Friday, November 19, 2010

Still American????

Salaam Blogger world!  I am

It's been a while I know.  I just got back from my trip to the United States.  It went very well I am pleased to say.  My husband is glad he is back home safe and not in some "Muslim detainment camp" which he was very afraid of...haha  Poor guy...

Anyways...I think I am now in an Identity crisis.  I am struggling with my new found religion(Islam) on a day to day basis.  Too many of "do this, don't do that"    I hate to say it but I am in a period of extreme doubt.  It is really hard for me to separate religion with culture, especially here in the middle east.  While in the states I observed hijab at all times.  Baggy clothes and my hair was always covered.  As soon as the plane lands here in the Middle East, back on the abaya and niqab and the use of my "Muslim name". Hmm...sounds hypicritcal to me.

I am frustrated, confused and feel as if I have lost my identity.  Why is it so hard to be an American Muslim here in the Middle east?  Why is it ok to be this way one day but not the next?

There are too many rules and obligations I have to follow here.  I don't like it, and I am feeling as though I need to go find myself again.  Let my dear husband find his "trophy Muslim wife" that will allow him 4 wives and find happiness within myself again. 

I believe in Islam but I think the weight of the scale is not tipped in my direction.  It truly is a mans world here.  I want to be able to practice my religion and live my life at the same time!

I am torn between what my life was like before Islam.  Honestly.... I miss it.  Who am I now?  American or Arab?  When I went to the States I felt like I was home.  People were friendly, speaking to was a nice change from the coldness I get here.

God help me and help us all...


  1. :( I can really identify with you, sometimes when we take on new things quickly or suddenly, it can feel very surreal! Your left staring at your reflection thinking "who am i?". Like for example when ever I see my reflection in the glass window or something, I see a Niqabi and I just get flashbacks to before I even wore Hijab..(huge difference)It feels very unreal, but in the end I sit with myself and realise that theres a much bigger force behind this big change and that it it is Allah swt. We forget that we plan and plan.. but he plans too. :)

  2. salaam alaikum,

    I know exactly how you feel! When I first converted to Islam I was so excited to be muslim that I jumped head first and wanted to do everything instantly (wear hijab, abyah, give up music etc) and what happeend? I crashed!!! I gave up too much too quickly and ended up going astray for awhile. With that said I think its important to take baby steps. The most important thing is prayer. I used to feel like a hypocrite when it came to niqab because id wear it around friends or in morocco when we were visiting my inlaws but around my family and at university i would take it off. What helped me is reading books on islam. Reading the quran daily also helps put things into perspective and will give you strength inshaAllah. Its easy to lose ones identity when we forget who we are doing this for, Allah. It is easy to mix culture with islam and unfortunately that happens a lot in muslim countries. You may look different on the outside but theres no reason you need to change who you are on the inside. Socializing and hanging out with other converts also helps!

  3. This post makes me very sad... :(
    It reminds me of how at times new-Muslims are thrown into the deep ocean with only a 'paddle'.. while the companions of the Prophet(saws) were given 'full safeties' and taught to 'swim' in all directions... Their hearts were very well polished and their Imaan nurtured with love for Allah way before the commands of "do's" and "don'ts" were sent down... so when they did arrive, their hearts and dispositions were ready to accept and comply. And when they moved to far away lands in order to preach the Deen.... they assimilated the new cultures without compromising Deen in the least!!! ..that's because Islam is UNIVERSAL and has room in it for all cultures.. all temperaments.. all dispositions.. So what's my point? Like Rene says.. "baby steps"! Make lots of Du'aa and ask Allah for guidance.. but most of all, ask Allah for a strong Imaan and a soft heart. InshaAllah help will come from sources you will never imagine, InshaAllah!!

    After thought: Is your husband also trying to 'impose' on you a specific behavior? or does he understands how you feel? I'm asking because perhaps you can make your home a 'safe-heaven' and 'be' in it as you 'feel like'.. and NOT as others would want you to be. That way you can 'exhale' a bit when you are in it and feel at home... Does it make sense?!

  4. I'm an American woman and I just wanted to say I hope that you find yourself and hope that you find a religion you feel comfortable with, whether it be Islam or something else. Take care dear.

  5. Salaams, hugs to you girlie. Yea i can only imagine. I have never been overseas so i have just heard about cultural differences. I think with anything new its best to take baby steps and not bite off more than you can chew. Growing up an American girl there are so many cultural differences and do's and donts that I am sure you are running into. Some of which are really good and beneficial for women, but when everything is all new it can be hard to see the benefits at time. I have nothing against niqab but is it possible not to wear niqab just hijab and maybe wear that again later if you are more comfortable? I am not sure if what the "rules" are there, but there is no compulsion in islam. I wish you the best and will continue to make dua that Allah makes this transition an easy one for you.The thing about islam, (i love my religion) is it is truly a way of life. I have been born and raised muslim and have had my own struggles as well. Everyday is a test. Just keep in mind that Allahs plan for you is bigger than any issue you are facing.

  6. Salam sister.

    You are American and you will always be, no matter where in the world you live or what religion you choose. Sure, you might change some of your behaviour and dress differently after accepting Islam, but don't be torn. You are American :)

    Just a question, if you felt ok wearing baggy clothes and hijab when visiting US, why not wear it in the Middle East too? I'm a convert and livie in a small country (also in ME). i wear hijab, and baggy/long covering clothes. I wear Abaya occasionally (usually on weekends when I can't be bothered to wear anything else ;p ) so if you're not comfortable with the niqab (and read from ur previous posts that u don't wear it at work), why wear it at all? And if you're not comfortable with the abaya, why r u forcing yourself? There are a lot of clothes out there that still adhere to the dressing code of Islam. Most important thing is to be comfortable with yourself. Islam is such a beautiful religion, but it is dangerous to go too deep, too fast. just like the other commentators said, take baby steps and Inshallah you will be just fine. wish you all the best. WS.


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