Reverting to Islam is not always easy…especially these days! Sheng Jade is a 19-year-old influencer from Sydney, Australia. This woman who identifies as an extrovert went from Christianity to partying and from partying to Islam. Here she tells us why it wasn’t easy with her family, in particular, her mom. What are they going to say about the hijab?
My whole transition took about 2 and abit years. All my life I thought Christianity was the only religion, I never took notice to women wearing hijab or niqab or anything like that. I thought it was cultural or just a style.
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So when I went to a Catholic school I was in a way confined to their teachings and stories. It was only in year 10 when they introduced us to different religions. At this point, I felt like I’d been lied to my whole life and kinda betrayed cause how can no one tell me other religions exist. I left it and forgot about religion in general. Once year 11 started we had to study in depth about 3 major religions in the world that our school chose for the subject “religion”.
Our school chose Christianity cause we had to, Buddhism and Islam. So without a choice, I was learning about all these religions. I knew more about Christianity so that was what I believed in at the time. When we studied in detail about Jesus, the Holy Spirit and about what is God and who is He, I got really confused. I would ask questions but they always gave me a response but never an answer. At this point, I felt like they couldn’t answer my questions because they never knew the answers themselves. I was more confused and lost than ever so I completely stopped Christianity.
We then studied Buddhism, the stories about what they believed in was too much of a fairytale for me. Their ethics and morals were something I believed everyone should practice not religiously but as human, but the story of Buddha was something that never made sense to me.
While I was learning this religion I questioned myself, why are there so many religions, why do they all believe in different things, how can someone know which one is true which one is not?
When it was time to learn about Islam, I was very intrigued. Everything I knew about Islam was based on what the media had portrayed them to be, violent and oppressive. I remember the first day back, going into class I would rant “why would they teach us something that advocates violence and oppression” “Why do we even have to learn about this”. Once we started learning about the basics, the origin, all the beliefs, the five pillars, I felt like something clicked inside me. I felt truth, I felt purposes in life and I felt love beyond human capabilities and I felt like something was missing in my life and now that void was being filled.
Partying Life Was Good
At school, we would only learn what was necessary to get good marks for our end of high school exams. So in my personal time I studied about the foundations of Islam and questions I asked about life and the purpose of it and who God is and why did he put us here. And I actually found answers that didn’t contradict each other and it made COMPLETE sense. At this point I fell in love, with the religion, I practiced here and there. I think now looking back I didn’t officially revert and say my Shahada because I think I was scared about the commitment and the massive lifestyle change. At that age, I felt as if I was too young and couldn’t handle it. I stayed practicing and studying it on and off until a month before I turned 18 so in January of 2017 (I haven’t reverted here).
The period leading up to when I was about to turn 18 I was surrounded by friends that were the partying and drinking type. I was never around practicing Muslims because I didn’t know how to interact or meet them. So when I was at the legal age, I had the urge to experience what this life had to offer me and why everyone participating in it enjoyed life so much. So I went clubbing, drank alcohol, dressed immodestly. This period stayed for a good couple months and the honest truth I enjoyed it a lot, the company the vibes and music, it made me feel like I could disappear from the world and forget all my responsibilities and my worries and it felt good.
A couple months down the track around July/August I started to realize something. What I was doing was never permanent, the good feeling I had while doing that would only last a night or till the next day and I’ll be paying for the consequences the next day or even the day after. It took me the longest time to realize and ask myself is this the life that I want? Do I want something that’s fun and temporary to dictate my life, does this give me the reason I want to live? For the longest time, I was so scared to answer these questions cause I knew deep down it wasn’t, but I was too scared to change cause I thought I was sacrificing everything. But that wasn’t everything, it was nothing compared to what I have now.
What is Her Family Going to Think About the Hijab?
When I had the courage to answer these questions, I knew from that moment I had to pull up, I had to change my life around and evaluate what I want in life and how I was going to get that. Mind you, my mum hated the idea I was studying Islam and we would fight almost every day for almost 2 years about it. So I guess that played a big factor as well in delaying the conversion. From then I had the goal for that year to say my shahada. I didn’t know when but I knew it was going to be that specific year (2017). Then I thought to myself what is my family overseas going to think of when I become Muslim or when I put on the scarf? How are they going to react? And that scared the shit out of me cause I haven’t seen them in 4 years and all of a sudden I show up with hijab and just dumping it on them. I had to think of something that I could do without having to tell them at that moment.
At this time it was the end of September and I said my shahada in front of my closest and dearest friend (He is Muslim). So from that point, I considered myself a Muslim. Right after when I finished uni exams I knew I had to see my family so I booked a plane ticket to China in November (last year) because I knew the day I come back I’m putting on the scarf permanently. Everything went according to my plan, my family didn’t suspect anything but I knew I would eventually have to visit them again.
But alhamdulillah, after reverting nothing but good has happened in my life, even the struggles and challenges were a blessing. I’ve honestly never been happier in my life till now. SubhanAllah the way Allah guides us back to him.
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