Now or...Later?

>> Tuesday, April 19, 2011

As salamualaykum DLA's :)

I ADORE your blog and could use some quick tips and help for a friend of mine!

I have a friend, she tries to do hijab, attend lectures with us and even on her own she tries to attend classes, believes in Allah and pretty much everything in Quran and Sunnah. But there's this small thing, She is not a muslim. She is a christian who Inshallahu ta'ala will accept islam soon but she is thinking of doing it in ramadan because it is the blessed month. I tried talking her into doing it at the earliest because she is pretty much a muslim anyway, she is reducing all her bad habits which contradict with deen and she is more careful about halal and haram than myself.

She told me that she wants to be perfect by the time she takes her shahadah, when i asked her she said that she should know how to pray, she should not leave any prayer, she should be comfortable with hijab and all that.. when I tried to tell her that shahadah is something that will make her a believer hence the good chances of attaining paradise, she gave an example of our mutual revert friend , lets call her A... She said that she does not want to become a muslim and miss some prayers like A. she wants to practice perrfectly hence she would take her time. :|

I'm in a fix now, can you please help me out?

In need of Advice.

wa'alykum as salam wa rahmatullah wa barkatoo
Dearest In Need of Advice,

I adore you!!!  What a sweet question :) You can tell how much you care about your friend, ma'shaAllah. It's also very exciting to think that inshaAllah sooooon we will all have a new sister. I'm almost tingling at the thought!

Now, on to the question. First of all, it's great that your friend does at least have some sort of time frame in mind. InshaAllah Ramadan is going to be in August, right, so it's not too far away. (Now, of course, none of us is guaranteed to live until Ramadan...let alone tomorrow, so I can understand your concern, though). But what I want to point out (which I'm pretty sure you already know, hehe) is that it's really important then that your friend doesn't feel like you are pressuring her into this but that you are supporting her. You can do that by continuing to talk to her, welcoming her questions/doubts, and just hanging out with her (it doesn't all have to be about Islam), etc.

As for the fact that she seems to think that it is necessary/ want to be practicing perfectly before she takes shahadah, well here are a few ideas...

1. Explain that perfection isn't a pre-requisite to becoming a Muslim nor is it EVER required from us

Try explaining to her that while it is very noble to want to be perfectly practicing to please Allah (inshaAllah), we really shouldn't putperfection as our condition/pre-requisite to taking the shahadah because the reality of the matter is that...we will never be perfect.  

Not only that, but perfection was never expected from us, in the first place :) Allah subhanoo Wa' Tala didn't ask us to be perfect, but instead, to try our best. We should submit to Allah as much as we can, but if we make mistakes, that's alright. We just have to admit our shortcomings and acknowledge Allah's favor upon us, that's all. 

In fact, Prophet Mohammed sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam told us to recite the following dua: O Allah, You are my Lord, there is none worthy of worship but You. You created me and I am your slave. I keep Your covenant, and my pledge to You so far as I am able. I seek refuge in You from the evil of what I have done. I admit to Your blessings upon me, and I admit to my misdeeds. Forgive me, for there is none who may forgive sins but You.

He said that whoever recites this with conviction in the evening and dies during that night shall enter Paradise, and whoever recites it with conviction in the morning and dies during that day shall enter Paradise, Al-Bukhari 7/150. Other reports are in An-Nasa'i and At-Tirmithi.

Talk to her about how all of us make mistakes. Tell her that you (In Need of Advice) aren't perfect, either. But that you're still a Muslim. It doesn't make you a hypocrite or 'less of a Muslim'. It just makes you 'human'. In fact, in a hadith Prophet Mohammed sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam made it clear that we all sin- Muslims, included. But he also told us what to do: 

 "All of the sons of Adam sin; the best of sinners are those who repent".

He also said, "O people! Had you not sinned, Allah would have created a people that would have sinned, and asked for forgiveness from Him so that He would have forgiven them." [Sahih Muslim, Kitab at-Taubah, #6622]
Also: Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam said: “Allah, the Exalted, will continue to stretch out His Hand in the night so that the sinners of the day may repent, and continue to stretch His Hand in the daytime so that the sinners of the night may repent, until the sun rises from the west”. [Muslim]

So, she really doesn't have to worry herself about perfecting her ibadaa before she allows herself to become a Muslim. She should just realize that submitting to Allah is a life long struggle and each day is a chance to be a better Muslim :) We are all a 'work in progress' :D aunties and all included!

She should instead focus on fulfilling what is required in order to be Muslim: does she fully believe in the 6 articles of faith and 5 pillars of Islam? Try and find out if she has any doubts/ questions about these. 

2. Show her the Reversion Story Mentioned in the Qur'an:

And the magicians came to Pharaoh.
They said, "Indeed for us is a reward if we are the predominant." (113)
e said, "Yes, and, [moreover], you will be among those made near [to me]." (114) They said, "O Moses, either you throw [your staff], or we will be the ones to throw [first]."
He said, "Throw," and when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people and struck terror into them, and they presented a great [feat of] magic. (116)
 So the magicians fell down in prostration. They said, "We have believed in the Lord of the worlds, (121) The Lord of Moses and Aaron." (122) Said Pharaoh, "You believed in him before I gave you permission. Indeed, this is a conspiracy which you conspired in the city to expel therefrom its people. But you are going to know. (123) I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on opposite sides; then I will surely crucify you all." (124) They said, "Indeed, to our Lord we will return. (125) And you do not resent us except because we believed in the signs of our Lord when they came to us. Our Lord, pour upon us patience and let us die as Muslims [in submission to You]."  (Surat Al Araf)
 In Surat Taha they also added:
They said, "Never will we prefer you over what has come to us of clear proofs and [over] He who created us. So decree whatever you are to decree. You can only decree for this worldly life. (72) Indeed, we have believed in our Lord that He may forgive us our sins and what you compelled us [to do] of magic. And Allah is better and more enduring."

^As we can see from these passages, as soon as the magicians knew that Islam was the truth, they submitted to Allah. They accepted the truth immediately, bowing down to Allah, and begging for forgiveness. This is the reversion story that Allah shared with us in the Qur'an- the story that He made timeless for us to all learn from. 

What do we learn from it? That we do not have to know all of the minuscule details in order to accept Islam or be the best servants. We simply have to believe ....and sincerely want to put Allah above everything else.

The truth is, many of the Companions of the Prophet sallah Allahoo alyhee wa salam didn't know that much when they became Muslim. Remember, the Qur'an was being revealed as they became Muslim, so there were lots of things they didn't know beforehand/ hadn't perfected.  But they knew the most important thing: that Allah was One and that He Alone was worthy of our Worship. 

3. What were the first surahs Revealed from the Qur'an?  

رَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِى خَلَقَ - خَلَقَ الإِنسَـنَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ - اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الاٌّكْرَمُ - الَّذِى عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ - عَلَّمَ الإِنسَـنَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ ]
1. Read! In the Name of your Lord Who created. 2. He has created man from a clot.) 3. Read! And your Lord is the Most Generous.) 4. Who has taught by the pen. 5. He has taught man that which he knew not.)

Explain to your friend that Allah has honored her and chosen her by guiding her heart to Islam. He taught her what she didn't used to know. She, from among millions of Christians, has found the truth.... 

After those verses were revealed, these were the next ones;  

O you enveloped in garments! Arise and warn! And magnify your Lord (Allah)! And purify your garments! And keep away from Ar-Rujz (the idols)! And give not a thing in order to have more (or consider not your deeds of obedience to Allah as a favour to Him). And be patient for the sake of your Lord (i.e., perform your duty to Allah)

Abu Salamah explains in the tafsir that Ar-Rujz are 'the idols'.  Here Allah shows us what He wants from us once we know the truth. The most important thing He wants is for us to stay away from idols/ false gods- to willingly acknowledge that Allah is our Lord and no one else. 

He also shows that our deeds will never be a favor to Allah. He is the One granting us a favor by allowing us to pray to Him; therefore, again, she doesn't have to worry about perfecting her deeds before becoming a Muslim. She should first become a Muslim and then be patient and perform her duty to Allah as the order of these ayaat show.

The truth is that the first 13 years, while the Muslims were in Makkah, most of the Qur'an focused on tawheed. Afterwards, the other commandments were revealed. Therefore, tawheed should be her most important concern before accepting Islam.

4. Remind her that Allah made becoming a Muslim easy:

All that is necessary to become a Muslim is to recite the Shahada. There must be hikmah or wisdom in why Allah chose something sooooooo important to be soooooo easy to do. 

Also, show her this hadith:

 Narrated 'Ubada: The Prophet said, "If anyone testifies that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah Alone Who has no partners, and that Muhammad is His Slave and His Apostle, and that Jesus is Allah's Slave and His Apostle and His Word which He bestowed on Mary and a Spirit created by Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise with the deeds which he had done even if those deeds were few." (Junada, the sub-narrator said, " 'Ubada added, 'Such a person can enter Paradise through any of its eight gates he likes.") 

OKay, In Need of Advice!! These were my quick ideas :) I know they're not much...Hey, it's marked 'urgent' and I wanted to quickly reply! :) May Allah forgive me if I said anything wrong! It is great that she cares about salah and stuff. Make sure to offer to teach her how to pray step by step. I hope inshaAllah the other sisters can also share their advice :) Especially the converts, inshaAllah. 

Lots of love,

ETA: A good link for others thinking of converting to Islam...I want to be Muslim....BUT.

2 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Shireen Baig April 19, 2011 at 5:00 AM  

In need of advice seems to be a pretty awesome person :P

LOL, jazakillah khayr for the advice!!! O how I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU for it!!!!

Little Auntie April 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM  

^Hehe, yes, she is very awesome :P

You're more than welcome :D <3 <3

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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