Bonds of Brotherhood –The Forgotten Science of Receiving Converts into Islam
History of the Loss of Islam and the Human Sciences
This very minute in America, there are a minimum of 30Million people ready to enter Islam. However, the Muslims have no preparation whatsoever.
Among the things forgotten over centuries of decline are the knowledge of the sciences, where the world around us and Islam are studied through the same eyes. Muslims in the human sciences are so few, they have to form organizations spanning the continents just to have a small club. Human Sciences include the fields of History, Anthropology, Social Work and Social Studies, Psychology, Political Science, Linguistics, Education, Communication (including art), Law, etc. To say that these sciences are separate from the sciences of Islam is probably incorrect. Allah ta’ala has ordered Mumineen to observe the world around us, the world inside of us, and has those who have knowledge and understanding. Much of traditional effort on self-Rectification has come through the study of human soul, human heart, human mind, human nafs, human motivation, human diseases, etc. It’s actually hard for one to be in such sciences and not be reminded of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
For those thinking about their education, or the education of their children, I would recommend considering a discipline in the social sciences. The issues in the world do not stem from a lack of commodities, buildings, or automobiles, so solving human problems will not be aided by engineers and businessmen. Instead, most issues stem from the confusion of humanity, which comes, of course, from the lack of Islam in human society. The social sciences as professional fields are an excellent way of connecting the teachings of Islam, with the teachings of science, and then applying those solutions for the benefit of people.
The Current Misunderstandings of “da’wa” and handing-out Free Qur’an
The Da’wa of Islam is a horribly misunderstood field. Today, it is considered da’wa to hand out leaflets at schools and airports, or to conduct YouTube lectures. Imams discuss useless subjects and consider themselves da’iya.
Allah ta’ala tells us in The Qur’an:
Qul hadhihi sabeeli, adu’u ilallahi ‘ala baseera. Muslims will only begin to understand what da’wa is when they understand what Baseera is, how Rasulullah made da’wa, and what were the internal and external qualities of Rasulullah ! This is a huge topic, and it’s pointless to discuss it now.
However, despite the misguided efforts of Muslims, there are still some people who approach Islam, either through invitation, through their own study, or by Diving Guidance. This is where the problems for the Convert begins !
Currently, in the so-called “masajid”, the standard program for receiving converts is ask them to make Shahada in front of the majm’a(which is not necessary), then they make 3 takbeers, hand over a free Qur’an, then bid him farewell by explaining what assalaamu ‘alaikum means (which does no good). There is no follow-up, no Brotherhood, no program, no intelligence, and no concern either. This is how the new Muslim is introduced to the people who call themselves Muslims. Pitiful !
The truth is they just embarrassed him by bringing him in front of the majm’a, scared the hell out of him with Allahu Akbar which he totally doesn’t understand, then told him good bye and good luck, proving they really don’t give a damn if he lives as a Muslim or not. Why? Because da’wa is no longer understood, and the study of human beings is a forgotten science !
The Misunderstanding “Converts Need Islamic Education and that’s it!”
A few of those new converts who will come back to the masjid after being humiliated and terrified the first time. What they are typically offered is a list of book suggestions. In some instances, they are offered to attend an English program.
What they are NOT offered is the opportunity to actually SEE Islam. What they are not offered is Suhba(companionship). What they are not offered is any intelligent program to ensure they are doing ok with Islam, with living as Muslims, and this lack of intelligence and neglect will continue as long as they stay in Islam, whether it’s 10 minutes or 50 years ! Why? Because receiving converts into Islam is a forgotten science !
The Reality: Ikraam-ul-Muslimeen – the forgotten Book of Islam
In truth, the Hidaya of Islam comes from Allah s.w.t. Most Americans will do better studying Islam on their own. The only times I’ve seen much interference with converts is when a divergent group is attempting to draw him into their Firqa. Unfortunately, it works a lot of times, and the convert ends-up among a group of extremists, not just implying actual terrorists, but those who have made Iblees their friend in Deen, as Rasulullah described them: Kilaab an-nar.
Americans who study Islam on their own will usually take Islam on the Fitra, as Allah ta’ala wants them to. Once the Nur is lit within someone, they can find their own path pretty well, with Allah’s continuous Guidance of course.
Where Muslims fail is in 2 major areas:
- Offering reliable companionship
- Fulfilling the rights of their new Muslim Brother or Sister
There are certain chapters of the Great Book of Islam that Muslims typically avoid. The chapters they avoid usually involve GIVING ! I notice some Brothers will read all books of Islam, but avoid reading about Sadaqah. Those real things that Islam requires are precisely the things Muslims avoid: Giving time, giving money, giving sincere thought about other people.
عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ سنن أبي داود
The convert who is serious about his/her Islam will typically lose most or all of their old relationships. The people of Iman don’t mix with the people of Kufr. They don’t share the same beliefs, world-view, philosophy, habits, concerns, values, etc. If the Muslims don’t step up as Brothers/Sisters and behave as such, then the convert is basically left alone in life. This situation may be worsened if the Convert is really serious about Deen. Many of us believe that we must make da’wa to the Muslims to return to their Islam. Our relationships will always be based on that, which makes us even more deprived of social connectivity, because most Muslims are Ghafileen. So, a program is required to provide reliable companionship for the convert.
Secondly, regarding fulfilling the rights of new Muslims, There is a Hadith from Imam al-Bukhari: from Anas r.a. who related that Rasulullah said: “Not one of you will have Iman until he loves for his brother to enjoy exactly what he loves for himself to enjoy.” The Imam included this Hadith in the Kitab of Iman ! Meaning that in his belief, this is an essential part of being a Mumin ! A later Imam, al-Jurjani, said this Hadith is one of the foundations of Islam. Imam an-Nawawi included it in his Arba’een(40 Ahadith), and said it is one of the 4 ahadith upon which all etiquettes of good character is derived !
So, imagine: Rasulullah is saying “la yuminu”, al-Bukhari is including it in Kitaab-ul-Iman, al-Jurjani is saying this is a foundation (قاعدة أساس) of Islam, and an-Nawawa included it in his 40 ahadith to be memorized, and says all rules of Akhlaq can be derived from this Hadith along with 3 others ! I would say that ignoring this Hadith would most likely ruin someone’s Deen.
In Muntakhab Ahadith, the section titled “Generously Fulfilling the Rights of Muslims”, Maulana Yusuf r.a. follows this hadith with another well known Hadith: ad-deen an-Naṣeeha. Arabs always mis-apply this Hadith, because the common usage of Naseeha is “giving advice”, which is actually one of the cheapest things one human can give another. However, an-Nawawi uses 4 pages to explain the actual meaning of this hadith. To summarize its meaning, in relation to the common Muslims, it means: “To remind them with Deen, Taqwa, and Ikhlas. To consider their benefit as one’s own benefit, their loss as one’s own loss. To help them as much as possible, and always fulfill their rights.”
Since Muslims have so forgotten Islam, this is among the things forgotten. Muslims basically have adopted a way of pretty much taking whatever they can, and leaving other people with their own problems. This is one of the ways that the culture of Muslims has moved away from the culture of Islam. So, in the mind of the Muslim, this foundational element of Deen will be considered as Nafil, not wajib. I’ll do that when I get rich and old, after I decide to make Tawba and become a good old Muslim. The convert will consider this as a requirement ! Why? Because the Convert lives without the benefit of human society ! The Convert’s life depends on the Muslim community helping them find solutions, because they have nowhere else to turn, except away from Islam ! I’ll have more on this subject in another discussion, insha Allah.
Again, we see that the convert situation requires an intelligently designed program, something done right, because their lives as Muslims depend on the community actually doing something right !
Convert: Muhajir without Ansaar, without a Madina
One of the concepts I try to convey and propagate is this: the Muslims and their communities must think of the Converts as Muhajireen !
The convert exists without his/ her family, without their friends, without the companionship of their native people. What more is required to make us Muhajireen? When the Sahabah left Mecca for Medina, it wasn’t the travel that made life difficult. The travel lasted a few days only, then it was over. What made life difficult was WHAT THEY LEFT BEHIND ! Their families and friends. The Tribes upon whom their lives depended. Their commerce. Their spouses. All systems of life that depended on social connections were cut off and broken ! And they left SEEKING THEIR SECURITY ! So, Rasulullah instituted 2 things upon arriving in Madina:
1) He wrote a charter that was an agreement of mutual aid and support, between all the tribes of Madina. If anyone betrayed this agreement, he would be considered an enemy, and either ostracized from the Mumineen as a Munafiq, or killed if they were among the non-Muslims.
2) He established Ukhuwa (Brotherhood), assigning an Ansari to each Muhajir, to jointly look after one another, in matters of Deen and in worldly affairs. Many of the Ansaar literally divided their property in half, and some divorced their wives to allow a Muhajir Brother to get married. Initially, Brotherhood rights included the right of inheritance.
Arlington, like other cities in America, has lost the vast majority of the converts to Islam. The failure rate in Arlington is above 90%. This is a result of Muslims having forgotten what Islam is, what their responsibilities are, and how to function and organize as a community of Believers.
Without establishing a program, the doors into Islam will remain closed, even for those Americans who Choose Islam. It’s my hope that the establishment of this program will allow me to finally begin establishing my life as a Muslim, as well as any newcomers.