Tuesday, March 3


"Kak, we don't know what to say to her," they informed me when they met me a few years ago.
I listened as they expressed their own worries and fears of trying to help their housemate, a revert to live as Muslim. They were worried when she returned home late and they didn't know how to advise her without offending her. I offered to meet her but unfortunately, that meeting never took place.

Only those who have walked the same road would understand what another Muslim revert is going through.
While other Muslims watch, a revert to Islam undergoes many emotional and physical changes upon reciting the 2-kalimah syahadah.
S(he) has to deal with reactions from family and friends. Not all reactions will be positive, so our new family member will need strength and courage to face any opposition to his/her new faith.

The younger the revert is, the more challenges (s)he will face.
Worries about how to survive in case his/her family disowns him/her. Fears about living on his/her own without any money or financial assistance.
Feelings of guilt when loved ones question about his/her loyalty and love for the family.
Sense of helplessness when an air of uncertainty looms about his/her own future.
Anger and frustrations when dealing with the authorities handling Muslim revert cases.
Sadness and guilt when unable to deal with pressure from family and friends who wants him/her to return to the original religion.

"Sabar," that's what they'd tell him/her.
"It's a test of your faith," they'd inform him/her.
"Many have gone through it," they said.
They forget one important thing.
Man cannot survive on faith alone.
Telling a person to be patient while at the same time, (s)he is not materially provided for, in my opinion, cruel.
Telling a person to be patient when dealing with opposition from non-Muslim family members, while at the same time, (s)he is not supported with a loving, responsible Muslim family to guide and provide shelter, is thoughtlessness.
Help arrives slowly.
Financial assistance is even slower.
While most look on in sympathy, not everyone opens their doors to welcome a new brother or sister into their homes.
Meanwhile, the shelters provided for these special group are often in secluded areas, cutting them off from the normal daily activities they're used to.

People start to ask,"Why do you? What makes you interested to become a Muslim?" in order to hear a new story. When the story ends, they say 'sayonara.'
People start to watch for flaws in a brother/sister. They're expected to learn everything about living as a Muslim within a short period of time, be perfect in Islamic dressing, be good and angelic.
People are eager to introduce a (wo)man to the new Muslim revert, without actually finding out what he/she really needs.
Those paid to manage the welfare of this group seldom do a good job (proof me wrong!).

So how does a Muslim revert cope?
By doing his/her best.
By ignoring the negative comments of others, and rely mainly on Allah swt.
By having plan A, B, C and D on how to survive even BEFORE reverting to Islam because it's stupid to rely on the mercy and help from other Muslims.
It's important to always have a Plan A, plan B and plan C because the Muslims they think (and believe) can and would help, might fail to help.
(S) he might be left in the lurch without any money in the pocket, without any shelter, and without any job.

I'm fortunate because I reverted at the ripe age of 35.
I didn't have to worry about where to stay ( I was studying, so was provided a hostel room with minimal charges per year) and how to pay my bills (I received a monthly salary because I already had a job).
As a more matured person with more life experiences, I could cope better than the average Malaysian Muslim revert.
Others are not so lucky.
And I worry for them.
There're young reverts, eager to live a fully-committed Muslim life, and they're not yet financially secure.
They might stumble along the way, be frustrated by the lack of action by certain parties, and be discouraged by the lack of attention and help by fellow Muslim brothers and sisters.
Some have given up and returned to their past lives, moved to another town and nobody knew about his/her reversion until his/her death reveals it.
Then what happens next?

Oh, pardon me friends, but I have to say something about something commented by somebody (but not direct to me).
Sometimes I prefer to deal with non-Muslims who criticise Islam than with certain members of the Muslim family who think that reverts like me who haven't undergone proper Islamic studies like they have, shouldn't give opinions about Islamic matters online. Oh, before I forget... I might not be qualified to say anything regarding Islam because I mostly learn from online materials and books, and "tak berguru"?
Come on, I "offer" anyone who had said so, to teach me Islamic studies or give me usrah face-to-face?
Not up to the challenge?
I'm not angry.
I'm just amused at the short-sightedness of such people :P


  1. Assalamualaikum

    whoa..... kak Aliya, you really slapped them on their face. deservedly so i think.

    rather than encouraging, they actually help defeating a revert's moral. maybe they doing it so to conceal their weaknesses and lack of commitment towards Islam.

    even me, born Muslim, being criticize when talking about Islam just because i'm not being malay. still heard sometimes people taunted me as 'anak cina/keling', 'keturunan pendatang', 'bangsa tok-nenek makan babi', 'keturunan tak bersunat' etc.

    in their opinion, malays is THE chosen people. they're the true Muslim, even better than arabs. at least those arabs never claim Islam so their own exclusive right.

    but what our federal constitution says? Islam is the birth right of malays. malay is Islam and Islam is Malay (hak raja2 melayu). the same thing as talmud teaching practice by jews.

    guess what? malays learn it from a jew named lord reid.


  2. Last week I Watch Prof Dr jeffrey Lang talks 'bout many muslims youth facing great difficulties to maintain their faith due to certain circumstances. You can watch his talks via youtube, just type his name InsyaAllah you can find the talk. But what i'm interested is that he says that luckily he read and analysed Al quran before he revert to Islam. If not, he might easily convert back into an atheis again due to the Moslems brothers behaviour towards him

  3. thanx for d info.. salamms dr me dikejauhannns

  4. Salam Sis,

    You've touched precisely on one of the biggest factors why I still delay registering my reversion to Islam. The feelings is on and off, and then on again.

  5. Salam Aliya

    I agree with you. Sometimes people who have had lessons from ustazs think they are higher and mightier than ordinary folk who humbly learn in the quiet.

    Life experience can teach a lot, too. And we are asked to sampaikan dari Rasullullah, walaupun satu ayat - regardless of who we are. What is our station in the sight of Allah? Only He knows! We do not judge people, especially of those we know none of.

    May Allah give you abundant rahmah for writing this blog, its a venue for people to learn, too (or is it not? hmm...). I certainly learn a lot, and find inspiration in your (and other reverts like ahong, for example) courage and determination.

  6. Assalamu'alaikum...you have summarized my future articles in my blog...waa..ha..ha.. seriously. This is what myself facing 10 years ago. Still not financial secure but I hv found something. Without the help of the "someone" "who are educated in Islamic teaching" (ohh...really?)

    An idea pop up in my mind just now. Can we hv an "indi" group for Muslim revert ?.

  7. Assalamualaikum Kak Aliya,

    I cant agree more with your article. Being a revert too (just under 5 years), I can so relate to what you have said about the challenges of newly reverts.

    Its sad that when someone received the hidayah but eventually lost their ways because either they do not have the support from their Muslim loved one or mixing with the wrong kinda of people (ideas) or having a husband that took his responsiblity of guiding and caring for his revert wife for granted. I've known a few friends back home in East Malaysia who reverted just because they wanted to get married but because their marriages didnt work, they have renounced Islam.

    And when the Govt announced that anybody wants to revert into Islam must tell their family first, I was like "What! They must be joking. It easy for them to say that because its not their ass on the line!"

    I myself didnt told my family about my own reversion to Islam for the fear of being disowned and not knowing how to tell them. But being away from home, its seemed much more easier. Alhamdullilah Allah has his ways and everything sort of falls into places :)

  8. Waalaikumussalam azlan,
    Comments made by certain people are like flies, bothersome and rather biased. I tend to ignore as they're not said directly to me (nope, not in this blog)but they are irritating especially when I'm tired and busy.
    Malays are only one of the groups of Muslim people. By continuing to harp on Malays and their 'imperfections' we will never be true to our own faith. Always 'bersangka baik' think well of others. I believe we should avoid pointing fingers at Malays in general, because there're bound to be some black sheep in every race.

  9. Waalaikumussalam akujahil,en_me,princess,

    Not many people among born Muslims realise the difficulties faced by Muslim reverts because they themselves might not have any friends among the reverts. Until they are involved in helping Muslim reverts, Muslim Malays in general have a rather narrow-minded perspective of them.

    welcome, en_me.

    princess, registering officially as a Muslim is just a requirement so that you can live as one, and die being acknowledged as one.Of course the uncertainty and fears of the unknown future is great, but insyaAllah a big burden will be lifted as soon as the official procedures are completed. And Allah swt has promised great reward to those who trust Him and worship Him.

  10. Waalaikumussalam Pencil & Iqqhuan,
    Each of us has an important role in His plan, so it's never who contributes more or who knows more. It's our intention and sincerity in contributing that really counts.
    I remember the story of Bilal, who was assigned to make calls for azan, although there was another man who bragged that he could recite better and had a better voice. And we all knew that that man's azan was not accepted by Allah swt due to his own insincerity.
    This blog will run its own course, for as long as Allah swt permits.

    iqqhuan, sorry.. hehehe.. I write because I have something to share, and when there's a sudden intuitive urge to do so.
    You said,"Can we hv an "indi" group for Muslim revert?" What do you mean?

  11. Kak aliya,
    Born Malay and muslim I couldn't agree more. Perhaps other Malay muslims out there could take a look at this article and think of what we can do to help muslim reverts. Quote 'Those paid to manage the welfare of this group seldom do a good job' , I'd say because they're mostly Malays and I have to admit that generally (not all), their work ethics are quite low. Proven at my university which comprises mostly Malays. Simple requests (going through not more than 2 layers) take more or less one and a half week to settle =p

  12. سلام يا عالية

    I found an interesting article about a revert in The Star today entitled Father challenges decision on daughter’s religion. Hopefully you can guide other Malay Muslims like myself on how to provide assistance for people like her.

  13. salam...
    dear kak aliya,
    im no body in this earth..
    n im not also a revert...
    i juz cud say..u open my mind
    to help those who r revert...
    as 4 the place where im studying..
    there's a boswana student..who has juz revert into islam b4 coming here in msia...most of my colleagues help her...especially my senior..
    not all the malay people who is a muslim act as muslim...
    dat is what i can c from my own view...but i cant tell them they r bad...who r we 2 judge...coz its not possible if in future i am one of them...
    actually the word have faith 2 allah is so abstract...
    many said that they love allah, love rasulullah, but..what did they do to prove it ti allah??
    its juz,not only the malays are like dat..many else are...
    islam is never for a certain race, but its universal....so, its depends on us..on how we r acting as a muslim....bcoz a real muslim knows dat, they have 2 help each other.....
    but who r we...??
    2 say dat we r already in the stage para salih salihin...

    p/s: sori, if nas ada terguris hati @ salah ckp..it's juz my view..i know, im juz a little kid, n i have little ilmu... hope all the islam out there, will know the real purpose of life here in ALLAH's EARTH...

  14. Assalamualaikum.wrt.wbt.

    I reverted when I was in the verge of having the ability to support myself financially and somehow with lots of help from friends I managed to pull through.

    Yes the people at Pejabat Agama in Malaysia does not really help much in the sense money but they do have classes for new reverts but the classes timing is only on weekdays. (EVERYONE WORK ON WEEKDAYS)

    The procedure is long so to get a mycard with just the word Islam on it, you need to register with 2 saksi. Fill in some form. Go to this Kursus Asas Fardu Ain (I learn how to solat and the recitation but later found out that some part is different from what in the sahih hadiths. However I find it useful for new reverts to learn solat). After this need to get some forms from Pejabat Agama again. Then fill in a form in front of a Pesuruhjaya Sumpah or Oath Officer.

    After the documents including your 'kad islam' and the birth certificate to Putrajaya if you are in KL or Selangor. (I cant imagine for those underage and their family kept his/her birth certificate.)

    After a few months yu will get a letter and you can get your mycard.

    (If only this process is easier)

    Then come the question like:

    'Jangan belajar Islam tanpa berguru, jika tidak berguru dengan Syaitan'

    How many of you know that this words is actually words of Christian priest who always do not want the Christians to read and understand the bible. Somehow most Malays like to use this words.

    My answer is:

    Kalau belajar tanpa guru ialah berguru dengan syaitan, bagaimana nak tahu pulak jika yang guru yang mengajar kita ialah syaitan atau bukan syaitan?

    We have all the resources, the Koran, the well preserved hadiths, the well preserved kitabs by the early century ulamaks. Just need to use our head and do the revision.

    Anyway, sis Aliya you are right on to point that out. I have a friend learning from a famous ustaz from famous pondok schools and he told me the syaitan was once an angel.
    AND I LAUGH SO LOUD, I THOUGHT HE WAS MAKING A JOKE. Its a bible fairytale. And syaitan was not an angel. So much for proper Islamic studies.

    Maybe, our Malaysian Islamic studies have to change. Do not just spoon feed. You need to make them learn how to seek Islamic knowledge. Example:
    You teach them to pray but you never teach them why. You do not state which hadith supports it etc. You do not teach them about the arguments between the muslim scholars.


    I was wondering what happen to our zakat money. How is it spent... And where is our so called LEADER for our so called ISLAMIC COUNTRY.

    Sorry sis if I babble too much here...


  15. Waalaikumussalam nasirah,
    Nobody chooses who'd be born into a Muslim family and who wouldn't. It's by Allah's grace and mercy that we are given the blessings to be His ummah, being Muslims. We're important people on earth, dear because we have been entrusted to spread Dakwah Islam to everyone, regardless.If we do our best to spread even one sentence, we get pahala.
    Never mind about others, we can only pray that they'd get hidayah and change for the better before it's too late. We should instead focus on being the best Muslims we can be,strive to be the chosen ones for Syurga Firdaus, and sow our reward here by helping others as much as we can. Don't wait for tomorrow; do what you possibly can today. Mari, tabungkanlah amal ibadah di dunia sebanyak yang boleh.

  16. Waalaikumussalam ahong,
    Frankly, I've never attended classes at Pej Agama for 2 reasons - I've no transport (I bought my car 2 years after I reverted) and I am only free on weekends. My own experience with the long procedures cn be found here - http://pukullima.blogspot.com/2008/11/panjangnya-tape-ulangan.html

    'Jangan belajar Islam tanpa berguru, jika tidak berguru dengan Syaitan'
    Your answer: Kalau belajar tanpa guru ialah berguru dengan syaitan, bagaimana nak tahu pulak jika yang guru yang mengajar kita ialah syaitan atau bukan syaitan?
    haaa... your comment is right-on!

    Yes, being a Muslim won't make you knowledgeable about Islam unless you seek to learn. I know, I'm a teacher in a secondary school and the level of our students' Islamic undertanding is still low.

  17. Waalaikumussalam jr, reza,
    Those born Muslims who are still ignorant about the problems faced by Muslim reverts should be awakened from their slumber.All this while we often hear/read about reverts who talk about how good they feel about being Muslims btu not much has been highlighted about the difficult journey hey had to go through in order to emerge as strong Muslims as they are now. Perhaps the relevant authorities are worried that such revelations would make others afaid to revert to Islam?
    Reza, I can't comment much about this issue. She needs a good syariah lawyer, who can best advise her. As you know, now she can't divorce her kafir husband in the syariah court(she's no longer under the civil court jurisdiction when she reverts while still married to a non-Muslim)and her own marital status is a big question mark.We'll have to wait and see what happens next. I hope the Islamic authorities in her area are helping her as it's their responsibility now that she's a Muslim revert.

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  19. Assalamualaikum nasirah,
    Malaikat or angels are created from nur (light)by Allah swt. There's not much about exactly what is syaitan but we know that they're created by Allah,but they're not among the malaikat.
    Syaitan are followers of Iblis (Devil) and scholars state that they're originated from among jinns. Jin are created from fire (al-Hijr:27)
    Ahong laughed because it's a Christian belief that the Devil is a fallen angel. It's stated in the Bible. It's certainly not in the al-Quran nor hadith, therefore what his "scholarly" Muslim friend had told him is false!
    Syaitan are certainly not fallen angels. The fabrication that syaitan/iblis are from originally among malaikat is nonsense!
    I quote from 'Akidah Islam (by sayid Sabiq): Syaithan adalah setiap yang keterlaluan, baik dari golongan manusia, jin atau binatang"
    Also refer to surah al-An'am:112.
    "Demikianlah untuk tiap2 Nabi, Kami adakan musuh-musuhnya, iaitu syaitan-syaitan yag terdiri daripada bangsa manusia dan jin, sebahagian mneyampaikan perkataan palsu kepada yang lainnya untuk mengadakan penipuan."

  20. For more information to the origin of Iblis and those who still think Iblis (and syaitan) were malaikat, check out
    Surah al-Kahf: 50

    or this link: