From darkness to light – A message for new Muslims

From darkness to light - A message for new Muslims

يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ قَدۡ جَآءَكُمۡ رَسُولُنَا يُبَيِّنُ لَكُمۡ كَثِيرٗا مِّمَّا كُنتُمۡ تُخۡفُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡكِتَٰبِ وَيَعۡفُواْ عَن كَثِيرٖۚ قَدۡ جَآءَكُم مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ نُورٞ وَكِتَٰبٞ مُّبِينٞ

يَهۡدِي بِهِ ٱللَّهُ مَنِ ٱتَّبَعَ رِضۡوَٰنَهُۥ سُبُلَ ٱلسَّلَٰمِ وَيُخۡرِجُهُم مِّنَ ٱلظُّلُمَٰتِ إِلَى ٱلنُّورِ بِإِذۡنِهِۦ وَيَهۡدِيهِمۡ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٖ مُّسۡتَقِي

O People of the Scripture, there has come to you Our Messenger making clear to you much of what you used to conceal of the Scripture and overlooking much. There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.

By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path. (5:15-16)

If we zoom out from our planet to the galaxy and then keep zooming out, looking at the Earth from billions of light-years away, we will struggle to find ourselves on the map—we are so tiny and seemingly insignificant. Despite this, the Creator of the entire universe has chosen us to receive His message. What an immense honour that God selected us to receive His guidance. And He sent us the most perfect man, Muhammad, with the most perfect message — the final revelation to the final nation, after all the messengers who were sent to previous nations.

In the Quran, God addresses all of humanity, stating that His divine message is a light that opens our eyes, opens our hearts, and connects our souls to its source.

The Quran is the manual of the universe. Just as any machine you buy comes with a set of instructions from its manufacturer, because the manufacturer knows the best way to operate it, Allah, the Creator of us and the universe, sent us the Quran as the manual, instructing us on how to live our lives in the best way, with the best character.

The essence of all messages sent by God from the time of Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them) is based on three principles. Firstly, introducing God to people as the one and only Lord. Knowing Him elevates you and transforms your life. When you know God, it brings joy to your existence.

Ibn Ata’illah al-Iskandari said,

“What do you have if you lost Him and what did he find who lost you?” (Al-Hikam)

You might attempt to do things your way – DIY, ignoring the manual, but this often leads to failure and regret, wishing you had followed the instructions. In real life, mistakes can’t be undone, but with God, you can always return. You have a special help button—the repentance button—which, when pressed with sincerity, will rescue you, no matter where you are or how far you have gone. It is a supersonic vehicle that always brings you back on track. When you turn to God with sincerity, He will never reject you. His mercy towards us exceeds that of our mothers. Even our mothers can get fed up with us, but God never does. His door is always open and He never lets us down.

God is light. Light provides direction. Without it, you cannot find your way. God says He guides those who seek His guidance. (Quran 5:16)

Finding your way in the dark is impossible. That is why God’s light delivers us from darkness, offering direction and clarity. We’ve all experienced darkness in our lives, but His light guides us. God is the Most Merciful and provides us with guidance, but only on one condition – that we seek His guidance.

Whoever is truly searching for Him, will find Him.

If you desire belief, you will believe, but if you reject belief, you will not find it.

وَقُلِ ٱلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ ۖ فَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَآءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ ۚ

And say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “˹This is˺ the truth from your Lord. Whoever wills let them believe, and whoever wills let them disbelieve.” (Quran, 18:29)

Remember, God does not need our worship. We do not do Him a favour by worshipping Him. It is us who need Him. Know that when you seek Him with sincerity, He hears you, and this is wonderful news. God calls those He loves, and accepting His call is a sign of His love. Not everyone responds to His call, though He calls all humanity. It is a great honour to accept His call, but it is not just about acceptance—it’s about responding and maintaining that response. The hardest challenge is to break through the barrier from darkness to light and then to stay on the right path.

In every prayer (at least 17 times a day), we recite the words, “Keep us on the straight path.” (Quran If we are praying, we are already guided, so in fact, we are asking Him to keep us guided. To maintain this, continually purify your intentions, avoid anything that displeases God, and stay away from environments that may lead you astray. Keep seeking knowledge and attending gatherings of learning.

The most crucial element is sincerity. This will make or break your journey. Have sincerity in your connection with God and in your actions. Without sincerity, your actions are rejected. Therefore, we need knowledge, sincerity, and good etiquette. Learn good etiquette from the biography of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). My advice to myself and you is threefold: maintain sincerity, keep learning, and continually improve your character. By doing so, you will be a shining example for your family and community.

May God keep His light in your hearts and keep you close to Him. Ameen.

Based on the address of Shaykh Haytham Tamim to the New Muslims at the Muslims World League on 8th June 2024


Shaykh Haytham Tamim is the founder and main teacher of the Utrujj Foundation. He has provided a leading vision for Islamic learning in the UK, which has influenced the way Islamic knowledge is disseminated. He has orchestrated the design and delivery of over 200 unique courses since Utrujj started in 2001. His extensive expertise spans over 30 years across the main Islamic jurisprudence schools of thought. He has studied with some of the foremost scholars in their expertise; he holds some of the highest Ijazahs (certificates) in Quran, Hadith (the Prophetic traditions) and Fiqh (Islamic rulings). His own gift for teaching was evident when he gave his first sermon to a large audience at the age of 17 and went on to serve as a senior lecturer of Islamic transactions and comparative jurisprudence at the Islamic University of Beirut (Shariah College). He has continued to teach; travelling around the UK, Europe and wider afield, and won the 2015 BISCA award (British Imams & Scholars Contributions & Achievements Awards) for Outstanding Contribution to Education and Teaching.