Most New Muslim converts undergo almost similar trials and tribulations once they embark on the journey of Islam. For some the journey is relatively easy but for most it’s almost like going through hell!
The New Muslims who are privileged to pass by our centre undergo guidance and counseling sessions which really assists them in coping with the trials.
The most persistent question I have had to answer is; am I the only one going through trials of this nature? Is this only happening to me? The answer which I give is that they are not the only ones; Muslim converts have been facing such trials since the inception of islam more than 1400 years ago with people like Bilal and Mus’ab ibn U’mayr being casualties of such.
Every time I see a New Muslim walk into our centre I praise Allah because I know they are the people Allah [SWT] has chosen for His religion among millions of others who are still in darkness. The struggles they go through at home just because islam chose them as brand managers are a lot and it comes to a point they almost feel like giving up.
I had an instance when a brother came to the centre and he asked me whether there was ever a time as a New Muslim I ever thought of giving up my faith. He was stuck at a crossroad because his family had all ganged up against him and it was working terribly on his self confidence.
We try as much as we can to uplift their spirits and give them a reason to face the tribulations with more courage and resolve. There are lots of quotations on the Kitaab of Allah which restore a person’s Imaan and confidence, reminding them of the favors and mercies of Allah upon us; quotations which give someone the strength to soldier on in in spite of the difficulties. Reminders that after every hardship comes ease…..
While reading Surah Al-Kahf with my wife last week we came across a lot of quotations a New Muslim can draw lessons from and I have listed them below:
- Greatness and truth of the Qur’an.
Right at the beginning of the first verse, Allah says thus;
“All praise and thanks are Allah’s, who has sent down to His slave the book (Qur’an)and has not placed therein any crookedness.
This gives the reader a strong conviction that indeed they are turning the pages of a book which is Truth and from the Most Truthful, Allah (swt).
The Qur’an not having any crookedness is indeed one of its many miracles. In another part of the Qur’an, Allah says;
“Do they not then consider the Qur’an carefully? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein many a contradiction.” [Qur’an 4: 82]
- Allah has no offspring.
The major difference between Muslims and mainly Trinitarian Christians is the latter’s ideology that Allah has a son, a begotten son who is Jesus. In the 4th and 5th verse of Surah Al Kahf, Allah gives the Jews and Christians a firm warning;
“No knowledge have they of such a thing, nor had their fathers. Mighty is the word that comes out of their mouths. They utter nothing but a lie.”
I remember when I became a Muslim and I came across a lady we used to attend Church together. After being all astonished at my change of allegiance to Islam, she asked;
“Now that you are a Muslim this means you don’t believe in Jesus as your Lord and savior, right?”
“Correct, I believe in him as one of the esteemed Prophets of Almighty God.”
“But Jesus is the son of God, how can you not believe that even after he died for your sins?”
When Allah clearly states that what they utter is a lie, one is filled with hope and assurance that indeed they
- Virtues of keeping good company.
The young men in the cave found themselves in these circumstances as they were fleeing from their disbelieving folk. They made dua’ to Allah(swt) to facilitate for them thir affair in the right way (verse 10) and Allah granted them refuge in the cave for “300 years [solar]adding nine [lunar years].
They were young men who believed in Allah and for that He made their hearts firm and strong. They helped each other in Fearing and obeying Allah while keeping away from the seemingly wrong ways of their folks.
Keeping good company will in all instances assist one in fearing, obeying and knowing Allah more; just like keeping bad company draws one further from Allah.
- They will always want you to turn back to their religion.
This is perhaps the most common occurrence, people doing their best to turn you back to their religion. It happened to the Mua’dhin of Rasulullah (pbuh) when he became a Muslim and his master tortured him in the most inhumane way, putting hot stones on his back while he was tied till one could hear his flesh burning.
Yet in spite of all this Bilal just cried out “Ahad! Ahad! Ahad!” saying Allah is One.
It wil happen to almost every New Muslim, folks trying to turn him back to their way. They will ask hard questions and the best way to walk through this unscathed is to keep reading more about islam.
Knowledge is power and the more someone learns about Islam the more they get arrows in their quiver to combat such queries.
- Reciting the Qur’an.
In verse 27, Allah instructs thus;
“And recite what has been revealed to you (O Muhammad) of the Book of your Lord. None can change His Words, and none will you find as a refuge other than Him.”
There is nothing that brings serenity to a soul like reading Qur’an and doing Dhikr. The speech from Allah is the best treatment to a soul that is in distress or facing trials. The Qur’an talks directly to the soul, relieving it of its anxiety, reminding it of the fleeting pleasures of this world as compared to the everlasting bliss of the Hereafter.
The virtues of reciting the Qur’an are numerous, I will state just three of these benefits;
Abu Umaamah (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Recite the Qur’an as it will come on the Day of Judgement as an intercessor for those who used to memorise and recite it.”
- Aa’ishah (radiallaahu anhu) reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “The one who recites the Qur’an and is skilled in doing so will be with the obedient and noble angels and the one who recites the Qur’an in hesitance due to difficulty will receive a double reward.”
Abdullaah bin Amr ibn al-Aas reported that the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said: “It will be said to the one who had memorised the Qur’an [and acted upon it]: ‘Recite the Qur’an (ascending the levels of Paradise thereby) and do so slowly and melodiously just as you used to recite slowly and melodiously in the world since your abode will be at the place where you finish reciting your last verse.
- Keeping in the company of Muslims.
In verse 28, Allah (swt) instructs us as follows;
“And keep yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord Morning and afternoon……”
The instruction goes hand in hand with the analogy of keeping good company. If you stay around a blacksmith whose work is mainly to melt metals and sculpt things form them, you will come out of there smelling of smoke. On the other hand if you keep company with a perfume/fragrance seller you will leave his shop smelling good.
Staying around fellow Muslims who are always going to the Masjid and engaging in different kinds of Dhikr increases the Imaan of a New Muslims, especially considering that they are at a point in their lives when they are curious to learn everything about Islam.
- Seeking beneficial Knowledge & having patience in it.
The excellence of a Muslim seeking knowledge has been quoted in various Ahadith and Qur’an verses:
“Seeking knowledge is an obligation upon every Muslim.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
“The excellence of a scholar over another (ordinary) worshipper is like the excellence of the full moon over the rest of the heavenly bodies.” (Abu Dawood)
“Allah raises of those who believe and those who have been given knowledge many levels.”(Quran 58:11)
Nabii Musa [as] embarked on a journey, a quest for knowledge so to speak, when Allah [SWT] informed him that there was someone [Al-Khidr] who was more learned than him. Musa [as] did meet Al-Khidr and through him he learnt several things.
It is incumbent upon every seeker of knowledge to have sincerity in his heart and a high level of patience while doing so. Patience is among the strongest virtues that Islam calls upon, and in the Qur’an Allah says this:
“And seek help in patience and Salaah, and truly it is extremely hard except for the Sal-Khashi’un.” Qur’an 2: 45.
Read more about Patience being a branch of Imaan here.