- Know that upon entering the folds of Islam, Allah has effaced all your previous sins and evil deeds. The Prophet (s) said:
“Do you not know that Islam effaces all that is done before it?” (Muslim #121)
Rather, the evil deeds you committed before you entered Islam are changed into good deeds by the Bounty of Allah. Allah (y) says: And those who do not invoke with Allah another deity or kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed], except by right, and do not commit unlawful sexual intercourse. And whoever should do that will meet a penalty. Multiplied for him is the punishment on the Day of Resurrection, and he will abide therein humiliated, except for those who repent, believe and do righteous work. For them Allah will replace their evil deeds with good. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful. [25:68-70]
Listen to this good news from Allah (y). Those who embrace this religion from the People of the Book – from the Jews and Christians – will be given a double reward, due to their belief in their Messenger and their belief in Muhammad (s). Allah says: Those to whom We gave the Scripture before it, – they believe in [the Qur`an]. And when it is recited to them, they say: ‘We believe in it. Verily, it is the truth from our Lord. Indeed we were, [even] before it, Muslims [submitting to Allah]." These will be given their reward twice over, because they are patient, and repel evil with good, and spend (in charity) out of what We have provided them. [28:52-54]
The Prophet (s) said: “Whoever accepts Islam from the people of the two Books (the Jews and Christians) they will have a double reward. They will receive the rights we enjoy, and they must give the rights we give. And whoever accepts Islam from the pagans [other than them] will have their reward, and they will receive the rights we enjoy, and they must give the rights we give.” (Ahmad #22288) Your records are white and clean, so be careful not to taint it by doing any sins.
- Now that you know the truth, set aside a part of your time to learn your religion. The Messenger of Allah (s) said:
“If Allah desires good for a person, He gives him understanding of the religion.”
(Bukhari #71 & Muslim #1037)
Seek the knowledge of ‘Aqeedah (Creed) and then study everything else you need in your daily life about your religion, such as regards purity and prayer and all the rest. You should also study the rulings of trade and the rulings pertaining to your source of livelihood, so that you do not unintentionally fall into things which are impermissible. Also, try your best to memorize as much from the Book of Allah as you can.S You should understand your religion from its proper and trusted sources, the Book of Allah and the authentic Sunnah of His Messenger (s). Your example should be Muhammad (s), and so you should strive to learn his biography so that you can emulate him. Try your best to be in the company of the scholars and students of knowledge who practice what they preach.
Be advised that not everyone who claims to be a Muslim is a true Muslim. Therefore, you should be careful from who you seek knowledge. Whatever you read or hear should be scrutinized in light of the Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet (s) And the Sunnah should be understood in light of the understanding of the early generations of Muslims. The Prophet (s) said: “I advise you to guard yourself from the punishment of Allah [by obeying Him], hearing and obeying your leaders, even it be an Ethiopian slave. For indeed whoever lives long amongst you will see many differences. So adhere to my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Hold tight and cling on to it with your molar teeth. And beware of innovated matters [in religion], for indeed every innovated matter is an Bid'ah, and every Bid'ah is misguidance.” ( Abu Dawood #4607, Tirmidhi #2676 & ibn Majaah #42) Whatever is in accordance with his Sunnah take it, and whatever opposes it, leave it.
- Al-Wala and Al-Bara. You must love and stand with the believers, and dissociate from the disbelievers and be cautious with them. But to do this does not mean that you have the right to oppress and transgress against them or usurp their rights. You should not hate them, but rather your dislike should only be toward their disbelief and misguidance. This should encourage you to do your utmost to help save them from the Hellfire. Do not prefer disbelievers over Muslims, and do not help them against Muslims. Allah (y) says: The believers, men and women, are allies of one another. [9:71]
- Know that whoever accepts Islam would face opposition, disagreement and harm, especially from those closest to them. You should keep this in mind and know that if you are oppressed in any way, this would elevate your rank, purify your sins, and would serve as a test through which Allah is trying you to see the extent of your truthfulness and steadfastness on your religion. Allah (y) says:
Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. [29:2-3]
Also, the Prophet (s) was asked: “Which people are the most tested?” He replied, “The Prophets, then the righteous after them, and then those after them. Every person is tried according to the strength of his religion, if his religion is strong, he is tested more, and if his religion is weak, his trial is lessened. A person continues to be tested and tried until he walks on the earth totally free of sin (for they would be effaced due to the trials).” (Tirmidhi #2398 & ibn Majaah #4023)Know that they will try to raise doubts in your mind about Islam and constantly mention these doubts to you. Ask the People of Knowledge, so that you may find a proper reply to these doubts, from the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
- Calling to the religion of Allah (Da'wah) and his authentic Sunnah. You must be knowledgeable as regards what you call people to follow. In this manner, the doubts that the doubters of Islam bring about can be easily answered. Give Da'wah as Allah says:
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and dialogue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided. [16:125]
Save others from the Hellfire, just as Allah saved you from it, and start with those closest to you. Be mindful of the words of the Prophet (): “Allah did not send me to make things hard, rather as a teacher and to make things easy.” (Muslim #1478)
Know that there is much good, and a great bounty from Allah in helping a person to become Muslim, The Messenger of Allah (y) said to ‘Ali (d): “If Allah guides a person through you, it is better for you than all that is on the earth.” (Bukhari #2783 & Muslim #2406)
You will receive the same reward as all those who have been guided through you, without their reward being decreased in the least. The Prophet (s) said: “Whoever calls to guidance, he will receive an additional reward equal to those who follow him, without their rewards being reduced in the least. Whoever calls to misguidance, he will receive the sin of those who follow him, without their punishment being reduced in the least.” (Muslim #2674)
Know that conveying this religion to non-Muslims, and calling them to it, is a duty upon every Muslim, so do not fall short in doing this duty. The Messenger of Allah (y) said: “Convey to others (the religion), even if it be one statement.” (Tirmidhi #2669)
You should do your best to make people love the religion of Allah. The Prophet (s) said: “Give glad tidings, and do not cause people to flee from the religion; make things easy for people and don’t make things hard.” (Bukhari #69 & Muslim#1732)
Know that in calling others to Islam, you are not responsible for the results, for your calling is restricted to merely clarifying and showing people the way to the truth. Allah (y) says: And indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path. The path of Allah, to whom belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve. [42:52-53]
As for the guidance by which one actually practices Islam, this is from Allah alone. Allah (y) says: Verily! You (O Muhammad ) guide not whom you wish, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided. [28:56]
- Try to choose righteous companions who encourage and help you to do good, as well as warn and prevent you from doing evil, and will be a support for you in your life. The Prophet (s) said: “The example of a righteous and evil companion is like one who carries perfume and another who is a blacksmith. As for the one who carries perfume, either he will give you some perfume, or you might buy it, or [at least] you will find a pleasing scent with him. As for the blacksmith, either he will burn your clothes, or you will find a hideous odor from him.” (Bukhari #1995 & Muslim #2628)
Be careful not to go to extremes in the religion. There is neither monasticism nor fanaticism in the religion. Allah says: Allah intends for you ease and He does not want to make things difficult for you. [2:185]
Anas bin Maalik (d) said: Three people came to the houses of the wives of the Prophet (s) asking about the worship of the Prophet (s). When they were informed, they thought it was too little and said, “Who are we in comparison to the Prophet (s) for indeed Allah has forgiven him his past and future sins.” One of them said, “As for me, I will pray the whole night long.” Another said, “I will fast every day without breaking it,” and yet another said, “I will stay away from women and never marry.” The Messenger of Allah (y) came and [when he heard of this] he said, “Are you the people who said such and such? As for me, by Allah, indeed I am the most god-fearing and most cautious amongst you, but I fast and I break my fast, I pray [part of the night] and I sleep, and I marry women. Whoever desires other than my practice (Sunnah), then he is not from me.” (Bukhari #4776)
On the other hand, there should be no compromising or improper lenience in the religion of Allah. The Prophet (s) said: “Indeed those before you were destroyed due to their [persistent] questioning, and opposing their Prophets. If I forbid you from something, abstain from it, and if I command you with something, do of it as much as possible.” (Bukhari #6858 & Muslim#1337)
- You will see many Muslims who do not fulfill their obligations and do not refrain from the prohibitions of the religion. People differ in this; such that some fulfill their obligations in a more complete way than others. In any case, the reason one does not fulfill these obligations is due to the fact that Satan is trying his utmost to misguide the Children of Adam. Allah, the Exalted, says:
[So mention] when your Lord said to the angels, "Indeed, I am going to create a human being from clay. So when I have proportioned him and breathed into him of My [created] soul, then fall down to him in prostration." So the angels prostrated – all of them entirely. Except Iblees; he was arrogant and became among the disbelievers. [Allah] said, "O Iblees, what prevented you from prostrating to that which I created with My hands? Were you arrogant [then], or were you [already] among the haughty?" He said, "I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay." [Allah] said, "Then get out of Paradise, for indeed, you are expelled. And indeed, upon you is My curse until the Day of Recompense." He said, "My Lord, then reprieve me until the Day they are resurrected." [Allah] said, "So indeed, you are of those reprieved. Until the Day of the time well-known." [Iblees] said, "By your might, I will surely mislead them all. Except, among them, Your chosen servants." [Allah] said, "The truth [is My oath], and the truth I say - [That] I will surely fill Hell with you and those of them that follow you all together." [38:71-85)
Do not be discouraged from fulfilling your duty in the field of invitation (Da’wah) to the religion of Allah; let this be an incentive to yourself to strive in spreading the religion of Allah.
- Practice Islamic conduct in your daily life; such as helping someone who is in need whether you know him or not, and smiling in the face of your brother. The Prophet (s) said:
“Smiling in the face of your brother is a charity, enjoining good and prohibiting evil is a charity, showing someone the way when he is lost is a charity, helping the weak-sighted is a charity, removing a rock, a thorn, or bones from the path is a charity, and pouring water from your bucket into the bucket of your brother is a charity. (Tirmidhi #1956)
Your clothes and all your things should be clean. A Muslim must always be clean, for his religion is the religion of cleanliness. Allah (y) says: O Children of Adam! Take your adornment at every masjid. [7:31]
You should try to do as many good deeds as possible, such as giving charity, performing voluntary (extra) prayers and other acts of worship. When one performs these deeds [mentioned above] they are being an excellent role-model and example to the Muslims who are heedless of their religion. They will also serve as a shining ambassador to non-Muslims trying to understand the religion; since they would become curious and ask about Islam when they see its beautiful aspects before them.
Treat your relatives well, and do not sever your relationship with them even if they oppose your acceptance of Islam. You should have better relations with your relatives, in order to please Allah, and also as it may bring them closer to worshipping Him. They would also know that after you became a Muslim, your manners improved and you became a better person. Asmaa´ d said: “My mother, who was a pagan during the life of the Messenger of Allah (y), came to visit me, so I asked the Messenger of Allah (s): ‘My mother has come to visit me. Should I keep ties with my mother?’ He (s) said: ‘Yes, keep your ties of relation with your mother’.” (Bukhari #2477 & Muslim #1003)
- Know that the struggle between good and evil will last till the Last Day. The weakness of the Muslims and the strength of the disbelievers, the minority of Muslims and the majority of the disbelievers, the backwardness of the Muslims and the advancement of the disbelievers, the humility of the Muslims and the might of the disbelievers are not evidences indicating the falseness of Islam. These are factors that change depending upon the era. There is no doubt though that the present circumstances of the Muslims are the result of their distance from implementing the legislation of their Lord and their abandoning of righteous deeds and calling to the path of truth. ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (d), the second Khaleefah (Caliph) said: “We are a people who Allah honored and gave might through Islam. If we seek honor in something else, Allah would humiliate us. The truth should be followed...”
- Know my brother that we are in the last of times (the Last Day is near) and that each year that passes, we come closer to the end of the world and the establishing of the Final Hour. The Prophet (s) said:
‘I myself and the Hour have been raised like these two,’ and he joined his index and middle fingers.”
(Bukhari #4652 & Muslim #867)
The Prophet () foretold the state of Islam [and Muslims] in this time. He (s) said: “Islam started as a strange thing and it shall once again return to this state. So may glad tidings be to the strangers.” (Muslim #145)
Having many followers is not a proof of the correctness of a methodology. The Prophet (s) said: “Glad tidings to the strangers! Glad tidings to the strangers! Glad tidings to the strangers!” Someone asked, “Who are the strangers O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “Righteous people amongst many evil ones. Those who disobey them are more than those who obey.” (Ahmad #7072)
He also clarified the state in which the Muslim who holds on to his religion will be, and the various hardships he will face [in practicing his religion] whether physical or psychological. The Prophet (s) said: “Enjoin the good and forbid the evil, but when you see that greed is obeyed, desires followed, the life of this world playing its affect on people, and that people are pleased with their own opinions, stick to yourselves and leave commanding the general public with good, for indeed there will be days after you in which having patience in them is like grasping a hot coal. One who does righteous deeds in them will receive the reward of fifty of [the Companions].” (Saheeh ibn Hibbaan)
- Know that all affairs are judged by the way they end, so be keen to always ask Allah that He keeps you steadfast upon Islam, and that He causes you to die with a good end. Make sure your speech and deeds are purely for Allah’s sake, that they are done according to what He legislated, and that you spend your time in Allah’s (y) obedience. Take account of yourself, before you are taken to account, and let Allah see you doing what He commanded not what He forbade. May Allah keep us steadfast on His religion, and cause us to die as Muslims.