Thursday, March 13, 2008

Revert Observation

I find that most of the reverts I know (most not all) want to follow a more traditional form of Islam. They don't have the cultural baggage that brings them one way or the other. Sometimes this causes problems with born Muslims because they see these reverts as being too strict. I can see their point of view, but perhaps if they look at it from another way, it will make more sense. A revert is someone who has been guided by Allah to accept Islam. They were not born that way. They have researched Islam and found it to be true. Its a huge step for some. So it only makes sense that they don't hold back when it comes to following the letter of the religion. A born Muslim may have been influenced by family or community their entire life, and perhaps even take it for granted.

I'm not saying that a born Muslim is not good, in fact I envy them a bit because they have had Islam all of their lives. I've learned quite a bit from my born Muslim brothers and sisters.

My classes at the masjid are a mix of born Muslims and reverts. Its always nice to listen to the questions that come from both angles. Questions from reverts can remind the born Muslims of the individual struggles that one goes through when converting religion. Questions from the born Muslims can be more in depth and can also show how things are seen from the point of view of someone who has been immersed in the religion for a longer period of time.

As a revert, I feel that now that Allah has shown me the straight path, that it is my obligation to follow it the best I can. Some may not agree with me on the choices and decisions I make, but I try to take my direction from people I trust, and from Quran and Sunnah.


Hannah said...


I agree with your observations, in that reverts are like blank slates ready for a new life and to gain knowledge. As reverts, we arent brought up with a mix of culture and islam that are often so mixed its difficult to disconnect them. But as you said born muslims have had islam all their lives and have had alot of time to accumulate knowledge and often have a community of others that support eachother. I think all muslims have the obligation to continue learning and better themselves.

Mohammed said...

In the name of Allah the most beneficial and the most merciful.

Let me look at the subject from another corner.I think that neither knowledge nor being born Muslim is the point that should be emphasized here, though they may be important but the more important thing that should be deeply considered here is work !, yes practical work for the sake of Islam and people.

There are a lot of Born Muslims and converted Muslims (who converted along time ago and so know very much )who work very little !!, let every one ask himself or herself what did he introduce or will introduce to Islam ?
If we realize that the worships and the creed represent only 5% of the Islamic religion , and this aspect is only between Man and His Creator, for that , we should work hard in the rest of the religion , 95% of Islam which is real practical life,ethics and our behavior with people.
so, the conclusion is that, work ,and only work is the governing point if some one wants to say he is a good Muslim or not.
And by this standard (balance), work, some one can serve Islam in three years (may be after converting to Islam , and may be before his or her death too, look!!his Islamic life is only three years!) more than some one who is 80 years old and was born Muslim !

Many of the companions of the prophet live after they "converted" to Islam for only three years and less, but they gave Islam more than people lived for years saying that they were born Muslims.

Let us "compete"in both worshiping to be nearer to Allah to win His satisfaction and work for the sake of Islam to give Humanity another model and solution for its spiritual and materialistic life problems, and let this to be the only standard of being good Muslim or not between all of Muslims either converted or born Muslims, and of course all of them are good and also putting in to our consideration that all of our work is only for the sake of Allah only !!

May Allah guide all of us to His right way, and to use us instead of replacing us.

thank you.

shamsuddin waheed said...

As salaamu 'alaikum,

Your post here was interesting, I agree that the need is great for Muslims, especially those who have accepted Islam from a Non-Muslim backround, to learn about Islam from the original sources devoid of cultural and sectarian baggage, namely the Qur'an and the way in which the Prophet [PBUH] practiced or applied the Qur'an, which we call the Sunnah.

I think the issue is what has been assumed to be Islam may be in fact cultural norms or attitudes of societies that have accepted Islam long ago. One good example is honor killing, which is widely practiced, and sometimes given religious justifications, however such a practice is clearly against the Qur'an itself.

When one reads the Qur'an carefully, we discover that it does not, for the most part, limit its audience to the Arabs in the Prophet's time. Most of its contents are directed at the broader audience of humans, showing that it is indeed applicable and appropriate for all times. This, for me,is another evidence that it is indeed from God.

I would also like to say that the Qur'an does not spend alot of time addressing detail, or what may be termed "small" laws or issues. That shows that the book of Allah is pointing to principles and morals, more so than anything else. We have to be careful to avoid becoming nit-pickers in everything, remember that Allah Ta'ala is the most kind and merciful, and the best of guides.