When a person accepts Islam in our communities, what happens after the takbirs, the hugs, and the photos?
We all know the challenges that some of our brothers and sisters face when accepting Islam. Some are socially ostracized by the communities they are coming from, some deal with incredible family conflict due to their conversion, and others deal with a wide variety of difficulties and adversities.
What did convert care look like during the time of the Prophet ﷺ, this is a subject discussed in detail in Through the Fire: The Journey of Salman the Persian.
Salman Al-Farisi’s story gives us a profound glimpse:
He was supported– When Salman sought to purchase his freedom, his master set the price exorbitantly high; 300 palm trees and 1,300 grams of gold!
He would have given up the notion of ever being free had the Prophet ﷺ and the believing community not put together an amazing plan of action to secure the price and his freedom.
He was validated– When an army of 10,000, “the Confederates” gathered to wipe out the Muslim community of Medinah, Salman suggested that the Muslims resort to a tactic that had only ever been used in Persia. All of their lives and that of their families were resting on the suggestion of a Persian convert, and they went with it. Too many times in our own communities we do not benefit from the voices of those with experiences different than ours.
He was desired- In a region where people’s worth had been defined by tribal and group affiliations for centuries, Salman was a foreigner. But there was no doubt that he belonged. So much so in fact, that he was argued over and claimed by both the Muhajiroun and Ansar! The Mahajiroun claimed that he had migrated to Madinah as they did, and the Ansar claimed he was already a resident of Medinah when the Muhajiroun arrived!
And yet he would call himself the son of Islam. That was the affiliation that mattered most to him.
It is hard to overstate how important it is to foster a sense of belonging for those who have joined the community of believers.
We discuss this and more in the course on Salman Al-Farisi, you can get access to it here and I look forward to continuing this conversation with you on the upcoming live Q&A sessions on 23rd and 30th June.
Article from Shaykh Omar Suleiman