Salaam y’all! I’m Ashley—writer, revert, tea-drinker, cat-lover, and passionate life-liver.
I officially embraced Islam in November of 2014 after a long seven months of voracious reading and slowly falling in love. My journey since then has had its phases, its ups and downs, but there is one thing that my relationship with Islam has never lost: passion.
As I have delved deeper into my study of this beautiful religion, I have noticed a trend within the Muslim community. There is a constant pressure to live, to practice Islam, and to “be” a certain way. For many reverts this can look like being pushed to assimilate into a particular cultural group in order to become a “real Muslim.” But for the community as a whole this also involves a widespread notion that we should be following only the strictest, most puritanical (and very recently created) form of Islam, because that is the only way that is “correct,” and anyone who practices differently is “devient.”
I have a couple of blog posts about this (here and here), but to make a long story short, I firmly believe that there is no one “correct” Islam, beyond upholding the tenets of our aqidah. There are different schools of thought, different scholarly opinions, and different cultural practices that are all meant as a mercy to our community. The Prophet himself, sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, when faced with two legitimate options, was known to take the easier, more practical, or more convenient of the two (narrated in Bukhari).
And if there is one thing I have learned in my own spirituality journey, there is so much more to Islam than “forbidden” and “obligatory.” It is our deen, not only our religion but our complete way of life.
And that is why, in my work here, I am striving to counteract that puritanical Islamic narrative with something much more powerful: love. I won’t be handing you the rulebook here, there will be no posts on the newest thing you need to stop doing/get rid of/forbid yourself in order to be a “good” Muslim.
What will you find? Gentle reminders, resources, respect for your individuality, and loving encouragement to take that next step, wherever you are in your journey.
So, whether you are a brand-new Muslim looking for support and resources, someone who feels like they can never be up to the “standard” when you look at online fatwa forums, or someone who is interested in personal and spiritual development from a place of passion and love (not “should” and “must”), you are in the right place.
To get you started here are some of my most popular posts on being yourself, spiritual development, Islam, and personal reflections. You can also head over and find out more about my revert story here, and I do hope you’ll stay to have a look around!
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