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7 Things I Didn’t Expect When I Converted to Islam

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crosspost from www.islamwich.com

By Theresa Corbin

After many years of studying religion and coming to the conclusion that Islam was the only religion that made sense to my nature and who I wanted to be in the eyes of God, I converted to Islam. My life has changed drastically. And even though I took about three years to negotiate this decision and think about all the things in my life that I would leave behind and all the things I would incorporate, I had no idea how different my life would be. I had no idea… I have compiled a list of (some) things that I never expected.

#7  I didn’t expect to love dressing modestly

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I thought I would have to swaddle myself in hideously, un-creative clothing in order to observe hijab.  While I wanted to have the luxury of being in control of my sexuality and only showing my beauty to the people I chose, I didn’t want to give up my style. Now, there is nothing wrong with looking bland if that is your thing, but it is not mine. I am in LOVE with color, and I am a highly creative girl with a love for fashion. I learned that I didn’t have to give up my signature style just because I wanted to be modest. Modesty doesn’t mean giving up style. I was very happy to discover that.

#6  I didn’t expect there to be so many different brands of Islam

I didn’t expect that every Muslim that I would meet would want me to subscribe to their special brand of Islam. It gets very confusing for brothers and sisters who convert. All you have to do is verify, verify, verify. Know! Your! Sources! The great thing about Islam is that everything is documented and verified. I learned this the hard way. When I first converted, I thought every Muslim knew better than me. And mostly they did, but there are also Muslims out there who feel very passionately about the brand of Islam their parents blindly took from their parents, and so on.  Muslims and non-Muslims alike – go to the source and ask your friendly neighborhood Muslims to verify the “Islamic facts” they are trying to sell you. If they become upset by this request, walk away. They have an issue with pride.

#5 I didn’t expect to save so much time not fighting a daily battle with my hair

Before Islam, I would spend about 5 hours in total grooming my mane on a weekly basis. Over the 12-year period of wearing hijab, I devoted maybe only one hour a week to making my hair look nice for the hubby (ok, so maybe more like 30 mins, -sorry hubby-). I have saved approximately 4,000 years just in hair care time alone. (I am good at math!). Not to mention the whole ditching the extensive makeup program. That is awesome!

#4 I didn’t expect to be expected to change my name

I have a perfectly fine name, thank you. “Theresa.” It means the one who reaps what she sows. How much more “Muslim” can you get? By the way, The Sahabah didn’t change their names when they converted. Their names became Muslim names, and so did mine, and so can yours.

#3 I didn’t expect attendance to be taken

shutterstock_167929001I did expect to be a part of a community. As a part of the majority in my country, community was not something I was familiar with. What I did not expect was that my attendance in that community would be monitored, questioned, and scrutinized. Where were you last Jumuah?  Why weren’t you at the lectures every night and morning? Why don’t you come out to the special Eid event? All well-meaning, but what they don’t understand is that I am a lone wolf. However, I have learned that if you want people to like you and desire your presence, don’t go, or at the very least be indifferent to showing up.

#2  I didn’t think I would be expected to be an expert on Middle Eastern politics

I wasn’t and I am still not, and have no desire to become such a thing. And most likely neither are you. Having strong opinions doesn’t make one an expert, just so you know.

#1 I didn’t expect to be loved

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I didn’t expect that perfect strangers in every small town and big city I visit would immediately love me just because we share a love of Allah. And I didn’t expect to feel the same way for them.

 

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132 Comments

132 Comments

  1. Avatar

    June

    June 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    Assalamu alaykum,
    #7 – I took to hijab right away but it definitely took me some time to find my style. Oh the embarrassingly horrible color combinations of my early days, lol.
    #6 – I’ve heard the advice before to get most of your information from just one source at the beginning. This can decrease confusion and being overwhelmed.
    #5 – In the beginning, I cared about my hair less since I figured no one would be seeing it anyway. But I realized I do need to look good for my husband and that hijab is not just about covering up a bad hair day.
    #4 – I can definitely relate. There is nothing un-Islamic about my name and it’s the name my father gave me. I feel I would break his heart if I changed it! And in fact, the most common first two sentences people have said to me throughout my entire life are “What’s your name” and “Oh, that’s such a beautiful name” (And I am absolutely serious about this. I’m not exaggerating when I say this happens about 90% of the time) Why on Earth do I need an Arabic name to be Muslim?
    #3 – This did not happen with me but I’ve heard similar stories from others.
    #2 – Once again, I can relate. I’m Muslim, not Arabic! I follow the news as best I can but I don’t know any more than most everyone else.
    #1 – Alhamdulillah. This is one of the best parts of being Muslim!

    • Avatar

      Shahma

      June 24, 2014 at 11:46 AM

      Assalamu ‘Alaikum sister Theresa and all the other sisters and brothers who might be reading this post. Firstly I would like to thank sister Theresa for sharing her unexpected findings after accepting islam. I personally find it quite intriguing to know how the perspectives of reverts develops/change. JazakALLAHu ahsanul jaza. Stay strong!!!

      I also feel compelled to bring to our sisters attention that our concept of hijab is being hijacked by people who couldn’t care less about the purpose of hijab. What am I trying to say? I am trying to say that hijab to many sisters now have become nothing more than a fashion statement (btw this is not in address to sister Theresa at all). I have found that sisters who are born in muslim families are more susceptible to this shortcoming than the sister who accept islam later on in their lives. Revert sisters are much more diligent in fulfilling the conditions of the hijab. There could be many reasons for this, but the most important of all is the ikhlaas (sincerity for ALLAH). I ask the sisters to take back the narrative and reclaim the Hijab, speak up in support of proper hijab.

      Be kind when advising but don’t let shaytan trick you into thinking that it is out of wisdom that you allow people to transgress without correcting them. Encourage the good and forbid the evil. Commend the sisters who adhere to proper hijab and with kindness encourage and correct the ones that don’t.

      • Avatar

        cheryl

        October 11, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Asalam alaikum! shahma y are we called reverts????

      • Avatar

        Chris

        June 16, 2015 at 9:30 AM

        Cheryl, you are a revert because faith in Allah is the natural state of all humans.

    • Avatar

      Chris

      June 16, 2015 at 9:29 AM

      no offense, but I’m pretty sure June is a VERY un-Islamic name.

      Juno was the wife of Jupiter, Queen of the Gods, and matriarch of the Roman pantheon.

      It’s a pagan name.

      • Avatar

        Danielle

        July 6, 2015 at 1:43 PM

        I don’t mean this comment to be rude but before someone gives a ruling on a name being pagan they should look at all sides. June may have come from Juno which Juno is pagan as you said. However, June also has a Latin meaning which is: young. So even if the original form was pagan the name isn’t the exact same and the Latin version has a completely different meaning. So to still rule the name unislamic a true knowledgeable Islamic scholar should be consulted before giving a fatwa on someones name if its not clear cut.

      • Avatar

        Mohammed

        July 17, 2015 at 4:05 AM

        It doesn’t really matter, it’s mostly the Sahaba who had names like “worshiper of ‘an idol'” are the ones who changed their names. (I remember one who’s name translates to ‘meat’)

      • Avatar

        Aissame

        July 19, 2015 at 5:46 PM

        So proud of you sisters :)

      • Avatar

        Ismael Mustafa Abdullah

        May 20, 2016 at 4:06 AM

        June is the name of a planet and that is it. You are the one creating a whole fantasy behind it brother. Take it easy.

    • Avatar

      Samina

      August 18, 2016 at 12:24 PM

      Assalam o Alaikum!
      I am in search of women who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
      I would be really grateful if you respond me.

      My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

      Best regards
      Samina

      • Avatar

        Amy

        September 8, 2016 at 8:58 PM

        Do you have specific questions sister Samina? I converted to Islam a little over a year ago and am happy to answer any questions you may have.

      • Avatar

        Sabine

        September 22, 2016 at 5:33 AM

        Hi i converted 2 years ago. it was the best decisions of my Life. my Life Changed much . the reason i converted was that i felt empty. i liked the waY of Life from Islam but i didnt understand nothing from it. i knew i wanted be Part of this Great Religion and i was curious about the Love to Allah. i was grown up in a Christian Family. very strict. i converted without telling my Family. They dont and didnt accept that i converted but Till the Day of converting I wanted to do things right for anybody. Converting was the First decisions in my life i took for myself. I think converting was One of the less things in Life i will never regret. I felt so different. the feeling when i felt Allah loved me was overhelming. Of course its difficult to understand some things but the Love God gives me makes me strong and i try my best to be a good muslima. I m Human, i make mistakes but iAllah Shows me All time his greatness and his kindness and he is Patient with me. I know i have to learn much again about Islam and being a good muslima but inshallah he will Guide me.

    • Avatar

      maimuna

      November 4, 2016 at 1:15 PM

      good sister mashaalah

    • Avatar

      Nuher

      November 13, 2016 at 10:59 AM

      I am a Muslim, who born Muslim. I believe covering my hair is a custom is a traditional custom in Middle East for both men and women even before Islam. The main goal is not to being attractive to a void getting harm from sick people. the other goal is to feel the purity inside of you. I don’t cover my hair, because there is no single word in Quran said I have to. I have to cover my hair when I am praying, but other that praying time I do it once in a while when I want to feel purity. when I am very sad and want to clear my heart, I put a simple plain shawl to clear my mind to feel I am closer to Allah. I don’t do hair style, I don’t use hair products and I look beautiful, without attraction. Since I don’t force people to look at me and grab their attention then I meet the goal. Yes, I don’t cover my hair because its custom, I do it only when I feel I need it. Honestly I don’t care if people see me beautiful or not, I know who I am, and I know my beauty. I have a self confidence., therefore, the only person who I choose and allow to see my beauty is my husband who adore me, because he worth it. if you look in the Middle East there are many women like me, they are Muslim who believes in Allah and follow his commands.

  2. Avatar

    umm habiba

    June 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    As salaamualaikum sister Theresa
    That was a beautiful read! Especially when i came down to the last ” unexpected” thing.
    Yes we have an instant connect. Subhan Allah! Alhamdulillah! For that. I love u both, Theresa n June, n all my Muslim n the Innate Muslims(those whose souls are so beautiful n just waiting to be Muslim)brothers n sisters out there, for the sake of Allah!!
    May Allah ta aala unite us all in the beautiful abode.Ameen

  3. Avatar

    Hyde

    June 16, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    I was about to make a sarcastic comment about yet another convert story but I stopped myself and realized ‘t’s Warlord Corbin…*humbly walks away*

    • Avatar

      Danielle

      July 6, 2015 at 1:52 PM

      If you were about to make such a sarcastic comment about another convert story why bother reading her blog if muslim converts bother you so much? It seems there’s always at least one person who has to find especially muslim blogs or articles and has to troll it. If Islam offends you so much then perhaps you get your views from what the news only shows or anti-islamic websites. Why don’t you go straight to the source or a real islamic website before you judge someone else’s choice of faith. Salam alaikum.

      • Avatar

        Tmitc868

        November 19, 2016 at 12:21 PM

        Not liking Islam does not instantly mean you are ill informed. There’s are millions of people in The Who are not fans and have good reason. Perhaps it’s your gang mentalities? Idk. But as Christians and the best of people, we will welcome you to our lands for refuge. And pray for your guidance to happiness

  4. Avatar

    calwalks

    June 16, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    I agree with point 1 wholeheartedly. I had an amazing experience of being a Muslim in Shanghai recently and I couldn’t help but write about it. You may read it here – http://serioustravelfrivolouslife.blogspot.in/2011/09/day-being-muslim-made-me-prouds.html

    • Avatar

      benson

      January 17, 2015 at 5:59 AM

      thank u . may Allah grant u janna coz i also converted to muslim after 26 years in complete ignorance just being deceived by Christians. Thank u Allah.

      • Avatar

        lina

        May 20, 2015 at 4:49 PM

        And how sure are you that you weren’t deceived this time?

      • Avatar

        Angela

        October 31, 2015 at 10:40 PM

        Hello sisters I’m a new convert as well I’m 42 and I want to thank u for your post u have wrote I felt the same way lied to all my life from the Christians thank u Allah peace be among u thank u for showing me the way to the light from utter darkness peace be with u sisters as well but before I go how do I go about receiving a new name? I had no idea of that

    • Avatar

      zun

      August 3, 2015 at 12:59 PM

      Your story makes me prouder to be a Muslim….

  5. Avatar

    tarikur

    June 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM

    I am an ex-Muslims (was Muslim by birth). Muslims are always nice and loving to new converts.

    • Avatar

      Hyde

      June 16, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      Do you want a medal ? A cupcake ? For being an ex-Muslim ? Or is that moniker used to issue a view point ? Was the ‘religion of peace’ not your cup of tea ? Good, Islam isn’t for every one and these days people go through religions like changing clothes. Enjoy your liberation.

      • Avatar

        tarikur

        June 16, 2014 at 1:25 PM

        I want to leave Islam in peace and that’s why all I want. No medal necessary. As of now, none of the my family members and friends know that I left Islam. If they knew, they will disown me and thus I have to live lonely and isolated life. Worst case scenario, they would kill me. According Quran and Hadith interpretations my most Muslim scholars, Muslim suppose to kill anyone that leave Islam. You can enter Islam but you can not leave Islam. Other words, Muslims would cry foul if countries prevent their citizens from accepting Islam but those same Muslim remain silent or encourage killing of ex-Muslim.

        So congrats to the new converts, you entered one way to Islam. Never leave Islam or you will be killed.

        I am an ex-Muslim and check out my sub-reddit (IslamicNewsAwareness) where I document Muslim world problem by collecting everyday news)

        • Avatar

          Noori Italian

          June 16, 2014 at 2:05 PM

          @tarikur… I don’t think you get it man… Go ahead, go about your way, and take whatever action you desire to bring about your desired ends… No one is really affected by it, in the least. In fact, we will bear witness for you and your words down the road, and you can do the same for us. In the mean time, while you are so carefully taking Holy Quran out of context as yet another self-proclaimed authority on an alternative form of Islam, why not take a look at 61:9. Oh, and Surah 109 too. No ones gonna hurt you man, you seem to be doing just fine with that on your own. Insert 67:29,30. Peace

          • Avatar

            Hyde

            June 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM

            Nicely said sister. Thanks!

        • Avatar

          Hyde

          June 16, 2014 at 2:21 PM

          I’m not going to go into the whole kill apostate nonsense here; plethora of intellectual discussions out there (on Theresa Corbin’s blog for example). It’s WRONG and pathetically min-misinterpreted. Half of the Sharia legislation can be only applied in an Islamic Sate, and of the 60 some donkey countries who call themselves Islamic are poor excuse both as an ‘Islamic country’ and ‘a country itself’.

          Many people leave Islam as they enter, lol that’s why the masjid always have to doors. Islam is not for everyone, nor is it easy. Two lies many Muslims like repeating like parrots. Apostasy is actually a wonderful way leave something you don’t want.

          These is NO compulsion in religion. Follow your own gods of desire.

          Personally I hope the pathway to apostasy becomes easier for everyone. I’d love to see many people leave Islam all together, then try to believe in something they don’t want.

          Islam does not need you nor are you a superstar for being a Muslim or not being a Muslim.

          For you to come on a Muslim site to show your “intelligence” and your “woeful plea” is ignorant, embarrassing and quite disingenuous.

          Ex-Catholics don;t show up in the front of Church to malign and cajole Catholics, but let’s be brutally honest, being an ex-Muslim is a sort of a superstar, a glittering sugarball for the Western Press. .
          “Ex-Muslim” is a money making machine. It further helps if your a woman and or a “sexual alternative”.

          I, too would be weary of your parents, because of the way they raised you, I would be surprised that if their cultural supremacy does not upscale any Islamic identity they have.

          Yours is a way of the future though they will always be Muslims, like Sister Corbin around. Don’t congratulate the converts, but shy away from them, because they see a light that born Muslim never do and in your case case, never will.

          • Avatar

            June

            June 16, 2014 at 4:38 PM

            I am perplexed. You compliment one comment that mentions Qur’anic verses, yet criticize the comment suggesting tarikur seek clarification from a scholar. Are you Muslim? If so, why all the hate? If not you can disregard what I say next since it is said under the assumption that you are Muslim.

            It’s because of comments like yours that people fear approaching anyone if they have doubts and wind up wanting to leave Islam. To say “May Allah guide you” or suggesting to read the Qur’an is not condescending. If making dua for someone’s guidance is too much to ask from you and instead you say “Islam does not need you” then you are the one coming across as condescending. Since the Qur’an is the literal word of Allah, suggesting that those who seem lost take the time to read and understand it is in the hopes they may find guidance.

            I ask Allah to allow tarikur to find someone who may clarify any of his/her doubts and misunderstandings.

          • Avatar

            Hyde

            June 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

            You got your answer down below. He can quote form sources , wow..*retarded golf clap*. My Islamic knowledge is not munificent because I am not holding a noose over his neck.

            Cherry pickers.

          • Avatar

            Mahmud

            June 17, 2014 at 3:14 PM

            Imam Abdullah Hasan(who writes for this website Muslim Matters) explained the consensus ruling on apostasy.

            It is in our deen and there is no changing it. it does not contradict la ikraha fid deen. In that very same Surah the non-apostates who didn’t worship the Golden Calf from Bani Israel were commanded to attack the ones that did apostate(by worshipping the Calf.)

            Furthermore, we have the examples of the Sahaba RA who did kill apostates even when they were not violent rebels against the Islamic State.

            So, freedom of religion needs to be understood in an Islamic context.

        • Avatar

          M

          June 16, 2014 at 2:32 PM

          @tarikur, May Allah guide you. If you have any doubts about Islam you should clarify them. You have a right to clarify your doubts about theology or laws or anything else. Go to a scholar and talk to him. But that totally depends upon where you live right now. If you are living in one of those so-called “Muslim” countries, there might be a problem finding that scholar.

          And just because there are problems in Muslim countries that doesn’t Islam is bad, most Muslim countries do not follow the the Islamic laws as they should be followed. In fact there was a recent article in The Telegraph that said western countries follow Islam more properly than “Muslim” countries do. Here’s the link.
          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/ireland/10888707/Ireland-leads-the-world-in-Islamic-values-as-Muslim-states-lag.html

          I also suggest that you reread the Holy Quran, because you clearly haven’t read it properly.

          • Avatar

            Hyde

            June 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

            Gawd!!! This is the exact niceties if have to STOP with it. There is no coming back fro him; if he chooses to do so, then be it, if not then be it so. Telling people to go read the Quran or “Allah will guide them” [of course God guides who he does]. It’s probably condescending to them.

            Time to be frank and open. Those that want to leave let them go.

          • Avatar

            tarikur

            June 16, 2014 at 3:01 PM

            You lack knowledge of true Islam. Who knows more about Islam you or Islamic scholar, who studied more than 10 years? All Islamic scholar agree that you supposed to kill ex-Muslim. That’s why Saudi Arabia, Iran, Taliban and all the religious groups that follow Sharia law kills anyone that Islam. Here are some example hadiths. There are so many hadiths

            Bukhari Volume 9, Book 84, Number 57:
            Narrated ‘Ikrima:
            Some Zanadiqa (atheists) were brought to ‘Ali and he burnt them. The news of this event, reached Ibn ‘Abbas who said, “If I had been in his place, I would not have burnt them, as Allah’s Apostle forbade it, saying, ‘Do not punish anybody with Allah’s punishment (fire).’ I would have killed them according to the statement of Allah’s Apostle, ‘Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'”

            Bukhari (83:37) – “Allah’s Apostle never killed anyone except in one of the following three situations: (1) A person who killed somebody unjustly, was killed (in Qisas,) (2) a married person who committed illegal sexual intercourse and (3) a man who fought against Allah and His Apostle and deserted Islam and became an apostate.”

            Quran (4:89) – “They wish that you should disbelieve as they disbelieve, and then you would be equal; therefore take not to yourselves friends of them, until they emigrate in the way of God; then, if they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

          • Avatar

            M

            June 16, 2014 at 4:27 PM

            @hyde. Maybe this person has had a bad experience with Muslims. Maybe nobody told him to actually read the Quran or ask Allah directly for help. If Allah guides him through us we have nothing to loose, so why not at least try.

            Of course, if he’s doing it despite the nice people around him, then… well… he can go do whatever he wants. But our job is to pray for others not send them to hell.

        • Avatar

          June

          June 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

          The question is why do you want to leave Islam? Is it because of the actions and words of your parents or others around you? Was it because they claimed those words or actions came from Islam? I am genuinely curious.

          • Avatar

            chicagomc

            June 20, 2014 at 1:16 AM

            Tarikur – the killing of ex-Muslims clearly refers back to the time when becoming Muslim meant they were leaving their tribe, and the protection of their tribe, and became enemies of their tribe, and that Muslims became their new source of protection. If you left Islam, you left this group of Muslims, and therefore went to a group that was an enemy of the Muslims. This gives permission to kill those who were once Muslim, and of course all the rules of law apply (do not instigate). Any scholar should know this context, and if they are ignoring this context then they are feeding off their emotional issues. If they need further evidence – there are no stories of the Prophet (pbuh) seeking out Muslims who left Islam to kill them because they left Islam. There are no stories of the Prophet (pbuh) standing over someone who left Islam and saying “because you left Islam, I’m killing you”. It’s an approach of sadness of having to fight back in war against those who were once friends. Not seeking out to kill them, or having this crazed mission to kill those who left Islam. So people choosing to ignore how the Prophet (pbuh) actually treated people who left Islam is pretty bad. And ignoring the context of these passages is pretty bad.

      • Avatar

        shariff

        November 28, 2014 at 11:07 PM

        @tarikur

        Why would you want to leave islam?? This demonstrates to me that you have not read the Holy Quran in a language that you understand.

        You can’t leave islam anyway as truth cannot be denied and falsehood is temporary so where are you planning on going to after your new life that you want to lead becomes futile and hollow, which it will, as there is no happiness or contention in deception.

        You mean to tell me you want to be further away then you currently are from Allah (Al-mighty)? You disown the holy prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) you want to reneg on the favour conferred upon you by the only one true creator? You should open your eyes and your Quran and ask Allah to show you the way. You are lost halfway between Jannah and Jahanam and it’s your decision which way you want to go!!

        And regarding being an apostate the reason why someone may be prosecuted in sharia law court is because leaving islam is considered treason, and in most countries treason can be severely prosecuted. However the Quran states that there is no compulsion in Islam so it cannot be forced on to you.

        We are living in the time of Dajjal, deception is in the air, evil is widespread and truth is diminished. The only thing left in this world that has been preserved and will never be corrupted is the Quran so hold on to it like Allah has held on to you.

        I wish all the Muslims peace and blessings and inshallah may Allah bestow upon us all his blessings and mercy. May he reward us all Jannat’al Firdous – the highest level of Paradise, Amen.

      • Avatar

        pas

        March 6, 2015 at 11:40 AM

        Wait, one person says that the Qur’an is the literal word Allah, but then we are asked to put certain texts into context as they were written when leaving Islam meant leaving the tribe. So does that mean Allah changed his mind, or is it possible that the Qur’an was written by insecure men who wanted to use religion to secure their positions of power?

        The institution of religion is dangerous, regardless of the brand. Religious texts were written so long ago, reconciling religion with logic is nearly impossible if you seek a literal connection to the texts. This makes doubt a harsh reality, and when people leave a religion it has a tendency to reinforce the doubts everybody else holds.

        All three of the Western monotheologies include some provision for killing non-believers and apostates. It just so happens that Islam is practiced by a higher percentage of under educated fundamentalists than other religions. Believe me, you’ve got some orthodox Jews and fundamentalist Christians who make the clowns who sign up with ISIS look reasonable. It’s just that the mainstream branches of those religions have distanced themselves from those violent religious texts to a greater degree than Islam has.

      • Avatar

        Kridtine

        February 19, 2016 at 12:47 AM

        Why are you s ok ding her? This is her choice just like it is your choice to stay Muslim or believing islam is for you? This is why I am leaving islam, because of ignorance by people like you and such strictness .islam is not for everyone

      • Avatar

        Tmitc868

        November 19, 2016 at 12:25 PM

        Is this Islam? Your cruelty is astounding. Typical Muslims. Only nice when people are with your gang. But want acceptance from everyone else

    • Avatar

      June

      June 18, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      “You lack knowledge of true Islam. Who knows more about Islam you or Islamic scholar, who studied more than 10 years? etc…” I would have replied to this comment directly but if seems this commenting system only allows for replying twice before turning it off.

      The question still remains, why do you want (or why did you decide) to leave Islam? Is it because Islam dictates that those who leave Islam must be killed that you want to leave? Is it because you sought Islamic knowledge from news media sources instead of scholars? There is a reason for the way your are feeling and you have a justification for your decision. I ask because I want to offer the chance to have any doubts and misunderstanding removed.

      Just as much as we are accused of “cherry picking” for offering you peace, you are as guilty of “cherry picking” for accusing us of war. I want to know why your feel so hurt by Islam. What has made you so angry at Allah?

      While I am not a scholar, I can seek the advice of one for any questions you may have. Obviously a scholar knows more about Islam than I. Are you a scholar of Islam? Have you studied Qur’an, Hadith, Seerah, and Islamic history for the past 10 years or more? If not, why do you seek the advice from scholars only about apostasy and anything else you see as negative? Why do you not ask them about the positives? Before any questions can be answered though it must be understood what caused you to want to become ex-Muslim in the first place.

      You do not have to change you mind, I only want to understand why you dislike Islam as much as I want you to understand why I love it.

      • Avatar

        moh

        March 5, 2015 at 3:56 PM

        Sorry to say I felt he was never a Muslim Allah knows best

      • Avatar

        Muhammed

        June 27, 2015 at 11:39 AM

        @Tariku let me give you an example of how you see Islam in your view.

        3 blinds men heard that Elephant is the biggest animal in the earth and they wanted to know about it, they have been approach by an Elephant, the First one touch his noice and said the Elephan is like Hoose or a pipe the second one touch his leg and said it looks like a Barrel the third one touch his hears and said it is like soft cloths, that is there view of an Elephant but the reality isn’t like that.

        This is telling you don’t look islam in a very small issues but look how it helps to build societe and brought so many success to the societe. Muslim world was the cause of development of Western world.

        You have the right to choise which religion you want but at the end one will lead you to the right path.

      • Avatar

        sunny

        December 3, 2016 at 6:29 AM

        If were u june I just live my life and ingoner this people.be happy with u life:)

    • Avatar

      Ahmed

      March 24, 2015 at 5:34 PM

      What about Non Muslims ? I’ve heard Muslims despise people of other faith.

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        Sakinah

        August 8, 2015 at 4:20 PM

        We are taught to respect and have compassion for all mankind. If you follow the news, you’ll have seen Muslims come out together on more than one occasion with the Christian and Jewish/non-Muslim community to show solidarity. There are also numerous interfaith groups in existence nationally and internationally involving Muslims. What I have learned is that Islam teaches us to practice neighborliness, contribute to our community and show compassion to non-Muslims, EVEN if they do not do the same. Of course I will respectfully disagree with the beliefs of a Christian for example but with respect. In the time of the Prophet (saw) Christians and Jews practiced their own religions freely and were not under threat of harm or compulsion to convert. They shared a place of worship for a time. The Prophet (saw) did not despise or order harm to non-Muslims who degraded and injured him. In fact, he treated these non-Muslims with such politeness and respect that some were in awe of the faith that created his manners, eventually converting to Islam themselves. subhanallah. Just because SOME people who are Muslim act as though they despise non-Muslims, does not make this the teaching of Islam. Please study up on history and verify what you hear and see. God willing, you’ll find out the truth about interfaith relations and Islam. And God knows best. Peace!

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        Amber Sani

        August 19, 2016 at 12:51 AM

        No.. U heard it wrong.. Muslims love everybody.. Though there are exceptions in every society.. Islam teaches us to love every man kind without creating differences among muslims and non muslims.. Never ever judge islam by muslims.. Coz ISLAM is perfect muslims are not.. ???

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      Muslim

      April 30, 2015 at 6:41 PM

      Muslims don’t kill people. Killing is Haram(prohibited) in Islam. Your written things can stop people from becoming Muslim, you wrote white lies.Islam is a religion of Love and respect. it’s true that Islam is not for everyone because Allah stamped the hearts of many Non-Muslims

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        Jurgen

        November 17, 2015 at 6:38 AM

        Assalamualaikum about tarikur he maybe lost hidayah from Allah or misguiding

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        Amber Sani

        August 19, 2016 at 12:53 AM

        Yeah i totally agree.. Islam is the most perfect religion ever.. Who always guides us to love all muslims and non muslims even.. ?

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      Ammar

      November 30, 2015 at 12:40 AM

      Nah bro. You can stay or leave. I left Islam for like 5 years. I even changed my name to let people know that I left Islam. My family didn’t even verbally hurt me. And my father was an imam in my community. I left home for work and lived outside. Then I reverted back to Islam. Loneliness can teach you a lot. You see, there is no punishment for leaving Islam. Death penalty and such don’t exist in quran. Inventions!
      In fact, Allah says in quran you can leave if you want.
      2:256 – “La ikrau fiddeen”…..”” – There is no compulsion in religion
      http://quran.com/2/256

      And remember this is not just my case, I have few friends from India and Pakistan who left islam and reverted. The same story.

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        Zonaid

        February 4, 2016 at 8:45 PM

        Ammar I am glad you came back to the world of heavenly means,the world of allah p.s where are you from I am from Bangladesh but if you would like to communicate in other means I will be glad to I can speak Bengali Hindi Urdu and Arabic and English.

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      Tristan

      August 15, 2016 at 8:46 AM

      Tarikur, you are clearly a brave and honest man… I have many Muslim friends and acquaintances I’m fond of, and there are many good things promoted in Islam, along with the many lines of immature drivel one reads in the Quran and Hadith — we won’t argue about it, when one can just read thru it all and ask if a 14-year-old could have written better&self-consistently(&truer).

      The problem is that Muhammad (pbuh&e) built a heartspace and spirit that is most fundamentally based on an internal sense of power&structure, and kindness&love is secondary, instead of the other way around. The Abrahamic faiths also make Allah/God/Spirit seem “external to a large extent” instead of deep inside at our essence.

      The many moderates and nuanced thinkers in Islam are a blessing that keeps the religion from veering hopelessly towards inner power and the dark side. But ultimately, we are all together in this universe and so let’s gradually break free of religious mindtraps that our egos and insecurities so naturally feed on, and go forward together gently and kindly & in the honest and peaceful way in which you have done.

      Sadly for many of us, we feel bound to the paradigm of the Overlord God that our parents and community put in us, while the Source of Love, Kindness and Light that is at the heart of us all is so much forgotten. No matter what theology is laying claim on our minds, we can get down to what is real: living with a warm heart towards ourselves and everyone…

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        Tristan

        August 15, 2016 at 9:06 AM

        Truly hoping that my attempt to express sincerely wasn’t taken as condescending on anyone, because I don’t want to put up any barriers that needs to be attacked and brought down… I also feel deeply for those who rightly felt lied to by their original religious community and are seeking a home, whatever seems the best for the sense of belonging. What I’d like to add is that we live too much in reaction to ideas we are sold…

        When I was religious, a few non-believers stunned me with how big-hearted and genuine they were: they weren’t following any formula and one felt no barrier in their warmth&kindness… to all readers, I don’t know how few utterly genuine&kind people you’ve come across in your life, but please discover in yourself their secret, that goes so much deeper than any beliefs. May I replace the words “God/Allah/Spirit” with who is Real, not a set of religious/faith constructs, and let’s grow together guided by the Real Who… who fosters not personal ill-feeling/arguments, but joy&beauty? No more worrying about heaven if it extends to us already, and all it takes is some “quietspace” to see it…

      • Avatar

        Ana Maria Pardo

        November 27, 2016 at 1:18 PM

        Hello Tristan, I am not a Muslim nor looking to be, I am simply searching for Muslims with your understanding and where are they? Why is your voice not being heard meanwhile extremism is gaining so much force. My best friend is convinced Islam is evil and Allah is not the same God Christians worship. There is so much out there regarding the atrocities condoned under sharia law. Pakistan is a bed for extremist and so is northern Africa. What is going on? I feel good Muslims are simply silent by standers that look the other way instead of taking charge and fighting against all these atrocities done in the name of Islam. Can you direct me to credible resource of Progressive Muslims fighting earnestly against this dogmatic and hateful form of Islam. No, I am not going to go read the Koran or certain specific sura. I’m looking for credible news sources that actively post Muslims who are taking a stand against issues like child marriages, raping and beating your wife, honor killings, and the like. Imams actively speaking to the community and addressing these issues and making it known it will not be tolerated and that such actions are crimes and evil and deserving of the most severe punishment by Allah as well as those in authority here on earth.

  6. Avatar

    iffat sharif

    June 16, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    I smiled at #4 coz it is awesome I loved #1 coz its true!!! Amazing amazing article

  7. Avatar

    Noori Italian

    June 16, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    What an awesome article that so correctly and beautifully shows the experience of the fastest growing group of Muslim converts: women (even more so for Caucasian women, though I don’t mean to assume)! May your efforts, intentions, and honor be increased and protected forever! I had to send this to my Mother and grandmother (who are not Muslim)! This is exactly the type of info I tweet from @NooriItalian to help dispel the falsehood surrounding converts and the deen in general! Much info on politics, deen, etc is available, and more will be made so. Please follow for more articles like this. God bless!!!

    • Avatar

      Samina

      August 18, 2016 at 12:37 PM

      Assalam o Alaikum!
      I am in search of women who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
      I would be really grateful if you respond me.

      My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

      I hope you can help.

      Best regards
      Samina

  8. Pingback: 7 Things I Didn’t Expect When I Converted to Islam – MuslimMatters | Love and Blame

    • Avatar

      goodmuslim

      July 9, 2016 at 2:38 PM

      if get divorced with your ex huppy can you marry me

  9. Avatar

    Miss HaychEm

    June 16, 2014 at 9:09 PM

    I always enjoy reading your articles, they have a feel good factor to them. JazakaAllah Khair :)

  10. Avatar

    Abu Asiyah

    June 17, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    #1 – subhanAllah, one of the most beautiful things out about the ummah. I’m a convert and that’s definitely up there for me as well.

    Beautiful article, barakAllahu feeki ya ukhtee

    • Avatar

      Samina

      August 18, 2016 at 12:35 PM

      Assalam o Alaikum!
      I am in search of people who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
      I would be really grateful if you respond me.

      My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

      Best regards
      Samina

  11. Avatar

    sam

    June 17, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Good for you. keep it up.

  12. Avatar

    Gregory Pratt

    June 17, 2014 at 1:48 AM

    Did you expect that Islam would have a week like it just did? Tough to top, but I think that the Religion of Peace may just put its last 7 days’ labor to shame, someday soon.

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      Salmaan

      June 17, 2014 at 5:02 AM

      Totally unrelated to anything in this article. But well done, I admire someone who can differentiate between a Muslim and Islam. Ya Allah, guide us.

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        mg

        June 21, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        Salmaan,This is exactly the point..We have plenty of well educated people who misrepresent Islam.People are imperfect.

  13. Pingback: 7 Things I Didn't Expect When I Converted to Islam | MuslimMatters.org | Follow the quran

    • Avatar

      Ron

      October 18, 2016 at 8:06 PM

      Is the name “Ronald” ok? It means mighty ruler , I think.
      I feel it may be because there is only one ruler..Allah

  14. Avatar

    Narayan Narasimhan

    June 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    Theresa,
    To me a Religion should help people to respect others (humanity), and the whole planet in general. Can you explain how could you do this with Islam and your previous religion couldn’t (from your perspective)?

    • Avatar

      choomm

      November 23, 2014 at 3:00 AM

      Its the usual story for these western converts.. they walk around in skimpy clothes and then suddenly see the light become muslims and coverup in hijab and burkha and are surprised that is actually possible. For them its a physical change in clothing and also into a more subdued lifestyle nstead of the all night partying they are used to. ..

    • Avatar

      Abu Ahzab

      March 4, 2015 at 6:19 AM

      Dear Narayana Narasimhan,
      To me a Religion should help people to respect others (humanity), and the whole planet in general.
      >>> What you need to realize is, respecting other human beings irrespective of their race, caste, religion is great teachings of many religions, though not all. And Islam is certainly one among them, neither hinduism, nor christianity can claim that specifically because, they don’t even their fellow colleagues to visit the place worship. You have Churches for the Black and Temples for the high caste.

      Secondly, respecting humanity as a whole is one of the many traits one religion should have it’s not the end in itself. A religion must address issues a human being face in this world and provide solutions to it.

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    Halima

    June 17, 2014 at 9:56 PM

    5 is my favorite. You are spared all the extra hair care when you’re a Muslim woman. It is also gives you this carefree attitude about your hair. I can’t help but smile real big when I see Non-Muslim women in public bathrooms obsessively grooming their hair. Although I don’t agree with your comment in 1. Dressing bland is something highly encouraged in Islam for Muslim women. The whole point is to not draw attention to yourself, and attract attention. I’ve noticed dressing brightly and flamboyantly can bring on a lot of attention to yourself. That’s why I love my abaaya. Good post overall. :)

    • Avatar

      Halima

      June 17, 2014 at 9:58 PM

      Whoops. I meant number 7. :P

  16. Avatar

    Tony James

    June 18, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    All this is about the belief in imaginary invisible beings thought up by people in ancient times. Can it be true that people argue over which imaginary man is the best one? It’s absolutely incredible that these people then figure out ways to justify the killing of others that don’t believe in their imaginary overlord. They then believe that the imaginary man will love them and reward them for killing the creatures that this imaginary being created in the first place. It’s incredible because if you’re going to invent a way of life, at least invent one that makes some kind of sense.

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      Zonaid

      February 4, 2016 at 8:49 PM

      Tony I understand you are probably an atheist and I respect that but please do not shape our religion in to imaginary beings, we believe in our own religion and are welcom to share it but please do not share around hate.

      • Avatar

        Tmitc868

        November 19, 2016 at 12:50 PM

        If you can share your beliefs, why can he not share his?

  17. Pingback: Minaret of Freedom Weblog » (6/18/14) News and Analysis

  18. Avatar

    Susa

    June 22, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    LOOOVE this post!

  19. Avatar

    Shahma

    June 24, 2014 at 11:49 AM

    Assalamu ‘Alaikum sister Theresa and all the other sisters and brothers who might be reading this post. Firstly I would like to thank sister Theresa for sharing her unexpected findings after accepting islam. I personally find it quite intriguing to know how the perspectives of reverts develops/change. JazakALLAHu ahsanul jaza. Stay strong!!!

    I also feel compelled to bring to our sisters attention that our concept of hijab is being hijacked by people who couldn’t care less about the purpose of hijab. What am I trying to say? I am trying to say that hijab to many sisters now have become nothing more than a fashion statement (btw this is not in address to sister Theresa at all). I have found that sisters who are born in muslim families are more susceptible to this shortcoming than the sister who accept islam later on in their lives. Revert sisters are much more diligent in fulfilling the conditions of the hijab. There could be many reasons for this, but the most important of all is the ikhlaas (sincerity for ALLAH). I ask the sisters to take back the narrative and reclaim the Hijab, speak up in support of proper hijab.

    Be kind when advising but don’t let shaytan trick you into thinking that it is out of wisdom that you allow people to transgress without correcting them. Encourage the good and forbid the evil. Commend the sisters who adhere to proper hijab and with kindness encourage and correct the ones that don’t.

  20. Avatar

    Muhammad

    August 14, 2014 at 5:20 PM

    This is wonderful. And yes one does instantly fall inlove with strangers when they talk about Allah. May Allah help and guide us all. Hope you do have a wonderful day everyone.

  21. Avatar

    Ummer Farooq

    August 27, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Assalamu alaykum,

    Qur’an 2:165.

  22. Avatar

    luke

    February 24, 2015 at 12:34 AM

    Have you actually read the Koran and hadith? If so why on earth did you convert to Islam?

    • Avatar

      moh

      March 5, 2015 at 4:04 PM

      Pray to Allah,Elohim,God,Dieu,Dius,Buh,Gott etc. by whatever name you know Him.
      Pray to your Creator, the Creator of the Universe and everything in it and in-between with sincerity ask Him to Guide You In Your Heart and in Your Mind to The Religion Of Truth and to make you pleased with it and you will find if you are sincere
      He will answer your Prayer and you will find the religion of truth enters your heart.

      So don’t trust me—trust Our Creator. Read the Quran, read books and study good websites. But whatever you do, get started, take it seriously, and Pray For Our Creator To Guide You.
      Your Life May Not Depend On It, But Your Soul Most Definitely Does.

      If you are among those who sincerely Seek For The One True God, please read, Contemplate And Ponder Upon The Authentic Words Of Allah. Let the following very enlightening concrete proofs from the Qur’an open your heart and mind to accept Allah as the Only True God who Alone deserves our sincere worship:

      Read The Last & Final Testament Of God The Quran On Line With An Open Mind

      Read about Jesus(Peace be upon him) Quran Chapter 3:33-84 Chapter 5:72-78 and Chapter 19 Surah Maryam

      http://dar-us-salam.com/TheNobleQuran/index.html
      http://www.islamhouse.com/344410/en/en/videos/Christ_in_Islam

      Read on line Books( Islam, Muhammad, Jesus, Mary etc.)
      http://www.islamhouse.com/pg/9661/books/1

  23. Avatar

    Kelly

    March 30, 2015 at 10:56 AM

    Philip I pray you get confident enough in your faith to not have to rely on bigoted websites to get information about Islam or Mohammed. I have Qur’an study every Sunday with a nun in attendance who quite gracefully sees the beauty in Islam, the similarities in the religion, and is capable of not harboring the disgusting feelings you harbor. I pray you reach this level of maturity in your faith so as to fairly assess other religions, to be able to have respectful dialog about other religions without resorting to name-calling & bashing regurgitating right-wing paranoid statements.

  24. Avatar

    Muslim

    April 3, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    I agree. Although I am a sinner, but the connection and love I feel immediately for a Muslim is indescribable! It’s like I can immeidately bond and trust them and I know exactly what they believe.

    • Avatar

      sjaak

      April 13, 2015 at 5:48 AM

      I feel very connected to other human beings as well. Are you saying you need Islam only to have some close friends you can trust?

  25. Avatar

    Christian

    May 4, 2015 at 8:38 AM

    I am amazed how little love is shown by most Muslims to Tarikur. I was curious to see the fruits of your faith and all I see is hate and condemnation. The one true God that we all seek does not approve such intolerance. He loves us and keeps giving us chances despite how short we fall of his glory. How can I be convinced that Islam is God inspired when many of its’ followers are everything God is not? I love you and respect you because that is what God wants me to do. It is a fundamental characteristic of God to show love and compassion or the earth would have been destroyed many times over if God had intolerance and hate many here have shown.

    • Avatar

      Abdul

      May 5, 2015 at 12:30 AM

      I am amazed how little love is shown by most Muslims to Tarikur. I was curious to see the fruits of your faith and all I see is hate and condemnation.
      >>> If your wear a Christian Media lense that’s what you would get to see, just change your glass, you can see the fruits.

      The one true God that we all seek does not approve such intolerance. He loves us and keeps giving us chances despite how short we fall of his glory. How can I be convinced that Islam is God inspired when many of its’ followers are everything God is not?
      >>> True, God does. But certainly not a God who sleeps, not a God who ask for help when put on cross, showing helplessness, not a God who eats like human being and not a God whose takes Birth in Human Womb and Noher impure for 40 days (all these as per Bible) .The Bible depiction of God is truely what God is not.

      I love you and respect you because that is what God wants me to do. It is a fundamental characteristic of God to show love and compassion or the earth would have been destroyed many times over if God had intolerance and hate many here have shown. >>>All religious people do.

  26. Avatar

    Sarah Tavano

    June 23, 2015 at 12:30 PM

    Thank you Theresa I am not a revert but I am contemplating it because I do think it makes most sense to me as well and I believe in 1 true God I share sum similar issues about the hijab that you did in your post I am afraid that I will look dumpy and stupid and not be able to keep my look and can u still wear make up? Or is that A no no?

  27. Avatar

    Danielle

    July 6, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    For those reading this wondering what I’m talking about, it’s in response to all the negative comments HYDE made towards the beginning of this blog (they are older comments but I had to response in fear this persons comments would discourage people)

    @Hyde … you posted: “Personally I hope the pathway to apostasy becomes easier for everyone. I’d love to see many people leave Islam all together, then try to believe in something they don’t want……
    Islam does not need you nor are you a superstar for being a Muslim or not being a Muslim….Don’t congratulate the converts, but shy away from them, because they see a light that born Muslim never do and in your case case, never will.”
    I completely agree with sister June who wrote: “I am perplexed. You compliment one comment that mentions Qur’anic verses, yet criticize the comment suggesting tarikur seek clarification from a scholar. Are you Muslim? If so, why all the hate?”

    Your words Hyde indicate your knowledge far surpasses that of scholars (possibly a self-righteous attitude?) and apprently compassion is useless and Muslims shouldn’t bother to pray for or help those thinking to leave Islam. No one maybe “holding a noose around his neck” as you put it to stay in Islam but that doesn’t mean you can’t try to help the person before making that choice or to help them come back. And your other comment that this person will not come back and as if there’s no hope for him seems to express your I can’t be bothered with anyone except myself attitude … me, myself and I are important and if it doesn’t effect me who cares.
    Even your first comment I replied to, when you said “not another revert story”, shows it’s like you have a distain towards reverts and one revert story is all the same, boring … show your comments to any Imam or scholar and see their reaction to you. Hence my comment to that was replying to you as if you weren’t muslim and just trolling – apparently you are Muslim (so I apologize to think you weren’t) but you’re just a Muslim with a really poor attitude and some deep-seeded pride of being born muslim and find reverts annoying.

    As regards to your comments on reverts that you made “Hyde: Don’t congratulate the converts, but shy away from them, because they see a light that born Muslim never do and in your case, never will.” —–> How shameful! Who are you to say that he will never see the light … you’re not Allah so how do you know down the road he won’t see the correct path and come back to Islam stronger than ever. So you have a lot of assumption to say “He will never.”
    As regards to reverts not being congratulated and born-muslims (or already reverted Muslims) should shy away from them … you can deny it until you’re blue in the face but it’s pure UNNECESSARY jealousy that spews from your mouth. If a person reverts they need help to learn what a born-muslim may know from an early age. They come from a worldly life and need good examples/role models to help them and congratulating them is a way born-muslims or previous reverts shows the new revert that they are happy they have become Muslim, that they want to worship Allah in the correct way. It’s a joyous moment. You said born-muslims don’t see this light, so because reverts do see it, no need to congratulate them as if to say “well they already have something I don’t have and I’m jealous so ignore them. If I can’t have it no one can” is what your mentality comes across as being. And I feel sorry for you if you really feel this way because it shows instead of welcoming them and being happy that someone has come out of the world to Islam, your bittered and annoyed by the extra attention a new revert receives.
    There are born-muslims who practice their religion simply because their family does but have no real knowledge of their faith and one day they decide to learn about their faith to gain accurate knowledge of it and guess what, they need extra attention too from practicing knowledgeable Muslims so they get that light just as new reverts. No they may not get congratulation because they were already Muslim, but being Muslim itself is a light reverts don’t have as reverts weren’t raised worshipping Allah in the correct way and many of them led a worldly lifestyle prior to reverting. This is something born-muslims don’t experience unless they choose to leave Islam. So reverts and born-muslims have lights they see, just their lights are different.
    To conclude: `Amr ibn Al-`As was amazed by the special attention that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) gave him. He actually thought that he is the most beloved companion to the messenger of Allah, and asked him a direct question one day: “Oh Prophet of Allah, who is the most beloved person to you” and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “`A’ishah (the Prophet’s wife)”;
    – From the men?
    – Her father (Abu Bakr As-siddique)
    – Then who?
    – Then `Umar, ..
    In `Amr’s words: “After that, the Prophet started listing names and names of people, and this made me remain silent, fearing that he will place me at the end of the list…” (Al-Bukhari)
    The messenger of Allah had this gentle effect on all those around him, especially the new comers to Islam that made `Amr seriously think he is the best companion in the eyes of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
    @Hyde —> You aren’t an Islamic scholar (not that you claimed to be) to give a fatwa on how born-muslims or previous reverts should treat reverts and tell who has no hope when you aren’t anyone else’s judge and it’s really disheartening to see your comments are filled with crude bitter sarcasm and the attitude you portrait as if your negative opinion is correct and people should listen to your unscholarly ignorant advice.
    It’s not a judgement on you but a good reminder for anyone; the beautiful hadith: The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam ( may Allaah exalt his mention ) said: “He who has in his heart the weight of an atom of pride shall not enter Paradise.” [Muslim]
    Reverts and Born-Muslims are ALL MUSLIMS.

    • Avatar

      shahbaz khan

      January 9, 2016 at 8:06 AM

      wow theresa your writeup has elicited so maaany comments! in a world taken up by pretensions thugery deception and lies -the heart yearns for bliss and trust and a purpose for life. convert stories are such a wonder opening into the personal journey of an individual. in a world of no secrets where the furthest reaches of the planet are laid bare islam comes out as the new frontier , unexplored unknown and a mystery that was so distant and is still so close to everypersons inner being.
      theresa has stimulated people to talk and share their opinion and here there is no need of any fatwas to define the boundaries of this soul searching. juzakullah

    • Avatar

      Zonaid

      February 4, 2016 at 8:56 PM

      Subbhanalla inshalla I love your comment peace be upon you ya allah I as a born Muslim do in fact see many converts of Islam (my best friend) and they can’t even stop talking about your post آلة ةواقبر (Allah huakbar)

  28. Avatar

    Sidnie

    October 12, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    I’m a brand new Muslim, and I converted today, but it makes me really sad when some would say, “Muslims kills Christians”, or “Deserve to go to Hell”. I don’t know whats wrong with Christians, and I came from a Christian Family, however my faith was so confuse and very stress and I needed something to touch me, and I found this beautiful religion. I don’t know should I tell my parents, and will people turn away because I live in Toledo and there’s not much Muslims, can someone help me!!!

    • Avatar

      shahbaz khan

      January 10, 2016 at 12:18 PM

      hi sidnie – it is a momentous day in yore life indeed. change is the last thin g one wishes to do willingly. most changes happen of a sudden without any effort on yore part. they happen and take u along. its with time u realise the change was the best for u.
      dont bother with wat u hear or keep hearing. god is the most merciful and munificent and he has no wish to send people to hell.trust in god and he will show u the best way to let yore parents know u have changed. yore new life style and behavior will be yore ambassador to yore parents family and the world.a sidnie who is more responsible and caring more confident and strong will make yore path easier.if u move to an area with more muslim brothers and sisters or change yore work place, the companionship that this will provide will be a source of learning and strength for u . may god be yore guide

    • Avatar

      felix aliy

      February 24, 2016 at 9:16 AM

      please look for this books before you finally decide : ” who is this allah” and “the anatomy of Quaran” please google and read them my friend and God will bless you. The peace you are looking for you can find in Christ. Just accept Christ into your life and allow the Holy Spirit direct your affairs and all will be fine with and your family. if you need Him just contact me. God bless you

    • Avatar

      Samina

      August 18, 2016 at 12:31 PM

      Assalam o Alaikum!
      I am in search of women who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
      I would be really grateful if you respond me.

      My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

      Best regards
      Samina

    • Avatar

      Sammy

      December 27, 2016 at 11:49 AM

      Sidnie,

      God bless you for taking this important & righteous step.

  29. Avatar

    Abdullah Sameer

    October 24, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    I left Islam after 15 years. Science doesn’t seem to agree with the Quran. More details on my blog.

  30. Avatar

    Stephanie

    November 11, 2015 at 9:20 AM

    Seven things I didn’t expect when I encountered Islam:
    1. Intolerance (they simply do not like anyone who is not Muslim)
    2. Brutality (I have seen muslim women be cruel and ruthless with their children to the point where i have called the police).
    3. Violence (I have never seen such gross admiration and respect for violence against non-muslim peoples, especially christians).
    4. Slavery (I never imagined so many people, so many women, would support slavery, chiefly slavery of women).
    5. Rape (I was shocked and disgusted by the endemic rape culture of muslims; it seems that if a woman is not completely hidden from view–i.e. invisible–then she is a target for rape, even if she’s not a woman: even if she is just a child holding a doll).
    6. Hate (I have heard muslims speak publically about the need to “wipe jews off the face of the earth”
    7. Destruction (they hate science, they had progress, they hate prosperity–in short they seek destutition of all and the destruction of civilization).

    In the end it made me happy that I rejected religion when I was 5 and 1/2 years old. I saw it for what it was then: ridiculous stories about impossible deeds by invisible creatures. You can too.

    • Avatar

      Abu Ahzab

      November 11, 2015 at 11:46 PM

      To me people like “Stephanie” putting comments out of complete ignorance and baseless arguments continue to help me faithful to my Islamic faith post conversion. Such people are a great advantage to keep Muslims in their faith, as long as these type of people are propagating news far from truth. And Muslims tend follow Jesus than the Christians.

      1. Jesus Worship only one God and he always called others to worship only one God…….just like Muslims do
      2. Jesus used to have a beard just like all other prophets, even the picture that today’s Christians “imagine” for Jesus is for a man having a beard…….just like Muslim men do
      3. Jesus was circumcised…….just like Muslim men do
      4. The Mother of Jesus Mary was covering her hair, and all the pictures in today’s churches that they “think” that its for her is a picture of a woman with a scarf……..just like Muslim women do
      5. Jesus used to pray and prostrate…….just like Muslims do
      6. Jesus used to fast….just like Muslims do
      7. Jesus used to make ablution before prayer……..just like Muslims do
      8. Jesus didn’t eat pork………..Just like Muslims do

      • Avatar

        Casey

        November 15, 2015 at 11:58 PM

        You see the comparison of Jesus to the Muslim faith because
        the Muslim faith was established out of Catholism by Mohammad, through
        his mother who was a nun in a catholic convent. The catholic church (Jesuits) was losing converts after Christ rose from the grave and his believers went out and converted others to
        Jesus and not to ‘a church’. The catholic church then devised a religion that it felt would bring back people to the church because it existed on the wealth of it’s followers, and it wanted to maintain powers. http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican33.htm Thus you have the similarities of text, the virgin mary etc. But the new religion didn’t work out well as it grew among the tribesmen, the nomads and spread. It was a false Christianity from a false church that turned into another religion. That is one of the reasons why many verses in the Koran are almost identical to Bible verses. The Bible was plagiarised to fit the ‘new religion’ with additives of other dictates, some very confusing. According to the direction of prayer was to be Mecca and Medina only, never to Jerusalum, so why the claim now of Jerusalem as a religious focus? You claim Jesus was similar but Jesus was a Jew so therefore could not all Muslims be of Jewish decent? I’d say yes because of similar practices that Jews and Muslims do such as circumcision One thing that all Muslims should know and never talk about is the faith and it’s association to a meteorite: http://www.islam-watch.org/Lennard/Islam-Sacred-Stone-of-Mecca.htm It is forbidden for muslims to worship this stone, yet it is the foundation of the religion. The stone sits in the Kaaba. I am neither a Jew nor a catholic, but feel that truth is truth, and if you all seriously want the truth and study of your faith then you should go back to the origin of where it all started before anyone converts, just as I would warn or direct anyone to check out scientology before they got involved. I wish you all the best and good luck in your search for truth and light, remembering God is light and in Him is no darkness to be found.

        • Avatar

          Kelly

          November 16, 2015 at 1:01 AM

          There is so much wrong with this statement.
          Mohammed’s mom was not that. The rock statement? Totally not part of the teachings. The kabaa is simply a place from Abraham, praying in unity.
          The reason the monotheistic teachings are so similar is because they are all teaching the same basic message via a series of Prophet’s & messengers. It’s a continuation over time from the same God but to different people of a different time or area.
          Please don’t introduce these conspiracy theories.

      • Avatar

        felix aliy

        February 24, 2016 at 9:20 AM

        you do not know Him (Jesus), The Jesus in your koran is different from Jesus in the bible. I know how the koran came about, how they copied some scriptures incorrectly from the bible.

    • Avatar

      Kelly

      November 16, 2015 at 1:04 AM

      Stephanie – it sounds like you were simply around a really bad crowd. It’s not fair to let those people represent the religion. That’s like letting gang bangers represent America and leaving the country and spouting all over the world how horrible Americans are. I’m sorry you had that experience with Muslims and hope you meet a better group of Muslims that better represent the teachings of Islam.

      • Avatar

        shahbaz khan

        January 10, 2016 at 12:23 PM

        how very correct

    • Avatar

      Ammar

      November 30, 2015 at 12:55 AM

      Dear, we are not. And how many Muslims did you really encounter. For me it seems like 0. Its the ahlak (good manners) brought me to Islam. If any of you said is true, I will leave Islam just now. I mean this religion is not a compulsion but a choice. Al-Quran(2:256) .
      Good luck sisi.

  31. Avatar

    Jemmy

    November 16, 2015 at 10:43 AM

    This religion treats non-muslims badly. I am a living witness. There is always a sinister smile on their faces. Well, am grateful to God for showing me the right way to peace, love, joy and Salvation of my soul.

    • Avatar

      Ammar

      November 30, 2015 at 1:00 AM

      Brother, I am sorry for what you feel. You have to talk to them.

  32. Avatar

    abu ahzab

    November 16, 2015 at 12:40 PM

    see the comparison of Jesus to the Muslim faith because the Muslim faith was established out of Catholism by Mohammad,
    >>> it’s partly true because Islam accepts all prophets before Mohammed (SA), such as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Younus and so on. Unlike Christians they don’t consider these Prophets as God or Son of God and so on. And there is a fundamental teaching that is visible in all these prophets, i.e. to worship only one God.

    The catholic church then devised a religion that it felt would bring back people to the church because it existed on the wealth of it’s followers, and it wanted to maintain powers. bibliotecapleyades.net/vatican/esp_vatican33.htm
    >>> That’s how they altered the original teaching of Jesus (AS) and no wonder my fellow Christians have bible verses that can’t even be read to their own children/family.

    Thus you have the similarities of text, the virgin mary etc. But the new religion didn’t work out well as it grew among the tribesmen, the nomads and spread. It was a false Christianity from a false church that turned into another religion. That is one of the reasons why many verses in the Koran are almost identical to Bible verses.
    >>>> As I said Muslims believe in the original teachings of the Bible and a Muslims can’t be a Muslim unless he/she believe in the teachings of the Prophets earlier to Muhammed (SA)

    The Bible was plagiarised to fit the ‘new religion’ with additives of other dictates, some very confusing.
    >>> There was no Bible in it’s original form available at that time, neither it exist today. And that’s why you have red letter bible and revisions after revisions and still can’t find any thing close to the original. When you don’t have original teachings of Jesus, how can you claim it was plagiarized?

    According to the direction of prayer was to be Mecca and Medina only, never to Jerusalem, so why the claim now of Jerusalem as a religious focus?
    >>> absolute ignorance, it was to Jerusalem until the Quranic verse to direct the prayers to Mecca was revealed. Secondly, as I said earlier all prophets are of great significance to Islamic faith and hence Jerusalem as well.

    You claim Jesus was similar but Jesus was a Jew so therefore could not all Muslims be of Jewish decent?
    >>> All I said is that we Muslims are more Christian than the so called Christians, because we follow Jesus original Teachings and abide by, such as Praying to One God, circumcision, keeping beard, women covering head, not eating pork and so on.

    I’d say yes because of similar practices that Jews and Muslims do such as circumcision One thing that all Muslims should know and never talk about is the faith and it’s association to a meteorite: islam-watch.org/Lennard/Islam-Sacred-Stone-of-Mecca.htm It is forbidden for muslims to worship this stone, yet it is the foundation of the religion. The stone sits in the Kaaba.
    >>>> You seems to be at complete ignorance and to the core, these are specifically straw man argument. No muslims worship Kaaba , nor the black stone in Mecca/Kaaba. If somebody does that he/she is outside of the Islamic faith.

    I am neither a Jew nor a catholic, but feel that truth is truth
    >>>There is not even iota of truth what you have just said, ignorance can’t be termed as truth. ask even an ignorant Muslims he would tell you that he/she is not worshipping Kaaba/Stone there. This is basics of Islam. Get your facts !

    , and if you all seriously want the truth and study of your faith then you should go back to the origin of where it all started before anyone converts, just as I would warn or direct anyone to check out scientology before they got involved.
    >>> Yes that’s the right things to do, and if you or anyone do it, he can’t help being a Muslim. simply because all prophets taught to worship only ONE God and not the father of God, Neither the Mother of God, nor the statue of Mother Mary and so on. it’s simple and straight forward truth. and you can’t help being a Muslim.

    I wish you all the best and good luck in your search for truth and light, remembering God is light and in Him is no darkness to be found.
    >>I wish you best of luck for your inquiry. and lastly, I’m yet to see a Christian who stand up to scrutiny of his Bible. All the time I get statements like, I’m neither a Christian nor Jew, but I’m just making statements – this is a clear case of weakness on you and your faith, so that you have all the freedom to change your goal post by not disclosing your source of argument. This is quite normal of many Christians and generally Catholics.

  33. Avatar

    Rahul

    December 14, 2015 at 8:00 AM

    What is islam? Would i get respect if i join islam?

    • Avatar

      solikin

      December 23, 2015 at 2:07 AM

      1. islam = dienul islam
      dienul = way of life / rule of life, islam = save , it mean who ever follow the rules of life they will be saved.

      • Avatar

        felix aliy

        February 24, 2016 at 9:22 AM

        Is their salvation for one’s soul in Islam? show me one place in Koran

  34. Avatar

    shahbaz khan

    January 14, 2016 at 12:48 PM

    wat rubbish people are capable of. wat a negative mind set.

  35. Avatar

    Hhhh

    January 31, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Asalum-Ali-kum,
    I was reading this article and expectedly notice that all the 7 statements you mention will have to do with your physical appereaneces. What about your heart? I believe as a woman I can be wearing hijab all the time but what about lust that is in my heart. Question is, has your heart changed not your physical appearances?

  36. Avatar

    Umm Ayesha

    May 5, 2016 at 9:16 AM

    What a beautiful article, SubhanAllah.

  37. Avatar

    Misbah

    May 23, 2016 at 11:00 PM

    Very nice blog. Personally I was always a muslim but very astray (drugs&sex) faked prayer and many sins like that. Recently ive started reading the quran again, going masjid and reducing music to quran recitations. Alhamdulliah with ramadhan 15 days away ill become a better muslim. Please make dua for me.

  38. Avatar

    ossy

    June 10, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    The difference between the two religion is the third party , which is the holy spirit, More christians may convert to islam due to lack of the Holyghost. Hndingow can you tell me that a spirit filled fire brand daughter of zion will convert to islam. Go get born again and enjoy the peace that passes human uundersta

  39. Avatar

    L

    June 17, 2016 at 4:35 PM

    I don’t know where to begin or who to talk to about converting. I am also afraid about talking to people close to me on converting due to how in the US being a Muslim is a bad thing. Help please!

    • Avatar

      Saif

      June 25, 2016 at 4:21 AM

      As long as you believe in your heart “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the last messenger of Allah”, You will take first step to be a Muslim. If you even die with this believe, you will go to paradise. But you really should talk to someone who is practicing Islam. He may show you the path of converting appropriate way.

    • Avatar

      Michael

      July 4, 2016 at 1:36 AM

      L, whatever you do, don’t become a muslim. They are told in the koran to kill those who leave, the nonsense about “that was for them back then, not us” is garbage, untold thousands of ex-muslims are in hiding from their families right now, to deny this total truth is insanity and an insult to their very hard reality of not knowing when a family member will finally find them. How horrible! Mohammed clearly married a 6 year old, consumated when she was 9, had many people killed and butchered, raided and looted innocent people in caravans, took wives from other people, including his adopted son, Jesus never did anything wrong at all and did tons of miracles, which He said proved that He was indeed, from God. He was with God from eternity past and was eternal with His Father, so He loved us and died for us on the cross, there is no other religion with anything even close to this purity and love and Glory of an Awesome and loving God! He is so incredible people!

  40. Avatar

    Ummu Ryan

    June 26, 2016 at 9:57 AM

    This blog is really interesting. Thanks sister Theresa

  41. Avatar

    April Rose

    July 25, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    I wanted to convert to Islam, i don’t know anyone in Beirut can help me find an Imam so that i can start converting. And to study the Qur’an.

    • Avatar

      Samina

      August 18, 2016 at 12:29 PM

      Assalam o Alaikum Rose!
      (I am commenting this considering you have accepted Islam until now. as you commented a month ago. If not, can I help you in anyway?)
      I am in search of women who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
      I would be really grateful if you respond me.

      My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

      Best regards
      Samina

  42. Avatar

    Samina

    August 18, 2016 at 12:26 PM

    Assalam o Alaikum Theresa!
    I am in search of women who reverted to Islam. I am doing a thesis. I would like to get your few minutes to have a short interview. Mostly, I would like to know why you embraced Islam.
    I would be really grateful if you respond me.

    My email address is saminakousar11@gmail.com

    Best regards
    Samina

  43. Avatar

    Miraz

    October 10, 2016 at 3:05 AM

    Hi… I’m a Muslim. I know theressa has a childish sense of humour.. I’m not proud of my religion bcz this religion has no good base. Only fed up by cruelty… Quran is a sin to human kind. It doesn’t contain any good thoughts about nature.. it only cares about human(specially those who believe in Islam) and you all people who are eager And happy with her conversion. This is so sad bcz theressa has silly reasons such about hair care… and other things… the Muslims who encouraged her conversions is not their fault as they follow Quran which is harram. There is no satisfaction in Islam. The people who follow doesnt have a good thoughts they are brain washed. And I request every one who are muslims to think, debate and criticise this cruel Islam. I’ll give an example… if Allah wanted her women followers to get fully covered from head to toe . he will provide every women with a shell like tortoise.. and if Allah have the power to punish people who do mischieves he could destroy the ottoman empire which was very cruel.. this prophet Muhammad tried to spread his writings (Quran) by saying it came from God Allah… and made many slaves In order to enjoy happy life… but muslims didn’t think about this. I wish this Nature to give them a good mind to think and think… what I said was not to hurt the beautiful souls… and by my thoughts please don’t convert to any religion… be yourself. May u all get a success and happy life…. I too won’t convert to other bcz I don’t want to disrespect this faithless imagination….

  44. Avatar

    Keneth Kittle

    October 15, 2016 at 10:48 PM

    My colleagues needed to fill out BINDT Form PSL 57B Issue 4 recently and came across an online service that hosts lots of sample forms . If you are interested in BINDT Form PSL 57B Issue 4 too , here’s a link “https://goo.gl/y6Hzhl“.

  45. Avatar

    Angello

    November 3, 2016 at 1:02 AM

    Hi I am a non-muslim individual and I seek for advice. By no means this is intended to offend anyone despite our differences, as everything can be taken in different interpretations nowadays. I have always been interested in this beautiful culture and lifestyle. I am fully aware that I am not perfect, since we all make mistakes, which is exactly what make us humans. Despite my age, I consider myself as a thinker and I invest time in finding my own answers after analyzing a situation from different perspectives. Where I go with this? I have seen other religions and so-called good practitioners speaking about god and good practices, some of them even force their beliefs to supposed non-believers just because they aren’t part of their religion, yet his actions are negative and repulsive contrary to their own teachings making them look like hypocrites. In essence they don’t lead or predict by example. This is the worst thing you can do as a human being. You just don’t lie to a higher self but to yourself. This makes me conclude that there will always be good and bad practitioners no matter the religion or belief. The hate is everywhere and it welcomes ignorance.

    I met a muslim a few months ago, though I haven’t had a chance to touch base about these topics. I am not saying I want to become a Muslim right now, but I want to learn more about this culture as my love to it started a few years ago, but I don’t know where to start.

    I live in a country where the majority of the citizens are either Christians, Catholics or something else making this task or journey for wisdom and knowledge more harder than it looks.
    Today I wanted to look for answers and information. I came across a couple of websites and end up here for mere coincidence.

    I have heard before that you cannot convert to this religion because you are borned into it. Is this true? It may look like a stupid question considering the nature of this article, nevertheless I need to be sure to clear my doubts. I can’t embrace, crictize nor accept something if I don’t fully understand it, and no one should.

    Better then, Are there trustworthy sources to gather knowledge?

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#Current Affairs

Oped: The Treachery Of Spreading Bosnia Genocide Denial In The Muslim Community

The expanding train of the Srebrenica genocide deniers includes the Nobel laureate Peter Handke, an academic Noam Chomsky, the Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, as well as almost all Serbian politicians in Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. One name in this group weirdly stands out: “Sheikh” Imran Hosein. A traditionally trained Muslim cleric from Trinidad and Tobago, Hosein has carved his niche mostly with highly speculative interpretations of Islamic apocalyptic texts. He has a global following with more than 200 hundred thousand subscribers to his YouTube channel, and his videos are viewed by hundreds of thousands. He has written tens of books in English, some of which had been translated into major world languages. His denial of the Srebrenica genocide may seem outlandish, coming from a Muslim scholar, but a close inspection of his works reveals ideas that are as disturbing as they are misleading.

Much of Hosain’s output centers around interpreting the apocalyptic texts from the Qur’an and Sunnah on the “end of times” (akhir al-zaman). As in other major religious traditions, these texts are highly allegorical in nature and nobody can claim with certainty their true meaning – nobody, except Imran Hosein. He habitually dismisses those who disagree with his unwarranted conclusions by accusing them of not thinking properly. A Scottish Muslim scholar, Dr. Sohaib Saeed, also wrote about this tendency.

In his interpretations, the Dajjal (“anti-Christ”) is American-Zionist alliance (the West or the NATO), the Ottomans were oppressors of the Orthodox Christians who are, in turn, rightfully hating Islam and Muslims, Sultan Mehmed Fatih was acting on “satanic design” when he conquered Constantinople, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were a false flag operation carried out by the Mossad and its allies, and – yes! – the genocide did not take place in Srebrenica. Such conspiratorial thinking is clearly wrong but is particularly dangerous when dressed in the garb of religious certainty. 

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Hosain frequently presents his opinions as the “Islamic” view of things. His methodology consists of mixing widely accepted Muslim beliefs with his own stretched interpretations. The wider audience may not be as well versed in Islamic logic of interpretation so they may not be able to distinguish between legitimate Muslim beliefs and Hosain’s own warped imagination. In one of his fantastic interpretations, which has much in common with the Christian apocalypticism, the Great War that is nuclear in nature is coming and the Muslims need to align with Russia against the American-Zionist alliance. He sees the struggle in Syria as part of a wider apocalyptic unfolding in which Assad and Putin are playing a positive role. He stretches the Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings to read into them fanciful and extravagant interpretations that are not supported by any established Islamic authority.

Hosain does not deny that a terrible massacre happened in Srebrenica. He, however, denies it was a genocide, contradicting thus numerous legal verdicts by international courts and tribunals. Established by the United Nations’ Security Council, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) delivered a verdict of genocide in 2001 in the case of the Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstić. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the Hague confirmed, in 2007, that genocide took place in Srebrenica. In 2010, two more Bosnian Serb officers were found guilty of committing genocide in Bosnia. The butcher of Srebrenica, Ratko Mladić, was found guilty of genocide in 2017.

In spite of this, and displaying his ignorance on nature and definition of genocide, Hosain stated in an interview with the Serbian media, “Srebrenica was not a genocide. That would mean the whole Serbian people wanted to destroy the whole Muslim people. That never happened.” In a meandering and offensive video “message to Bosnian Muslims” in which he frequently digressed to talking about the end of times, Hosain explained that Srebrenica was not a genocide and that Muslims of Bosnia needed to form an alliance with the Orthodox Serbs. He is oblivious to the fact that the problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina and in the former Yugoslavia stem not from the Bosniaks’ purported unwillingness to form an alliance with the Serbs, but from the aggressive Greater Serbia ideology which had caused misery and destruction in Bosnia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Kosovo. 

Hosein’s views are, of course, welcome in Serbia and in Republika Srpska (Serb-dominated entity within Bosnia), where almost all politicians habitually deny that genocide took place in Srebrenica. He had been interviewed multiple times on Serbian television, where he spewed his views of the Ottoman occupation and crimes against the Serbs, the need to form an alliance between Muslims and Russia, and that Srebrenica was not a genocide. His website contains only one entry on Srebrenica: a long “exposé” that claims no genocide took place in Srebrenica. Authored by two Serbs, Stefan Karganović and Aleksandar Pavić, the special report is a hodge-podge of conspiracy theories, anti-globalization and anti-West views. Karganović, who received more than a million dollars over a six year period from the government of the Bosnian Serb-led Republika Srpska for lobbying efforts in Washington, was recently convicted by the Basic Court in Banja Luka on tax evasion and defamation. The Court issued a warrant for Karganović’s arrest but he is still on the loose. 

True conspirators of the Srebrenica killings, according to Hosain, are not the Serbian political and military leaders, and soldiers who executed Srebrenica’s Muslims. The conspirators are unnamed but it does not take much to understand that he believes that the massacres were ultimately orchestrated by the West, CIA, and NATO. Hosain even stated on the Serbian TV that if people who knew the truth were to come forward they would be executed to hide what really happened. Such opinions are bound to add to an already unbearable pain that many survivors of the Srebrenica genocide are experiencing. It is even more painful when Bosniak victims – who were killed because they were Muslims – are being belittled by an “Islamic” scholar who seems to be more interested in giving comfort to those who actually perpetrated the heinous crime of genocide than in recognizing the victims’ pain. These views are, of course, welcome in Serbia, Russia, and Greece.

It is not difficult to see why Hosain’s views would be popular in today’s day and age where misinformation and fake news are propagated even by the world leaders who should know better. A conspiratorial mindset, mistrust of established facts, undermining of international institutions – these are all hallmarks of the post-truth age. In another time, Imran Hosain would be easily exposed for what he truly is: a charlatan who claims religious expertise. Today, however, his opinions are amplified by social media and by the people who already question science and established facts. For these reasons, he needs to be unmasked to safeguard the very religious foundations which he claims to uphold but ultimately undermines. 

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#Life

A Festival Amidst a Pandemic: How to Give Your Kids an Eid ul-Adha to Remember

Eid ul-Adha is less than 3 weeks away!  This year, more than ever, we want to welcome Eid ul-Adha with a full heart and spirit, insha’Allah, despite the circumstances we are in with the global pandemic.

If you follow me on social media, you probably know that my husband and I host an open house brunch for Eid ul-Adha, welcoming over 125 guests into our home. It’s a party our Muslim and non-Muslim neighbors, friends, and family look forward to being invited to each year. It’s a time to come together as a community, share heart-felt conversations, have laughs, chow down lots of delicious food, and exchange gifts. Kids participate in fun crafts, decorate cookies, and receive eidi. The reality is that we cannot keep up with the tradition this year.

Despite social distancing, we have decided that we will continue to lift our spirits and switch our summer décor to Eid décor, and make it the best Eid for our family and our child. We want to instill the love of Islam in my daughter and make the Islamic festivals a real part of her life. We want to create warm Eid memories, and COVID-19 isn’t going to stop us from doing that. I really hope you plan to do the same.

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Here are 4 ideas to inspire you to bring that festive spirit alive for your family this Eid ul-Adha:

Hajj and Eid ul-Adha themed activities and crafts

There are so many activities to keep the little ones engaged, but having a plan for Eid-ul-Adha with some key activities that your child will enjoy, makes the task so much easier.

Kids love stories, and for us parents this is a great way to get a point across. Read to them about hajj in an age appropriate way. If you don’t have Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha related books, you can get started with this Hajj book list. Read together about the significance and the Islamic traditions of hajj, and the story of how zamzam was discovered. While you teach them the story of the divine sacrifice of Ibrahim 'alayhi'l-salām (peace be upon him), ask relatable questions. As a lesson from the story, give your child examples of how they can sacrifice their anger, bad behavior, etc. during this season of sacrifice for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). Ask your children how they would feel if they had to give away their favorite toys, so that they can comprehend the feeling.

Counting down the 10 days of Dhul Hijjah to Eid ul-Adha is another fun activity to encourage kids to do a good deed every day. Have different fun and education activities planned for these 10 days.

Family memories are made through baking together. In our household, Eid cannot pass without baking cookies together and sharing with friends and family. Bake and decorate Eid ul-Adha themed cookies in the shape of a masjid, camel, or even lamb, and share with the neighbors one day, and color in Islamic wooden crafts the next. This DIY Ka’bah craft is a must for us to make every year while learning about the Ka’bah, and it’s an easy craft you can try with your family. Have the kids save their change in this cute masjid money box that they can donate on the day of Eid.

Decorate the main family areas

We are all going to be missing visiting friends and relatives for Eid breakfast, lunch, and dinner this year, so why not jazz things up a bit more at home than usual?

Start decorating the areas of your home that you frequently occupy.  Brighten up the living area, and/or main hallway with a variety of star and masjid-shaped lights, festive lanterns, and Eid garlands, to emphasize that Eid has indeed arrived. Perhaps, decorate a tent while you tell your children about the tent city of Mina.

Prep the dining room as if you are having Guests Over

Set up the breakfast table as if you are having family and friends over for Eid breakfast.

These times will be the special moments you spend together eating as a family. Now, with all hands on deck, plan to get everyone involved to make it a full-on affair. What specific tasks can the little ones take on to feel included as part of the Eid prep and get excited?

While the Eid table set-up itself can be simple, the moments spent around the table sharing in new traditions and engaging in prayer will insha’Allah be even more meaningful and memorable.

 An afternoon picnic

Family picnics are a perfect way for family members to relax and connect. If Texas weather permits, we may take advantage of a cool sunny day with a picnic at a nearby, shady park. With the heat wave we are experiencing, it may either not happen or will be an impromptu one.

Out of all the picnics, it’s the impromptu family meals on the lawn or at a park that I love the most. The ones where we grab an old quilt, basket, light meals, fresh fruits and venture out into the backyard or a nearby park. It’ll be a perfect socially distanced Eid picnic.

Eid ul-Adha comes around just once a year, so let’s strive to make the best of it for our children, even amidst this global pandemic.

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#Society

The Problem With “When They Go Low, We Go High” In An Anti-Black Society

In 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama’s quote, ‘When they go low, we go high’, was first invoked in response to growing anti-black and racist sentiments hurled by the current president and his supporters. Like many others, I believed it was stirring and motivational, yet never felt right in my heart, let alone mind. Going high, but what was the starting point? How are we defining the actions of the ‘they’ or ‘them’? What is the breaking point, when engagement with the ‘they’ becomes problematic and leads to your destruction? Are there rules to this engagement? What game are we playing? Who gets to be the judge or referee? So, the quote and the sentiment never really set right in my heart and led to more questions than answers.

The first assumption of the quote, ‘they’  have a moral compass and actively engaging you in this manner, placing you on the same level. The reality, whiteness in America seeks to maintain its power and control. White slaveholders and the system of hate they used to justify those they enslaved, built a model of power and control, which is the foundation of our current economy and societal structure. This institutionalized whiteness is so ingrained in our culture we are blind to its implications and oblivious to how we each play a role in maintaining this system. Ignorance of the historical development of this country and the narrative of being ‘American’ allows for ‘them’ to maintain their control and a passive acceptance of ‘their’ control and power.

The ‘they’ is often not embodied in a singular person or one group, but a collective body of thoughts and behavior; perpetuating fundamental beliefs or maintaining a perceived status quo. It is individual, institutional, and structural. While social media is full of single racially- charged incidents, when viewed as a whole, they are rooted in long-held beliefs and perceptions of white superiority and disdain for Black presence in their daily lives. Guilt, maybe. Fear. Many are not even aware of how and why they ‘hate’ Black people they simply, do. Here is where we will begin, if you cannot soundly identify or recognize why you hold a particular belief or idea, your actions can never firmly centered in a morally or ethically position. Many of the recent encounters reveal whiteness is predicated on lies; and the belief that white words are superior to truth. The interaction between a San Francisco couple, confronting a Black Man. provides a case study in how we are often engaged and the surveillance of our presence. Threats to call the police, with false information was of no significance to them in their minds, they were right and justified. This incident and the modern-day lynchings of Black persons, allows us to understand ‘they’ or morally bankrupt and will do whatever is necessary to maintain their perceived control.

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A quote by Matshona Dhilwayo bridges the gap between the contradictions in my heart and the understanding my mind seeks,

“It is possible to turn the other cheek when one has stopped counting.”

For generations, Black Americans have taken the ‘higher’ road in response to prejudice and discrimination. At times I believe, we have stopped counting because we knew few changes were coming or justice. During the pinnacle of the civil rights movement during the 60’s the emergence of Malcolm X, challenged the idea of ‘turning the cheek’ when faced with violent acts perpetrated upon Blacks by Whites. The slaps, the senseless murders of Black people on the streets, you count and recognize your enemy for who and what they represent.

In confronting our enemy, we must meet them on their home field of engagement. Millions have taken to the streets across the globe, no longer willing to accept the status quo and suffer needlessly at the hands of those who seek to negate our very existence. As a country, we must understand, this was NEVER a fair fight, on an equal field of battle, or with ample weapons. Nothing about the ‘American’ way of life ever guaranteed any of us a fair shot or equality.

You can not get justice from a system founded by people who in the 1700s published books on how to address the ‘negro problem’. Even Thomas Jefferson knew this day was coming, but in the end, he still held firmly to the belief we were an inferior race who could be easily controlled and manipulated.

Did the enemy play fair when Dr. King was trying to catch a moment of calm at the Lorraine Hotel? Was the enemy morally centered when Malcolm stood in the Audubon Auditorium and was assassinated in front of his family? Did they think twice as Medger Evers pulled into his driveway to spend the evening with his wife and family? When Fred Hampton lay in bed beside his wife was there a second thought?

The idea is not to meet your enemy on some lofty plateau of moral superiority, because they have none; their superiority is based on an ideology that doesn’t even recognize you as their equal. The real lesson, learn from your enemy- their tactics, fighting styles, and methods of engagement. Fight them not with their tools, but your own.

As people of faith, we tend to view those around us, as divine creations of The One; forgetting it was one of those divine creations, who we call the Shaytan. Yes, we accept others for who they are and respect all of humanity. The balance then becomes in recognizing just as the Quran teaches, not everyone will be called to faith or will lead peaceful harmonious lives. This is where we find ourselves, after almost five hundred years of oppression and abuse across the world, here in America, there may not be any redemptive hope for our enemy or the system they created. This does not mean, we simply acquiesce to their control and power, it means we engage them on a level playing field and defeat them using their own rules and weapons.

Knowing your enemy does not mean you become them; nor does it eliminate Divine intervention during periods of unrest. Knowing your enemy, is simply that you fully embrace the reality that they are your enemy and act accordingly. While we hold firm to our faith and the knowledge that He is the Best of Planners, we cannot enter into the enemy’s seat of power believing our mere presence and fervent prayers will somehow miraculously and instantly change their heart. That is not our calling or role, and not our divine purpose. Imams, scholars, and activists engaged in the work of justice and equality, are not divinely elevated to personas and are not representatives of our Lord, but mere offering religious insight and guidance. They hold space, offering insight, and protection.

Never, in the history of this country, have those in power and control ever fully recognized, accepted, or atoned for the entrapment, kidnapping, and enslavement of Africans. Instead, they have violently and systematically created a country of denial and continued oppression. The argument is that things have improved from the ’60s.  My response, I am still not free of the anxiety of having my children taken from this world, simply because they are Black.

We are not allowed to move about this world without having to do twice as much; be ten times better; while still being thought of as less than.

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MuslimMatters has been a free service to the community since 2007. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

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