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Advice To New Muslimas


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Advice to new Muslimas by Judi Muhammad, MA, LLP, PhD Candidate;
Vice President/ Clinical Director Islamic
Health & Human Services, Detroit, MI

AsSalaamuAlaykum (Peace be upon you)

It feels like I have been Muslim all of my life. In actuality, I probably was - underneath. But, for most of my life (50 years) I was Christian. I was raised Catholic and converted to a fundamental Christian religion, The Salvation Army, in my 30s and remained there until Allah (SWT) rescued me at age 50. AlHamdullillah!!

For many years I taught psychology and philosophy in college. In that teaching, and in my own education, I came to believe many concepts and philosophies things that did not fit with my religion. But, I accepted that there would be differences and that was OK. One of the things I knew was that while the Christian religion taught that I was (1) born in the image of God (on one hand) and (2) born in sin (on the other) - both were not possible. The first thing I heard about Islam was that we are born good.
In succeeding years, fitrah has become a favorite topic of my reading. All of my reading has proven that what I always believed in my heart was true - that man is born good and his propensity is to live within the Will of Allah.
I spent the first 8 months in Islam single - and when I did marry I was truly blessed with a good Muslim husband. I learned more in the first 1 month of my marriage to him than I had in the 8 months I tried to learn on my own. Always, however, my husband told me that, "Islam is a process. You are responsible for what you learn as you learn it. Worry about the ‘big' things - not the little things."

Some of the most important things I have learned are:
That I was always Muslim in my heart - that not all practice Islam the same but anyone who calls themselves "Muslim" is treated by me as Muslim - that Sisters make WONDERFUL friends ( too bad I waited so late in my life to learn that) - that being obedient to my husband has more benefits than I could have ever imagined - that women are more respected in Islam than anyone who is not a Muslimah would possibly imagine - and that the "Peace that passeth all understanding" is not a Christian reward - it is an Islamic reality.

The most important advice I can give a new Muslimah is: Allow Allah to chose your husband - make Istikharah and trust that you will learn the truth from it Do not worry about changing those around you - worry about changing yourself , into the best Muslim you can be - Allah will take care of the rest Search for legitimate Scholars - not everyone knows enough to teach you the truth When you marry, trust your husband and look to him to teach you Islam - it is his job Enjoy obedience to your husband - it will bring rewards in heaven but also on earth!!

Become friends with Sisters who are like you want to become.
May Allah bless you and make your Islamic journey as peaceful as mine.

Written by Judi Muhammad August 3, 1998 

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