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Joined: 26 December 2008
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Quote Andromeda Replybullet Posted: 28 December 2008 at 9:42am
Asalamalaikum Hayfa and Maria,
Thank you for our guidance, and i will try and take it at my own pace. Its frustrating though as i want to be able to do it now, and not have to wait 2 years plus. Bit scary about the not been able to learn a language after 12! Oh oh! Thanks to Maria who has given me her cheat sheet :O) and a really helpful website.
Its hard not been surrounded by muslims, i have recently had to move away from my partner, and i have no muslim friends/relations here, and i didn' realise how difficult it would be. Plus my mum seems so against it, she has this stereotype view of Muslims, and am finding it hard to make her see that Islam is about peace, so am getting a lot of grief about it, which is making my conversion dificult and been away from my partner (who is muslim).
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Quote Hayfa Replybullet Posted: 28 December 2008 at 6:38pm
wow I didn't know that about after age 12. that make sme feel a lot better about how long it took me to learn salat. It took me 2 yyears befoe I could perform salat without my sheet with the words on it. I am just finally getting to the point of getting past distractions, you really hav to focus, the mind wanders so easily.
Yes, after age 12 our ability to learn another language exactly like a native speaker is quite impossible. I learned about this in my class for becoming an English as a 2nd language teacher. So I keep plugging along to the best of my ability.
I can understand why you miss dance.. it is the discipline of the mind and body. They both go together. Karate is, at times about kicking and hitting, but our traditional aspect is art as well.. the kata or traditional movements have that. And therei s grace and focus too.  Plus to push yourself... get that mind-body release.
Again, I say we need more programs for Muslim women..Smile
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi
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Quote mariacanadiana Replybullet Posted: 29 December 2008 at 9:58am
Originally posted by Hayfa

Again, I say we need more programs for Muslim women..Smile
I couldn't agree with you more!
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Quote seekshidayath Replybullet Posted: 30 December 2008 at 2:14am
Originally posted by mariacanadiana

Asalamalaikum Seekshiayath,
No I do not know the language of those bollywood songs, I only knew the translation my friend at that time gave me. they were pretty innocent wedding songs. but that is besides the point, you cannot be mad at me for thing sI have done in the past or for what I didn't know at that time.
where specifically is "muslims here"?
As Salamu Alakum,
Am very sorry sister, if i hurted you, though i did not intend at it. I thought, you still hold your passion for it at such songs, which as far i know are n't innocent at all.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “All the descendants of Adam are sinners, and the best of sinners are those who repent."
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Quote Juma Replybullet Posted: 12 January 2009 at 10:02pm
Assalamu alikom everyone!  I am also a recent revert and new to this board.....  and here are some things I miss or find difficult (in no particular order):

1.  Like Hunter, I am rather isolated from other muslims.  I live on an island off the coast of Georgia (USA), and the closest cities with mosques are both 1.5 hours away by car.  Although I have been a muslima for over four months, I have only been to masjid here once (and once in another state when visiting my parents).  So long story short, no muslim support group here!

2.  I miss going to movies!!  I wear hijab, and as we all know, this means more than simply covering your hair.  I really enjoyed romantic comedies and other films rated PG-13 or R, but now I do not go.  I must always remember not only what is appropriate for me to see, but also, what will others think of muslims and Islam if they see a woman in hijab going to that movie?

It is one thing for me to sin (or become more susceptible to sinning) by seeing something inappropriate, but another thing entirely to give Islam a bad name by being observed doing something (or in the case of movies, seeing something) inappropriate!  A woman in hijab in America is an ambassador for Islam whether she intends it or not, and must always be aware of this fact.

3.  There are a lot of things I miss about Christmas, and more specifically, the Christmas season.  I miss singing Christmas carols, I miss having a Christmas tree (the smell, and the soft glow of the room when lit only by lights from the tree), I miss decorating the tree with my children (remembering anew each ornament and its origin as we place them on the tree), I miss Christmas lights on the house, etc etc etc.  (One upside is the relief I feel at not having to do all that work to put lights on the house, put up the tree, bake all those cookies and pies, etc etc!)

4.  I miss the friends who unceremoniously dumped me when they learned I had reverted to Islam.  They won't return my emails.  Cry  (Perhaps reversion is the acid test of friendship?  LOL)

...and I'm sure there's more, but that's plenty for now!  Nonetheless, the peace and harmony I feel because I am muslim far outweighs all of that. 

Alhamdulillah that my mind and heart were opened to Islam!

Edited by Juma - 12 January 2009 at 10:05pm
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Quote ayda negash Replybullet Posted: 02 February 2009 at 4:55am
Originally posted by Hunter

Hi Maria  Asalamalakium. I see you're a bit newer than me, so welcome. The things I find hard since discovering Islam really fall into one of two catagories (or perhaps they are the same): One, and for me the worst, is the relative isolation I feel in my beliefs. This is the reason I joined this website to begin with. Other than in here, I don't know a single Muslim-- never even met one. My wife is Christian, her family is Christian, my family is Christian; everyone I know is Christian, and I live out in the sticks of Vermont. I never was a praticing Christian myself, so I've never experienced religious fellowship before on any level. So although I've never had it, it's nevertheless something I miss (or miss out on). I don't believe religion was meant to be praticed alone. The second thing that's hard, is the general lack of understanding of Islam that I encounter in people I talk to (and live with). People feel very threatened by it without bothering to try to understand it. "It's evil, un-Christian, a religion for terrorists and fanatics." I've heard all these things and more. I myself thought many of these things until I read the Quran the first time. Inshallah, I'll meet other people with similar beliefs when I'm meant to. Overall, I feel as though I've gained much and lost little. No religion logically ever made sense to me until I found Islam. 
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Quote ayda negash Replybullet Posted: 02 February 2009 at 4:59am
I just want to share to new muslims as wel to born muslims the article I obtained from here it reads:

Warning! Revert/Convert or you want to Revert/Convert:A letter for you from a Convert


The "miracle" of the increasing number of converts is not only that people are finding the light of Islam in an age of such darkness but that they are coming to the faith despite the actions of some of its believers.


I have been a Muslim for over two years now. Whilst I am deeply satisfied with Islam on an intellectual and theological level, much too often I have been far from happy in my experiences with fellow Muslims on a practical level. I have faced considerable difficulties in my attempts to develop as a Muslim. Although I have made the acquaintance of many Muslims through various mosques I have attended, this has been overwhelmingly only on a superficial level. I am close only to two Muslims in the city where I live. I met them coincidentally. One is a neighbor, the other a former colleague whom I now rarely see.

Lack of Induction

Although I have a good understanding of the basic theology of Islam and Islamic history, two years after my conversion I am to some extent still struggling with the practical daily basics. According to a hadith,"The search for knowledge is an obligation laid on every Muslim."(Ibn Majah, Baihaqi). A convert needs to search for more knowledge than a born Muslim who has had a lifetime of schooling in the faith. In my personal experience, it seems that established Muslims make at best only a token effort to assist new Muslims in fulfilling their religious obligations.

To my profound disappointment, as far as my Islamic education is concerned, I have been left to fend for myself. It would seem that no mosque I have visited has a systematic induction program for new converts. The mosques in my area are all dominated by south Asian immigrants, with a sprinkling of Africans on Fridays. They are not attuned to the needs of indigenous converts. In fairness, I seem to be the only white person (i.e. convert) at the mosques I attend, so they may not perceive a need. But nevertheless, I live in a major city with a significant Muslim population and many mosques. Surely there must be somewhere where a new Muslim adult can receive training in the practical daily basics. Surely the established Muslim community should know where to refer the convert even if they are not suitably geared up themselves at the local mosque.

The Catholic Church has a thorough practical and theological induction program that is actually compulsory for people who wish to join it. The Anglican Church actively advertises its Alpha Course to attract and teach new converts. We Muslims seem to have nothing organized.

When it comes to lack of both meaningful social welcome and organized teaching of Islam for new Muslims, American convert, teacher and writer, Yahiha Emerick, hits the nail on the head in his article Ten Things Every Muslim Must Do. At number six on his list, he says:

If you see any new Muslims at your Masjid (mosque), then partially "adopt" them into your family. The convert experience is basically one of isolation and loneliness. You'd be surprised to know that most converts are outright ignored by the people in the Masjid. Beyond a few pleasantries and handshakes, they are usually never made to feel welcome or accepted. They are often cut off from their non-Muslim friends and relatives so they are doubly vulnerable. A new convert should be invited into various people's home for dinner a minimum of six times a month. Get together with others and make sure you all put the new convert on your guest list for any sort of gathering.

Internet - the good, the bad and the dangerous!

Since my conversion to Islam I have had some horrible experiences with Muslims both on the Internet and face to face. I briefly mention these experiences here as a warning to other new Muslims. The Internet can be a wonderful place for learning about Islam. In fact, since my conversion, the Internet has been my primary source of materials with which to educate myself further about Islam. There are many excellent sites, but I would caution the new Muslim
not to accept the information on all sites blindly, particularly if they have an arrogant, strident or unpleasant tone or stray from plain facts and concentrate on controversial opinion or on an overtly political agenda.

I would also urge new Muslims to avoid email forums or chat rooms about Islam absolutely. There are some nasty people lurking there - self-styled pseudo scholars preaching hellfire, doling out personal abuse and decrying sincere Muslims as non-believers. I was left utterly demoralized at one time and very, very angry on several occasions. I have now unsubscribed from all such forums. New Muslims should keep in mind the Hadith: "Verily, Allah is mild and is fond of mildness, and He gives to
the mild what He does not give to the harsh." (Muslim) If a website or e-group you come across is far removed from the above, then remove yourself from it!

There are also nice, well-meaning people who offer advice about matters of faith and practice without being in any way qualified to do so. If they get things wrong, they could unwittingly be leading the uninitiated astray and doing more harm than good. Be wary of accepting anything without a quotation from the Quran or authenticated hadith to back it up.

Having said that, if it is one of the nasty brigade who has come seemingly armed with references, firstly check the actual quotation in your Quran. Have they really only quoted what is there or have they embellished it with their own interpretation? It happens. And, if the quotation is genuine but sounds harsh to your ears, then use a commentary to become aware of the context in which the verse was revealed. Read widely. For every hard-line, unpleasant interpretation, there is usually a mild one from a serious writer or scholar.

Beware the Zealots!

Some real-life encounters can also be disconcerting. Whilst I have enjoyed an excellent rapport with some converts, the proverbial "zeal of the converted" can overflow in others. Some can turn into hard-line absolutists - a caricature of a Muslim. Also beware the political zealots. Recently while in London I had to endure a sermon at Jumma salat (Friday afternoon congregational prayers) held at a university in which the
student acting as imam was very obviously pushing the agenda of a radical minority political grouping and spoke at length about whom it was our duty to kill!

Sadly far too many young Muslim men in England - the occasional convert and, particularly, the sons of Asian immigrants - get far too worked up about this or that political agenda and are in danger of overlooking the peaceful, spiritual core of Islam. As the writer Abdal-Hakim Murad puts it in his excellent essay British and Muslim, unsettled, discontented second generation Asian immigrant Muslims in Britain tend to locate their radicalism not primarily in a spiritual, but in social and political rejection of the oppressive order around them. Their unsettled and agitated mood is not always congenial to the recent convert, who may, despite the cultural distance, feel more comfortable with the first rather than the second generation of migrants, preferring their God-centered religion to what is often the troubled, identity-seeking Islam of the young.

Amen to that! These young radicals are prone to behave in the most obnoxious and nasty manner towards those other Muslims who do not agree with them. I would simply call the following words from the Quran and ahadith to their attention:

"Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious; for your Lord knows best who have strayed from His Path, and who are truly guided."
Quran 16:125

"Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind."
(Muslims & Bukhari) Top

Must we proceed at the pace of the most prudish?
Whilst I have enjoyed many conversations about Islam in mixed male-female company (including with ladies who wear hijab), a small but vociferous minority of female born Muslims I have encountered have been very stand-offish and overly prudish. Despite the fact that the Quran teaches us that

"The believing men and women, are associates and helpers of each other." <Quran, Al-Taubah 9:71>

My own understanding is that what is improper is for one man and one woman to be alone together, but there should not be a problem about other mixing provided that proper Islamic behavior is maintained. I, a man, would never even have had the opportunity to discover Islam in the first instance were it not for friendships with several born Muslims (three of whom were women) prompting me to investigate the religion.

According to the prominent Sudanese Muslim scholar and leader, Dr. Hassan al-Turabi who is widely portrayed in the west as an Islamic fundamentalist, in his seminal 1973 work On the Position of Women in Islam and in Islamic Society'

"In the model society of Islam, Muslims used to assemble freely and frequently; they were mostly acquainted with each other, men and women; they conversed and interacted intensively. But all those activities, were undertaken in a spirit of innocence and in the context of a virtuous society...Islam tolerates that one may greet women or talk to them in decent and chaste language and with good intent. The Prophet used to do so."

"Muslim Name" and Attire?

Another gripe I have is the ignorance of many born Muslims about what they believe to be the necessity for a convert to adopt a so-called Muslim name. When I took my Shahada, I was asked not whether I wished to choose a "Muslim name" but what name I wished to adopt. Not knowing any better at the time, I did reluctantly choose a new name, and used it briefly in Muslim circles. However, I did not change any of my official documents. Only later did I discover that there is, in principle, no requirement whatsoever to change one's name. The original converts to Islam at the time of Prophet Mohammed usually kept the Arabic name they always had. The only exceptions were people who had a name with unpleasant or pagan connotations. So-called "Muslim names" are, in the main, simply Arabic ones or traditional names from countries that were early adopters of Islam. There is no requirement for a new Muslim to adopt one of these.

While I respect (though do not necessarily agree with) the choice of those Muslim converts who have adopted a new name, I expect all Muslims to respect the right of other converts such as myself to retain their original name. I generally now use my "real" name, not the "Muslim name" that was initially thrust upon me. Sadly I have come under pressure from some ignorant born Muslims on this matter.

To be frank, I feel that adopting a "Muslim name", makes it easier for one's existing circle of family and friends to dismiss one's conversion to Islam as an act of eccentricity which they can brush off. By changing one's name and starting to wear, say, Pakistani clothing, one confirms in their minds the foreignness or alien nature of what is supposed to be universal Islam. I believe that these actions, or dare I say distractions, make it harder for most people from non-Muslim countries to identify with Islam, the welcoming and inclusive universal religion open to all, and see how it could be relevant to their own lives.

The spiritually motivated western convert to Islam, whose Islam is centered on God not agitation, has a golden opportunity to depoliticize the widespread negative western perception of Islam and to diminish the impression that Islam is for strange, backward, sometimes frightening foreigners - Arabs and Asians - but not for westerners. In my view, this opportunity is thrown away or at the very least is hobbled by self-inflicted damage when a western convert unnecessarily adopts a foreign name and clothing, thus only reinforcing the preconceived notions and prejudices that non-Muslim fellow westerners tend to hold about Islam.

Relationship with non-Muslim parents

Again with regard to the issue of a "Muslim name" and similar matters, I think it is also important to bear in mind here the teaching of Islam with regard to one's duty to family, particularly one's parents even if they are themselves non-Muslims.

Your Lord had decreed that you worship none but Him, and that you are kind to parents whether one or both of them attain old age in your lifetime. Say not to them a word of contempt or repel them but address them in terms of honor and out of kindness lower to them the wing of humility and say: "My Lord, bestow on them your mercy, even as they cherished me in childhood".
(Quran 17:23-24)

Indeed there was an occasion when Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) commanded a believer to care for his non-Muslim parents rather than participate in Jihad (holy war).

Abdullah ibn Omar relates: "Once a person came to the Messenger of Allah and expressed his desire to participate in jihad in order to please Allah. The Holy Prophet asked him "Are your parents alive?" The man said "Yes. Both are alive". The Holy Prophet said 'Then go and serve them well".
(Bukhari and Muslim).

I felt that it was important that my parents who are both practicing Catholics should realize that I was not rejecting them, my upbringing or most of the things they held dear. It was simply that I had come to a new understanding of theology. Rejecting the name they had given me could really have been interpreted as being quite insulting to them, which in itself would be contrary to Islam. I am thinking here of the following ahadith:

"He, who wishes to enter paradise at the best gate, must please
his father and mother."
(Bukhari & Muslim)

In my case, I felt that abandoning for no good reason the very name given me by my loving parents would have been straining the ties of relationship, creating displeasure and certainly not indicative of showing kindness to or taking friendly care of my mother and father.

So-called "Islamic Causes"

When I, a westerner and a former practicing Christian, became a Muslim, I became just that - a Muslim, a believer in the religion of Islam, i.e. someone who believes in the oneness of God as opposed to the concept of Trinity and who accepts Mohammed (pbuh) as a prophet of God. I'm the same person with the same name, wearing the same western style of clothing (though now respecting the modest dress code of Islam) and eating the same style of food (though now making sure that my meat is halal). I have not rejected my country, its culture or tradition. I simply now hold different theological beliefs.

Final Thoughts

Based on my personal experience, my advice either to new Muslims or anyone considering the possibility of accepting Islam would be simply to judge a religion not by its adherents, many of whom may fall far short of the ideal in a variety of ways (and I include myself in that!), but rather by the theology and teachings of the religion itself. To be honest, I remain in Islam very much in spite of and not because of my experiences with Muslims. Only a handful have been of any help to me and quite a few hard-line politicos and joyless, uptight puritans have been a real hindrance. However, despite my great disappointment at both the lack of organized support available to new Muslims and the widespread politically focused rather than God-centered Islam so prevalent today, plus my intense dislike of the nasty behavior and attitudes of some of the Muslims I have encountered in person and online, I have most definitely found in the religion of Islam an intellectual and theological satisfaction that I never knew in Christianity. And at the end of the day, one's beliefs about God are what truly matters.

Allahu a`lam. God knows best.

Source :salam.


The prophet said :


"Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should either say something good or keep silent." (Tirmidhi)


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Quote BelieverInOne Replybullet Posted: 24 February 2009 at 2:59pm

Assalamu alaikum

I have been quite lucky since embracing Islam my immediate family was fine about it. As for my friends they're still there but I have distanced myself from them as my priorities and interests are quite different from theirs.

Since becoming Muslim I don't really feel like I am missing out on anything at all, just at times I feel like I am not learning enough, or I am not learning as fast as I should. I know its not a race I just wish i knew more.
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