Convert for Marriage? – Reverts’ identity.
In May’s edition of Sisters Mag, Anisah Jameel-Hardy talks about turning to Allah for the first time, and having her duas answered in her article “Guidance through the stable door“. The imagery of a sister at rock bottom looking to the stars and realising the proof of the Creator, seeing the signs all around, is a profound one, reminiscent of the story of Ibrahim alayhi salaam as a child (this is one of my children’s favourite bed time stories). As such it has a deeper significance to Muslims.
However what really touched me about her article, is the involvement of her husband in her reversion story.
So many of us reverts knew our husbands before marriage, and feel our husbands were instrumental in leading us to the deen. We feel that we learnt and grew in our Islam together, and both came to an understanding that for the sake of akhirah and to please Allah nikkah was the best way.
But we are also ashamed.
Sometimes we can feel as if our reversion is somehow seen as fake by others, and our reasons for coming to Islam doubted. People often just ask if you knew your husband before marriage. They are not interested in the intricacies, they are not interested in the time you were apart as you knew zina was haram. They just make assumptions, judgments based on a person that you no longer are.
Then we sometimes stop telling our reversion story. Or leave out and gloss over our husbands’ involvement in it, emphasize the break in our relationships. It is almost as we feel the need to defend or justify ourselves.
Comments such as “what sort of reverts did they show on that tv programme, they all reverted for marriage, not proper reverts, I reverted not having met a single Muslim” are thrown about on facebook and on forums.
Well that’s great for you. However Allah guides who He wills in the ways which He wills. Sometimes haram relationships are the cause of both parties coming to Islam.
Of course you cannot make the halal haram. But there is a difference between trying to do this, and repenting, renewing your intention, and nikkah for the sake of Allah.
So my feelings are that sister Anisah was very brave in telling the world her story. In admitting she wasn’t a saint in jahiliyya. In letting people know she did wrong, and understands she did wrong, but Allah was on her side and answered her duas, and showed her undeniable proof of Islam.
I went through stages in my reversion. First I would tell everyone everything about me, as that was the only identity I knew, and so much of my self was based on jahil things. Then I denied everything about before I was Muslim, pretended it didn’t exist. Alhamdulillah, know I have come to the realisation that although I cannot understand or identify with the girl I was before, although I do not recognise her, she is still me, her experiences still shaped the person who I am now. I will not pretend I was an angel, but I will not rely on her for my identity either.
I guess after 8 years, I have finally found my own identity. Not as a mother or wife, but as me. After not knowing who me was for so long now I know who I am and what I stand for. Alhamdulillah.
InshaAllah due to sister Anisah sharing her story, others will feel more comfortable with their own.
May Allah unite the Ummah and keep us all on the straight path.