We want to get close to God. Yet we don’t know much about our new way of life. We want to move forward, but sometimes we take steps back.
Everybody makes mistakes. New Muslims are not the only ones.
But a lot of our mistakes have to do with a lack of knowledge. That makes sense, because we are new to Islam. We have a lot to learn.
So to get things started on the right foot, let’s learn four tips to avoid steps back:
Don’t stop yearning for learning
We can get discouraged by the journey to learning Islam.
Sometimes converts to Islam can get frustrated. We think that because it’s hard sometimes, that God is holding us back somehow. That we’re just not cut out for learning about Islam.
Sure, it’s difficult sometimes. But we don’t think for a second that He will not help us. Remember what God says:
“Do people think they will be left alone after saying ‘We believe’ without being put to the test?” (29: 2)
The way to relax and keep going is to trust that God will help us learn. The tests in life are there to make us better.
He’s got all the knowledge, and He won’t hold back any from us when we are learning sincerely to get close to Him.
Free to Be You and Me
Have you ever tried to learn something really quickly? You stuff the info in your brain for a class, or a job interview, but what happens?
In a short while, we lose that knowledge. When you don’t take time to really absorb it, it slips away.
We don’t want our practice of Islam to be like that.
When we make a change inside, a change will happen outside, too. People will be able to tell a change for the better in us.
As we learn more about Islam, the physical acts like offering ritual devotion and altering our lifestyle come naturally.
We don’t need to force ourselves to make changes that we are not ready for. The changes in our lifestyle, our diet, our dress: these should all be done step-by-step.
There is nothing that says we must lose ourselves, when we find Islam.
We have to be kind to ourselves, and give ourselves time to grow.
The Blame Game
We don’t give ourselves enough credit. Not only do we think we have to be awesome at Islam, but our progress seems so slow!
Remember that even the Quran, the last book from God for all time, was revealed over a period of 23 years. God revealed it in stages, in steps, and the early Muslims implemented it as it came down.
So there isn’t any reason why you need to be the perfect Muslim right now.
We’ll go back to the first point. Perfection is for God. He always knows the struggle we go through, and will help us learn.
“God does not burden any soul with more than it can bear..” (2:286)
God knows better than us, what our limits are. We do not. The religion is easy. Do not try to make it difficult.
You know how people say, “I am a practicing Muslim”? It’s practice. It’s not professionalism, because every Muslim is practicing. We are all learning and trying to get better.
May God bless you with the ability to know God better, trust that He will allow you to learn. May God bless your heart with sincerity and motivation, and balance so that you can make consistent progress towards your learning goals.