The Ultimate Guide for New Muslims
Commonly Asked Questions for a New Seeker to Support Their Journey
SeekersGuidance Readers provide the seeker with a purposely curated list of articles, answers, and other content on a particular topic.
When one embarks on a journey to seek the truth, they may encounter several obstacles, questions, and confusions. One can conduct consistent research in small, regular steps to benefit from their studies in Islam. This reader provides guidance and clarity on commonly asked questions that are beneficial to anyone on the path, particularly those who have newly embraced Islam or considering Islam. A new Muslim can seek solace in remembering that the companions of the Prophet were new to Islam. Allah Most High has guided you to this point in His Absolute Wisdom, just as He guided those before you.
Many of these questions have been submitted by new Muslims and answered by trained and reliable scholars. This reader was compiled by new Muslims with questions and resources that they felt were necessary to highlight. Topics include the conversion process, dealing with family members, and marriage.
Advice from Shaykh Abdullah Misra – A Convert, Counsellor, and Scholar
You will encounter a wealth of advice and guidance. But I urge you to take your time. Take small steps. Step by step, work on yourself. Limit your exposure to controversies and debates. Go easy on rules and practices. Learn values of being close to God and your character. Build on this with practices (fiqh). It might be tempting to leave your worldly life but aim for balance. New Muslims sometimes leave their worldly pursuits only to be completely changed – keep your identity. Incorporate small lifestyle changes over time, not overnight. Start with distancing yourself from any sinful practices. God is merciful and forgiving towards new Muslims. When seeking advice, take from good company and your teachers. Good company is important – we are interdependent on one another. When adversities in the Muslim community occur, attribute these to the person, not to Islam. When you find yourself in doubt, suspend judgment until you are able to seek clarity. Take your time with knowledge. Try to resist falling in love with certain groups of people or values they possess. If God and the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) are the cornerstone of your faith, you will not be disappointed.
Questions and Answers
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Marriage and Children
This answer addresses how a new Muslim can involve their parents in their wedding if their beliefs are not entirely aligned. Advice includes performing the prayer of seeking counsel (istikhara) and treating them with respect and kindness. In this section, one can find useful guidance about maintaining relationships – commonly asked questions from new Muslims.
Do not feel pressured to rush into marriage for the first few years. You will go through phases and ups and downs and that is normal, so wait until you’ve been around the block and settled in your practice before bringing someone else into your life.
Shaykh Abdullah Misra, On Finding a Soulmate as a Convert
Dealing with non-Muslim Family or Disbelievers
Given the high station of parents in Islam, and in an attempt to not displease them – new Muslims struggle with putting forth their true beliefs. The questions above, addressed by Shaykh Faraz Khan and Shaykh Abdullah Misra, give comfort and clarity to Muslims who are dealing with this difficulty. Shaykh Abdullah provides puts forth practical and useful advice, as he himself is a convert. This section is dedicated to providing guidance in navigating sensitive relationships and topics as a new Muslim.
Loneliness and Depression
In the answer to this question, Ustadha Raidah provides hope for lonely new Muslims, including nine practical ways to deal with loneliness.
Ours is a deen embedded in the social fabric of families and communities. It is a very, very difficult path to tread alone. I pray that Allah eases your loneliness and grants you the companionship which you seek. – Ustadha Raidah
Prayer and Qur’an
A commonly asked question with a simple answer – your past sins are forgiven when you enter the faith of Islam. You do not need to make-up missed prayers. Read more commonly asked questions and their answers in this section.
Shaykha Zaynab Ansari answers this honest and heartfelt sentiment submitted by a new Muslim, offering a practical solution in the spirit of morality.
Dr. Bano Murtuja answers this question submitted by a concerned Muslimah.
As you are not required to hijab in front of your parents, you may be able to wear the hijab when out of their presence, but refrain from doing so within the home. As time progresses, and they see positive shifts in your character God willing, the hijab may become less jarring to them. – Dr Bano Murtuja
Conversion Process – Testification of Faith (Shahada)
The testification of faith is powerful. This answer outlines the simplicity of converting to Islam. The door to Islam opens with this belief: There is no God but Allah and Muhammed is His messenger. This section answers many doubts and confusion relating to the testification of faith by our trained and reliable scholars.
Do not let the community make a trophy out of you or put you on a platform too soon, at the same time do not hesitate to get involved nor be dismayed if they fall short in welcoming you come up because you are under the protection & hospitality of Allah Himself who found you lost and guided you.
Shaykh Abdullah Misra, On Converting to Islam
Articles – Laila’s Story
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Final Thoughts – Shaykh Abdullah Misra
Make an abundance of supplication (duaa) for yourself and others, because later you will realize that in the pure state of just having your sins forgiven as a new Muslim – an amazing number of your prayers would have been accepted. Make note of the people who help you along the way and always pray for them, even if your paths separate. Resist the temptation to look down on cultural Muslims because of your newfound knowledge, and rather work to improve yourself and others with your fresh perspective.
Shaykh Abdullah Misra: Biography
Shaykh Abdullah Misra was born in Toronto, Canada in 1983. His family hails from India and he was raised in the Hindu tradition. He embraced Islam in 2001 while at the University of Toronto, from where he completed a Bachelor of Business Administration. He then traveled overseas in 2005 to study the Arabic language and Islamic sciences in Tarim, Yemen for some time, as well as Darul Uloom in Trinidad, West Indies. He spent 12 years in Amman, Jordan where he focused on Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith Sciences, Prophetic Biography, and Islamic Spirituality while also working at the Qasid Arabic Institute as Director of Programs. He holds a BA in Islamic Studies (Alimiyya, Darul Uloom) and authorization in the six authentic books of Hadith, and is currently pursuing specialized training in issuing Islamic legal verdicts (ifta). Shaykh Abdullah has also sought knowledge in Canada, Jordan, Egypt, Trinidad, and India.
He holds a certificate in Counselling and often works with new Muslims and those struggling with religious OCD. He is an instructor and researcher in Sacred Law and Theology with the SeekersGuidance. He has taught intensive courses and lectures in Norway, Bosnia, and India, as well as the West Indies.
Shaykh Abdullah has traveled to around 25 countries and currently resides in the West Indies with his wife and children. His personal interests include Indian History, comparative religion, English singing-songwriting, and poetry. Mahatama Gandhi and Abdul Sattar Eidhi hold strong significance for Shaykh Abdullah for their contribution to humanitarian causes.