Saudi Arabia: Do Female Muslim Converts Lose Their Identity?

veiled gloved women

I’m sure I am not alone in saying that in Saudi I have met some Muslim converts who are more Saudi and “Islamic” than many Saudis.  These will be the women who after their conversion to Islam will wear the very loose and long trailing abayas, thick socks covering their ankles, black gloves covering their hands and not only the hijjab and niqab, but the face is typically veiled too.  The give-away that they are not a Saudi woman (since you can not see them) is their non-arabic accent or western words as they speak and the children who accompany them that are clearly not “pure” Saudi.  Contrary to what you may now be thinking, I have nothing against anyone dressing as they choose and in which way they are comfortable.  What saddens me is when I see these converts in what seems to be an identity struggle.  It is as if since they have taken on a new religion and a new path in their life, they try to erase the remnants of their previous life and personality.  Many have lost tolerance for actions or activities they have either participated in (such as listening to music) and also will not tolerate such activities or actions in others either.  They readily take on a new Islamic name and some may be angered if someone were to refer to them by their previous, birth-given name.  They may respond heatedly “that’s not my name now and you know it.”  It can be difficult to have a basic conversation with some of them for they now believe it their duty and purpose to solely talk about Islam and try to convert others to the faith.  Or if someone is already a muslim, these women will point out areas of improvement to their fellow muslim friends.

Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and acceptance.  Yet some reverts embrace islam with such a reverence that they give the opposite impression of the true meanings, making people shy away from them as well as closing their minds to Islam.

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51 Responses

  1. negativity negativity negativity…..

    thats all whats written up there!!
    lets not forget the other majority of SAUDI girls who have no clue what the saudi culture is like.. trying their dead best to improve their english accent, following every little step of whoever they ideolize, feeling insulted or embarrassed when someone speaks to them in arabic in public, have given themselves another name or a nickname which sounds something similar to some western name, love dogs cuz thats what they do in the west, force themselves into magazines and shows tht are popular in the west althu they have no clue what on earth is so interesting about it, and the list goes on and on..

    what about the other extreme which adds a cuss word into every little sentence that comes out of their mouth???

  2. @Y Q,
    Have you ever met any of the converts the post was referring to? Dude, they’re not assimilating to a new religion and culture, they’re more like FUMED with it. Like adolescents having sex for the first 25-times!

    Rather than focusing on the things that the article DID NOT say, what about giving some credit to the things that WERE SAID?

    I think it’s sad, but natural that people behave like that when they embrace something new, especially if the new is totally unfamiliar with the old.

    Moving from one religion to the next; it’s like giving your soul a wax treatment: Painful adjustment period. It’s not bad, it’s as confusing as it is, without labeling it with negative.

    Since you mentioned it, some people actually become more SAUDI than the real Saudis, just because they moved places. As annoying as it may seem to carry out conversations with them, the least we could do is react compassionately, whether we agree or not.

    I thought that’s what being Muslim is about.

  3. Good point Y Q, while there are some converts who act that way, you will definitely see more of the other extreme although many are ashamed to admit it.

  4. i’ve noticed that too with western converts to islam,. they don’t seem to be able to differentiate with what is cultural and what is religious-ie the wearing of the niqab, or that listening to music is haram. wtf! normally though i find that these people a) lack intelligence in the first place and b) had unstability in their lives so they try to find solice by blindly embracing an extreme view of religion and life.

  5. A very interesting observation– indeed, one I’ve made many times myself!

    However I don’t necessarily see the religious fervor these women have as well, religious fervor. I find it more akin to culture/ethnicity idolization than Islamic piety. They adopt “Islamic,” names which in 99% of the cases are merely Arabic names. They wear clothing “native,” only to specific Arab regions, and insist on being referred to in Arabic familial terms such as “Umm (insert name of child),” etc. They pepper their speech with Arabic phrases and somehow all of this makes them more of a Muslim, or more adhering to the tenets of Islam. It honestly saddens me that people so easily misconstrue culture with religion to such an extent. Furthermore, I find it even more disheaterning that culture would trump religion, in which case one might wonder how much actual faith in pure religion such people may have.

    Nowhere in Islam are we told to give up our culture. It does not say that we have to use a miswaak instead of colgate, or sit on low cushions instead of a couch. Sometimes I’m more inclined to consider these women as acting as though they’re taking on the role of some Orientalist harem female; completely enthralled by an alien culture and gift wrapping their fascination for it with a religious bow.

    It may sound negative, but it’s a real concern. I see too often that women are caught up in romantic idealizations of Arabian culture and through this they find their way to Islam (or whatever they view Islam to be). Suddenly, they have a “free pass,” to emulate this lifestyle that they crave, while negating the need for self reflection (wherein they might laugh at themselves per the sheer lunacy of this obsession), by passing every action off under the umbrella of Islam. They attempt to wash away any aspect of their past and adopt a new identity– like the fairytale maiden leaving behind a life of western drudgery for the magical world of desert dwelling sheikh’s and Ali Baba’s oil rig.

    I notice too often with converts/reverts that they are burning on high octane fuel when it comes to their new found faith. Religious ecstasy is an opiate, and in this high they go at it with full force. Sadly, when this happens such woman often experience a rude awakening. They realize that they cannot rectify discrepancies with their upbringing or other things natural to them (per socialization), with their new identity. Thus, many drop Islam as quickly as they “picked it up,” per this perception that the culture is the religion.

    Simply because the message of Islam was delivered in the middle east, does not mean that emulating middle eastern culture is Islamic. I hate to see Islam reduced to a mode of dress, facial hair, or a handful of mannerisms.

    As a disclaimer, this is NOT about all converts/reverts. There is nothing wrong in being ecstatic about finding a new faith. The only issue arises when one is unable to discern culture from religion–wherein this person tries to become a completely new person in order to feel more “genuine,” as a follower of Islam. Islam surpasses all cultures, and can be as easily followed in a traditional Japanese household in Tokyo as in a Qureshi home in Riyadh. We should appreciate the diversity in this world (as Allah made it), and not try to destroy it.

  6. [...] August 21, 2009 This is a blog response to American Bedu’s post here. [...]

  7. What’s being described in the blog post, happens in the first years of the conversion, when it’s still difficult to understand that even if we are from a different culture, Islam can perfectly fit our life .
    We focus more on formal details [which still are important in Islam, because we're talking about a religion which teaches us self discipline by covering every aspect of our life] .
    Later, while progressing in knowledge, we will enter in a more complete dimension .
    It’s a path .

  8. One thing I have noticed is that it’s usulaly the less knowledgable Muslims who are most fanatic.

  9. As a revert myself, I understand the “change in identity” first hand. Some reverts even refer to their life before Islam as their “previous life”.

    It may be that when some reverts choose Islam, they want ALL of Islam and want to rid themselves of that which ALlah hates. Many of them take wala wal -bara (loving what ALlah loves and disavowal of that which he hates) very very seriously.

    As I revert (of some years and experience) I would say I did not lose my identity. I still have my same personality, I just dont participate a lot of what I did before Islam. I chose Islam and I want to follow as much of the sunnah as I can and try live like a sahabi, because they were the best generation.

  10. Been there done that….but for me and many like me (married to abusive Muslim Arab) its a transition that is forced upon them. They feel they have no choice but to embrace it because to do otherwise will just leave them more isolated and miserable then before.

    However, if they feel it is the right step for them then good for them and I hope their happy with their choices…but it would be nice if they didnt act as if THEY are the ONE GUIDING LIGHT to Islam and we best follow them in single line formations if we want to see heaven….sheesh.

  11. “Whomever God guides, no one can misguide, and whomever God chooses to misguide NO ONE can guide”
    so your comment “making people shy away from them as well as closing their minds to Islam.” don’t blame the bad attitude of some of these women, as a turn off to Islam – It’s what’s in your heart.

  12. thanks for informative post :)

  13. “Whomever God guides, no one can misguide, and whomever God chooses to misguide NO ONE can guide

    @UmmZayna, you are exactly right about that saying.

    @Carol, re: Your article…
    That is exactly what happened to a group of other Western gals here that met these American black-clad women when they met them many years ago….the Westerners all ran the other way as fast as they could.

    But, when these same Westerners finally began to learn more about the realities of Islam, in later years, when THEY were ready, some began to convert as well…a few even becoming muhajaba themselves… That said, these new reverts remembered how they felt when they met ‘those’ black-clad women, so they wanted to protray themselves as friendlier, more accepting, non-scary muslims to their other expat family and friends while still covering properly. Some of these new muhajaba gals even found that they could go to the beach in their new burkinnies.

    Rightly or wrongly, when a person can’t ‘see’ someone properly, they may feel like they’re in a dark room with them—an unknown that may or may not do them harm.

    Here’s an example of mistaken identity:
    One day, when I was standing outside the school after work, waiting for my driver, a niqab-clad, fully black woman came up to me. I jumped back, immediately frightened.

    She really scared the heck out of me….and I just wanted to get away. And yet, under the ‘black full covered garb’ with gloves, socks and face cover, she was one of my dearest friends—-one of the most Western expats here in the Kingdom!

    She yelled, “Why didn’t you say hello to me….You’re such a snob!!!” Go figure! She was so used to wearing it, and shocked that I didn’t know her.

  14. @Carol
    As to your question, do you lose your identity, I’d say that anyone who becomes a true muslim is changed forever in how they feel about themselves as well as the world at large. This change is usually in a good way….similar to how a born-again Christian would change in the West.

  15. @Miriam Mac. Sah. That is exactly it.

  16. I think that about 15% of humanity is born with the ”religious gene”, and at some time in their life they ”see the light” and convert.
    Doesn’t matter to what.
    And they go completely over the edge.
    Doesn’t matter if they go Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Wicca, whatever.
    They are are recognisable not so much by dress-code alone, because in example of full covering a muslima can choose to do so out of extreme modesty, and in a rational way and because she feels comfortable so.
    But the real religious weirdos are always harping on others to be as they are, completely loose any kind of relativity, and most importantly: get completely bogged down with the small writing, the minutiae, the smallest details, they are completely obsessed with the trappings of religion.
    And never can act according to the main message, the core of their chosen religion. Which is usually something like: mercy compassion and love.
    But they don’t get that, they follow ”scholars” read many little books full of explanations of their holy text, and never really seem to have read the holy text itself.

    Like Alia ‘s comment above, that was a compassionate comment!

    Miriam Mac! I love you story! “Why didn’t you say hello to me….You’re such a snob!!!”
    ROTFL!!!!
    I am seeing that right in front of my minds eye right now….
    I’m going to draw it!

  17. I think that people whether they are Muslims converts, born Muslims, or westerners are going to develop a shared international identity in the near future. I think the new generations are going to be so different than current generations, especially, in terms of their intersts, loyality etc. i think it is the new era of “individualism” that will enjoying life under the tenet of international identity. That is, the role of “local” religion as a cultural maker or lmainly the local culture will be undermined gradually.

  18. Ramadan Mubarak!!!
    Excellent post, Bedu – Such people remind me of Born Again Christians I have met in the USA. There is something about the act of converting that can make some converts like this – perhaps it is the need to justify rejecting family and personal past history, which I am sure might be painful.
    I’ve always wondered what a Saudi husband must think when his foreign born wife goes “native”. I see from reading comments that some husbands insist on it as a power/control move. Some wives might do it to stop the snide remarks coming from his family or to reduce the sense of isolation they feel. Then you also have women who convert to Islam on their own, then purposely marrying a saudi to get to the “Promised Land”. (Boy, are they in for a shock!!)

    My motto? Moderation in all things.

  19. Report from the front – everyone is on their very best Ramadan behavior (sort of like American children right before Christmas). Check with me next week when I report on “Ramadan in the summer” NOT a good time to go without drink all day.

    salam folks.

  20. I’ve known women like that. Convert to Islam, start speaking in an Arabic accent, wearing all black, niqab, gloves, admonishing those who don’t do the same, browbeating those who don’t agree that the KSA is Utopia. Funny thing is, those types of women in the end, THEY are the ones with the failed marriages, the constant moving from place to place, the 4 children from four different spouses within the course of 6 years.

    And here I sit with my “haraam” clothes, but yet have a stable, intact, happy marriage with well adjusted kids and after 13 years and they still claim that MY way of doing it is all messed up.

    And even then they probably still think Allah loves them more because they’re being “tested”.

    I stay far, far away from women like that.

  21. You think it’s bad to see a revert in Saudi act more Saudi than a Saudi? Well, try dealing with that same person born, bred and STILL living in the United States being more Saudi than a Saudi accent and all!

  22. Isn’t it quite clear that converts to Islam lose their identity? It’s like the Borg from Startrek.
    Islam is a 7th century Arab religion, it’s book is in Arabic, it’s prophet on whom they base there behavior was Arabic, the dress is Arabic, the prayer is Arabic,the law is arabic,the holy places are Arabic.
    So obviously if you adopt Islam as your religion you become Arabic.
    Also many converts marry people from Arabia so obviously they will have Arabic influences in there household.

  23. I think it’s a stage, when you want to accept/ be accepted in something different than wht you were , the assimilation is more pronounced and rigid. I do know 2 women who changed right in front of my eyes, but we are good friends and after my initial outburst , i don’t get preached too :-) so it works.
    This phenomenon is uaully there in all places, i have met so many non-indian women married to indian men who teach me the indian way of living.. and oh the lecture on hinduism..modesty.. sacred bindi.. sindoor.. and on and on and not to forget the one lady who showed up to a white water rafting picnic in a silk sari …(sigh) what can i say , we had an entertaining afternoon :-)

  24. @Lynn…haven’t ever seen your description of that kind of person yet living in the states…probably because I have mostly lived here in KSA…but I can imagine.
    @Sabiwabi…We all live in glass houses over here in the Kingdom. Mash Allah…13 years is great…but, don’t ever say never…. Like my friend just said to us recently, (whose Saudi husband married secretly and whose new wife just had a baby) “If this can happen to me, it can happen to ANY one of you as well.” ….this is the thanks she gets after 23 years of marriage!
    @Aafke I’d like to see your drawing!
    @Gariba Thanks for your comment.
    @Carol – Great post! You were in the paper again today!!! This time it was the one on the ATM.

  25. Great post Carol. This is something that bugs me to NO ends.

    When you convert to Islam you change your religion, not your culture, not who you are or where you came from.

    The great thing about Islam is that it is a UNIVERSAL religion meant for everyone in every place! It is completely possible to be 100% Muslim and 100% Western. As a matter of fact, it is desirable!

    I cannot stand those that convert to Islam and think that they have to speak Arabic, or whatever language from a Muslim country their spouse or friends speak, only eat Pakistani/Arabic/Indian/Bengali food.

    I have seen those converts who actually TYPE in accent. Can you imagine? Most people live for years, decades in a foriegn land and dont adopt a spoken accent, yet some of these types actually come up with an accent when they type!

    Suddenly they no longer eat anything but “Curry” this and “Kabab” that, they no longer any any piece of clothing that is remotely Western.

    Not only that……….these are the ones that always feel the need to point out everyone else’s flaws.

    The sad part is that the extremism is IMPOSSIBLE to hold onto forever. So a vast majority of these people end up adopting a much more moderate Islam, and a good chunck of them actually end of leaving Islam all together.

    They just dont get it. Islam is a religion of moderation. You’d think with all of their self proclaimed knowledge of the deen that they’d be aware of the Prophet’s (pbuh) numerous calls for moderation.

    There is even a term for these people in Muslim circles. It is “Salafi burnouts”.

    These people are the worse people you can imagine when it comes to Da’wah, or calling people to Allah. They are a potential convert’s worse nightmare and the stereotypes that everyone hates.

    It is just so sad that there are so many of them. They terrorise people in real life and do it on-line as well. We have seen it here on this very blog.

    Insha’Allah, this Ramadan they gain true hidayah from God and learn that Islam is not some facist organisation nor or is it some alien life form demanding you loose your own brain and identity and assilimilate!

  26. “Whomever God guides, no one can misguide, and whomever God chooses to misguide NO ONE can guide”

    Makes one wonder then. Why is the punishment for apostasy death if it is all God’s will?

  27. Lynn,

    In the Quran, Allah does not allow death for apostasy. Anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly going against the teachings in the Quran (though I question whether or not you could convince them of such, even with this evidence!).

    You can refer to these surah/ayas for clarification:
    18:29
    88:21-24
    13:40
    16:125
    10:99
    3:72
    4:137
    3:86-91

  28. I have very much enjoyed reading all the comments and perspectives. I agree that the zealous female muslim converts in Saudi are likely comparable to zealous born-again Christians.

    MA — what a funny story! It makes me wonder how does someone who has chosen to conceal so much expect to be easily recognized, especially if you can not at least see their eyes?

    With Ramadan starting hopefully it will be a fruitful time for all to learn and remember the true spirit of Islam and what makes a muslim a muslim.

    Ramadan Kareem!!

  29. @Carol, Actually, her eyes were not covered…..and they’re blue, hence I should have known her. ha ha Recently, I found out that one can also tell who their ‘black clad’ friends are by their shoes, their body shape, their style of abaya, or the way they walk….or talk!…..especially if you’re in trouble for not acknowledging them when you ‘see’ them near you. Ramadan Kareem to all here.

  30. This was an interesting post!!
    Its also really common in the States when people convert/revert.
    One of the Sheikhs, originally from Oklahoma, also a convert, was talking about this recently. He was making fun of the caucasian American converts that speak with an “Arab accent” because “that’s how the Prophet spoke.”
    He always answers to these people with “Oh so he (peace be upon him) spoke English????” Funny guy, Suhaib Webb.

    As for the name changing, its not even necessary, unless your name means something un-Islamic, such as Satan or something to do with Polytheism. But most normal American names are perfectly fine, and can just be translated to Arabic…for example David becomes Dawud.
    Also, wearing an abaya/jilbab is actually more Islamic than cultural, because its one of the best and easiest ways to dress modestly. As for the head to toe black thing; totally cultural Saudi stuff.

  31. @TX Gal,

    thanks for the comment and glad you enjoyed!

    I am not 100 per cent certain but in regards to name change, I believe ones name (if a convert) and taking Saudi citizenship (such as a non Saudi female married to a Saudi man) her name must be approved as Islamically acceptable before getting Saudi citizenship and passport.

  32. My observations of non-Muslim men or women converting to Islam after marriage (or for that matter, anyone converting to another religion after marriage) are very different. I have seen quite a few Hindus in India converting to Islam or Christianity after marriage and my observation is that they hardly follow any religion after marriage. Their conversion is just a token one and perhaps such women try to follow the religious rules in front of their in-laws but otherwise they just continue to lead a non-religious (not necessarily atheistic) lives – of course when they have to resort to religiosity, they do so in their new religion, but I have also seen them going to their families with their children and celebrating Hindu festivals or attending Hindu worship ceremonies with their families. Hence, their children grow up with a mix of Hindu and Muslim/Christian religiosity.
    Perhaps the observations in this post are true in a predominant Islamic environment, where the society expects everyone to be a believing Muslim. Hence, non-Muslim converts to Islam in such an environment may want to be accepted by the society. Their behaviour perhaps reflects more an apprehension that they may be censored if found guilty of not conforming. Of course, there are women (and men) who sincerely want to follow the tenets of their new religion and make extra efforts in that direction, while people who are born in a particular religion take their identity for granted as it will never be questioned. Hence, it may look as if the converts are being more “Muslim” than the born Muslims. Moreover, some may convert in the first place because they want to question whatever their pre-conversion religion/culture had stood for – in such cases the religious or cultural fanaticism is a natural reaction.
    Coolred38, if marriage to Arab or any other men is abusive, why continue with that marriage?

  33. @Carol, You are exactly right, and as far as I know, she MUST be a muslim first in order to get a Saudi passport. My American friends, who are now Saudi, had to have their father’s name in there as their middle names, and they had to use their maiden names, not their Saudi husband’s name.

  34. @Daisy,

    Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment. My observations in regards to this post are specific to Saudi Arabia.

  35. Thanks Carol, I just read your profile – I didn’t know you’ve lived in South Asia and speak Hindi and Urdu as well!

  36. @Daisy???….Are you the one from Saudi Wives….if so, please send us a note….many are worried about what happened to you.

  37. Miriam Mac – Sorry, no, I’m not from Saudi Wives…

  38. As a convert myself living in saudi arabia and wearing those long and loose clothings that you are referring to, I find that it is my choice. Most converts do enter Islam equip with full knowledge. We do not enter Islam just because we want to mimic Muslims the way they dress or the way they worship. We entered Islam because we know what Islam is and what islam is not.

    When we choose to cover ourselves like what ‘saudis’ are doing, we do it not because we are devoid of identity or we are in identity crisis but we do it because in this country we can cover as much as we can without be looked at with suspicion, derision or disgust. Should I cover myself in France or Belgium the way I cover myself here in saudi arabia, I would be definitely met with strong islamophobic derision from the public.

    Here in saudi arabia i can wear my niqab practically anywhere: bank, supermarket, airport, malls, taxis, buses, parks without even one deriding me of my mode of dress.

    Although the article is trying to be balanced, but the fact is it also tries to put the converts into one basket of dumb, fanatical, clueless people…

    Sad indeed.

    Merci beaucuop!

  39. @sui sen,

    Thank you for providing your comment and sharing your own experience. That is very appreciated. I’m sorry that you think all converts are being categorized in one clueless basket – that certainly is not the intent at all.

    Regards, American Bedu

  40. I completely agree with this observation. My last conversation with my Saudi friend Fatima covered this almost verbatim: I asked her why as an American I nearly had to become Arab myself to be practicing acceptable Islam. She found my praying in my native language, not wearing hijab, and not “submitting” to my future husbands “orders” controversial. My friend Claire converted 3 months ago, and has remarked that while she takes a hardline regarding her conversion now, she believes that once she becomes comfortable in her knowledge she will become less of the former. I hope that is true, her identity aside from her religion is why she is still my friend 4 years after High School.

  41. Welcome Elena and thanks for sharing both your observations and personal experiences.

  42. This post is a bit old by now but I just stumbled upon it and wanted to comment… as a convert myself, I definitely haven’t done any of that type of extreme culturally-based behavior.

    As someone else mentioned, many of us convert to the religion because of much searching, reading, and gaining a great deal of knowledge before being convinced to make the change. I was fully aware of the differences between culture and religion before I converted, so I find it curious why some women would choose to adopt a new culture when Islamically it is perfectly fine to keep your culture, as long as it doesn’t conflict with the religion.

    By the way, I just started a blog detailing my conversion and my life after converting, among other things… just click on my name to see it if you’re interested! :)

  43. @sakina08,

    I enjoy when comments like yours are received on previous posts and revive these threads for further discussion.

    I am doing what I call some “armchair analysis” here but I think that perhaps some muslim converts feel the need to conform more when they had been raised in a different religion and in a place with differing culture but once arriving in a place like Saudi Arabia where Islam is pivotal in all facets of life feel the need to demonstrate more strongly that they are true in their new faith and beliefs…

  44. Asalaamu Alaikum

    Stumbled on your blog. This post reminds me of why more women should read “Believing as Ourselves”. I think a lot of women get pushed into following their husbands culture no matter what the religion. Even in the mosque the convert women who learned their husband’s language and learned to cook his food are more accepted than women like me who couldn’t care less about such things. If you’re going to be married to me you better like mashed potatoes rofl. I’m a muslim but I’m proud to be Canadian. And think about it..wasn’t your spouse partly attracted to you because of your cultural differences? If you become a carbon copy of him where is the spark? Just a thought. As for music though its pretty clear that its prohibited in hadith. That’s a religious thing not a cultural thing.

  45. Aishah,
    I had to laugh at your mashed potatoes comment. So many of my friends flip over backwards trying to impress their husbands and/or his family. I love my husband, but he married me, and I make American food also. I remember years ago my MIL was shocked to see that her grandchildren were getting sandwiches for lunch. But, we came to a happy conclusion….she sent over food everyday for lunch and I gave it to them along with their sandwiches. When I went to visit them in college in Lebanon what do you think they were living on? Sandwiches and salads of course! ha ha

  46. Nice comments from both Aishah and RCG. And my MIL and I have fun exchanging and learning each others recipes and traditions.

  47. I only now stumbled on this post. I was doing a google search on ‘identity crisis and reverts to Islam.’ I totally agree with Abu Sinan and other comments about the overzealous reverts/converts. I live in the Caribbean and Its no different here. YOu have these women who convert and then they act like they are better than anyone else, especially the ones who are born into Islam. I have found it so disgusting that I was online looking for some blog or info regarding these kind of people. They become muslim today and tomorrow they are dressing in Saudi style nikab and long flowing gowns, and criticising other muslimahs who work and who dont wear nikab.
    I find it sad that soo many of these revert women have horrible histories of abuse and identity crises and they think that Islam by itself will fix their problems.
    Most of these types that I am referring to adhere to the salafi brand of Islam and they, if they are working, stop working.
    thing is, after 5 years, the social problems increase and they almost always end up begging the same women who work for things like food and clothing for their numerous children. They jump from marriage to marriage and instead of taking control of their lives, they think that marriage will solve their problems. but the majority of times, they are ‘marrying’ men who use and abuse these women and then move on.
    I dont know, but I am totally jaded by my interactions with these people.

  48. Dear Samar,

    Welcome to the blog and thank you for sharing your perspectives.

  49. I will only say this, about those reverts who go to the extreme: It is because they have not learned what true Islam is. They are following Wahabbism, which is not tolerant or peaceful. It teaches so many things that go against the teachings of the Prophet (saws).

    Islam is beauty, Wahabbism is ugliness.

  50. the best muslim are those who have studied islam and follow the teaching of islam, alot of converts are good and very practising than the so called born muslims. converts follow the book ,but lots of born muslims are blind and knows nothing much about islam, culture, culture,
    islam is very special but only those who take time and study will come to know.
    shame that alot of saudi’s are so ignorant, shame, shame , shame, i wish i was a saudi, i wish my language was arabic, i wish,
    iam struggling to learn arabic, struggling to understand quran. but i love it.

  51. as-salamu alaikum wa rahmantullahi wa barakatuh :)
    hmm…to be honest i get sick of people picking on reverts to islam. they are the easiest people to pick on because they are not accepted by anyone. where is the compassion? these people must go against the culture they were brought up in (and yes western culture and islam are at odds on many issues). on top of that, they are generally not accepted by “born muslims”, and looked at by most westerners as traitors or mental cases. how sad!!! these courageous people are just submitting to the will of Allah subhanu wa t’ala and following the beloved example of the prophet. i know because i am one of them. i live in the u.s. and am married to a saudi and have never been to saudi arabia. however, alhamdulillah i found islam 5 years before i ever even met my husband. he never tried to force me to become more saudi or anything and always asks me about my culture. i understand why some women try to act “saudi/arab/whatever” because they are not accepted for who they are. i am proud to be who i am, how i was raised, and i never changed my name, and am university educated. i don’t cover my face, but i wear hijab and dress modestly sometimes wearing the abaya. i don’t do that to look arab or saudi and when anyone asks i say i’m american. i’m proud to be a muslim, and how about instead of making fun of people who had to sacrifice everything they hold dear to live in a way that is pleasing to Allah subhanu wa t’ala, we talk about ways to make them feel comfortable being who they are.

    lol p.s.
    whats wrong with learning some saudi cookin? their food is GOOD yum yum!

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