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Story 28: A Newly Converted Muslim

Two neighbours, a Muslim and a Christian, would, from time to time, exchange views about Islam. The Muslim, who was a religious and devout person, described Islam in such a way that the Christian neighbour was attracted to the faith and finally embraced it.

Night fell and it was nearing dawn when the Christian who had newly converted to Islam heard somebody knocking at his door.

Surprised, he asked, “Who is it?”

A voice from behind the door said, “It is me, so-and-so”, introducing himself. He was the same Muslim neighbour who had converted him to Islam.

“What do you want at this hour of night?”

“Quickly perform your ablution and put on your clothes, so that we would go to the mosque for prayers!”

For the first time in his life, the new convert performed ablutions and followed his Muslim friend to the Mosque. It was close enough to the break of dawn that they engaged in the mid-night prayers. They prayed until dawn, then came time for the morning prayer. They prayed the morning prayers and were busy in supplication and benediction until the day light became perfectly clear. As the new Muslim moved to return home, his friend said, “Where are you going?”

“I want to go home. Since we have performed our morning prayer, we have nothing else to do.”

“Wait for a while and recite the benediction prayers till the sun rises.”

“Alright.”

The newly converted Muslim sat down and recited the supplications until the sun rose. As he stood up to leave, his friend gave him the Holy Qur'an and said, “For the time being, occupy yourself by reciting the Qur’an until the sun rises a little higher. I also advise you to fast today. You do not know how much reward and virtue there is in fasting!”

It was almost noon. He said, “Wait, it is nearing noon. Let’s perform the noon-prayer in the Mosque.”

They then performed the noon-prayer. Then he said, “Wait a while until we can pray the afternoon prayer. It would be better to perform it at the proper time.”

After performing the afternoon prayer, the Muslim said, “It is almost evening now.” He kept him waiting till the evening prayer. After the prayer the new Muslim convert started to leave to break his fast.

His Muslim friend said: "There is only one more prayer remaining, that is night (Isha) prayer.”
Only one hour had passed since the night had fallen. He waited until the time of the night prayer. Then they performed that prayer too. The new Muslim stood up and left.

The second night, at the same time of dawn, he heard again the knock at the door.

He asked, “Who is it?”

“I am so-and-so, your neighbour. Quickly do your ablution and put on your clothes so that we can go together to the mosque.”

The new Muslim said, “As I came back home from the Mosque last night, I resign from your religion. Go away and find another person who is out of work so that he may spend all of his time at the Mosque. I am a poor man with a wife and children. I must work in order to gain a living.”

Relating this story to his companions, Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq (‘a) said, “The strict and devout man, in this manner after converting that poor person to Islam, had repelled him from Islam too. Taking into consideration the fact that you should compromise with people, it must be borne in mind that you must judge people by their strength and capacity and behave accordingly to attract them to religion, and not make them run away from it. Don’t you know the policy of Umayyads is based on violence, oppression and strictness? Whereas our conduct relies upon gentleness, moderation, brotherhood and the conquest of hearts.”1

  • 1. Wasail, v. 2, p. 494 (Tradition No. 3 and 9).