Tag Archives: women in islam

Things that stopped me from becoming a Muslim

10 Apr

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

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May Allah (subhana wa’tala) grant us guidance, knowledge and strengthen our emaan (faith). May Allah (swt) bless all Muslims that seek refuge in His Mercy alone, and may Allah (swt) protect us from any evil or harm.

As-salaam alaikum! (May Allah bless you) Islam is indeed the most beautiful religion there can be. It gives you responsibilities, humbleness, takes away that horrendous ego that limits us from submitting to God and so much more.

However, my journey to Islam has been one that took longer than what I would have wanted it to. Looking back, I truly wish I had taken advantage of so many opportunities to change my life and become Muslim. However, Allah (swt) knows why we become Muslim and why those non-believers turn away from Islam.

Why did I prolong my Shahada (declaring that you are a Muslim) so much? Despite the fact that my aqeedah (knowledge) was growing, I lacked salaah (practicing Islam by praying). I felt Muslim for a long time before I finally took my Shahada under the eyes of Allah.

Here are the reasons as to why I didn’t become a Muslim immediately after knowing about Islam.

Fearing the unknown. 

Islam

Prior to learning and researching up on Islam, I knew nothing about the religion. I didn’t even know what a Muslim worshiped, what they believed in, or anything! (Looking back, I’ve learned so much in one year Subhanallah).

 Despite that most people associate Muslims with terrorism or any of these false claims, I never had this idea about Muslims Alhamdulillah. I didn’t even know that the Qur’an existed! Oh Mash’Allah that I became Muslim because Allah (swt) wanted me to become a believer.

When I was told about Islam, I didn’t want to read up on it. I was somewhat afraid of it. You see, when you don’t know about something, you will fear the unknown. Especially in religious matters.

Even after I researched into Islam, I didn’t want to read the Qur’an. I knew that some way or another, this religion would “sneak up” on me, grab me by the feet and throw me into its “cobweb”. And I didn’t want that at the time being. I was happily a Catholic, and didn’t want to explore unknown territory.

However, there was something that really caused curiosity in me. Why is that people don’t like Muslims? This I knew quite well: the media was always attacking Muslims. They were always saying how racist Muslims were, how terrorism was accepted and how these women had to be forced to cover their faces and body.

But, when I read about Islam it felt like such a peaceful and beautiful religion. “These Muslims!” I would think, “How they get on all fours and put their heads to the ground and worship God! I’d like to see those people at my church bow down that way to God! Never!” I would think, “Never, as long as there big fat egos are in the way.”

However, these thoughts were all kept to me, and I never discussed it with my family or my close friends. When I did bring it up, my friends were shocked and told me to stay away from those “terrorists”, to find God in some other Bible, like the Baptist Bible or another Christian sect. Just don’t go into that book! They would warn me, believing they were doing good.

I was “letting my religion down.”

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Another reason that made me turn back from becoming a Muslim was the feeling that I was turning down not only my religion, but also my identity, my community and my family. After several months of reading into the religion, I felt betrayed by my own community.

I would think to myself, Jesus wasn’t crucified? These saints we worship are all wrong? Why wasn’t this explained to me during Bible school? And most importantly, why hadn’t I realized all this before?

So I would put the book I was reading down and continue my pagan life.

However, I never truly stopped researching about Islam. It just made sense. No religion, not even Catholicism, had even made so much sense before. Worship one God. Period. No idols involved, no weird rituals, no intermediaries between me and God. It was like a breath of fresh air, from all this nonsense I was being fed at in church.

So I read about Islam, read about God, read about the Prophets, and about revert stories and the more I read about Islam, the more I wanted to become Muslim.

What would my friends think?

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As shameful as this might be to admit, I was in fact afraid of what my society would say. You see, we live in a world where the society decides what you can and cannot do. It tells you what to think, how to dress, what career you should pursue, how you should treat others, etc.

So becoming a Muslim meant going against – well – everything!

The way I was dressing was completely inadequate. The way I thought was poisoning my heart. I was in a stage in my life where wealth was the only concern I had for my future.

When I would sit down and read about God’s oneness and what our purpose in life was, it felt reassuring. I didn’t fear death anymore. I could stand up to the world and not fear being turned down. More than ever did I want to reject these disgusting and ridiculous people shown on the television and heard on the radio that brainwash adolescents into thinking this is how you will be happy – with money and cars and fame – and how you should be.

Islam is liberating. It’s not like anything you could ever imagine it to be. You find peace in it, and these worldly desires are nothing but – worldly desires!

However, at this moment I was more concerned about my family and friends than about what I really wanted. So I kept Islam closed and shut in my heart and continued living that life my society expected me to. Unfortunately, silencing my beliefs was rather more saddening than I thought it would be.

The hijab.

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One of the main reasons that stopped me from taking my Shahada and becoming a Muslim was this thing Muslim women wrap around their heads.

I didn’t really know that Muslim women had to wear this on a daily basis. In fact, when I read about it from a traveling website, I had read that it was a sign of respect to wear this when entering mosques. So I believed for quite a while that the hijab was only worn when entering mosques.

It wasn’t until several months later that I read about the hijab being something compulsory. When I read that it was mandatory, I began frantically looking for more information as to oppose this truth. I wanted an article to yell out to me, “Relax, it’s not mandatory. Muslim women don’t have to wear the hijab.”

But I never came through an article like this Alhamdulillah and it made me hesitate on my quest for the truth. Despite that this was a disappointment to hear, since my mother’s a hair stylist and I’ve been around the impression that women look beautiful with long, pretty hair, my search for the truth didn’t stop there.

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In fact, as I read about the hijab, it actually started to make sense. I read about how we live in a society where men are allowed to look at women however they want, and that we as women allow them to! And this is in fact the perfect description of my country. Costa Rica is a wonderful country, but unfortunately women grow up with this idea screwed into their head that you are a sex symbol. If you don’t look sexy and attractive and show as much skin as possible, no man will ever lay eyes on you. Because there will always be hotter and more attractive looking women around you, and you have to “beat” the competition.

What a loud of – erm, nonsense! It felt reassuring to know that if you cover and dress modestly, you are in charge of who looks at your body. And I loved the idea of only being attractive to my future husband insha’Allah. It sounded safe and comforting and, something a pious woman would do – someone who loves Allah and will not submit to Shaytaan.

So after many months of debating whether or not I should be against the hijab or not, I listened to the scholars of Islam and of course, the Qur’an foremost. I actually find the hijab beautiful and would love to see more women in my country cover up a bit more.

This is in itself a topic on its own, so I’ll cover more of it in the near future insha’Allah.

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En fin…

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So these are the reasons as to why I didn’t take my Shahada until almost a full year after my quest began.

I struggled with mainly the outer contexts of Islam, such as the society around me and their opinions, the hijab and dressing modestly and the church that has so much power in my country.

Mash’Allah Islam entered my heart and I never doubted it. Yes, you may go through the phases of wondering why eating pork is haram or why men should grow a beard, but these are all external points that are insignificant when it comes to what truly lies in your heart.

Remember that Islam is not just about obtaining knowledge (aqeedah). Why you may ask? Because the one that knew the most about Allah (swt) was, who? Shaytaan. But, he had no emaan (faith) and therefore his knowledge turned into satanic knowledge, which we still have nowadays in people.

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So Islam is not just about the “obtaining knowledge” part. Yes, we as Muslims MUST obtain knowledge. It’s not a decision. It’s mandatory to know our religion, to know what we say in Salaah, to know about other religions, to question this earthly life, etc. (This is what I love about Islam, there are no secrets in it and nothing is hidden from us Muslims Alhamdulillah!)

But there is also the emaan that we cannot ignore. Without it, our religion is not a religion. It’s just an empty belief.

Never underestimate the power of your Salaah. Praying is our relationship with Allah; directly, no intermediaries, no one looking, nothing. It’s just you and Allah (swt). Praise your Creator, thank Allah for the life you have, for the calamities and tests He has put in your life.

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And most truly Allah knows best.

Chao.

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The beauty of Islam

29 Mar

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Islam: Why haven’t you converted?

As-salam alaikum! May the peace and blessing of Allah be on you!

The weather is terribly hot today in Costa Rica as it should be on a Friday afternoon in March, but it would be an insult to imagine this as being an excuse to not dress modestly during prayer. I won’t say it didn’t take me long for me to realize how important prayer is and being on time, but the journey up to this point has been amazing.

I am quite aware of what people think about Islam in my country. Just to lay out a quick idea of it, my mother was practically forcing me to leave the religion all together. Wow. I didn’t know we ticos believe so wrongly about Islam. Does it have to do with those terrorist incidents that occurred during 911? Or maybe it’s the “preposterous” modest dress women use in this “modern” society? Or maybe it’s that false belief that Muslim men beat their women?

Whatever the reason may be, we all know that in western societies, people have a negative perspective about Islam. Please enlighten me with your thoughts about Islam if you wish. J I would love to get a good laugh this beautiful Friday afternoon.

Despite what the media may be saying nowadays about Islam, I will tell you this. If Islam is such a “bad” religion, then why have I reverted to it? In fact, why have thousands of people worldwide revert to Islam every year? Did you know that in the USA alone, over 100 000 people revert to Islam per year? Insha’Allah that number will get bigger every year.

My advice to you

My advice to those non-believers or kafiroon in Arabic, is to read the Qur’an. Yes, just read it. You can surf endlessly through the Internet, finding both valid and incorrect articles about Islam. However, the Qur’an will always be the same. Regardless of the different translations of it in other languages, it has maintained its Arabic form since the first revelation.

It will open your eyes. It certainly did to me. Quite honestly, I was expecting terrible things from it and didn’t even know what Muslims believed in. But the Qur’an is perfect in its entirety. It’s the only book that has been memorized and recited the most throughout these 1 400 years. I am certain no Christian on the face of this Earth knows the entire Bible from cover to cover. However, thousands and thousands of Muslims worldwide know the Qur’an, all 114 suras of it.

Why Islam is the right religion

Here are some of my personal reasons as to why I reverted to Islam. Of course the reasons are endless.

  1. It’s the only Universal religion. All other religions out there – Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, etc – have come for a certain group or people, like Christianity came for the children of Israel. Islam however, came for the entire humanity, without considering your race, ethnic group, geographical location, language, etc. It came as a message for all humanity. As mentioned in the Qur’an:

…And they say: “None shall enter paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” Those are their (vain) desires. Say: “Produce your proof if you are truthful.” Nay whoever submits his whole self to Allah and is a doer of good, he will get his reward with his Lord; on such shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.” (2:111-112)

What I find beautiful is that all Muslims pray in Arabic, myself included. It’s so breathtaking to know that the entire Ummah (Muslim community) pray in one language only. Alhamdulillah.

2.It’s simplicity. Unlike other religions, Islam is so simple. We are all born Muslims, since Islam means “submission to the will of God.” We are all born submitting ourselves to Allah without even knowing it, just like the trees submit to Allah, the animals submit willingly to Allah. However, we are raised up to have different believes and to worship other besides Allah, like to pray to Jesus, or to different gods.

Even I was baptized into Catholicism without me even knowing, or having a say at it. Muslim children begin praying and obtaining knowledge once they are old enough to speak. They are not baptized or forced into the religion.

Islam is simple in the sense that you worship your Creator. There is no need to have to accept some “divine sacrifice” for our salvation. God is our only savior, and submitting ourselves to Him will give us inner peace.

3.Women are respected in Islam. You’re probably thinking, oh yeah right, women are subjugated in this religion. The truth is that women are respected in Islam. Period. It was during the 20th century that women started having some rights, like voting, being able to work, etc. But before this, women have always been submitted to their husbands or fathers.

Christianity and Judaism are chauvinistic religions. As mentioned in the Bible, women cover their heads for respect to their husbands. In Islam, women cover their heads to protect themselves from perverts. When you choose who decides to see your body, you are respecting yourself. When you dress according to fashion, you have no control as to who can see your beauty, including those perverts that can and will harm you if given a chance.

4. You are encouraged and obliged to seek knowledge. In Islam, you are required to obtain knowledge. For example, why am I here? Who created me? What’s my purpose in life? These are questions Allah encourages us to ponder about in the Qur’an. We are even encouraged to know about the prophets and the origins of the Qur’an. Christians and Jews are never truly told where their Bible came from, since even the scholars of Christianity have no knowledge of this! Furthermore, once you start investigating the Bible, you lose belief in it, since it is corrupt and has been changed throughout the years by men.

5. You find happiness in Islam. Islam is perfect; Muslims are not. Allah is perfect and has a plan for each and every one of us. He loves his creation, and shows this to us through His attributes, such as He is all Forgiving, in His grace, His justice and in His love for us. When you pray, you know why you do so. You know the reason for life, the reason behind every action you do. And finally, you know this world is a test, for the next life to come.

Islam gives you something no other religion will ever give you. It makes you submit only to your Lord, your Creator. You follow the Sunnah or prophetic way because you know the prophet (peace be upon him) was enlightened and guided by God. There are no errors in the religion.

6. And finally, it’s the only religion that God will accept. Once you know about Islam, you have been exposed to the truth. You know that worshiping others besides Allah is a form of shirk, or idolatry. Even Christians break their divine laws by worshiping Jesus as their Lord and savior. The Qur’an tells us that Allah will only accept this religion. So don’t try to hide from God. Allah knows what is in your hearts, and He will guide only those whom He wishes.

Insha’Allah you will reflect on the beauty of Islam. Subhanallah that Islam has been given to us, as a way to obtain Jannah and to submit voluntarily to the will of Allah.

And Allah (subhana wa’tala), the most Beneficent, the most Merciful knows best.

Chao 🙂

References:

Islamic. (2000). Recuperado el 28 de march de 2013, de Why Accept Islam?: http://www.islamic.org.uk/whyislam.htm

Adim, S. A. (2004). La Mujer en el Islam y en el Judeocristianismo: Mito y Realidad. Madrid, España.

Ghounem , M., & Rahman, A. (1998). Geocities. Recuperado el 29 de marzo de 2013, de Why are so many Women converting to Islam?: http://www.geocities.com/athens/agora/4229/women.html

Holy Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://quran.com/2/170

Contact with the Opposite Gender in Costa Rica

6 Mar

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Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

As Salamu ’Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. May the peace and mercy of Allah be with you. I’ve been thinking about writing on this topic for a while now but needed a bit more of validity to my opinion before I courageously posted it up.

Here in my lovely, tropical country the weather hasn’t been so pretty. Which I don’t mind, since I happen to love the cold weather. People from all across the nation greet each other with kisses, hand shakes and even occasional hugging. Hand shaking isn’t so common here but instead ticos tend to greet the opposite gender with a kiss on the cheek.

From what I’ve read there is a lot of comments and Hadeeths mentioning hand shaking with the opposite gender as being haram (illegal) or highly not recommended. This is primarily due to the Prophet’s (salalahu alayhi wa’ salam) example towards his treatment to non-mahram women (relatives).

The word used both in the Qur’an and Hadeeths to define touching is lams. Strictly speaking, this is in reference to actions that precede sexual intercourse. In other words, any act with a lust intention or fitnah (temptation) behind it.

I assume that back in the day, if you were to kiss a woman you would have the intention on marrying her. Now, in this chaotic world we are living in, even the act of sexual intercourse is not associated with marriage. I believe that even in Muslims this has slightly been corrupted in our generation.

Despite this, many scholars such as Imam Al-Shafi`i and Imam Abu Hanifah have strong arguments as to how the slightest touching of the hands can end up invalidating your wudhu or state of purity. This is further explained in the Qur’an:

O you who believe! Do not approach Salah after… lāmastum (touching) women, but if you do not find water, then perform Tayammum with clean earth, rubbing your faces and hands. Truly, Allah is Ever Oft-Pardoning, Oft-Forgiving. (4:43)

Although in the Qur’an the word touching does not state specifically what kind of touching or with what intention it’s done with, scholars have found two meanings for the act of touching the opposite gender: touching with lustful intention, and touching without this desire behind it.

I strongly believe that we as Muslims should not shake hands, let alone kiss when greeting the opposite sex no matter what your intention may be (you never know what the other person is thinking or what their intentions are). Not only is there no authentic Hadeethic proof that the Prophet (saws) was seen shaking hands with a non-mahram woman, but it’s also mentioned in the Qur’an as I quoted before.

Of course physical contact with your spouse and close family members is not considered haram, since they are mahram to you. Also, a Hadith narrated by A’isha (may Allah be pleased with her) as recorded in the Musnad of Imam Ahmad states that:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to kiss `A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) and then go to pray at the masjid without renewing his ablution.

It’s those not related with us that we must be careful with.

In Costa Rica, if you are already a local here you will know just how hard it is to avoid this contact with the opposite gender throughout the day. If you’re not a local, then I’ll quickly describe it for you.

In Hispanic culture, if you’re a woman you greet both male and female with a kiss. There doesn’t exist hand shaking in our culture as we find his “cold” and not friendly-like. This is usually only performed during interviews or in the work field. When greeting friends and family members you usually greet them with a kiss on the cheek. If you’re really close with them or haven’t seen them in a while you might also see people hugging.

This whole kissing thing isn’t considered strange or taboo in our culture. Boys and girls won’t giggle or feel embarrassed when greeting each other like this, unlike in other western cultures where even a hand shake is awkward.

So therefore, it’s always been a “normal” thing for me to greet people with a kiss. Whether it be an uncle or cousin, or friends from my university, I found nothing wrong or haram in it.

In fact, I once had a friend that backed away when I was going to greet her with a kiss, which I then considered her to be really weird after that happened. Now, I find it normal for her to have done that.

So what can you do if you live in a society where kissing or even hand shaking is normal between the opposite gender?

First, we must find the logic behind not greeting someone with a kiss or hand shake.

We live in a society where all these haram things are now halal to us, and this has been done through Shaytaan’s meticulous planning to make us fall astray from the path. Think to yourself. How can approaching a male and planting a kiss on his cheek not be strange for you? Would you like your husband or wife to do this with other males or females?

Not only is it disrespectful to your spouse (or future spouse), but it’s also disrespectful to you. You are giving permission to this person to touch you in this manner, so what wrong would it be if he happened to touch you on another place if you’re already allowing him to kiss you?

Once you’ve realized the wrongness in it, and how disrespectful it is for you as a woman or man, you will find it easier to want to respect your body. It’s much more peaceful to know that you are the one who decides who kisses you or touches you, then to know that any man or woman can come up to you and plant a kiss on your face.

If you don’t respect your space, then who will?

Finally, keep in consideration the word of God, the Qur’an and what it tells us:

And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent (35:31)

If you dress in a modest and very “Islamic” way as I like to put it, when you tell someone that you do not greet with a kiss or with a hand shake, or with any other physical contact, they will find it easier to accept. As where if you dress like everyone else is dressing, with shorts or clothing that clings on much to tightly to your body, then they will want to laugh into your face, since you will be dressing in a manner that will obviously attract the opposite sex.

Think further into it. If you see a woman on the street with very modest clothing (like a nun in Catholicism) then you will automatically respect that woman. The way you dress makes a statement of it’s own that you won’t have to put into words each time someone will greet you.

I’m not a Hijaabi (one that wears Hijab) yet, but inshallah when I decide to use the hijab, I think that men would automatically feel drawn back from me, and they will respect my decision on whether or not I greet them the way everyone else does.

In the end, it’s all about respecting yourself.

Keep in mind that in a Hispanic culture, there will be men (or women if you’re a guy reading this) that will want to greet you with a kiss. And sometimes it’s not even in a lust manner; it’s just the way they’ve been raised up. But keep in mind that if you allow yourself to be exposed like this, you are also permitting him or her to have permission to do other things or say things to you disrespectfully. It might not happen, but you are allowing yourself to be in that situation.

If there is fear of fitnah or desire in it, then it is most surely haram.

I feel that women in my country have lost this shyness altogether. Even the men have lost their shyness towards women. When you avoid any contact with the opposite gender, you feel not only good with your effort in doing so, especially in a country where everyone greets this way, but you would also have more affection and love for those that truly care for you, such as your spouse.

Inshallah this will make you meditate (metaphorically speaking) about greeting and touching the opposite gender in your country. May Allah (swt) give you health and blessings each and every day!

Chao.

References:

al-Qaradhawi, S. Y. (4 de Junio de 2008). Shaking hands with a non Mahram. Recuperado el 5 de Marzo de 2013, de Suhaib Webb: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/faqs-and-fatwas/shaking-hands-with-a-non-mahram-dr-yusuf-al-qaradawi/

Holy Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://quran.com/2/170

Khalfe, M. A. (s.f.). Does touching the opposite sex break ones Wudhu? Recuperado el 5 de Marzo de 2013, de http://islamictext.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/does-touching-the-opposite-sex-break-ones-wudhu1.pdf

My Secret Life as a Muslim

25 Feb

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Okay this title might be a bit confusing. It’s almost as if I’m confessing some terrible sin I’ve committed by claiming that this is a “secret” life. Technically secret does mean something which no one knows about.

But quite sadly it is somewhat true. Despite the fact that there are people that know the path I have chosen over every other path out there,which is Islam, there are others that don’t know that and I almost feel obligated to hide it from them.

It’s not that I don’t like to say I’m a Muslim. I’m actually quite proud I have reverted to Islam and have never felt so close with Allah in my entire life. But the reactions you get from people by telling them you’re a Muslim is saddening and always leaves me with a bad taste in my soul.

It should all resume to the reaction I got from my mother. It was shortly after I had taken my shahada that I sat down with her one night to watch tv. I quite frankly don’t like television, but that certain day I went and watched tv with her. I felt her tense near me, so as a way to ooze down the silence between us I tried starting up a conversation. It was then that she started questioning whether or not I was reading that “book” (the Qur’an, but she avoided calling it by it’s sacred name).

I’ve never thought it could hurt so much having someone offend you with words. It was bomb after bomb of false accusations, of forbidding me to read this book again, of threatening me with not ever talking to me again. I tried to keep my calm, but the weakness in my voice was inevitable to hear. I was in shock. I kept thinking to myself, okay Dio you can wake up now. This nightmare is starting to get a bit painful.

But it wasn’t a nightmare, but in fact actual words coming from my own mother.

She accused me of dressing stupidly and admitted thinking how absurd it was for her. She yelled at me that she found impossible to understand these women that cover their head, and when I told her that covering your head was also stated in the Bible, she flipped and started attacking me in other ways. She would scream, “Don’t you remember the 911 incident? All those innocent people that died because of those terrorists?” My God! My mother actually believed Muslims to be terrorists!

I felt my world falling apart. I knew after this one-way argument our relationship would never be the same. I had always trusted my mom with so many things in my life, but now her true colors were showing. I would close my eyes and think to myself, just make her stop Allah.

A part of me wanted to go running into my room or out of the house, but it was almost 10 p.m. and I knew I couldn’t chicken out. I would defend my religion for as much as I could. How dare she insult me this way? Even worse, how dare she insult God? She doesn’t know that in Islam you worship the same God in which Christians believe in. So this helped me be more calm and not feel defeated at certain times during her accusations.

It was mind-numbing to hear her talk that way about the Qur’an. I would continuously tell her to quit her insults to the word of God, but she had no belief in that it was the word of God.

She hurt me bad.

I know you shouldn’t let people bring you down like this, especially when it’s in reference to Allah. But she is my mother. How can you not feel bad when it’s the person that raised you and gave you care and food and protection? She’s supposed to support me in the things I do, not turn me down like this. It almost felt as if I had come out to her with something ridiculous like I was a lesbian or that I had killed someone. I felt like she was accusing me of a crime this bad. And reverting to Islam isn’t even a bad thing!

After this happened, I feel like I’m now living a double life. I tend to pray in my room, with the door closed and muttering almost whispering my prayers to myself. I don’t want her to see me when I pray, especially since I know she will say something rude and interrupt me in my prayer.

I don’t say anything when someone prays in the name of Jesus as Christians tend to do. Nor do I correct someone when they bless themselves under the name of Jesus. These are Christians things that I now find incorrect and know they are committing shirk (associating others with Allah), but despite my knowledge I maintain myself quiet.

And after I got this reaction from my mother, I know others will have an even worse reaction than she did. I wish I had enough courage in me to not care about other’s opinions, but since I live with Christians in my home and in my community, it’s rather hard not to say something that would insult them, or have them all against me afterwards.

If it were up to me, I would have probably begun using the hijab once I took my shahada. I mean, why go against what Allah tells us is best for us? And I happen to like the way women represent Islam this way.

I’ve spoken with another Muslimah here in Costa Rica that has told me how people treated her after her reversion to Islam. Her mother had also reacted negatively towards her when she told her that she was a Muslim. Also, when she wore hijab people would give her nasty looks, as well as those even more ignorant that would yell at her things like “terrorist” or those that considered her to be oppressed.

I think that because of the amount of Catholics that live here, Islam is not welcome. To top this all off, the media has made people have false belief towards Muslims, tagging them as terrorists, old-fashioned and that the women are subjugated to men.

I mean go onto Google and search the word Islam under Images. You get all these terrible images that make me sick to my stomach. You don’t see this happening to Christianity. And why’s that? Because the media is controlled by Christians. These Christians beliefs are the ones that tell you what you need to see, what you don’t need to see and what you should be thinking.

I wish every Christian or Jew or whatever other religion could go out and read the Qur’an, even if it were just a segment or a small fraction of the Qur’an. Where does it talk about terrorism, oppression, neglecting certain people? Where? You would find yourself empty handed with this type of proof in our religion.

So this is the reason of why I prefer not to tell people I am Muslim. I know this is probably an excuse, as there should be no reason to feel ashamed of Islam. In fact, given the circumstances I live in I should be informing people about Islam and not keeping it all to myself.

So what can we do about this?

First, education. We as ticos must learn to educate our children in a way that teaches them to respect other religions. Since ticos live in a one-religion country, everyone here is Christian or the majority of their family is Christian. Therefore, I’ve witnessed that a lot of people, adults and children,will laugh at people from other cultures or religions. This is because they aren’t exposed to different ethnic groups and when they do see someone that is different, this is their form of isolating them from the rest.

This is the real answer to the problem. If I were to live in a place where diversity was more sparse, I wouldn’t feel like such a sore thumb, sticking out in the crowd. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

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Even an uncle came this afternoon, who happens to be a devote Christian and I didn’t feel like having to give him any explanations of my religion. If I knew someone were to come to me inquiring the religion with an open mind and wanting to know more of it’s beauty, I would love to help. But, I see these people and know why they want to ask me about Islam: to find the errors in it (something I believe they will never have any validity in their answers).

Insha’Allah He will give me the strength to ignore these comments, take them as a test of my patience and answer them with pride and respect. I feel it’s not necessary to argue and make people feel bad of their religion when trying to defend Islam, but it is very important to defend it at all costs (even if that person happens to be your mother).

I found peace in Islam. So much, that when today my poor dog died (may he rest in peace) I did not feel the need to break down in tears like my mother and sister did. I understand that Allah (saw) does everything for a reason and that He is the best of planners mashallah! 🙂

I trust my entire life to the will of Allah. He knows what is best for me, as I do not. And for those that state, “then why is their evil?” I answer: Allah does not create evil, but in fact He does these things for the good that will come from that evil, even if we as mere humans – finite and just the creation – may not be able to understand that good in it’s entirety. Subhanallah for that.

Well I hope you all have a glorious day/evening wherever you are in the world. 🙂 Please keep in tune for a new article I have on why Christians don’t understand Muslims. Thanks for reading, and before I go do let me know how your experience was at the beginning of being a Muslim and also what we can do in our society, this beautiful country that is Costa Rica, to improve our acceptance to Islam.

Chao.

Greetings!

19 Feb

As-salamu alaykum! May the peace and blessings of Allah be on each and every one of us, inshallah.

I’m proud to start a new, fresh blog about my journey into Islam. I welcome you to be a frequent knower of what happens in my life as a new revert mashallah, as well as my personal views and opinions on topics concerning the religion. Now to make things right, of course the content will be supported with the Qur’an and Hadeeths as to verify and give all of us a clear understanding that won’t be just me blabbing on about something I want, and not taking into account the word of God first.

So I hope you join me in this exciting adventure if you already haven’t!

So what can you expect from this blog? Of course, like every great task in our lives, we must commit to objectives that will keep us motivated as well as being realistic. So therefore, do except a new entry on subjects like women in Islam, how to improve our emaan and other important topics most of us would avoid talking about so openly, as well as experiences that happen in my side of the world in the eyes of a muslimah inshallah.

 

Before I go, please feel free to contact  me at TheTicaMuslimah@gmail.com

I hope you all have a glorious day/evening, and welcome again to my blog!

Chao