The year Islam came into my life, was the year I had turned 16 over that summer. Our family unfortunately lost our grandmother that same summer. When she passed away, all the doubts that I had built up over the years seemed to come back. I had a lot of questions and
That's when my research began. I started looking into all religions trying to find something that made sense to me. I even looked further into Christianity but was discouraged by how many answers you would receive for just one question. There are hundreds of different Bible version for children, for men, for women, and different sects of Christianity. I wanted something that had never changed and that was fair. That is when I fell upon Islam.
I first started doing research about the belief system of Islam. I wanted to know what they believed in? Why they wore hijab? Why they prayed 5 times a day? Etc.
Growing up in the West you are told that Allah (SWT) is a different God, an Arab God. Also that women were treated unfairly and that all Muslims want to hurt people. I wanted to understand where these assumptions came from. I wanted to understand these before I went any further with it. I was shocked by how horrible these allegations towards Muslims were, after reading what Muslims really believe in. It was that point you realized that things are taken out of context and all the things you were told to believe were lies.
The more I read about rights and beliefs in Islam the more I grew closer to it. I loved the rights that women have, the charity, the animal rights, human rights, all of it. I also felt relieved by the way Islam portrays God - as a merciful, forgiving, loving God. Unlike Christianity which portrays God full of wrath and unforgiving.
Was there a particular moment when you realized that Islam was right for
I remember being obsessed with Islam. I would stay awake for hours at night to watch lectures online, browse the internet and read books. I knew I was going to become a Muslim. It was the only thing that made me happy. When I realized that I had a connection with God because of Islam I knew I was going to convert.
Were there any family members or friends who rejected you because of your faith or anyone who embraced it with you?
My mother, grandfather, and siblings were extremely supportive of me from the very beginning. My grandfather, who went to school to be a minister, was the first person to give me a Quran!
There were a lot of family fights over my conversion. Especially with my grandparents. Just like many Americans they believe what they have been told about Muslims. But I think I have cleared their misconceptions of Islam over the last few years, AlhamdulliAllah.
Unfortunately, there will always be people who won't agree and will argue with you but it's in ignorance. It's an opportunity to teach someone who doesn't know anything about Islam and to bust the myths.
How would you describe the changes in your life after becoming a Muslim?
Islam has molded me into the person I am today, SubhanAllah. It has given me guidance and a purpose. It has taught me patience, forgiveness, to be humble, to trust in what Allah has planned, and keeps me grounded.
At the end of the day I know what I am supposed to do here on earth and I know how I am supposed to treat people. I know who to be grateful towards and who to thank for all of the blessings in my life. That is such a gift because many people will spend their whole lives wondering what it's worth or what their purpose is.
What advice would you give to people considering Islam?
The best advice I can give to any one considering Islam is not to wait. You don't have to know every detail or be perfect to be a Muslim. I have seen so many converts stress themselves because they feel like they aren't doing everything correctly. But I always tell new Muslims that the Quran was sent down in parts over many years. Allah (SWT) didn't make every thing haram at once. It's okay to make mistakes!