Monday, September 11, 2006

Somewhere In Between - Part Two

"converts, especially white converts, are not usually going to win a lot of love, either from our birth society or from the Islamic community itself"


Do you ever read something and it so perfectly encapsulates something, you're left thinking "I wish I'd written that"?

Anyway, I wrote my last post and had a good whinge and was stunned as always by the nice comments. Seriously, no troll-like types at all.

When people ask me about being Muslim, I always break into a massive smile, because to me, it's wonderful, in so many ways which are hard to describe.

Which is all very well, because there are times when it's very, very lonely.

You are Muslim. Your friends and family are not. No matter how well they might accept it, the fact remains that they would rather you weren't Muslim. That hurts. To have a big part of you your loved ones wish wasn't there. Plus, it is a whole range of experiences you can't share with them.

As for the Islamic community, there is the divide caused by different cultures, the fact that you will be overburdened with friendly advice on how to live your life by people who don't really know you, and they don't really know you because of the attitude that everything of your pre-Islam life is to be locked in a big box marked "Do Not Open".

Which is a ludicrous attitude. Especially as some people have very real reminders of their past life (i.e children) which cannot be so easily boxed away.

Besides which, those experiences, that life brought you to this point. Allah is the best of planners, Alhamdulilah.

Islam is a journey and for a convert, it usually means treading your own path.


Alina said...

Safiya, one day your family and friends will accept you just as you are, whole, complete, not just in bits. But I can imagine it's a bit hard for them as something you used to share has changed radically. I think they are all making an effort to understand it all and accept it as it is.

We all have different opinions on those we love. We would prefer them to be a little different not because we reject parts of them, but because we feel we get too far from them. In time, we learn the core has not changed and accept them "as is".

I really admire your determination to be who you want to be, no matter what. Keep it up!

AnonyMouse said...

It sucks that that happens in many places... :(

But I wish you'd lived where I used to live, 'cuz at our Islamic centres, we loooooooved our converts! :D
The people who used to come to the Dar came from all over the world... Indian, Asian, Arab, Canadian, European, Columbian, Caribbean, the lot! And even though we had language barriers, we always managed to get past them... we really loved each other a whole lot. We'd get a lot of converts, too, on a regular basis - usually one every few months.
Come to think of it, most of my friends there were converts... all way older than me, of course, but I loved them all the same :)

I miss them so much now, in this new city where I know almost no one... :(