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A Well-Balanced Life after Conversion

Well-balanced Life after Conversion

Islam teaches that the most important thing after conversion to Islam is to focus on the basics and to leave out the minor and controversial issues.

When the light of guidance approaches someone, he/she seizes the opportunity and converts to Islam.

We would like to congratulate all those who made their minds and took the best decision in their life and became Muslims. Welcome to the fold of Islam. We ask God the Almighty to strengthen your faith and reward you abundantly.

After conversion to Islam there are many choices ahead of new Muslims. Some new Muslims start to learn the basics of their new religion and way of life from authentic sources. Some others focus on how to cut their relations with their families because they remind them of their past. Another group has excessive indulgence in the practices of their families which contradict the teachings of Islam. Still a final group commits itself to the beliefs and practices of a certain Islamic group or a certain Islamic center without giving themselves a chance to evaluate such practices.

If you are in a non-Muslim country you will recognize new Muslims from their long beard and short clothes with a siwak (a teeth cleaning twig) in their hands. We are not against this way of dressing, but most importantly is how we deal and interact with people. What should new Muslims do to live a well-balanced life after conversion?

A Practical Religion

Before delving into this issue, I would like to emphasize that Islam is a practical religion and needs to be embraced fully in our life. Islam teaches that the most important thing after conversion to Islam is to focus on the basics and to leave out the minor and controversial issues. First and foremost, we should do our best to correct the new Muslims’ understanding of Islam.

The details come later. Once a new Muslim’s firm belief in God is established, we can introduce the rest of the beliefs and pillars of Islam and how to lead his life in accordance with what pleases God.

This is exactly what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) did when he advised his Companion Mu`adh ibn Jabal who was going to Yemen to call the Yemeni people to Islam.

“You are going to a nation from the people of the Scripture, so let the first thing to which you will invite them, be the Oneness of Allah. If they learn that, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them, five prayers to be offered in one day and one night. And if they pray, tell them that Allah has enjoined on them zakat (obligatory alms) of their properties and it is to be taken from the rich among them and given to the poor. And if they agree to that, then take from them zakat but avoid the best property of the people.” (Al Bukhari)

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi relates this anecdote:

’I was shocked and dismayed during a tour of North America to find that devout young Muslims, who belong to some Muslim groups, have initiated a great controversy because Muslims sit on chairs during the Saturday and Sunday lectures in mosques instead of sitting on mats on the ground, and do not face the Ka`bah as Muslims do and also because those who attend wear shirts and trousers rather than loose outer coverings, and sit at dining tables to eat rather than on the ground.

I was angered by this kind of thinking and behavior in the heart of North America. I, therefore, addressed these people: It would be more worthwhile in this materialistic society to make your paramount concern the call to monotheism and the worship of Allah, to remind people of the hereafter, of the noble Islamic values, and to warn them of the heinous acts in which the materially-developed countries have been totally immersed.

The norms of behavior and the ameliorations in religious practice are governed by time as well as place, and should be introduced only after the most necessary and fundamental tenets have been firmly established. In another Islamic center, people were creating a considerable fuss over the showing of a historical or educational film in a mosque, claiming that ’mosques have been turned into cinemas’, but forgetting that the purpose of the mosque is to serve the worldly as well as spiritual interests of Muslims.

During the time of Prophet Muhammad the mosque was the center of da`wah and of the state, as well as of social activities. We are all aware of the Prophet’s granting permission to a group of people from Abyssinia to sport with their spears in the middle of his mosque, and that he allowed `A’ishah to watch them.’ (38-9)

To the hard-line sects of Islam, remember Prophet Muhammad’s advice. The Prophet is reported to have said:

“Surely this religion is firm, so walk through it step by step.” (Al Bayhaqi)

Islamic Dress Code

Gradual legislation must be applied on new Muslims. Do not expect from new Muslims to know all the rules and apply them in a day. The Prophet continued to say in the same hadith: “This is because the traveler who is too harsh on his riding animal will not reach his destination, and the riding animal will die.”

Another important issue is that of the Islamic dress code. Some new Muslims insist on wearing short garments because, they argue, the Prophet wore it and that they should not imitate non-Muslims. We do not blame those people for applying the Sunnah; what is blameworthy is their insistence on such issues without having proper knowledge. Wearing short garments is desirable, but wearing long clothes is not forbidden if it is just a habit and it is not for showing off and arrogance.

If we read Prophet Muhammad’s biography carefully, we will know that the Prophet wore whatever was available to him. He wore shirts and robes. He also wore garments and garbs made in Yemen and Persia, which were embroidered on the sides with silk.

The Muslim scholar Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyah says:

’The best guidance is the Sunnah of the Prophet, the things he regularly practiced, ordered, and encouraged people to do. His Sunnah in dressing is that he used to wear whatever was available for him whether made of cotton, wool, or linen. He is known to have worn cloaks from the Yemen, green cloaks, jubbah, garments with full length sleeves, shirts, pants and robes, shoes and slippers… He used, sometimes, to grow a plait in the back.’ (Qtd.in Zad al-Ma`ad:134)

Family and Relatives

Some new Muslims treat their families and relatives badly. They treat them with ridicule and contempt because they are still non-Muslims. God says in the Qur’an:

Now (among the best of righteous deeds which) We have enjoined upon man (is) goodness towards his parents; yet (even so,) should they endeavor to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept (as divine), obey then, not… (Al-`Ankabut 29:8)

In another verse we read what means:

(Revere thy parents;) yet should they endeavor to make thee ascribe divinity, side by side with Me, to something which thy mind cannot accept [as divine], obey them not; but [even then] bear them company in this world’s life with kindness… (Luqman 31:15)

Even when some new Muslims tell their family about Islam, they act in an improper way. They make fun of their beliefs and invoke curse on them. God says what means:

Call thou (all mankind] unto thy Sustainer’s path with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and argue with them in the most kindly manner- for, behold, thy Sustainer knows best as to who strays from His path, and best knows He as to who are the right-guided. (An-Nahl 16:125)

In another verse we read:

And do not argue with the followers of earlier revelation otherwise than in the most kindly manner… (Al-`Ankabut 29:46)

Muhammad Asad, the renowned Muslim scholar, comments that: ‘this stress on kindness and tact and, hence, on the use of reason alone in all religious discussions with adherents of other creeds is fully in tune with the basic, categorical injunction’:

There shall be no coercion in matters of faith. (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

God defines the way of treating the Prophet’s companions in the following verse:

It was by the mercy of God that you were lenient with them; had you been harsh and fierce of heart, they would have dispersed from about you. So pardon them, and ask forgiveness for them, and consult them in the matter. And when you are resolved, rely on God; for God loves those who rely. (Aal `Imran 3:159)

There is a special need for understanding the Qur’an and the Sunnah properly. Good Knowledge is the key to understanding them. New Muslims should always act with moderation and should not go to extremes.

 

 

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Works Cited

Al-Qaradawi, Yusuf. Al-Sahwah al-Islamiyyah bayna al-Jumud wa al-Tatarruf. Cairo: Dar al-Shuruq, 2001)

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Family New Muslims

Should I Cut Ties with Relatives Who Are Not Supportive of My Islam?

For new Muslims, it can be hard to be around their family who are not Muslims. What if a sister’s family is making it hard for her? Should she cut ties with the family to avoid the hardship? Do those non-Muslim relatives have rights upon her?

Sheikh Waleed Basyouni answers in the video below…



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Source: Faith IQ

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

The Prophet On Charity and Its Virtues

By Editorial Staff

Charity is one of the best deeds a Muslim can do. Giving charity, we are actually giving back to Allah what He has gifted us, is a practical way of showing gratitude to Allah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.”

Allah will deprive usury of all blessing, but will give increase for deeds of charity: For He loves not creatures ungrateful and wicked. (Al-Baqarah 2:276)

Narrated Asmaa’ bint Abu Bakr that she had gone to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and he said, “Do not shut your money bag; otherwise Allah too will withhold His blessings from you. Spend (in Allah’s Cause) as much as you can afford.“ (Al-Bukhari)

Several hadiths (sayings) of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) indicate the virtues, importance and rewards of spending in the way of Allah.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Save yourself from Hell-fire even by giving half a date-fruit in charity.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Ibn Mas`ud: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying:

“There is no envy except in two: a person whom Allah has given wealth and he spends it in the right way, and a person whom Allah has given wisdom (i.e. religious knowledge) and he gives his decisions accordingly and teaches it to the others.” (Al-Bukhari)

Virtues of Charity

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Every day two angels come down from Heaven and one of them says, ‘O Allah! Compensate every person who spends in Your Cause,’ and the other (angel) says, ‘O Allah! Destroy every miser.’” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah says:

And the likeness of those who spend their wealth seeking Allah’s pleasure, and for the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on a height. The rainstorm smites it and it brings forth its fruit twofold. And if the rainstorm smite it not, then the shower. Allah is Seer of what you do. (Al-Baqarah 2:265)

A Way to Paradise

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said: The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Who among you is fasting today?” Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “I am.” He said: “Who among you has attended a funeral today?” Abu Bakr said: “I have.” He said: “Who among you has fed a poor person today?’ Abu Bakr said: “I have.” He said: “Who among you has visited a sick person today?” Abu Bakr said: “I have.” The Messenger of Allah said: “These (traits) are not combined in a person but he will enter Paradise.” (Muslim)

Narrated Abu Hurairah that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “Tell me of such a deed that will make me enter Paradise, if I do it.” The Prophet said, “Worship Allah, and worship none along with Him, offer the (five) prescribed compulsory prayers perfectly, pay the compulsory Zakah, and fast the month of Ramadan.” The Bedouin said, “By Him, in Whose Hands my life is, I will not do more than this.” When he (the Bedouin) left, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Whoever likes to see a man of Paradise, then he may look at this man.” (Al-Bukhari)

Charitable People Will Be under Allah’s Shade on the Day of Judgment

Narrated Abu Hurayiah:

The Prophet said, “Seven people will be shaded by Allah under His shade on the day when there will be no shade except His. They are: (1) a just ruler; (2) a young man who has been brought up in the worship of Allah, (i.e. worship Allah (Alone) sincerely from his childhood), (3) a man whose heart is attached to the mosque (who offers the five compulsory congregational prayers in the mosque); (4) two persons who love each other only for Allah’s sake and they meet and part in Allah’s cause only; (5) a man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for an illegal sexual intercourse with her and says: I am afraid of Allah; (6) a person who practices charity so secretly that his left hand does not know what his right hand has given (i.e. nobody knows how much he has given in charity). (7) a person who remembers Allah in seclusion and his eyes get flooded with tears.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Best Charity

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

A man came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! Which charity is the most superior in reward?” He replied, “The charity which you practice while you are healthy, niggardly and afraid of poverty and wish to become wealthy. Do not delay it to the time of approaching death and then say, ‘Give so much to such and such, and so much to such and such.’ And it has already belonged to such and such (as it is too late).” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The best charity is that which is practiced by a wealthy person. And start giving first to your dependents.” (Al-Bukhari)

Anas narrated that the Prophet was asked which fast was most virtuous after Ramadan? He said: “Sha`ban in honor of Ramadan” He said: “Which charity is best?” He said: “Charity in Ramadan.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Before It’s Too Late

Narrated Harithah ibn Wahab: I heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) saying,

“O people! Give in charity as a time will come upon you when a person will wander about with his object of charity and will not find anybody to accept it, and one (who will be requested to take it) will say, “If you had brought it yesterday, would have taken it, but today I am not in need of it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Narrated Abu Hurairah:

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The Hour (Day of Judgment) will not be established till your wealth increases so much so that one will be worried, for no one will accept his Zakah and the person to whom he will give it will reply, ‘I am not in need of it.’” (Al-Bukhari)

The Longest Hands

Narrated `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her):

Some of the wives of the Prophet (peace be upon him) asked him, “Who amongst us will be the first to follow you (i.e. die after you)?” He said, “Whoever has the longest hand.” So they started measuring their hands with a stick and Sauda’s hand turned out to be the longest. (When Zainab bint Jahsh died first of all in the caliphate of `Umar), we came to know that the long hand was a symbol of practicing charity, so she was the first to follow the Prophet and she used to love to practice charity. (Sauda died later in the caliphate of Mu`awiyah).

Only the Halal

No charity is accepted from what is grabbed from an illegal way.

Narrated Abu Hurairah that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“If one give in charity what equals one date-fruit from the honestly earned money and Allah accepts only the honestly earned money –Allah takes it in His right (hand) and then enlarges its reward for that person (who has given it), as anyone of you brings up his baby horse, so much as that it becomes as big as a mountain. (Al-Bukhari)

To Relatives

It was narrated from Salman bin `Amir that the Prophet said:

“Giving charity to a poor person is charity, and (giving) to a relative is two things, charity and upholding the ties of kinship.” (An-Nasa’i)

Narrated Zainab (the daughter of Um Salamah): My mother said, “O Allah’s Messenger! Shall I receive a reward if I spend for the sustenance of Abu Salama’s offspring, and in fact they are also my sons?” The Prophet replied, “Spend on them and you will get a reward for what you spend on them.” (Al-Bukhari)

Good Deeds are Charity

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Every Muslim has to give in charity.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Prophet! If someone has nothing to give, what will he do?” He said, “He should work with his hands and benefit himself and also give in charity (from what he earns).” The people further asked, “If he cannot find even that?” He replied, “He should help the needy who appeal for help.” Then the people asked, “If he cannot do that?” He replied, “Then he should perform good deeds and keep away from evil deeds and this will be regarded as charitable deeds.” (Al-Bukhari)

Abu Dharr narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said :

“Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity, commanding good and forbidding evil is charity, your giving directions to a man lost in the land is charity for you. Your seeing for a man with bad sight is a charity for you, your removal of a rock, a thorn or a bone from the road is charity for you. Your pouring what remains from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is charity for you.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Abu Hurairah reported that Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said,

“On every joint of man, there is charity, on every day when the sun rises: doing justice between two men is charity, and assisting a man to ride an animal or to load his luggage on it is charity; and a good word is charity, every step which one takes towards (the mosque for) Salah is charity, and removing harmful things from the way is charity”. (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Even Voluntary Prayers

Even the Duha (fore-noon) Prayer is a charity. It is recommended to pray Duha, the least of which is two rak`ah, the best of which is eight, and the average of which is four or six, and encouragement to do so regularly

Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Apostle (peace be upon him) as saying:

“In the morning charity is due from every bone in the body of every one of you. Every utterance of Allah’s glorification is an act of charity. Every utterance of praise of Him is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Oneness is an act of charity, every utterance of profession of His Greatness is an act of charity, enjoining good is an act of charity, forbidding what is disreputable is an act of charity, and two rak`ahs which one prays in the forenoon will suffice.” (Muslim)

Abu al-Aswad al-Dailani said:

While we were present with Abu Dharr, he said: In the morning, alms are due for him, ever fast is alms, every pilgrimage is alms, every utterance of “Glory to be Allah” is alms, every utterance of “Allah is most great” is alms, every utterance of “Praise be to Allah” is alms. The Messenger of Allah  recounted all such good works. He then said: Two rak’ahs which one prays in the Duha serve instead of that. (Abu Dawud and authenticated by Al-Albani)

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