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Thread: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

  1. #1
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    Question sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Hello to everyone,

    I am a sikh girl who is planning to convert into Islam this year. My question is when I become a muslim, Do I need to change my first name. For example, names like Jasdeep, Surinder, Kuljeet, etc. Are these names allowed to be kept even after converting?
    I have a muslim boyfriend whom I plan to marry (but that is not the reason why I am converting). I truly believe in this religion and the teachings of "Muhammed". Also when I convert do I need to obtain a certificate from a mosque or islamic centre indicating that I am indeed a muslim?? My muslim bf is not able to answer my questions that is why I have to come on here to ask. Somebody please help me receive answers to these questions.
    Thank you and may Allah bless you.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    You only need to change names that have meaning associated with beliefs or practices which are not accepted in Islam. As far as a certificate goes, no. But the imam in my masjid back home use to make them in case a person had difficulty with the Saudi embassy when trying to go on hajj or umrah. That is the only time where you may need a document to prove you are Muslim, but I've never heard of anyone actually having a problem of that nature.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Thanks very much for your outlook on these questions.

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Your welcome . And mabrook! Feel free to ask any question that you need and God willing, we'll try our best to answer it.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    3 years in the deen Sameer Abdul Hadi's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Asulam alakium Bahji,

    At this time i am going through the same process with deciding to change my name. I hope your journey is easier than mine. I am glad to hear you are becoming muslim and if you need any help we here at this forum will try to our best to help. I am a convert as well and i know how it feels to be looking for answers. Changing your name is not required unless your name is one of the forbidden. http://www.islamweb.net/ver2/archive...ang=E&id=33719

    Changing your name though can provide a closer feeling to your religion. A bond so to speak. I want to change mine to Sameer Abdul-Hadi but I feel i must go some changes to uphold a name like that. Do what you feel best. Discuss with your family and friends. It is important for there acceptance too.

    Again if you need any info or w.e we are all here to help.

    Shukria
    Allah-Hafiz
    Stick close to the true path.

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    As I convert also, after having change my name, I now regret it; even though I changed it before my conversion. There are reasons why I would advise against it, but I will not state them publicly. There are pros for either choice. Its up to you. If you decide to change your name, I just advise that you wait a few years, I personally recommend 5 for any social life altering decisions, and in the meantime, simply choose a nickname or alias for yourself if you wish.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Senior Member Hannahh's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Yes mabrook.

    In Saudi they require a certificate of Shehada for expat workers who enjoy muslim work benefits (during Ramadan and extended holidays for Haj).

    I'd advise you to obtain one and take it with you if you plan to travel to KSA.

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    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Sherani
    Quote Originally Posted by Lumumba
    But the imam in my masjid back home use to make them in case a person had difficulty with the Saudi embassy when trying to go on hajj or umrah
    I had a problem getting a Saudi visa for Hajj although I had a certificate of conversion from the Singapore Islamic Council.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lumumba
    If you decide to change your name, I just advise that you wait a few years, I personally recommend 5 for any social life altering decisions, and in the meantime, simply choose a nickname or alias for yourself if you wish.
    I will strongly second this advise of Lumumba.

    Regards

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    That is sad. Maybe they just like Americans .
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Congratulations and much fortune with your conversion.

    Sometimes when you get married some people will require a paper stating that you are a Muslim. Although I have only heard of this in cases when a European man married an Islamic woman, so it's not applicable in your case.

    Ironically in both of the cases the man only pretended to convert.
    The image-obsessed, bloodthirsty, sensationalistic world outside your window is the real madhouse.

    www.islamic-relief.com

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    Banned aladdin's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    Sherani

    I will strongly second this advise of Lumumba.

    Regards

    Hi Sherani,

    I wonder what Sherani means. My wife of 32 years, an American is named Lillie, after the flower lily. When we came to Oman, she found out that Lillie is almost written like Layla in Arabic, same letters but the last letter of "Ya" for Lillie has two dots on the bottom, thus making a "ie" sound instead of "a" sound for Layla.

    She was thrilled, as Eric Clapton is written a song honoring Layla, which means, tonight. It is one of the best Clapton's song.

    How about a close sounding name as suggested by both Lumumba and Vinod. For example, let us say, Shereen. It is a Islamic name with Persian origin. I beleive it means pure, from the root word, "sher", meaning milk. Which is considered white and pure. Just a suggestion, to be called by your in-laws.

    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    I had a problem getting a Saudi visa for Hajj although I had a certificate of conversion from the Singapore Islamic Council.

    In my wife's passport, she still has her name Lillie, but my family name as her last name. So, no problem with hajj.

    Regards,

    Mohamed

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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Asalaam Alaykum,
    Shukriya to everyone for helping me find answers. My real name which I prefer not to disclose, is a typical punjabi name. But my muslim/afghan bf has shortened it into a nickname "Var". I don't think I have any plans to change my name as of yet. As one of you said wait 5 years atleast before doing so. That is exactly what I shall do. All of you are very kind in taking time and answering my questions. I also have another question(s), Can you tell me what my chances are of facing critizism from other muslims, as I am a punjabi/sikh and have chosen to convert into Islam? I know my bf and his family will be very supportive, but I have no idea what I will be facing (especially with his relatives). Also I am learning Pashai (maybe some of you know, its a dialect spoken in Afghanistan).... my bf is really trying hard to teach me. Although I am catching on pretty quickly, its just he confuses me at times (well you can say he isn't the best teacher). Is there any type of translation book written in "Pashai". I know there is one in Pashto but I really need it in Pashai. If not than I guess I will continue to learn from my bf
    I pray to Allah that I have good luck in my life and better understanding when I become a muslim.

    May Allah bless you all.

  13. #13
    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Wa `alaykum as-salam,

    I think Vinod is the perfect person to answer that question .
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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    Veteran Member vinod's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    Thanks Lumumba for your kind words, but I think Sherani's background is very very different from mine and I may not have anything useful to say. I pray that the below is of some use to her and does not affect her adversely.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherani
    Can you tell me what my chances are of facing critizism from other muslims, as I am a punjabi/sikh and have chosen to convert into Islam?
    That's a difficult question to answer. It depends on the cultural background of muslims you meet.

    I'm going to try to answer your question considering as many possibilities I can in the limited time I have now

    Nobody will criticize you for converting. But individual muslims take on different roles the moment they come to know that you are a convert -

    (i) Some may take on the role of an advisor as soon as they come to know that you are a convert. There will be a free flow of advise - left, right and center - completely oblivious to your situation. Some of them are so common they are ubiquitous across the entire muslim world - from America to UK to Africa to ME to South East Asia. (by the way, I'm going to lay my fair share of advise on you during and at the end of this post )I would suggest that it will do you a lot of good to avoid telling people that you are a convert, except where you trust the person to be wise, understanding or where you can maintain your distance and anonymity (like this forum ). You would be a tad luckier than me because you will most likely be married. The muslim world treats married converts as 'sealed in faith' requiring no advise whatsoever. So, pretty much safe there. I, being single, am considered precarious in my faith.

    (ii) some muslims who are completely distanced from their faith are totally surprised to know that some one has converted. They too are very few in numbers.

    (iii) Some may feel obliged to invite you for dinner or lunch. Enjoy that. It's a one time thing only. Most muslims are as ordinarily selfish as other human beings. So, don't get all excited with the invitations. They come and disappear at the same rate.

    (iv) Some enthusiastic activist muslims will feel that you have to join a particular movement/idealogy to keep you in the "protected group". These are a sincere bunch but the dogmatism and closed mindedness gets to you.

    (v) some muslims will be wise enough to know that conversion is merely the first step along a new path with a history of its own and a future that is layed with its own unique challenges that can make an individual choose a different path. They will be more somber in their responses. Don't mistake their lack of enthusiasm to be nonchalance or carelessness. It is just that they know the reality of being a muslim in today's world which is particularly unique for a convert who always has the rather tempting option of reverting to his original traditional where he/she will be welcomed with open arms anyday.

    (vi) there will be some really dumb muslims who will think that a convert can never be a "true" muslim, whatever that means. These are a painful bunch but thankfully just an ignorant few.

    (vii) there will be the ritually pious but unwise muslim who will consider you inferior for not doning the obvious external signs of a muslim woman, particularly your dress code. His or her first impulse will be to point that out to you with a verse or two or a hadith or two. Patiently hear them out. Don't fight them. It comes from good intentions after all.

    (viii) A common theme in the rhetoric across virtually all kinds of muslims is the "evil West", "the kafir" and the eternal "plot of the jews" against islam. It can sound bizzare and disturbing at first, but over time it gets to be tiring and somehow funny at best.


    Few other possible challenges that you may face are

    (i) if you are a vegetarian and are uncomfortable with eating non-veg you may be placed in a situation where you will be compelled to eat non-veg and may not be considered a good muslim till you eat beef!! This is a common problem in India between mother-in-laws and convert daughter-in-laws.
    (ii) you may be given advise to distance yourself from your parents and relatives; parents may get mentioned badly - called infidels ('kaafir') and stuff. All that is complete rubbish generally. Just ignore that. Many muslims would immediately start out on a psedo-scholarly criticism of Sikhism without knowing anything about it and completely misrepresenting it.
    (iii) One not so important thing is that you will be asked to repeat your conversion story a million times in the next 10 years. Just record it and play it back to anybody who asks (joke).

    here's my list of advises -
    (i) do not surrender yourself to the counsel and advise of muslims. Do not think that they know best what is good for you. They don't. YOU know best what is good for you.

    (ii) be ready for grave disappointments from the muslim community. It is best you don't expect much help from the muslim community. I pray that your experience with the muslim community is much better than mine.

    (iii) You may come across teachings purported to be of islam in the majority of the ummah that may be unacceptable to you. Don't let that distress you. be patient and take your time to work the problem out. This may take years to find a decent answer.

    (iv) while most people would advise you to seek knowledge, I will caution you against it. There is an information overload in the world, especially the internet - a drunken librarian who will not stop talking. You will surely encounter arguments against islam till the end of your life. There is no end to it. Every muslim simply has to learn to deal with it in their own way.

    I deliberately painted a bleak picture of the muslims so that you are ready for most disappointments though I hope you don't face any. Remember this prayer - "God, save me from your followers".

    Quote Originally Posted by Sherani
    I know my bf and his family will be very supportive, but I have no idea what I will be facing (especially with his relatives)
    Well, it depends on how Afghan culture works. There can be nasty elements in it as well as beautiful elements as well as completely neutral elements. I'll tell you this - more than any criticism of your conversion the REAL challenges will come from the cultural adjustments each side will have to make. Each culture has its own niceties of mother-son, husband-wife, father-son, father-daught-in-law, person-society, family-honour, family-society-honour, man-woman relationships and notions REGARDLESS of what islam has to say. I honestly have no idea about Afghan culture. You will have to work that part out for yourself. I hope you get better help on this matter and that Allah grants you wisdom in dealing with it.

    Regards

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    Veteran Member lumumba_s's Avatar
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    Default Re: sikh punjabi girl converting to islam

    As salamu `alaykum,
    Quote Originally Posted by vinod View Post
    Thanks Lumumba for your kind words, but I think Sherani's background is very very different from mine and I may not have anything useful to say. I pray that the below is of some use to her and does not affect her adversely.
    I know, but I'm from North Carolina. At least your in the vicinity . I probably didn't even know what a sikh was until I was 20.
    "Allah is the point. If it is other-than-Allah, then it is besides the point." - Nuh Ha Mim Keller

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