Welcome home. This was the title of the first week of the New Muslim class KnewBorn. This is a summary of what was discussed, feel free to share this with others, especially new Muslims you know. Also, you can watch the session LIVE next Thursday at 7:00 pm central time at: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/andalucialive
What is meant by "Welcome Home"? It means that as a convert you have returned to your initial state or fitrah in Arabic. Initial state in terms of the belief in a divine being (Creator) and your character meaning the feelings of guilt we all feel when we commit bad deeds. Here are a few wonderful examples of this meaning from the Qur'an:
"If they embark on a ship, and the ship gets into trouble, they call upon Allah, being sincerely obedient to Him; but when He brings them safely to land, they start committing shirk (giving credit for their safe arrival to others); so that they may become ungrateful for the blessing that We have bestowed on them and enjoy the life of this world! They will soon come to know the result of this behavior." (Al'Anakabut 29: 65)
How many of us have been through a traumatic event, like a car accident? The first person we call out for while in danger is God. This isn't unique, everyone does this. Why? Because as humans we know we are not free from danger and that no one can protect us like God can.
"Whenever any adversity strikes you at sea, all those to whom you pray besides Him forske you except He; yet when He brings you safe to land, you turn your backs upon Him. Indeed, man is ever ungrateful." (Al-Isra 17: 67)
Meaning of Islam
If you were asked by someone who wasn't Muslim, what Islam means, what would you say? A lot of people would say Islam means peace, that is not entirely true. The meaning of Islam has two definitions a linguistic (how people perceive it from language) meaning and divine meaning (stated in a divine source, Qur'an).
The linguistic meaning of Islam is:
"The state of submission and surrender for means of safety and soundness:
The divine meaning:
"Submission and surrender exclusively to the Creator of the heavens and the earth for means of peace and salvation."
Submit + Surrender = Peace
What does it mean to submit and surrender? As humans, we have the freewill to choose what we do, like what religion we choose to follow. To submit means that you leave the judgment to God and to surrender means you follow what God says no matter if you know the "why" behind it or not. Through these means of submitting and surrendering do we attain peace.
"Are they looking for a religion other than the Deen (religion and Way of Life) of Allah knowing well that everything in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, has submitted to Him? And to Him they shall all return." (A'lay Imran 3: 83)
|Photo of the KnewU class|
Test of a Lifetime
When someone accepts Islam, it can be hard to interact with family, friends and society. People may look down upon you. This is a test of a lifetime for the new Muslim.
Family members may consider you an outcast (black sheep), disown you or belittle you by saying you are just "going through a phase". These types of things can really hurt the new Muslim, but we must maintain our Islamic identity and respect our family members, especially our parents. As a new Muslim, you are the "face" of Islam to them so you must continue to be kind to them. InshAllah things will get better with time and patience.
Friends may consider you weird for the things you are doing, wearing or saying now. Converts often lose friends when they start practicing Islam because your friends may see you as a completely different person. If they are a true friend they will respect your beliefs, if not, you have to make a decision if this person is worth hanging around with. When making friends keep this hadith (saying of the Prophet peace be upon him) in mind:
"The person is on the path of his friend, so look closely at whom you befriend."
The Muslim community may look at you strangely possibly because of the way you look. The new Muslim may not feel the brotherhood/sisterhood because of this. New Muslims must keep in mind that YOU have a right to the Masjid and to be a Muslim. Don't let others stir you away.
When talking about Islam to others, make sure to mention to them that they must separate the doer from the doctrine.
That is all for this weeks session. InshAllah I'll be back next week for a recap of session number two.
Please let me know what you think and any suggestions you have. Remember you can watch the session LIVE at the address above. I ask that any of you who know a convert or someone looking for information on Islam to direct them to this post. May Allah reward you all.
Special thinks to the instructor of the class, Abdullah Oduro a Islamic University of Medina graduate and convert of 14 years. May Allah reward him.