It is one of the most inspiring moments when a person enters the mosque and announces Shahada ” There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (SAW) is His Prophet”. Although, everyone gets excited by this what the next challenges are to be faced by the new Muslims in the community. Similarly, the community has some responsibilities on its shoulders to treat the new Muslims in a way that they continue their right path. Therefore, we must follow the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (SAW) regarding such people who were converted from other religions to Islam in Arab.
1. Recognition of Newcomers’ Talents
Holy Prophet (SAW) never compromised on merit and selected individuals based upon their skills and talent. He (SAW) followed this policy in the case of new Muslims too. He (SAW) never judged the person’s ability based upon his tenure as a Muslim. For example, Hazrat Khalid-bin-Waled (RA) was a recognized military commander before accepting Islam. Therefore, after his Shahada as a Muslim, Holy Prophet (SAW) made him the commander of the Muslim army. In this way, He (RA) led the army in Ghazwa-e- Tabook. Similarly, Hazrat Umar (RA) accepted Islam in 6th Nabvi, however, He (RA) was one of the prominent leaders of Islam because of his unmatchable personality.
2. Giving them Special Attention
New Muslims were given special attention by the Holy Prophet (SAW). They were welcomed by love and affection by him. He (SAW) listened to their queries as well as helped them in their prophets. The most prominent example in this regard is related to Hazrat Amr ibn Al-As. According to him, the love of Holy Prophet (SAW) made me start believing that I may be the most loved companion of him.
3. Da`wah mission
Holy Prophet (SAW) ordered some of the companions to spread Islam right after they became believers. However, there were some companions who went under Adhoc or Da’wah courses first to preach the religion. In this way, the Holy Prophet (SAW) made sure that the new Muslims were properly guided before they share their thoughts and preach religion to other Muslims. Moreover, He (SAW) also guided issues in the Da’wah of companions. For example, Hazrat At-Tufail ibn `Amr Ad-Dawsi (RA) accepted Islam but his method of preaching the religion did not prove to be effective. He (RA) had a tough style of Da’wah in which he (RA) used to stop talking to the people who refused his Da’wah. Hence, the Holy Prophet (SAW) advised him to:
“Go back to your people, call them to Allah and be lenient with them”. (Ibn Ishaq)
4. Step by Step Change in Behaviour
New Muslims during the time of the Holy Prophet (SAW) demanded various relaxation at times. Therefore, the Holy Prophet (SAW) using his wisdom accepted some of their demands. The reason behind his decisions was that after accepting Islam they will definitely follow the true guidance. For example, the tribe of Thaqif embraced Islam but refuse to pay charity and participate in Jihad. Similarly, the system of slavery was abolished with the time through a step by step procedure. However, the Holy Prophet (SAW) never customized religious teachings for those people. Rather, He (SAW) considered an introductory step for embracing the religion.
In the end, it is our moral duty as a Muslim community to welcome newcomers with affection. Allah SWT has explained this in the Quran by addressing the Holy Prophet (SAW),
And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you.