If You’re a Muslim Convert, Read This.


Asalamu alaykum,

Converting is no easy issue. After the takibirs, hugs, gifts and love, one still has to go home to a large non-Muslim family base. 100 lb. dogs, homies smoking blunts, holidays, clubs, x lovers, old friends, expectations of other Muslims, marriage, financial issues and a host of issues tower over the new convert.

My idea is simple, wont take much of your time and, inshallah, if we’re sincere, can help serve our communities. What I need is your questions. My plan is to collect your questions, sit with 3-4, still unknown convert scholars fresh form overseas, research, answer and write a book providing answers that, inshallah, will support, build and encourage the new convert.

Answers will be cross checked by other towering scholars in the Muslim world, published and, inshallah, serve you. This is the first in a series of books which we plan to write that will offer functionality to our communities.

Future titles include: single parent mothers/fathers, sexuality, mothers, fathers, family,teens, high school, college, young professionals, retires [baby boomer Muslims], the arts, drugs and civic duty. Imagine a collection of fatwa written by local qualified muftis covering these topics!

Now the dice are in your hand.  So start asking!

If one feels his/her questions are too personal, or too long to post on line, please email the webmaster. All names will be changed for publication in order to insure privacy.

Suhaib

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61 Comments

  1. Nusaybah says:

    great idea ma sha Allah.

    My broad questions are about:

    1) female converts without walis (and when I approached the local masjid imam with the thought that he was my wali because I had read that in the books – well that was a joke).

    2) finding a real sense of community and real friends

    3) raising up muslim kids whose family, school and environment is practically all non-muslim

    4) how to have the “first” conversations with old friends, family, neighbors etc. about being muslim

    Since many of our issues have a wide variety of proper responses to it, it might be good to also include anecdotes from non-scholars about how they have dealt with the issue.

    For example, give a few stories of how folks have dealt with Christmas. I’m sure there are a variety of ways of dealing with it, and a variety of responses from non-muslim relatives.

    I also think there should be latitude and circumspection on these things. Our families are all different. Our regional differences are there. Etc. I don’t think there’s 1 version of america or the american family that we come out of, so that has to be taken into consideration.

    I know many converts have issues about being told not to celebrate christmas at all, to break ties with relatives, etc. and then had problems with offended family members. i had the opposite experience.

    I was literally screamed at with what I can only describe as hatred by the imam – who was foreign and never celebrated x-mas in his life, and had no christian relatives – because I had told my parents I was not celebrating x-mas with them. He berated me about showing my parents disrespect, etc. No doubt he had me labeled as some kind of fanatic.

    But actually, my parents had been really cool about the whole thing. There had been no rift between myself and my parents. In my america, folks like to be told straight. Straight talk IS politeness. It was not like they were unaware I had become muslim, and they were engaged in the process of understanding where I was coming from as a muslim.

    But then I did an about-face because of this imam. One year, I found myself in a harried state, dragging the kids around the mall, humming the x-mas tunes blasting out of the speakers, doing last minute christmas shopping for all the relatives – because it would be rude in my family to just give presents to my parents and ignore everyone else, plus my kids had to give presents to everyone too. And I thought, “I am a muslim but I am doing christmas, and my kids are doing christmas.” It was exactly as if I was still a christian. And now it’s not only christmas, but birthdays, and all the hallmark holidays in between. Now it would be really hard to reverse myself with my parents and the rest of my family.

    I’m not living up to my conscience as I once had been, and I feel terrible. I lack the initial confidence I had. All the things I had initially been firm on – prayer, hijab – I have kept alhamdulillah. And my parents even remind me to make salaat when at their house!

    But the things I was bullied on – the x-mas thing is but one example – I feel my confidence was undercut and never recovered from that.

    So it’s not one-size-fits-all. And I think any advice on these kinds of subjects should take into consideration a wide variety of situations.

  2. *jetLagged* says:

    Assalaamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh :)

    I know I am kind of late to this conversation but I thought I’d add my two cents.

    When I converted to Islam, there were two major things that I would have loved help with—–>

    1) how to deal with the rigidity present within our Ummah (e.g. only focusing on halal/haram and not one’s personal/spiritual development and kindness…….the focus on the black and white issues kind of zaps one’s iman after a while) and avoiding deviant or hardhearted sects.

    2) How to deal with social issues such as loneliness and isolation as a convert……even after years of being muslim, it still sucks to ignored/eyed suspiciously at masjid events…even if you are actively trying to be outgoing and friendly. But I guess this is more of a human element rather than an islamic issue.

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala help you to write and publish this book :) Its sorely needed!

    Your sister in Islam,

    *JetLagged*

  3. dpeat says:

    Subhan’Allah, amazing idea Sh. Suhaib. I’ll try to think of some thoughts/questions and send them to you.

    • W says:

      Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

      Should I avoid socializing in the homes of family and friends who drink alcohol? If I have a family, is that something to be concerned about introducing them to an environment where there is alcohol or where alcohol may be consumed.

      • lalahem says:

        Socializing with family/friends that drink. Question: do you drink? answer is probably no. Funny thing is that drinkers want everyone to be drinking so as not to feel guilty, but we are admonished to not drink. so don’t. and don’t feel obligated to run with a big long explanation. just say, no thanks. the smell of alcohol in the air won’t ruin your deen, it’s about moderation. I don’t drink. I don’t serve alcohol at functions that are in my home or arranged by me. I don’t feel obligated to serve people that do drink alcohol. If you can’t enjoy yourself without an ‘adult beverage’ well, we’ll miss you. If I am at a function and there is alcohol served, I simply don’t drink it. If a fellow guest gets obnoxious, I avoid that person, or leave, as it suits me. You know what your boundaries are, enforce them.

  4. I know this is late, but the first sister said somethings that I believe are an issue as well as the second sister. Many new converts feel that Muslims are so busy telling you rules and how you should be/act/ etc that you lose your iman. I agree with this. The hijab “issue” is always brought up as well.
    My main question that I would love for you to answer, even if not in the book is.. How do sisters who have converted protect themselves for marriage. How does the marriage contract work, what should we ask for, how much is too much money, what if the brother wants to marry us but is going through financial difficulties? Do we still marry him even if he cannot give us what we ultimately were wanting as part of the marriage contract?

  5. Lisa says:

    Asalamualaykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barkatu,

    Masha’Allah! Have been waiting 12 years for this book! HURRY!

    Lisa

    P.S. Was starting think I’d have to write my own. Raising kids is a full time job, and I was unable to do the source checking you are promising to embark upon. May allah make it easy.

  6. Heather says:

    May Allah bless your work! InshaAllah this project is coming along well!

  7. Tacy says:

    As a teen convert, I found it hard to give up haram relationships.

  8. Andrea Galindo says:

    How can a women being a single parent and a convert be accepted into a Muslims mans family as his wife?

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