The Plight of New Muslim Reverts in the UK
This month’s article has been prompted by a moving and enlightening conversation I had with a revert Muslim brother in a local mosque about the plight and suffering faced by Muslim brothers and sisters who have come into the fold of Islam.
A number of issues raised in conversation provided food for thought in respect of the attitudes within the Muslim community towards those who have reverted to the faith.
One particular issue highlighted during the conversation was the plight of new Muslim reverts that have been thrown out of their family homes simply for embracing a new faith! This situation one is led to believe has affected a dozen or more individuals in our local community and as a direct consequence they have basically been left destitute with no guarantee or food, water and shelter in the fourth richest country in the world! These brothers and sisters have made a huge sacrifice and commitment by entering the fold of Islam only to find that their decision to revert has brought a new set of difficult circumstances that they have to face. As Muslims, we are aware that the community (Ummah) is one body and when one part of the body is suffering then the rest have a duty to assist and support the less fortunate. By the grace of Allah, Muslims across the UK contribute year on year to many worthwhile causes home and abroad but how many of us including myself remember to assist those closest to home.
There is an old saying which many of us will be familiar with the saying ‘charity begins at home’ One makes an appeal to all the Muslim brothers and sisters in the UK to assist our brothers and sisters who have come into the fold of Islam from a financial, spiritual and moral perspective in the coming days, months and years.
Islam is a faith that transcends all boundaries and it is not surprising to find that just over 20 per cent of the world’s population is Muslim. Despite this amazing fact, we should ask ourselves how many of us truly possess an open minded approach towards Muslim reverts. One should remember that Islam was not defined by race or nationality but by the notion of brotherhood.
Therefore, we have a duty to treat Muslim reverts as our own family members whether it be in the mosque or any other cultural or social setting.
Returning back to the conversation, one was disturbed to find that some reverts had come to the mosque to fulfil their religious obligations to find that they had been told it is unlawful to wear trousers and shirt and that the adornment of Islamic clothing was necessary for the prayer to be valid. This incident one of a few has had a devastating effect on new Muslim reverts to such an extent that they are reluctant to come to the mosque and instead feel more comfortable to offer their prayers at home.
As Muslims, we have a duty to show compassion, love and mercy towards those who have embraced the faith and ensure their journey to Islam is made comfortable as possible. One is quite sure that the Muslim community does not want to alienate the people who need our support and encouragement the most.
One hopes that the Muslim community will pause and reflect on this article and do its utmost best to alleviate the difficulties experienced by Muslim reverts.