Bloomfield Hills–August 8–The question educating new Muslims about Islam is the one most often neglected by Muslim communities in the United States.
Other nations have training centers designed to teach Muslims the fundamentals of the religion, but in America new Muslims are largely left to their own devices, which can lead to severe misunderstandings, extremism, and other problems, not to mention that new Muslims may make severe mistakes that harm their afterlife because of ignorance.
The response to this problem has been scattershot, but a good example of a program to build the religious knowledge of new Muslims is the one at the Bloomfield Unity Center, conducted by Imam Moosa and Imam Jihad.
In total perhaps only 25 people attended the pair of lectures given last Friday, but they made up in quality for what they lacked in quantity. The first of the lectures was on the subject of new Muslims, and the second hosted by Imam Moosa was on the subject of babies in Islam.
In the first lecture, Imam Moosa explained to a small circular group composed mostly of new Muslims the fundamentals and some inkling of the spiritual side of the practice of Islam, saying “Prayer increases the mercy in your heart.”
He counted and emphasized the number of times a Muslim says the word “Rahma” in a prayer, twice in each recitation of Surat Fatiha and again in the tahiyyat while sitting, and again during the salaams at the end of prayer. He explained that prayer brings mercy and blessings.
“Rahma in Arabic it is not mercy only, it is mercy and blessings,” he explained.
Peace, also, is a word that is repeated many times in the prayer, and he mentioned that it is recommended after the prayer to say “Allahumma Antas Salaam wa minka Salaam wa ilayka ya’udus Salaam,” invoking God through His Attribute of Peace many times.
“The words carry great meaning; it increases mercy in our hearts and peace in our hearts, then we distribute it in the world,” he said.
He gave very good instructions based on fiqh–answers to basic questions about how to pray and maintain the practices of Islam. The class is useful for new Muslims or anyone who wants to make sure his/her basic practices are correct.