After spending the last few years of her life trying to work on her marriage, Melanie found herself divorced with two young children. She had only just reverted to Islam a year ago. Feeling alone, confused and broken she reflected over the years that had passed by. She looked in the mirror and couldn’t recognise the person looking back. She looked old and tired. “I’m nearly 50 years old,” she thought, “Where has the time gone? What choices have I made and why did I make them?” She breathed shakily as she remembered her journey up to this point.
The heartache and pain in her heart ripped through her body as the memories came and she broke down in tears – coming to terms with this new life was unbearable. It was just too difficult to accept. She had never imagined herself being a single mum. She had dreams of raising her children in a home with both mum and dad. She felt angry that her husband didn’t want to try harder to make it work. She felt sad that she had let her kids down. She found herself in a cycle of regret that came to haunt her, again and again.
“How could I not have seen this from the start?” She blamed herself. She felt a sense of shame, thinking about how everyone would be gossiping about her and her family.
She lived in a rural area part of the country which meant there wasn’t a Muslim Community, and she had no support from her family who had slowly become less close since her shahaadah, and now, with everything that was going on she didn’t feel like reaching out to anyone. She didn’t want to answer the questions, put up with the prying or even have their pitying glances.
Time flew by, days turned into weeks and before she knew it, it was months since she had had a heart to heart conversation with someone, and Melanie started to feel extremely isolated. Feeling emotionally, mentally and spiritually drained, she stopped praying and eventually took off her hijab. She felt even more shame, guilt and blame as a consequence. She had never hit rock bottom before this: it was all getting too much.
One evening, as she sat on the sofa staring blankly across the room, a thought crossed her mind to watch a video reminder on her phone that might bring her comfort. As she looked at her phone, a notification popped up and as she tapped it, she saw that it was a post about a revert sister who had gone through some life challenges and found support from a charity by the name of Solace.
Intrigued, she continued scrolling down, reading word after word. Tears started streaming down her face as she saw herself reflected in the story. She was not the only one, she realised. Maybe they could help her, just as they had helped the sister in the story get back on her feet. “I need this,” she whispered, wiping the tears from her face as she dialled the number for Solace.
She was allocated a caring Support Worker and was supported with relocating to an area with a bigger Muslim Community, as she wished to have more Muslim company for herself and her children. Melanie now attends regular sisters Islamic classes and gatherings, she takes part in local events by helping out and volunteering at the mosque, and the kids attend a local school and have made Muslim friends so that they can build their own support networks too.
We need to ask ourselves now, will we join this comforting light: are we ready to help light their way? Will we be amongst the chosen believers that Allah uses to help others?
43 individuals have planted the seed of giving regularly in this blessed month of Ramadan. They’ve answered the call and have committed to be a comforting light to revert sisters in difficulty, every month.
Build on your akhirah on this night of the 25th, a night that could be better than a thousand months, and do a deed that Allah loves – a consistent good deed.
Become a regular donor: http://givesolace.uk/bhs-monthly
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.
This Revert Story was written by Hanaa’ Ibtes