Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim: From the moment I was born I was essentially put into a Christian family. Started going to church at a young age with my aunt & sister. My sister and I always went to Sunday school and youth choir. This was what I saw church as for many years. On September 11, 2001, I was in either 5th grade, and that was the 1st time I heard about Islam. Though everyone around me were saying Muslims are terrorists’ they just destroyed the Twin Towesr, etc. None the less I wanted to learn about this so-called “terrorist” religion, as the media put it. After years of going to church I suddenly stopped going around the time I started going to middle school.
When The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004, it was a big deal in my family, as all Christians. This movie made me furious, like how can Jesus be beaten and crucified and if he was the “Son of God” then I highly doubt he would have suffered the way he did. Something was just not okay with this depiction of Christ in my eyes. Christianity was just lost to me after that. The following year, Kingdom of Heaven (2005) about the crusades in Jerusalem definitely made me want to learn about Islam in depth. I loved every time they said “Assalamu alaikum”, “Allahu Akbar”, and the Adhan that played faintly in one scene made my heart melt. It was a given that Islam was in my heart after watching this movie.
Learning about Islam on and off throughout high school while going to church events with my mom, aunt and sister. Watching the history channel became an outlet to gain knowledge as well as the web. Sometime of doing sinful things, senior year of high school I went back to church for a month or so to see if Christianity was for me. I felt like a hypocrite going to church after years of not caring. As I was listening to the Pastor speak during this period, my thoughts were everywhere. So, on my own merit I stopped going to church once again for the many questions that I had about “Why Christianity?” As a result I went back to my old habits.
The summer of 2009 I did this Student Transition Program (STP) at the University of Mary Washington where I got the opportunity not only to take a world religion class and meet some Muslims. This thirst of knowledge made me want to know even more about Islam. Since my 1st year I hadn’t set foot into a church but I meet some young adults who wanted to me to study the Bible. I studied with them some here and there but I still didn’t think Christianity was for me. The summer of 2011, my aunt wanted me to go to her new church so I went. I liked it but didn’t love it. The people there were friendly but still the whole bases of making a prayer to Jesus as if he were God had me at odds.
When my 3rd year at UMW came around, fall of August 2011, I was really thinking about it, so I looked at how to become a Muslim. I found that you had to declare it by saying the shahadah in front of 2 or more people, preferably in a mosque (masjid) or an Islamic event. So near the end of September, 6 weeks into the semester I told my friend sister, Wiaam, that I wanted to become Muslim after class. That same week she asked me to come to her dorm. Ended up telling my friend sister Riham that I wanted I wanted to revert to Islam, as well. They asked me my story and I told them, then they asked if I believed in the Trinity. I answered them with no. That same night I learned how to pray (with a cheat sheet), how to make wudu and how to wear the hijab. So that Friday, September 23, 2011, I was super nervous and really excited to take my shahadah. I went over Riham’s, made wudu and headed over to Jummah prayer. Before the khutbah, Brother Sherif said we will do the shahadah…I repeated him saying,”Lā ʾilāha ʾilá l-Lāh, Muḥammad rasūlu l-Lāh | There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God.” I was officially a Muslim and was definitely the happiest moment in my life.
Though I’m struggling with my family about my decision to revert, I’m taking every day one step at a time. May Allah show my family that me becoming a Muslim has changed me for the better, no matter how long it takes them, through my actions, insha’Allah. Ameen.
I’m fortunate to have great friends that I can call my sisters and brothers, who are helping with my struggles and gaining knowledge in this beautiful deen.
Glad Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala loved me so much that he guided me to this beautiful deen. I hope Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala blesses and preserves me until the end of time. May Allah Subhanahu wa-ta’ala grant me the highest level of Jannah - Jannat al-Fridous. Ameen.
Alhamdulillah for everything, good and bad. Peace & love.