I think I am learning this new faith of mine:Islam. For me the transition from one faith to another sure has some bumps in the road. Some suggestions for those who are doing the same:
- try to do so it a community of believers who can nurture you. Doing it on your own as I am doing is a very difficult road. I am finding that I have many questions and the Internet is not the best place for answers.
- give your family time to adjust to the changes in you. Don’t expect them to be happy about it over night. Remember they knew you when.
- give yourself time. You don’t have to be perfect over night. I am thankful that Allah is kind and full of mercies.
- dont become a I know it person, seek advice, counsel and want to learn more and more.
- get a mentor: have somebody in your life you can turn to when you have questions or need advice.
For me so far these things are working. For me the hardest part of this walk for me is the isolation from a community that think the same as I do, that could nurture me, being a lone single in small town Canada is hard. Now I am off to Rocks in My Dryer to see what works for other people in their lives.
More and more as I learn about this new faith that I have embraced I see so many things that I have not left behind as I leave the Mormon faith ( The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints). Really there are many similarities.
Here are some:
- I still believe in prophets, just no longer in a current one, or in Joesph Smith. I follow the teaching of one who lived long ago, and brought us the Quran. His name is Mohammed(PBUH).
- I believe still in revealed scripture, but my Book of Mormon has been replaced with my Quran.
- I still follow dietary rules. But instead of the Word of Wisdom (no tea, coffee, alcohol, drugs, smoking) I eat halal(slaughtered properly), stay away from pork, and don’t drink alcohol or smoke.
- I still believe family is very important as believe that women and men have defined roles in life.
- I still believe all people have the right to choose religion. We are not about compulsion.
- I still follow time entrenched rituals. But my temple attendance and garment have been replaced with my prayer mat and praying 5 times a day.
- I still dress modestly. In fact now I cover more. Before I was covering the signs of my faith ( the garment). Now I cover me. I wear my hijab and long clothes knowing that I am doing what is right.
- I still believe that when it comes to the bible that not all of it is correct.
- I still give. My tithe has been replaced with Zakat.
- I still pray. Now I pray more and enjoy the direct connection to the Creator and Father of All. \
I have been learning much as I embrace this new faith of mine, doing so in iolation of being a country girl has its challenges but Allah has been aiding me each step of the way. I am learning that in Mormonism I was given a foundation that would later help me embrace this faith of mine. Was Mormonism wrong? For me, yes, for others it is there faith and just like the one I live today they live and act on thier faith hour by hour, day by day.
Here last night I ended up walking home in the rain. I left work about 30 minutes late as I took a customer’s call just before I was supposed to leave and guess what? It was the longest call of the day. As I walked home I couldn’t help but think of the rain and how hard the day had been and it really had been.
Then I was drawn to thoughts of how Allah prepares us for rain storms. Whether it is simply a bad day, with the daily storms that can come such as long calls, harsh customers, a child who isn’t doing what you thought they would be, all of those little storms Allah prepares us for. My faith teaches me patience and turning to Him in prayer. I tend to do this alot when I am getting discouraged with the daily grind. My faith also teaches me to look for the good in the rain, and I can usually find something good in each moment no matter how hard like learning something new or that I can use in the future.
Then there are the bigger storms that come, like after I got home I could here the winds pick up, I could hear the rain harshly beating on my windows. I can look out this morning and see damage from this rain storm, and then I thought sometimes in our lives the storms do come. For me the major storms in my life have been the loss of all my material possessions in a fire, the destruction of a home in a hurricane, a cancer scare, the diagnosis of a daughter with a learning disability, and the death of family members. These are all storms that come. How we deal with these rain storms vary. For me these are the times that I find faith becomes more important to me. I find this is when I am in prayer more, this is when I find myself looking for the little good things, and being thankful for them.
For me I know that we need the storms, they help us grow as humans and each has its purpose just as each drop of rain provides life in the Eco system. For all the storms that come may I say Thank you Allah, for in them we can find good if we but look.
On Friday was another day of juma. Here in New Glasgow it is very different for the few of us Muslims that are here. First there is no masjid. If you are Muslim, can you even imagine that?
On Friday there were 4 brothers and too my delight there were 3 sisters. Usually the two other sisters that live in town don’t come to juma. It was so good to meet them finally! Here in small town Canada things that Muslims in large communities are things we can not take for granted, like praying in community.
The closest actual Mosque or masjid is one hour by car away. Many of us don’t get to see other Muslims except at prayer. I am fortunate because I work with 2 brothers who work at the same company as me. It is nice to know they are just cubicles away.
Community is the one thing I miss the most right now. Especially as a sister I feel alone. I know I am not but that is how I feel. I find it hard to grow my faith, hard to learn this religion that is new to me. I am not sure how to grow so I come online and look for that feeling of belonging here, does that make sense?
Since my move to rural Nova Scotianity I have flet very alone as a Muslim woman, especially because I am very new in my faith even still. Here in town there are only 4muslim families, and me and one other single brother. In the 4 families none of the sisters have I met yet as they dont go to juma on a regular basis. I find myself trying hard to figure out my faith on my own…..and trust me if you live and are in a larger Muslim community you need to be thankful for it!
As for work, I am settling in and have been asked to sit on the corporate diversity comittee, so much for wearing my hijab at work. My worries were for nothing, and so far the only thing that has come from it is the chance to explain bits of my faith at work and that is a good thing.
My daughter and I have finally found our own apartment and that is a good thing so I can practice my faith without feeling like my mom hates what I do.
Often I find myself coming here, to the Internet to feel community and part of the bigger picture, for me that helps.
If you stop by and read and can think of other ways for me to increase in my faith in a lone environment let me know.
For me this journey caused me to ask many questions and I am so grateful that God brought some pretty good people into my life who answer questions and help me to reason things out. I am thankful for this blessing.
At each fork in the road I have taken God at that time puts someone in my life who becomes a teacher and guide into things that i do not know. For me recently one of those has been my new friend Jameelah. When it comes to embracing Islam she knows alot as she is a revert herself. She has been able to answer many questions about Islam…
More and more each I feel the reversion happening, more and more I see myself as a Muslim. I see the things that make sense.
The last month as I have really looked at Islam there is much that can attract someone, but there are the things that can turn someone away as well. I am sure this is common in every faith that I can think of.
Yesterday I volunteered with a Christian organization and got into an interesting conversation with another volunteer. She too is checking out Islam. We were talking about some of the things that are likely to happen if we revert.
Here is my list:
- First I will have to find a job that is more appropriate
- Wearing the hijab will turn heads especially since I chair my daughters school parents organization.
- Getting up to pray when I would rather sleep.
- My family would likely disown me.
- No more looking at men
Now some of these are serious concerns and others well they wouldn’t bug me. Islam I am realizing is not a religion for the faint of heart. You need to realize that here in the west you are turning your back on so much you were raised with and embracing a new faith and a new way of life.