I recently had an argument with a Muslim friend who was helping me learn Islam. I go to the mosque with him and listen to lectures from the Imam.
But after the argument, he does not want to be friends anymore. He said that he forgives me but does not want to reconcile.
He told me he will take it to his grave not to be friends with me anymore.
I’m afraid that I might not continue with reverting. I don’t want to turn my back from Islam and from all that I learned.
What can I do about this? And what can I do to reconcile with him?
In this counseling answer:
The first lesson you must learn as a seeker of Islamic knowledge is that while Islam is a beautiful religion with highly valued teachings, Muslims might not always follow these teachings – intentionally or unintentionally.
Don’t tie your faith to people.
Hardships are tests from Allah.
Seek help from other Muslims.
Peace be Upon You dear brother from US,
Thank you for turning to us with your concerns. I am glad to read that you had a good Muslim friend who helped you learn about Islam and that you have eventually started contemplating on accepting Islam as your way of life.
May God keep increasing you in knowledge and direct you towards your true path.
Muslims are humans, too
I am convert sister myself who accepted Islam in my late teens, so I can so much relate to your question. I have met many Muslims during the period I was just learning about Islam.
There was a sister who was a teacher at a mosque. She started giving me lectures privately in the mosque. The travel took me 1 hour to reach her and another to return home.
On our 3rd occasion, she did not show up. She did not message me, and I have not heard about her since then, although I knew from others she was fine and nothing happened to her.
What did I do? I continued my journey and reached out to others – and a few months later converted to Islam.
What I want to say is that Muslims are humans too. They might have knowledge of the right attitude and the beautiful teachings of Islam; yet they have their own shortcomings. They can be mean and unfriendly to others, they can hurt others by words or even actions.
The first lesson you must learn as a seeker of Islamic knowledge is that while Islam is a beautiful religion with highly valued teachings, Muslims might not always follow these teachings – intentionally or unintentionally. Islam is something, and the behavior of Muslims is often something else.
Therefore, you should not think that “if this Muslim friend is there, I might become a Muslim, but if he is not, then I will not learn more about Islam.”
Do you mean without him, you lost interest in Islam?
You said, “I am afraid I will not convert without him.” What exactly are you afraid of?
Are you afraid people will tell you that you are a fool to become a Muslim. Or is it that this Muslim friend of yours is not there and you feel no one will be there for you, to guide you. Allah is there for you and He loves you, do not worry?”
Don’t tie your faith to people
If so, I know how you feel and I must say you are right: you need Muslims to teach you and support you on your way.
You need other Muslims that help you strengthen your faith in this religion. Because even though you are convinced of its teachings, it is a huge step to undertake. Especially in a society which might attack you for your decision.
Let’s be honest: family members and friends might comment on your conversion to Islam, if indeed that is what you want to do.
But is it only him who can help you? Does your faith in Islam really depend on this one man?
When I was learning about Islam, I attended a female gathering twice a week. And they were the ones who supported me when I decided to become a Muslim. When I began praying, eating and living like a Muslim.
Without these gatherings I might have turned back to my old lifestyle. Because it is so easy when you are completely alone against a whole society whose values are clashing against yours.
For girls, donning the hijab in the West is even a bigger struggle – so you are actually „lucky” that you are a guy and will not really have this additional hardship. Remember this. ☺
Check out this counseling video:
Hardships are tests
Brother, these are all tests from Allah. I am sure you have already read in the Quran how Allah tests the believer’s faith to know whether they are true believers.
So expect that if you really want to become a Muslim, if you really feel deep in your heart that this path is the way you want to live, you will face some kind of difficulty.
The conflict with this friend might be just one of them. Allah is testing you about how serious you are in learning about Islam. Are you only interested because of your friend? Or because you truly find in it something you do not find anywhere else?
If so, are you determined that even without this friend you will keep on going in your learning process – and maybe find someone else, or a whole community of friends whom you can learn from?
Seek help from other Muslims
Go to the mosque, look for communities in your area, lectures for young people in specific. If you attend the university, look for MSAs – Muslim Students’ Association. In the US, I am sure there are many opportunities to meet nice Muslims and eventually befriend them.
If you live in an area where there is no community, you can still meet Muslims online and learn about Islam.
I can recommend the Islamic Online University if you want to learn about Islam and be part of a worldwide community. But there are many other platforms like it.
Or visit the closest mosque to you for example once in two weeks. I used to travel 1.5 hours to attend those female meetings and used my time on transportation. ☺
I believe if you want to learn about Islam, you will need books and courses.
You need Muslims to support you in having the confidence to stand up for yourself and what you believe in. To make you believe you are not at all a fool if you chose Islam your way of life.
I am not sure of the conflict you had with this brother, who was the right and the wrong. But that doesn’t even matter.
What you need to know here is that this scenario can happen to anyone. Young people are still at the beginning of a learning process about how to deal with others, how to form and maintain different types of relationships. As well as how to communicate with their family, their siblings, and their friends.
Again, Muslims are humans. So expect that they go through the same processes – and mistakes.
Continue your journey
It is sad that this Muslims brother clearly told you that he no longer wants to be your friend. We know from the teachings of Islam, that we need to maintain good relationship with others.
If someone apologizes for his or her mistakes, we should forgive them, overlook their mistakes and especially with other Muslims, we must be really gentle and friendly.
But as I said, Muslims are humans too – they do not always act according to the teachings of Islam.
This friend seems to be quite determined about his decision. You might wish to try once more clarifying what just happened between you. Maybe involve a 3rd party who is willing to help.
However, if he really wants to end this friendship, then let it be. Do you really need someone who does not value your friendship?
Again, I feel it is a test from Allah. If he does not value this relationship, let him go. He will lose the opportunity to be a friend of an amazing person like you who at a young age is thinking of turning to Allah.
And he will also loose the opportunity to help another person get closer to Allah, by mentoring you on your journey. He clearly does not deserve your friendship.
Make dua to Allah that he keeps bringing you to His path. Make due that He gives you other better friends who will be always there for you.
I am confident you will soon have many more better Muslim friends. Do not worry, just do your part and seek them. ☺
I hope I could help.
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