For many female converts who grew up in America, namely those who had lifestyles that were very “American” or different from an “Islamic lifestyle”, most tend to share the same issues when they first embrace Islam. Do I have to stop plucking my eyebrows? Can I still wear nail polish? Is hijab mandatory? I cant see myself wearing it all the time! I have to throw away all my clothes. Wearing a jilbab makes me look like an old lady! I feel like everyone is judging me!
These questions and feelings are typical as a new Muslimah is going through transitional phases. Then you will have sisters in every direction giving advice on what she should and shouldnt be doing or wearing. Although I am sure our dear sisters are well-intentioned, for a newly converted American Muslimah, focusing on these issues may tend to be overwhelming for them. These issues are what is focused on primarily because they are evident, noticed, on display and subject to judgment. Of course, there are always exceptions to the case, but for the majority who commonly face these issues, or if you know someone who can relate, this is for you.
Every time we go through a life altering change in our lives, whether it is going away to college, getting married, having your first baby, starting a new career, etc., we are not expected to jump right into the swing of things completely and perfectly. We will make mistakes, and learn from them while gaining experience. There will be feelings of uncertainty, insecurity, and questioning our capabilities as we embrace this new role in our life. The same goes for embracing a religion. It wont be perfect in the beginning. It wont be perfect even after a few years. We are human.
The good news is, that Islam is easy. Allah never intended on making the religion hard for us. All those issues are part of a necessary transition that we must go through in order for growth to occur. Through transition, growth is given room to flourish. Even though these issues do have a place in Islam, each with its own rulings to abide by, they do not define the essence of what Islam is. Islam is simple, it is about a very important concept – “Tawheed” or Monotheism. Giving our Creator His due right of sole worship, in every which way and form, totally belonging to Him and only Him. This is what separates Islam from every other religion. From this concept, once it is understood, engrained and firmly rooted in us, all the other little pieces will come together in it’s due time.
I often think about an email that circulates the cyberworld. It is called “Parent Job Description”. Here it is: