Guest Author: Hazancan
I have been following this website for a very long time now. The stories of many writers resemble each other so much. I also come from a conservative family and I used to wear hijab as well. Moreover, I studied at a religious school. After this school, I enrolled in a department at a university where I was going to experience the biggest shock in my life and start questioning everything: sociology. It was utterly different from my family and the education I had got so far. There was equality between genders, religions, and the values were open to be questioned, you could think in a liberal way, and “there were gays!”
During my first year at university, I had continued constantly opposing my lecturers in classes and trying to explain everything with my previous habits based on my religious background. I used to do them at university and also during seminars. As I remember them now, I feel ashamed. But as I did for everything about me, I also accepted my past. The transition wasn’t an easy one. I must admit that.
When I was in high school, I had intense feelings for a woman. In fact, I wanted her so much that I couldn’t even understand what I actually felt for her. Even though there were some things that came to my mind, I used to think those were the things which didn’t suit me. I was a healthy Muslim! I exactly remember the times, as if they happened only yesterday, when I used to wake up at nights and pray for hours to Allah asking for help to get rid of the ideas in my mind and to repent. This “problem” of mine didn’t last long, I managed to get rid of it in a short time. Until the time when I got into university where I changed my point of view in life and the way I used to think… Of course until the time when I fell in love with a woman and found myself in a position where I could completely identify myself…
At the end of the first year at university, I could already identify myself and changed the way I used to think. Actually I also took my hijab off during those times. However, that was not the real enlightenment for me – according to the present day me. I had got a new way of thinking yet this time I was filled with hatred towards everything and everyone. I was angry at “the one and only truth” illusion that I had been taught for all those years and I had been surrounded by the same type of people. I was also angry with myself for I once had been a narrow-minded person. The other thing that I was angry at was my religion. I was thinking that Islam didn’t suit me well and that I hadn’t chosen this religion for myself and by myself in the first place. It was a religion in which gays like me were excluded and women were disdained.
It wasn’t so easy to get rid of this anger in me, it also needed a transition period. I couldn’t stay like that since I was unhappy and uneasy. I quit in time being angry at my past and with people who weren’t like me. I learned to love people as they were. I had had no one. I had been loving Allah so much but couldn’t pray to Him. Because I hadn’t known how to, I had not been a Muslim anymore. Islam that I had adopted, loved, and found peace so far was my biggest enemy. It also couldn’t go on like that. I had searched and thought so much in order to make peace with my religion. In the end, I had figured out that there had not been only one interpretation of Islam. My interpretation of Islam is based on loving Allah and not doing the things He wouldn’t like, but just doing the ones He would like. I took all the beautiful and beneficial teachings in Islam and adopted them. In truth, I didn’t care about the other issues at all like the ones related to homosexuality… There are many interpretations of the verses of the Quran related to this issue. I think the religion that I adopted and my Allah couldn’t have wanted to say such things. I only love Him and I will always do. The most significant factor in my Islam is “love”!