The responses to my last two posts (To Hijab and Family Matters) have been wonderful and encouraging. I love reading about everyone else’s experience with hijab, and about their telling friends and family about their choice to follow Islam.
And while I still am glowing at having told my siblings and am relieved that they have by and large accepted it, it has really made think about the rest of the people in my life.
I still have not told most of the other people in my life. I am sure this must sound odd. How can I have been a Muslim for more than a year and my friends and family have not noticed?
Well, as someone who lives in a largely ex-pat environment, my family and many of my friends live elsewhere – either because I have moved or because they have moved. When I do see them or talk to them, we just don’t talk about religion or faith.
My job for the past two years when all this happened was extremely consuming so friends who I work with simply think I have been too busy. They view certain behaviours and the way I dress as a bit odd but that is it. (They have not seen my in hijab… yet.) They are simply waiting for me to “get back to normal”.
If you asked me why I have not told them I would tell you that I am afraid of their reaction. Afraid that they will not accept me. Worried that I will lose them in my life.
But really, because of not telling them and not including them in my life as I used to, I am already losing them.
One the one hand, if they really are my friends, they will accept it. They will see that I am the same person as always. Perhaps even a better person, in sha Allah. And if they don’t accept it… well, why am I trying to hold onto people who won’t love and accept me for who I am. What good does that do me?
I think telling my siblings is just a baby step on the way. (A wonderful and liberating step – but only the beginning.)
I have no question that Islam is the right choice for me. And I feel so amazingly blessed that Allah (swt) chose to guide me to the straight path.
So why am I holding onto the image of who I was for people who might not love me enough to accept me for who I am?