I am a new Muslimah since Saturday November 12, 2005. I will never forget this day because not only is it my Birthday, but also my Rebirth into Islam.
When I did research in Islam, I let no one know what I was doing. I was not ashamed. I just didn’t want any unwanted opinions or discouragement. I told one of my brothers first and his reaction was mixed. He is nervous about my decision because he is a US Military Soldier and he has seen many things on his tour, from how they live in certain countries and how they are treated by others. Our parents are also immigrants to this country and are not open to many things espcially change of religion and with my brother in the Military, even less. He is very suportive of me. When I told him, he said to me, “You are my sister and no matter what decisions you make, I love you and will stand by you no matter what!” I was surpirsed by this reaction but so happy he said that to me. I think he is supportive to a limit. I sent him two different pictures of me in Hijab. The first one, only my hair covered and that was okay but the second one, I had only my eyes showing and he freaked. We have spoken about this further and he asked me, “What do I tell my children when they see you covered up?” The response I gave him was, “Just tell them, I love God in a different way than they do. I think this is appropriate for them because they are 5 and 3 yrs old.”
All my friends were surprised but more upset because I told them all in an email and not in person. The one reaction that surprised me was from one of my friends who made the question she said to me, “...I know you made this choice but why do you have to change who you are and your life for this. Why can’t you just worship?” Now I just looked at her and said, “If wanted to just worship, I would stay a Christian and not change my life at all!”
I thought this was a good question she imposed on me, so I decided to think about it. Why not just worship? Why change my life and who I am? I want to start this thougth process with how I ended up with Islam.
I was doing research on a different religion and I looked into Islam to find out why these two religions always at war. The more I did research on the other religion, the less I liked it and the more I researched Islam, the more I liked it. Then I searched some more and I found an Islam class online and I have been attending it ever since. My search started about 6 months ago and I reverted on Novemver 12, 2005. I have never looked back. I am only looking forward to my future in Islam. If I remained the same person, would I be going to Heaven? Probably, yes because I am a good person but will I be asked about all my actions by God and when my answers aren’t good enough, will I definately enter heaven? NO! I had to change a few things in my life for Islam. Even though I did not drink anyway, I decided that going to bars and clubs with my friends was something I no longer wanted to do. I had to stop eating pork. I had to stop flirting. I started going to the Masjid (mosque) for Islam classes, I am learning arabic, I am learning how to be more humble, more quiet in public. I am not changing who I am but just adjust certain qualities that needed to be adjusted. I am the same person I just traded In some old things I did for new ones.
Like anything new, you are excited and want to learn anything and everything about it, but you have to be careful who you talk to and who you learn from. Not everyone is knowledgeable in Islam or willing to teach you the right things. Always follow your instincts. You always know if you trust anyone. If you have any doubt ask or remember the internet always has many resource, but most importantly contact the local mosque in your area they are always willing to help. If the local mosque is too far away for you to attend, e-mail them or call them. They are always willing to answer any question that you have.
As a new Muslimah (a Muslim lady), I look at the world around me and wonder where I am? Because of that one thing, that I changed in my life makes me look at the world so differently. I see myself in a whole new light: the way I act, the way I think, everything is different. My life is not the same. Although this is a great thing I have done, I am still human and I still have feelings. I look at the world in a whole new light, but I tend to compare my life to those around me. I became a bit insecure about myself. I have entered a whole new world foreign to me in every way. You can learn about everything, but until you live it you don’t know what to expect. People tell me, “Take your time when you are comfortable to do everything you will,” and I have that attitude I take my time to make sure I am learning properly and in a timely manner for me. There is no time line to learn everything as long as you are true and do learn everyday, you will be surprised what you absorb just by listening to a lecture or reading an article. Even with all this, I still think, “Am I learning fast enough?” Should I know more? Should I know more Arabic than I know now? Should I already be comfortable wearing Hijab? What worries me the most is if I am going to wear my Hijab in a timely manner. I am surrounded my Muslims in my neighborhood and a Mosque just blocks away, but I still feel I am not ready to come out in my Hijab. This is normal but so is feeling left out because I am not covered. I decided to live in this society but am not 100% ready to let everyone know. I am a part of this society. Am I embarrassed? No, I am not. This is a big responsibility to have on your shoulders at any age anywhere in the world. I live at home with my parents and they do not know yet the decision I have made. Although there was an incident which makes my mother suspect but not 100%. To keep myself safe from any problems at home and with people in this area, I can not cover at this moment. It makes me feel like you are floating in mid air and I don't know where you should land, but these feelings are normal. I assure you they are.