Short Answer: If you choose to convert, you will still be Jala and you will still be British and you will still love your friends and family and most of the very same things you like and love today. When someone chooses to become a Muslim, they choose to submit peacefully and willingly to Allah, the One and Only Sustainer of all. And that is true love. It is the love that makes you, me or anyone act upon the will of the Beloved. We then act according to what He loves, not according to what we love.
Salam Dear Jala,
Thank you for your question and for contacting Ask About Islam.
I appreciate your genuine interest in purifying your faith and becoming a good Muslim.
Your question really reflects sincere worry about what would be an obstacle in your path towards God, especially after taking such an important and major decision in your life.
Converting from one religion to another is a decisive step in one’s life.
The moment someone changes their religion, automatically, many details of their daily life will change.
The point that you need to note is that these changes should definitely be happy changes, as long as you have chosen to convert willingly.
If you are pressured or pushed to take Islam as a religion, then it is never a sound conversion.
On the other hand, you may be choosing Islam willingly and peacefully submitting your whole self and life to the One and Only Divine Being Who has created you and granted you existence, life, happiness, laughter, sight, and hearing, along with many other blessings and gifts.
In this case, when you completely dedicate your life and self to God, your worries will—in themselves—change.
This will never happen because someone is preaching to you and telling you that you should always be “good” and never be “bad”.
But it will happen because the way you will enjoy the taste of life will become different.
Happiness & True Joy in Islam
Today you see that there is some kind of happiness in drinking alcohol with a husband.
Maybe you see it as fun or even a relaxing agent that would positively affect a tender relation. Well, you need to notice that yesterday you were a person, and today you are developing into another person. And it is a fact that people differ in what they like or dislike.
Today you like the idea of drinking with your husband, but tomorrow you might enjoy more the idea of praying with your husband!
This does not mean at all that you wouldn’t have fun with your husband or that Islam wouldn’t help you enjoy your romantic and emotional moments with a lawful husband.
On the contrary, Islam is in favor of tender love and happy souls getting together in lawful marriages.
The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him), was a very romantic and tender husband.
For example, he was sweet and loving to his wife Aishah, even when he was leaving this world of ours.
When he felt that his time was due, he asked to be moved to her room and he simply died between her arms, breathing his last moments while she was hugging him.
This was just one example among many. But let’s not deviate from our point.
Submission & The Love of God
What I am trying to explain is that each day I am a different person, yet I am still the very same person! How can this be?
Well, if you choose to convert, you will still be Jala and you will still be British and you will still love your friends and family and most of the very same things you like and love today.
So you will still be the same person. Yet, something will be added to you.
This addition will be your submission to a greater love. This is the love of the One and Only Creator of all that exists. Does this mean you don’t love God today?
No, it doesn’t mean that.
It only means that when someone chooses to become a Muslim, they choose to submit peacefully and willingly to Allah, the One and Only Sustainer of all. And that is true love.
It is the love that makes you, me or anyone act upon the will of the Beloved. We then act according to what He loves, not according to what we love.
In the Arabic language, the word ‘salam‘ means ‘peace’. So, adding the prefix ‘i’ gives the meaning of peaceful submission to the compound word.
This peaceful submission is chosen and never forced.
Does this mean that if you choose to drink alcohol after your Islam then you wouldn’t be a Muslim?
No, it doesn’t.
This might be a striking answer to you and to some others. But there is an Islamic rule that says: “what can’t be totally achieved, shouldn’t be totally neglected.”
There is a big difference between a person who acknowledges that there is a One and Only Creator and Sustainer to this existence and a person who does not.
Someone who realizes this fact and realizes the essence of the message of Muhammad and acknowledges his prophethood is simply submitting to the core of Islam.
The moment they witness these two points they become a Muslim.
Following the guidelines of how to be a correct Muslim or a good Muslim is step number two. Believing is the first stage, then applying or going by the rule is the second stage.
Islam’s Ruling & Wisdom on Alcohol
It is crystal clear from every aspect that drinking alcohol is against all Islamic rulings.
It is forbidden to drink alcohol whether with a husband or in any other context.
The reasons the rule is so have been explained thoroughly by scholars and you would find some reflections on these reasons in the links provided below. But, I would personally like to draw your attention to an important point.
This point is that Islam respects the whole entity of the human character. It respects the soul, brain and body, etc.
A Muslim is someone who loves God by their heart, chooses and acknowledges Him by their intellect and then submits all their senses and existence to this choice.
Brains and intellect are what gives Man the special human value. Islam does not accept losing this identity or value for the sake of pleasure or even out of sorrow.
Islam appreciates your mind and wants you to cherish it in all times. Thus, the effect of alcohol on this valuable blessing is completely denounced by Islam.
Change in Life
Back to the point by which I started my answer; getting changed. As I mentioned at the beginning, your measure for what makes you happy or unhappy changes naturally by time. This happens to every human being due to change of age, circumstances or even status.
The more you experience life, the more your ability to enjoy this or that changes according to the changeability of one’s personal catalog. What about changing one’s religion?
Whether it is a change to Islam or to any other religion, some innate spiritual stands and changes take place within one’s self.
As for Islam in specific, a first grade Muslim would get convinced, then a second grade one would submit and start to apply.
However, a third grade and a senior one would love to apply. To genuinely and truly love is to love what the Beloved loves. This is to be felt and experienced, never explained in words!
Jala, if you are choosing Islam, do not start by thinking of what you cannot do. But, start by what you are able to do and give.
Don’t worry about what you are losing, because you might be gaining much more than you would expect or plan, the moment you start tasting the beauty of your choice. And this will never happen except when you start your first move.
Step by step you will find yourself developing into a happier soul.
You wouldn’t then worry much about drinking or not drinking, but you will find yourself worrying about pleasing your Beloved; the One you chose to submit to, peacefully and willingly.
It is mentioned in the Islamic heritage that God has promised that whenever a person moves towards Him one step, then He (Almighty) will move a closer step towards that person.
And if the person moves quicker, then God would “run” towards that person. Of course this is metaphoric. It just explains that all we need to do is take the first step on our path towards God and then He will help us get closer.
I hope my answer helps you see a clearer vision of Islam.
I hope you find happiness and peace for your soul within this lovely religion. And I sincerely pray that you meet a Muslim who enjoys his submission to the Beloved Divine, whom you would happily take as a loving husband and with whom you would share your true joy of life.
In case you have any more queries, please do not hesitate to contact us again.
Thank you and please keep in touch.
(From Ask About Islam archives)
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