Sunday, May 16, 2010

Losing Touch?

Alhamdulillah, I have been a Muslim for almost five years--just one month shy, actually. I've had time to avail myself of opportunities--classes and socials--for new Muslims, Muslim youth, and general Muslim communities here in Washington and back in North Carolina, not to mention a few events I attended out of town. My perspective on Islam has changed a little in that time, so that Islam is more comfortable to me and less intimidating, and I'm afraid that I might have lost some of my initial passion for the faith.

But what concerns me today is whether or not I'm out of touch with the needs of new Muslims. This issue in particular is one to which I've devoted many, many blog posts over the years, but something hit me today: I still am overwhelmed by thinking about the problems other converts face.

I know what my own problems were (and are) and how I faced them--for better and worse. And I feel somewhat equipped to discuss them with other converts facing similar issues. But since I've come to Washington, I've spent a lot more time with new Muslims--even now working on a class specifically for new Muslims--and I'm reminded that people do take different paths and face different challenges. And some issues facing other new Muslims just leave me overwhelmed, without any sensible advice or response to provide.

It's why I feel that I might have "lost touch" with new Muslims and the experiences they have, after spending so much time trying to get out of the "new Muslim" phase myself. So the last few weeks have been pretty enlightening for me, reminding me of the difficulties that people face when coming to Islam and also the dedication they have to their faith. And the amazing way Allah provides them with the resources to overcome their challenges.

Every challenge is a test--and we aren't tested unless we have what we need to pass the test. Knowing that, and knowing that with every difficulty comes ease (Surat Ash-Sharh.) I read this chapter to a Sunday school class one time, and I read it to myself pretty often as well.

So even though I can't solve anyone's problems, and often don't even have much in the way of advice to give, what I can (and should) tell new Muslims is that they can always turn to Allaah, and that they should always turn to Allaah, and He is the One who will ease their difficulty and reward their patience in dealing with it.


Ali Zelmat said...

Assalamu alaikom, Amy,
I can understand how you feel, but I would look at it from a different perspective. You are well positioned to be able to show new Muslims how to overcome the challenges that face them, regardless of what they specifically are. You are an excellent example of how to make that life change and how to face the obstacles and become a successful Muslim, b-ithnillah.

Amy said...

Wa alaykum as-salaam

Thanks for showing me a different view. :-) May Allah keep me firm on His deen and forgive my mistakes.

Anonymous said...

Assalamo Alaikom sister

It's true that new Muslims face many challenges in the transition phase (the first 2 years or so), and the best remedy is for them to have a close Muslim friend with whom they can communicate on a daily basis, or at least as often as they feel like it.

Keep up the excellent effort, and may Allah increase you in faith, wisdom, knowledge, taqwa and peace