The Trouble with Converts…

I can understand that some of the content on this post might offend some but that isn’t my intention. These are my experiences and observations. I don’t mean to generalize because I know that there are good brothers and sister, and not so good brothers and sisters, both born in to Islam and reverted to Islam. I just happen to see more reverted brothers and sisters taking Islam seriously. And I know there are really good brothers and sisters who Alhamdulillah, were born in to Islam who don’t take it’s blessings for granted at all. Either way I just find it really sad to see any brother or sister going astray.

Recently I’ve noticed this look people give me. The look that says “The trouble with converts is that they take it too seriously”. I don’t understand it! I don’t understand how I am the wrong person for trying to practice the teachings of Islam. When ever I say, “we shouldn’t do that” or “that’s haram” I get that really annoying look! It’s become so frequent that now I don’t bother saying anything to my fellow brothers or sisters anymore, I just mind my own business and let them do what they want. I hear things like “Woah your talking like a scholar” or “Oh you know so much about this stuff”. And no it’s not said in a good way, it’s said in a “oh god” way! So yeah I read! I study! I try really hard to gather as much understanding of Islam as possible while trying to implement them in to my life. When did that start becoming a problem?!

Couple of weeks back on a normal outing with friends I was caught by surprise to see some brothers drinking alcohol. I honestly didn’t expect it and it did make me feel weird to know them and sit in the same table. It wasn’t because I was ashamed of them, I was just worried for them and I couldn’t understand why they would do that.

In all fairness I probably had the most judgmental face ever! I mean I could feel the judgement melting on my face so there is no way they didn’t catch it. I make it a point to try and not judge people because I’m imperfect myself and it’s only Allah who can really judge anyone of us. But I was just SO surprised! The worse of it was that they talked about it like it was nothing. They looked at me as if I was doing something wrong! And that is when I noticed it, the look. The look that I was trouble because I had obviously stopped being ‘cool’.

I am so tiered of seeing people give me this look! I get it from everywhere! Non-muslims look at me perplexed wondering why I am doing this, why I have reverted, why I wear hijab, why I’m not a so called “modern”/”moderate” muslim. You think I would be accepted by my brothers and sisters but even they see me as strange. Frankly I have stopped caring! I’m proud to be a revert, Alhamdulillah! I refuse to apologies or feel bad for being a good Muslim! Yes, I take it seriously, I’ve chosen this path and I intend to follow it properly. I’m not going to feel ashamed of that.

It’s not just about me either, I’ve seen a lot of people who stop and say “hey shall we go and pray” who are made to be social outcasts. If you have a beard, if you wear a niqab, if you wear a thaqiyah or jubbah, you pray on time and try to be a good Muslim, your instantlyย  not cool and something is definitely wrong with you. When did this happen?! I can understand if it’s by people who don’t understand Islam but this is happening in our own Ummah. We are shutting out those who practice Islam with all their might and we are accepting these so called ‘cool’ kids. This can not be good for any of us.

When you ask a brother why he doesn’t grow his beard, he’d say “people will think I’m too religious”. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! What is being too religious? And above all why on earth is it a bad thing?. These are questions we need to think about. When did we start separating Islam in to ‘ok/can do’ activities and ‘too religious’ activities? We were asked to follow Islam and the Prophet (SAW)’s teachings. Why have we stopped?

I know from first hand experience that it feels good to go with the flow, the styles, and the it crowd. But one day it’s all going to end and we’re going to be left with nothing but the deeds which we wronged our own soul with. It’s up to us to change the trends and ourselves so that being a good human being, and being a good Muslim isn’t a bad thing, but an admirable thing.

As always I’m saying this to myself as much as I am to everyone out there. As one of MJ’s songs go, I’m starting with the man (well women in this case :)) in the mirror. I’m trying to surround myself with supportive friends who share my love of Islam. Inshallah, I hope by hanging out with them, I learn more, I improve and help them improve too. I’m trying to change my behavior towards sisters wearing niqab and brothers who opt for a jubbah over skinny jeans, Mashallah!. I’m going to try to be the change I want to see and I hope all my brothers and sisters will also do the same, Inshallah.




7 thoughts on “The Trouble with Converts…

  1. LOL sis yeah I know how frustrating it can get, that “oh gawd not another fundamentalist revert!” eye roll =) But most of it is all about finding other ways to say “That”s haram” or “we shouldn’t do that” – and alhamdulillah our Prophet sallalu alayhi wasallam provided us with plenty of examples of how to do just that =)

    What I’d do if I wanted to warn a brother or sister about their “cool” but unislamic appearance or actions, for example, would be to feign ignorance and personal worry on the issue, like it was something I did myself or felt the urge to do, but just wanted to check that it was OK islamically. I’d defer to these people in terms of knowledge, ask them to please help me research the topic, because poor little revert me needs guidance from her born-and-bred Muslim sisters/ brothers =)

    And subhanAllah, even my “cool” or “modern” sisters/ brothers, they all seem keen and eager to help out an ignorant revert sister, and many are actually conscientious enough to telephone/ email a local imam or scholar on my behalf, mashaAllah, which means they hear the “That’s haram!” from a bona fide scholar twenty years their senior =)

    OK, I know it might sound unnecessarily diplomatic and even humiliating (especially when these are your friends!), but there are some beautiful ahadeeth illustrating how this kind of “extreme” diplomacy, tact and sensitivity is actually a beloved tradition in our deen – remember how Hassan and Hussain (RA) corrected an elderly man’s wudu? Pretending is actually permissible when it comes to conveying good =)

    • Assalamualaikum sister!
      Haha true! I do use diplomacy in many situations. I only out right say no when they insist on me joining them for certain activities which I don’t like (clubbing, concerts, etc.). But I do like your strategy in dealing with friends! Inshallah I shall also use it next time ๐Ÿ™‚ Jazakhallah Kahir for ur time!

      p.s. I admit it is kind of fun to play the poor little revert me part now and then ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. This so reminds me of the hadith that has time and again given me relief whenevr I face something like this (which is often)
    “Islam began as something strange and will revert to being strange as it began.So give glad tidings to the strangersโ€

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