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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Are you ready?

As Muslims, we sometimes fall into the trap that many groups fall into. We develop a feeling of superiority based upon our association with Islam. We often look at people who are different from us and we scoff at them. We ridicule them, and insult them. We neglect to even approach them with Islam, yet we say how they need Islam in their lives. This type of attitude is the one of blissful ignorance. It's just lame.

The question I ask is,"Are you ready?". Are you ready to embrace someone who looks like this man? What are you going to do if he enters our ranks? What will be your reaction if you saw him at Hajj, huh?

I ask this because, I ran into an interesting situation. A friend of mine met a man who had converted to Islam. In his past, he had engaged in homosexual activity, but he turned away from that. My friend appreciated the fact that this person was honest. This person divulged this info because of interest in marrying my friend.

When all of this was explained to me, I mentioned that although this person had a past, he has also taken on Islam. It's the questions...

"Does my friend reject this person because of his past?"

"Will rejection potentially cause this person to withhold this information the next time they wish to pursue marriage?"

"Is there a chance that this person sees marriage as a cure for his previous behavior?"

"How will such information play into the married life of this person? Will it be a cause for argument or enmity between spouses?"

"Should this person have even shared such information about past acts?"

"But isn't sharing such information the responsible thing to do? Especially in this day and age?"

"Would a better match be with another convert who also had similar behaviour in the past?"

Oh the list went on. No answers though. What I know without a doubt is that we need to decide whether or not we want to continue to ignore these issues? We need to decide if brother "Tat Face" will be judged by his character content and if brother "Past Life" will have space among his ranks during salat. What will be our reaction to such people? After all of our criticism, how will they be treated when people like these two men, enter the fold of Islam?

10 comments:

  1. IrisblueMay 17, 2007

    you've raised some good questions...we definitely need to learn how to love more and judge less, but it's easier said than done.

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  2. You right about 'Tat guy'. He needs to be treated equally if he enters Islam, but I have a point about the first man, who has a past. Should he not have just hidden it, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) has also ordered us to hide our sins if Allah has concealed them.

    www.shadeofrahmah.blogspot.com

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  3. Salams
    There are some revert brothers who I have come accross such as the one you mention here and I can say that Alhumdulillah, by most Muslims he is treated as an equal.

    Wasalam

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  4. There's a sister in my building, who, in her own words, doesn't really practice, but still considers herself Muslim, after talking to her, part of her distance from the Muslim community is because of how she's been berated due to the number of tattoos she has. She was surprised after meeting me that I was Muslim and never asked or inquired about her and her 'tats. I think if we are more open we can have more open relationships with folks.

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  5. irisblue: Yes ma'am, we have quite a job ahead of us!

    zhilaal: Good point. I raise that question in my post.

    haq islam: It is wonderful to know that. I hope that continues.

    marc: I agree. I'm sure that there are more Muslims like the ones who have responded to my post!

    Love for the sake of Allah,

    Dynamite Soul

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  6. Salaams Dynamite Soul

    A great post, with interesting points for reflection.

    This is my first time here and insha Allah, I'll be visiting again.

    Ma'as salama
    Abdur Rahman

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  7. Asalaamu alaikum.

    Good questions. The reality is that we all have "a past" of some kind so it is kinda arrogant that we will judge each other on their pasts.

    And there are some things that sometimes need to be revealed as part of an honest communication. I mean, what if your past is something you cannot hide? Isn't it better to have been upfront about it? For example, combine the two examples in the post: say you engaged in homosexual or lesbian behavior in your past AND you have a tatoo that shows your "affiliation" with that lifestyle. How are you supposed to just keep your mouth shut when your potential spouse will eventually see the tatoo and know what it means? These are difficult issues that we HAVE to address somehow. We cannot act like they don't exist because converts are growing in numbers.

    I didn't appreciate being ostracized by the sisters in my community for my past. As much as I dislike my past, it is that very past that was the qadr of Allah and that prepared me to accept Islam. And my past isn't any worse than someone else's. The irony is that the sister who told everyone my past only knew it because it was a past she shared, yet no one thought to judge her not only for the gossip but for the obvious hypocrisy.

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  8. As salaamu alaikum sis,

    You make some great points. You never want to see a sister strolling down the
    lane with her husband, and watch
    Anton Merryweather confront the brother as to why he hasn't been to the Skittles Bar & Bistro in so long.

    Not a good look.

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  9. as-salaamu 'alaikum,

    This is an excellent post. Really. You raise some issues that I have never even thought of. In your statement,

    "Will rejection potentially cause this person to withhold this information the next time they wish to pursue marriage?"

    I think that the information in question should be withheld the next time. There is no need to discuss this persons past once they have entered Islam.

    Does the convert tell everyone one of all the haram activity they have done in their life, no. Likewise, does a Muslim, born to a Muslim-family, tell everyone of all the haram they have done? Is this necessary if they have done bad deeds?

    You ask,

    "Should this person have even shared such information about past acts?"

    I say no. I can't think of a woman, Muslim or otherwise, that would marry a man who has performed homosexual acts.

    And if that person was, by the grace of Allah, able to free him or herself from that situation and establish a life according to the din, alhamdulillah they should just be the best Muslim that they can be from then on out. May Allah reward those who have done this.

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  10. Laila QadeerAugust 04, 2007

    I found this article to be very interesting. I really liked it. I think this also applies to people who already are Muslims. Everyday we see brothers or sisters denouncing one another for not being "Muslim Enough" or "True Believers." We all have a past. But Alhamdulillah I think we can all say that Allah can guide anyone He wishes to.

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