The Name Game – Are You a Convert or a Revert, and What Does it All Mean?

The Name Game – Are You a Convert or a Revert, and What Does it All Mean?
My manager imparted to me an ongoing Haute Hijab Facebook bunch survey she set up inquiring as to whether Muslims who entered the confidence wanted to be designated "convert" or "return." The reason of the survey was to perceive what bunch individuals (who took the survey) like, since the terms are utilized conversely in Muslim culture (and in this blog).

She communicated that the survey didn't speak to a complete idea on verbiage (respondents didn't completely mirror the numerous foundations of Muslim proselytes), yet she needed my supposition on the outcomes and my point of view about the words. In our work of expounding on Muslims, we need to ensure we use wording that precisely mirrors the networks we are covering. Making sense of what term to utilize, be that as it may, isn't simple because of numerous variables and network issues.

I asked Embrace (an ICNA venture focusing Muslim proselytes) Co-Founder Nahela Morales about the utilizing the words change over and return. "I will in general utilize the word convert when I am giving dawah and with for the most part non-Muslims," clarified Nahela. "As a daaiyah (a lady who gives dawah), here and there I have seconds to pass on the message. So for me, it is simpler to state [that] I changed over to Islam since they will comprehend it quickly, versus [saying] 'I returned,' and I need to give a clarification."

Grasp convert bunch performing Umrah

Changes over from Embrace performing Umrah in 2020; picture source: Nahela Morales.

"It turns into a touchy issue [in Muslim communities]. On the off chance that you utilize the term convert, they talk about the fitrah and [argue], 'Well, you returned,' so I will in general utilize the word return in chatting with Muslims."

It isn't astonishing that Muslims who have changed over end up in a social problem about their passageway into the confidence and how it impacts their personalities. We are animals of personality. Allah (S) says in the Quran:

Gracious, humankind, to be sure We have made you from male and female and made you people groups and clans that you may know each other. Suratul Hujarat (49:13)

How one interfaces with their way of life, customs and socio-political encounters can be enabling, so it isn't constantly a terrible thing. Individuals ought to have social organization to choose how they explore all parts of their experiences.

Issues with personality emerge when individuals arrange their characters contrary to one another, inducing fanaticism, inclination and matchless quality in Muslim spaces that are contradictory to Islamic lessons. For instance, a few people raised with a Muslim character anticipate that changes over should quickly acknowledge social traditions and customs outside of Islamic lessons, their reason being, "My family has been Muslim for ages. We have constantly done this." Add this to the way that there is no proof of past utilization of the expressions "convert" or "return" in our confidence.

Confidence and Names

Allah (S) doesn't give individuals who broadcast the shahadah and acknowledge Islam a particular name. He named all of us Muslims. Allah (S) says in the Quran:

[It is] the religion of your dad, Abraham. Allah named you "Muslims" before [in previous scriptures] and in this [revelation]. Suratul Hajj (22:78)

The nearest references to Muslim transformation are in the Quran, where Allah (S) specifies adherents "entering" Islam. Allah (S) says in the Quran:

O you who have accepted, go into Islam totally [and perfectly] and don't follow the strides of Satan. Without a doubt, he is to you an unmistakable adversary. Suratul Baqarah (2:208)


Also, you see the individuals going into the religion of Allah in hoards. Suratul Nasr (110:2)

Researchers may refer to the hadith about individuals conceived on the "fitrah" to advance utilization of "return" rather than "convert," frequently stretching out their grant to direct how individuals ought to distinguish socially. The Prophet Muhammad (saw) stated, "There is none conceived however is made to his actual nature (Islam). It is his folks who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Magian ..." (Sahih Muslim 2658 b). They affirm that fitrah in this setting implies Islam and reason that "return" is the best fit, which really is hazardous.

Numerous Islamic words don't straightforwardly convert into English, so the deduction that to return is to come back to Islam produces a bigger number of inquiries than it coalesces the characters of individuals entering Islam as another Deen (lifestyle), and it disregards the individuals who were once Muslim and come back to the confidence.

Grasp Converts gathering

Grasp bunch individuals tune in to their instructor as they perform Umrah; picture source: Nahela Morales.

Nahela revealed to me that Embrace individuals incorporate individuals who left Islam and returned. "We have conceived Muslims who view themselves as returns since they left the Deen and returned. They will proceed to state, 'I am a return as well.'"

Since the utilization of the words "convert" and "return" is a cutting edge marvel (one not established in Islamic lessons or the sunnah), it isn't inside the domain of Muslim researchers to state either, particularly the individuals who don't live the experience of tolerating Islam as another confidence. It turns into a matter of urf (social and social traditions), and individual Muslims hold the power to choose their personalities with regards to their change/inversion.

They have a vested social intrigue. They are the ones straightforwardly affected by the positive and negative employments of the term.

For a considerable length of time, naming an individual as a believer was to some degree outsider to me. Most Muslim people group (for the most part African American) didn't make that differentiation. Normally, an individual who had entered the confidence in African American people group was known as another Shahadah. This urged us to encourage the individual, particularly those of us who may comprehend what they are experiencing as another Muslim.

The reference is as yet utilized by Muslims in the networks I visit, including my neighborhood network where there is a developing number of new Muslims. An individual is another Shahadah for a restricted measure of time. As they invest more energy picking up, rehearsing Islam and associating with the network, the character blurs, and they become essentially Sister or Brother. It's anything but a long lasting personality stamp on an individual to separate and dishonor them, creating disgrace run of the mill of the othering of Muslims by their correligionists who are brought up as Muslim.

A Convert in Muslim Spaces

At the point when I enter spaces with most of individuals recognizing as conceived Muslims, a qualification regularly crystalizes into an upsetting cooperation of interest or inclination. In the same way as other who entered Islam, I am either immersed with requests to "rouse" individuals with my change story, or I am quickly othered in a way that discredits me from my true blue Muslimness: "How could you become Muslim? What caused you to pick my religion? Did you convert for your significant other?"

Sickening and obtrusive addressing keeps on plagueing our social presence. I recall a Muslim writer interfacing with perusers during an Instagram live stream, and she got a lot of inquiries like in the event that she was on the sunnah and knew who the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was. I tapped my thumbs as quick as Possible on my telephone, advising her not to respond to idiotic inquiries like those. Handling inquiries concerning our Muslimness upsets numerous Muslim returns on different levels, forcing on somebody the duty to demonstrate their Islamic personalities and pass on their "birthplace story" for the utilization of outsiders.

After numerous individuals fulfill their otherworldly voyeurism with these inquiries, they regularly then utilize the mark "convert" to forever "otherize" individuals. The inquiries at that point change into "This is Sister (name). She's a believer," which starts a canine whistle impact that lets the individuals who are conceived Muslims be prepared for inclination to regard the individual as characteristically unique, here and there otherworldly yet regularly uninformed, second-class and sub-Muslim.

The discussion about which word to utilize shows a bigger issue for the individuals who enter Islam intentionally. So frequently we are situated to demonstrate our legitimacy as Muslims, in spite of the way that the best age of Muslims – the Sahaabah (friends of the Prophet) – changed over, moving from a polytheistic to monotheistic conviction or from religions developed from past disclosures (the Torah and Jews and the Injeel [Bible] and Christians) to the last one uncovered to the Prophet Muhammad (saws).

A large number of us have disguised inclinations that exist against us and battle to state a positive character. Incidentally, a few of us try to deny our past missions to associate with a more powerful, which is an inborn piece of mankind (fitrah). Why? Among Allah's signs is his capacity to manage. Why feel disgrace or othered by individuals' failure to completely acknowledge that it is so superb to figure out how to shape a relationship with your Creator in a world brimming with ways that will make a gap among you and Him?

To be sure, even individuals destined to a Muslim family are not ensured direction and battle.

Like other social characters, regardless of whether somebody calls themselves change over or return stays individual and dubious in view of the potential adverse effect from individuals looking to consign the individuals who acknowledged Islam into inferior status or simply be about "to what extent they have been Muslim," their degree of information in any case. Whatever we call ourselves, it will never be sufficient.

Layla Abdullah-Poulos

For whatever length of time that patronization of and inclination against changes over/returns keeps up an unmistakable hold in individuals' souls and our characters are utilized against us, movements should be made. In the first place, we are changes over then returns. Later on, another person will settle on another name on the grounds that there isn't sufficient conversation about victimization changes over. In any case, we can pick whichever we need or nothing by any means.

At the point when it is important for me to make a differentiation about my Muslim personality, I will in general allude to myself as a proselyte. I grew up Christian and changed over to Islam when I was