Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Ahlan Wa Sahlan

Monday, February 11, 2008

Three years and all my life

Its coming up on three years of being Muslim for me, only three years. See, I feel like its been my entire life already, like I was never anything else but Muslim. How is this that in three years I've lived one whole lifetime?

Maybe it was because I was half-Muslim for about 4 months before I took the plunge.

Maybe it is because the sleeping soul inside of me was Muslim long before I ever existed.

Maybe its because I really was recreated and born again the moment I took my shehada.

I don't know, but to me its been a lot longer than 3 years as a Muslim.

Its been my whole life.

* * * *

I don't remember the exact date I took my shehada, I think this is better and it may have been subconsciously intentional to not mark the day. I feel like to have marked it would mean I would have had to celebrate it every year that it came around. Like a birthay, I guess, which it is in its own right. But I don't think it is the day which is remarkable, but the event instead that changed my life.

As I said above, I playacted at being Muslim for about 4 months before I actually converted. It was like I knew I was, but my heart hadn't yet told my brain. I had never really been in denial before then so I didn't realize that while I was putting on hijab for an Islamic History class at the U I was really being who I was, and everything else was just an act.

I don't know how to explain it, its a singular insanity that is all my own.

I would be at halaqas in abaya and khimar and when other sisters asked me, "So, how long have you been Muslim?"

I would pause for a second and then answer quite matter of factly, "Well, actually I'm not."

What a strange creature I must have seemed.

And when that moment finally came where I realized that my thinking had changed from "if I ever became Muslim..." to "when I become Muslim..." it hit me like a bucket full of cold water. I probably even made a funny face.

I had denied it while living it for far too long.

I was reborn in my life the moment I took shehada. Wiped clean like a slate pockmarked with ground-in chalk. I swear I even felt like I sparkled from the inside. And thats when the real change began.

I made baby steps, I stumbled a lot, I never fell down but I emerged with the same scars an adolescent would carry on her knees. Bruised but still striving to become a fully-fledged adult. I even carried my Muslimness like the awkward limbs of a post-pubescent, unsure and wobbly, and not exactly comfortable inside her skin.

I grew and I rebelled, and I hit the point where it was fight or flight. I took off my hijab and tested the strength of my convictions, and in the end the only person I could rebel against was myself.

I put the hijab back on unhappy with the absence of what truly defined 'me' and I knew at that moment that there was nothing on earth that could make me return to what I had been. Not even the empty promises of a spit-shined dunya could tempt me away from the beauty of my religion.

And the instant I stepped out of my door and faced the world with my hijab again, the stares of my uni mates who had seen me with and then seen me without and then saw me again with, I grew up in my Islam. Like a graduation, I had passed.

I married my soulmate, possibly the only man who can tell me what to do and still have me love him for it. My patient teacher, my lover, my best friend, and my confidante.

With him I fulfilled the final half of my deen.

And in three years I find myself an adult in my Islam, having lived an entire life in so short a time.

So pardon me if, when asked, I reply that I have been Muslim my whole life.

Because in a sense, I truly have.


Safiya Outlines said...

Salaam Alaikum,

Wow, I've been Muslim for about 3 years too. *Big hugs and jumping up and down with joy*.

Safiyyah said...

As Salaamu Alaikum Sister:

Alhamdulillah, what a beautiful post! I really enjoyed reading it.

Baraka said...

Salaal 'alaykum dear and subhan-Allah what beauty there is in your journey and words!

Mubarik & may God keep you content and joyous in submission to Him always, ameen.


Molly said...

Mrs Outlines- YAY!!!!!!! *hugs and jumps around for joy too* All I can say for the date is that it was the end of Feb beginnning of March. When was yours?

Safiyyah- Thank you! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading me.

Baraka- 8~o thank you! Coming from you this is super high praise!!!! Thank you!

Mona said...

MashaAllah, Molly, that was beautifully written. I know a woman who isn't Muslim yet, but somehow she is Muslim (in her actions and behavior) but doesn't really know it.

Molly said...

Mona- Thank you! I think there are a lot of women who are on that cusp, actions are a lot louder and more important than words.

Maat said...

your posts made me smile, they convey a beautiful spirit!

Anonymous said...

Salam Molly, I loved this post - it touched my heart in ways I can't express. I am glad that I found your blog. ~m~

Molly said...

Maat- thank you!

LoveShaheen- I'm so glad you're here and I'm glad I touched your heart. :)

ammena said...

masha'allah thats such a cute post... its 5 yrs for me in oct and I cant believe its been that long, people say they have seen the difference in me especially in the past year since I started wearing hijab but I dont really see it. I too 'became' muslim before I converted, not to your extent but i covered my hair with an underscarf and even began prayin in arabic before i converted :P Alhamdulillah

Molly said...

Ammena- MashAllah 5 years, I'm glad I'm not the only strange creature out there. I didn't really pray much before I converted, I did occasionally, but it was mostly just following someone else's lead.

Kay said...

Salam 3alaikum sister,

I completely 100% relate to this post. I'm going through what I will call the "awkward" phase of conversion/reversion right now. Only a few close friends of mine know about my decision, and my family doesn't know at all (but it is fairly easy to hide it because I don't live at home). I have yet to say my shehada in front of witnesses, but I say it to myself everyday. My perspective on so many things have changed since I have learned more and more about Islam, and I love that this is happening. Praise be to Allah :-).

We were all born muslim, but for most, it takes time for us to change the lower case "m" to "M" and fully understand the messages of the Qur'an...if only more people would read that wonderful book.


Editor[at]ijtema said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah

I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.

This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on IJTEMA.net, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere. Please visit the site to find out more about our initiative.

May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.


Forsoothsayer said...

and the man? what part did he play in the conversion if any?

Molly said...

Kay- Exactly! The knobby knees and not quite sure what to do with the hands? I'm glad I'm not the only one who felt ungangly in my first years. Alhumdulillah you are Muslim.

Ijtema!- I am sooooo excited to be published by you! Thank you for honoring me! I hope I can contribute more in the future!!!!

Molly said...

Forsooth- I met my husband roughly a year and a half after after I converted. He had no part in my conversion, but a great part in my growing emotionally. I never became Muslim for anyone but myself.

Vanessa Fatima said...

As Salaamu Alaikum
This was an amazing post! I'm so glad to have found your blog (: can't wait to read more in the future!

Molly said...

VF- I'm so glad to have you! Thanks for coming!

Mr.MM said...

huuuuugs Mashaa Allah habibiti i am so happy for you and Inshaa Allah we will celebrate after 27 years your convert to Islam and Subhan Allah i always see when i am talking to you that Mashaa Allah you have more information About islam like you really have been Muslim all your life not only that Wallahi i see sometimes that you know more than born Muslims i met before Alhamduliallah for all that habibiti and i wish Allah accept from you all that and bless you.

Hicham said...

Salamu Alikum sis,

Glad that I read this post because I feel it written from your heart.

May Allah forgive all of us and guide us to follow the righteous path, Amen!