Episode 001: Muslim American Identity
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
In this first episode we dive into the Muslim Identity crisis. What it means to feel disconnected with your identity, how to identify that you may have a problem, and three solutions to help you overcome and feel confident about who you are as an American Muslim.
“Islam should improve you, not rewrite who you are!” -Theresa Corbin
You can find Theresa Corbins article below
When we first came to Islam we are full of excitement and enthusiasm! Everything about that makes us want to dive right in: full-force. No one warned us that Islam is your faith, but you’re still who YOU are and you need to hold on tight to that and not let go.
This is a journey of self- exploration – coming to Islam made us feel that we wanted to venture out in an extreme way and change who we are completely.
It’s already such a dramatic change coming to Islam! The thought comes that we have to become this other person which made us feel unhappy.
You CAN be yourself!
When did we realize there was a problem?
There is usually a dramatic moment. For Monica, she took this frustration and had a “closet moment”. Ripping apart at her un-modest wardrobe and taking photo albums out to rip up old photos thinking that ‘old life’ needed to go away. Nicole also had a closet moment where she felt very angry and had nothing to wear to her Islam 101 classes.
So, how did our families play a part in all of this?
Family members might have the thought, “You don’t want to be you…but you are part of me! Why don’t you want to be like me anymore?” We sometimes felt that we had to pull away from our family, because were changing and were scared to have them see us change.
We want to protect our families. Even so if you are a born Muslim that comes maybe from a non-practicing family and you want to start leading a more clean lifestyle, volunteering at the masjid or wear hijab… families might think “You don’t want to be like me and that hurts me.” It’s usually not about you changing your religion.
Tip #1: Maintain Relationships!
When they see that your happy and that what you’re doing in your life is not hurting you in any way and actually improving you and making you a more compassionate and kind person they
can’t help but love that too! Show up and be present because being with your family is part of who you are and God would never want you to steer away from that.
Tip#2: Have Confidence!
Changing so much can cause insecurity.
A convert or born-Muslim that wants to dive more into a faith driven lifestyle… you might feel like an outsider.
When we move away from what makes us, us it creates a void. And we try to fill that void with all the wrong things.
Don’t doubt yourself and build back the confidence! Say, “I know who I am and I’m OK with that!”
Tip #3: Finding your purpose!
Know that you can take the things that made you who you are and bring it with you! And even its okay creating something new that make you feel purposeful!
Nicole didn’t think she could continue on as a photographer because of where she was photographing. It didn’t feel good because she didn’t want to be in the nightclubs. She disconnected and at that time didn’t know how to make it work. So she tried out a desk job that wasn’t a fit for her and it made her feel sad. Then, she felt the urge to dive back into her passion as a photographer. She switched her style of her photography in a cleaner direction and began to shoot Muslim weddings. She even took Monica’s wedding photos! Now she proud of the works she does and feel great about it!
You can check out Nicole's photography business at the link below!
There is a lot of success in the ability to love yourself and find happiness. Identity is all about having confidence and good self-esteem. Be confident in the decision you made to be a Muslim women!
Article by Theresa Corbin: