for Muslims learning Islam ) you can read as a new Muslim.
Sunan Abu Dawud, Book 41, Number 4815:
The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend."
So seek out pious Muslims at halaqas (islamic study circles) at the masjid or at msa (Muslim student organizations).
Join a community of practicing Muslims at the Masjid and go to their halaqas. If you had "friends" who were a bad influence on you, remember your new real friends instead. And truly there are very few things in life better than a few pious friends. (They correct you when you are wrong and encourage you when you are right.)
Sunan Abu Dawud. Book 41, Number 4811:
Narrated Anas ibn Malik:
"The Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) said: ...A good companion is like a man who has musk; if nothing of it goes to you, its fragrance will (certainly) go to you; and a bad companion is like a man who has bellows; if its (black) root does not go to you, its smoke will (certainly) go to you."
Become part of a group do not be the lone sheep taken by the wolf.
Sometimes saying fard salat (prayers) can require a major readjustment
and change of pace for some people who may have only said prayers once a week, m
onth, or perhaps never. Remember that salat is one of the best deeds to present
to Allah(swt). Someone once mentioned that the effect of salat on a mumin (believer) is like the effect of rain around a tree. The tree never sees the rain but benefits nonetheless. In fact there is a hadith that says:
Said the Prophet,(saws): "The five set prayers may compared to a stream of fresh
water, flowing in front of your house, into which you plunge five times each da
y. Do you think that would leave any dirt on your body? When they replied: 'None at all!'. The prophet (saws) said: 'Indeed, the five prayers remove sin, just
as water removes dirt.'" (Muslim)
I am a new Muslim. I am having difficulty learning the salat. Any Suggestions? See Question #5410 at www.islam-qa.com (http://188.8.131.52/index.php?ln=eng&ds=qa&lv=browse&QR=5410&dgn=3)
One important thing to note after taking Shahada the difference between (1) Islam and "non-practising Muslims" (2) Islam and "culture". Do not confuse the two. You may (unfortunately) come across very many "Muslims" that are lying, backbitting, cheating, not fulfilling their promises and doing other unIslamic things. "Culture" might be presented as Islam to you. Your best ally is to stick closely to the Quran and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad(saws). It is no accident that the Muslim Ummah is at a lower position economically, socially and politically then it has ever been before. Allah (swt) says in Quran 2.0085: "Believe ye in part of the Scripture and disbelieve ye in part thereof? And what is the reward of those who do so save ignominy in the life of the world..." Stick to the Quran and Sunnah. And most importantly do not add to the ranks of munnafiqs (hypocrites). Says Allah (swt) in Quran 61.03: "It is most hateful in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not. " Instead of weak or ignorant Muslims, find knowledgeable pious Muslims striving hard in the way of Allah(swt) -- for truely they will (inshallah) be good companions for you in this life.
Where can I find good companions? First, be a good Muslim yourself. Learn Islam, the Quran and the Sunnah and practice them in your life. By doing so you will learn to recognize good Muslims better. Good causes bring good Muslims together -- so you will find good Muslims scattered between situations of famine, helping orphans and widows, and so on... Quran 002.148 "To each is a goal to which Allah turns him; then strive together (as in a race) Towards all that is good. Wheresoever ye are, Allah will bring you Together. For Allah Hath power over all things." (Note: Using the metaphor of a race, remember that life is more like a marathan than sprint. Pace yourself.) May Allah(swt) increase the ranks of pious Muslims and help us enter that group by becoming better Muslims ourselves.
Finally, for those of you who have entered into Islam and possess great wealth, or come from a noble family, or wield great power or possess several prestigious college degrees, beware of false pride -- one of the attributes of Iblees. Keep things in prospective and remember the source of all good is ultimately Allah(swt). So thank Allah(swt) and commit yourself and what HE has given you (in trust), in His service.
"They make it a favour unto thee (Muhammad) that they have surrendered (unto Him). Say: Deem not your Surrender a favour unto me; but Allah doth confer a favour on you, inasmuch as He hath led you to the Faith, if ye are earnest. "
Book 001, Number 0166:
"It is narrated on the authority of 'Abdullah that the Apostle of Allah (may peace be upon him) observed: He who as in his heart the weight of a mustard seed of pride shall not enter Paradise."
Remember Islam does not need you but you need Islam.
Sometimes new reverts (and others) are tried by "Muslims. " Quran 025.020 "...We have made some of you as a trial for others...." Perhaps the new revert has started a soup kitchen in the masjid after a lot of hard work and effort. However no one praised him or her. This revert then thought about how when she used to do this at a church (for example) how so many people used to help out and compliment her/him on their efforts. Unfortunately, some "Muslims" have forgotten basic adhab (manners) and the the Messenger of the Allah saying "He who is not grateful for a little cannot be grateful for a lot, and he who is not grateful to people cannot be grateful to Allah [whereas] to talk about blessings is gratitude, and leaving it is ingratitude (kufr). " (Quoted by al-Qurtubi in his Jami' Ahkam al-Qur'an Tafsir 'ala Surah Wa'd-Duha. Similar sayings in Ahmad and Tirmizi) Unfortunately, many "Muslims" barely know anything about their religion. However because of this lack of appreciation the revert stops attending the masjid and slowly drops away from this "ungrateful" community. But this may be a test, a trial. Perhaps God is testing to see if your actions were motivated to seek the compliments of your peers or was it to please Allah(swt) . If one set up the soup kitchen solely to please Allah(swt) one will never be disappointed. In Islam intentions are extraordinarily important. They are the root of actions.
As a new revert one should always remember the importance of sincerity and clean intentions in Islam.
Sahih Bukhari, Volume 1, Book 1, Number 1: "Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab:
I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions and every person will get the reward according to what he has intended...."
Let us take a seemingly subtle case to shred some light on this topic. Let us compare giving some bread to a hungry person to relieve his hunger versus giving money to an Islamic relief organization combating famine for the purpose of seeking Allah's(swt) pleasure . In both cases the starving person is feed. But ask yourself: Is there a case that one may have received his reward in this dunya (world) (e.g. the satisfaction of having fed a hungry man) and another case where one may have received some reward in this world but he awaits his real reward in the ahkhira (afterlife) with His Lord?
Hadith Qudsi 6:
On the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) say:
The first of people against whom judgment will be pronounced on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who died a martyr. He will be brought and Allah will make known to him His favours and he will recognize them. [ The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I fought for you until I died a martyr. He will say: You have lied - you did but fight that it might be said [of you]: He is courageous. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man who has studied [religious] knowledge and has taught it and who used to recite the Quran. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I studied [religious] knowledge and I taught it and I recited the Quran for Your sake. He will say: You have lied - you did but study [religious] knowledge that it might be said [of you]: He is learned. And you recited the Quran that it might be said [of you]: He is a reciter. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire. [Another] will be a man whom Allah had made rich and to whom He had given all kinds of wealth. He will be brought and Allah will make known to his His favours and he will recognize them. [The Almighty] will say: And what did you do about them? He will say: I left no path [untrodden] in which You like money to be spent without spending in it for Your sake. He will say: You have lied - you did but do so that it might be said [of you]: He is open-handed. And so it was said. Then he will be ordered to be dragged along on his face until he is cast into Hell-fire.
It was related by Muslim (also by at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa'i).
I would like to fulfill the other half of my deen.
Where can I find a spouse? Are there any matrimonials
on the internet?
Note for new reverts: It may make more sense to wait a bit to allow Islam to "settle down" somewhat in you before you consider marriage. The changes that can take place upon reversion can be extraordinary. Your personality itself may have profound changes. Hence it may make sense to wait till you "find yourself again." This process could take a few years for some individuals. Of course, every situation is unique.
First, use your common sense. Even if a matrimonial website owner has honorable intentions he or she cannot guarantee the quality of every posting. Take the necessary precautions. Set up a special email for this purpose; ;
. See MuslimMatrimonialsCentral.com
Sahih Bukhari Volume 4, Book 55, Number 572 (see also Shahih Muslim 32, #6377):
Narrated Abu Huraira:
"...Those who were the best in the pre-lslamic period of ignorance will be the best in Islam provided they comprehend the religious knowledge."
Sahih Muslim, Book 001, Number 0062:
... He (the Holy Prophet) remarked: Say I affirm my faith in Allah and then remain steadfast to it.
"Our Lord!" (they say), "Let not our hearts deviate now after Thou hast guided us, but grant us mercy from Thine own Presence; for Thou art the Grantor of bounties without measure."