Struggles of a Revert – Part 3

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Continuing on from Struggles of a Revert and Struggles of a Revert – Part 2, I wanted to discuss some more issues and difficulties which reverts may face.

Too much emphasis on your name

After you have accepted Islam, you are trying to learn so many new things all at once and it can feel very overwhelming. There are so many important things you are trying to familiarise yourself with and it can feel baffling when other Muslims are so concerned about your name. With so many other priorities, your name might be the last thing you are thinking about. Your name does not determine whether you are Muslim or how good of a Muslim you are, and it can feel like sometimes other Muslims need that validation to believe that you truly are Muslim. It is not a necessity to change your name or choose a Muslim name unless your name is associated with another religion or goes against Islam in any way. Other than that you can have the name your non-Muslim parents gave you and still be 100% Muslim. I know of many reverts that have not changed their name or chosen a Muslim name at all yet I also know of many reverts who did choose a Muslim name, myself included. For me, although I did get quite a few comments about my name, it was my own choice and decision to choose a Muslim name for myself. Whatever a revert decides to do about their name, it is completely their own choice.

 

Not all reverts getting the same welcome

Whenever somebody embraces Islam, they are welcomed warmly and widely by all Muslims. However not all reverts seem to receive the same excited and wide welcome. This is something I have unfortunately noticed, particularly on social media and it seems to all come down to appearance and most sadly of all, race. I have noticed much more excitement and sharing of lovely message for reverts who are white and in particular those who have pictures of themselves shared. If someone has no pictures of themselves anywhere on social media, they would receive virtually no attention. I find it sad that appearance seems to have as much weighting, even within the Muslim community, as it does in society in general.

Furthermore, there is undoubtedly a problem of racism within Muslim communities, meaning that black Muslims are often treated differently by non-black Muslims; some use derogatory terms and have a deep-seated view that they are superior. Along with this, black reverts are not welcomed as warmly in general. This whole problem within the ummah is completely against the teachings and principles of Islam and it can cause people to experience racism in ways they never did before.

 

Confusing culture and Islam

As a revert it can be very confusing when you are a brand new Muslim learning pretty much everything from scratch. What makes it even more confusing, is when people are telling you how you should or shouldn’t do things according to their own interpretations, their own sect or their own culture. It can be very difficult knowing where to turn and who to trust and learn from. When it comes down to it, it is best to stick to the basics. Our’an and Hadith. When you have Muslim friends who you are surrounded by in your early stages, it can be very easy to pick up habits and practices which are in fact purely cultural and nothing to do with Islam. As a revert you have to make the judgment and decisions by yourself, without parents to guide you or decide for you, and you have to be very careful.

 

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14 thoughts on “Struggles of a Revert – Part 3

  1. Safiyah says:

    AsSalam Alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    As a revert, I haven’t change my name in my official papers but whenever I’m asked, esp here in KSA, I’m telling I am Safiyah. 😉 May I ask why did you chose Safiyah as your Muslim name?

    Unfortunately, racism is like a disease spread in many areas. I myself is experiencing it with some Arabs who are forgetting what Prophet Muhammad SAW had told during his last sermon:

    “All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over a black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action.”

    May Allah guide us to the straight path and make us victorious. Ya Rabb!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Safiyah says:

      Walaykum assalam warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu sister.. ah yeah me too I haven’t changed it officially either. I just really loved the name and the fact that it was the name of one of the wives of the Prophet saw… what about you?
      That’s very true exactly.. I love that Hadith. If only it were put into practice by all muslims.
      Ameen ya Rabb!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sana Khan says:

    I am thankful to you for writing these posts, we as born Muslims hardly realize the struggles of reverts and often some of us end up judging them. May Allah keep us all guided and in unity. There is racism in Muslim community as well over skin and wealth etc. Often people from South east Asia ( muslims ) working in Gulf countries have cited some incidence of racism by few Gulf Muslims who think they are superior than rest of the Muslims of other countries for Islam being born there, and our prophet P.B.U.H as well and because they have money.

    Like

    • Safiyah says:

      Aww thank you so much for reading! I guess that’s why I wanted to share it, just to make people aware of some things that wouldn’t even occur to them because they would have no way of knowing… yes that’s very sad how some people think they are superior for that reason. It’s precisely what Islam is against, so it’s quite ironic really.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Maryaminayaat says:

    Assalamu Alaikum sister I am so sorry you had to experience that ! Although I was born Muslim I was adopted and my mom reverted to Islam a couple years ago it’s funny because one night at a local masjid I said “mom you should change your name to Khadijah ” in front of the sheikh and the sheikh/imam kindly responded no she shouldn’t change her name because Islam doesn’t come to change who you are that is her history the name her mom gave her. Islam doesn’t take that away. SubhanAllah even the companions had all different traits , we don’t read in their history name changing , my God how people just distort things, and that’s what made them excel was because of their diversity we are not robots. As Allah has clearly said in the Qur’an we have made you from nations and tribes to get to know one another… if someone can’t see that beauty then be firm sister and let them know that’s not right, it is okay to stick up for yourself! It’s not okay what certain Muslims are doing to change everyone in their ideal perspective of how a Muslim should look and act because that’s a fasad (front ) why do they want you to change is it for Allah or for themselves (their own opinions?). More reverts are going to possibly get the same treatment when it is entirely the opposite of ahlaq and how we treat our brothers and sisters regardless if they are Muslim or non Muslim. Sadly my mom has gotten some not so nice treatment because she is American and white, (although I am American but that’s how they refer to her), which is totally irrelevant astaughfirAllah. May Allah keep you strong and constant. Ramadan Mubarak 🙏🏽💎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Safiyah says:

      Walaykum assalam sister! JazakAllah khayr for your comment and your lovely words! Ohh wow that’s amazing that your mum reverted to Islam, alhamdulillah, may Allah protect her and keep her guided ameen…
      SubhanAllah yeah that’s very true it’s not something that the companions ever did and like you say they all had different traits and characteristics which made them special.
      Aww I’m sorry to hear your mum has experienced some unkind treatment… Some Muslims can put all white people into one box and don’t have open minds about people unfortunately! Ameen, may Allah shower you with blessings sister and Ramadan Mubarak to you too! ❤

      Like

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