Divorce Does Not Make Himself Leaving Islam

Written By jieenk on Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 5:20 AM

Last week the international mass media reported that the number of converts in Britain increased rapidly, although the Islamic religion in the country, like most in Western countries, portrayed in a negative and still be a target of public suspicion.

Census ever conducted across the United Kingdom stated that the increase converts between 14,000 to 25,000 people. But a recent study conducted think-tank institute interfaith Faith Matters states that the number of converts in the UK is greater than estimated so far. According to the institute, the number of converts in the UK reached 100,000 people, where each year An estimated there were 5,000 British citizens who become new Muslims or converts.

That number is higher than the number of people who become converts every year in Germany and France. In both countries, only an estimated 4,000 people who say syahadat.setiap year.

Unique from the record converts in Britain, most of them were women. One of the UK women who choose the path of Islam that is Catherine Heseltine, a lecturer at a nursing school in North London. Even though he converted to Islam for marrying a Muslim youth, Heseltine study Islam seriously. When the marriage foundered, Heseltine remained steadfast in Islam. He recognizes that the Islamic religion has given direction and purpose for her life now, and Heseltine did not hesitate to obey the teachings of Islam to cover nakedness, wearing a headscarf.

Heseltine was still fairly young, he was only 31 years. He grew up in North London in a family that never taught her to live the teachings of any religion. Heseltine prefer to be a agnostics, until finally he knows Islam and began to study it because of curiosity.

"If you ask when I was 16 years of age, if I wanted to be a Muslim, I would say 'no thanks'. At the time I'm happy-happy drinking, partying and hang out with friends, "Heseltine recalls of his teenage years.

"Raised in North London, we were never to practice religion at home, I always thought that religion is ancient and was no longer relevant," he said.

Heseltine then met a young Muslim who summoned Syed. Muslim youth - who is now her husband - that changed all his views on religion. "He is young, a Muslim, believe in God. What sets it apart from other young children, he does not drink mimuman hard," said Syed Heseltine about.

He continued, "Before I met Syed, I almost never ask for what I believe in the liver. I chose to become an agnostic."

Syed Heseltine and eventually fell in love. Heseltine but soon realized, how he could live with someday if Syed himself a Muslim and not Muslim. Since it started growing curiosity about Islam Heseltine and he began reading books on Islam, including reading the translation of the Quran.

"Initially, the Quran only made me interested in the intellectual level only, not touching the emotional and spiritual side of me. I admire the explanation in the Qur'an about the universe. I am amazed that 1,500 years ago, Islam gave rights to women, that are not owned by women in the West, "Heseltine added.

"Religion is not the issue of the 'cool' to talk about, I try to keep my interest in Islam for three years. But in the first year of college, I decided to get married and Syed, and I knew it was time I tell my parents," he continued.

Both parents Heseltine not too enthusiastic to hear the wedding plans. They expressed concern if his daughter got married, then become a Muslim. Parents Heseltine imagine negative things about the position of Muslim women's role in the household. "Can not you live together first (without marriage)?" Heseltine's mother even suggested "tradition" that the Western society has become a common thing.

"No one realized the seriousness of my conversion. Many people think that I converted to Islam just to make the Syed family happy, not because I believe that religion," Heseltine said.

Heseltine and Syed stay married to Bengali custom. They then lived in a flat. In early marriage, Heseltine has not terpikr to wear the hijab, she was only wearing a bandana or hat. Slowly, Heseltine launch an Islamic way of life. "I want people to judge of intelligence and my character, rather than appearance," he said.

As someone who has never been part of religious communities, especially religious communities became minorities in the country, Heseltine admitted must make a major adjustment. Some friends were a shock to see Heseltine became a Muslim, some can accept the 'identity' of his new.

"What, do not drink, do not do drugs, not going out? I can not do it," said a shocked friend who knows Heseltine Heseltine had embraced Islam. Not only that, it takes time for Heseltine to remind his friends that men be no longer kiss on the cheek when meeting. "I have to say, 'sorry, it's about being a Muslim,'" he said.

As time went on, Heseltine Syed even more religious than her husband. The differences began to emerge. In the end, Heseltine think that marriage is something that is hard for Syed. Syed farther away and more and more tenuous relationship with Heseltine. After seven years of marriage, divorce can not be prevented anymore. Heseltine returned to her parents.

"When my parents came home, everyone was very surprised because everywhere I still wear the hijab. But, if there is one thing that strengthens my faith, I feel myself to be a Muslim an independent, free from the shadows of a Syed, "Heseltine said.

"Islam has given me purpose and direction of life. I was involved with the organization of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee and join campaigning against Islamophobia, against discrimination against women, campaigning to alleviate poverty, also campaigned in support of the Palestinian people."

"When people call us 'extremists', I just thought the title was so ridiculous. Many problems in the Muslim community, but if we feel depressed, it will only make it harder to move forward," Heseltine said.

He asserted, as a Muslim, he still felt a part of British society. It took a while for Heseltine to adjust the two identities.

"But now, I feel confident to be myself what it is. I am part of two worlds and no one is to rob the world of me," he said

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