20 August, 2018 | 8 Dhu al-Hijjah, 1439 H

"What corrupts generosity is mentioning it."

- The Prophet Muhammad (s)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

Abstract

Being a Muslim gets you noticed. As a new Muslim, you’re a representative of the religion. Being a convert to Islam also brings about new challenges, like loneliness, despair and dealing with Muslims who give Islam a bad name. 

INTRODUCTION 

 

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters. 

 

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel! So now you’re a Muslim. Welcome to Islam! Converting to Islam is not a new thing. Many people convert to Islam. However, not many people, including people who were born into the religion, are aware of the implications of being a Muslim aside some basic beliefs and some ritual actions.  

 

Our curriculum is full of lessons covering the basics of Islam, its creed and dos and don’ts. So as you can guess, our goal here isn’t to rehash all of that. You can simply browse and learn on your own at this point.  

 

What we do want to do though is go over some of the things you’ve achieved as a new Muslim as well as the challenges that you will face as a Muslim. From our own experience, we’ve seen that the challenges usually revolve around personal and social struggles rather than issues with Islamic creed.  

 

BODY OF TEXT 

 

Now that you’re a Muslim, it’s likely that your going to be part of some Muslim community. If not, then you’re still going to be part of a human community. Whether you’re with Muslims or non-Muslims, as a believing and practicing Muslim, you will inevitably become a representative of Islam. 

 

Your knowledge, and more importantly, the way you behave with others is going to reflect on people’s reflections about Islam. As a Muslim among other non-Muslims, your actions are going to be noticed more. People will see that you don’t eat and drink the things you did before, they’ll notice that you go off to prayers and on special days, you fast.  

 

It’s likely that they will see physical changes in you as well. You might start growing a beard if you’re a man (which is obligatory for males in Islam) or you might start wearing the hijab (which is also obligatory for women in Islam).  

 

As people will see you as a Muslim, you need to be extra careful in how you carry yourself and respond to others. Physically speaking, the Prophet Muhammad (s) recommended that Muslims be clean, neat, well dressed and smell good.  

 

In terms of our attitudes, we need to be extra careful in how we conduct ourselves. For example, if someone insults you, it is important that you don’t insult them back. Instead, the Messenger of Allah (s) recommended that we respond in kindness and compassion. In other words, he recommended that we take pity on them and give polite responses and set aside any form of animosity.  

 

Even the worst of people will take notice of this kind of good behavior. 

 

As a new Muslim, all of your past sins are forgiven. Yet being a Muslim also brings about its own set of difficulties, especially when it comes to our interactions with others.  

 

So what are these challenges? Let’s look at some of the most common ones: 

 

Loneliness  

 

If you go to most centers, you’ll notice that most Muslims tend to come from select ethnic backgrounds. The majority of these groups tend to be South Asians, Arabs or Iranians. These groups don’t only treat Islamic centers as religious centers, but treat them as cultural centers as well.  

 

Many converts who come to these centers are often outside of these cultural spheres so it’s natural that they feel a bit left out. In some centers, people are welcoming but in others, they are not always welcoming, especially when they see people who are not part of familiar cultural backgrounds. 

 

Many communities are quick to accept newcomers, but others may take time. The key here is to show great patience and to make oneself familiar to the community. During this time, talk to people and make friends. Over time you will be accepted and feel comfortable.  

 

Not all centers are English friendly, but English friendly centers are growing, especially in the United States. If you can, make sure to visit Islamic centers that have English programs. 

 

Despair 

 

Despair is a common symptom for all human beings, not just converts to Islam. In the case of converts, despair usually comes for many reasons. They include, among other things, difficulties in getting the right answers to tough questions, difficulties in finding a spouse or the extent of time it takes to make new friends who share your faith.  

 

There are no easy solutions for these problems, but there are ways to manage them. 

 

As a convert, remember that the internet is your best friend. The internet is filled with books from competent Muslim scholars. Here you can refer to Islamiclibrary.com where thousands of books exist where you can find all sorts of answers to burning questions. If that doesn’t work, remember that our website also connects you with scholars. 

 

Although it is your best friend, you should always be careful as there is bad material out there as well. Make sure to go to legitimate websites and read stuff that's written by credible authors. 

 

The internet is also a place for many converts to find spouses. There are many Muslim matrimonial sites that are there to help. 

 

The internet again is a good place to make new friends who share your interests. Social media is one, but so are posting and chat forums which again, we offer over here on our site! 

 

Remember that Allah created a world where there is always a way out for our despair. The key is to keep our eyes open, minds open, be patient. I know that words are worth a dime a dozen, but this is something to think about. 

 

If you see that your despair is not ending, try talking to an Islamic counselor at your local Islamic center or an experienced and trustable Muslim who can guide you through this time of darkness. 

 

Muslims Giving Islam a Bad Name 

 

Yes, you will come across Muslims who give Islam a bad name. You will see this on the media, on social media, or in person at work or at an Islamic center. Personal experiences like these can be discouraging, but they are only discouraging if our knowledge of Islam is limited.  

 

Make sure to learn about Islam, the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as). Learn to judge Islam based on its own merits and not by its followers. Remember that the Devil worshipped God for over 6000 years yet with one test he deviated. What do you expect of regular Muslims who have only been around for a few years? 

 

Don’t judge Islam by its followers, even if some of them are clerics, judge it by its own merits and people will not discourage you! 

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

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Q1

As a new convert, I can’t find someone to marry, what can I do?

Online matrimonial sites are good places to start with if centers are not working for you.

Q2

If I can’t judge Islam by its followers, what should I judge it upon?

The merits of Islam come from the Prophet (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as), not regular followers.

Q3

As a new Muslim, what happens to my past sins?

God forgives all of your past sins when you convert to Islam

Muslim
God
Allah
Ahl al-Bayt
Muslim Community
loneliness
despair
muslims giving islam a bad name

Converts to Islam by Ansaryian