If you are a New Muslim or are thinking about taking the Shahadah (declaration of faith) then please read this advice carefully.
Firstly if you have not Muslim and not yet thinking of converting to Islam please read the go to the following section
If you have not converted and wish to convert to Islam please read the following article before proceeding:
If you have recently converted to Islam then I will say that many New Muslims could have saved themselves from much hardship and confusion if they followed the following advice and guidelines as to what to do.
First of all. You should realize that after converting to Islam you will be tested by Allah as to how firm you are on your Islam.
"Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: "We believe," and will not be tested.
"And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allah knows all that before putting them to test)". ( Quran 29:2.-3)
Not only do these tests separate the sincere Muslim from the insincere Muslim but they also enable a Muslim to reach a higher rank in heaven.
It was narrated by al-Bukhaari (2581) that Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “In Paradise there are one hundred levels that Allah has prepared for the Mujahideen who strive for the sake of Allah. (The distance) between each two levels is like the distance between the heavens and the earth. When you ask of Allah, ask Him for al-Firdaws for it is in the middle of Paradise and is the highest part of Paradise. Above it is the Throne of the Most Merciful and from it spring forth the rivers of Paradise.
There are 100 levels in heaven and the best is called Al Firdous. So to reach the best level one should go through a more difficult set of tests. Those human beings that Allah honoured to become Prophets were tested the most. After them the ones who are tested the most are the pious. No one is tested beyond their capability. So no one can say I can not bare these tests nor say they are overwhelming and impossible. Allah made us and knows what we can bear.
Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: "If Allah loves a people, He tries them, and whoever has patience will have patience, and whoever is anxious will be anxious." (Reported by Imam Ahmad; Saheeh al-Jaami, 1706).
Again Allah says
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, e.t.c..).
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: "Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."
They are those on whom
are the Salawat (.i.e.. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be
forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is
they who are the guided-ones. (Quran 2:155-157)
If you are having difficulty dealing with the tests then you should immediately email MuslimConverts.com and I will InshaAllah give you advice and counselling.
Alhamdulillah I have been able to help those converts brothers and sisters who had a difficult time coping with the tests
So email firstname.lastname@example.org
2 When you become a Muslim. There will be a lot to learn of Islam and a lot of things to unlearn from your previous culture and religion.
Islam governs every aspect of a Muslims life and thus has its own way of life.
It is beautiful and wonderful way of life. After all it is from the one who created us.
Don't jump feet first
A) Priorities what you need to know first and what you need to do first. Don't get dragged into debates. Some Muslims are passionate about Islam and so they should be. It is very easy to offend some one by saying the wrong thing when one has little knowledge. The famous phrase LITTLE KNOWLEDGE IS VERY DANGEROUS is very true.
There are things that one can say which can take a person out of Islam. If you say such things in front of other Muslims they may start getting very angry and declare you as a non-Muslim, so please do not think you know everything about a topic in Islam just because you have read a book or two on Islam.
B) Do not let Muslims push you into doing speeches on Islam. Just say I am learning and when I have learnt sufficiently I will get back to you on this matter. The information one gives out must be correct and one is often asked many questions on the spot for which you may not have the correct answers. The person asking the questions can even confuse you and effect your Islam badly. Islam requires a person to say the truth. Rather than taking a guess or saying what pleases the public.
In the west we are often brain washed to hypothesizing about things we do not know the answer to. This we must avoid when talking about Islam.
C) Do not worry about changing names right away or getting married and do not let others push you into getting married. Bad marriages have sometimes ended in driving a New Muslim away from Islam. Do not start setting up web sites or groups. You can end up leading each other astray. Just because some one is also a New Muslims does not mean he or she will be a guiding beacon of light for you or you for them. In fact some are in the dark about Islamic rulings on many issues and it is like the blind leading the blind. Muslims have a tendency to hook up a new Muslim with another convert brother or sister. From my many years of experience and research I seen the problems this has caused.
3) Try to read and understand what the conditions of the shahadah (declaration of faith) are and what negates ones Islam and here is a collection of articles you should read and understand thoroughly.
LEARN YOUR PRAYERS!!!
After saying the Shahadah and doing the various purification and the Ghusl as described in the link above. You priority is to learn how to pray. You may want to know how to change your name or know about issues like marriage and so on. No leave them alone and learn how to pray. If you jump onto other issues and you have not started to learn how to pray then you may be sinning.
MuslimConverts.com has prepared for you easy to follow prayer guides for all 5 daily compulsory prayers on the following link
If you have any difficulties then email email@example.com
5) There are certain foods Muslims can eat and certain which they can not eat this I have described in detail along with the Islamic etiquettes of eating and drinking
6 You must dress Islamically.
The Muslim males must not shave their beards nor should they wear silk cloths. They must have their pants above their ankles.
The Muslim females dress is described in detail on www.muslimconverts.com/hijab
7. Character of a Muslim
8. Easy to follow guide for all. Due to the Islamic calendar being based on lunar months we cannot know the exact day Ramadan will begin until a day before the start of Ramadan
In 2012 Ramadan will be around late July. Every year Ramadan starts 11-15 days earlier than the previous year
Please do not worry. Allah willing the exact date will be announced on the website when it is known.
Here is the our Ramadan Guide www.muslimconverts.com/ramadan
Please Start reading the Ramadan Guide at it one to two months before the start of Ramadan
After reading from the website if you still have questions on Ramadan then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or post your message on the website discussion board. You must try and do this before Ramadan because all Muslims are busy building their taqwa (piety) in Ramadan by praying more and reading Quran more..
In Ramadan we will also have Ramadan pages for you ,were you can read a new page every day of Ramadan.
9. After you have accomplished all this then please read the various sections of the website
Finally welcome to Islam and we are glad to have you as our Brother (if you are male ) or as our Sister (if you are female)