Reverts: Beautifying the Bouquet of Islam
by Bint Saeed
"O mankind, verily We have created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other. Verily the most honored of you in the sight of God is the most righteous."
The beauty of Islam comes from its openness and concept of unity amongst the believers. The single phrase of testifying the Oneness of God brings together a massive amount of individuals allowing this bouquet of Islam to flourish.
One basic element in the value system of Islam is that of equality. In the sight of God all are created equal. Granted there are differences in abilities, wealth, potentials and so on but it is not any one of these characteristics that elevate a believer amongst the others. Coming back to this analogy of the bouquet one must realize that a flower will always remain a flower. They do come in various colors, shapes and sizes and when collectively presented they work together in emanating their fragrances. The same goes for the believer, each believer is unified by Tawhid and one's color, shape and size does not make him better in the eyes of God. The beauty of the believer comes from with-in; it is one's Iman that illuminates the soul. The ability to work together, accept one another and realize that minor differences do exist, but can be overlooked, facilitate the presentation and spreading of this fragrance of Islam.
Islam is rapidly spreading throughout the world. Each day numerous individuals are added to our Ummah. When asked as to what has attracted a revert to Islam it is answered that in this Deen one looks past the barriers of race, ethnicity, wealth and stature. Unity, equality and love for one another strengthen a long lasting bond between believers. The connection of Islam is directed to and from the heart. The heart gives rise to each action and intention and is one of the main operators in the ability to function for the believer.
However, one must realize that accepting this message of looking beyond the external presentation may seem easy but implementing this into one's life can prove to be difficult. Allah (swt) guides who He wills and misguides who He wills. But when someone has been newly guided to Islam it is our job as a Muslim, a brother or sister and an individual who is part of this Ummah, to accept this revert and do our utmost to keep this fire of Tawhid, acquiring knowledge and bond of brotherhood alive.
Being a Muslim is not only a blessing but also a responsibility. Keeping flowers alive requires constant care and love. Flowers will shrivel away if treated poorly; a once beautiful bouquet will soon lose its beauty and fragrance. The same goes for the revert, this new believer must be constantly cared for and accepted into the fold of the community. Straying away from Islam and a feeling of loneliness will be a result of lacking in care. Someone who has recently embraced Islam should be an addition to the flourishing bouquet however, without care and love it will be as if some flowers in the bouquet have lost their beauty. We must work on keeping these believers and flowers alive. We must work towards keeping the beauty of Islam alive so that others will see this amazing sight and want to be part of it.
Many Muslims tend to pick out faults in new believers. Pointing at his or her background, family and social life can lead to weakening this connecting bond that Islam establishes. Muslims must learn to accept the believer for who he or she is now. After testifying in the Oneness of God the individual becomes a believer and it is his or her actions and intentions now that count. Allah (swt) has made Islam easy for us; He has forbidden what may endanger us and assigned duties that will help us as an Ummah succeed in spreading His word. Picking out faults prevents one from seeing what is truly there. Same goes for this bouquet of Islam, if believers, brothers and sisters start pointing out negativity then that is all they will see. It will prevent them from seeing the beauty of the bouquet or all the hard work that was put into it.
Each and every Muslim is on a different level of this deen. Some who have newly reverted are starting off slow and are filling their minds and hearts with God's words while others have attained enough knowledge and are now preaching it to others. We must realize that such a difference does occur and that the new believer can not immediately start preaching nor can the preacher immediately enforce rules and regulations on the ones who are at this lower level. Remember not every flower is of the same color and fragrance nor can this be changed. However, what can be changed is its presentation style making it an addition to the bouquet so that it can increase its beauty and emanate its fragrance. Same is to say for the believer; human beings come in different colors and cultures. Nothing can be done to change this but the diversity among these believers can be used to illustrate the beauty of acceptance, unity and equality in Islam.
Brothers and sisters all that is being asked of you is to following the path of our Prophet (pbuh) and to hold on to the Qur'an and Sunnah. Islam flourishes when we as Muslims come together and unite ourselves in sharing this common goal of attaining the pleasure of Allah (swt). Do not let race, ethnicity, wealth or stature come in the way of you and your new brother or sister. Learn to accept and implement this belief of equality amongst believers. Be a part of this bouquet; invite all those around to play a role in emanating the beauty of Islam. Keep these flowers alive and allow the bouquet to flourish with it wonderful fragrance of "La ilaha illallah!"
What a better time to start this implementation with the holy month of Ramadan around the corner. Let the spiritual aspect of this moth reach deep into your heart and soul. Turn away from the whisperings of Shaytaan and welcome these new reverts into our homes for Iftar. Invite them to the mosque for Taraweeh prayer and pray that you both remain on Siratal Mustaqeem. This blessed month of Ramadan should open the hearts of believers allowing them the opportunity to fully absorb all that Allah (swt) has blessed them with and to keep these blessings after Ramadan comes to an end. Socialize with this new addition to our Ummah and surround yourself and reverts with situations that will allow you both to fulfill the main goal of creation, to worship the Creator. Take heed to all that has been said and work towards attaining the pleasure of Allah (swt) by loving one another. Keep in mind the Hadith of our blessed Prophet, may the peace and blessings of Allah (swt) be upon him, who said, "By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, a man does not believe until he desires for his brother what he desires from himself." (Bukhari, Muslim)