Not Enough Effort?

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.

Peace!

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5 thoughts on “Not Enough Effort?

  1. My mother (a convert herself) says, “Dear sis, whoever told you that doesn’t know what day Allah implanted you in your mother’s womb, is unlikely to know the day you were born, and does not know the day on which you will shuffle off this mortal coil. Nor does he know the date of HIS implantation or death. But Allah knows all of these dates in the lives of each of His 6 or 7 billion current human inhabitants of the planet. I feel that most people from Muslim homes are from such homes because Allah knows they wouldn’t have the tawfeeq to find their way back to the straight path. Could this person even manage to change his TYPE of Islam as well as you have managed the transition from another religion entirely? Could he really navigate being a naqshabandi Sufi, an Alawi, or any other strain of Islam than the one he was raised with? He has no idea what he’s talking about, or what your struggles have been.”

    And I’d like to add, on the subject of wasted time as a Muslim: has HE made the most of the Muslim upbringing Allah blessed him with? Is he building on the works of such scholars as Ghazali and Abu Hanifah? Or is he too busy auditing YOUR devotion to your Creator to develop his own?

    • Masha’Allah! That has to be the most beautiful thing anyone has every said to me! Sister, Jazakhallah Khairan and please pass on a big Jazakhallah khairan to your mother. Completely lifted my spirit! May I blog your mother’s qoute? It’s a great inspiration for a revert (at least that’s what I feel :)).

  2. Don’t listen to all the negative things people have to say, no one has a right to judge another (especially Muslims). Allah knows what’s in your heart and your intentions for everything you do, just put your faith in Him and Inshallah He’ll make things easy for you. 🙂

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