Almost 9 years ago (April 2001 to be exact) I embraced Islam. The night before I embraced islam i stayed up late in anticipation, excited about living my life as a new muslim. I was told that I should wear something conservative (long sleeved shirt, skirt, etc) when going to the masjid. Earlier I had gone shopping and bought a new outfit to begin my new life as a muslim. I was never more sure of anything than I was at this moment, I knew that islam was the truth and I finally felt complete after years of searching.
The next morning I met my new muslim friends at my university and a group of us went to the masjid for Jummah (I converted on a Friday, Easter weekend to be exact). After Jummah the imam had me and my friend (who was also converting with me) to stand up and take our shahadah (in front of 500 or so people). Being the shy person that I am, I began to giggle out of nervousness when my friend took her shahadah first. Afterward we spent close to 30 minutes hugging sisters and exchanging phone numbers and getting to know everyone. My new friends took us out to eat to celebrate and I remember not wanting to take my hijab off.
This amazed me because most of my life I was obsessed with looks and having my hair look perfect as well as coordinating my outfits to fit the style of the moment. I kept my hijab on all throughout lunch and only took it off when I was driving to my house (since my parents had no clue of what I had just done). A few days later I was in the car with my dad when he brought up Islam. He knew I had been reading a lot of Islamic books and wanted to warn me not to get too involved with Islam. It was then that I confessed that I had just converted to Islam.
He was surprised and very disappointed. He told me not to tell my mom because she would be devastated (my mom is a hardcore christian). When we got home I went upstairs and about 5 minutes later I heard my mom scream out "She is going to hell" I then realized that my dad had told my mom I had converted. My mom and dad both came up to my room and told me that i had just sold my soul to the devil and that I had made a huge mistake. I calmly explained to them that i knew in my heart that Islam was the true religion and I tried to explain to them that we believe in one god, and that we love Jesus, but that we dont believe he is God, we instead believe he is a prophet.
That of course angered my mom who told me that I had to have the "spirit" in me to understand the trinity, which I found bizarre! Why would a religion be so complicated and hard to understand if it was the truth? Why wouldn't God make it simple and easy to understand? Not to mention Christianity has so many contradictions and errors in the bible, whereas the Quran has no errors.
It took my parents a long time to accept me being muslim. For awhile I wore hijab in secret afraid they would kick me out of their house if they knew i was wearing it.
When i finally decided to tell them i was wearing hijab they freaked out. My parents threatened to kick me out, they tried to use guilt saying I broke my grandmas heart by wearing hijab, etc. I knew it was a test from Allah so i prayed for patience and refused to give in. I kept my feet firmly on the ground and tried to explain to them why muslim women wear hijab. Another thing I want to point out is that most people who revert to islam, are women. If islam was so oppressive to women as the media claims, why are more women then men reverting (a term used instead of converting since we are all born muslims) to islam?
My reversion to islam has been far from easy. I have been faced with many challenges and I am continuously challenged day after day. When I find myself not being challenged that is when I know I am not striving hard enough to be a better muslim. With each challenge that we are faced and we accomplish we should be looking for the next challenge. For example, once we start to wear hijab we should look for the next challenge to bring us closer to Allah (ex: niqab) etc.
Before Islam, i was lost. I was wandering through this life looking for that missing piece of my life. I always felt that something was missing, yet I couldn't figure out what it was. For a long time I thought it meant that I was supposed to travel. I had plans of joining the peace corps and traveling the world to fill that emptiness and missing piece in my soul. When Allah guided me to islam, that emptiness I once felt disappeared and i felt whole....
I thank Allah for guiding me to the truth and saving me from an eternal torment....