Islam’s Open Door Policy

Come, come whoever you are.
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come.

         -Jalal-ud-din Rumi, 13th-century Persia

Rumi’s words, translated into countless languages, constitute one of the most profound vehicles through which Muslims and non-Muslims alike have understood Islam. This particular quote captures the forgiveness, mercy, and compassion of God, all foundational principles within Islam. Continue reading

Can Someone “Convert” to Islam?

British professor, artist, and barber, Faisal Abdu'Allah is a revert to Islam. Photo: triennial.ee

In past posts, Reem and I have discussed men and women who have embraced Islam later on in their lives. As I mentioned in a recent piece, by some estimates, as many as one fourth of all Muslim Americans identify as Muslims not by birth. This awkward word arrangement, “Muslims not by birth” is usually shortened to “convert,” however not everyone agrees. Others prefer to use the word “revert.” Depending on whom you ask and what you’re looking to find out, one word may be more useful than the other. And especially since spirituality, religion, and identity are some of the most intimate of topics, you may even offend someone if you don’t ask which terminology they prefer.

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