As a new Muslim or Muslimah it will be kind of confusing knowing where to start so here are some helpful tips to get you started.
- Memorize your Salaah (prayer). Supplication is the only way that you will stay in contact with Allah. Praying each salaah on time is a big adjustment for every revert but without it your Imam(faith) will plummet and so will your life.
- Prioritize what you learn. Seeking knowledge is obligatory in Islam but it is a lifelong process. There is so much to learn about Islam and if you try to learn it all in once you will feel overwhelmed. Start by memorizing salaah, wudu, quran then go on to learning hadeeths, sunnah, and Arabic. Do not place time constraints on yourself. Go at whatever pace feels comfortable to you. Remember that you are not inadequate or a ‘bad muslim’ for not knowing everything.
- Find your local masjid. Meet your Imam and get involved with the community. Don’t concern yourself with different sects just find one where you feel comfortable and is willing to offer you support.
- Find a new muslim study class. I’m not sure if all Masjids offer this but mine did. However, there are some good alternatives. You can find a mentor or friend that is knowledgeable or you can go on websites for reverts and take online lessons. I will leave a link of one down below for one that. Read books for reverts that will explain the basics.
- Do not expect your family to welcome Islam. Most of what the western world knows about Islam has been filtered through the lens of the media which has their own political agendas outside of finding the truth. They will most likely be afraid that you will become a radical terrorist or that you will cut ties with them. Practice patience even when they warn you against joining ISIS (yes that actually happened to me). If you feel as if you might be in danger or that your family will put you out on the streets, wait for a while and consult the members of your ummah.
- Don’t focus on what is haram or halaal. The major sins of Islam are zina (sex and sexual acts outside of marriage), eating pork, drinking or using drugs, and disrespecting your parents. The other haram acts will take some time to learn and overcome. If you focus only on what is forbidden to you then you will start to feel as if everything is haram. But anything that is haram has a reason behind it. Remember that Allah has set these boundaries in place so that you will not fall into the hands of Shaitan.
- Cut out bad habits. As Muslims we must always ascribe to please Allah. Allah knows how difficult it will be to stop listening to music or reading romance novels but he will help you if you ask and he will forgive you if you slip.Bad habits lead to sin and little things can easily lead to big things. You may have to avoid going to happy hour or the club. Maybe you have to stop being friends with people who have a bad influence on you.
- Never stop repenting. Allah is merciful and his love his absolute. He will never turn his back on you and if you are truly sorry he will forgive you once you have asked.