In the Islamic Closet

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 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.

A 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?

10 responses

  1. Thats so exciting! I have had a couple friends who took the shahadah and it was really amazing seeing their love for Islam. I hope you do come out and tell your parents and family. I would advise you to ask Allah for help in this regard, to pray that He makes it easy on you and makes your families hearts soft and understanding. I think the biggest things is that most people believe when a person becomes a Muslim they change and become “extreme” Just show them you are the same lovable person you have always been, and that you being Muslim makes you even more compassionate and nice towards people because that is how our Prophet was 🙂

    I will keep you in my duas, and I hope Allah makes everything easy for you! If you ever have any questions on Islam I would love to help, although I am no scholar or anything.

    • Thank you so much. You have echoed very much what my friend said – show them you are the same person you always were, but perhaps a bit better for having chosen Islam. 🙂 I will keep you posted on my journey, and am thankful for your offer. I always have questions!

      • Yes please do, I would love to know how it goes. Never hesitate to ask me anything!

  2. Salam! I totally feel your pain…it’s so difficult to be extremely excited to embrace a new lifestyle but be in a position where sharing that excitement might “ruin” important relationships. Already I’ve hinted to my parents a bit that I’ve been going to mosque…basically my mother threw a fit how if she ever had Muslim grandchildren I would be disowned, etc…I honestly have no idea what way is the best approach. I know Allah has a plan for us and that he comes first, but family is also very, very important, and we’re supposed to show respect to our parents so finding that balance is aggravatingly difficult, and it seems to be ever elusive to me at the present time!

    • I am so sorry your mother said that to you! But I can hear my parents saying the same or worse. May our parents remember how much they love us and how much we love them. Insha Allah. Please keep me posted on how things are going for you. I will continue to update as well. Thank you!

  3. Salam Sis, Welcome to Islam!

    Allah is always there helping those who seek His Help. This is a nice prayer I came across:
    “O Allah! Grant me Your love, and the love of a person whom my loving him will be of benefit to me near You. O Allah! Whatever You have granted me from what I love, make it a means of strength for me to use in the way You love. O Allah! Whatever love (of things) You have removed from me then grant in its place the love (of things) that You love.” (Tirmidhi)

    You can read the article I came across at: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/personaldvlpt/worship/dua/when-things-are-lost/
    A great site!

    Hang in there sis, be patient and always remember your destination and not to let the obstacles in your path to Allah slow you down or stop you.Allah is with you always, and you have lots of Muslim Sisters out there too, helping one another when anyone slips:)

    About your parents…Make du’a a lot for their hearts to be opened for guidance. I don’t really know how to act in such a situation as I’ve never encountered one before as the society I live in is very…..different. I live in a society of born Muslims(including me) but are not really practising(I try to be). A huge sum actually reverted from Islam(I seek refuge in Allah from this)! To me, this is just lack of education and the right upbringing and also understanding of the True Islam and not just what they listen on the media.
    I really respect you for all you have gone through. I knew I would have just crumbled if I were in your shoes. Remember, Allah does not place upon us a burden greater than we can bear (Al-Quran, 2:286)

    Peace from SG:)

    • Wa Salam. Thank you for visiting! And thank you for the support. It is truly amazing to see sisters rallying together around the world. I feel truly blessed to be counted as one. I Iook forward to exploring the site you suggested. Alhamdulilah.

  4. I totally get what you feel. My friends tend to make condescending remarks about Muslims that I don’t know how to tell them. Yet at the same time I don’t have that Muslim community I can count on in case anything happens.

    It is also confusing to see all the advice given out to Muslim youth about respecting and honoring our parents because it is the message of Islam. But in our case, our practice of Islam is the cause of our parents’ displeasure.

    • Salam. Thank you for visiting and for your comments.

      It is a very odd feeling isn’t it. Sometimes I feel like I am having an out of body experience when I hear people talking about Muslims in front of me (usually not positively) and them not knowing I am Muslim.

      I always try to re-direct them to correct information or provide a more positive perspective. But mostly I just want to shout that I am a Muslim.

      I continue to pray to Allah for guidance and support to ‘come out’. The idea is becoming more comfortable for me – though telling my parents still seems very far away.

      I will pray for you as well. Keep me posted on how you are doing and stay strong!

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