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In the Name of God بسم الله

The Hardest Part Of My Conversion

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  • Veteran Member

Lately, I have been stressed out with all these things in my life I have to rearrange to follow my Muslim faith. The other day when I was with my mother in the car, who is a Christian, and I told her that I've been bothered lately by so many changes I never thought I'd ever have to make in my ordinary everyday hobbies because for years they were no trouble at all to me. For example, I voiced to her such concerns as: How I have to ask myself if certain movies or video games are okay even though they allude to characters eating pork or how I feel uncomfortable praying in our own house because we have two dogs who have to stay inside all the time. Things of that nature. I told her that it becomes increasingly hard on my spirit not necessarily to avoid things that are haram, but when I begin to feel like so many are becoming haram or just may be haram that there is no time where I can just enjoy myself and have fun with other people. It's become this sort of constant "looking over your shoulder" kind of deal. What I told my mother was that this in turn makes me realize that the society I live in is not catered with people like me in mind. Basically, when an activity is organized or a product is made, it is never designed with the idea in mind "Muslims may be present." And because of this I feel like I can't really enjoy the company of many of my friends and acquaintances most of the time and sometimes I feel like the amount of just general activities I can enjoy in general, even by myself, is shrinking.

What this ultimately has led me to feel is this feeling of being outsider even in the place of my birth. That everything around me is made and done with certain people and certain groups in mind, and I'm not one of them. This isn't to say there are no opportunities I have for just plain fun with friends or on my own, it's just that where as other people have had a spot reserved for them in daily activities and gatherings, I am only able to participate when a random chance presents itself for me to squeeze in where there's an empty space, sometimes rather uncomfortably, and because a chance doesn't always present itself, many times I am stuck with nothing to do and nowhere to be. And the funny thing is that I'm actually a bit liberal in some of the things I consider halal as opposed to a few other Muslims, but even then I have a great discernment as to what I'm allowed to enjoy so I still find plenty of times where I am unable to participate in things.

And all this contributes to that feeling of being an outsider. That lonely kind of feeling I get when a group of my friends or just people in general organize something and basically I'm not taken into consideration because I'm not significant enough. I don't really blame anyone or feel animosity toward anyone. Why should a whole group, let alone a single person, comfortable in their lifestyle and habits have to rearrange them just for me? They shouldn't have to. However, I must say that it would be nice to maybe not feel like when my friends ( of whom not a single one of 20 or so close ones I have is a Muslim) arrange to do something that my involvement is determined by if I can cram myself into an already full house or that there were more things we could find to do together that didn't compromise my beliefs. I know it isn't their fault or anyone's fault, it's just the way it is. I'm part of a minority and things aren't made to potentially satisfy me. Even things that are universally acceptable and enjoyable to some more predominate social groups in my country that countless other people I know love as far as books, comics, movies, music, or video games and are popular amongst many people my age throughout the country I cannot enjoy. I accept that fact.

It's just it can become so stressful, even for someone like me who's pretty liberal as far as the aforementioned things go, and I often wonder why God allowed me to be in such a tight situation as this. I would hate to put in all this work for nothing.

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Brothey just be patient. You first go throug a stage where you want to "have fun' and do what others are doing. But eventually you reach a stage on your life, where nothing else matter but God. No matter if you are been beaten day and night and in the most uncomfortable positions, all you look to is God, all you think about is God, all you hear and see is God, all you smell is God, all you think about is God, and you find it hard to study(if your a studnet) to work if your a employee, to smile and sit with people, for people are of this world, and all you can see is how deceiving and cold this world is.

Just pray as much as you can, and forget everything. God is most just and mercifull. We are created for the hereafter not here, endure all the pains you need to endure, and fear nothing.

Wesellams

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  • Veteran Member

(salam)

Isn't that a proof that this life is not the actual recompense from God? Keep always in mind that many people, even better muslims than you, are in a worse situation. This doesn't mean that God is punishing them, these are simple trials which we will have to overcome (and surely you can overcome them). I know that you are not asking for a luxurious life, but a normal one, but as I said before, that's the trial. At the end all depends in our faith in God. Anyway, talk to God about all of this sincerely, you will feel better inshaAllah.

(wasalam)

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I'm a convert as well, and I most certainly empathize with what you are feeling and experiencing now with being an outsider. We don't fit with our American families or friends, nor the greater society around us. Yet we also don't fit in with the few born Muslims around because so many of them prefer to follow their own cultural practices over Islam. I gave up long ago trying to find Muslim friends, and non-Muslims always hold me at arm's length. I feel like I'm suspended in ambiguity, always unknown, always on the outside, never understood. I agree that it's not anyone's fault really, we're the minority and people (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are going to do activities they like and be with people they feel comfortable around (i.e. those who are similar).

So we're left on the outside. It's taken a pretty heavy toll on me mentally, but I just try to get by, day by day. I always remind myself of what God says in the Quran: "Do people think they will be left alone after saying, "we believe" and not be tested?" (29:2) God will always test the believers to reveal our true character and our sincerity, not to Him, but to ourselves. And of course, such trials are necessary because we gain so much valuable knowledge, wisdom, and insight from passing through these trials. We wouldn't achieve higher levels of iman and knowledge if our lives had become so easy and laid back after finding the right path. Fi aman Allah.

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  • Advanced Member

Sukaina, it depends where you live. I don't know how old you are, but the upcoming generation of Muslims(18-24 year old's) are much more American or Western than they are Pakistani, Iraqi, Lebanese and so forth.

Atleast in NY, developing friendships with Muslims - provided you're in that age group - should'nt be that much of an issue.

Either way, in 10 or so years, these issues you guys are facing will be ancient history. So just stay strong. Community is ovverated anyway. You really wanna be part of a community where all people do is backbite and slander?laugh.gif

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  • Advanced Member

I'm a convert as well, and I most certainly empathize with what you are feeling and experiencing now with being an outsider. We don't fit with our American families or friends, nor the greater society around us. Yet we also don't fit in with the few born Muslims around because so many of them prefer to follow their own cultural practices over Islam. I gave up long ago trying to find Muslim friends, and non-Muslims always hold me at arm's length. I feel like I'm suspended in ambiguity, always unknown, always on the outside, never understood. I agree that it's not anyone's fault really, we're the minority and people (both Muslim and non-Muslim) are going to do activities they like and be with people they feel comfortable around (i.e. those who are similar).

So we're left on the outside. It's taken a pretty heavy toll on me mentally, but I just try to get by, day by day. I always remind myself of what God says in the Quran: "Do people think they will be left alone after saying, "we believe" and not be tested?" (29:2) God will always test the believers to reveal our true character and our sincerity, not to Him, but to ourselves. And of course, such trials are necessary because we gain so much valuable knowledge, wisdom, and insight from passing through these trials. We wouldn't achieve higher levels of iman and knowledge if our lives had become so easy and laid back after finding the right path. Fi aman Allah.

Salam, I can't believe you have had such a completely negative experience with other muslms from other cultures... has it really been that bad that you can't be friends with them? I am so sorry... :(

If you are completely trying to follow Islam in both outward and inward aspects, then you should be able to find another sincere believer to be friends with, otherwise, if you can, move somewhere else where you can find someone like that. Maybe try and be open to the activities and interests of muslims from other cultures(as long as they are not haram) and you never know, these people might not be as closed minded as you think, and you may make a really good friend out of it and find a really cool activity to do. Also, to an extent, because as of yet us reverts have not found a strong cultural identity to go with our religion, and because there are not many communities where there is a large concentration of reverts, we have to adapt at least a little to the cultures of other muslims(usually the culture of the main community around us, or if we are married to someone of another culture then their culture) It helps a lot to at least try and learn some of the language, culture and habits of the main muslim community around us. We shouldn't have to change ourselves in this way(though it wouldn't involve changing comlpletely) they should just accept us as muslim, but to an extent there needs to be a little give and take. As one of the previous posters has said, many muslims that live in western countries are not so culturally aligned with their family's country of origin, so they often share much of the culture and experiences as reverts living in that country anyway.

There are always those racist and prejudiced muslims in any community, but most are not completely like that, if at all, seeing as Islam emphasises on unity between all regardless of race, culture, or class etc, people should only be judged on taqwa(even that's hard to measure, us humans can only go by outward practices, and what a person says or does) Inshallah I hope you have a better experience with the muslim community soon, and that they become more open to you as well as you to them inshallah.

Salams and du3as inshallah ^_^

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