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Please Guide Me: I’m a New Convert In Search of a Mentor

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 16, 2019

Question

I recently converted to Islam and need someone to ask questions about the Quran and Islam and learning how to pray, etc. Do mosques have mentorship programs or resources for new Muslims like me? I feel I would benefit from one-on-one assistance, but I don’t know where to start!

Consultant

Answer


mentor

Short Answer: Some mosques DO have mentorship available! Are you lucky enough to live relatively close to a mosque? If so, reach out! Give them a call and ask if they have anyone to mentor new Muslims. If you have checked around to no avail, look for online groups. About Islam has a Facebook page for the purpose of supporting converts, for example. I, myself, have connected with fellow Muslims on Twitter whose faith inspires me to improve my own. Another great resource for mentors might be your local educational institute’s MSA – Muslim Students Association.

……………………………

Salaam Alaykum! Welcome to Islam and thank you for your question.

This is a common query for new Muslims. It can be exceptionally difficult to sift through all the information out there and determine what is right and what is false.

Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question as there is not any sort of global mentorship program coordinated across various mosques in various places. But there is no need to despair. Here are a few tips.

Check with your Local Mosque

Some mosques DO have mentorship available! Are you lucky enough to live relatively close to a mosque? If so, reach out! Give them a call and ask if they have anyone to mentor new Muslims.

Some mosques, while they may not specifically have mentorship programs, might have classes or support groups for new converts.

Personally, I suggest investigating support groups by and for converts. People who were raised Muslim can’t always empathize with the struggles new converts go through. So even if you are meeting with a mentor or taking classes, I highly recommend looking for opportunities to connect with other converts.

Do you Live by a College or University?

Another great resource for mentors might be your local educational institute’s MSA – Muslim Students Association. Even if you don’t attend the school, if there is an MSA, you might find an enthusiastic young Muslim willing to help a new convert out. At the very least, they will have some knowledge about the local community and may be able to point you in the direction of helpful people or families for you to connect with.

When all else Fails, Turn to Modern Technology!

Many of us are not fortunate enough to live in a place with an active or helpful Muslim community. If you have checked around to no avail, look for online groups. About Islam has a Facebook page for the purpose of supporting converts, for example. I, myself, have connected with fellow Muslims on Twitter whose faith inspires me to improve my own.

And of course, please submit any and all of your questions to About Islam! We have lots of fellow converts on board who will be more than happy to guide you through the murky waters of early conversion.

As far as online resources go, however, do proceed with caution. The internet can be a blessing and a curse. Anything we could ever want to know in this world is available at our fingertips, subhanallah! But also, anyone can put anything online. I have seen supposedly reputable Islamic websites stating blatant and offensive falsehoods that spread toxic lies throughout the Muslim world. So please remember to use your judgment and remember that Allah gave you a brain for a good purpose: to use it!

Proceed with Caution

I just want to reiterate my warning from above on a somewhat broader scale. Even if you do manage to find one-on-one mentorship, please know that just because someone has been Muslim all their lives or for a very long time, that does not mean they know everything. Many Muslims are extremely confident about so-called “Islamic” practices, which are actually just cultural.

Be careful of red flags. If someone is trying to push you away from your culture because “you can’t be Western and Muslim,” then don’t continue asking for their mentorship. If someone is trying to push you to make too many changes too quickly, I advise the same. Remember that Islam was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saw) slowly across many years. If those devoted Muslims of the time were not expected to learn it all overnight, neither are you! Insha’Allah this has benefited you. Please do join our group on Facebook and follow the other steps I recommended. May Allah guide you on your journey to strengthen your practice and faith, ameen.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Looking for a Rope in the Sea of Islam

Lonely Revert: No One Wants to Be a Mentor to Me

Are We Giving New Muslims Their Rights?




About Leah Mallery

Leah is a Muslim convert of almost a decade. She has two kids, an intercultural marriage, and half of a French degree in her back pocket, looking to switch gears to science and medicine. She has lived abroad for over a decade, having just recently become reacquainted with her roots in America. She currently lives in Michigan near her family and – masha’Allah – a sizeable Muslim community.

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