I started coming out as Muslim to friends/family quite a while after I declared my shahada. Even to fellow Muslims who asked if I was Muslim, I would often stutter. But why? Why was I so scared of telling people something that i knew in my heart to be true. Maybe that’s the very reason why. Because my discovery of this deen and the concept of a creator felt so very dear to me that I didn’t want to admit it.
When there is a value that you hold so dear to yourself you can sometimes be worried to talk about it. Fear that someone will insult it. I knew that once I told people, there would be a lot of questions. So my job as a responsible Muslim who, if I like it or not, will represent Islam to some people who know nothing about the deen, I had to learn as much as possible. Which alhamdulillah, started my journey of becoming even closer to the deen.
I knew I would get a lot of questions. I had to be prepared to answer them because if I mess it up I could potentially turn someone away from the deen forever or even spark Islamophobia. So I armed myself with knowledge and then went out into the world. As a girl who wears hijab, It makes me even more so an advocate for Islam and a target for Islamophobia for non Muslims but a remembrance of Allah in Muslims. As I wear hijab this is something I have to deal with everyday.
The first person I came out to was my Mum. She knew I was going on the journey to learn about Islam but never expected me to become Muslim. She was very hesitant at first. Questioning why I had decided to give up my rights as a women and become a terrorist. But obviously she was uninformed. I helped inform her on the deen and the real Islam but it’s still not fully sunk in for her yet. But she is a lot better with me and understands more than our first conversation alhamdulilah. Really I have to give her time and show her through my actions that Islam has made me a better person inshallah.
The second person who was a bit of an issue was one of my closest friends. Who was a born Muslim but then left their religion. They knew about my journey as I would often ask questions but would constantly tell me to be careful and that i’m getting too deep in the religion. But when I did finally declare my shahahda they were happy for me alhamdulillah.
The third was my granny. She was quite unwell at the time and losing her mind a little so I don’t know how she would have truly reacted. I remember she was very nervous about me visiting Turkey as it was a Muslim country and the media hadn’t painted a pretty picture about Muslims to her. I would visit her whilst wearing a headscarf and she would sometimes giggle and other times completely ignore it.
When my granny sadly passed then came the funeral. Where the rest of my family then got to see my transformation. I got a lot of funny looks but no one actually asked me what happened. I guess I just kind of got away with it. But i’m sure they all said things behind my back But it’s OK. It’s who I am now and will be for the rest of my life inshallah.
It wasn’t easy telling people that I had changed my whole belief system and pretty much evolved into a new person. But it’s OK. Because it’s not about what the creation think. Just the creator. Allahu Akbar.