conversations with converts

One that happens every few weeks or so:

new person: soooo, are you arab? where are you from?

UmmSqueakster: I’m from Wisconsin

new person: ?????

UmmSqueakster: I mean, I’m an american convert. My family has lived in Wisconsin since before the civil war.

new person: ooooo, mashaAllah! So what is your name?

UmmSqueakster: Jennifer

new person: oh no no no, what is your muslim name?

UmmSqueakster: I’m a muslim. My name is Jennifer. Ergo, Jennifer is my muslim name.

new person: no no no, you must change your name when you become muslim. Let me see, how about Aisha? Amira?

UmmSqueakster: Um yeah no. When the vast majority of sahabi became muslim, they kept their birth names. Islam asks us to honor our parents.  My parents named me Jennifer, so I honor them by keeping it.

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4 thoughts on “conversations with converts

  1. People don’t seem to understand that there are such things as American converts; so many people have thought I am Turkish, Lebanese, Egyptian, Albanian, Bosnian, etc. And Alhamdulillah, no one has tried to give me a “Muslim” (a.k.a. Arab) name; even if they did, I would ignore it. My name is Anne, and it is going to stay Anne. I did not sign up to change my heritage when I became Muslim.

  2. Sigh. Some born Muslims name their kids with Anglicised names.. so I guess what’s good for the goose… :-) My own given name is a cultural one which happened to have a good meaning… and my second name is the male version so go figure… LOL

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