Things I Will NOT Miss About Being Muslim

As a recent apostate from Islam, I’m enjoying a new found sense of freedom. Granted, my journey into the world of Islam only lasted seven months. However that was long enough for me to feel suffocated by it. It was as if my spirit and my identity was being buried underneath the yards of black cloth that I wore. I’m glad to say that is no longer the case! In commemoration of my freedom, I am going to make a list of the the things that I will NOT miss about being a Muslim. I thought about making it a Top Ten style post. But honestly it may end up being longer. So here we go, free form style.

Things I Will Not Miss:
Beards. I have never been a fan of excessive facial hair. My ideal man is clean-shaven. I could compromise and accept a well-maintained goatee. But an actual beard? No thanks! I’ve always found them unattractive and dirty-looking. Each time I see a beard I think of all the things that can get trapped in it and I feel nauseous. Of course in Islam men wearing beards is sunnah and many claim it’s obligatory. As a Muslimah accepting a mate with a beard was simply something I had to live with. I’m glad those days are over.

Hijab. Sure, I tried convincing myself that I was actually okay being covered head to toe in 90 degree weather. Truthfully I was miserable. As a hijabi I didn’t like going out as much. I was always anxious about adhering to the dress and behavior code. If I became hot in my office I couldn’t just remove my cardigan. Even showing a wrist or forearm was haram. As a good Muslimah my curves were supposed to be invisible. As a Black woman this was, to be frank, an exercise in futility. There was no way I could disguise the ample posterior that Mother Nature bestowed on me. Now that I’m not Muslim I no longer have to obsess over such things, alhamdulilah!

Dietary Restrictions. It’s sweet to be able to enjoy a meal and not think about whether the meat was slaughtered in a halal fashion. It’s even sweeter to enjoy pork. Yes, I said it. My family is from Mississippi, so bacon, ham and pork chops were part of my upbringing. I’m grateful that I’m getting reacquainted with my culture,lol!

Doing PR. There was hardly any time off as a Muslim. At any time I could be put in a position of having to defend the faith. All of the discussions and arguments get tiring.

Salat. Making the five daily prayers is a major chore! June 2010 was an especially hard month. The last daily prayer was around 11:30pm and the first morning prayer was at 2:30am. I never got enough sleep. I used to joke with my fellow converts that being Muslim meant we had to forget about ever getting a full eight hours of sleep !

Ritual Cleanliness. No more holding it in when I need to use the restroom. No more cursing under my breath whenever I passed gas. You see one has to be in a state of ritual cleanliness to offer prayers in Islam. Falling asleep, passing gas or using the bathroom would mean that you wudhu was broken. To get it back you’d have to go through the rituals washing again. And if you’re married and have sex, you’d have to make ghusl-take a ritual bath/shower-to become clean again. As a Black female with dreadlocks I particularly hated ghusl. When I was married this meant I had to wash and disturb my hair multiple times per day. My skin began to dry out due to all the ritual washing required for salat.

That is all I can think of for now. If I think of more I’ll expand this post later.

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A native Seattleite and East Coast transplant, I have been interested in politics, religion, and race from the day I saw “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” on the bookshelf belonging to my BFF’s mom back in 1991. While my zealotry has thankfully diminished with maturity, I remain the deep thinking, passionate, and humble woman I have always been.

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