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In the Name of God بسم الله
Sisterfatima1

Should Shia masjids make revert groups

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Guest ColormeMonad

imagine a center where all the brownies are on one side and the whites on the other side?. Mosques already have silent elitists social groups, imagine a revert group. They might be used as scapegoat for future problems or they might just take over the mosques! omagaaaad!!

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6 hours ago, Sisterfatima1 said:

Salam 

I think it would be beneficial if revert groups could be formed in the masjid as it is beneficial to meet others that are in the same situation as each other 

I put this idea forward before but it has never been entertained 

Waalaykomassalam. As with many groups, someone's going to have to be passionate enough abut the initiative do the heavy lifting, as in you're going to have to take leadership yourself by finding members and organizing the group yourself. Like tell sisters in your mosque who are reverts to join or ask others to inform reverts they know about you're initiative. I'm sure your mosque would be OK with hosting the group, and if not, you guys could designate a meet up spot yourselves or if that's too inconvenient, make a facebook group maybe so you can all communicate without trying to find a meeting date that will work with everyone's scheduals. 

Many mosques have Qur'an groups, youth groups, women's only programs, besides the regular programs, I think it would be nice for reverts to have their own groups too. 

Edited by Lilly14

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Wa alaikum as salam wa rahmatullah.

I have mixed feelings. It's a good idea for someone who is new to the community but then there are also born Muslims who may never have had a lot of exposure or involvement with their religion and would need something similar without it necessarily being restricted to reverts only. 

The second issue is that I personally don't like to distinguish between reverts and others because there should be no difference, we are essentially all one and the same.

Therefore I would propose the following:

-an 'integration' group for anyone who is new to the community

-various activity groups (Qur'an study, community volunteering, sports groups etc) open for all. 

Keep in mind that now that Muslims in the west are reaching 3rd, 4th even 5th generations, a lot of western born and western raised Muslims face similar cultural challenges to reverts. Therefore what we typically see as revert specific issues will on one hand disappear (linguistic differences) and on the other hand become more generalized (disconnect from foreign cultures). 

Wallahu a'lam 

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57 minutes ago, Mahdavist said:

Wa alaikum as salam wa rahmatullah.

I have mixed feelings. It's a good idea for someone who is new to the community but then there are also born Muslims who may never have had a lot of exposure or involvement with their religion and would need something similar without it necessarily being restricted to reverts only. 

The second issue is that I personally don't like to distinguish between reverts and others because there should be no difference, we are essentially all one and the same.

Therefore I would propose the following:

-an 'integration' group for anyone who is new to the community

-various activity groups (Qur'an study, community volunteering, sports groups etc) open for all. 

Keep in mind that now that Muslims in the west are reaching 3rd, 4th even 5th generations, a lot of western born and western raised Muslims face similar cultural challenges to reverts. Therefore what we typically see as revert specific issues will on one hand disappear (linguistic differences) and on the other hand become more generalized (disconnect from foreign cultures). 

Wallahu a'lam 

Her intention is not exclusion. There is a culture shock being raised in a non-Muslim household most of your life and then becoming Muslim, because Islam is very much a lifestyle, and there are so many intricacies that you have to integrate into your life. And while western born Muslims have often similar problems as reverts, it's very different at times. Say, how to deal with parents who don't like that you're a revert Muslim, and as a born Muslim I could never understand that major struggle, but I'm sure some other reverts can. 

I've seen many mosques in the west have groups, but if no one wants to take initiate for making one specific group, doesn't mean there should be no other groups. 

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I'd even go as far as saying that in the future the reverts should have their own mosques where they can make the decisions and where the youth from cultural backgrounds can also comfortably join. Current mosques are very cultural and they don't give the authority to others where positive changes which are needed can be implemented. 

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If any such group will be formed it should be done by the reverts themselves, my friend whos not a revert tried to arrange one and pass it on to one of the group members, among the male group no one was interested in taking charge of the group nor be active thus the group died, at the female group some of the females started to fight each other and their group was disbanded.

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We should have Islamic Education classes for reverts. That's a great idea. We should show them the basics of the religion and how to pray.

That is how people get accustomed to the religion.

*squeak*

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52 minutes ago, ShiaLuma said:

*squeak*

Gross. Please don't type like that. I'm sorry, but I feel the need to shut it down before it becomes reoccurring.

Edit: Except for in the gaming forum... over there it's cool.

Edited by AmirioTheMuzzy

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On 11/17/2019 at 12:08 AM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

As Lilly said, when reverts convert, we come into it, expecting to accept a religion and end up accepting a lifestyle we have no experience or frame of reference in, our family thinks we're terrorists.

As Mahdavist said, "there are also born Muslims who may never have had a lot of exposure or involvement with their religion and would need something similar without it necessarily being restricted to reverts only." 

[E.g. Muslim families who never went to the mosque nor talked about Islam in the home, and just magically expected their kids to be Muslims who understand Tawheed... so these born Muslims are essentially reverts, but they would never label themselves as such out of (self-) embarrassment and fear of social repercussions]

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1 hour ago, AmirioTheMuzzy said:

As Mahdavist said, "there are also born Muslims who may never have had a lot of exposure or involvement with their religion and would need something similar without it necessarily being restricted to reverts only." 

Unfortunately, that's not the same thing. The difference being that most born Muslims will bypass the stage of suspicion and shock from friends/family that we get converting from e.g. Christianity from Islam and are more likely to be accepted by the cliques at the Islamic center.

There's stories of reverts accused of being spies for MI6/CIA, whereas a born Muslim won't raise such unwarranted suspicions. After he/she is from a "Muslim" family, therefore a part of whatever cultural clique that dominates the center or masjid and gets more support as a result .

Don't conflate the two as equal, they are two separate experiences. Born Muslims already have some familiarity, even they aren't exactly the most practicing. When reverts convert, we don't have a reference and we usually confused at first as to what is culture versus Islam. @AmirioTheMuzzy

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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@Gaius I. Caesar Yeah I agree with you. Whatever difficulties  us born Muslims go through, it's double in magnitude for converts. 

However, I must say that even some born Muslims can get a glimpse of what you guys go through. A lot of parents are cultural nowadays and if they find that they're children are very religious then it bothers them. Just think about all those sisters who want to wear hijab the orthodox way but their parents consider them to be "terrorists" or too extreme.

Edited by ali_fatheroforphans

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2 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

However, I must say that even some born Muslims can get a glimpse of what you guys go through. A

But it's just a glimpse, not the same as experiencing it. The drama when you convert, your father trying to guilt trip you by asking you "Do you not love us anymore? Are you damming us to hell? Going in blind, expecting a religion and coming a new lifestyle.

The loneliness. Misleading information from Sunnis, Quranist and Evangelists trying to trick Muslims in order to "save them".

Revert sisters being harassed and called a "race traitor" simply for wearing a cloth on their head. Only get to chewed out for being "impious" by Muslims who don't understand that's there's a double standard for them (reverts) when it comes to hijab.

Actually, a glimpse is nothing. It wouldn't be enough to understand what we go through.

 

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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50 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Actually, a glimpse is nothing. It wouldn't be enough to understand what we go through.

Still you don't know the experience of all born Muslims. The loneliness is still there for anyone who chooses to be religious. A lot of families are ignorant to be honest. 

Just go to Pakistan and look at how many born Muslims sisters get abused if they are to wear the chador or cover in a very Islamic way. Also, all hijabis get accused regardless of whether you're a revert or not.

Saying that the glimpse is nothing isn't right.

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Seeking the Straight Path: Reflections of a New Muslim
AUTHOR(S): 
Diana Masooma Beatty
  
PUBLISHER(S): 
World Islamic Network (WIN)
 
Common challenges and issues faced by converts,the reasoning behind conversion, analysis from a Western view of many controversial or misunderstood topics in Islam, and basic information needed by new converts. Spanish translation is also available.

https://www.al-Islam.org/seeking-straight-path-reflections-new-Muslim-diana-masooma-beatty

https://www.al-Islam.org/es/reflexiones-de-una-nueva-musulmanael-camino-correcto-diana-masooma-beatty

https://www.al-Islam.org/articles/how-I-became-Muslim-diana-masooma-beatty

I am a new convert to Shia Islam living in the West and learning practical Irfan. How do I find a Shia guide who can help on this journey that I believe is important and brings you much closer to Allah?

https://www.al-Islam.org/ask/I-am-a-new-convert-to-Shia-Islam-living-in-the-west-and-learning-practical-irfan-how-do-I-find-a-Shia-guide-who-can-help-on-this-journey-that-I-believe-is-important-and-brings-you-much-closer-to-Allah

https://www.al-Islam.org/ask/I-am-a-new-convert-to-Shia-Islam-living-in-the-west-and-learning-practical-irfan-how-do-I-find-a-Shia-guide-who-can-help-on-this-journey-that-I-believe-is-important-and-brings-you-much-closer-to-Allah

https://www.al-Islam.org/ask/as-a-recent-27-year-old-revert-to-Islam-am-I-too-old-to-attend-a-Muslim-college-to-learn-more-about-the-religion-or-are-there-any-online-courses-available-to-me

Edited by Ashvazdanghe

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51 minutes ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Still you don't know the experience of all born Muslims. The loneliness is still there for anyone who chooses to be religious. A lot of families are ignorant to be honest. 

Just go to Pakistan and look at how many born Muslims sisters get abused if they are to wear the chador or cover in a very Islamic way. Also, all hijabis get accused regardless of whether you're a revert or not.

Saying that the glimpse is nothing isn't right.

Conflating the experiences between the two also isn't right. They are two separate but related experiences. We can relate to something but it doesn't necessarily mean you or I understand it.

While I may not know the  experiences of every born Muslim, besides you and your father I don't really see born Muslims having the same issues I had with my father (Constant comparisons to the Unabomber for two weeks, having a meltdown because I put the Qur'an in my luggage so I could read at my mom's place or shaving off my beard because I looked "Arab", telling me I converted to Islam because "you hate your family" and I have a darkness in my heart, etc.)

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8 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Mind me for my ignorance, but yeah like how you get treated by your dad it must be very very tough and painful.

Tough is an understatement, his words still affect me to this day. This alone, is why I don't mindlessly revere my parents. There's more what he did but that's going off topic.

But that's one of the reasons I'd prefer to go to a revert masjid, so I'll have people with similar experiences to talk to. 

Forgive my ignorance but do born Muslims honestly think they can get a glimpse into what I've gone through with my dad and understand?

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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:salam:

Each revert could have a sponsor (or whatever you call that in English) if he/she wishes.

The mosque would put a box where a revert could pick a name and a phone number of one of the volunteers that agreed to take part in the programme.

The sponsor would then have to introduce the new comer to his circle of friends, that's a cool manner to get to know people without forcing things. 

 

That could be done online with a secured space for pricacy purposes.

Edited by realizm

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4 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

born Muslims honestly think they can get a glimpse into what I've gone through with my dad and understand?

Have you heard of childhood trauma? Have you heard of stories where "Muslims" are beaten badly by their parents? Or stories where kids have to see their mothers getting beaten? These are all experiences which are common to human beings, be they Muslims or non-Muslims or reverts. What you went through is painful in a certain way and what a born Muslim may be equally as painful in a different  way according to them. This world is huge with a large population. You can't just assume that the life of born Muslims is perfect. 

Also you don't always need to have someone who's been through the exact same experiences for them to understand you. Some people are great listeners and just empathetic people

My answer is - Yes, born Muslims can get a glimpse of what pain feels like. We know what it is like to be hurt and abused. We know the painful feeling of the words of someone haunting us. Your experiences are definitely different but some born Muslims (not majority) can get a glimpse of your pain.

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3 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Have you heard of childhood trauma? Have you heard of stories where "Muslims" are beaten badly by their parents? Or stories where kids have to see their mothers getting beaten? These are all experiences which are common to human beings, be they Muslims or non-Muslims or reverts. What you went through is painful in a certain way and what a born Muslim may be equally as painful in a different  way according to them. This world is huge with a large population. You can't just assume that the life of born Muslims is perfect. 

Also you don't always need to have someone who's been through the exact same experiences for them to understand you. Some people are great listeners and just empathetic people

My answer is - Yes, born Muslims can get a glimpse of what pain feels like. We know what it is like to be hurt and abused. We know the painful feeling of the words of someone haunting us. Your experiences are definitely different but some born Muslims (not majority) can get a glimpse of your pain.

Not trying to undermine reverts experiences but this is very true..brown people not only experience having to deal with racist people in the west but some deal with abuse too, just like you said. Some people don't realize how privileged they are. 

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3 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

Have you heard of childhood trauma? Have you heard of stories where "Muslims" are beaten badly by their parents? Or stories where kids have to see their mothers getting beaten?

Of course, I was also beaten as a child, yelled and screamed at as well. I hid this for seven years because I was threatened with death. My friend in Karachi was forced into a marriage and burned with cigarettes when her husband at the time didn't get his way, her sons saw that. I know, Ali...

I lived that life, I appreciate that you care about me, I've always have but I don't want empathy, what I want from most people is understanding.

3 hours ago, ali_fatheroforphans said:

My answer is - Yes, born Muslims can get a glimpse of what pain feels like. We know what it is like to be hurt and abused. We know the painful feeling of the words of someone haunting us. Your experiences are definitely different but some born Muslims (not majority) can get a glimpse of your pain.

My answer to you- No, you will never understand until you walked a mile in my shoes, just like I'll never understand what sisters go through with wearing hijab, being harassed by guys or having a marriage arranged.

I might able to relate to the frustration of arranged marriage, harassment or the joy of wearing hijab but I do understand? No, I don't. I'm not trying to argue for tabula rasa but the  only source of wisdom is experience, and wisdom is a synonym for understanding.

We can talk about this further in P.M.

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar
*Clarity

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9 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Tough is an understatement, his words still affect me to this day. This alone, is why I don't mindlessly revere my parents. There's more what he did but that's going off topic.

But that's one of the reasons I'd prefer to go to a revert masjid, so I'll have people with similar experiences to talk to. 

Forgive my ignorance but do born Muslims honestly think they can get a glimpse into what I've gone through with my dad and understand?

Actually it might surprise you but such things do sadly happen in irreligious Muslim households. There are cases for instance where one member would want to fast and they would get abused by the rest for it, or one person would want to wear the hijab and the rest would condemn them. Avoiding family gatherings because they are unislamic is another huge challenge. Sometimes even quoting from the Qur'an will get you abuse in Muslim households where Islam is only seen as a cultural heritage and not something to be studied or implemented. This has damaged relationships and had severe effects on those who were trying to practice Islam even within a born-Muslim family. 

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:26 PM, AmirioTheMuzzy said:

Gross. Please don't type like that. I'm sorry, but I feel the need to shut it down before it becomes reoccurring.

Edit: Except for in the gaming forum... over there it's cool.

Hey, Lumas squeak as they talk.

 

On 11/25/2019 at 2:52 AM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

Don't be a jerk, that's bad adab.

Thanks. He was being a little critical over the Lumaness of me.

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On 11/25/2019 at 11:38 PM, Mahdavist said:

Actually it might surprise you but such things do sadly happen in irreligious Muslim households. There are cases for instance where one member would want to fast and they would get abused by the rest for it, or one person would want to wear the hijab and the rest would condemn them. Avoiding family gatherings because they are unislamic is another huge challenge. Sometimes even quoting from the Qur'an will get you abuse in Muslim households where Islam is only seen as a cultural heritage and not something to be studied or implemented. This has damaged relationships and had severe effects on those who were trying to practice Islam even within a born-Muslim family. 

I think this actually happened to Ali Dawah (eventhough he is a salafi)

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On 11/25/2019 at 8:49 AM, Gaius I. Caesar said:

There's stories of reverts accused of being spies for MI6/CIA, whereas a born Muslim won't raise such unwarranted suspicions. After he/she is from a "Muslim" family, therefore a part of whatever cultural clique that dominates the center or masjid and gets more support as a result .

Salam because it happened many time that new converts are very prone to fall in trap of radical groups because born Muslims from traditional families accept a new Muslim in a boring way that they are neutral or defensive about new members but radical groups between both Shias and Sunnis are accepting new converts very rapidly & with warm welcoming to increase number their radical groups by accepting new converts that don't know about their agenda that they just seek for a supportive group that unfortunately radical groups are very active for accepting new members between themselves but moderate & traditional groups don't have a support plan   for accepting new converts.

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1 hour ago, Ashvazdanghe said:

Salam because it happened many time that new converts are very prone to fall in trap of radical groups because born Muslims from traditional families accept a new Muslim in a boring way that they are neutral or defensive about new members but radical groups between both Shias and Sunnis are accepting new converts very rapidly & with warm welcoming to increase number their radical groups by accepting new converts that don't know about their agenda that they just seek for a supportive group that unfortunately radical groups are very active for accepting new members between themselves but moderate & traditional groups don't have a support plan   for accepting new converts.

Then perhaps, it's time to make a support plan for reverts, since it's a  huge lifestyle change for them. If radical groups are a problem, what's the solution?

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23 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

If radical groups are a problem, what's the solution?

I think converts & reverts that passed the early years problems must made supportive groups for new ones , because the moderate & traditional born Muslims can't support new comers  but groups that passed the problems but still are considering as new to Islam can relate new comers without experience to moderate & traditional born Muslims or make their own community with keeping connection to other Muslims like as rural camps that looks like very idealistic but helps new comers to strengthen their beliefs and avoid the world around them until they become ready to face outside world again

Le Moulinet - French Revert Community

 

 

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I think it can be difficult for a Shia mosque in a western country because the majority of converts are Sunni unfortunately. Shia's is about 20% of the world Muslim population, but it is only half that among the converts I know. What is even more unfortunate is that the Wahabi/Salafi converts is the same number as the Shia in spite of the Salafis being only 1% of the world Muslim population. This is of cause because the Saudi-Arabia has funded a lot of Wahabi/Salafi dawah activities while Shias has not actively sought to make consistent dawah narrative. 
When someone come to Islam they become Sunni by default, where as Shias is seen as a strange sect that does things in a strange way. I think this could be turned around with a coordinated effort, but at the moment the Sunnis is reaping the benefit.

I don't think that converts should have their own mosques because in the end we should be one Ummah and I don't understand why some is so concerned with race. It is really just different levels of tan. I am getting along fine with born Muslims especially of the younger generation. However I think many of the older generation of emigrants to Europe see Islam as an ethnic marker that connects them to their homeland and is therefore a little uneasy seeing Europeans embracing their religion. That is also why they are a little reluctant to translate the Khutbah into other languages, even when their own grandchildren doesn't understand Arabic or Farsi. So when the older generation runs the Mosques they would be less inclined to support activities for converts let alone dawah.

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