A recent report by an Inter-Faith think tank on the number of reverts to Islam in Britain showed a marked increase in the level of conversions from approximately 60,000 based on the 2001 census to over 100,000 over the proceeding decade with an estimated 5000 people converting in the last year alone. Moreover, the study found that the majority of reverts were amongst young white British women a group not normally expected to show much affinity with Islam. The findings of the report will certainly chime with Muslim communities in Britain and Europe who can certainly vouch for the growing number of reverts in recent years as witnessed in their local masjid, at Friday prayers and at the time of Eid.
The number of conversions in Britain is all the more surprising considering the backdrop of media hysteria and anti-Muslim legislation from successive governments over the time period the report covers as every aspect of Islam has been subject to attack, ridicule and abuse in mainstream newspapers and by front line politicians seeking to turn their populations against Muslims as they fight wars in the Islamic world.
Whilst the number of people who have been guided to the deen of Islam by Allah (swt) is undoubtedly welcomed, there is a stark reminder for Muslims that this has happened at a time when there exists no practical example of Islam’s beliefs, laws and systems being implemented in totality in the form of the Khilafah State anywhere in the world. The influence of a working, live political system as opposed to one that remains in books and memories in changing people’s opinions should not be underestimated. While the fall of the Berlin Wall in the early 1990’s symbolised the fall of Communism what was more significant was the fact that East Europeans could see Capitalism at State level in Western Europe and beyond offering them an alternate system and lifestyle-albeit flawed.
Since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw) and the establishment of the first Islamic State in Medina, the manifestation of Islam at State and societal level has been the best example to people of other faiths to witness the justice, tolerance and security Islam affords. Whether non-Muslims chose to convert to Islam or not was of course up to them and millions of Jews and Christians lived within the Khilafah for centuries without being forced into any conversion. Nonetheless, the implementation of Islam and their protected dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen) status left a lasting legacy on them.
The growing number of reverts to Islam, despite the hatred and demonisation directed against it, should motivate the Muslim community to work for a change of system within the Muslim world so that we can convert these regimes into a truly Islamic system of governance that will be a beacon of light for Muslims and Non-Muslims.