Author bio: Raised in a Midwestern Catholic family, Laura El Alam became a Muslim in 2000. She is a prolific writer whose work has been published in various magazines. Laura is the founder of Sea Glass Writing & Editing and runs the Facebook page The Common Sense Convert which aims to provide a beneficial online forum for Muslim women.
Once you proclaim that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Mohammad is the Prophet of God, you have become a Muslim. Congratulations! That is the crucial first step of your journey and indeed the foundation of everything you will do henceforth as a believer.
Practicing Islam fully will require learning, submitting to God, and making a daily commitment to your new faith, but the wonderful thing is that Allah makes it easier for us when our hearts are determined to serve Him.
When we buy a brand new appliance or the latest gadget and we are eager to use it, we often don’t want to read the whole instruction manual. We just want to use it as quickly as possible! Similarly, when we are new to Islam, we often want to dive in and practice our faith from day one. There are numerous things to learn, though, and the process of memorizing every necessary detail will probably take months or years. In fact, forming an Islamic personality — a mindset that allows us to align all our intentions and actions with pleasing our Creator — might take a lifetime.
But no worries! The great news is that Allah rewards us for every single step we take to draw closer to Him. If we struggle to master the words in Arabic, or to remember all the steps of the prayers, or to conquer some of our bad habits, then our rewards from Allah will be exponentially greater than our effort. We should focus on the benefits of the growth process and try to be patient with ourselves as we learn and change.
For those new converts who are still eager to skip the instruction manual and dive right in, here is a helpful “quick start guide.” Included are online resources as well as some recommendations for books, which should be helpful in your spiritual growth. While books, articles, and videos are beneficial, one of the best ways to learn about Islam is from a helpful and willing real-life mentor. This article offers tips on finding a mentor.
In the meantime, the following list will give you a place to start your journey. Wading through so much information online to find the best resources can be tedious, so we’ve attempted to compile some of the best ones for you, whether you prefer to read or watch your content.