Of the simplest science lessons offered to children is deciding whether a thing in the creation is living or nonliving. Observation tells us that non-living things do not move, grow or change. Change is the primary way that we can judge whether something created is living or not. Having accepted Islam, you have changed something inside your heart. You have decided to concern yourself with devotion to God and to prioritize your life for His worship. Although there may not be any physical change that people can notice about you, the most important change has taken place: a change of heart.
While you may go about your business throughout your day, you feel a renewed sense of purpose. You may still attend work or school, prepare food, and groom yourself like before, but you may feel like you are doing these things for the first time. A secret identity that you had has now become public. The real you is before the world.
What’s hard about embracing this new identity, is that those who knew you before you accepted Islam do not expect things to change. You may find friends and family members who appreciate the ‘new’ you, but you will encounter among your contacts people who want everything to stop changing, to stagnate. It will be challenging to pull away despite their wish that the motion of life should stop. Life is all about changing, and the best changes are those that facilitate growth. At times you feel ten feet tall, and other times you may feel smaller than you have ever been. Don’t let your past mistakes define who you are. Whatever bad decisions you made prior to accepting Islam, God will forgive you for doing, and reward you for changing for the better.
Stories abound from Islamic history of those with terrible pasts accepting Islam and erasing their sins by achieving excellence as Muslims. What did these people possess that caused them to excel? What secret, what key component did they have that allowed them to rise above their dubious pasts and reach levels of greatness among Muslims? It was guidance.
Guidance was also the reason that those with good character and behavior as non Muslims were drawn to Islam, as they are shown the right way to God.
Guidance was the secret ingredient that made all the Prophets of God stand out, too. Be pleased that you share in that beautiful, amazing legacy of following the guidance that came to you. You can also become an excellent Muslim. You can achieve a high status with God; you have an equal chance with every single Muslim to succeed at practicing Islam.
You can stand, as all amazing Muslims of the past did, in front of God when you pray, and beg for guidance from Him. All the great Muslims prayed with that same prayer in the very first chapter of the Quran: it is a prayer requesting guidance, consistent guidance, an increase of guidance and firmness on the path. You are now a Muslim, and that is the first step. That opens the door. Keep moving, keep requesting the guidance of God, and He will place you on that well tread path.