Being a convert is something beautiful, a true blessing. But I think no one really understands how hard it is at the same time, unless you are one yourself. Especially emotionally it demands more than most people are bargaining for. Some have to give up their family, social network and so much more. Because of that It can be a lonely experience for many.
That’s why I’d wish someone would have told me the following things when I just converted.
1.It does get better
I know that at some point it can feel like your whole world is falling apart. You feel neglected and alone, despite the fact that you’ve finally found your innerself. And yes, that hurts.
But knowing that it does get better and in time, with the correct communication most familly and friends will come back, that makes it all worth it. And for the ones who do not come back, there will come new people in your life. Even if it does not feel like that right now.
Time does heal everything.
2.Communication is everything
One of the biggest mistakes I made during my convert process is not communicating with my family. Keeping things because I was afraid of their reaction. While in reality you’re only making things worse by doing stuff in secret. Once they will find out (which has to happen at some point) the disappointment will be even bigger.
Communicate with them, and tell them how you feel. Be friendly and let them speak out their fears and opinions as well. You have to keep in mind that this is as new for them as it is to you. The faster you guys start opening up to one another, the faster you will reach an agreement, and restore the peace as a family.
3.Be aware of the message you show others
After the first phase of being shy and afraid was over, my frustrations turned into anger and pain. I didn’t care anymore what people were thinking of me, or what message I was giving them.
Now I know better and am indeed, ashamed of how I misbehaved. The message I was giving them had nothing to do with what Islam was teaching me, so how could I expect them to accept my choice, if I wasn’t even explaining it to them?
The moment I started to open up it really became better. They became to sympathise and even started to respect me for it. I know it’s hard in the beginning, but I truly hope you believe me if I say it will mean the world.
Especially when you start wearing the hijab, and you being a convert has become visible it can cause many conflicts in public. People can insult you, start whispering or just stare their eyeballs out.
Believe me, I know it’s hard. I’ve got blue eyes and my skin in this pale I could play a roll in Twilight. So I know how it is to be in the spotlights as ‘’the Dutch convert”.
The trick is to simply be bold. People are going to stare anyways, so stop taking it personal while trying to fit into society. Be yourself and embrace it. Stay positive and anwser people with a smile.
Soon to be you will become or a rollmodel in being who you want to be, or a local amusement perhaps.. 5 Euro for each photo that’s my advice, you’ll become rich! Okay just kidding, but the main point is that being a convert in most cases will made you an eyecatcher. Don’t let this devine or change you.
Allah azza wajal has chosen you, while he could have chosen whoever he wanted to. He could have let you go astray, but instead of that guided you. Isin’t that worth any social battle which is yet to come?
(Yes this line looks allot like a Maher Zain song, my English is not that perfect lol)
Besides that, being a convert is an extraordenary chance to experience life from a perspective most people can’t. You already knew the view from the western community on politics,culture enc. Now you can relive all those opinions and views from they eye of the Muslim community. Be the bridge which we need so hard to connect the people. Be the intermediary of the society, and be gratefull for this amazing chance.
6.But most of all: Be proud
How much time I spended feeling different and alone from others is just terrible. When I look back I wish I would have done it so differently. I would have looked up and been proud of all that I accomplished.
Being different in a society of people who wish to be the same is hard, but it’s empowering aswell.
Now I’m married and a mom of a 4 months old little boy. I have a job, a home and most of my family accepted my choice now. I am open for any friendly debate and love to give dawah about our beautiful belief and changes I went true. I am proud. So proud of the person I became, despite all the negative influences of that time. And this is something all converts should be feeling.