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Posted By Topic: Is the word "Revert" or "Convert"

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28-01-2010 @ 10:51 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Aboo Bilal Nahim ibn Abd al Majid (Jeddah, KSA)
Posts: 128
Joined: Sep 2002
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله وعلى آله وصحبه ومن والاه وبعد
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

My question is as follows.  I would appreciate it some could provide something from the Ahlul-'Ilm to clarify this issue for us all.

Many people when they embrace Islam from an other religion, whether it be Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism they say that they have "reverted", i.e, returned back to the state they were originally created upon (implying that they were originally born Muslims).

The term "reverted" implies that they something or someone has gone back to a start that they were originally upon. Is this correct?  

Were they originally upon Islam when they were born or were they just upon a fitrah (natural inclination) towards knowing that Allaah was their Creator?

The term "covert" implies changing from one state to another.  From one religion to another, i.e, from kufr to Islam?

One of the famous slogans that people used to carry on their t-shirts once they became Muslim was "Born Muslim".  What is the correct understanding in this issue? What do the Ahlul-Ilm say?  "Revert" or "convert" for a new Muslim, barakhAllaahu feekum? Please offer some clarification.

أحسن الله إليكم
والله أعلم وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد
سبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا إله إلا أنتأستغفرك وأتوب إليك
وسلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Aboo Bilal Nahim

28-01-2010 @ 3:15 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
Sadly, new Muslims are confronted with this "revert" vs. "convert" issue as if it has some serious significance.  They are told that it is incorrect to refer to themselves as a "convert", and they must call themselves a "revert".  Meaning: they have come back to their original religion.  While it has some basis, its just an issue that keeps people busy correcting each other.  Many times, the same crowd of people who find this point so vitally important, when you encourage the new Muslims to learn issues of 'aqeedah and manhaj (issues that are directly related to his initial stability as a new Muslim, and eventually his entrance to Paradise or the Hellfire), you find them saying, "Let's not busy them with these difficult issues!"

Then, as indicated in the question, many scholars have explained the fitrah that all people have been born upon as an inclination to worship Allaah, or an inner instinct to accept the message of tawheed when it reaches them.  This seems to be the best explanation of the term, since no one was born praying five times a day and fasting in Ramadhaan.  Rather, they had to learn these things.  And Allaah knows best.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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29-01-2010 @ 12:23 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Aboo Dihyah Dawud Adib (Philadelphia, PA U.S.A.)
Posts: 265
Joined: Sep 2002
I remember this term being implemented by the Ahmad Sakr/Jamal Badawi/Siraj Wahhaj/ISNA/ICNA type people back in the 80's. Wallaahul Musta'aan!

Dawud Adib the son of David C.White Sr.

17-12-2010 @ 12:05 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002

Similar issues that have no basis in the texts or the words of the scholars:

He's an unbeliever or a non-believer, but not a disbeliever.

We don't say Allaah is our Lord, rather He is our Master, or maybe we have to leave it in Arabic and say only "Rubb"... etc.

ibn John

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