Imagine you’re in a city you have never visited before. What’s the most important thing would help you discover the beauty of the city?
A map or GPS to show you directions and places to visit… right?
Similarly, as a new Muslim, finding your new way in the midst of all the puzzled thoughts, fears, and uncertainties becomes difficult if you don’t have the right mentor.
Some new Muslims neglect this step; they think there is no need to have a mentor because they already know how to live Islam and practice it properly.
Before their decision to become Muslims, they spent good time searching and researching everything concerning Islam.
But, entering the fold of Islam is a lifelong journey; there is more in Islam to discover and learn about.
Mentorship in the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad
If you look at the journey of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), you will find that Allah is building his fantastic character.
Let’s look at mentorship from the perspective of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the best of mentors. He used to sit in a circle with the companions, maybe he would go to their houses or they would come to his house, or sit in the masjid; he would sit on the same level as them and teach them, then would tell them to go and teach their children and families.
His expectations on his companions were different from the new Muslims, who were having some problems being strong.
Lessons from Prophet Muhammad’s Advice to Mu’adh
When Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sent Mu’adh ibn Jabal to Yemen, he told him exactly how to teach people.
1- Teach them shahadah by teaching them to love Allah and His messenger. Because if you haven’t had time to build your iman and closeness to Allah and you haven’t had time to know Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), then you haven’t had time to make that connection between yourself and Allah and between you and Prophet Muhammad.
When you have a strong connection at the foundation level, it’s the first bit of building blocks of being Muslim.
2- Once they accept the shahadah, then teach them salat, prayer, and how to connect with Allah the Almighty.
3- Teach them zakat. He told him to be gentle and easy on them and not to take from the best of their wealth.
The context of this actual hadith is where Prophet Muhammad is actually talking about the way to treat and teach and be gentle with the people who are getting ready to embrace Islam.
Is a Mentor Necessary?
New Muslims came from huge changes. They might have to give up things that they’ve been doing throughout their whole lives and now they have changed so they need some knowledge.
In the first stages of learning about Islam, you may feel lost and may not know what steps to take next. So, you need help from your mentor, and you need to know and understand things deeply and properly.
Strangeness and Isolation
Have you ever felt like a stranger after you became Muslim? You could be around so many people, but you feel isolated even though you’re with a lot of people?
It’s very common for new Muslims to experience this strangeness and isolation.
Being isolated doesn’t mean that there’s a problem, Allah hasn’t left you, but maybe you need to leave people and turn to Allah first.
Isolation for a little while is good for you. Allah wants you to turn to Him.
When we look at the journey of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), he was isolating himself to ponder and reflect.
Search for the Right Mentor
You should seek for a good mentor, who makes learning about Islam easy for you.
The right mentor is the one who follows the sunnah, teaches you gently and gradually, step by step, and doesn’t push you out of your comfort zone.
If he makes you feel you’re not good enough Muslim, this is not a mentor for you. He is going to damage you more than help you.
You need a mentor but not just any mentor; you need a mentor that you can connect with and you stay connected with for life.
If you’re a new Muslim share your experience and the benefits of the mentor for new Muslims.
Based on this video.