I met this revert sister through Help for Reverts. As a volunteer I was deeply touched by her journey and wanted to share this with others so they may also be inspired.
I asked her a series of questions to understand her Islamic journey so far and how she still finds comfort in practicing Islam and turning to Allah. This is her experience…
“So, I first properly discovered Islam through my first love when I was 15 years old; he told me different things about Islam like the belief in one God, fasting and just simple things, but what fascinated me about him at the time was that although he was committing sin in many ways, he was still humble in the way he would pray; still full of love and worship. And how he would speak of Allah, he still saw himself as a servant a worshipper of Allah. I remember thinking to have that kind of love in your heart for your faith was beautiful, to have that feeling of purpose must be so reassuring and satisfying.
So, after a 2-and-a-half-year roller-coaster relationship he ended it with me because he was going to get married. My love for him was very strong; I was completely in love with him and would do anything for him so when he left, I felt heartbroken, alone, lost and almost like through him I had purpose because slowly I had already started changing my ways and certain things I would do. For example, I had stopped eating pork (not that I ever really ate it much) but maybe it was also his belief in Allah that I had latched on to that certainty of what life really was; that comfort that Allah is always there to forgive, the simplicity of life that Allah had created.
That is when I decided to revert; when I was at an all-time low and couldn’t see any light, no happiness, when I didn’t want to face the days ahead. I remember when I first took shahada it felt like it all happened so quickly and I remember feeling scared that I would make a mistake, but I also remember feeling like a new baby; I felt light I felt protected I felt I had my purpose. I didn’t have to care about silly worldly things like buying clothes to keep up with the fashion, things like that just didn’t seem important anymore, just worshipping Allah and becoming a good Muslim girl was all I wanted.
I thought at first that my dad would be happy, but he wasn’t, neither was my mum; they hated the fact I had become a Muslim and hated that their daughter with all this beautiful thick curly hair was suddenly now covering it with a scarf. It was very difficult. when I had to leave the house, halfway down the road I would use someone’s car wing mirror to quickly cover my hair then take if off before I came home. One time, my dad ripped all my books up and threw them out my bedroom window. My mum would make comments all the time, Once I had my hijab on and she told me I looked ugly and I burst into tears. it was hard but my belief was that I knew what I was doing was a good thing and they just could not understand it. People fear what they don’t understand, and some people fear change, so I accepted that was just something I was going to have to deal with in my journey.
Fortunately, things got easier for me when I left home at 18. Friends and work colleagues were more accepting. If I can give any advice to new reverts it would be to try not to do everything all at once. Talk to your friends and family first and let them know what your plans are and why you want to revert. When I was reverting, I never spoke to my parents – I just did it, so for them it was like one day I was their daughter the next day I wasn’t. I believe that’s how they felt, don’t be angry with people who don’t understand or accept your faith, just pray for them, and let them see you are still yourself. Let your loved ones see what a better person you will become, and just know that every hurdle you face is a test from Allah of how strong your faith is.
Also, if your parents are finding it hard to accept your new faith – go slow with them; don’t push it in their face, for example, don’t start by praying right in front of them (do it somewhere private) and give them time to adjust. That’s what I learnt from my experience, that way I think eventually they may come to accept in’sha’Allah. And remember that you are a Muslim now so there may be sacrifices you may have to make and you yourself will know what they are when you face them. Just know that you will go through ups and downs, high and low times of certainty and times of doubts within your own self and that’s OK; you are still human. Lastly, I never did this but wish I had, read the Quran in English (if you don’t know Arabic), learn in Arabic too, but make it the first book you read as that is the word of Allah, and that is what will guide you and give you strength.”
If you would like to help other reverts, please join Help for Reverts as a volunteer.
Sister Fahmida is a volunteer with Help for Reverts who’s responsible for mentoring and empowering new Muslims.