Updates
Home / Current Affairs / Who cares about new Muslims?

Who cares about new Muslims?

During my journey as a new Muslim, I came across people who were truly inspirational and made a huge difference in my life. But nowadays, it feels like we only hear about the problems surrounding new Muslims and our failure to support them. Rarely do we hear about the other side of the story, where new Muslims are inspired and transformed by the enormous and hidden efforts of dedicated helpers.

Fourteen years ago, at the start of my journey as a new Muslim, Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) put remarkable individuals on my path who greatly impacted my life as a Muslim. I met amazing families who generously opened their doors during Ramaḍān, invited me for ifṭār, remembered me on ʿEid day, and shared with me precious moments of happiness. Their warm hospitality always made me feel like a part of their family. In fact, I was like another son to them. I met inspiring brothers with whom I tasted real brotherhood. Despite our different levels of progress, we never judged or criticised one another. Instead, we always motivated each other to increase our knowledge of Islām and develop a strong relationship with the Qur’ān. This environment of constant remembrance of Allāh played a critical role for me in building strong foundations as a Muslim. The little gestures and kind attention from these individuals had such a big impact on my life that I wished for everyone else entering Islām to have a similar experience.

Ten years later, alhamdulillāh Allāh blessed me with the unique opportunity to work with other brothers and sisters who had just accepted Islām. It was my responsibility to ensure that they enjoyed the best experience as new Muslims. But soon I realised that my mission was more complex than anything I could have ever imagined. I met new Muslims who felt completely abandoned by their local communities. Their first experiences in the masjid were quite unwelcoming, and they received hardly any emotional support from other Muslims. I spoke to many dāʿīs who admitted that they had no structure or follow-up system to help them keep track of how new Muslims were feeling or progressing.

As we travelled up and down the country, we realised that many communities were not effectively prepared to welcome, educate and support our new brothers and sisters.

To see different results, we needed a model of excellence that could be implemented in any community. This was so that new Muslims anywhere could transform into strong believers in the same way that the companions developed by being around the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).

During these years, working alongside new Muslims, we were able to further analyse the situation and develop a better understanding of some of the common challenges and patterns that they go through after accepting Islām.

But that wasn’t enough to bring about a complete solution…

Is it still possible today for new Muslims to go through the same inspiring and uplifting journey that I went through fourteen years ago? Where are all the amazing and motivational Muslims like the ones I met?

Alhamdulillāh, I can firmly state that there are still amazing Muslims out there and I couldn’t imagine writing this article without paying tribute to them. I haven’t just heard about them; I have met them across the UK and seen them in action with my own eyes. I have found them truly inspiring māshā’Allāh.

They are the silent hard workers who consistently invest their effort and dedication. They often remain hidden but Allāh (subḥānahu wa taʿālā) is aware of their work and their intentions. May Allāh reward them with that which is best in this life and in the Hereafter. They are brothers, sisters, local teams, and families who work everyday to support our new brothers and sisters in Islām.

They are those who meet new Muslims in the masjid every single week. Regardless of whether twenty people turn up, or only one person or no one turns up, they are there, ready to welcome new Muslims and share the food they cooked or bought.

They are those who open their own houses during Ramaḍān, share ifṭār with new Muslims, and prepare goody bags for them on ʿEid day, while they do not even know them.

They are the friends whom new Muslims can turn to, share their problems with and seek advice from. They are committed teachers who teach new Muslims how to pray and remind them to always turn to Allāh.

They are using their own initiative. They are not paid for what they do, but instead are using their own money. They never ask for anything in return, and only hope that their Lord is pleased with them.

Sometimes I feel really sad that no one talks or writes about them. But then I realise that their anonymity is actually a blessing from Allāh that will keep their intention pure.

They are those who inspire me and make me realise that it is absolutely possible for new Muslims to experience what I experienced fourteen years ago. And by combining their experiences and the lessons that we have learned, we can bring a model for change in our community which you can now be a part of.

Over the past four years, one of the key lessons I have learned is that change often comes from these dedicated and committed individuals who feel passionately about the cause and persevere for it.

The huge impact they have on new Muslims’ lives can be replicated by any one of you.

Today, any community could turn from not knowing anything about dealing with new Muslims to becoming a standard of excellence – a true “new Muslim-friendly community”.

What would a “new Muslim-friendly community” look like?

Imagine a community…

* Where new Muslims would be warmly welcomed. They would experience a true sense of brotherhood and feel like a real family member, with their needs taken care of.

* With a comprehensive education program that would build solid foundations for new Muslims. They would have dedicated mentors who would know how to empower them and help them to overcome their challenges.

* That would cater for new Muslims on ʿEid day. They would have regular activities tailored for them, in which they would feel appreciated, valued and encouraged for their contribution.

This is what I would consider to be a “new Muslim-friendly community”. The criteria are not set in stone and there may be many more aspects of a new Muslim-friendly community. However, from our experience, these are the core foundations.

These ideal communities are not just mere imagination. Rather, these foundations are the best practices implemented by “new Muslim-friendly communities” in the UK.

Sounds interesting… but how do we get there?

Below are a few practical steps to reach this result in an easy way.

The Roadmap | Steps to build a successful new Muslim-friendly community

  1. Take the initiative and the lead! It all starts with you having the correct intention, motivation and commitment to bring a change to your community. Offer your help to your local community leaders to make them aware of the situation and the fact that you are willing to take action. Propose a plan to work together on changing the situation.
  2. Motivate your community! We can assist you during this stage by providing you with motivational speakers and inspiring new Muslims who would come and motivate your community. Their stories will help your community realise the responsibility that every single one of us has. This will help you to build a motivated local team dedicated to making a change.
  3. Inspire and train your team! Once you have formed your team, we can train your team to develop a solid understanding of how to effectively welcome, educate and empower new Muslims. Your team will recognise the huge blessings that come as a result of supporting their brothers and sisters and following the example of the Prophet (sall Allāhu ʿalayhi wa sallam).
  4. Provide education and regular social activities! Build a database of new Muslims in your community and provide activities so that they can come together, meet in person and build bonds of brotherhood. Beyond the brotherhood and social elements, there is a need for them to grow in their understanding and practice of Islām, so that they can develop solid foundations. We can provide you with a weekly course that has been designed specially with new Muslims in mind. The course comes in a full package for you to deliver it in the best way, which includes instructors’ personal training, instructors’ notes, students’ notes, and a PowerPoint presentation.
  5. Encourage participation! Your interaction and programmes with New Muslims should translate into tangible contribution that they can get involved in. It is an achievement and a turning point in their journey when they feel that they can also give back, help and benefit the community. So encourage your new Muslims to get together and start beneficial projects or take part in existing community projects.

Conclusion

By the permission of Allāh first, and by applying these simple steps, we have seen new Muslim-friendly communities flourish and highly develop in their engagement with new Muslims. They are the living proof that today it is still possible for new Muslims to be inspired and have positive experiences when joining our community. There is real hope for the future and we hope to see this change happen in your community, too. You can be the cause of this change so that one day, we will see people become Muslims, and regardless of where they are in UK, they will be supported by new-Muslim friendly communities. Local communities will consist of confident and passionate individuals who will ensure that their new Muslim brothers and sisters experience true brotherhood, develop strong foundations and become inspirational models for society.

Lastly, if you became Muslim and have also been inspired by amazing individuals on your journey, please share your testimonials in the comments, as this side of the story needs to be told to benefit and inspire others.

Find out more

iERA is currently running a campaign to help building new Muslim-friendly communities. If you want to make a change in your community, join the campaign here. [1]

Source: www.islam21c.com

Notes:

[1] http://www.iera.org/dawah/iera-launch-building-new-muslim-friendly-communities-campaign

About Steeve Brador

Steeve has been involved in da'wah and community work in France and in the UK for about 10 years. Since 2010, he has been launching and heading “Muslim Now” the new Muslim department of the Islamic Education & Research Academy (iERA). He specialises in developing effective structures to educate and empower new Muslims so that they can establish firm foundations and become strong believers, insha Allah.

12 comments

  1. Everyone hates Muslims. You guys know that right?
    Smelly paki [—].
    Someone will chop your noses off one day.

  2. aselamalykum i am your Muslim brother sirajudin from Ethiopia may Allah make us together in jenetel ferdos may Allah make easy your task our task may Allah let us be all we want to be! nothing happen with out his will make dua what ever you need inshallah if we really believeu in Allah means he will give us what ever we seek oh Allah forgive our sin and help us ameen yarbelalemin

  3. Samiyaa Najib

    Brother Steeve, may Allah be pleased with your work. You have done a great job. Unfortunately, in many Muslim countries and Muslim societies we lack all these attributes which you are looking for new reverts.
    I’m sure their journey is far difficult than a usual Muslim born in a Muslim family. I believe they are far better to have chosen Islam over others from the ones born into it.
    Such a support structure is the need of the Muslim countries too.
    I think of inviting people to Islam but then I check my self… Am I at the level where I can guide others or do I need guidance myself.
    We all are Muslims but divided into sects. We follow the west in all means.

    For the new Muslims I believe Allah is sufficient for when Allah brings you to it, He will bring you through it. Allah make them come close or in contact with people who provide them with support by Allah’s leave.

    I live in Lahore, Pakistan. I cannot imagine to ice in a place where I do not hear the Azan loud five times a day. I volunteer my self if you know anyone who is a revert in Lahore and needs any sort of help. I will inshaaAllah do all in my capacity. It’s hard to find new reverts in a Muslim community.
    I may get I touch with sisters who are reverts online.
    I just don’t know how to do it but if I’m brought to it I will know then

    JazakaaAllah Khair

    Samiya Najib

  4. assalamoalaikum

    I work with New Muslim Care Halton Chapter in Toronto, Canada. We have brothers and sisters working volunteerly. We try our best to embrace our new brothers and sisters and welcome them to our Deen and life’s. Counselling and helping them in whatever way possible Alhamdulilah it’s a great work by our community and I feel so honoured and blessed by Allah SWT to be a part of this team.
    We all cry like babies when we see a Sister or brother taking Shahadah and how the community embrace them at first and say wonderful things. But our test begins right after that.
    Alhamdulilah for the New Muslim Care that has managed to give a platform where many newly reverts can benefit and seek so much. From books to courses to special events and Halaqah’s. They do a lot to keep them motivated and assured.
    May Allah SWT reward you brother and likewise many of those brothers and sisters who do this khayr for our brothers & sisters who enter Islam the Deen of peace. Ameen!

  5. we are all responsible to support new Muslims. First we should unite and respect each other then other will respect us. thanks (I didn’t read the full article)

  6. Safiyullah Shuarau

    Assalamu alaykum.Pls how can we work together,cause here in Nigeria we are facing a lot of challenges including the callers(daahi).

  7. Alhamdulillah i was very fortunate that my mosque had a large number of visiting foreign students who could spend time at the mosque because they had no family around. They were from all over Muslim world so no cultural interpretations dominated which gave me a (I think) biddah free dean. I knew any time i could go there and sit down with some easy going, sociable and knowledgeable brothers. (I was young free and single at the time)

    Inevitably my social life changed and without this replacement it would have been tougher. I had strong emaan though and it didn’t cross my mind that i was sacrificing anything of the dunya which wasn’t worth it but i don’t know how much it would have tested me if i’d found myself socially isolated with my new faith. I also don’t know how vulnerable i would have been to misunderstanding the dean by taking my religion from sheikh google instead.

    The challenge for most communities is getting more current Muslims to make their life revolve around their mosque. Social circles need to be as inclusive as possible so if they do something it will likely draw in new Muslims effortlessly. Having to put on something specially for them will be less likely to happen or last long.

    Mosque trustees really need to feel they are responsible for bringing people to the mosque for more than prayer times. They must feel responsible as community organizers or if they have no time for that themselves at least they must be open to suggestions and help from people who have time to do it. Inevitably that will be the younger generation and often suggesting social activities that the trustees might not want to participate in or might feel is unsuitable for the mosque as they see it only as a mosque not also a vital community space. Sadly that’s a brick wall many active young brothers come up against. They might bash their heads against it for a bit, but most will soon get despondent and give up trying to run new activities in their mosques.

    Our mosques are often the only community resource we have and with the cost of property being so high a young generation turned away from them is possibly a generation being turned away from any chance to develop an active Muslim community in their area. Bad for all Muslims not just the new ones.

    The best way to combat this is for parents to take an active role in running their mosque and make sure it is suitable and useful for the younger generation before they grow up without knowing their Muslim community. Mosques are usually combined limited companies and charities both of which bring regulations and laws which force fairness in members rights (assuming you can become a company member) and inclusiveness and usefulness for all in the community if they are charities. Alhamdulillah these British laws and regulations are the friend of Muslim communities if they are understood and applied; gently if possible, but as we know “man is, in most things, contentious.” (Quran 18:54)

  8. We have a Muslim Outreach Centre in Kingston Masjid, and also a sisters circle in the Masjid. We also have Turning Point in Mitcham also for revert sisters, a sister’s circle in Al Muntada masjid, Islam for a Month (IFAM) also run a circle in Tooting Masjid also for sisters. There is also Solace for reverts an online service for sisters seeking help. MashAllah at the south of the river we can say that at least we are trying and may Allah subhanAllah accept it from us. I know there is a lot more we should be doing as a community and may Allah guide our Masjjids to take time to offer this in every masjid…Ameen and of course the wonderful work by IERA.

  9. Muhammad Irshad Afsar

    Masha Allah very nice we need Muslim brother like you to change the Muslim World for better future for all. Keep up the good work. My Allah guide all new Muslim to right path. insha ALLAH

  10. Abdul Nasir Innusah

    Powerful piece of article by all standards. This attitude of neglect is really driving most of the reverts back to their old life. The way to curb this menace is to develop a structure in every community to take care of this and also advice our Umma to show love.

  11. It’s true new Muslims need help however most mosques in the UK neglect Muslims. I pray in regents park mosque which is run like a dictatorship. There is hardly any activities for Muslims and the mosque is shut early to get people out. There is no effort being made to build a community. It saddens me because so many people come to Islam reverts and young people and then return back to the streets or their old way of life. People are returning to Islam in large numbers but the mosque has never been interested in developing them or building a strong Muslim community. There is no real interaction between the worshipers and the imams or the administration. It’s like a museum. Sadly those who run the mosque don’t care about the local community. We Muslims have a lot to learn from the Jewish community and the church. Regents park mosque has failed the Muslims.

  12. Mohammed Hussain

    Very interesting article by Steeve Brador . There is a website “MoreforMuslims” which you should find interesting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Verify *

DON'T MISS OUT!
Subscribe To Newsletter
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
Stay Updated
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
close-link
Subscribe for Updates or Support Us