The good, the bad, and the ugly. They call it a journey.
1. When born Muslims insist on telling you what to call yourself.
2. People who want your conversion story the first time they meet you.
I don’t even know your name yet!
3. People who you’ve never met before and who want to know how your family took the news.
4. Praying in very odd places.
Still getting used to the idea of other people knowing you’re Muslim.
5. Assumptions about how or why you converted to Islam, based on your ethnicity/appearance/background.
6. Strangers asking you when you’re getting married.
7. The first time you watch someone else make wudhu.
8. Confusion about madhhabs.
9. When you feel like a unicorn/freak in every social setting.
10. People who want you to follow their sheikh/madhhab.
11. People’s insulted feelings when they find out you don’t/won’t follow their madhhab.
12. Unhelpful questions, like “How’s it going, being Muslim?”
Oh, jolly good, thank you, yah, quite nice, swell, just rad, thanks for checking up on me, WHAT?!
13. “I will teach you PROPER Islam.”
14. People who are surprised you know anything about Islam, since you’re a convert.
15. People who assume you must know everything about Islam, even though you’re a convert.
16. Being referred to as “the convert” at mosque/halaqas.
17. Very lonely Ramadans and Eids.
18. Things happening at the mosque, that no one informed you of.
19. Being overly enthusiastic about learning Arabic.
20. Almost giving up on learning Arabic.
21. 10 different translations of the Quran in English on your bookshelf.
22. Avoiding old friends who still don’t know you’re Muslim.
23. LADIES: Dealing with figuring out how on earth to wrap a scarf around your head like they do in the tutorials.
24. Mass texts about eid, travel packages and product discounts, from people you’ve only met once.
25. Picking up various languages spoken at mosques you frequent.
26. People who ask you how good bacon is.
27. Questions about alcohol. All the questions.
28. “Who’s your sheikh/marja?”
29. Other Muslims who can’t understand how you’re Muslim if you don’t know Arabic.
30. The concept of Fajr for the first few years.
31. Missing suhoor the first time.
Is it even possible to survive the day?!
33. Watching the community decide when eid is.
All in all, there’s a lot to learn and many adjustments to make.
At the end of the day, alhamdulillah!
May we all gain sabr and remain steadfast – ameen!