NEW TO THE FAITH?
The Bedouin say, “We have attained to faith.” Say [unto them, O Muhammad]: “You have not [yet] attained to faith; you should [rather] say, ‘We have [outwardly] surrendered’ – for [true] faith has not yet entered your hearts.1 But if you [truly] pay heed unto God and His Apostle, He will not let the least of your deeds2 go to waste: for, behold, God is much-forgiving, a dispenser of grace.”
–Translation by Muhammad Asad
So, you are full of zeal and excitement. Everybody wants you to pray for them because your slate has just been wiped clean. This is your rebirth, your new start. It is not just a new chapter, but a new book, and in fact a new series. Now the community has a vested interest in your success. You have just crossed a bridge to find that you are not only in a new land, but a new world and possibly an alternate universe. This faith has so many layers and oceans so deep that you feel you can implode from all the pressure. There are the prayers, the rules, the regulations, the language, the culture, the disciplines to master, the 1400 years of scholarship to study. Everyone is telling you this or that and you’re trying to figure it all out. You feel like you’re in a vacuum. It is all mind blowing.