The next morning Grandshaykh called her in for breakfast, and after the meal we sat for an association. What Grandshaykh said on that occasion is very important, and I have been ordered to relate it to you now, as an excellent instruction for our brothers and sisters on how to treat newcomers. Particularly our brothers who were raised as Muslims in Muslim countries must heed this lesson if they propose to teach Western people about Islam.

Grandshaykh ordered me to tell her the following: “Oh Nazim Effendi, last night in the private assembly of the Holy Prophet I asked him, peace be upon him, ‘Oh Prophet of Allah, this elderly woman from your nation has come to me and entered Islam. What shall I instruct her to do, what shall I teach her, being that she is so old and cannot remain here with us a long time?’

“The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, replied: ‘Instruct her and all others from my nation who may embrace the faith but may not perhaps, be able to alter their situations so easily, on the following three points: firstly, let them repeat the Kalimat ash Shahada (the profession of faith) three times a day, saying: ‘Oh my Lord, I accept Thee alone as God, and I accept Muhammad as Your Prophet and Representative.’ The second point is for them to learn the five prayer periods: dawn, noon, afternoon, evening and night; and to give their respects to their Lord in those appointed times by prostrating themselves to the ground once, facing any direction, and saying, ‘Subhanallah’ (glorified be God Almighty). And if it is too difficult for them to learn this phrase it is sufficient to only prostrate.

That is enough for this lady and for others in similar situations. This practice is a seed being planted in her heart, and as it sprouts and grows she may be inspired to learn more of the ritual prayer, but in the beginning it is enough for her just to prostrate.What could be simpler and easier: no directional orientation, no ablution, no recitation.

Thirdly, she and all new Muslims should keep love in their hearts towards the community of Muslims and not allow themselves to hate them, in spite of their bad actions and characteristics. Tell them to overlook the shortcomings of the people and peoples of my nation and try to love them despite their pathetic state. Even if Muslims do bad actions under the banner of Islam, Islam is always above this, innocent of the blame. To try and use the name of Islam to attain one’s selfish ends is the greatest sin, and Islam disclaims responsibility for such people’.”

These are the three points our grandshaykh related from his meeting with the Holy Prophet, and these conditions are so wide that thousands and thousands of people may enter Islam and fulfill them, becoming sincere servants of the Lord.

Now, no doubt, many Muslims who are reading this will say, “What, shall we believe that the Holy Prophet has declared it to be so easy to become Allah’s obedient servant, when our Islamic Law spells out so many different types of obligatory worship and prohibitions which we are meticulously observing?”

Oh Muslims! Do not imagine that Allah Almighty is waiting for your prayers, your fasting, your covering your heads or your dressing in Islamic clothes! No! Allah Almighty is looking to your hearts to see if they contain an atom’s weight of sincerity, and only if He finds that sincerity does He accept anything from you! None of your actions are, of themselves, pleasing to your Lord if they are not motivated by sincere intentions.

The heart of that old woman who came to Damascus may have been full of sincerity, so that her performance of these simple devotions may have been more acceptable in the Divine Presence than my prayers. Yes, that is all there is to it and it is enough for you to now know how to relay the message of servanthood of Allah Almighty to Western people.

Shaykh Nazim Adil Al-Haqqani, In the Mystic Footsteps of Saints:2, Available on Amazon