God sends us tests to strengthen us. We can’t let life make us tired and want to give up. Here are some examples from the lives of new Muslims that can help us pass the tests.
Troubles with Friends
Just because we’ve become Muslim doesn’t mean that we have changed…much. Then why do our friends treat us differently?
Is it just us, or are so many more things awkward now that we’ve accepted Islam? Our friends who used to be chill are now uncomfortable. They are restless, and don’t seem to know how to be normal around us anymore.
A lot of these reactions to our conversions can be from fear. Fear is usually caused by not knowing. So to solve this problem, we can educate our friends.
We can be brave and cut through the awkwardness. We can explain to them what things are still the same, and what things are going to change.
When we take a stand on what we believe, our true friends can see our sincerity, how much Islam means to us.
Real friends will support us and try to understand. If some friends don’t, then we pray for their guidance.
If our circle of friends becomes smaller, then perhaps that is a way that it becomes stronger. Just like us.
Conflicts with Family
Nothing is more strong or more important to keep strong than family ties.
And nothing can be harder.
Some people in our families believe that we are in some kind of phase, and will ‘snap out of it’ eventually.
And that’s ok. They are entitled to believe what they like. We must make sure they know we are still members of the family. And we are Muslims.
And those two things don’t oppose each other.
Maybe some of our family members are open for discussion. Maybe all they need is just to clarify a few points, so they can understand the little changes they will see from us in future.
It’s respectful and wise to explain things to our families. But it is important to understand that they may continue to think what they want, regardless of what we tell them.
All we do is offer the info. Then, we know we’ve done our part.
How many Messengers of God had their families make trouble for them? Lots.
So we do what they did: pray for them. Guidance comes from God alone.
Issues with Change
In our excitement after accepting Islam, we might want to make big changes, to reflect how different we feel inside.
But sometimes our circumstances just won’t allow for that.
Our work, our school, our living situation…they can slow down the changes we want to make.
As long as we are making progress, then we can expect the help of God. That may come as a change in our situations, or can also come as as peace in our hearts.
Change brings with it adjustment, and discomfort. But also strength.
Take things slow. When we take things slow, we can lessen the growing pains on ourselves and those around us.
We can feel at peace, knowing we’re moving forward.
Distress with Judgement
As new Muslims, we have big challenges. We are raised a certain way, with certain habits…and then one day, we make a change.
And those around us, who have been beside us, want to pull away.
But we’re still the same. We haven’t become a different person altogether! Yet we are judged.
Our friends and family want to analyse us, put us under a microscope: “Why are you doing this?”
“Are you just being a rebel?” “Are you mentally ill?” “You’re just doing this to spite me.”
They may put together complicated theories tied to forgotten events, real and imagined.
But we have a simple answer: it’s the truth.
But only God can make them see that. Until they actually become Muslims themselves, those around us will just not get it.
So we move forward, and the distance of others can make us want to get closer to God. We study His Names, learn more about Him and about our relationship with Him.
And we don’t feel alone. God gives us strength when all we have is Him.