Islamic Studies

Convert Outflux?

Asalamu alaykum,

I received a number of comments regarding New Muslim Cool and Br. Hamza Perez. A few questioned his commitment to Islam, one accused him of ignorance, one brother even severed his relations with me over the post and one person told me “It is obvious that this brother has issues with his din.”

In light of that, and the recent dissection of our Sr. Bilqis Abdul Qadir on the net, the question at hand is, where do the converts and the indigenous rest their heads? Many of us, before we got married, spent our Eid mornings at I-Hop,alone, only to be told that it was not zabiha; told to grow our beards long, let our hijabs hang low; pull our pants up high and get on a manhaj of some sorts. But where are our voices? 

 We hear how brothers and sisters came and built Islam in the 60’s with no mention of Malcolm, the Last Poets, the late Sh. Abdur Rashid nor anything about John Coltrane’s wife, Shariff Abdu Raheem’ father etc? Are we the evil step child being slapped by the woman his father married along with her children and her grandchildren; taking out their aggression on us, since they are unable to change the plight and stench of their own world while the kids are not sure who their daddy is?  

I’m worried that we are about to witness another split in the West. As Muslim organizations continue to cater to a strictly immigrant audience,  fail to actualize a movement that is rooted in textual authority that respects the locals, empowers the youth,  and doesn’t collapse every 10 years due to autocratic DNA brought over from the mother land, they are risking isolation and irrelevance.

How long will we as converts continue to subject ourselves to the sometimes barbaric nature of our communities? I wonder: are we about to experience another Exodus? Instead of searching for the promise land, which we found with Islam, we are simply searching for a place to rest our heads and feel welcome. 

Be strong brothers and sisters

Akhukum Suhaib— 

About the author

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb

Suhaib Webb is a contemporary American-Muslim educator, activist, and lecturer. His work bridges classical and contemporary Islamic thought, addressing issues of cultural, social and political relevance to Muslims in the West. After converting to Islam in 1992, Webb left his career in the music industry to pursue his passion in education. He earned a Bachelor’s in Education from the University of Central Oklahoma and received intensive private training in the Islamic Sciences under a renowned Muslim Scholar of Senegalese descent. Webb was hired as the Imam at the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, where he gave khutbas (sermons), taught religious classes, and provided counselling to families and young people; he also served as an Imam and resident scholar in communities across the U.S.

From 2004-2010, Suhaib Webb studied at the world’s preeminent Islamic institution of learning, Al-Azhar University, in the College of Shari`ah. During this time, after several years of studying the Arabic Language and the Islamic legal tradition, he also served as the head of the English Translation Department at Dar al-Ifta al-Misriyyah.

Outside of his studies at Al-Azhar, Suhaib Webb completed the memorization of the Quran in the city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. He has been granted numerous traditional teaching licenses (ijazat), adhering to centuries-old Islamic scholarly practice of ensuring the highest standards of scholarship. Webb was named one of the 500 Most Influential Muslims in the World by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in 2010.

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  • Sheikh Suhaib Alsalamu Alikum,

    Akhi, even though I was born a muslim I completely understand your concern and sadness with the issue of “I was born a muslim hence I am holier than though” mentality. I faced it as well when I moved to North America because I questioned practices that I knew were products of culture rather than a true understanding of religion.
    I will say it again akhi and please don't misunderstand me, you need to grow some real thick skin. You and people like you are the ones that would bridge such gap in the west. We need to find people like you from both sides and mend these superficial divides and coalesce into the community we are supposed to be.
    I pray that you and people like you would have the strength to bridge the gap. Remember, the stronger your faith is the harder the challenges from Allah.
    Your brother

  • Asalammu Alykum wa Rahmattu Allahi wa Barakatuh,

    I truly don't believe this is an issue just between those born Moslem and converts to Islam. You'll find the same problems of interpretation between people born Moslem and of the same cultural background.

    I think it goes back to people being concerned about how converts may be practicing their new faith and those that are born into Islam may be just more vocal in their concern while converts may not feel comfortable enough in their faith to loudly voice concerns.

    I can tell you that it's hard to go to someone and try to explain to them that they're saying or doing something wrong in their practice of faith. Just as it's hard for someone to listen to someone else telling him that they're wrong in how they practice their faith. There's a fine line that must be kept-in-mind.

    Asallamu Alykum

  • As a convert, when I face these trials, I constantly remind myself-
    Every single Sahabah was a convert.

  • Assalaamu Alaikum Dear Brother Suhaib,

    May Allah bless you and increase you in knowledge and good action.

    I found the videos interesting and Al-Hamdulillah your site in general is excellent, but I have to disagree with the some of the expressions used your article.

    You say that (through analogy) there is a ‘stench’ within the immigrant world, from which arises an ‘aggression’ within immigrants, which results in immigrant communities acting like an evil stepmother that slapping around converts – do you really mean this or have you said it out of anger?

    You say that immigrants are sometimes barbaric (non-immigrants cannot be?)

    You say that immigrant organisations have an ‘autocratic DNA’ from their ‘motherland’ which is prone to collapse every 10 years – which organisations exhibit this? if you can't say than please don't make this point as people will make incorrect assumptions about who you are talking about.

    Why I disagree:

    Yes, naturally most Muslims organisations in the West do promote a worldview that is in defined by the majority of their membership i.e. South Asian and Arab first/second generation immigrants. This is not for the most part due to some ‘barbaric’ intent on the community but rather people doing what comes naturally to them from their own heritage. Over time immigrant communities will become indigenous ones and will naturally develop more localised perspectives.

    Rather than subjugating them, many immigrant Muslims hold converts in high regard.

    This is the internet! Anybody can post online – what makes you think that the criticism you have received regarding the videos is indicative of discrimination from of immigrant Muslims or established Muslim organisations?

    Where I agree:

    What is true is that when advising converts, often born-Muslims tend to focus on the more minor fiqh issues (like the outward appearance) rather than the bigger issues like perfecting good character.

    Some immigrant Muslims give off a sense of knowing Islam better than converts, even if they could be more ignorant.

    More needs to be done within established Muslim organisations to communicate the need to be inclusive of convert/indigenous Muslims (not just platitudes but real action i.e. by actively trying to get their participation in Islamic activities and being as welcoming as possible). Some of our community are ignorant of this issue.

    One body:

    You wrote your article from a position of genuine frustration (speaking on behalf of what you feel is the weaker party against a stronger one), but your article should have focussed on those actions that can bring us together rather than using expressions that divides us.

    Personally, I dislike the verbal dichotomy between immigrant, indigenous and convert communities, not because there aren't any differences between communities, there undoubtedly are, but that these words put up barriers when there needn't be.

    We are not ‘immigrant’ or ‘indigenous’ or ‘converts’ we are first and foremost Muslims. This is our brotherhood, our sisterhood,our equality, our Ummah – not just some fuzzy ideal, but a goal that we should all work hard to achieve and aspire to, irrespective of the differences that can divide us from time time.

    “O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of God is he who is the most righteous of you” (Quran 49:13).

    Allah Knows Best

  • AS

    Yes we are the bastard children who are not fit to be Imams (lead the community or be heard) because we are illegitimate in the eyes of many but we should not feel bad we should work and work hard and be bold. So what if we make mistakes. Also we do not hear about Mr. Webb the European American Muslim. Dr. Ingrid Mattson gave me a word of advice we need indigenous leaders and Imam Suhaib you are one of them, lets move on and do our thing whoever is on board is on board. Like one of the students of Shaikh Albani said (r) Hasan al-Halabi whoever likes it likes and whoever does not oh well.

  • Assalam alaykom

    Rasool Allah Sallah Allahu Alayhe wasalam said “In deference, there is mercy”.

    My husband is a convert, and I am a born Muslim. This is our country and land, and we need to make it better for our children.

    The big mistake immigrant Muslims have is that they do not con ceder this country to be their own, and always think one day they will go back to their home land. So they are not willing to invest in this country, those are the ones that their kids end up being lost and torn between their home culture and the world they live in.

    We need to come together All kind of Muslims, all in one hand together Sunni, Shia, Salfi, Sufi, born to the deen, converts, Arabs, Africans ……… ALL

    Lets love each other and support each other, for the sake of Allah and this Ummah. We need no more division. PLEASE..

    fee aman Allah

  • Salam Alakum

    Mashallah Brother! You so totally hit the hammer on the head. I too think we will see a split as more and more people in america convert. The immigrant masses that have brought islam to america have been catoring to their cultural islams far to much and treating us like the unwanted step child. I have to say as a convert of 2 years, between attending the university full time and working full time, have experienced not only the wrath of converting from my old life( family and friends) but to find a nose turned in the air in the community of my new family the Umma. I don't think that this guy who was accused of having a problem with his deen is off the beaten path. I am very much realizing this is a test from ALLAH. First we embraced Islam, now we have to have the determination to love it with all of our hearts. This is a blessing, truly. Finding that your not alone that all you need is ALLAH to live is the greatest of all rewards we can have. Perhaps the people who are criticizing are only jealous of his qadar. I too have had the same experiences as a convert and am looking for my ingroup of welcoming muslims. It is not in the community I am in and hasent been in the past few cities I have lived, the communities all prefer their imported cultures to their islam. So to me it is not that big of a loss. I have ALLAH and that is enough! Humdulilah! =D

    Salam Alakum
    Sumayah Rose

  • Salam,

    Brother Suahib if I may such percieved “venting” on your part shouldn't be done at such a public platform because it arouses feelings of anger and misunderstanding. I agree with you whole heartedly about the issue of divide but sincerely akhi I think this could have been approached in a much better way.
    As for Nafees, I also agree with you but at the same time I don't think that you or I can understand what a convert goes through these days. My wife, my Allah strengthen her Iman more and more, has seen so much hardship and was told by a fellow born muslim sister “your husband should teach the right Islam”. These issues are real and the divide needs to be bridged.
    AbulHussein I understnad your frustration akhi but ask Allah for forgivness for calling yourself and others the metaphorical “bastards” for such title is not befitting of a muslim.
    This energy should be harnessed and redirected to figure out way in which we can educate ourselves on how to better practice our deen wherever we are.
    Forgive if I have wronged anyone, I am only trying to show my concern.
    May Allah unite all our hearts
    Your brother Nomad78

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Bro Nomad:

    I certainly appreciate your advice. However, the net allows for others to color in meanings that may not be there. I was not angry and this was not meant as a shot towards anyone. I wrote it more like an Op Ed. piece just to express my concerns with things. I was not angry at all and my intention was not to attack anyone. We need to be able to express ourselves in this community and not bottle things up.


  • I have the utmost respect for you Sh. Suhaib. As soon as I get on the internet, I type in your websites link, and will continue to do so. So I hope you don't take offense at my words for being brutally honest. I really love you, but I must respectfully disagree.

    Am I supposed to pity you, shaykh? The way you wrote this seems as if you are complaining to a higher authority…but take a look around at who our leaders are- it's people like YOU! Converts- not immigrants! So who exactly are you complaining to? And how is this going to achieve anything?

    I must say that this post seemed very divisive and seems to carry the same unhealthy thinking present in the rest of the Muslim world- welcome, shaykh- you are just as much an immigrant as we are now! This post, is not bridging a potential divide- it's going to help make a divide a reality.

    Most of the youth today are more similar to yourself then they are to their “immigrant” families. This is what I think you may be forgetting and therefore are pushing youth who are closer to yourself, away. All-in-all, the struggle isn't limited to converts but also to born and raised Western immigrant Muslims (who may be immigrants or have immigrant heritage) because they too spend Eid alone, they too have a hard time practicing their religion, they too have every single problem you mentioned earlier. And yet, they will not ask for pity.

    We are all struggling and I don't think it's fair that you are setting the example that you can complain and achieve something. No one said, living in the West would be easy- and as the Quran said, when the believers were told to be afriad because the kuffaar are amassing a large army– “It only INCREASED them in faith” and they said Hasbuna Allah wa naimal wakeel. So these struggles should make you stronger, not weaker.

    The problem with the Muslim Cool video was that it carried almost no mention of Islam- just a bunch of converts rapping and bobbing their head to a beat. Now, seriously, does this brother expect us to get up and say, “Ma sha Allah, you are following the Sunnah!!”? It's disgusting. The only thing is he is wearing a thobe, a prayer cap, a beard to portray Islam and being persecuted by authorities, which is visibly all that is a practicing Muslim can relate to. Other than that he's dressed thug.

    And then you call this “Muslim”! He's a Muslim (which he is, I don't ever doubt a man's emaan) but is now representing Islam with something that is reminiscent of kufr culture. In India and Pakistan, they hold the Quran over the head of the bride and groom, and that's as Islamic as it gets. This video is no different. He has a thobe on and is rapping- I don't see Islam. We are developing the same stupidity that is apparent back home, right here in North America. We need to make the Sunnah have a bigger role in our life than culture- whether it be good or bad culture.

    I should remind you that, I condemned this video just as much as I condemned Little Mosque on the Prairie (which was made by an immigrant!) If this brother is doing good for his community by feeding the poor and cleaning up brothers, I APPLAUD him! But he should not rap and try to represent Islam- if he does it in his own time and it's own business, fine (although he still needs nasiha) but now you are representing trying to represent Muslims!!! La howla wa la quwatta illah billah.

    This is why immigrants aren't going to vote in a convert as Khalifah. Converts DO carry baggage from their kufr days and while we love to hear convert stories there is a culture that is alien to Islam still present in the lives of converts. When you see an immigrant kid wearing FUBU or Ecko Unlimited, you will see the Black convert brother take offense to that and start puffing out his chest. We had a speaker come for an MSA event, an ex-rapper, and in talking about his life, he taught us more about rap than he did Islam. The worst part of that talk was that he called the hadith, “SHIT” !! I understood he meant it as a way of saying “stuff” but, nonetheless- I cannot allow Muslims to take that behavior as a role model.

    It's that sort of behavior that is why immigrants are still wary of converts. I know the damage Arab culture and East-Asian culture have inflicted on Islam- I do NOT want to see converts do the same thing with Western culture ! The fact is, that there is still some aspects of converts where their culture figures more prominently than does their Islam- the gangster talk, or calling Sahabas “straight up thug killers” or the discussing the NBA in khutbahs. The key question is, did the Sahabas behave like this? They were converts themselves, and yet they didn't carry around this baggage.

    I think the truth is we don't want Western culture to come into Islam- whether it's from immigrants or converts- but converts are the most visible sign of the effect of an alien culture on Islam and that is why they are an easy target. Although, concern will shift to be more and more about immigrant Muslims with their nasheed boybands. When people talk about the West becoming like al-Andalus, gradually losing Islam (because of cultural influence of the kuffaar), I fear they may be right.

    I think an excellent example to follow is the Jam'aat of Shehu Uthman ibn Fuduye. Many of these brothers are converts and yet are just as hardcore as Tableeghi Jamaat. I remember when all the Black Muslim community were mourning W.D. Mohammed, these brothers made no compromise and made plain the fact that W.D. Mohammed had connections with the US Department of Defense. That certainly put things into perspective and didn't make me see the brothers who follow this Jam'aat as black Muslims- but as Muslim brothers that are a great example to follow.

    But what do I know…after all, I'm just an immigrant.

  • Asalamu alaykum,

    Many thanks akhi. By the way, the brothers in the video or followers of that jamat, the jamat of Sh. Uthman Dan Fodio.

    I hope you can exercise some charity with your brother :}


  • salam,

    I understand the frustration Ustadh Suhaib, but as someone else said one must grow some thick skin and look beyond the poorly thoughtout rants that come in from watching a small clip or two. Leaders like you represent the bridge between the immigrant and indigenous world. Many born-Muslims are no longer immigrants, they lived a youth just like you did.

    I believe everyone should read the recent post

    Which is all about taking things slowly with people and for me answers those who jump at critising the brother on the video for being and doing what he does. I dont think he mis-represented Islam, he only represented himself. We come in all sorts of colours and we are not one race.

    There won't be no split. We were made into nations and tribes, and this is one of the biggest tests we have – learn to understand and live with each other.

    • Asalamu alaykum,

      I was in no way reacting to rants or simple posts here and there. I was trying to simply touch on an attitude that I’ve observed for a long time and I hold that, at times, some of our indigenous American converts were the greatest proponents of it. I feel in many ways that many of the “isms” running around our communities serve to undermine a more healthy religious expression. Therefore, I used the word immigrant to describe a mind set and not a group of people.

      I found Br. Dawoud’s post offensive, intolerant and lacking a good understanding of things. I’m not sure of his educational background in Islam, but using words like Western Culture without restriction is some what worrisome; deeming someones practice as “abhorrent” or “sickening” is the realm of the Qadi. However, I still love him, hold him his a brother, but feel that his ethos is a clear representation of what I was referencing. I have almost 17 years of legal training and found nothing in Br. Hamza Perez’s film to be against a position held within orthodox Islam. Meaning: we have a large mass to breathe in on many issues and, at times, folks try to suffocate expression or, do to serious issues of taqlid, are unaware that other contentions exist. I would encourage people who are not trained to avoid religious statements at all cost.

      While the actions of Hamza fall under legitimate differences, there is no difference amongst the scholars that speaking without knowledge is a major sin but, when you bring that up, people say “You are arrogant and think you know it all Mr. Azhari.”


  • JAKUMKhayr Akhee wa Ustadhana Suhaib,

    You have the right to bring this issue to light. It doesn't sound angry,hostile or pitiful.

    Dawud Israel all I could think from your post was Inna lillah wa Inna ilayhe Raji3oon.

    There was nothing disgusting with that video of akh Hamza Perez. The brother is who he is, and you know what he is repersenting Islam to the fullest that he can and instead of destryoing him we should lift him up.

    Another thing who said ALL MUSIC IS HARAAM! There is obviously disagreement over it's permissiblity. This brother raps with M-Team, personally I haven't listened to all their songs but the ones I have heard have been in the realms (lyrically) of the Halaal. I'm not a fan of all their music, (personal choice) but some of their tracks are on point in their reminders and upliftment.

    What does living the Sunnah actually mean?? Can we see living the Sunnah in someone taking time out to go to the jails to EDUCATE the prisoners, those who are lonely with no visitors, who are in a time of darkness as the Prophet pbuh used to educate his Sahabas who faced similar traumas and hardships!? Or forming a community of sharing and caring, of familiarity and smiles that are charity!? Reaching out so even when ones family doesn't understand it completely they ACCEPT it!? Like the brothers mother. What's more sunnah then getting the people off drugs and of giving the DAWA for people to accept Tawheed!?

    Every Muslim is in neeeeeeeed of Nasiha but there is an etiquette in delivering that nasiha as well which if not obtained will be useless and driven by ego.

    What does Western culture coming into Islam mean? How does a whole culture seep into a Faith? Cultures don't take over Religions or Faiths. Cultures take over other cultures or influence them and it usually works both ways. Western culture has produced much of our technology that we use today but you seem to be fine with using it or does your definition of Western culture limit itself to rap music?


  • Assalamu alaikum, I can definitely relate to what Imam Suhaib is talking about, and before we can solve the problem, we have to bring it out in the open and admit that it actually exists. But a few of the comments disturb me. Firstly, the sentiment expressed by some that they enjoy hearing converts' stories, but we still have our baggage, and thus shouldn't be taken as leaders. And the quote of “This is why immigrants aren't going to vote in a convert as Khalifah. Converts DO carry baggage from their kufr days and while we love to hear convert
    stories there is a culture that is alien to Islam still present in the lives of converts.” I think pretty much illustrates exactly the kind of thinking that Imam Suhaib was talking about.

    And yes, we are all Muslim first, but I'm really starting to bristle every time I hear this statement, the “we are all Muslim akhi” or “ukhti” as the case may be “so stop dividing us with this talk of immigrant vs. convert”. When all of us know there's a divide and just because you don't talk about it, doesn't mean it's not going to go away. And tht's the problem, that we don't talk about the issues facing our community, and just hope they'll go away if we just be quiet about it and sweep it under the rug. And of course, if we all lived the Sunnah, everything would be great? Maybe and maybe not. This life is a test. But at least, if everyone did what we were supposed to be doing, it'd probably make things a lot easier at least.

    And also, *every* culture has baggage. It's interesting that we hear “western culture” this and “western culture” that, and an occasional “yeah we know that “Eastern” culture is bad too”, yet we all know that what's really being said is how “converts” will never be Muslim enough, because they'll never get rid of their “jahaliyya”. I mean, the quote above pretty much said as much. Every culture has baggage but “Western” culture gets the brunt of the criticism, as if *all* Western culture is bad, and “Arab” or “south Asian” cutlure only is “a little bad”. And then when we convert, we're immediately told, either implicitly or outright, that we have to adopt (insert culture here), of whatever community you happen to be in. Anyway, I used to be angry about this, but now I'm just exhausted. I, for one, commend Imam Suhaib for speaking out on this. Now let's see what we can do to solve the problem instead of attacking the messenger.

  • Salam,
    Personally I like Ful from Sham better than the Iskandarani kind just becuase I am biased for where I came from, but that's a whole 'nother discussion (I am messing with you brother).
    I am not trying to shove things under the rug, nor am I trying to turn a blind eye to issues that do plague our communiy and Allahu A3lam of what I have been through and what I have tried to do with both sides. All I am saying, and I am starting to realize that whatever I am trying to say is just not coming across correctly, is that what I, and some others who have “percieved” the post as venting by Sheikh Suhaib, were taking a back by again the “percieved” tone. My comment was only on the way the post came across not on the content. The “thick skin” remark was in reference to again what I thought was venting due to hurtful comments.
    I am not trying to cross the principles of “adab” or mannerism in my gentle comment to the respected Sheikh. I am but a student who is questioning to learn, not to just question.
    Have it be known that my house and my heart is open for any and all muslims.

  • Assalam Alaikum WR WB. Since I'm a convert/revert, I'd thought I'd give my 2 cents on this issue. First and foremost, jazakallah khair Imam Suhaib for your website/blog. Your posts, more than once, have been a “breath of fresh air” for me. The masjid I attend is 99% arab. I'm the only american convert that is usually there. I get lots of love from the brothers that are there. I also get lots of “naseeha” too. On many occasions I feel left out because everyone is speaking arabic. I've taken 8 semesters of arabic and attend this masjid to be around the language. Sometimes I feel that certain brothers can't relate to my situation of having a non-muslim wife(may Allah swt guide her to Islam and make it easy for her) non-muslim parents(may Allah also guide them) and old non-muslim friends. I get “hadith-slapped” on occasion. I do my best to be patient and take advice that is useful and leave some advice that may not suite my situation. I also feel the tension of the older generation vs. the youngsters born here in the U.S. Also the cultural divides. I've also been left out of a few Eid invitations. But, alhamdullilah rabbil 'alameen, I remind myself that ALLAh swt religion is perfect and sometimes the people who practice it are not.. MAy Allah swt forgive us all and put us on the straight path. Jazakallah Khair.

  • Rasurullah Salallahu Alayhi Wassalam in Madina al Munawwara created a Market where anyone can trade, no rents, no taxes, no shops, no reserved spaces or plots existed, no licenses, no entry barriers of any kind. This is a Sunnah of Rasuruallah sallalah alayhi wassalam, and it allowed Muslims to earn halal trade and to not make wealth circulate only amongst the rich. The currency they used was not made of 'paper' controlled by some committe of bankers. And because this was the situation, the Community thrived. We as Muslims have to create such communities where we are not controlled by the State….this it itself will create unity.

    Listen to this Maliki Khutba regarding establishing the sunnah of the market and the Waqf:

  • AS

    It is no doubt that this the New Muslim Cool post served as a rorshach that is exposing the inner world of opinions people hold. And I will be bold enough to say that there is no real fiqh of da'wah (lack of understanding of the principles of da'wah) in much of what is being said regarding the matter and that it said bluntly and not meant offensively.

    It is very easy for Shaikh Suhaib to sanitize the site so that it represents and fits perfectly into one of the major trends of thought and practice that claim Islamic authenticity but alienates others. This is one of the major points of communicating the idea –many converts have no place to connect to.

    If we are honest then we would admit that most online sites dealing with Islam have little to do with da'wah or facilitating things for new Muslims or outreach or Muslims trying to work through being Muslim in the West. If we push that line of reasoning further than we would admit too that most mosques have failed in doing outreach and incorporating in out case Americans. Yes in the last 30 years we saw the rise of a great number of mosques and organizations mostly immigrant and we witnessed the eclipse of the Black Mosque and indigenous leadership but we have not seen a mature integration of the pulses of both communities for a number of reasons to numerous to mention here. (see: Islam and the Black American; Jackson, Sherman)

    We ought question what are the majority of Muslims doing in America other than seeking material benefit and to bend the political system to cater the political needs of Muslims over-seas? Where is the outreach other than a “takbir” when an American becomes Muslim. If the convert if white then a rush to make him a poster boy with little real concern with him as a person if he is black and latino its mashAllah but do not think about marrying my daughter and all of them are good to work with lost immigrant youth despite their other political uses.

    What happened? Why do we fail to see Siraj Wa Haj and Hamza Yusuf on the same stage of working out the community's problems. As fundraisers it is imperative to have them at one's event but to bring vision to the community and lead that is a different story. Siraj, cleaned up Brooklyn from drugs and crimes with Muslims from his community then was sucked up by the immigrant community to raise funds for their projects and little was done to aid the Muslims in the inner city. There was not much patience with the problems of the people in the efforts of many of the immigrants this is why many great grand mosques were built in the suburbs once settled few looked back to the poor communities.

    This comment box is not sufficient a space to address this matter but what suffices to say is that Muslims need to chill out and get themselves together produce something to support the talk and that entails doing something to aid the society they reside in. After all, now with the current economic situation there is not much cash to take from America so the money hungry are checked in their voracious desire for mammon. Some will get mad and it not my concern to be politically correct we need to be disturbed a bit so that we awake from the deep sleep we are in.

    In the end, we need a program for tackling the community's problems and the issue we have been discussing is a big one how to deal with the converts. So we should chill with sentencing people to the court of Inquisition where we charge people with deficiency in belief but rather make this an opportunity to plan on a program of action to deal with out reach and retention of converts. Alongside that we can work to see how to deal with the immigrant indigenous problem but we are too busy fighting over who is sufi and salafi fights we inherited from overseas that we forget to assure our own home here in the US is tended to.

    Asatgfirullah Wa Atubu Ilaik

  • As salam alakum Br. Suhaib,

    I only began reading your blog because a freind of mind recommended it too me. You are from Oklahoma and so am I. I have to say since I converted, I have experienced the nose in the air on a regular basis. Not only that, since I am a female I had a a lot of strange offers, that after studying for two years now really offends me. I can only guess that they were intending such because they have little respect for converts or Americans. For e.g. before taking my shahada I remember coming to a Jumma Friday prayer and I had one Arab lady ask me if I was married. I told her no, she then asked if I had a room mate, I said no, she continued with saying her cousin he needed a room mate. Of course I thought that was odd and never seen the lady again. Not because I didn't see her in the mosque again but because I quit going. Now I truly understand what she was saying to me. And I think it is a shame, a shame to treat a American convert that way. Let see what else. How about how people are trying to play fixer upper. That is another one. I had on one occasion had someone who wanted to introduce me to a guy. I had been Muslim maybe 8 months or so. Ok. So I went to their families house to see the family and meet him. The guy had no papers, no job, no cell phone and didn't even have a car. lol. Guess that most converts are stupid enough to fall for this. Not me. But this is an insult. I cant believe the nerve of these people. They would never in their right mind do this with their sister. How when I been muslim for two years, I lost my job, because of hijab and fighting with my family, since I converted I lost both of my children, since my family think I lost my mind, I am wearing a scarf and praying and still persistant that islam is the truth even after having nothing but bad experiences it seems. Anyways, I lost my job, I had someone try and email me to tell me to check out the seven best personality traits or characturistics for successful people. I suppose to say I have a bad attitude. Well, I just lost my kids, my job and am fixing to be homeless. That is what they forgot to relies e I guess, anyways, I replied back to them telling them that they are not perfect and they should look in the mirror. Yes an insult back just as simple as that and now I am kicked out from the local mosque and it has been three months and no one has tried to contact me to see if even I have eaten or if I am dead in my house. I am a convert and I know that far too long too many people are too arrogant to address the true nature of their actions and how it hurts others. I lost my kids due to my decision to convert and because I trusted Muslims to live up to what they are described as in my faith. I don't think any have room to criticize and should all look at what they do, their behaviors and their innuendos. ALLAH will question us for this, don't be so arrogant.There was never a topic that was tabo enough to be kept from the Prophet of Islam, may the blessings and glory of ALLAH be on him.

    Sumayah Rose

  • Salam Alakum,

    I think the real challenge is breaking down sterotypes and the inuendoes that hant us as individuals. WQe all come from some cultures and yes they all are not the correct cutlture of islam. And no matter what there is no such thing as a 100 % pure muslim individual or country. We can learn from Each other, ALLAH does say in the quran I made you into naations and tribes so that way you may know each other. So we are meant to be different. Not the same. A test from ALLAH for us all to see how we deal with each other. I can say just another thing we need to learn. I would say being an American I come with an advantage. I can see things from many more angles then a lot of other people and am not afriad to step back and reevaluate the situation. I am certainly not afraid of causing finta because some feel comfortable in their jahaliah ways. Yeah it is our responsibility to give naseha. If we see something wrong. I can say in the transitional period from a westerner to a convert it had been very challenging and no we don't get the treatment we deserve or respect of a person chosen by ALLAH to be a Muslim, but rather treated as garbage a lot of the times. Most people for get that it took 22 yrs for the quran to be revealed and islam to become great in the arabian region and no one was a bag of microwave pop corn. We are not instant muslims like instant popcorn and no one is better then anyone else. But as we can see by some of the post they say that no convert would ever be calipha. I hate to tell that person, your prophet was a convert , may the blessings of ALLAH be upon him, and so where all of the sahaba and all of the first leaders of Islam. May ALLAH be pleased with them. I think you should reevaluate your position on that issue, because ALLAH decides whom, when and what time to change hearts, islam is not a right of passage or inherited man, it is a gift from ALLAH, and only when he changes hearts its true. Be real and recognize. Yeah converts do suffer from all angels. Just like all converts before. That is a blessing, al humdulilah and I am happy to suffer, even if it was 100 X what it is now, it is worth it. That is why I chose the name Sumayah. I don't care if I die for this. I will not change my mind.!!!!!

    Salam Alakum
    Sumayah Rose

  • As for the “thicker skin” comments, I can understand that in light of living in the land of non-Muslims…But should that be case within our OWN communites? I thought we were supposed to feel comfortable and at ease within the mosques. But often instead, there's this air of conforming and meeting the staus quo. It's sort of an uspoken rule, but it is very real. I cannot believe the calloused nature of some of these comments. Do you think that our Holy Prophet(pbuh) would address anyone with that kind of tone? Even the disbelievers in Mekkah he did not treat less than human. And because of his dawah(saw), by Allah's will, some of them became Muslim.

    When I think about our Prophet(saw) it brings tears to my eyes, because his character is what drew me to Islam. He did not judge people, he treated every human being with dignity, no matter what their past, or current state, and he uplifted and empowered people. He never advised people out of a need to fuel his own ego. And the early converts were people who were the down-trodden, the ones who had nothing to lose. They weren't superficial people like many of us are today, abosrbed with the outward, and inwardly void.

    It pains me to think about standing in front of Allah(swt) and His Messenger on the Day of Judgement… When he(saw) intercedes for us, will we be ashamed of how we represented his legacy, and this beautiful Deen he passed down to us?

    In dealing with our brothers and sisters, we should ask ourselves…How would the Prophet Muhammad(saw) carry himself in this situation? Remove our own nafs and our ego, and strive simply to act in a beautiful way, with hikma, as he(saw) would. And this advice is more to myself, than to anyone else.

    May Allah(swt) place compassion in our hearts…

  • Yeah I just found out unfortunately… it's less a matter of haram/halal and more a matter of “astafti kalbak”– heart just plain not feeling comfortable.

    My previous post was censored so I don't expect this to be posted, but nonetheless want to make sure there are no hard feelings. I was honestly very surprised how badly yourself and everyone took my words. The thing with the internet is it is so fragmentary, that if this discussion were in person, bit by bit, I doubt you would see it as such. Once again my sincerest apologies…I thought I was only stating what everyone–whether they be convert or immigrant–was thinking. Guess not.

    I would request you to also consider the following, to show the other side of this rap discussion:

    I may post something on my blog to try and explore the sociology of the immigrant/convert discussion, and try to find some benefit out of it after talking to some converts. Until then, my apologies.

  • Its true, instead of us trying to empower muslims we sort of make them feel the need to back off from their din. I hope we stop this for every muslim brother or sister and we dont push them away from islam by being rude to these persons. It is our duty to help eachother grow in islam, or help just in general with whatever someone needs but One thing we do wrong is push people away from learning more about the religion instead of them wanting to know more about the din.

  • Asalamu alaykum,


    As I know, Mr. Askandarani is Mrs. Askandarani. By the way, Shami fool is nasty. Come to Misr and we'll give you some Fool Shaqshukah!

    من يأكل الفول فإنه فول


  • Honestly this article brings some points to light, while I'm not quite sure what you're getting at with others. As someone who was not born muslim (a 'convert') I sort of agree that the “community” can be alittle… exclusive and non-inviting, but my actions are for the sake of Allah alone, sure community outreach is nice, but a strong belief is way more important. Besides, most of the mosques I goto everyone is friendly, and i quite often socialize with people, but there are some east-west social differences that can cause separation. I find myself in the middle socially, but its not easy for new converts to find this balance, or want it.

    asalaam alaikum Brs n Srs

  • I know this is an old thread but wanted to voice my opinion. I am an immigrant and a born Muslim and my biggest inspiration in the matters of deen come from converted Muslims. I really truly admire the tough road taken and the time spent in understanding Islam by the converted Muslims vs. those of us that were simply born into it. Imam Suhaib Webb you are one of the only very few select individuals in the modern times that I pay attention to for comprehending my religion. I really look up to you sir.

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