I am not much of a blogger. In fact, signing up for a blog has made me more of a reader than writer! And as I read, I come across so many beautiful posts that I end up spending hours just reading one post after the other. The last few days, I actually sat back and thought about my life after I reverted. How Islam affected my life. In the recent past, say since about two months or so, I have had a very negative take on life. I am not a negative person per se. In fact, I am more of a positive, happy go lucky kind of person and a little funny too. After graduation however, this low phase struck and job-struggles, loneliness issues, low self-esteem etc. suddenly came up. In fact, I started this blog with the intention of venting all the frustrations I had piled up in my heart! Yes, that means I intended to do a lot of drama which I guess I am not in a mood to do anymore! 🙂 Blogging definitely has made me a happier person. Now I am thankful that I did not post a blog cribbing about “how my life has been sooooo difficult ever since I converted”, because hey! it has not been difficult! 🙂 Dicey yes, but difficult? NO!
My reversion has never been open to public. I have always been a muslimah in secret. Fortunately, I was brought up by my parents to be a righteous person and thus seeping into the religion emotionally was not difficult for me as a person. Honesty, simplicity, charity, kindness, hardwork, modesty were virtues which Alhamdulillah my parents practiced even as Hindus.
Perhaps because I never revealed my reversion, I have faced an easy acceptance amongst people. I do not know if revealing it would have had any adverse affect or whether it would have made practicing easier. I was not very steadfast in my prayers until a few months back. I constantly feared my mom catching me red-handed and then facing her wrath. I was thus normal in the exterior as any other person around me. However, I was very ignorant. That was the biggest mistake I did- to not seek knowledge after Shahadah. I just wanted to be accepted and I had that.
Years passed smoothly. I enrolled myself for graduation and left home soon after. I was now living with a new set of girls from all over India and managing my life on my own in a new city. It was all a new experience. Islam did attract me with its concept of monotheism. I, as every person, knew that there is One God. However, I did not see the need to be a muslim to believe in that. Initially, I would read and learn various things from internet. However, in my head I believed any person believing in oneness of God and that the Prophet (salallahu alayhi wasallam) is the last messenger, is a fine muslim. Praying, fasting, charity etc. were just external expression in Islam too, as they are in my birth religion. I did not count is as complete submission to the will of God. Sometimes, when I wanted to connect to God, I knew I never felt it standing before idols and joining hands. I knew, God is a lot more than just human caricature. Sometimes, I even tried connecting through salah. There were days I would pray all five and there were months that I wouldn’t pray at all.
However, its not all negative. Islam did have its positive impacts in my life. The more I read, the more I connected with its principles. Indeed, it is true that it is a religion of the fitrah. It does have a big role in shaping me into the person that I am today. There were days when I faced bullying, some peer pressure. Many a times I was mocked for being dressed unfashionably, for being too old-fashioned or un-cool! They tried to coax me to just try alcohol or join them for a party or how lovely I would look in that pretty dress! It was easy to just do it and escape the eyes of my parents. The only thing that ALWAYS stopped me was “how will I ever face God (swt) if I do it?” . I became a stronger and better person. I was happy because I discovered patience and self-control within me Alhamdulillah. The best part was I could fast for the entire month of Ramadan since my mother was not sitting with me everyday for lunch! This went on for two years until a time actually came when I was virtually friend-less in college. At that point it did seem difficult. However, suddenly in the third year things changed for the better.
I befriended an alima during these years. How I met her is another story altogether. Alhamdulillah, slowly with time I learnt some arabic from her and a lot about the ‘real islam’. She “apa” , loved me immensely. Nevertheless, I learnt the maximum about Islam from here. Since then it has been an on-off ride. My faith grew stronger and I started enjoying learning. Prayers however, were not regular yet. It was within this phase, I don’t know when, that Islam made its way into my heart. I just knew that Qur’an is nothing but the truth. Everything that I learnt from Quran and Sunnah satisfied my logic. I don’t know why people were so strayed. It always amazes me how Allah directly addresses you in the Noble Qur’an.
I met two of my dearest friends in these years who were nice and kind to me and accepted me as I am. Rather, they were a lot like me in many aspects and were appreciative of me. I was more confident than I was before. Everything seemed to be going on smoothly, I was now happy but not content. I was reading the Quran almost daily now. I knew salah was important and I knew it was wrong. I consoled myself with “Allah will understand, he wll forgive” …
My struggles with Salah continued and my knowledge kept increasing with the advent of smartphones, fast internet and access to a lot of books Alhamdulillah. In my final year, I moved to a new place and it was a single room! 🙂 My knowledge was much better by then. Alhamdulillah, I could see the difference between real Islam and reel Islam. Yet, I never considered being a muslim in public. Perhaps, I was a muslim but I didn’t want to tell myself that I am one.
There were times I wish I was born into a muslim family because trying to get acceptance was something I was trying too hard to have. To have an explanation for questions like why I reverted? what future do I have in this religion? Am I going to walk alone all my life without a family? seem difficult. I do not have these answers myself. I am 23 now and do not personally know any muslim family. It does scare me of being lonely, unmarried and timid in future but I certainly cannot ruin my present thinking about my future.
This phase too passed. I went home after I graduated. Things weren’t as good and topped with cherries. In despair, I somehow found myself turning to Allah. I did not want to pretend anymore. I needed God to fall back upon and indeed Allah is the best disposer of affairs. This time I made up my mind not to let my prayers go. Alhamdulillah, I have held on all five salahs ever since. I realized that if you want, if you try, Allah swt does provide you with the means. Somehow, in one way or the other I always ended up finding an opportunity to pray even at home. Either my mom would go out to a neighbour’s place, or she would be too busy cooking or watching the television, or she would be sleeping or doing something at that point due to which she wouldn’t come to my room whilst I was praying! I found it amusing and started feeling the mercies of Allah swt in my life. It makes me smile, how He made me a better muslimah slowly and steadily, He gave me chances after chances where I tried and failed and tried again to be steadfast.
Difficult times did come intermediately, but I learnt to find solace in the right place. My salahs came to my rescue. I am still waiting for my Duas to get answered. Some have and some are due 🙂 Insha’Allah. I still get impatient at times due to which I doubt my honesty with Him but the next time I go to pray, all my doubts get cleared. Those are my best minutes everyday Alhamdulillah.
I left home again a month back to search for a job and stayed at my close friend- Sharron’s place. Ramadan was about to start and I did not wish to miss even a single salah anymore. Thus, preparing myself to face scorn, I told her that I wish to practice Islam and pray every day. To my utmost happiness all she said was “do whatever makes you happy :-)”.. She supported me in every way and it just made it easier for me.
I am set to start working at a small office. It is a small start but I have big hopes. I plan to adorn hijab now that I recently learnt that it is compulsary in Islam. Apprehensions have again crept up of wearing it in office, or finding a place and opportunity to pray there but this time I have decided not to wait for acceptability. I will simply wear it and go, I will simply start praying my Zuhr and Asr from the first day In shaa Allah.
I hope I have the courage to do it in my office. I hope i meet good people there and I hope I become a better person in that office. It is a slightly dicey phase but I will still stand by the fact that nothing has been difficult Alhamdulillah. There are people who are in deep troubles and I have been blessed to have a life that I have Alhamdulillah!
Please remember me in your prayers so that I continue to grow and become a better muslimah each day…