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Converts Dawah (Outreach)

12 Tips for the Convert Muslim

By Brother Alex (Dallas, TX)

1. Practice Islam as much as you can

“He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Tirmidhi)

As a new Muslim, you will have trouble keeping up with prayers every day, fasting during Ramadan, and the many other practices in this religion. The struggle that we face, with such a radical change in lifestyle, is difficult and will take some time. Awkward moments are bound to happen, don’t fret. You are not expected to wake up at 4am every morning to pray tahajjud (extra night prayers). If you have problems with certain practices, then gradually work yourself into the mindset of worship. A counselor once told me when I was young, “How do you eat an elephant? Just One bite at a time.” Think of it as one step at a time. Pray to Allah (swt) and ask for Him to make it easy for you and the rest will come naturally.

Keeping up with your devotional practices is something that will strengthen your faith immensely. Read the Qur’an whenever possible. Find a collection of hadith, such as Riyadh us-Saliheen, and read it often. You will start to feel a connection to Allah (swt) and you will become used to Islam as a religion and way of life.

2.  Respect your parents

“Heaven lies under the feet of your mother.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Ahmad, Nasa’i)

Keeping up a good relationship with your family is essential. Try to avoid bringing up or taking part in controversial subjects regarding religion. This is almost unavoidable, but your parents will eventually accept that Islam is not going to turn you into a terrorist if you stay calm during these tense moments. Gradually, your parents will gain some respect and understanding of Islam and may start to become genuinely interested. This is a great sign and insha’Allah, God will make a way for them to accept Islam.

What you do not want to do is act like you know everything, attempt to debate everything, or overly defend yourself in a way that might make you angry or upset. This will just cause heartache and uneasiness. Your priority now should be to work on yourself.

3. Find a teacher

“For him who follows a path for seeking knowledge, Allah will ease for him the path to Paradise.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)

Finding a teacher to bounce ideas off of is a great way to learn your deen (religion). I found it is good to find someone with as much knowledge as possible who also has an understanding of the English language and American culture. It is difficult to listen to someone with a thick accent or someone with a back-home mentality. When I first accepted Islam, I would drive every day to visit my teacher and I would ask him what seemed like an endless stream of questions. Sometimes he seemed overwhelmed! This is a great way to clarify things you hear on Sheikh Youtube or Google or any part of the Qur’an you are reading at the time.

This will also help you have a real grounding in the Islamic tradition. You will eventually have spent more time learning Islam than most people from Muslim families. Maintain a sense of humility if you do gain a lot of knowledge, as there will always be someone who will be more knowledgeable than you. Learn everything you can in small chunks, no one is asking you to be a scholar!

4. Keep away from debates and arguments

“Verily anger spoils faith as aloe spoils honey.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi)

Trying to constantly defend your religion is something that will cause you a lot of stress. I remember when I first accepted Islam, it seemed like the whole world was after me. This may happen to different people at different levels, but it was a very overwhelming experience for me. The best thing to do is avoid these arguments at all costs. If you are mature about your religion and display a desire to explain yourself without refuting others, then many doors will open for you. You are bound to give someone a refreshing view of Islam, which is what so many people are hungry for after seeing Islam in such a negative light in the media.

Staying away from these discussions will put you at peace and give you breathing room. A lot of converts are not really comfortable with bringing up their religion because of the backlash they receive. Personally, I recognized that if I just mention it when necessary, I get a more positive reaction. You’ll be surprised to hear “Oh that’s cool dude, what made you pick that religion?” This is always an opportunity for da’wah (inviting to Islam).

5. Gain a connection to the Arabic language

“Indeed, We have sent it down as an Arabic Qur’an that you might understand.”
-The Holy Qur’an, 12:2

This is one of my favorite parts of becoming a Muslim. To be honest, I’m a language-lover and I realize everyone is not the same in this regard. Just because you failed high school Spanish though doesn’t mean you will have trouble with Arabic. There are many tricks to learning the language that I won’t go into here, but there are ways to make this easier on yourself. These methods can be found online or in books; with a little research you can pave your way to gaining an understanding of Arabic.

Start by learning the alphabet and connecting letters together. You can learn this in an afternoon if you know someone that is a native Arabic speaker (but go at your own pace). Sit on that for a while and eventually you will be able to follow along in the Qur’an if you listen to a recitation on your computer or MP3 player. You will start to recognize words, after which you can get into simple grammar rules. I recommend learning common nouns and prepositions first (words like “in”, “on”, “for” and “with”).

Arabic can be really enjoyable, and you are bound to gain an Islamic vocabulary after listening to talks or lectures. Eventually you will know meanings of words like “furqaan” and “sajdah” and you’ll be able to use them in conversations with Muslims. Sabr (patience) is essential!

6. Understand Islam’s organic nature

“Those who make things hard for themselves will be destroyed. (He said it three times.)”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)

Coming to Islam will sometimes put you in a situation where you are overwhelmed with opinions that are hard to follow. As an example, one might be told that you have to wash your feet every time you make wudhu (ablution) unless you wipe over leather socks that have been worn from your previous wudhu. For most Americans, the idea of wearing leather socks is something that we find extremely unusual. If we do a little research, we find there are opinions of scholars that mention the permissibility of wiping over cotton socks (even ones with holes in them!). To an American convert, these opinions can cause a huge sigh of relief.

7. Maintain your Identity

“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.”
-The Holy Qur’an, 49:1

Being a Muslim is a huge part of your identity now. That doesn’t mean you can’t barbeque with your friends or watch football on Sundays. If there are things in your culture that do not directly contradict with basic Islamic creed, then you are welcome to keep those things in your life. You do not need to start wearing Arab or Indian clothing. As long as your clothes cover what they are supposed to cover, you are in the clear.

Many converts are also exposed to really weird food that is overly spicy or funny tasting. This might lead us to think that eating curry is sunnah or something righteous. We can still have our own culture and tastes in food: pot roast and beans are still halal!

There are many other examples of things that you will be exposed to that are from foreign cultures and do not necessarily have anything to do with Islam. Our goal as new Muslims is to worship Allah (swt), not to add a Pakistani or Arab identity to our persona.

It is good to have a teacher who understands the subtleties of different opinion in fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and can inform you of differences among the scholars on issues that are of concern. Most people in masajid will have a very limited view of the juristic possibilities inside the Islamic tradition. Islam is a vast tradition and we should not make it small. These diverse opinions are there to help us, not cause strain on ourselves.

8. Force yourself to go to the masjid

“The person who receives the greatest reward for the Salah is one who lives the farthest and has the farthest to walk.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Bukhari, Muslim)

Going on Fridays is a given, but I would also recommend trying to fit a few prayers (at least) per week in the masjid. This will open many doors for you and will insha’Allah grant many good deeds to your account. You will meet people who are connected to Islam; networking opportunities are more readily available; and you are bound to make long-lasting friends. This is one of the things that I really love about Islam, that you can almost always find people in the masjid.

Although this may be hard initially, try and go to the masjid. The payoff will be huge, even if you just pray and leave right after. You will eventually warm up to the community and you can feel more comfortable going to the masjid whenever you like.

9. Find Muslim friends and avoid severing ties

“On the Day of Resurrection Allah Almighty will proclaim: “Where are those who have mutual love for My Glory’s sake? Today I shall shelter them in My shade where there is no shade but Mine.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)

Saying “As-salamu ‘Alaykum” ( “Peace be upon you”)  to people you see on campus or at the grocery store is a real blessing in Islam. It immediately lets people know you are Muslim and they usually will be happy to return the greeting and hopefully share a few words with you. Doors of friendship will be opened and you will meet lots of people. Try and spend some time with Muslims when you can. It is beneficial to remind yourself that you are not the only Muslim on the planet and you share your religion with almost 2 billion people around the globe.

Also, don’t sever your friendships with your non-Muslim friends unless they are constantly partying or using the list of major sins as their weekend to-do list. You can be a light to your Christian, Agnostic, Jewish, or Atheist friends. You never know who Allah (swt) will guide, and showing that you are living an ethical life can encourage these people to learn a little about Islam or change their mind to having a positive view of the religion.

10. Avoid Loneliness

“Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)

This is a major problem in the convert community. We are lonely. The best thing we can do to fight the feeling of loneliness is to spend as much time as possible with good company. Having dinners with people a few nights a week is a sure way to maintain a good attitude. The practice of becoming a nun or a monk is alien to Islam; we are social creatures and Islam recognizes this.

Try not to lock yourself away in your apartment to avoid the world. This will just cause a vicious cycle that will cause deep depression and can lead to searching for solace in haram (unlawful).

Make it an obligation on yourself to remain a sociable human being. It takes a lot of work but the result is happiness and contentment in life.

11. Stay away from extremism

“And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people.”
-The Holy Qur’an, 2:143

Most converts do not enter Islam looking for an extremist point of view. Unfortunately, we have seen some converts do end up overseas working for terrorist organizations. This is something that can happen from a person feeling victimized or ostracized by their own culture and being overcome with anger.

I personally have not had a problem with anyone trying to “radicalize” me. It does happen enough though that it should be a concern. It will be best for you to keep your head on your shoulders and not get caught up with extreme points of view. Know that all of the scholars overseas and in America have absolutely refuted terrorism in their fatawa (legal rulings). Extremism is on the very edges of the Islamic thought. Do your best to stay on a middle way.

12. Do not despair

“So know that victory is with patience, and relief is with distress and that with hardship comes ease.”
-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ

Being a convert to Islam, you will face a lot of tribulations. There is not anything that you cannot overcome though, and never despair in Allah (swt).

Allah (swt) guided to you to Islam, you searched for the answer and you found it. Be happy and constantly remind yourself of the blessings in your life. There are a lot of good things that will happen to you and you are on the straight road to Jannah (paradise). Rejoice in being Muslim. Remember the Sahabah (companions) were all converts to Islam and they were human beings that came from Adam and Eve just like you! Be strong and find comfort in your prayers and worship to Allah (swt). The first six months were the hardest for me, and insha’Allah we will all continue to grow as a convert community in America.

About the author

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276 Comments

  • Salaams,

    This advice really gets to the core of the challenges that new Muslims face. Thanks for taking the time to write this article. It was certainly a blessing for me to have read this.

  • I’m a new Muslim. About a month now. Thank you for these wonderful words they have made my heart happy for I was feeling like I was not doing or feeling what I should. I have never been so happy with my religion. I yearn for the learning.

  • I am new in muslim. It is hard for me because if my family, relatives and family friends know about it, i will be isolated. It has been hard for me to perform prayers as i do it in secret. Am happy to read this as i now have hope. Thank you.

    • Sis, I pray that Allah will help to sooth your heart so you can find content happiness. Although things will be rough, you know who to come back to. Never lose hope, and know that I admire you very much for your courage! Seek knowledge and display the best of attitude. One day, insha’allah, your family will know how more beautiful you turned out to be, being in Islam. Love, from your Muslim sister :)

    • May Allah make things easy for you sister. I cant even imagine what you are going through. Find masjids close and reach out to sisters. Most of the time we dont pay attention as we should, so pls sis remind us and Inshallah we will be there for you.

    • Salaam alaykum sister,

      I am a convert too and I understand what you are going through, be patient and calm about this, Allah will reward you for the struggles you are facing. I converted 3 years ago but I still pray in secret when I visit my family, just know you are not alone and thousands of converts out there are facing similar troubles. Be patient, make dua, keep your deen simple and read Qur’an to increase your eeman, even if you listen to it on mp3.

      Finally, read Surat Al-Asr(chapter 103 of the Qur’an, it will have good advice for you. Also Surat Luqman(31:13-19).

      May Allah help you.

  • Thank you for this information. I am always looking for articles on this subject. I wish I knew where to find a “helper” who could assist me. I am still searching. However, my heart is content with my choice to convert. Subhana Allah.

    • I pray that you will find your way. Amin~ The best search is the search of knowledge, and the best struggle is the struggle within the heart. May Allah guide you every step of the way.

  • “As a new Muslim, you will have trouble keeping up with prayers every day, fasting during Ramadan, and the many other practices in this religion.”

    This is not necessarily true and the writer cannot say for certain what the actions or troubles of a new Muslim may or may not be, Inshaallah! I converted the end of 2009 and had NO problem fasting during Ramadhan. I struggle to get up for Fajr at times but, Inshaallah, I will be able to some day.

    I just don’t think its fair that you tell new Muslims that they are going to have trouble with something when you don’t know and this could just set them up for failure, Inshaallah!

    Furthermore, if you must make a statement like this then you should include Inshaallah as only Allah knows what will happen. :)

  • Masha Allah, great advice. Much of it applies to Muslims who are not converts also :) A good read for all of us.

  • MashAllah this is absolutely awesome, I am not a convert, but an American Muslim, and I benefited immensely from this. May Allah reward you and post more articles like these if you can.

    I guess it’s some comfort to converts to know that American Muslims (i.e. Muslims born and raised in the USA) face the same obstacles as converts. We’re all in this together.

    May Allah grant us patience and keep us on the straight path.

  • Peace everyone,

    This article was written by my friend Alex. I had the privilage of meeting him not long after I moved out from my parents’ home (and also not long after he had become Muslim).

    Our friendship developed and broadened one another’s understandings and perspectives of our faith and life at large (including countless conversations regarding languages, cultures, psyochology, sociology and several other topics).

    In-sha’-allah-ta’ala, the points in this article will serve as an inspiration to converts to Islam, as well as the Muslim-born, and even Non-Muslims.

    May God’s Peace and Blessings be upon all who read this article and comment thread.

  • very good article, but i dnt quite undertstand why u wud include the point on extremism. it will be better to define this term before u advise converts to stay away from it. and no extremism is not terrorism.

  • As-salamu ‘Álaykum

    Sarina: Your criticism is definitely invited! I did not mean to bring people down by the opening statement in order to set them up for failure.

    I rather intended to let people know, that if they do find themselves struggling, it’s normal. I think it would be inappropriate to say “inshaAllah” at the end of the statement – because I wouldn’t want to wish harm upon anyone.

    I wanted to paint a realistic picture for the vast majority of converts who will have significant struggles with various aspects of their lives. It’s wonderful that you had an easy fast during your Ramadan :) may Allah accept!

    JazakAllah Khayr

    NAS: Good to know you got some benefit from this! Most of my friends who read it were not converts and still enjoyed it. I’m really glad that people are seeing the article as a motivational piece regardless of their status as a convert or a born-Muslim.

    JazakAllah Khayr

    -Br. Alex

  • Assalamu Alaykum,
    JazakAllah Khair for this insight!
    I reverted in November 2007 and even though I was living with my (Muslim) husband and in-laws I did find it hard at the start.
    Alhamdulillah, Allah SWT continues to shower His Blessings on me opening my heart everyday to how beautiful Islam really is. InshaAllah I never stop learning!
    May Allah SWT bless and guide you, your family and the entire Ummah and keep us on the Straight Path to Jannatul Firdaus. Allahummah Ameen :)

  • Assalamu Alaikkum

    I m reverted to Muslim before my marriage took place and I always loved this religion even when I had 9yrs of relationship with my husband…He never forced me to do any of rules that to be followed by Muslims but of my own interest I am now able to read the Quran fluently n Inshallah on my compeltion we did perform the Haj pilgrimage two yrs back and I am always thankful to my husband to make me embrace a very good religion(Islam) n now I fullfil all my duties as a Muslim woman. Allah has guided me to the right path…Ameen

  • Salaams to all
    Mashallah – perhaps with a few changes as suggested by other readers, this can be more widely distributed e.g. through FaceBook etc.
    Jazakallah for taking the time to articulate the journey and was very beneficial reminder for me (born Muslim) as we all need to remember the core purpose of our lives here on Earth.
    Nafisa Beg

  • salam Alikum

    I really enjoyed your artical jazak allah kheer..I was born saudi muslima alhamdulilah but it’s always helpful to see things from a different angle..sure it takes patience for a revert to change his life style and keep up with the Islamic practices but if you just keep Jannat alna’eem (the highest of all) that reverts are promised to in mind, that should keep you going. sure that makes me wish I was a revert :)

    I hope to see more reverts save up some cash and visit Makkah to perform Hajj or at least Omrah..that will strengthen your iman even more inshallah.

    bel tawfeeq inshallah sisters and brothers.

  • wow!I am relieved to see this.I had become a muslim long ago and left because I was being radicalized by a mosque that my ex husband went to.He was very abusive and extreme.I am happy to know this is not the case.These people chased me away from islam.I am now trying to study islam and learn different views

    • Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Try listening to Nouman Ali Khan lectures. You get the real iman rush and Islamic knowledge.

  • As salaamu Alaikum

    Gr8 article. I am from South Africa and have noted many people who came into the fold of Islam and who face challenges. If I may advise that the term should be reverted and not converted as it is an Islamic belief that we are born muslims and than the other religions are thrust upon us.

    May Allah grant all of you sabr (patience) and make your roads safe.Ameen

  • JazakAllahu khairan brother. I just wanted to comment on the names of the brothers and sisters commenting. MashAllah, it is really beautiful to see names like Darren, Amanda, Alex, Sherri (and even Jeremiah alhumdulillah) are now being added to the list of ‘Muslim Names’.

  • Good post bro and well written masha’Allah. It was refreshing to read some insights from a fellow convert. Not to put anyone down, but sometimes I feel as if born-Muslims don’t quite grasp the gravity of our trials.

    I became Muslim back in 2005 during college, and even there, I struggled with each of these to varying degrees. I had a REALLY tough time dealing with issues of isolation and the despair it can sire. Our community is often plagued with support issues whereby converts sometimes don’t get the attention or help they deserve. It’s sad, but it is a reality nonetheless.

    Insha’Allah, things will get better with time as people become more open and more understanding of others. It’s a hope I have, but I’m not holding my breath. Hope springs eternal but not when reality consumes it daily.

    Salaam/Peace

  • I love the honesty of reverts practice, mash Allah. may Allah give all of you special mercy and istiqamah.
    Jazak Allah khayr for the article.

  • I recently sent Imam Webb an email and in this writing he has effected me yet again. Maybe i need to strive harder and eventually things will come to me.
    “The person who receives the greatest reward for the Salah is one who lives the farthest and has the farthest to walk.”-This particular passage spoke DIRECTLY to me as the nearest Mosque is about 60 miles away.
    I admit that it’s frightening to go somewhere where no one knows you and eveyone is different then you and try to be comfortable.This is something I need to get over.

    • I know your pain and I was born Muslim subhan Allah! Keep strong, Allah will open the best of ways inshaAllah.

  • As Salaam Alaikum,
    Great article! As relatively new muslim initially I struggled with the understanding of opinions regarding salah,times of prayer and other issues regarding the deen. It wasn’t until I started to study a madhab when things became clearer. How to correct your salah, if there is a mistake , preforming the travelers prayer, or what are the rights of the husband and wife in marriage, divorce, performing wudu and what breaks the wudu etc. which are very important issues many don’t know or understand. I would highly recommend finding a teacher that studies fiqh to avoid confusion and assist in your growth also to prevent getting involved in misguided movements . Reading hadith is fine but for understanding the depths of the rulings is another ballgame because of the abrogation that exist in ahadith, for a layperson it’s not recommended, so be aware.

  • Salaam brother Alex,

    Jazak Allah Khayran for the post! You have highlighted the most important challenges faced by the new muslims and provide simple and practical advices as a starting point. I also like it very much that you provide the quotes from the Qur’an and hadith for each of your tips. MashaAllah! I’d wish I have been given this guidance two years ago when I took shahada.

    I find that, in general, a lot of effort is spent on dawah by the community but I am not sure if enough effort is spent on supporting new muslims. I feel that the support structure and guidance for new muslims could be improved. I understand that it is sometimes difficult for born muslims to appreciate the challenges faced by new muslims as they did not go through this journey.

    I wonder if it would be possible for Imam Suhaib to dedicate an area within this site for guidance for new muslims. I am sure that many new muslims would like to contribute to this.

    Wa salaam

    • Asalamu `alaykum,

      If anyone would like to send articles for New Muslims, please submit them to submissions[at]suhaibwebb[dot]com.

      jazakumAllahu khayran!

  • One of the things I find heartening about this article is the notion of converts/reverts reaching out and helping other converts/reverts.

    Since converting in the 90s, alhamdulillah, it has been an amazing, tough, humbling, gratifying journey — but one, as many know, that can be punctuated by intense loneliness. A lot of the loneliness stems from lack of connection, because of not finding many other converts along the way, or without many other converts connecting with me and vice versa.

    In my own life, there has definitely been a subtle pressure to ignore the experiences of converts. When I mention (or imply) to friends the particular pains of the convert journey, I am usually told that it is no different from the rupture that immigrants feel after they immigrate, or what non-practicing Muslims experience after practicing Islam again. My unique experience as a convert is essentially denied.

    I usually listen and take it in, and have rarely talked about it. But I think the denial is based on a lack of experience. The conversion experience is different. I’ve immigrated to another country and culture before, and (before finally accepting my belief in Islam) I had the experience of becoming a a practicing Catholic again after having lapsed. Immigration and renewing the faith of my family were nothing compared to the experience of conversion to Islam.

    I think speaking like this sometimes makes other muslims feel that there is some claim to being special, or better, or my-pain-is-greater-than-yours. The conversation is shut down. And the lack of understanding has often led to greater feelings of isolation.

    But I’m finally coming to the conclusion that as converts we need to reach out, support, and nurture each other more. Relying on people – beloved brothers and sisters in Islam though they be – who do not know our experiences to help us navigate them, or to empathize and comfort us, will just lead to more and more frustration and self-alienation.

    So thank you for this article, and here’s to more connection and empathy and loving support.

    • As salamu alaykum, N

      I agree with you, I have felt before being alone in a spiritual sense, but the strong feeling of loneliness after conversion is something different, I´ve been an immigrant too, and that is not the feeling is more like dying to a life and being born to a new life. I couldn´t relate anymore to who I was, I was the same person outside, but inside I was different, I was reborn, and I couldn´t relate to the people that was around because I didn´t know how to do it, I didn´t know what to do or how to behave, or what to say and that brought a deep sense of being lost, what really gave me a sense of belonging to Islam was this site and I slowly began to feel I was not alone anymore, I learnt a lot following all the articles written here and I began to search deeper knowing that I was in the right track, Alhamdulillah.

  • Perhaps the scholars could provide a lecture series for reverts. I assume that there are plenty out there who took the shahadah and are wondering: “ok, what next “, “how do i go forward”, “what should i be doing now”. I personally have a revert friend and im having trouble in determining a correct way on what to do next.

  • As salamu alaykum brother Alex,

    Thank you very much for your article, it will be a point of reference for me from now on, it really brings forward all the sensitive points we go through after conversion, acknowledges all our struggles.

    Jazak Allahu Khairan

  • Kindly convey imp things regarding Islam on above adress for sandeep pancharia as he is intrested to knw about islam.

  • Salam to the author. It is useful to muslim converts in China. I am studying on them. Many confrontations should be expained to them as the teachings of Imams in China is a little bit conservative which give a lot ocstacle for now converts to understand and practise Islam.

  • Very helpful post! I am still in the midst of considering Islam. There are those that say that if I accept the 5 pillars of Islam, then I am a Muslim. I don’t feel I can openly declare myself a Muslim, that is “obedient” if I don’t know what all I am expected to be obedient to.

    I’ve only finished reading half the Qur’an, and I struggle with the concept of the Hadiths — they just strike me as did the writings in the Epistles in the Bible — folks jumping on the prophets’ shirt-tails, adding in things that weren’t in the original message that mostly serve to reaffirm very rigid styles that the prophets themselves did not seem to adhere to. I’m not sure I can be obedient to those, and am not sure, as a woman, that I want to have to defend my decisions to those who could make my life more difficult because of them.

    I wish Faith could just be Faith. Simple. Always, since I was a child, my search has been for a way to be part of the Greater Voice — what I was led to see as all the people praying together (regardless of religion) — but it is important for each person to find a religion that helps them each as individuals achieve a strong, ongoing relationship with God/Allah (swt). As much as I dislike organized religion, I have been blessed to have been made to see with understanding that purpose and so I struggle to try to connect and stay connected.

    I just don’t know that I am ready to wear a hijab
    and make a public statement of my faith. Still, there is so much awkwardness — like in the grocery store, when I see women in hijab who might be from the Mosque I go to, and there is me in a T-shirt, passing by, and I say, “Salam Alikom” and they look at me like I am from a different planet. So without hijab, without proper dress, I cannot really acknowledge or be acknowledged among Muslims — but if I wear the hijab and cover my arms on the hottest/stickiest of days, I will be seen as alien by everyone else.

    For now, I carry my hijab scarf with me and cover my head for prayers (in secret), and then live my life in the secular world in the secular way, with the exception that I try to make more modest choices in clothing.

    (Have you tried to do this with women’s summer clothing in K-Mart, Dress Barn, Target or Marshall’s stores? Really not possible! All the sleeves are short or mid-length, all the necks reveal cleavage, and the only ankle-length skirts are size 3X.)

    The exception would be the gym. I need to see curves at the gym because right now I have ripples (and not the good kind). Tight-fitting clothing is for me to see my progress and to make sure I am using good form, not for the jocks.

    But there is also some truth to the idea that if a woman doesn’t dress like she is interested in being attractive to men in America, she will not be attracting any men.

    I’m 44 and single. My previous job used to keep me on the road all the time, so now that I am more stationary, I would like to meet men. But at the Mosque, all the men are somewhere on the other side of a wall. I’ve been told that the proper way to meet a good man is to put one’s number up at the Mosque with the note, “Looking to marry” and they will call. That just feels creepy. I’ve done that sort of thing with Match.com and the process is deflating. Matches are hard to make. Like I’m going to want to risk the possibility of having to reject or be rejected by half the guys from the place I am trying to pray in?

    This is way too long of a response, but considering Islam leaves one a lot to consider. Thank you for your post, it helps.

  • Alhamdulilah, thank you for this article. Thank you for portraying very organic issues for Muslim converts, especially in the West. I feel extremely lonely in my conversion process. When I speak to Muslims I know (these are people who were born Muslim) about some of the issues I struggle with since my conversion, they skirt over the issues and diminish them. I feel like no one truly listens, but alhamdulilah, I know Allah listens. It is truly refreshing to see that others struggle with issues that I also struggle with. I am definitely lonely, but my lonliness is by no means a choice. I do not know any other Muslim converts, so I have no one to network with in regards to my process. I struggle with telling people I have converted, and for this reason, and this reason alone, I have not put on hijab, but have such a yearning to do so. I don’t want other Muslims to criticize me and my struggles. I want people to see my humanity and I just want someone who has gone through this experience to listen to me. So, alhamdulilah, thank you for this article, as it was truly therapeutic. Such a blessing.

    • Only a handful of people know about me, my husband Said being one and Said is Muslim, Alhamdulillah.

      My family already insult me, because of my love for Said. I have been hit and called Muslim dog. They don’t know about my conversion. They say I have been brainwashed. They think he has influenced me (Well he did have some input)and they think I havent a mind of my own. They call him a terrorist and say I am bringing one into the country. They tell me I look like an idiot and they poke fun of his heritage. He is Moroccan. They poke fun at the djebella (What I have is a version of it)however these insults are done by the boy who thinks he is a man and by his definition I am a dog. This boy is my younger brother and is a true testament to hypocrisy, not believing in GOD and suddenly claiming a belief. He is also the one who hit me. He thinks, by his words I am hurt and he holds that power. I called the police when he hit me again, as he thought he had the right to.

      My husband is not here at the moment, but my husband, younger than my brother and me, would have killed him had he seen the way my brother came into my room to hit me. Said is Muslim and knows that hitting a woman is not the right thing to do.

      • Sisters Jenna,Mrs.Said..
        Its true..lots of born muslims cant even imagine what converts have to face each day,esp in the West.A handful of ppl haved defamed Islam n portrayed it to be what it is not.Islam has always talked about moderation in every aspect of life,to stay within the limits defined in it.
        Jenna,the reason,i feel ,many born muslims behave the way they do is because they may not feel apt enough to answer your questions,and may fear saying something wrong..I,being a born muslim would feel the same way if a deep rooted question regarding islam was put to me..i would need to have to learn more before i guided somebody else..though,simple ques.,i can answer..:) Try talking to someone who has more knowledge like a lady imam..You’re right,there should be a platformm where born n convert muslims discuss issues..I dont always use the hijab too,its not Farz,i use it when going to a market,whats required is a woman not wear tight clothing,avoiding anything that would attract unnecessary attention..
        Mrs. Said,
        May Allah guide your brother to the straight path..u have been through a lot..The media is to blame for the image thats been portrayed about Islam exaggerating about the handful of ppl who are no where near Islam.
        May Allah reward you all for your struggles.
        Ameen.

  • Assalamualaikum to all.
    Alhamdulillah. Thank you, Brother Alex for this enlightening article. What you’ve shared is just so realistic, eventhough we live millions of miles apart.
    May Allah bless you for helping us your fellow Muslims

  • It’s very informative MA. Just re the point of loneliness I am not a convert but I find myself lonely because as Muslims we are so diverse and come from differing backgrounds and so to find your true soulmate friend is quite hard. Especially that the people you used enjoy company with are not religious and so will find your new religion quite hard to come to terms with. My advice would be to always try to find people who share your level of education, spirituality and intellect as well as your new religion ofcourse( it’s quite hard!!) but pray hard and Allah will guide you to them IA.

  • Jazak Allahu khayran! I really LOVE this article. And I love brother Suhaib’s website and the many fantastic writers. I find the best thing about the articles on this site is that they are not superficial, admonishing or away from our realities, but really deep and soo inspiring. I find myself in these articles, and they are a great comfort. Thank you so much for your work. I am a convert from Germany and live in an area where virtually no Muslims are found at all .. So sites like yours mean A LOT to me. May Allah bless you, protect you and your beloved ones, keep you well, make it easy for you and grant you the highest stage in Jannah. Ameen. Salamzz to the writer, all readers, Imam Suhaib and all working with him for this site, and to alll my Muslim sisters and brothers here :)

    • Hello I am really interested in converting to Islam what is required as where can I go to learn more as I want to make myself whole through the teachings of Islam

      • I converted to Islam sometimes back and this site has had been a wonderful help to me. This religion has been made easy and it is easy, just try be patient bro, with respect to what surrounds you and what is in yourself.

        And subscribe to this site, http://www.youtube.com/user/khalifahklothing?feature=CAQQwRs%3D.

        I would just add, that be careful from whom you are learning your Islam; The Qur’an is here and so is the Sunnah. People will try to mess your mind up and there are a hell of a lot of innovators and deviants.

        May Allah bless you with the best of what lies in this world, the best of what lies in the hereafter and protects you from the Evil that He has created, Ameen.

      • it’s very simple joshua, you can purchase some islamic books especially the holy quran and other books of the hadiths particularly albokhaari, besides this, look for some friends in your area with whom you can talk and discuss every things that comes to your mind, and it would be better if you go to a mosque where you can get an immense help from our brothers and there are also tens of islamic sites in the interned from which u can benefit. wish you the best brother :)

  • JazakaAllahu Khayr this was a masterpiece article.

    Brother can please also write an article for the “old Reverts” to islam.

    I see that most of us (all the old reverts that i know of) are MashaAllah very much devoted to Allah they leave their parents (if they have to) they study Islam and scarifice everything for Islam.

    but when years pass the iman goes so down that it becomes a burden on the heart and soul even to pray 1 fard salah. If you can please teach us how can one get back to that similar state? how can we get back that high iman?

    JazakaAllahu Khayr

    • Muslimahhk, Alsalamulaikum. I hear you when you say about how the faith seems to go down with time. I myself have been a muslimah for 28 years and feel my faith has been tested over the years. With a bad example of a husband, I slowly slacked off my prayers as well and like you, have been struggling just to pray one. I do believe this is quite common when life just gets to be too much stress. You and I must be leaders, however and begin to try to rekindle our faith by reading the Qur’an and having the best of friends. If we stay away from the Muslim population, I believe this is more likely to happen. You still have faith however, because you recognize that you have lost it and want it back. I am the same way, I recognize this is something that needs to be fixed. You are feeling dissonance because you place a high value on Islam but are not following through with its teachings. This is probably more common that we think. People go through many ups and downs in their lives and faith will go up and down as well. I do however think that whether one is born a Muslim or a revert, the faith will waver. You know, the prayers are obligatory but they are a way to remember Allah. We need to develop a relationship with Allah so we do not feel like we are only doing a ritual. I hope this helps, as I am struggling as well.
      Patricia

      • Asalaamu Alaykum! Personally, I’ve found it hard practicing Islam just for the simple fact that I really didn’t have anyone to connect with. Sure one can purchase books, do countless hours of research online, but the fact of the matter is reverting is difficult and without a community to help you through, it just makes things just more difficult. This article is a godsend, just for the fact that it points out the problems with reverting and offers solutions.
        I will say this: PATRICIA is correct in stating that “we need to develop a relationship with Allah…” From what I was taught in Christianity, the day of judgement is a time where you have to account for the good and bad you have done in this life. NO PERSON can vouch for you! And from what I’ve heard in khutbahs at the local masjids, the same can be said in the perspective of Islam! Being part of the community HELPS in the spiritual growth of a revert, but one still needs to take time and build a personal relationship with Allah. May Allah bless us all with the strength and wisdom to continue to learn! Ameen!

        • I have been Muslim for two years and I am developing depression. It’s great because it’s very similar to drowning alone and having no one to help you.

        • to YOUNG CONVERT,

          it sounds like you are in a very lonely place right now and potentially worrisome. You could use a friend. Are you in the area of SUheib Webb’s Masjid? Not sure how young you actually are but what about joining an MSA somewhere? If you are in the Cambridge area there are Islam 101 classes that I have made good friends with…

  • Alhamdulillah, this is a wonderful article. Case in point: I don’t remember the last time I actually said “alhamdulillah” before now, but hearing someone FINALLY addressing the everyday struggles of American converts is so encouraging that I just felt like reaffirming my deen.

    My husband is also a convert and everything comes so naturally to him; sometimes I feel like the trouble I have in adapting to Islam means that deep down I’m not a good Muslim. It’s heartbreaking! But to hear that other converts have dealt with the same hurdles- dissenting family, feelings of loneliness, and the fear of losing your identity- and come through it just fine is such a relief.
    Thank you so much for posting this. I will keep up with this blog!

  • Subhanallah and therefore the best guide is He. Reading and studying the Holy Quran for the past three months has me understand with certainty it is He who IS and always will BE in charge.Was-taghfirul-laaha innal-laaha Ghafuurur-Raheem!

  • READING THIS HAS GIVEN ME STRENGTH AFTER ALWAYS FEELING DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF. I KNOW NOW THIS IS A JOURNEY OF SPIRITUAL GROWTH AND NOT A SPRINT. MY PRIZE IS NOT GETTING TO THE FINISH LINE FIRST BUT GETTING THERE KNOWING WHY I STARTED THE JOURNEY IN THE FIRST PLACE.(IEB)

  • As Salaam Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

    This is a very nice article, particularly point 4, with the exception of point 11.

    Terrorism only effects a very small minority of reverts. It is not the only extremism that affects the Muslim community and not the most common by a long way. The extreme of liberalism is by far more common and more deserving of a tip.

  • Wow, I feel so blessed. How is it that I have been feeling so many of these EXACT things…and then this post shows up on my facebook? Thank you, Brother Alex. I REALLY needed your words in my life today! I feel better already…Alhamdulillah!

  • Alhamdulillah
    JazakaAllahu Khayr this was a masterpiece article.

    Brother can please also write an article for the “old Reverts” to islam.

  • Assalamualaikum i was born into islam Alhamdullilah. I believe as muslims converted or not, the advice Br. Alex gave was right on the mark! it was very helpful for ALL muslims! Alienating ourselves is very harmful for any person, but going to the masjid and other religious gatherings can be very encouraging. Unfortunately there are people who may not show interest in being friends-i’ve had an experience where a women met me at a park and talked to me for an hr then at the masjid and other gatherings she COMPLETELY IGNORED ME!wouldnt even return my salam!!! but InshaAllah if u love Allah and Rasulullah then Allah will love YOU and have others luv u for the sake of him!!!

  • Assallaam aliakum.
    As a revert in Australia of a little over three years I found the article very encouraging.
    I am lonely, I had to leave old friends behind, their lifestyles were incompatible with Islam.
    Insha’allah I will make new friends, I am now in Adelaide SA and have found a wonderful masjid.

  • One of the things that I wish I had been given was a “Roadmap”

    Something that said “Ok – now you have got past the Shahada, you really should look at covering these things next….”

    So here am I, ten years on and still doing things in a pretty haphazard fashion. Trying to learn a simple surah when I can, learning a Doa here or there….

    So I turn up at Terawih and realise that I don’t know the prayers that people recite between rakaa’ – I went to the Masjid for night prayers this Ramadan (first time) and found that I really didn’t know what was going on…. (I asked after the first night)

    But that roadmap would be really nice….

  • MAshAllah although i am muslim by birth . belong to muslim family still unfortunately i am looking for ways to become a good muslim . and these tips were quiet helpful . JAzakAllah brother.

    • Asalamu Alaikum. Ramadan Mubarak.

      All Praises to Allah. We are all Muslims by birth. This point must be understood. Carefully read Surah 30 Ar Rum, ayat 30 and understand mankind was created and born with Allah’s Fitrah (Allah’s Islamic Monotheism). Then read Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 2, hadith #467 which relates what The Prophet (peace be upon him) said about every child being born in the state of Fitrah (Islamic Monotheism)and what happens . Also Read Surah 7 Al-A’raf ayats 172 – 174 which addresses the testimony of Adam’s seed to the reality of the essence of Islamic Monotheism. Surah 37 As-Saffat ayats 81 – 87 and see clearly Abraham followed Noah’s way – Islamic Monotheism. Surah 2 Al Baqarah ayat 21 addresses this essence and ayat 130 -131 clearly makes the point of Abraham’s submission and ayat 135 Allah tells The Prophet to say we follow only the religion of Abraham, Hanifan [Islamic Monotheism]and Abraham was not of those who worshiped others with Allah..

      We understand, Hanif, Islamic Monotheism is the religion of Abraham peace be upon him… and ayat 138 clarified for all humankind that there is no better Sibghah than the Sibghah of Allah. Ayat 143 teaches and reveals the essences of how the message of Islamic Monotheism flowed from Noah to humankind today and how the true believing Muslim followers of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, will bear witness in Noah’s favor that Noah delivered the Message of Islamic Monotheism to humankind and that Prophet Muhammad will be the witness over us that the Message of Islamic Monotheism – Allah’s Fitrah survived. Sahih Al Bukhari Vol. 6 Book 60 Hadith 14 sets-forth what The Prophet said about Surah 2:143. The Fitrah was known and witnessed to by Adam’s seed – whether one reverts back to the Allah’s Fitrah and becomes a believing Muslim is humankind’s ultimate test and All Knowledge and Power is with Allah Subhana wa’Tala. Any errors I have made in trying to explain why it is important to understand the reality that all humankind is born Muslim – in submission to Allah is seek Allah’s forgiveness. We must seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave and be careful of the sources on which we base our Deen. The best tafisir of Al Quran is Al Quran itself and what The Prophet has brought and given us. Ramadan Mubarak

  • I am just about to start my conversion study with my teacher and this is the happiest time in my life.

    One of my friends opened my eyes to the possibilities that Islam could offer.

    I have also started to learn Farsi as my friend is from Iran and I would like to converse fluently with many other people from the Persian community in Australia.

    What I have just read on this page was just what I needed to help clear up a few things before meeting my teacher.

  • Faisal, Assalualaikum. I understand exactly the feeling of losing the iman that you have described. I have been a Muslim for 28 years and over the past 2 or 3, I have felt badly about myself. This all came about because of a struggle with my marriage. My husband’s faith went down first and he stopped praying period. He has been a very bad example of Islam. He has been abusing me with words for many years. I know he does not feel good about himself but with time it seemed to keep me upset and rub off on me. I always wish he would be a better example but that has never happened. I do think we are being tested and we must be the leaders and not wait for others to lead the way. I think if we would read the Quran more frequently, we may find the answers we are looking for. By the way, just the fact that you recognize that your faith has gone down means that you still have faith. You need to reignite this faith and so do I. I do think that whether one was born into the faith or a revert, we suffer the same when it comes to Iman. May Allah guide us toward a strong iman and show us the way.

  • Ma’shallah!! Your statements were very genuine and truly inspring… Just what I needed to continue my struggle (jihad) . I reflect on these tips when I feel like I am slipping away from my deen and reminds me to live for Allah. Thank you!

  • What may have started out as an article to help new Muslims seems to have had the effect of encouraged ALL Muslims. Even one that thought she wasn’t Muslim because she didn’t do it right. Thank you for this article. I am humbled and see things very differently now.

  • MashaAllah such a fantastic reminder…and much needed. These are such basic points, but I feel I can take bits out of every single paragraph in the article and immediately apply them to my life. Thank you again, jazak Allah khair.

  • Wow, I loved this. I have been Muslim for 3 yrs now and I feel so alone. My family was so angry, they need a reason, But it was just me. I meet my husband a year later and he is wonderful, just not really the teaching type…but then I question everything ..lol I feel so lonely, I have such a hard time managing kids, full-time work and my salat. I have few Muslim friends. I have yet to develop this deep love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). I converted after hearing Quran and reading it. It can be so hard, but atlease I know I am not the only one. I can’t even talk to my family about it because they just beg me to come back to Catholicism…. Thanks brother for the article, it does sooth ones heart. I think as converts we are hard on ourselves!

  • Alhamdulillah! I so needed this today! Although I have been Muslim for almost 11 years, I have been undergoing a crisis of faith over the past months. This article encouraged me, gave me some direction, and most important, told me that I am not a bad person and I am not alone! Subhanallah! I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and may Allah bless you to continue to give helpful information for all of us.

  • thank you for a well-thought article. this applies not just to converts but born muslims, like me, who always forget to be grateful, forget to be courteous, forget those who are in need, forget to call our parents as often as we should and the list goes on. may God bless you!

  • Assalam Alaikum,thank you loads for this article, i just converted since 3 days :), i am really happy, I know what is waiting for me, Allah Almighty guide me to this website to get courage.

  • As-salaamu alaykum, akhee re: the hadeeth: “He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise.” – in Sunan at-Tirmidhee, I could only find it with this wording: “..and whoever aHyaa (REVIVES) my Sunnah has loved me…” (no.2678)- Note: However though, it is declared “Da’eef” in Saheeh wa Da’eef Sunan at-Tirmidhee (no.2678), Mishkaah al-Masaabeeh no.175 and Da’eef al-Jaami’ no.6389. baaraka Allaahu feekum.

  • Alhamdulillah,
    It’s so good to realize I’m not alone. I’ve been a Muslim for almost 19 years. Similar to some of the others my husband never kept the promise he made to really teach me the faith. We prayed togehter once int he first week we were married and that was it. Now in the midst of a divorce I find myself alone with no-one to guide me when I need the faith the most…

  • As-Salaamualikum, jazakAllahkhayr for this excellent advice. Sh Suhaib. We are a group in Toronto, Canada trying to help with new muslims. Please check out our website http://www.lightofmercy.ca We can also be reached at facebook.com/lightofmercy — inshaAllah we hope to work with u in the future. Keep these articles coming they r much needed!

  • Alhamdullilah, may allah accept this great good deed you have done. I converted 2 months ago and you pretty much hit the nail on the head with my struggles and the path I have been on. I really enjoyed reading this and it puts me as ease. Assalamu Alaykum.

  • Allah has led me to this page on the internet. Alhamdullilah! Allah is offering me a second opportunity to renew Iman and this time I must make Shahada in front of witnesses. I really struggle with the prayers but insh’Allah I will persevere. There is only one way the right way for me and Islam is it. I am very shy about mixing with Umma; I am getting older now. It is not so easy but I pray that Allah will send sisters who can assist me and hopefully get my ego out of the way to accept help. This article is great and also the comments.
    Salaam and Blessings
    Judith (Australia)

  • Hi. I am a convert too, and I agree with your advice in this article. I am still friends with a couple of people I knew from before converting. Howeverm I must admit they spend a lot of time on facebook and are not so great influences and I should avoid seing them so much.

    2. Why do many people not answer “Salam Alaikum” from converts? I say this in appropriate circumstances to other females and they many times don’t answer me. Maybe they think they are “holier than thou,” but I know that it is sunnah to reply to a greeting, even if the person is not muslim. Many lifelong musims do not read Quran or hadith do not believe if you quote them something.

    3.I am a hijab wearer and I would like to warn other converts of females who don’t wear it (muslims). They will try to make you take it off in their home, even if guys are coming home, etc. Somehow they enjoy it, but don’t let this happen to you.

    4.Don’t let people confuse you about stuff like wearing socks or not wearing them, and such issues that are up for dispute. You can read the Holy Quran and hadith yourself and come to the conclusion that makes you comfortable concerning these minor issues. Remind people that calling something haram that is not actually haram is a terrible deed. It is best to keep your opinion to yourself and not try to teach others regarding this type of thing.
    5.My advice to other converts is to not try to copy others or envy other people. You may have a friend who does not need to work. However, if you are from a different social class and are obligated to work, and so on, you should not feel bad for being a sister who cannot stay in her home. We feel tempted to hide from the world, being sisters and wanting to be good muslimah. Being a convert, you are probably are from an American family and have no support. So, don’t feel bad that you can’t go hide somewhere! Take pride in earning your own living if there is no one to support you.

    Thank you for the article. Being a convert, you can feel like grass that sways in the wind, bit as long as you stay rooted, everything will turn out fine.

  • Wow! What a fantastic article. Made me feel so strong and understood. Being a recent convert to Islam I found a lot of solace in your words. May Allah bless you. Thank you and keep writing.

  • Masha ALLAH. There are no other words after reading this article. Masha ALLAH. Baarakallahu fiik my Brother. And I personally, is amazed by Muslims who live in a non-Muslim community. You must’ve faced a lot of difficulties and hardships in practicing Islam. And yet, your Imaan does not decrease a little. Rather it keeps growing stronger and stronger each and every day. Masha ALLAH, Subhanallah ALLAHu Akbar for the ni’mah brother masha ALLAH.

  • I have read this article many times and just returned to read it again because I am feeling very overwhelmed. I often make the mistake of reading the news, where I see so many articles about people hating Muslims, targeting women in hijab, etc. Also, I have also been learning more about this Deen and keep coming across so many lists of “it is forbidden to…” listing all the things that are sins.

    Right this minute I can say it is overwhelming and scary to be a new Muslim. I feel like I’m having to chop off parts of my life in order to fit into the small, cramped container that all these rules dictate.

    I had not expected to feel this way.

    • salam; try sister to take it easy, islam is a very simple and beautiful religion; of course as a new muslimah u gonna face difficulties coz u started adopting what u weren’t familiar with; but everything in islam goes well with the human nature as it’s the way of life chosen by God for his creation, as for what u see in the news; this is a part of islamophobia just try to learn and read a lot about your new religion then u’ll know that what these channels broadcast about islam is nonsense and are just there to mislead and fool people…as far as the “forbiddens” is concerned, the things which aren’t lawful for muslims are clearly stated in the holy quran very few and and justifiable by the common sense and Allah knows what is best for us….my advice for u sis, try to read the quran regularly, look for some sisters to spend time with them.. and ask the almighty to make it easy for u……i wish u all the best :) salam

    • 1. You will have to lose the haram western habits. Not negotiable. So, a period of change and adjustment, no denying that.

      2. Don’t believe the hype! The media thrive on scare mongering, dividing and conquering, and sensationalism. If it bleeds it leads! Ignore it, or drown in their agenda and irresponsibility !!

      Keep calm, and carry on. Follow Allah, not the pop media!

      :-)

  • I did finally make shahada and it was all very easy for me. Now I experience the difficulties mainly with some right winged fundamentalist people. I am learning to trust Allah more and that He will rightly guide me to the most suitable people for me to mix with. So far I have been told to wear a jibab (the long coat); I am a westerner and I dress modestly so I don’t see the need for that one. I went to a support group and experienced some critisicm which i was not expecting so I’m not sure that I will return. Alhamdullilah for this website!

    • Hello, Judith. I am a convert like yourself. There are a lot of cultural differences as there are so many various Islamic cultures. You don’t have to wear the jibab as that is particular to a certain culture. So long as you have your head covered and have non-fitted clothing with long sleeves and long skirt or pants, you are just fine. There are so many supportive muslims out there, and I keep my company with them. I’m sorry you were criticized. I hope, insha’Allah, that you find a fitting community soon. salaams.

  • Forcing yourself to go to the masjeed is good advise. So much ignorance, racisim and inovation we find in the places we expect to find peace. So very discouraging and worse when you as a convert speak out against it. Why are they always asking for money to listen to speakers and to learn arabic or even the Quran? The masjeed is not a place of business! I have been a muslim for 30 years and have been kicked out of a masjeed by those who are trying to make a living from it. May Allah keep us close to the rightous muslim communities and guide those who hurt and exploit the new muslim converts!

  • Hi..
    Iam a recent revert,i do namaaz 5 times a day, trying to learn arabic, islam but my major problem is regarding masturbation, the more i try the worser it becomes..i feel its tough for me to give it up all of a sudden, will i be forgiven if i tried to do it step by step manner? like reducing the no: of times i masturbate??

    • I was addicted to masturbation too! Like I was addicted to guys (I used to be ‘gay’), cigarette, pornography or lying and so on and so forth.
      But I really feel that the best way to just stop masturbating is by just putting a full stop right now, Do not give yourself the opportunity to make it gradual, Just don’t do it.
      I’m a convert (now Muslim) and there may be so many factors that call us to masturbate, like being always horny or just being stressed – I was quite much both. But I feel that if you are to keep yourself in the remembrance of Allah a bit more, things would be easier; I understand that you may have had tried it all or it may be that little voice telling you that you have done as much as you could, but you’ll really have to treble your strife to get yourself rid of as such vice, insha’Allah.
      I ain’t an expert but I feel that if you are to stop the whole thing gradually, Allah is Loving and Forgiving so He actually understands your plight better than you/we do and that He knows our pain as much as we think it is painful for us.
      For anyone who wants to stop that thing, insha’Allah – just keep yourself busy with what is good, which can be either worship or carrying on homework or helping someone we know or trying to learn something new or household chores: Just keep yourself busy with something good insha’Allah.
      Then, I would advise Fasting (For the sake and to reap pleasure of Allah) which may work for many.
      Moreover try to avoid things that will lead us towards as such stuffs, like ‘pornography’, ‘dating’, Music or even as much trivial it may sound to be, avoid watching things which may appear as trivial but yet are filled with sexual innuendos – TV serials etc.
      And, you could get yourself a spouse, I can’t even get married due to a medical condition. Do it if you can.
      Cold baths (even in the middle of a winter night) can work too, and..
      Exercise (may help you to canalize the ‘excess’ energy elsewhere: Bodybuilding and Cardio).
      Check your diet, it may be that your libido may be due to that one. Keep balanced but avoid excessive eating; there are definitely some food around that have aphrodisiac capabilities – check them out.

      My last sentence would be: Know that you might fail doing as so and that you might fall again and again and again but that doesn’t mean that Allah doesn’t want you to stop, actually as you know,He won’t shoulder on us something that we would not be able to bear and if ever you were do it again, just take a bath as soon as possible and repent for it; Make lots of du’as, there are some sunnah du’as against as such ‘ailment’.
      Do not try to get yourself in a ‘lonely’ situation, place your laptop or pc in the living room or near.
      Use a proper porn block..
      Last but not the least, Allah knows everything that you do, He’s closer to you than your own life – To feel His presence, read the Qur’an daily, even if you are to take more time than someone else, just do it!

      ‘Success is a journey, not a destination’,
      ‘The road to/of Success is paved with many failures’..

      Be strong Bro and may Allah bless you tremendously and with the best of what lies herein and in what lies in the hereafter, ameen ya Rabb.

      My apologies if ever and for not disclosing my name.

      • I left a long trail of mistakes purporting to syntax, grammar and vocabulary. Please do disregard them.

        Jazaak’Allaah khair.

        • Thank you mate
          no need to disclose your identity, infact after posting that I masturbated once. But then i felt really bad and downloaded a porn site blocker, typed a random password and saved it. I’m sure I wont masturbate ever, insha allah, coz masturbating means winning of evil. I wont allow that insha allah.

      • Thanks a lot for this mate.
        I’m a born Muslim and been struggling for many years with this problem.
        Guilt and shame were always haunting me every time I do that and I get very depressed some times. Often made me wonder if Allah will ever forgive me, but yeah, we must not give up on His Mercy.
        and yeah, been struggling to stop it. and failed. countless of times already.
        I’m going stop it once and for all, and perhaps the coming Ramadhan can boost my iman up for this.
        May we all be way better Muslims as time goes by. May we all meet in Jannah, insyaAllah. Bless you, and bless Bro Alex and all muslims.

  • I would add do not rush into marriage. If you reverted because of a boy/girlfriend, understand that just because that person brought you to Islam, does not necessarily make them the best spouse for you. Take your time. Wait at least one year after reverting before marrying. Also understand that often times as a revert, you’ll be told things by people that “this is Islam” when reality it’s their culture. If you marry somebody from abroad, you can be felt that you need to adopt their culture’s version of Islam. You don’t. Your opinion/experience as a revert is just as valid.

    With Ramadan coming up (and it being summer time), I’d also say…be gentle with yourself if you have trouble fasting. Take it slow. Strive to do better. Little kids start with half days and gradually build up tolerance. You might need to. Or you might find that Allah(swt) grants you amazing help. I often say that I can’t stick to a diet for two days, but somehow during Ramadan with Allah(swt)’s grace, I can fast. :)

  • Have many muslim friends,ilive in norway.my best friend mamoudh are born in tunis.he have asksed my to maybe convert to islam.i was never before interrested in religion,but time changes fast.

    • I have many muslim friends, too, and have been profoundly influenced by them; so much so that I decided it was natural for me to convert without anyone trying to convert me. I couldn’t relate to any organized religion either previously, but that has all changed now. I’ve found my home. Best on your journey.

  • assalamualaikum,
    i am from malaysia, my husband convert to islam in jordan 3 years ago in intention to get married i am working in malaysia n my husband working in beirut now have been 3 years, n i can see n feel my husband is not intrested to learn more about islam.even the shahadah is been forgoten already,,,i only can pray n ask God to help me to give hidayah for him..

    please advise me..

  • Aslamualaikum broths nd sisters..Aftr revert to islam,had to leave all my old friends,.smetmes slip nto lonliness..but im scard of nt being with Allah.

  • All good advice, Jazak Allah khayr. Though your references to “really weird food” and being unable to learn from someone with a “thick accent” reveal some mental blocks on your part. That person with a thick accent might have great wisdom. It’s a shame to lose out on that.

    • JazakAllah Khayr for the feedback. I think your criticism is interesting, however, I stand by my choice of words because the objective of this article was to reach out to converts who often have similar perspectives of their surroundings. Language like this is often used, and doesn’t necessarily reflect a mental block on my part. I didn’t ask to ignore people with foreign accents or criticize food. That’s all. :)

  • Alex,

    Great article. It’s a very lonely and isolating road to choose to convert to Islam (even being surrounded by friends). I love the article and this site – it’s great to see there’s a whole community out there who feels this way, and that I’m not the only one.
    Shukra.

  • I converted based on the Quran and the wisdom it contains. I’m not too sure about how people can believe all that extra material. It’s full of contradictory stuff.

  • Assalamu alaykum, really nice advice. Unfortunately, many reverts, like myself, are given the cold shoulder or ignored by the community; even when you try to fit in. It is sad to see people leave Islam because of this.

    • Wa’alaykum salaam wa rahmatulaahi wa barakaatuh, I think that I understand how it feels like (being a convert myself). But I also think that this is a sort of trial and that the only relationship we should work (like hell) for is our relationship with Allah – if that is correct or is corrected, then we wouldn’t be seeking further except that Allah may reward us with good company, =).

      May Allah eases your path and blesses you with the best in this life and the next, Ameen.. =).

  • Its all extremely sad that this is happening and is a failure on our part of born Muslims to not entertain them. Its tear jerking.

    Converts or reverts are just the finest people out there. Have so much respect for them.

    But i do not understand why people leave Islam.I hope they just go underground or become passive but blunt denial of Allah and Messenger and Islam so quickly is not understood.

    If an American is being bullied by Americans, he will not give up his US citizenship because he knows its not the fault of USA but the people.

    Why not here in case of Islam where the fault is of Muslims and not Allah and Messenger and Quran. Just thinking.

    • You wrote, “But i do not understand why people leave Islam.I hope they just go underground or become passive but blunt denial of Allah and Messenger and Islam so quickly is not understood.” Of the estimated 50% – 75% of converts to Islam in the USA (I don’t know about other countries) who leave, some do just become passive and more or less give up on any religion. They are not really hostile: mostly they don’t care any more. A few do become hostile to religion of any kind, becoming rather militant atheists. And some conclude that Islam is not the truth (or at least final truth) after all and convert (or re-convert, in some cases) to a non-Islamic religion.

      Not long ago I had an email from a long distance acquaintance in which he wrote, “While humans cannot be expected to be perfect, and on the intellectual level even those looking at the faith from the outside can typically comprehend that mis-conduct and vices of a particular Muslim (or even many of them) does not necessarily reflect the teaching of the faith, nevertheless, the soul tends to be indisposed to a social group (and hence a religion) if one’s experience with its followers has been more negative than positive.” Some people’s experiences with the Muslim community *are* so bad that they do turn against the religion itself.

      In some instances there can be another issue. I have noticed that in some places, individuals are allowed and even encouraged to make Shahada with no one really knowing why they are expressing interest in Islam in the first place. They may be totally, completely sincere, so there cannot be any implication or accusation of hypocrisy or bad intent. Nevertheless, their motivations and understanding of Islam can actually be quite muddled or confused in the first place, and nobody knows it, even the individuals themselves. Just say these Arabic words. Then they get no support, no help in internalizing their Islam and correcting their misunderstandings and askew motivations, so eventually they leave.

  • Assalam-o-alikum. its so sad that born Muslims have failed to support and accomodate converts. We need to look at converts with the highest level of respect and admiration. Unlike born Muslims they’ve actually sacrificed so much for their Iman. We,born Muslims take our Iman, our knowledge and relation with Allah for granted. Converts are like the Sahaba, Allah blessed them with insight and poured light into their hearts so that they actually CHOSE Allah and His Messenger saw over everything.
    I just pray that Allah makes it easy on the converts and gives them patience so that they never ever even think of letting go of this precious priceless thing that they have been blessed with.

  • I love being a convert to islam. I am at peace with Allah and the prophet Muhammed(sorry i am a terrible speller.) I am starting my fast today. I am happy now!

    • wow that is so amazing im pleased that you like the religion islam. im really proud to be a muslim and i could not be happier

    • I became muslim since 11 years and I feel peace every days because of Islam! Of course I met lot of troubles with ex friends and family who doesn’t understood my choose but this mean nothing :)
      For all converters : keep the way of Islam and try to do what you think is wright without hurt others.
      Some people will attack our religion but try to stay quiet and aware to explain (without breaking your head or heart!!). I’m french and these days are difficult for muslims here and most for converters like me… fortunately I leave in Paris!!
      I’m sorry for my english which I read better than write, I just hope you can understand what I want explain….
      May Allah bless all muslims

    • Masha’allah :D But remember to always say salalahu alaihi wa salam after mentioning the prophet’s name (saw) <- this is a shorter version which is still accepted :) Salam!

      • Salaam. I am not a scholar and do not pretend to be one, but I seem to recall having read years ago that it is sufficient to invoke peace upon Prophet Muhammad (saws) once in one’s lifetime. (Sorry that I do not recall details of the reference.) Beyond that it is a matter of personal piety and preference but not of obligation.

        • As salam alaykum wah rahmatuallah wah barakatahu.

          I would like to start In the Name of Allah and may the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved and final prophet.

          I was very confused on this topic and many others upon accepting Islam.
          I was told many different things, from many different people.

          The thing that helped me so much was finding local scholars whom I could place my trust. God willing they will be happy to help in any way possible and also offer resources to further help you.

          We are blessed to have the computer as a tool for good and I encourage you to check out this site.

          http://muslimmatters.org/2009/12/21/believers-send-your-blessings-on-him-a-concise-resource-for-salawat-on-the-prophet/#oblige

          I found this to be an excellent scholarly source of information that clarifies all questions I had regarding this topic.
          I pray to Allah it will do the same for you and others looking for guidance.

        • Salaam. (I hope the indentations make this clear, as threading can only be nested a few levels deep.)

          Student of the Creator wrote, “The thing that helped me so much was finding local scholars whom I could place my trust. God willing they will be happy to help in any way possible and also offer resources to further help you.”

          Please understand that scholars are not available to everyone. Even if they are, do they speak good English (or French or Spanish, depending on the part of North America)? Are they willing to do so freely? Do they intersperse so many incomprehensible Arabic terms in their speech that they might as well be speaking Arabic anyway? Do they really understand westerners and their issues and concerns, or are they stuck in a sort of “old world, old country” mentality? How accessible are they at all, especially to shy, unassertive inquirers who may have genuine trouble reaching out, especially if those inquirers have already had disappointing, even bad, experiences in the community?

          Allah (swt) knows best, but not all resources are equally available to everyone.

  • Assalamu Alaikum-
    Although I think this article has a lot of good points it also has some racist comments in here that are very hurtful. I really think that part of becoming a Muslim is examining the ways our culture may be racist or xenophobic and letting go of these traits. I am uncomfortable with the article saying “listening to someone with a thick accent or back-home mnetality…”. And calling food “overly spicy or funny tasting”. Those are really hurtful ways of talking about the culture of your brothers and sisters. Think about it, would you want someone to refer to your own culture or race that way? I find a lot of people who convert to islam dont let go of their racist thought patterns and store a lot of anger toward having to mingle with other races! Yes it is very hard to be a convert I am one myself, but it is really not acceptable to talk about other cultures and groups whether muslim or not as being “foreign or strange”. We have to examine the ways we carry white supremacist or “American supremacist thoughts” and realize that it is wrong. We have to acknowledge that it is not okay to feel comfortable putting other cultures down and seeing our own as “the norm”. Thats part of becoming a muslim- realizing there is a big world out there of different cultures and one is not better than the other. And one type of food is not better than the other etc. We can have personal preferences without calling other peoples food “overly” anything. Our hearts and minds need to be open and accepting to our new brothers and sisters. We should value them and their cultures and see the good in it instead of judging them and being narrow minded and seeing our own culture as superior. I know it can be isolating and the opposite can occur with other people making “us” feel bad but two wrongs dont make a right!

    • I love convert/reverts for life Mashallah for their devotion,challenges and steadfastness and sacrifices.

      I have read this article more than 7 times in few months only to check new comments.

      But the above comment by brother or sister “Deen” is just out of this world. Top quality analysis without any prejudice and respect for every one without blaming. Its truly a high level of thinking but unfortunately not easy to achieve and not every one makes these intellectual calculations before commiting an act.

      If this happens with every new revert and he/she does not asscociate such things with Islam,then i can guarantee u that there will be no one leaving islam and apostasizing since defect in a person or culture does nt mean defect in Allah,Prophet and Islam.

      i pray for guidance and hidayat for all humanity not in islam yet,for the families of reverts and for steadfastness of Reverts and that born muslims be helpful and welcoming to new muslims and do kind dawah to non muslims.

    • Let’s try not to have bad suspicions about the words of our brothers. Calling food spicy or weird is hardly racism. In my local community, the spiciness of food is like an inside joke, and I’ve never known anyone to feel offense from it. It’s natural to find the food of different cultures “weird” or even off-putting. The Prophet (SallaLLaahu alayhi waSallam) had food preferences, some of which were aligned with tribal tradition and what he was used to, but who interprets that as being judgmental against others who like that food even if he himself in many ahaadeeth described that food with unpleasant characteristics (like the lizard in particular)? He (SallaLLahu Alayhi waSallam) also said what means, “there is something about the eyes of Ansari women” when advising men from Mekkah about marriage… this is a cultural observation from someone who knows what the men of one area find attractive so that they don’t rush into marriage with women from another area and later realize they find something unappealing or a turn-off from them and later hurt their feelings by divorcing them or preferring more “familiar” women over them. Where’s the racism in that? Where did he (SallaLLahu alayhi waSallam) or this author (Alex from Dallas) say that his race was BETTER than the other?? Good thing the author didn’t say anything about cultural clothing preferences or else some readers might think he was trying to start a Muslim KKK movement after he was already accused of carrying white supremacist thoughts!

      You seriously have to take the words of people and try to give them a good spin and not rush towards harsh judgment or let shaytaan play with your mind into making everyone seem to have ill intention.

      Many accents of other people are in fact very heavy making their English difficult to understand. You especially find that when travelling throughout the Muslim world. That’s just a fact, and I’m sure a lot of word recognition software would display the same conclusion, and it’s a stage every language learner goes through. How the heck is that racist!? Many times I find some Arabs difficult to understand in English so I speak to them in Arabic. And some of them think my Arabic is difficult to understand so they speak to me in English. Am I a racist for that?? I might do the same with Urdu speaking brothers if I knew the Urdu language also. The author of this article is definitely not racist as he advised other new Muslims to sit with knowledgeable Muslims. He only distinguished between those who were difficult to understand and those whose knowledge of Islam was limited to culture, nothing else.

      Even during the battles that Muslim armies waged in the first century AH, most of the armies were grouped according to tribe/country. Is that racist to group them like that, or do we have to be a big melting pot? Not necessarily, as in times like that you need to be around people you have the utmost trust in and experience in dealing with and understand their words and gestures without any misunderstanding in communication. No racism in that at all.

      Overall, I thought the article had a very worldly view to it without any *hint* of racism, which is the only reason why I felt obligated to write all this.

      I don’t know anyone that hates racism and nationalism more than myself and I personally find it a huge turn-off and generally refuse to sit with anyone who makes clear racist statements. But with that, we have to recognize what racism is and isn’t. Merely finding something from another culture/tradition different or calling it foreign is not racist in the least. The word “foreign” doesn’t have any racist connotations whatsoever. Some people in fact have a predilection towards foreign things and to them the word has a positive meaning and their homes are decorated with foreign items and they like foreign garb, foreign cars, and hang out with foreign friends and may even be attracted to foreign folks of the opposite gender. And Prophet Loot (alaihis-Salaam) referred to his guests as munkaroon (soorat al-hijr) meaning strange, unfamiliar, foreign. Is he a racist for that since he obviously described them with this word and they weren’t from his town? Hell no.

      The author wrote a piece for new Muslims. So he addressed them according to what is familiar and normal to them, without ever saying that such background is “supreme” or “ideal” or “better”, but just the “norm” which is a neutral word entirely, and relative to who you’re speaking to. In this case, new Muslims. In another case you may be present with people from one company, get to know them and their habits/policies, so then when they visit another facility or firm you brief them on what they are going to encounter that is different from what they’re used to and how to easily adapt. There’s no “putting down” in there whatsoever.

      Let’s please try to understand what racism is and isn’t before having ill thoughts about our brothers, and let’s ask Allah for guidance, and protection from the shaytaan.

      • Jazak Allah Firdous for detailed explaination

        but brother Deen (against whom i made the first comment said “” I am uncomfortable with the article saying “listening to someone with a thick accent or back-home mnetality…”. And calling food “overly spicy or funny tasting”. Those are really hurtful ways of talking about the culture of your brothers and sisters.))

        I understand and agree with ur view 200% and personally dont have issues with it but if many people are hurt by it then is’nt it better to avoid it ?

      • I agree that calling peoples food “weird” and referring to people having “thick accents” can be racially hurtful to people. I also agree with the “foreign thing”. Its a different lived experience. So we have to be aware of how our words can effect someone else. Sometimes we come to islam, but we bring our baggage. Part of that baggage can be racist attitudes or racial supremacist ideas that we might not even be aware of!

        I would get into the mindset of, if it hurts someone apologize rather than defend it. In the end we are one ummah and if we have to be open to how our words may be hurting our brothers and sisters.

        Hope that opens some hearts and minds!

        Assalamu Alaikum

        • P.S the previous comment is not for one particular group. It goes for us all! myself included! we have to remember,
          Allah SWT says, that we have been made nations and tribes that we may get to know one another, not that we may despise one another.

          We are One Ummah…one love for all

          Assalamu Alaikum

      • I have to disagree with brother Deen, with all respect. The author is pointing out things that converts will most likely encounter that may be difficult. I’ve been to events at a masjid where the only food served was un-eatable because it was painfully spicy. My kids couldn’t eat either. The author is saying we don’t have to change the things in our life that are halal, and we don’t have to adopt other cultures, which may seem strange to us.

        It’s also natural to have a deeper connection with people that we can communicate comfortably with and who understand us well. That’s also just normal, it’s not being racist to mention that. I’m sure people who speak only Urdu feel more comfortable communicating with people who speak Urdu and who understand their cultural mentality.

        • As’Salaamalaikum Christine and to all.

          Yes you’re right Christine; food is an aspect of culture…and has nothing to do with religion which trumps all culture.

          I was born and raised in America and love my meatloaf and mac-n-cheese; but I don’t expect my Indian-Pakistani-South Asian-Arab brothers and sisters to enjoy that…but it’s all good because what’s more important is the faith that bonds us…not the food, language, clothing,etc.

        • I agree that we should all be more accommodating to one another. Not just for spice level, but also medical conditions like diabetes etc.

          These posts are not in an effort to silence anyone or take away their story of isolation or hardship.

          I just think we have to be sensitive about the words we use and ideas that we allow ourselves to continue to have.

          It never feels good to be called weird. I think it is pretty simple. Who would want to be called that?

          Or who would like to be referred to as having a thick accent?

          Like I said, it may be a different lived reality. But, we have to be sensitive about how we talk about each other.

          I have noticed there is a real issue with people feeling like its okay to bash each other racially. Its just not cool.

          The food issue is totally understood, as is the cultural isolation. Believe me, I have been through a lot of isolation myself.

          But I also have witnessed some racial comments in “convert” spaces that make me extremely uncomfortable. Comments on peoples clothing, language, food, culture. It’s like there is a free pass to make racial jokes and/or callous comments. This is said with total recognition that it often comes from valid pain and hardship. But it also causes pain to others, when its okay to call people “weird” “foreign” etc.

          It has been very disturbing. Nobody gets a free pass to make racial comments like that. It just isn’t right.

          As I said I am all about creating welcoming inclusive spaces not just for “new” muslims, but for all muslims. Every muslim ideally should feel like a brother and sister in an extended and loving family. They should be considered and embraced. There are many groups I believe need to be advocated for, including those with disabilities, women, etc.. these are groups that often get left out of the planning process and suffer for it!

          I am just asking that people consider whether or not they are being respectful in how they are speaking, and thinking about other cultures within their larger ummah.

          That said, it is never worth it to me to hurt people. We are here today and gone tomorrow, so if there is a short coming in my ability to convey what I am trying to convey I ask forgiveness. If any of this is causing pain, it is not my intention. I only wish to bring light to a certain pattern I have noticed that I have witnessed people getting hurt by.

          May Allah SWT build love and understanding between all of us and make us one family and one Ummah.

          Ameen

    • I think there are a lot of people out there confusing ISlam, Sunnah, and Culture. We must really be mindful that Islam is a universal religion for humanity of all races, not Arab religion. Converting to Islam doesn’t mean you then take a U-turn and adopting Arabic culture.

      Now that said, I have no grudge against Arabians, :) but here just pointing out, bc many ppl around me (my limited experience) confused Islam and Sunnah with culture where Islam was descended. Peace

  • This is an interesting article with many good valid points,however,i would like to suggest that the word convert is not appropriate.A person accepts Islam and in so doing submits to the power of Allah and accepts Prophet Muhammed ( saw) as his last messenger.if the person previously believed in Christianity or Judaism then he comes to a realisation that islam is the final message and logical conclusion to a line of prophets that came as a message for the whole of mankind and for all time. The new follower of Islam does not there fore convert . He has opened his heart and accepted the only true reality within his heart . I was brought up a Roman catholic and accepted Islam elhamdulillah about 35 years ago .My dreams hopes and aspirations have changed over the years and a sense of dissolution prevails because of the state of muslim states and practices in the world but the beauty of the vision of Allah and the knowledge that we came from Him and to Him we will all return is the only truth that prevails.May Allah bless all of us with personal insight and integrity.Follow the middle way in everything and you will have a happy meaningful life . Do not let the barriers of prejudice and extremism cloud the beginning of your journey . Communicate with many because your attitude and example may be a guiding light for others who are searching for a pure simple belief.Do not make what ws intended to be easy difficult .All things will come to pass in time .

  • Thank you.. I found the article very enlightening. I don’t live in America but in Australia. I have been struggling [as a revert] for a year now because of my living in rather rural area and all but one of my family are dead against Islam. My Aussie Muslim friends are all rather busy people, do not live close to me, and I don’t get to see them very often. The nearest masjid is over 50 miles away. I spend time with muslim friends in the M.E., when I can, and recently one of them who I looked up to, was so hurtful to me with unnkind opinions/words. He is not the kind of person one can argue with. This kind of thing makes me feel rather inadequate and unworthy, to say the least. I keep up my Q reading and listening. I have been trying to learn Arabic for 4 years on and off. I have sooooo many questions. This article has given me some encouragement. In my reading of it, I didn’t find it racist, but simply honest to the ‘general’ of reverts to find something of use in it. I am sad that Deen wasfelt hurt though. I know how it feels.

    • Salam Alikum brother M from Australia,nice to see u and i applaude your love and attachment with the religion even though u have many tests. Sad to hear about ur situation and how people(born muslims mostly) are not helpful towards reverts and u too.

      if u want u can contact me through e mail and hopefully we can talk and answer ur questions if i have them,otherwise i will ask some scholars,

      U can reply back on this message about ur decision,I am just toooo far away to help any reverts practically,i wish,one day,i do that

  • Aslam Alaikum

    I liked the suggestions revert brother has given. We have to look at the picture as a whole.The true beauty of Islam lies in the brotherhood and sisterhood.Myself I was and still involved in helping Revert sisters in possible wayI could Alhamdulillah, I must admit I had to be very patient and forgiving to the sisters with the Grace of Allah swt. I could see they would take help from other sisters but only invite or be generous with the sisters from their own community which is Eastern Euorpean , that is truly sad .That kind of selfish behaviour only repel people,revert brothers and sisters should learn muamlat as they learn Ibadah .Islam ask as to cover all departments of human life.

  • To new Muslims I first say welcome to the way! I then say beware false prophets who offer insults camouflaged as advice. I’ve been physically interrupted in masjid mid-salat for being a degree off from facing Mecca. American converts are vulnerable to ‘know it all’ Muslims. Listen patiently, smile broadly, say thank you, forgive them, and get away. You must teach yourself and find how Islam can work for you. And may I say to my immigrant brothers, unless we ask, don’t offer. Please.

  • ma sha’Allah, thats beautiful,
    Asalamu Aleikum, and welcome to Islam, and to be part of Loving muslim comunity/family, I Love you all coz of Allah,

  • I have Been 8 years a Muslim, I’m from Colombia, I live and study in Egypt for three years now Alhamdu lillahi Rabb Al alameen.

    To All converts: study deeply Surah al Ankabut… Best Advice I can think of… Love you all… See you in Jannah In sha’ al Rahman…

  • Salaam alikum brothers and sisters. I am a 27 year old woman living in london and am interested in learning more about islam and how i can accept it. I have already begun offering praise to Allah and accept allah as the 1 true creator. I am also considering dressing more tastefully and covering my head in public so i guess that is a start but would like some more advice. Any would be appreciated. Grace and peace be with you alll.

    • wa alaikumu as-salaam sister laura,

      i am from maldives and therefore there is limited help i can offer you from here. acceptance of islam begins with the delcaration (Shahada) that ‘there is no god but GOD (Allah) and Muhammad (PBUH) is his slave and messenger.’ and then you bear witness to this declaration in Arabic. in order for you to do this you will need to find a mosque in your locale. from there i believe all you have to do is make one inquiry and you will be guided to an imam or head of the mosque who will help you take the Shahada.

      fortunately in this day and age finding a mosque is so very easy when all you need to do is an internet search.

      Once you have taken the Shahada i believe that the imam at the mosque will guide you and place you in the capable hands of sisters and brothers who will help you with the rest of whatever it is you will need to do.

      Even if you aren’t quite ready to take the Shahada immediately, the brothers and sisters will be most welcoming of your questions.

      Of course i cant stop here. This is something new reverts and those who are considering converting should be made aware of. Allah SWT tells us in the Quran: “Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And ALLAH will certainly make known those who are true, and will certainly make known those who are liars. [Al-Ankaboot: 2-3]

      So, once reverted hardships and turbulence are very likely to come your way (check out the life of dr. lawrence brown and the suffering he went through once he embraced islam and how he triumphed over everything and his position today). as long as you remind yourself and believe that these are merely tests of faith you will be heading in the right direction in sha Allah.

      I hope this was helpful. To say the least i am so excited that a new sister is considering embracing Islam of her own free will. :) May Allah bless you in heaps now and in the hereafter.

    • Laura I’m a convert or revert have been for 9 -10 years I hope I can help if you need to ask anything I’m also in the uk so if you can email me that will be great .

      Great article how is your advice hurting any one ?
      It’s hard to start with all the new things I never heard of any one being offended by calling a food spicy that’s a bit over sensitive and to be honest it is ignorant to the the whole point of your article the point is that our broth is trying to make is to give a better understanding and to advice new Muslims it is a time of great change from shedding clothing especially for us women we have to dress differently and there are many cultural differences in islamic dress hijab s ect then there’s different cultures to confuse us even more .
      So long as we stick to pure Islam the holy Quran and the Sunna we will all be on the right path anger at new Muslims for trying to find there way is something we really do not need .help and love and kindness on the other hand is more than welcome

      Alhumdulillah we are very
      Lucky to be Muslim
      Allah hafiz brothers and sisters

      • I want to convert to be a muslim .I live in a small college town in utah ,i am not morman,I have no one to talk to or to seek advice there was a mosque here but closed and i want information and guidence the nearest mosque is 200 miles away.i have tried to look on internet this is the first thing i have come across that has not condemmed the religion .My boyfriend lives in pakistian and is coming here to live he is open minded about life and his religion.i need help please if you could direct me in where to go to find help with what i need …this is my choice he has not pressured me he has said if you do fine if you dont fine ,the choice is yours always…if you wouldn’t mind some advice .Thank You have a wonderful day……

        • I am not the best person to give advice, so I will refrain. However, although it is true that there are many sites on the internet that are hostile to Islam, there are also many which provide sound, reliable information and, often, free literature (sometimes even free CDs and DVDs). I won’t try to list a lot of them, but here are two which provide information specifically for sincere inquirers. Please note that I have no relationship of any kind with either of these sites and cannot vouch for their accuracy (although I have had contact with them), but the packet I received from one of them seemed to be full of sound material.

          http://www.newmuslimcare.com
          http://www.gainpeace.com

        • Salaam Dana

          Well since you have internet. Would suggest trying Paltalk. Google it. Its basically a messenger chatroom & has a few muslim chatrooms there so it might be good for you to be able to actually speak with people.
          It helped me as I was starting to feel very isolated & alone.
          Will add a word of caution to you. There are going to be people you don’t care for how they present themselves or what they have to say
          Muslim & non-muslims.
          Yes Muslims are people & some of us who identify as being Muslim don’t allways behave as we should.
          I say this not to push you away. Just so you don’t become too offended & direct is towards all of us…Inshallah!

  • Subhanallah!! Im soo happy to see all of u here.. just need a quick advice.. what can I do to convince my boy friend (non-muslim) to see the light of islam? Pls advise n share your experience.. shukran

    • well you can start off by teaching him some rules of islam , what you can do and what you cant and secondly if you’re trying to convert him into a muslim then you can take him to the masjid and show him what a wonderful religion islam is

  • Salam aleikum wrwb dear brothers and sisters

    Masha Allah very good advice for the new brothers and sisters in islam,i didn t find it racist,but realistic,i m not a revert but i understand the points about the food or style when it comes to reverts sometime they get confused,islam is about Qoran and sunnah.and not about cultures,so not to confuse that.A lot of muslims from muslims background confuse their culture with islam so the advice here is simple.follow the sunnah of rassullah sallallahuu aleihi wa salam like eating with ur hands etc,but not follow something that has nothing to do with islam.

  • Salam aleikum wrwb sister laura

    welcome dear sister masha Allah i m.from london too masha Allah, there is a big community in london masha Allah, check.out on facebook.solace for.revert sisters in.diffiiulty and masjid al tawhid are specialised in helping revert masha Allah or east london mosque,there are so many places masha Allah in london contact me i ll bore than happy to help you get in.touch insha Allah.it depends.what part of lomdon u r from then i ll indicate u insha Allah.may Allah make it easy to understand the deen.ameen

  • Salaams

    I have been blessed like other Muslims to be born in a family who is Muslim. There was a turning point in my life where I voluntarily searched for the truth rather than just blindly following what ever my parents have done. Culture is a beautiful aspect in our lives, it gives color and diversity – but only healthy when not confused with the pure teachings of Islam.

    It was hard trying to be consistent prior to my realization. Parents would say do this, this and this and this amount of raka’at, that yearn to understand was being starved. But when I sought for more info and knowledge over the past year I just started to with praying my Fardh and keep up with them. Slowly my emaan and belief was invested and grew relative to my actions and intentions. Today, I am that same person but with added ‘spice’ of Islamic understanding in my life. There are times where I will be lazy and sluggish for salah and there are times where I would feel rush of emaan, a direct dose of it strait the the Qalb. Giving saleem, knowing that my heart is sound when I am consistent with the small things of worship and action pertaining to Islam. Our journey is different with many routes but the Goal which Islam gifts is a unified concept.

    PS: Recommending is 100 Dhikrs and 100 Salutations to a new muslim or Muslim converting to ‘enhanced submitted muslim’ is dangerous and can lead to overwhelming and burdening oneself with our simple way of life. Islam. I make Dua (I haven’t read all the reply, posts and comment) to all you Brothers and Sisters, and Imamm webb to have consistency in our worship through many means in our life.

    Guys, smile. It’s Sunnah

  • I disagree with you on Debate and discussion session. We have to defend Islam and engage in debate. You shouldn’t have brought it up here, remove it, it bears no logic. It matters to those who are vulnerable to stress, with less knowledge about Islam, but those new convert brave and strong they may defend Islam through peaceful words.

  • i cannot thank Allah enough for being born as a muslim although i envy people who found Allah and converted.. Elhamdullah :)

  • Salamu alaykum to all my fellow brothers and sisters in Islam. Recent revert myself about at the six month mark since taking shahada. Great article, definately there is a lot of wisdom in the points raised. I myself was an idealist that expected all muslims to be perfect, but the reality started to kick in. It’s a beautiful learning experience though, we meet people in all levels of practice, lifestyle, and mannerisms. We all have baggage that needs to be shed. We all have something to learn from others. And we all have something to contribute. What makes this lifestyle so beautiful is that we are constantly learning beneficial knowledge that we can actually practice to better not only our lives here in this dunya, but to prepare us for the hereafter. One of the tips that I really support, all of them are good, is that of finding a teacher. Nothing wrong with taking advice from here and there, but for solid learning, we need to build relationships with the people of knowledge. This is great advice. So many times I asked a question to get an unsatisfying answer, due to not understanding what is really be asked, or how to properly ask what it is I need an answer to. Building a relationship with a teacher will help to fill in those gaps and understand each other better, as well as provide an environment of comfort which is needed to learn. Also, not taking part in the debates I feel is a good one. At first I felt really defensive with a need to defend Islam, as if because of what someone said or thought would actually diminish Islam. All that would really happen is that I would get frustrated and worked up, and probably due more to lead the person away from Islam rather than improving his opinion about it. I just feel that the debates have their place, and those taking part need to have wisdom, respect, and character otherwise shaytan will get the best of them and they will end up arguing and fighting. Arguing with fools is a waste of time, and we will never convert a single soul. Allah is the one who guides, we should reform our own hearts as that will have a greater impact on others than the ego battles called debates lol. That being said there’s plenty of people doing that, as a revert we should focus more on ourself and not losing eman. We must do everything to hold on to this precious deen as shaytan will do anything to try to get us to recant. Me personally I was always very interested in other cultures so that aspect was easier for me, but I understand why for others it can be apprehending. That being said we should keep an open mind as there are many ways to do some things, and this is a mercy from Allah. Deen is over culture though of course and we should always strive to have more Islam in our identity than whatever culture or ethnicity. We’re all from Adam, and we’re all one big family of believers that want to be together in Jannah in sha Allah. The last thing I want to share is kind of a parable I guess. I’m no chemist ace but I think most of us have either taken chemistry or have a somewhat basic understanding about how atoms and molecules are structured. As muslims in society we live our lives different than the non-believers, nothing wrong with that. People are always more concerned about fitting in. We should really be concerned about fitting in with the Ummah of Muhammad salallahu alayhi wa salam. Growing up in the United States, this society revolves around work, school, and entertainment. People base their private lives around their work life and are stuck in a consuming depressing cycle. We as muslims bring change to this dead end way of life. As muslims the masjids should be the nucleus of our lives. Everything we do should revolve around the masjid. The masjid brings us together to worship, learn, eat, socialize, and worship some more. When muslims lives start revolving around the masjids and not work or whatever other dunya pursuits that might take our time, our society will have a different spin and we will begin to see the barakah of Allah in our communities. The masjids are the centers of our communities and we need to fill them! So many empty buildings just waiting to be converted to masjids/masalas with muslims filling them up.

  • Salamu alaykum to all my muslim brothers and sisters i just reverted and i know i will never regreat making this step in my life i hope to start taking guidance on the quran and how to be a good muslim

    • Wa alaykumusalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

      Why don’t you start with the first surah you are supposed the learn? A surah is a part of the Quran. Al-Fatiha is the first surah in the book and the first one you need to know. It is also the greatest surah.

  • Asalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatu, thank you for these suggestions. I am a recent revert, I prefer to use revert as I feel we go back to the original roots from the womb not converted them. Suban’Allah after a year of soul searching in Islam throughout 2011 and half of 2012 I took Shahada on 2 Ramadan 1433 H. It is has been a rollercoaster. I started out strong and zealous by fasting the month of Ramadan, learning all Sunnah prayers, night prayer, learning Arabic, trying to learn all schools of thought, monthly fasting, cut out all old habits, etc and now I find I’m loosing steam, I’m also very alone and live alone after recently two yaers ago separated from my then husband of 20 years and my children live with him. I have no Muslim husband, no Muslim family and no Muslim friends. I do go to Masjid on Fridays and do have Qur’an study on Sunday’s with Muslim Sisters but they are all busy with their families or jobs. I also do not drive a car and transportation to get anywhere is difficult. I struggle with Bipolar for 35 years and now I felt a sudden drop in energy and hit depression. This is normal in Bipolar with a life changing event especially if it’s a positive change, take off like a fighter jet breaking the sound barrier only to find out we burned the fuel to fast and didn’t pack any reserve. If only I had this advice about taking slow I may not have become so overwhelmed. Allah Subana Wa Ta’ala I know is so merciful and I feel the mercy and relief come to me unlike any other time in my life before Islam and now I am finding balance as I slow down a bit and take some breaths. I also struggled with finding culture as a reverted Canadian Muslim I have been looking for a culture to fit into since really I cannot seem to find a Canadian Muslim culture as I was more used to the Canadian Christian culture. Your posting helped me realize I’m not alone as a revert in trying to find balance especially with the hadith

    “Those who make things hard for themselves will be destroyed. (He said it three times.)”-The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim).

    I recently read one forum and a Muslim brother giving advice to reverts telling them we are to take it easy, we’re not supposed to drive a Monster truck over the bridge to Paradise. JazakAllah Khairan

    • why did you take an Arabic name? that is a not a requirement of Islam. You don’t have to take Arab culture. Arabs need to respect other cultures just as we need to respect other cultures. but, you don’t have to take their culture to be Muslim. Keep you name, your identity and your culture. Faith in God transcends culture. Anyone who tells you different is selling you something

      • it is up to the convert whether or not to change our names. some of you born Muslims act like you are ashamed of being named Muhammad or Abdul. Mark, if you like Mark, that’s your right to name yourself and it is our right to change our name just like it’s your right. Neither choice is wrong.

        • Salaam. You are completely correct that it is entirely up to the individual as to whether to change his/her name. (For instance, I myself deliberately chose not to.) However, at the risk of sounding controversial (I am not trying to be, and Allah swt knows best), I will offer that Islam in North America has an image among many non-Muslims of being “foreign,” “alien,” “strange,” “funny,” and one aspect of that image is that many Muslims have “funny” names.

          Unquestionably, this perception among many is false and unfair, but I submit that it is there. I fully understand why some new Muslims may choose to take a new name as a matter of piety, and again, that is their free choice and right, but doing so continues to contribute to the seeming “foreignness” of Islam in the west.

          Whether we like it or not, perception is important, and if Muslims continue to come across as “not like us” when that is not mandatory (I am not saying that there are no differences from western ideas at all), then, in my opinion (again, Allah swt knows best), the progress of the message of Islam is impeded.

        • as salaam alaikum Paul,
          May Allah reward you for you great manners. We all have to walk a line. We have to blend in enough to not be outcast, but on the other hand, most of America does not know about Islam even though there are more than six million of us in the US. I know for a fact, some of us are so busy blending in that we make Islam invisible for those who spend time around us. Islam is not really about us constantly preaching to every single person every single minute, but there are Muslim behaviors. We call them Sunnah. We are supposed to stand out as Muslims and be identified as Muslims and be witnesses for Allah and His messenger. Changing names is one of those ways. As you see, my name is a sort of combination/African American. We know the rules on name change, so what you are I are discussing is standing out versus blending in as Muslims in the West. It’s depends on your situation as to how wise we are at practicing the Sunnah. Allah knows best. But I say, you can’t have a civil rights movement and an expansion of Muslim rights if we all say our names our Smith and we never pray anywhere but at home and at the masjid. I don’t wear thobes very much anymore because I get sick at seeing brothers rip them off in the masjid parking lot. This is America. You have gays coming out, taking the heat and fighting for what they believe. We say we love Allah and His messenger (I am trying to be calm). Allah is my only hope that I am not dragged into Western despair. We hide and Bin Laden shouts his Islam from the rooftops and we wonder why non-Muslims are confused about Islam. I am not asking anyone to walk in front of bullets because I am shooting off my not-knowing mouth. Like an Imam I know says: “I’m just sayin'”

        • Salaam. Thank your for your kind words, In many ways we are in agreement. True, there are ways in which Islamic principles differ from some of the principles and practices common in the western countries. That is so (and Allah swt knows best).

          Still, it may be that there are cultural practices which are not intrinsic to Islamic itself but which some “ethnic” (no offense intended) Muslims confuse with Islam itself. In their lack of knowledge and experience, they may not realize how their assertions of cultural practices are not in and of themselves Islamic and thus inadvertently alienate new Muslims.

          Yes, there may be some incompatibilities between true Islam and aspects of western culture, but real discernment is needed. (And Allah swt knows best, and may He guide us.)

    • (I have been away from the website for a time and am “catching up.”)

      Salaam alaikum, Sister. Please be aware that you are not alone. Sometimes just knowing that can be a help and comfort. You are not alone in having come to Islam in more mature years (so many converts are just young adults), in being all alone (my social life is my temperamental pet cat), and in dealing with mental health issues (as I have also for many years). You are fortunate in having a Qur’an study group to attend. That may be very useful. Keep it up. Some people do not even have that much.

      A couple of evenings ago I went to a small “Islamic center” (nothing more than a couple of rented rooms) for the first time in a long, long while. Because of health issues (physical as well) I had to leave early, but one man whom I had met once before helped me up and murmured that Islam is a deen of ease (something like that, I think he said). At times, having had rules dumped all over me at the beginning, it does not seem so, and sometimes I wonder why I even pay any attention at all, but I occasionally come back.

      You are not alone.

  • happy to hear about your sacrifices and ur firmness during struggles with which you went through after reversion and ur strong commitment and study in deen.

    Reverts muslims for me are the “Ideals and role modles” i adore them,no matter wat race,color,age….still unlucky to meet one though, all wat i have known about them is by you tube and these blogs. I dont understand why muslims do not valur them very much,it is very sad & tear jerking.

    Any how,all reverts and you too are in my prayers,best wishes of both worlds .I am not married but i can feel ur heart after seeing ur kids get away from you,Inshallah ur reward will be unfathomable,Inshallah and msot of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh} were reverts,so u guys have so much to be thankful and proud of and nothing to loose

    and u are right, dont do excess.Excess in anything is bad.I have a new addition to this old quote “slow and steady wins the race,fast and furious looses the race”

    Jazak Allah Firdous for this Eman Elating Story

  • Salaam alaykum. I am an American revert and I thank you for writing this article. I can relate to absolutely everything in the article. Jazaak Allah khayair.

  • Asalam Aleykum,

    This is a lovely article, SubhanAllah.

    Although I have been a believer for quite some time I actually took Shahadah 4 months ago and started to wear hijab straight away. I received mixed responses from family and friends. My close friends were already aware of my beliefs and supported me. One of my friends actually walked into college with me the first day I wore the hijab, for support! My close family are not so sure but InshAllah they will in time see the beauty and peace in Islam.

    Personally I have not found accepting Islam difficult although I can see how some people could become isolated. Knowing who to socialise with can be a bit confusing, especially when most of your friends are non-muslim. Trying to find a balance is the best way, find new halal past times and include your friends in that.

    JazakAllah Khair for this lovely article.

  • BY THE NAME OF ALLAH MERCIFUL AND COMPASSIONATE ,
    DEAR READERS ,
    I AM A MUSLIM LIVING IN THE MIDDLE EAST SINCE I WAS BORN . I AM SURE 100% THAT OUR RELIGION IS THE GREATEST ONE SINCE ALL PEOPLE ARE ALIKE AND EQUAL , BUT THE MOST DANGEROUS AND SERIOUS PROBLEM ONE CAN THINK OF IS THAT WE DON’T APPRECIATE RELIGION AS WE SHOULD BE .

  • Assalamu alaikum, brother Alex.

    Thank you very much for this wonderful article. Masha Allah, your article is a great reminder for all of us. As a born muslimah, I found that every muslims have to do those 12 things as well to keep and maintain our iman (faith). May Allah SWT keeps you istiqamah, aameen yaa Rabb. Wassalamu alaikum and great salam from Indonesia :)

  • And let us hope, if Allah (swt) wills, that the stories of converts/reverts will inspire lifelong Muslims to reach out to them. In the article, point 10 is “Avoid loneliness,” but in so many places, converts are effectively ignored, even when they themselves remain present for a while, so eventually they become discouraged in their involuntary isolation and and fall away. Go to a mosque day after day after day, as I did, and never hear your language spoken around you, never be greeted, never be offered salaams, just stand there as if you do not exist. Point 12, “Do not despair,” is easy to say, but when you are alone, effectively invisible in the midst of a crowd, rather shy, and with weak, shaky faith to begin with, eventually you may say, “What’s the use? These other people over there, following this other religion, at least are warm, friendly, and welcoming and make me feel wanted, which these Muslims are not and do not.” (I speak from personal experience.)

  • Asalaam-u-Alaikum,
    I was just searching for being lonely as a Muslim and I found this in my search. After reading all the posts, I feel better, Alhamdolillah! I am grateful to be a Muslim.

  • Thank you so much. I just started my journey with Islam. Coming from a Catholic family originally, it has been very hard to adjust with the people and everyday things around me. I’ve come to realize that I can’t take everything on at once and that its alright to take things slowly. This website further encourages me in knowing that what I am feeling – I am not alone in this.

  • This article has helped so much. As a 17 year old trying to revert, it is refreshing to know that other people are having the same difficulties. I am also coming from a strong Catholic family so this is going to be quite a journey; I am ready to begin it. I am slowly but surely reverting insha’Allah. Thank you for this advice and may Allah swt. reward you. Alhamdulillah!

  • Then out spake two of those who feared (their Lord, men) unto whom Allah had been gracious: Enter in upon them by the gate, for if ye enter by it, lo! ye will be victorious. So put your trust (in Allah) if ye are indeed believers.(5 Surat-ul-Maeeda . Aayat23)

  • I want to revert to Islam. I live in Paris but I am an American. I speak French and Arabic, so this is not a problem, but the problem is that I don’t know what to do when I walk into the mosque. Who do I ask to speak with, or what do I do? I am just somewhat nervous to go into the Mosque and say “I want to revert to Islam, what do I do?” Any suggestions?

    • All praise is due to God. I pray that someone has gotten to you already and told you more than I can. You have to be a little brave. Believe, me, we are drooling and panting waiting on you to visit us. You are evidence of the power of God Almighty and we love seeing His work. In the above article, the writer says that a basic element of being a new Muslim is you need to make regular trips to the mosque. you can find the mosque nearest to you using the internet. Here in the US, we use Islamicfinder.org. That may not work in Paris, but I am sure there is an Islamic search engine that will direct you to the nearest mosque. We love you madly already. Some of us will be better at showing it than others, but I know, I get chills when I stand next to my brothers in prayer. We are eager to see you and the best and safest place for you to begin is your nearest mosque.

      • Maybe I didn’t even answer with my long reply. The short answer is: go to the mosque and let them teach you. Most mosques have their own little things that only the regulars know. I now attend a mosque composed of two building, so you have to get the flow to know which one is being used at any particular time of the day. The only way you will know how to navigate your local mosque is to spend time there. This is true for all Muslims. Just wait till you have to deal with Ramadan Muslims….

  • as salaam alaikum,

    I have been Muslim since December 1997, all praise to Allah. I am amazed that some of my issues when I converted have still not sorted themselves out yet. It is what Allah has given me and I do not complain. I am glad that we are starting to pay attention to converts. It was crazy when I converted. I had good teachers though, and that was a huge blessing. The Imam who gave me Shahada, the one thing he told me was, to break family ties meant I was not following Islam. At the time, I was not speaking to my older brother. Our relationship is complicated and painful, but I always remember that Imam’s advice and it has given me far more positive than negative. I commented elsewhere here about born Muslims telling you not to change your name. I found that so insulting. I get to choose unless my name is haram. If I want a better name, that’s Sunnah, not culture. The main thing I want to add is we converts have to learn to be ambassadors to those in the culture we came from (not debaters). My teachers know Islam better than I do, but for me, maybe I am deluded, Allah knows, but I feel like I understand my culture better than those who are not from my culture and that gives me an advantage in explaining Islam. And finally, we must all learn as Muslims to be more open and to come out of our Muslim closets. We keep our Islam low and we get more money as a result, but then we end up letting every kook in the world define Islam for us also. We who are ordinary Muslims have to stand up and take a little heat, because Allah says we will be tested just as those before us were tested.

  • Reading this article a fourth time but this time being at a point of facing the hardest test of my whole life so far, the words are assuring, it gives me a certain peace knowing that Allah chose me to purify me and bring me closer to Him and insha Allah I hope I will learn the right things and stay on the right course through these tests. Its been just a few months I converted and the satisfaction of knowing that this tough time and tests were promised by Allah to show us our own selves clearly and our strengthen our imaan is a blessing. Alhamdulilah this article set my thinking straight at a time I had been facing my toughest test so far. May Allah guide us all. Ameen :-)

  • Thank you, Brother Alex. Yours may be some of the best advice I’ve read, since becoming Muslim. Finding Muslim friends, being hopeful and not discouraged, you really understand. It’s good to read your calm, encouraging words. Alhamdulillah.

    • Hold in there, insha’Allah. To be honest, things can be tough in some of the western countries for new Muslims. This is a very sad fact, perhaps if Allah (swt) will forgive my saying so, but often new Muslims are not accepted and embraced as they should be. It can be a tough time, as I know from personal experience. (Sadly, I myself have almost fallen away.) Don’t give up.

      • Most things are difficult before they are easy. Not the least of which, embracing a new life. Knowing the truth and loving knowing the truth, I keep my eyes on the prize. Thank you. Allahu akbar

  • Great article Alex. ALHUMDULILLAH. I agree with everything except Arabic letters can be learned in a day. You are a language live though. I cant helo but wonder if you are Alex from MSA at UNT.

  • I would like to know where I can find the quote from Muhammed (pbuh) in #6. Please show me, thank you.

    Those who make things hard for themselves will be destroyed. (He said it three times.)”
    -The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Muslim)

  • This is the first Christmas since taking my shahadah. I am proud to be Muslim, alhamdulillah, and I am grateful to Allah (swt) for bringing me to Islam. Still, as much as I try to leave the old behind and embrace my new life and responsibilities, there are inevitable times cultures collide and coalesce. Insha Allah, I’ll continue to have Christian friends who respect my heart and my choice.

  • I AM A BORN MUSLIMAHFROM S.E.ASIA.JUZ READ THIS WEBSITE TODAY. I HAVE NOTICED A RAPID INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REVERTS FROM NON-MUSLIM COUNTRIES ESP EUROPE, AMERICA AND OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD. TO THIS I HAVE UNDERSTOOD WELL NOW WHEN ALLAH SAID THAT HE IS THE BEST PROTECTOR OF ALL PROTECTORS, BOTH FOR THE DEEN (ISLAM) AND FOR MUSLIMS. SO WHAT EVER OUR SITUATIONS ARE NOW, NO MATTER HOW HARD LIFE SEEMS TO BE, I DON’T WORRY ANYMORE…COZ HIS PROMISES ARE HAPPENING!!NO MATTER HOW HARD ‘THEY’ TRY TO SUPPRESS ISLAM, THE MORE IT IS LOVED, AS HE IS THE BEST OF ALL PLANNERS….JAZZA KHAIR

    • Dear Sister June. (In my country, “June” is a female name, so if you are male, please accept my apology.) Salaam alaikum.

      Please understand that the situation of many converts to Islam in western countries is very, very different from the situation of “born” Muslims in countries in which many or most of the people around you are Muslim. In your country, perhaps, being Muslim is natural and normal. For those of us in western countries, being Muslim is literally unnatural and abnormal. We are a tiny minority, often regarded with suspicion and distrust. Those few Muslims who are here in our countries tend to be for the most part foreigners, who often regard Islam as something of their cultural identity, so that those of us who are of western heritage are often excluded and left to ourselves. Not all of us are strong. May Allah (swt) forgive us, but some of us are weak, and we receive no help from the Muslim ummah. So some of us, in our weakness, being all alone, fall away.

      And Allah (swt) knows best. I do not.

  • Thank you, Brother Paul. I would be a gift to talk directly with you. Or Brother Alex. Others. Your encouragement, messages to “keep the faith” and stay the course have been important to me, as I live in a small, remote, conservative place. I don’t know another Muslim. Only last Friday, three months after taking my shahada, I drove many miles to attend my first Jum’ah at a masjid. I was given a warm welcome, and the experience was thrilling, as it was calmly reassuring. Alhamdulillah. Among my brothers and sisters, I am confident in who I am and to all that Allah (swt) has led me. But outside of community, there’s an ambivalence about letting others know. Admittedly sometimes, I’m convinced I need a Muslim name, a Muslim identity, yet I realize I could be even more isolated. Insha’Allah, I’ll grow stronger. In the meantime, i am grateful to know you and other brothers and sisters who I come to meet this way. Thank you. Asalaam.

    • Dear Br. James,

      Salaam alaikum. Because of the threading on the website, I am not quite certain just which item you are responding to, so please forgive me if I am in error.

      Your experience so far has been a pleasant one, and for that alhamdulillah. Sadly, many of us have not had happy experiences, so I do not in any way want to discourage you.

      You remarked, “Admittedly sometimes, I’m convinced I need a Muslim name, a Muslim identity, yet I realize I could be even more isolated.” Now, I am not a scholar, and I could be mistaken, but to the best of my understanding, in most instances it is not necessary for a new Muslim to take a new name and identity. Some may choose to do so, that is their business, and I will not gainsay them. My personal name is not in any Islamic way offensive, so it was my personal, deliberate choice not to use a new “Muslim” name, even though there are some Muslims from “traditional” countries who seem to be baffled as to how old European names could truly appropriately be “Islamic” (I speak from personal experience).

      “I will pray for you. What is your name?” “Paul.” “Yes, but what is your Muslim name?” “Paul.” This sincere man could not seem to grasp the issue.

      Let us be frank. Rightly or wrongly, appropriately or inappropriately, in many western countries, Islam and Muslims still have a reputation of being “foreign,” “strange,” alien,” “they are not like us,” “they are funny people who have funny names and wear funny clothes and have funny customs.” Obviously this is not right, but sadly it is the reality.

      If, God willing, Islam is to make real progress in the west, Muslims must come across as good, moral, God-fearing people who have something genuine and valuable to offer beyond the illnesses of society (and I speak as a native westerner) but do not come across as so alien.

      Allah (swt) knows best. I do not.

  • assalam aleikum my dear brothers and sisters in islam

    I would like to share some tips with newly reverts in sha ALLAH ,I have many of my close sisters reverts to wich I always precise to stop calling themselves reverts as it s been long time agoooooo and they certainly not anymore,some of them teachers and do a lot of dawah (calling to islam ) ma sha ALLAH,I THINK WHAT PEOPLE NEED TO UNDERSTAND and I mnot an expert only ALLAH knows best that deen islam is about our personal coonextion with ALLAH and following the sunnah of the prophet sallallahu aleihi waa salam,it s not about food,people or whatever,if someone from western countries doesn t like a type of food etc so whattttt, I personnaly hate cheese yeah I don t like cheese ,French won t be happy hearing about this as I grew up there but from east Africa origin,weneed to understand and respect people choices of whatever they want as long as they follow what is required by the deen and the sunnah of prophet sallallahu aleihi waa salam,and I agree when brothers or sisters advice and help those who are knew to islam to understand and help them finding their identity wit their new faith and help them incorporate into their daily life so plzz stop your ridiculous comment and yeah I congratulate for the brother who had the brilliant idea to help newly revert as to how to find and understand the real value of islam may ALLAH make it easy for you and may ALLAH make it easy to all new muslims those a re great advice

    pss I grew up with spicy food and I love itttttt but it s nothing to do with my deen but mostly my country so I say this follow the deen eat halal live halal keep it halal but stay with ur identity and who u r that s what is important and ALLAH KNOWS BEST

  • Dear Paul and all new brothers and sisters,
    For this new year 2014 may I start it by saying forgive me for being insensitive in saying “I don’t worry anymore” which really meant a reference to Islam being “known” though may not be well understood and accepted, such as in the west. Despite my statement I have a total agreement on how hard your life can be over there being alienated and helpless, even by other muslims in the minority. I can see that very well indeed. But at the same time I also referred to my strong belief, that despite all that hardship, how lucky you all are for being “loved from distance by Allah” due to your honest, pure intention to love Allah and Islam by going through that hardship, in comparison to our “taking Allah and Islam for granted” because we are born muslims amidst cultures that may not be Islamic at all!. So again, once please treat your “bad situations” as a blessing as it is pure and not contaminated Islamic way of life. Remember a hadith that approximately says (please correct me if I am wrong) “A knowledgeable person is better than an ignorant”. After all Allah looks at intentions “niyat”. So once again, please do feel luckier!!.Take care always, my pure prayer for you all over there is for Allah to speed your rewards and strengthen your iman, no matter how “suck” your life might be.

  • alhamdulillah i found what i was looking for.i am a born muslim for 36 years and am proud of my religion.welcome to the religion of peace

  • Good Day. I want to convert to Islam. and i ve been thinking about this for 2 years now..Any sisters here please help me.please let me know your email address.

  • salam,i have a convert sister who i am offering support and she has been refused time for prayers by her boss, can she pray sitting? or in tolet?
    thanks

    • W/s, May Allah make it easy on her.

      I dont know the exact ruling but Imam Suhaib Webb (owner of this website)said in one of lectures that its permissible under certain conditions to pray on toilet floor on a prayer mat.

    • Wa salaam. I am not a lawyer, but to the best of my understanding, in the USA (you did not say where this sister is) an employer is required by law to make reasonable accommodation for religious beliefs and practices unless there is no way to avoid harm to the enterprise. Of course, in particular situations, there could be disputes about what is “reasonable.”

  • As a convert, I thought that Alex’s points were good although I would have changed some of them.

    Instead of #3 Find a teacher, I would have said, find support. This could take the form of a teacher, but could also be a converts group or an “established” Muslim with whom one is paired by an organization that focuses on converts’ needs.

    #8 Force yourself to go to the masjid. I would have urged converts instead to try to find a safe, third space if they don’t find a welcome or encounter confusion at the masjid. Most of our masajid just aren’t set up to welcome much less deal with converts’ needs and happily there are now other groups Ta’aleef Collective in California, the Lighthouse Initiative in New York, the New Converts Circle in Calgary, Canada that are a big help. It’s too easy to keep going to the masjid and never even being able to get to know the people there, to be seen as an outside despite years of attendance or be picked at for this or that.

    For #6 Understand Islam’s organic nature, I would have said Understand that Islam as lived by Muslims is diverse. Islam in all of the places in which it is dominant has a different flavor and the various madhahibs, tariqahs, rulings etc. also allow for many different ways of doing things.

    • Peace (salaam). Concerning the suggestion of finding a “safe, third space,” I have some reservations. My experience has been very limited, and I freely acknowledge that. Others with more and better experiences may correct me. However, I wonder if all these “safe, third spaces” are engaging with serious, traditional Islam. I am wondering whether some of them might be quite liberal and even of questionable orthodoxy.

      Yes, I myself have had poor experiences in the mosques, as have others here. That is some of the tragedy of the Islamic community today, that often converts are anywhere from poorly received to outrightly ignored. So I can understand the impulse to look elsewhere. Even so, not every group, welcoming though they may be, is on the right path.

      For several years I went to many meetings of Baha’is. The people were warm, friendly, and welcoming, everything I had hoped the Muslims would be but were not. They made me feel glad I was there. In the end I did not and could not accept the Baha’i Faith (and quit going to gatherings), but for a lonely, middle-aged bachelor, they were nice people. However, that does not mean that they are on the right path.

  • Salam Everbody, Hey I’m 13 and I need guidance for what to do. I fear of being judge by my family if I am the only Muslim. My relationship with Family is so strong but sense everybody is a Christian I dont know how they would feel. I’ve studied for months about Islam and being a muslim and I find it more truthful than christianity. I’ve seen videos on Youtube with Yusuf Estes and Naik Zakir and I want to convert. My friends are cool with it but I wonder about my family. I trust my father alot but I haven’t asked him yet. Christianity is okay but I feel the truth in my research is Islam. Someone help me.

    • Salams Reggie, look to make some connections with Muslims, ideally locally (school, mosque, Islamic organisations in the area). Don’t panic and stay sincere.

    • First off, let me start by saying this is a very brave decision you are making at such a young age mashaAllah (‘: And I promise you, that you have found ultimate Truth, and you will not regret your decision.
      Ultimately now that you have accepted Islam in your heart, you must go to a Masjid in your area and take the Shahadah (Decleration of Faith). Hopefully insha’Allah there you may find a support system or some material to read, or possibly make new friends to help make it easier for you. If I had more information as to where you reside, I could actively help you search for a welcoming new-muslim resource center in your area, if you do not mind providing us with that information (: Otherwise, google these places yourself, and I promise if you take one step towards God, He will take countless “steps” towards you! As per your family, I know many converts that practice in secret, and have not yet told their family members.. that comes with time and comfort, do not worry. My advice to you is to take that step towards your Lord, and take the Shahadah, and He, almighty, capable of changing the hearts of anyone on earth, will make it easy for you inshaAllah.

      Truly God guides whom He wills. This is beautiful, God make your journey one full of ease and happiness Reggie, Ameen (: And since, I can only speak for myself, please do not hesitate to contact me for any of your needs or questions. I am hopeful that your other brothers on this forum won’t mind as well (: Salaam !

  • Hello everyone, today it take the shahadah. I will be converting. And yes i am nervous but i know in my heart what is true. I see some comments here that newly converts are ignored.! i hope i don’t get ignored!
    I see the imam at 6pm in arizona. Just said a few prayers and MashaAllah he will be with me.
    Allah (P.B.u.h) has been with me and i know for sure.

  • My Dear Assalamu Alaikum
    “Allahu Akbar.. Kulhu Allahu Ahad.. Leave the JOB. No fear human.. Allah created us all He wil take care of us.. No excuse for Salah in Qabr and Mahsharqh.. One you.die and your boss too.. Die as a Moomin.. Aameen !

  • hi i am new to be pne of you i want learn more but i dont know who to teach and my hone dont alow me to go mass so help me for some days and i come out all and can you give me new name please or vinoth is ok pleas help friends

  • I have yet to become a convert Muslim and Inshallah soon.
    Recently I have began reading the Quran and now I want to visit my local masjid in California but I will be going on my own and know no Muslim converts like me and who are women. What would you–whoever may be reading–recommend for me to do when I inshallah go this coming Friday.

  • Assallaam alaikum wr wb i am a revert Alhumdullillah from the republic of Ireland i personaly strive and strugle to go the masjid i leave my house in good mood and return from the masjid in bad mood i go for fajr in the morning to find the door is locked and wait for 20 minutes and walk home to do my fajr there i try to go as many times as i can a day but truthfully i have not been to anyone’s house for tea it seems to be when they see my white skin and my Irish accent i start getting all types of advice which contradicts other advice it’s got to a stage now i feel uncomfortable going to the masjid and the only reason i still do is because i know well culture plays with my brothers and shaytaan plays with me astaghfirullah i am at a stage i fear to ask questions all i get is fraudgelling opinion and excuses i don’t write this easy the masjid i go to nearest to my house is Tabligh jamaat they have an answer for everything and for nothing at the same time i went away with them for 3 days and just felt that they used me to speak to born muslims who don’t even leave there own house i would love to find a teacher and expert in the field of tawheed someone who practice what they teach in sha Allah now i have to go it’s time for Eshaa don’t get me wrong i love Islam and i don’t expect people to be perfect. Jazaak Allah khair for reading this.

  • assallaamalaikum to my new brothers and sisters my name is mohammad abdallah i am a revert from the republic of Ireland i gave my shahadah five years ago Alhumdullillah i sympathize and understand all the messages above and i feel like I’ve experienced them all Alhumdullillah and am still in one piece a word of strength for you Allah swt will not bear you more than you can handle and sometimes the hardest situation is the easiest overcome in sha Allah and don’t be misguided when you go the masjid or meet muslims and they don’t walk and talk like they should sometimes Allah swt will show you the wrong in people and shaytaan will make you think ahhh look at them they call themselves muslims when they don’t salaam each other,when they have music on their phones and they don’t seek out each other Allah swt gives you and gives me the good deeds that they have forgotten and the best way to remind them is to lead by example cause nobody is perfect so stand tall and smile and say i am muslim Alhumdullillah and any opportunity you get sister to sister salaam one another and brother to brother salaam one another and don’t forget the biggest dawah is a smile and to the young and the old who want to accept Islam the way of life according to authentique hadith and the glorious quran surely Allah swt is closer to you than your jugular vein it took me three months to say Assallaam alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatu i am not the quickest of learners but with duas Allah swt makes it easy for us so accept Islam in your heart find the opportunity to give your Shahadah and make the intention to please your Lord and become the best brother/sister/son/daughters/friend and completely trustworthy a good citizen to your community and the rest step by step Rome was not built in a day.if you love Allah swt then Allah swt will make the people love you

  • Salam, my answer to all reverts and specifically brother Abdallah ; please refer website www. halaltube.com and look for scholars Nouman Ali Khan and Yaser Qazi lectures in particular. These scholars are USA born or/and Raised so they know where you are coming from. I am a born muslim but the way i practised islam in my teens was based mostly on pakistani culture and traditions and i only recently started to correct my knowlege of islam and i feel like im a convert. May Allah guide us all to the right path, please do not give up due to people’s behaviour, trust Allah and focus on gaining more and more knowledge!

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