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View Full Version : Semantics: Convert Vs. Revert

10-23-2006, 04:40 AM
I agree with Imam Zaid Shakir on this issue.

"We fail to see Islam as a religion, and in the 20th century, we have a lot of these semantic gymnastics. So we say, for example, we don't convert to Islam, we revert to Islam, without really thinking about what we are saying. You revert, or something reverts back usually to a previous known state unconsciously. So we say, "The child reverted back to his bad habits", so the child isn't conscious of what he's doing or what she's doing. Whereas conversion involves a conscious decision. This person converted to Communism, he or she studied it and then made a conscious decision to embrace it. So I came here and I was doing an interview, and the interviewer said "When did you revert to Islam?", I said "I never reverted to Islam, I converted to Islam, I made a conscious decision to become a Muslim and I didn't unconsciously revert back to a state that's not even known to me." How can you revert back to something you don't know. A person might say "Every newborn is born in a natural Islamic state". That might be true but he or she doesn't know that, isn't conscious of that. So the parents made that child a Jew, Christian or a Muslim, thats what they are conscious of. So they reverted back to that? So we get into these kind of semantic things that are designed to manifest our sophisication, but they are only making a mess for ourselves individually and collectively…"

- Imam Zaid Shakir
WHAT do YOU think?

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The Ruler
10-23-2006, 06:45 PM

that's true...in that way...but if you see it in the way that us peepz usually look at it, then revert is the word :D


10-23-2006, 10:41 PM
I don't see the importance in useage of either words...

but good to know...

10-25-2006, 02:26 AM

From grammatical point of view, I totally agree with Imam Shair, but personally I don't really care. Seeing that some reverts are offended by the term convert for some reason, I just stick to using revert. At the end of the day, we're all Muslim, and thats what counts most, not all the other petty labels.

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