“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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
Invite at least 59 converts to attend a series of teleseminars given by other convert speakers.
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:
Distinguishing between cultural traditions and actual Islamic teachings
Finding sound knowledge
Lack of fundamentals (basic belief system, prayer, importance of Quran/Sunnah)
Information dump: All at once, different schools of thought, various opinions
Lack of starter pack of commonly used Arabic words
Unspoken topics: interacting with the opposite gender, bathroom etiquette, Islamic hygiene topics (Ghusl, etc), table matters.
Being taught without everything is Haram with no justifications or explanations
Learning to temper enthusiasm with knowledge and humility
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 behavior, such as saying Bismillah before putting food in the mouth, saying dua before common daily activities
Dealing with Practice:
Coping with Islamic clothing (and not following a cultural style)
Learning how to please Allah, not following a cultural group’s beliefs
Avoiding blindly following the person who introduced you to Islam
When at masjid, feeling left alone and not made to feel welcome.
Being scolded for things such as wearing jeans or not wearing proper hijab
Lack of direction as to where to purchase proper attire and how much they cost
Fellow Muslims being passing judgment i.e. deeming someone as “extreme”
Facing negative comments
Dealing with old unIslamic issues: haram job, interests loans, alcohol, unlawful relationships, preciously held ideas/beliefs/practices that conflict with Islam
Hurrying to adopt external appearances and practices without developing a firm basis of faith
Relocating to a new community
Dealing with the Born-Muslims
Cultural paradigm shift–whites and fobs are so different
Answering the question, you are Muslim because you married to a Muslim?
Dealing with convert profiling
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
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
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
Disparity between the support networks provided to white verses non-white converts in communities
Lack of new friends in the community (not being introduced)
Lack of mentorship or support groups
Having to tell the story of your conversion to everyone you meet
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:
Difficult to meet other potential Muslims because there is no Muslim family/friends to assist
Lack of a responsible wali
Difficulties for sisters who have been married before and may have children
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
Children from different Muslim fathers due to serial divorces and/or polygynous marriages
Dealing with Non-Muslims:
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
Lack of resources to deal with fallout of converting (ex. What to do if legal action is taken by convert family)
Answering constant insult about Islam from family/friends
Dealing with non-monotheists (people of the book family members)
Dealing with Expectations:
Islam vs. Muslim
Developing a balanced view of the scholars – having respect for their knowledge and dedication to the deen, but acceptance of their human infallibility
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
Adjusting to the reality of the Muslim world in comparison to the ideals set by Islam and practiced by the great Muslims
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
Dealing with psychological issues (bipolar, depression, old scars)