Ep 4. Losing faith – Why I left Islam

With guest Celina Hanif who shares her tumultuous journey of how and why she lost the love for Islam. We discuss what the Muslim community can do to support those having a crisis of faith, especially young people and how we as individual Muslims all have a role to play.

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on these podcasts are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Not Another Mum Pod’s management or of any sponsors. Any content provided by our contributors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, identity (gender or sexual) club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Powered by RedCircle

Subscribe

In this new episode, we talk to Celina Hanif about what caused her to leave Islam and how she found her way back again. We discuss what the Muslim community can do to support those having a crisis of faith, especially young people and how we as individual Muslims all have a role to play. Celina Hanif is a Master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and hypnosis. She is also a divorce coach who helps South Asians recreate, rebuild and restore their lives post-divorce. She is also a full-time mum and home educator to her four boys.

  • Salaams and welcome! Today’s episode is about when somebody leaves Islam, how they can find their way back.
  • Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK – but while we all know how many Muslims there are in Britain – around 3 million to be precise – what people are rarely aware of, is the number of Muslims who actually leave Islam.
  • Today we will be talking to Celina Hanif about why she left Islam and then how she found herself back again. We’ll be touching upon what is it in our community that doesn’t seem to be supporting young people when they have a crisis of faith and what we should be doing more of. 
  • Celina Hanif is a Master practitioner of Neuro Linguistic Programming and hypnosis. Celina is a divorce coach who helps South Asians recreate, rebuild and restore their lives post-divorce. She is also a full-time mum and home educator to her four boys.

Some questions we asked:

  • Celina, when was the first time you felt disconnected to Islam? 
  • Would you say the fact that your siblings left Islam, encouraged you to do the same?
  • When bringing up your children, what do you to ensure that they feel safe in their deen and that you can minimise the risks of them leaving the deen?
  • Would you say education had a part to play in your reasons for leaving Islam? 
  • We have got to ask ourselves, if Islam is the fastest growing religion in the UK, what’s being done to support the new Muslims as well as the existing Muslims?
  • Main issue seems to be about people/Muslims rather than Islam and Allah – what does the Muslim community need to do to support people who are struggling? Is the onus on the community as a whole or on individual Muslims?
  • We’ve had influencers taking the hijab off or we’ve had Muslim gays. it happens. it happens and that’s reality of life. it’s important that we talk about it. It’s important that we start to think about the ways in which we can support Muslims.

Some points we made:

  • When somebody’s appearance is not looking traditionally Islamic, or they are doing things that are against Islam, immediately we’re like ‘Oh, they’ve left their deen.’ They have left some aspects of the deen, but not the whole faith so we’ve got to be really careful not to judge them by dooming them.
  • Tasneem: Us as parents, we also need to be taught and equipped with how to kind of what language to use when we, when we talk to our kids about these things. I definitely know that I don’t know. We’re quite traditional.
  • Nafisa: The more I gain knowledge, I see the design and creation of Allah, and find that it cements my faith further than question it. I truly believe, growing up, our curiosity and inquisitive minds should be welcomed and nurtured.

Snippets of Celina’s convo:

“Now I try to look at the patterns of my childhood and how that shaped me and have that then led to me really wanting to discover who I am and where I fit in.

I was their full-time carer. And that put a lot of pressure on me. When I was in uni, I thought I’d explore Islam.

Islam wasn’t really imposed on us in the family. My siblings had a very liberal upbringing. It wasn’t imposed, but I was curious about Islam and I attended some lectures and that was the point where I didn’t really fit in and I felt some sort of judgment from people maybe because the way I was dressed…

I felt rejected by Muslims. And I think that might’ve been the straw that broke the camel’s back…I didn’t want to conform any more.

 

So, I spent the next four years exploring different faiths, different cultures.

 

Me leaving Islam, it wasn’t because of what was logical and what made sense. It was more for social acceptance.

The expectations are too high, that what’s expected from them is almost perfection. You’re wearing too much makeup. Or you’re wearing the wrong clothing. You’re not supposed to travel without a man. You shouldn’t speak to people of the opposite sex and you know, the list goes on.”

References made:

  • Aliyah Saleem who co-authored a book called Leaving Faith Behind said that the main factors which contribute to the loss of faith is education and for her, though she was practising growing up, her inquisitive mind was the cause of her leaving Islam.
  • Leaving Faith Behind: The journeys and perspectives of people who have chosen to leave Islam, co-authored by Fiyaz Mughal and Aliyah Saleem. Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd: UK (27 Mar. 2018)

To keep up to date, follow and subscribe!

Read more about us here!

 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed on these podcasts are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Not Another Mum Pod’s management or of any sponsors. Any content provided by our contributors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, identity (gender or sexual) club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Umm Musa

    Nafisa Rahimi I was having a decluttering-my-room kinda day yesterday and normally I’d listen to LBC but thought ooh perfect opportunity to listen to you ladies. 😍

    I started with the one with Celina Hanif… as it’s a topic quite close to my heart. سبحان الله‎ 💔a lot of what she said made sense especially that the lack of social acceptance is often at the heart of apostasy 😢. Your point about education was what I myself always wondered about too, but then it was so reassuring to hear how you felt that your education and choice of degree only reinforced your deen… ما شاء الله 💕… we shouldn’t be afraid of ‘over’ education ..etc… but I do feel you clearly must’ve had a good foundation at home. Not just in the deen sense. I’m guessing you were well connected with your parents … especially emotionally maybe?! I feel this is SO important.

    I loved how Tasneem Abdur-Rashid was also so keen to know more but brought a lot of humour to the chats… made me giggle a lot🤭😄All the questions you both asked were so relevant and at the tip of my tongue as someone listening in.

    I loved it so much I binge listened to all 4 one after the other!!!🤣

    You both come across so well ما شاء الله. I didn’t realise you were both bengali which made it extra special for me😊 You came across exactly how you come across online I thought and strangely enough you both sounded exactly how I expected you to sound lol ما شاء الله. 💗

    I could relate to both of you on so many levels and I’m sure I’m not alone. I honestly can’t wait for what else you have in store for us. My only criticism is that it was too short!!!🤣Each time it came to an end i was left feeling ‘oh nooo!’ … but I appreciate it must be so hard trying to fit it in to your busy lives especially with kids etc…

    Well done ladies it was a triumph ما شاء الله 💕😘😘

    1. notanothermumpod

      Thanks you Umm Musa,

      We appreciate and value your feedback so much; it was so insightful and we feel really connected!

      Yes, Bengali through and through! And ha! That is a first…that we are exactly as we are online…usually people meet Nafisa and cannot believe how different she is ie more relaxed in reality. Tasneem is definitely as she comes across!

      Thank you for acknowledging our questions – just organically led alhamdulillah.

      Inshaa=Allah our future guest episodes will be around an hour, as we are still getting our bearings.

      Thank you for all your lovely comments and we look forward to hearing from you again soon!

      With all our love and duas,
      Nafisa & Tasneem, xx

  2. Andale Seaworne

    Amazing podcast, Mashallah. I loved listening to every bit of it. It’s very sad to see people leave Islam. For me, I haven’t really seen people leave Islam and living in Pakistan, that isn’t the norm I’ve seen because majority are raised in Muslim families. But there is that ‘losing some aspects of their deen’ like you all mentioned such as not offering Salat, using curse words in common speech, etc, which makes you wonder if they’re in a position that they need guidance or not, and what aspects of deen they’re comfortable talking about.
    For me, I really related to what Celina said about social acceptance. As a teenager, I was given a basic information about Islam but as it was not enforced, there wasn’t much of a norm in the house then and I felt lonely, feeling I was the only Muslim around who cared about her Salat and her speech when others wouldn’t. But one night on Ramadan, a friend invited me to the Masjid to offer Taraweeh prayers with her and after offering prayers and talking to the worshippers afterwards, i felt immense spiritual enlightenment that I was not alone, there were people like me. Later in life when I was struggling in life and felt alone again, attending Ramadan Tafseer of Quran classes further strengthened the feeling of community in me which has really shaped me into the Muslim I am today, Alhamdulillah. Allah does have wonderful, mysterious yet essential means of bringing us back to Him, SubhanAllah

    1. notanothermumpod

      Salaams and thank you Andale for your wonderful feedback.

      Thank you for sharing your story!
      I think, we all at some point in our lives, have faith/identity crisis; imaan is always up and down. It is great that you held on and found solace in the tafseer classes.

      People will always be weaker at some aspects of the deen; I think the important thing is not to overreact when we see this however disappointing it may be. As Celina has said, it was feeling rejected and judged that caused them to lose sight of Islam completely. We have learnt lots doing this episode. I think many people are in this position of being on the edge. If we notice, we should reach out supportively and be patient with their imaan as well as focus on our own!

      So much food for thought, thanks for sharing your thoughts, thoroughly enjoyed reading them! Do share with friends and family and join our fb group for our podcast discussions. http://www.smart.bio/notanothermumpod/
      Much love and duas,
      Nafisa & Tasneem

Leave a Reply to Umm Musa Cancel reply