Warning! Revert/Convert or you want to Revert/Convert:A letter for you from a Convert

Discussion in 'New Muslims' started by Andalusian, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. Noor El-Huda
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    Noor El-Huda Junior Member

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    A little while ago, I attended a new-muslims' group in a mosque in UK. It was a borthers only and sisters only group. The sister's group was led by a revert sister and a muslim born sister. Each filled a certain role. I happened to be there and I was welcomed to join. It went like this:

    It started off as a very informal friendly meeting. We sat on a carpet and sisters bring something to share each week so we had cake and tea. While sipping tea, the facilitator asked us to narrate a moment in our lives which we found was most difficult, (or something along these lines if I remember correctly. Sisters introduced themsleves and narrated in their turns. As they shared experiences, many found things in common. Some had known each other, others were new and found themselves with people they could relate to. New muslim sisters seemed to find comfort in knowing that they were not alone.

    We then had an islamic session with a topic quite relevant to the new muslims.There was questions asked, some were answered to the best of their knowledge or noted down in order to be answered the following week .
    The mosque was raising funds for those that were possibly suffering financial difficulties as a consequence of their conversion. We left after exchanging emails and phone numbers with each other.

    I felt the importance of being there as a born muslim. It meant that I was able to have an understanding to the experiences of a revert. I hope that more of these sessions could take place around mosques. That they are catered for reverts but to welcome reverts and born muslims toghether, so that it facilitates opprotunity of be-friending a revert, and strengthening ties of brotherhood/sisterhood. I strongly urge spouses of reverts to join these groups for the purpose of help and understanding them.

    I am aware that there are Islamic lessons for new muslims, but I think it should be more than an Islamic lesson. That informal session described above was very insightful and essential. We need more of these around that provide activities such as trips, invitations, and other ideas that hlep the revert and to bring them us closer with born muslims inshallah.:SMILY209:
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  2. mikepan68
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    mikepan68 Junior Member

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    I took a lot of internet courses.
  3. Asiya-sparkles
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    Asiya-sparkles Junior Member

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    Salam alaikom wa rahma'tullah brother,

    I read you message with a sense of deja vu and smiled because your gripes and frustrations are shared amongst all muslims, so I wanted to respond because honestly, the journey in Islam will at one time or another leave you guilty of all the aformentioned things that pain you right now! Subhan Allah, I think the most important thing you need to remember is that ALL muslims, those who have been raised with a muslim name, those who bring a cultural flavour etc... converts [I am assured it is convert not revert as explained by Ustadh Abu eesa [you can go the very slow track of gaining ilm through his free online lesson 'Logical Progression' which is accessed via Prophetic Guidance website and runs every Wednesday evening. I have been a practising convert for slightly more than 13 years now and want to first of all ask you to reflect that ALL muslims without exception are on their own individual journey and even those raised in practising homes are as much in need of guidance and support as the newbie! Honestly, Allah knows best.

    I think the most beneficial statement that I ever heard was from Ustadh Abu Eesa niamatullah, ''Everything in life is halal except that which is specifically prohibited [haram] & everything in worship is haram except that which that which has been specifically instructed. "

    Isn't that simple and beautiful?

    We are not all at the same level of iman, ilm or taqwa and it is wrong to be critical of people who feel the presence of Allah in a different way to you, it is also wrong to be critical of people who act with caution in some situations especially 'free mixing' -there are laws surrounding this issue with good reason and people who learn and know never advocate this type of mixing - it is actually for your own benefit. If you personally can't see the harm, don't assume that other people would feel unaffected in such situations. You only are aware of your own shortcomings and tests. Always try to give 70 excuses for the behaviour of others.

    Also, the only obligation of muslims to each other are that they give you your rights, believe it or not, muslims work, have family responsibilities, do their own bit in the communities [sometimes at a studious level, others on a more personal level and sometimes at a dawah level or charitatable etc...] Not all muslims [who are still just ordinary people with ordinary failings etc... and abilities] can manage the interactions that you desire. And we none of us should place an expectation on how others should be. We may find another muslim a disappointment, but in the sight of Allah, Who knows the whole about us and what tests we are going through, that person may be loved. Allahu Alim! When you learn about the lives and personalities of the predecessors, you would be amazed at how just the same characteristics you have picked up on were always present in our community. The difference was, that unlike us, muslims accepted that so long as people were not falling into sin, they were free to be themselves. =)

    Sadly, as a convert community, we often wear an air of entitlement that we aren't actually deserving of, some muslims keep away from us due to our strongwilled obstinancy and determination to either ridicule how they practice [we forget being humble and respectful to others is something that starts with 'me'] and can have many views that are associated with ignorance and they don't feel a shared value in such views and often come across opposition when they try to gently, or 'puritanically' guide us. Can we blame them if we are making it difficult to interact with?

    It is often a dreadful feeling for sisters to be approached by a non mehram and it is not praiseworthy to have any discussions/debates with the opposite sex. Honestly, it just isn't. How do you know what thoughts and feelings are stirred in hearts and minds? Islam is about prevention and then cure. Male converts should respect that and understand that the modern western ways aren't always correct. Just having respect for others at least means we should empathise witht them.

    I think the single thing that we converts are most guilty of is always thinking of the 'me' in these situations. we rarely try to imagine what the lives of thers are about. Allahu alim!


    Anyway, just a few thoughts I wanted to share. I hope that they at least make you pause and think. Insha Allah!




    I will insha Allah endeavour to answer more later!

    Fi amanillah
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
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  4. Asiya-sparkles
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    Asiya-sparkles Junior Member

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    Salam alaikom,

    One other thought, we need to develop tawakul -reliance upon Allah & to seek from Him.

    I also want to say this, if Allah is keeping you from mixing with others it is for your benefit insha Allah!

    About 10 years ago, I lived above a muslim family, the sister and I got along well and ma'sha Allah, she has a beautiful heart and a gentleness about her that was really lovely. Each Friday night, she and her husband would socialise, the sisters would each gather usually at hers, and the husbands' would gather at another house. They clearly had a fun and enjoyable start to their weekends and I would hear the laughter and wonder why I was never invited. It caused me huge pain. Alhamdulillah, after a few months of this going on, Allah one evening allowed the invitation to be extended to include me. My husband prefers his own company so did not join the brothers. I knew most of the sisters and had visited with a few of them many times [hence the mystery as to why I had not been invited before!] Well that evening I gratefully joined them and they were warm, kind and fun, BUT because it was a gathering of so many, inevitably tongues started to say things that should not be said. Some of the subjects were not suitable etc... You see how Allah had protected me from this all along? I felt so grateful and never minded that I was not invited along again. Allah kareem. I of course love these sisters, they are ma'sha Allah tabarak Allah good sisters, who like me and you have human failings. Yes, we do enjoin the good and prohibit the wrong, but, if you can avoid gatherings that do not remember Allah [such as circles of ilm which are good and you should seek out!] it is possible that you are being helped to prevent developing bad habits and or accruing sins - that wont help you in your journey.

    Allah is always near, and what is more, He who has no-one, does indeed have Allah.


    The other thing you need to remember is that if as a convert, you are determined to introduce muslims to your ideas of Islam, based on only a limited knowledge, then they will be cautious around you and careful to keep you at arms length from their families. You can't expect to be invited into a brother's home and sit chatting with his wife and teenage daughters - none of them will be happy, comfortable or want that. Same for sisters, going into a home of a sister and sitting around chatting with her husband and teenaged sons will confuse her... making friendships with the opposite gender is discouraged, so they won't understand why you would even want to. When you are further along in your journey, you will also appreciate that actually it is nice being close with your own gender, and being polite with the opposite gender. Alhamdulillah.

    Do you remember as children how boys did their own thing and girls did their own thing - even though they were mixed... school playgrounds etc...? Well that is natural. Husband and wife, parents, inlaws etc do more easily interact nad of course have close loving bonds. but outside of that, it really is okay to keep a distance, desired, preferred.

    Fi amanillah
    Fi amanillah
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  5. Asiya-sparkles
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    Asiya-sparkles Junior Member

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    "Although I have a good understanding of the basic theology of Islam and Islamic history, two years after my conversion I am to some extent still struggling with the practical daily basics. According to a hadith,"The search for knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim."(Ibn Majah, Baihaqi). A convert needs to search for more knowledge than a born Muslim who has had a lifetime of schooling in the faith. In my personal experience, it seems that established Muslims make at best only a token effort to assist new Muslims in fulfilling their religious obligations."

    With respect brother, I would like to assure you that even after 13 years of studying, I am learning that I am pretty basic in my understanding -the further along you go, the more ou realise this. Don't seek knowledge from other students, [which we all are effectively] seek knowledge from those who teach. Not every muslim can help you or give you correct advice.

    I would suggest Sheikh Assim al Hakim, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Dr Bilal Philips Islamic Open University - which is online and free in essence, though you will need to buy books for study. Being taught is much better too than just reading about the deen, because you will be given insight into what things are and mean, it isn't always as obvious as literal.

    Also, it is a mistake to assume that muslims have a lifetime of learning about the deen behind them, in some cases you may have more understanding than they do. Which means you are guilty or what you are accusing them of! Many muslims face the issues of trying to learn the deen under severe scrutiny and opposition from muslim family members who also don't have a lifetime of learning. we all make assumptions, but that is all they are. Sadly far too many muslims couldn't help you develop even if they ardently wished to.

    Fi amanillah
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  6. tiaziz
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    tiaziz Junior Member

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    Thanak you very much brother for sharing your experience. I is very helpful even to born Muslims.
    May Allah(SBT) bless you and keep you and your loved ones at peace. ..Ameen
  7. mary-am
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    mary-am Member

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    Thank you for this post! It was very relieving to read that some other converts are going through the same things.

    It has been hinted to me that I should change my name as well, but having been born with the name Mary, somehow I doubt that adding an -am at the end will make much of a difference!

    I am particularly grateful for you mentioning the part about not forsaking your parents or culture or country just because you have embraced Islam. Islam is such a wonderful religion in part because it accepts people of all colours and countries.

    Sometimes I find myself secretly wishing that there was a mosque specially designed for converts! I imagine it does feel hard sometimes being the only white person in a mosque. Wouldn't that be incredible? :)
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  8. tcbkk
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    tcbkk Member

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    With respect to what the author wrote on social support networks after reverting, it is something I am experiencing in Catholicism living in a south asian country. While I am found wanting to go closer to God I feel pushed away by a cliquey attitude from the parishioners and the fact that I have little in comm9on with them. I see the devotion to worship in Islam that I seek but do not want to be cut off from my family. I am already lacking in friends as I still believe and know that the creator exists. It has not been my choice to be alienated but rather action on their part. Its ok as I had many bad habits when associating with them. I want to attend a mosque for the community but I am separated by the language barrier.
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  9. Abu Juwairiya
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    Abu Juwairiya Junior Member

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    Have you tried study circles, conversing with social groups on the internet, meeting members of your own group via friends or acquaintances to enable you to be an active community partisan to Islamic activities or da'wah-related organisations. You do not need to have a local masjid to be an accepted member of the Islamic world; once Allah has accepted you, that's all there is to it. Interacting with others of a similar background etc. via any network is sufficient to engaging in Islamic social action and initiatives.

    I wish you every success in your endeavours and finding your niche and contact group among the many good and sincere brothers and sisters the world over who with Allah's Help can guide and assist you further.
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  10. mahussain
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    mahussain Junior Member

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    Please be assured that it is not only reverts/converts that experience this.

    Even born Muslims like myself, are experiencing this.

    However it is upon you to seek changes in your circumstance.

    You must try to make friends actively.
    You can try to set up, a study circle, where you can go through a book on Islam, or listen to a lecture on tape/internet, with any people who you are able to befriend.

    You can ask people who you know/meet if they are interested. You can ask on forums if anyone is interested in doing a class of something.

    If you still cannot find people to socialise, then it is upon you to have sabr patience, with the circumstances Allah has given you. To think about people who are in worse circumstances than you, and then to say Alhamdulillah, oh Allah I am thankful for everything you have given me. Without you I would have never even experienced life. I would've been nothing.

    It is also upon you that you surround yourself with good things when you are on your own. That way you will be in the company of good even if you are on your own.

    We will die very soon, so we just have to be patient with any hardships, whether mental or physical.
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  11. mustafa_bepari
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    mustafa_bepari Junior Member

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    Its not only happening to reverts, I was born and raised a muslim alhamdulillah, but where I am right now, people call me wahabi, enemy of islam, kaafir and some even say they should slit my throat. That's basically because the way I pray in the mosque... People here strictly follow hanafi madhab, and somehow they developed this idea that you MUST follow madhab or you're out of the folds of Islam haha. And trust me, you or anyone else cannot do anything about this issue at all, unless Allah wills it. Allah guides whom He loves and leaves to go astray whom He is displeased with. So count yourselves lucky that Allah gifted you this realization and that you can distinguish between the right and wrong theological teachings.

    Allah azza wa jal says in the noble Qur'an: "Verily, with hardship comes ease" [94:6]
    Take lesson from this verse and try to reflect upon it. When you go to get a college degree, the college does not offer you the degree with a big smile just for admitting yourself there. You study hard, you give exams after exams, sometimes you fail and you try again... And then they give you the degree. Likewise, Allah will test each and every one of us. We only need to prove to Allah azza wa jal we deserve His mercy and paradise, that's the whole point of this life.

    "O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient." [2:153]
    Nobody will ever succeed in striving to be a better muslim without patience.

    Before talking about patience, we need to take a step towards 'Jihad An Nafs'. Learn to fight our own desires, only by suppressing our Nafs, will we be able to submit to Allah azza wa jal properly. Because we don't know which act of ours is causing more difficulties for us... Sometimes, Allah doesn't accept our prayers because we haven't stopped that one certain sin that displeases Allah the most. The more we belittle a sin, the bigger it gets in the sight of Allah jalla jalalahu. Sometimes we commit sins without even realizing it... So we need to fix our Nafs before everything else. And after that everything shall become easy. And Allah azza wa jal knows best.
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  12. tcbkk
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    Thank you your your time to reply. I have a couple of English speaking colleagues that are Muslim, and I discussed this post with them. They have pointed me in the right direction, with regards to where I can find what I seek. I think now my main issue is language barrier. I know enough Thai to get by where I live, but that is about it.

    Thank you again.

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