Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim.
Assalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh to my fellows brothers and sisters. As I write this article, I wrote it with all my heart and soul because it is not only dedicated to Muslims or reverts, it is for all who is in the midst of hardship through the transition of being; A Revert. A young revert into becoming a good Mukminin. Insha Allah.
How many of my brothers and sisters in Islam here have ever encounter a revert? A young one especially. My main points here are about lives of young reverts, needless to say, those from different cultures and beliefs, also those from families that are strongly against them. I belief some of you may have seen or even try to help. Help. But before you help, how much do you actually know about young reverts? What am I trying to say here is their life? Their family’s belief, their surrounding of communities before they ACTUALLY become a Muslim.
Well, insha Allah, as I write this article, my intention is to help other reverts who have the same struggles as I do. And, also as a reminder to myself. In this article, I will tell you some of the thoughts and struggles that young reverts face. Young reverts are the ones, I’m emphasizing here. I’m nobody to talk about the older ones because there are already way wiser and better then me in the sense of the way they manage their spiritual life. Correct me if I’m wrong because, I’m only a twenty years old kid after all whom I become a Muslim when I’m was only 18.
So some are the things I am covering here are firstly, the family, the life of a young revert before they become a Muslim and also how to keep an open mind without judging them. Secondly, about how you’ll be able help them to eventually become a good Muslim in the eyes of Allah swt. Lastly, I’ll tell you about myself and my post struggles or anything you called after a period of time of being a ‘revert’.
Allow me to start with the family of a young revert, because as we all know families themselves are the core and support of one’s life. A family does not only provide a young revert financially, but also love and attention. Support and morale encouragement as well plays the vital role as a family when one is in hardship.
So, hereby, I challenge you to try put your shoes in theirs right now, and have a few minutes of thoughts and imagine a scenario of how is it like, when you’re the most lovable one in your family, and life just turns on a dime as you become a Muslim.
Your mum kneels on her knees crying, you dad wants to disown you, your relatives thinks you’re silly and to sum up, you’re a disgraced to the family. Why? Simply because you knew the Truth and you wants to be a better daughter to your family. A better person to the society. A better person in the eyes of the Al Mighty Allah, because you already knew The Truth and you want to practise it and embrace it whole heartedly.
Suppose, some of the revert would just practise the Truth underground without any knowledge of the family, and as a Muslim are you going the judge them? Compare them to the days of the bravery Prophet saw sahabah? Most of the time, through my personal experience, many raised Muslim did this to me. And you know what, we are just young people who have been pampered and raise in this modern era fill with comfort and no worries. How can you force a young person at my age to turn my life 180 degrees on the spot and live up to the day of what the sahabahs of Prophet saw did?
Take things slowly. Do not force them to do everything immediately. Teenagers are teenagers, and teenagers nowadays are different. They are not from the era of prophet, they have such instinct to have ‘fun’ and do everything as what the media had corrupted them.
Allah has mentioned that small deeds that are done consistently are better and more worthy then those who changed immediately( drastic changes overnight) but unable to maintain their spiritual being well enough and ended up ‘no where’, which ‘no where’ means you start to hate and ask why things are so strict and why are there so many rules? And what if I can’t follow all of them? Am I going to hell straight? Thus, most of them just give up and sadly, they usually goes back to the dark ages of their live. ‘Dark ages of life’ here means doing things that are not allowed to in Islam or, at worst, they will just Murtad.
If you come across a young revert, I would recommend, throughout my experience, you shall try to ask what do they need, because most of them are probably being kicked from the family, cutting ties with the society or either they just don’t know what to do. ‘Don not know what to do’ means they are struggling whether or not to exposed themselves as a Muslim to the world or keep it low just between them and their CLOSE Muslim friends.
At times like this, young reverts are in confusion, all they feel are filled with fear and anxiety, and so YOU, as a Muslim shall help them to firstly, to calm down and comfort them that Allah is near and He is merciful, and the Lord of the universe. Therefore, Allah is with you, and there is nothing to fear. Take your time to learn about Islam, as in take baby steps first. THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD SAID =.=
As a Muslim, asked them, what do they need right now? Friends? Shelter? Money? Money is because young revert are mostly still studying and jobless. Friends is because needless to say, when you become a Muslim, you can’t go partying and join youngster interact clubs anymore because as a Muslim, a young revert, I feel that I need to keep my boundaries with the opposite sex as much as possible though it is hard to practised that.
Hence, from that day, Muslims should try your very best to keep in touch with them, make friends with them. Bring them out for a movie! Make them feel like there are still people around them that they can clique on. If you want, you can ask about their spiritual well-being, but it depends, some reverts dislike people asking them things like that because they feel intimated in the sense that they are still can’t follow all the rules stated in Islam yet.
For example, question like, ‘When do you want to wear a hijab?’ or ‘You’ll look prettier in a hijab,’(that’s ridiculous because wearing hijab is meant to cover our aurah and not to look attractive in the eyes of men) and also questions like’ Have you started your solat five times a day?’
Man said : You look sooo cute in Hijab.
Me: (I didn’t know Hijab was meant to look cute to man)
Do keep this in mind, my fellow brothers and sisters, the Quran was revealed over 23 years. Why 23 years? BECAUSE ALLAH the AL Knowing knows that we, as humans, can’t change ourselves entirely in just a day. Our manners, our habits, our perceptions and views had been practised over the years before we became a Muslim. So it’s impossible to change entirely, alright? Please, brothers and sisters, allow me to emphasize this again, the HIKMAH of why the Quran took 23 years to reveal. And for the the first few years before Hijrah, Prophet saw taught the sahabahby mostly emphasized on TAUHEED ( The oneness of Allah) and later on in Madinah only then prophet saw start to preach mostly about Fiqah.
Do you know the importance of why Tauheed is emphasize first? Because, as a young revert, they need to establish a strong bond that Allah is one, and their instinct of curiosity of knowing more about Allah. How merciful is Him, and how Divine is him, and how Kind and Generous he is, and so forth. Do talked to them about the attributes of Allah first, let them know more about Allah swt, before you start with fiqh. Strengthen their Iman with the oneness of Allah and how the miraculous things Allah has done upon the universe he created.
Once their Iman is strengthen, needless to worry, they will eventually open their heart softly and make the first move to ask you about things related to Fiqah. Because that’s how prophet did his daawah, Tauheed first, and then slowly after his Hijrah to Madinah, Fiqah was taught, even so when alcohol was haram, it goes by stages. Is it clear enough to you now, how to approach a young revert, and do daawah according to the ways how our Prophet saw did?
If you’re are, allow me to move to the next point. I tell you a little bit of myself. I become a Muslim when I’m 18 years through seeking the truth and doubts I received about Christianity. I believe and love God. And I have faith in God but not blind faith, so I can’t just covered my ears and eyes as I see the things that are untrue and modified. So, eventually I found Islam. The truth and the oneness of Allah that gave me the hidayah and guidance to many notable ustaz and Islamic scholars who eventually teach me about Islam and the difference of this religion with Christianity.
As time goes by with the guidance from Allah, alhamdullilah I recited my shahadah and embraced the Truth of Allah for the first time. The joy inside me can’t be express with words because it was so profound. It was then my journey of being a Muslim begins. Numerous of brothers and sisters offered their help, Alhamdullilah. But I was wild and naughty in the past, some of their help, isn’t really helping me, but in a way, I didn’t realized eventually it started to become like a pressure, because they started approaching me by asking me to cover my hair. Later, when I cover my hair, eventually they start to comment on the colours, and I tried to save my money and change my sets of hijab to dull colours and later on they starts on complaining about my makeup, with one sister actually approaches me, and ask me “why did you make up, was your intention is to attract guys?”
Astaghfirrulah, I was married at that time why would I want to attract other guys? I’m just a young revert who is still trying to change and I had reach my limits and tried my best! That’s is just one the pressure I was facing, and there are actually many more.
They started asking me, to put Allah first in the sense that, I have to show my parents I’m a ‘TRUE’ Muslim by wearing Hijab, avoid dogs, and avoid this and that. Do solat in the house and so forth. I Love Allah, and I put him first but that’s not the right way to daa’wah to your family? I’m not surprised my family almost disowned me at first because the truth is, prophet did not teach us to da’wah to others in such a way.
So I decided to stop listening to others and ask guidance from Allah, I do da’wah to my family by showing to my mum I’m a better daughter, I don’t go out at night anymore, I do house chores and help her as much as possible. And as to my relatives, I show my politeness and sense of forgiveness to them as what prophet saw did to those who insulted him. Good mannerism is something that is well emphasized in Islam too.
Guess what? Alhamdullilah, eventually my mum sees the goodness and changes in me through my personality. She starts to accept me gradually, that I don’t eat pork and other sorts of things that Islam doesn’t allow. Not to mention, I’m still studying actually, and I study really hard in college, not just because of my future but also as a reparation to my wrong doings in the past to her. She sees how Islam had change me but she hasn’t really entirely accepted me as a Muslim, sometimes she’ll still bring out the topic of why I choose this religion.
To be honest, it’s not easy, I always had to explain to her patiently despite her using some harsh language and insults Islam, because she don’t understand much about Islam, and the Muslims she encountered didn’t really shows her any good values of Islam at all. That’s why I never blamed her.
Bear this in mind, A Muslim is a mirror to another Muslim. Therefore, as Muslim, now you see why so many people out there rejected Islam, because we as Muslim ourselves did not show a good example and the values of what ISLAM has taught us!
WHY? WHY? WHY? Malaysia has been a Muslim country for more than 50 years, and how many people in Malaysia who aren’t Muslim become Muslim compare to the days of our prophet saw did his da’wah? How many followers he had in 23 years from Makkah to Madinah? The Arabians of those day were way more jahiliah than us.
Violence, cruelty, robbery, killing, you name it. But look how prophet managed to influence them with his kindness and all the good values that Allah taught him. But what about now? In Malaysia itself, a well-established country for more than 50 years, and majority are Muslims and all I heard from some my non-Muslims friends are hatefulness and I can feel their sense of despise towards the Muslims. Again, I never blamed anyone because it was ourfault. Our failure to da’wah to them just by the personality of ourselves as Muslims
The Muslim country, Malaysia’s Prime Minister( a Muslim) spent RM2million to invite Psy here :D
As you read this article, I hope you will just ponder and have a thought about what I wrote. Till today, I’m still struggling as young revert Muslim too. I married, also to another young revert. We face all sorts of challenges, poverty,and family in laws, and so forth, but I tried not to give up because I believed everything happens for a reason, of what Allah had given me today.
I become stronger as time goes by, accompany with tears and pain, had moulded meinto what I am today whom as a Muslim I have a better understanding and how to manage my life as a young revert. I still made a lot of mistakes and can’t help it most of the time, but I do ask for forgiveness and admitted to Allah, I’m wrong. Bear in mind, Allah is all merciful, we live in between hope and fear. Hope is for Allah’s mercy towards us. Fear is a reminder to us that we don’t want to be ended up badly in akhirat.
If I could go through this struggles, I’m sure you can too, my dear fellow brothers and sisters who just become a Muslim, do not give up, for Allah is always there for us. Insha Allah, one day, I hope we will all meet in Jannah together with His mercy. And I hope for some brothers and sisters who are raised Muslims, will keep an open mind, don’t judge especially and never give up on your little reverts even though they made mistake, because we are all not meant to be perfect. If I made any mistake or said anything wrong, may Allah forgive me, and if there is anything good here, it’s all from Allah. AllahuA'lam
I would like to end this with a hadith;
Narrated `Aisha radhiallahu 'anha: Allah’s Messenger sallallahu 'alaihi wasallam said, “Do good deeds properly, sincerely and moderately and know that your deeds will not make you enter Paradise, and that the most beloved deed to Allah’s is the most regular and constant even though it were little.”
Written by: J.L