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Theme Changer

 Topic: Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?

 (Read 11987 times)
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  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     OP - June 06, 2014, 11:14 AM




    Why are people who convert to Islam referred to as ‘reverts’ by many Muslims?

    In order to answer that, there's a side of Islam's sense of itself that needs to be understood. Which is: to be a good Muslim, one must believe in "Fitrah".

    ‘Fitrah’ is the Islamic notion that every child is born in a state of spiritual purity that includes a belief in the Islamic conception of God. Basically, the word 'Fitrah' is similar to the concept of 'human nature' but in Islamic doctrine Islam itself is assumed to be 'human nature'. Meaning the religion of Islam considers and preaches itself to be the "natural" state of humans.

    So where does this leave non-Muslims?

    Let's look at a hadith that is considered to be Muhammad's point of view.

    From Sahih al-Bukhari, Volume 2, Book 23, Number 441

    "Abu Hurairah narrated: Allah's Apostle said, 'No child is born except on the fitrah and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian (Zoroastrian), as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?'"

    So the idea is, when someone converts to Islam, he or she ‘reverts’ to the natural state they were born in, which was the state of being Muslim or believing in the Islamic idea of God.

    This suggests that to be Muslim is to be truly human. Or conversely, to be truly human, one must be a Muslim.

    In other words, Islam presents itself not just as a religion, but as being the naturally created state of a human being.

    To be non-Muslim then is not only to deviate from the one true belief system, but to deviate from the very basic definition of being human.

    Islam, according to this view, can never be just a private religious faith. Its fundamental drive to take 'deviated' non-Muslims and make them fully human by having them convert to Islam is what is the drive behind the practice of Dawah, or Islamic proselytizing.

    This is problematic for many reasons.

    It is prejudiced, supremacist, and dehumanising. It divides humanity into believers in Allah who are fully realised humans on the one hand, and non believers, who are seen as deviant, unrealised humans on the other hand.

    It also suggests that those who leave Islam are taking themselves outside of the ‘true human’ fold.

    The concept of 'Fitrah' puts a religious rubberstamp on dehumanising of apostates and Exmuslims.

    How then can one believe in Fitrah and also believe that all humans are equal at the same time?

    To assert that to be fully human is to be Muslim is to assert that non-Muslims are not fully human.

    This can only mean that all non-Muslims are are not fully human, rather than merely people with different religious beliefs.

    And so, when Muslims refer to converts as ‘reverts’, they are saying exactly that. They are in essence dehumanising non-Muslims and ex-Muslims.

    This belief must be challenged. Not only is it delusional and arrogant, it is the fountainhead of prejudicial assumptions about non-Muslims, and all that is not Islam.

    When so much arrogance and prejudice hides behind a single word, we should not be afraid to refuse it the power it seeks. To let it pass unchallenged is to surrender the humanity and dignity of those whom it would deny.

    There is nothing in human nature that requires belief in Allah or Islam, or any religion. To assert otherwise is to be an arrogant supremacist.


  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #1 - June 06, 2014, 02:09 PM

    It would be interesting to add an analysis of the similarities between not growing up as a Muslim, to a an domestic animal being mutilated by humans. It would give the article an additional depth I think.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #2 - June 06, 2014, 02:27 PM

    Quote
    It would be interesting to add an analysis of the similarities between not growing up as a Muslim, to a an domestic animal being mutilated by humans. It would give the article an additional depth I think.

     

    I'm confused  Huh?   

    Can you explain what you mean by that ? 

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #3 - June 06, 2014, 03:01 PM

    The hadith mentioned in the article:

    "Abu Hurairah narrated: Allah's Apostle said, 'No child is born except on the fitrah and then his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian (Zoroastrian), as an animal produces a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body amputated?'"


    As already mentioned, this idea of "fitrah" dehumanizes the non-Muslim. To be truly human, you must be Muslim as this is our "natural state". Being a non-believer, or believing in any other religion, is like a mutilation to our very body. Similarities could be drawn between this idea and concept, and the colonial idea about non-white, non-European, non-males never truly being seen as fully human. They are defect, they are like the mutilated animal, they have a stigma attached to them. I've read too much Goffman for my own good, but similarities could be drawn between his three types of stigma(physical, tribal and stigmas attached to the character) and the idea what it means to be a non-Muslim (non-human). I just thought it would be interesting to further analyze this hadith to give more depth to the whole idea Smiley

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #4 - June 06, 2014, 05:12 PM

    You are awesome, CF  Afro

    "we can smell traitors and country haters"


    God is Love.
    Love is Blind. Stevie Wonder is blind. Therefore, Stevie Wonder is God.

  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #5 - June 06, 2014, 05:20 PM

    I concur.  That was an interesting read to start off with, and cornflower's suggestion gives you yet more food for thought.   Afro

    Inhale the good shit, exhale the bullshit.
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #6 - June 06, 2014, 05:24 PM

    Yup Cornflower and HM are the forum's official ex-salafi apostate warriors.   

    Extremely valuable soldiers in our movement.

     parrot

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #7 - June 06, 2014, 05:25 PM

    You are awesome, CF  Afro


    Cosigned
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #8 - June 06, 2014, 09:34 PM

    Ok, so if you're going to explore the "born perfect/mutilation" thing, what about circumcision? whistling2

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #9 - June 06, 2014, 09:54 PM

    ^

    Allah gave men a foreskin so they could chop it off and earn heaven points for pleasing allah.

    In my opinion a life without curiosity is not a life worth living
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #10 - June 07, 2014, 07:37 AM

    Circumcision is interesting to me. It's forbidden to change allah's creation, yet also demanded. Going from memory, isn't it in honour of Abraham's willingness to murder his child, or is that not the islamic justification? Been a while since I studied it, I might be confusing it with judaism.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #11 - June 07, 2014, 07:40 AM

    TBH, I think it's really down to some blokes thinking about their dicks too much. Afro

    Devious, treacherous, murderous, neanderthal, sub-human of the West. bunny
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #12 - June 07, 2014, 01:34 PM

    Circumcision is part of the fitrah (ironically enough) and cleanliness, akin to clipping one's nails. I reckon it's just a random custom Mo stole from the OT, and then he got FGM from some pagan Arab tribes probably. Perfect illustration of what a syncretic forgery Islam is.

    Anyway, this whole "everyone is born a Muslim" is one of Islam's most ridiculous claims. If a child is raised without being taught anything about god or religion, that kid is not going to be all"please circumcise me, allahu akbar, la ilaha illallah", they're going to be an athiest -- the true fitrah of humankind Afro

    It's so silly, this is very easily testable.
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #13 - June 07, 2014, 04:34 PM

    I was reading today that apparently young children are naturally inclined to believe in a god even if they have never been introduced to religion. It is a part of a childs simplistic logic to think that something created us, as they see that other types of objects are made by hand, so therefore the sky, stars, trees, humans,  must be too, it leads me to believe that this childhood fantasy about creation is the basis of all adult theism.

    The hadith is obviously contradictory nonsense, if an adult was to revert back into the fitra state of a child, then all that is necessary to be a muslim is to have a child like wonderment of the world and a belief in a maker sat on a fluffy cloud, babies don't and can't fulfill the pillars of Islam.

     
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #14 - June 07, 2014, 04:39 PM

    I was never taught about god in any way shape or form until I was five, and that was only because I went to school and learned about it. Until then I had no concept whatsoever and certainly no natural belief in a god. It's the same for my siblings and the children of family and friends I have. What I see with my own eyes over and over is that there's no natural belief at all. We're not born believing in gods.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #15 - June 07, 2014, 04:51 PM

    Hi, yeah, its just something i read today in the Guardian and times paper, i guess they dont mean kids believe in a traditional theist god of the bible but rather their early imagination leads them to believe in or at the very least fantasise about some mystical, magical man or creature sat above the clouds making rain and zapping the earth with lightning  : )  ?   I can understand some kids will think this way as it's very simplistic way of explaining away creation..
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #16 - June 07, 2014, 05:47 PM

    I just tried to edit my post after I saw a typo, and accidentally posted a quote from another thread. Grin

    To sum up I made a point about childhood being a magical time and how we believe all manner of things, but we grow out of them.

    `But I don't want to go among mad people,' Alice remarked.
     `Oh, you can't help that,' said the Cat: `we're all mad here. I'm mad.  You're mad.'
     `How do you know I'm mad?' said Alice.
     `You must be,' said the Cat, `or you wouldn't have come here.'
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #17 - June 08, 2014, 10:29 PM

    The concept of fitrah is what makes Muslims extremely smug about their beliefs. They do indeed use it to remind one of their 'natural' state of being a Muslim, and that it is the default identity for all human beings. Cornflower, I am also a big fan of Goffman. Smiley I would say there is a form of tribal stigma attached to those who are incomplete because they do not believe in Islam.

    It's so dehumanizing.

    'The greatest glory of living lies not in never falling but in rising everytime you fall'
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #18 - June 08, 2014, 10:39 PM

    Goffman is da shit, man. And yes, I was automatically thinking about the tribal stigma being the most relevant, actually tying in with  the stigma attached to the very character of the person

    For some reason, I can only read his works in "small dosages". Ten minuted reading, and then I need to take a break before I continue. He's literally the only author I've come across that writes in such a way.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #19 - June 09, 2014, 12:00 PM

    Didn't Muhammad have any idea that some babies are sometimes born defective? One of my cousins was born with a deformed arm. Now let me see what those Muhammad-always-spoke-the-scientific-truth people come up with.
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #20 - June 23, 2014, 03:57 PM

    The word 'fitrah' is rather confusing. Here's an interesting verse:

    'So direct your face toward the religion, inclining to truth. [Adhere to] the fitrah of Allah upon which He has created [all] people. No change should there be in the creation of Allah' (30:30 - Sahih Interational)

    So here God takes the credit of setting the 'fitrah' for all people. Yet there are numerous verses in Quran where he condemns the very nature of man:

    [i]14:34 Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude.

    16:4 He has created man from a sperm-drop; and behold this same (man) becomes an open disputer!

    17:11 The prayer that man should make for good, he maketh for evil; for man is given to hasty (deeds).

    17:67 When distress seizes you at sea, those that ye call upon - besides Himself - leave you in the lurch! but when He brings you back safe to land, ye turn away (from Him). Most ungrateful is man!

    17:83 Yet when We bestow Our favours on man, he turns away and becomes remote on his side (instead of coming to Us), and when evil seizes him he gives himself up to despair!

    70:19 Truly man was created very impatient;-

    75:5 But man wishes to do wrong (even) in the time in front of him.

    [/i]


    There's plenty of more such verses, most of which point to an innate, rather than learned behavior, of human beings. What does this really tell us? God created man based on some flimsy framework that already had major gaps in it? And then went off blaming humans of all their ills? Why can't humans point to the numerous manufacturing defects that God himself so eagerly has documented in his product?

  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #21 - June 23, 2014, 04:25 PM

    Btw I like Picasso's idea better:

    "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up"
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #22 - June 23, 2014, 04:56 PM

    Great point NeoApostate! I think it would be interesting to really dissect that belief, because it's a very deterministic and essentialist point of view to have. What does that do to people and their outlook on life, their life and what they can achieve on their own? and so on. That's why the word "inshallah" is so much more than just a word, it really summarizes, in my opinion, a highly destructive attitude.

    "The healthiest people I know are those who are the first to label themselves fucked up." - three
  • Why Are Converts to Islam Referred To As 'Reverts'?
     Reply #23 - June 23, 2014, 09:01 PM

    ^Yup that's the main problem. As Bill Maher pointed out, 'muslims take their religion too seriously' - to the extent that they earnestly embrace the 'celestial North Korean' (a frighteningly appropriate analogy by the great Hitches)  model to the detriment of their own intellectual and material progress..
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