Post-Traumatic Sheikh Disorder | Part 2: Healing and Understanding

Teddy bear with a patch

Healing

As I mentioned in Part One, I turned to the internet for my answers. In my search for understanding, I came across a major problem: I didn’t know when to stop.  I hopped from website to website, following the breadcrumbs of the search results. I would think I had it beat, when suddenly I would read someone’s opinion on it, and the whole loop would start again.

I had opportunities to find closure on it. I was invited to a mosque where the imam and a sheikh were discussing the issue with a group of Muslim converts.

But I declined, partly because I felt I had reached my own conclusions, but mostly because I was afraid. As time progressed, I became frustrated with myself, that I wasn’t able to just shut the issue away and move on with my life.

Continue reading “Post-Traumatic Sheikh Disorder | Part 2: Healing and Understanding”

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Before you go and join ISIS…

A short letter to potential recruits

 

Salam alaikum,

Peace be with you, whoever you are. You may be a young Muslim, anywhere between 18 to 30, most likely male. Perhaps you’re a convert, swept up in the religious zeal of your newfound faith. You’re angry at the injustice going on in the world. You’re distraught by the discrimination you face as a Muslim.

Regardless, you have been drawn into the ISIS war machine by their promise of adventure and the romance of restoring the glory of Islam. Maybe your bags are already packed and you’re ready to go.

But before you board your flight to Syria or Iraq or wherever, ask yourself this simple question:

Are they merciful?

Continue reading “Before you go and join ISIS…”

A Heavy Light | Part 1

How I felt when I became a Muslim.

A thick candle.

People sometimes ask me, “What was it like when you converted?” and they must be expecting some kind of rapturous event where I saw the light and felt a huge burden lift off my shoulders and my heart set free. But my conversion to Islam wasn’t so much about seeing the light, but rather realizing that the light was always there. I just didn’t realize it.

And let’s be straight: that light was heavy. Continue reading “A Heavy Light | Part 1”

The In-Between

Old stone bridge across the river with two people on it.Being a Muslim convert means you’re almost constantly balancing this strange in-between world, living neither here nor there. On the one hand, you have your old life: your family, friends, habits, and actions that were around prior to you accepting Islam. On the other hand, you have your new life: a life of God, brotherhood, mosques, imams and worship. And to each you are, in a way, an oddity. Continue reading “The In-Between”