New to Islam Reader: A Trusted Collection of Resources for Converts

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

Do you have any questions? Submit questions here for our trained and reliable scholars to answer. All SeekersGuidance services and offerings are completely free of charge. 

 

Marriage and Children

I Am a Convert and Ready to Marry 

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.

Husband not allowing me to support my mother after marriage 

Can Muslim women marry Christian men?

Can I see my family without my husband’s permission?

I Converted to Islam but My In-Laws Do Not Accept Me. What Do I Do?

Is There Any Leeway for a Muslim Woman to Marry a Non-Muslim Man?

Should I Marry a Muslim Man Who Does Not Pray?

Parents Don’t Approve of Marriage Despite My Conversion

Should I Marry a Muslim Man Who Does Not Pray?

Circumcision Rites & Imitating Non-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

Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (I)

Dealing With Non-Muslim Parents (II)

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.

Leaving Children with Non-Muslim Grandparents

I Am a Convert and Live With My Adopted Parents. What Are My Obligations to Them?

How Should I Tell Parents About Becoming Muslim?

My Mother Is Not Muslim. How Can I Help Her?

Does Not Talking About Islam With a Non-Muslim Mean That I Am Pleased With Disbelief?

Is My Family a Victim of Witchcraft?

Does the Tradition Regarding Angels Not Entering a Home With Dogs Affect the Convert Living With Non-Muslim Family?

I Have a Non-Muslim Family. How Should I Go About Writing My Will?

Is It Permissible to Supplicate for Non-Muslim Family Members? Is It Permissible to Attend a Cremation?

Should Muslim Converts Break Ties With Non-Muslim Family Members?

What Is the Proper Etiquette in Giving Condolences to the Family of a Deceased Who Is Non-Muslim?

How We Should Treat Our Non-Muslim Friends in Regards to Sin?

How to Deal With a Non-Muslim Relative’s Death

Attending Christmas Festivities of One’s Non-Muslim Family

Can I Eat Supermarket Meat With My Christian Family to Make Them Happy?

I Am a Convert to Islam and Struggle to Interact with My Family.

My Fiancé Does Not Like Me Keeping in Contact With My Non-Muslim Male Cousin. What Should I Do?

I Don’t Want My Husband’s Friend to Die as a Non-Muslim. What Can We Do?

Dealing With Non-Muslim In-laws Who Dislike Muslims

Inheriting and Property Bequests from Non-Muslims

 

Apostasy

Apostasy and Good Deeds

 

Loneliness and Depression

I Became Muslim and Am Now Lonely and Depressed. What Can I Do?

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

Does a Convert Have to Make-Up Past Prayers?

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.

Validity of Prayer

Making Up Missed Prayers: I Believed but Did Not Utter the Testimony of Faith

Can New Muslims Hold the Qur’an and Recite from It During Prayer?

Can New Muslims Recite from a Copy of the Qur’an During Prayer?

Making Up Missed Prayers: I Believed but Did Not Utter the Testimony of Faith

Convert Muslim: Is My Prayer Valid?

Illegitimate Children and Leading the Prayer.

What Is the Proper Etiquette When Reading the Quran?

 

Forgiveness

Should I Seek Forgiveness from a Girlfriend I Wronged Before I Was Muslim?

Shaykha Zaynab Ansari answers this honest and heartfelt sentiment submitted by a new Muslim, offering a practical solution in the spirit of morality.

Purification of the Heart

How to Repent from a Statement of Disbelief?

 

Hijab

My Non-Muslim Parents Get Upset When I Wear the Hijab

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

Can Muslim Women Wear Tight Jeans and Tight Dresses at Home?

Difficulties with Hijab in the West

 

Seeking Knowledge

Keeping One’s Faith While Navigating Differences of Opinion

What Is Belief and What Is Disbelief?

 

Conversion Process – Testification of Faith (Shahada) 

Does Saying the Testification of Faith (Shahadah) Suffice for Becoming a Muslim?

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.

I Have Doubts That Make Me Question Whether I’m Muslim

I am Hesitating Over Becoming Muslim. Could You Clarify Some Issues?

Shahada Online

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

I’m Hesitating Over Becoming Muslim. Could You Clarify Some Issues?

I Am Hesitating About Entering Islam. What Should I Do?

Should I Clear All My Doubts Before Converting to Islam? Should I Change My Name and Cut My Hair?

Have I Converted to Islam?

Is It Permissible to Add the Mention of Jesus to the Testimony of Faith When Becoming a Muslim?

Uncertainty Regarding the Validity of Ghusl and My Testimony of Faith (Shahada)

Have I Converted to Islam?

What Should I Do If I Want to Become Muslim Again?

Conversion to Islam and How to Remove Major Ritual Impurity

Overwhelmed and Confused in Trying to Understand and Practice Islam: What Can I Do?

I Have Doubts That Make Me Question Whether I’m Muslim

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

Muslim Covert – Betraying Parents by Becoming a Muslim?

Muslim Convert – Wearing a Scarf to Hide her Cancer?

 

Beneficial SeekersGuidance Courses

Introduction to Islam: What it Means to be Muslim

This course is based on the clearest, most concise, and comprehensive introduction to Islam in print: Being Muslimby Asad Tarsin. Being Muslim presents content that is both reliable—rooted in Islamic scholarship—and not obscured in jargon and difficult terminology. Using the Hadith of Gabriel as a basic framework. It covers the basics of Islamic belief, essentials of worship, spiritual refinement, a brief examination of the life of the Prophet Muhammad, an introduction to the Qur’an, and guidelines for living an Islamically ethical lifestyle.

Absolute Essentials of Islam – Getting Started With Your Belief and Practice

The Essentials of Belief for Muslim Youth

Tafsir of the Fatiha and Juz Amma: The Qur’an’s Message in Summary (1,78-81)

First Step in Arabic: Grammar and Simple Sentences for Beginners

Juz One: Introduction to Guidance

Juz Two: Worship, Relationships, and Striving For Allah

 

Beneficial SeekersGuidance Podcasts

Why Islam is True

Islam FAQ: Clear Reliable Answers to Common Questions

Prophets in the Qur’an, Practical Lessons from the Qur’anic Stories

Spiritual Counsel, Wisdom on Turning to God from the Islamic Tradition

Why? Sincere Questions, Sincere Answers

This is Your Faith  : A Deeper Understanding of the Prophet’s Life

Adab: The Art Of Doing Things Right

 

Seekers Book Club

Keep up to date with monthly interactive live sessions – seekersguidance.org/bookclub


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.

 Triumphant in Times of Tribulations by Following the Prophet

Triumphant in the times of Tribulations by Following the Prophet

By Shaykh Faraz Khan

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

In today’s age and time, we see many trials and tribulations all around the world. Perhaps, we feel that the most affected people from all these tribulations are from the Muslim community. Shaykh Faraz talks about how we can see the light in the midst of the darkness by following our beloved Prophet and his illuminated path (peace and blessings be upon him).


Tribulations in the Prophetic Life

Tribulation is what defines the context of Seerah. Our Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) underwent the most difficult of trials. He was orphaned at birth, losing his father Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him). He lost his mother Aminah (may Allah be pleased with her) at the age of 6. Then, he lived under the care of his grandfather Abdul Mutalib whom he lost at the age of 8. Following this, he was brought under the care of Abu Talib and was brought up in his house.

He had seven children: Qasim, Zainab, Ruqaiya, Umm Kulthum, Fatima, Abdullah, Ibrahim (may Allah be pleased with them all). Of the seven children, he lost six of them in his life except for Fatima.

He was persecuted by his people, his own kinsmen, his own family. He was ridiculed and fought against, hostility was shown to him. All throughout the blessed Prophetic life, we find tribulation after tribulation. And when he was asked, what his most difficult time was? He referred to the year of sadness (Am al-Ḥuzn).

 

The Year of Sadness

The year in which our beloved Muhammad lost two of his loved ones: Abu Talib and Lady Khadija.

Abu Talib

A father figure to the Prophet but was also his means for the political protection in Mecca. Despite the hostility and ridicule directed against the Prophet, the Quraysh could not wage the war. They could not attack or threaten his blessed life while Abu Talib was alive. Because of the tribal system of the Quraysh and Abu Talib being the head of his clan, maintained that protection of him.

Lady Khadija

Lady Khadija (may Allah be pleased with her) is the beloved blessed wife, companion, best friend of the Prophet. She is the minister of truth, the genuine support for the Prophet. She is the one whom Allah Most High decreed that the Messenger of Allah would have most of his children. 

During their marriage, the revelation began and in the famous Hadith of the beginning of revelation, our mother Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) describes that when the Prophet came back from Hira after the first revelation and the encounter with Jibreel – Lady Khadija comforted him.

 

A Great Loss

After losing Abu Talib and Lady Khadija, the Prophet decided to make dawah to Tai’f, a place near Mecca. He preached and invited them to Islam. He was seeking support so that he can continue his preaching in Mecca. Perhaps they might afford him the political support now that Abu Talib passed.

But the leader of Tai’f mocked him, they were rude to him. Later, when the Prophet made dawah to the public of Tai’f, their leaders riled up the people to be hostile towards him and they got slaves and children to throw stones at him. This is the most intense tribulation for our Beloved Prophet.

 

Prophetic Light Tribulations

Supplication the of Prophet in Tai’f:

“O Allah! I complain to You of my weakness, my scarcity of resources, and the humiliation I have been subjected to by the people. O Most Merciful of those who are merciful. O Lord of the weak and my Lord too. To whom have you entrusted me? To a distant person who receives me with hostility? Or to an enemy to whom you have granted authority over my affair? So long as You are not angry with me, I do not care. Your Afiya is of more expansive relief to me. I seek refuge in the light of Your Face by which all darkness is dispelled and every affair of this world and the next is set right, lest Your anger or Your displeasure descends upon me. I desire Your pleasure and satisfaction until You are pleased. There is no power and no might except by You.”

This supplication teaches us his manifesting his servanthood to Allah, the Exalted. This was his concern: is this a manifestation that Allah is upset with me? Or is this simply a test? A test which is an expression of Allah’s love. Of course for the Prophet, everything was an expression of the intimate love of Allah for him.

 

Is Allah Upset With Me?

In facing hardship – we turn to Allah Most High in servitude and we ask Allah and ourselves: Is this a sign that Allah is upset with me? Or is this a raising of my ranks?

How do we answer these questions? By seeking forgiveness and asking ourselves: am I involved in something displeasing to Allah? Also, a way for us to have an indication of whether a test is an expression of Allah’s pleasure and love or His displeasure is how we respond during it? Do we have the patience, fortitude, and contentment with Allah Most High, and what He has decreed for us?

“Whoever relies on the beautiful choice of Allah for him, he will not desire anything other than what Allah chose for him” –Hussain ibn Ali

It is beautifully indicated by Shaykh Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani (may Allah be pleased with him) when he said: if a person has patience and is content with Allah’s decree then it’s a sign that the test is coming from Allah’s pleasure and love. But if a person is lacking patience and falling apart then it is a sign that the test is from the displeasure of Allah.

“Your afiya is of a more expansive relief to me”

In the above dua when the Prophet said: “Your afiya is of a more expansive relief to me”. It can be understood from another Hadith, where the Prophet said that the best thing to ask Allah for, after certitude is afiya; afiya encompasses all good in terms of one’s life and livelihood.

The Prophet’s light triumphs during tribulation because his light is a mirror and expression of the light of Allah Most High. Allah is the light and the source of all light in the heavens and the earth (Quran 24:35).

 

The Answer is Allah

The answer to the philosophical problem of evil and suffering is explicitly given in this dua because it is the light of Allah that removes all darknesses. In other words, if we recognize Allah is governing all of our tribulations and He is the owner and master of every moment of existence and Allah is the one who has decreed everything eternally, then the darknesses of our tribulations, trials, anxiety, depression and trauma are illuminated by Allah Himself.

 

Reliance on Allah

  “Your need for Allah is intrinsic to what you are, who you are? It never leaves us, and when tribulations occur they are but reminders of what we forget, that we need Allah in every moment” – Ibn Ata-Allah

Relying on Allah, the illuminator and the light of the heavens and earth lights up the darknesses. The darkness of our circumstance is illuminated when we express our absolute intrinsic need for Allah.

The light of the Prophet is at heart the most salient virtue of his life is his perfection of slavehood to Allah, the Exalted, and expressing his need to Allah.

“If one’s need for Allah is authentic and real then one’s enrichment through Allah will be authentic and real.” – Abu Bakr Al-Kittani 

 

Means for increasing contentment with Allah Most High

The beauty of the Prophet, his blessed light is a perfect reflection of Al-Fatiha itself which begins after the Basmala, all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. Whatever our circumstances are, whether we are having the good times or the bad times, what should be reverberating and echoing in our hearts and on our tongues is all praise belongs to Allah, Lord of all the worlds.


 

About Shaykh Faraz Khan

Shaykh Faraz A. Khan has spent the last several years studying and teaching traditional Islamic sciences, with a focus on Hanafi jurisprudence, Hadith studies and methodology, theology, logic, and Arabic grammar.

In 2004 Shaykh Faraz moved to Amman, Jordan. Since then, he has been honored to sit at the feet of many eminent scholars. His teachers include Shaykh Ahmad al-Jammal, Shaykh Abdul Qadir al-Ani (Allah have mercy on him), Shaykh Akram Abdul Wahhab, Dr. Ashraf Muneeb, Dr. Salah Abu ’l-Hajj, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, Shaykh Bilal Najjar, Shaykh Hamza al-Bakri, and Shaykh Naeem Abdul Wali.

Shaykh Faraz also translated and annotated the classical Hanafi primer Ascent to Felicity (Maraqi ‘l-Sa`adat) by Imam Shurunbulali [published by White Thread Press, 2010], which Shaykh Faraz Rabbani has described as “the best mid-sized manual of Hanafi fiqh available in English. Highly recommended.”