Living in a non-Muslim country often means that you are subjected to scenarios that you would otherwise try to avoid. For this reason, all Muslims (reverts and born Muslims) must be vigilant in safeguarding their Islam and that of their children.
There simply is no alternative because tarnishing your faith or losing it all together is not an option for any believer in Allah Almighty and His Final Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
It’s not difficult to fortify your Islam and practice it beautifully in the West. You do, however, need to acknowledge the struggle and commit to adopting helpful strategies to ensure you can practice your faith without hindrance.
Study the Quran Regularly
You may have heard a new mom say, “I wish babies came with instructions!” when dealing with the pleasures and pains of motherhood.
The reality is that there is a set of instructions for all of mankind, from newborn to adulthood, and it is the Noble Quran. From the moment you begin reading the text, you can understand that it is a guidebook for living in this world and preparing for the next.
Reading the Quran regularly is a noble habit that will increase your knowledge and also bring a great deal of comfort to your heart.
By reading and contemplating the Quran often, you can reinforce your faith so that unethical circumstances and the temptation of vice in western countries have no effect on you. Once you’ve committed yourself to the Quran, you can better embrace your Deen.
Attach Yourself to the Mosque
Living in the West, it is very easy to get distracted by the activities that others are doing that seem “fun” and worthwhile. The risk in engaging in these types of activities all the time is that your Islam can slowly slip away, sometimes without you even realizing it!
Attach yourself to the mosque and strive to participate in the activities that take place there with your fellow brethren in faith. Most mosques have monthly potluck dinners, educational programs, youth programs and so much more.
Further, you can engage in beneficial activities that help support your local mosque such as fund raising or even organizing volunteers to maintain the building. You’ll find that, by attaching yourself to the mosque, you are more mindful of your faith and less likely to fall prey to activities that have no merit. As Allah Almighty says in the Noble Quran:
And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend. (Quran 41:34)
Safeguard Your Faith
In our ‘Digital Age’, we are consistently bombarded with information that is delivered at the speed of light. Whether it’s via text or social media networks, the rapidity in which information is shared is both a blessing and a curse.
When you’ve got an endless stream of information, both in print and visual images, it is next to impossible to filter everything. There will be times, unfortunately, where you’ll accidentally stumble onto something that is harmful even though your intentions are good. An excellent reminder can be found in the Noble Quran:
O Prophet, fear Allah and do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites. Indeed, Allah is ever Knowing and Wise. (Quran 33:1)
Quite notably, being aware of the various venues that can cause your faith deteriorate is a great responsibility for every Muslim.
Limiting the use of social media and being vigilant in sharing your personal accounts with others, as well as your phone number, will help to minimize the influx. And when it comes to those “gray areas” that you’re not completely sure about, it is better to side with caution.
Enjoin What is Good
One of the simplest ways to practice Islam in the West is to surround yourself with pious friends and family members. Your inner circle of peers can help you to stay on the path that leads back to our Creator.
Be selective when choosing your friends and choose those people that help to build up your faith, not tear it down. A single friend that enjoins the good and encourages you to do the same is more valuable than ten friends who don’t. As Allah Almighty revealed in the Noble Quran:
And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. (Quran 3:104)
The same goes for family members. While it is haram to break the ties of kinship, you can still become close to the family members that uplift your Islam while gently encouraging the family members who are lacking to also enjoin the good for the sake of Allah.
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)