This is the second part of a conversation begun here.
I was watching the agitator this morning; I'd added the soap, the clothes, let the steamy water run in... and then I let the agitator hypnotize me. I have a lot to ponder, these days.
Yesterday I attended a very small part of a training meant to certify me to be a counselor at a muslim youth camp. And I loved what I saw of the training; but the jury is still out and a decision not made about whether or not I'll actually go. Part of that is just the fact of the timing; the camp would cover a very important week in the life of my family and friends. But some of that is because I'm a convert, and still learning some of the things my kids may already know.
So in the first part of these discussions we discussed that the first part of any action should be listening, really actually listening and knowing where this sister or brother is coming from, born or convert.
I think the next step will be then tailoring what we have to say to that person's mindset. The Prophet, alayhi salatu wa salaam, used to do this. And to do that, we have to check ourselves at the door.
Listen, you asked for suggestions, you never said they had to be easy!! This is something that we've all failed at once or twice.
A great many of those who come to Islam leave because after they met Islam, they fell into company with The Muslims. Y'all know what I'm talking about. Part of trying to actually have some taqwa should be denying ourselves and the nafs anyway, but especially when dealing with those newly arrived to submission. It's a form of submission itself. I mean, we all take precautions when dealing with newborn babies; leaving our boisterousness and dirty hands for where they belong. We need to do this with newly-born Muslims as well. They're just as damageable, impressionable, just as tender on the inside. If we take our own preconceptions of what taking Shahada means, and what has to be done first, our attitudes toward how and where and why one should live, well, we'll certainly overwhelm another person. I'm halfway overcome myself just thinking of all of that myself. I'm not saying don't be the genuine you; more that we need to be as careful around new muslims as we are around FBI agents- more because inshaAllah new Muslims will automatically be on 'our side'. If that makes sense.
Then we have to address both the academic and the social thirst that a new Muslim has. I've actually been invited to take part in an initiative here in my new community that addresses this, by making up new Muslim packets to be presented to people when they suddenly (for us anyway) walk into the masjid and take shahada. I think that'd've been big for me, and so that's one way to go with others. Nothing major; just a friendly letter from a fellow muslima to say, hey, welcome! We join you in Islam. Here's a list of resources and things you might want to know. Please come to these people if you have questions. And our weekly event blahblah happens every such and so day at this time and we want to invite you! Here are the basics of islam (of course someone actually goes over this with the person, too). Congratulations, mabrook!
And then would start the listening.
I know this is mad idealistic, but at the same time, it's an actual start... that's just what came out of the wash. Anything else you have in mind, shoot. It's been an excellent conversation so far.