Someone asked Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-’Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah): What is your advice for an individual who has just begun to practice Islam?
Answer by Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-’Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah): My advice to this new practicing individual is:
1- He should constantly ask Allaah to make him firm.
2 – He should increase in recitation of The Qur`an with contemplation. This is because recitation has a major (positive) effect on the heart, especially when coupled with contemplation and reflection.
3 – He should be diligent in being obedient to Allaah, and he should not become bored or lazy. This is because The Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) sought refuge from inability and laziness.
4 – He should be diligent in befriending good companions, and distance himself from evil companions.
5 – He should also advise himself when he finds himself thinking: Time is extremely lengthy and the path is too long! At this point, he should advise himself and remain firm. This is because Jannah (paradise) is surrounded with trials and difficulties, while the The Hell-fire is surrounded with desires.
6 – He should distance himself from bad companions even if they (those companions) are individuals he knew in the past. This is due to the fact that evil/bad companions influence an individual. Because of this, the Messenger (salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: The example of a bad companion is the example of a black smith; either he burns your clothing, or you experience from him a disgusting odor. (Bukhari: 5534, Muslim: 2628)
Source: Liqaa al Bab al Meftu 3/530, via http://salafee.multiply.com/