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Care For Converts Drive

[Update May/04/2008]


“MASHALLAH When I read this [list of issues] it made me to cry because all of these things, EVERY SINGLE ONE, I am facing at this moment as a convert to ISLAM. When I try to explain to other people all the sacrifices or hardship that come of converting, people think that I am crazy and they do not truly understand. Thank you for making light of this.” -sister M.


“Those issues on that list have been a source of consternation with me for years. I would have left Islam along time ago if I had not taught MYSELF.” -sister A


“Yupp its hard for us to explain how it feels to stand out because converts have an interesting disposition…[link of two quotes] but we also should remember how blessed we are… many born Muslims, may be born into Islam… but do not practice, and then they see others who leave their former lives to become Muslim, and waAllahu Alim that might strike an interest in their own journey with Islam, we can use these issues that converts deal with to our advantage and teach others and also help those newer to the faith insha’Allah” -Sister W

Alhamdulillah, the Care for Converts Drive has been successfully completed.

May Allah reward all those who helped or intended to help.

[Update April/06/2008]

Alhamdulillah, with Allah’s help then all your help and support, HalfDate Care For Converts Drive has completed successfully. May Allah reward you all.

Some highlights of the event:

  • It was really a true ummahwide live event, ma-sha-Allah. The guest speaker was in Egypt, the interviewer was in the UK, the program coordinator in the US, and the audience from all over the world.
  • The last event was an interview conducted by sister Fatimah BarakatuAllah with sister Naima B. Robert. The interview covered many of the challenges that converts/reverts Muslims have to face where most born-Muslims are not even aware of.
  • We got questions from Mariam-Trinidad, M-Singapore, Dornubari-Rochester, UK, Dee-Phoenix, Saleem-London, Mariah-Midlands, Farhan-US, Sakina-Oakville, Enny-NEW YORK, Hamid-Mississauga, and others. (We ran out of time, so if your question was not addressed, sister Naima will try to post an answer for you on this page)
  • Here is a tip if you are going to organize events across timezones, we had a confusion about timings: UK 9pm is it NY 4pm or 5pm? The early daylight saving in the US is really confusion, even world time converter wasn’t aware of the correct daylight saving settings.

[Update March/30/2008]

Alhamdulillah, overwheling response from Muslims around the world. May Allah reward you all. Some highlights of the event:

  • One sister designed a colorful flyer for the event with her local timezone conversion (Australia) then asked her brother to distributed in the masjid. She later set up a blog and linked back to HalfDate, subhana Allah. May Allah reward sister of mazaif.com
  • Sister A’ishah on Facebook posted a summary of the talk about criticism given by sister Megan Wyatt, may Allah reward you sister A’ishah
  • Sister Yota, posted a summary of Baba Ali’s talk [I just saw it now], may Allah reward you sister Yota
  • Thank you to all those who asked questions, maryan from Ohio, Jamil from Miami, Shakira from Lodon, “a sister from nj” from NJ, Sara from NJ, Sara-New York, NY, Sara from East Lansing, MI, Saffiyah-Washington DC, Muna-UAE- sharjah, Sabir-New Jersey, Ummuthman-London, Saeed-Herndon, SGee-Herndon, Ahmed M.-Virginia Beach, abid-london, Maryam-Manchester, alishba-riyadh, aisha-columbus, Akeedah-Manchester, Happy23-New York, Nadia-Detroit, Selma-Brooklyn, Lina-Beaverton, Dahlia-Portland, Sister Yota-Philadelphia, sahra-new york, sister-Australia, Fatimah-Austin, TX, Huma-U.A.E., Sister Aisha-Baltimore, Teresa-Los Angeles, abuaisha-soCal, and all other [noname] commenters who tuned in for the event. We can’t thank you enough, may Allah reward you all.
  • Sister Dalia won an issue of SISTERS-Magazine
  • Sister Nada won a gift from N-Ti.com
  • Br. Nahyan won a gift from N-Ti.com for posting the first suggestion about our next drive
  • Baba Ali revealed for the first time how he found his wife :)

“Okay, this is one of the interesting topic, you are the first person ever asked this, I’ve been interviewed by everyone from Newsweek, to New York Times, to USA Today, and Time Magazine, and no one ever asked this question :)” said Baba Ali when he revealed for the first time his marriage search story.

Join our LAST EVENT… Call all your friends to attend, throw a party and gather your friends around the computer or speaker phone to listen, you can do this in your home, school, your masjid event hall, … BE CREATIVE.


You are “about” to make history…

Assalam alaikum: O you who care for converts/reverts.

This is truely an Ummah-wide event, we are webcasting this event, so people outside the US don’t have to call long distance.

Email, announcements, flyers are going out during Jumma in Australia, the US, the UK, Canada, South Africa, UAE, India, …

You are “about” to make history… You are about to change the future, in-sha-Allah…

Because it will never be the same after this care for converts drive.

Each month, thousands of new Muslims are coming to Islam, but we have no system to care for their needs… But not any more, because you are starting this movement, from brainstorming to events, to follow ups.

“I will tune in today to webcast and use the phone when I can also. For 7 years, I got tortured by people in ways no one can imagine and I wished there was something like this for me. I was abandoned and still have no one to contact with family or longtime so-called friends. I fell with nothing left and had no where to go. I had to reach out to Allah for strength to get up and see the good in people and in myself, as I became lost. Not anymore! Not anymore!”

So, STEP FORWARD and CLAIM your humble SPOT in HISTORY, in-sha-Allah. May Allah grant you a JUMBO spot in Jannah.

Here are the Tasks:
0- Have the intention for Allah and think about that new Muslims who needs your help
1- Forward this to your list
2- Post on forums and link back to http://halfdate.com, digg, propell, stumpleupon, …
3- Contact Muslims on YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Muxlim, …
4- Google convert groups and contact them
5- Tell your Masjid about this event, give them a flyer
6- MAKE DUA…. M A K E What? Duuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Alhamdulillah, the 59 issues have been collected.

Now it’s time for some GREAT conversations, in-sha-Allah.

All event timings are California (Pacific daylight saving timezone), use a time converter to know your local time.

EVENT: Habits of Excellence: Empowerment to Improve Through Criticism
Speaker: Sister Megan Wyatt, AskCoachMegan.com lifecoach
DATE & TIME: Friday, March 28th at 9:00pm Pacific

EVENT: Funny questions but really sad: A conversation with Baba Ali
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 29th at 12:00pm Pacific

Part 1
Part 2

EVENT: Facing the challenges, savoring the triumphs – life of a new Muslim
Speaker: Sister Naima B. Robert, author of the UK best selling book, From My Sisters’ Lips
DATE & TIME: Saturday, April 5th at 9:00pm GMT/UTC (2:00pm California)


During the Bosnia crisis, one famous imam of a major masjid in the Muslim world told the congregation,

“I’m putting a SUGGESTION box in the masjid so we can collect ideas on how to solve this crisis”

HalfDate’s concept is to guide our collective efforts towards a cause. It’s not only about monetary donation drives, because in Islam, the concept of Sadaqa (charity) is much broader than that.

Next Jumuah, he came and announced the ideas that he found in the box. First, he got lots of donations and only a few suggestions. Guess what were the few suggestions he got?

Narrated by Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “There is a (compulsory) Sadaqa (charity) to be given for every joint of the human body (as a sign of gratitude to Allah) everyday the sun rises. To judge justly between two persons is regarded as Sadaqa, and to help a man concerning his riding animal by helping him to ride it or by lifting his luggage on to it, is also regarded as Sadaqa, and (saying) a good word is also Sadaqa, and every step taken on one’s way to offer the compulsory prayer (in the mosque) is also Sadaqa and to remove a harmful thing from the way is also Sadaqa.” -collected by Al-Bukhari

“We can marry those Bosnian sisters.”

The imam asked, “Do Muslims have something better to offer?”


So, what is this DateDrive all about?

Deadline: April 6th, 2008 (end of Rabia-l-Awal 1429)

In care for converts drive, you will help to achieve the following targets:

  1. Collect at least 59 issues that converts are facing after embracing Islam (any issue, just speak your mind: I’m confused all kind of Muslims are telling me all kinds of things, or how do I deal with my family, or Imam of the masjid wants me to marry his overseas cousin??) You can just post it in the comment section.
  2. Invite at least 59 converts to attend a series of teleseminars given by other convert speakers.
  3. Talk to Muslim businesses to contribute towards our gift bag for converts, so far we have the following sponsors: N-ti.com, SISTERS magazine, RUSH magazine, and AskCoachMegan.com.

Teleseminar Speakers are:


Your comments and suggestions, in-sha-Allah, will have great impact in support new Muslims.

“We love to make takbirs when someone takes shahadah…but we need to know how we can take care of them after that… and each of you can help!”- Megan Wyatt

CLICK HERE TO COMMENT

Speakers are waiting for you to finish the 59 issues drive.

We got all the 59 issues, Alhumdulillah.

May Allah reward you with a date palm in Jannah.

Special Thanks To

Two volunteers needed to sort out the issues from the comments, because there are multiple issues per comment. If you are interested, please email

Issues summarized so far, thanks to sister C. and Brother D, May Allah reward you.

Issues Faced by Converts

Dealing with Learning:

  1. Distinguishing between cultural traditions and actual Islamic teachings
  2. Finding sound knowledge
  3. Lack of fundamentals (basic belief system, prayer, importance of Quran/Sunnah)
  4. Information dump: All at once, different schools of thought, various opinions
  5. Lack of starter pack of commonly used Arabic words
  6. Unspoken topics: interacting with the opposite gender, bathroom etiquette, Islamic hygiene topics (Ghusl, etc), table matters.
  7. Being taught without everything is Haram with no justifications or explanations
  8. Learning to temper enthusiasm with knowledge and humility
  9. Learning appropriate manners with: those who have different knowledge/follow different madh-habs, non-Muslims, non-Muslim family members, scholars, fellow Muslims
  10. Learning to introduce Islamic practices into automatic behavior, such as saying Bismillah before putting food in the mouth, saying dua before common daily activities

Dealing with Practice:

  1. Coping with Islamic clothing (and not following a cultural style)
  2. Learning how to please Allah, not following a cultural group’s beliefs
  3. Avoiding blindly following the person who introduced you to Islam
  4. When at masjid, feeling left alone and not made to feel welcome.
  5. Being scolded for things such as wearing jeans or not wearing proper hijab
  6. Lack of direction as to where to purchase proper attire and how much they cost
  7. Fellow Muslims being passing judgment i.e. deeming someone as “extreme”
  8. Facing negative comments
  9. Dealing with old unIslamic issues: haram job, interests loans, alcohol, unlawful relationships, preciously held ideas/beliefs/practices that conflict with Islam
  10. Hurrying to adopt external appearances and practices without developing a firm basis of faith
  11. Relocating to a new community

Dealing with the Born-Muslims

  1. Cultural paradigm shift–whites and fobs are so different
  2. Answering the question, you are Muslim because you married to a Muslim?
  3. Dealing with convert profiling
  4. Coping with people constantly telling to do da`wah to your family, although you are trying to do it in the best way you know how, based on your relationship with your family
  5. Having people constantly asking you to recite “Al-Fatihah” to prove you can do it
  6. Despite being dressed in hijab, having Muslims asking you if you are a Muslim when they hear where you’re from
  7. Coping with the apparent acceptability that it is OK for every Muslim to ask you very personal questions, although it would be rude for them to ask the same of people from their own culture
  8. After the initial rush of happiness that you are a Muslim, then being made to feel/told that you are inferior to born Muslims, constantly hearing, “He/she is only a convert” and therefore made to feel deficient/extremist in your ideas/that your knowledge is less sound/that you are less valued as a Muslim
  9. Trying to find a place that you feel comfortable in a Muslim community, especially if it has factionalized and you aren’t married to create an affiliation with one of the factions
  10. Being expected to leave all your culture behind as it is seen to be inferior, but then finding that most Muslims have very strong cultural adherences that you are expected to accept
  11. Learning to cope with new types of food, but having most people not willing to try yours
  12. Disparity between the support networks provided to white verses non-white converts in communities
  13. Lack of new friends in the community (not being introduced)
  14. Lack of mentorship or support groups
  15. Having to tell the story of your conversion to everyone you meet
  16. When born Muslims don’t get it (e.g. calling First Nation as red Indians), or approaching Dawah in a way that doesn’t fit the culture of the audience

Dealing with Marriage:

  1. Difficult to meet other potential Muslims because there is no Muslim family/friends to assist
  2. Ethnic divisions
  3. Virgin question
  4. Lack of a responsible wali
  5. Difficulties for sisters who have been married before and may have children
  6. Having to cope with people constantly trying to marry you off to anyone who is looking to get married, despite their obvious lack of compatibility with you as a person
  7. Not being aware of the cultural differences enough to know what are the warning signs to look out for in a prospective groom, many of whom deliberately target new Muslimahs knowing they have no Muslim family to support them prior to/during a marriage
  8. Children from different Muslim fathers due to serial divorces and/or polygynous marriages

Dealing with Non-Muslims:

  1. Working out how to tell your family the news of your conversion
  2. Working out how to introduce your new beliefs and way of life into your relationship with them, such as halal food, hijab, alcohol, celebrations of non-Islamic festivals, etc.
  3. Trying to show your family and friends that you haven’t joined an extremist cult, and that you won’t grow out of it in time
  4. Trying to show your family that Islam has made you a better person
  5. Lack of resources to deal with fallout of converting (ex. What to do if legal action is taken by convert family)
  6. Answering constant insult about Islam from family/friends
  7. Dealing with non-monotheists (people of the book family members)

Dealing with Expectations:

  1. Islam vs. Muslim
  2. Developing a balanced view of the scholars – having respect for their knowledge and dedication to the deen, but acceptance of their human infallibility
  3. The unrealistic expectations of most new Muslims of doing Hijrah to the Muslim lands and expecting it to be like Madinah at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and their shock that the Muslims in the Muslim lands aren’t all like the Ansar
  4. Adjusting to the reality of the Muslim world in comparison to the ideals set by Islam and practiced by the great Muslims
  5. Single Muslim women with children and Muslim wives (whose husbands continue working in the west to support them) going overseas to do Hijrah and having to cope on their own with their children, in a country that they know nothing about and where they cannot speak the language

Special Care:

  1. Dealing with psychological issues (bipolar, depression, old scars)
  2. Dealing with disabilities

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  • http://muslimology.wordpress.com Dawud Israel

    Masha Allah! HAHA!
    Half Date is upto know good once again.

    Converts are the gateway for Islam to spread. It’s interesting because I was just thinking about converts and all the mental and psychological stress they endure.

    There was a small project a brother started where we found out about a sister who converted. He sent out an email asking if people would be willing to mail her small “welcome to Islam” gifts. It was a really unique idea that unfortunately I didn’t get to follow through on.
    Imagine becoming Muslim and then having gifts and letters being mailed to you from Muslims you have never met. How awesome would that be?

    That is why a drive like the one that Half Date has just launched is super important. Let’s bring them into the deen with care, Insha Allah :)

  • http://www.rushmagazine.NET RUSH Magazine

    TabarakAllah, this is a great idea that looks like it will be overflowing with benefit for both the converts and those contributing to help out. SubhanAllah, in Islam, it’s always win-win.

    This is SOO EASY to help out with and get in on some hasanat, so how can you not post a comment? Literally, 60 seconds, just one comment, and Allah knows how much reward insha’Allah ta’ala.

    Here’s my first thought:

    Hygiene: I get the impression that converts don’t get spoken to about hygiene in Islam, that it’s half the deen. So they see these watering pots in the washroom, and no one ever tells them what it’s for. They’re too shy to ask not knowing that there is no shyness in reigion. But we know so it’s our fault, we should explain it (even if it’s just sending the link to Baba Alis movie about hygiene, I read one comment on that video about a convert who said no one told her about bathroom etiquette or why the bottles were there)

    Hmm, that’s all I have for now, I got a block, and insha’Allah will post more! I pray this is what was meant by issues, and that it helped even just a little.

    May Allah put barakah in this project and bless those who are helping. Ameen.

    wassalamu’alaykom wa rahmat Allah wa barakatoh,
    Sofiyah

  • Tariq

    Dont judge Islam by its followers, just its tenants. All Muslims are fallible and will potentially disappoint in some way. Follow the Quran and the example of Muhammad (saw) and you’ll always be happy.

  • Mulim007

    In general I find that converts/reverts, get all kinds of things from all sides. Here are a couple of issues that I have witnessed/experienced.
    •Stranger marriages
    •Cultural practices taught as Islam
    •Disparity between the support networks provided to white verses non-white converts in communities
    •Lack of support/mentorship in mastering basic practices such as salat and aqueedah
    •Lack of resources teach converts especially women what is appropriate and inapropriate in terms of interacting with the opposite gender
    •Lack resources to deal with fallout of converting (ex. legal action taken by convert family)
    •Interacting with non-Muslim family (dawah)
    •Finding the true middle path of Islam
    •Marriage issues- Marriage is harder in general, but for a convert it is a bigger challenge when you have no family or aunties in your corner. This is also a bigger challenge for converts of certain ethnic backgrounds

    I find that it is easy to get soo burned out by all the above issues that it leaves the door open for shaytan to make you think that life would be so much simpler as a non-Muslim. How to stay muslim in times of test when you think that your worst enemies are other muslims.

  • AbuAisha

    I think one important concern facing women who convert is the issue of wali,
    mahraam and/or wakeel to look after their affairs. This responsibility
    would in an Islamic society be the job of her father, brother or uncle,
    however for those sisters converting in the West they do not have someone to
    support them. Some local Imaams of Masjids assign a brother to be their
    “wakeel” however other Imaams believe that to be inappropriate and say
    these women only need a “wakeel” to give them away in marriage. Still
    others say that if a lady has no wali that the Imaam becomes her
    wakeel/wali. Our communities are filled with potentially risky pitfalls for
    new sisters and someone needs to guide, assist and advise these new
    converts.

  • imaan619

    Assalamu Alaikum,

    What I found very helpful was the dedicated sisters/brothers in the community that were available for questions. I came from a rather small community so it was easy to spot a new convert. However in large communities (masjids) it would be nice to have a committee of volunteers (Welcoming commitee) dedicated to taking care of them because it’s not always obvious or not everyone has a welcoming personality.

    As a brand new Muslim, I visited one masjid alone and was not made to feel welcome even though it was quite obvious that I was a newbie to them. I had driven over 1 hour to visit this masjid because there wasn’t one in the area where my parents lived. At that masjid I felt even though the sisters were in niqaab and supposedly so righteous, they did not return my salaams because of what appeared to be me not being dressed fully (niqaab). Only one sister spoke to me and the others just stared even after I offered salaams. Had it not been for my experience from the community in which I lived, I probably would not have returned.

    It could serve as a foundation for taking care of their questions, introducing them to the Muslims brother/sisters in the community, inviting them to lectures/discussions and providing the overall support that they may need adjusting to a new lifestyle.

    Also maybe a short orientation/programs offered ever so often. I say this because it could provide some information on basics like not getting discouraged when they hear 50 different opinions on one issue or you are told everything that you can’t and do from now, keeping stalking brothers away (yeah one kept trying for years after I firmly told him that I was not interested), etc…

    Insh’allah it would be nice if each and every masjid could work on having such a platform to support the converts and to hook them them up with people who are sincere and knowledgeable, so that insh’allah they won’t get stuck with weird ideas and/or marriages.

    Also what helped me alot was my praying/making dua for guidance when I heard so many different things or when I was confused and Alhamdullillh Allah (swt) guided me to a community where there are lots of opportunities for learning.

    Victoria

  • YafAweinat

    One thing that i see alot of converts having trouble with after converting to Islam is learning all the arabic terminology and how to pray etc… In the WhyIslam team on the east coast they formed a class/seminar for converts and they got about 250 attendees. This class went over arabic words, how to pray, wuduu etc.. and i think this could be extremely beneficial. It would also be a good way for people to get to know eachother etc…

  • Ish

    mentors would be a great idea, on hand to assist with queries.

    Also, learning how to pray. What to do? Focus on the words, actions, focus on Allah? how to make dua? supplications during prayer?

    when to pray? on time every time? flexible time? fajr? should I wake up at dawn or do it anytime before midday? what to do if a prayer is missed? anything else.

    Alternate actions (wiggling the finger, raising the hands, etc)

    terminology is also a good thing to become familiar with, especially in the pracitical and fundamental aspects of Islam.

    Prayer is a personal thing often done in a communal environment and can be an awkward thing to begin with.

  • Reshma

    salams,
    I think this is a great idea, inshallah may Allah reward everyone who is involved. The main complaint I get from converts is lack of a support group. I know whenever the masjid has gatherings for converts, they always say pick a buddy and make sure to keep in touch, but this never happens. I think if they personalize the gathering people get to know eachother and tend to stay in touch. Having a community gathering is good, but then someone needs to take initiative and invite all the convert sisters to someones house, so they can really get to know eachother on a personal level. The same goes for the brothers. This way they feel extra special there’s a party in their honor. I think it would be really helpful if there were special classes in the masjid teaching the very basics of Islam, i.e. bathroom etiquettes, prayer, eating with right hand, etc…Inshallah I think slowly we can make a big difference.

  • http://www.productmuslim.com mak3mirz

    Assalamalaikum:

    My revert/convert friends have told me that sometimes people, when they see them at a Masjid or Islam event, dont ask them whether they are Muslim are not and start giving dawaa to them. Although both Muslims and non-Muslims need dawaa, this can become awkward because the approach towards someone who is already Muslim is obvisouly different to someone who isn’t.

    That’s my comment.

    Majid.

  • MissMuslimah

    Salaam,
    Thanks for the invite to this feed. It was a brilliant idea to set up these posts. Here’s a question I find coming up a lot for all Muslimah, including reverts: What is Halal courtship for a divorced woman or divorced single mom. Since there is no “dating” islamically, I am referring to etiquette in the area of finding a future husband? and how is it suggested that this category of women go about it?

  • http://www.ilmfruits.com/ Ilm Seeker

    As-salaamu ‘alikum,

    The main mistake a lot of da’iees make–and this is necessary even after someone accepts Islam–is not calling to tawheed. The answer to virtually EVERY SINGLE question reverts have can boil down to:

    a) because Allah, subhannahu wa ta’ala, Lord of the Universe, says so.
    b) because Muhammad, salallahu alayhi wa sallam, says so (on behalf of Allah).

    Think about it–everything from “What’s Islam’s stance on prisoners of war?” to “why do I sleep on my right side?” falls back to tawheed. And this is the main thing that will prevent people from leaving Islam–that they believe sincerely and truly in Allah and His messenger and His deen, Islam. Nothing can sever that connection.

    Wallahu ta’ala ‘alim. Teach them about Allah! That’s the main thing.

  • http://www.n-ti.com umm youssef

    Salam alaikum,

    Macha Allah, great idea. I think the worst thing for a convert is to be left alone with so many random informations (sometimes inconsistent) and having no one to turn to for proper answers. The idea of being paired with an “old” muslim sounds very good to me, I wish I had someone like that when I became muslim. I’m now trying to suport as many new converts as possible and I feel most of the time they just need to speak out their concerns and fears, to get advices and to hear how it was for another convert to get through it.

    Personnally, the main issues I faced after embracing islam are:
    – having no one to take me to the masjid and to show me how to pray in congregation; after deciding to go by myself I felt left alone and was not made to feel welcome. I even heard of some converts being yelled at because they were wearing jeans or not wearing proper hijab.
    – being told that basically everything is haram. You cannot talk to a man (hang out the phone or pass it to a man if it’s not a female!), you cannot wear pants even in your house, you cannot watch tv, you cannot, you cannot!
    – being told that you can only wear abayas, jilbabs and the likes when you have no clue where to get them or you have to pay over $100 just to get one (and you have to go to work 5 days a week with the same outfit!)
    – meeting muslims who tell you that you’re an extremist because you try to pray on time at work (while you “can join 5 payers when you get back home”) or because you wear hijab.
    – being told that halaqas are gatherings of dangerous people
    – being told that “kuffar” don’t deserve to live and that even if you see one who’s drowning you don’t try to save him.

    Some more as also been told in previous comments.
    May Allah help us all become better examples to non and new muslims. Ameen.

  • sandyladee

    I find this project a fantastic idea. I wish it success all the way. Being a convert myself, I feel that we are in a state of ’emergency’ when it comes to converts and support. I have experienced it myself and I hope no one else goes through it.

  • UmmAmin

    Assalamu alaykum

    1. how to pray (only when initially converting, many converts have gone to those classes and then still get dawah on the same topics because they are polite but everyone still sees them as a new convert)

    2. The importance of Qur’aan and sunnah and prayer (salat al istikhara) for any changes you want to make in your more islamic lifestyle

    3. troubleshooting changes/family changes/support during times of difficulty (long term/community support)

    Always keep in mind that you fell in love with the religion of Islam and not the wierd things that go on in this world.

  • Nahyan

    Similar to what Coach Megan mentioned, – The support is critical to make their journey easier. Something that comes with support is truthfulness.

    Another comment was about teaching them about the deen instead of repeating the same things again and again. Just because a person is a convert, doesn’t mean they’re dumb! Many times it is the ‘new muslims’ that study and teach Islam.

    Nahyan

    ps. HalfDate is an amazing initiative. May Allah reward all those involved and contributers.

  • Amal

    Assalamu alaykum, Just a few ideas to add to the pool, some more serious than others:

    – not knowing which is the “right” Islam to follow
    – sifting out what is culture and what is Islam
    – working out how to tell your family the news of your conversion
    – working out how to introduce your new beliefs and way of life into your relationship with them, such as halal food, hijab, alcohol, celebrations of non-Islamic festivals, etc.
    – trying to show your family and friends that you haven’t joined an extremist cult, and that you won’t grow out of it in time
    – trying to show your family that Islam has made you a better person
    – coping with people constantly telling to do da`wah to your family – although you are trying to do it in the best way you know how, based on your relationship with your family
    – having people constantly asking you to recite “Al-Fatihah” to prove you can do it
    – despite being dressed in hijab, having Muslims asking you if you are a Muslim when they hear where you’re from
    – having to tell the story of your conversion to everyone you meet
    – coping with the apparent acceptability that it is OK for every Muslim to ask you very personal questions, although it would be rude for them to ask the same of people from their own culture
    – learning how to be a practising Muslim and please Allah, not following a cultural group’s beliefs
    – working out how to cope with Islamic clothing/hijab Islamically and not necessarily following a cultural style of dress
    – working out which are the reliable sources to turn to for information (information overload/conflict, esp. with the internet)
    – finding somewhere to go to learn sound knowledge in a systematic way
    – after the initial rush of happiness that you are a Muslim, then being made to feel/told that you are inferior to born Muslims, constantly hearing, “He/she is only a convert” and therefore made to feel deficient/extremist in your ideas/that your knowledge is less sound/that you are less valued as a Muslim
    – trying to find a place that you feel comfortable in a Muslim community, especially if it has factionalized and you aren’t married to create an affiliation with one of the factions
    – being expected to leave all your culture behind as it is seen to be inferior, but then finding that most Muslims have very strong cultural adherences that you are expected to accept
    – learning to cope with new types of food, but having most people not willing to try yours
    – having to cope with people constantly trying to marry you off to anyone who is looking to get married, despite their obvious lack of compatibility with you as a person
    – not being aware of the cultural differences enough to know what are the warning signs to look out for in a prospective groom, many of whom deliberately target new Muslimahs knowing they have no Muslim family to support them prior to/during a marriage in the same way a Muslim family would
    – very difficult to find someone who will actually agree to be a wali for marriage who will accept the responsibility seriously and look after the woman’s best interests, rather than just encourage any match, without finding out/revealing the suitor’s character
    – having to cope with an Islamic betrothal without having years of experience of seeing others go through it and knowing what to look out for
    – the problem that is common among new Muslims of serial divorcees and/or polygynous marriages, resulting in families with children from different Muslim fathers
    – the unrealistic expectations of most new Muslims of doing Hijrah to the Muslim lands and expecting it to be like Madinah at the time of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and their shock that the Muslims in the Muslim lands aren’t all like the Ansar
    – Single Muslim women with children and Muslim wives (whose husbands continue working in the west to support them) going overseas to do Hijrah and having to cope on their own with their children, in a country that they no nothing about and where they cannot speak the language

    These were just a few brainstormed ideas, hope they help.

  • Amal

    Ok…thought of a few more as you haven’t reached the target yet, from a different angle:

    – learning to temper enthusiasm with knowledge and humility
    – developing a balanced view of the scholars – having respect for their knowledge and dedication to the deen, but acceptance of their human infallibility
    – adjusting to the reality of the Muslim world in comparison to the ideals set by Islam and practised by the great Muslims
    – letting go of preciously held ideas/beliefs/practices that conflict with Islam
    – introducing Islamic practices on a sound basis, e.g. not hurrying to adopt external appearances and practices without developing a firm basis of faith
    – learning appropriate manners with: those who have different knowledge/follow different madh-habs, non-Muslims, non-Muslim family members, scholars, fellow Muslims
    – learning to introduce Islamic practices into automatic behaviour, such as stopping to say Bismillah before putting food in the mouth, saying dua before common daily activities

  • Abuaisha

    Financial and Work Related Issues:

    If after embracing Islam and learning that:
    a. Interest is forbidden, yet I have an auto, student and house loan, what am I to do? Sell my car? Leave my home? Renege on paying back student loan?
    b. Jumah prayer – I work Friday, what am I to do?
    c. The organization that I work for sell pork and alcohol, do I quit my job? How will I take care of my family?

  • admin

    Got some issues by email.

    -moving to new communities
    -dealing with disabilities
    -single mothers
    -polygamy for the unprepared sister
    -cultural paradigm shift–whites and fobs are so different that people don’t even realize it
    -different groups within Islam
    -most converts have scars from their past and so their psychology can be really messed up, i mean their is something unusual about some converts that requires care
    -not being able to escape their shady and scary non-Muslim past
    -learning Arabic tajweed
    -converts can be overzealous at times and over argumentative over certain things
    -inter-racial tensions i.e. white Muslim but still seen as being white
    -family members who are constantly attacking or insulting Islam or poking them with one question after another
    -not able to find work due to Islamic practices

  • ameenur

    Assalamualaikum

    to solve the problem need to follow every sunnath of prophet mohammed (saw)
    this is the only way to solve the present crisis allah will bring peace inshallah

    Allah hafiz

  • Akeedah

    I really want to hear the following event, what time will it be for me if im from the UK (GMT timezone)

    EVENT: Funny questions but really sad: A conversation with Baba Ali
    DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 29th at 12:00pm Pacific

  • admin

    the talk with Baba Ali will be at 7:00 PM GMT insha-Allah

  • yota

    As-salaamu ‘alikum,
    Mashallah this site is doing some great work out there. I’m commenting on the talk with Baba Ali. Given that I feel like a schoolage groupie over him and my opinion may be biased, i think the talk yesterday was amazing. Ali is a very good speaker and along with his speaking skills he was asked some really good questions from Ahmed from half-date. so i took some notes… and these are the highlights:
    really good proverb was used by Ali in discuessing the importance of the people you surround yourself with: if you hang out with a man who sells perfume, you’ll eventually begin to smell good like him. If you hang out with a blacksmith all the time you’ll eventually get dirty.
    If you don’t like your reflection then you have to change your company.
    It is foolish to take pride in your culture, race, ethnicity etc. we didn’t choose it. We take pride in things that don’t matter on the day of judgment. Doctors and Persians and so on will not sit together on the day of judgement. You should be more worried about your Deen then your culture.
    You have to forgive and forget.
    Culture can not solve arguments in your marrage but Allah can.
    There is a Care for Converts group on facebook
    Ali says he is not responsible for converting anyone because if he had the power to convert people he would have converted his parents. Allah is responsible for giving people the strenghth and the wisdom to convert.
    This analogy was used: If one wants to get a PhD from Harvard he needs to change his life in order to get the degree. He needs to foreward all mail to the library being that he will be there more then his own house, will have to cancel plans with friends and so on in order to reach that ultimate goal. The same is true for reverts and born muslims. If you want to end up in Jennah you have to sacrifice and live through the trial of life. When a person reverts to Islam thats when the test begins. The tests and trials continue till the grave. It dosn’t get easier after reverting. But you do have an ultimate goal that you strive for. Jennah.
    arrogance is punishment
    Allah will judge you for your intentions.
    I spoke to Ali at this point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) i’m still cheesing
    A list of locations that Ali will be visiting will be up inshallah on monday on his blog… ummahfilms.com…. join that mailing list and also halfdate.com mailing list.
    For the more percise conversation please listen to the sound bite that half date has made avaliable. It is very much worth your time. Awwwww and theirs a dramatic ending that you have to hear… i will not spoil the ending 😉
    May Allah bless you all for your efforts.
    ~sister yota

  • A’ishah Borzea

    Here are some masha’Allah very beneficial notes taken from Habits of Excellence: Empowerment to Improve Through Criticism by Sister Megan Wyatt that could be helpful to others, insha’Allah, especially if they aren’t able to listen to the program.

    Questions to ask Yourself when Being Criticized*:

    1. Who is the critic? Would you consider them someone that you value? Are they qualified to have given you that criticism? Semi-qualified? Not qualified?

    2. What is their motive? What inspired them to give the criticism? (not to confuse with their intentions)

    3. What can you learn from it? What’s the hidden gem?

    * Criticism comes in three forms:
    – Sincere advice
    – Advice given in a harsh manner
    – Insults, slander, nothing positive

    Let me just say that masha’Allah the discussion is SO good for converts to hear! Like how many born Muslims know that going to the masjid as a convert can be intimidating because there will always be someone who makes a comment about what your doing, how you look etc.?

    A very important thing to understand: You can’t rely on other people for your emotional well-being. It’s easier to please Allah (swt) than it is other people. You can please Allah (swt) by taking care of your teeth, for instance. Who else would care about that ONE act?

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  • http://islamandme.wordpress.com A Yunus

    Assalaamu alaikkum,

    I have posted on the “Care for converts Drive”, insha Allah may ALlah make it beneficial for all the new Muslims, Aameen. I dint see any flyer to print out. Please update the post with the flyer. Jazakallah Khair.

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