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?
Wasalaam – Peace be With You