This is Sophie’s story.
Everything was finally falling into place. Sophie had found the love of her life, and he was everything she had dreamed. They would wed and embark on their journey into the sunset together and live happily ever after.
It wasn’t long before her fairy tale came crashing down, and the perfect future she had envisioned became a distant reality. Soon after tying the knot, her husband told her she was a second wife – that was the first blow to bring her to her knees. Then Sophie found out that first wife didn’t know about her – the second blow was dealt. Then came the third gut-wrenching blow: upon learning about Sophie, the first wife and her family directed a stream of resentment and vitriol towards her, deciding that she would not be allowed to live with her husband. How quickly her golden dream had turned to dust; how quicky her bed of roses had turned to thorns that ripped and tore her heart.
Despite being betrayed herself, Sophie quickly became the scapegoat for the mess that her husband had made. Blamed for the secret marriage, she found herself alone, with feelings of shame and guilt and unworthiness as night after night, she waited up, ready to welcome home her new spouse with loving arms. The fact that he never came fed her self-loathing, her pain, her loneliness.
Before long, Sophie had reached breaking point. She was a married woman who was lonely, a married woman who never saw her husband. The man who had sworn to protect and love her had betrayed and abandoned her. This was not the life she signed up for. She mustered up the courage to ask her husband for a divorce, only for it to be waved away. Sophie knocked on the doors of countless Imams and Sheikhs for support. All to no avail. Time and time again, she heard the same generic message. She should be patient and stay with her husband. She must wait. She must not push him away. She must not complain – it was a sunnah. She was a revert, she was told, she should stay with him so she had support. There was not one person on her side, not one person willing to hear her story. She was all alone.
After being given the same advice by yet another Imam at the masjid, Sophie stumbled across a Solace poster on the wall. Was this a sign from Allah? Was this the help that she so desperately needed? Would Solace be able to help where others had faltered? With nothing more to lose, she reached out…
From the very first call, Sophie found relief in her support worker. For the first time during this draining ordeal, she was being heard and acknowledged. Her feelings were validated – it was ok to feel hurt and betrayed, it was normal to want a husband that spent time with her, it was allowed for her to ask for her marital rights. A weight had been lifted- her problems would not be solved overnight, but having a shoulder to lean on was all she had been searching for. Solace was able to offer her emotional support, whilst at the same time equipping her with the tools to move on. By guiding her through her emotions and steps she could take, Sophie felt stronger and empowered to move on in life. She learnt to build her relationship with Allah, to find things to give her life meaning and joy, to be able to forge a plan and way ahead in a manner that she felt honoured her own feelings as well as her values and beliefs. She received professional counselling to help her deep-rooted feelings of self- worth, along with the support from her Support Worker. She is still waiting for her situation to improve; she is still in essentially the same situation externally, but internally, her experience of it has radically changed with the support and care she received from Solace.
Solace helps revert sisters like Sophie, who are going through their difficulties alone. That help, support and care is made possible by the will of Allaah, and your generous donations. Without this, Sophie may have gone back to her non-muslim family for support. She may have even left Islam, may Allaah protect us all. She had no-one to support her in her time of need. She was a muhajirah to Allaah, and your donations made you the Ansaar who helped her.
There are many more Sophies and many more muhaajiraat who need your support.
Be their solace this Ramadan. Support revert sisters in difficulty: givesolace.uk/behersolace
The Revert Stories are in aid of Solace UK’s “Be Her Solace” campaign, which are 4 simple ways you can give our revert sisters solace in Ramadan.
Disclaimer: These stories are derived from multiple real stories to depict real-life events and circumstances experienced by revert sisters. While the stories are based on real-life events, none of the stories belong or refer to one particular person. Full anonymity and confidentiality has been upheld in the writing of Revert Stories. Solace takes the privacy of its service users seriously. All names, characters, locations and events have been changed.