We sometimes refer to today's Converts as Modern Day First Muslims because the challenges that people confront in seeking, choosing to convert and becoming Muslim are often as monumental, arduous and unrelenting as those faced by the first Muslims in the early days of Islam. Part of our mission is to support, empower and create a space for those who have been blessed and burdened with the gift of choosing Islam, and who choose to live as empowered and enlightened human beings in our current time as Muslims. What follows here are videos, reading recommendations and stories to educate, inspire and uplift converts in their unique journey, as well as born-Muslims who perhaps wish to learn their faith anew from the lens of a modern day first Muslim. In addition, Director Grace Song regularly speaks about her experiences and reflections as an American Muslim convert in her introductions to the Usuli Halaqas (see the Intros section).
The Usuli Institute and the Hub Foundation hold an intimate and personal Q&A with Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl and Muslims in the San Francisco Bay Area. In the introduction, Grace Song, Executive Director of The Usuli Institute, invites the audience to exercise their right to ask any question of their faith, and shares her experience as a convert and the importance of the right to ask difficult questions as a liberating and empowering force in her development as a convert. She invites the audience to consider Islam through the lens of a convert, and its implications and importance for the future of Islam. Dr. Abou El Fadl addresses questions regarding the role, place and treatment of converts and conversion, historically and in the current age; schisms in modern day Islam; honesty in confronting the challenges and the mindset of a "defeated" people; the impact of Islamophobia; understanding the responsibility and weight of knowledge in addressing questions like "the beating verse" and modern day issues; and much more. Moderated with Zachary Markwith, Executive Director of The Hub Foundation. Held at Hub925, Pleasanton, CA, October 27, 2018.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORY!
Please send your submissions to FirstMuslims@usuli.org.
(If we publish your story, please let us know if we can use your name or initials, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous)