Bismillah Al-Rahman Al-Raheem
Assalam alaikum wa rahmatullah.
May Allah ta'ala grant us all the best of endings, upon iman, and protect the belief and Deen of every one of us. May He - subhanahu wa ta'ala - guide him back to the Deen, and forgive us any shortcomings towards him as an Ummah.
The following is a twenty minute documentary by a truly fantastic and groundbreaking initiative - known as the Ta'leef Collective - for new Muslims in America. I remember when I first saw it, I watched it over and over, it was incredibly moving, and highlights some of the challenges converts face after their conversion to Islam, especially around the issue of having a support network:
They're doing great, much-needed work, from what I can see. I particularly like - as the need for it resonates deeply within me, and forms a core part of my conviction - the idea that a space needs to exist, a neutral space, that any Muslim, can come and stand within and express whatever concerns/doubts/problems, they have, without fear of censure and recrimination. No judging, no blaming, just embracing, including, and being there for them. You don't have to agree with everything, but disagreeing with something someone is struggling with - e.g. homosexuality - doesn't mean pushing them away, astaghfirullah. Otherwise who knows, maybe we'll get pushed away one day, in our hour of need.
I shudder to think where I might have been now, if, when I had needed that space - and there was a time when I did - I had felt shunned. Alhamdulillah wa shukrillah for the Ahl-Allah.
I strongly believe we'd be in a far better place, as an Ummah, if such spaces existed as the norm.
Never forget, you don't own your iman, it is a light that Allah ta'ala placed in your heart, which He - subhanahu wa ta'ala - favoured you with. But light can go out if darkness enters in its place. So remain vigilant, and be continually grateful, not complacent, nor heedless, for it - iman - is the gift that keeps on giving.
My salams and requests for du'as from yourselves and your blessed families,