1. Accept the person as Muslim.
This seems an obvious point, but unfortunately there are times when reverts are not always fully accepted as part of the Muslim community. Be a positive force who demonstrates how to welcome and accept reverts for what they are—Muslims.
2. Be patient and present while the person works to basically change his/her entire life.
It’s no small task. Reverts are learning Islam at its most basic levels. This means that other important tenets may not be on their radar at first. Be patient with them. Recall how overwhelming it can be even for people raised as Muslims to absorb and follow the rules. This is a journey for everyone; we learn and try with sincerity to apply as best we can.
Reverts often have the added challenge of being the only Muslim in their families; this can pose many obstacles. Introduce them to other Muslims so that they can see they are part of a community that will support them. Recall that they likely will be losing friends in part because their new lifestyle is not compatible with their old one.
3. Encourage them with helping them and providing them with the basics,
like the concept of tawheed, wuduh, salat, reciting some small ayat, etc. Share with them things they can do like dhikr, reciting Ayat al-Kursi. If you notice they don’t have a prayer mat, give them one. All of those gestures may seem small, but they add to that person’s knowledge and enriches his/her Islamic life.
4. Remind them of the fundamental rule for sourcing knowledge.
While people mean well and tend to be excited to share with reverts, sometimes the information shared is more purely cultural than Islamic. This can confuse someone who is trying to learn the basics. Keep it simple—emphasize to them that above all, the Quran, Sunnah, and then scholarly tradition are what we rely upon for knowledge and guidance. Emphasize to them that the information they seek about Islam should be grounded in those three points, otherwise, we cannot trust its validity.
5. Be open and willing to talk.
Reverts can sometimes feel quite alone in their Islam, in large part because they feel people cannot relate to what it is like to have not been Muslim and then to undertake such large changes. Along with learning basic things like prayer, changing the way they dress, fasting, they have to learn things that are more obvious to people raised Muslim.
For example, for Western reverts who have no hereditary ties to Muslim lands, the concept of gender separation is not only foreign, they’ve basically grown up hearing it’s oppressive and backward. Explain the wisdom in it. Odds are, they’ll be able to recall a situation in which they’ve seen the dangers of no separation. Because Islam is logical, all of their concerns can be discussed and worked through. Be there when they want to talk.