Living life as a revert discrimination is nothing new to me. My family, non muslims and even muslims all discriminate against reverts and even other born muslims. Many times people ask me if I face discrimination living in a muslim country. They just assume that it doesn’t occur as if being in a country with majority muslims everyone is perfect. I’m sure you just rolled your eyes with me.
A Common Mistake
Many times people make the mistake to see someone who is a ‘practicing’ muslim to be free of error and sin. I’m sorry to break it to you but just because someone wears a niqab or her clothes seem inline with the shariah doesn’t mean she doesn’t sin or even commit some of the worst of sins. This is the nature of bani Adam ( the children of Adam) we will all sin and error and none of us are to judge the other for their sins. Allah has stipulated the rules and the punishments to save us from feeling the need to judge. In short, if someone steals the shariah says cut off their hand ( after a court process, witnesses, and a Judges ruling) but that may not always occur and the thief may be forgiven. No one then has the right to judge and make their own opinions. The best of those who sin are the ones who repent and don’t return to such sin again and even if they do, Allah is the acceptor of repentance.
Wearing a niqab or hijab shows outwardly obedience to Allah in one thing ( hijab) but she may disobey Allah in another thing intentionally or not. Just as a woman may disobey Allah in hijab but obey Him in another thing. Who is the better of the two? only Allah knows. We cant judge someone just for sinning differently to ourself.
living in a muslim country we have some rules from the shariah in the court system but not 100% shariah, there is controlled alcohol, zina and pretty much every other crime you can think of to a lesser degree in my opinion. So clearly one would assume that people here, the general people will also make mistakes in their thinking and understanding of the deen and approach with others.
People have called me many things since accepting Islam. Muslims have called me sufi, wahabi, salafi, irhabi I mean you name it I have been called it. Non Muslims have called me many other things that I wont address. I still feel a sadness that while living in a muslim country I’m accepted so warm heartedly by some and kind of scowled at by others. The common term here is ‘Ajnabiya’, yes I’m a foreigner and they clearly call me that to my face which is fine as it’s the term used here but many use it as a scoffing remark to discriminate. I can’t help but feel saddened in a way since back home in the west they would tell me to get out and live among muslims if I didn’t want to accept their laws and way so I happily left as my deen states and you can’t be angry at non muslims logic there. But to then live in a muslim country as a revert and be told to ‘return to my country’ or be scoffed at and called ajnabi it is just a little upsetting that the ummah result to such thinking and words. Since I guess I dont feel I really have a home or Country to belong to nor a family other than the Ummah and muslim lands.
We Love You For The Sake Of Allah, Because you Have money
Many times I met sisters thinking mashaAllah they are so lovely and nice, hospitable and caring to then find out once I explained I can’t help them financially with XYZ that they became angry and 100% different subhan Allah. It’s hard to make true friendships even for the sake of Allah now as I have experienced this a lot I have become somewhat closed from everyone especially people who are overly nice.
People here are generally very hospitable due to their islamic beliefs a nd culture, so its hard to differentiate between someone who wants something and someone who is genuine until they ask you for financial help and you can’t contribute, then you see them change. This is not the majority of people but it’s very common in my experience. Majority of the time the things they want money for is dunya, like they want to buy a house or get new things in their home etc, even things I’m living without yet they still will think I’m rich and ask.
I’m not referring to medical aid or anything of the sort.
Everyone From The West Has a Money Tree
I’m not even joking here, one time I became so frustrated with a woman who seemed to think I was just rich I said to her,’ what do you think , I have a money tree or something that just grows money and I take from it whenever I need?’ she looked at me very blank, heres me thinking she realised I’m not wealthy by any means. Then she said ,’ well the government pays you because you are from their country and they provide everything for your living’. That was my awakening moment after 4 years of living here I heard this so much. People actually believe the government just hand out money to everyone, like when you go to your parents and ask for financial help they wont even hand you what you need but this country, government who don’t even know who I’m I was just born there, they are going to hand me money just like that to cover all my expenses oh and then some so I can just play and love life and give others. It isn’t even logical let alone practical, my life by no means has it been easy financially or emotionally that I feel a sense of anger at these comments and that people actually think this way. That simply because I’m from the west my life was easy and a cool breeze of financial bliss. As a revert I lost my entire famiily, home, comfort everything I was homeless for years and ate from the rubbish bin, there is so much they dont even know.
If I need something I don’t have a family to ask for help I’m 100% on my own. People here, majority of whom I have met actually own their own home and only need financial support for home repairs, food, clothes, bills and medicine. Its true there isn’t any financial support here but families are pretty close-knit and the masjids help etc. I don’t know any muslim in the west who owns their own home , yes I cant think of anyone subhan Allah.
Poverty Is Real
After saying all that, dont get it wrong there is a lot of poor people here. Many times I have cried seeing elderly ladies, blind women and disabled men who are too old to work yet still need a way to survive. Women whose homes have been destroyed so that the rich can build on top of that land, who cares where they go? how do they start again when they always only had the clothes on their back and a make shift home? kids running around in shorts and t-shirts while snow covers the mountains near by. The sound of children coughing and women discussing what remedy to help them since they can’t afford a Dr or another medicine. To see mothers outside hospitals crying and asking for help so their child can have surgery. Wallahi it’s so sad to see the Ummah who invented most medical procedures cant even afford them.
The truth is that I’m Ajnabiya, yes I will never be a Moroccan by blood but I see myself more Moroccan than those who deserted their people to live in Europe and other places to chase the life of money and dazzle while their own people suffer and struggle, their own family they left behind can’t even call them or ask them anymore because upon their return they have so much pride for ‘making it out’ they now think they are better than those others who remained behind.
They have forgotten who they are and merely a residence has made them forget the struggle, hurt and suffering of their own people, mocking them and belittling their simplicity. I’m Ajnabiya, yes but I will live and remain with the people here because they are my people, my neighbours and my ummah. I will struggle with them and along side them until Allah decrees a way out for us all.
I love those who I live with because they are my brothers and sisters in Islam and I pray they will love me too even though, yes, I’m Ajnabi.