Thursday, June 2, 2011

Almost 5 years, alhamdulilah!


Its been almost 5 years since I accepted Islam. In late August of 2006 I took my shahada. A lot has happened since then. Good and bad, but I trust that Allah has chosen a path for me that will not be more than I can bear.

When I first accepted Islam, nothing really changed for me. I didn't change the way I dressed at all. Still had the mini skirts and low cut shirts. I had already given up pork and alcohol, so I didn't have to do anything with that, and I knew I was supposed to be praying, but I had no idea what to do.

As I started to learn more about my new faith, I made changes in the way I lived, dressed and interacted with others. I started to wear long sleeves and long skirts, I was careful about what I said, and I started to TRY to learn to pray. Our first Ramadan we fasted (although I'm sure we did lots of things wrong), and we tried to pray taraweeh on our own. I didn't get to the masjid until January of the following year and when I did I was so nervous.

Once I started going to classes at the Masjid, things started to change quickly for me. I met other Muslim women who were so nice and helpful. They taught me how to pray, and they taught me the basics of Islam. I started to read more books and ask more questions. With every passing day I felt more comfortable acting, and dressing like a Muslim. I didn't make the changes in my life because someone told me to, but because I understood why I should make them and I wanted to do it. Everything made sense, and it was all clicking.

Meanwhile, I did make some bad choices about forums and the Internet. The Internet is not the place to learn Islam. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great resources, but you can get so confused by the information that it can be overwhelming. As for Islamic forums.... I really can't say that they are good for anyone. At first, it is great because you can find others that are asking questions just like you are, and then there are all of the 'great' answers you get. WRONG. Depending on what forum you go on, you will get everything from super mush to super strict, and neither are any help. People will make the haram halal and the halal haram. You will find that people will insult each other to make a point, or get angry when the truth is presented. Its an emotional roller coaster that is best avoided. I did meet lots of great people on forums and have kept connections with some of them.... others, were not so great and to this day continue to hold a grudge about things that happened years ago.

When someone becomes very passionate about something, they can make pretty big mistakes when defending what they believe. I am totally guilty of that. I was not very subtle or gentle on forums. At the time, I could not understand why anyone would think differently than I did about Islam. To me, it was very black and white, and there was no grey. I still don't really see grey, but I do understand how some people can, and I've learned to either be more gentle about it, or just leave it alone.

I guess the whole point of this post is to say that the best way for ME to learn about Islam is through books, classes and people that I trust. Not the Internet or forums. That has been made overly clear to me lately and I thought I needed to get it out there. I made mistakes in the past, and I can admit that. Inshallah others can get over the past and move on as well.

10 comments:

jana z. said...

jamilah it was very nice to read about your growth in islam. we all make mistakes but as in all things, we have to mature and understand. i agree that the internet is good for some things but learning from lay people in forums and other websites is not the way to go because most of the time its just opinion and/or culture. but we are young in the religion and dont know that. alhamdulillah for all that we have learned over the years and that we can still love each other for the sake of Allah!

zanjabil said...

MashAllah sis, it good to read your revert story. May Allah keep and guide you on the Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem.

Maryam said...

MashAllah! It felt so good to know about the whole journey. May Allah keep you on the right path and may everything goes well for you, for me and for all Muslims.

AlabasterMuslim said...

Asalaamu Alaikum Sister Jamilah,
The "islamic" forums are horrible haha. You explained most of them pretty well:) The only 'forum' I like is salafitalk.net...but maybe that is because from what i've seen no one actually talks to each other and has conversation, its more of people asking of proof from the sunnah about certain things.

Jamilah said...

Note to the 'ex-muslim' that just tried to post a comment.... don't bother..I have no interest in what you have to say.

Jamilah said...

Note to the 'ex-muslim' that just tried to post a comment.... don't bother..I have no interest in what you have to say.

Karima said...

Salam, I am your newest follower. I am a muslim revert for over 14 years now and I am still learning all the time. Would love it if you popped by, Karima :) www.karimascrafts.com and www.karimasblogs.blogspot.com

Karima said...

Thanks for popping by my blog, I couldn't reply to your post so I thought I would pop by your blog again. I only normally sew simple stitches (ie straight lines) I have never tried to follow patterns I get scared looking at them lol! My 9 year old daughter uses the sewing machine, she makes her own hairbands these are so easy to make, you should try and have a go. I have a tutorial on my blog showing how to make a 10 minute headband and it really did just take 10 minutes! Karima :) www.karimascrafts.com

Iqraa said...

Nice post, jazakillah! I was "born Muslim" but didn't try to learn about Islam until my teenage. Even then, it took me some years to figure out the best way to get Islamic knowledge, and like you, I ditched "Shaikh Google" and fell in love with formally learning something in a proper classroom environment. Sure, it takes more commitment, time, and energy, but "where there's a will, there's a way". It really helps to learn information in an organized environment. There, you find out about authentic Islamic speakers and then you can follow them on youtube or whatever.

In my "googling Islamic stuff" years, I discovered that some weak/falsified hadith originate with one post on a forum or blog somewhere, and then spread all over as people just take the dangerous "copy paste" route without checking for validity. That way, when you google something, you get a lot of results, but if you look carefully, a lot of it is just on some forum.

Gertie said...

Masha'Allah :D