Channel: Calisha Bennett
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salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. Hello, and welcome to everybody who is tuning into this nationals account foundation conversation, tonight is a convert panel addressing a very interesting topic on converting for love. And interestingly enough, I set out to collect some participants. And I've asked a lot of sisters, and by God's decree, we ended up with two lovely young gentlemen who decided to participate in our conversation tonight. So I think it should be quite interesting. I think we, you know, when we look at the Convert journey, and the reasons for conversion, there are so many reasons for conversion. And sometimes a person's initial reasons for converting to Islam
might change and evolve along the way know, to convert journeys are identical, no, to convince stories are identical.
It's very important for us as the Muslim community, not to judge the means by which someone might enter Islam, rather just, you know, take people as they are. And while there might be some really amazing, curious, interesting stories behind why people convert to Islam,
we don't need to make assumptions about why it is that they did. So that is between that person and Allah. And maybe it was through, you know, a girlfriend boyfriend relationship that someone came to know about Islam. And then later on, they wholeheartedly embraced it. Maybe it was, perhaps some people embrace Islam through prison, that's quite common. Now. People sometimes embrace Islam, through life in the streets, through knowing Muslims, who they meet along the way. And then they become curious and find out about the teachings. I've even heard of some people who have embraced Islam after previously being anti muslim. You know, they looked into Islam for the reason to attack
it and to slander it, to write articles about it, and to fight you know, against the teachings and the community of Muslims in the world. And through that journey, they embraced Islam. So who are we to judge or make assumptions about why someone did or didn't convert? And tonight, we're going to be discussing with brother Mr. Bennett, and brother Patrick, and we will share their journeys behind why they embraced Islam and what role being in love played. You know, what, being in love played in that journey?
So, we will ask a variety of questions tonight, but we'll start off and just ask the brothers in general, a short snippet of how did you convert to Islam? But brother Patrick, would you like to go first? Yeah, first cab off the rank. Okay, so I'm gonna,
I'm gonna keep how's the sound for me?
Good. That's good. Okay, so the backhoe in here must be me. I'll do that.
Now, let's see. 1994.
So I was living in a block of units here in Adelaide.
lovely young students from Maldives
came to the to the units. And they would be in and out and going and doing their their thing going to uni, etc. But I have a young son at that stage. Liam, who's now 30 and so 31 actually, and
so he was just a six year old boy at the time. Now, this
nice Maldivian girl came to my door and said, I see you've got a son, can I borrow him? Okay. And she was selling education. And she wanted to do one of her assignments was actually to
I think it was actually to
deliver a story to him that she had written and then gauge his responses and his his understanding and comprehension of the text. So, that was a bit of a bit of fun. And
then, because that was the icebreaker, so because she was in the units we talk I talked to her flatmate and then other more deviants will come and visit and say, Hello, how are you?
eventually, I think basically
I gained an understanding of the these Maldivians, I ended up
that girl she's really nice, I like it. And
things and a friendship were actually progressing very nicely and then then at one point or other
And, you know, I was actually thinking about,
about my future, marriage relationship and all this kind of thing.
That to be quite frank was probably actually quite lonely at the time, to be honest. And
when I finally said, How do you feel about getting married? She said, we can, but you have to be Muslim. Ah, what?
So for myself, because I've actually come from a Christian background, but it actually left Christianity, you know, so I was quite young was only about 11 or 12 years old, I made that decision. And then, you know, played around with with with other things back into Christianity back out of Christianity
did the, you're sitting on White's bottom on an ashram over in India, and for a while there and was following a guru from that, that side of the world pointlessly as it turns out, of course,
but it's all a journey. So that's okay. And we have another little head popping up down on the right hand.
when she actually said that, I said, Look,
I am actually
interested in looking but I can't actually make a decision about Islam until I verify to myself that I'm actually happy with him.
And I would have been prepared to walk away to be honest. Because when you make a big decision like that,
you've got to do it with full intent, open heart, and you've got to commit to it.
So I did, I went to Adelaide mosque, got some books, read them, and have taught others is, you know, there's one significant book I found, which wasn't correct. It was actually a book with a double Islam, manners of Islam. Quite an old book, but it really dealt with the Sahaba.
So what will be interesting about that, okay, so
imagine now you're in a 23 year, three year Leadership Program,
the effectiveness of the leader, in this case of Prophet peace upon it
isn't from his own words. It's actually what the outcome is for the people that he taught, if that makes sense. And, and,
you know, when you read the story is of this hobby. Wow, these dudes are really, really knew their stuff. They're very committed. And the word I like to use with them with their behavior is it was impeccable. And there's
impeccable in this case has has a warrior notion, okay? It's like a steadfast, it's not cruel, there's nothing like that it is, I will actually take the hits rather than be the hitter. I will actually do this rather than that hammer. So, but they're always steadfast and true. And I thought, well, if these guys Connect like this, over multiple generations, then there's really something here. And that was actually the formative part that ultimately led me to say my Shahada. And then after that, we we got married
spawned a family and all that kind of thing and, but it's been a journey because
both islamically and of course, in relationship, it doesn't just stop
at the marriage hours or making a decision or taking your Shahada or anything like that.
Sometimes the hard stuff happens after that. Okay, so in brief is my story. Beautiful Awesome. Thanks so much for sharing that brother Patrick. And it looks like you know, you did your learning you did your studies and wanted to make a very conscious decision even though love didn't play a plot play a part in it like that was part of the last plan of your introduction to Islam. Yeah, yes. How about you brother most saw which is a bit weird because it's actually my dad everybody.
Just bit of a disclaimer here I hope I find out anything that I didn't know before. But
let's say let's say brother or sister journey like how did you convert to Islam and what what role did being in love having that journey?
Right, so I'm like on everybody.
Yeah, well, I was outdoors. All my life. I was into hunting and fishing and surfing and motorbike riding and all this and and I had that sort of made me want to travel a little bit so
I won't go back too far, but I decided I needed to travel out. I was going to go surfing, I thought
Also, in Indonesia, go over to India and go down the coast of Africa. And a bit of an adventure. I was 1920 at the time. And
so I took off, I thought, well, I need some money. First, I'll go up to the northwest of Australia. Work up there, try and get into the minds, and then go from there, save up and then head off. Anyway, I've got as far as port hidden, and I didn't get into the minds is pretty hard to get into at that stage. So I was waiting for the Shire up there. I was driving a truck. And I remember I was in the back streets here, me and a couple other guys. I was working with Muslims at the time. And I thought, yeah, they're nice cozy, and they didn't drink alcohol. And they didn't swear and carry on, either originally from Caracas islands, these people I was working with then some from Christmas
Island. Anyway, I was working with these guys. And he was fixing up some roads at the front of this house. And I was on top of the truck. And I looked across it as his younger, hanging the clothes on the clothesline. So I looked there, and she had one of those Eddie's in her hair.
Very attractive. So I sort of caught my eye. And I said, Hello.
when she smiled and was friendly, and concise. Anyway, a little bit after that.
Still working for the shy, all of a sudden, I noticed she had a job with the Shire. And so, you know, I was delivering all sorts of soils and whatnot with the tracking. And, and she was working, planting trees at the time. And so it was a time when I got to talk to her while we're working. And
I asked her out, I said, I want to come in. She said, Oh, sorry, I can't I'm Muslim. And I thought, Muslim. Okay, what's that? I thought it was a cross between the Hindus and the Buddhists or something like that. I had no idea. This is back in 1978 7778. And where I come from Patrick, almost from LA. And those days, there was only one last one in Gilbert street there. Yeah, I didn't know. As far as I can tell. I didn't know any Muslims. I didn't know anything about Islam. There's nothing on the newspapers and TV about Muslims or Islam back then. So it's pretty ignorant Aspies
come from a Catholic background. So I knew a little bit about religion. And I was sort of turned away from religion. Because I asked a lot of questions. And back then we had religious instruction at school. And I remember asking the priests questions, and they said, Just shut up. did not ask question. You just believe it. All right. Yeah. Right. And I said, I can't believe what I understand. You know, when it comes to Trinity, Jesus being God, all these sort of questions. So anyway, I sort of rejected the Christian religion turned away from it.
And I looked into a few other religions, the bone against, that didn't gel with me, I was surfing in Bali at some stages and saw the Hindus that didn't fit with me. So I wasn't really interested in religion. But because I spent a lot of time in the bush I was, you know, with the surfing, I was diving, I was hunting and fishing and I used to watch and just see all the creatures that you come across, you know, with underwater or wither on the land and see how they operate, how they work. Everything is connected and goes together. And so, and I
was trying to turn away that now there's no God, but then you look up the stars at night out in the bush, you can see all the stars and where's this? And what's this all about? What am I here for you know, and so it made me curious. So anyway,
back to port halen when I got that, you know, when I
met Mike, who's now still my wife in Port hidden, and you know, started talking to her, she said, Oh, welcome, awesome. I can't go out with with men.
So I said, Oh, what is this religion? So she gave me a book. I thought, well, a bit of see what where she's coming from. So I read the book, and I thought, wow. And it makes a lot of sense. You know, Jesus is a prophet of God, not God incarnate, not the Son of God, but a prophet of God. So yeah, that, you know, that fits well with me, I can believe that. There's no such thing as Trinity. God is One One God said, yeah, that's pretty reasonable. And then that God has always been he will always be he has power over everything. He knows everything. I thought, that's the God that I really think is the one the true book, say, it sort of fell into place from there as I started, you know,
talking to her and then you know, we want to do
Got a bit of time. And so you know, I don't mind getting married, she wanted to get married.
And I was willing to become Muslim. But at that stage, unfortunately, the Caicos Island Christmas Island people, they had a lot of
bad things happen to on the islands with white men, with sailors with john clunies. Ross, who treated them like slaves, and so they weren't real happy. And they went, didn't want their daughters and sons to marry white people. So there's a bit of prejudice back there. And so anyway, I,
you know, we ended up eloping call that and went back to Adelaide. Anyway, so I went back to Adelaide, and
I was looking into Islam, but not too much. And then things happen. And my, my wife got in contact with their parents, they're pretty upset that she took off. And we didn't know how serious it really was. I didn't realize back then.
And they said, Look, we'll accept sibling
to you to marry him. And, and yes, must become Muslim. Come back to Portland. So anyway, yep, we went back to Portland. And by that time, I'd learn a bit, a fair bit more. And embracing Islam in Portland.
When I embraced Islam, you know, I thought, well, I don't know this religion. So I read the Quran. And, and I read the headaches as much as what I could get back then.
And I thought, you know, this is this is how a Muslim is, when you read the Quran, when you read the headaches, you'll see the true picture of Islam. But unfortunately, what I was seeing with the people is that they come from Hindu backgrounds, and
there is a bit of a culture that they had, which was not really with, you know, part of Islam. I sort of mixed a lot of things with Islam. So as I was learning, I was watching things, that they're not practicing the correct part of Islam. Yeah, they were mixing some of Hinduism, superstitions and different things with it. And so a humbler when I started getting a bit more knowledge, and I started to figure out what was the true Islam, and what was innovations. And that sort of led me to want to strengthen my email and get more into Islam. At the same time, I was working with different Christian groups and whatnot. And I started to as I started to learn more about Islam, I found that,
you know, we need to invite peoples of other faiths to Islam, because you know, it's to carry on from Christianity. Now, we're the only non Muslim faith that makes it an article of faith to believe in Jesus.
the only difference is, we don't say he's gone. And in fact, Jesus doesn't say he's gone. So, you know, my goal back then was to learn about Islam. Try it, practice it the best I could, and then get down to the non Muslims, the Christians, and try and get them to become inshallah god guys into Islam.
Yeah, that'd be it what you want to know, anymore? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that's a good good summary, I guess. Um, so looking at you touching on, you know, the perceptions of those around you. And no problem. We'll say you had some struggles with the existing culture or community that you're marrying into having some stigma about you being not from their culture, or you being a white man or someone who from their past and history, they had mistrust, you know, mistrust with, obviously. How about you, brother? Patrick, did you experience that with your wife's family, her background? So she's from the Maldives? Were there were there any issues with you, with her marrying, wanting to
There was an element of caution about say that
her parents were concerned naturally, you know, I'm a father, I'd be concerned. And so there was second that concern that
when I embraced this firm, and actually even before, even before, I didn't,
actually, I wrote her dad a letter and said, Look,
do I have permission to marry your daughter in
the back? Yes, you? Yes, you can, etc. You know, obviously, I think by that stage, I've already already taken my Shahada and
It was interesting actually
some of the Maldivian student community here in Adelaide, one so
they were pretty good. But you could see especially the lads were, I think a little bit upset. You know, because I think
the last one of the girls, they lost one of the girls and I think quite at least two or three of them, actually.
But yeah, that's life.
Exactly. Yeah. What do you say? Yeah, founder like to chapter
Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Maldivians
pretty relaxed Island culture, mostly and and
they've actually had similar experiences. Perhaps the podcast in the sense of immigration or, or
is typical of sailors would actually land getting a rune marry into the community and some stayed and some went on. People like Eva Matilda, I don't know if you've heard of him, he
actually was married to some more deviant girls before he continued off on his journeys.
That there wasn't the same kind of Christianity Christianity never took a hold. So
the kind of white colonial oppression never occurred there.
Except for maybe a very short period with the Portuguese for about 15 years. Apart from that, so they don't have the same stigma.
Yeah, yeah. Sorry. I think it's quite interesting you know, both of you from Adelaide and both of you married Ireland Ireland women so you guys may be a destined to become friends you know? Yeah, it's a it's a graph skirts. It doesn't grasp the frangie Penny and the hair out and I love it imagery Adriana audiences getting
I've always I've always liked, you know, my parents story to like Pocahontas and john smith and
his john as well. So it's like, you've got to go speak to the chief, you've got to win the chief over and prove you know that you're a noble man to have the chief's daughter. And that was similar to this story.
So I did get a message from one sister today. And I'm sister Angela. She actually works for national circuit foundation. And she wanted to share that 21 years ago, when she reverted to Islam. She actually said her Shahada just a few minutes before her Nika, and she had eloped with her husband, because she came from a very strict Hindu Brahmin family, who would never accepted her becoming a Muslim. And when she said a Shahada, that, at that time, she was still exploring Islam. So she said a Shahada. Yes, she and she, you know, was in love and wanted to be with him. So she was still in the process of it. So it was quite sudden thing for her to have to now straightaway, enter Islam,
bam, married, you know, so shortly after. So she had a lot of learning to do, and a lot of understanding what exactly being a Muslim meant. She says it took a good few months, and some years before I started practicing properly. And any uncertainty I had about accepting Islam was completely overwritten with the knowledge that I gained. And hamdulillah. I've never looked back since she says, I think the oneness of God was the most important factor for me, embracing and accepting Islam. And that's the first time she's actually shared that part of her story. So we thank sister Angela for sharing that. I think, what's been a common factor here. You know, the fact that you
guys, you know, embraced Islam and then decided to practice it in your lives, there's an element of knowledge, an element of where you did reading, and you did studies to really see the whole picture of what Islam was in its truth, and then to decide how much you wanted to literally embrace into your life. So I guess that takes us, you know, to our next question, what are some other challenges that you faced, as a new convert, you know, you're learning Islam, you're trying to make all these changes? What were some of the struggles in that journey? marrying into a different culture, facing your you know, your old family and friends with this new way of life that you've you've you've
and would like to share brother Patrick.
There were lots of challenges.
despite not being religious actually found it.
It was a challenge for him.
Because he had a he'd been a. He's born back in the 30s. And he'd been a Navy man with the British Navy. And, you know, when I first said, I, that's it.
Come to lunch. I said, Can I bring a friend?
Young lady? She said short, she said, because he knows where she from. And I said, Molly, she says, Well, she's black, because his experience of Maldivians was the sailors and silencer, a pretty rough bunch of people, and you've probably met that no syrup in, in Port hedland, and things like that, you know.
Whereas, you know, it's just completely completely different. In fact, you want each one of them over.
it ended up being that,
that rejected us for close to 25 years, until
a couple of years ago, about two, three months before he died, he got back in contact with me and, and he's like, it was like water under the bridge, it didn't exist, all of that that stress or that strike didn't exist. But that was kind of sad.
I was separated from my sister for quite some time.
they were probably the saddest things for me.
Some other friends didn't know quite what to do with me, but no parental friends, say, half accepting
then, then there was a personal challenge of actually just having to learn finding resources was just Adelaide mosque back then.
I was probably a bit shy, I was actually very shy to go out and learn how to pray. I actually did that in Maldives. And
it was not long after we married actually went to we lived for two years and more days. And yeah,
the challenges were probably access to information. But once we got two more days, it was interesting, because then
my brother in law was actually very good at providing, providing the information. And
I mentioned this a bit later with respect to, you know, the confidence levels that you build up with textual information that you actually provided.
But yeah, this was some of the some of the challenges and other significant challenges. Yes, family things, especially a really, really significant because you've got the trust base there.
It gets kind of lonely at times. Yeah.
Yeah. Thanks for sharing that. Brother. Patrick, how about you?
Okay, well, I told you,
we did a lot. And then the father
conceded and say like, Look, come back. I'll let you get married. Okay, so anyway, we went back, and I embraced Islam there. And I thought the machetes were going to come out for a while. I mean, it was pretty
icy. Was it an icy reception? A BIT bit icy? Yeah. Not happy.
I embraced Islam. And, you know, she's got, she got a lot of brothers and I started
getting on well with him. And, you know, we all got things in common, you know, fishing and
they love their fishing, you know, I enjoyed it, too. So, through that, that sort of broke the ice a bit and then we get to talking and whatnot. And then they were teaching me and I had a pray teacher to teach me some of the things they knew about Islam. And eventually, bit by bit.
They warmed up to us and, and we, we decided, Okay, as we stayed in Port Hill, I think, eight months or something. So, you know, they got to know us really well. And they can see, you know, we were serious about, you know, practicing Islam. And but then I thought, well, it's time to go back to Adelaide, and my father died when I was young, and I had my mother and my brother living there and a sister.
So I, so we ended up going back to Adelaide.
And my mother, she was a bit freaked out she sort of joined some sort of cult, sort of weed cult or something because once again, nobody knew Islam back then. by foreign name, initially Adelaide
backwoods town back then.
And Marian Abram went overboard.
Down the street,
people would turn their heads, you know, that was so uncommon.
It was very weird actually. mixed race mixed race relationships where were uncommon, very uncommon. Yeah. So anyway, I started talking to my mom.
And she met my wife, she in turn, and they gel really quick, because it's very
down to earth person. And you know, she's brilliant cook, and she turned on, there's more food than just Ozzy Taka, you know, and they're gonna really well, my mom and my wife. And that was good. My brother.
He laughed. He's mostly What's that? He said, laughter because we were both into motorcycles and stuff with it. run on a mannequin, anyway. And in a way Yeah.
We saved there for about I think was about two years, and Adelaide and I used to give him down my brother, and my sister.
And then all my mates as well. And unfortunately, you know, when you go back into the old
with the old friends, he gets tended to get dragged back into the old ways. And that was a bit of a problem and you know, one of the practices
but then I wanted to practice it. And I thought, now, I'm not going to be able to practice. We have to get over and over the back to the west again. And we knew some people in
in Perth, so so we'll go back to Perth. My wife had some family, their father in law, he had a property. And so we went back and went back to Perth, and started a new life there.
While I was there, and then a year or two later, my, I was keeping in contact with my family and my brother decided to come over for a trip, he come over and then
things happened. He was watching us, me and I had a few brothers, they were praying, used to praying the [???] out the back, it was on the two acre block. And it looked through the door and what
he said to me one day said, Oh, you guys
want to delay and braces.
So that was good. He ended up going to India and a man from Bangladesh,
come back, and he was practicing Islam and living in Paris as well. So then, my mother came over, and
he was more or less my sister,
businesswoman and didn't have much time for my mother at that stage. And she was living alone, my mother's in line. And when you sell out, come over and live with us, because islamically we look after our mothers. So she saw Afterwards, he talked to her and she said years ago, teamed up selling a house. And she flipped over to the west. And we ended up buying a farm down. So we were living on a farm. So my brother and his wife would look after me and my wife would look after. And eventually after a couple more years, she embraces like 265 at that site. And so three of the family is price Islam. And there's only one since to the guy when she was a bit of the case of that one. And, and so
yeah, we just settled down in Perth, and that's where I started learning more. And my brother
and my mother saw a big change in us our behavior, our character was changing, and it really had a good effect on her you know, so I'm
I don't know what else to say. Yeah, like, um, yeah. So it's been an interesting journey for you, you know, I guess facing different struggles with being different from your home community in Adelaide from who you decided to, you know, to marry to the racial issues to choosing a different lifestyle as well right and not falling back into your old habits and your old environments, your same old people. So that's probably a common struggle for a lot of converts. Where if they, you know, if you go back to your your old friends you're in you're outnumbered. Spiritually outnumbered, it's too easy to fall into old habits. Yes, yeah. Yeah. Your your environment creates creates, yeah,
who you will become. Exactly and my wife I mean, she was explained to her his knowledge of Islam was pretty limited back then. But she knew it was the right religion and so she was learning more about it. I was learning about it. So we're on the same path. And we decided to practice it. We need to mix with Muslims you need to have like minded
People, you know, that's why in Perth, we had, we had a lot of other friends and make more friends there. And we settled down there, it was quite good. I actually never went back to Adelaide for another 20 odd years after that. But
it was, it was a very good experience. It was difficult in some ways, because back then you didn't have the internet you didn't have, you know, we only had a handful of books, I remember one bookshop, there's probably about a dozen books that was that they had that was about it is very different. Whereas now, you've got all your knowledge online, you can ask questions and get answers straight away. But back then, back in those days, it was very difficult you Where do
you know, we had to really travel a lot to actually get the knowledge that we needed, you know, and we were living down on the farm for a while. So you know,
you know, we that we every two weeks, three weeks, we'd have to go out for jomres. And, but we had a lot of Muslim Brothers come down and stay on the farm. We take them out fishing and hunting and stuff like that. So
it was it was a good lifestyle.
I'm glad. Yeah.
So coming back to our topic about converting for love. Can I ask you both? Have you witnessed or met someone who did potentially convert Only for love? And then tell us like, what did you witness happen to their Islam, obviously, sharing, you know, the examples anonymously, but are there are situations where you saw people who are met people who had embraced Islam, possibly Only for love and not for the actual faith, and then what happened to them?
braces on just to get married, and they weren't interested in religion.
So you find it found that, you know, there have been a couple of kids and the father,
he started going one way the wife would go another way.
And it was very difficult in a lot of divorces through that.
it's very sad to see but it's quite common.
Unfortunately, to a lot of what I saw, too, was that because people that merrigan who say they focus on fisherman community,
family couldn't couldn't cope with their culture, the culture side of it, you know, if they're following Islam properly, then the proper exam, they would probably would have,
be more inclined to practice it and get into it. But because of this culture, very strong culture, hold on them
turned a lot of people off and turn them away from Islam. So handle I mix with a lot of people I didn't mix with just the islands, I mix a lot of different people. And that opened my mind a bit more, you know. But if I was isolated, just with the Caicos Islands and I have lived in areas where unfortunately, they've got their own little
things that they do that you just don't feel comfortable. The you know.
So yeah, I think the fact that we had a lot of different friends from a lot different places that helped us
get into Islam in a proper way in a
humbler so having diversity, so having diversity in your Islamic experience, you meet Muslims from different walks, different backgrounds, different congregations to find where you most align with. Yeah, that's, that's right.
Yeah, people from all different countries, everyone's got some culture. I mean, we've got our Ozzy culture as well. But you know, don't mix it with Islam, you know,
in a boy boy mixing with different people, it just opens your mind a lot more you start, you know, finding what is, you know, the correct Islam, and you follow that, and
we stick with it, you know?
Yeah. How about you, brother Patrick. Any other Have you witnessed any situations where people converted for law?
Yeah, yeah. So, you know, you've got to consider here to either anonymous a man marrying a Muslim woman, or you have the Muslim man marrying a non Muslim woman.
If I take that part first.
There have seen relationships where it's been,
quite frankly, somebody from overseas guy from overseas. As a married lady here, sometimes she's already converted sometimes she hasn't and then converts after
And on quite a few occasions, a few years down the track, and then you find that that relationship has gone sour and the
intentions of the fellow haven't been completely aboveboard, you think, okay, you're just fell for the visa or something like that, which is really sad, but it actually does does occur.
Or there's been some cases I've seen where
a lady here has married somebody from overseas.
And then there's been cultural and sometimes even some quite nasty domestic issues which have arisen, which is not at all pleasant. But the lady is generally you know, she really has wanted to
embrace his downfall, I've actually quite frankly, a lot of those those revert ladies actually seem to do very, very well.
On conversely, I have seen
some men marry Muslim women, they convert for love. And
they've done that, and this is the blast of happiness and then just fade in fade. So unless I've done like prusa has by actually going out and seeking knowledge and
and, of course, also forming relationships as well. Too often, then those fellas actually
end up probably actually drag the lady into a general Australian culture. And then this, yeah, that could.
someone knows some people have actually paid, you know, they'll say to somebody else, some
they'll say to work colleagues or Muslim,
that they don't actually make the commitment to do the prayers or fast other other elements that you know, psychotic cetera.
So it's weak, it's a weak form of upconversion, it actually requires
the support people around that couple other ones that shouldn't be saying, look, yeah, this is a cool thing, but make the commitment.
don't let those people float away.
provide them with the support is often it may be a support structure.
So B, I've seen some, some poor things. On the other hand, I've actually seen some things which actually worked really, really well, to be honest about either some success stories out there.
definitely, I think, yeah, hearing the mention of the knowledge base as an individual, and then ensuring that that as a convert, you have good friends and good support or some element of support from either individuals or community who have got your backs as a couple to keep pushing you forward, you know, on that spiritual path as a couple. And then as an individual, again, like you said, then Brother, brother, Patrick, like a commitment, really seeing that embracing Islamism is a commitment that you're making between yourself and your Creator and potentially in your relationship as well.
And, you know, hearing you contrast the two journeys, I think that's a common thing that we see, you know, coming from having worked with convicts, sisters in particular and witnessing a lot of different combat situations. There is a contrast between when a man embraces Islam because you know, he's fallen in love with a Muslim woman. And then when there's the Muslim woman who, when there's a Muslim guy, and then he
today's video leg
Okay, I can hear you, Patrick Kelley.
Now we can hear you. Oh, there we go. Yeah, I can't unmute myself. I have to the admin guys dummy me Sorry about that. I've got a really, really bad connection in every way every possible way tonight, so sorry about getting cut off a couple of times. But yeah, just talking about the contrast between you know, a Muslim woman who marries a non Muslim man and he embraces the faith that can go one way because as we know, like the men are the leaders of the household.
He's either going to lead her toward.
Sorry. I don't know what's happening. I'm doing that.
Oh, yeah, you know what the teenagers are playing computer games?
Son, your son, your son, Mr. Bennett is playing computer games in my lounge room. So it's probably them.
I have cut off again. But yeah, I won't, I won't talk too. I won't talk too much. We'll just take a couple more points and then we'll we'll move on inshallah.
So yeah, just understanding acknowledging that it's a different journey for, for every convert, whether it's a man who convinced to be with a Muslim woman, or a woman who converts to be with a Muslim man, there are different struggles that are going to happen in both sides, you know, of that journey. And as we mentioned, at the start, no journey is, is the same, no two journeys are the same. It's very unique. We do as brother Patrick mentioned, we do witness scenarios where a woman is sincere and embracing a song because she, she's come to it through a Muslim guy, then he ends up being the best quality of person. And then she goes through different trials and calamities within
that marriage, because he's perhaps a toxic or abusive person. That is actually unfortunately, quite a common scenario, nationals account foundation often have to scoop in and financially assist with, you know, the rescue operations in those circumstances. But again, converting for love, she has her own Cynthia journey between her and Alon, we, as a community try to support as best we can be such individuals with the community, even though they might not be in that relationship anymore. And likewise, when a Muslim woman marries a guy who converts for her because he loves her, and they've fallen in love, if he decided decides not to be faithful in his adherence to the religion that can
easily lead her and potentially their children down a whole nother pathway, unfortunately, and that's another common scenario that we see as well. So just to acknowledge those struggles, and to never assume that someone has converted purely for love, there are always different reasons behind it.
Just to close off, we'll ask a couple more final questions, and then I'll just share some of the struggles
into intercultural marriages. I'll just end up end with a few points about that. But what advice would you both give to convert who may be watching this video? They're early in their journey as converts? And maybe they've entered Islam through a relationship? What would you advise them? Patrick?
Ultimately, simply become knowledgeable yourself. It's
you might be in a relationship, but your journey in the deen is,
is personal. And it's rather separate from your journey in the dunya their relationship, this might be some parallels between them. But
remember, you could be in a
in a relationship, which started off with all roses and everything was lovely. And you see it heading down a bad pathway. So there's a divergence there. But you hold tight to the rope of Allah, keep learning.
Do your prayers.
Stick with it, because ultimately, the other side of things is less important. And look, quite frankly, I would actually like to see a situation where
converts to Islam that maybe they've come into relationship with somebody who's already Muslim, maybe that relationship has fallen apart. But where corporates actually have that opportunity. And they I know some who have actually,
competent, competent veterinary. And because their journeys are quite similar. This is real success stories. That was just a commonality. You might not be able to share a culture, but you can share a journey.
Beautiful advice. Thanks. Yeah, thank you, brother. Patrick. How about you? That
was pretty good. Yeah.
Like my wife and myself.
We were learning together a lot. And she was still she was learning, I was learning at the same time. So in that way, and we always had things to talk about islamically. And, you know, we're on the same page, so to speak.
Sometimes where it goes straight relationships is that
they stop learning together, the husband, maybe you know, he will get to
enjoy the football more, instead of going to the mosque and stuff like that, and stop mixing with Muslims and start mixing more with non Muslims. And that will put a strain on the relationship makes it very difficult. So, really, study the religion together, learn about it, talk about it together.
just keep good friends. Find Muslim friends, stick with Muslim friends, because I'll support you now. Sometimes when you, you know, you feel
you know, that
you're finding it hard to practice the deen or whatever, then you'll find if you stick with good friends, though, they'll help you out. And that support will give you the drive to keep on you know,
keep on practicing the religion Yeah, can be difficult in especially in a non Muslim communities really easy to get absorbed into the Muslim communities again, I mean, I remember going to bring one time. And that was back in the 80s. And there was a mosque in Britain one stage, and what was left was the pulpits. You can see the pulpit Oh, wow. All the walls are knocked down. And and then I know that that's even being knocked down there. But it shows you that Muslims were there, they were marrying and Max, the the people there, there's a lot of people with Muslim names. And their fathers were Muslim, their grandfathers were Muslim, but they didn't know anything about Islam. And they got
absorbed into the non Muslim communities. And I say,
you do need to stick together.
I, I have friends who are non Muslim, but my real friends are Muslim, prefer that.
And same with my wife, we're friends, mostly almost Muslim. And,
we listen to a lot of different lectures or go to lectures, and I sort of, you know, keeps us in tune with each other, and
it strengthens our faith in our strength you do strengthens the argument. And
that way, I mean, you know, whatever happens to either of us if we die, that we know that the other side was still practicing Islam.
They're just working on the kids. So
next generation next gen raishin is very difficult.
Definitely. So yeah, I guess so. Yeah, what comes to mind is the Hadith of the Prophet Muhammad SAW on the low on Islam, where he said that faith wears out, just as clothes wear out, to ask the Lord to renew faith in your hearts. And I guess tie into what you both said, we always ask Allah to renew our faith. But we also have to take action and make sure we are seeking knowledge, putting ourselves in the right environment, making sure that we really honor the teachings of our faith so that we do leave behind some kind of legacy in our homes and communities. You know, that sense of, we are like we're only as strong as we are connected, being an important part of our spiritual journeys as well.
So, before I ask you the last question I just wanted to share. There was an article I came across a couple of weeks ago, written by Michelle Brenner about intercultural education, she was mentioning about intercultural marriages. And she mentioned that there are four types of intercultural partnerships. And I'm mentioning this because often when someone converts to Islam, they enter into a whole new cultural world, as well as the Islamic culture. So there are these layers, there's who they were, in their identity, their past their history, and then they're entering into their spouse's world and culture. And then they've also got the Islamic faith and culture and, you know,
brother Muslims mentioned a couple of times like having to distinguish between actual teachings and the culture was part of his struggle. So what she's written in this article is that there's four types of intercultural partnerships. The first one is submission and immersion, where one partner virtually abandons his or her own culture while immersing him or herself in the culture of the other partner. And in the last few weeks, we've actually had a few online sessions with convict sisters and they said, Oh my gosh, like I totally dissolved my prior identity.
And culture and became my husband's culture. And that was kind of understood as like, that's how you become like a good wife or a good Muslim. And they've had to gradually find their way of coming back to holding on to some parts of their culture. So there's this submission immersion type, then you've got the second type, which is that obliteration, the couple forms a new third culture identity, maintaining none of the practices of their original cultures, and thus eliminating all cultural differences. And sometimes that can happen in convert, and Muslim relationships, where now Islam is the one culture and they totally don't have any other culture. And then the kids are like, what are
we, you know, they want to know, as well, what what is their cultural backgrounds and the parents like, No, we've just disassociated from that, because we formed our own culture. And then you've got the compromise type as well, where each partner gives up some often important aspects of their culture to allow for the others cultural practice. So the whole, maybe give and take. And then you've got the consensus with a couple makes an ongoing search for solutions, which neither partner sacrifices, aspects of their culture, which is essential to his or her well being. And partners allow each other to be different without viewing the differences as threatening. So I think that
fourth type is really important to know and to go and for people to embrace Islam and go into that. Now, your relationship is built on an amalgamation of your different cultures and backgrounds, and then the Islamic learning, kind of being the icing on the cake to top what you already have in your cultural identity, so long as they don't conflict with the Islamic teachings. So I thought to mention that as a side note for anyone who is tuning in and has some thoughts and concerns about the cultural aspects and the differences and the importance of not losing their identity. So to finish off with our final question for our dear brothers who I know, are probably getting a bit tired and
weary, and I know my dad probably hasn't even eaten yet, I'm guessing.
Yeah, yes. Next time. Um, so what advice would you give to family or friends of someone who might have entered Islam through a relationship? So those support people that you guys felt was so important in your journey? Whether it was your your in laws, or certain members of the community or an Islamic mentor or teacher? What like, what advice would you give to the people who are on on the sidelines watching the whole relationship take place? Brother, Patrick.
There's two aspects to that. One is what would be the response or behavior of the Muslim family to somebody
reverting and then coming into their family.
They have to be really patient and just accept that this person is going to know very, very little.
He doesn't pray right might not even start praying at all right? At first may not. You know, I remember my first year of of fasting, I thought I was actually going to die.
45 degrees, I thought, these are tough, tough.
god awful. And it's about patience. And it's about actually, I think, a commitment to helping that person actually learn if they can do that. And, and,
and embrace them with a sense of openness. That'd be great. Now, what happens if you
like, in my particular case, you know,
I have all this non Muslim family,
what would I advise them and I think it's actually love this about this patient, certainly, but there's tolerance, because their loved one is not going to be doing weird stuff, you know, now and you're, I'm an anonymous Muslim, you know, I can walk down the street and we did our Muslim, you know, but for the sisters, if they choose to wear hijab, especially really, you know, very soon after, after converting to Islam,
it's going to shock their family, and their families actually need to practice tolerance and patience. And even if they're scared, just keep the lines of communication open. And you know, just remember, sometimes we can't do that sometimes our family members can solve you know, so it's, it's, it's a tough call really. And
you know, I feel for people in in those situations, but you know,
it's still often it if people actually practice I think that actually works out work certainly in and Elena's first salon. Yeah, sometimes sentence scenarios are going to be painful and they're unavoidable. Yeah. How often
Do you hear that, that you know, a person's very painful experience, rejection from family or certain obstacles coming along the way that over time things eased off, like the hardship doesn't continue at that same intensity things mellow out, but it's about being steadfast sometimes for years, years on end, and things things that pan themselves out by Allah's plan?
And how about your advices? For the Messiah?
you gotta be really patient
is really, really difficult. I know, for some families with the woman was just kicked out of the house, because they become Muslim and guys, as well. So the family's totally turned against them. Because they didn't know about Islam mostly. And I found some, that after a couple of years, they, the families, yeah, you know, they've got back together, and they see the Son or the daughter are practicing Islam and the way that their behavior, you know, maybe, you know, they're not drinking anymore, not taking drugs anymore, they're not partying anymore, they become, the man is much, much better, they're kind and gentle with their mums and dads, and that that has
a good effect on them. And I've seen cases where, you know, parents that actually hated the kids becoming Muslim, eventually even become Muslim, some of them.
So, you just got to be patient. And the test comes, you know, once you bring up the test, really, you know, the test really comes in,
though, you, I mean, even for myself, you know, we're invited to certain functions or the way they do their weddings or way that people don't
different practices in their culture, and that I would go along, I didn't agree with it, but just, you know, just go to, you know, to just be with the people and,
and I try to influence and eventually influence them to
get away from those types of practices, you know, but it just takes time and
a lot of patience.
What can I say?
It's actually quite neat if I can interject something about ourselves as competence.
We actually I think, can be very good influences on
Islam and our Australian Australian culture here and our Australian society perhaps better than culture.
Because we have to learn we can only learn from the books, you know, and books from from
credited scholars. You know, when I was ever involved in the movies,
I remember once getting told ahaadeeth, that,
to explain why women could not go to Juma prayer, in more days, it was because of the Def Jam or the Juma would come to as a drama as a day would actually come as an entity,
to a lot of complaining about the sect, the exact tabbies.
And it wasn't too later reading
more and more, I found out that it was fabricated. So the teaching of fabricated, had in good faith, to explain the difficulty that they have anyway with overcrowding in the mosques. But
we have, in a way a responsibility to to give back. And we have to basically say, No, mate, that's culture. That's not Islam. Love you, but ditch that bit and stick with stick with vanilla. You know, we're, I think, according to the heady to a bit like Baskin Robbins, and instead of having 43 flavors, we've got 73.
And only one of those is vanilla.
And that's not always easy. It's not always received well, too, because sometimes existing Muslims will say, Well, what do you know, you're a convert, and we've been Muslim for this XYZ, how long and yeah, that you're treated like a newbie for a long time. Exactly. Yes. Challenge after challenge him to the law. Well, I want to thank you both for your time, your generous time and for sharing some of the deepest insights potentially in your life. You know, it's to do with your spiritual journey to Allah subhanaw taala to discovering him through having an establishing, you know, a relationship with a Muslim partner. You know, a human being who Allah, Allah has blessed to come your way and
literally, you can tell you why as they were sent by God right.
And score a few brownie points.
Vincent, heaven sent.
So yeah, I want to thank you for forgiving your time and May Allah continue to strengthen you in your journeys. We want to let the audience know to feel free to ask any questions on any of the platforms that you might have. We can put you in contact with the two brothers if you are a convert, seeking some maybe mentorship or advice or support, I'm sure our brothers wouldn't mind to have a conversation with you. And also