I have an article in Muslim Link, and it has typos, hehe.
I first saw Nicole in December of 2000. She was a Christian then, but very interested in Islam and Muslims- in what we stood for and how we chose to do so. She was full of enthusiasm, eager to learn and willing to read any book. She could be found sitting front and center when any discussion about Islam took place, and she seemed to know more about it than most Muslims our age. That was 2000 and she was 20.
The last I saw Nicole was August of 2004. She had been Muslim for three years and married to a Lebanese man who divorced her in six months. We were at yet another party, and this time, when an Islamic discussion started in the living room, she took her drink and walked out. That was 2004 and she was bitter.
Ali converted to Islam when he was fifteen but had learned little beyond those first few months. At twenty he still did not know how to pray. “I started learning,” he once told me, “But then I guess I stopped. At least I’m not Jewish anymore.”
Nicole and Ali are two examples of what often happen to us new Muslims. We start out on a spiritual high, we resolve to do amazing things with our faith, but we lose enthusiasm like Ali did, or worse yet, we become bitter like Nicole. Ali’s solution was relatively easy compared to Nicole’s, he changed his circle of friends and his location so that he could be around people who strengthened his faith, but what do you do if being around other Muslims only depresses you?… Read the rest…