Hot on the heels of my interview with Tasnia from “Muslimah’s pockets full of sunshine blog” , I have another treat in store for you! Hannah from “Converts Confessions” has been kind enough to answer my questions on how she balances life as a career woman and a revert Muslimah in the USA. You can read her full bio and witty blog here . I love her posts on funny questions she has been asked about Islam- we have all been there and can definitely relate to what she writes about. Enjoy the interview!
Truly, I face so many misconceptions that to find those that are “common” is actually somewhat a difficult question. I suppose the biggest one would be the fact that if I’m Muslim, I must be Arab. There is a disconnect between the fact that Islam – or being Muslim – is a religion, where as being Arab is an ethnicity. People often ask if I’ve converted to Arab. Or, when I ask where they think I’m from they answer “Islam.” That’s a huge one.
The other common misconception is that I hate America, which is extremely untrue. The rest can be found in the ridiculous questions I get on a daily basis, on my blog
Q2. Within the Muslim community, what are the issues that you would like to change?
Easy. Putting culture before religion. There have been many instances when I am looked at as “less than” because I am American and from non-Muslim parents. For example, there have been a few cases of taking the early steps towards marriage that quickly ended once my nationality came into the picture. My character, my religion, my actions did not matter as much as the passport I happen to hold. I promise, before Islam I was never on Girls Gone Wild, I never did drugs, and I did not worship the devil! This misconception breaks my heart, not only because of its personal affect on me, but also because it is against Islam and against the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). And, I would make an AWESOME wife.
Q3. As a career woman, how do you balance your home/working/blogging life so that all aspects are satisfied?
It ain’t easy! With a lot of prayer, focus, and prioritization. Being a friend, a busy career woman, and an accomplished blogger is only a fraction of my life. Being focused on the fact that I am Muslim first and foremost is one of the best tricks I can think of. All the rest is just blessings that stem from that.
Q4 Culturally, how does your heritage affect your day to day life or outlook?
My upbringing in America gives me a different perspective, and marrying the two sides of my life is pretty awesome. One aspect that being a convert brings to my life is excitement about Islam. I am excited every time I pray. I am excited every time I enter the mosque. My excitement never fades, and that is a tremendous Mercy from Allah.
Q5. What do you enjoy most about your religion?
Every. little. thing. First and foremost, I love the opportunity to please Allah. I still can’t believe I got this lucky. SubhanAllah.
Q6. As a modern Muslimah, what is the aspect of your faith that you struggle the most with?
I am a person that likes to get any and all drama out of my life as fast as possible, so after three years of being Muslim most of the struggles have subsided, Alhamdulilah. I suppose the biggest “struggle” that has never subsided is the fact that I can’t change everyone’s mind. I can’t make Muslims see me as “legit.” I can’t make Americans understand where I am coming from. I can’t teach faith.
Q7. How do you handle stressful situations or situations which may lead you to test your faith i.e bursts of anger, racism or religious intolerance.
Alhamdulilah I have a sense of humor. There is a lot of stress that comes up, especially at work, that tests my commitment to Islam. Shaking hands with male clients, for example, is something I have chosen not to partake in. Some get offended. Some think I’m rude. Some don’t understand. So, I make a joke of it and we move on. I always remember that Prophet Muhammad (saws) recommended we be in this life as if we are just visiting. When you consider the fact that this is just our temporary home, all the little things, all the “tests,” all the annoyances kinda fade away.
Q8. What message or advice do you have for any sisters who are considering reverting to Islam?
Say “Ashhādu ʿan lā ʾilāha ʾillaʾllāh wa ashhādu ʿan Muh̩ammad ras̩ūl Allāh.” Take your shahada this very second. Tomorrow isn’t promised to you, darling. If you wait to find God in your final hour, you just might die at 45 minutes. If you have the sincerity in your heart today, don’t worry about all the other pieces to the puzzle. They will come with time. This has been the most tremendous blessing in all of my life and there is nothing that comes close. And if you need anything, I’m happy to help at any time.
Q9. What was the hardest thing about your reversion?
Changing the details of my life – what I wore, my friends, learning Arabic. But, as He promised, with hardship came relief.
Hannah’s social media platforms:
Check out the first four interviews in this series by going to the “Finding Common Ground” category.
All photos are from my own collection and were taken in Trincomalee, Sri Lanka.
If you would like to feature in my FCG series either to promote your blog or business, or to simply say your piece – then please contact me through the form below.