I know, it sounds like another blog on my adventures in Muslimah fashion. (There will be more on that soon!)
This is about the fact that nearly 10 months after having said shahada, I am still in the Islamic closet. My family and friends, with three exceptions, do not know about my conversion. And I do not know how or when to tell them.
On the one hand, I am so happy and excited to be on this path that I want to tell everyone. But I fear that the people in my life will be confused at best and horrified at worst. And I have not found a community of Muslim friends yet, though I hope that will change once I move to London later this year. I worry that if I tell friends and family, I will lose everybody in my old life before I have anybody in my new life – and I will be left alone and with nothing.
Now, I know that if if that were really to happen, I would not have nothing as I have Allah (swt), who is most important anyway.
And I am so lucky to have the three people in my life who do know. Of those three, one is a close friend who answered all my questions as I began exploring Islam and to whom I said shahada. This person has been amazing, wonderful, supportive and everything to me this past year. The other two are people I thought would be open to the information. I am happy to say they were very accepting and I think we will become close friends.
Of course, there are also the people I am meeting on-line to whom I am so grateful. I was never one who was too keen about on-line interactions beyond people I already knew in person – but I have changed my mind completely in the past six months. (Though am still cautious.)
However, there are two friends I tried to tell, starting slowing by mentioning that I am learning more about Islam. It did not go well. In addition, two other friends spent a considerable amount of energy criticizing women dressed in hijab and niqab who we saw while on vacation together last year. And my family… well, my family, whom I love and who I know love me, have a narrow view of Islam.
Part of me feels like a coward for not telling people. If this is what I believe and if this is who I am, then why shouldn’t I have the courage to be ‘out’ and ‘open’? But I am just not ready yet.
My close friend who knows about my conversion keeps telling me to be patient and not rush anything. To wait until I am comfortable in my new life, and more secure answering the questions / challenges that will come.
So, as of now, my family and friends are waiting for me to end my weird diet so I can enjoy a nice glass of wine with them. Sigh….
For the reverts out there, what was your experience telling people? Any advice?