CS: How I converted to Islam
But what got me most of all was the story of Jesus. That he wasnt a god, who was also his own son, who was also his own father, who was also the holy spirit - who died on the cross and yelled out "Oh God, Oh God, why hast thou forsaken me?" - because if he is all these things and is his own father and God then really shouldn't he have said "Why hast I forsaken myself"? and really how can you forsake yourself and then ask yourself for help? Confused yet? I was!
January 2007 - i was at a nightclub with my friends, drinking and dancing the night away as i usually did. I stopped half way through and started to have a really bad night. I hated being drunk (strange for the Irish - i know), i hated men coming up to me trying to flirt with me, i hated being in the crowded club with half naked girls everywhere. I hated the whole thing. So i left. I didnt even tell my friends i was going. I just thought to myself "Eff this" and i walked the 40 minutes home. The whole way back and even when i crawled into bed i was thinking "why am i doing this? why am i wasting my time getting drunk in clubs? what good does it do me? i waste all my money on alcohol, spend all my afternoon getting dressed up for what?". That night I didnt sleep.
So i stopped. I didnt touch a drop afterwards. I will be honest - i still went to some nightclubs with my girlfriends about 3 times after that night... but only lasted about an hour each time - because lets face it - nightclubs are very boring when youre sober.
A while after that in April 2007 i went to an islamic centre just to get some more books, but instead ended up sitting down saying my shahada. Not planned, trust me. The guy was like "do you believe in it?".. i said i did.. he said "what is stopping you from saying shahada. because that is what shahada is - just saying you believe". i told him i felt like i didnt know enough yet about islam. he replied "if you believe, then you believe. you can say you believe, become a muslim and keep reading after you say shahada, you can still keep learning until the day you die". And he was right. So i said it on April 25th (Anzac day):
أشهد أن لا إله إلاَّ الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله
After that i kept reading, learning more. But i really didnt have anyone around me to help me. All the muslims i knew were people on my MSN list. thats it. Everything i did in Islam i pretty much did by myself - no help or support. It was a very hard time for me. I was all alone and felt very lonely. The only muslims i knew in my city, knew i had become muslim, said "mabrouk" and welcome" and thats about it. they never once offered to help me or talk to me about islam, which i find kinda sad because i felt so lonely in my new religion. Plus i had the usual convert-family troubles at home to go along with it.
My first Ramadan in 2007: i knew a very nice, very devout Muslim man who i like to call Bibz (short for Habibi - not his real name). i knew him for a while. He was sooooohonest which made me ask Allah if i could have him, because i had never met a man so truthful before. Allah obviously said Yes because in Ramadan 2007 we agreed to marry and married in October 2007.
During this time we were driving along in the car and the Quran was playing on the stereo. I just had a big bang feeling in my heart as we were driving to the mosque and once again i started crying uncontrollably. I turned to my husband and said "I want to wear Hijab". He had the biggest smile on his face, like i told him that he had won the lottery.
I put it on and never took it off. After about 3 months after that i started to wear abayain my own time.
Now that is the basic story. Of course much more happened in the 8 months from learning about Islam in 2006 to my actual shahada in 2007.
My family were very against it. You all know how my brother feels about it. My dad caught me praying in my room for the first time. He was knocking at my door and ididnt answer because i was praying. he assumed i wasnt in there so he walked in. He saw me praying then started shouting, swearing, slamming doors, etc. I kept praying, crying, so upset, but i stood my ground and continued praying.
I have been verbally abused by pretty much everyone in my family, except probably my mum. She was very worried but never turned her worry into verbal abuse. Now things are better. Mum isnt worried anymore. She sends me scarves. I suspect she has being reading up a bit on Islam because of little things she has said to me. My dad is much cooler about it but still not 100%. He still says some things sometimes but at least is now more open to talk about things and express his concerns rather than cursing me.
He still gets embarrased about me being in hijab and abaya - my mum on the other hand says she notices more muslim girls now where she lives since i started wearing hijab. I think thats nice. I also sat her down and watched that movie about the Prophet called "The Messenger". At the end of it she said "well if Jesus could be a prophet, i guess Mohamed could have been too". I was like "one point to Angela".
My brother is still a down-right ignorant bastard about it. My sister is similar in her views as him but doesnt get all in your face as he does. We all grew up around racism and so on, so it is hard to change the minds after so long a time.
I lost all of my former friends. i remember the shocked and bad looks of disgust in their faces when i told them i became muslim. They had less and less to do with me, especiallysince i stopped going out at night time and started covering. i am not friends with any of them now, partly because they are uncomfortable around me now and dont like being seen with a Muslim and partly because i dont feel close to them anymore.
But Alhamdulilah things are all good. My life is better. My marriage is like a little heaven on Earth and being Muslim rocks!
So here I am: married and muslim at the age of 22... still going strong one year later at 23. Life sure does change in a year, let me tell you....