Thank you for your question to which I am sure many people will also be wondering the answer. Since most of us who come to Islam do so in adulthood, we have already established friends through school and work and are not accustom to going outside of these circles to seek friends. But it is essential for Muslims to have other Muslim friends who can encourage them toward good. The Prophet demonstrated in a hadith what a huge impact having righteous friends (and friends who call us to not so righteous actions) can have on us:
The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell. (Bukhari and Muslim)
This is not to say that non-Muslims friends are necessarily bad for us. We just have to keep in mind that they may have impermissible habits and different priorities than practicing Muslim friends will. So how do we, as converts, make new Muslim friends? Some might simply say, go where the Muslims are. But it may take a bit more effort than just showing up at jumuah.
So try going where the Muslims are and getting involved. I find this is a more proactive way to making new Muslim friends, inshaAllah. Getting involved in community activities will be a natural way to interact and get to know people, and ultimately make Muslim friends. Volunteer to help serve the iftar during Ramadan.
Sign up for the masjid’s volunteering efforts if there are any. If not, suggest to the masjid board that they get involved in feeding the homeless, and offer to help organize such activities if you have the time. Whenever you are around people and interacting (which doesn’t always happen at jumuah), friendship will happen naturally, as they did when you were in school or when you are at work. It just takes a little creativity to find ways to be around and interact with fellow Muslim, since in the West (assuming you are in the West), Muslims do not make up a large segment of the population.
If there is no masjid near you, you can always join a convert support group online to at least have a friend online with whom you can share your experiences and seek advice from. Facebook is a great resource for this.
I hope this helps. Please keep in touch.
Views expressed by hosts/guests on this program (live dialogue, Facebook sessions, etc.) are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent.