Growing up in America, being raised in the Bible belt represented normality. Even so, my family found me religiously extreme as I loved to preach on the streets, handing out homemade Gospel tracts, sharing my idea of salvation. I was a Messianic Christian, keeping the traditions of Musa in the Taurat.
Reading the contradictions and questioning hidden ideas brought me to the realization that Truth wasn’t achieved in mainstream Christianity. I was always searching, questioning, longing for truth.
The first time I heard the Athaan, I cried. It was beautiful and unintepreted.
I took a world religions course as part of my applied science degree in 2006. Choosing a religion other than my own and attending their place of worship, I had to write about it.
I chose Islam. I went to the mosque, not knowing anything about the religion or how to pray. Sadly, no one reached out to me to share Islam. I prayed beside a woman, following her movements. The Imaam taught that our lives are a canvas, our actions are the paints. The colours are a reflection of our behaviour. I was always praying asking Allah to guide me on the right path and to never let me out of His grasp; crying out of fear and sincere longing for the truth.
I came across a book called ‘What did Jesus really say?’ while reading about the falsehood of the trinity. I went into a vision of a haze. An arm with a white sleeve reached toward me. His hand touched me. Bam! I was back looking at my book. However the feeling of his hand on my head remained. I felt confirmation that Islam was the true religion.
I bought a Quran, learned Al Fatiha and studied how to pray. I had no one to show me. I learned everything from the books and the internet. I converted to Islam at the Al Azhar masjid in 2007. My family thought I was brainwashed; forced into Islam by someone, because no one in their right mind converts to a ‘terrorist’ religion.
I came to Australia in August. This was my first experience as a Muslim and dressing as one here. I felt out of place with a Hijab. Shaitan lies to make Muslim women feel they’re a minority. Muslims are the only ones with proper foundational rules for a successful life. The non believers left their original faith, seemingly to rule the world as a majority, but they rebel, obeying the persuasive, realistic and alluring lies of Shaitan.
I have experienced occasional harassments wearing Hijaab for Allah’s sake: waiting for the bus and having eggs and a milk carton thrown at me, being honked at, flipped off, yelled at, having a fist fight because a woman thought we had a different culture; coming to her country to make problems.
A man approached me at the bus stop one day, asked if I was Muslim, then yelled that he wanted to cut our f-ing heads off!
On the flip side, Allah provided opportunities through my job at the fruit barn, dealing with many people who ask why I’m American and dress like I do. Allah chose me to stand there as some kind of example to strangers. Maybe I’m a person’s first contact with Islam.
Allah has blessed me and taken me from tragic oppression into His perfect Grace. I was blessed, chosen worthy enough to taste of His goodness.
I’m the only one in my family who is Muslim. I’m more aware of my actions with Hijab, standing out as someone set apart for Allah’s purpose, peculiar and unashamed, unwilling to blend into society in order to be obedient to Allah’s calling, Insha allah.
If you’re proud of Allah, He will be proud of you!