Assalaamu alaykum brothers and sisters,
The International Revert Conference registration is now set. This event is a first of its kind and has stirred a lot of interest. We are so pleased to hear of so many who wish to attend from so far away.
Because of the interest and limited seats we recommend early registration so that your seat can be assured.
The conference is in English, and the lectures and workshops are structured in such a way as to allow for Muslims of all levels of knowledge to benefit from the information presented. We are focusing primarily on the newly reverted Muslims. The conference will also serve as a networking opportunity for Reverted and born Muslims.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Labbaik Ya Hujjatullah – “Preparing the foundation for Imam Mahdi (AS) eventual return.”
The conference will be held tentatively Friday, April 13th thru Saturday, April 14th 2007. The location will be in Toronto, ON , Canada and will be announced once secured.
Please visit the following link for updates and details regarding this wonderful event.
Look forward to seeing you there!
January 5, 2007
October 11, 2006
The book is a biography of Imam Ali
The chapter is titled Neither fanaticism nor infallibility, and highlights Imam Ali’s religious tolerance.
Neither fanaticism nor infallibility (I)
Ali marched steadfastly on the path of action fixed by him for himself. He always looked upwards. He prescribed the economic rights of man as well as other rights without which the economic rights cannot materialize. He did not do favor to any particular creed, color or race. All human beings are alike and all of them are entitled to live and share the amenities of life even though they may be different in their creed, color or race. Ali was considerate to the entire mankind. According to him there was no difference between the white-colored and the black colored, the Arabs and the non-Arabs, Muslims and non-Muslims in the matter of economic rights and the amenities of life.
Although Ali was the successor to the prophet, the fortress of Islam, and the Commander of the Faithful, he did not at all wish that the non-Muslims should be compelled to embrace Islam. According to him the people were free to worship God as they liked and to hold the beliefs of their choice subject to the condition that they did not harm others. He allowed freedom of faith because all human beings are the slaves of God, and religion is a means of connection between Him and His creatures.
According to Ali one’s being a human being was sufficient for his being honored, befriended and dealt with kindly as well as for his rights being immune from infringement by others. In the testament written by him for Malik Ashtar, the Governor of Egypt, he said. “Do not become a ferocious animal for them so that you may devour them.” (The Egyptians about whom the Commander of the Faithful gave these instructions to Malik Ashtar were Christians.) There are two kinds of persons amongst the subjects, out of whom some are your brethren-in-faith and others are creatures of God like you, and you should be forgiving towards them just as you wish God to be forgiving towards you. You should not feel elated when you accord punishment.
In the circumstances everyone possesses the same rights as you do, even though some or all of his beliefs may be opposed to yours. The object of religion is certainly that it should enable you to establish brotherly relations with others. Others are as much human beings as you are. This similarity of creation is a stronger connection between you and others. You should, therefore, behave kindly with all human beings. If your brother commits a mistake or sin you should overlook his lapse and forgive him, and should not at all feel ashamed in doing so. Purify the hearts of others of enmity and grudge by purifying your own hearts of these bad qualities in the first instance.
It is obligatory for very descendant of Adam, to whatever religion or creed he may belong, that he should sympathize with his fellow beings. He should like that for others which he likes for himself and should not like that for them which he does not like for himself. He should expect from others to the same extent to which he meets the expectations of others. A real believer is he who endeavors to do good deeds. The best act is perfect justice which means that you should be absolutely impartial and should not discriminate between different persons. He who follows the ways of Muhammed in leading his life is not different from one who follows the ways of Jesus, or other accomplished personalities. The object of creation of man is this that he should acquire virtues and excellence and should acquire good attributes. He is free to achieve this end by any means he likes. Ali says: “It is necessary for you to follow the prophet’s actions when the world was contracted from under his feet and he was kept away from its enjoyments and embellishments. And if you so desire you may see Jesus Christ who used to recline on a stone, wore coarse dress and ate tasteless and insipid food. Hunger was his bread, the moon was his lamp, east and west were his shade, and grass constituted his fruits and perfume. He had no wife who could allure him and no children for whom he might be worried. He had no wealth which might attract his attention nor any avarice which might humiliate him. His feet were his means of transport and his hands were his servants.”
At another place Imam Ali says: “These were the people who made the earth their carpet and its dust their bed. They contented themselves with water instead of perfume and, passed away from the world as Jesus did”.
The same reality which Muhammad had in view when he said: “The prophets are brothers of one another. Their mothers are different but their religion is one and the same”. The same reality was before Ali when he said about Muhammad: “The prophet spent his life in the same way in which the earlier prophets spent their lives.”
Neither fanaticism nor infallibility (II)
In these two statements it has been clearly admitted that virtue is the thing which unites the people at a point just as humanity is basically the point of unification.
What has been stated above makes it abundantly clear that just as man possesses many other rights he has, according to the laws enunciated by Ali, this right also that he should be free in the matter of his beliefs and there should be no restriction on his holding any belief he likes. Freedom cannot be divided. It is not possible that man should be free in some respect and a captive in some other respects. A Muslim is the brother of a Christian whether he likes it or not, because man is the brother of a man whether he admits it or not. If in the eyes of Ali the main of object of creating man as a free being had not been this that he should make efforts to acquire virtues and if, according to him, freedom had not been a sacred right, he would not have praised the followers of Jesus in the same manner in which he praised the followers of Muhammad.
In the foregoing pages we have mentioned that a Christian stole the coat of mail of Ali and claimed that he had purchased it. We have also mentioned how Ali behaved with the Christian as a person equal to himself, rather in the manner in which a father behaves with his son. We have also stated how Ali lodged a complaint in the court of the judge Shurayh and what its outcome was and how the Christian became one of his sincere disciples and vehemently helped him.
The history of Arabia is proud of the following sentence of Ali which adorns its pages: “If a carpet is spread for me and I sit on it, I shall decide the cases of the Jews according to their book the Torah, of the Christians according to their book the Evangel, and of the Muslims according to their Quran.
Ali instructed Maqal son of Qais as under: “O Maqal! Fear God. Don’t be unjust to the Muslims, and don’t oppress the non-Muslims. Don’t be proud, because God doesn’t like the proud.”
It shows that according to Ali “fear of God” means this that a person should not oppress his fellow beings and should not in any way be unjust to them. Furthermore, he places the Muslims and non-Muslims at the same level and does not accord preference to anyone of them.
This equality of the Muslims and non-Muslims can be observed in each and every order of Ali. It would appear that he considered the protection of the people from injustice to be more important and necessary than acquiring other Islamic virtues. He says: “if you follow the path of truth, and the tenets of Islam became clear to you, neither a Muslim nor a non-Muslim will be oppressed.” He sverely reprimanded the Muslims when Sufyan son of Auf Asadi, a commander of Muawiya’s army invaded the city of Anbar and committed atrocities on its residents and they (the Muslims) did not side with the truth, and did nothing to prevent oppression. In the course of his speech he said: ” I have received information that a member of this group used to enter the houses of Muslims and non-Muslim women and removed the anklets from their feet and bangles from their hands as well as the necklace and earrings which they were wearing and they had no means of protection except that they should say: “We are from God and we have to return to Him and remain patient…Now if a Muslim dies of sorrow on account of these tragedies he cannot be blamed for it. In my opinion it ought to be so.”
Ali censured and rebuked those people because they failed to defend their brothers and sisters living in the city whether they were Muslims or non-Muslims against oppression.
When he appointed Muhammed son of Abu Bakr as Governor of Egypt he instructed him thus: “I recommend to you to be equitable to the non-Muslims, to do justice to an oppressed person, to be severe upon the oppressor and to be indulgent towards the people as far as possible and to be kind to them. It is also necessary that in the matter of truth the far and the near should be equal in your eyes”.
The following sentence also appeared in the pact which he concluded with the Christians of Najran: “They will not be subjected to injustice and oppression nor will any of their rights be reduced.”
He also fixed the same blood money for a Christian, as the blood money for Muslims.
According to Ali every human being was entitled to respect. It was for this reason that although the ignorant and brainless followers of all past religions were extremely fanatical and hated other religions. Ali was loved very much justice by the knowledgeable Christians during his own time as well as afterward. All of them lauded and praised him. Allama Ibn Abil Hadid writes thus in the introduction to Nahj al-Balagah (a collection of sayings of Ali) “What should I say about that man (Ali) whom the non-Muslims loved ardently although they did not acknowledge the prophethood of Muhammad.”
Ali had laid the very foundation of his treatment of non-Muslims on this principle: “Their property is like our property and their lives are like our lives”.
The facts narrated above shows clearly that religious fanaticism was considered by Ali to be something very indecent and despicable. The freedom, which he believed in, in a wide sense, and measured with an extended measure was totally opposed to fanaticism.
When we visualize the treatment meted out by Ali to the non-Muslims, and compare it with the treatment of the clergies of the Church in Europe of the Middle Ages, especially those clergies who were responsible for the inquisition, and when we contrast the kindness and forgiveness shown by Ali with the severity and harshness of the European religious leaders, we come to know how exalted Ali was and how low those people were.
In short there should be no doubt about it because Ali’s faith had sprung from the roots of humanity, freedom and authority and it was according to the view and belief which Ali held about life. Ali’s faith was based on freedom and he considered freedom to be respectable. Whereas the faith of the religious leaders of Europe was based on habit and imitation of their ancestors, and freedom had nothing to do with it.
Nowadays we are at war against religious fanaticism and consider it to be indecent and despicable, although religious fanaticism is not as dangerous as some other kinds of fanaticism. You will come across many persons who do not at all possess religious fanaticism but they are involved in fanaticism of color, race, nationality, political beliefs etc. Indulgence and forgiveness is possible in the matter of religious fanaticism but it is not possible in the case of other kinds of fanaticism.. Such fanaticism is based on egotism, ignorance and profiteering and those who possess only what they have concluded is right and their view about man and life is indisputable. They do not consider the view of anyone else as valid as theirs.
Ever since man has arrived on the Earth fanaticism of every kind has been inherent in him, and there has not been any time during which he has not displayed fanaticism. The great leader of the world Ali fought not only against religious fanaticism but against all kinds of fanaticism. He considered racial fanaticism to be equivalent to rebellion and mischief, and burning up the attractive face of life.
According to Ali priding oneself onone’s ancestry was also a sort of fanaticism. He addresses the fanatics of his time in these words: ” Look here! You have opposed God openly, have been extremely oppressive and have created disturbance on the face of the earth. Fear God in the matter of priding yourselves on account of the self-conceit of the age of ignorance, because it is the source of enmity and grudge and the center of Satan’s enchantment with which he allured the past nations. Look here! Fear following your chiefs and elders who give themselves airs because of their position and pomp, and pride themselves on account of their ancestry (i.e. those who consider others humble and despicable, oppose Divine decrees and deny God’s kindness in order to size His blessings). These are the very persons who are the deep foundation of fanaticism and the pillars of the house of mischief.
In the first instance Ali likened family and racial fanaticism to rebellion and dis figuringl life. Then he made his view more general and declared every fanaticism whether racial, political or religious, to be identical with rebellion and mischief and established more and more as time passes. He says: ” I have looked on all sides and have not found one man in the world who supports something but that he has a reason in view for it, which becomes the cause of the mistake of the ignorant, or that he has an argument which gets glued to the intellect of the foolish.”
You may go through all that has been said regarding fanaticism and the explanations given about it, but you will not find anything said by anyone which may be more than what Ali has said. Fanatics indulge in fanaticism either on account of ignorance or folly and both of them carry rebellion and mischief in their lap. Ali has drawn the picture of this fact in his two remarks reproduced above.
In short Ali considered fanaticism of every kind to be indecent and despicable. Of course if partiality is to be observed it should be observed in the matter of virtue, justice and public rights. One would side with the oppressed persons who are deprived of their earnings and rights by the oppressors. One would side with truth and conscience. One should be partial for the sake of human freedom and honor and for protecting the helpless from the fanatics. The Commander of the Faithful says: “If you wish to be fanatic and partial you should side with high morals, good manners and praiseworthy qualities, for example to protect the rights of your neighbor, to honor your covenants, to obey the righteous, to oppose the rebellious, to behave well, to avoid injustice, to remain aloof from bloodshed, to administer justice and not to create mischief on earth.”
How much he hated fanaticism can be realized from the recommendation which he made about the Kharijites, although they were his enemies. They fought a fierce battle against him, but he says: “Do not fight with the Karijites after me, because one who seeks truth but goes astray is not like one who seeks falsehood and acquires it.”
The commander of the Faithful made the people realize that as there was a possibility of their views they should not insist upon the correctness of their views and beliefs, nor should they thrust them on others. He told them not to refrain from making consultations and not to hesitate in accepting the truth.
September 22, 2006
Welcome to Revert Muslims Assoc. on-line blog..an extension of www.revertmuslims.com
Hello and welcome my name is Jennah and I’m a revert. My journey to Islam has been most rewarding. InshAllah I will continue to help others find their path. I created this space so that reverts can discuss their transformation into Islam and meet new friends on line. Becoming a Muslim is quite a transformation and so we should offer our help to those newly reverted Muslims by giving out advice as well as our duas. Inshallah our community at ‘www.revertmuslims.com’ will grow!
Please enjoy! 🙂 Wa alaykumus salaam
___________________________My Revert Story:
My journey to Islam
Sister Jennah, A REVERT MUSLIM TEAM MEMBER (Trin, from shiachat) Founder of RMA
I’m a revert to Islam and I believe I was always a Muslim, I only needed to find my path. I was born, after all, with ‘fitrah’ (innate nature) and so it was natural for me to eventually find Islam if I could see the light of truth, which I did.
My Islamic name is Jennah and I am a Muslim.
My spiritual journey thus far has been a challenge but also very rewarding. My whole life I felt a building towards something until finally discovering Islam. The more I found out about Islam the more I knew I had found my path.
I was introduced to Islam while playing an on-line game over the net. I met a young Muslim man, from England, while playing this game. He was the first Muslim I had ever met in my life. I was so impressed by how polite and helpful he was. I was curious so I asked questions about his faith. He was very resourceful and he encouraged me to learn more. He provided me with links and audio and video files. He was always very kind and positive about my study.
To start I read about all the various Muslim sects. I bought/borrowed one book after another as I could not seem to quench my thirst for knowledge of Islam. I also read all about the Prophet(saw) and Khadija and all the decedents, the ahlulbayt. I read about the caliphs and the 14 infallibles. I spent time reading the history of Arabia, the tribes, the battles. I started an on-line Islamic study course. I absorbed as much as I could as often as I could.
My life began to change…I had an epiphany when I purchased my first English translated Qur’an. When I looked down at the Qur’an, time seemed to stand still; as I recalled a recurring dream I had my whole life. In the dream I’m reaching out for a large old book resting open on a table. When I reach the book I cannot read the pages and something seemed to always be pulling me back. The dream always left me frustrated. However, on this day when I looked down at the Qur’an I realized that the book I had dreamt about my whole life was the book I held in my hands and I knew this was a sign from the creator.
I became very focused. I knew I was on the verge of becoming a Muslim but the decision was difficult it was a complete changing of my life and for the non-Muslims in my life. After much contemplation and spiritual guidance I preformed my shahada at home.
Once I was a Muslim I knew that I was not only to submit to Allah(swt) but I must also give back to Islam in as many ways as possible. The more of Allah (swt) I found in my heart, the more life began to change for me and my involvement with Islam. New people were coming into my life and they were filled with hope for Islam as I was. I worked/work on Islamic web-sties doing web and graphic design and various art jobs . I am an artist so I have taken some study in Islamic artwork and I have begun to create series of artwork that Inshallah will help bring attention to Islam.
I study Islam as much as I can so that I can better articulate my views on the subject. I have even begun to try to learn to speak the Arabic language.
‘Baseerah’ is knowledge. So the caller is certain to face those who are scholars of misguidance, those who will attack him with doubts and futile arguments in order to rebut the truth. Allah, the most high says: and argue with them in a way that is better. (soorah an-Nahl 16:125]
When researching I did not find a lot of sites that fit all of my needs as a revert. I wanted a place where I could find it all in one. This is when I began to think about creating ‘ ‘RevertMuslims.com’. I felt there was a need for an uplifting and encouraging and resourceful site for new reverts. A place to learn the truth about Isalm in a comfortable setting. A place where you can learn the fundamentals of Islam, to learn how to pray, to live as a Muslim should live on a daily basis.
InshaAllah I will continue to meet the needs of reverts to Islam.
I do my best to be a good Muslim, a good human being. I do my best to give back as Allah(swt) has given me so much in my life. My goal is to work for Islam as much as possible in an effort to bring unity and understanding.
Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatu Allahi Wa Barakatoh Sister Jennah