Six Tips to Boost Your Faith After Shahadah (Testimony of Faith)

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As a convert to Islam, you can easily remember the moment that you discovered that Islam was the one and only true religion.
The moment of realization is an intense whirlwind of emotions such as relief, joy, gratitude and peace.
The moments leading up to the taking of the Shahadah, or Islamic declaration of faith, are equally exuberating.

You wear your best clothes, travel to the mosque and pronounce the testimony of faith:
“Ash hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash hadu anna Mohammadan rasoolu Allah” (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger) in public for the very first time.
Afterwards, the Muslims at the mosque will offer their congratulations and so too will the Muslims in your community.

Your new faith has lit up your heart and the sense of the Islamic nation surrounds you.

However, it is important to realize that the level of excitement you felt in taking the shahadah will likely fade away as you get back to living. It’s inevitable and it does not necessarily mean that you are a “bad” Muslim or have done anything wrong. The faith, ebbs and flows just like a babbling brook in the middle of a grassy meadow. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“Faith wears out in the heart of any one of you just as clothes wear out, so ask Allah to renew the faith in your hearts.” (Al-Haakim)
There are several reasons why our faith decreases. Everything from engaging in unlawful activities to committing major and minor sins takes a toll on our faith. The good news is that there are several ways that you can maintain an optimum level of faith and enjoin the good while forbidding the evil.
Turn to God First

remember that you are not alone in suffering from weak faith. It can happen to any Muslim.
When you feel that your faith is weakening or that your heart is sick, turn to God in sincere dua, or supplication. When a Muslim’s heart is filled with obedience, love and gratitude towards God, Satan increases his efforts to lead the faithful Muslim away from his Creator. He does so by means of waswas (insinuating whispers) that makes a Muslim question his faith, feel nervous about his choices or even causes him to forget to perform certain acts of worship such as the obligatory prayers. You can fight off the whispers from the Shaytan by asking for Almighty’s refuge from it.
Another way is to increase your good deeds and increase other acts of worship. Perform dhikr (the remembrance of God), as often as you can and read the Quran on a daily basis. Spend in charity of what you are able, even if it is only a smile or a helping hand to someone who needs it. Most importantly, remember that you are not alone in suffering from weak faith. It can happen to any Muslim.
Follow the Five Pillars of Islam
God has given us the perfect prescription for joy and success in this world and the next. The first part of that prescription is the gift of the Quran and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The second part is the five pillars of Islam:
Shahadah – Testimony of Faith
Prayer
Zakat – annual alms for the poor.
Fasting in (the month of) Ramadan
Hajj – Pilgrimage to Makkah Continue reading “Six Tips to Boost Your Faith After Shahadah (Testimony of Faith)”

After Rejecting Islam for 23 Years Dad Died Muslim

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Abdur Raheem Green describes in this video his father’s last days in hospital before he passed away.

Mr. Green was the ex-Director of Cairo Barclays Bank, and his son Abdur Raheem found Islam over 20 years ago, and is today a well-known figure among Muslim scholars and preachers in the UK.

He thought that his father would never become Muslim, but Mr. Green eventually converted to Islam only ten days before he died.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “May his face be rubbed in the dust (may he be humiliated) the one who one of his parents reaches old age and he doesn’t enter paradise by serving them.”

In an incident, a man came to the Prophet enthusiastic to join the fight, the battle that was about to ensue, the man said to the Prophet: “I left my mother crying.” And the Prophet said to him: “Go back and don’t leave her, until you leave her laughing.”

Abdul Raheem Green then says “That is why I decided to spend some time here with my mother after the death of my father.

Allah Almighty told us to pass on the message and not converting anyone to Islam. Our duty is to convey the message, to explain to people the best way we can, guidance is in the Hands of Allah Almighty.The death of my father is something I would like to share with you, and the remarkable story of how, just ten days before he died, he was blessed to take the Shahadah (the testimony of faith).

I have never thought that my father will take Shahadah. My father was an amazing father, he was an outstanding personality and no one can describe him as a bad person.

For 23 years, since I became a Muslim, I’ve been inviting my father to Islam. And I decided to give the best example I possibly could of how Islam should be, of how Islam should be lived, of how Islam teaches me to respect him as a parent. But I thought that my father was closed-minded towards Islam, so I didn’t have much hope that he would become a Muslim.

The Last Days in Portugal

Any convert to Islam who has parents who are not yet Muslim they can relate exactly to this dilemma

My father had been ill for a couple of years, and my mom really thought that he wasn’t going to make it. As it happened, a few weeks ago when I came back from England I arrived in the hospital and went to see my dad. I looked at him and I thought that he could die tonight. So, I thought to myself, if I don’t say something I’m not going to forgive myself.

I know that I tried inviting him to Islam through so many means. But I thought that I have to make this one the last effort.

I had spent a long time thinking about what I could say. How could I say it? What was the right way to approach him? He was already very ill, so I didn’t want to distress him, I didn’t want to make him more upset.

To be honest I was afraid that he might say “No,” and reject my invitation. And I was even worried that if he did say the Shahadah and did enter into Islam, then he recovered and came home and became more arrogant about Islam; for me that was even scarier.

It is really a difficult thing. Any convert to Islam who has parents who are not yet Muslim they can relate exactly to this dilemma to this difficulty that I was going through. Never underestimate the power of duaa (supplication), because it was then when I was lost, I asked Allah to help me find something to say for my father.

As he was lying there, I said to him: “Dad! I’ve got something really important to tell you; are you listening? My dad couldn’t really speak very well, so he nodded his head. Then I said: I’ve got something to say, if I don’t say it, I’m going to regret it.

And then I told him that “in the Day of Judgment, a man will come in front of Allah and this man have scores of evil deeds as far that he can see, and in each direction, and Allah will say to him, ‘You have something that outweighs all of that.’ And the man would say, ‘What is that my Lord?’ Allah says ‘A written statement that you made: There is no God except Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger.’”

He said, “Give me something easy  to do.”

I said, ‘So dad, this is the key to Paradise, this is the success in the life to come, what do you think?’

And he nodded his head.

I said “Does that mean you want to say those words?”

And my dad said “Yes.”

He said the words with me; “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is His messenger.”

I had to leave the hospital on that day, because it had some strict rules. I visited him the next day, and he didn’t remember anything. He wasn’t able to remember one thing from a day to another, even from an hour to another, but that wasn’t the end of it.

Three or four days before he died, my dad said: Help, help me.

I said “Dad what do you want me to do?”

He said “I don’t know!”

Then he said, “Give me something easy to do.”

I remembered the hadith of the Prophet: “There is something that is light on the tongue, and heavy on the scale.” So, I said “Dad if I was you, I would keep on repeating the shahadah over and over.”

And he said, “Yes, that’s what I want to do.”

And we spent half an hour going over and over with the Shahadah.

Then, I left for the UK, and there I heard my father had passed away…

Australian Sister Susan Carland reverted to Islam

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Before I became a Muslim, I think I was just a normal teenager, I suppose.

I went out with friends, and I just did normal teenage stuff. I think I liked to go to concerts, I took the day out, … I went to high school, I was really a very normal person.

It wasn’t until I got to university that I decided that I wanted to be Muslim.

Why Islam?

When I was about 17, I started to question why I believed what I believed.

Did I believe what I did just because I have been raised to believe it, or because I thought it was true?

When I read about Islam itself, I realized it was actually very different to what I thought. It was actually very peaceful, very egalitarian, with strong emphasis on equal treatment of women, and a strong stance on social justice. I thought it was a very intellectual religion, yet it was also very spiritual, and that also appealed to me as well.So I decided that I wanted to look into other religions. I actually had as my New Year’s resolution that I wanted to look into Judaism, and that sort of thing. I had no interest at all in becoming Muslim.

And so after a couple of years of actually looking into it and taking it seriously, when I was 19 I realized that this is actually something that I really believe in.

I don’t feel like I changed a lot. I’m still the same person. I still like the same sort of things.

My daily life hasn’t changed at all. In other words, it changed quite flatly I think. The main difference would probably be that I pray five times a day. I perform the ritualistic prayer five times a day, so the first prayer is before sunrise and then they are scattered up throughout the day. So that’s changed. And I obviously wear a headscarf now which I didn’t do before I was Muslim.

In the other words, I don’t feel like I changed a lot. I’m still the same person. I still like the same sort of things. I still got the same friends I had before, and I have some new cool friends that I have made since becoming Muslim, some are Muslims and some aren’t.

Hijab

We live in a society where women are constantly objectified. How many times do we turn on the TV or drive past a billboard where a half-naked woman is being used to sell spaghetti or toothbrushes or carpets or whatever. By wearing the hijab, these women are saying I don’t want to be part of that and I want to be taken more for my mind than the size of my chest or how long my legs are or what kind of hair I have, or anything like that. God has chosen the women in this society to be the flag-bearers of Islam.

You know, my husband has a beard but people can’t necessarily tell that he is Muslim. He just seems to fit in with everybody else. But for me as soon as someone sees me, they know that I’m Muslim and so I’m like the flag-bearer or the ambassador for Islam, and I find it really interesting that God chose women for that role and not men.

Coming Together

I think there certainly are stereotypes of Muslims. People will assume that I’m oppressed or I do not speak English or assume that my husband is a terrorist, or whatever. If there is a negative stereotype of Muslims out there, then a lot of the blame for that is on the shoulders of Muslims. People aren’t going to think the wrong things about us if Muslims aren’t constantly doing the wrong thing or coming across negatively.

Muslims also need to have open minds and participate in open non-threatening dialogues, and welcome non-Muslims into their mosques and talk to them about their religion, because as long as there is sort of a closed mentality things are going to stay the way they are. Just a matter of talking to your neighbors or the guy who is next to you at work or the woman that you sit next to you on the bus, and just be normal and friendly and doing that sort of thing can really change stereotypes.

Why Did This Denver Family Choose Islam? .

denver-family convertTim moved from the UK to the US ten years ago,

and worked as a Human Resources Manager for a large company.

His wife, Paige, worked for a large bookstore chain in the US,

and together with her daughter Kayla are very comfortable to wear hijab when going out from their home in Denver.

The following is a brief summary of their stories finding Islam.

Husband: Tim

My name is Tim, and I converted to Islam 18 months ago.

It wasn’t until I finished college and left home and starting out by myself that those nagging thoughts came to my mind, that have always been inside me, a deep-rooted belief that there is a God who looks after us and created us all and created the world and universe that we live in. At that time I needed to try and understand and explain the concept of God more closely to myself.Growing up, I went to a school that was actually part of the . In high school, we had at least 2 hours of religious education built in the curriculum each week.

When I first met my wife, we both had very heavy spiritual influences, not necessarily a part of any organized or structured religion. But we had feelings and we understood that there was certainly a lot more to life than just being here and now. I think we both had a belief in the afterlife or spiritual life, but neither of us really explored that too deeply at that time.

my wife phoned up the mosque and made an appointment to go on a Friday around lunch time

It was a couple of years later before Paige started having interest in Islam, and then me following that interest really to see what it is, what is she getting into here. This led us to visit a mosque here in Denver, Abu Bakr mosque. This was a very interesting experience because my wife phoned up the mosque and made an appointment to go on a Friday around lunch time. I was very surprised to see that there was a police car there with its lights lit up guiding the traffic because there was a lot of traffic.

We went between the two sets of prayers that occur. We have roughly 500 people that are attending each of the two Jumua (Friday) prayers and khutbah (sermon) that take place each Friday. There was a cultural shock to me there. We had a lot of different nationalities walking around the place in their own costumes and national dresses and things like that. There were very few Americans walking around in jeans and T-shirts, and it was just a bit of a step back for me. It was like I walked out of America and entered into somewhere in the Middle East.

We were very fortunate to meet with a person who at that time was the president of the mosque, a sheikh by the name Muhammad Norzai, and he was the one who gave us a quick tour and explained some things about Islam, and then guided us to a place where we could observe a khutbah taking place. For me, that was certainly getting my first experience about what prayer and worship is for Muslims.

I always believed that there was a person called Jesus and that he was a great prophet and a messenger that came down from God. The problem I had trouble with is that Jesus was a man. He was born of a woman in a miraculous way but he was still a man. He was not a God. And why should we as men be worshiping another man? Surely we should be worshiping God. And the concept that there is just one God and that you should only worship that God alone and not worship idols or other people, and that forgiveness can only come directly from your relationship to God, really what started clinching it for me.

Wife: Paige

My name is Paige and I converted to Islam 2 years ago.

I was raised by my father who was an atheist and he raised my sister and I as atheists, and I didn’t believe in any God at all. Growing up, I thought that people who were religious were silly. I thought that religion was something that governments used to keep their population in line because if you have something better to look forward to in the after death, you will be more obedient during life.

Sometimes when I was at high school I started going with a friend to her church occasionally as a guest, and I was really moved by the faith that people seemed to have, but I still couldn’t get my head around the inconsistencies of Christianity that there are a lot of leaps of faith that I was just not willing to make.

I’ve always been interested in philosophy, people in general, religion, and religious history, and I happened to be watching a documentary about the three Abrahamic faiths; Christianity, Judaism and Islam. And for the first time I really listened to something about Islam. I found it fascinating that Islam comes from Christianity which of course comes from Judaism. And the messages are essentially the same messages. And I thought that it’s like God tried to give us this message and human beings kept messing it up.

Christianity has leaps of faith but Islam doesn’t. It’s all very rational religion, everything makes sense.

After 9/11, I was working in a bookstore here in the United States called Barnes & Nobel and everything we had in the store that had Islam, Quran, Muslim, Middle East in the title just sold up the next day; 9/12. I just thought this was fascinating, and I didn’t know anything about it.

So I started kind of reading. I bought a book called “Islam for Dummies”, really good. There were just some really beautiful things about Islam and I found myself more and more drawn to it especially its rationality. Like I said, Christianity has leaps of faith but Islam doesn’t. It’s all very rational religion, everything makes sense.

In fact the first time I went to the mosque, I thought of having this feeling that I was going inspite of Muslims. It was nothing to do with these crazy people you see on the TV blowing things up, you know, and I was terrified to go into the mosque. But I felt like to find my religion and I had to put up with these people who go to the mosque. That was before I met my first Muslim.

When Tim decided to become a Muslim, I was absolutely tickled because I had been a Muslim at that point for a few months. I wasn’t quite sure like what my plan of action was going to be. As a Muslim woman I can’t be married to a non-Muslim man, but leaving my husband was not really an option. I think like I sort of knew that he wasn’t going to be too far behind me when I said my shahadah. And I was right, within six months he said the sahadah as well.

Daughter: Kayla

My name is Kayla Botello. I was born in the United States of America. I was raised here my whole life and I converted to Islam over a year ago. We didn’t grow in a religious household. We didn’t grow up believing in God necessarily, but knowing that there is a greater being. So there wasn’t really any certain religion that we followed. We just made sure that we were well-rounded and knowledgeable.

I believed in God. I’ve always had a kind of positive attitude on life. So for me I was kind of looking around. There was so much beauty in the world, how could there not be a God? But as far as any kind of religion, I didn’t have a religion.

Converting to Islam was like a series of events, you know, it wasn’t one defining moment. I think what really got me about Islam was because I started to attend classes after my mother had converted, so I just started attending classes just for my mom to be respectful and to understand her and a lot of things that caught me was the science in Islam. They talked about the Big Bang and they talked about things like where the salt water meets the fresh water, that was only discovered in the 1970s. Things like that just make you think how did they know that 1400 years ago? And for me I believed in God but I also believed in science.

Daughter’s Husband: Yassir

My name is Yassir. I’m an American-born Muslim and I’m Kayla’s husband. My father came to this country about 1980. He was doing aviation school, lived a single life for a while until he met my American mother with whom he be friended and had very good connection with. When they came to religious talks and they had this intellectual spark immediately. They got married and they gave their five children the opportunity to live the American life and the Syrian life.

We have been going to Islamic schools since we were very young. So we had that kind of education and we have always been very close to our American neighbors, friends like that. There has always been that kind of relationship, never any tension, and we really had a lot of good friends who actually came to our house and learn about the Islamic and Arabic culture.

When Kayla converted to Islam, I believe it was something that was destined to happen whether or not I came into her life. She had many qualities in her that reflected so many good attributes that were already in Islam, and it was something that she just needed to find and apply in her life. There were so many things about modesty and just being a good child to your mother and father and being obedient and just having that consistent respect to your fellow men and fellow women. I mean there were some things that she had but she just needed something to define it on a bigger scale … which was Islam.

(Irish) brother Damian Cúipéir’s Journey to Islam

163749_islamconverts.wordpress.com_nMy Journey to Islam by Damian Cúipéir

I suppose you could say that my journey began a few years ago, when the stories came to light about catholic priests & their crimes against children in Ireland, & indeed, all over the world.

But we will get to that after the introductions.

Hi, my name was Damian Cúipéir, (Now Daamin Abdul Quadir) I was born in (withheld) in Newcastle, County Down, in the North of Ireland. I am the second youngest of 6, & I was raised as a catholic.

I began having problems with the teachings of the Catholic Church when I was at high school, when I was told that I had to go to confessions, to confess my sins in front of a priest. I objected to this & stated that I could speak to God whenever & wherever,

I chose to, this could be in bed at night, or anywhere really.

I became a ‘lapsed’ catholic from here & really had no further involvement with religion from this point for several years. But it didn’t stop me from believing in God, my view was that I could still pray without having to go through a ‘representative’ here on Earth.

I was still praying using the prayers that Catholicism had taught me, & later, I just spoke to God. When the stories of the behaviors of priests & others in the Catholic Church began emerging, I wanted to have no further dealings with it. But I still ‘knew’ there was a ‘God’, & felt I needed to find a new direction to go in. Continue reading “(Irish) brother Damian Cúipéir’s Journey to Islam”

CLAIRE EVANS wasn’t religious before she converted to Islam

600895_islamconverts.wordpress.com-9nlast July after researching it following a break-up. Claire, from Bridgend, South Wales, says:

After my heart was broken by a… Muslim man, I wanted nothing more to do with the religion –

I thought it was cruel and unkind.

But my mum started looking up more about Islam and pointed out the way this man had behaved was contrary to the faith’s teachings.

I read up on it and discovered that Islam actually promotes tranquillity and peace.

I wasn’t religious before I converted. I didn’t really believe in God. I now cover my hair and wear a hijab, which was a big decision.
At first I got some stares and nasty comments but in the past six months I’ve grown in confidence. Now I go to the mosque once a week and I pray every day.

I also took a Muslim name, Safir, but I still use my old name of Claire too. I have a new partner too, who is a Muslim, but we’re not settling down just yet.

Islam has made me calmer and, for the first time in my life, I feel accepted.

There’s not much I miss about my old life, except the odd sausage roll – I can’t eat pork now.

Devout Jayne Police officer at Manchester U.K converted to Islam

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JAYNE KEMP patrols her beat wearing a traditional hijab headscarf and even works extra time after shifts so she can attend Friday prayers at her mosque.
Devout Jayne converted to Islam last April and even plans to change her name to Aminah.
The single mum, who patrols Eccles, Gtr Manchester, as a Police Community Support Officer, says: “I thought Islam was all about women being forced to slave away in the kitchen — but I found out it was about being generous with your time, and patient and respectful of others.
“As I looked into it, I saw similarities with Catholicism and noticed values such as looking after your neighbours and cherishing the elderly, which is something older people say younger people don’t do any more.
“I wasn’t looking for any religion at the time but for every question I had answered about Islam, I had five more. I think I fell in love with it.”

EVERY year, more than 5,000 Brits convert to Islam.
More than half of those who make the switch are white – and 75 percent are women.
But what would make someone want to change their lifestyle so dramatically? Police Community Support Officer Jayne Kemp left her Catholic roots behind after “falling in love” with Islam while helping victims of so-called honour violence.
Here EMILY FOSTER, JENNA SLOAN and EMILY FAIRBAIRN speak to Jayne and three other women about why they decided to become Muslim.

Ex-Christian Brother Musa Abdul Hadi’s Journey to Islam (from U.S Dallas,Texas)

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I start by saying praise and glory to Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala, to whom all thanks belongs. He whom Allah guides will find no one to miss guide Him, and He whom Allah causes to stray will find no helper except in Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala.
I was born and raised in Dallas Texas of the United States.
My parents separated when I was 5 and I spent most of my time growing up living with my mom, 2 brothers and 1 sister with my grandparents. It was a very religious Christian home.
My grandma was a Sunday school teacher, and my grandfather and her never missed a Sunday in church. With that being said I learned a lot about the Bible from a young age, and I took an interest in God from a very young age. But my family pretty much took it as I just wanted to show off to my grandparents who were active in church, which was an initial shock to me that even my Christian family would take my religious seriousness as a joke. After brushing that off I quickly realized, still at a young age, that Christians were mean people in general.

At some point in elementary school my grandmother passed away, and a few years later my grandfather. Without them there my mom got away from church, and I eventually formed an atheist point of view by high school. But even before I considered my self as complete atheist, I had serious doubts in religion from my experiences at church.

But once I hit high school I turned more rebellious and spent a lot of time making some big mistakes, and spent the majority of my years between 15 and 18 in and out of jail. At 18 I moved from Dallas to California and pretty much kept my self out of trouble from that point on, but other than that my choices weren’t much better, and as the years went on, the further and further I was from any form of truth. Eventually I found my way to Pennsylvania when I was 19, and ended up being with a girl that I have been with ever since and ended up getting engaged to. I started to grow more and more in my hatred of religion in general, I felt religion was only something people used to make them selves feel better than others.

In 2008 for some reason I just completely changed, and out of no where felt the urge to get closer to God and get my life on a better path. I started with reading the Bible, because I wanted to know what God wanted before I started looking into churches. I quickly realized that no church practices what the Bible teaches, but I felt God changing me and knew it was important I learned, so I just stuck with the Bible which is what I had. The changes I was making so quickly were a complete shock to my girl friend I was living with at the time, and we ended up splitting up, because for our whole relationship I taught her why religion was wrong, and now I’m changing and trying to teach her why religion is important, and it was too much.

So we split up and I moved back to California, during that time I stuck to studying the Bible, and visited church one time during that point. I was looking into the Jehovah Witnesses because they seemed to hold more truth than any other Christian group. I went to church there once and really liked it, was considering becoming a Jehovah Witness myself, until my mom showed me some history of theirs that made me change my mind. Eventually me and my girlfriend that I moved away from in Pennsylvania started talking again, and she decided she realized she needed to be more religious too, and we wanted to work things out so I moved back.

We got engaged immediately after I got back, and I was pretty quickly falling off my changes I made. She got pregnant shortly there after with a girl, and life got busier, all the while I was falling further and further from my relationship with Allah. The whole time I realized I was making bad decisions, and knew my life was miserable like this, but I couldn’t figure out how to change. Reading the Bible was not enough, and I had no one I trusted to guide me. Me and my fiancé started fighting worse than ever, and by the time our daughter was born we were on the edge of splitting up again. I ended up getting a really bad drug addiction, and I felt all this pressure to fix my relationship with my fiancé because now we have a daughter, but every day just got worse. I knew I needed Allah… But had no idea how to get close to him from the point I was at… Between the time my daughter was born and when she was 6 months old was the darkest time of my life, between the drugs and the fighting the new baby and everything falling apart, I was lost and confused. Eventually I gave up the drugs because of the damage I was doing to my loved ones, but it was too late and the relationship with my fiancée was too damaged.

At some point in that time, (which was during Ramadan 2011, but I had no idea because I never even knew one Muslim at this point) during a normal night for me, I was at home in my room, late at night. My fiancée was asleep on the couch, which had become normal because of all the fighting, so I’m sitting there trying to not think about my problems. I ended up deciding to look into what Muslims believe, it was pretty much random, but what influenced me to do so was a few months before that I found out Muslims worship the same God as Christians, which surprised me, and also I was trying to find something to occupy my mind.

So I started out looking up the differences between Christians and Muslims, and found out the only real differences were about how they see Jesus. Which wasn’t a big deal to me, because I was starting to get uncomfortable with some of the beliefs Christians held about Jesus, but I still believed he was Allah’s son (Astaghfirullah) and still believed you needed him for removal of sins and to get to heaven (Astaghfirullah). So this was enough for me to look into the Quran, I wanted to see what actually inspired Muslim beliefs.

So I goggled the Quran and found an English translation and started reading. I read up to the point in Baqarah where it talks about the blessings of Ramadan and the Quran being sent down in Ramadan, and already with the power of the Quran it felt special that I was there in that moment reading it. So I went back to Google out of curiosity to see when Ramadan was, and found out I was in it. The whole situation blew me away, it felt very relevant that I was there at that time reading this powerful book, filled with an amazing guidance and light. I continued reading and felt my problems leaving. I felt this was it, the answer to all my problems, the peace and guidance I needed. I thought every problem would go away, I knew I wasn’t ready to be Muslim but I knew I wanted to learn this book and model my life after it. As soon as my fiancée woke up (I stayed up all night reading Baqarah) I had to tell her about it, I was so excited, I wasn’t too surprised when she thought I was crazy, but I wanted to keep trying to talk to her about it over the next few days. Unlike how I thought, my problems far from went away, my life was getting darker quicker, and the fighting worse. In my mind, I knew the Quran was true… But kept remembering how surah Baqarah states how Allah causes those to stray who He wishes, I felt positive I messed my life up too much and Allah just showed me the Quran to show me how bad I messed up. Me and Tori ended up splitting up and I moved back to California, which was devastating to me at first, because of my new daughter. But I ended up getting over it.

I was staying with my mom in Cali, and I spent a lot of time reading Quran on my phone, I eventually ordered a physical copy at one point. And slowly life started to look brighter and I felt Allah guiding me again, which is all that mattered to me at the time. Around the time I was coming close to finishing the Quran my Imaan was getting higher and I decided I should tell my mom that I want to be Muslim. Like I expected she completely flipped out and tried to do all she could to talk me out of it, but at this point I had no doubts about my choice, Allah already taught me the truth about Jesus in His Quran at that point, and I already had gotten over my doubts before I even told her. Fighting between me and my mom ended up getting really bad now, she didn’t want to stop bringing it up and it would always turn into a very nasty debate. But the whole time I was learning Quran I was also trying to explain it to my ex fiancé when I would call to see how my daughter was doing. She thought I was crazy at first but slowly started to see the truth in it. And eventually as tensions rose between me and my mom I decided to go back to Pennsylvania with my family, because my fiancé wanted to learn about Islam. Eventually in January 2012, I took my Shahada, and in July 2012 she took hers, and we are both students of Islam and in sha Allah I pray to Allah Subhanahu wa ta ala I always will be.

My apologies for this being so long dear brothers and sisters.

Asalamu alaikum wa rahmatoulah

An American Sister’s Struggle to Find & Keep Islam

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An American Sister’s Struggle to Find & Keep Islam

I am born and raised in Jersey City.

My parents are from Columbia and from Italy.

From being with my friends, spending time more with them, once I began on my own journey, really, because I really didn’t ask anyone exactly of other religion, it was just something teenagers at that age we really didn’t discuss about religion.

So I myself started searching on the Internet about Islam, that’s when I came into the site Why Islam, which was one of my web sites that I found, and they sent me a lot of information, books, the Quran, a prayer rug, hijab.

Once I got this information I started reading on my own. I also had ordered brochures about Islam. And once I continued to read more and more every day, it would just interest me and bring me more and more to continue to read and learn about it.

I continued to go on the web site here and there, and what I did see was a way to go into a mosque. They have you set up with someone in order to go and visit a mosque, so I did that, and they had e-mailed me and connected me with another sister, actually she had converted four months earlier, prior to my decision to converting, so I think that’s what made me feel more comfortable and push me to really convert was after I met this sister.

One day, through the Internet we connected, we called each other and we met and set up a date to go to the mosque. And after we did go to the mosque, she did take me before to an Islamic store, bought hijab, showed me how to wear hijab, and she made me feel very comfortable because she was African American, had converted four months prior, pretty much was going through the same process and questions that I felt that would push me away from Islam, and why I should convert. So every question I had she answered, and she was going through the same experience as I would after I converted. Continue reading “An American Sister’s Struggle to Find & Keep Islam”

Wrestling Champion Finds Peace in the Quran


JTI-Wrestler-USA

Wrestling Champion Finds Peace in the Quran,It was like all the weights of the world have been lifted off me.

My name is Ismail Chartier, and I converted to Islam 10 years ago.

I was raised Irish catholic in a neighborhood called Hell’s Kitchen in Manhattan, which when I was a kid was a very bad neighborhood. It was full of drug use. The Irish mafia ran it with an iron fist and if anyone got in their way, they were dealt with.

My mum and dad are both first generation Irish American.

There was a mixture of Puerto Rican Catholics and Irish Catholics there, and never did the two ever meet. There were two parishes in my neighborhood, one for Roman Catholics and one for Irish Catholics and we never went to the other parish.My brothers and I are second generation Irish American, which comes with a lot of culture and heritage. You have to learn wajibat (mandatory, obligatory) to learn what it means to be Irish, the culture, the dancing, the music, and the hate of English occupation of Northern Ireland especially when your family is from Belfast.

I wrestled from the time I was 5 years old to the time I was 20 years old. That’s who I was. It was my identity. Everything I was, was this. I was known as Brandon the wrestler. That’s who I was. I was 4-time state-wrestling champion.

I was in university, at the University of Arizona in the wrestling team. And I got hurt really bad. I hurt my back and I couldn’t wrestle any more. And I remember the day that the trainer and the coach brought me in to their office and they said “You are finished, you can’t do this anymore” and when I couldn’t do that anymore, I didn’t know who I was and all I felt was pain and anger, and I wanted the world, not just certain individual but the whole world to feel as much pain that I felt…

Continue reading “Wrestling Champion Finds Peace in the Quran”

God Wanted to Guide Me, How An American Catholic Sister (Cindy Weber) Found Islam?

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My name is Cindy Weber and I’m originally from Burlington, Wisconsin, and I converted to Islam 23 years ago.

I was raised in the Catholic Church and I was taught by nuns.

The real place where I learned about Islam was in Kenya where I was a missionary teacher there. That’s where I met and I saw other Muslims and how they lived their lives.

This is like the first thing that I noticed about Muslims, is that they had a good family life and I think that was something that I was searching for.

Shahadah in Chicago

In Kenya, the families that I saw there were all joining each other and maybe having a meal together. And the contrast for me in America was a Sunday afternoon meant being in front of the TV, in front of a ball game with a case of beer, and it was just like so empty.

I became a Muslim by studying about Islam myself. I didn’t know anybody from any of those Muslim countries. I just studied Islam by myself and decided I wanted to become a Muslim. And then I went to an Islamic center in Chicago and I told them that I was interested in Islam.

They gave me literature and some books to read and then I said “OK, thank you” and I took the books and literature and as I was leaving they said: Continue reading “God Wanted to Guide Me, How An American Catholic Sister (Cindy Weber) Found Islam?”

Reading The Prophet’s Biography Led Me to Islam, Yusuf Derbeshyre’s Journey to Islam

Brother Yusuf Derbeshyre

Before I was Muslim I was what you could classify as a “typical British lad”.

I used to go out drinking on a Saturday evening, and all that kind of thing.

Then about five years ago, I was going on holiday to Greece.

When you go to an airport, you’ve got loads of books packed in your backpack for you to read from, and then you go sitting by the side of the swimming pool with a large bear, sun-bathing and reading a book, and you would never have too many books!

I thought I would go to WHSmith and pick up a good book I could read, and I couldn’t find anything. I got my rucksack on my back, and as I turned around to leave, I knocked the bookshelf and all the books fell off.

Not wanting to be a bit awkward, so I picked everything up, and the books were all one book, and it was by a western author, called Barnaby Rogerson, and he wrote a book called “The Prophet Muhammad: A Biography”. I read the first page and it looked interesting. I read the second page. Took it to the counter, I bought it and took it on holiday with me.

So I read the book, and I thought “Yeah I want to learn more.” So I came back, and I started to go to the local mosque, and I spoke to them and I said I wanted to learn more. And the Imam, who took my shahadah, said “Well to tell you the truth, the best way to understand Islam is to become a Muslim.”

I didn’t think twice about it. I just took my shahadah there and then.

Continue reading “Reading The Prophet’s Biography Led Me to Islam, Yusuf Derbeshyre’s Journey to Islam”

How a Minnesotan Woman (Julie Rudy) Found Islam?

Julie-Minnesota

My name is Julie Rudy.

I became Muslim and I converted to Islam about 30 years ago.

My background is pretty normal for a Minnesotan. My mother came from a Norwegian background and my father was German.

We grew up in a small town of about 1500 people, but there were 13 churches and no synagogues and no mosques, only 13 churches.

But then when I came up here to go to school, I was working at the University of Minnesota, and so I saw some people there who were Muslim. I didn’t know anything about them and was actually too shy to talk to them.Because I grew up in a small town and there were no Muslims around us, I didn’t know anything about Islam. I was surrounded by Christians. Everyone was maybe a different kind of Christian, but there were a lot of Methodists and Lutherans in my town.

Continue reading “How a Minnesotan Woman (Julie Rudy) Found Islam?”

An American Financial Consultant ;The Qur’an & My Own Curiosity Led Me to Islam

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In the main Islamic society of New Hampshire, in the Masjid here,

I’m joined by one of my brothers in Islam, brother Joel Underwood.

But as we begin, I want to know a bit about your life before you came to Islam, before you started to study Islam.Assalamu Alaikom (peace be upon you), and thank you for agreeing to spend some time with us and share with us your story of how you came to Islam and how you were attracted to Islam.

 

Joel: I suppose it is easiest to say I was a typical American who was raised as a Christian with some variety.

I definitely believed in God, and I was a serious person. When I was reading the Christian Bible, I would read it very carefully and critically trying to understand what it would offer. And from there, I migrated through a number of thought processes, as I grew older, trying to understand my life. I didn’t really have any exposure to Islam. I didn’t know any Muslims.

Umar: Even when you went to college?

Joel: I was not aware of any one. I went to a college in the North East of the United States which is predominantly white from the New England area. There was very little diversity in schools back then. So, my coming to Islam was really my own journey that came about in a way that I could never imagine.

From the Quran

Umar: So, I think you explain that you were in kind of an isolation. You have never been exposed to Muslims. You have never seen an example of a Muslim. It just came to you that Allah just guided you to Islam.

I spent some six months before the trip reading the Qur’an and going on the internet

Joel: It’s something almost that simple. I came to pick up the Quran before I was going to make a trip to Morocco. I thought I would find a little bit about the culture of an Islamic country that I could be polite and know how to behave. I didn’t know what the Quran contains or what the message of the Quran was, as I had never seen the Quran. So I spent some six months before the trip reading the Quran, going on to the internet, and so on. Continue reading “An American Financial Consultant ;The Qur’an & My Own Curiosity Led Me to Islam”

My Fiancée’s Death Led Me to Islam; I was reading the Quran and it all came clear to me

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My name is Maria. I converted to Islam one year ago.

I’m from Boulder, Colorado. I was born here. I went to school here my whole life.

Both my parents they are actually from South Africa. They immigrated here. Neither of them is religious. They are both atheists, so they don’t really believe in God.

I have one brother, he is studying music at the University of Colorado. He is Catholic, so he is not Muslim either.

If we talked about religion, we kind of talked about it almost negatively I guess. Before, I didn’t really see religion as a good thing.  I thought it was something that like caused a lot of problems, like wars in the world and stuff. I viewed it as mostly negatively.Before I converted, I didn’t really believe in God. I didn’t really have a religion. I didn’t really have a faith, I guess you could say. I kind of grew up with what my parents taught me, so I didn’t really believe in God. I didn’t believe in really any religion at all.

Discovering Islam

Maybe because he was a Muslim, he actually ended up being more kind-hearted

I guess I first learned about Islam about 2 or 3 years ago. I was dating this guy from Pakistan, and so it was the first time I opened up to Islam. I was more open to learning about it and not to think about it negatively. I really didn’t know anything about it at all. So after talking to him and talking to few other people, I started to gather more facts. I bought an English copy of the Quran that I started reading.

When I met my fiancée, we didn’t really talk about religion. I didn’t think about him in a sense of being a Muslim, or being very religious. I guess I just thought of him as being like a really noble and kind-hearted person. He was one of the best people that I had ever known, he had such a good character, he was really like kind to everybody. He was never mean to anybody even if he didn’t like them, you know, he would be nice to them. He would never look at you straight in the face and be mean to you.

I guess when I thought about him I didn’t think about those qualities being because of Islam. I just thought they were because of him. But the more I thought about it the more I realized that maybe these good things about him were because of Islam. Maybe because he was a Muslim, he actually ended up being more kind-hearted and more open, and a better person.

The reason that I really chose Islam when I really decided that it was going to be the right thing for me that guy I was dating from Pakistan, and we were engaged for a long time. He was my fiancée and at the time I was going to school in Arizona and he was coming to visit me. He was driving from Boulder to Arizona to come and visit me, and he was actually killed in a car crash. And that was my first real experience with death, and that was what really inspired me to look more into Islam because I just knew that there had to be more to him than just dying. He just couldn’t die, like there had to be like a reason, not even a reason, there had to be something like a higher power that was like dictating it.

Continue reading “My Fiancée’s Death Led Me to Islam; I was reading the Quran and it all came clear to me”

US Professor James Frankel’s Journey to Islam

James-Frankel2

My name is James Frankel. I’ll be talking a little bit to you about my experience of coming to Islam.

Through Comparative Religion I Found Islam .

I’m speaking to you now from Honolulu, Hawaii, and it’s September 2010.

I’m a professor of comparative religion. I teach classes of Islam also at the University of Hawaii. I’ve been living in Hawaii now for just over 2 years and I’m just entering my third year.

Some brothers asked me if I could speak about my experiences so hopefully insha’Allah I could do this today and I hope this will be helpful to anybody. May Allah give us all hidayah.

The Early Years

I came to Hawaii 2 years ago, and before that I lived in New York city where I was born and raised. I was born in 1969 and grew up in Manhattan, part of the time in Brooklyn for a few years in my life. For the most part, I had a very happy family life. My parents raised me not with any particular religion but I think with basic set of moral values. Actually, by heritage I have a Jewish background, but I grew up in a very secular household where there wasn’t a lot of religious practices.

The only connection I ever had with a religion was from my father’s side, my grandmother who was a practicing Jew. It’s from her that I learned a few things, bible stories, stories of the prophets. For a brief period my parents actually attempted to send me to a Hebrew school to learn more but I was not very comfortable there and actually got kicked out for asking too many questions, so this is probably my character that brought me to where I’m today. As a professor and as a Muslim, I continued to ask a lot of questions. Continue reading “US Professor James Frankel’s Journey to Islam”

Yusuf Chambers’ Journey to Islam, Islam Changed My Life for the Best,

Yusuf, formerly Tim, Chambers

 

As I moved forward in my search, don’t think for one moment that I was waking up every morning and say “Now who am I going to meet and find today?”

No. But the world is a place, and it was a place then, particularly then, where people would grab me every now and again and try to pull me back into the world and just let the desires explode. So “Come here, have this drink, have this, have that, it’s great”. You don’t need all that rubbish.

Searching for the Truth

 

There was a guy at this time with whom I spent sometimes with at the weekends for 8 years. I remember one day in a weekend that he said to me “There’s something wrong with you, why are you so concerned about things, you are almost mad” and he even suggested to get me a doctor. I was like this because I was striving against the norms in society.

At that time I went through a lot. I was reading a lot and I started to drink because I wanted to just relax and take all the pain of the world away.

There were days then when I would look outside and see the light and just want to turn the light off. I would just look outside and say I don’t need this world. There is no purpose to it, so why would I bother myself with it. There were times when I spent many days on my own without talking to anybody. And there were times when I looked out through the window at night and just search for the truth in the sky. I used to look at the stars and started reading about astronomy. I would look at the sun and moons and read about theses heavenly bodies and I would think how enormous this universe is with the nearest star being 4 light years away from us. I really was frightened, so petrified because I didn’t know why these amazing things go around me in this manner. Continue reading “Yusuf Chambers’ Journey to Islam, Islam Changed My Life for the Best,”

Bringing a Friend to Christianity Led Me to Islam, It’s the most logical doctrine you won’t find in any other religion

-Brother A.Rasheed

My name is Abdul Rasheed. I’m from Florida, in the United States. I’m twenty four years old.

I came to Islam in December of 2004, so I was seventeen at the time.

Currently I work as an optical lab technician.

Generally I was like a church kid, I was raised in the Southern Baptist church. I went to church very frequently; Bible studies and services, so I knew my Bible. I was not very knowledgeable, but knowledgeable enough for a kid of thirteen to seventeen years when I’d really gone into it.I want to tell my story of how I came to Islam, and maybe give some advice to people who are trying to find their path In-Shaa-Allah.

From the bottom of my heart I have to say just do it, because to me speaking from reason it is the only way of life that people should be following,

How I Perceived Islam

Before converting, I was a very strong believer in the Trinitarian Christian faith, as I was a Southern Baptist, and I was very firm in this faith. I didn’t know much about Islam to have an opinion. I think that was a kind of self-imposed ignorance because of how the media portrays Islam. So I didn’t want to go there, as I was afraid of what I might learn. So I thought whatever the news told me basically. Continue reading “Bringing a Friend to Christianity Led Me to Islam, It’s the most logical doctrine you won’t find in any other religion”

The Logic of the Quran Led Me to Islam

Shaikh  Jamaal Zarabozo

It’s my pleasure to be with you here today to speak about the Quran.

Actually my own experience with the Quran is what led me to eventually become a Muslim.

So that’s why I get great pleasure to speak in particular to non-Muslims about the Quran,

and try to introduce them to the Quran so that maybe they can share some of the same experiences and the same feelings that I had towards the Quran.

There are many aspects of the Quran that affected me in many ways. And one of the first aspects that I think is very important has to do with the preservation of the Quran.

So I came from an American, traditional American I guess, Christian background, and so when I started to read and study about Islam that was the background that I was coming from.

~~Throughout the Quran God is telling human beings to think and ponder,~~ Continue reading “The Logic of the Quran Led Me to Islam”

Brother Stanton Lord Johnson’s Journey to Islam

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1.Muslim Women: Assalamu Alaikum Brother, Jazakallahuhaira for the participation..
First of all Give us a brief introduction of you.

Brother – Assalamu’alaykum Family, my name is Stanton Lord Johnson and I am a 28 year old male originally from Chicago Illinois. I am the youngest of five children and a graduate of Avila University in Kansas City, MO. I received my degree in Social Work and Plan on getting my Masters in Administration. Other than that I am a person of values and commitment to family, and I enjoy writing, laughing, and growing.

2. Muslim women – What attracted you towards Islam?

Brother – What attracted me to Islam without sharing a 1000 words was one word alone Submission. I simply woke up one morning and stared at my inner self and realized that I no longer wanted to wear a diamond earring. I would say three to five months later I had no intention to wear an earring and it hit me! What if I could make more positive changes in my life that would affect my understanding and would allow me to become a better man. Well I had the meaning of the Holy Quran and I flip through the pages and the word Submission was my answer! Alhamdulilah, from that moment I knew that Islam was the only path to take on this journey in becoming Submissive to the one true Creator. That creators name is no other than ALLAH!!

3.Muslim Women – What types of reactions you got from your family, friends and coworkers once you are converted?

Brother – Once I transitioned or converted to Islam my parents were somewhat shocked because I informed them that I was going on a job interview and in reality I was going to take Shahada. After, my first month they were both proud of me because they noticed a transformation in my actions. For example, my room was the first thing my mom noticed being cleaner, and exemplifying a more understanding and thankful individual.

4.Muslim Women – How has Islam changed your life?

Brother – Islam, has removed a lot of distractions in my life and it has truly placed me on a path where I understand my goals and I have certain tools such as Salah to get my goals complete. Before Islam I was a person who worried about little things for example when I would go into stores I would have these pre condition thoughts. For example, why are all the white folks staring at me and blah, blah , blah. I still have those thoughts at times, but now I carry a smile/charity and humbleness, and forgiveness in my spirit and it makes me a better example for those who need it. Marsh-Allah, now I am prepared for anything that comes my way and I believe when Allah Blesses me with a Muslim hijab wearing Wife/Queen I will be even more prepared as we give charity and Dawah together! Ameen!

5.Muslim women – What advice would you give to someone who is interested in Islam

Brother – Islam is not just a religion, Islam is everything!!

6. Muslim Women – what is your opinion on the common labels associated with Muslims (“terrorists”, “extremists” , etc.)?

Brother – Simple….we are not Terrorists, and if we are extremists it’s because Allah has really saved many of our lives and I rather be a 180 degree Muslim towards sin than a 360 degree Muslim to sin.

7.Muslim Women – What is your aim?

Brother – My aim is take each day like its my last and to enjoy the blessings as well as the challenges that come my way and to continually place Allah before all things. I do not want to become a seasonal Muslim….I forever want to be a tested Muslim who passes those test because of the faith and action I send forward and that ALLAH protects or rejects.

(continued via Muslim women fb page)

Sister Jessica Muslimah shares her journey to Islam

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1- Assalamu alaikum sister , jazakallahu hairan for the participation . First of all we would like to know about you

Sis Jessica :I’m a 26 yo Australian sister. I was born and raised in a catholic home and attended a catholic school.
… I hold a Bachelors degree and a senior position within government. I reverted to Islam on May 5 2012 alhamdulilah.

2- What made Islam special to you ? what attracted you towards Islam the religion of peace ?

sis Jessica :I first started reading about Islam in order to win a religious debate with my Muslim friend. He was quite strict in the deen and used to give me dawah, but to be honest I couldn’t get past my opinion that Muslim women were oppressed and that the only reason the hijab existed was because Muslim men couldn’t control themselves! Oh dear…

So I secretly borrowed some books on Islam and started reading. Before long it became an addiction, and I found myself spending hours each day reading and learning. I’m not sure what it was, but the more I read, everything just made sense. Before long our debates turned into me agreeing with my friend and actually telling him things about Islam. Continue reading “Sister Jessica Muslimah shares her journey to Islam”

Ex-Playboy Model Converts to Islam

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I Finally Have a Purpose in Life::–My name is Jamie and I converted to Islam a week and half ago.

… Before I became a Muslim, I was not a very conservative person, I was not a very good person.

I modeled for about five years, and during that time I did a lot of drugs. And I thought oh, I can do math, and I won’t get addicted because I’m just using it as a weight loss helper. I will just use it every once and a while to just keep myself from eating too much.

Ah right! I thought I was strong enough to not get addicted to a drug that absolutely addicts basically everyone who uses it.

So I started doing math, and I would probably give it a couple of weeks and then I got really addicted to it, and I did it all day and all night for five years. And it really brought me to a place of complete rock bottom. My husband at that time had been doing it with me, and he started getting violent with me, and I was afraid for my life.

So I decided to quit. I decided that that was not what I wanted for my life, and I told him “I said I’m going to quit.” And he laughed at me and said “Yes, right. You are not going to quit!” and I said “You know what, I’m going to quit” I quit that day completely, never again looked back. I didn’t have any time for rehab, no outside help nor support system. I had my husband laughing at me and trying to get me to do it again.

After that I had my little boy. My whole focus on life kind of changed. I had this wonderful little boy who needed a good mother and I loved him so much, I wanted to change everything that I focused on for him.

Back in the day, I could do anything I wanted. I was very involved in basically the Hollywood scene that anybody would want to be involved in. A lot of people are surprised that I gave that up in order to become a Muslim, but the funny thing is when I said my shahadah the desire to do all those things was completely taken away from me. I used to drink, did drugs, and all that stuff. I don’t want to do them anymore. It is amazing to me, I really enjoy and feel peaceful in my heart about being a Muslim.

I was born and raised non-denominational charismatic born-again Christian, and I didn’t find answers for what I was looking for, for 31 years as a Christian, I never really felt God. I tried this as hard as I could. I really did and I never felt Him. The whole thing that started leading me to Islam was that I got married to an Iranian man who was a very devout born-again charismatic non-denominational Christian, and he was mentally and emotionally abusive to me, not to mention that fact that he was poisoning me, just so that he could control me, to keep me at home not being able to leave the house just to know where I would be all the times. So I left him, and that kind started me on a whole new journey to see what was really going on in the world.

I researched Islam for a while before I chose to convert. Basically, I wanted to know why people hated Muslims so much because I saw what I saw in the news. I saw oppression and violence and I wanted to know what really existed, and if that was the way that Islam was.

So I started researching it, and the more and more I researched it, the deeper I got into it, I saw the truth in it. I think the main thing that I liked about Islam was the respect for women. There is a large amount of respect for women and the things we do as women. Our lives aren’t easy. We have a lot of things that we have to think and worry about; our families, our husbands, our children and we have to bear children. That’s really a very hard thing to go through.

And you know, a lot of us have to cook, clean, raise children and take care of the house and the husband. It’s a difficult job. And the fact that Islam respects women for that, and they separate us at mosques so that the men are not distracted by us because Islam understands the power that we have behind, I guess you could say, our sexuality. The way we look is really powerful to men, and they are affected by it. Islam respects that. Once I realized that, it grabbed the hold of me, and that’s when I knew I wanted to become a Muslim.

Converting to Islam made me feel different. It made me feel absolutely peaceful. I felt unstable before. I felt like a lot of things in my life were just up and down because they hadn’t been decided on. There was no goal in my mind. There was no reasoning for me being here. I didn’t know why I should be here, and converting to Islam gave me that peace and security and the balance that I needed in my life that made everything make sense to me; that made everything real. And it made everything worth being here for, because I finally have a purpose and I understand what it is.

We don’t always have the opportunity to meet people that we essentially need to meet in order to understand them. So I started going to a mosque in order to really get close to the people and understand them. And the more I got involved in the mosque, the more the women just surrounded me and took me in, and they really showed me the kindness that is Islam.

I never ever in my life would have ever thought that I would become a Muslim. Never ever! My perception of Muslims was so misconceived that I didn’t like them because I believed media and I thought they were bad, and never in a million years would I have thought one day I would be one of them. But now that I’m, I’m so proud and happy. I want to wear Hijab because I want people to know that I’m Muslim, even if they hate me, I don’t care. I want to show them that Allah exists in any kind of person, not just Middle Easterners.

I played drums before I was Muslim, and just because I became a Muslim doesn’t mean I have to stop doing the things that I enjoy. I do a lot of sports; snowboarding, water skiing and I still can be a good Muslim and still wear Hijab.

My dad never really knew about my past with the drugs and playboy modeling and all that stuff. He and I didn’t speak for 8 years. He kicked me out of the house when I was 17 years old and I lived under a freeway overpass for a week. I was homeless. And all I had with me was what I could fit in my back bag and my guitar case.
So we didn’t speak for 8 years after that and he didn’t understand I wouldn’t have understood is that these are experiences I needed to have on my own. I needed to have the pain on my own, and I needed to have the recovery on my own.

The only reason why I started speaking to him again was because I got pregnant with my son, and I figured that my son needed a grandfather. When I did come back and started speaking to him again, we had a beautiful conversation together and we discussed what had happened before and we both apologized to each other and promised we will never do it again. So, … this is my daddy. And he is my best friend in the whole wide world. And it’s something I never thought it was going to happen. But now that it has, I love him so much.

The first time my dad learned about my conversion, I was on my way home from Sacramento. I had just gone to a mosque up there and converted. I was driving home and I was too afraid to call him because I knew he was going to be really mad. So I texted him on the phone and I said “Dad, could you please try to start having an open mind about Muslims? Can you please just stop being so judgmental and believing all you see about Muslims on the news?” He texted me back and said “Why?” So I said “Well, dad, I’m Muslim!”

My father wasn’t too pleased when he found out that I converted to Islam. He was quite unhappy to the point where I feared that I was going to have to leave. We live in the same home. And we work at the same job, and I haven’t gone back to the job since, but living at home has been very tense.