Wondrous is the affair of the believer for there is good for him in every matter and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If he is happy, then he thanks Allah and thus there is good for him, and if he is harmed, then he shows patience and thus there is good for him. (Prophet Muhammad)
Every fiber of your being knew that you were making the right decision, to embrace the Islamic faith. You recited the Declaration of Faith, or Shahadah, at the mosque with love for our Creator in your heart and tears of joy for your salvation.
After repeating those words, “I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger,” your heart could finally bask in the peace that overtook it. But what happened next?
If you embraced Islam many years ago, then you know the answer to this question. If you are a new Muslim, you might just be experiencing the side-effects of changing your faith now.
Hold tight to the rope of Allah and exude the self-confidence you need to fortify your faith with a few simple tactics to get started.
Put Your Faith First
One of the best things you can do, as a new Muslim, is put your faith first. You are a student of Islam and need to take the time necessary to learn all of the basics, such as the prayer, fasting, reciting the Quran and more. In the fast-pace of daily life, you have to “make” the time to learn your faith inside and out.
Think of your new faith as a fragile egg. You wouldn’t toss it roughly from hand to hand, would you? No. Instead, you would handle it gently and with care to avoid cracking it.
Carve out a block of time, each day, to study your faith. Even an hour reading the Quran or listening to a beneficial Islamic lecture can solidify your self-confidence. Join an Islamic class or study circle and put your faith at the forefront in your life.
Turn Negatives into Positives
Your self-confidence as a new Muslim can take a beating when faced with critics of Islam. Whether the criticism is coming from loved ones or strangers on the street, Muslims are often placed under a cloak of scrutiny through no fault of their own.
Negative experiences can have a lasting effect on your faith. It’s vital to turn any negative into a positive right at the onset. Perhaps someone made a rude comment regarding your faith or did something to make you feel unwanted due to your beliefs.
Instead of taking the experience at face value, turn it around by transforming it into a learning experience for your detractor.
Even the most heated disputes can be transformed into a learning experience if you find the silver lining in the situation.
For example, a Muslim student is singled out for wearing the hijab in class. Instead of allowing the criticism to take root and flourish, the student can go to the Dean and request cultural sensitivity training with an emphasis on Islamophobia for her particulate class.
Alternatively, the student can reach out to non-profits who specialize in Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crimes. Speaking out against negative experiences can also increase self-confidence while also drawing attention to the plight of Muslims.
Celebrate Your Islam!
You’ve tasted the sweetness of the Islamic faith and you’ve only just begun your journey on the path of righteousness. Celebrate your faith on a daily basis by worshiping Allah, without partner, and engaging in increased acts of worship that will pull you closer to your Lord.
Take a moment, less than a minute if it’s all you’ve got, to say “Al-Hamdulillah” or thanks God for choosing Islam for you as your religion. As Allah Almighty reveals in the Noble Quran:
…This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favor upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion… (Quran 5:3)
To be counted amongst the Muslims, is truly something glorious and worthwhile. And to be blessed enough to have the Noble Quran as your guide for life and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as your teacher is a miraculous feat that deserves to be celebrated!
Trust in Your Creator
It’s quite common for new Muslims to face an onslaught of emotions from friends and loved ones, some positive and some negative.
Your confidence as a new Muslim can plunge drastically, and fast. It’s important to be proactive when it comes to maintaining your confidence for the sake of your faith and love for Allah.
You became Muslim because you had the conviction and confidence to follow the Path that is Straight. Now you must put all your trust in Allah Almighty to uplift your self-confidence when it begins to decline.
It’s often lonely to be a new Muslim as many family members might cut you off unexpectedly due to their own fears and shortcomings. And it might also be a struggle to find just where it is that you belong in our Ummah, or community of Muslims.
However, no matter the toil, rest assured that your trust is held in confidence by the Lord of this World.
He is the Dispenser of Affairs and knows what is best for you.