Posted by: The Lettered Wayfarer | September 16, 2012

5 Things Every Mosque Should Do for Converts (That They Arent Doing)

 

5 Things Every Mosque
Should Do for Converts

(That They Aren’t Doing)

 

I’ve been complaining a lot lately. People around me have noticed, no doubt. In recent times I’ve become increasingly irked at how little is actually done for converts to Islam in American Mosques; and in some cases events I’ve tried to plan for them have been thwarted by what I refer to as “Back-Home-istanians.” -The Arab or Indo-Pak “uncles” on Masjid boards, the ultra conservative Saudi Imams, the tea-drinking “Masjids-are-for-praying-only” Muslims who inhabit every Mosque in America. And, to be honest, I’m getting quite sick of it.

I don’t want this to come off as an angry rant, and I certainly don’t want to cause any more division than there already is, but the simple fact is, something needs to be done for our converts, because, whether we like to admit it or not, we have a high turnover rate. We often tout, as Muslims, statistics that say that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world, but we ignore the statistics that state that much of this has to do with birth rates more so than conversion. We point to news articles that say 20,000 people convert to Islam every year in America alone, but refuse to acknowledge similar statistics that show us that 1 in 4 converts leave Islam within the first three years after identifying as Muslim. Our converts are drowning, and there IS something we can do about it.

So, rather than just giving everyone empty complaints about how “Masjids don’t do enough for converts” -I’ve decided to put my money where my mouth is, and give an itemized list of what needs to be done, and why. Keep in mind that I am a convert myself of 12 years who has learned through trial and error, through making mistakes, what the pitfalls of being a convert to Islam are, what we go through, and, as such, I am more qualified to speak on what converts need than any Arab or otherwise “born Muslim.” I’ve lived it, and these points of action I’m listing below are facts deduced from fighting in the field. They are not theoretical. They are essential, and if any Masjid president, board member, or Imam chooses not to implement them, I believe you will be asked about it on the Day of Judgement.

1) Acknowledge that there is a problem:

Remember that guy you gave shahadah to a year ago and then never saw him again at the Masjid? Yeah, what happened to that guy? I’ll tell you exactly what happened: YOU. You happened. You didn’t do anything. You hugged and kissed him, made him feel all warm and cuddly, and then sent him packing. Right back to the streets, right back to the wolves, to the poverty, to his riba-based debt hanging around his neck, to his sinning friends, and his Christian family. It’s the moral equivalent of making a tuna fish sandwich, smelling it, and then throwing it in a pond full of sharks.

Why didn’t you do anything? Because you think the Shahada is it. It’s the end.  It’s all that’s needed. If he’s really good, he’ll come back; and if he’s bad, he won’t; and you don’t care that he is a human soul in need of nourishment and attention. You need to undo this perception, and radically change your way of thinking. The fact that every Masjid has the “shahadah that we never saw again” story is a PROBLEM. A big one. So, stop ignoring it.

2) Get their contact information immediately and FOLLOW UP.

Why didn’t you get his number, email, and even his street address? It wouldn’t be out of line to let him know that he is part of a community now, and that you need to know how to get in contact with him. Follow up, make him feel wanted, let him know you’re glad he’s a Muslim and you appreciate and respect the choice he made. Invite him to dinner at least once a month for the first year, and let HIM tell you when he’s available. Don’t call and say, “This Thursday I’m having a get together…” -Respect HIS time. Call him and ask when he would be able to come to your house for something to eat.

3) Listen and be attentive:

When he finally does come over to eat, ask him what he wants out of the community. Don’t just tell him there is a halaqa every Saturday; instead inquire as to what his specific needs are which might go beyond halaqas. Perhaps he is shy and would feel more comfortable in a “one on one” setting. Maybe he is depressed and needs someone qualified to deal with his issues. Maybe he is full of zeal and wants to work for the community… So find an outlet for him. Maybe he wants someone to help his family understand his conversion [often times families don't process the information well from one of their own, but hearing it from a third party could be useful], etc. There could be any of 100 things a new convert needs, and it is up to YOU to figure it out because it’s not easy for anyone to just open up and be 100% honest with complete strangers right off the bat.

4) Invest in a “Third Space.”

One of the biggest complaints I hear from converts is that they feel lonely. They don’t fit in at the Masjid because they aren’t Arab or Somali. They don’t fit in with their friends because none of their friends are Muslim. They don’t fit in with their family who, often times, might be giving them grief over their conversion. -And the Masjids are bereft of other converts, because they long ago quit coming on a regular basis due to neglect. What is a convert to do? In such a situation, the only thing that can help converts is OTHER CONVERTS. They need a support system, Muslims of their culture who meet outside the Masjid… not in the non-Muslim environments they are used to, and not at the Masjid full of all those Back-Home-Istanians…  A new space.  A different space.  A third space…

And this is where I get most of the pushback. Every time I suggest this at any Masjid, one of the Back-Home-Istanians I’m talking to wants to know why there can’t just be a weekly meeting in someone’s house or at the Masjid. Why the Masjid (or a group of brothers/sisters at the Masjid) should fork over some dough to pay rent at some office somewhere for converts to gather and break bread together. They can’t seem to fathom why we need our own space… Well, I’m here to tell you, we love the Masjid and all, but we need a place that’s our own. Somewhere that us converts can go and do convert things, and not worry about the Arabs in the Masjid looking at us, not feeling like we’re staying too late and inconveniencing a host… We don’t want to feel like a guest, we need somewhere where we can just BE OURSELVES in a Muslim context, and have it be OURS; and it is the duty of the Masjid, if it is interested in keeping it’s converts healthy, active, and happy, to provide such a place. Happy converts, after all, will produce more converts. Other people will wonder why we’re always so happy and at peace, and they will want some of what we have.

As for what would happen in our “third spaces” -that is up to us. Maybe we’ll have a halaqa, or lessons dealing specifically with convert issues; at other times we might watch a movie, or plan a dawah-outing, or just hang out. The point is that we are there for each other, and we have that release. The real shocker is, it wouldn’t even be that expensive. There are one room office spaces available for rent for 400$ a month, often including electric and water (I know, I’ve checked).  Is 400$ a month really too much to ask for the mental and spiritual health of the converts of your community?

5) Let Converts lead the Converts:

Not that the Imam can’t give his occasional halaqa for us… We certainly appreciate that. But really what Masjids need to do is find the most Islamically knowledgeable, friendly, and active convert in their building, and put that person in charge of implementing 1-4 on this list. Give the best and brightest convert you can find his or her own office there in the Masjid, and send every new shahadah to him/her immediately. Let him (or her) listen and be attentive to their needs, let him or her get their contact information and follow up, and make him or her the director of the “third space.”  Converts, whether they realize it or not, want to see a familiar face in the beginning.  We are often terrified that we are going to accidentally do something incredibly “culturally insensitive” to the Back-Home-Istanians to such a degree that sometimes this by itself can be a deterrent to our coming to the Masjid.  It may sound absurd, but it is a reality.

Conclusion:

I hope this list was beneficial, and I dream to see it put into practice in every Masjid in America. I firmly, and with all my heart, believe that this list of action items, if acted upon with a spirit of good will, genuine concern, and empathy, will end our high turnover rates. It’s not an end-all be-all cure to the problems and challenges of Muslim Converts in America (Because every convert is different- and it is always important to remember that), but it is a very useful start to solving the majority of their problems. It is on your soul whether you take their very real issues seriously and treat them with the respect and sacrifice they deserve.  And, if this article doesn’t convince you, perhaps this short documentary made by the Ta’leef Collective -an organization which specializes in Muslim Convert Care- will move you to action:

 

Convert Care According to Ta’leef Methodology

 

About these ads

Responses

  1. Wow – great post! I agree with all of that and would also like to add the fact that the women get forgotten about a lot too! I am a woman revert and my City in the UK, doesn’t have any facilities for women at all! 3 mosques and not one has facilities or classes for women. I have only recently (6 months ago) found a ladies muslimah class run separate from the mosques after 15 years of being Muslim in my City! And even this class isn’t advertised by the imams or mosques – I found it by sheer chance alhumdulillah!

    • Yes, women too are another neglected group in many areas, which is unfortunate because, in my experience, the sisters are usually the most willing to be active, volunteer, and work hard for the deen…

  2. This is a great article. I’m a youth born in America but parents are from abroad. Perhaps, the convert social circle could also include born Muslims. Born Muslim youth who are raised and born here are OF this culture and know this culture, and are generally have different mindsets than their cultural parents from back home. But of course, only the best and brightest should be given the heavy responsibility to lead and guide.

    I visited a local masjid once during Ramadan (I’m a female and just moved to a new area) and that day there was a 17 year old former Catholic boy who came to take his shahada. This boy looked so young and innocent. All smiles and jitters. He came to the masjid (I heard) before to take his shahada but the imam suggested he come on Friday so there’s more people present. This boy was so determined. He came alone (his parents are devout Catholics against his conversion) during maghrib and entered a crowded place foreign to him. He left his comfort, his support system all behind and entered into not only the unfamiliar but also the uncomfortable.

    What really broke my heart was this: after he took his shahada and after maghrib salah, a few men and boys greeted him, but then everyone RUSHED to eat iftar leaving him alone. That was so heart-breaking for me. I wished I could go over and greet him, but I couldn’t. The mosque was strictly gender segregated.

    We need more light shed on this! We need more support activities for converts for converts are an immense asset to our community in America. This isn’t Pakistan or Egypt. This is America. Our “uncles” may not realize this, but we need our professionals of THIS culture to lead.

    Here’s an article by the renowned American Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. He wrote how to improve our mosques in his blog, and he too mentioned this issue along with others: http://sandala.org/blog/2010/12/12/how-do-we-respond-part-3/

    • After writing this last night, I’ve actually spent all day thinking about how, in most cases, 2nd generation American Muslims who didn’t convert but who typically face the exact same situation as converts, should be included in this group and be active in the “third spaces” mentioned in the article.

      Thank you for your comment.

      • Exactly. Thank you
        Middle-aged American-born Muslim woman of Egyptian born father and 4th Generation Californian convert mother!

  3. Jazakallahu Khaiyran for your well thought out article, and may Allah bless you. :)

    I’m an American convert living abroad (in Singapore). I converted a year ago, so this year was my first Ramadan and Eid. While there is a converts center here alhamdulillah, I felt most lonely during the holy month since we had just moved here, and I didn’t know anyone yet. So, there were no iftar dinners or Eid celebrations. I had left my entire Muslim community, a lovely group of Pakistanis who were very welcoming, at my last posting in Bangkok! It doesn’t help that my husband is not a Muslim. He forgot it was Eid. (I’m not blaming him for this, but it added to the isolation.)

    Next year it will be better insha’Allah. I keep telling myself this while I search for new friends in a new city…

  4. Salaams,
    Sage advice and admirably restrained given how serious the problem is. I’m not technically a convert, but being Euro-American and having grown up mostly without a Muslim community I can certainly relate.

    I don’t mean to be fatalistic, but I’m not sure it’s cognitively possible to get this message across to the uncles who most need to change, and I’m not sure I can blame them given their own cultural background. People naturally create the institution they themselves need, not the institution they theoretically believe they should. But one must try, of course.

    If that fails, perhaps the most realistic solution to an unwelcome, dysfunctional mosque is voting with your feet and founding a competitor that shows them how it’s done. Easier said than done, of course.

    Competition and poaching among churches is feverish, and no church ignores what the “market” demands, whatever its rhetoric about being traditional may be. Nothing wins a debate like demonstrated success using your approach.

    BTW, while I agree this is a big problem, I have to say that I think the alienation of less “traditional” women by many masajid is far more pressing. There are hordes of women–converts, 2nd gen Muslim Americans, 1st gen who just are fed up the foolish gender hangups…—who don’t feel comfortable with their local mosque and who therefore stay away, depriving themselves and their families of Muslim fellowship.

  5. Assalamu alaikuim BROTHERS AND SISTERS.

    I found the follwoing from a website mentioned below :
    Written By: A’nas Abd Al-Hamed Al Qos

    Translated By: IslamWay Sisters Team

    1. You should give the new Muslim the feeling that Islam is a perfect religion, its source is divine, and it is totally inclusive. You have to emphasize that there is no truth but the truth of this religion.

    2. You should clarify to the new Muslim that Islam erases every sin before it. Otherwise, he will keep thinking about his previous sins. You should make it clear for him that the moment he converted to Islam, his records became clean, and if he was Christian in the past, he will receive twice the reward from Allah.

    3. Assure him that the only reference for Islam is quraan and sunnah, not the wrongdoings of Muslims. Only Qur’an and Sunnah can define what is right and what is wrong.

    4. Advise the new Muslim to read Qur’an, Hadith and Serah as often as possible.

    5. Advise him to take care of his personal cleanness in all its types, (Ablution, Ghusl…etc.)

    6. He should perform prayers in time, and you should point out the importance of praying in Gama’ah.

    7. It is very important that the new Muslim lives in an Islamic environment. This will help him to obey Allah, mainly by keeping him away from sins, and wrongdoings.

    8. Take the new Muslim to a nearby mosque. It is better to have someone from the neighborhood accompanying him and following his progress.

    9. Let the Imam of the mosque know about this new Muslim, and remind the Imam to take special care of him.

    10. Advise him to read and learn more about Islam. It is better if he can dedicate some of his time to do that, whether by himself, or with a group.

    11. It is very important for the new Muslim to ask about everything he doesn’t know or can’t understand. He should try to contact scholars or at least ask anyone he trusts.

    12. Try to know about his financial status, and help him as much as possible to make him feel friendlier. It will be more encouraging to have his salary raised a little, if you are in a position to make that possible…………..
    ..
    13………..
    14……..

    MORE :
    http://sisters.islamway.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=234

  6. I think he has some good, practical suggestions… except, although I am a convert to Islam , I’ve never felt like I needed – or wanted – a ‘convert place’ to do ‘convert things’ (whatever ‘convert things’ happen to be) – I identify myself as a ‘Muslim’, not a ‘convert’. However I do know that some converts feel like that and if they would like their own space, why not.

  7. Yes I’ve faced many of the issues you mentioned. From my experience it is somewhat tougher to feel welcomed living in a Muslim majority country when you are the ethnic minority convert.

    Anyways I invite you to visit my blog, and I look forward to reading about your experiences.

    • I too have faced many of the issues mentioned, however, I have found that in a Middle East country where Muslims are in the majority, my conversion was novel and I was openly accepted and felt welcomed. In contrast, here in my own country, where Muslims are a minority religion and Chritianity is the main religion, everyday, I have been subjected to situations where my efforts to become more involved with Muslim community groups has simply led to me feeling ostracised and belittled by other Muslims, It is difficult to be constantly referred to as a convert like I am a second class Muslim and hard to understand why some Muslims believe they are better than me, because they think I am not as pious or pure as a person who was born a Muslim. I am repeatedly asked why I converted to Islam and then I am preached AT (not talked to) and have also had Muslims who find out I am a convert and who decide it is okay to constantly criticise Christianity and Christians, a practice that I totally despise and which I believe is counter-productive to daw’ah, because telling someone they are stupid for believing in Christianity is just going to put them on the backfoot so that they will just stop listening to the message which we should be spreading…about the goodness and purity of Islam. Unfortunately, the violent protests seen around the world that led to the deaths of innocent people are NOT in keeping with Islamic principles and these violent acts have simply served to flame anti-Islamic hatred and painted all Muslims as being violent and irrational. The Islamic way to react would have been to think carefully and NOT give the trashy trailer ANY publicity, but instead get every Muslim bombard Youtube with formal requests to withdraw the trashy trailer. I do not believe that the way to respond to insults to the prophet Mohammed (PBUH) and to all Muslims, was to act in the very negative violent way that Muslims were portrayed in the trashy trailer…the protestors played right into the hands of the anti-Islamist who created the trashy trailer. Yet, I feel frustrated that as a convert, my views are always disregarded. I am told that the way I think is not in keeping with other Muslims because I was brought up by parents who felt it was important to educate me and teach me to be an independent thinker, and to always have an open mind. Apparently being brought up in the west is also a corrupting influence so young Muslims and second and third generation Muslims whose parents or grandparents emigrated to the west, would also fall into that category. I believe that as a religion which advises its followers to spread the message of Islam, Islamic leaders need to take more responsibility and ACT to ensure that converts and Muslims who were not brought up in an Islamic nation, are visibly accepted in to the community through introductions and invitations. In Australia, converts are subjected to intense scrutiny but not readily accepted, and it is a shame that converts are treated this way, because by drawing converts into the Muslim community, you are effectively training a new community volunteer who can then enthusiastically bring in other non-Muslims because everyone needs to feel that sense of belonging. At the moment, that doesnt exist. Yes, there is one group (Benevolence Australia) that I know of who does an amazing job of providing education and networking opportunities for converts, but it is shameful that Muslim communities, such as mosques, Muslim run community groups, etc, pay no attention to converts and do not nurture them to ensure that they do indeed feel like they belong, which would serve to reconfirm their decision to convert as the right one. Instead, I feel after 2 and a half years, that most of my interactions with Muslims/Muslim groups in Australia has been negative and this is a bitter blow. Not only do many converts suffer ostracism from their families for making this decision, but then are likewise ostracised by the Muslim community. Of course, there are some individuals in the Muslim community who are the exception to this who do try to welcome converts, but there are not enough of these individuals to go around, and therefore, no tamgible way to lessen the terrible feeling that you are not wanted or valued…and so one experiences terrible loneliness. It is more than hard to know that your family is unhappy with your choice to convert but to realise that any argument you may have intended to make about how wonderful Islam is and how welcoming Muslims are to converts is a lie…and that you now feel more adrift than you did as a Christian (or whatever religion you may have converted from), and not belonging anywhere makes you feel unhappy and wondering if you have made the most terrible mistake of your life…which was to believe that belonging to a group of like-minded people (Muslims) and dedicating your life to this shared belief (Islam) was the best way to enrich your life (now and in the hereafter) and even more disheartening is that your goodness and qualities as a person, and your qualifications and skills are simply considered as just NOT as good as those of a person who was born a Muslim. The judgemental nature of Muslims means that many converts have to follow a diffficult road to try to get “accepted”, only to discover that the road often leads to a state of perpetual unhappiness and that is why some converts find it easier to give up…and withdraw from the community, and quite likely may be why these converts become “lost” to Islam. I would really like to see one of the state focused Islamic societies act pro-actively to implement a “live” register of Muslims (born and converts) where the Imam from your closest masjid invites ALL newly registered Muslims to come to community meetings, prayers and other related events. Converts and born muslims should be offered the chance to participate in an orientation session at their closest masjid where they are shown what to do, and where to do it, told when it happens, and if any help/instruction is needed, that this be arranged asap by perhaps assigning a mentor from the masjid community to assist a new member who is of like gender and age. A convert in each masjid could be give the role of welcoming new converts to the masjid and providing any assistance, through interaction with the Imam and other senior masjid members, that new converts may need. One of the reasons I do not attend the mosque is because I do not know anyone, and feel very alone there. In addition, I do not feel 100% confident to pray on my own in front of others, and am still learning by observing and copying others, yet because my exposure to group prayer has been very limited because I don’t “belong” to a Muslim community, I am still struggling with recalling all the words of the arabic prayers and in knowing how many duas I must do…so I just do four every time! I use a childrens salat book when I pray alone to try and memorise the words and actions, but a few Muslims who have discovered this, have laughed at me. Excuse my thin skin, but I did not find it funny. I take my prayer time very seriously and I feel it shouldn’t matter that I have to use a childrens prayer book, because I am trying hard to pray the right way. English was the only language I knew until I began studying at uni: my major studies in my degree are Arabic language, Middle East Language and Culture Studies, and also Psychology. I am not fluent yet, as this will take more years of study, but I feel I have tried my hardest to be the best I can be. I do wish that a welcoming masjid would invite me to join their community and give me an active role to offer advice, based on my own experiences, to the senior members so that they can take steps to ensure new converts do not end up feeling like I have. We should foster good communication and welcome ALL muslims, regardless of whether they were born Muslims or converted, and we should act to ensure that within the masjid, we encourage the groups of converts, youth, various ethnic groups, women and men, to feel confident to speak up to identify issues in the community, and to make all these groups feel that they belong to the masjid first, and their other identity group (age, gender, ethnic, etc) is just incidental, because in the end, all any person desires, is a sense of belonging that comes from feeling like a valued member of their community, and what many people experience instead is a form of social ostracism that is detrimental to the community and to Islam in general. My gender also seems to be a handicap in Australia, because being a woman in Muslim communities here seems to be akin to being like a second class Muslim (aka convert LOL). It matters little that I am highly qualified and experienced, because my Islamic knowledge is judged as limited (I have not acted to memorise every hadith, so clearly I must be lacking in motivation, and essential knowledge and therefore am considered incapable of being given any opportunity to speak as a Muslim…even though I am a Muslim). I decided to take a pro-active step to create links to Muslims community groups and applied for a Muslim leadership program which would effectively increase networking opportunities with Muslim groups and organisations. I explained that aside from wanting to enhance my knowledge of Islam, my main motivation was to forge srelationship with participating Muslim groups and organisations, so that I could hopefully take a more active community role in the future with one or more of these groups. Yet despite being shortlisted, I was advised I did not make the final cut because I didn’t have strong connections to Muslim communities. It was another blow to my self-esteem and confirmed that I am simply wasting my time here in Australia. It is simply disheartening and makes me feel more socially ostracised than I was before. My enthusiasm wanes as my unhappiness grows.

      • You remind me of when I converted to Islam almost 11 years ago…I can’t speak about your situation, but I can share my experience. I stopped attending the mosque altogether for a period of maybe four months, I didn’t even attend jumu’ah on Fridays. What helped me first wasn’t finding a good community but finding good individuals, and simply hanging in each others’ apartments, not even talking about religion 24/7 but even just talking about normal things with accepting and welcoming Muslims is what saved me. Later on I found a mosque that was nearly half converts, but I was mostly alright by then…it was finding a small number of individuals (which is statistically easier than finding an entire community) which helped all my negative and resentful feelings in the beginning.

  8. This article was extremely informative and I do think it will benefit me (and coverts I run into in the future, iA). However, I think the blatant racism was a bit much. please understand that it’s not OK, even if you are frustrated with them. If they tell you that you can’t use a little bit of masjid money to pay the rent, tell them that the community donated the money and that the community should decide what is ok, NOT him alone. Do what’s right and be just as strong as they are. Right will prevail, iA, with Gods help. Oh and by the way, personally,I usually hold myself back from the converts because I feel like they might be overwhelmed with all the people hovering around them asking questions. I had no idea that they were left completely alone after that initial shahada! will definitely try to be more welcoming and less shy in the future. JAK.

    • Where was I racist? Nowhere did I condemn anyone solely based on race.

      • When you condemn someone and just happen to mention their race while doing so, it just may come off as offensive…

      • I don’t think I said anything negative about a specific race, though. Where I did mention race, it was because I had to, given the context.

  9. Assalam o Alikum to my brother in Islam who wrote the blog and brothers and sisters who commented on in subsequently.

    There’s absolutely no doubt that Muslims have THE duty & full responsibility to ensure that both spiritual and material needs of people who enter the faith by proclaiming Shahadat. Quran has clearly laid out that we are all brothers and we cannot be true muslims unless we do so.

    It breaks my heart to read of people who have spent their first ever Ramzan & Eid in isolation. Please forgive me for not being there for each and every one of you.

    Although I may not be able to reach most of you in person BUT please allow me to offer whatever assistance it is that you require and I’ll try to muster the required resources in the form of authentic books, weblinks and my skype connection where I will make myself available to answer all your questions that Allah has given me knowledge of. That which I cannot, I’ll find out and get back, Insha Allah

    Very briefly about myself, I was born in a Muslim family was saying my Namaz (Salah) and Fasting (Roazh) etc. etc., but discovered the true meaning of Kalima only after my fortieth birthday, by Allah’s grace and permission.

    I have since left a very lucrative INTEREST based CEO position of a bank and intend not to return to Haram. Allah has rewarded me with peace and tranquility despite not finding work for over a year now.
    I have developed complete trust and faith in Taqdir (Divine Decree) and have been reading the Quran and Hadith and gradually increasing the practice of Deen (religion) for the last 2.5 years. I too feel that the other Muslims around me have not come forth to help me in the way that I would have expected BUT can I just sit back and wait, NO. Therefore I am making the effort to learn about the religion and praying every time I say my Namaz (Salah) to Allah to show me the right path which he is. Believe me Allah is all we need.

    My contact details are;
    skype abid.sherwani
    email sherwani@sltnet.lk
    Cell +94 77 338 1416 (Sri Lanka)

    If you need to talk on some issue, I can call you anytime after Isha 19:30HRS (GMT+5:30)

    BTW : The

  10. salams ….totally agree with this list.

    I’m a 31-yr old Muslim born and raised in USA + Canada, of Pakistani descent, and my heart really goes out to the new team members. Often a lot of the mosques are run by the older generation of Muslims (Arab / Paki / Persian / Somali / etc) who just don’t know how to connect with the younger generation of new Muslims the way me and my friends do.

    I wish I could do more, and I’d really love to hear from new Muslims in the 18 – 35 year old bracket give some tips on what they think folks my age should be doing that we aren’t.

    • As salaam Alaikum ,form your own JUMAH rotate khatibs ,it only takes 3 people ,go to larger community occasionally ,get involved in the fabric of the society at large as a warrior for human dignity and peace ,these r the footsteps of ALLAHS MERCY TO ALL MANKIND ….find and study all materials of w d Muhammed….i

  11. Reblogged this on ilmprocess and commented:
    Reblog: Some solid first steps for local communities to take to nourish their convert community

  12. Salam!!!

    This post is absolutely awesome, for real. I’ve been a Muslim for 16 yrs. now (15yrs according to the Gregorian-Calendar), and every single thing that is mentioned in this post is 100% true, because I can personally attest to it’s truth, because I’ve personally experienced everything you’ve mentioned in this post, at one time or another.

    So, with that being said, thank you very much, for such an enlightening post.

  13. You know, I was born Muslim and I now live in the States and still your article can apply to me as well!!
    You came from a different religion and I came from the same religion but from a different country. But when I first came to the States as immigrant I was hoping to find help and all kind of good things from the Mosque. I was disappointed as you were.
    Mosques in non-Muslim countries are far from the organization that you might see in some churches. Most mosques in non-Muslim countries are run by inexperienced volunteers with budget based on charity only. They lack all kind of organization and as you said the majorities of them are divided and have problems among each other’s Imams and members.
    As an example, here where I live, some Imams don’t even talk to each other. They stopped celebrating Eid together because they couldn’t reach an agreement on how to divide the Sadaka!
    Also, not every Muslim goes to the Mosque. And not everyone who goes to the Mosque is someone you want to be friend with or close to. There are some people that you might meet in the Mosque that you wish you have never met. And there are plenty of people outside of the Mosque that for some reason have never been to the Mosque and you will want to be friend with them all your life.
    We as Muslims born Muslims know probably less about our religion than you “revert” know about it. So, don’t feel bad or think you’re a bad Muslim because just the fact that you have decided to search, learn and convince yourself to be part of this religion you have reached a great deal with God.
    My advice for you is to live your life normally with people you know and trust. Stick with your friend and your family because if they were true friends they will accept your decision. Don’t make your religion as a handicap. We born Muslims need people like you because you are a bridge between two different cultures and way of life.
    Grasp the good things in both worlds.

  14. Salaamalaikum dear Bro. I understand your frustration, that is why we started this “buddy system” for new converts through newshahada.org. As a Muslim of 12 years MashAllah, I would live for you to do an entry as a “Ansar” or helper for another bro convert that might come up in your local area. Please check out our website and spread the word that there is this effort of helping new Muslims inshaAllah. Salaamalaikum wa Rahmatullahe wa Barakatuh.

  15. great one…simply this guy wrote exactly what i am thinking staying here in UK looking at the converts brothers and our uncles mosque president and secretary as well as members from my region i mean Asian region. very sad indeed…..i am feeling in the same way as this guy feeling and always want to do something but don’t have ability but try my best within by ability. May Allah give us sense to realize that how the brothers of Mecca[shahabi R] were welcomed by Ansar [shahabi of Madina]. it also described in Quran but our born muslims uncle, brother and sisters don’t read that. and be sure we are paying for it and we have to pay for it unless we become careful. May Allah give us tawfiq to realize this truth…..Ameen

  16. Jazak Allah Khair for this eye opening perspective. We will take your advice and try to incorporate your suggestions at our Mosque!

  17. Assalamu alaikum.
    I truely believe you and most of the other convert muslims for their love for Allah and Islam.
    But only a few Double agents pretending to be muslims caused damage.It is very comon now a days in your area…. spies/munafiques presenting themselves as new muslims keep an eye on ignorant muslims to trap into their anti terror web.
    confusion about ,to trust a convert muslims or not is one of the reasons Muslims are afraid of becoming friends and helping new muslims.

    • …and of all of the people who convert to Islam, what percentage of them do you believe are actually government “spies.?”

      You really consider a few thousand converts a legitimate threat to billions of born Muslims around the world?

      Converts aren’t a threat to the Muslim community, the biggest threat to the Muslim community right now is actually born Muslims. Muslims kiling Muslims im Syria, Muslims blocking women from the Masajid in India, the list goes on…

    • No, most of the “spies” are people who can speak the languages of the mosque. I’ve known Arab-Americans and Afghanis who were approached by the government to spy on mosques. And since most converts don’t go to the mosque at all, how could they spy on you?

  18. The Muslim community is not going to do any of this, it’s too saturated by culture. It’s like the ummah is a petri dish of unislamic cultural bacteria overtaking Masajid, Muslim organizations and yes…many converts who have had their identity, personality, tolerance and sense of humor completely suck out of them.

    Many Muslims put their culture before Islam and they isolate anyone who wasn’t brought up in, does not understand, or does not agree with some of their cultural practices. They damn near push us out of the community if we don’t “fit in.” If by chance you say something about the strong sense patriarchy in the Muslim community, the way people of certain ethnicities are treated, the persistent back biting, poor business practices and perceived community priorities (let’s “look” like we are doing amazing things by raising the most money, the biggest and shiniest buildings, misleading people on the services we actually offer so we can front/be hoodrich) if you say ANYTHING about these things…how they are wrong etc. people say that you are stirring up trouble, or they start questioning your reason for converting to Islam. In fact, whenever you have an issue with the social interaction or extreme conservatism in the Ummah people always question your intentions, or when you say that you want all Musallees to be treated equally they say “These things shouldn’t keep you from learning about Islam, if you are truly Muslim nothing will stop you from attending the Masjid.” SERIOUSLY?!?

    The condition of the Muslim community will not change until people stop putting their culture before Islam, it drags the ummah down and stunts its growth, people don’t want to address the issues because their culture tells them to push it under a rug, procrastinate or not “air the dirty laundry.”

    Look at the ummah on a global scale, it’s falling apart and this is one of the many reasons why, cultural allegiance, and in America in particular, Muslims providing the best for non-Muslims and giving the worst to their brothers and sisters in Islam, fighting over titles and money, putting down Americanism behind closed doors and praising it, telling others how “American” they are in front of the public. These people who belittle Americans and “western” culture and believe their nationality is superior to others forget where they come from, a lot of them come from countries that don’t even have sanitation pick-up to get the trash off the streets, but they come here talking down to the people who are on welfare meanwhile their country is filled with impoverished individuals and if the government offered welfare I’m sure everyone would be on it. People come to America and make it BY THE GRACE of God alone and they starting thinking that who they are, their culture, family, possessions etc. are the best thing since sliced bread.

    I got tired of all of the non-sense, having to put on a armor of steel before I came into the masjid, the racism, the culturalism (that they’ll deny all damn day and meanwhile their board of directors etc. will all be of the same ethinicity), the woman bashing, the sexism, the evil eye, the GOSSIP, the lack of empathy and most importantly the fact that most born Muslims will never actually consider converts Muslims and will question/belittle your level of faith CONSTANTLY. Converts don’t belong in these ethnic Muslim communities and should make their own masajid Actually I know a lot of my born Muslim friends who were born in America who would attend because they are sick of having to pretend to be someone they aren’t in front of their families. You want to know why the youth aren’t really coming to the masajid on the regular? The ummah is too judgmental, conservative and critical and then when the youth do finally come to the masjid for events it’s usually just to hook up with a spouse, which is also like pulling teeth because culture prevails above Islam for these people on that issue as well.

    My negative experiences in the Muslim community have lead me to separate myself from the ummah and practice on my own and it has completely changed my life for the better. I feel like I can actually be myself, that I can be confident and I can practice Islam freely. I feel that being constantly surrounded by cultural Muslims in my community was making me very cynical, unhappy, argumentative (cause it seems like all Muslims do these days is argue), my life felt heavy and I couldn’t recognize myself anymore, I felt like my spirit and ambition was gone…now things are feeling light again, I feel like I’ve retained my identity and my sense of humor, empathy and tolerance. I’m fun again, I’m singing again, I’m me again, and I’m enjoying my friends and family, my work and school. My relationship with God is growing in a way that I could have never imagined. I feel like the meaningless things I was forced to think about (cause these things were always in my face) while being active in the Muslim community, like how I wear hijab, finding a spouse, being accepted, combating racism etc. were weighing me down.

    Like I said, ultimately there won’t be a place for us in the ummah until we start building our own Masajid, centered around our own programming, run by Americans *ducks and hides* and educated youth….

  19. Excellent article mashaAllah. I felt EXACTLY like you described and if it weren’t for my now husband who is also a convert, I’m not sure I would have been able to make it over the “bridge”. Thank you for a wonderful article. Baraka Allahu fika!

  20. Salam,

    A lot of the complaints converts feel, I think the average Muslim feels in the mosque. Most Muslims do feel lonely in the masjid and its not just converts. You would be hard pressed to get any changes in the mosque for immigrant Muslims let alone converts! Nonetheless, one must try. I worked my masjid board for a while and got some people to listen to some ideas for change. They didn’t implement those changes but pulled some strings and got the right people to listen and promise they would implement the changes I listed. Now alhamdulillah, my masjid has a Support group for Converts and a Sister who is appointed to look out for the needs of sisters, but I wonder how effective it is. If you want to know how you can go about doing stuff like that in your masjid, read my post here on how I did: http://muslimology.wordpress.com/2011/10/10/reforming-the-masjid-constitution/

    If you want to bring changes to your masjid, do NOT typecast all the executives as backwards or evil, most are just trying to figure out how to run things and many simply come to the mosque due to homesickness for their native land. You have to empathize with ALL members of the Muslim community, even the ‘uncles’, if you wish to make it a truly welcoming place for all Muslims.

    Another issue is one shouldn’t expect converts to be necessarily easy to deal with. Often they have a history and struggles of their own that the average Muslim may not understand and it may be sometimes, the converts pick up too many bad habits and tendencies from Muslims that they themselves become inapproachable.

    I tried to take care of some converts, but one brother was so independent minded they shun any help. I really tried with him and the guy just went nuts watching all these Imran Hosein videos and was always paranoid of people at the mosque. He didn’t even have a phone number! He went off and decided to live on an island in Malaysia on his own, and disappeared. Recently I saw him again at the mosque but hiding his face. Another brother who converted however is much more educated and it was much easier to help him, invite him for iftar, give him reading materials. Another brother came to the mosque for the first time claiming he is the son of god and now he has converted it has become clear he has mental illness. So it does vary and there is a lot to deal with.

    Also as Anima said, after a while converts just feel like Muslims and don’t recognize they are still newbies. In some madhhaib one is a convert only for first 6 months and then after that they are just Muslim and can’t use the excuse that they are converts and still learning, unless they are in a difficult circumstance.

    di.

  21. I have been Muslim about 13 years and this article is 100% on point. Alhemdulillah I haven’t personally experienced most of this but I have definitely witnessed others experiencing this stuff.

    I did not at all find your comments racist. Whoever wrote that above is completely confused. When we have enough masajid to have one run by Irish Americans or Korean Americans, then you can add that into your blog so no one thinks you are only disparaging Arabs, Desis or Somalis. LOL.

    Anyway, the only item I think you are missing involves marriage of converts to “born” Muslims especially convert sisters. Any Arab, Somali, Desi, etc Muslim can drag an American sister into the masjid and get married w/o any imam doing their background check on the guy who many times is marrying her for papers. If American sisters (converts or not) are taken to the masjid, the imam has the duty to protect that sister from a con artist! I have only ever seen one local imam do this and that is Shiekh Khalid Yasin. He requires references of the brother among other things in order to marry a couple or he just will not do it. I don’t understand why the other imams just let brothers marry American sisters w/o even asking her important questions. This is probably a blog in and of itself!

  22. Nawawi Foundation sounds like a good place for all to come together …

    “The Nawawi Foundation supports the work of the noted American Muslim scholar Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah and his vision of building a successful American Muslim cultural identity. “

  23. Jazak Allah Kheir, this is very insightful.
    As I was reading I couldn’t help thinking that if I replaced the word ‘convert’ with ‘youth’ it would still be relevant to what is happening in our mosques.
    I will definitely be sending your post to the Imam at my mosque.

  24. Please allow me to offer a counterpoint as someone interested in learning more about Islam. I visited a mosque in Norman, OK, recently and was extremely impressed by the reasonableness and openness of the people there. They told me about how open and generous Muslims are and how they always want you to stay in their homes, so I challenged them on it and was met with a wall of resistance… but it had an escape path.

    I was invited to come back a few days later when more elders would be available to discuss things with me. In that time I have done a lot of self-reflection and growth without the actual need to be around the community. I have viewed this as a time of great cleansing and growth in my maturity rather than a discouragement of further engagement with the community.

  25. as salaam alaykum,
    Two very relevant articles: Islam & the Cultural Imperative and Living Islam With Purpose @ http://www.nawawi.org/courses/index_reading_room.html
    We are creating a third space here and didn’t bother consulting the apathetic Masjids. We will run our center insha’Allah because it is vital to our emotional and spiritual well being. BUT, we intend to still participate, to some extent, with the Masjid and larger community. Having western scholars to consult on important issues would also be a great help. I have reached out to a couple of scholars who agreed to help out when needed so it is doable.
    wa salaam
    Shane

  26. AA,

    Thank you so much for not merely complaining about this issue but giving much-needed, detailed suggestions. You’ve already done so much! May Allah reward you, and may He facilitate the rectification of these issues soon.

  27. Assalamualaikum warahmatulahi warabakatuh…

    I am a Muslim for the last 19 years and came from a strong Catholic background (was with a monastery in training at a short time).

    As with Catholics, Muslims reverts too do come as the 2nd most to complain about their welfare…being left alone after the reversion and the like.

    From experience, as I study both these phenomena…it came to light…that many a time, those who has been Muslim (reverts) for 10 years and above (or even 5 years or so)…should and always in faith trust Allah swt in putting our money where our mouth is into actions (rather than wait for His Hand to come down from heaven to assist us). We have tasted His sweetness…thus we should too let others know of His sweetness through our actions (sincere and contrite hearts).

    We should by our own experiences know the difficulties faced…having gone through it and thus it’s better to convene and form teams to assist those in need…

    It’s so gladden the heart that many a reverts are coming out to assist our stranded brothers and sisters…in coming of age in Islam…as much as ourselves would want others to do the same. Let us be the Light that shine for others (in time they too would do the very same…in leading the Way to Him).

    Sharing a bit of ourselves daily is much better than complaining a lot at every minute of other/s failures to us. Let us be the difference so that many who sees us doing (sharing and caring in His Name) would do the same for our fellow (reverts) Muslims too. InsyaAllah…aamiin.

    JazakAllahu Khaira…

    Walaikumusalam warahmatulahi warabakatuh…

    Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

  28. Absolutely loved this article! You did a great job and it was very helpful and informative :)
    hopefully Inshallah this reaches out to more muslims out there and the imams of the masjids…maybe you can ask your local masjid to take a look at your article and/or also send it those masjids which have websites so their leaders can read it. Im not a convert but was born to a muslim family and Iabsolutely. love our religion, however I truly agree they need to work on a lot of things, including followup and assistance towards the new converts because they are still new to the faith and the people in the masjids are their examples. actions speak louder than words.

    • And born into a muslim family that was not very practising, i tried really hard to find something informative or helpful at the masjid (like new converts looking for information and resources) and it is sad to say that at times I did not receive as much assistance as Id have hoped. Nevertheless, I have found it in other places and very thankful to my brothers and sisters in Islam for it and making this world a better place

  29. Hi this is a great article. My perspective is a little different.

    I am an African-American convert and started my Islam in an Arab masjid. I shared your frustration. There is an hadith about a man from another town who came looking for the Rasul (alayhi salam), found him after the third day and wanted to stay in Makkah learning from the Prophet (alayhi salam).

    In short, the Prophet (alayhi salam) sent him back to his tribe. From what I heard from others, I did not read the hadith – the companion’s entire tribe later became muslim. I came to a conclusion that my energy is more effective when trying to change me, instead of trying to change others.

    We are American Muslims, let us take this message from our brothers from overseas to our ‘tribes’ by developing institutions familiar to our own kin. I think we are putting to much on our visiting wayfarers. We are the host, not them.

  30. AA,
    I am a female convert to Islam and I can tell you that it is even harder if you are a sister! A lot of the time you get huge language barriers between you and the other sisters at the mosque. For instance, in my neighborhood, most of the other Muslim ladies are middle-aged immigrants with kids who never learned English because they’ve just been stay-at-home-moms. They hang out with their compatriots, shop at the halal stores, and go home and watch shows from back home on their satellite dishes. The only ones who I’ve been able to talk to are the young girls, who were born and educated here. However, I have nothing in common with them as I am married and have a child!
    I agree that many times you feel pushed away because you don’t fit into one of the cultural/linguistic groups at the mosque. And, if you marry an Arab, Indonesian, Pakistani, or whatever, people gossip behind your back that he only married you for papers or feel jealous that you took a good single man from the community.
    You really can’t win unless you find other converts, but then you have to be careful that, when you do find them, you don’t compete against one another in feeling like authentic Muslims. For instance, I met one converted sister who knew far more about how to act like a Muslim than I did, but who didn’t know much about the Quran at all. We started to become jealous of one another and our friendship failed.
    Sorry to write so much, but your post has resonated so much with me.

  31. As Salaam Alaikum ,finally the TRUTH

  32. Salamo Aleikum and may Allah bless you for your article.
    Please do not take this in the wrong way but I will respond to it. I myself am a convert and I would like to give the other side of the coin. May Allah bless you I do agree with many points but at the same time you are missing many points that need to be addressed.

  33. Jazaka Allah Khairn for speaking up!
    As a convert I totally agree with all of this. I also believe there should be a systematic way of teaching newbies… Start with the basics, putting hijab on but, not knowing what Al-Fatiha means is like putting the cart before the horse.

  34. Assalamualaikum wr wb. I totally agree. Do look at http://www.darularqam.org.sg (Darul Arqam Singapore). its an organisation run by majority converts and focus at the needs of converts to Islam. It is so good that even born Muslims come to over to learn Islam. It is also known as Muslim Converts’ Association of Singapore.

  35. Speak the truth!!! So many can agree with your words of wisdom. This is not only a problem for converts but Muslims in general. The question is what do we do???? WHAT DO WE DO!!!????
    Please

  36. Thanks for speaking out!
    I moved to another city recently and approached my mosque in Pretoria, South Africa and phoned before to introduce myself. I was welcomed with warm arms and offered any assistance. In one week i met two Imams who both council me during the week, was refered to a sister just to chat about my needs, and introduced to a potential husband. I am now attending a revert class at another mosque. Not once have i ever felt out of place or outcast.
    At the end of the day when you ask for help you will find it.
    It does help spending a lot of time reading and reading and learning.
    As for other issues of coming from a western lifestyle and the only muslim in my family/friends, I find chatting to Imam very helpful about anything.

  37. dear brother! you couldn’t have said it better . I lived in california for 10 years .There is a small Islamic community in Folsom and a space rented for mosque which is being demoralized by the inter politics of the so calld HOME-ISTANIANS as you put them . I often thought my self about the converts. There were a few with whom i used to hello high but regret the fact that i myself didn’t do much . Unfortunately i myself wasn’t as practical as i should be . Now Alhamdolillah i am trying and doing much better . I have a few friends online right now who are converts and also know a few who in their heart want to convert and i am in regular communication with them , and for their help and mine i have started reading and learning and practicing much more which is helping me the most . Here is my email address and phone number . if anyone would like to befriend me and talk with me or ask me anything or teach me anything is welcome to .
    khan4u_us@yahoo.com
    92-336-1262141 add 011 for calls from USA or Canda
    also add me on the above given number on Whatsapp if you have it
    skype name : zubimekhan
    My name is Zubair khan
    may Alllah has his blessings upon you .

  38. I appreciate this post. At the masjid I like to go to, they have a class specifically for muslim reverts, and it is well-supported by the masjid’s community, alhumdulilla. Reading this article made me even more grateful for the supportive community I have found at my masjid in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

  39. This is so true I’ve been telling Imams this for quite some time. May Allah touch the hearts of these Imams because our Muslim converts/ reverts are showed no love at all. Mean as though I too am a convert/revert. Something needs to be done about this Allah is the best ok planners Ameen. We all need to organize an organization to aid new Muslims. I will come up with something and post it. However, feed back would greatly be appropriated.

    • it seems we have just created our own little help group already with this post!

  40. I’m nervous and apprehensive about going to my local mosque for the first time. I’ve wanted to for almost 2 years now. I’ve been studying the Qur’an and want to convert but I’m a caucasian single (never married) mother of a 12 year old Christian girl (who I want to learn about Islam but she is resistant) and I’m just so afraid I will be ignored and judged. I know it’s wrong for me to assume that will happen and I’m sure a lot of people will be welcoming, but don’t want to take that first step through the door for fear of rejection. Any advice?

    • My advice is to realize that Muslims are people like anyone else. Many of them do have faults, but they are typically faults of neglect, or not knowing how to properly care for converts out of ignorance. None of these faults translate to you having any problem in a Mosque on your first introductions. In fact, they will be more than welcoming. I suppose I should have clarified that the Mosque, and being around born-Muslims (despite their faults) is a necessity for the new Muslim. You will never grow properly (in a spiritual sense) without a connection to the Mosque, and learning about the character of the Muslims by observation.

      But don’t make a mountain out of a molehill for yourself. They are, for the most part, just normal people, and you shouldn’t have any problem inshallah.

      And remember, Allah (swt) will be with you no matter what, and everything you face, whether from Muslims or otherwise, all has a purpose and has some good in it.

      Salaam/Peace.

    • Sister Jenna, Insha’Allah you will be alright. Perhaps setting up a meeting by phone first with the Imam or someone who is available to meet with you beforehand will ease you in. Another suggestion is to go at a time when not many people are there, for example after Asr prayer — this way you can familiarize yourself with the new surroundings so you don’t feel so foreign. I would do this with at least one person too so they can show you around. So, if possible contact the Masjid or the Imam or anyone else you may know that goes to the Masjid. If you don’t know anyone then go in during a prayer time and just be yourself, if anyone says anything to you in a mean spirit, ignore them. If you don’t mind me asking what city you are in, maybe we can help. I have contacts in Toronto, Oakland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Fort Myers, Tampa, Cocoa Beach and Chicago. I hope it all works out for you insha’Allah.

  41. As-Salaamualaikum ..

    just in case anyone here is from Toronto .. we have a support group, alhamdulillah, for the exact same reasons as the brother above has stated and all the many different experiences that the brothers and sisters have had here in their own testimonials! Please check it out .. and support it if you can. We are trying for that 3rd space.. which we’ve also come to the conclusion that it is essential for new muslims to grow spiritually. Jazak’Allah Khayr.

    check out this vid:

  42. asalam aleikum…im a muslim convert and i need help bcos im being outcasted by my family..im in kenya.plz help

  43. Your content is good as well as educational in my personal opinion.
    You have really done a lot of research on this
    topic.Thanks for sharing it.

  44. I *big fat puffy heart* Taleef, I wish I lived closer to the SF Bay.

    I live about 1 1/2 hours away (Sacramento, CA), and can hardly ever get out there. Every time I go I feel HOME.

    I abhor the masjid now, and only go for Eid, or at random unoccupied times to pray to Allah ON MY OWN.

    I don’t remember what made me stop going when other Muslims are there first, the brother who almost ran me over in his insane rush to get the masjid for Jummah, or the obscenity-laced-cat-fight I tried to break up between two Arab/American women once on Jummah.

    At any rate, the Taleef philosophy is spot-on and your article was brilliant! God Bless all of them and their efforts to keep us in the deen. Even in the three times I have been, that group of brothers and sisters has been more helpful, loving and understanding than all the other masjids combined!

    Thank you!

  45. Wonderful!. I am a co-leader at my masjid for HTFC (Help for the Convert). You hit the nail on the head. Thank you so much. I am sharing this to help keep our program up and running. JAK

  46. Man I swear all of the converts I seem to hear about only complain. Get a damn job, save up, take responsibility and do the work yourselves, especially if you believe that we should “Let Converts lead the Converts”. Sheesh, all I hear is badmouthing the elderly immigrants.

    1) Stop complaining
    2) Get a job
    3) Save up
    4) STUDY
    5) Create your own institutions
    6) Stop hiding behind a benign label of protection.

    This isn’t just for converts, this is for all muslims that find problems within the current infrastructure.

    Oh wait, I forgot the last one:

    7) Get a freaking life.

    PEACE OUT

    • I find it amusing that one of your ludicrous “action items” for converts to do is to “stop complaining,” -a statement which immediately follows a complaint about converts. (Seriously dude, you “complained about complaining.” Hilarious).

      Get a job? Every convert I know has I job. What you don’t seem to know is that most converts have ALWAYS been from the lower rungs of the socio-economic background. I guess those poor sahabahs like Ammar, Yassir, Abu Hurayrah, etc. etc. should have all just went and “gotten a job”, eh? Would that be your advice to THOSE converts?

      And seriously, why “STUDY” in all caps? It displays your total ignorance of the convert reality. If you are talking about studying religion, almost every convert I have ever come into contact with knows infinitely more than the 90% of Back-Home-Istani’s that don’t even show up to the Masjid to pray (Oh, I forgot, except for Jummah, right?). Now if you are saying that the converts should go to college and get a degree, how should they pay for it? Oh, I guess with that whole “job” thing you assume the converts have never heard of? I’m sure whatever 8$ an hour job we get will more than pay for our bills, our debts, AND our tuition, because surely someone who calls himself “YUNGMULLAH” wouldn’t be suggesting that we take riba-based student loans, right?

      Your kind of comment, I expect, comes from the exact type of Back-Home-Istani that causes us converts all of our grief. No recognition of us as a legitimate part of your community, no compassion for the very unique situation we face, and absolutely ZERO knowledge of what is going on in our lives. It must be nice to come from a household where mommy and daddy bought your car, paid your tuition, and didn’t make you work during your studies, but WE have lost our entire base of support upon conversion, and don’t have that luxury. I pray you don’t ever know the pain and difficulty that conversion to Islam brings to our lives, which we would be more than willing to accept fisibillillah, if only our so-called “brothers and sisters” that leave these types of incredibly stupid comments like yours would actually act like “brothers and sisters.”

  47. The language you use here is toxic. “Back-home-istanis”.. seriously? Its divisive, racist and tasteless. How can this be anything but divisive? if this is your way of calling a spade a spade.. this is something that turns ugly quick… This is not Prophetic language/

    • That is your subjective opinion. It is not my subjective opinion.

  48. assalaam ‘alaykum,

    I converted to Islam in 1992. Here’s my take:

    Too much is made of the “failure” of the community in keeping people in the Deen (both converts and born-Muslims).
    Everyone is responsible for their own belief and practice.

    I mean, I’m not opposed to facilitating things whenever possible. But I don’t agree with the idea that same are obligatory or necessary.
    Like providing rides to jumma would be a cool service, but it’s not a failure if
    it’s not done. And not having such a service is not an excuse for not praying.

  49. As for the racism some have noted above- it’s totally there. man.
    You may not be able to see it, but it is. For real.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 128 other followers

%d bloggers like this: