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Islam has the highest percentage of conversions. But because of Struggles as a revert Muslim, the percentage of reverts that leave religion are also alarmingly high. It is high time that we as a community make ourselves aware of what these individuals go through. The struggles that reverts have to face and how we, as an ummah can work towards making things better for them. As one revert sister sadly quoted:. You are so great! Like , we are entering a new life, a new way of thinking and perceiving the world. Many assume others are helping us or have become our friends when truthfully, most of us spend our Eids alone and we break our fast alone.
Many of us have never even stepped foot into the house of another Muslim. Majority of reverts are alone in their walk of faith. People undergoing this change in faith, do so for various reasons and they also come from diverse backgrounds, whether relating to nationalities or socio-economic or culture.
Some have community and familial support, while the majority risk losing friends and family in the process. This experience causes a mental as well as physical strain on the individuals and they start to question the decision they made. The hardest part about converting was losing some of the closest people in my life. But now it seems that my struggles are not enough for them. That my problems are nothing.
That my choices mean nothing. I hope my struggles are not in vain. Because I sacrificed all my friends for my faith. I hope Allah helps me through this time. Caroline, Swindon. Most, if not all reverts face this dilemma at some point.
An overwhelming emotional state you will see in any revert group on social media platforms or offline is neither the lifestyle nor the beliefs associated with the change, but it is one of isolation and lack of acceptance. One of the Struggles as a revert Muslim is that they feel stuck between 2 worlds. It is like they are in a limbo of sorts. Some struggle as a revert Muslim to find acceptance from their surroundings as they are viewed as betrayers of their nationality.
Jeremy Henzell Thomas, a freelancer at Emel magazine explains in an interview:. We converts can get it from both sides. From the Muslim side, I have been reminded in various ways that I am a greenhorn, a learner-Muslim, in need of basic education.
Others might have to face rejection from their own families. This is one of the most horrible forms of struggles as a revert Muslim. Christine, an American convert, explains in an interview published online that she prayed in the bathroom or in her room late at night, only put Hijab on when she was away from home and pretended she had become a vegetarian. A huge row ensued with her father hitting her and calling her all the foul names he could think of. The row ended with Christine being thrown out on the street and being told never to come back.
She had nowhere to go. During a time when Islam is portrayed as a religion of violence and backwardness, the Struggles as a revert Muslim are not just learning the ways of the religion. They have to deal with the issues of confronting their families and their society as well. With all the scaremongering and misinformation about Islam that is flooding the media these days, when someone chooses to embrace Islam, it often comes as a great shock to their family. Most often families feel that the revert is no longer the person they used to know and love.
Distorted images of extremists and terrorist groups flood their minds and sometimes they go to extreme measures to make the new Muslims leave this strange new way of life and return to being their old self. When they cannot find support and see extremism around them they get scared and prefer to just go back to being non-muslims. Although the challenge of dealing with the hate and insult that is fuelled by Islamophobic prejudices, is something faced by all Muslims, the struggles as revert Muslim is even more complex.
This is because in a lot of the cases they are facing it from their own families. They are facing it from people they feel they relate to in terms of culture e. And in some cases, for people, who, in the past had already faced prejudice due to their ethnicity, this can be an additional cross for them to bear.
Also, in western countries, once you have converted some changes can have people looking at you strangely. Take for example eating with the fork and knife, in western culture we are taught to do it a certain way. In Islam it is imperative to eat with your right hand, therefore the cutlery switches hands. However, this can be a point of criticism for many revert Muslims, as it takes them time to learn to do is the Islamic way but at the same time not only will they be frowned up by non-muslims, but they will also be made to feel very uncomfortable and alienated by people that were ly their friends and family.
So these struggles as a revert Muslims disheartens and changes them back to how they originally were. While the new Muslim is all geared up to devour all information regarding Islam, it is no doubt, sometimes confusing, with the sheer volume and variety of sources available, so many opinions, and so many Quranic verses and ahadith to back up all these opinions! These struggles as a revert Muslim can be difficult. Especially when you are learning and are not quite sure what is an opinion and what is a fact, this can be quite overwhelming.
It becomes difficult to know where to start, where to look and whom to turn to. Add to that the highly opinionated and often highly pitched voices of the right and the left wings, i. Each claiming that their version of Islam is the right one. Another new Muslim sister recalls. Often, we are told this is haram, that is haram, you need to stop doing that. Yet, the earliest Muslims focused on aqeedah before legislation, so why are we expected to become an Islamic scholar overnight? We are told on the left that we are too strict and we are told on the right that we are not strict enough.
It becomes even more difficult. We are searching for where we belong, but the truth is we are strangers in this world. Strangers in our western society where we grew up and strangers in the Muslim community because we are different. Listening to the fervent pleas of this sister one can only imagine the plight of a person facing this conundrum.
A lot of people tend to ask revert Muslims how they managed to wear the hijab and where did they get the confidence. One woman says:. There are days that I feel insecure and self-conscious, even after wearing it for 5 years. Hijab is not easy, especially in a society that reminds us of VERY different beauty standards.
Hijab is probably one of the biggest struggles as a revert Muslim. You have to constantly remember the reward is much bigger than this Dunya. Your strength and your pride are much greater than this society. Allah knows your struggle and your intentions. It is so important to surround yourself with positive people who remind you of your creator, try new styles and colours that make you feel comfortable and make lots and lots of dua.
May Allah make it easy on all of us. When I reverted to Islam, wearing the Hijab was easy for me. Because I knew I was submitting my will and worship to Allah subhanna wa tala. Wearing hijab is not just covering my hair. Its covering all my beauty, I stopped wearing makeup outside unless my face was covered. New Muslim sisters cringe at the slew of questions that are thrown at them. The most common being that they changed their faith to get married. Hailing from a past devoid of Islamic belief and its practice, they are sometimes avoided warily by born-Muslim immigrant families in their area that is seeking suitors for their adult and single offspring.
When they do marry someone from a born Muslim family, it is with expectations of them sharing, if not exceeding, their own passion and zeal for Islam. But sometimes the indifference of Muslims towards the religion of their birth is a shock for the new Muslim. A lot of new Muslim sisters enter an intercultural marriage without realising the expectations of their husband or the immediate family will have. These struggles as a revert Muslims are often looked.
Unfortunately, they will then feel isolated within the family. The result of this is that many women end up leaving Islam after having terrible experiences in bad marriages where they were disrespected, controlled, or even abused. And if the new Muslim is fortunate enough, or should we say, unfortunately to be accepted by the pack, the leader, then tries to impose his own culture which is mistaken for Islam by the unsuspecting newbie. Many sisters especially feel inadequate as Muslim women because of this, which even though being completely wrong is no less existent.
Too Much Too Soon…. From starting to pray five times a day, to wear the hijab, making lifestyle changes about food and dress, getting away from music and avoiding a certain type of friends, trying to follow every single rule in Islam. These struggles as a revert Muslim become painful. But without a strong foundation, even the tallest buildings can crumble to the ground. What happens is that without a solid footing in faith, very soon these same acts feel like a burden. Yes, reverts need to be incorporated into the wider Islamic community for integration, however, they need to take a step back and take stock of how they will incorporate their own former cultural practices into their new Islamic framework.
This will help them to not only hold onto the identity they have been living with for most of their lives but in turn, they can be a source of positive influence on the Muslim ummah as a whole. Wallah there are so many struggles that come with being a revert. But honestly, sometimes I love it. Striving for and holding onto Allah through it all is an amazing feeling. Because I have all that I need. Because I have Allah swt. He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise. As a new Muslim, you will have trouble keeping up with prayers every day, fasting during Ramadan, and the many other practices in this religion.
The struggle that we face, is difficult and will take some time.Muslim reverts marriage
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