Channel: Jamal Zarabozo
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Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala nabina Muhammad
This is of course, as you can see from the title going to be a series of lectures that is geared towards the new Muslim, the one who has just embraced Islam, inshallah, to help him or her understand their new religion,
some of the basic concepts,
some of the basic practices, some of the general understanding, Now, obviously, inshallah
anyone who has become a Muslim has already studied Islam,
to some extent, or at least has some basic understanding of Islam.
But the reality is
that, there is no course, for example, that Muslims are required to take or anything of that nature before they actually become a Muslim, although in some, in some Muslim countries, they actually do offer courses.
But especially here in the United States and other places in the West, people enter into Islam and their background, their understanding of Islam
is variable. Some people have studied Islam for a long time, they understand many things. Others have
just recently been exposed to Islam, but they have seen enough of Islam to know that this is the way of life
that they want, and that they will pursue inshallah.
And so therefore, as I said, People therefore entered to Islam with various understandings, different levels of understanding, and I think it is important inshallah, and it will be beneficial for the Muslim
for the Muslim, as soon as they begin their path of Islam, that they have some basic concepts and some basic understandings, and they understand some basic practices.
And in addition to that, there are actually some issues of concern, which are particular for non Muslims, for those people who have converted to Islam, from different backgrounds,
from different cultures and so forth. And so therefore, there are some rules and regulations and laws that they have to be aware of that inshallah they will be able to implement in their lives.
And so that is part of the goal of this series. to present this information as it as I said, hopefully, inshallah, much of it maybe you've already studied and so forth.
But also to shall I put it all into one place, maybe you can review this more easily, and so forth. And in reality, also, since I'm also a convert to Islam,
converted many years ago, and I have seen many, many Congress along the way.
In addition, some of this information that I'll be providing is also kind of like the information I wish I would have had or somebody would explain to me or, or explain to other new contracts that would have made life easier, maybe less complications, maybe less misunderstandings along the way. And so also, this isn't meant to help you not just practicing Islam, but also understand Islam visit v. Your new brothers and sisters, within Islam. Let me start out by of course, congratulating the new Muslim for this act of embracing Islam,
especially in this day and age. Obviously, it goes without saying that there are many impediments to embracing Islam, there are many factors there are many, in fact, many we can say many people, even who will do their best or doing their best to keep people away from Islam. They do this by many means spreading, for example, false and misinformation about Islam, doing anything that they can to keep people away from wanting to study wanting to learn and wanting to embrace this religion.
So the Muslim has been blessed by Allah subhanho wa Taala has been blessed by God that even through this darkness and through all of these obstacles,
God in His mercy has led him to become a Muslim. So every new Muslim In fact, every Muslim actually not just every new Muslim, but every new Muslim should be very grateful and very thankful to Allah subhanho wa Taala that Allah has guided them to Islam that Allah has allowed them to see the truth of Islam. As I said, there are many things it's or putting our ways in front of becoming a Muslim in front of practicing Islam.
Right in front of trying to improve Islam.
And so therefore every Muslim not just again, the new Muslim but every Muslim should be very grateful. I'm very thankful to Allah, that Allah has made it easy for us to embrace Islam, to see Islam to practice Islam and inshallah to understand Islam properly. But upon becoming a new Muslim, and as I said, being grateful to Allah, that you have been guided to Islam, you are still new in the faith. And actually, there's a lot of things that you can look forward to, and your new religion
and you are still kind of, in the infant stages, you still have a lot of growing to do.
And as you progress more and more and Islam, and as you understand more and more and Islam, then actually your appreciation for Islam, your appreciation for Allah, in gratitude towards Allah, your appreciation for the Prophet Mohammed, all of this, all of this increases
all of this growth. In fact, the problem Hamad,
peace be upon him, spoke to us in a hadith in which the prophets peace be upon him as describing those people who have really tasted the sweetness of
the prophet SAW Selim said the Latin and couldn't fi Vegeta Hello with Eman and your corn a lot of water solo have Bailey masiva. When you have Belmar Allah illallah wa nitra, Anuradha feeders kufri Can I get a hold on you know,
the prophet SAW Selim said there are three characteristics
that if a person has them, he has tasted the sweetness of faith. And these the three characteristics are that Allah and His Messenger are more beloved to him than anything else, and that he loves the person and he loves them only for the sake of Allah. And then he hates to return to disbelief in the same way that he hates to be thrown into the fire.
Now, as I as I was saying, you know, a new Muslim.
And even for that matter, again, a Muslim, maybe who has been a Muslim for quite some some time, but hasn't taken his faith that seriously, maybe he's not yet at this level, that he has these feelings in his heart.
But as I said, inshallah, as you grow in Islam, as you learn more about Islam, these things will develop in your hearts. Basically, what I'm saying is that there's a lot to look forward to,
you can look at embracing Islam as a first step. And there are many wonderful many, many wonderful steps inshallah, that are to follow you as you come closer to Allah subhanho wa Taala, as you understand the religion better as you as you improve in your practice and behavior, Islamic behavior. Let me begin these lectures
by giving you some kind of general advice,
personal advice, I guess you could say from, from me to every,
every new Muslim out there, which again, is based on my, my own experience, and based on the experience of many, many Muslim converts that I have known over the years.
And, by the way, one thing and a set of lectures, Java, Zed, I plan on being very frank and very direct.
Many times in people's exuberance to spread Islam and to attract other people to Islam. And even when talking to new Muslims and so forth, there is this kind of tendency to sugarcoat things or to ignore things and so forth, which many times I've seen this myself many times leads to problems later on down the road. You know, they're told one thing when they first become Muslim or even before they become Muslim, and then when they find out later that that thing that they told them is not exactly true or is not true at all. This can have a devastating effect on their attitude towards Islam, the attitude toward Muslims and so forth. And in fact, if we look at the the example of the
problem, as I said,
we do not find the process of behaving in this fashion. The process of him when he explained Islam, when he conveyed the message to others, he conveyed it in a very frank and very clear manner. He did not try to hide anything, he did not try to cover anything. So, inshallah, as I said, in these lectures, I'm going to put out everything, as honestly as Frank as direct as I can. So straightforwardness and honesty and clarity are part of the goal of these lectures.
Maybe for some non Muslims, you know, some aspects of the religion may be difficult at first. But also we'll discuss what does that mean? And how inshallah you can get over those humps on the road and so forth. And in fact, let me begin, as I said, with kind of some general advice, some things that you may be confronting from the first day that you become Muslim.
And the first thing I would like to mention, and I've already kind of alluded to it already, is that your growth and your development as a Muslim in many ways, or in some ways, you should look at it as as a long term thing, and maybe even as a long path.
Do not expect, for example, that you're a perfect Muslim, and you understand everything from the first day that you'll become,
you're new to the faith.
You may not even have read all of the Quran yet, or you certainly haven't read probably all of the available Hadees and words of the problem homosassa. So you should expect, you should expect that you have a lot of growing to do. And this should be part of your attitude. Hopefully, that you know that you've embraced Islam, you already have a love for this religion. And you should have the desire to learn and more a desire to grow in it.
You might even find that even the reason that you became Muslim needs to be adjusted, you know, why are you Muslim? Why are you accepting this, this religion and so forth. Many people they accept they accept Islam, not exactly for the proper reason, not completely just for the sake of God and believing in God. And so
you might find that a lot of things in your exam need to be just that this is no, don't, don't let this be a barrier to your growth in Islam. Don't let this devastate you. Allah knows that we are human beings, we have weaknesses, we make mistakes, and so forth. And so therefore, again,
there's a lot to look forward to in Islam, especially as your faith grows, as your understanding grows as you come closer to Allah. And so therefore, look, again, look at yourself as being on the first steps, and being very anxious to to grow in Islam, and to learn more about this way.
Secondly, you must realize that there may be a lot of pressures, and a lot of obstacles
that you may have to face in the near future in particular, but even in the more distant future, when it comes to practicing this religion.
You, for example, in the United States, or on the west, now, now in the post, 911 era, or whatever. You may think, for example, that this is something related to what is going on now. But in reality, this is not the case.
In reality, anytime someone turns to the truth, and someone accepts the truth, and someone wants to make themselves sincere, to God, there are going to be forces, whether it is human beings, whether it is the devils or whatever, shut down, they're going to be forces that are going to try to take them away from following that path.
We see this an example of virtually all of the prophets,
even the Prophet Mohammed, as we know, eventually, finally, he was driven out of this city of Mecca. Because of the opposition that he faced, sometimes from the family members, people who were very close to him.
They were very close to him, but they could not accept the idea of worshipping only God and submitting only to God and being true and faithful to God.
They just could not accept this idea. And so therefore, they fought, they did not fight necessarily the Prophet Muhammad himself as him, his personality or his being an individual and so forth. But they fought what he believed.
Similarly, anyone who becomes a Muslim now may also face similar obstacles and pressures.
And again, even coming from the closest family members, whether it is one's parents, whether it is brothers and sisters, whatever the case might be,
turning to God and following this path, you know, this path.
And as already alluded to this path and and, and being blessed by Allah,
with recognizing this path and accepting this path and accepting this religion, this is a great blessing from God. This is, in fact, you can say this as the greatest blessing that you can imagine.
So you shouldn't expect this great blessing to come without any
sacrifice on your part without any demonstration on your part of your willingness really to adhere and to accept this blessing from God.
And so therefore, you should be prepared for some kind of difficulties, some kind of obstacles. And again,
it could be very different levels to it, you know, some, some people unfortunately, like, like young, some younger Muslims, you know, like college students or the like.
Sometimes they're living with their family, for example, and because they become Muslim, they are thrown out of their house.
Others, for example, don't find situations like that, but they might find, for example, their friends, that they've known for years turning on them, or they might find people at work no longer accepting them. And, you know, treating them differently and trying, sometimes even trying to induce them to go against their religion or to give up their religion. And they might, all of a sudden find they're being visited by people from the church, or all sorts of people trying to convince them that this is not the way that they that they should follow and so forth. So again, if something like this nature occurs, you obviously this should not shock you to like, you should be prepared for it. You
And you are hoping to accept from God one, as I said, Really the greatest blessing that you can have in this world.
And therefore you on your part, you should be willing to show together, yes, you want this, you want this more than anything. So you're willing to sacrifice, you're willing to put up with these minor obstacles that you're facing in this world.
My point is, basically, just be prepared for that.
And just realize what the great blessing This is. And
whatever you do, don't be willing. In essence, don't be willing to give it up. But instead be willing to sacrifice in order to maintain it.
And inshallah, all of these things, by the way that you go through all of these things, hopefully, will strengthen you in your faith
will make you realize even more, how much you really want this faith,
and how this faith is more important to you. And this relationship to God is more important to you than even these human relations or jobs or whatever you have this world. So these are not just trials that you may be facing without any benefits, but in reality, and reality, as I said, they may help they may help you grow and make you into a better Muslim.
Now, I guess as a third point, one of the things obviously that is going to occur to
any new convert any Muslim
is that he's going to have to interact now with the Muslims as a whole the other Muslims of this world.
And unless you happen to convert well, and prison, which Mashallah, there's many, many brothers and sisters who do convert under those circumstances. But in general, and most of the places in the West, when you convert to Islam,
you're going to be mixing now with a Muslim population, people who have already been Muslim before you.
And many times these Muslims are from different places, different countries, different cultures. And because of this fact, because of the fact that actually, as a Muslim, also, you are now joining a new community and you're a member of the new community. And Islam is not a religion, obviously, that just looks at the individual and you'll be living off all by yourself and worshiping God all by yourself. But actually, you're supposed to be a brother and a sister of this community and the others should treat you as a brother and sister and you should treat them vice versa as brothers and sisters. So there's going to have to be this interaction with other Muslims and for many, no
Muslims. For many Muslims, this interaction with other Muslims hamdulillah goes very smoothly In fact, they find for example, myself from the law when I converted to Islam, I found a group of Muslims who Mashallah were dedicated to the religion had a good understanding of the religion and the you know, accepted me as a new Muslim and, and I've benefited from the law a great deal from, from the guidance from the friendship from the Brotherhood and so forth.
Other times, unfortunately, some kind of sometimes non Muslims when they when they begin to interact with the Muslim community as it is
and some problems start to develop.
So let me just touch upon a few points.
Hopefully, inshallah you should keep in mind
while encountering and starting to mix with the Muslim community that that already exists. Some Muslims when they encounter Muslims, for example, in the mosque and so forth, they have a tendency to look at other Muslims as if every Muslim is a prime example of what Islam is supposed to be about.
And so therefore, if they're hurt by any Muslim, or if they are wronged by any Muslim, or they see someone and other Muslims, they see this as a reflection of what Islam.
And this is obviously a grave, a grave mistake. And for most people, I think if they would just reflect on their own background, they would see why this is a grave mistake, because Muslims unfortunately are, you can say they are no different from any other religious community in the world nowadays, in some aspects. And in one of those aspects is that not every Muslim is a good Muslim, not every Muslim as a practicing Muslim, not every Muslim, is knowledgeable.
So as I said, a fitness for for many conference, if they were just to reflect back on their own,
and their own history, let's say like, as I said, let's say like a person living in the United States who come from a Christian background.
So if you when you go to church,
if indeed you go to church, because many Christians don't go to church, but what if you go to church, you'll find people in the church or
even if they go to the church, they are not necessarily practicing Christians, and outside of the church, their behavior does not reflect, reflect Christian teachings and so forth. And if you were asked to, if you were to ask him some something about the religion of Christianity in some detail, teaching of the religion of Christianity, they will not be able to, to to answer you. And so unfortunately, Similar is the case with the with the Muslims, not every Muslim that you that you meet, not every Muslim that you see,
is a proper environmental slump.
And so, so therefore, do not take what happens to you if something happens to from another Muslim do not take this as necessarily a reflection of Islam.
In fact, unfortunately, in the Muslim world, for example, in some areas, there's still a high level of literacy, there's still,
you know, there's still a lack of understanding of Islam, even among many of the Muslim communities, many of the people who grew up in Islam, like some of them. Some of them may have grown up in a Muslim country. But it wasn't until they move, maybe move to the United States that they really started to learn about Islam, and what is Islam and begin to practice Islam.
So don't look at the practice of Muslims as necessarily embodying the teachings of Islam, especially if you if you get any kind of negative, if you have a negative experience with them, especially do not take that necessarily as a reflection of Islam.
Muslims make mistakes Muslims commit there's, they're good Muslims are bad Muslims, you should recognize that just from the from your probably your past experiences, I said, but obviously, this is the case within Islam as well.
And not every Muslim. Not every Muslim is necessarily again, knowledgeable about Islam.
Unfortunately, Muslims are very emotional about Islam in the sense that they love Islam. And so therefore, they have this desire, especially if there's a new Muslim.
They have this desire to teach the new Muslim about Islam. And many times what they're teaching, you know, Muslim is incorrect. I have seen many examples of where someone is talking to a non Muslim. And what he's saying is
not just wrong, but very wrong, if I can, if I can say so. So you have to be careful about this as well. But usually, you know, anytime you meet you, you enter into a Muslim community.
Anytime you enter in the Muslim community, most Muslim communities have some individuals who are known for their knowledge,
who are known for their proper understanding of Islam and so forth. These are the ones that you should try to seek out. If you have some questions, if you have some difficulties, instead of just letting any individual come up to you and talk to you and try to explain something to you about Islam or just finding anyone who you happen to see in the mosque because as I said, that can be very misleading. And the information that you get from them may not necessarily be the reliable.
Perhaps maybe a more, not a more serious but perhaps a more common situation also has to do with culture.
Obviously, if you're if you're especially living in a Muslim community,
which most of the Muslims, for example, are from someplace overseas and Muslim lands overseas, obviously, when they come to the United States, and when they practice Islam, here, they come with their brand of culture.
You can call a Muslim culture, if you like, whatever doesn't doesn't really matter.
And actually the different Muslim peoples of the world, they have their own cultures, I mean, if you if you travel, for example, to Malaysia, or Indonesia, or Indonesia, or India, or Pakistan, or the Middle East, or North Africa, or Sub Saharan Africa, you're going to meet Muslims, and you and all of them are going to have slightly different culture.
But when it comes to the interpersonal relationships between Muslims here, and especially the new converts, sometimes Unfortunately, this aspect of culture does interfere with the let me call it the smooth transition of a Muslim to Muslim to Islam.
Because obviously, the American now is coming from a very different culture.
And he is still a new Muslim who is still trying to internalize many of the teachings of Islam, but his behavior, his actions, may not be consistent with many of the Muslim cultures in this world, that will show Finally, with respect to these cultures.
And with respect to these practices, you will find some aspects that you that you need to be aware of number one, sometimes the cultural practice actually contradicts the teachings of Islam.
For example, in some of the Muslim cultures of today, if a woman for example, marries into a family,
then they expect that this woman will not wear hijab, or will not wear the proper Islamic dress in front of her husband's brothers.
So for example, they now think that she's part of the family. And they might even consider
some kind of an insult or something that she wears, you know, the proper Islamic dress, even in front of her husband's brother like this is a lack of trust of this nature.
As I said, this practice goes directly against the teachings of Islam.
And so here you have a cultural practice.
And unfortunately, by the way, for many new Muslims, I should say, in particular, many new Muslims, they are put into this situation, because maybe, maybe they they became Muslim, because of someone that they know, maybe they married him, or shortly after becoming Muslim, they are encouraged to get married. So they ended up marrying a Muslim from a different culture. And unfortunately, they are oftentimes put into this kind of situation.
Obviously, if the cultural practice contradicts them, then the cultural practices not to be followed.
Cannot before there's no there's no excuse for that you cannot say, Oh, this is the culture. So therefore, I'm going to do it just because it is a culture even though it contradicts Islam. This is not not an acceptable argument. And so therefore, anytime there is a cultural practice, that contradicts Islamic law,
then you cannot follow that cultural practice. Now, obviously, sometimes to know what contradicts Islamic law and what doesn't contradict Islamic law, this requires some knowledge of Islam that the Muslim or non Muslim or may not have at this time, but as they grow more in Islam, or as they learn more about Islam, some of these things will be very clear to them. And as I said, there's no excuse for following a culture even if it is a so called Muslim culture, if that culture contradicts Islamic law.
But what usually happens, what usually happens is that the culture the cultural practice, may not necessarily contradict Islamic law, but it is not something that the Convert is used to.
And unfortunately, as I said, this can actually lead to some kind of friction between the new Muslim and
the, the other Muslims or the Muslims for example, who grew up as Muslim and so for the number from these different countries.
Many times it is behaviors that the the that are in the Muslim cultures that are actually good behaviors in the sense that they are meant to make things good between people and to spread light like friendliness and helpfulness and so forth among the people. However, as a
said it is something new for the new Muslim and different from his culture. Like, for example, the way that they eat the way, I'll give you one example, especially for the Arabs of the older, the Bedouin Arabs, you know, for them, meat
was considered kind of a delicacy. And if you could share meat with others, you know, this is, this is a sign that you are a generous person, and you're trying to be very generous to the other
Some, obviously, some newcomers did not even used to eating, we won't worry about that for right now. So as a sign of their generosity, they tried to give you meat and so forth, when you're when you're eating with them. And even it'll, it happens, it's happened to me on many occasions, since I'm not that big of a meat eater many times, so I don't usually choose that much meat and put it on my plate that if they see that you don't have much meat on their plate, they'll cut off a piece of meat from their plate and just throw it onto your plate. And so you'll just be sitting there and also the piece of meat will fly in on your plate as you're trying to get your food. Now, what
they're doing, from their perspective is they are being very generous and very gracious. And there, they are actually showing you how much they like you and how much they want you to, you know, get there, they want to give you what they have, which is the best in their, in their eyes.
Now to have someone take some food from his plate and throw it onto your plate, and so forth, like in American culture right now, probably, that's not
that's not something that most Americans, let's say would would be used to, and they might even they might some might even be a little bit offended or will not like this cultural practice.
Well, as I said, again, from the from the Islamic law, point of point of view, there's nothing obviously wrong with this practice. In fact, you know, it's something where someone is sacrificing something, in essence, that's what they're sacrificing something and they're trying to give you something that they feel is really good. And so they're actually expressing their, their light for you and so forth.
For some, I've actually seen
many converts to Islam have a great deal of difficulty with this kind of thing. You know, they they do not like it.
And I'm just going to as this is just an advice from him from someone who's been listening for for many years, I think the best way to approach this kind of things, even if you feel uncomfortable with it, or even if you're, you know, a little surprised by the answer, or something of that nature, that the important thing is to try to look at the spirits, why they did this kind of action, why do they do this kind of action,
you know, they are doing these kind of actions, because in their culture, this is considered very generous, very nice, they are actually demonstrating to you how much they care about you and how much they like you that that they want for you the best and so
and you, you now have embraced Islam, you're Muslim now and you're joining this large Brotherhood in this Lodge, or sister as well, this large brotherhood has people from all over the world.
And so we shouldn't expect that they're all going to change their culture just because of this one individual, these 10 individuals from the west will become Muslim. So obviously, they're going to continue with their practices. And I think it'll be better for you if you are very accommodating to them.
And as I said, Take everything in the spirit and the purpose for which it is done. Because if you, if you if you see there's two ways you can you can look at this kind of act of the food flying on your plate, you can look at it as from your perspective, very something uncouth, you know, very, you can maybe even think of it as something disrespectful. Or you could look at it from their from their vantage point that they are trying to do something very nicely. Obviously, depending on how you look at it, it's going to affect how you're active react to it, and how you react to it and how you behave under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, whether you like it or not, is going to affect
your, your interaction with other Muslims in your community.
And so therefore, the only thing as I said,
there, although the thing that I recommend is that you tried to become accommodating tried to take everything in the spirit in which is done. And if you actually don't like it, you may tell them later at some point when you're maybe a little bit closer to them and you know what you're the better that you know, actually I really don't like this practice and I'd prefer if you don't do it, and even then there'll be understand
and this has been my experience
They will be understanding they will take your feelings into consideration. It doesn't mean that if you go out and meet some new people from that same cultural practice won't happen again to you, but at least among those people that you know, they will, they will know that, okay, this person doesn't like this particular thing. And usually they are their understanding, and they do not have any problem with it. Some cultural practices actually are well within the spirit of Islam and are consistent with Islam. And those you should, if you have the ability to, you should try also to develop them and make them part of your character as well. So this issue, this issue of culture and
interaction with with older with the, you know, Muslims from different Muslim cultures, as I said, actually, unfortunately, I've really seen it affect new Muslims, I mean, affect them, to the extent that sometimes even they don't want to come to the mosque, and once they start coming to the mosque, of course, this is a blocking off their access to learn about learn more about Islam and so forth. And this can become something very dangerous for the religious, the spiritual health of that Muslim. So, try to take all of these things with the proper attitude, inshallah, and the proper spirit, and hopefully, all of these things will,
will actually bring you closer to Islam and bring you closer to the other Muslims, when you see for example, that they're actually doing things that in their eyes are showing you their love and their concern for you, you begin to appreciate them more, that brings you closer to them and inshallah all of us together, we can grow within our Islam.
Another aspect to keep in mind
is that when you become Muslim, you have to realize that you are the one who's new to Islam.
You know, sometimes I've seen, for example, new Muslims,
they kind of enter into Islam sometimes, you know, like, they have some kind of chip on their shoulder or something. And they don't like the idea of, of Muslims have the other Muslims telling them, for example, what is Islam and how they're supposed to behave and this kind of thing.
Again, you have to realize you are the new person you are, you are the one actually who does not have, in most cases, you know, unless you studied Islam for like 30 years before we became Muslim, and really knowing well, which is usually not the not the case,
you have to realize that you are the one who actually you need the other Muslim guidance, you need the other Muslims, friendship and help and so forth. And so therefore, basically, what I'm saying is don't approach other Muslims with some kind of attitude that you don't like being taught, you don't like being told what to do and what not to do. So
this is actually a very important point, because in Islam, there is an emphasis on teaching others and teaching others not with not with the intent of showing that you have more knowledge than them more, or in a condescending manner or something, but out of concern for them, you want them to know what is right, you want them to do what is right. And so therefore, when you see your brother doing something wrong coming into the mosque, for example, and, and behave in an improper manner, or not praying in a proper manner, it is, it is natural for Muslim men to go up to that other Muslim and say, Look, you know, I saw you doing this, and I know that you're Muslim. And so, therefore, I
thought I should, I should, I should tell you that this is incorrect, what you did, you should do it this way, in this way. So
again, if you keep in mind, what is the spirit behind it, they are not trying to put you down or anything of that nature.
But they are trying to help you in yourself.
And unfortunately, it can get to the point, you know, it can be to the point that it can be bothersome. I mean, if every time you go to the mosque, you have five or 10 people coming up to you and telling you you did this wrong, you did the wrong and we did this wrong, because a lot of Muslims have a lot of a lot of exuberance. And they are very anxious and very energetic with respect to trying to tell others about Islam as of one and sometimes even the way they tell you sometimes maybe there's a language barrier. And there's this cultural barrier. Sometimes even the way they tell you might even feel like they are telling you in a manner which is not very polite and you may
even be offended by
unfortunately, all of these things occur. So you have to can have to bounce a number of things. You have to recognize the fact that you are new to Islam and so therefore it is possible that you are making many mistakes. And they are and the people who see you making these mistakes, they are just trying to help you when when you do these kind of mistakes.
Now if it does get too much, it really does seem to be bothersome
First of all, I recommend that you have patience.
Because remember, I told you that you may face many trials.
You may face trials from your, from your parents and from your brothers and from your sisters and so forth. But also and when interacting with other Muslims also, you're going to face many trials, and then coming to you, or maybe telling you things in a manner that you don't like and so forth, or telling you too much and overburdening you on and overloading you in this kind of thing, I can just, I can just recommend that you have patience. And remember your ultimate goal and your ultimate purpose, your embracing of Islam, and this practice of the religion of Islam is not just some kind of weekend activity that you're doing, just for fun or something of that nature. But your ultimate
purpose is to please get, have a love Please with you, and to get closer to God.
So therefore, the ultimate purpose of the ultimate goal should override any kind of little problems that that arise along the way any kind of little disturbances that arise along the way. And one of these kind of disturbances that people come across often again, as this interaction with Muslims, and Muslims for a while, and then sometimes being taught and being corrected in manners that the manners or
and on a repetitive basis that begins to bother the Muslim. So
it may not from for some individuals, it may not be an easy thing to deal with. But again, I have to stress that patience on these issues is very important.
Keeping in mind, the long run goal, the ultimate purpose while you're doing all this,
anytime you keep those things in mind, this can make you rise above all these kind of minor and small difficulties that you that you may face while interacting with, with other Muslims. And again, as I said before about the culture, if you keep in mind, the spirit and the purpose behind it, they're not trying to belittle belittle you they're not trying to harm you, they're not trying to embarrass you in any way. But they are actually in general they are they're trying to they're trying to help. And so therefore shallow, if you take it in that spirit, if you take it in that spirit, I think inshallah things will work out fine. And you will benefit from their, from their advice and so
forth. Another issue that you must also be aware of,
especially in the in the United States, I'm not
too sure about England and other places, but many of the mosques in the United States.
They are run by volunteers.
They are usually understaffed.
They are almost always under financed, even when they are even when they are not run by volunteers. They are under financed. So don't don't expect perfection.
From the people, unfortunately, who are working in the mosque, and don't, especially as they sit in the United States and probably in other Western countries.
The Islamic setup is not we do not have that large of a population, we do not have that large of funds and so forth, to be as organized and to be as proficient as some, for example, as some of the the Christian churches that we that we see here.
If you travel to some of the Muslim lands, you'll you'll find, for example, that the mosques are run and financed by by state, by state ministries, by governmental ministries. So they are financed, they are clean, they are well built, they are maintained with funds, people are people are there to clean them, people are there to be the man people are there to call the prayer and so forth. And so
like some of the Christian churches here, some of them run very smoothly if there are there are new people who come in if there's people who come for information, so forth, they have literature, they have people who are dedicated to that job, full time employees and so forth. And so therefore, the the situation is quite different in some parts of the world than it is here in the United States. So here in the United States, when you go to the mosque, for example, you may go to the mosque many times and not find someone or you might even call the mosque on many occasions and not be called back and all or not be called back for a long time and so forth. You may ask for something from the
mosque and so forth and find that there is some mismanagement of mismanagement with this organization and so forth. And all of this has to do unfortunately with our situation here and in the West.
For whatever reason, we do not have the funds or we do not have the dedicated people
And we do not have the qualified people really in the West, we do not have enough qualified people that for example, every mosque will have a qualified Imam qualified person to give the Friday's hotline and speeches and lectures and classes and so forth. And simply is not is not the case. And so therefore, this is another thing that, that you're going to have to be patient with some mosques, Mashallah have developed excellent outreach programs, and they even have classes for for new Muslims.
But in general, many cases, as I said, even as a Muslim, you may feel like you're, you're lost, or you may even feel sometimes, like you're abandoned maybe by the community that you're not getting the kind of guidance, the kind of time the kind of instruction that you feel that you need, and that you're looking for.
So again, as I said, you're going to face many trials,
some are more obvious than others, this might be something that you didn't think of as a trial. But actually, this might be even more difficult for you than some of the other things that I mentioned.
Because you may be in a situation where the the local mosque, again, has been running run by volunteers, it doesn't really have the funds doesn't have the resources doesn't even have the literature maybe that they can offer you. And in fact, within that community itself, they might even have
difficulty themselves finding someone to give the Friday speech for the for the Friday prayer. So you can imagine that
they are complete, they are lacking to such an extent that they find it difficult even for one of the basic tenets, one of the basic practices of Islam to fulfill that one property.
So this is going to be another issue for you. Hopefully, in every mosque, hopefully in every month, you will find brothers who are sincere, you will find at least people who will be good friends for you, they may not be able to offer you that much guidance, but inshallah hopefully they will be good friends. And maybe they will be able to point you to people of knowledge, either enclosed by convenience, or maybe something even over the internet or something of that nature, something that will help you grow and Islam. But again, this will be another aspect where, again, patients will be required on your part, keeping in mind what you're doing this for what is the ultimate goal again,
always keeping that in mind, this will make you shall overcome many of these difficulties that you'll face, even after becoming Muslim for a while.
And finally, as another as the I guess there's the final introductory point is what I mean.
There's also not very much information, or there's not very much literature and resources available for the new Muslim in particular,
there are a lot of issues of concern for the numerous there are a lot of even
laws or what they call flip regulations that are specific for news.
And so therefore, since there's not much information available out there, and many, many Muslims, for example, even maybe many Muslim scholars have not experienced this situation. And therefore they're not have not read on these issues. And therefore they even they may not be that familiar with what a new Muslim should do.
And this is another problem that the Muslim has to face, even if you can find people who are willing to help, they may not know where to find the answers to some of these questions and so forth. So many of these introductory points and many of these introductory introductory issues, I can just give you some advice, you know about how to handle them, as I said, basically being patient and remembering the overall purpose and the overall goal of your of your Islam is going to help you a lot and many of those are issues, there is not much that I can do for you in these lectures but inshallah at least on this last point. And this last point, though, of the fact that there are many
issues facing enormous amount of thought concerning which there's not that many resources or not that much information available. One of the basic goals of this lecture series is basically to give you the information that you may need concerning a number of issues that a new Muslim is facing, especially the
what are known as the flip or the legal issues.
This is one of the goals of this series. This is not the only goal.
Another one of the major goals again, as I mentioned at the beginning is to give you a proper foundation of Islam because if you have the proper foundation
Everything else will be much easier for you. And when I say the proper Foundation, I'm talking about
the proper understanding of what are the sources of Islam? Where do we get the teachings of Islam from? What are some of the basic characteristics of Islam? And the basic goals of Islam that we can always keep in our mind that this is what Islam is all about? What are some of the basic beliefs in Islam that we have to make sure that we understand properly? Again, as I mentioned before, inshallah, all of us all of the new Muslims have studied Islam to some extent, but there might be some issues that they didn't touch upon and so forth. So, but if you have the foundation, if you have the proper beliefs, and you understand the property, if you understand Islam as a whole, and
what are the goals of Islam? What is Islam giving you? What are the essential features of Islam, if you if you understand all of these properly, that can make your life very easy. I mean, that will give you the guidance the light that you need under different circumstances that will help you unless you know where to turn to you and you should have some basic idea of what is occurring to you and how you're supposed to respond. And then beyond that, we will get into inshallah specific issues related to Muslim issues like for example, what about the wealth that he has before he became Muslim? What about the fact that he's married to a non Muslim or non Muslim spouse, what should be
the interaction with him and his a non Muslim relatives and so for all of these inshallah, we hope to cover in this in this lecture series inshallah.
So, inshallah, we'll start with a discussion of the two basic sources of Islam because as I said,
if you understand this properly, and you have the right attitude towards this, the basic sources of Islam, that will and shall help you a great deal in the long run.
The prophet SAW Selim set her up to become a Marine, then the law mathema set can be met. If they have a light or something within the beam.
The promise I sell him, though this I have left them on you to matters, that if you adhere to them, you will never be misguided.
The Book of Allah and the Sunnah of his prophet.
So the promises that are missing is left behind is living with us two things.
Obviously, the prophet SAW Selim is no longer living among us. We cannot turn to him directly for guidance and asked him directly questions.
But he says that he said that he's living among us two things. And if we adhere to these two things, if we cling, and stick to these two things will never be led astray, will never be misguided.
And these are the book of Allah and the Sunnah of his prophet.
So obviously with this,
with these words from the prophet SAW Selim,
these words in themselves should be sufficient for us to understand the place of these two sources, and how important these two sources should be in our lives.
Now, the Quran and the Sunnah of the prophet SAW Salem, as I said, these are the two foundations in any discussion of Islam.
Any discussion of Islam must be based on these two foundations.
The Quran is the revelation that the problem has
received directly via the angel Gabriel from Allah subhanho wa Taala.
And it lays the foundation for the entirety of the Islamic teachings.
And therefore any kind of discussion about Islam, obviously, must be based on what the Quran is saying.
You know, it's amazing to me, sometimes you can pick up a book about Islam,
supposedly explaining Islam, especially nowadays, one of the things that we have to be very aware of, unfortunately, especially here in the United States, or in the West, is that a lot of alternative ways waves of Islam are supposedly being presented as options for the Muslims and as, as relevant and true manifestations of Islam or equally relevant, the true manifestations of Islam.
And actually, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that there might be something wrong if for example, you pick up a book that is supposedly explaining Islam and then you go through the entire book and there's rarely even a reference to the Quran. There's a really you
In a verse being quoted from the crown while in fact this is supposed to be a book explaining Islam doesn't make any sense I mean Islam the Quran is the very foundation of Islam.
And so therefore you should be suspicious of any literature that is supposedly explaining Islam that is not based in any way for example on the Quran
and there's one book in particular called the progressive Muslims collection of articles, you know, you'll be hard pressed to find and some of those articles you'll be hard pressed to find any quote even from the Quran about what Islam is supposed to be what Islam is.
So as I said, the Quran really is the foundation. However, at the same time, Allah subhana wa tada did not reveal this Quran as they say on a mountainside, right? It's not just some words that are that we find the books and place that we find along the mountainside. But Allah specifically chose to send this revelation in a very specific manner.
Allah subhanho wa Taala chose to reveal the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed saucer
and within the Quran,
within the Quran, Allah subhanho wa Taala tells us not only to look to the Quran, but Allah subhanaw taala also tells us to look at the example of the promises element or is this true obey the promises
and his life and his example and his behavior.
You know, what he did, and so forth. This is known as the sooner the sooner of the promises.
This is inclusive of his words, his speech, what he said what the audience over
what he recommended, what he prohibited, all of his speech is part is considered part of his cinema, but also is inclusive of his behavior, his actions, what he did,
and how many times his actions and his behavior as a whole
are just as important as maybe individual words that he's given us. How did he behave with respect to his companions with respect to his wives, and so forth. These are essential aspects, as we'll talk about Islam. And the Sunnah, as we'll talk about shortly, it is also captured another term that you should know is the word Heidi.
The Hadith is the literature that captures
the reports about the Sunnah of the Prophet
jela we'll get into both of those aspects shortly. But I want to first begin by discussing the Quran. So the Quran is as we said, it is a revelation from Allah subhanaw taala. It is actually the speech, the speech of Allah subhanho wa Taala that is sent to the problem via the angel Gabriel.
So the actual words, the actual words of the Quran were given to the problem Hamza Salim from Allah. So this is not the speech of the problem.
This is not the speech of the angel Gabriel. But this is actually the speech of Allah Subhana Allah.
And Allah subhanho wa Taala revealed this Quran to the promises
over a period of 23 years.
So the prophets I sent him received his first revelation when he was 40 years old, and the revelation continue, continue to come to the process.
And this is part by the way of the of the practicality of the Quran itself.
That it actually came to the problem I'm
not there's just some kind of abstract theory or something of that nature nature, but to practically guide the process alum and his community, the Muslim nation at that time, under different circumstances, together now when we look we know we know that the Quran has 114 sutras and, and when we look at it nowadays, sometimes we don't even realize that even within one surah sometimes one portion of that Soto is maybe revealed years after another portion. But when we read it, it all looks like maybe even it has come at one time or we feel that it's just one book and so forth, obviously but in reality, it came over a period of 23 years.
And part of the benefit of that, as I said was to actually give guidance to the process and to make it make its teachings a real living thing. So a guided the community of the problem.
From the time that the Prophet Mohammed Salim was persecuted in Mecca and finally when the Muslims had to flee Mecca to establish
The new community and Medina and when the onslaught came from the disbelievers and Medina and the community continued to grow until until Islam and the Muslim community became successful.
So the guidance for all of these periods the guidance for all of these different circumstances, and Allah's mercy He has given us this forum that provides the gangs for all of these different times and all of these different periods of the Muslim community for the Muslim community, and also for the Muslim individual himself.
And so therefore, this Quran we can say, this Quran transformed a people completely the air people, the people the problems.
But the time of the death of these people were completely transformed people.
They went from the people who were heedless of God and religion and practicing proper faith to a very devout, pious community, adhering to God's laws, and worshiping God and being sincere to God and being ethical in their behavior and so forth.
And this we can see is really one of the ultimate goals of the Quran and something that we have to understand about the Quran. The Quran is meant to develop us and to proper human beings. It is meant to change our lives if we are doing something wrong. If we do not have the right attitude, the right beliefs, the right practices, the Quran, actually,
the teachings of the Quran should make us change should develop us into a new human being. And if we have the proper understanding of the Quran and the proper attitude towards the Quran shala this effect will will come upon us.
And this is one of the actually one of the miraculous aspects of the Quran.
The prophet SAW Selim, he described the Quran as being one of those signs one of those miracles that the different prophets received. When Allah subhanaw taala sent various prophets,
he would give them different signs, signs that when the people would see them, they would understand that this person must be sent from God, this sign must be something from God.
It is not something within the means and the reach of human beings. And so therefore, they would see these signs and they would believe in that profit.
The problem for the Prophet Mohammed Salim
he had some of these, what you could call it with respect to the problem. As I said, I'm some of these lesser signs. But the real sign of his message, the real miracle that that he had, is this is this Quran. The prophets I send them said that there was no prophet among the prophets. But he was given science because of which the people had belief.
But what I have been given, is the divine revelation which Allah has revealed to me. So I hope my followers will be more than those of any other prophets on the Day of Resurrection.
So here, the promise I sent him is comparing this sign that Allah subhanho wa Taala has given him this miracle that all this man with that is giving. It is the it is the revelation from God.
And it is distinct and unique from all of the other signs that early prophets have.
And so therefore, because of the greatness of this sign, he's saying that I hope therefore, that I'll have more followers than any of the other prophets.
Obviously, the greater the sign, the more wonderful design then inshallah this should mean the more people will will listen to it will see it will believe in it, and it'll have an effect upon them. So the prophet SAW Selim is basically describing this sign this Quran, this revelation, that he has received from Allah subhanho wa Taala
is describing it as really being greater than all of the signs that all of the other prophets received. And therefore he has reason to hope. He has reason to hope that he will be having the greatest number of followers or not have all the profits on the danger.
And so this Quran, it is a mercy from Allah subhanho wa Taala. The tears revealed this Quran is given this problem, the problem homosassa this great sign and this great miracle.
And if you if you study the Quran,
we studied the Quran in great detail, you will find that it is miraculous in many, many ways.
During the time of the Arabs, for example, one of the aspects that they were very fond of and very proud of was their language and their eloquence.
And they used to compete with one another in producing the most eloquent Arabic
Poetry and Arabic prose and what whatever. And they used to have fair like, what we have nowadays, county fairs and state fairs and this kind of thing, where they used to go on they would compete, you know, everyone agreed with the head, and there would be competition and those, those people who were known for their eloquence they would become very famous among them.
So they had this source of pride among them. And so therefore, Allah subhanho wa Taala revealed this port of this Quran in the Arabic language in the pure Arabic language to these people.
And just the language of the Quran itself was such a miracle, the language of the Quran itself, they could see that this was not a product of, of humans. But there's one scholar who noted that after after Allah subhanho, wa Taala, revealed the Quran. And after they saw that there is something that they cannot even compete with all of these fears, all of these, like linguistic or artistic fears that they used to have in the time before the problems.
All of them stopped, they just continued to spread.
Because now they recognize that there's something actually that they cannot compete.
Now, this is linguistic and poetic, and also prose, not just the poetic aspect, but also the prose, the beauty, and the eloquence of the Quran.
Obviously, for most new Muslims, they cannot really appreciate this, because this has a lot to do with the Arabic language itself.
And obviously, most people who become Muslim, for example, here on the West End are experts in that, and the Arabic language, maybe we can listen to the Quran, for example, we can, we can hear someone reciting the Quran and we can see, or I should say, we can hear the beauty of its words, and of its melody, and so forth. But we do not really appreciate this linguistic aspect. But the Arabs at the time of the process, and this was actually one of the aspects that they could really recognize, and see that this speech. These words, were not the speech of any human, that it must have come from God. And so therefore this is one of one of the miraculous aspects, but there are many miraculous
aspects of the Quran. We have, for example, prophecies in the Quran, that came true during the lifetime the process.
We have, for example, its internal consistency, again, the Quran was revealed over a period of 23 years. And Allah subhanaw taala refers to the fact that if it had come from someone other than Allah subhanaw taala, you define, you would have found much, many discrepancies, its historical accuracy, to study how it's referring to the profits of all and so forth. You'll find, for example, that there are some and I don't want to go into too much detail about this, because this will then be the whole lecture about the miraculous aspect of the Quran, but some of the letters, a lot of material available on this in English language, so you can just study some of it on its own. But you'll
notice even with respect to the prophets of old who are mentioned in the Bible, you'll find that there's some aspects that are mentioned in the Bible, which are historically can be shown that it cannot be correct. And yet you will not find those same kind of
anachronistic statements or incorrect statements in the Quran as well. Even though even though the Quran refers to many of those stories, many of the older prophets and many of their stories and much of their lives, you will not find any of these mistakes creeping into the Quran. Because the Quran has been revealed by Allah subhanho wa Taala. And even another aspect of the of the Quran is its preservation. The way it was preserved is unique as well and it has been preserved in detail from the time of the Prophet
when the prophets I send him when whenever the prophets I send him receive the revelation, he would call for his scribes. And he would tell his scribes This is the revelation I received and and blogs and such and such after such and such verses. So we have the Quran being received by the prophet SAW Salem and passing it on to the scribes in recording that at that time, and also people obviously memorizing the Quran. So from the time of the prophet SAW Selim, the Quran has been preserved through written record and also through the memory of the people. To this day, there are many, literally 1000s of people who have memorized the entire Quran,
even if all of the books were to be removed,
Fahrenheit 451 even if he destroyed all of the books and all the puppies of the Quran, the Quran will still be preserved. There's still a sufficient number of people who memorize the whole Quran from beginning to end the Quran will not be lost.
So in shalonda and that point I will in this particular lecture