I've been through A LOT since I became a muslim. This new world is literally full of surprises - both good and bad ones. But hey! Don't get me wrong... Islam is wonderful! The real "problem" is what comes next.
If you live in a place where there's NO muslim community whatsoever, things can get ugly. I'm not saying that I would expect people to protect/nurture me or anything - after all, I know exactly that I'd still be own my own (because others just don't care about you), but life is not easy... Having someone around when the going gets rough is vital - ESPECIALLY when everybody else seems to be against you for the simple reason that you've chosen a religion other than theirs. This way you can at least get things off your chest (even if that would last for no more than a few minutes).
The point I'm trying to make here is that I didn't expect any of that. After I became a muslim, I was still going through a moment of my life when I was trying to get back on my feet (because of some personal matters), and when I thought I was finally ok, life basically smacked me down and took the wind out of my sails - to say the least. Uh, let me lay it out real nice to you: rejection is what hurts the most, and it UNFORTUNATELY comes from the ones closest to me. "Words are sharp and cut like a razor through the soul." I knew I'd have to go through this sort of thing, but what really blew me away is that it happened right in my own house.
THE LETTING OFF STEAM
When it comes to my personal beliefs, I don't give a monkey's about what others will say or think. I don't need them to be like me and you can be sure that I'd never try to convert anyone, but I also appreciate being respected likewise. This is such a delicate matter! Why can't they wrap their heads around the fact that the old me is long gone? I mean, I'm still here! For heaven's sake! It's not like I'm a terrorist fighting or blowing things up somewhere else! I'd love it if people could at least spend some time studying about it BEFORE making stupid assumptions. It sounds almost as if they'd prefer to see me with a bunch of teenagers hitting the booze and sleeping around... Seriously, that drives me nuts! These arguments are turning into a broken record that is literally burning me out. I'm trying my best to keep my cool, but I don't know how much longer I can hold this thing... I could sure do without all that annoyance!
Ok, time to drop this whole drama.
THE GOOD STUFF
"_Isn't there anything good to talk about, Aryel?" Heck, yeah! I mean, uh... It's been a month or so since I finally got my hands on the NMA (New Muslim Academy) certificates! After sharing the news with my friends on Facebook, a page called Mission Dawah somehow stumbled upon it and got the word out. That was great! This has gained me a ton of new friends, and I just love it! I had never received so many requests at the same time in my whole life! There's also this other page called ISLAM is ? that shared the post about my conversion. Same story...
OMG, I almost forgot! Long before this whole thing happened, I met a Yemeni guy online (he's the same age as me). Although we've never really met physically, our friendship became very strong. I feel like we're really close friends! As soon as he found out about me being a new muslim, he managed to send me some gifts (including a Quran and a prayer mat). Now, that was a surprise! It made me so happy! InshaAllah, I'll repay the favor someday! I'm really thankful, bro!
Whoa there! I know what you must be thinking right now. "_So... Is it all that Islam has brought into your life? Gifts and fame?" Of course not! Come on! I've changed A LOT! Now I see the world in a totally different way... I don't know why, but I've been feeling more compassion for others, the urge to help my parents and my friends when I know they're in need, hunger for knowledge about my religion, more respect towards females, aversion to alcohol, pork and intoxicants, the need to be humble, modest, patient, kind all the time and whatnot! In a nutshell, let's just say that I try to keep myself as far as I can from what displeases Allah.
I know I'm not the first to put up with religious intolerance, and it's very likely that I will not be the last one. Despite all the things I've heard, I haven't been kicked out, I still live in a wonderful place and my parents give me a life that most people would surely die for. It could be way worse, right? Although I don't have any kind of religious support down here, I truly hope that someday I'll be able to move out and change my life for the better. I'm sure that overcoming these obstacles won't be a smooth sailing - after all, "life is not a bed of roses," is it? BUT, patience is a virtue! I still have the Internet anyway... May His will be done!
Have a nice week! :)