A reality we are all aware of is that some Muslims have left Islam or are no longer practicing. An important distinction, however, is how they still think of others and of Islam. Do they still hold Islam, the Qur’an, the prophet ﷺ, and the ummah in reverence? Or are they full of spite and blame? Let’s cover some examples of brothers I’ve met in this regard.
The first was a waiter at a restaurant in downtown Fort Worth. I had just converted to Islam and was working under a staffing service which would send me to random jobs, usually valet. But this evening was at a restaurant to help with busing tables, preparing the notorious bread appetizer, and other simple tasks. The waiter was a Muslim actually, but “not practicing.” I told him I converted and he was happy and ecstatic about it. He even offered to help me get a more permanent job at the restaurant. He was very supportive and full of positive energy, may Allah ﷻ bless and guide him. As for him, I feel like insha’Allah he will return to practicing his din one day and that he will be forgiven and entered into Paradise.
Another was at a Ramadan iftar that same year. A brother I know from before Islam invited me to his house and one of the family members–perhaps a relative I don’t remember–was not fasting. I told him I converted to Islam recently and he said “oh I’m sorry.” He held quite negative attitudes towards Islam, but really it was his own internal turmoil being spilled out onto others. I can perhaps understand that the state of the world is not perfect, yet it is also pretty good in many other ways if you look for the positives. This was 2015 and Islamophobia was running hard in the media, but nonetheless this doesn’t mean you act like Muslims as a whole are problematic or that Islam itself has a problem with it since Westerners were suspicious and critical of it. May Allah ﷻ guide him. As for him, I fear more for his akhira. والله أعلم
A brother I never actually met makes another interesting case study. He was Desi and full of AWS (aspirational white syndrome). He worked with my former real estate firm from before I converted to Islam–a place full of high-pressure sales and unethical business dealings, to put it simply. He started attacking my posts on Facebook with these comments lingering with disdain and insult. It seems like my former co-workers sicked him on me, presuming that he could refute my “error” in converting to Islam (they were sorely mistaken). Eventually he buggered off after not having any rebuttals to my basic questions and realizing that I will not back down with Allah’s ﷻ help. May Allah ﷻ guide him. As for him, I fear more for his akhira.
I met an Afghan brother at my gym last year as well. Most Afghans I know are rock-solid brothers and show tons of potential. I really love Afghan brothers and could write an article about their virtues–but this one was different. He held his fellow practicing Afghans in contempt and praised America for its social welfare in helping him financially with his disabled children (may Allah ﷻ make it easy on him!). In comparison he said “in Afghanistan, nobody cares and nobody helped.” A nation that’s been through various wars for the past 40 years is obviously going to be in turmoil and have an issue with basic government services–as would any other country. But acting like Afghans suck, or the whole country is garbage, without seeing current issues within their contexts and historical settings is quite myopic. Not to mention that Afghanistan’s current state is largely the fault of the United States itself–the Taliban offered to turn over Bin Laden to an international court but Bush Jr refused and wanted war. Yeah, America has a lot of money–but most of that was acquired through exploitation and haram means. Nothing to envy, really. May Allah ﷻ guide him! As for him, I fear more for his akhira.
At that same gym I met an Arab brother who was really into bodybuilding and used to work at a gym in the UAE. He didn’t fast Ramadan, but he was very happy to hear of my Islam, had great adab, and had a warm personality. At one point I created a WhatsApp group for brothers in our city to get together, and I sent him my only WhatsApp message inviting him to it. His response was in Arabic and it was nice: he thanked me and made a beautiful du’a for me and the group. The message made me smile. Then he blocked me. Perhaps he thought I would follow up with more “da’wa”-types of messages over time and just didn’t want to hear it. But actually I think very highly of this brother. He holds Islam and Muslims in high regard, even though he is not practicing. May Allah ﷻ guide him! As for him, I feel like perhaps one day, insha’Allah, he will return to practicing this din, make tauba, and find his way into Allah’s ﷻ mercy and be entered into His Paradise. Ya Allah ﷻ make it so!