The most common problem I’ve found after speaking to different reverts to Islam is that they feel lonely. As often we lose both family and friends over our decision to become Muslim. Even if we manage to stay in good relations with our family despite our decision, it can still be difficult when it comes to holiday celebrations or fasting. As we may not know anyone else who is Muslim to celebrate the holidays with. If things weren’t already tough, we may live in a country where there is a lot of negativity towards Muslims. Leaving us feeling even more isolated from those around us. So what can do we as a revert to Islam to fight this loneliness? Here are the six best ways!
Find an Islamic centre or mosque
This is the first and most important. Once you register your details with a local Islamic center, they will normally keep you up to date with events and courses. The second is to be involved regularly. If you have more than one Mosque or Islamic center, go visit a few and see who are most active in the community. Which ones are popular with reverts? Here you’ll find like-minded people, make new friends and get a chance to broaden your learning about Islam.
You can volunteer for a Muslim charity or for your local Islamic centre or mosque. If you put yourself forward and volunteer, you’re going to meet more people. Both from getting to know those who are volunteering with but also by those you come into contact with from volunteering. On top of this, you’ll feel so much better and really feel part of the community. Plus if you help at the Islamic Center, inshallah you can help some fellow reverts. Volunteering is something I highly recommend!
Don’t be afraid to ask
I know it’s not the normal thing for us to ask but if a holiday is coming up and you’re worried about being alone. Ask a Muslim family or neighbour if you can come join them. Just a simple, “I really hope you don’t mind me to ask but I’m often alone when breaking my Iftar during Ramadan. Would it be possible to join you one evening?”
Sometimes people don’t realise that you’re alone and if they were born Muslim, they probably don’t realise how lonely it can be as a revert to Islam. It’s the same for us when it comes to Christmas. We tend to just assume everyone has someone they can spend it with. However there are people out there who are all alone but others don’t know it.
Build your family relationships
At the beginning this will be tough for most of us, some families even cut you out completely but don’t lose hope. Keep trying to make things better with them. Try to share with them the positives in your life. Don’t keep Islam like some topic that is a secret. Involve them. Then try to build bridges.
Of course it will be arkward at first but just keep going on. Family is important and of course, you’ll feel lonely if you can’t speak to them anymore. Just when they do say something horrible, try to stay calm and not get defensive or shout. Sit down and ask questions. “Why do you feel this way? Or what has upset you?” Try as much as you can to reassure them that you’re still the same person as before, just your belief system has changed. The less you make it a big deal, the less they’ll see it as a big deal.
These days with social media and online communities, you can reach out and find other Muslims in your area. Eslimah (Eileen a revert from Estonia) has set up an Instagram page called Islamic Sisterhood where you can reach out for other sisters in your area who are reverts to Islam and other sisters can reach out to you also if you post your story. Instagram can be great for finding other people. Facebook groups is another great way to get support and meet other reverts or Muslims.
Be active & approach people
If you see another woman wearing a hijab in the street, don’t be afraid to go up to them and start a conversation. Even with your local centre, don’t be afraid to speak to other members there and ask if you can join them. Maybe start a coffee morning or whatsapp group for other reverts in your community. Attend Islamic events regularly and don’t be afraid to travel to cities if you live in a smaller place. Only be regularly attending somewhere will you start to get to know the people.
I really hope these tips help and feel free to reach out to my Instagram if you want someone to talk to. As long as I can clearly see you’re a sister. I’m happy to respond. I try to answer as much as I can. If you’re based in the UAE, you’re more than welcome to join our Muslim Sisters group (Send me a message via Instagram). The only other thing you can do is make dua to Allah, that more people come into your life that will help you with your deen. Inshallah we can all live happy and fulfilled lives with Allah Subhana Wa Ta’alia in our every day. Ameen.