Don’t be scared to show people who you are.
The time right after my conversion was extremely hard because I soon discovered my father, who is a computer engineer, had broken into my email account without my knowledge and discovered I had converted before I had the chance to tell him. My plan was to tell my parents in July or August, after my exams, so I would not be distracted from my exams by the reaction of my family. But, not only did he discover this on his own, he also told my mother. This may seem normal to most of you but my parents are divorced and really never talk to each other. My dad and I had always had a much stronger relationship and him telling my mother without my consent was a huge breach of trust and felt like a stab in my heart. To this day, the relationship between him and I is still suffering from that time.
However, when I look back on it, I see it as a blessing from Allah (SWT) because I know from other converts how hard it is to tell your parents you converted. Many converts don’t tell their parents for months and, the more they wait, the more courage they need to come clean. On top of that, until they tell their parents, they have to live a double life, hiding their “Muslim side.” But I know that when you convert, you really have no “Muslim side” – you feel 100% Muslim; and trying to hide what you really feel is extremely hard, especially when it involves the people closest to you. If you are in this situation, just try and think of all the benefits of telling your family about your conversion, and maybe take a good friend with you for moral support.
After months of fighting with my family EVERY TIME I visited them, I was exhausted. In order to stop them from fighting me, I started hiding anything related to Islam from them. This meant dressing as “normally” as possible, not talking about my new Muslim friends, not telling them about my trips to the mosque, or about any of the Islamic books I had read, nor the new halal recipe I had come up with. It was hard to hide so much and I felt like I was growing further and further away from them, which made me extremely sad.
This I think is a point that all Muslim converts should watch out for. Try to hide as little as possible from your family, because hiding things will only makes you move further away from them, which will make your conversion even harder on you and may drive you to go back on your decision. If this starts happening, think of all the beautiful things your newfound religion has given you and remember why you made this decision in the first place. Keep talking about Islam with your parents – eventually they will give you more and more freedom to be who you really are in front of them insh’Allah.
I recently graduated from University with a bachelor in International Business Administration and moved to London to live with T and his brother. I know that this will probably shock many of you, but I want to be 100% honest about my experiences as a new convert. The relationship between T and I may not have started in a “halal way” but it is probably what finally led me to converting so I do not see it as a bad thing. Since I converted, we have changed a lot of things about our relationship, to make it as halal as it can be, and we are planning on getting married as soon as T is able to sit down with my father and talk about this insh’Allah.
At the moment, living with two men may not seem like the best option for me, but the alternative is living by myself in the Netherlands, where 99% of my friends and 100% of my family constantly push me to explain why I converted and try to convince me that religion is a bad thing for me. My father doesn’t really look me in the eye if I wear a hijab, and my mother would not allow me in her house with a hijab on and cries at the idea of it. For her, my decision to cover up means I am less of a woman. According to her, T is the one forcing me into it, when in reality he is the one advising me to take it slow.
In London, I feel free to be who I really am, with T and his brother taking extremely good care of me. I can go to the mosque whenever I want, say what I want to say and wear whatever I want to wear. No one reacts negatively when I put on a scarf and I can peacefully work on becoming a better Muslim day by day. Converting is not about just saying:
Ashhadu ana la ilaha illa Allah, wa ashhadu ana Muhammadun Rasul Allah
it’s about working on becoming a good Muslim day after day and finding the right balance between the life you had before you found Islam and the Muslim you want to become.
I wish good luck to all converts that are facing similar situations and hope my column will help you realize that it is OK to have setbacks, as long as you keep growing in your Imaan. And, to all born Muslims, I would like to ask you to support converts as much as you can because, for many of them, other Muslims are their family at that time, as their own family may not be there for them.
Hi Anouch, interesting story !!
… and many congratulations with your bachelor graduation !!! We need to celebrate soon !
I’m very sorry for all the months of fighting EVERY time you visited me. In fact I hadn’t noticed that so much but maybe you can forgive me. So much as you have the right to make your own choices in life, I think I do have the right to have my own, positive or negative, opinion about these things. I think we should simply avoid religion and politics in our discussions as a general rule, and we could then be together in peace.
About breaking in your e-mail: you were aware of the fact that there existed several e-mail addresses with our own domain name that were yours to use but that I could also read. You using these and I reading them, is, in my view, not really “breaking in” your email.
I’m very sorry also that I told your mom, but you should realise that, despite the divorce, she still is your mother and has also the right, recognised by me, to know about your welbeings. I’ve always informed her about school results, sickness and health problems and holidays, for example. And I thought this conversion was very important.
I’m also curious to know your opinion on how Muslima’s, according to their faith, are supposed to describe and or respect their parents on a public forum (but maybe am I now breaking my own rule about religion and politics?)
Really love you, your Dad
Dear papa, I think you shouldn’t close ur eyes and make decisions by yourself without willing to know why your daughter had made this decision,try to see her viewpoint! I think if you just show some interest and ask her questions she will tell you everything. Just try to understand her! I’m sure you have heard many bad things about Islam and there are countries where women are oppressed indeed. But it’s nothing to do with the religion it’s simply the traditions in that country. The headscarf if protecting us against being seen as a sexual object. People will listen a lady’s words who’s wearing the scarf instead of judgeing by the appearance of her body! Just try to show interest to her instead of refusing straight away! You will see she’ s gonna be so happy as she loves you! Isha’Allah!!
In Islam, the only time it is permissible to disobey your parents is if they ask you to do something unfavorable to Allah (SWT) . All other times, you must “place your wings beneath their feet” and treat your mother like heaven lies at her feet. You’re actually missing out on having a really great daughter because you refuse to accept her for choosing a religion that obligates her to respect you regardless of the circumstances.
I’m sorry Kenza and Amani, but I will not answer to your comments on my comment. It’s always fruitless to start discussions with religious people if you don’t have the same beliefs. I was just reacting on my daughter, because her story is a unilateral and quite biased version of reality and my role in it. I just want people to know that other visions are possible.
Thank you all very much for your comments! This feeling of sisterhood really is very nice and certainly one of the things that drew me to Islam.
As for my dad, I think this was mostly about the fact that he feels offended by what I wrote and the fact that I posted it on my personal facebook and twitter for everyone to see (plz correct me if I’m wrong dad). I definitely understand that and have therefor removed it from both of those accounts.
However, Amani gave me the opportunity to write about my experience and, insh’allah, help other converts through this column so I will not stop writing about how I honestly feel. Everyone, including my family, is allowed to comment on what I write and, through healthy debate and respectful discussion, we will increase understanding for Islam insh’allah.
Salaam walaikum sister, I am wide-eyed reading this as my conversion story is practically IDENTICAL to yours- including the boy (even the name??), my parents are also divorced although I am closer to my mother, she also thinks he is the one forcing me into Islam and to ‘cover up’ which is really quite opposite from reality. At the moment I am living away from my own country and it’s easier to practise Islam here…however my mother is visiting soon and I will have to return home at the end of this year. I understand what you mean about living with two identities, I also try to hide anything Islamic from her…but sometimes I really have to speak up when it gets in the way of Islam and this is when we start fighting and crying. Sister I hope we can chat more about this and inshaAllah things with our family will work out in the end as long as we stay firm in our beliefs. Please add me on msn if you wish to talk more inshaAllah my email is email@example.com 🙂
Salam alaikum sister!
I am very happy to hear you enjoyed reading my story and would love to chat with you! I dont use msn much but I will be sure to email you insh’allah!
After reading your setback article, I decided to read more and found this one! Once again thank you so much, I am in the EXACT SAME situation as you. And living the 2 sided life is really difficult, I’m always torn between the two and I’m always trying to put my Islam first but I have to say its gets difficult at times. Like every time I would go to the mosque or spend time with Muslims makes me feel more able to express myself, but at home esp. with my dad (my parents are divorced also) it feels like i have to hide it and I know they def. don’t approve of it. Its pretty difficult, but I know I just need to put my trust in Allah (SWT). Thank you for your posts sister, they’ve been very inspirational and helpful. It always nice to have support in times like these.
JazakAllah Khair :]
Allah loves those who he gives tests to. Hope that helps ^^
And now you are supporting me!
I have been away from this blog and from prayer for a while now because it was all just getting so hard. Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) has kept me away from sins and reading all the reactions I missed on my articles really inspires me to come back here 🙂
So thank you!
a rather sad story. I hope you always courageous in facing the challenges of life. always remember that Islam does not teach us from forgetting the parents and told them to fight as long as the matter is not contrary to Islam. Respect your parents, especially your mother, and they love the crew for them will be located under the mothers feet. always remember, Test is a TARBIYAH from ALLAH, sign of ALLAH’s LOVE to HIS Servants.
Assallaamu alaikum sis I didnt kno how old these posts is but I really thank u Mashallah for saying wat u have said I looked into Islam when I was 13 years old and that took a really big toll on my family school friends etc finally took my Shahadah at 14 and I totally understand what you’ve been thru I know u wasn’t as young as me but it was twice as hard on me but I ask Allah to be with us on situations like ours and to tell brothers and sisters out there that’s n the same situations that they are not alone coming from America and 16 years old now proud Muslimah May Allah be with you sallaams
I have a question. I am married to Muslim man who converted to Islam almost six years ago, right after he asked me to marry him. I went with him to tell his parents (his dad is a preacher in a southern baptist church) and while they didn’t say much, they haven’t made a big deal out of it. Now, I am thinking about converting to Islam. I am a Christian with strong ties to my upbringing as a Christian. I never doubted my faith, not until my husband began to research and explore Islam. Even now, while I have said the Shahadah to him and am more than willing to say it in public. I believe every word and am not ashamed of it. However, I don’t feel fully Muslim. I feel like I am in limbo because of the way all of this happened. And while his parents were pretty accepting, mine will not be. I mean, they won’t be upset that I am not Southern Baptist, but they will be disappointed and probably think it was their fault in some way. Now, we all know that the heart wants what the heart wants, but right now I don’t even feel like anything has changed. I was never a crazy drinker or anything like that. I have always been quiet and modest (the way I was raised) and so the switch from Christianity to Islam was not a huge bump in the road for me; however, it will be for my family. So I guess what my question would be is that I need advice on how to bring this to light with my parents without breaking their hearts. It is not their fault. They raised me with a strong believe in God and do what He says I should do, no matter what. But, I refuse to raise my children (of which we have none, yet) in a religion that can’t stand on its own two feet. I don’t mean to be rude and I am in no way condemning Christianity, but the way the Bible was translated and the books that were chosen and not chosen is wrong and I can’t stand behind that anymore. How do I become more comfortable with my decision with no Muslim women around to really talk with and how to I keep the peace with my very Christian family? Help me, please.
Hello my friend 🙂 I actually have a good friend of mine who was Italian Christian and recently converted to Islam. He hid his religion from his parents for a bit until he felt ready to talk to them about it, and he recently had the talk with him and things couldn’t be better, thank God. I can put you in touch with him if you’d like, as I’m sure he’d have a lot of great advice to offer you.
Either way, I think it’s important to accept that your religion is a personal choice and one that is only between you and God, not one that is between you or your family or your parents or anyone else. Get comfortable with knowing that you have His favor and that is all you need, and that He will see you through the challenge in your way. Being a Muslim definitely doesn’t have to rock the boat with your Christian family; from the sound of what you’re saying, it seems like your parents may be accepting of your decision but feel at fault for you no longer being Christian, and that this is where your concern lies (correct me if I’m wrong.) If that’s the case, then I think communication will go a long way. Sit down and have a talk with them, explain that they have been nothing but amazing parents, and that their upbringing was the best for nurturing you and allowing you to develop your own independence and ability to think for yourself; that your decision to become a Muslim is a deeply personal one and has nothing to do with with them raising you a different way; and that you becoming a Muslim does not mean that the relationship between you and your parents and family will not change and will always remain strong, if not stronger! Your parents just need reassurance at this time, so do your best to give them it.
I really hope this goes smoothly for you and that your transition is a healthy and faithful one. You will always find the support you need on websites such as this one if you don’t happen to find yourself surrounded by Muslim sisters, but I also suggest you try visiting a local mosque or finding out if your community is hold iftars during Ramadan as an opportunity to meet new friends. If you have any further questions or would like to expand more on your situation, please feel free to respond here or email us! And KEEP US UPDATED! We’d love to hear how things are going for you and be there for you if needed! You’re in a beautiful and promising moment in your life right now and I trust that God will guide you through it in the best of ways 🙂
Hello! It’s so good to hear from people like you! It seems that you and your family already have strong ties. All you have to do is sit with them, and explain to them calmly your decision and back it up with your points of view. Islam is a great religion, and it encourages its followers to always keep in touch with their families, and place them in high regards. Simply explaining to them your points of view will def. be a huge step 🙂 Good luck! Just seek your husband’s courage and support, and inshaAllah everything will go great! You’re soo close; you just need a tiny push.
This gives me courage. My boyfriend…well can I even call him boyfriend now? have been together for over 3 years, we…were very haram. Very. And we were both Christians. I began to research into Islam 4 months ago. It started off as a thing of curiosity and how I can teach Muslims about Jesus, then it went into me genuinely wanting to understand Islam, then me beginning to understand it and reading it alongside the bible, next thing you know I was so convinced I was desperate to utter my shahada. All my thoughts, theories and knowledge went into my boyfriends ears, he was practically my mind in the sense that nothing I had thought slipped past his ears. Eventually he himself was convinced. I took my shahada and 1 month later, he did. Now we try to be as halal as we can be until our nikkah which is soon inshaAllah. However the awkward thing is my mother and father are staunch Christians, I have a great relationship with my mother and I feel I owe it to her to explain but she is very stubborn and getting her to ‘listen’ alone is something worth praying for. In addition, my boyfriend was baptise in our church so my mother knows him as a Christian too (despite his ideas of Jesus are against the norm). Now, I do not know how to tell her and most of all how to tell her about my boyfriends conversion also. 🙁 Please God give me sabr, strength and grant my mother understanding, tolerance and an open heart. For some of my close aunties and uncles, I know I cannot tell them because I will be disowned or they will try to reprogramme me.
I cried on this. I studied Islam for the past year and decided embrace Islam. However, my family and relatives are all mad at me. Cant wear hijab at home. I hide everyday. So depressing
Comments are closed.