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New Muslim Trying to Learn: What Information Can I Trust on Social Media?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 11, 2019

Question

I am new to Islam and I am trying to learn about my religion. I am getting so confused because there is so much information out there. How do I know which information is genuine? I also see many groups on FB that help new converts, but how can I know they are sharing reliable information, especially as some versions of Islam follow very extreme ideas.

Consultant

Answer


new muslim

Short Answer: Learning about Islam is like climbing a ladder: take it one step at a time, or you’ll fall. Remember: Islam was revealed over the course of many years. You are not expected to know it all overnight. Climb the ladder one step at a time and apply your critical thinking skills to everything you are told. Unfortunately, sifting through what is true and what is false is something that you will have to learn with time. It is a skill that will develop as you gain experience with Islam and with the Muslim community.  About Islam does have a Facebook page dedicated to supporting converts. It is moderated by staff members of About Islam and is, in my experience, one of the better online groups I have been a part of – please do join in!

 

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Salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah!

Alhamdulillah – welcome to Islam!

I, myself, am a convert of over 10 years now and I can completely identify with your feelings of confusion. There is so much out there – how do you sift through it all?

First, a Tip: Take it Slow!

This piece of advice was given to me when I first became a Muslim. A woman at the mosque told me that learning about Islam is like climbing a ladder: take it one step at a time, or you’ll fall.

I was young and eager and I did not want to listen. While I did not fall into any extreme practices, alhamdulillah, I wanted so badly to be “perfect” that I was very susceptible to accepting very strict interpretations of the faith. Here’s a little sub-tip for you as well: strict does not always mean correct. I did not realize that in my youth and I ended up hurting some people needlessly in my early years as a Muslim.

Remember: Islam was revealed over the course of many years. You are not expected to know it all overnight. Climb the ladder one step at a time and apply your critical thinking skills to everything you are told.

Where are the Sources?

If someone is telling you something about Islam that seems a bit off, ask: what are the sources? Wherefrom the Quran or Sunnah are you getting this information?

But even that is not enough. For example, people will tell you that polygyny is a Sunnah and therefore men should make a common practice of it. On the surface, that simplistic statement seems to check out. The Prophet (saw) did have many wives. Seems fine, right?

What else is Sunnah, though? Monogamy. The first marriage of the Prophet (saw) was to Khadijah (ra) and he was only married to her until she died. It is just as much a part of Sunnah as polygyny.

This is just one example of how people can twist things to suit themselves.

This isn’t helping, is it? I’m just telling you how complicated it all is. Well…

There are no Simple Answers

I am very sorry to tell you this. Unfortunately, sifting through what is true and what is false is something that you will have to learn with time. It is a skill that will develop as you gain experience with Islam and with the Muslim community. I would generally caution against Facebook groups, just because anyone can post anything and those groups can tend to have a toxic atmosphere.

About Islam does have a Facebook page dedicated to supporting converts. It is moderated by staff members of About Islam and is, in my experience, one of the better online groups I have been a part of – please do join in!

Personally, I recommend Sh Omar Suleiman. He has many lectures online, as well as in podcast form. I have found him to be consistent with ethic, reasonable in the interpretation of faith, and of upstanding moral character.

Finally, please feel free to submit any questions you have to About Islam. We are always happy to help!

Salam and please keep in touch.

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

The Quran in Focus (Special Folder)

New Muslims – Welcome to Islam

Learning Resources for New Muslims




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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