‘Are You Even Muslim?’

  • Philip J Tuley

    Alhamdullilah! Yes, you are as Muslim as anyone. This entry of yours will ring true for so many converts. Be proud and strong, Allah loves you for who you are, not for what some fool says about you.

    • Leah Vernon


  • R. Saleem

    Yes! Thank you so much for this, sister.

    • Leah Vernon

      No prob, sis :)

  • Ims

    These are the struggles. Thank you for putting them to words and for expressing your experience as a black Muslimah. Mo matter how much people from inside and outside the ummah try to push us into corners and boxes, we need to claim the space we need to be Muslim whichever way we feel it in our hearts.

    • Leah Vernon

      Yes, ma’am. You betta preach it :)

  • Kristin Szremski

    I could have written this article because this almost exactly my experience, except from the white perspective. I was so happy to see that this author included white in her list of people who are outside the excepted standard for what makes a ” real Muslimah.” As a middle-aged, divorced white convert I have never, ever been fully accepted. Even in discussions about Islamophobia ant assaults against visibily Muslim women, the white convert experience is entirely erased from the conversation. Once, a young Bangledeshi American woman reproached me for using the word “Islamophobia,” when so many Muslims of color had experienced it. I friggin lost my family after I converted. I also have been assaulted, followed by police and suspicious store managers. White converts who are visibly Muslim DO also experience Islamophobia. But the worst thing is that like this sister, I tried for years to fit in and in the process I lost myself. It came to the point where I considered taking my own life because of 15 years’ worth of abject loneliness and isolation. Then, I realized that Allah never intended for His perfected religion to be difficult or painful. I am slowly starting to rediscover Islam on my own terms. I also will not step foot inside a mosque, not just because of the social barriers but also because of the rampant gender bias in our institutions. I’m so thankful Leah wrote this article because I bet it represents what so many of us are thinking and experiencing. I, too, am a proud Muslim, even if that means I am an island of one.

    • Fitnah

      Did you write this for me?

      • Leah Vernon

        Wrote it just for you, my dear.

    • Anjum

      I’m so grateful you found a supportive community. Alhamdulillah.

      • Leah Vernon

        Alhumdulilah. That’s something I’m still in search of. I still have hope. Inshallah.

    • Leah Vernon

      Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your experience. Our voices are needed so that we can start to shift the paradigm.

  • Eric C. M. Basir

    A wonderful story. Thank you for being you.

    • Leah Vernon

      You’re welcome :)

  • Edna

    The fact that i cried says it all❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • Leah Vernon

      I be crying all the time. LOL!!!

  • Edna

    The fact that i cried my eyes off says it all❤️❤️❤️❤️ Loved it girl ❤️❤️😭😭😂 And may god bless your beautiful heart❤️❤️

    • Leah Vernon

      Girl, crying is a must!

  • Jaye123

    My life story….Thank you…..well written….

    • Leah Vernon

      No prob. Thanks for reading :)

  • Jessica Schaffer-Cline

    This is me except the white with tattoos. You spoke straight from my soul.

    • Leah Vernon

      I can only speak the truth. Thanks for reading.

  • https://twitter.com/MalikSaabSays MalikSaabi

    It’s painful just imagining those bullying scenarios. I wish I had a private jet. I’d just reach out to all people suffering at the hands of such treatment to let them know that they don’t have to live with that.
    People need to learn what being Muslim is about, lest they themselves fall to ruin on making negative declarations about others!

  • Kaffie

    The only community we should be trying to “so hard” to fit into, is that of those who will be closest to Allah(SWT)on the day of judgement. He created us in different shapes,colors and forms in order that we may know each other and be in awe of His powers and majesty. If some people chose not to understand that, and instead ascribe to themselves some level of “superiority” over others, then they are the ones that are truly in need of guidance. Keep on striving beautiful Leah, and to every other muslim/muslimah going through this, that is all Allah needs and expects from us all..not perfection, for perfection belongs only to Allah. Salam.

    • Leah Vernon

      Thank you :)

  • The300

    You’re now part of a faith that has oppressed and enslaved African women for centuries.

  • Grofica

    I’ve always found our sisters to be pretty understanding. For the most part… I’m a convert too and was covered in tattoos before I converted. I am also on that middle ground. I work, way too much so prayer doesn’t come easy. I don’t wear hijab but by Las Vegas standards I’m ultra conservative… in black t-shirts and slacks. I used to dress more conservatively but in a town where it’s ok to walk around with all your bits showing people look at a girl crazy that’s wearing that much clothes. I try my best to eat halal but I won’t lie I’m not perfect. And to be honest I ride a motorcycle and im not really comfortable riding a bike to the mosque cause the men stare… And hijab does not fit under a helmet (comfortably or safely)

    I say just do you… only Allah knows what’s in your (our) hearts <3 And thank you. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

    • Leah Vernon

      Thank youuuuuu!

  • Cierra Nirvana

    Who are these people that think Black people can’t be Muslim? I’ve never experienced this as a Black woman.

  • leila

    yes! do your best. i agree!

  • Areebah Ahmed

    Yay I’m not alone. I’m not the only one feeling this way. Thank you so much, honestly thank you, this must have taken a lot of courage.