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How to Start a Journey to Hijabee Nation?

Masha’allah, a beautiful guide for our sisters in islam…

Between Sisters, SVP!

“O children of Adam, We have brought down to you garments to cover your private parts, as well as for adornment, yet the garment of reverence is the best. These are some of God’s signs, perhaps they will remember.” 7:26

Do you want to wear Hijab but you feel like it will scare people in your surroundings?
Do you want to wear Hijab but you feel like it will prevent you from being appreciated?
And the list goes on…We have several excuses that prevent us from wearing it.

To be honest, I think it is our nafs that help us rationalize our actions. I have learned over and over again, that if you truly want something deep in your heart that is halal, Allah (SWT) will open doors for you to achieve it. This philosophy applies to anything in life, not just religious matters.

If you work in a non-Muslim…

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my journey as a revert muslimah

After my Shahadah….

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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…

 

 

 

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Eid For A Revert

beautifully portrayed emotions of a revert..!

The Revert Miyabhai

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

So this year will be my second Ramadan inshaAllah and it is near enough to make me feel what I am feeling right now. But alhamdulilah ala kulli haal. For indeed with hardship comes ease, Indeed with hardship comes ease [94:5-6]

As Ramadan approacheseid moon

my anticipation has a company.

I smile at the blessed month of joy

but dread the sinking feeling

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my journey as a revert muslimah

How I Reverted..

If  I had to mention the date I reverted and said my Shahadah, I would say June, 2006. But if I had to mention the day I started feeling muslim, I know it came much later. Years later!.

Being born in a Hindu household, I was brought up to believe in 33,000 crore deities! Yes, 33,000 crore! That’s like ten zeroes after 33 🙂 My mother is a very religious person and perhaps that’s why I feel the most scared of revealing my faith to her. It would perhaps hurt her, confuse her and she might feel betrayed. My father on the other hand is a more spiritual person. He believes in one God and goodness. His life has been spent to walk on a righteous path against corruption, dishonesty and wrongfulness of this world. One day I hope I am able to show them the truth behind my faith, revert them to Islam and go for Hajj with them Insha’Allah. In spite of their beliefs, I know they have loved me a lot, brought me up as an upright individual, given me education and freedom to choose my way into this world and accepted me with all my flaws. I know they are good people and I have been blessed to have them. Alhamdulillah.

A friend of mine introduced me to religion. I feel sorry to say that I was amongst the people who carried a lot of misconceptions about Islam and muslims. I could never understand the reason why muslims were so steadfast in their prayers and clothing. I lacked knowledge about the concept of Jihad and the piety of the religion. My classmates were mostly non-muslims and I personally never took it very seriously to take interest in Islam. However, when I came across Zahrah, she was the first muslim whom I actually befriended in school and she seemed perfectly normal to me! 🙂

There was this instant urge to ask her all the questions I had in my mind. One question led to another and I perhaps never realised when I was attracted to Islam. One ayah after the other which she put forth me made me realise that every word was so true. Every verse seemed to be a new revelation. It started staying in my mind. 33,000 crore deities actually made no sense to me suddenly! Why should I attribute a specific power to each of these deities when the is One entity to possesses all of them.. Imagining the greatness of this One entity got me in awe of Him.

For many days I kept ignoring this voice inside me. Perhaps I could not accept this change inside me myself. Perhaps I was scared of it, or maybe the world. I was scared of practicing it, the obligations as I would see them to be…

I had to accept it one day. How long could I be neglecting this fact? One day, as I was speaking to her about religion, she happened to ask me very casually. -“do you believe in One God?” -“yeah” -“do you think He can be given these forms?” -“nope” -“You believe Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam) to be His last messenger” -“Yes. No doubt” She was chuckling! It was as if I stepped into this circle of faith I didn’t even know. She told me what they tell this in arabic, i.e the first kalma and I repeated. Isn’t that what I said in english a few moments back? So 29th June it was. In Allah( swt) and his messenger (saw) is what my faith abides by. I gave my Shahadah. At the moment, it felt as if this was the right thing to do. At the same time it felt scary. I was into a deen about which I knew not a word. I had to learn about it from step one! I did not know about the pillars, I did not know what they meant and I did not know how I would abide by it. For the time I wasn’t even sure how I would carry on with it.

Internet connection back then was not as good as it is today. So my material was limited to what I got from my friend. She taught me the importance of Salah. With the help of internet, alhamdulillah today I have figured out step by step the various aspects of Salah. I still feel my salah is not perfect. How I learnt about Salah and my process of improving upon it is something I shall deal with later.

I remember praying my first Salah in a mid-length skirt! I was yet to learn about islamic clothing 🙂 I remember the horror when my mother caught me the first time praying draping a dupatta around my head that I stole from her wardrobe, with a bedsheet being used as a musallah.  I remember the fear when she broke this news before my father one day when she and I were having an argument and the troubles of skipping lunch secretly during the month of Ramadan! 🙂 All that said and done, it was until 3 years, after which I left home to join college.

Since then there has been no looking back. I would not say i became a completely practicing muslimah since then, but my faith certainly never deviated. I knew being a muslim is the right thing to be. In the years that passed my knowledge grew and my confidence on One God grew stronger. Indeed I had many questions about many religions. There had to be at least one more religion speaking rightly about God! How is it that the Qur’an and only the Qur’an speaks so firmly about it? There have been a lot of ups and downs which taught me many things down the line. I have been good, bad, failed and attained success as a muslimah at various points in the last 8 years and I am still improving. It was not until a few months back that I truly became passionate about it. I don’t know whether that day truly was my shahadah day. Certain things are best left to Allah. Even today very few people (4 to be precise) know about my reversion. I am still waiting to openly practice it and Insha’Allah I see that day coming soon.

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my journey as a revert muslimah

The first step…

As salaamu ‘alai kum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

I live in India. Born an brought up in a small city in India, I lived there for almost 18 years of my life after which I moved to Bangalore for graduation. I started developing interest and having some knowledge about Islam since the last seven years. My knowledge about Islam since then was limited to the five pillars of Islam. Nevertheless, I was not steadfast in prayers or islamic on a daily life basis. Though in my heart I knew that there is indeed only one God, I somehow never thought of Him to be Allah.

During the time I was away from my family, I came in touch with a Quran teacher, “apa” as I fondly address her and Alhamdulillah over 4 years I gained a lot of knowledge about Islam, reading the Quran shareef, Kalima, hadiths, duas etc. I never revealed my non-muslim background to her as well. I had the fear that she would not accept. That was my ignorance. I knew no muslim 4 years back and had no idea how welcoming this community could be. My relationship with apa was beautiful but even as I left, I could never gather the courage to leave by telling her the truth.

Things changed over the last two months.

Circumstances become tougher than usual. College got over, friends were gone and a new phase struck. Suddenly life did not seem the “fun” and “easy” as it used to before. I started reading about God in my free time and all I had was free time! I read more about Islam as well as other religions too and alhamdulillah my heart softened even more towards Islam. My heart accepted it as the truth and absolute truth. I turned to Allah (swt) for solace and help. I realised I did not have many muslim friends. I had never made an effort to. My urge to be an active part of the Ummah rose. I started practicing sincerely, praying regularly Alhamdulillah! and before I realised I was praying five times a day! However, my heart ached to have one muslim friend. The knowledge and interest I gained in the last 2 months made me realise how much I lacked. I wanted to disclose my experiences, the emotions I went through as and when I read each new Hadith, as and when I read a new ayah discovering the mercy of Allah (aw) on me. I wanted to share my joys everytime I saw a you-tube video explaining me to be patient, telling me about the laws and aspects of the beautiful religion that I chose and how as days passed I felt consoled by Allah (swt) and how my Salahs are still healing me gradually Alhamdulillah.

Internet has always been my prime source of knowledge for Islam. I started looking for online Indian communities which would help me, where I could find a sister muslimah to be my companion, where I could miraculously find a muslimah gathering or family events to socialise but to my utter dismay even after searching hard for weeks altogether I failed to find even one such community or platform for me to increase my islamic social circle. There are helplines and websites for this purpose all around the UK and the USA but I could not find such platform in India where I could go and meet some muslims. 

This Ramadan has been lonely. Waking up alone for Sehri, Opening fasts alone at Iftar. For men perhaps it’s easier. They have masjids to go to where they may meet fellow muslims and may approach them. Such however is not the case for women in India. There are no masjids for women and thus I am helpless in this matter too as I am confined to praying at home. 

This made me realise, there are perhaps other muslimahs around in my country who face the same issues. Therefore, i decided to start my blog as an invitation to the Prophet’s(saw) ummah in India, especially reverts to interact and seek all sorts of help, communication etc. If anyone out there wishes to talk, share an emotion, an problem regarding reversion, interact in any way you must feel free to message/ comment on my post and I will Insha’Allah get back to you. I wish to provide a platform where reverts may interact with the ummah and feel a part of it. Hence, I request fellow muslims/ muslimahs to extend their hand for this humanitarian purpose. The mission might seem not so important, but for a revert more than gaining knowledge, lack of support and solace becomes more painful while walking on the path of our deen. 

In this Blog, I shall be slowly dealing with the my journey into Islam, how my life changed, how I decided to take a step forward and come closer to my deen, what problems do I face on a daily basis as a revert and whether is tougher to be a revert in India.

Please do feel a part of this cause and make efforts to interact and lend a ear to your fellow mates. Insha’Allah we shall save many reverts from spending a lonely life ahead and let them know that we are there whenever they feel helpless and short of a friend.

Please remember me in your prayers. Jazakallah Khair

Walekum Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

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