Finding Faith is an initiative to support new Muslims in Oxford. Upon first entering Islam, a person can often use a helping hand in finding his or her way. Our main purpose at Finding Faith is to offer guidance to those new to the religion. Taking on a new way of life can be daunting, especially after the initial euphoria of Shahadah abates. Converts can face all sorts of special difficulties, from informing their family to learning the prayer. The change and transition is a beautiful experience but can be overwhelming at times; being with others who have been there can make all the difference.
Finding Faith offers friendly social gatherings, providing support, advice, and a simple learning programme necessary for a healthy understanding and realisation of Islam. We also organise special events for the development of community and companionship, encouraging positive integration into our greater Muslim Community.
At present, Finding Faith is primarily able to support women. However, upon becoming more established, insha'Allah, we hope to be able to better serve male converts in Oxford.
It is important not to overburden oneself, and to take one step at a time. The Prophetic advice was one of gradualism, for he said: "Verily this religion is inexorable, so enter its depths gently" (related by Imam Ahmad). Sheikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American convert himself, reminds us that flowers do not grow in a toxic waste dump; the first step is often to clear out bad traits, before running headlong into change. Leaving old habits and taking on new ones is not an easy process. The outer changes, such as changes in dress and manner, are difficult enough, but cultivating inner changes is a lifetime struggle. The most important thing one can do is to turn to Allah, and ask Him for His support, time after time, during one's journey.