// Umar Lee
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« on: May 18, 2013 05:56 AM »


Assalamu alaikum,

So a comment about this came up on my facebook newsfeed and I was fairly shocked.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/muslimahnextdoor/2013/05/umar-lee-converts-back-to-christianity/

Wasn't this the dude with the really hard-core blog? I remember reading some other blogs which were friends of his and thinking that they sounded pretty extreme...

Islamic Learning Materials posted this in response, and I'm guessing that the second piece of advise is most relevant. (Btw sis Jannah, which mosque did he used to go to? I think that my family knew him...)


Quote
Some of you might be shocked by the recent announcement of Umar Lee's conversion to Christianity. That is understandable; I was shocked as well.

 But you should know that most of what he spoke of as his "reasons" for leaving Islam have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with the sorry state of Muslims today.

 I can only give you three pieces advice to help avert you from the worst punishment imaginable i.e. leaving Islam:
 
 1. Learn this religion. Study Islam. Study the Quran. And when you think you've studied enough, go back and study some more.

 2. Beware of all sectarian "my way is the only right way" kind of Muslims or Muslim groups. Beware of extremism. Beware of generalities.

 3. Ask questions. If you don't understand something in Islam, or if there's some part of the Quran that doesn't make sense, don't sit there and allow doubt to build in your heart. Ask someone knowledgeable to help you with it. If you don't know, ask someone who does.
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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013 07:06 AM »

ws,

I am shocked actually. I read his blog and his FB for years. Very sad. But can't say I'm surprised. I see alot of converts who get into things to such an extreme level, seeing everything as black and white. This is Haram and that is Halal. You're a Kaffir and this person is a perfect Muslim etc. And then they just can't take it when again and again they're forced to realize the world isn't black and white. That Muslims aren't so perfect and are not a monolith and are a huge spectrum of ideas, opinions and ideals. They then are forced to realize they're not perfect either. That humans are not perfect. Then they can't deal with their extreme views or practice, and staying Muslim seems like such a burden and then they give it up.

It really IS so much EASIER to believe in Jesus Christ and that's all you need. You don't have to do anything. That's it you're saved. Yeah, sorry Islam IS hard, because you actually have to do stuff and you're responsible for your actions.

And the other mistake he's making is believing the Muslims today in the world are practicing Islam. They aren't, and to cite them and claim because Muslims are messed up ie the high divorce rate and I was promised perfect harmony, that muslims are racist, when I was promised a perfect brotherhood, that Muslims are killing Muslims and I was promised peace, that I have so many problems in my life when Allah's supposed to answer my prayers as a Muslim etc and then blame it all on Islam. It's just like kinda juvenile or something. Allahu alam. May Allah guide him and all of us.

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« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2013 10:08 AM »

Dunno the dude, but entering into Islam at a hardcore level is never maintainable, it's far easier to be an extreme observer of other religions than Islam.

Maybe he didn't have enough real life support. I can't believe someone who has once lived the truth can ever countenance leaving. Yes you'd distance yourself from the people preporting to practice that religion (incorrectly), but you'd never leave something you'd experienced as the truth.

How do you in consciousness leave Allah after you've known him, it's not possible.

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2013 11:23 AM »

This is my first time of hearing about him too.

It is true that the biggest mistake people (non-muslims and muslims in many cases) make is judging Islam based on its followers. Several versions of Islam are out there and everyone claiming to be the adherer of the true Islam. Imagine a revert whom first friends were Shia finds himself listening to a Sunni alleging that all Shiaites are infidels!

A friend from Ethiopia was telling me about a new Islamic sect that emerged in their country. One of the things they advocate is that, it is halal for a woman who passed her youth period unmarried to seek for someone to satisfy her sexual needs provided the wife of the man she chose is consented.

One thing we shall keep in mind is that Allah guides whoever He wishes that is why it's good to keep praying to Him to safeguard our Iman. May Allah continue to guide us aright.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013 04:14 AM »

Yes I had a bad dream about it. It's just sad. I guess none of us knows our end and should always make Dua that we die as Mu'mins:

Saw this good reflection on FB:
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Some of you may have heard about Umar Lee leaving Islam. We should deeply reflect on why he went back to Christianity. Yes, a strong argument can be made that Umar Lee already had some major issues; but dismissing it that way is an easy way out and narrow-minded. In reality, we Muslims are all at fault. Humans are social creatures; we yearn for friendship, community, and acceptance. We yearn for happiness and stability. Converts hope that our community can provide them with these things. Yes, Islam's teachings are indisputably true; on paper. But paper only goes so far. Most do not convert to Islam with their minds alone for academic or logical reasons. They convert with their hearts; a light is placed in their hearts. They convert with a hope that their lives will transform. Transformation only happens with a strong network of people who pull you up; a community of believers who are actively working to purify their hearts and beautify their character for God's sake. Who want to see you succeed, forgive your shortcomings, and never give up on you. Umar Lee's problem wasn't with Islam; it was with the Muslims he met and their gross interpretation of Islam. This is a major wake-up call to all of us. The time for major reform is now: of our knowledge, of our characters, of our communities. For those of you who are considering coming to Islam or leaving Islam, remember that you cannot be Muslim alone. Join a strong network or community of Muslims who will help you reach God, not distance you from Him. When the Quran says "Flee to God," God addresses a group, all of us TOGETHER. Islam was never meant to be a lonely religion.
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« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2013 08:13 AM »

A wake up call indeed. I hope we, muslims will heed the lesson and reconcile our differences.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2013 09:57 PM »

Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem

Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.

May Allah ta'ala grant us all the best of endings, upon iman, and protect the belief and Deen of every one of us. May He - subhanahu wa ta'ala - guide him back to the Deen, and forgive us any shortcomings towards him as an Ummah.

The following is a twenty minute documentary by a truly fantastic and groundbreaking initiative - known as the Ta'leef Collective - for new Muslims in America. I remember when I first saw it, I watched it over and over, it was incredibly moving, and highlights some of the challenges converts face after their conversion to Islam, especially around the issue of having a support network:

Ta'leef Collective Documentary on Vimeo


They're doing great, much-needed work, from what I can see. I particularly like - as the need for it resonates deeply within me, and forms a core part of my conviction - the idea that a space needs to exist, a neutral space, that any Muslim, can come and stand within and express whatever concerns/doubts/problems, they have, without fear of censure and recrimination. No judging, no blaming, just embracing, including, and being there for them. You don't have to agree with everything, but disagreeing with something someone is struggling with - e.g. homosexuality - doesn't mean pushing them away, astaghfirullah. Otherwise who knows, maybe we'll get pushed away one day, in our hour of need.

I shudder to think where I might have been now, if, when I had needed that space - and there was a time when I did - I had felt shunned. Alhamdulillah wa shukrillah for the Ahl-Allah.

I strongly believe we'd be in a far better place, as an Ummah, if such spaces existed as the norm.

Never forget, you don't own your iman, it is a light that Allah ta'ala placed in your heart, which He - subhanahu wa ta'ala - favoured you with. But light can go out if darkness enters in its place. So remain vigilant, and be continually grateful, not complacent, nor heedless, for it - iman - is the gift that keeps on giving.

My salams and requests for du'as from yourselves and your blessed families,

Abu Khaled
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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013 03:01 AM »

people seem to forget that islam does not promise salvation....it offers the path to salvation, it is up to the person whether and to what extent he or she follows that path...it all comes from islams world view---this life is period of test and trial and people get what they are working for...we need to remember that the principles are divine but their interpretation and implementation is not--so those who follow the people and not the principles and bound to be disappointed......you get what you work for--some in this world and then the final balancing of accounts on the day of judgment......
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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013 04:14 AM »

Walaikum salaam,

Good point br Saleem.

JazakAllah khair for posting that bro Abu Khaled. That was a very beautiful reflection.  I also hadn't seen that great  documentary before but I've heard quite a lot about the Ta'leef Collective! It's made a major difference to so many people! This is what we really need open-ness, no judgement, and just pure support!! What amazing vision and work they are doing....May Allah reward them all!
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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2013 05:55 AM »

This seems to be one of the better blogs on the subject: http://folio.me.uk/2013/05/we-told-you-the-truth-but-you-shunned-us/

I have to agree with the author that I've seen it so many times when someone is at an extreme in the deen, they eventually end up getting really wack and/or leaving the deen altogether. It's just not sustainable. If everyone is a "kaffir" or a "sell-out" except you, how long are you really going to stay a Muslim. It's almost like a 'Muslim' fad or something. Also when you strip all spirituality and self-purification from Islam, and make it all about the outward, of course this will happen. As he said in his own words 'he didn't want to go to Hell if his beard wasn't long enough or his pants weren't'. If that's what you make Islam to be it's no wonder a person would dislike it.

Quote
Many a time Muslims told him the truth, but he spat back at them, writing them off as White Liberals, or RAND Muslims, or progressives, lefties and effeminate emasculated men. When other Muslims argued that we should treat our wives with kindness, it provoked his ire: these were middle-class half-men. When Muslims argued that the notion of Total War was alien to Islam, he wrote them off as Zen Buddhist pacifists. Whenever anybody challenged the hyper-masculine version of Islam he presented, they were shot down and riddled with insults. Though he now claims to have embraced the Love of Christ, he was never able to embrace the Love of God, or the Mercy inherent in this path. &#8220;Speak the truth, even as against yourselves,&#8221; was viewed as weakness. Any talk of purifying the heart,  of reforming the self, of taming the nafs: all of this was rejected as something alien to Islam. The multiple paths towards the forgiveness of sin were shunned in favour of a Pharisaical view of the deen: one which he now rejects, attributing it instead to all Muslims, everywhere, as he takes up the path of Paul of Tarsus.</p>


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<p>But Islam does not teach its followers this. Instead we are promised that our sincerity will be tested by fitnas of varying degrees. Just as coins made from an alloy of gold and lesser metals can be identified by tossing them into the flames of a fire, separating true gold from false gold, so God puts us through tribulation to separate true believers from the rest. And so all of us are tested by degrees: some of us by the call of our own nafs or childlessness, some by divorce or an unhappy marriage; some by the destruction of their homeland, by a great flood or the pollution of their livelihood; some by the death of a loved-one to cancer, by their own terminal illness, by slaughter and oppression; some by wealth, and ease, and love and light and happiness; and some by the fitnas that return time after time. This is the truth we were taught: &#8220;Do the people think that they will be left to say, &#8220;We believe” and they will not be tried?&#8217;
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« Reply #10 on: Jun 18, 2013 01:41 PM »

Poor brother, sounds like he's been through some agonies and back. May Allah guide him and keep him strong and surrounded by good Muslims and ease his troubles. Ameen.

Umar Lee Returns to Islam after being reached out to by St. Louis Muslims, Yasir Qadhi, Muhammad Nur Abdullah, and others 
Umar Lee: Part 1 Thanks To those Who Stood By Me

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« Reply #11 on: Jun 20, 2013 11:49 AM »

Amin. May Allah strengthen our Iman all.

"Whoever rejects false deities and believes in Allah has grasped a firm handhold which will never break." Q 2:256"
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« Reply #12 on: Jun 21, 2013 05:48 AM »

Alhamdulliah I got all teary eyed when he reaffirmed his shahadah!!! May Allah swt ease his troubles and give him Sakina and strengthen his Eman!
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