Is a Convert Rewarded for the Good Deeds He Performed Prior to Converting to Islam?

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: Assalam aleykum

Do good deeds of a convert performed while he was a non-Muslim get accepted (and he receives benefits for them) when he becomes a Muslim?

Answer: assalamu alaykum

A convert is rewarded for the good deeds he or she performed prior to converting to Islam.

This is based on the literal understanding of the hadith, “You have embraced Islam with all the good deeds that you used to practice.” [Bukhari, Muslim]

Another hadith that supports this understanding is the statement of the Prophet (blessings and peace be upon him), “If a servant accepts Islam and practices it well, God will record for him every previous good deed he performed.” [al-Nasa’i, Sunan]

For this reason, Imam al-Nawawi stated that, “The correct position held by the verifying scholars – and some reported consensus on this – is that if a non-Muslim performed good deeds, such as charity and maintaining family ties, and then embraced Islam and died a Muslim, the reward of these deeds will be recorded for him or her.” [Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Bari (1:99)]

And God knows best
[Ustadh] Salman Younas

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Salman Younas graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Political Science and Religious Studies. After studying the Islamic sciences online and with local scholars in New York, Ustadh Salman moved to Amman. There he studies Islamic law, legal methodology, belief, hadith methodology, logic, Arabic, and tafsir.