Ads by Muslim Ad Network

New Muslim: 4 Tips to Minimize Your Stress

With negative pressure from some fellow Muslims, the daily stress the media creates, and all the challenges of learning about Islam, many new Muslims find themselves more stressed than ever before, which can lead them to wonder where is the peace promised in Islam?

How does a new Muslim cope with the stress?

1- Find Spiritual Footing

We cannot control what happens in the world around us. People will not always solve their problems in the best ways. The media will always have their agenda. And turmoil will always be a part of lives. But we can find peace within. And that comes from spiritual growth.

While we cannot control the world around us, we can control ourselves. Removing things from your heart that cause chaos in your life can be the first step toward spiritual growth and inner peace.

Search your life for causes of turmoil and think about how you can personally change to make your life better. The best way to increase one’s faith in Islam is through self-purification.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

A man asked Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-As, saying:

“Which of the believers is best in his Islam?”

He replied:

“He from whose tongue and hand the Muslims are safe.”

New Muslim: 4 Tips to Minimize Your Stress - About Islam

“Then what is the best struggle?”

He replied:

“He who strives against his own self and desires for Allah.”

The man asked:

“Then which of those who migrates is best?”

He replied:

“He who strives against his own self and desires for Allah.”

The man asked:

“Is it something you have said O Abdullah ibn Amr, or Allah’s Messenger?”

He said:

“Rather Allah’s Messenger said it.”

So, If you are experiencing a difficult situation with your parents, think about how being more respectful to them can improve the situation. If you are having a hard time getting along with coworkers, think about how a little forgiveness and patience can go a long way.

Examine your heart for envy, anger, arrogance, etc. Do these negative emotions affect your life negatively?

If so, think how letting go of these things in your life can make your life better. Think about how starting with self-purification is the best way to change your world.

While we can change ourselves, we cannot change everything that comes our way. We can rid our hearts of all evil, but still experience hardship.

2- Let Go

The next step to spiritual growth and inner peace is letting go.

Knowing that no matter what comes, Allah is in control. Being content and thankful for what Allah has provided you with, being patient with your situation and knowing that you are getting rewarded from your Lord can all lead to inner peace. Changing your outlook on life can have a tremendous affect on your life.

And as Allah instructs us in the Quran, inner peace can be found in remembrance of Him.

Those who believe and whose hearts are set at rest by the remembrance of Allah; now surely by Allah’s remembrance are the hearts set at rest. (13: 28)

3- Find Muslim Friends to Minimize Stress

Sometimes the friends we need are not in our town or even our country. But that doesn’t mean we have to give up on finding support and camaraderie within the Muslim community.

The great thing about the ummah is that it spans every country across the world. And with the use of the internet, it is easier to find support anywhere in the world.

Groups for supporting new Muslims are all over the internet. Facebook has a number of groups for converts to find support, information and fraternity or sorority.

The Facebook group, Revert Support Group for the website is a great example of a forum for new Muslims to find camaraderie. It is run by a revert and supported by Islamic scholars.

With the friends on the internet offering support, don’t give up on finding Muslims you can connect with in your vicinity. Even if some of the Muslims in the mosque you attend are pressuring you to do too much too soon, don’t think that all the Muslims in your area will do the same.

Keep attending the mosque and find people in your age group to relate to. Ask the imam or other attendants of the mosque if they know of any Islamic classes you can attend or groups you can join to find more Muslim friends. Not everyone goes to the mosque all the time, keep going and get involved in more Islamic activities. You will meet more Muslims who can become a great resource for you.

4- Find a Scholar

Thinking of all the differing and sometime contradictory opinions out there that come from Muslim scholars can be very stressful for a new Muslim to know what path is correct.

As you learn your new faith, it might be best to look for a contemporary scholar that many people trust and learn from. Make sure you do your research on the scholar before you rely on him or her.

For me, I stuck with learning from scholars who are indigenous to my home country, so they would understand the challenges I was facing.

Once you find a scholar that you like, read all they have written, read religious literature that they recommend, find their lectures on YouTube or their own website, and learn all you can from them.

We are not allowed to follow anyone blindly, but for a beginner, sticking with one scholar can be a simplified way of learning his or her new faith. Suhaib Webb and Yasir Qadhi are some scholars that have great lectures, a wealth of knowledge, and are from the US and speak on issues that Western Muslims face.

Inner transformation, acceptance, patience, a good support group and a trusted scholar can minimize your stress, and ease the way to making a new life for yourself as a Muslim.

Growth is always painful but an extremely rewarding process. Do not be discouraged by the growing pains along the way as you find your footing as a Muslim.

The reward is greater than any of us can even imagine.

(From Discovering Islam’s archive)

About Theresa Corbin
Theresa Corbin is the author of The Islamic, Adult Coloring Book and co-author of The New Muslim’s Field Guide. Corbin is a French-creole American and Muslimah who converted in 2001. She holds a BA in English Lit and is a writer, editor, and graphic artist who focuses on themes of conversion to Islam, Islamophobia, women's issues, and bridging gaps between peoples of different faiths and cultures. She is a regular contributor for and Al Jumuah magazine. Her work has also been featured on CNN and Washington Post, among other publications. Visit her blog, islamwich, where she discusses the intersection of culture and religion.