My Vision For Reverts

Bismillahir rahmanir raheem

Asalaamu alaykum readers,

After having an interesting chat with @mayonaizz , a revert sister I’ve connected with on Twitter, I realised that more needs to be done by those who come to the deen of Islam.

When you first revert, your get a serious fire in your heart and start to feel real conviction for your newly found belief. People promise to teach you things and take you under their wing so you’ll never feel alone again. For those that revert and sadly leave their families behind because they don’t agree with their choices, Islam is like a wide open door to new people and new experiences. But that door soon starts to let in a pesky draft as you realise the people that were their clapping with you at your shahadah have lives of their own, families or their own and once again you may feel like an outsider.

For those that do manage to find friends along the way, your beliefs start to assimilate with theirs in an effort to ‘stay relevant’ to each other. This can be both a blessing and a curse if you’re coming to Islam with little or no knowledge. When people ask you what madhhab you follow or what type of Muslim you are, you tend to say the same thing as your friends because after all, friends stick together right? **this is in no way an advocation for picking a madhhab at random**

Abu Hurayrah reported: The Prophet (saw) said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

In some cases, it can take years to reach independence in your faith as a Muslim. It’s an amazing when you can feel comfortable with your views and expressing them, even though they may not match up with those of your closest friends alhamdulillah. It’s similar to the situation in which a sister (or even brother) reverts for the sake of marriage and their Islamic identity just becomes that of their partners and they fail to grow their own imaan because they cannot distinguish between their own thoughts and opinions and those of their spouse, subhanAllah.

And what about our reverted brothers and sisters with no Islamic guidance to follow?

We’ve all heard stories about people who have been invited to Islam but have subsequently fallen in with the ‘wrong crowd’, following preachers of hate and extreme views. And as much as we don’t like to admit or acknowledge it as Muslims, we are all partly to blame for this.

A point raised by another sister on Twitter (@redbeansrule) made me think about the number of times I’ve heard people almost bragging about the number of shahadahs they’ve been a part of but never about the pastoral and spiritual care that is definitely required afterwards.

That’s what made me think about my vision for my reverted brothers and sisters when they come to the deen, to help them at least gain the basis of Islamic knowledge rather than letting them fall to the wayside to be picked up by those who have nothing but poor intentions for them.

So what’s my vision for reverts?

I’d love to see masaajid (mosques) launch a 1 year programme for reverts to teach them the bare bones of Islam. I know there are short courses usually lasting a day or more but I know for me personally, it still wasn’t enough. In the hadith of Jibril (as) he discusses with the Prophet (saw) about the Islam, Ihsan and Imaan, 3 things all Muslims should be clued up on and the pillars of faith and imaan. It’s tempting to dive into the teachings of Islam like Fiqh (jursiprudence) and leave behind the ‘easy’ stuff. But in my personal opinion, this just sets your learning back as you’ll always need to come back to the basics to keep yourself on the straight path inshaAllah.

Learning how to pray your salah and make wudu are far more useful to you as a revert than what the fuqahah and schools of thought differ on in terms of whether the hijab includes niqab or if your trousers are above the ankle or not. Yes, these things are important but what does it matter if you’re wearing niqab but your salah is wrong?

As a frequent attendee of weekend Islamic courses, they are amazing mashaAllah but it is only just one weekend. It’s far too easy to walk away and never apply that knowledge to your life. Atleast with a comprehensive 1 year course compiled with evidence from the Qur’an and sahih (authentic) sunnah, we give our reverts a fighting chance at making it past the first year inshaAllah.

I want to hear your thoughts. What what you think is essential to learn in the first year after reverting to Islam?

Drop me a line at christalblogs@gmail.com or contact me on social media TwitterFacebook and Instagram!

Wasalaam – Peace be With You

0 thoughts on “My Vision For Reverts

  1. Um Ibrahim says:

    Subhanalaah this is such an important topic. You touched upon the biggest problem many reverts face. In fact I remember a new sister to Islam who was complaining about how she had no one to teach her the basics of islam. No one to really guide her and because of that she almost wanted to give up.

    I think even those of us born and raised into muslim families especially if the family aren’t practising need this type of assistance. You’ll be suprised how many Muslim youth are completely clueless as to what islam even is and what they are supposed to do as Muslims.

    Anyway ukhti, I agree with you a 100 percent! Masjids should do a better job of teaching our brothers and sisters. I think individuals as well.

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      Jazakillahu khayrun for the comment sis. Yes this is a very important topic and many reverts leave the deen within the first year due to a lack of support from the community. We need to enact change inshaAllah!

  2. The Indian Revert Muslimah says:

    I agree with you sister. As a revert, in spite of being in Islam for years now, I still struggle with my salah and I have never visited a mosque for the lack for infrastructure for women in them in my city!

    May Allah guide every revert. Ameen.

      • The Indian Revert Muslimah says:

        No. 🙂 I have seen them from outside and afar but never been inside one. The cities that I have lived in, never provided for women in a mosque. I was so desirous of praying in jamaat amongst my sisters since many years ..Alhamdulillah I got an opportunity when I attended a islamic convention. They had arranged a separate salah area. I cannot express the emotions I experienced when I stood in a crowd of muslimahs. It had been so lonely all the while, being the odd one out in your hijab, being the only one to leave for salah from amongst the crowd… Suddenly being amongst hundreds of sisters , just felt like I am finally in the right place- where I belong..

        I know what you mean by peace to the heart. There was a day I experienced that. 🙂

      • The Indian Revert Muslimah says:

        No. 🙂 I have seen them from outside and afar but never been inside one. The cities that I have lived in, never provided for women in a mosque. I was so desirous of praying in jamaat amongst my sisters since many years ..Alhamdulillah I got an opportunity when I attended a islamic convention. They had arranged a separate salah area. I cannot express the emotions I experienced when I stood in a crowd of muslimahs. It had been so lonely all the while, being the odd one out in your hijab, being the only one to leave for salah from amongst the crowd… Suddenly being amongst hundreds of sisters , just felt like I am finally in the right place- where I belong..

        I know what you mean by peace to the heart. There was a day I experienced that. :-).

  3. Rashida Al Almaniya says:

    As salamu aleikum,
    A one year course would be such a great idea. Something like a mentoring program, would be a high benefit for reverted sisters too. When I reverted to Islam, the first two years I have learned nearly nothing. This was because I was highly disappointed in the muslim community. The sisters at the Mosque were asking me private questions and were not able to show me the library, but to chat, drinking tea and to ask strange questions. They advised me to not overwhelm myself and not to learn to fast. I was sad because I imagined to find woman seeking for knowledge at the mosque. I was two or three times at the Mosque and then I did not come back.

    But later I realized, that I can not blame others for my lack of seeking knowledge. It is me alone, who is responsible for my life and my connection to Allah. I bought really a lot of books, and started to learn online and with books for myself. And Al Hamduillah, I find such a pleasure in seeking knowledge. Instead of overwhelming, it is feeding my soul and strengthen my connection with God. And when I am not able to find good company, I will be the woman who is a good company to others inshallah.

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      Walaykumu salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu. Alhamdulillah sister you’re an inspiration! InshaAllah you have inspired me by the will of Allah swt to continue to work on this project so more sisters and brothers can benefit ! Its such a shame when our brothers and sisters feel that the masjid is not their spiritual home for whatever reason. Jazakillahu khayrun for the comment and please do continue to read the blog 😄👍

      • Rashida Al Almaniya says:

        What comes also in my mind….
        When I was in the Mosque, I spoke with other converts too. I was asking them how they started to learn everything. The answer was: It was sooo easy, it took me only one week to learn to pray, I started to took on the Hijab even when I was a christian. I have had no problems at all with my family, everything was fine. I started to learn Arabic and it is so easy to me. I try to do all the sunnah prayer too.

        And I was like…. what? I was feeling really really really (!) bad and depressed. Nothing from the above was easy to me. Maschallah, it is great when sisters do such an effort and find ease, but on the other hand, they do not wanted to show me the library, how is this working together? I felt so bad, that I thought that I never could be a good Muslim.

        For myself, I think problem handling is a great deal for converts. How to deal with your family, how to deal with bad reactions, with the loss of friends and so on.

        And the most important thing for me is Tawhid. To learn about Tawhid and Shirk, gives a good basic for everything else. It has pushed me in the right direction.

        May Allah bless you and your project.

        • ChristalBlogs says:

          Allahumma ameen! Yes, it can be intimidating when others brag about how easy they found it subhanAllah. We as converts too have to be open, honest and realistic when talking to other converts. Theres no shame in saying the trasnition was hard, Allah swt puts barakah in hardship as shown by our Prophets (alayhi salaatawa salaam)

  4. Asiyah says:

    Thank you so much for this. I have taken and participated in 8 different online Introductory Islamic series and feel that each has something different to offer.

    I really recommend New Muslim Academy because they have a few courses, one-on-one counselling, forums that are promptly responded to and even Eid exchanges. Unfortunately they are based in the UK so it isn’t easy to meet people in person in North America.

    Ilmflix has a course called ISLAM 101 that is 6 lectures long which is also helpful (and free as well) with more focus on the stories of the prophets peace be upon them and the instructor also responds well to questions.

    Being Muslim is another free course offered through Seekers Hub which is from the point of view of the Maliki madhab but it’s amazing in the way it is relevant to Muslims living in the West and in focusing on your relationship with Allah subhana hu wa ta’ala.

    http://www.newmuslims.com is another but is very long and seems redundant in content, but it’s supposed to be that way for step by step learning, but this can be overwhelming 🙁

    The Islamic Institute of Orange County has on their website a series through Vimeo titled The Essentials of Islam which is great too based on an older book called Islam in Focus. Through their college they have a Welcome to Islam online course too which is very basic. They also have a YouTube channel called Outreach which live streams every Sunday a curriculum relevant to New Muslims.

    Big Sister, Little Sister which I think is meant to be a buddy system is on Facebook but I haven’t accessed them directly.

    Islamic Online University does have a one day and one week after becoming Muslim course. The one day one is nice but a bit intimidating. I haven’t participated in the one week course though.

    I hope this helps in sha Allah and of course it’s always better to pursue life-long learning. Right now I am signed up with the College of Islamic Studies (www.collegeislam.com) which has a 1 or 2 year program (I might do this over 6 years though) to cover an overall series of topics relevant to being an informed Muslim in the West <3

    Thanks again for your blog. Jazakallahu khairan

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