Yvonne Ridley reverts to Islam

Muslim Revert – A Message for You

Are you a Muslim revert or a convert to Islam? Either or, I have a message about your newly found religion I would like to share with you about Islam and Insha-Allah will help you with your journey.

We Muslims get very excited  when we get the good news of someone reverting back to Islam and we try to bombard you with the Do’s and Don’ts (with good intentions of course) in Islam.

What I would like to share with you that I believe will help you with your newly found religion are as follow:

  • Take it easy – Islam is easy, so don’t make it difficult nor let anyone make it so
  • This is a long journey – Slow down and take one thing at a time
  • Your name – You don’t have to change your name if you don’t want to
  • Respect your Parent or risk not achieving your goal from reverting to Islam
  • Islam is a religion of Peace – Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
  • Respect your Neighbors as if they were your parent that you love dearly
  • Learn Islam from the Quran, the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) and an Imam (Muslim leader) and not from just any book you find about Islam

Al-Hamdou Lil-Lah, Allah (SWT) guided you and reverted you back to Islam! Now, you have a very long journey (or a short one for only Allah – SWT knows the length of your stay on this earth), and Insha-Allah, Allah (SWT) through the Quran, The Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) through His Sunnah, and this message will help you in your journey.

Why did Allah (SWT) guide you back to Islam? Only Him (Allah – SWT) has that knowledge, but it could be because he looked into your heart, heard your Dua’a and with his Mercy, He guided you back to Islam.

Are you a “Muslim Revert” or a Convert to Islam?

Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said “Every child is born on the ‘Fitra’, natural inclination of Islam (surrender) and it is their parent who raise the child to be a Christian, a Jew or a fire worshiper”.

Reading the above saying of the Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS), I can only say that ‘Revert’ is the right term for me because when Allah (SWT) created Prophet Adam (PBUH), He created him a Muslim.  Adam (PBUH) surrendered to the will of Allah (SWT).

You reverted back to Islam – Now what?

Again, Al-Hamdou Lil-Lah for Allah (SWT) guiding you back to Islam! You might be asking yourself ‘Now what?’, or ‘Where do I began?’. This is the message I have for you, brother/sister.

Once you revert back to Islam, know that you have some requirements to fill and depending on how you act upon them, your journey back to Islam might be difficult, or an easy one. You are in the driver’s seat here but Allah (SWT) gave you a guide (The Quran) and someone to guide you, Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) and if you follow both, Insha-Allah, your journey will be an easy and successful one.

First things first. Like I mentioned previously, there are requirements, things that you need to do without delay, things you need to learn today and not tomorrow. There are things that you can learn and do but those can be done tomorrow. Let’s start off with the most important ones.

I know the first thing you might want to do is is learn Arabic, which is a good thing, but I highly recommend starting with learning how to perform the two ablutions (Wudu) and how to pray first.

Hold on to your Prayers

As a Muslim, you know that there are 5 obligatory prayers you need must perform on a daily basis. I do understand that you possibly don’t know how to speak Arabic, read the Quran, and how to pray, but Insha-Allah, this knowledge will come soon enough.

Your 5 daily prayers are extremely important because Allah (SWT) will be the first thing He will be asking you about. Your 5 daily prayers are a direct conduit to Allah (SWT) and your way to be in constant communication with your creator. If you need more guidance, you make them during your prayer while prostrating. If you need to make a dua, while prostrating to your Creator is the best way.

You know there are 114 Suras in the Quran and memorizing them all to help you with your prayers is in itself a journey. This is why I recommend that you memorize at least two Surat to help you perform your prayers. Once you’ve memorized them and understood their meaning, you can go to the next Surah, and so on.

The Two Surat I recommend Muslim Convert to memorize first

Again, Islam is easy, but we tend to make it difficult. As a new Muslim convert, you know you must perform your daily prayers and to that, you must recite a Surah or two while praying. Which Surah to learn and memorize first is your choice. However, make it easy and start with a short Surah.

The First Surah a Muslim Convert should Learn and Memorize.

Reciting Al-Fatiha (the first Surah in the Quran) is an essential part of performing your prayer and should be recited in each Rak’a. Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS) said:

  • “There is no prayer for the one who does not recite the Al-Fatiha (The Opening)”

and this is why the first Surah I sought to memorize as a child was Al-Fatiha (The Opening)

Surah Al-Fatiha (The Opening), which is the first Surah you find in every Quran, is an important Surah to learn because all the prayers and every Raq’a starts with Surah Al-Fatiha. There is a reason why the first Surah is named Al-Fatiha (The Opening) and I am sure you guest it!

For the second Surah to learn, it can be any small Surah you think will be easy for you to learn and master. Again, it can be any small Surah you want.

As a very young child, when I was learning how to pray, the second Surah I learned, after Al-Fatiha (The Opening), is Surah Al-Ikhlas (The Sincerity – 112), and here’s why:

Abu Said narrated that he heard the Prophet (SAAWS), say to his Companions, “Is any one of you incapable of reciting one-third of the Qur’an in one night?” They considered it burdensome and said: “O Messenger of Allah, which one of us can afford to do that?” He said, “Surat Al-Ikhlas (He is God, the One) is equivalent to one-third of the Qur’an.” – (Bukhari)

Surat Al-Ikhlas (The Sincerity) is the 112th Surah of the Quran. It is a short declaration of tawhid (Oneness), God’s absolute unity, consisting of 4 ayat. Al-Ikhlas means “The Purity”, “The Sincerity” or “The Refining,” meaning to remain pure and faithful, or a state of purging one’s soul of non-Islamic beliefs, such as paganism and polytheism.

My third Surah was Surah Al-Kafirun (The Disbelievers – 109), and here is why:

Because The Prophet would recite these two (Al-Ikhlas, and Al-Kafirun) in his bowings before the dawn prayer.

Do I have to change my name when I revert to Islam?

Depending who you ask, the answer will be ‘Yes, You Must’! But the truth is ‘No, You Don’t’ Unless your name embodies the worship of someone else other than Allah (SWT), or maybe if it embodies something vulgar. There are names I heard that I would never name my child with, and I am not going to mention the name here but when said, it is like a part from a human anatomy.

Also, it is not your name that will get you to enter Jennah but your good deeds and with the Mercy of Allah (SWT) will.

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t change your first name, or ad a second name to your name. But one thing to consider before you change your first name, is thing about your family, your mother and father who choose that name. Do you want to upset your mother? No you don’t. So if your mother choose ‘John’, or ‘Stephanie’ as your first name, you don’t have to change it, and I think that if you revert back to Islam and keep your first name, Insha-Allah, your mother and father will be pleased with you.

If you decide to add a second name, like a middle name, then which name to pick? I can give you at least two, Muhammad (you can also spell it like ‘Mohamed’, and ‘Ahmed, or Ahmad’.

There are numerous Fadha’il (Excellence and Benefits) of keeping the names “AHMAD” and “MUHAMMAD” as mentioned in many sayings (Ahadith) of the best of the Creation; the Master of Mankind Peace and Blessings of Allah be Upon Him. Few of them are given below:

It is stated in Tibrani that the Holy Prophet (SAAWS) said, “Keep the names (of your children) on my name and not on my Kunniyat (Title).”

Ibn Asakir and Hussain Ibn Ahmad has stated that The Prophet (SAAWS) said, “If a son is born to you and out of love and respect for me and to obtain the blessings of my name, you keep the child’s name ‘Muhammad’, then the father and child will both enter Jannah.”

Imam Malik said: “I heard people from Medina say: “There is no family which has someone called Muhammad which has not been blessed with virtuous gifts.”

It is said in the hadith that: “If the person has three sons and none of them is named Muhammad, this person showed his ignorance by not giving one of his sons this name.”

Honor your Parents

Al-Hamdou Lil-Lah, you reverted back to Islam but you have parents, and other family members that are still Christians (or Jewish). What can I do?

Allah (SWT) can bless anyone, anytime and however He wills and just because He (SWT) blessed you and didn’t yet bless your parents, it doesn’t mean that He (SWT) will, or will not.

The first thing you need to do is respect their belief while making Dua for Allah (SWT) to bless them. You still need to be kind, gentle to them and respect them, honor them, and Insha-Allah, when you act with them with love and kindness, they will see the positive changes in you and wonder what had happened to you. The might even ask some questions and the way you answer them might get them closer or push them further to you and your found again Islam.

Remember, don’t try to convert your parents because that is not your Job! Allah (SWT) is the one that opens the hearts and guide whomever He wills, and not you. Your job is to convey the Message and make Dawa. They ask you a question about Islam, answer them without trying to convert them, and Insha-Allah, with time and the Blessing of Allah (SWT), plus your daily Du’as, they will see the truth.

What about dealing with my friends?

If the so called friend was a real good friend of yours, then he will accept you even as a revert Muslim. If they leave you or start being mean to you, then they were not real friends in the first place. But no matter what, do your best to be kind to them for you never know, Allah (SWT) could’ve easily chosen you as the conduit for them to revert back to Islam.

What about the clothing I used to wear?

Take it easy! No one said you have to put a Qamis and put a turban! You can still be a Muslim dressed in western clothes, a tie and so on as long as what you are wearing covers your body and is not tight that everyone can see the shape of your body. There are things that are not acceptable while praying but ok at home.

For example, tank tops are not permissible for prayers but are ok to wear at home or outside provided they don’t show a lot of your body. You know which tank tops I am talking about!

Short Pants – Short pants are ok to wear but as long as they are not tight, and go way below your knees. In a Mesjid (even at home or outside), I prefer wearing a long and baggy pants.

One more thing because I’ve seen many people wearing shirts and don’t notice what’s on that particular shirt. For example, a soccer team shirt that actually has a Cross logo, brand, or whatever you might call it these days. So choose your clothing carefully.

I reverted to Islam but I have a question about my Tattoos!

We’ve all made mistakes and with some mistakes, we can’t undo what we did and one of them is a tattoo, or at least, without paying a price to remove the tattoo (financial price, from the pain in possibly removing the tattoo).

It was narrated that Abu Juhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) cursed the one who does tattoos, the one who has a tattoo done, the one who consumes Riba (usury or interest) and the one who pays it, and he forbade the price of a dog and the earnings of a prostitute, and he cursed the image-makers.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari, 5032).

But the curse is not permanent but it is lifted when a person sincerely repents to Allah for this mistake. So one should not feel doomed because they committed this mistake when they were in days of Jahiliya (ignorance).

What about Henna (Hanna) – Is it a form of Tattoo?

As for things which are not permanent such as henna painting on women’s hands , feet and so on, they are not regarded as tattoos and are allowed in Islam.

I am a revert Muslim women – What about plucking my eyebrows?

It is narrated that ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “May Allah curse the women who do tattoos and those for whom tattoos are done, those who pluck their eyebrows and those who file their teeth for the purpose of beautification and alter the creation of Allah.” (Al-Bukhari, Al-Libaas, 5587; Muslim, Al-Libaas, 5538).

Now what happens to a woman who was created with eyebrows going from one eye to the other (meaning there is no separation between to two eyes)? Well, just because someone was created different, like our example here, it doesn’t mean that, if she wished to, cannot have the middle part plucked or surgically removed.

Again, if the hair of the eyebrows extends [to unusual places] or it appears as a deformation to the creation, then there is no harm in removing what is beyond the normal size of the eyebrows.

A Hadith came to Umm Yaqoob ‘s knowledge (a woman from the children of Banu Asad) while she was reading the Qur’an. Then she came to Ibn Masoud asking him some questions about the plucking of the eyebrows and woman that practice Nams’

Abudullah Ibn Masoud was noted as saying “if a woman’s eyebrows have a harmful superfluous hair that may cause harm to her eyes by any means, then there is no objection to remove what is harmful only. This, in fact, does not constitute a Nams. (In Sahih books of al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Your Reward

“When the dwellers of Jennah enter Jennah, an announcer will call: You have a promise from Allah that you will live in here and you will never die; you will stay healthy in here and you will never fall ill; you will stay young and you will never become old; you will be under a constant delight and you never feel miserable.” Prophet Muhammad (SAAWS)

Good Read:

Revert or Convert – By Yusuf Estes

Teaching of Islam

Are you a Revert or a Convert to Islam