I relay the below events that took place as experiences I have personally gone through. It had been quite some time since they happened so I am comfortable in talking about them now. I haven’t really got any closure on it but I don’t think I care to either. I have merely written it off as events that helped me become stronger, and events that helped me grow closer to Allah (SWT). I do not write out of anger, hate or revenge. I am merely telling my story. I would also like to point out that an apple tree will have only few bad apples, the rest will be sweet. Through my struggles I have met many amazingly beautiful and kind Muslim brothers and sisters, unfortunately you sometimes meet some not so nice ones too. I am not saying this is how every Muslim in Sri Lanka would react, nor am I saying this is what Sri Lankan Muslims do. It’s just one of those unfortunate things that happened to me and I hope it doesn’t happen to any of my fellow reverts. I pray to Allah that no one has to deal with such problems and that they find acceptance from their respective community easily, Ameen.
When my husband and I attempted to get married, we were met with a lot of objection. Now anyone would think the objection would come from my side of the family since I am the one changing (as they see it) but strangely enough it was from my husbands side of the family. They focused on labels such as “sinhalese” and blood lines rather than what we are thought in Islam. Sadly the whispers of gossip was a greater concern from them compared to the merit Allah has promised those who help spread Islam. So what happened? My husband was given no chance to explain himself or justify his desire to marry a revert. Since he was not given an option my husband reluctantly decided to leave home in order to do what he felt was right. So he left home and we got married. Obviously his family was angry, but Allah granted me my wish of having my family support me. To this day my husband repeats his motto that he would rather disobey his parents than disobey Allah. He felt if he did what was right by Allah, all would be alright eventually, and alhamdulillah it has been.
While this event can be fitted in to one paragraph, it lasted for over 2 months. There were threats on my husband’s life and the friends who supported us. I was called many insulting things, my family had to endure many false rumours about me and I honestly did fear about our future. But we both remained steadfast in our worship of Allah and did our best to consult Him in every decision we took. One year down the lane, here we are, by Allah’s mercy, doing fine.
Sadly this whole experience left me numb towards my Muslim community. I felt let down by my in laws. I didn’t do anything wrong to them, I didn’t ask anything of them, and I didn’t agree to my husbands decision to leave home but since he insisted, I supported him. And yet, I was called many things and every motive of mine was questioned. Why did I come to Islam? Why was I getting married? What had I done? How much did I want? so on and so forth. I was made to feel like an outsider, I was pushed aside and told I wasn’t good enough to marry someone who had been a Muslim his whole life. I was told reverts do not equal to a real Muslim, I was told I wasn’t as good as their daughters, I was treated like I wasn’t a human with feelings, parents, dreams or aspirations. I swear, I don’t think I have ever felt more disconnected from my Muslim community than I did for those 2 months. I had the support of a good few brothers and sisters who saw the ridiculousness of the situation, but my dreams of being part of an actual Muslim family had gone down the drain. I kept wondering if Allah (swt) could accept me then why couldn’t they? I kept wondering how people with daughters themselves could say things like that about another girl.
It was a difficult time but alhamdulillah with Allah’s help I got through. The scars I obtained from that experience have now been healed and I like to think I have a better life now. Allah allowed me refuge in my own parents and showed me how much they actually loved me. They over looked the fact that I had converted and wanted to marry a man who had left home. They shielded my husband and supported us to build a life together. They protected me from all the insults and were ready to fight anyone who would come to harm me. They decided that my happiness was more important to them than social status or gossip. I sometimes wish my in-laws saw life the same way and valued my husbands happiness.
All I can say is Alhamdulillah! Without Allah I don’t know where I would be today. I am so thankful for all that he has given me. I am thankful for my husband, for my parents, my family and all the people who He sent to support me through this difficult time. Alhamdulillah! I truly owe my life to Him!