Thursday, June 10, 2010

Losing Yourself

Salam Walaykum sisters! Sorry haven't posted in a while, just settling in here on my summer vacay. I have a little food for thought and a question for you all. Do you ever feel as if you've traded your identity for Islam? I myself feel this way occasionally, however Allah chose for me to convert early, alhamdiullilah, before I had really established my "western identity". I found Islam during my more formidable teenage years, where it really saved me from some going down a dark path. But I'm seeing a pattern with some of the sisters who are close to me, that they feel they've crossed the line of sacraficing into total anonymity. Who are you? And does it really come down to an either/or decision? Your identity or your Islam? I'm talking about the halal stuff, accepting Islam means you choose to abandon sin. I mean your hobbies, interests, aspirations, careers? Do you still know who you are as a muslim? Or do you spend your time depressed over what you used to do, who you used to be? Where does the line of sacraficing for Allah end and losing who you are begin? IMHO, a positive attitude can greatly lighten any load, religious or otherwise. It's easy to get wrapped up in the daily load than it is to remember the reason why we're sacraficing. This life is a test, and like any test, we can work hard to pass or put forth no effort and fail. No one said the road to Jenna would be easy, in fact Allah made it hard for a reason, so only the best believers would enter. We need to keep Jennah in our mind as our ultimate goal, even when times are tough, so we won't be discouraged or think that our hard work is for naught. That's number one, number two, remember that the only one who can truly change us is Allah. Pray for patience and pray for ease, and as long as your fullfilling your obigations, He will grant you what's best for you insha'Allah. Number three, why not trying to reinvent ourselves in Islam? Establishing an Islamic identity? Instead of mourning the characters of the past, what about reinventing yourself as a muslim? Conversion is all about rebirth, Allah has erased the bad stuff we've done before Islam, and given us a new start. Without any outside influence, who would you want to be if you could be anyone in the world? What would you spend more time doing and what would you stop altogether? What would you improve, phase out, change, revamp, etc? What would your personality be like? WOuld you be more patient, kinder, less of a perfectionist? There's no reason we can't begin now. If you look at it from a more porisive and inspiring angle, you might find that your true goals lie deeper in Islam than you think. These are just some of my thoughts, I'd love to hear yours, dear readers. Salams to all!

5 comments:

  1. Asalamu A'laikum Umm Hamza, I absolutely agree with everything you've stated. I think seeking knowledge is important it increases taqwa and patience. With knowledge, the enemy is very clear and that way you're in a better position to protect yourself.

    Jazakallahu Khayr and visit me on my humble blog sometime

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  2. SubhanAllah, I feel this way soooo much. I had built such an identity before I converted, traveled so much, became my own unique person with unique ideas and feelings and qualities and now it seems since I have converted, I am forced for forget all that. To the Arabs (yes, all Muslims I know are arab.), I have to hide these things because they think bad things about women who have traveled the world alone and have the experience I have, and to my non-Muslim friends I have completely changed for the worse, accepting things like polygny. To your everyday non-Muslim, they assume I am foreign, don't speak english, converted for my husband, have no opinions of my own......jeeze. It seems I have completely lost my unique self in converting and it hurts a lot. :-(

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  3. I'm both surprised and saddened by how many muslim women I know feel this way. I think living in a non-muslim country is a big factor too. I notice I feel more like this when I'm in the US then I do in Egypt, because the values, opportunities, expectations of the two countries are so different. I'd really like to be a support for sisters struggling with this issue. I've heard of sisters finding the identity thing to be too big of a burden and they blame the religion, astagfirullah. I think converts empathize with other converts, which is why I started blogging in the first place. To find a common ground for the converted western muslim woman :) Peacew be with you sister and stay strong!

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  4. A'salaamu alaikum sis and Ramadhan mubarak! Hadn't "heard" from you in a while and just wanted to say I enjoyed what you has posted so far.

    May Allah accept your fasts..

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  5. Yep, two years ago now, I kind of went through with this. I was down on what was left for me in Canada, as nice as it is there and all, I was so so limited in career choices, and travelling alone used to be part of me, being in every kind of social environment ect... I had changed and loved my Islam and felt peace in what I was doing since I had left the haraam from before, but that left me to feel trapped somehow despite by other people, cultural muslims, hypocrite muslims, non Muslim Islam haters, ignorant people.... All these identities and none of them me, who I was before, or who I wanted to be now you know. Here in Oman I feel peace from that.

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