Just like a bubbling river ebbs and flows by its design, the spirituality of a Muslim peaks and dips in a similar way.
Learning about your newfound faith, telling loved ones about it and simply navigating this new way of life can be overwhelming.
Many new Muslims face a whole gamut of emotions from pure elation to deep distress. Give your faith a jump-start in the right direction with a few ideas to get you started!
Keep the Prayer
The five daily prayers are truly a prescription for success in this life and the next. Allah Almighty has commanded all Muslims to observe the obligatory prayers.
In addition, there are many other times to pray throughout the day that are optional.
The act of preparing for the prayer, through ablution also known as ‘wudu’, is very refreshing to both the body and mind. Performing the ablution with water awakens the senses and refreshes the spirit as you prepare for an audience with your Lord through prayer.
The prayer itself, and the various positions that comprise it, is known to increase blood flow throughout the body and even sends a jolt of endorphins to energize the mind. Endorphins are chemicals which are released in the brain that induce a sense of positivity and reduces pain.
Fit the Quran into Your Day
There is simply nothing more soothing and calming to the human spirit than the Noble Quran.
Whether you read it or listen to a recitation in Arabic, you will find that, with each word, all of your troubles start to float away and your mind can achieve peace.
In the hustle of everyday life, it might seem impossible to find even a few minutes to spare for the sake of soaking up the beauty of the Quran.
However, with just a bit of planning, you can manage to fit the Quran into your day. As Allah Almighty says in the Noble Quran:
Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured. (Quran 13:28)
Look for a “constant” in your daily life, such as your lunch break at work or even your nightly commute home.
Instead of chatting with co-workers or listening to the news on the radio, devote this time to the Quran. You can salvage just a few minutes, or even more, for the sake of reading the Word of our Creator. Make it a habit and you’ll find your spirituality will keep on rising!
Use “Free” Time Wisely
Leisure time, that little bit of time left between your work and the obligatory prayers, is not really “free”.
In fact, it may be quite expensive for you and comes with a price of its own. Leisure time is when many of us have the potential to fall into those gray areas that we’re a bit unsure about or mistake for an acceptable down time, such as searching mindlessly online or opening ourselves up to activities that might not fit entirely with our state of Islam. As Allah Almighty reveals in the Noble Quran:
And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, not one of you would have been pure, ever, but Allah purifies whom He wills. (Quran 24:21)
This is where your spirituality can take a dive, when you’re disconnected from our Creator or are engaged in activities that are questionable by nature. Use your free time wisely while enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.
Fuel Up with Friends!
The people you surround yourself with can absolutely affect you spiritually for better or for worse. As a new Muslim, you must be very careful who you let into your space. You want to select people who will build you up and not judge you for choosing Islam as your faith.
That can be hard, especially when you have non-Muslim friends from childhood, or even close relatives as your closest friends, that don’t accept your decision to be Muslim.
Fortunately, the mosque is full of friends that are just ripe for the picking! If you’re a sister, strike up a conversation with a fellow sister at a mosque event or even in the prayer hall.
If you’re a brother, be sure to connect with a fellow brother after the salah. You’ll be surprised how many Muslims you’ll meet once you take the first step in brotherhood.
Over time, you’ll be able to lean on your new friends during the tough times and celebrate the beauty of Islam together.
On those days when you struggle with your level of faith, remember to give your spirituality a boost!
(From Discovering Islam’s archive.)