Each and every one of us is living in history at this moment. We, by our daily decisions, are writing the history of eventual success or eventual failure of Islam in America !
At this moment, there are a minimum of 30 Million Americans ready to embrace Islam. They are ready to accept Islam without long discussions, preaching, or handing-out pamphlets. They are waiting to be taken by the hand and led into Islam without struggle.
The first objective of Mumineen is to gather all human brothers and sisters to the Mercy of Allah. Collectively ignoring this objective will deprive oneself of Allah’s Mercy. The greatest Love of Allah has been gifted to Rasulullah. Allah said : “I have not sent you except as a Mercy for all ”. Allah has conferred the highest status to the Ummah of Muhammad as khair-ul-umoom for fulfilling our duties among humanity, establishing what is right, and abolishing what is wrong.
All over the U.S., there are Americans who are being introduced to Islam and then being forgotten before they have a chance to know what Islam is. There are Americans who embrace Islam, yet can’t find their way to stay living as Muslims in the communities. There are others who suffer on for years trying to live as Muslims, while failing to establish their lives.
The Reality of the Loss of American Converts
From more than 40 American men who have made Shahada or tried to live as Muslims in Arlington, TX, NONE have been able to establish their lives here as Muslims. The vast majority exit without ever knowing more than the Kalimah. Many try to attend the Masajid, but do not receive the Nur of Islam from such places. The ones who try to stick with Islam are left alone in personal problems until they despair from the community without anyone knowing or caring why they left.
The Muslim communities DO NOT FUNCTION IN SUCH A WAY THAT WILL ALLOW AMERICANS TO LIVE AS MUSLIMS! What I mean is that the communities formed by the Muslim colonists who came here seeking their material well-being do NOT FUNCTION AS A COMMUNITY OF RESPONSIBLE MUSLIM BROTHERS, and are inconsiderate of the needs of converts.
The Causes of the Problem
- Muslims have so completely forgotten Islam they no longer have a sense of what their priorities are, nor how to achieve them. They have no vision of Islam’s objectives, and wander from one futile occupation to another.
- There is no one among the Muslims asking himself what the problem is, no one paying attention to this issue. In brief, you can’t find a Muslim who has his brain wrapped around the convert situation.
- When Americans DO attempt to stay in Islam, we are left to learn Islam by ourselves, live Islam by ourselves, work through this life by ourselves, solve all of life’s problems by ourselves, and the best you can get from the community is “May Allah make it easy for you”, which is how Muslim brother goes running out the door of Islam
- When Americans enter Islam, we become forever separated from our own people, who are not Muslims. That separation is in terms of spirituality, psychology, world-view, objectives, mannerisms, companionship, and support. We are forced to live outside the systems of human existence, the systems Allah Himself created. A human who is forced into a broken system of life will himself be broken. You can’t build strong Muslims by breaking them !
أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تُتْرَكُوا وَلَمَّا يَعْلَمِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ جَاهَدُوا مِنكُمْ وَلَمْ يَتَّخِذُوا مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلَا رَسُولِهِ وَلَا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلِيجَةً ۚ وَاللَّهُ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ Waleeja – supporters, confidants
- It is not possible for the American to leave his family, friends, and the people of his nation and establish a solid and balanced life of a normal human being in the total absence of functioning human society ! If the Muslims don’t become his functioning human society, the Convert CAN’T LIVE AS A MUSLIM ! Plain and Simple !
The Concept of the Human Life-Cycle
Allah ta’ala creates and develops all things in stages. Our physical creation, psychological development, degrees of developing intelligence, and spiritual advancement all occur in stages, once the proper program is followed. For the convert who exists without the normal systems of life, this life-cycle development will be in disarray, forcing him to leave Islam, or to stay until his life, health, wealth, and emotional well-being are all damaged.
So, we need a program to ensure the proper establishment of each critical stage of human development throughout the life of the convert. Not as a hand-out or welfare society, but as responsible Muslims ensuring the convert is progressing in life.
The Concept of Balancing Human Needsوَكَذَٰلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِّتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا
Ummatan Wasatan includes: al-‘adl (Just), Balanced, Not-extreme, the Best of All Nations brought out to Humanity, neither over-spenders, nor stingy. It also means that Islam is open for all people
The human being has many needs, and develops through many stages of securing those needs. His most basic needs are physiological. If these needs are not met, he can’t move on to the next level, and in fact may die or become kafir. If his sexual needs are not met, he may become zani or emotionally damaged. If his emotional needs are not met, he can’t feel happiness. Without happiness, he can’t be a benefactor of humanity. Altogether, it’s the domino effect of a destroyed life !
I saved the biggest one for last, because it is intertwined with all the others, and it is specifically where the convert has the problem: it is the social needs of the human being. It is our interaction with human society through which most of our other needs are met. Because the convert is isolated or cut-off from human society, they will suffer in all aspects of life ! One of the things that forced Rasulullah and the Muhajireen to seek out Medina was the Social Boycott in Mecca.
The Model for Convert Support: al-Medinat al-Munawwara اَلْمَدِينَة اَلْمَنَوَّر
After leaving family and friends to enter Islam, the convert will need a secure environment to establish their lives as Muslims. Rasulullah himself and the Muhajireen fled Mecca to Medina seeking an environment in which their lives would be secured, they could continue their Da’wa, continue building the society that exemplified the perfect Sunnah. Like the Muhajireen, this Medina is not a utopian dream for the convert; it’s a necessity of life for people who exist without other human society !
Those aspects of Islam that the Ummah has forgotten will have to be revived ! In future discussions, I will cover the obvious barriers and problems converts face when entering the Muslim community. I will take feedback from Brothers and their ideas for possible solutions, insha Allah.
The Need for Transition Management for Converts
By this point, it should start to become clear how life becomes unbearable for converts who stay in Islam, why so many converts leave the community, and why Allah keeps most potential converts away. I believe there are millions of Americans who are ready to be Muslims, but we have not built a functioning community, have not addressed the human needs of those who enter Islam. What is required is a case management system. Converts need an intelligent organization !
When a human being exists in the absence of organized society, his/her life literally hangs by a thread. HUMANS CAN’T LIVE HANGING BY A THREAD ! When a situation arises, the community must be responsive, because a minor problem can quickly become a dire emergency for someone who is alone in life. To aid development, growth, security, and responsiveness, I am recommending the following requirements:
- Quality Companionship: a network of good companions that provide
- The qualities of Deen, or
- Positive and comfortable friendship, or
- Other valuable opportunities(employment, business, etc.)
- Volunteer advocates – the liaison to advocate on ones behalf within the community. This is a small group of individuals who are tasked with staying in contact and aware of the Brother/Sister’s situation.
- Case management: maintaining the convert’s contact information, family contacts, employer contacts, etc. Case management includes ensuring the convert is making reasonable progress in establishing their life. I’ll go over this more in another presentation, about critical stages of life establishment, but suffice it to say that the objective here is to have converted Muslims who have established their lives in strength, and realized their potential, so they can be benefactors of their communities.
- A community resource list. A list of the most commonly needed service providers within society. A doctor, lawyer, tax advisor, potential employers(even if just for temporary employment), professional counselors (including a professional marriage counselor), auto mechanics, etc. Also, a list of scholars and their specialties. Each person on the list must be met with, have the situation explained, their character assessed, and acquire their commitment to do their very best in providing their service properly and generously.
- Material Resource Management. Initially, I recommend a bank account be set up. Funds in this account should be used for the above listed requirements. Muslims are encouraged to cut their Israf spending and commit their wealth to Islam. Masajid should not contain Israf, so human needs can be met !
- Islamic resources – recommended reading, recommended religious instructors, etc.
- Life Fulfillment Opportunities: American Muslims love doing things that serve their community through Islam. Some opportunities could be voluntary, some could be part-time or full-time jobs.
- Ongoing guidance, education, and supervision for those who volunteer for this program.
This program will not require much time from any individual Brother, if many Brothers/Sisters will take-up the cause. The tarteeb of the program is to share responsibility with community members, so no individual is over-taxed in terms of time or other support. One should not consider this a diversion from his/her existing efforts: this is an enhancement of ones efforts and understanding of Islam, a critical step in reviving Sunnah, the objectives of Deen, and the Community of Believers.
You may contact me at any time. Sooner is better than later.
Jazaakum Allahu Khairan