I recently had this question in a comment:
Please how far have you been pleased in Islam. I want to know before I enter into it.
Can I just say, what a sensible question that is and yet it is one that is so rarely asked, even though I’m sure lots of people wonder it.
It doesn’t help that many of our most vocal brethren and sistren in the deen (aka the haram police) are so fond of stating all the things they don’t do, disapprove of and all the things they have given up, that to the casual observer two thoughts must surely come to mind: 1)What on earth do you do for fun, are you even allowed fun? and more sadly, 2) That sounds like one nit-picking God you worship.
Well, a saying I read recently, was “better to be a sincere struggler than a fake saint”, so from a sincere struggler, nearly eight years along the path (Alhamdulilah):
I am happy being a Muslim and I would say overall, that I am more contented then I was as a non-Muslim. I feel that being a Muslim has improved my life in many ways. It has given me focus, guidance, helped me appreciate the beauty and fleeting nature of life and the world. I have met people from all over the world and learned so much.
I once watched a documentary about the women’s movement, one women said that she felt her involvement in the movement had given her the courage to lead a different life, I feel like that about Islam, I feel like it’s being able to see a new colour or see an additional dimension to life.
Alhamdulilah for all those things.
I will say very clearly, as I have done before: If being Muslim does not make you happier, you are doing it wrong.
Things can be very hard for converts. This article is a great overview of what some of those problems can be: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/islam-101/misconceptions/8-things-you-should-understand-about-converts/ and I would advise anyone to read it, convert or not.
However, instead of going through all the various problems that can befall, remembering of course, that life has it’s own problems anyway; I want to give one piece of advice, something to remember above everything else:
Always make your own decisions and accept full responsibility for those decisions.
Unlike other faith systems, individual responsibility is a key part of Islam, no one can bear the sins of another person. Yet, we often hear about converts being bombarded with advice, often on very life changing issues, and often with guilt trips, “this is what a good Muslim does” and so on.
Throw in some
the idea that the best thing to do is to dive into everything,
a need to belong
and converts can often find themselves, several years down the road in a life they have no idea how they ended up with and are not even sure if they want.
Don’t let this be you.
No is a complete sentence, thanks but no thanks, bless your heart, thank you for you consideration, sometimes you will have to tell people to back off.
Know that it is ok to be you as a Muslim, you don’t have to pretend to be someone else, just try to be a better version of yourself, but know that the trying is as important as the achieving.
Know that only Allah is all-knowing.
Don’t be intimidated or over-awed by titles like Sheikh, Iman, Hafiz, etc. They may tell you the level of someone’s knowledge (and sometimes even that’s iffy), not whether they are a good person or not and they still can’t live your life for you and nor should they sit in it’s driving seat.
In conclusion, only you can decide if Islam is for you, just remember that you decisions and capacity for choice don’t end there.