Having worked at an Islamic resource centre for the last one year, i have met lots of Muslim reverts; some who took their Shahada at our centre as well. The confusion is always there, questions keep coming up amid the confusion; what next after this? Will i fit in as a Muslim? What will my family and friends think of me? How will i manage praying five times daily?
Being a convert myself, i am totally aware of the struggles they go through after making a choice to become Muslims.
At times though i tend to think it’s the choice that makes us, not the other way round.
I recall my first day as a Muslim vividly coz i was filled with so much confusion that my mind wasn’t even working straight. I took my Shahada right before Dhuhr and prayed salah with congregation.
Oh, the choice for me came in form of a leaflet some Muslims were dishing out in our public buses, my brother picked it and by the will of Allah he didn’t trash it. He brought it straight home to me, said some Muslims were ‘preaching’ in the bus and gave them the leaflets. What was in it, i asked……i don’t even know, maybe some Arabic stuff, he said.
True, there was some Arabic in it, the Shahada (declaration of faith) but with translation. The moment he passed it on to me i felt a particular connection to these simple yet deep meaning words; the declaration that none deserved to be worshipped but Allah.
For me it was an answered question in the never ending quest to find my true purpose in life.
The following day i made my way to the Masjid and almost changed my mind when i got to the gate. I turned back, then after a few steps headed right back into the Masjid, met one Maalim who was having a madrasa session going on with the kids. The first thing he asked me was, do you want to become a Muslim?
Do you want to become a Muslim? Imagine that, no castigation, no harshness, no outrageous outbursts calling me a kaafir, none of that. Just a simple question as if it had been revealed to him that a particular guy with baby locks was coming in for the Shahada.
Or maybe it was written all over my face that i had tired from searching for the truth and i needed help, salvation of a kind into a way of life that was whole and fulfilling.
After hesitating a bit, i answered in the affirmative then braced myself for whatever else was to come!
Mind you, my reversion was after 9/11. We all knew the story behind it and how that may have been perhaps the culmination of Islamophobia and gross misconceptions about Islam. Yet, in the back drop of all that, millions still reverted.
Surely, there must be something uniquely amazing about Islam that draws this many people to it and nobody ever seems to walk away from it. I mean, the Western media can label it as the ‘religion of terrorists’ but still, the numerous reverts especially Western women discredits this hypothesis.
Everyday i meet New Muslims, and each has a story to tell. In sha Allah i will document some of these stories here so every one can at least have an idea what reverts go through for making the choice to walk the talk.