What have we to offer once Dave decides to become Dawud?
I’ve already blogged about how as a community, we are focused on da’wah (perhaps not always successfully) to bring newbies to Islam. A noble goal no doubt.
I remember speaking to someone, who I can’t say I’ve ever met before, last Ramadhan at a mosque in Swindon who raised the question:
What have we got to offer someone new to our deen, once the fruit of da’wah has paid off? Who’s going to teach Dave/Katie how to pray? But our mosque doesn’t have a women’s section?!
The answers will depend upon the community, its location, its members and its leaders. For example, the community in Luton may be more close-knit and inclusive than, say, in East London where there may be many sub-communities and cliques due to the fact that it’s a large area. This is just an example.
The Norwich Muslim Community is one where the majority are British-born converts to Islam. It is the only continuous, indigenous Muslim community in Britain and the Ihsan mosque is the first in the UK, since that of Abdullah Quilliam in 1889, to be established by British converts to Islam.
This is an example of a community that isn’t just “front-loading” (lit: to concentrate efforts in an early period i.e. da’wah) but has the necessary people, knowledge and foresight to introduce Deen Intensive courses for new Muslims, and regular community events.
As I’m in Bristol I thought it would be helpful to list the organisations that often hold activities and events for Muslims and non-Muslims alike. You should find this under the “Bristol etc.” menu at the top of this page.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Having spoken to those who have embraced Islam, I thought it helpful to briefly list some points they would suggest to Dave and Katie (by that I mean newbies to Islam – I have no idea why I keep using those names), having been in their position in the not too distant past.
I would recommend…
- Taking things slowly, but doing the small things consistently;
- Maintaining good adab with family and existing friends (if they are a positive influence on you);
- Keeping good company, getting familiar with a masjid and speaking to people who may not perhaps make the effort with you;
- Learning your fard ‘ayn. This goes with the next point…
- Taking advantage of the Seeker’s Guidance discount for new Muslims;
- Following one of the schools of our rightly guided imams;
- Making lots of prayers on the Prophet (upon him be peace) – Sidi Ahmad Zarruq considered the heart’s purification from this to be akin to “a shakyh when there’s no shaykh“;
- Understanding that we all make mistakes; and
- Finding solance in the fact that you’re doing this all for the sake of Allah and his Messenger (upon him be peace).
I wouldn’t recommend…
- Taking things too slow;
- Mistaking Google for a Shaykh;
- Thinking that chino’s are “too western“;
- Thinking that you have to abandon your hopes of studying Medicine at University for a life of kitchen service to your Muslim husband.
- Thinking all non-Muslims are Kuffar and you shouldn’t go near them because they’re najis;
- Becoming self-righteous because you have what resembles the makings of a bird’s nest on your chin thus giving you the right to preach to your parents (they’ll think you’re a loon); and
- Joining in with the sisters-only seerah classes on Monday’s at 7:30 at your local Mosque.