After Conversion: End of the Story?

After one has found the right path and has officially declared the shahadah and determination to follow the straight path, is that the end of the story?  Is life all rainbows and butterflies from there on out?  Often we are intrigued and thrilled by the stories of those who have converted to Islam, what did they believe beforehand?  What made them interested in Islam?  But we sometimes forget that after being guided, these individuals are now living in a very hostile world, with trials and hardships that often far outweigh the difficulties faced before they were Muslim.  It’s easy to tell the revert, “MashAllah, congratulations on your conversion, may God bless you,” and then walk away and go back to your Muslim family and community that surrounds you, protects you, and shields you from the inhumanity of the rest of the world (as it should).  Yet the revert is left still alone, isolated, and standing against a torrent of disapproval and hostility.

Thankfully, some have wondered what happened after I converted – what about my family, what about my friends, what has my life been like as a new Muslim?  Instead of filling up the comment section on several of my posts in response to all the inquiries, writing an actual post on it seems like a much more efficient solution!

Muslim Friends

I converted to Islam 2 years and 3 months ago.  I was so excited and bursting at the seams to have found such phenomenal truth and wisdom – to be guided and on the straight path to God, at last.  I wanted to meet every single Muslim in the area and was exuberant to share my story and make new friends.  Yet, over time I was faced with the reality that Muslims are human after all, and while Islam is perfect, Muslims are far from it.   Many of the Muslims around me (which weren’t many to start with) were more concerned and preoccupied with their culture rather than their religion, so my attempts at friendship failed miserably.  I finally gave up smiling at the Muslim women I passed outside or on campus, as usually they ignored me or glared at me (as an aside, yesterday when I was out running, I passed by a Muslim woman who looked up and smiled at me – I was so surprised I almost tripped over myself – and gave her a big smile in return.  That totally made my day!).  I went to a mosque in the area a few times, but was mostly stared at.  I felt awkward and uncomfortable to be alone despite sitting in a room full of chattering women (who also didn’t seem too interested in the lecture either…).   I was in a different mosque, and the woman next to me leaned over and asked if I was Lebanese.  I replied that I wasn’t, but I was a convert.  That didn’t seem to interest her, and she went back to chatting with the woman next to her.  Last year I met a few Muslim women who were also working for the community college I was teaching for, and while we exchanged information, neither of them seemed interested in communicating beyond that initial contact (despite my attempts to contact them).

Alternatively, I have met some Muslims online who are very sincere and genuine, and I am grateful for their friendship and support, despite never having seen each other in real life!  Nevertheless, as a result of two years of disappointment, I’ve since given up trying to befriend Muslims in real life.

Family

As I mentioned in my initial post regarding my conversion story, my family is conservative, Evangelical Christian, and are very anti-Islam (on both sides)!  There’s an atheist on my dad’s side and a Buddhist on my mom’s side, and both of them are seen as the black sheep, and much time and effort is spent praying for them and lecturing them when they are around.  I’ve told myself that I should take comfort in the fact that neither of them were disowned, but then again, neither of those paths are as heavily stigmatized and hated as Islam.  My family views Islam specifically as being from Satan himself (astaghfirAllah), and the most dangerous.

My dad’s father is a lay minister (he filled in as a ‘sub’ for churches without pastors and does guest speaking as well), and loves to listen to Billy Graham, John Hagee, Pat Robertson, and of course, Fox News.  My dad once put me on the chopping block when he told my grandpa that I had some Muslim friends, to which my grandpa responded by saying, “Well you’d better get rid of them fast.  They’re dangerous!”  I asked him why, and the entire room fell silent.  He sputtered and fumed and couldn’t understand why I was so senseless to not know why.  I decided to drop it – don’t want the entire room to explode against me, and definitely didn’t want to reveal myself.

My mom’s father was a Pentacostal preacher for most of his life, and both he and my grandmother firmly believe that if you aren’t Pentacostal, you’re going to hell (Baptists especially since they believe in the ‘blasphemous’ concept of “once saved always saved”!).  Most certainly they see Islam as a dark evil.

My parents religiously watch Fox News – my dad’s favorite show is Bill O’Reilly, of course.  They are also firm supporters of George Bush and believe he could do no evil (despite the glaring truth that tells us otherwise).  Once (when I was still a Christian), I brought up the possibility of 9/11 being perpetrated by Bush himself, due to the overwhelming evidence, and my dad was incredibly offended and angry (as if I had just uttered blasphemy), and said that Bush could never, ever do something like that – he was a ‘Christian’ after all!  Last time I checked, the only infallible person in Christianity was Jesus (as), so I’m not sure how Bush gained that status!

My parents are also very pro-Israel, anti-Iran, anti-Palestine, anti-Lebanon & Syria, very Republican, and now proud members of the Tea Party.  They believe that I am already brainwashed due to having gone to a “liberal, socialist” university for graduate school, and often dismiss anything I have to say about politics or society in general.  Despite having more education than they do (in my immediate family – my extended family has some doctors and PhDs), my education is dismissed as useless, liberal ideology and not anything worthwhile.

In fact, my family, both immediate and extended, treat me as an 6 year old child who has no common sense or clue about life in general.  Even my brothers treat me in this way, usually dismissing what I have to say or ridiculing me, ganging up against me, laughing at me and questioning my intelligence.  As such, I grew up to think that my brothers and father were very smart and I was not.  I believed that men in general were smarter than me, and I unconsciously deferred and ‘bowed down’ to any male around me.  The males in my family also treat my mom in the same way, never taking her seriously and ridiculing her and questioning her intelligence on everything.  My mom is quite expert at manipulation though (even with me, as I have just recently discovered, after all this time), and while it’s a destructive, unhealthy pattern, it works and she gets what she needs.   I’ve always thought that the first person I tell about my conversion would be my mom, but now I realize that that would foolish because she would only use that against me whenever it suited her.  My family has the mentality of ‘everyone for themselves’, and will sacrifice someone else for the purpose of saving their own skin.

My family is also very argumentative, negative, critical, and judgmental.  I’ve always hated conflict (although there for a few years during puberty I did take on my dad and challenge him about everything to the extent that he thought I should become a lawyer!).  My family will argue endlessly and NEVER let anything go, so I learned long ago that it just isn’t worth it.  I prefer relationships to be smooth and harmonious, not tumultuous and hostile, so I eventually got in the habit of just letting everything go.  Someone would do something to me or make a hurtful comment, and I would just let it go.  Again and again and again… to the point now where they just treat me like a stupid child since they know they can get away with it as I won’t stand up to them or challenge them.

Recently, all that has changed, however.  After converting, I gained new confidence in myself (perhaps this should be a different post entirely, but I began to accept myself as a female, and realized that having feminine characteristics isn’t an awful thing, but is a strength), and I began to gain knowledge about the truth of the world around me.  I was more certain of my opinions and now had a great deal of fact to back it up, and began to stand up for my opinions.  Still, they would all start attacking me, so I would eventually give up and change the subject.

In recent months however, I’ve been trying to force myself to see it through to the end, despite the discomfort that it causes.  In fact, without going into the details, my mom and I are no longer on speaking terms (her choice, not mine), and my dad got involved (thanks to misinformation and manipulation from my mom) so we’ve had some intense arguments.  Even one of my brothers and I got into a fight because of the lies my mom told him, but fortunately I was able to set the record straight and he and I are actually on better terms right now than we have been in years.  And none of this going on now has anything to do with my conversion!!

I’ve realized that the only hope I have of being able to tell my family about my conversion without being completely annihilated is to change my relationship with them by getting them to respect me and take me seriously.  If I can achieve that, THEN I can tell them of my conversion and only then will they be forced to take it seriously.  If I tell them now, they’ll ridicule me, accuse me of being brainwashed, and my dad might even drive all the way down to where I live now with a U-Haul and try to force me to move in with them so they can take care of their senile, mentally retarded daughter!  I can only imagine family events – all the focus would be on me and it would be rife with exhaustingly endless arguments and attacks.  No one would listen to anything I have to say or even care what reasons I have for believing the way I do.

No, the only solution is to first change my relationship with them, and secondly, keep trying to change their perception of Islam.  If I can somehow get them to see Islam as at least just another world religion that is hugely misrepresented in the media and has many similarities to Christianity, then I may be able to put myself on the same level as my atheist and Buddhist relatives.  If my family continues to see Islam as evil and as the force on the side of the anti-Christ that Jesus (as) and the Christians will fight against after Jesus returns, then there is no hope for any sort of honest dialogue, discussion, or acceptance.

Friends

Very few of my friends know of my conversion as well.  Some reasons for this are merely circumstantial; I converted during my last year of graduate school (a different school and city from where I did my undergrad), and began covering my hair when I started an internship in another city.  I did see my classmates occasionally for classes during that time, and the reactions were mixed.  A few thought I had cancer, one of them did express her sincere support for my choice, and the rest of them either ignored me completely or began to just greet me politely when they saw me but stopped inviting me to hang out with them.  I was surprised actually, since I was in a counseling pyschology program and the emphasis in every class was valuing diversity and accepting and supporting people from all walks of life… but apparently this is mere rhetoric and not applied in practice.

I don’t often see my friends from undergrad, as I moved to a different city for grad school and they are all spread out everywhere; many of them are married and are starting families.  I saw one of them once though, after converting.  She had been to Egypt on a trip and seemed very interested in the culture and religion, and since she is also from a different country, I thought she would be more accepting.  So, I decided to tell her about my conversion.  Well… she seemed unsure about it and was concerned about what my family would think, especially since she knew me as being a very religious Christian.  After she left that day, I never heard from her again.

Another friend from high school told me a while back that he had converted to Catholicism, and was describing the difficulty he had with his parents, who are astutely Pentacostal.  I thought perhaps he would understand, since he had gone through a similar experience, so I told him that I also had changed my beliefs, and am pretty sure my parents would be very opposed to it.  I refrained from any detail though, as I wanted to see his reaction.  He seemed unresponsive, so I didn’t push it further – and yet again, I never heard from him again.

The vast majority of my friends from childhood through graduate school are very conservative Christians, so I know that I would face a very hostile onslaught of condemnation if I decided to declare myself as a Muslim to them all.  So… I decided it’s not worth it and have let it go.  I don’t see many of them very often anyway, from having moved so much (I’ve moved at least 14 times, to various cities and different states) and have lost touch with people over the years.  In fact, I have just moved again to an entirely different state to take a new job, so telling prior friends just isn’t much of a necessity.

I did make one friend recently who is not Muslim nor American, and I have been grateful for her acceptance and for seeing beyond my scarf and liking me for who I really am.  But, I’ve just moved and she’s too far away for frequent visiting now.

I don’t know anyone at all in my new city, although I’ve felt encouraged that my colleagues at my new job seem to be very genuinely nice and friendly.  I’m not that picky really, I gave up on the impossible task of finding Muslim friends, and am just looking for decent friends in GENERAL.  But… in the meantime, as I have nothing to do on the weekends, I can continue to research Islam and read and learn about other aspects of life, and of course – post on my blog. 🙂

So, in sum… life has not been easy since converting, but I realize that I am passing through a very important time and am learning necessary skills to make my life better in the future, inshAllah.  Only God knows what the future will hold, and I’m optimistic that no matter what trials and hardships I face, God will protect me and care for me.  I will gladly endure any difficulty for the sake of God and for the precious gift of guidance to the right path.  Nothing in this world is worth that.  The Quran tells us that this life is just a test and trial, and our real life begins afterward.  When we keep everything in perspective, the intensity and turmoil subsides and obstacles begin to look more trivial and inconsequential.

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14 thoughts on “After Conversion: End of the Story?

  1. Hi Sakina,
    this post has struck me with a force that is both all too familiar, yet gripping and intense.

    I am a christian woman with a Muslim boyfriend and I have experienced many of the same reactions when talking about Islam with others.
    I know why I am a Christian and why he is a Muslim.
    I know that both of our beliefs are strong and I respect his beliefs, as he does mine.
    Yet, I, too, feel largely marginalized from both groups of people.

    being disabled (blind all of my life) I have found that people seem to keep me at arm’s length, anyway.
    But, even among the blind people, Islam is not popular.
    I think that it is strange that
    a person who is a minority of one group, still seems to hold stereotypes or excludes those of other minority groups or others that aren’t like them.

    I thought that maybe I would find a group of Muslim women who might accept me because my bf is Muslim.
    But, that is not the case.

    sure, there are niceties and polite comments.
    But, nothing substantial.

    I don’t fit into Christian circles, (and even if he and I weren’t together, my views on how Christians should act and “true Christianity” is far removed from the so-called American Christians of today).
    And, of course, I don’t fit into Muslim circles.
    My blindness draws an invisible (yet, quite evident) line between myself and most people.
    I understand your feelings of exclusion.
    I know the desire to “want & try” to explain things to people that they just “don’t” or “won’t” understand.
    The dream of a family that is loving and supporting and one that holds “you” above any “view” that they may have – is one that I often have, yet must constantly remind myself is not reality.

    I have a congruent view of how the church should be run.
    Since I have moved to my new city, I have only found one church That has offered to pick me up for service and — even then, they are distant and see it as their “duty” not in the hopes that a friendship will develop. makes me all the more yearning to connect with others….
    to share joys and pains and interests and topics and debates on a regular basis….. not with motives or goals, but just because we are friends who validate and recognize each other for being wonderfully made by God.
    That “fellowship,” is so necessary for humans.
    I have about 200people who requested my friendship on facebook.
    I friended them and hoped to at least connect once in a while.
    It amazes me that people are more willing to talk about
    farmville than fair treatment….
    Cafeworld is entered into more than the world of values.
    I find it a bit amazing that “christians”
    (and maybe Muslims, also — at least the Muslims that I have befriended on facebook)
    are more willing to talk about the weather, their pets, a funny immodicon, the mundain-ness of their lives than integrity, religion, morals, humanity, ….
    and then, even less likely to “act” on the lessons that are presented to them.
    I am not trying to praise myself.
    In fact, I want to grow into a stronger Woman of God. I am just saying that it is hard to find likeminded people and those who will lift you up and encourage you in your endeavors.
    Don’t give up.
    We can’t!

  2. Dear Jamily,

    After reading your very heartfelt comment, I sat here and cried. My heart goes out to you for the isolation you feel and the rejection you face on all sides.

    It may be tempting to look at your situation and say, “If this is Christianity, I want no part of it.” Or to look at both mine and your situation and make the same remark, “If this is Islam, I want no part of it.” But the problem does not lie in the religion – the problem lies in humanity. It lies in all of us. We are all so selfish and concerned with only our own interests and what serves us best that we don’t have the time or patience to bother with reaching out to those around us. What is the whole point of life after all, if we don’t actively help each other struggle through it all?

    Your astute observation of the realities of Facebook is so true – people are more concerned with distractions and games than nurturing real relationships. People post on the minutiae of what they do every second of the day, and surprisingly other people respond enthusiastically – yet I post articles and videos on the serious issues facing us in the world today, and no one makes a peep. No one wants to face the real world, because if they do, they will be forced to take a long, deep, and critical view of themselves first.

    You are very right that so much of mainstream Christianity does not fit with what the Old and New Testaments teach us. I am quite sure that when Jesus (as) returns, many Christians will not accept him because he will be against so much of what they have invented. Although I have always enjoyed large churches, I dislike the increasing emphasis on it being more of a ‘show’ and providing weekly ‘entertainment’ instead of critical self and societal analysis or urging personal growth. Too many churches focus on the superficial teachings of Christianity, and neglect the more serious issues plaguing Americans and the world today. They neglect it because people won’t like it, and if they don’t like it, they will stop giving money and stop attending…

    I felt so disheartened by your situation with the church you’ve found that has a ‘cursory’ pick up service for the disabled… I am sure there are Christians who would gladly and cheerfully give you a ride, I just wonder where they are!

    You have been faced with so many challenges in your life. Dealing with a disability such as blindness has given you a perspective of the world that few people experience. I’m sure you know first hand the lack of genuine concern and sincerity of people in general. I suspect you likely are able to see past the superficial, nice front that people put up, and are able to more easily pick up on the ugly truth inside.

    I had never thought about the discrimination one might face inside the disabled community, but of course it makes sense. It seems that minorities in particular have a tendency to hold even more extreme views of other minorities due to their own sense of powerlessness and societal injustice. It makes them feel better to know that there is some other group that is worse than they are (which is why racism is such a rampant problem among minority groups).

    You are right… it doesn’t seem like so much to ask to be able to connect with others to support each other, to commiserate with each other, to share dreams, goals, to discuss and debate, to have differences but allow each other the freedom to hold those views, and not allow those differences to destroy the relationship, but to strengthen it instead… How is it so difficult to have such friendships, and find such genuine people?

    I’m glad at least you have your Muslim boyfriend to support you and offer his encouragement. It is heartening to know that he respects your beliefs, and you are still able to grow closer together in your relationship nonetheless. It seems the paths we have chosen (and were born into) have put us on the outside of everyone around us… it can seem very lonely and discouraging at times, but it also keep us aware and more in tune and perceptive to the truth of the world around us. It also helps us to quickly notice and reach out to others who are experiencing hardships and alienation (which is why I chose the particular career path I am in). So while it has its downsides, it certainly has its rewards. I would rather suffer myself than cause others to suffer, and I would rather suffer yet be able to help ease the suffering of others at the same time.

    Don’t give up either, Jamily. I’m grateful that you’re here on my blog, and heartened by your honest and sincere spirit as shown through your comments, and I admire your dedication to God and the search for truth. 🙂

  3. That is a remarkable account, Sakina. I’m struck by the contradictory behavior of family members and your understanding (not acceptance) of it. Your place does sound difficult and I admire your strength and perseverance.

    Ma’asalama.

  4. Wasalaam Saladin,

    That is a good observation – they are quite contradictory in their beliefs and actions. Yet this seems to be a human condition… fortunately Islam has given us the guidance and teachings to help us sort ourselves out and get rid of all that.

    Strength… well, some days I’m certainly lacking in that. Felt pretty overwhelmed last week and ended up just laying on my bed with the covers over my head trying to escape it all… But certainly any strength I have is not from myself, but from God alone. I would be a miserable wreck without His mercy and protection sustaining me.

  5. Hi Sakina,
    There are so many points that I want to echo.
    Yes, racism among minorities is rampid and I don’t understand it, either.
    It seems that in many ways: we have traveled the same path.
    I, too, chose a career which I thought would enable those to live productive lives against the opposition of the majority.
    OK, it was social work.
    I made it sound like I was a civil rights attorney. (smile)
    Sometimes, I would love to fit neatly in a box with likeminded people.
    In Acts, there is a wonderful community of the church that I thought “every Christian” would want to immulate.
    But, I am finding that the closer a community is, the more closed that they are to others.
    And, the more open a community is: it seems, that it is also less cohesive.
    You are right:
    there are times when I want to throw out the entire religion because it is being so distorted by others!
    And, now, it seems that I have to defend Christianity to others and then defend Islam to Christians.
    (GEEsh)
    For all of our technical knowledge, we sure drop the ball when it comes to religions, people and emotions.

    Where are you on facebook? Maybe we can get something going.

    I have / had a best friend who I felt as if she was my true spiritual sister.
    Wen she first found out about our relationship, she said that she supported it, but over time, her true fears came to the surface.
    I know that there are stark differences between Christians and Muslims — especially when it comes to the identity of Christ.
    But, I am amazed at how many people allow their convictions to come in between their relationships.
    It is not “God” that comes in between them.
    It is their convictions. I think that they are afraid that “if” they begin to enjoy your company, they are truly letting in the Devil. Which is pure trash — but, it is what they think.
    They are so afraid of losing their own convictions.
    and, I know because I use to be afraid of losing my convictions….
    not nearly that radically and with what it seems to be hatred.

    On the very day that you wrote your post, she (I’ll call this very best friend J) called me and said that she wanted to begin to build our relationship.
    Now, all is not perfect.
    We stay away from certain subjects.
    And, it is so much easier to break a relationship than it is to build it up.
    It reminded me that relationships are the most fragile things in the world.
    And, my faith struggle has been difficult.
    Your blog is not the place to talk about interfaith issues, but let me tell you that it can sometimes challenge and sometimes affirm the foundation of your beliefs.
    And, I will tell you that my BF has always encouraged me to reach out to them — those narrow minded Christians– because they speak in ignorance.

  6. Hi Jamily,

    I completely agree with you that people may unconsciously shy away from those of us who believe something different because they are afraid that they would be influenced by Satan. I used to feel that way too, but after converting I’ve realized that if your faith is that weak and shaky to be so easily influenced and corrupted, then there must be a problem with your belief system.

    I too find myself defending both sides – having been Christian for the vast majority of my life and now being Muslim for two years, I dislike blanket generalizations on both sides. Life is never that simple, and never starkly black and white. There are a multitude of factors that have to be considered with any issue.

    Apparently I don’t have a private message option on here (I thought I did!), so just send me an email at sakina08 @ live . com (no spaces), and we can talk more specifics regarding Facebook and such there. 🙂

  7. Asalaamu Alaikum

    All the lonely converts…where do they all belong?

    I’ve been muslim for 18 yrs and this never really changes. But the bigger the city the more chances there are to meet muslims who put islam first rather than culture. I’ve yet to move to a big city..sigh. I can’t imagine being muslim for 2 yrs though and not having told my family. That must be a burden for you. I told my family even before I converted. Of course they thought I would be reliving the whole Not Without My Daughter scenario. As for being friends with Catholics, I too have noticed that Catholics can be a lot more welcoming than Protestants especially evangelicals who only want to convert our heathen souls.

    To Jamily I would like to ask if you have read a Quran in braille? Or listened to a tape of the Quran? Also your bf probably didn’t tell you this but boyfriend/girlfriend relationships are forbidden in islam. God willing you will tie the knot soon. 🙂

    • Walaykum salam,

      18 years, mashAllah. Unfortunately it seems a good number of converts are not in large cities and are stuck fending for themselves. How have things been with your family over the years?

      Good idea for Jamily about listening to the Quran instead of reading it! There are also various Islamic programs online that are really interesting; I have one linked on the right side of my blog.

  8. I’m really sorry to read this Sakina! Unfortunately this is such a common problem… E.G. it’s Ramadan in two days and I will more than likely be spending each night alone at home 😦 we need some big reverts association in every town or something. Alhamdulillah for the online community, I don’t know where I’d be without that support.
    Although I know what you mean about family. Mine are hardly religious at all but I keep getting issues from those who were previously the most accepting (working in social services and everything) but I guess the truth comes out after a while alhamdulillah.

    Ramadan Mubarak 🙂

    • Ramadhan Mubarak to you too, Ellen! You are right, we need some kind of revert’s association! I am sorry to hear you will be spending the nights alone during Ramadhan; I will be too more than likely! But, even if we are alone physically, we are not alone in spirit! There are many more of us out there in similar situations, I’m sure. 🙂

      Isn’t it strange how people react sometimes? I think there’s a hadith that talks about how you know the true character of a person when they’re put through a difficult situation – only then can you see the truth of who they really are.

  9. Salam Alaikum again Sakina

    I’m sorry its taken me a few days to respond to your previous comment but you are not any ordinary blogger, mashallah you have very fast and on top of it the quality for which you produce is amazing and very well written, I am very impressed mashallah, keep it up 🙂

    Secondly, since I asked the question about your after conversion and you have told us, thank you for opening up and explaining. I am sure it is not easy to write out what you live but personally I find it very therapeutic and I hope you realize I am sure each person reading this is making a special dua for you that you find eventual peace and harmony with your family and your new life, inshallah, I am for sure!

    I really want to give you some great form of advice or tell you its ok because I know what it feels like, but unfortunately I have nothing like that but I really wish I do. I don’t have many non-muslim/ Christian friends (the ones I do have we aren’t super close and also they are very liberal so religion and these type of things never really come up as issues). I have also never really met many reverts or had a chance to form a friendship with one (since many of the ones I meet are at conferences and very briefly chat and then we go our separate ways to various cities). Friends are hard to come by, especially the older we get in life, but don’t give up! There are a lot of good people out there that Im sure would love to have you in their lives!

    All in all, and it doesn’t seem like it to me, I just hope the hardships you find now with finding new decent friends and the struggles you have with your family, inshallah do not make you feel regret or anything like that for Islam. I have read stories like that, very rare, where reverts regret the choice they made and find it that it doesn’t actually suit their lifestyle, but I think those people were not ready in the beginning. You mashallah seem very strong and steadfast in your path and realize this is just a trial from God, one of many and the rewards to come are worth it inshallah

    As for your family, I hope God helps you and I think that will be the biggest test of your life, in my opinion. I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be apart of and grow up in that sort of lifestyle (but than again I am thinking about it with my muslim mentality so maybe it seems worse than it was/is LOL) but in Islam family (especially the mother and the father) always need to be loved and respected. Of course I don’t mean that you do not love and respect your family but I know from experience sometimes it can be very hard to when your views are so drastically different.
    One bit of advice, and I am sure it is easier said than done, you should do it sooner rather than later. The longer you wait the worse I am sure it will be. And once you tell them it will just give them that much more time to get used to it and most importantly Understand it. After all, if they really know the real Islam, there should not be in hatred, we are all fighting for One God.
    And who knows, maybe one day (inshallah) you will meet a nice muslim brother and you guys will want to get married, at that point I assume you would have to incorporate your family and you wouldn’t want pressure on top of pressure!

    Sorry, most of my comment is irrelevant to your post and on a tangent that I hope you understand! I just want to let you know that you seem like such a sweet and honest person that I wish we can befriend each other in real life. I am always looking for authentic people and these days they are very hard to find. Please do not get discouraged sister, good things are just around the corner, with God, they always are.

    I am guessing you live in the states? Where? I live in Canada.
    Walaikum wasalam,
    hope to hear from you soon!!

    PS: Ramadhan kareem!! Good luck in this blessed month and go to a few different mosques for iftar and hopefully listen to some good lectures. My favourite are Sayed Ammar Nakashwani and also Br. Hasanian Rajabali (who I hope to hear in person this year inshallah). Not sure if you have heard of their lectures but for sure if I weren’t muslim and listen to those 2, I would definitely covert, mashallah! OK, I must get to my suhoor before fajar!!
    Take care sister =)

  10. Sorry, me again!

    I just read this beautiful hadith that I hope will give you some strength and hope for this coming month and the rest of your long months, inshallah

    Prophet Mohamed (pbuh) (in mufatih al jinan)

    “O people! The month of Allãh with its blessings, mercy and forgiveness has come upon you. It is the most preferred of all the months with Allãh; its days are the best of days, its nights are the best of nights, and its hours are the best of hours. It is a month in which you have been invited as guests of Allãh and have been placed among those honoured by Allãh. Your breathing in it is [like] an act of praising [Allãh], your sleep an act of worship; your good deeds are accepted, and your prayers answered. Therefore, ask Allãh with sincere intentions and pure hearts to help you in fasting and recitating His Book during this [month]. Indeed damned is he who is deprived of Allãh’s forgiveness during this august month.

    “O people! The gates of Paradise are wide open during this month; therefore, ask your Lord not to close them in your face and the gates of Hell-Fire are locked; therefore, ask your Lord not to open them for you. Satans are chained; therefore, ask your Lord not to unfetter them upon you.”

    Wasalam

    • Wasalaam sister Linda, and Ramadhan Mubarak to you too!

      MashAllah, I really appreciate the time you took to comment on my blog; I feel very encouraged by your kind and supportive words. It seems that there are many of us out there who are seeking honest and sincere friendships, but are having difficulty finding it. Indeed, our society is not structured around family or deep relationships – it encourages us to constantly and endlessly indulge our selfish desires while sacrificing everything else in life.

      You mentioned that you had met a few reverts previously but that you were unable to establish a lasting connection with them… I wonder if maybe this happens because they are unsure of themselves and are waiting for you to take the lead? I know from my experiences with born Muslims that after trying so hard to get to know them and being rejected, I would be tempted to save my dignity and may take a more passive approach by letting them take the initiative… so I wonder if this is the case?

      You are right, my parents will definitely need to know that I’m Muslim before I have kids (INSHALLAH I really hope so!), and since inshAllah that will not be too far in the future, I will need to try to move toward telling them sometime soon.

      MashAllah, you are so fortunate to be able to hear br. Nakshawani and Hajj Hassanain in person! I listened to Hajj Hassanain a lot before and just after converting – I liked how he frequently discusses Christianity in relation to Islam; it was so helpful for me. I am definitely excited about all the lectures that will be going on this month, and will be eagerly waiting to listen online!

      Thank you for the lovely hadith – I might use it in another post!

      Why don’t you email me (sakina08 @ live . com), and we can talk more specifically there, if you’d like. 🙂

  11. Hi Sakina,
    I’ll email you privately.
    I just saw all of the responses.
    Yes, I agree with those that say that it is difficult to find authentic friendship.
    As for reading the Quran online:
    I had tried reading it before to find both pearls of wisdom and parallels between it and the bible, as well as to explain it to my Christian family — and, of course, understand what Muslims believed. As one in an interfaith relationship, it seems that I am the one explaining what little I know about the Quran because whatever that is, it is more than many Christians know.
    I must admit:
    1. I could not get through much of it by myself
    (I could understand what people said that the Quran said — but, those kinds of studies felt …. unauthentic and interpretative). When I tried looking for what the Quran might say on a specific subject, I just could not find what I was looking for. I have listened to too many Christian radio programs to submit to someone else’s interpretation and I know that there are disagreements — even if there are not as many as those among Christians.
    2. I tried befriending and responding to those “online Muslims” who seemed to be quite scholarly and knowledgeable about the Quran. I never tried to “debate.” But, when they realized that I was not seeking understanding because I wanted to convert, their enthusiasm and emails died to a bear existance with no real substance. Furthermore, I might discretely share something about my life, (in an effort to understand me better and help me understand the Quran in my everyday living context) which would make them feel quite uncomfortable. … … let’s just say that things did not work out.
    and, I also realize that I am a “discusser.” (OK, THAT IS NOT A WORD).
    But, when I read anything, I like to take it apart, analyze it and think on it.
    When I read a book, I think about the characters, analyze them, go over certain parts of the book in my mind, and want to discuss it with others.
    People find this much too overwhelming for them.
    … … especially since I let people know that I am a Christian and have no interest in changing my views about Christ.
    They are not interested in discussing the Quran further.
    But, I might take it up again, as my challenge to understand, when I get my second wind.
    ….
    To Aisha:
    We are talking about marriage at the end of September,
    but there are certain “interfaith obstacles” to tackle.
    When I say: “Boyfriend,” I don’t mean in the normal American sense.

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