When I converted to Islam, I had a boyfriend.
It should not have been surprising that he dumped me. He was Christian and did not want to be with a Muslim woman.
“I don’t want to be with somebody who looks like you,” he emphatically told me.
I was as heartbroken as ever.
It had been years since I’d been alone and I was just coming to a faith so hated by society. I did the one thing I knew not to: I started sleeping with random men so I could feel better about my loneliness.
I started leading a double life, going to the mosque during the day and sleeping with a different man almost every night. I did not have any healthy way to cope with my new feelings.
Desperate for attention, I rummaged through the web for potential men willing to meet – no strings attached.
Additionally, I met with men I met at the mall, at the gym, at concerts, and even at work. I wanted to use them like I had been used. I didn’t care about them at all.
I thought I was doing okay until I met Alaf* online. He invited me to his dorm to watch a new film he liked. We both knew what would happen next. I stayed the night and he made me breakfast the next day. In between bites of cereal, I tried to ask more questions.
“I like your flag on the wall. Where are you from?”
“India is my motherland,” he responded, with a bit of patriotic admiration.
As I put on my hijab in his bathroom, I caught him looking at me. I asked him why he was staring and he said, “My mother always told me I should pray more. I don’t know why I don’t feel a connection with God.”
[bctt tweet=”As I put on my hijab in his bathroom, I caught him looking at me. ” username=”wearethetempest”]
I felt guilty. Sex outside of marriage is generally looked down upon in my faith and here was Alaf opening his heart to me.
“I don’t know why I’m telling you this. This is so personal. I just… I don’t know.” He whispered, “You don’t have to do this, you know?”
“Do what?” I responded quickly.
“This. We barely know each other. You’re trying to find God and I’m so lost.”
I have no idea why, but these words touched my heart. What was I doing?
If I kept being this careless, I could catch an STD, or get caught by friends. I felt that God was using Alaf to get through to me, to make me more mindful of my actions. I decided this would be my last one night stand. I couldn’t have it on my conscience anymore.
[bctt tweet=”I have no idea why, but these words touched my heart. What was I doing?” username=”wearethetempest”]
In a world that tells me that independence comes sleeping with who I want when I want, I felt myself not wanting to participate anymore. I was not finding answers to my problems.
I felt empty and more lonely than ever.
Like a flower waiting to bloom, I felt timid and vulnerable in front of God.
I began to feel the immobilizing trepidation disappear when my lips parted in prayer.
“Oh my Lord, forgive me and accept my repentance…”