Coming to Islam is something really special. It is a big step. A new phase of life is starting. It means a lot of change and challenges. But converting to Islam also means to find peace, tranquility, love. It means to finally arrive, to have found what you were looking for since a long time. However, converting to Islam is not the end of this process. Coming to Islam is not the final goal of your search.
A Life Long Journey
The process of conversion is only the beginning. It is the starting point of a life long journey. A journey to our wonderful Creator. A journey trying to follow in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet, may Allah shower peace and blessings upon him. It is a journey on the path of lovers of Allah. And we become one of these lovers.
Convert Not Revert
Because of this process, Anse Tamara Gray from rabata.org always stresses the importance of using the word convert and not revert. The word conversion has attached to it the meaning of an on-going process of improvement. While the word revert if translated in Arabic would actually mean murtad, a person who left Islam. In addition, in English the word reversion does not have the meaning of an on-going process of becoming a better person attached to it. It only means returning something to a previous state. This shows the extreme importance of seeing conversion as a process that is a life long journey towards becoming a better person.
One Step at a Time
Knowing that conversion is a process is a big blessing and relief. We know that a process takes time. Being part of a process means to move continuously towards one’s goal but to take one step at a time. However, it also means to have patience. We have to be patient. We will not be able to implement everything right at the beginning. We should have patience with our self and with our progress. When you learn something new, try to master it first. Try to implement it in your daily life first before moving on to the next step.
Set Yourself Realistic Goals
Becoming a convert means to keep moving. Don’t try to implement everything at once. It might overwhelm you and cause you to take steps backwards rather than moving forward to becoming closer to Allah. A sister that recently converted to Islam told me that she put little goals for herself. For example, she wanted to start always covering her head within a time period of three months. Or she wanted to change her wardrobe to be more pleasing to Allah within a certain time frame. This way, she said, it was easier for her to adopt to all the changes in her new life as a Muslim. So, try to make a schedule for your own personal development as a new Muslim. Share your schedule with your fellow Muslim sister or brother to get support to achieve your goal.
Be Confident, Be Proud
One very important aspect of being a new convert is to build your confidence. Showing your Muslim identity needs confidence. Praying needs confidence. Expressing your love and relationship with Allah needs confidence. Covering your head needs confidence. Doing different than the majority of people needs a lot of confidence. You can be proud to be Muslim. Allah chose you to be His servant and slave. He chose you to be the follower of His most beloved, our Prophet Muhammad, may Allah shower peace and blessings on him. To boost your confidence try reading about the earlier Muslims. Read the story of our beloved Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with all of them). Read about the great achievements of Islamic civilizations. Did you know that the first person to try to fly was a Muslim? Many innovations from the medical field, astronomy, or mathematics were made by Muslims. Choosing Islam, you have become a member of a great civilization. You can be proud of it.
Share the Peace
Share your story how you came to Islam. Share the peace you found in Islam. Talk to people about how Islam changed your life. This can also help you to boost your confidence in being Muslim. Show the best side of your new and old self. Convert stories often help other Muslims to connect again to Islam and their Creator. You are the fresh breeze. You can help people to create a deeper relationship with Allah by telling your story. This is a wonderful gift Allah gave to the new brother or sister in Islam. May Allah guide through you.
And Allah is the One who gives guidance.