Saturday, June 9, 2018

Embracing Islam: Do we Convert to or Revert to Islam

To some this post may seem surprising or even interesting. But sometimes without adequate knowledge we tend to confuse words or do not try to understand the conceptual difference. And while taking of such words, two stand out promptly for those embracing Islam: Conversion or Reversion.

Conversion is a simple understandable word in English and is often used when a person changes his religion or faith to another faith. He is said to have converted to, say Islam from his earlier faith Christianity or any other religion or faith. This word is most commonly used and everyone understands it easily and totally.

But why some people use the word "reversion" when embracing Islam. To understand the difference between conversion and reversion thus one needs to understand the concept first.

In Islam, we all believe that every child born to any faith is a born Muslim, for his birth is from Allah who sent countless prophets and messengers and revealed holy scriptures so that people should walk on the path chosen for them by Allah.


We as Muslim believe that we have a fitrah (innate nature) to the values of Islam, because we are all born as Muslims. This concept of fitrah has also been explianed by the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who has been quoted as sauing:
No [child] is born but upon Fitra (natural inclination to Islam). It is his parents who make him a Jew or a Christian or a Polytheist. A person said: Allah's Messenger, what is your opinion if they were to die before that (before reaching the age of adolescence when they can distinguish between right and wrong)? He said: It is Allah alone Who knows what they would be doing.
Better still here is what the Holy Qur'an says about reversion:
Those to whom We sent the Book before this, they do believe in this revelation. And when it is recited to them, they say: 'We believe therein, for it is the Truth from our Lord. Indeed we have been Muslims from before this.' Twice will they be given their reward, for they have persevered, and they avert evil with good, and they spend in charity out of what We have given them. (Quran 28:51-54)
This solidifies the concept of Reversion rather than conversion as all those who embrace Islam are in fact reverting to their original faith of being born as Muslims. And based on the Qur'anic injection and Prophet Muhammad's sating, newly converted Muslims are said to have reverted to Islam rather than converted to Islam.

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