Today I got told that as a revert I haven’t made enough effort to be as Muslim as I can be. The moment these words were uttered the only thing that resonated in my head was “How could you possibly know how much effort I put in?!”. I know I’m not perfect and yes you are right, I could have done so much more in the years that have passed by since I reverted. I should have done a lot more. But as a Muslim who has had the blessing and privilege of being born and bred in an Islamic environment, would you have any idea what a revert goes through?
I’m not saying it’s a huge process and making it out to be a special thing, but merely pointing out that it’s not as simple as most people think. Everyone thinks, you say the Shahada, you learn to pray, you learn to recite, you learn the hadith, you learn to dress, you learn everything Islamic and you are done. Perfect! Do they stop to think about the psychological aspects of reverting? The social aspects? Do they think about losing all your friends and family? Changing all your behaviour? The fear of not being accepted by both sides? The rejection you face day in and day out by everyone (irrespective of their understanding)? The fear of choosing to dress a particular way?
Do they think about the balancing act that a person has to engage in to change everything they were thought and made to believe since they were born? Do they think about the crisis of faith you end up with? The fear that you might lose yourself and revert back? The tests Allah brings to you which make you question what you are doing over and over again? Why are these things not considered?!
These events hurt me and anger me. I don’t expect sympathy from anyone. All I ask is a little bit of understanding. I have to ask myself a 100 times about the 100 different situations that might arise if I’m caught. I don’t get the choice to wear an abaya and walk out of the house, Hijab is difficult for me, it comes with many looks, stares, arguments, and oppression. I don’t get the choice to just go to a Madarasa and learn to recite, if your a female, chances are you will be looked down upon by the other women (because you dress different, talk different, have different goals in life). I mean, Come on! I don’t even get to go to a mosque ladies prayer area without being cornered and looked at like I’m filthy! You say it’s just culture and not Islam, well then when are we planning on changing that?!
All this might just be me overeating to one sentence said by a man who doesn’t know me or my situation at all. My point is, if he didn’t know me well enough, then he shouldn’t have passed judgement on me. And if he felt that he really did need to judge me, he should have chose to help instead of make me feel bad about myself.
Almost every Muslim I meet has a 100 different things to say about me and what I lack, but no one seems to be actually able to help me. If you can’t help, maybe you shouldn’t say anything at all.
Excuse the venting. I’m frustrated, hurt and tiered. Flood gates are holding in my tears but I don’t know for how long. It just (for lack of a better word) sucks how everything I have done in these past years to get close to Allah is ignored while a few things which I haven’t done are used to judge me.