Today I read a comment from someone online stating what reverts need, not that I’m in total disagreement but the fact that many non reverted muslims seem to think they know what reverts need is a little odd.
Not any 2 people are the same so its impossible to say every revert will need to be told about X first because maybe they already know. You can’t just say, ‘get married because it will help your deen ‘ because that’s not always the case or maybe she wouldn’t be ready to be a muslim wife yet, lets face it many born muslims are struggling with that too.
So you ask, ok what does a revert really need?
A True Friend
This woman has now embraced Islam and either has friends she sees as loyal or a family who would most likely love her to turn back on her heels and denounce her Islam. She needs that person who will sit and drink tea with her and talk about random things, someone who will just smile with her or giggle when she realises she was praying the wrong direction and nicely just prompt her into the correct way. She doesn’t need the harram police saying do this and do that but everythig else you’re doing is harram and kafir friends are a no no etc. Many times sisters are born muslim and are doing exactly what their parents did to them with the deen to these fresh reverts and just making everything hallal and harram when most women enter Islam aware of some of these things but embraced faith because of tawheed and love for the Aqeedah we hold. find nice ways and the correct times to convey naseehah to your sister, after all we want her to worship Allah the best way because we love Jennah for her as we love it for ourself. We don’t advice because we want people to listen to us and our opinion.
She may have become a muslim but she will need time to rewire her brain into thinking is this hallal or harram and to consider Allah in her decisions. She will need some friendly reminders so she doesn’t forget prayer times and a little shove every now and then when her Iman is low or she is becoming doubtful if she is capable to remember everything like is it her arms to wash then wiping her head or does she wipe her head then wash her arms… these things that have become normal for us are so overwhelming for her still. Did you forget how you felt the first time you tried to make wudhoo alone? or when you opened the mushaf and thought whatttttt??? people actually memorise all this etc. Be careful not to offend her silly questions one day in the future you will both giggle about them just remember no question is stupid and every question deserves a well thought out response.
Yes, she needs knowledge more and more but not to overwhelm her. Give her knowledge that is relevant, she may not want to always go out to the masjid or she may not read a lot so dont just give her 20 books and asume she will read them. She may prefer talking with sisters and having a little get together just remember stay by her side even if she looks comfortable that could change rapidly and she may feel very alone again even in a room full of people. She needs time to build that natural bond and to realise she wont be judged.
Dont try to tell her you understand when you’re a born muslim and in no way shape or form is anything you went through the same. Many cultures have twisted roads that many don’t understand and yes, its hard for born muslims too even if a situation seems similar just remember this sister risked losing or has lost her family, friends and everything she knew for the love of obeying Allah and needs someone to listen and possibly relate ( another revert) but not to feel like someone is kind of in a competition with her trying to say , yes I had that problem too, me too, my family are worse, well I got past it all just be patient etc or to make her feel like what she is going through is nothing and other reverts had it worse. Empathise with your sister and remind her and increase her in her new Aqeedah.
The most frustrating thing I see is when people see what a revert is going through, either she’s missing her family or feeling a little alone or overwhelmed, she may be doing fine in front of everyone but struggling silently remembering the words to her prayers or things like this and you have those people who throw one liners, Allah is with the patient, Just remember Jennah at the end of all this, don’t worry many went through the same and worse etc.
My sister while your words are correct and no one can deny that just recall that when someone is struggling we don’t throw words at them or empty phrases that belittle them but we carry them on until they can stand again on their own two feet then remain close by incase they need help again. We should all have that 1 person who is always ready to catch us when we fall. If we all tried to do this for 1 of our friends we would be overwhelmed with the support and legitimate love and care we get when we fall. That is what protects us from sadness and shaytaan as he seeks to make us sad to ruin our Iman.
Other than emotional and spiritual support she may also need financial help, If you know she is struggling or can see her empty kitchen cupboards don’t ask if she needs help financially just as anyone she most likely will say no. Speak with some sisters and put together something simple every week or month for her or invite her over for food so you know she’s getting proper meals. Slowly she will open up but may never actually ask for help, It is our responsibility to help these new muslims or even reverts who aren’t new in the deen but are still single or divorced etc.
If you are a revert or know one who has struggled through that beginning stage please post below your thoughts of what would have helped.