Too often we go through life oblivious to the good surrounding us. This is because we are overwhelmed with a materialistic life that hardens hearts. For reverts this is no different.
So what do reverts do to get close to Allah and keep their spirits alive?
What are the acts of worship that they resort to in times of difficulty?
And where do they get inspiration and strength to be good Muslims?
There is no right or wrong way to approach spirituality. As long as you are not deviating from the Prophet’s example and are sincere you are fine. What’s important is to recognize that at the end of the journey awaits a prize.
Whether you are a revert or a born Muslim who’s working on furthering your spiritual development there are important lessons that can be learned from the path you follow.
Baby Steps Will Help
Speaking to a few of my revert friends I was able to form an idea on how they discover their spirituality. Some friends work on identifying a blessing that came to them from a family member, a friend or a colleague. Make it a week’s mission and search each day for a different blessing.
Worship will get you through the roughest of times because it shifts your focus from the problem to the problem solver.
Increase the amount of time you spend in prayer by joining in prayer with others. Let your friends know you are always available for prayer and regularly attend prayers at mosques. Make a conscious decision to pray in congregation at least once a day. This includes both men and women.
Prayer is the key that unlocks the door. Give Allah some one on one time. Have faith in what you are praying about, and believe it will happen. Pray for your family, other Muslims in your community and for the world’s well being.
“Talking with someone who has been down the same road can provide insight on your situation. They can help you rebuild your faith, by offering some practical advice”, Rosie, a revert friend suggested.
Take care though that having a lot of musts simultaneously can end up being a house of cards. You can layer commitment on commitment and it is fine. Until you break one of the commitments and you start to crumble. Too many things to do, and soon you stop doing all of them.
How can we guarantee that our practices continue?
Reverts Getting Closer to Allah
“Hook up with another revert or a born Muslim who is seeking to grow spiritually”, Salma another revert friend advised. She added that meeting once a week for a period of time to study and reflect on spiritual matters has greatly helped her develop.
Take advantage of social media and form a group to remind each other of daily habits. I personally have formed one on whatsapp where we remind each other of making istighfar or repentance, praising Allah and reading a few verses of the Quran.
No matter how hectic our schedules, we always log on simply to confirm that we accomplished our set tasks. Keep it up and I guarantee a lot of spiritual growth is bound to take place.
Keep in mind that we can grow at a faster rate when we are able to share our experiences with one another and hold each other accountable. We learn the most when we teach it to others.
Seeing others grasp truth for the first time gives it a fresh impact on our lives as well. It reminds us of the beauty and the blessing of finding Islam.
To have faith, we have to make ourselves familiar with the word of Allah in the Quran and familiarize ourselves with the Prophet Muhammad, (peace and blessings upon him) and his ways.
Salma added, “I have personally found in my life, that when I neglect reading the Quran and praying to Allah, my faith fades. Conversely, when I focus more on listening to Allah’s orders and praying to him, my faith is strengthened. I feel this is a critical area of our spiritual life.”
Practically, using a Quran reading chart that takes us through the Quran as much as possible can be very helpful.
But there are many other good structured ways of practicing Islam. Many Muslims born and reverted alike sometimes feel they have reached a barren spiritual dryness and they almost always carry the crushing guilt of failure. By making time to heal a wounded heart, extending kindness to someone who really needs a friend, or helping gather up pieces of a broken dream we are practicing Islam even if it appears here is no real worship. Do whatever you can to radiate love for your brother or sister in Islam.
Please know that all of us whether Muslim born or reverts will have some of these habits developed to various degrees depending on our maturity, knowledge and commitment. Moreover, realize that none of us will have all of these habits perfectly developed.
The key is to apply the minimal habit principle. Here habits can be made easier to sustain, so that in a pinch, we can default to a lower-effort input and not break our commitment.