Monday, 31 December 2012

2013 Resolutions

Assalam Walaikum!

The dawn of 2013 is approaching, Inshallah!

While many Muslims around the world do not adhere to taking resolutions for the new year as it is based on the Christian calendar, it is a tradition that many of us reverts have practiced prior to Islam.

I will be making a resolution this year, as I did last year and I will explain to you the reasoning behind this.

In the country we live in, the new year is also a synonym of winter, a time where everything has been stripped down, ready to come back to life.
We, humans, subhannallah, have been created by Allah, like plants and animals, like the sky and the sea and everything else around us. We live in sync with the world around us. It is the science behind the faith, mashallah.
Our bodies are ready for new beginnings in spring, our minds feel hopeful, we often feel more positive and more creative at that time of the year for that reason. Allah has given us seasons, and we must appreciate them all for how they affect us.

I feel that taking resolutions can be helpful if they are linked to our deen, inshallah.

So let me tell you a story, my story.
On the 1st of January  2011, I took a resolution. I told myself that this was the year I would convert to Islam. On the 12th of June 2011, I took my shahada at Tooting Mosque. A week later, my fiancĂ© and I had taken our Nikkah.
On the 1st of January 2012, I decided to eat hallal meat only. That was a difficult part of my convertion, but mashallah, I managed to stick to it, with the help of Allah's kindest and guidance.
On the 1st of January 2013, Inshallah, I will start doing my 5 daily prayers.

For reverts it is important to keep improving our deen at the speed which is right for us. Rushing ourselves when we aren't ready may take us away from the deen. Some sisters mashallah, manage to change all these things at once, others may take months, or years.

I make duah for all of my sisters to have a wonderful year 2013, filled with happiness, prosperity, health, wealth, learning, and most importantly with the beauty of the deen. Ameen.



Sunday, 30 December 2012

Can I be a practising Muslimah and have a career, here in the UK?

Assalam Walaikum sisters!

I've been thinking about the subject of work recently, as a Muslim, as a revert and as a British woman.

I got made redundant last month. After months of feeling financially unsafe and of work becoming more and more uncertain for 2013, my boss did what she had to do, and let go of some of her staff. That meant me.

I didn't feel that upset, to be honest, mashallah. I saw this sudden change as a blessing. For well over a year now, I had been thinking of a career change. I wanted something that allowed me to practice my faith, keep to my values, yet allow my creativity to be expressed.

I am seeing this as a sign of encouragement from Allah, subhannallah, to be brave and push myself to aim higher and gain greater achievements.

Although I am still unsure which direction to take, I have had some ideas.
But actually it isn't an easy and straight forward decision for reverts to Islam. There are many things to consider that we would not have had to think about before.

Will I be able to pray? Will I be working in a Hallal environment? Will I be ok to wear my headscarf there? Will I be regarded as good as any other employee?

To add to the equation, I have only ever worked and wanted to work in the media. How can I combine all of this together?

Inshallah.... That is the only Duah that comes to my mind.

We can sit and fret and worry, or we can leave it to the hands of Allah. It is quite a difficult thing to do, and further more difficult thing to explain to our families, being non- muslims, often non believers. They want us to succeed and cannot comprehend such as 'laid-back' attitude as they would see it.

But it isn't about being laid back, we will have to job search, apply for jobs, go to dozens of interviews. It is the outcome of all of these which we leave upon Allah to guide us with.

What I have noticed about a lot of sisters I have met over the past 2 years is an incredible sense of entrepreneurship. Mashallah.

Well, thinking about it, starting your own business that you can run from home is probably the easiest way to work as a muslimah. You chose your hours, you can pray when you want to, you keep to your principles and you do not have to worry about wearing your hijab or niqab. SubhanAllah.

And the Prophets' own wife (saw), Khadijah, is one of the most inspiring people to look up to in that prospect. She was a business woman of her own right, she ran her own business and was very successful, mashallah.

Inshallah, my next post will be about her and how we can aspire to be more like her Inshallah.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Back to blogging

Assalam Walaikum sisters!

Things have seems to go back to a normal rythm, two months after our wedding and so I am 100% ready to take on the blogging again.

Follow me on Twitter @RevertDiaries for daily quotes, fashion inspiration and crafty ideas!

I am also on Pose, the fashion app that allows you to upload pictures of outfits and of inspiring fashion. Follow me there under therevertdiaries.

I look forward to lots of articles and inspiring times!!

I would be interested in hearing your stories of how this Christmas season went for you as a revert to Islam, especially if this was your first one as a Muslim, inshallah.

May Allah bless you all sisters!!


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Christmas Period


Here is a very interesting and supportive message from Solace.


on Saturday, 15 December 2012. Posted in New Muslims
Assalamu alaikum

This time is a very difficult time for reverts regardless of whether they have been Muslim for 1 week or 15 years! SOLACE acknowledges and understands that it is at this time of the year that many sisters feel lonely and a deep sense of possibly family loss. SOLACE has sought the advice of a few revert sisters and we would like to share some tips for surviving the Xmas and New Year season.
* Remember you have been on a spiritual journey which they haven't shared. Therefore changes which come from the heart for the revert, such as no longer celebrating non Muslim festivals, are shocking to a family who usually just see the do's and don'ts of Islam, and not the spiritual side. It's important to be sensitive to the family and as open as possible. Share with them your reasons for the changes in your approach, and perhaps warn them before these changes happen.
* Give gifts to your relatives at both Eids, just as they want to give your family gifts at both birthdays and Christmas. In this way all the family, especially the children, don't miss out and everyone can learn from each other. You can always save the gifts for Eid if you prefer, just as they may save your gifts for Christmas! Alternatively, ask them to buy the children winter presents at the beginning or middle of December but not near the day itself.
* Remember to call them on the days around Christmas - they'll be missing you, and by spending time asking them about their day, you are showing an interest in their lives, just as you want them to show an interest in yours. Be open to chatting about their preparations and plans so they don't feel you've changed beyond all recognition, but just be gentle and firm in your own beliefs. At the end of the day, you can't just pretend its not happening.
* If you don't want to be with family over Christmas, try to visit them at some point earlier or later on in December. If you want to visit on the day, don't participate in the Christmas lunch and giving of presents, but make it in the evening after everything is over. This may keep both yourselves and your family happy, whilst standing clear of the ritual Christmas activities. And during the time you do spend with them inside the house, try to look good! They need to see that although their daughter covers herself fully, she can still take pride in her appearance. Take pretty clothes when you go to visit, wear a coloured scarf if you normally wear black, etc. It can really make a difference to them.
* If you're struggling yourself with feelings of emptiness, being apart on the day when all the family used to be together, make alternative plans. Keep busy during these times. Utilise the events that often go on in the mosques such as special talks at this time of year. Have a day out, as the roads are generally clear, and parking is free. Just make sure that parks etc are open, otherwise the children may end up disappointed. Visit a large mosque in a city some distance away that you wouldn't usually get to visit, or go natural - beaches and forests are always open!
* If you decide to stay at home, have a family Halaqa or invite other sisters round, especially the revert sisters you know - and take time together to study about Prophet Isa (a.s) in detail, developing a love and renewed understanding of his life as a Prophet. Go back to the Qur'an and Sunnah, and teach the children that Islam stands out as the One true religion, and is something to be proud of. Finally, spend more time on your prayer mat, praying for your non-Muslim family to come to Islam.
* If you're still a part of their family time in some small way, without celebrating Christmas itself, then maybe your family will feel more interested in joining you on one of your Eid days, thereby opening up Islam in a new way to them. So without overstepping the boundaries of Islam, aim to see your gentle and generous approach at their time of year as a means of Daw'ah.
Wasalamu alaikum