by Christal Joan
Between the horror stories, myths, and fiction it can be difficult for someone coming to Islam to determine expectations from reality. So, I’m here to myth-bust and tell you that the reality is so much better! So here are my 5 expectations vs realities about the convert, or revert life.
Expectation 1: I would faint during Ramadhan
This is probably one that converts and people born into a Muslim family expect. Not eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset it quite a task by any stretch of the imagination but it’s not impossible. And by the time you’re half-way through Ramadhan, you don’t even yearn for food or drink, by the grace of Allah. I converted to Islam the day before Ramadhan in 2011 and boy was it hard. But I’m still here, still standing and the respect I now have for those who go without every day increased so much.
Expectation 2: No one would recognize me in hijab
I knew so many Muslim girls that didn’t observe hijab so I assumed it was a choice. Everyone was used to seeing my hair. I had decided prior to Islam to grow out my natural hair and have it in an afro and now I was just expected to cover all my hard work? I didn’t sign up for that, or so I thought. It took me around 6 months or so to get used to wearing hijab. And surprise surprise, people still knew who I was. Of course, people had questions and were curious but I was happy to answer them.
Expectation 3: I will lose all my friends
All of my friends were practicing Christians. Regular church goers with regular church-going families, just like I used to be. I was so worried that I’d lose the loving loyal friendship group that I had that I almost considered hiding the fact that I’d become Muslim. But then Allah blessed me. Just before I became Muslim, I began going to the mosque to learn. There I found some amazing ladies that to this day, are still my best friends in Islam. Allah sub hana wa ta’ala gave me what I was looking for without me even asking for it. So don’t be worried about losing friends, Allah is more than capable of replacing what you think you’ve lost.
Expectation 4: My family would never accept me
Having my family reject me after becoming Muslim was one of my biggest fears. I’ve always been a family person and it frightened the life out of me to think they may not want me in their lives because of their opinions on Islam. This wasn’t an unfounded fear either. I’ve had so many friends whose families cut them off after finding out they were Muslim and to this day, they still have a rocky relationship.
I had my opposition don’t get me wrong, but all praises are due to Allah, my immediate family were so loving and supportive I couldn’t have asked for better.
Expectation 5: I got it wrong and Islam wasn’t for me
We all go through hard times but when you’re pushed to the edge, questioning yourself and your decision, stop yourself. Allah told us that this was a testing place, not a resting place and if you put your full trust in Him He will guide you. I can’t say that every new Muslim goes through this but I know I did. Questioning if Islam was really for me actually made my faith even stronger. Islam is for me. Islam is for everyone. It’s a complete lifestyle and holistic in its approach.
Reality is usually seen as a somber, disappointing thing but the reality is, Islam transformed my life. The reality far surpassed the expectation and continues to everyday.