Revert Tip #13

Keep a journal. 

Write down your progress, the difficulties you wish to over come, the new hadith you learned, how your day was, what went wrong, what went right, etc. 

It’s a great outlet for anyone, Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Just gear yours more towards your journey through Islam. It will keep you on track of how you are doing, and help you set goals for yourself that you won’t forget. 

Ten years from now, you can look back on it and say alhamdulillah for the beautiful journey you made. It will be a good way to remember where you came from and how far you’ve gotten. 

Dua for when faced with distress/anxiety

Narrated by the Prophet (saws) as one of the “Da’waat al Makroob” or “supplications of the distressed:” 

Oh Allah, it is Your mercy that I hope for, so do not leave me in charge of my affairs even for a blink of an eye, and rectify for me all of my affairs. None has the right to be worshipped except You. 

Allahumma rahmataka arju fala takilni ila nafsi tarfata ‘aynin wa aslih li sha’ni kullahu la ilaha ila anta

Source.

Dua for when one is facing a difficulty

O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy. 

Allahuma laa sahla illaa maa ja’altahu sahlan, wa anta taj’al-ul-hazna idhaa shi’ta sahlan

Source.

Revert Tip #12

Try to incorporate small and subtle sunnahs into your every day life. 

For reverts who can’t openly practice their faith at home, it’s a good way to still “be Muslim” without having to explain yourself to your parents. 

Remember to eat with your right hand, say bismillah before every meal, use alhamdulillah instead of thank you, and smile at everyone you see. 

Not only are you being rewarded, inshaAllah, but it also helps when you’re feeling lonely and out of touch with Islam, especially if you aren’t surrounded by other Muslims. 

Think of it like exercise for your imaan. 

On dealing with parents:

One question I have received repeatedly over the years since I have converted to Islam is probably the most frightening topic for a revert to deal with: 

Do your parents know you’re Muslim?”

It is arguably, the hardest decision one must make after they say shahada. I remember the questions that were runnings through my mind over and over the minute I got home from the mosque. Do I tell my parents? What will they say? Are they going to hate me? How do I even tell them? What do I say? 

These are the questions that weigh on the minds of most reverts. Some carry those questions with them for years, hiding their faith behind locked bedroom doors. Some choose to be up front and deal with the aftermath as it comes. Whichever choice is made, it should be made known that there are things that must first be understood and addressed. Things I know now that I wish I had known then. 

1. Remember that your parents love you. Often, love can breed ignorance. In their desperate attempt to protect you, they can sometimes hurt you. Keep that in the back of your mind through everything. You are their child. They put their life into you. Their hard work, their love, their time and energy. All to raise you in the way they understand is best. 

2. They don’t really know Islam. Did you really know Islam before you converted? Probably not. It takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, understanding, and most importantly, the desire to learn more. Your parents don’t have any of that. 

3. Actions speak louder than words. You can probably remember that from your childhood. Human beings are fickle people. We like to believe things more when we see them. Remember that Islam teaches us how important our actions are. Use this to your advantage. Show them what Islam really is, rather than trying to tell them. 

In the beginning, I fought constantly with my parents. They would say something ignorant about Islam and I would immediately become angry and rush to defend my faith. Then I came across this: 

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Whoever does not argue when he is in the wrong will have a home built for him on the edge of Paradise. Whoever avoids it when he in the right will have a home built for him in the middle of Paradise. And whoever improves his own character, a home will be built for him in the highest part of Paradise.” [Tirmidhi]

Remember what I said about human beings being fickle? We are easy to anger. It’s a natural chemical response when we feel passionately about something. But instead of getting angry and fueling the fire, improve your own character. Take the opportunity to show your parents what Islam says about arguing. Breathe. Acknowledge what they said. Disagree. Smile. Move on. Go above and beyond that. Bring flowers home the next day. Buy your dad one of those cute #1 Dad coffee mugs. Let them watch you improve your own character. 

Your parents are probably just as scared as you are. Honestly, I would go so far as to say that they’re probably even more scared than you are. At least you know what you’ve gotten yourself into. At least you know that you are following the straight path, that you are becoming what you were put on Earth to become. Your parents still don’t. (My mom, to this day, three years later, forwards me emails from a site called “jihadwatch”). 

I had no idea my parents were afraid for me instead of angry with me until my mom broke down one day and admitted she was afraid I was going to hell. The thought was breaking her heart every single day. That realization shattered me. She thinks that it is her fault I’m going to hell. So I pull out my Qur’an and I show her: 

"Indeed, those who believed and those who are Jews or Christians or Sabeans [before Prophet Muhammad] - those [among them] who believed in Allah and the Last Day and did righteousness - will have their reward with their Lord, and no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve." [2:62]

I make a note to myself and pick up an “Islam for Dummies” book, and casually leave it on the kitchen counter. 

I “accidentally forget” some flyers for interfaith events on the couch. 

I gently correct her when she says things like “Muslims worship that Prophet guy” or “Muslims don’t believe in Jesus.” 

I make dua. Constantly, consistently. Ya Allah, open their eyes. Ya Allah, ease their worries. Ya Allah, give us all patience to deal with one another in the way that best pleases You. 

And I commit. Commit to Islam. Don’t falter. Show them what being Muslim means. Let your actions speak for you. Let them watch you change, watch you grow. 

Put yourself in your parents shoes for a few minutes every day. Ask yourself, “why are they saying these things? What’s making them act this way?” You will be surprised what you will come to understand. And how much more patient it will make you. 

Revert Tip #10

zainazahira:

revertresources:

Don’t give up on your parents.

The strain that converting puts on your relationship with your parents can sometimes feel unbearable. But pushing them further away will only make them resent your decision even more.

Instead, show them the beauty of your faith through your actions. Show them how…

What if they kick you out and ‘recommend’ you see a psychologist because they think something is wrong with you?

Asking for a friend.

Salaam alaikum, 

I noticed that someone else replied to this post with some really good advice and some narratives to support that, so I would like to acknowledge that. 

I wholeheartedly agree with what they advised. 

I can tell you from my own experiences that dealing with parents is not an easy task. Especially parents who are so blinded by their ignorance, they will say or believe anything just to get their child out of what they feel is “harm’s way.”

From my understanding, your friend is not obligated, as a Muslim, to maintain the relationship with their parents. If it is harmful to their physical/mental health or if they somehow get in the way of your friend practicing Islam to the best of their capabilities, then there is no reason to continue to try to make peace with them.

However, we are always encouraged to forgive. I really want to emphasize that. Forgive them. They love you. In their desire to protect you, they do only what they know how. So when it comes down to it, keep your distance until you can stand on your own feet. And then forgive them. 

InshaAllah everything works out for your friend. 

Sallallahu Alayhi Wasalaam

This is a phrase that means “may Allah honor him and grant him peace,” and is the Arabic translation of “peace be upon him.” You may see it abbreviated as “SAWS” or “PBUH.” 

This is a form of salawat, or sending blessings on the Prophet Muhammad (saws) or on the other prophets before him. However, sallallahu alayhi wasalaam is generally reserved solely for the Final Messenger, whereas the other prophets are usually given salawat in the form of “peace be upon them” or, in Arabic, “alayhi salaam” (abbreviated to A.S.). 

Indeed, Allah confers blessings upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask him to do so]. O, you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessings upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace. [33:56]

Revert Tip #11

Learn the difference between culture and Islam. 

Often times, reverts find themselves sucked into cultural practices they are led to believe are Islamic. We have the opportunity, as an individual who is learning Islam on their own, to check our sources, question things that don’t make sense, and look at Islam from a completely different perspective than many born Muslims do. 

Get more than one opinion, from more than one person. Make your own (well-informed) opinions. 

One of the greatest blessings of being a revert is that you get to see Islam for what it truly is. You are learning it from the ground up, rather than having it handed down to you from someone who may have their own ideals and beliefs that they got from their own family, and so on. 

Remember that Allah swt did not intend for this religion to be difficult for you. Islam is straight-forward and simple. So if something sounds complicated or unreasonable, there is a good chance it might be.

It was narrated that Abu Hurairah said:

"The Messenger of Allah said: Indeed, this religion is easy, and no one will ever overburden himself in religion, except that it will overcome him. So seek what is appropriate, and come as close as you can, and receive the glad tidings (that you will be rewarded, and take it easy; and gain strength by worshipping in the mornings, afternoons, and during the last hours of the night." [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

Revert Tip #10

Don’t give up on your parents. 

The strain that converting puts on your relationship with your parents can sometimes feel unbearable. But pushing them further away will only make them resent your decision even more. 

Instead, show them the beauty of your faith through your actions. Show them how Islam encourages a loving, respectful relationship with your family. 

Kiss your mother every day. Offer to make dinner. Ask your dad out for coffee. When they try to fight, do your best to smile. Remind them you love them. 

Have patience. 

Salaam Alaikum, 

The struggle has been real. Being a revert is not easy. 

But my desire to continue on the path and my faith in Allah swt is greater than any difficulty I face. That is what I am most sure of. 

InshaAllah, while I tumble through these next few months, I can provide some kind of helpful little bits here and there for anyone who needs it. Mostly for myself, but for others, too. 

Topic suggestions are 100% welcomed and encouraged! 

All my love!