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ShiaMan14

How To: Assimilation of Reverts into our Communities (Discussion 2019, Week 5)

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This question / discussion is for Reverts and Born-in Shias:

Reverts: what you do to assimilate within your local Shia community?  What challenges do you face? What are resolutions to fix this problem?

Born-In: How do you facilitate the assimilation of Reverts into Islamic communities. Ideas on better assimilation opportunities?

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One idea I have is that when the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and Muslims migrated to Medina, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) assigned a Muhajir and an Ansari as brothers.

Similarly, community centers should have volunteers (Ansar) who help Reverts (Muhajir) assimilate into the community. Of course brother-brother and sister-sister.

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5 minutes ago, Reza said:

Lets give credit to Sunnis (and Wahhabis), for being more diverse and accommodating of believers of different backgrounds. Being Shia, if you're not Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian, or IndoPak, you're mostly out of luck in many places.

Very true. Unfortunately. 

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6 hours ago, ShiaMan14 said:

Born-In: How do you facilitate the assimilation of Reverts into Islamic communities. Ideas on better assimilation opportunities?

I live in a Muslim country so I don't know any reverts. Your Muhajireen-Ansaar idea is excellent and will also serve to provide a family for reverts whose biggest problem is loneliness since lots of them lose their families after becoming Muslims. Speaking of loneliness another problem they face is finding a spouse where 95% of the born Muslims start acting holier-than-thou and always view them with suspicion. Often reverts end up in a situation where they have a strained relationship with their non Muslim family and friends and also don't feel warmly welcomed in the Muslim community. As I already mentioned I haven't been around many reverts in real life so I don't know how practical these suggestions are but still..

1.On Eids each Muslim family should make the effort to invite a revert into their homes for lunch or dinner or even better, for the whole day.Eid is a time of happiness and celebration and no one should spend the day feeling alone. I know there are events held in Islamic centres but they don't make up for a get together in a home environment. 

2. There are Sunday schools for kids. There should a class or two in every Sunday school for reverts.Salat isn't a simple thing to learn and is even more difficult when you are the only grown up in the mosque who doesn't know how to pray, not to mention the people who soley exist for the purpose of pointing out mistakes in other people.

3. Not just for reverts but all Muslims, get rid of ethno-cultural camps! Reverts find it difficult to go an Islamic centres if this Hussainiya is 'Arabised' and that is 'Pakistanised' and the next one is 'khojas'.Do they have to find one which is 'Americanised' or 'europeniased'? I know I am making a generalisation here and there are exceptions but let's accept it we Muslims are bound to cultural more than we are to our religion.

4.Make revert support groups, not online ones, real life ones. 

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10 hours ago, Reza said:

Lets give credit to Sunnis (and Wahhabis), for being more diverse and accommodating of believers of different backgrounds. Being Shia, if you're not Lebanese, Iraqi, Iranian, or IndoPak, you're mostly out of luck in many places.

Salaam.

You've highlighted the problem. Solution?

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8 hours ago, starlight said:

I live in a Muslim country so I don't know any reverts. Your Muhajireen-Ansaar idea is excellent and will also serve to provide a family for reverts whose biggest problem is loneliness since lots of them lose their families after becoming Muslims. Speaking of loneliness another problem they face is finding a spouse where 95% of the born Muslims start acting holier-than-thou and always view them with suspicion. Often reverts end up in a situation where they have a strained relationship with their non Muslim family and friends and also don't feel warmly welcomed in the Muslim community. As I already mentioned I haven't been around many reverts in real life so I don't know how practical these suggestions are but still..

1.On Eids each Muslim family should make the effort to invite a revert into their homes for lunch or dinner or even better, for the whole day.Eid is a time of happiness and celebration and no one should spend the day feeling alone. I know there are events held in Islamic centres but they don't make up for a get together in a home environment. 

2. There are Sunday schools for kids. There should a class or two in every Sunday school for reverts.Salat isn't a simple thing to learn and is even more difficult when you are the only grown up in the mosque who doesn't know how to pray, not to mention the people who soley exist for the purpose of pointing out mistakes in other people.

3. Not just for reverts but all Muslims, get rid of ethno-cultural camps! Reverts find it difficult to go an Islamic centres if this Hussainiya is 'Arabised' and that is 'Pakistanised' and the next one is 'khojas'.Do they have to find one which is 'Americanised' or 'europeniased'? I know I am making a generalisation here and there are exceptions but let's accept it we Muslims are bound to cultural more than we are to our religion.

4.Make revert support groups, not online ones, real life ones. 

What about Sunni » Shia reverts?

The rest of the ideas are great.

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1 hour ago, Reza said:

Intermarriage.

Absolutely. 

Reverts are amongst the most beautiful things, fresh pure blood being injected into the soul I.e from the moment they revert they are given a new life for the sacrifice they make not just in words but  in action with their whole being. 

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1 hour ago, Reza said:

Its the other way around.

I think it would be a catch-22 thing. How/why would someone marry them without knowing them and to know them, they would have to be assimilated within the community.

I am not saying intermarriage would be wrong just not following the steps from reversion to marriage without being in the community.

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19 hours ago, ShiaMan14 said:

Reverts: what you do to assimilate within your local Shia community?  What challenges do you face? What are resolutions to fix this problem?

I gave up. For many years I tried to join various communities and was either rejected outright ("We are a group only for [insert ethnicity]") or excluded and ostracized. I tend toward reclusivity anyway so it doesn't much matter to me, though it would be nice for my children to know other Shia, and I'll probably not end up with a proper burial due to not being known in the community. 

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3 hours ago, starlight said:

I don't think they face significant problems since they are already Muslims.

Most people don’t care honestly they would never change the beliefs they were born with so they see them as upstarts 

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4 minutes ago, Panzerwaffe said:

Which ethnicity do you belong to?

My ancestors were poor white farmers and factory workers. So in addition to being white - which many born Muslims assume = sleazy - I don't look or act like rich people. Most Shia Muslims in the United States are rich people. 

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45 minutes ago, notme said:

My ancestors were poor white farmers and factory workers. So in addition to being white - which many born Muslims assume = sleazy - I don't look or act like rich people. Most Shia Muslims in the United States are rich people. 

You should not let that discourage you sister.

This country was built by the poor whites who turned this savage land into a world power you should be proud of your heritage too.

These " Shias" of today act like rich urban elite ummayyads who used to make fun of poor shabbily clad sloppily groomed bedouins who were supporters of Imam Ali 

I commend your courage and fortitude. Please forgive us for treating you like this 

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1 hour ago, ShiaMan14 said:

I am not saying intermarriage would be wrong just not following the steps from reversion to marriage without being in the community.

I'm not commenting on its feasibility, but it seems like the only long term solution with a real impact. Anything else would be a half measure at best. Some people will have to take the plunge first.

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