Monday, August 14, 2017

Life Updates : Chapter Three - Life as a Convert (Revert)




The best of cures for sadness is to know that one cannot bring back what he has missed and that by being sad, one is just adding a misfortune to an already existing misfortune, thus making it two misfortunes. Ibn al Jawzi in Disciplining the soul Pg.70 (via hassan-ibn-abdul-qadir)



I guess since my most recent posts, I have been able to find some solace in expressing myself through writing and sharing with others my struggles. Even though nobody has really reached out to me (except for my friends who I know personally), it feels comforting to know that somebody..anybody...somewhere in the world can understand my pain and can relate one way or another. It is nice to know that I am not alone, even though I feel very alone with my thoughts and with what I am going through, I know that somewhere close to home, there is someone going through difficult times and struggling to stay positive each and every day.


My life as a convert has definitely not been an easy one. In fact, I have experienced more hardships and difficulties while I became Muslim compared to my life when I was a non-Muslim. Life as a non-Muslim was so much easier! I could drink away my problems, I could listen to music to drown the negative thoughts, I could easily go and party away the night just to forget about things until the next day! I basically drowned myself with distractions to help me get over life and all it's problems temporarily. But now, now I can't do things like that because when I reflect on how that toxic lifestyle made me feel and how it brought me nowhere in life but down, I realize that detrimental lifestyle was slowly killing my life within. I made rash decisions, I had no morals and values and I treated life like a game. 

But now, now I am faced with reality. Life has pushed itself in front of my face and it won't move. I am face to face with life and I can't push it away with this or that. I must deal with it in a way that I am not used to. I must deal with it in a way that I am not sure how because before Islam, I only knew one way, and that was the easy way out. I would follow the exit sign and just run, run, run.

Today, I can't do that. I made a conscious choice in my life and I dedicated myself to those choices . I made a commitment and though I have had problems committing to many things in the past, this I knew was something different. This was a commitment that I needed in my life and it was something I knew would benefit me in the long hull. Islam is a commitment for a better life, a better me.  I will be honest with myself though, during hardships, it is hard to see beyond my distorted vision of reality that Islam is meant to help me get through my life's biggest challenges. Sometimes I feel like things are only getting worse and not better even though I strive and I strive and I try to fulfill my obligations as a Muslimah. I wonder and I think "is all this pain and suffering even worth it?" I know some who read this will not understand and I know others who read this will understand because after all, we are human. I guess things have to get worse before they get better right? That is how we learn and grow in life.

I feel exhausted , honestly, I am so tired. Sometimes when things just don't get better, you start to become discouraged. I feel like my life is very stagnant right now and I am feeling frustrated. I don't know if it is because I keep expecting change to come soon - happy change. Maybe because I expect something in a certain time frame and when nothing happens, I become disappointed. I then remember that everything happens when Allah wants it to. As hard as it is to accept, this is something I have to really believe and understand. When I try to look at the big picture, I think to myself - "hey, it has only been nearly two years right? It is not THAT long!" but then I think about my situation and who I am living with and how even one month living here feels like an eternity. Though time has gone by so fast subhana'Allah, it feels like it has stood still.

My 2011 new Muslim self would have told my current Muslim self that I should utilize all this time to learn and read and watch lectures and attend dars and spend every sleeping, waking moment studying and learning about the deen. But my current Muslim self would have told my then 2011 new Muslim self that you are going to end up burning yourself out and everything will become a burden to you. This did happen and I am just starting to learn how to balance the deen in a moderate manner. 

It is also hard for me to listen to lectures while living with my non-Muslim parents because the dynamics of our relationship will just cause more speculations and assumptions with my deen and I don't have a close enough relationship where I could explain to them "see I am now listening to a lecture about patience and gratitude." There are many things I struggle with while living at home . I am constantly surrounded by endless backbiting and gossiping. I am constantly surrounded by negativity and blame. Things that come easily to most Muslims, are extremely foreign to my parents and explaining things to them will just probably end up in an argument or they just won't understand. Maybe it is the language barrier, or maybe they just hear what I say but don't actually listen. My ears have become immune to music because they love to watch things with music and Chinese singing competitions (lol). Alhamdulillah at least I don't understand what the songs say but shaytan loves these kinds of fasiq things so it just is an open invitation always for the shaytan! I mean even in a Muslim household the shaytan wants to creep up uninvited, so you can only imagine living with non-Muslim parents who have tons of idols and photos everywhere! 

I keep to my room the majority of the time and I choose my conversations wisely because that is the kind of relationship I have with my parents - a surface one. There are tons of unresolved issues and grudges that brew deep down inside of them and myself so that is why it is such a toxic environment if I surround myself too much with them. Many people have suggested that I try this and that or do such and such but I have certain guidelines and restrictions that I choose to place on myself because I know what kind of fitnah those other options could bring therefore I do not want to resort to them and basically I have to outweigh my pros and cons. So I am stuck here and this is my life living with non-Muslim parents. 

This is what a lot of converts go through. We are stuck with our parents and if they don't oppress us with our religion, they oppress us in one way or another. Most have to endure humiliation, constant opposition and some are even kicked out of their homes with nowhere to go. Is there support from the community? From what I have noticed, not really. We really need to reach out to the new Muslims and even the born Muslims. It is just a matter of time until people start leaving Islam, and many are already choosing that path, Muslim converts and born Muslims! How scary is that thought? But can you blame them? Many convert to Islam, hoping to be welcomed into the community but only to be judged, abandoned and disregarded! How do you expect anyone to hold onto the deen when there is absolutely no support aside from the congrats and the hugs they receive after they proclaim their faith to Allah?! 

Everyone is too focused on themselves and their own problems- which is understandable to some degree. But this is unacceptable and since I have lived here I noticed that a lot of people are so self- centered (even if they don't do it intentionally) and they will initially be concerned with how you are doing, but then they just end up being busy with life and they forget about you. Of course alhamdulillah there ARE some sisters who really make that effort and they do go above and beyond and alhamdulillah Allah has blessed me with some. But for other converts, they have nobody. They really are all alone and they have no support whatsoever. So how can we blame them and judge them when we find out they left Islam? Please reach out to those new Muslims in your area, not only will you have relief on the day of judgment for relieving one of your sisters in Islam in the dunya, but you will also carry the reward of any good deeds that they do! 

“A Muslim is a brother of (another) Muslim, he neither wrongs him nor does hand him over to one who does him wrong. If anyone fulfills his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfill his needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his troubles on the Day of Resurrection…” [Bukhari and Muslim].


“Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward. ( Sahih Muslim 1893)

Life I tell ya, it is so exhausting. I'm still on this journey and every day I am constantly reminded of just how frustrating, tiring, and annoying this dunya is. Nothing will ever go the way I want it to and things never last - even though at this very moment, this pain and frustration feels like it will never go away. But I know that sadness, depression , happiness,  joy,  etc.. all those things come and go. Even though I am constantly experiencing only sadness and frustration, I guess some day, I will finally experience happiness and joy ...because that is what Allah promises right? 

Some days are better than others and some days I just choose to bury these feelings inside of me deep somewhere within. I feel like these feelings will never disappear, they just become numb and forgotten for short periods of time- well better than nothing right? I'm trying to stay positive. I have stopped expecting people to be there for me and even though I have friends who try their best to be supportive and encouraging, at the end of the day they have their own family and their own problems to deal with. They are not always there when I really need them- and I have accepted this and that is just part of life. It just proves to us that the only One who will always be with us no matter what is Allah. 

As for now, this journey is mine and mine alone and even though I feel like nobody will ever know how I feel and what I am going through except for myself (because our hardships are our own and nobody really will ever understand), I know that Allah is the only one who knows what is going on in my heart, my head and He knows my situation because He put me in it in the first place. Even though I may not feel that Allah is with me at times, I know deep down that I must continue to believe and hold on and if He put me in it, He will get me through and out of it (insha'Allah)....as hard as that is to believe right now.  I must remember that commitment I made to myself and how I could choose the easy way out which would cause more harm in this life and the next or I could choose the hard way through which will hopefully bring about happiness and joy in this life and the next. 

Which one would you choose?

2 comments:

  1. ^ I feel like reading this was such a trigger for me in so many ways. I didnt feel like I could fully and entirely relate to your experience because mine is just different. However, there were points in the post where I feel like you really touched sore spots.Like a part of me feels a bit emotional even writing this because theres so much to say and explain but i dont have enough words. It's like i could feel your pain because deep down it's also my own.Certain aspects of this post are touchy for me , like the lack of support from the community and having to be patient. I think my issue with patience isn't even being patient , it's actually waiting on a favourable decree from Alllah subhan wa ta ala when i feel like i dont deserve it. It's waiting whilst making mistakes and falling in to sin. It's waiting for mercy because you feel like you dont truly deserve what you are asking for. Speaking of old attatchments from a previous way of like touches me also because sometimes i feel i am trapped in a hamster wheel. It's this feeling of having had a taste of the sweet poison and always coming back for more. I mean it's sweet but its still poison , right ? Taking the bait and then suffering the repercussions then feeling stupid because you knew the outcome before you even did it. Knowing something is bad for you but always coming back to the same thing.Such a raw post! ***

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    1. assalamualaikum! Thank you for your insightful deep reflection. I am glad that you could also relate to my post to some degree. May Allah give you the best in this life and the next ameen! Thank you for stopping by!

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Assalamualaikum, please be mindful about what you are about to write. Think about it before writing and make sure it is something positive and beneficial, otherwise it will be deleted and ignored. JazakiAllah kheyr ! Sisters ONLY! xo