New and curious about Islam ? Starter guide for the new Muslim

  1. Small steps. Don’t overwhelm yourself with information overload. Follow what you’re naturally interested in. History? Islamic history may be a good one. Women’s issues? Women’s rights in Islam. Daily life? What practicing Muslims do on the regular and how they integrate things like ritual prayers into busy schedules.
  2. Examine how being a Muslim will impact your current life and what you would do. Being a Muslim is a lifestyle with daily obligations. Think about what you’ll have to refrain from and change, and I don’t say that to scare you off lol, but to just increase your awareness.
  3. Perhaps think about what you’re looking for in life and what you feel you need in it. When I was rediscovering Islam, I was craving moral guidance (turned with the wind too much) and something to help develop my character. I found that and more in Islam.

Questions that converts I’ve been friends with have had:

  • Do I need to change my name? No. It’s encouraged to change your name if there’s an inherently negative or offensive meaning, but generally there isn’t any such thing as a Muslamic name (which people will sometimes erroneously conflate with Arabic names, but Islam has a home in every culture and every nation)
  • I have tattoos or brightly colored hair, do I need to remove/change that? No. Tattoos don’t need to be removed, cover them up if you can (clothing wise). The things one did before they were Muslim aren’t held against you. There’s nothing wrong with having brightly colored hair as a Muslim either 😛
  • Can I still attend my family’s holiday festivities? Yes! Building and fostering healthy familial relationships is important, whether your family is Muslim or not, but you’ll have to abstain from participating in religious rituals like the Eucharist
  • Do I have to start wearing a hijab and dressing modestly immediately? Make that a goal, and then work towards it incrementally. Go at a pace that is sustainable for you and ignore what anyone tells you about a timeline. Swap out shorts for long pants, then short sleeves for long sleeves, introduce longer length shirts, looser pants, etc etc.

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