Who is Looking out for Muslim Converts this Ramadan?- Imam Khalid Latif

The convert experience in Islam is one that is tough for many. Muslim communities throughout the world get excited when someone enters into their doors saying they want to accept Islam. There are hugs and laughter and a large uproar – and then everything stops and the convert has to figure out how to move forward on their own. Trying to navigate through the diversity of legal and theological opinion in Islam can be tough enough, but doing so on your own is that much tougher; as is navigating through the cultural diversity that exists in the Muslim community on your own; questioning yourself and wondering what parts of your identity you need to abandon to fit in on your own. I could keep going – but essentially the point is we don’t do a good job in taking care of our converts

That Much Harder For Muslim Converts

I bring this up because Ramadan is just days away and during Ramadan it’s that much harder for a lot of converts. Every Muslim’s family is not Muslim. Every Muslim does not have a family to eat suhoor with or have iftar with. How many iftars have you hosted or attended to which a convert was invited? Or at the end of the month extended an invitation to an Eid celebration to someone who is a convert? Our consciousness doesn’t seem to extend to this place.
I had a young woman tell me once that Ramadan is interesting for her because each year her family offers her food and she tells them she can’t eat it because she’s fasting. They respond by asking, “Oh, you’re still Muslim?” It’s not an experience that her family shares with her.
Another young woman told me her experience fasting during Ramadan was hard because her family wouldn’t accept her Islam. When it came time to eat lunch, her father would put a plate of food in front of her because he refused to acknowledge that she was a Muslim. She was quite torn in deciding what to do and not having a community, or even simply a few people who understood, to turn to made it that much harder.

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

A young man mentioned to me that his family had been completely fine with his conversion, but no Muslims really included him in anything. He expected that the local mosque would welcome him in and invite him to things, but he found that if he didn’t make a point of going on his own, no one really asked him to come. No one checked in on him, asked him how he was doing, or if he ever needed anything. During past Ramadans, his mother would call him daily to wake him up for suhoor, which he proceeded to eat on his own and then waited til sunset to break his fast alone as well. He doesn’t seem to think this Ramadan will be any different.
Try to think of who might be observing the month of Ramadan alone this year, not by choice but because there isn’t any other option for them. Make a point to include them in a way that makes sense for them. That might be inviting them to a large gathering or making the time to be with them in a smaller, more intimate atmosphere. Where others have forgotten, let’s make sure we’re remembering to do our part continuously and to the best of our abilities.

Follow Imam Khalid Latif on Facebook.
Photo by Jim Pennucci.

Muslim Convert: Encounters with Islam While With The US Military

Being in the US military gave Keith the chance to travel the world, and it was in Turkey that his attraction to Islam began. But, as an Evangelical Christian, Keith worried that converting to Islam would be too hard. Watch on to see how God guided him and helped him overcome his concerns.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

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Muslim Convert: Ever heard of an opera singer embracing Islam?

Do you think about converting to Islam, but have obstacles that hold you back? Sandra, a Muslim convert from Colombia, was once an opera singer. Being away from her family gave her an opportunity to question the religion she had sung for since childhood. And it was through a sincere prayer for guidance that God put her on the path of Islam.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.

Resources for Seekers

On Mosques, Companionship, & Knowledge: Zackary King in conversation

When Zackary King decided to become Muslim after three long years of contemplation, he did it alone in his room. The time that followed, he compared to being at a track meet. There was a general sense of belonging, yet a very deep, painful sense of individuality, to the point of loneliness.

However, after a longtime friend admitted to him that he had also become Muslim, Zackary decided to visit a mosque. There, during a short conversation with a fellow Muslim, he got all his questions answered…and realized the importance of companionship and community.

“It’s not just one person plus one person equals two. As you add each person, it has its own spirit. The group has a spirit all of its own. And for me, that’s one the of key aspects of Islam.”

He also learned a lot about the importance of knowledge. “If you’ve ever done any sort of procedure, knowing how to do it yourself gives you a sense of security and confidence that nothing else really can.”

Resources for Seekers

We are thankful to Safina Society for this recording.

Muslim Convert: What would people think of me?

Mohammed from the Philippines used to be a Christian. Friends talked to him about Islam, but his mind and heart were locked. However, after reading books about Islam something within him opened. He eventually converted to Islam when he was 33 years old and left the crazy lifestyle he had led. Watch on to learn more about Mohammed’s conversion to Islam.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.
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Resources for seekers

Muslim Convert: Why didn’t I know the Bible the way Muslims know the Qur’an?

Ameena from Belarus used to be a Christian. But after meeting a Muslim from Tajikistan who had an in depth knowledge of the Quran, she began to question why Christians didn’t know the Bible in the same way. She eventually converted to Islam when she was 23 years old and found peace in her life. Watch on to learn more about Ameena’s conversion to Islam…

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.
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Resources for seekers

Muslim Convert from Buddhism: How fast can a prayer be answered?

Yuanxin from China used to be a Buddhist but Buddhism was not what she turned to when she had a health crisis. She eventually converted to Islam when she was 35 years old, and it was a simple prayer that changed her course. Watch on to learn more about Yuanxin’s conversion to Islam on OvercomeTV.

If you have concerns or confusions that are keeping you back from converting to Islam, email Overcome TV or send a YouTube message.
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Resources for seekers

Impoverished Muslim Converts in Chiapas Need Help

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful


To send financial assistance to the Chiapas Muslim converts in Mexico, please donate now via Paypal.

Fellow Seeker, Sister Zainab Ismail, will be embarking on her third journey to San Cristobal de Las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico soon. Chiapas is in the south of Mexico where it borders Guatemala and Central America.
Sister Zainab embarks on this journey from 10th February to 14th February 2016 with two other volunteers.  The intentions are to continue the work that started on their previous trips.

Who are the Muslim Converts in Chiapas?

Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas-image4 Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim Converts Chiapas Muslim ConvertsThe communities they visit are made up of 180 indigenous peoples who are converts to Islam.  Approximately one hundred of these members are children. They primarily speak Tzotzil, a Mayan language, which is the native dialect of the people. However, most of them are bilingual with Spanish being their second language.
These communities are very impoverished and have faced many hardships over the years struggling to maintain their Islamic identity with little support from the outside world. Aside from these immense difficulties, the community continues to strive in studying the Quran and the learning the fundamental teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad ﷺ .
It is important to help these communities maintain their Islam as many of our teachers feel there is an urgent need to support their sustainability.

Scholar Endorsement

Upon the advice of our teachers Habib Umar bin Hafidh as well as Dr. Umar Faruq Abd-Allah, Imam Zaid Shakir and Shaykh Yahya Rhodus, these sisters are keenly working to assist their growth.
Mexico is over 80% Christian, which makes it difficult for them to access traditional Islamic education, halal resources, and interaction with other Muslims.  Thanks be to God they have a great Imam, who has lived with them now for four years.
The people live in very poor conditions, and the homes are made of wood with dirt floors and plastic tarp as walls.  They are unable to get proper medical, gynecological, or dental care.  They hold to the rope of God by the thread of their firm belief.

Previous Trips

From our previous trips the donors helped to accomplish the following:

  • Provide New clothing and toys for the children during both Eid celebrations in 2015;
  • Teach from the Shamail the Prophetic character and Prophetic nutrition in Spanish;
  • 100 % support for both Eid celebrations;
  • Provide support for Eid Qurbani & distribution to families (both Muslim and non-Muslim)
  • 100% support for the renovation and reconstruction of one of the family home (family of 14+)
  • Sponsor volunteers to visit Chiapas
  • Provide one on one private Q&A sessions for the women;
  • Provide ongoing access to a female teacher;
  • Bringing together of two communities;
  • Strengthen sisterhood/brotherhood ties in families;

In the upcoming trip, they would like to continue with the improvement of the living conditions. One of the women lives in a single room with her husband, seven children, and is expecting another child soon.  The want to renovate and build an expansion so they can live more comfortably.
There will have a community gathering to celebrate the completion of another sister’s home – she is one of the first converts in Chiapas. Sister Zainab Ismail and another sister will be the witnesses for two community weddings. Sister Zainab will begin with lessons from “The Clarification of Noble Character” by al-Habib Umar bin Hafiz in Spanish.
They also have a surprise Skype meeting planned with the students of an Islamic primary school in Leicester, UK and the Muslim children of Chiapas, Mexico to create a network of support.
We ask you to pray and support financially this noble project to assist the deeply spiritual community that is suffering hardship due to little financial means of supporting their lives.
Please donate generously to bring light to this endeavour and May God grant all those supporting it with His mercy and guidance.
Make a donation online via the Al Maqasid website.
You can also send us a check, write “Latin America Outreach” in the memo and make it out to:
PO Box 99
Macungie, PA 18062
We are a 501(c)3 Non-Profit registered in New Jersey.
Jazak Allah Khair

Update from Sister Zainab Ismail:

Alhamdulillah, we shared an emotional Skype meeting with Muslim children of Chiapas and Muslim children from The Land of Learning Primary school in Leichester, UK. The children asked, each other questions and recited Quran for each other. We closed with a beautiful nasheed and dua from the students in Leichester, UK. May Allah preserve our children and keep them on the straight path.
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Should I Convert to Islam to Please My Boyfriend’s Family In Order to Marry Him?

Answered by Ustadh Abdul Latif Al-Amin

Question: Hi,

I am a christian woman. I have met an unemployed muslim man who is a drug user. His family is putting pressure on me to marry and support him so that they don’t have to do it anymore. I don’t want to live with someone like that and I don’t think it would be right to convert to Islam because of a man. Is it wrong of me?
Answer:Why should one convert to Islam?
One should convert to Islam for God and God alone. At the same time, one should recognize that people can be a means of doing just that.
Nonetheless, one’s decision to convert can be made with greater confidence and ease if grounded in a sound understanding of the religion.
In that vein, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s guidance regarding the truths about Islam below should be beneficial.
Truths About Islam
(1) The nature of life is that it is both a test from God, and testing in its every aspect.
(2) As such, don’t be surprised to see contradictions and confusing matters.
(3) The faith and deep virtues rooted in Muslims–as individuals, families, communities, and societies–are undeniable.
(4) At the same time, it is also undeniable that Muslims have endured several politically, economically, and socially traumatic centuries since the colonial age. They’re (we’re!) still living the consequences of those traumas.
(5) One should consider Islam by its truths:
(a) its call to clear belief in One God–the Creator and Sustainer of all things;
(b) its inimitable revelation–the Qur’an–and its message;
(c) its Prophet–the Messenger Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)–who embodies the Qur’anic call to God and all good in the most beautiful of ways;
(d) the spiritual excellence this guidance calls to–the call to strive for, and attain, a state whereby one worships and submits to God “as though one beholds Him,” as the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) explained spirituality. [Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, How to Seek Knowledge Course, SeekersHub Global]
Rights & Responsibilities Of A Spouse
Both husband and wife have clearly defined rights in Islam; Yet, what we learn from the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace) is that marriage is not an arena for spouses to showcase their rights over one another. Rather, it is a means to living a righteous life together with love, respect, and good character at all times.
God Most High says in the Qur’an, “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought [Qur’an, 30.21]. ”
The Prophet Muhammad (God bless him and give him peace) said, “The most perfect of believers in belief is the best of them in character and the best of you are those who are the best to their spouses.” [Tirmidhi]
As such, it is well within one’s right for one’s husband to have a continual source of income, and to be living an upright and moral life.
Further Guidance
Please see the following answer from the SeekersGuidance Answers Service on love, good character, and mercy between spouses.
The answer points to what a Muslim should be striving to uphold with their spouse on a daily basis.
Love, Good Character, and Mercy Between Spouses
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at anytime.
Abdul Latif Al-Amin
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.

Should Muslim Converts Break Ties With Non-Muslim Family Members?

Answered by Saira AbuBakr
Question: Recently I read an explanation here about whether to break up ties with relatives or family members in case they are sinful people and the answer was clearly advising no to do so but to keep distance. I would like to ask if this is the same case for a convert? I am a convert and my family members are non-believers. However, even though I always prefer avoiding conflicts and keeping peaceful relation, sometimes their manners, the “culture” or “value-system” they represent and their actions are harmful to my husband’s (who is a born Muslim) and my comfort and I am worried that it can harm our child’s Muslim identity. So are there differences in this matter between a born Muslim family and a converted Muslim who’s parents, sisters/brothers…etc. are not Muslims? Thank you very much. as-Salam alaikum
Answer: walaikum salaam wa RahmatuAllah. JazakiAllahu khairun for your question. May Allah give you the strength to raise spiritually healthy children despite any difficulty, however great it may seem. Know that Allah is Greater (than any tribulation).
Maintaining Ties with One’s Kin
One is required to maintain blood ties, irrespective of the religion of our relatives. The Sahabah (companions of the Messenger of Allah peace and prayers upon him) were all converts and some were subjected to torture by their relatives, including sometimes by their own parents. They bore this patiently. May Allah grant us the strength to do the same, when faced with similar situations.
You may reduce the amount of interaction with your relatives in order to protect your children. Substitute any time not spent with them with gifts (whatever is affordable), phone calls and of course dua (supplication) for them, ideally after every fard (obligatory) prayer.
Focusing on Children’s Islamic Identity
On the other hand, focus on strengthening the identity of your children by regularly taking them to spiritual gatherings, such as: dhikr sessions, classes, socializing with spiritually like minded-people. Don’t worry about them not understanding what they might hear in a class but ensure that they are able to sit for the duration of your attendance without disturbing others. If they are very young, assist them by giving them paper, color pencils, etc. so they may keep busy. The important thing is that the words/presence of the teacher, the spiritual songs (anasheed) and the like will enter their ears and their hearts, as children are like sponges.
In our local halaqahs (circles) I let mothers bring their children. They come with their “busy work”. One of the mothers once excitedly told me that her three-year-old daughter learned some of the etiquettes of dua by simply sitting in our classes and watching us. I too have noticed very blessed changes in some of the children who have attended regularly. If they develop a strong sense of identity, they will grow-up with the ability to interact with all types of people (whenever necessary).
How to View Challenges
View the struggle of challenging relatives as a sign that you need to respond with equal vigor in providing your children with a spiritual environment. If you are not familiar with what is in your local area, ask around. Be persistent. Start something in your home and invite like-minded sisters with children. Begin with a strong intention (for the sake of Allah) and start as soon as Allah sends you (even) one other sister. Avoid argumentation and be consistent in whatever you start. Start small and overlook minor shortcomings in others.
Consistency in One’s Own Spiritual Growth
Also, take the classes you need to take, even if it means taking it online. See what is available on SeekersGuidance. If you have not taken a fiqh (law) class, then do take one and combine it with a class on spirituality. If you email us with what classes you have taken so far, we can better guide you in what to take next.
I know a mother of twins who is very regular in her tahajjud (waking up in the night) ritual, as she once mentioned that when her twins were young, this is the only time she had to review the material from her Islamic classes, recite Qur’an without interruption etc. If the mother (ideally both parents) has/have a strong spiritual identity, the children will follow.
Always Remember
Above all, be consistent in your dua for your children, as a parent’s dua for his/her children is from the duas that Allah the Most High answers.
May He give you the strength to persist on the straight path and may He grant you and your children blessed company.
Saira AbuBakr
Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani