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ShamsYusuf
15-05-2011, 07:36 PM
Asalamualaikum wa rahmatuallahi wa barakatuhu brothers and sisters of Islam, my name is Shamsideen. I reverted 2 years ago during the last 10 days of Ramadan.

I was adopted into a Roman Catholic Canadian family at age 8. My mother is very devout and taught my brother and I the Lord's Prayer. We attended church every weekend. During my teenage years, however, I rebelled like many western teenagers. I swore that God was not real and began to practice Buddhism. I was quite enamored by that religion. I practiced it devoutly for approximately 5 years. I meditated and read all the scriptures. Nevertheless, I never felt true comfort.

After applying for university, I experienced depression and even attempted suicide. Thankfully, Allah wasn't finished with me at the point. I survived the attempt and am now feeling extremely blessed.

My interest in Islam began during the horrible events of 9/11 ( I was in highschool at this time). Not because I thought Muslims were terrorists, like the media portrayed, but because I realized that Muslims are not terrorists and that, in reality, only a minor amount of the members of the religion actually participate in terrorism. To make others aware of this I researched in depth all aspects of Islam. During my research I realized the beauty of the Qur'an and the many miracles within it. I wasn't convinced of Islam at this time though. It just interested me. So, after finishing highschool I dropped the topic. Throughout my university years, I heavily researched Islam once again after noticing the many flaws in Christianity. I knew there was a God but Jesus was only a prophet to me and Christianity was completely corrupted. I began reciting the Qur'an and listening to major reciters like Mishary and Sa'ud. I thought it was the most beautiful thing. While listening to it, chills spread throughout my body. I even burst into tears on several accounts.

Alhamdouillah, while on University campus one evening, a couple of Muslim brothers, both revert and Muslim born, had a display. I felt an urge to walk over to them and talk. I was much too shy though. But a brother saw me, and after asking if I'd like to talk to them, of which I answered yes, he led me towards the display. I gave the revert brother, of five years, my number and my e-mail. The very next day I met with him to learn Arabic and Islamic pillars.

Ramadan was approaching at that time so, even before reverting, I began to fast and pray intensely. He picked me up one day and we headed to the mosque together. This was the first time I entered a mosque. I was amazed by the acceptance of the brothers I felt once I walked through the doors. They all said "salam" to me and shook my hand.

By the end of Ramadan, I called my Muslim born brother Majed and told him "I'm ready". He was so excited. That night I said my shahadah and took the name Shamsideen. That was two years ago now and I have never looked back. Islam is the perfect religion and I feel so blessed to be led on the straight path by our Lord, Allah.

Shokran!

godilali
15-05-2011, 07:46 PM
:salam:

Quite an inspirational story, mashallah. My only advice is to mold your opinion of Islam based on the religion itself and not its adherents. Far too often, converts get disenchanted with the religion due to observing the actions of many Muslims that are not necessarily in accordance with the injunctions of Islam. Always remember that you embraced Islam for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of other Muslims.

Hafiz Gee
15-05-2011, 07:46 PM
Salam,

may alllah continues to shower his mercy and blessing on you inshallah.

i've actually read about a few brothers and susters like yourself who even before accepting islam learn sections of the quran, the method of prayer, and even attend prayer/khutbah at masjid....strange phenomenon but i guess it highlights they're sincerity and interest in islam.

where are you based/located brother?

and was it this last ramadan that you reverted brother?

you will find this forum to be very helpful, inshallah, i discovered it about a year ago and love it very much.

n.b. as per the rules of this forum animate images are not allowed in the avatars,, only non-animate things. there is a difference of opinions among religious scholars of the past and present on whether or not they are permissible. therefore, to make this forum accomodating to all, despite the opinion they personally follow, this forum does not permit animate images. so basically plants and other objects/calligraphy would be fine.

btw the way your scarf, cap/islamic dress combo looks very nice ;)

Waqas35
15-05-2011, 07:48 PM
welcome brother, how is Islam in Ireland? I heard it is spreading quite fast. I'm glad you found the truth :)

ShamsYusuf
15-05-2011, 07:52 PM
Salam,

may alllah continues to shower his mercy and blessing on you inshallah.

i've actually read about a few brothers and susters like yourself who even before accepting islam learn sections of the quran, the method of prayer, and even attend prayer/khutbah at masjid....strange phenomenon but i guess it highlights they're sincerity and interest in islam.

where are you based/located brother?

and was it this last ramadan that you reverted brother?

you will find this forum to be very helpful, inshallah, i discovered it about a year ago and love it very much.

n.b. as per the rules of this forum animate images are not allowed in the avatars,, only non-animate things. there is a difference of opinions among religious scholars of the past and present on whether or not they are permissible. therefore, to make this forum accomodating to all, despite the opinion they personally follow, this forum does not permit animate images. so basically plants and other objects/calligraphy would be fine.

btw the way your scarf, cap/islamic dress combo looks very nice ;)


Thank you very much. It was given to me as a gift by a Saudi brother.

I'm based in Canada at the moment. Canada is beginning to have A LOT of Muslims now. The revert number is growing and growing.

Yeah, I heard two different opinions on images and photographs.

No, not the Ramadan past, but the one before that. Two years ago.

ShamsYusuf
15-05-2011, 07:54 PM
welcome brother, how is Islam in Ireland? I heard it is spreading quite fast. I'm glad you found the truth :)

It is growing quite fast. All of Europe is experiencing growth. I'm in Canada now. We're experiencing the same thing.

Hafiz Gee
15-05-2011, 07:58 PM
Salam

I'm canadian too!! though not a revert, but canadian all the same.

what are you studying?


Yeah, I heard two different opinions on images and photographs.

yeah, the matter is quite intricate if you're further interested on the subject this would be a good starting point:

http://www.daruliftaa.com/question.asp?txt_QuestionID=q-16155977

may allah continue to increase your interest in islamic matters and make you a source for more people to learn about the beauty of islam.

Nestor
15-05-2011, 10:07 PM
Wa 'alaykumus Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakhatu brother Shamsideen.

:mash: Your story is wonderful to read. Prior to my recent reversion to Islam I was also listening to recitations of the Qur'an by Mishari and there were those moments of chills and the releasing of tears.

I am happy to hear that so many people in our Western world are turning to Islam and embracing the Truth. :takbir: People are entering Islam in multitudes. No matter how much the media badly depicts Islam, no matter how much it focuses on bad examples, no matter how many people here despise our religion, and no matter how much influence the irreligious materialists have on society, so many people have been embracing Islam and :insh: there will be many more.

May Allah :taala: keep you and bless you, my brother.

bugmenot
15-05-2011, 10:34 PM
^^ And it's not primarily because of the muslims' behaviour, on the contrary...Truly Allah is Great.

:ws:

ShamsYusuf
16-05-2011, 05:25 PM
Wa 'alaykumus Salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakhatu brother Shamsideen.

:mash: Your story is wonderful to read. Prior to my recent reversion to Islam I was also listening to recitations of the Qur'an by Mishari and there were those moments of chills and the releasing of tears.

I am happy to hear that so many people in our Western world are turning to Islam and embracing the Truth. :takbir: People are entering Islam in multitudes. No matter how much the media badly depicts Islam, no matter how much it focuses on bad examples, no matter how many people here despise our religion, and no matter how much influence the irreligious materialists have on society, so many people have been embracing Islam and :insh: there will be many more.

May Allah :taala: keep you and bless you, my brother.

Thank you so much brother. Jazak Allah khair. But it's true, no matter what, people are going to realize it's the truth. Just because we're being portrayed badly, there is no stopping us.

ShamsYusuf
16-05-2011, 05:26 PM
welcome brother, how is Islam in Ireland? I heard it is spreading quite fast. I'm glad you found the truth :)

I'm so glad too! I'm in Canada at the moment but both Ireland and Canada are seeing a huge number of reverts. Europe in general is experiencing a multitude of people finding Islam, especially women.

Maripat
17-05-2011, 05:28 AM
:salam:
Brother Shamsideen,
Your story is very heart warming. May Allah Most High grant you firmness in your faith and belief. May He make you a source of inspiration for others. May Allah grant you ample reward for coming forward and sharing your story. For believers the incidence of a brother changing his course so that he escapes the hellfire ( called reversion) is infinitely more pleasant than any worldly pleasure. That is how we feel every time we read a revert story. Some times we read the same story again and again. Those of us who are born Muslims many times start taking the things for granted. Any brother making his transition back to Islam serves as a reminder to us for giving up our slumber. So :jazak:. I shall also make a request. I was born in the country of Budha and I studies Budhism as much as it is taught in the curriculum. That still does not give much insight. I live in an area in which the ruling politician is a Budhist in overdrive. Today is Budha Birth celebration and the local news papers have full page list of actions and projects implemented for promotion of Budhism. Even then our knowledge remains near at the bottom. For all those people who are following it here bu more than that for the people of China, Japan and Indo-China there has to be some literature to explain Islam. If a document of eight to ten thousand words can be prepared for this purpose then it will be very nice.
I hope I am not demanding too much.
Wassalam

Abu Dajanaa
17-05-2011, 05:52 AM
:salam:

Quite an inspirational story, mashallah. My only advice is to mold your opinion of Islam based on the religion itself and not its adherents. Far too often, converts get disenchanted with the religion due to observing the actions of many Muslims that are not necessarily in accordance with the injunctions of Islam. Always remember that you embraced Islam for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of other Muslims.

:ws:

in the past, people embraced islam because of the conduct of muslims. now, we need to tell the opposite, look at islam not muslims. We as muslims really need to change ourselves.

Abu_Tamim
11-08-2011, 06:18 AM
Unprecedented numbers of Britons have converted to Islam over the past decade, according to a study.

Ten years ago, it was estimated that more than 60,000 Britons were converts. The report published yesterday puts the current figure at about 100,000, with an estimated 5,200 converts turning to Islam each year.

According to the report compiled by researchers at Swansea University for Faith Matters – a Muslim group dedicated to interfaith dialogue -more than half the converts were white, indigenous Britons. Two-thirds of them were women. The average age was just under 28.

The findings were, perhaps, surprising at a time when Islamophobia in the UK is high and when media portrayal of Muslims – converts in particular – is often in connection with extremism or terrorist activity.

Nevertheless, the figures are comparable with studies in Germany and France that have found that about 4,000 people a year in each of those nations convert to Islam.

Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters, said coming up with a reliable estimate of the number of converts was at best an “intellectual guesstimate” based on census numbers. But he added: “Few people doubt that the number adopting Islam in the UK has risen dramatically in the past 10 years.

“I think there is definitely a relationship between conversions being on the increase and the prominence of Islam in the public domain.

“People are interested in finding out what Islam is all about and when they do that they go in different directions. Most shrug their shoulders and return to their lives but some will inevitably end up liking what they discover and will convert.”

The importance of the converts, he said, was that they could play a role in bringing communities together by “disentangling cultural norms that have been carried over from the Middle East, Pakistan and India and which blur the true essence of Islam”. For example, he said, some customs and practices such as wearing the burqa and the subjugation of women, owe their origins to tradition, rather than religion, and are at odds with mainstream British culture.

Inayat Bunglawala, the founder of Muslims4UK, which promotes active Muslim engagement in British society, told The Independent newspaper that the figures were “not implausible”.

“It would mean that around one in 600 Britons is a convert to the faith. Islam is a missionary religion and many Muslim organisations, and particularly university students’ Islamic societies, have active outreach programmes designed to remove popular misconceptions about the faith,” he said.

Batool al Toma, an Irish-born convert to Islam of 25 years who works at the Islamic Foundation and runs the New Muslims Project, a group set up specifically to help converts, said she believed the new figures were probably “a little on the high side”.

“My guess would be the real figure is somewhere in between previous estimates, which were too low, and this latest one.

“I definitely think there has been a noticeable increase in the number of converts in recent years. The media often tries to pinpoint specifics but the reasons are as varied as the converts themselves,” she said.

Mr Mughal said that one worrying aspect of the report was the way that, in recent years, UK newspapers had “consistently linked converts to security threats”.

In an analysis of media reports in the past decade, the researchers found that, while 32 per cent of all articles on Islam published since 2001 were linked to terrorism or extremism, the figure jumped to 62 per cent when the subjects were converts.

“Converts who become extremists or terrorists are, of course, a legitimate story,” said Mr Mughal. “But my worry is that the saturation of such stories risks equating all Muslim converts with being some sort of problem when the vast majority are not.”

He said that the true value of converts was the role they could play in helping Muslim communities integrate with mainstream British society.

Kevin Brice, the Swansea University academic who wrote the report, said that converts often had a high price to pay in terms of isolation from their families and friends.

Asked why such a high proportion of women became converts, he said they normally fall into two categories: career women or those getting married to a Muslim.

The first group, he said, “seek spirituality, a higher meaning, and tend to be deep thinkers”.

He added: “The other type of women who turn to Islam are what I call ‘converts of convenience’. They’ll assume the trappings of the religion to please their Muslim husband and his family, but won’t necessarily attend mosque, pray or fast.’

saeed_bakr
11-08-2011, 07:43 PM
:salam:
Brother Shamsideen,
Your story is very heart warming. May Allah Most High grant you firmness in your faith and belief. May He make you a source of inspiration for others. May Allah grant you ample reward for coming forward and sharing your story. For believers the incidence of a brother changing his course so that he escapes the hellfire ( called reversion) is infinitely more pleasant than any worldly pleasure. That is how we feel every time we read a revert story. Some times we read the same story again and again. Those of us who are born Muslims many times start taking the things for granted. Any brother making his transition back to Islam serves as a reminder to us for giving up our slumber. So :jazak:. I shall also make a request. I was born in the country of Budha and I studies Budhism as much as it is taught in the curriculum. That still does not give much insight. I live in an area in which the ruling politician is a Budhist in overdrive. Today is Budha Birth celebration and the local news papers have full page list of actions and projects implemented for promotion of Budhism. Even then our knowledge remains near at the bottom. For all those people who are following it here bu more than that for the people of China, Japan and Indo-China there has to be some literature to explain Islam. If a document of eight to ten thousand words can be prepared for this purpose then it will be very nice.
I hope I am not demanding too much.
Wassalam

Assalam alaykum,

Yes it is an excellent idea to have a document or documents that puts forward the truth of Islam and at the same time deals with the misconceptions about it.

Wassalam

saeed_bakr
11-08-2011, 07:54 PM
Unprecedented numbers of Britons have converted to Islam over the past decade, according to a study.

Ten years ago, it was estimated that more than 60,000 Britons were converts. The report published yesterday puts the current figure at about 100,000, with an estimated 5,200 converts turning to Islam each year.

According to the report compiled by researchers at Swansea University for Faith Matters – a Muslim group dedicated to interfaith dialogue -more than half the converts were white, indigenous Britons. Two-thirds of them were women. The average age was just under 28.

The findings were, perhaps, surprising at a time when Islamophobia in the UK is high and when media portrayal of Muslims – converts in particular – is often in connection with extremism or terrorist activity.

Nevertheless, the figures are comparable with studies in Germany and France that have found that about 4,000 people a year in each of those nations convert to Islam.

Fiyaz Mughal, the director of Faith Matters, said coming up with a reliable estimate of the number of converts was at best an “intellectual guesstimate” based on census numbers. But he added: “Few people doubt that the number adopting Islam in the UK has risen dramatically in the past 10 years.

“I think there is definitely a relationship between conversions being on the increase and the prominence of Islam in the public domain.

“People are interested in finding out what Islam is all about and when they do that they go in different directions. Most shrug their shoulders and return to their lives but some will inevitably end up liking what they discover and will convert.”

The importance of the converts, he said, was that they could play a role in bringing communities together by “disentangling cultural norms that have been carried over from the Middle East, Pakistan and India and which blur the true essence of Islam”. For example, he said, some customs and practices such as wearing the burqa and the subjugation of women, owe their origins to tradition, rather than religion, and are at odds with mainstream British culture.

Inayat Bunglawala, the founder of Muslims4UK, which promotes active Muslim engagement in British society, told The Independent newspaper that the figures were “not implausible”.

“It would mean that around one in 600 Britons is a convert to the faith. Islam is a missionary religion and many Muslim organisations, and particularly university students’ Islamic societies, have active outreach programmes designed to remove popular misconceptions about the faith,” he said.

Batool al Toma, an Irish-born convert to Islam of 25 years who works at the Islamic Foundation and runs the New Muslims Project, a group set up specifically to help converts, said she believed the new figures were probably “a little on the high side”.

“My guess would be the real figure is somewhere in between previous estimates, which were too low, and this latest one.

“I definitely think there has been a noticeable increase in the number of converts in recent years. The media often tries to pinpoint specifics but the reasons are as varied as the converts themselves,” she said.

Mr Mughal said that one worrying aspect of the report was the way that, in recent years, UK newspapers had “consistently linked converts to security threats”.

In an analysis of media reports in the past decade, the researchers found that, while 32 per cent of all articles on Islam published since 2001 were linked to terrorism or extremism, the figure jumped to 62 per cent when the subjects were converts.

“Converts who become extremists or terrorists are, of course, a legitimate story,” said Mr Mughal. “But my worry is that the saturation of such stories risks equating all Muslim converts with being some sort of problem when the vast majority are not.”

He said that the true value of converts was the role they could play in helping Muslim communities integrate with mainstream British society.

Kevin Brice, the Swansea University academic who wrote the report, said that converts often had a high price to pay in terms of isolation from their families and friends.

Asked why such a high proportion of women became converts, he said they normally fall into two categories: career women or those getting married to a Muslim.

The first group, he said, “seek spirituality, a higher meaning, and tend to be deep thinkers”.

He added: “The other type of women who turn to Islam are what I call ‘converts of convenience’. They’ll assume the trappings of the religion to please their Muslim husband and his family, but won’t necessarily attend mosque, pray or fast.’

Assalam alaykum Abu_Tamim,

Congratulations on writing an excellent and uplifting article that is actually free of polemics!

I agree that Islam should go public as much as possible to dispel the misconceptions about it, but without being polemical. Just focus on Islam in a positive way without focusing negatively on other religions. The later turns people away because it is a big turnoff.

Granted this takes patience and forbearance because we still have lots of enemies that are putting out propaganda about us. But we should not sink to that lower level. We should take the high road and demonstrate the virtues of our religion by example.

Wassalam