New Muslim Anecdotes Part 1


Whilst looking through some old files I discovered the beginning of a book I started writing in 2009 on my return from Damascus.  Books are a somewhat outmoded form of reading and so I decided to make the work part of a series of blog posts with the intention that they may provide some benefit.

All the anecdotes which are to be cited were narrated to me and are not figments of my imagination.  The purpose behind these posts is to provide both humour and lessons.

“Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and having recently spent some time in Damascus I came across new Muslims from a whole host of backgrounds, cultures, countries and religions. Having conversed with many, I realised how many fascinating stories they had, how many myths they were told and just how precarious the world can seem as a new Muslim. This book deals in a light hearted way with everyday problems facing new Muslims along with some notes on the subject.”

The Handout

A brother entered a mosque and as he was walking to the front, a man who was standing nearby stuck his arm out. Realising that Islam was a religion of brotherhood our new Muslim quickly grabbed his hand and starting pumping it enthusiastically whilst offering the salutation, As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum.  What he didn’t realise at the time was that the man whose hand he was shaking was actually praying and has only stuck his arm out to stop the brother from cutting in front of him and “ruining” his prayer.


Whilst in the Masjid one should at all times be aware of who is around you and what they are doing.  Cutting in front of someone praying can sometimes lead to confrontations and altercations because the praying person can lose reward and the other can be sinful.  This is based on various Prophetic sayings, one of which can be found in the collection by Imam Bukhari and goes:

“If someone passing in front of a person performing the prayer knew of the penalty for it, it would be better for him to wait for forty.”


A friend said that he heard of a new Muslim who was praying the Friday prayer and received a phone call. The new Muslim picked up the call and said to the caller, “dude I’m at a friends house, I’ll give you a call in a bit”.


Always switch your phone off before all prayers and especially make a habit of it whilst entering the mosque.  A way to do this is while making the dua’ for entering the mosque [allaahum-maf taḥ lee abwaaba raḥmatik – Oh Allah, open the gates of Your Mercy for me] remove your phone and switch it on silent.

The second point is that if it rings – do not answer it but switch it off. Speaking whilst in Prayer will nullify that prayer and it will be upon you to re-do it later.

The third point is that you shouldn’t be scared or embarrassed to tell “friends” that you are a Muslim or that you pray.  In our time if someone [a non Muslim] knows you are a Muslim they will expect you to pray.

Sir, your prayer place is ready!

Recently a new Muslim told me that soon after they got married they informed their boss. On finding out the wife was a Muslim the boss asked if they were also a Muslim.  On confirmation, the boss eagerly said that he would need to find them a prayer place and washing facility – which he duly did.


Not all employers will be as forthcoming as this, but it is important for a new Muslim to inform their employers and perhaps even educate them that they will need to pray during the day, have access to the disabled bathroom for ablution and perhaps have an extended lunch on Friday.  If you don’t feel comfortable, write a letter – something Lote Tree can help with – or ask a friend to sit in with you as you speak to the manager.  There are laws in place to ensure that people are not discriminated against due to their religion and most employers will want to please their employee or at the very least – stay on the right side of the law.

You dropped your hat!

A brother said that once whilst praying his sunnah in the mosque someone put a hat on his head.  Taken by surprise he knocked the hat off. A few seconds later the helpful chap put the hat on his head again and the process was repeated. Eventually the new Muslim turned to confront the chap to find out what was going on – to which the chap said that he was putting the hat on his head because without it his prayer would not be valid.


For men, not wearing a hat on your head does not invalidate your prayer.  It is a meritorious act if done to follow the Prophet.  In this circumstance – if a hat is forcibly attached to your head, leave it on because it would be more distracting for you to get into a ping-pong situation. Remember a hat is for life not just for prayer.

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