Pressures after reverting
Posted 03 February 2006 - 10:35 PM
I've recently spent some time speaking with some women who had reverted to Islam and then later left islam...i wanted to know why...
The details of the stories varied...but the reason was basically the same...they couldn't handle the pressure of being muslim...
My first reaction when hearing this was "what? Islam isn't hard..." then i remembered ..i went thru this same feeling...i can remember when i reverted i had people all of a sudden telling me "dont do this...dont' do that" but with no explanation and then it hit me one day...i have all these rules to follow and i dont' know why because no one took the time to teach me...then i remember feeling like such a bad muslim because all i knew were the rules..thats it...(that by the way can be a very scary realization)...
Then someone was kind enough to give me a reminder...Islam was revealed over 23 years... the Prophet (SAW) didn't wake up one morning with all the laws of Islam ... the laws were given to the Prophet (SAW) over time...
When one reverts to Islam..they cannot be expected to change overnight either...You cannot just be given the rules ...you have to be given the rules with an understanding of their importance...
Don't feel that because you revert today..that tomorrow you must automatically know everything...never stop asking questions..no matter how stupid you might think they are..no question is stupid...and when someone tells you something about Islam..don't ever be afraid to ask them for daleel (proof).
InshaALLAH this post will not only benefit new reverts...but will also benefit all Sisters here...because truth is no matter how long you are a muslim...there will always be things we don't know..and we need to learn...and inshaALLAH it will also remind us to not be to pushy and remember that new reverts need time to understand .
Posted 04 February 2006 - 04:25 AM
Good post. I remember feeling overwhelmed. Hey, sometimes I still do! So much to learn, so much to know, feeling like you're doing so much wrong just cuz you can't remember everything all the time! Yup. I had a good friend who often reminded me what you bring up... that Qur'an was revealed over a period of twenty-three years, so we can't be hard on ourselves but just take one day at a time.
Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:18 AM
We someone embraces islam the first things that should be taught are the five pillars of islam and the six articles of Iman. Once iman settles in the heart the rest becomes easy.
To change one's life does take time and for the new changes to feel part of the personality may take time also. I know that it took me time in my life. Many changes have taken place through these 30 years some slowly and some faster. To develop the muslim personality, the muslim manners does take time and knowing just what does that mean does take learning.
Insha-Allah I hope for the new muslims to have patience and when they struggle to have patience in the struggle.
Posted 04 February 2006 - 11:57 AM
Than you for posting this. It has also taken me a loong time to get where I am today - and I know I'll never be perfect but still I try to do my best. Allah subhanahuwata'ala knows what is in our hearts.
Posted 06 February 2006 - 09:13 AM
Jazaki Allah khair sis Amani for the reminder.
You are absolutely right! It is irrational to expect a new muslim to change everything in their life over night. We should try our best to hold ourselves and hold some of our sisters back if we feel they are being too pushy. One thing sis Kamillah mentioned and I'd like to stress on is that, there are main changes and then there are smaller changes that must take place in life when one reverts. We tend to forget to focus on the more important changes and start stressing the smaller changes (ex. things to do with some non-obligatory actions, some issues regarding clothing (not the issue of hijab, but the issue of which hijab to wear).. they are all important, but some changes must come first. In fact when the changes in faith and the pillars of islam are practiced, all the other changes take place more easily and naturally.
Posted 06 February 2006 - 12:47 PM
We need reminders like these from time to time to reflect. Jazakallahu Khairan Sis Amani
Both Sisters Kamillah and Um_Malik raised some important points. I always advise the sisters to start with a few acts at a time, so one is not overwhelmed. After the Shahadah the next important duty to learn will be the Salah. Initially try learning to recite the Glorious Qur'an and perfect the Salah, the rest comes easy. During both these acts, we are so close to Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala it is like we are having a private conversation with HIM. Subhanallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu Akbar!
We are all humans and none of us are perfect, not even the born Muslims, but the main thing is that we are trying and just as Sister Hippysis said ' take one day at a time'.
Wa Alaikum Salam
Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:49 PM
Sister, Thank you for posting this reminder we need to remember that we need to take our time and let Allah(swt) have control. Learning Islam is a wonderful and continuous learning process, that brings us closer to Allah(swt) purpose for us.
When i first took my shahada i was given so much advise information, books, on how to pray, what to read and what not to read, what to do and not to do, how to dress how, not to dress etc......this was too much for me to grasp, i felt i was being pulled in too many directions, and was thinking of just not continuting any further . A wonderful sister pulled me aside, and said"Take your time, and trust Allah(swt), who knows your heart and mind, Allah(swt) will guide you". I went home an pondered on what the sister had said to me, and i just let go and took small baby steps towards learning Islam, and as the years past my steps have becoming more bigger, easier and my knowledge has increased to learn more.
Edited by Aasyah1, 08 March 2006 - 10:51 PM.
Posted 09 March 2006 - 09:03 AM
so true, this post. Ive been a muslimah for almost 2 years and now I find myself in troubles because I do not have the basics, like sis Kamillah said, 5 pillars of Islam and 6 articles of Iman. I know them, but bits are missing in my heart. From after my shahada, I started to study about hijab and adhab and how to do this and how to do that. I was among other muslims and of course didnt want to feel silly without hijab, so I started to wear hijab (for wrong reason, now i know), when they were discussing salah and halal/haram, food, etc, I just wanted to feel involved, so I went into this stuff and was checking every litle thing before I bought it, reading what it contained, making sure I didnt swallow any haram ingredience. I didnt actually concentrate on my believe, on my Imam, but on all these other things.
Now, when I finally realised, that something went wrong, it is very, very hard to start from the beginning, because "I am already a muslimah for 2 years" and asking questions about hijab and Allah and why we were created is not "normal" and many other people look at me like: what is wrong?? why do u ask such questions?? These questions are expected from someone who just converted or is about to, not from someone who is praying and wearing hijab and has been told by some people "how well she is doing, MashaAllah".
I know that sisters that made me feel that way didnt mean to and I know it is my fault as well, because I feel silly to just stand up and say: Ok, I do not exactly understand Qadr or I dont understand Quran. So now Im caught in the middle. This is also a reason why I registered on this forum because no-one knows me and I dont need to feel any shame for asking questions that Im asking Alhamdulillah.
Posted 09 March 2006 - 01:41 PM
sis Baniaz as you can see from this topic, you are not the only one who went thru this experience.. most or at least so many sisters start learning in the less important areas and end up lagging in important areas like Aqeeda, learning the meanings of Quran, and even lessons from the seerah (many of us know events from the seerah but do not grasp the lessons behind them). In fact, this is not only true for revert sisters! So many of us "born-muslims" have this problem as well.. that is when we first want to start understanding and practicing islam correctly, we get so involved in the same exact issues you talked about, and often are ignorant as to where one should really start to seek knowledge. So sis, don't feel bad or stuck.. I for one tell u that after 23 years of being muslim I started learning about my beliefs and what they really mean.. it is never too late to earn such knowledge; indeed the most important thing is that we realized that we need to go back and seek that knowledge.
We are all here to learn sis.. and never feel shy to ask important questions on your mind, whether it be here or even to other sisters who you know.
Posted 09 March 2006 - 07:38 PM
Posted 10 March 2006 - 09:00 PM
Mashallah, this is very interesting.Jazakallahu khayr dear sis Amani to bring it up.
But there is always two sides to a coin and I'll take you to the other side. And the other side is when new sisters put pressure on other (sometimes older in the deen) sisters and tell them that as they have embraced Islam, if they have issue with hijab or something else, they have not embraced Islam sincerely.... oh, yes !!! it happens.
A sister who has been a muslimah for quite a number of years (of course, it does not mean she knows everything) recently met a fairly new sister. When the younger sister came to her house the first time, she started to haraam her this and haraam her that. The older sister reminded her about the differences of opinions that can exist between scholars of same standing and kindly ask her to go back to her teacher and asks the teacher for explanation. The younger sister was quite adament that she knew better and that she follows the concensus. The older sister did not argue , she just promised she would look into it and come back to her (one of the things was covering the feet and the younger sister would not do the prayer with her until she covered her feet, which she did to obliged her, as she was her host).
The second meeting was no better. As luck would have it, the children were listening to anasheed (and they seldom do it) and the younger sister said they were haraam. Upon this, the older sister, who do not really care for nasheed anyway and either way, started to get impatient, may Allah forgive her. She went onto the internet and got her the evidences that nasheed are allowed, as long as there is no fear they'll distract you from your religious duty and there is no musical instruments. But the younger sister still said they were haraam and that the concensus says that it is haraam (the consensus, as a matter of fact, says that they are permissible if the guidelines above are respected) and that the consensus should be followed but people follow their desires etc... and if a scholar give an advise that something is not good for us, should not we follow it? Then she mentioned the name of a very noble shaykh, Rahimahullah, and his fatwa about something. On this, the older sister asked her if the younger sister follows another particular fatwa from this Shaykh ? the younger sister said yes, so the older sister told her that most other prominent scholars said the contrary, so, why do she follow this ? If the younger sister was to apply what she is saying , she should not follow this noble shaykh in this particular fatwa but the she should follow the consensus. On this, the younger sister said she did not know that other scholars said differently. The older sister told her she was surprised she did not know as she seems to be so well versed in the matter of consensus...
The third time, the younger sister mentioned one thing that the older sister does and she said it could a bidah. On this, the older sister explained to her that bidah is regarding matters of religion and not matters of daily living.
But as a matter of fact, on this third meeting, the younger sister did say that she had some areas where she needed more understanding. Then they went on the matter of dawah and the younger sister was speaking about some sisters doing wrong. The older sister told her she should be more tolerant and she should understand the hardship that some new sisters have to understand , but the younger sister said that she herself only lives for Ibadah, and whoever does not want to follow Allah's rules has to check herself fast, or words to this effect. The older sister warned her about saying these kind of thing because even if the intention is not there, some other sister would take it for Riyya (boasting).. She told her that many new sisters have sincerity in their hearts but they have to unlearn and discards beliefs of a lifetime, and it is not easy sometimes.
The older sister has invited the younger sister to this board that she may gain some insight of the different path and understanding process of sisters and Inshallah she may benefit from this .
So, you see, dear sisters, it is not always ''long standing '' sisters who put pressure on others. Some new sisters do it a lot too, and may be more intolerant than the older ones . Personnally, I find this mentally tiring, because I myself have learned to check before saying anything. I have learned, and especially through Islamway Sisters, that there is always at least 2 opinions in matters that are not regarding the pillars of our religious and before ''haraaming'' straight away, it is better to check what the major Scholars, May Allah be pleased with them, have to say about a particular matter.
I would like to comment on one thing : we should not worry about asking things we do not understand or we do not know, even if we have been muslim(ah)s for a long time. There is no shame in it, and it is more praiseworthy to ask than acting like if we know while we do not have knowledge. And whoever makes us feel bad that we are asking when they think we should know, then they should be the ones who should be ashamed... After all, did not some Sahabahs asked religious matters to the Mother of the Believers, Aisha, Radiyallahu Anha ??? They learned Islam as the same time, but they still ask her to teach them things.
So, who are we to make someone feel bad because she does not know some basics ??? I heard a very good sentence once , and it was :'' Some people have got the knowlegde but they does not have manners nor compassion''.
Posted 11 March 2006 - 07:23 AM
Jazaki Allah khair khadi for bringing that side of things up.
I think what we talked about applies to all sisters who know or sometimes think they know more than other sisters in fiqh matters and want to stress these matters above any other -no matter how important- matter(doesn't matter who is older in age or in islam).
Like the sister you talked about advised, one should really try to be tolerant and put priorities in Dawah. By the way those priorities in Dawah are the same as those we talked about when seeking knowledge to strengthen our deen. One should try to correct people's wrong beliefs and wrong understanding before getting into correcting the details of their practice. This is especially true for people we have just met or dunno that well. No body likes to be told what they are doing is wrong and if they dunno your intention is for the sake of Allah, stressing on how every detail they do is wrong will drive them away from you. When we do find the chance to advise them about their practice, we should really give this advice as a secret (never embaress them) gift wrapped in all the nice words we can find and pray to Allah that they accept.
*khadi.. just to learn more insha Allah, is there a khilaf on covering feet in prayers? I know Abu Hanifa saw that one side of the feet is awrah while the other isn't (same for hands..so sisters who wear sandals should really consider his opinion and perhaps wear some gloves or cover hands). But in prayer the upper side of the feet shows most of the time and the lower side shows in sujood (so one part of the awrah as defined by Abu Hanifa will end up showing). Please inform me more as this is all I know.
Posted 11 March 2006 - 09:22 PM
I did not know about the statement of Abu Hanifa, may Allah be pleased with him, but I read that in general, Hanafis do consider to cover the feet for the woman in prayer obligatory..
This is what I know, that it is better to cover the feet but it is not haram not to do so. Actually, the sister said that it invalidates the prayer, and it is why I am doing some research on it now...
The fact that a woman’s clothing should cover all of her body whilst praying is indicated by the hadeeth of Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) who was asked about what clothes a woman should pray in. she said: “She should pray in a khimaar (head cover) and a long chemise that covers the tops of her feet.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 639. It was also narrated in a marfoo’ report (i.e., attributed to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)). Al-Haafiz ibn Hajar said in Buloogh al-Maraam (p. 40): The imams classed the mawqoof report as saheeh. Ibn Taymiyah said: The well known view is that it is mawqoof, with an isnaad that stops at Umm Salamah, but it carries the same weight as a marfoo’ report. Sharh Kitaab al-Salaah min al-‘Umdah, p. 365.
And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah does not accept the prayer of a woman who menstruates (i.e., an adult woman) unless her head is covered.” Narrated by Abu Dawood, 641; al-Tirmidhi, 377; Ibn Maajah, 655; classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Jaami’, 7747.
So it is essential to wear something that covers the entire body apart from the face. The scholars differed as to whether it is obligatory for a woman to cover her hands and feet when praying.
With regard to the hands: the majority of scholars are of the view that it is not obligatory to cover them. Two views were narrated concerning that from Imam Ahmad. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was of the view that it is not obligatory. It says in al-Insaaf: That is the correct view.
With regard to the feet: the majority of Maalikis, Shaafa’is and Hanbalis are of the view that it is obligatory to cover them. This is also the view stated in a fatwa of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas (6/178):
Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The entire woman is ‘awrah when she is praying, apart from her face. The scholars differed with regard to the hands. Some of them said it is obligatory to cover them, and others said it is allowed to leave them uncovered. The matter is broad in scope, in sha Allaah, but it is better to cover them so as to avoid an area of scholarly disagreement. As for the feet, it is obligatory to cover them when praying, according to the majority of scholars. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz, 10/410
Imam Abu Haneefah, al-Thawri and al-Mazani were of the view that it is permissible for a woman to uncover her feet when praying. This is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and by al-Mardaawi in al-Insaaf.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in al-Sharh al-Mumti’ (2/161):
There is no clear evidence on this matter. Hence Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah was of the view that a free woman is ‘awrah except what appears of her when she is in her home, namely the face, hands and feet. He said: Women at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to wear chemises in their homes, and not every woman had two garments. Hence if menstrual blood got onto her garment, she could wash it and pray in it. The hands and feet are not ‘awrah when praying, or with regard to looking. Based on that, there is no solid evidence on this matter, and I follow Shaykh al-Islam in this regard; this is how we understand it, but we cannot be certain of it, because even if a woman has a garment that reaches to the floor, when she prostrates the bottom of her feet will appear. End quote.
See: al-Mughni, 1/349; al-Majmoo’, 3/171; Badaa’i’ al-Sanaa’i’, 5/121; al-Insaaf, 1/452; Majmoo’ al-Fataawa by Ibn Taymiyah, 22/114.
I have e-mailed a very knowledgeable sister , Mashallah,about this. If she has the answers in one of her books, she'll let me know Inshallah.
Unless some sister comes to the rescue here....
Posted 12 March 2006 - 06:34 AM
Jazaki Allah khair Khadi.. it seems like the consensus is to cover them while a few scholars allowed not covering them. Insha Allah the sister you emailed can give us more explanation subhan Allah we learn every day.
What is the proof that women have to cover their feet during prayer for prayer to be accepted?
Praise be to Allaah.
The free woman who has attained the age of majority is obliged to cover her entire body during prayer, apart from her face and hands, because all of her is ‘awrah. If she prays and any part of her ‘awrah becomes uncovered, such as a shin or foot or all or part of her head, then her prayer is invalid, because the Prophet said:
"Allaah will not accept the prayer of a woman who has started to menstruate, except with a khimaar (covering)" (Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maajah and al-Tirmidhi, with a saheeh isnaad)
Abu Dawud reported from Umm Salamah that she asked the Prophet about a woman who prayed wearing a dir’ (chemise or upper garment) and a khimaar (head cover), but no izaar (lower garment). He said: "The woman is ‘awrah."
As for the face, the Sunnah is to uncover it during prayer, so long as no non-mahram men are present. According to the majority of scholars, the feet must be covered; some scholars allow uncovering the feet but the majority say the opposite. Abu Dawud reported from Umm Salamah (may Allaah be pleased with her) that she was asked about a woman who prayed in a khimaar and qamees (dress or gown). She said, "There is nothing wrong with it if the dir’ (chemise) covers her feet." In any case, it is better to cover the feet, to be on the safe side. As far as the hands are concerned, there is more leeway: there is nothing wrong with either covering them or uncovering them, although some scholars think that it is better to cover them. And Allaah is the Source of strength.
Fataawa al-Mar’ah al-Muslimah, by Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, p. 57 (www.islam-qa.com)
Posted 19 March 2006 - 04:13 PM
I also experience some of these things. One time at the masjid a woman told me that I do not pray correctly and that I need to learn the correct way. Unfortunately, I pray the way I have to pray. I cannot put my arms/hands out as far as everyone else does while in this position because I have a weak joint. If I stretch out, my shoulder pops out of the socket because of a previous injury from a long time ago. Having to stop Salat to bring me to a doctor would not be a good thing, so I do what I can.
Posted 19 March 2006 - 11:48 PM
Posted 10 April 2006 - 03:42 AM
Like a sister above said, Islam was revealed over 26 YEARS....Not seconds, as some Muslims seem to believe or make others believe.
Nothing turns people away from Islam more than this kind of behaviour that curious people and new Muslims alike encounter...
Posted 10 April 2006 - 10:29 AM
sister Khadi I too had this question so many years ago and did the research on the issue of covering the feet during the salat and I do believe it to be wajib. It does not necessarily mean socks but the garment must be long enough so the feet do not show such as some prayer robes are like this. The most liberal of opinion was of Malik and he stated that the garment must be long enough for the feet not to show.
I am so tired from the last few days that I am in much need of rest, but we can discuss this at length insha-Allah when I see you. Insha-Allah And go over the evidences. Insha-Allah
Edited by Sister Kamillah, 10 April 2006 - 10:32 AM.
Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:24 PM
sis Neophyte, WELCOME TO ISLAMWAY SISTERS!
inshallah you will enjoy it here,
Posted 27 April 2006 - 03:10 AM
Sister Amani S. I found your post timely. Eighteen months ago I had not reverted
or investigated Islam. I had a vehicle, a house, furniture, and a savings account.
Then I embraced Islam. Insha Allah, I think I may have accepted it too easily. After
much judgements and criticsm from sisters, I asked for kuala from my husband. You
see I became a second wife and not many sisters were supportive of it. My husband
had me pay the utilities, the food, my transportation, my medical and clothing. He said
he did nothing wrong and the problems in the marriage were mine. I had enough of the
judgements and criticisms from him too. When we married he had me trade my vehicle
for furniture. For the dowry he gave me a car. I had no money when I left, I have no
vehicle, he has the car back. I have no furniture, I am 56 years old and I sleep on the floor. I could only take ten boxes of things with me. I arrived in a one room apartment
and for the month I had no food. A kind neighbor took me to a food bank (not halal but
I could not complain). I had to take a loan out for deposits. How far I have come after
embracing Islam. You said that Islam is not hard, and it is not. It is the people of Islam
that make Islam difficult. I have stopped wearing my hijab for now. Perhaps things will
be better in the future. It is hard to explain all that has happened in a few words. But
this is why I struggle with my decision.
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