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Converting to Islam – the white Britons becoming Muslim

Posted on: May 23, 2011

In The name of Allah,The Most Merciful,The Most gracious

Converting to Islam – the white Britons becoming Muslim

As 22-year-old Aisha Uddin recites Surah Al-Fatiha – the first chapter of the Koran – at home with close friend Sameeah Karim, she may stumble over one word but otherwise the text is perfectly recounted.

Aisha Uddin: ‘It’s a change I’m happy I’ve made’

But unlike Sameeah, 35, who has Pakistani heritage and grew up reading the holy book, Aisha is newer to it: she used to be called Laura and only converted to Islam two years ago.

She is pale and has bright blue eyes; originally from Birmingham, until recently she dressed like many other young white British women.

“Before it was the jeans, the hoodies, loads of make-up,” she says.

Now Aisha wears a long black jilbab (a long flowing over-garment) and a cream-coloured hijab (headscarf).

“For me now, obviously it’s a dramatic change, but it’s a change I’m happy I’ve made, because now I don’t have to prove myself to anybody out there.”

Aisha took an interest in religion at school – and started quietly visiting her local mosque to find out more.

“Islam caught my eye and I wanted to look further into it – the people, the culture – and I carried on studying it and studying it, even after school. Living in Birmingham, I was surrounded by the religion.”

She says she spent years finding out more about Islam before fully committing to the religion, changing her appearance and starting to pray five times a day.

“Life’s changed dramatically, I was a rebel before, I was always getting into trouble at home, going out and staying out – not trying hard enough at school.

Regents Park MosqueConversions at Regent’s Park Mosque in London happen on a weekly basis

“Then when I became Muslim, I sort of calmed down. I wanted to stay at home studying on the internet or reading books. And I’m more happy than I was – I’m proud of who I am, I’ve got a certain identity.”

Aisha is one of a growing number of white converts according to a new study by Swansea University for the charity Faith Matters.

Using a number of sources, including a survey of more than 250 British mosques, census data from 2001 and conversion figures in Europe, the researchers estimate that there could be as many as 100,000 converts – of all ethnic backgrounds – in the UK. This represents an increase on an estimated 60,000 converts in 2001.

For an insight into the experiences of Muslim converts, the researchers spoke to 120 – mainly young, white women.

Many converts – like Aisha – reported experiencing hostility from their families. She says her parents thought her conversion represented a rejection of her upbringing.

Support network

“My family they weren’t too happy about it, [saying] why change your identity? Why cover your hair? Why dress the way you dress?” says Aisha.

Sarah JosephSarah Joseph converted to Islam when she was a teenager

“Being in a society where there’s so much bad press around… but if you actually get to know these people, they’re the friendliest people ever. I’m proud to be Muslim, I don’t care what my family say.”

Aisha does have a wider support network now. She has recently had a traditional Asian wedding to a British Bangladeshi man and lives with her in-laws.

She also has a lot of friends, also converts, who she met at new Muslim groups.

Aisha pores over pictures of all the women lined up in their different coloured headscarves at her wedding.

“That’s Lailah, that’s Hanan, that’s Mary… Sameeah’s the only Asian one,” she laughs.

At Regent’s Park Mosque in central London there are many white faces among the crowd for Friday prayers.

Conversions happen here every week – largely on a Saturday, and they are mostly women.

Tony Blair’s sister-in-law, Lauren Booth, is a recent convert and prays there.

One London imam, Ajmal Masroor, says the findings of the study come as little surprise to him. He says in his experience around three-quarters of converts are women.

‘Personal journey’

“Many people are looking for a spiritual and fulfilling lifestyle rather than the hedonistic, materially-driven one that we have around us,” says Imam Masroor.

“They find an answer in Islam. Women are hard-wired to reflect and think and take things more seriously, even from a young age.

The hijab was and very much is about the search for inner beauty”

Sarah JosephMuslim convert

“This has been going on for the last 20 years and more so since 9/11. People are curious, so they go to the book rather than the distorted media headlines.

“They learn that Islam is fulfilling as a personal journey as well as a collective conscience.”

Sarah Joseph sits in her office studying the latest edition of Emel, the Muslim lifestyle magazine she edits.

She converted to Islam as a teenager and has adopted the headscarf, saying she was looking for something with more meaning.

I’d grown up in a model agency and I’d been surrounded my whole life by external beauty, and the hijab was, and very much is, about the search for inner beauty,” she says.

Despite the difficulties, Sarah says British converts have a vital role to play in explaining two sides – Britain’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities – to each other.

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7 Responses to "Converting to Islam – the white Britons becoming Muslim"

Dear malwina, kindly visit this youtube page

You will see a few play lists in it. Which has scientists explaining why Quran is miraculous, you will also see x Christians speaking about why they converted. If you believe in God, you are to find the right one and not go behind any worldly conditioning.

And, There’s a book talking about 100 most influential figures in the history and Muhammed[pbuh] is the first one in it. You can see what Bernard Shaw talk about him. Google ‘Non-muslims about Muhammed[pbuh]’ and you will see worlds respected people said about him. Watch a documentary called ‘the lost tomb of Jesus Christ’ to see the reality of crucifixion. And read a google document which is freely available ‘ the bible Quran and science by Maurice buquile.


“I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself a…ppeal to every age. I have studied him – the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Saviour of Humanity. I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world, he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.”_

Sir George Bernard Shaw in ‘The Genuine Islam,’ Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.


jazak Allah khiar ,our islam is great and islam of mercy.


do you know that it is easy to prove that Quran is not a holy book?
do you know that Christianity is more popular than islam?
it means that more people believed God than the devil
Mohammed wrote his book after the completion of the Bible and he took a lot from the true Word of God, which is the Bible
Mohamed was in strange trances when he received the weird messages from the devil and thus he created the book of quran
it is obvious from the quran that Mohamed had difficulties in differentiating between Mary from the New Testament and Miriam in the Old Testament
there are lots of grammatical mistakes in quran which disqualifies this book as the perfect book, the grammatical mistakes are in the following suras 2: 177; 3: 59; 4: 162; 5: 69; 7: 160; 13: 28; 20: 66; 63: 10 etc
plenty of various books are missing in quran and that s why several suras were simply repeated and the book is very chaotic
Mohamed did not know when he is going to die and after his death there were problems with completion of the book of quran and that is why many suras are missing from the book
there is no chronological order in quran
muslims say that quran is written in the firs person as if allah was the one who speaks directly but it is not true because there are plenty of suras where the message was given through Mohamed, through a mere human being
there are words in quran which were not written in the arabic language, there are many foreign words in quran
second sura contains 140 contradictory interpretation of the quran
Abdullah Sarh who was a disciple of mohamed introduced changes into quran
whole chapters were added to quran
there is no one original manuscript of quran
it is obvious that the mohammed’s dialect is clearly seen in the language of quran and thus it shows that quran was written by a common man, and not any being from heaven
allah was one of gods when mohamed lived and it was mohammed who made allah a god
at the beginning of his ministry mohamed mentioned the teaching of the Old and the New Testament all the time
quran states that it is the continuation of the Bible which is obviously a lie (which is so easy to verify) and thus this one statement disqualifies the quran as the holy book
for example quran denies the Bible truth that Jesus was not crucified
and the crucifiction of Jesus is the heart of the Bible…
so both quran and mohamed lied that quran is the continuation of the Bible message
it is not a continuation but it denies the Bible truths in many many places
in quran god created the earth in 8 days (suras 41: 9, 10, 12 ), not in 6 as it is in the Bible
and these are just a few things i could mention here about the falsity of quran and islam religion
there is so many other proofs for falsehood of the quran and islam
so why do you want to follow a man made dead religion instead of following the true and living God who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ?
follow Jesus!!
He saved you, He died for you so that you can have the everlasting life in Him!!


I think you are supposed to go through the Holy Qur’an. We, the Muslim believe in all earlier 3 Books of Allah before Qur’an, the word of Allah. We never say any bad things for them. Dear , The Qur’an was not written by Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). it was the word of Allah through Jibraiel Angel. So please confirm your knowledge, then predict anything.
As we all believe in Allah & Jannah( Heaven). Everybody wants to success in life!


I appreciate to see women coverting to Islam, that show a greater hope for the future of muslim women


I am one of these, and I just wanted to say, that it is funny it should seem so surprising to be white and yet want to be Muslim. Colour is only the outside of us. Its what is inside us that counts. And it isn’t the part of the world we come from that is important, but the place where we are going to end up that matters.


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