The Phases of a Convert Muslim

In life, i have had my share of experiences, be that in different situations, places, time, or with people. One group of people i have been fortunate with and had some experiences of, are the new convert Muslims. Now, before I fully indulge in the topic, I’d like to pay homage to the tremendous efforts and struggles they go through, to be a Muslim. Often times family ties are cut and in some cases permanently. They are in many ways more closer to lives of the companions of the prophet (saw), than any born Muslim can ever be.
Their struggles are something the born Muslims can never fully understand or accommodate. At times their selfless dedication to Islam is admirable and immensely inspiring to see. Sacrificing most if not everything, for the pleasure of Allah. However, without sounding pessimistic or judgmental i have seen far to many brothers, who initially under go the immense struggles of being a new muslim, finally snap at some point in life. Maybe it is because of family pressure, friends or the pull they receive from the former life they once led. Now, i know by writing a post about this i am opening myself to the barrage of criticisms and attacks, that will ultimately come my way.
Who are you to judge these Muslims? ‘stop talking rubbish! Or, ‘You cant even appreciate the struggles they go through. You’re a born Muslim’ are just some of the comments i have already received in the past when trying to bring this to attention. Remember, this is NOT an attack on convert Muslims, far from it. I am by no means a perfect Muslim, but this should not stop us from giving naseehah (advice) to one another. The illustrious lives of the companions are though in, and though out with such examples.

These are the following phases of a convert Muslim i have noticed:

1) When a person becomes Muslim he or she goes from one extreme. That is, committing all the haram, to the other extreme. Which is, labeling and tagging almost everything as being haram. ‘Akhi this is haram!’ ‘Akhi this is baddah!’ The life they led previously is completely shunned (and rightly so, if there was evil in it). However, the damaging thing is, the people they used to hang around with are also thrown out with the bath water. The new Muslim begins to see them as the denizens of Hell. Who deserve no mercy and should in all cases be dealt with severely. Because of all the ‘haram’ and kufr they do.

2) This sort of extremist attitude leads them for a great number of years, where the family he or she once knew, become aliens in his or her life. And, for that part, the family of the new Muslim, begin to see themselves as slowly losing their loved one to ‘Islāmic extremism’. My brother the Islamist, a BBC programme aired a few years ago, is a perfect example of this. Where the extremist Muslim in the family sees his own brothers ans sisters as evil and vile people who deserve to be looked down on and shuck hands with, only with the ‘dirty left hand’.

3) Once this hunger for self-taught piety sees no end, then he (the new muslim) seeks to join a party or a group which would be a perfect match to his ideology. With a spiritual support behind him and a religious gang to hang out with, he then beings to look down on other Muslims. Who in his eyes, are committing grave errors and innovations in Islam. These new Muslims then see it as their birth right to show the misguided ways of the deviators, – (muslims who have gone astray). This then leads him to curse and accuse every other Muslim of being a non-Muslim. The only true Muslims who are following the Quran and sunnah are him and his gang.
So, so far we have seen how from one gang of barbarity to another gang of ‘religious barbarity’ the new muslim quickly phases through.

4) After several years being the foot solider for that group, he then slowly starts to have serious doubts about the group, of its actions and ideology. He begins to question them and their ways of implementing Islam. Why do we have to do this? Why are you accusing every one? etc. This then leads him to the road to adopting a liberal Islam.

5) Having seen the errors of his former group which he has left now. He/they then begin their own quest to reach the truth. Going from places to places and along the way, he slowly beings to think about the former life he used to lead. All the joys he had, the mates he used to chill with, and the stress-free and causal approach to life he had. This seriously beings to mystify his Islāmic life and the ideals Islam has. Having had the experience of Islam and seen how it was with his former group, he then begins to think, ‘this Islam is not what i thought it would be’. ‘Its quite restricted and stressful’. This is where every things starts to go pear shape.

6) With the realization that Islam is (in his view) very strict, he then looks for ways to adapt his former lifestyle into his Islāmic lifestyle, once again. Looking for hadiths and quranic verses which allows him to have some of the pleasures he used to enjoy before. Or, even twisting the interpretations of some ayahs, so that he can justify his actions. Should anyone ask him why he has gone back to his old ways. By now the one time thowb wearing, turban tieing and long breaded new Muslim has changed to wearing Levis jeans and t-shirts with a pencil line bread. Over a period of time, this then allows shaitan to further capitalize on the condition of the one-time, self-proclaimed religious police officer of the ummah, the convert Muslim.

7) In this last phase we see the complete overhaul of the previously ‘haram bashing, extremist convert muslim’. This is where he has gone from being one thing to another. A hippy muslim, where everything goes. Hardly anything is haram. ‘live and let live’ attitude. Where the constraints of shariyah and sunnah are seen as being barriers to modernization and improvements. Where the hijab is seen being a non-essential item of being a muslim, what matters is having faith and being socially active. Or, the beard is seen as something not really that important to have. Something that only the 7th century Arabs wore because it was a costume of the times. He ultimately joins organizations agree to his new way of thinking. Organizations which say indirectly, ‘music and dance is allowed in Islam. It is not wrong and is celebrated as being an art’.
Take Yusuf islam for example, a man who shunned music for many years, has now gone back to the mainstream music industry.
The following images are from one such Islāmic organization. Dare i say which one. This was one of those organizations which used to rigorously promote the idea of implementing traditional Islam in the west. An example of how its gone from one thing to another, – the western hippy Islam. Being manufactured in the US. Where brothers and sisters can sit together in the same hall and it will islamically be halal. Where there is no need to wear the hijab or dress modestly. An organization which allows women to wear skin-tight shirts and trousers.
How on God’s gracious earth, can there be blessings and barakah in such places. Where the very fabric of Islam is being woven with non-islamic ethics and ideals!
Finally, we see in this 7th phase, the emergence of an ‘Exclusivist Muslim attitude’. Where these convert Muslims say, ‘we know how to take Islam to the west. As we are from the west. ‘We need to adapt Islam from that of a 7th century Islam to a modern day appealing Islam’. In one way saying, ‘ we want to live our former lives, but with a Islāmic theme to it’.

A Muslim community Iftar party. Looks more like a college freshman party. Than anything Islamic!

…Where the gender segregation is frowned upon, and men and women sit next to each other.

An modern day hippy type Islamic gathering. Where men and women sit together and sing the praises of the lord. What next i wonder, hold hands?

A modern day hippy type Islamic gathering. Where men and women sit together and sing the praises of the lord. What next i wonder, hold hands?

Further reading:
Dangers of American Islam/Muslim’ism’
Neo-Sufi Conservatism
Celebrity Status

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15 thoughts on “The Phases of a Convert Muslim

  1. You Pakistani/Indian Muslims are so backwards.

    Don’t you know its us converts who will take islam to the West? We think you have failed. Despite 99% of masjids in the UK and US being established by brownies its us white muslims who have superior ideas.

    And we’ll do it our way…. Don’t you know there are so many different, varying opinions for hijab, music, segregation etc. You brownies are too strict!

    Our movement is gaining momentum and we wish to wrestle the leadership of masjids and institutions in the West from you brown people…..

    And there’s loads of you brown people who hate yourselves and what God made you who would love to be seen with us and marry us….

    We love power-

    From Istanbul……

    • May Allah help us all Ameen I don’t believe in white , black blue, pink or brownies rather I see all human the same regardless of relegoise background. In religion of Islam we are all brothers alike no diffrance. Your comment about brownies I find offensive and I think the comment was written with anger and not wisdom :)

  2. Pingback: Shocking changes at Zaytuna College, California USA «

  3. Salam alaikum,
    As a revert Muslim myself, I see that you are really generalizing the situation. Yeah to some extent some of the phases are correct. But you fail to take into account that it is Allah who guides whomever he wills. How many converts have become Da’ee i.e. Bilal Philips, Siraj Wahaj, Yusuf Estes, Abdur Raheem Green or even the brother who is part of the Outlawz (I forget his name) just to name a few . You took Yusuf Islam as an example but there are many others who people follow who haven’t gone into this hippy phase you speak of. With this article you are alienating those who have recently converted and making it seem as most reverts end up as such, which makes it even harder for them to be accepted by other muslims for instance in cases of marriage. Keep in mind that the best generation of Muslims were all reverts

    • You are correct in saying the best generations were the companions who were reverts. I did mention that at the beginning of the article. The examples you used like Bilal Philips is just a typical example of the extreme pages in which a convert Muslim usually ends up in. People as such have more Dhikr of the words ‘Biddah and shirk’ on their tongues, than they do of the Dhikr of Allah!

      Secondly,I based my article after looking at the dramatic change of directions many western Islamic institutions are taking now. Most of them which are run and were opened by muslim converts. The ones who were known to be the champions of ‘classical Islam’ are now completely distanced from that idea. They have all, save a very few, (maybe) left the actual Islamic themed institutions they once led. Which were seen as likes of Al Azhar and Qaryyiun universities for the western world. For example, Zaytuna College has changed dramatically during the post 9/11 era. From a traditional Islamic school to a ‘liberal arts college’ literally becoming ‘liberal’ in the process of it. Comprising many of it’s previously cherished Islamic values of segregation and modest dressing. Read the following: http://mybeliefs.co.uk/2012/08/06/shocking-changes-at-zaytuna-college-california-usa/

      • That me be true, but you could also make the argument for born Muslims leading many astray as the likes of Tahir-ul Qadri whom they call sheikh-ul Islam who has amassed a huge following. And all those scholars for dollars whom I’m sure you know a few of them which pass ridiculous fatawa that many blindly follow. It comes down to desires and who Allah will to guide

      • When it comes to the truth brother. I can assure you I do not shy away from mentioning what is the haq! (truth). No matter which scholar or ALIM it is. You mention why (apparently) I did not highlight other ulema like Dr. Tahirul Qadri. Who are “leading people astray”. – These are your words, not mine. I would not go that far in accusing someone with out clear evidence. Anyway, I have in the past mentioned my thoughts (just like now) on some of the disturbing things Dr. Tahirul Qadri is doing. Read the following links:

        http://mybeliefs.co.uk/2011/09/26/peace-for-humanity-conference-24th-september-2011/

        http://mybeliefs.co.uk/2011/09/27/peace-for-humanity-conference-allegations-of-misunderstandings/

        http://mybeliefs.co.uk/2011/10/04/minhajul-quran-celebrate-christmas-a-serious-error/

        Remember, as I said in the article this is not an attack on the convert Muslim community. All I am doing is letting them/you know some of the trends I have seen predominantly occurring in these communities. In doing so, allowing people to use this article as a checklist for support. To help them avoid tumbling head long into these stages of extreme confusion and doubts of Islam.

      • My dear brother/sister in Islam i just realized I am helping drive this topic in the opposite direction I actually want to, we are turning this into a revert vs born Muslim debate. I still hold that obviously Allah guide whom He pleases.
        The real issue is that fact that the moment the step into Islam they are deprived of the guidance that they actually require to ease them into the deen. They are many times bombarded by many people who say this is haram or the opposite is haram, don’t follow this group or that group. Not to mention groups who seek to pray on the newby who is ignorant about many aspect of the deen, to which they bring twisted interpretation of ayats and ahadith. And so they become confused, what happens they tend to go of on their own and figure things out and try to completely emulate the Sahaba, and in a way lose trust in other muslims. But nobody comes to them and tell them that the change into Islam should be gradual. Remember the halal and haram wasn’t revealed till in the Madinah period which was after 10 years or so. Obviously I don’t mean tell them don’t fast for the next 10 years but it must be a gradual transition.
        High expectations are placed on them and they try to live up to it. And anything done in haste is bound to fail as you point out in your last phase.
        So in a way both sides are to be blamed

  4. Side note, something is messed with the comment box. It doesn’t scroll down as I type so I have to copy-paste from word. Don’t know if it’s a browser problem or the site

  5. Talking about ulema without Ilm is a SIN!

    Can the blogger give us his background regarding the studying of deen and ilm? or is he just a person who is a self appointed Scholar who engages is Zikr and now feels he knows the problems of the world?
    Brothers and sisters, this is a dangerous path. Use your writing skills to help Muslims and not divide. This blog is full of your opinions.
    Learn about deen from Scholars.

  6. Pingback: The downward decline of “Imam” Shaib Webb | MyBeliefs.co.uk

  7. Pingback: What NOT to do to a new Muslim | MyBeliefs.co.uk

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