One day, I got a book from the library called ‘The Faith Club’ by Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, and Priscilla Warner. It was about three people; a Jew, a Christian, and a Muslim - who all got together and talked about religion. Because of this, Husna read it too and we started our own Faith Club. It was really fun and I got to hear a lot of Husna’s views on things related to her headscarf, 9-11, and God Himself. I made it clear in the beginning that I was fine with my religion. I said I didn’t want to change.
After a couple of months of doing the Faith Club, we slacked off a little bit. This meant that I wasn’t thinking about God as much as I used to. But sure enough, a few weeks later, I stared at myself in the mirror. I looked deep into my eyes and questioned myself as to why I didn’t have that many friends, why I didn’t put on makeup all of time like others, and why I cared about religion so much. God, show me to the right path… I don’t know what to do, I prayed. I want to have a religion. I want to truly believe in You. The same day, Husna sent me an email inviting me to Islam. I replied to her saying that I am fine with what I am but I am fascinated by your religion. Little did I know what would happen next.
I started checking out many books on Islam at the library and stopped reading junky, inappropriate books. I stared for hours on the computer, learning about Islam. I watched lectures on Youtube, and I wanted to be the sister the speaker was talking about. I began to look past what people see and found what I felt. I began to realize that there was One God, that there only can be One God. It made perfect sense to me that Jesus, peace be upon him, was a Prophet, one of the most important ones in fact. Why would God send down Himself to Earth to be killed? Prophet Muhammed, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was a great inspiration for me because he was a convert himself along with his followers. He practiced the religion perfectly, like I wanted to do someday. Even Moses, may God praise him, I related with, because I was running away from people who demanded my service, and I was beginning to become my own person.
I began to find my identity, believing in all of these things. I no longer was outspoken, weird, and filled with acne, but a strong, independent person like I had always wanted to be. At 12 years old I had finally found myself. Alhamduillah, all praise and thanks to Allah! I didn’t have that many friends but still had Husna to talk to. I began to find other Muslims who I could communicate with. It was so much fun talking to them and I realized that I wanted to convert. Not in a few years, not in a month, but now.
All the converts who I had talked to had waited for years to say their Testimony of Faith. But for me, it was different. There was no point in waiting. I had already told my parents that I was interested in Islam.
Every time I was alone at the home I would strut around with a scarf on my head. I would listen to the Arabic Quran recitation and read the English translation. Finally, it was spring break. Everyone I had talked to wanted me to convert. I wanted to convert. I asked God: "Allah, God, send me a sign. Send me a sign that I should convert!" The sign came. It was myself. It was how much I had learned and how well everything was going for me, and how much I loved Allah and Islam. It was all of my Muslim and non-Muslim friends, the books I had read, and the Quran. Everything had always been there, all of the signs, but I didn’t realize it until that moment, where I fell onto my bed and cried. I sobbed and screamed and realized that I didn’t care what other people thought, and I didn’t care what my friends thought, but I cared what Allah thought. I knew that He wanted me to convert and that is what I did.
Life went on. I still went to school and I did most things the same, except I knew I was Muslim. From the time of my conversion, I prayed 5 times a day, some days not wanting to and some day yearning to. I wavered in my faith, sometimes thinking that I shouldn’t have converted while sometimes thinking it was the best decision of my life. At first I didn’t tell my friends, and my parents, and I was grateful for that since it gave me a chance to start going to the Mosque and getting closer to Allah before having the strength to tell them.
My life has a purpose now, and I since I am still 12 years old. I am at peace with myself, having faith in Allah, and know that whenever I lose something it will benefit me in some way or another. I am liberated and free. I am no longer a simple ‘Westerner’.I have stopped thinking about what people say and have began listening to my heart.
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