Brothers & Sisters!
I am a VERY recent reverted brother to Islam... as in the past month. I studied Middle Eastern & Islamic History in college and in fact have my degree in it... however, it wasn't until 2 years after graduating with my degree that I've decided to revert... I've found myself in a great place and time in my life and Islam speaks to me in a way it never REALLY has before; no longer is it just an academic study that I analyze from the outside, it is now the foundation of who I am, !
Still, need some advice... I have a good start: a strong understanding and knowledge of the Qur'an & Islam (I've already read the Noble Qur'an cover to cover), a supportive family (my dad just spoke to me tonight about it, said it was awesome that I had found something that was making my life better), and a very positive attitude. But I have 3 major issues:
1) The accusation of a "new label"
In the past, I have bounced around religiously... I have bounced from Hinduism, to Atheism, and to LaVeyan Satanism... and now to Islam. Because of this, some of my acquaintances and one family member has accused me of just "taking on a new label" and that I'm "just doing it for attention". I know that at the end of the day, it's between myself and Allah (swt), but I dunno... I don't want to seem like a histrionic sycophant and want to make sure people know I am sincere in my new life. Thoughts?
2) Finding a masjid
There are a few masjids in my area; 3 Sunni and 1 Ismaili, to be exact. However, in my experience they all tend to be very conservative, Salafi-run, or divided along ethnic lines (e.g. it might be strange for me- an American- to attend a mosque that is 100% Bosnian). How should I approach this situation?
3) Ex-Muslima friend
One of my best friends is a Bosniak who is now a strict atheist. She has a stroooong dislike of Islam. I'm not quite sure how to tell her about my reversion, as I can hear her now: "Oh man, REALLY? You've gotta be kidding me..." and she'll proceed to lecture me about how awful it is to be a Muslim and I should take her word for it because she knows from personal experience. Any suggestions on how to approach the situation as tactfully as possible?
Thank you guys so much and thank you for helping through this amazing event in my life! Peace