Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Converticitus doesn't equal Religious, duh

I get mad at some people who accuse me of being "extreme" about my religion because I am a revert and I am following the sunnah according to the fiqh I feel most confident in (I am not saying you have to follow the exact same fiqh as me---look at me and my girl Aalia---we're friends through fiqh and thin and often diagree on things), (I am saying at least be informed about what the Qu'ran say, what the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam said/did, and the opinions of the companions of the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam on the matter---make an effort to learn so you won't be calling anyone crazy on something that is actually a REAL PART OF ISLAM). Don't be lazy. Just because your parents or your culture tells you something is true about Islam, find out if it really is. My culture told me ya'll were wife-beaters and ignorant unhappy stay-at-home Moms. I figured I'd look a little deeper.

"Converticitus" isn't praying five times a day (on time), not plucking the eyebrows, refusing to deal with riba, wearing jilbab (maybe niqab), learning about matters such as stringed instruments being made unlawful by Allah....

As a convert, I can tell you, converticitus is the period when you are told so many different things about Islam, and you don't have enough of a background to determine fiqh from daleel, fatwa from hadith, lol, and so you try to do everything or flat out reject something even though you don't understand it. If you are wearing niqab and someone asks you why you are wearing it and you don't have a clue, either you are trying to fit in with your new Gulf in-laws, OR, you have a case of conveticitus. It doesn't last forever. After being Muslim for more than three years, you really can't accuse me of having conveticitus. Yes, I am still AMAZED AND AWED by the wonderful GIFT that is Islam everyday (and miffed at born Muslims that don't get it---but I know alot of born Muslims that are miffed at Muslims that don't get it too) but I now know my basics and how to think Islamically (there is a science to it---we call it fiqh and inshaAllah my studies will continue until I know enough to call myself a fool because only a wise man knows how little he knows).

Islam requires learning. We should all pray five times a day. We should all be able to read fusha (classical arabic). We should all be able to recite half the Qu'ran at least. We recite song lyrics from pop songs, know the names of celebrities (but do we know the stories of the Sahaba?), we watch TV for a few hours but do we read the Qu'ran a few hours? And don't think I am lecturing, this is a reminder first and foremost to myself, me being a lazy Arabic student. I am bad at pronunciation when reading so I prefer to just memorize the Surahs from listening, but reading will inshaAllah bring great reward for the Muslim, so make dua for me okay, if you will, lol, that I try a bit harder and Allah makes it easier on me.

I want to hear the adhan called before I sleep and when I wake. I miss the sound. I have fajr alarm, but really, it is not the same as the peace of a truly salat-centered society. InshaAllah my sisters. One day. If we work on ourselves. If we seek help from Allah, and praise Allah when that help arrives.

And stop calling devoutness to an aspect of the religion "extreme", a "tendancy among reverts for salafism/wahabism", "Converticitus"... InshaAllah.

Ameen. Allah help us.

21 comments:

*samra* said...

Mashallah, sometimes i think about this too when i wawke up for work at 4am but will sometimes not wake up for my prayer. thanks for this reminder sis!!!

Anonymous said...

Salam wa alaikum, I'm french and convert islam since 1999. I love your blog I read you all days but I have some difficult to understand you.... Sorry for my bad english!!!! lol... So I want to know the signification of "converticitus" please...
Good continuation!!! Insh'Allah kheir... When a "ilovehisma" in french!!!!!!??????????
Khadija from france

Najah said...

pixie, nice post. speaking of adaleel and fiqh, but i'm still waiting for your daleel where you claim that Allah says in the qur'an a woman can disobey her husband in matters that don't make sense to her. also want to know what your daleel is that Allah curses stringed instruments (I nknow stringed instruments are impressible according to majority of scholars, just haven't heard about the cursed bit). i've seen a couple other things on this blog where i've wondered what the daleel was. I know you said in response to my first request that you'd have to read the WHOLE Qur'an to find that bit of daleel, but surely when you make a claim/quote the qur'an unspecifically, you should know which ayah you were talking about? whever i make any claim about qur'an/hadith i research and check the ayah's location and tafseer atleast twice so I can be sure I'm not misinforming others.

Aalia of Abu Dhabi said...

Ya i hear u loud & clear on this!! subhan Allah!! since when did following ur religion make you an "extremist"?!

ya Rabbi, guide us!!

Random Muslima said...

Assalaamu alaykum, I dislike the whole "term" "converticitus". It is a way to ridicule reverts and I don't think it is fun to make fun of sisters even on concept "humorous" like this.

I think in reality most of us reverts who embrace Islam for the sake of Allah are in the beginning so keen on the truth and so jealous what it comes to defending Allah and His mesenger sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, that we come out sometimes harsh and so on, only because we have not yet learned the way to give nasiha...

I don't think I have yet met any revert Musimah who would be qualifed to determine fiqh from the daleel (that said I don't know any Muslimah who would be qualified in classical/Qur'anic Arabic and would have actually studied hadith sciences/fiqh under a scholar etc more than just on AbuAmeenah books and reading Bukhari&Muslim and online LOL...) and I think most of us are on baby shoes (including myself LOL).
Just reading tafsir on al-fatiha makes me feel like an ant what it comes to the knowledge ;) in my possession.

But alhamdulillah, for me over ten years islam has given a little more perspective (that there are different opinions indeed etc) and rahma towards other Muslimas.
I view myself back as such a cute lil Muslimah mashaAllah who was little too fierce sometimes and did not know how to modify nasiha into acceptable for LOL.

I am afraid how I will view myself after ten more years LOOOOOL

Anyway jazakillahu khairanfor posting, interesting one ;)

Milda Spin2liux said...

salaam sister!
how uve been! there is one thing id love to spread around, and that is fake "islamic" sources. since uve got more readers on yours, do you mind to at least post the link from my blog? here's the link:

http://asoulfullexpression.blogspot.com/2009/08/fraud-mayday-mayday-beware-fraud.html

jazzak Allah kheir!

Pixie said...

Najah: "There will be people of my Ummah who will seek to make lawful; fornication wine-drinking and the use of maaazif ( stringed musical instruments) Firstly the words 'seek to make lawful' shows that music is not permissible as logically one can only seek to make lawful that which is not allowed. Secondly if music was not prohibited then it would not have been brought within the same context as fornication and wine-drinking.

Najah said...

pixie, I know that hadith. i don't doubt the use of string instruments is prohibited. I am talking about where you say that Allah CURSES the use of it. The word you specifically used was curses so i was looking for evidence of Allah's curse. Curse is a strong word, and I was looking for evidence of the speicifc word curse that you have used. sorry to be so pedantic/specific but i know there are only certain things which are cursed . when someone is cursed it means they are out of the mercy of Allah .

Pixie said...

Najah: lol, okay, I'll change the wording, but I take cursed to mean unlawful, haraam, ect... But you are right. Specifics are good.

Najah said...

we're all here to learn off each other. luv u 4 the sake of ALLAH. x

Jamilah said...

I also get the convertitus stuff too... and I hate it. Its just a way of people to put you down for folling the religion correctly.

I'm also getting sick of the whole American Islam stuff... we don't need a whole new set of rules because we live in the west..

Om Rawda said...

Salam Alykum Pixie,

Speaking of musical instruments .... i know in my hear that it's no good if not haram as well , but whenever i try to convice someone that it's haram and mention the hadith you said , they accuse me of being extreme and retarded!!! they thin that music is fine art that enriches your spirit.......and also they tell me that this hadith is weak...and i checked and found some sources that say it's strong and others say that it's weak...i dunno what to do to convince these ppl...they just like to argue and i need a strong back up daleel to put it in their faces.

Jazack Allah Khiran sister.

AlabasterMuslim said...

Ha Ha Pixie, I'm so with you on this. When I first became Muslim I didn't know what people were telling me was right or wrong, I just had to go with the flow and learn from people and books, triple checking everything. Alhamdullilah, five years later, I am pretty well versed with the do's and don'ts. But then i'll find something new, like i was reading Al-Bukhari and the Prophet (SWS) said don't wear rings on your pointer finger. Subhanallah!

OhSoMuslim said...

I liked this post!
It sucks that if you show one tiny sign that you fear Allah, you're labeled an extremist.

Mira said...

Assalaamualaikum Pixie,

I think that sometime converts get a rep (as a sister noted above) for becoming very preachy and self righteous about Islam after a short period of time of study in the deen.

Yes, "cultural" Muslims lack humility too but to be honest sometimes I am very turned off from the lack of humility I see in recent converts to Islam (especially on line). I tend to see a lot of shariah and fiqh being thrown around with little attention to even rudimentary understandings of tauheed which as we know the Prophet (s.a.w) spent 13 years instructing his community on primarily.

I think it is easier to go on and on about the surface aspects of Islam than to really spend reflective time working on one's relationship to Allah subhana wa ta ala. The surface is important but it has to be deeply connected to the substance of faith.

Yes, we should share what we know but we should also realize how little it is we know.

Umm Ibrahim said...

I think you all r misunderstanding what "convertitious" is. Its not trying to follow the deen or anything like that, it's used when a new convert-like within the first yr or two of saying their shahada suddenly starts issuing religious rulings because they heard Shaykh X say this or that on a YouTube program. LOL...
As in they tell random sisters that jeans are haraam because scholar X said so...that sort of thing. They dont know more about the topic than just what scholar X said but they *think* they know all there is to know on the topic...because again...they heard scholar X say this or that.

I think you all (Pixie and some others) are misunderstanding the term convertitous and what it really is.

yeah sometimes people DO think converts are more "extreme" in their religious belief but it's those type who r usually lackadaisical in their faith...otherwise they would recognize that we should all strive to be strong in our deen.

anyway I wanted to throw this in there...first because I had a recent experience w/ a brand new shahada who said my floral scarf was haraam because scholar X says flowers on clothing is haraam and because I also did a blog post about this recently to gripe about it.

LOL

anyway...jummeh mobarek.

Pixie said...

Um Awra: You misread what I had written on the other post. I am not going to respond to that here. #1 A wife has to obey her husband in resonable matters but the shariah way of a husband and wife dealing with eacother is in mutual decicion-making. Like the Prophet sallalahu alahi wa salaam and Khadijah R.A.. Also, wearing niqab and forcing a woman to stop working are not something a husband is allowed to do. In Shariah. For ANYONE that studies it.

hippiehijabi said...

Asalaamu alaikum WRWB, I
ve been reading your blog for quite some time now never really left any comments.. never felt the need to... you have very well rounded topics and I enjoy reading very much. I really wanted to just say something today because this subject is important to me also...

I am a revert and I understand what you are saying, however, I tend to find that sometimes my other revert sisters are often hard and hypercritical of others as if they had no understanding for why people sometimes suffer from lapses or relapses of jahiliyyah or fluctuations in faith. I understand that conversion/reversion is a life changing process but many of the revert sisters I know tend to adopt and dictate some of the most stringent ideations and regulations not only just upon themsleves but upon others. sadly I
ve found the least mercy excercised by my fellow revert sisters. I would expect it from people born and raised with only one cultural perspective lense and experience but I find so often that the first sisters to be super critical and harsh at every Halaca are my fellow reverts.

Sometimes it almost feels so defeatisit that I find myself distancing from especially other revert sisters. Who tend to take only the most literal of interpretations, and strict of views, and although they may even be right, smetimes being "right" can cost you more in the end than just letting the one who is wrong, come to terms realize, and work it out for themselves....

I personally in my first six months as a Muslim had found that I had read more books, and acquired more knowledge than even many people working on scholarhood, (not bragging but just to give an idea, I had read about 176 credible and authenticated books on Islam, fiqh, hadith.. etc..) but it made me way more understanding of the short comings of others in practice and long to embrace them patiently and sometimes accept the days when they feel too overwhelemed to pray, or the shaytan are particularly rough and whisper to them that Islam is too hard.

hippiehijabi said...

I rarely find this from revert sisters. I find them in niqab telling other sisters that they are wearng color and its not sunnah, or chastizing them because they are wearing kohl so they defeat the purpose of hijab or niqab, or being super zealous which masha allah can be a good thing but there is a flip side to zeal....

for a personal exdample,I am currently going through a kind of part-time niqabi phase. I wear it when I can, especially around alot of men or in new places, but I don't wear jilbabs, or abayas everyday, sometimes I just wear long dresses, wide leg pants suits and long tunics, etc.. and I think I will always be this way.. and although it is not required to wear niqab (at least most will say this)I just don't feel right wearing just modest clothes with niqab... I feel it should be an abaya... but you can imagine it was like a crucifiction amongst the sisters at my weekly halaca... teling me I couldn't do such a thing, and even backing it with hadith which although I will not argue they know their stuff... so do I but somethimes there is a larger picture that we may be missing.... people have processes in their steps of faith, and levels, whether there is a hadith, or fatwa or anything else for or against something, if we don't know the original intention of a person, we can't make a judgement...

Sometimes we all as Muslims, revert or not, are quick to criticize, quick to judge, quick to start spouting fatwas, hadith, or otherwise and fail to ever even consider a bigger picture or idea...

As in my example, the sisters missed the point that I was making a step towards doing something for the sake of Allah (SWT) (Albeit in my own way, I am fashion forward and change styles alot, and may always dress uniquely. by wearing fingerless lace gloves with my ensemble, instead of just regular gloves, or flower brooches) They overlooked that everyday on the street there are hundreds of sisters who are literally naked, so why harp on about my kohl?... or if my niqab is a color they feel is "attracting attention", or not... even if it is... a person must take a step in faith and see where they are lead by Allah(SWT) in the end.... We as Muslims must learn to let others we tend to put so little faith in that Allah SWT will elevate us in faith when we make steps. Subhanallah, lace gloves, or not, the alternative was no gloves, or even see thru niqab just to get used to it or not to look so sever to my non-muslim family so quickly..., (Which i have done... and Yes I know the hadith about see thru clothing... but this is a niqab and glocves... we are allowed to show our faces and hands... so please noone try and pull that one on me without first thinking about the logic...)

hippiehijabi said...

I also recall there was a new sister that started coming to our halacas, who was very new in Islam, and I would even call her Islam-curious eve though she took shahada, because she still was doing many of the same things that she was doing before Islam even after a few months... like going out to clubs with friends (not drinking alcohol masha allah she stopped), and not wearing hijab and didn't manage to pray all of her salaah everyday... I told the other sisters to talk to her, but don't pressure her in fact just merely letting her observe us at this point may be the best way to make her start to change on her own. I even told them not to mention anything to her about wearing hijab, or quote any hadith, or quran, or anything to her... just let her read it and let it absorb, and just take her even to things with us that weren't necessarily "Islamically focused" like just coffee or restaurants.. she needed to see that Islam is a life, and not just a religion... that it's not the ceremony of Chrisitanity, or occasional... that being a Muslim is something that is done even outside of a masjid, or halaca... but eventually the "da'wah terrorists" excuse the bad pun but that's what they have proven to be... da'wah by way of fear and scare tactics on "Adab al naar" and "haraam" and eventually they scared her away unintentionally and she stopped coming all together...

Islam is easy... but It does not seems that way untilyou begin to understand... coming straight out of jahilliyyah, it is very hard.... it is the beginning of restricting your life for a better life in this life and beyond..... it is an investment... a final insurance plan to say the least. restriction is a hard step to take... and a hard pill to swallow..... even if you are rather disciplined... i know I was... I was essentially a "good person" who found out at the drop of a dime that according to Islam.. I wasn't good (by islamc standards...I was the daughter that would have been killed by her family in some places... or at least a disgrace)...... and everything I had ever done, was mostly wrong and I didn't realize it, and every thing up until that point that had ever happened to me was a blessing due to the mercy of Allah in my ignorance.

hippiehijabi said...

Now understand that The sisters were never mean, or spoke in harsh tones, but this doesn't really matter, sometimes we never realize how very fragile others can be when coming to faith... at least in the beginning, we tend to pick and pull at each others in sweet tone and follow knifelike criticism with "Alhamdulillah" as if that would take away the sting when we pine on something so minor that we forget to even recognize that we live in a society that disregards religion and God, so we need to support each other, stick together and realize that every level of faith, and every step towards faith is a good and valid one because the alternative is kufr, which so many n this world seemed so easily inclined to take. and mostly we musn't criticize others or expect them to live according to "our" Islam... even if we are right....we can only be an example to them and we must know that this is a great and powerfulposition... how many of us honestly just changed because someone told us to?.... we ususally changed because we wanted to immulate another in a good way after seeing them do something good... we will never and have never known any of the sahaba, yet we long to immulate them not because we are necessarily even told to... but because they are awesome... and they rock... and everything they did was super cool and righteous.... so be that cool person!! always..... and others will immulate....

I guess what I'm saying is not necessarily directed towards anything in particular that you have said. I'm speaking to all of us.. and even myself...I guess I'm just venting a bit too, about what is sometimes overlooked. on every side, revert or not... there is a cause and effect in everything.

sadly I have had so many bad experiences with Muslims who refuse to even try to understand others for fear of "compromise" ... they never even grasp that if their faith is so weak that question will lead to compromise, the problem is larger that they could ever imagine.....They never see that maybe they don't truly believe in mercy, if they can excercise none...

So I guess albeit "Convertcitus" or any other "Affliction" in faith albeit over zeal, or lack alltogether, these are all afflictions of the heart which may inevitably lead to our own detriment, but definitely hurts all around us....

I appreciate your blog sis, may Allah reward you and please excuse my verbose comment... sometimes, just gotta get it all off your chest!! SMILE...