My name is Titiana, but my Muslim name is Tasnim.
I converted to Islam around five years ago alhamdulellah and I came to Dubai from Kyrgyzstan from central Asia and I’m staying here for around 9 months, alhamdulellah.
I was born around 60 kilometers from the capital of my country, and I was born with my grandmothers both from my father’s side and my mother’s side. They were responsible for my education, and I loved them so much and I miss them so much also.
When I was not a Muslim, I was just an observer, and I looked at Muslims and the Muslim’s life. We have some mosques in our country, but I was not in Islam and I just saw people at the end of Ramadan at the Fajr prayer, there were a lot of Muslims in the central square and they were just praying together, masha’Allah. This is amazing. But after when I converted to Islam I just got to know new people and I noticed that a lot of young people converted to Islam around the world from different nationalities.
Alhamdulellah, every year at the end of Ramadan, in the central square there is no free space for praying alhamdulellah.
I used to go with my grandmother to the Orthodox Church. I was in the chorus also. I used to sing christian songs with my grandmother. It was good but there was a lot of conflict inside me because when I was so small I could not understand. I was going to church and I could not understand why are people playing in front of the pictures and in front of the icons? It was a huge conflict inside my heart and my soul. After some time, I just was asking my grandmother why are people just praying in front of the pictures? And nobody gave me the correct answer.
For this reason I continued my soul search. I really wanted to find something for my soul, for my heart, to be satisfied with my religion. I was looking into different religions, to try something, to find something which is very close to me, to my heart, and to my soul. I was searching in the books, libraries, and internet about different religions all over the world. I was interested in Hinduism and Buddhism just to know the concept of these religions. I just found Islam five years ago, alhamdulellah. It was so amazing like I discovered a new world for me. And a new chapter of my life started.
When I was 19-20 years old, I started to read the Bible because I was trying to find the truth; why are we here? And why God created all the human beings? And what are we doing here in the earth? What about the stars, what about the universe, about everything? And what is the mystery of the sunrise and the sunset? And I started reading from the old parts of the Bible. But when I read the new parts it was so different, and it was more questions for me than answers.
So I kept searching. I wanted to know about all this. There were so many questions I had and I was asking so many people from the church. I was asking my grandma about this and how I found so much difference between the old parts of the Bible and the new ones. I just wanted to find the truth.
I found wonderful people who started to make dawah to me, alhamdulellah. So I started to get knowledge from them. They explained so many things to me like how to wash your face, how to perform the salat. It was amazing to listen to the hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), about his life and about the actions in Islam; what should we do and what shouldn’t we do. It was so slowly, step by step. There was no force. I was just getting to know about Islam more and more.
Everyday I was learning something new, and there is so simple facts in Islam. The most favorite thing is that there is no one between you and Allah Almighty. And you can ask Allah directly, no need to ask people to go to the church and it’s you can make duaa directly to Allah Almighty, and this faith became stronger and stronger, and Allah just open my heart, eyes, and ears and then I said shahadah (I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger). Alhamdulellah I became a Muslim on that day and I’ll never forget this wonderful day in my life, and a new chapter of my life started, alhamdulellah.
I was trying to explain my religion, how is life in Islam? It’s so different. Of course I met a lot of problems from my parent’s sides and from my grandmum, and she said “Oh how come like this, why you converted from a Christian religion to Islam.” And still maybe right now she can’t understand fully like one hundred percent why I changed my religion, and I keep trying to explain that Allah is the God, he is the one, he is the only one and we should perform the salat five times a day, alhamdulellah. So another chapter of life starts when I started to pray five times a day, and it was amazing when you pray and this time between one prayer and another prayer you feel yourself so happy, alhamdulellah.
I started to wear hijab more than one year ago, alhamdulellah. First I started to pray, and I was making duaa “Please Allah make me become more stronger, make my Islam stronger”, because when I was going inside a prayer room I covered myself and after the prayer I uncovered and go outside, and I was trying to make my Iman (faith) stronger. And I just kept asking Allah please make hijab the usual wearing for me for everyday, and alhamdulellah it was within one year ago I started to cover myself. I was working at that time at a university. I was teaching there, and I had a lot of students around me and teachers and professors also, more than two thousand five hundred, and every one came to me and asked:
“Oh, why have you started covering yourself? Please explain. What’s going on?”
I said “Oh my God, I know about Islam and you also know about Islam. Alhamdulellah I converted to Islam and I decided to cover myself”
But still inside my family, it was a big conflict:
“Why did you start to cover? Why are you wearing a scarf? Why are you wearing different clothes?”
One thousand questions everyday “Why did you start wearing Hijab?”
And when I was just planning to go to my university, and I asked my mother which colors of my scarf I should choose, which clothes match better, and so on.
And she said “No way, it’s much better without a scarf!”
“Mom, all you can say like this” It’s not acceptable for me, please just understand my soul, and understand what lies in my heart. And alhamdulellah, slowly after one month my mum offered a gift for me. She just presented one green scarf for me! It was a big sign from Allah’s side that my mum slowly started to understand that I convert to Islam and it is very serious for me.