6 Things That Are Important To Understand How Muslim Converts Feel Sometimes

I’m not sad. Even though it’s hard for me to fit in, I’m not sad. But I sure do think it’s unfortunate. I often have to face and deal with awkward situations. I do not fit the predefined profile of anyone’s inner circle members. I often feel that I am not Arab or Pakistani enough to be treated the same as others.

I have been a convert since January 17th, 2014, almost 3 years so far. I know I made the right decision by converting to Islam but I will not sugarcoat the truth. I have had a lot of struggles along the way and I want my fellow converts to read 6 things that have been lingering in my mind.

I know there are a lot of new converts out there that can find comfort in the following words. And I know there are a lot of Muslims out there who need to be confronted with the way we feel.

1. Making friends is not easy for us

Making friends is not easy for converts, let alone for a convert living in Western countries. There are not many converts in the Muslim community in those countries.

The few who actually are converts, often get shunned away from the Muslim community. This unfortunately results in them not attending events or even going to the masjid.

2. Please non-converts, stop telling us how to feel

No one understands converts except converts themselves.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to understand us and continue making us feel welcome. Because we want that, and to be honest, we even need that.

But please, don’t tell us how being a convert feels or how I should feel. If you are not a revert, just be there to support us, offer to spend time with us, and be our friend. And if we are getting along, we sure don’t mind learning new things.

Another thing I personally never understood is why some people, who teach Islam to new converts, focus on everything that is wrong or on what a Muslim is obligated to do.

We often need to feel the unity of Islam instead of the rules. We can find the rules ourselves whenever we want to.

Tell us stories, inspire us, help us become better people through experiences.

3. Our families often don’t support our religious choices

We often get asked if our family supports our religious choices. Unfortunately, the answer frequently is no. They don’t.

That’s why we need that support a little bit more than born Muslims. We need to feel supported in order for us to feel free to be ourselves.

4. Some of our family members don’t even know we’re Muslim

In my case for example, my family figured out I was Muslim only a few months ago.

I never actually told them I was Muslim. I wanted them to figure it out for themselves. They knew I observed the religion and did many things practicing Muslims do. I just didn’t straight out declare my faith to them.

I was too scared to break the news to them. I didn’t want to break their heart.

But they finally figured it out, for sure. They realised I became Muslim when they found my YouTube channel a few months ago. They were outraged and scared for my life.

5. We sometimes wish we were born Muslim

I know everything is predetermined and everything that will happen has been prewritten. That’s what my religion teaches me.

But I sometimes think it would be better to have a family who was Muslim. I would know way more about Islamic history and more about the religion itself. I would also perhaps know how to speak and write in Arabic.

6. If you’re a fellow convert, please don’t give up

Please do not give up on Islam or its people. You are not alone, even though I know it sometimes feels like that.

God is always watching over us. He obviously loves us very much for guiding us to Islam. There are people who love converts and want to help us in anyway they can.

Keep educating yourself about your religion. Knowledge will give you constant strength. The beautiful thing about Islam is that it pushes us to keep learning, both men and women. I am still learning about Islam everyday.

Written by Kaya Gravitter

Kaya Gravitter

Kaya is 23-year old, reverted to Islam and from the United States. She is currently working on video blogging, writing poetry, and freelance writing. Kaya has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and International Studies. She has a passion to make a change in the world, even if it is small.

  • Ayesha

    As a born practicing muslim girl i am ashamed to read this, i just recently moved from pakistan to USA and coming here i did felt alienated and alone so i can somewhat understand what you are going through and i would like to offer you my hand kaya if you ever need it. JazakAllah khair

  • Faisy

    Sister Kaya, whatever problems you have faced is, of course, cannot be felt by others unless one gets into your shoes. But trust me sister, even those born in the Muslim family who observes a lot of improvements in their family or society (especially for wrong practices), have to face a lot of challenges and many a time they feel perhaps same loneliness that you might have felt many times. I believe this happens everywhere not on the ground of religion change only, whenever one goes out of the way to bring a better life for oneself, for family or for the whole society, he/she suffers a lot but later his/her efforts gets recognized commendably. You have also done something like that, that will not benefit you only but your whole generation and generations and they will always thank you and ALLAH for this and ALLAH will reward you something for each of their good deeds. May ALLAH give you patience and make the environment favorable to you to have progress on the way you have chosen. JazakALLAH Khair.

  • Caressa Gray Al-Khateeb

    I’ve given up on making Muslim friends. I have a few online but I gave up a long time ago on making Muslim friends. I’ve given up on local convert friends as well as born Muslim. I used to introduce myself and exchange numbers even when seeing a Muslim at the grocery stores etc. The only one who ever called only calls us when they need something. Everyone else sounded so nice and yet never called. Ramadan and Eid are just horrible now. I hate that my kids don’t enjoy it the way they should. It makes me very sad. I hate going to any of the local mosques for Iftar. Hubby and I are both pretty shy (It was incredibly difficult at stores & too overwhelming at a mosque to be more social) and I hate how lonely it is. I took my happiness in my own hands and started making friends that weren’t Muslim. It doesn’t feel the Ramadan and Eid holes but it helps. I just feel so bad for my kids. It’s just not right like this.

  • Iris Gorduk

    I’m a converted Muslim since the year 2000. I have felt many times the same way and still do sometimes. I try to tell myself that I didn’t convert because of the people but because of Allah because people have flows but Allah doesn’t. If it were because of the people, then i would be part of my mom’s church which have showed me a lot off support. I would feel good with the nice people but I would feel like a hypocrite because I believe in the oneness of Allah, in the prophethood of our beloved prophet Mohammed, I believe prophet Jesus is not God nor the son of God. It is hard sometimes because we want to feel that we are welcomed and accepted and that’s not always the case. I guess that’s what we need as a Muslim comunity, to be more welcoming and supportive in the mosques with each other. The difficult thing is not to agree with Islam but to stay in it. May Allah help us to be strong for any difficulty we have to endure. This types of articles are a step forward to make people aware. Thanks Kaya.

    • Alexander O. Malinowski

      According to Fukuyama, one of the greatest achievements of Christian Church has been strong anti-incest rules that destroyed virtually all clan and tribal structure of any christian nation. On the other hand, muslim nations in big chunk follow inbreeding and are divided into clans and tribes. Even sectarian divisions in Islam are only markings of the clan divisions. You obviously do not belong, because you are not member of the clan and Islam is split into clans.

  • I’m a born muslim but honestly I feel like a convert and I can relate to how you feel. I’m not an Arab and I’ve lived in Saudi for 2 years. I was never accepted as one of them and because I don’t wear the niqab I am not one of them. In my own country Muslims are looked at in probable fear due to the circumstances. As a born Muslim, I get the challenges of living in a muslim country and a non-muslim country. Put it this way, its not easy to be a Muslim anywhere. My dad always teach me don’t read the books first. Islam is in the heart. If your heart is bad, you can read and follow all the Islamic rules you want but it won’t make you a better Muslim. Convert or not, that’s a good place to start. Always with your heart. And whether you are born, convert or a non-muslim, it takes a good heart to be kind.

  • Em

    It’s great to hear this.
    Although I have been a Christian for many years, since approximately 2000 I’ve been reading and discussing Islam a lot and one thing I have found that converts understand that “born” Muslims SOMETIMES don’t, is that all of the do’s and don’ts of Islam were not laid out by Muhammad as goals in themselves. Rather, they support the central purpose of Islam, which is to align mankind with heaven and earth, and to equip people to live out peace and the fight for justice in the world around us. Like Christians, old school Muslims focus on the culture and the “laws”, but these are pointless unless they are in support of the pillars of Islam and the goals of peace and justice and building a better world.