Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Memoirs of a Secret Muslimah - Not So Secret Muslimah Anymore

Subhanallah, it has been just over a year since I told my mother about my conversion to Islam. Now, all of my immediate family know about my Islam.

A few months ago, one of my brothers sent me a message asking if I wanted to be a Muslim, as he had seen one of my statuses which were 'Islamic'. I simply told him that I was interested in Islam and may consider becoming Muslim one day, and asked him what he thought. He said that he's not bothered as it's my choice, and whether it's the path to success or not, it's my path and no one else can take it for me.

Some time after that incident, my brother called my mother and was just asking about me generally, and asked her about me and my interest in Islam. That was when my mother told him that I had become Muslim, that I lied to her, didn't listen to her and so on. But then she said how I was old enough to make my own decisions and that it's my life.

After that phone call, my brother sent me a message saying how he heard that me and my mother had a 'big fallout' (we didn't have a big fallout, it was more she didn't talk to me for 3 days) and how my mother told him that I had lied to her and how they were all so disappointed.

A few weeks after that, my oldest brother called my mother and asked her if it was true that I was Muslim. (I assume my other brother had told him) My mother confirmed that I had become Muslim and my brother told her not to force or pressure me to do anything as I'm a grown up. My mother said how it's my life and how I'm old enough to make my own decisions and it was left at that.
After, my mother told me how he said that I "had gone into a religion where a woman has no value, how women aren't allowed to go out to the mosque and how the men have 4 wives." He also said how I've lost all my rights, my values and everything.

Subhanallah, if only he knew and understood how much Islam actually values women, that when she is a daughter, she opens the doors of jannah for her father, when she gets married, she completes half the deen of her husband, and when she has children, jannah lies under her feet. Tell me, how is that degrading women?

When my brother met up with my mother, he asked her if I wore a headscarf, and was like how maybe I converted to Islam because there's a Muslim guy that I like and I converted for him. My mother didn't even bother saying anything and just laughed it off. When I heard what he said, I just laughed so much, subhanallah.

For those that don't know me, I'm a "social outcast" (maybe socially awkward is a better term to use) and I went to an all girls school when I reverted. Where on Allah's earth would I find a Muslim guy and convert for him? Ya rabb.

My mother had to go to the hospital at one point and told my brother and me to accompany her. I didn't know how I was going to face my brother now he had found out about my Islam, what he was going to say and his reaction when he found out that I wore niqaab. I made du'a that I was somehow able to avoid him. So the day came and we were supposed to meet him at the station. My mother got impatient as we were waiting for about 20 minutes and he hadn't arrived and so we went ahead. Alhamdulillah, it was such a blessing that I didn't have to face my oldest brother. At one point, my brother was sitting in the waiting area of the hospital and when my mother was being taken for her procedure, he stood up and they waved at each other. I was walking behind and didn't realise he was there and so we had eye contact for about 2 seconds at least. I don't know if he realised it was me or not. After realising what had happened, I ran to the hospital prayer room and stayed there for most of the day.

No matter what my family say about my conversion, I know one thing for sure - I'm not going to compromise my deen for anything.

I'm probably boring you, so to end this blog post, I ask you to make du'a for my family and I, that Allah grants my family hidayyah, in sha Allah. And make du'a that Allah keeps me steadfast and grants me sabr, in sha Allah. Jazakallahu khayran.

May Allah continue to bless us and grant us all hidayyah, ameen.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Memoirs of a Secret Muslimah - Fasting in Ramadan

Subhanallah, it's already been around 7 months since I told my mother about my conversion to Islam.. So this Ramadan I fasted at home, and alhamdulillah with ease.

Some of you may ask "how did you fast in Ramadan while your mother didn't know that you were Muslim?" Let me take you on a journey as to how I managed to fast in Ramadan..

Basically, in the first few months of being Muslim, Ramadan was slowly approaching and I was thinking to myself, "how am I going to fast during Ramadan without my mother finding out?". If I fast in front of her, she'll mock me and say how I'm copying my friends and not following her religion. Also thoughts came into my mind saying how I've got a valid excuse for not fasting, I'm a secret Muslim, I can make it up later. But I was adamant that I was going to fast during Ramadan no matter what it took. So I told myself:

  • "What if you die, and you don't get to make up those fasts?"
  • "What if being a secret Muslim isn't a good enough excuse?"
  • "What if Allah asks you 'why did you not fast during Ramadan?' Is simply saying 'I was a secret Muslim' enough?"
  • "What if Allah asks you 'what effort did you put into fasting?' And using the excuse that I was a secret Muslim and just sitting back and not putting in any effort to fast for the sake of my Lord, would He be happy with me?"

So I thought to myself that I somehow had to move out of the house during Ramadan, fast without my mother knowing and then moving back in after Ramadan as if nothing had happened. I made du'a asking Allah for a way for me to fast in Ramadan.. I was considering staying in a hostel for a month. I then told someone who was there to support me when I first became Muslim of my plans to stay in a hostel, and they thought I had gone mad. They told me that we'll somehow find a way.. The hard part was telling my mother that I was going to move out for a month. I told her that there was a 'Buddhist retreat' that was going on for a month. She was suspicious at first, saying how she would need to check the place out and stuff like that. I was wondering to myself "how am I going to fast Ramadan now?" and made du'a to Allah, asking Him to ease my situation. Alhamdulillah, some days after, she agreed to let me go. It was a few days before Ramadan and we found someone for me to stay with for a month. She was a secret Muslim as well, and lived by herself, and in sha Allah, we could increase each other's imaan during the blessed month of Ramadan.

So that was moving out and place to stay sorted.

Ramadan came, and wallahi, out of the 3 years of fasting, that was the best Ramadan I had ever experienced and I managed to fast without my mother finding out. Alhamdulillahi rabbil 'alameen..

When I came back home after Ramadan, my mother didn't ask me any questions about how the 'retreat' was, and it was as if I hadn't moved out of the house for the month..

Fast forward a year..

Ramadan was slowly approaching and I asked myself again, "how am I going to fast without my mother finding out?" The person who I stayed with the year before had made plans to go on Umrah, and so she told me that I would have to make my own plans. So I made du'a to Allah, asking him to provide me with a way to fast during the month of Ramadan. So, I was planning to somehow fast at home. At one point, I got a message from the person I stayed with saying how her plans had changed and that she'll be in London for Ramadan so I could stay with her for the month. Alhamdulillah, my du'a was answered, and I had found a way to fast. The next part was to find an excuse to move out again and get my mother's approval. I was in the final year of my GCSE's at the time, and there was an assembly about 'The Challenge' which was a 3 week programme to help young people to learn new skills and gain experience. That was a good excuse to move out of the house for a month. So after some persuading, I was allowed to move out of the house for Ramadan again. The person I stayed with had to go to her parents' house during the weekends, so I fasted at home then. But it was better to fast weekends at home than to fast the whole month at home with my mother being suspicious.

Fast forward a year..

A few months before Ramadan, I had told my mother about my conversion to Islam, and was worried about if she would allow me to fast or not, even though she knew I was Muslim.. But I knew Allah was with me, and that if I placed my trust in Him, that He would help me through this. The first half of Ramadan, I still had to go to sixth form, and most of the day, I wasn't at home, so I didn't have any issues with my mother, alhamdulillah.. The second half of Ramadan, even though it was during the summer holidays and I was at home, alhamdulillah, she let me fast in peace, even though I could tell that she was somewhat uncomfortable with me fasting..

You may be wondering why I'm telling you all this. My brothers and sisters in Islam, even if something seems completely impossible to you, nothing is impossible to Allah. All Allah has to say is "Be!" and it is. Make du'a, place all of your trust in Allah, and you will find a way in sha Allah. Wallahi, I did not think that I would be able to fast during my first Ramadan, but alhamdulillah, Allah provided me with a means of fasting.

If you take one step towards Allah, Allah will take ten steps towards you, and if you walk towards Him, Allah will run towards you, subhanallah.

May Allah continue to bless us and grant us all hidayyah, ameen.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Memoirs of a Secret Muslimah - Letting the Cat Out of the Bag

In my last post, I mentioned how the head of sixth form said that she would call home and inform my family about my Islam. After, I decided to write a letter to her and express my feelings, saying how my mother's a devout person in her religion, and the news would kill her, and if something bad happened as a result of my secret coming out, for example, me getting kicked out of the house, would she be willing to provide me with shelter or not? And I also wrote how if I was pregnant or something, and I didn't want my parents to know, then this information would be withheld from my family, so why should religion be any different?

This just made the situation a thousand times worse. She ended up showing the letter to other teachers, including the headteacher and claimed that the letter had a 'threatening' and 'intimidating' tone. She said that she will definitely be calling in my mother for a meeting, and that I had a day to tell my mother, and whether or not I told her, she will still be calling my mother. A couple of friends tried to talk to her, but she said that her mind will not be changed. I was emotionally unstable for the rest of the day.

We decided to go to the masjid and ask the imam for advice. All he said was that in life, you have to make compromises sometimes, and that was about it. I decided that it was best that my mother heard the news from me, rather than from some complete stranger whom she'd never seen before. So I wondered how I was going to tell her, and decided to tell her in the morning, as then I could run out of the house to go to sixth form, and that would give her space to think without me being in the way.

So the next day, before leaving for sixth form, I wrote a note to my mother saying something along the lines of:
"To my dearest mother,
I don't know how to tell you this, and I have no intention of making you upset, but because now I am in such a compromising situation, I have to tell you. I have converted to Islam. I am so sorry for disappointing you."

I ran out of the house to go to sixth form, and for the rest of the day, I could not help but think about my mother's reaction, if all of my things were outside in the front garden, if the locks had been changed, if my mother had called up my brothers and told them how much of a disappointment I was and etc. I had never feared going home so much in my life. I entered the house and it was silent. Too silent. Normally my mother would be offering her prayers to her statues, but that day, it was dead silent. I could hear running water in the bathroom, and so I sat in the hallway for 20 minutes, fearing what would happen next. So at one point, I plucked up the courage and ran up the stairs and into my room. I then noticed a note on my desk.

It was from my mother and to keep it short and simple, it said how she prayed to have me and now I am the cause of her heartbreak, and how when my father passed away, we supported each other, and ultimately, all she wants for me is to be successful and happy in life. She also said how my father converted to Buddhism because it was the truth even though his heart wasn't completely into it and how because now I've converted to Islam, I am verily misguided, and she hopes that my father guides me back to the right path. She also said how she's getting older, and this news has shortened her lifespan, and she does not know how much longer she has to live, and that whether I listen to her or not, that is my choice, but if something bad happens to her, then I am of the cause of her pain. I burst into tears after reading the letter, and cried in sujood. But I knew one thing for sure. I wasn’t going to compromise my deen for anything.

She didn't talk to me or even bear to look at me for days.

The next day, I remember going to sixth form, and I was so depressed that day, and so I prayed and then cried in sujood, letting out all of my emotions to my Lord, and relying on Him to ease my hardship. I carried on with my day, and came home to complete silence, as I decided to keep my distance between myself and my mother in order to not aggravate the situation. The following day, I had a meeting with the headteacher and the head of sixth form. I just put all of my trust in Allah, and whatever happens, happens for the best. The time for the meeting came, and so I made my way to the headteacher's office. We waited about 20 minutes for the head of sixth form to come, but she didn't turn up, so people were looking for her and everything, but she was nowhere to be found. So it was just me and the headteacher. She told me to take off my niqaab, which I did, and then she said how she was very upset about my letter and that I was bullying a member of staff via my letter. She then moved onto the main issue, which was the niqaab. (Prior to this, when asked, my head of sixth form said that the problem did not lie with the niqaab, and that the issue was much bigger than this. But this proved to be a complete lie.) She said how she will not call my mother in for a meeting if I do not wear the niqaab in school premises, and that how I'm old enough to make my own decisions. Initially, I didn't say anything, but then my headteacher realised and said, "This is a meeting, you have to talk." So she then asked me what made me decide to choose to convert to Islam and everything, and then I was allowed to go.

After, I remember feeling so angry that the head of sixth form had put me through all of this fitnah, for the headteacher to tell me that she will not be telling my mother after all. But then I realised that if it wasn't for that, I doubt I would have ever told my mother. Maybe as time went by, I would just delay revealing my secret to the point I would never tell her. I remember spending the rest of the day covering my face with my pashmina as I didn't want to show my face to my chemistry teacher. I came home that day, and to my surprise, my mother spoke to me. At first, it was just a few words, and then it was like nothing had happened. After her prayers, I could hear her praying to her statues to guide me and that I had been misguided by the devils and am now on the wrong path.

Alhamdulillah, nothing has happened since my mother found out about my Islam. Verily, Allah has protected me from harm. Allah knows best, but if it wasn't for His protection, my situation would've been much worse, as my mother would have not reacted this way upon finding out about my Islam. And that now the cat is out of the bag, as they say, I can practice my Islam fully, without fearing that my mother will find out.

These events have made me realise that when you are facing hardships, the only One you can rely on and turn to is Allah, and if Allah brings you to it, he'll bring you through it. And verily, everything happens for a reason, like I mentioned before in a previous post.

May Allah grant us all hidayyah and keep us on siraat ul mustaqeem, ameen.

Monday, 22 April 2013

Memoirs of a Secret Muslimah - My Journey to Niqaab

When I first reverted, I wasn't a person that observed proper hijab (i.e. headscarf and abaya etc.). But recently, due to the mercy of Allah, alhamdulillah, I have been able to observe proper hijab alongside with niqaab.

You are probably thinking, 'how did this happen?' and 'how do you do this without your mother finding out?' Well, let me embark you through the journey of how I came from not observing proper hijab to being fully covered, allowing me to gain the pleasure of my Lord.

When I first reverted, I feared that by wearing hijab in public, I would be recognised by people that would as a result tell my mother that they saw me dressed as a Muslim and then I would be dead meat, so to speak. Also, because I go to a school sixth form, it is linked to my old secondary school, where some family acquaintances attend, and news could potentially be fed back to my mother. These factors put me off wearing hijab. And so I would just bring in a scarf to put on when I needed to pray at school. But that was about it. After a while, I started bringing in an abaya to pray in as I felt my normal clothing 'revealed my bodyshape'.

At one point, when I went out, if it was a suitable distance away from my area, I would find a masjid and then use their toilets to change into headscarf and abaya, and then I would spend the rest of the day dressed Islamically, so to speak.

Months passed, and I discovered a method to sneak out of the house in abaya and headscarf. I would tuck my abaya into my trousers and then wear a coat on top - I call this 'half abaya'. The further away I got from my house, the more abaya I would take back out. And when I got a few roads down from my house, I would start putting on a headscarf. When I got home, I would tuck the abaya back into my trousers in the hallway and yank off the headscarf and put it into my bag before entering the living room.

It was World Book Day at one point, and we were given the option to come into school dressed as a character from our favourite book. I don't know why, but I suggested to my friends that we should come into school dressed as niqaabis, and when questioned, we planned to say that we are dressed as Mariam from 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' by Khaled Hosseini. So we went shopping for a niqaab, I remember trying a niqaab on for the first time. As I'm of Vietnamese descent, my eyes are quite 'Chinky' so to speak, (but not too much) and so my eyes could hardly be seen when I wore the niqaab. Even my friend's eyes went a bit weird, and she was Somali, so it wasn't just me. (I think that niqaab was a bit dodgy)

I eventually found a niqaab to wear for World Book Day, and came into sixth form with 'half abaya' and then went into the toilet to get dressed as a proper niqaabi. I remember not being able to breathe under the niqaab, as the material was quite thick, and I kept on having to flap my niqaab like a mad person. I had physics for my first lesson, and my class decided to make me stand in the middle of the classroom in niqaab, and when my teacher walked in, he would have the biggest fright of his life. That didn't work, but he asked me if this was a 'permanent thing', but I didn’t think much about wearing niqaab then, and so I shook my head. The day was full of people asking us questions about the niqaab, why we were wearing it and all those types of questions. One person called us ‘scary’ while we were walking up the stairs. I could feel people just standing and staring and whispering to one another as we walked past, but it really did not bother me, as I learnt that as long as my Lord is pleased with me, nothing else matters.

It was the day before we broke up for the Easter break, and it was a non-uniform day for the rest of the school, and so we decided to come in dressed as niqaabis again, as no one could really say anything to us as the whole school was not in uniform. That was when my friend said that she wanted to start wearing niqaab full time, and she told me that maybe I could start wearing niqaab as it may be a means of me observing hijab without being recognised by certain people. It was like Allah had provided me with a way to worship Him, and it was a way to perfect my imaan externally as well as internally. And so after that, I acted upon the advice and started wearing the niqaab whenever I went out. It was the 2nd day that I began to wear the niqaab that I went out and as I was walking, a person drove past and shouted out ‘NINJA!’ and 2 minutes after another person drove past and shouted ‘son of a b*tch!’. I just carried on walking.

Moving on, one day during the Easter holiday, a friend called me and told me to meet her in the library for revision. I was running late and because one of my abayas and headscarves were out, I didn’t have time to fold it up and so I just squeezed it into my drawer where I usually hide all of my abayas and ran out of the house. I came home later that day to find my abaya and headscarf all neatly folded up. I thought to myself, “either this is a helpful jinn, or my mother has found out.” I didn’t want to say anything that would blow my cover, and so I remained quiet about it until one day when I was tucking my abaya in and taking off my headscarf in the hallway before I entered the living room, when my mother said “you don’t have to do that, you can wear whatever you want, as long as you’re not naked..” I was so surprised, and so I asked her again to confirm what I had just heard. From then on, I now leave the house with ‘full abaya’ but without a headscarf or niqaab on, as that is just pushing the limits. And so I put them on in the hallway before I leave the house. It’s like Allah has placed a veil before my mother’s eyes, as she just thinks that it’s some funky piece of clothing without realising that it’s Islamic. Alhamdulillah for this great blessing.

So that is my story of how Allah has given me the ability to observe proper hijaab, solely for His sake. And I hope that this was somewhat beneficial to you.

Basically, because I wear hijab and niqaab to sixth form, initally, there wasn't that much of an issue with my friend and I wearing it, but subhanallah, one of my chemistry teachers, who is an Arab and is Muslim herself, told us to take it off in her lesson, as she 'wanted to see our faces' and another teacher requested that we have a note to wear the niqaab in her lesson. The next day, we went to the head of sixth form to ask for a note, and she asked us why we decided to wear niqaab. She then told my friend to leave the room and asked me about my conversion and stuff and how my family have a right to know about my Islam because I am still a child and that I'm still under their care so to speak, and that she'll call my mother in for a meeting and tell her about my Islam then. So that day caused me a lot of panic. I sent out a message to people requesting them to make du'a for me, and at one point, the information finally sunk in and as I was talking to a friend, we cried together over the phone. But in the end, I said to myself, 'if Allah brings me to it, He'll bring me through it'. So in sha Allah, whatever happens, happens for the best.

May Allah continue to bless us and grant us all hidayyah, ameen.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Memoirs of a Secret Muslimah - My Journey to Islam (FULL)

I'm a teenager of few words. I'm probably the most boring person you'll ever meet. But one day, something happened that changed my life completely. Verily, whoever Allah guides, none can misguide him and whoever Allah misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (saw) is his slave and final messenger.

This is my story about how I came to Islam.

I was born to a father who was a Catholic and a mother who was Buddhist. When I was 3 months, I got baptised into the Catholic Church. When I was 2, my father suffered an asthma attack and was in a coma for 21 days, and so I was in the care of a family friend. During that time, my mother would pray to her statues, asking them to help my father get better and all of that. Basically, the doctors were like how if my father lived, then he would have to be in a wheelchair, he would be drooling. To sum it up, they said he would be an invalid. But then on the 21st day, there was a loud crash of thunder and my father immediately woke up. He was perfectly fine. The doctors had been proven wrong. This was not what they had expected. There was no wheelchair, no drooling. About a month after, believing that the statues had somewhat saved him, he converted to Buddhism, and I was dragged along with this too. My father eventually died 8 days after 9/11.

After my father’s death, my mother would make me bow down to the statues, read some Buddhist scriptures that I couldn't understand, and as I was around 5-6, I was naive to the subject. I would sit there everyday for 2-3 hours, miming something, and because I didn’t understand what I was doing and why I was doing it, I felt no real connection. So when I got to the age of 9-10, I started to not be bothered about worshipping these statues anymore. So therefore, I made any excuse possible so that I could get out of this forced worship. Eventually, my mother left me to do my own thing. But she wasn't finished. I felt like I was forced to do something that I didn't want to follow and that this was my mother's religion, not mine.
From a young age, I was always interested in religion as a result of being split between two religions. So I would read books on religion, most of the time focussing on Islam. I somewhat believed that there was only one God.

All my primary school life, I went to a Catholic school, prayed, read the Bible, talked about Jesus, etc. I know it's pretty complicated, but I guess it was what Allah had decreed for me. At one point, I thought that when I was older, I was going to be Catholic because of the Catholic influence around me. But my mother had already planned for me to be a Buddhist nun. It came to the time to apply for a place in secondary school. I was learning about Islam in RE lessons, like 'halal', 'haraam', 'Ramadan', 'Allah', 'Qur'an', etc. and I was pretty interested. My mother wanted to apply to a Catholic secondary school but it was too complicated, so she lost hope and decided to apply for 'non-religious school'. I eventually got accepted into one, and I thought to myself, 'This way, I can actually be Buddhist'.

I started my first day of secondary school, and the majority of my class were Muslim. I had never had that much exposure to Islam before. The only exposure I had was when I went to Regent’s Park Mosque with my primary school for a trip and that was it. And I remember when my mother and I were walking down the road once, we saw a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and a niqab, and my mother said, 'The men are selfish. They just want their wife's beauty to themselves. They don't want anyone else to steal their wife.' I didn't have a clue about Islam at that time. And also, at the time of the London 7/7 bombings, my mother said, 'They pray 5 times a day to their God, why are they so violent and go around bombing places?'

Going back to my secondary school life, I became friends with a group of Muslims at some point when I was around 12. We were learning about Islam in RE and about how the Prophet (saw) was illiterate and how he was given the ability by Allah to read and write, and how the Qur'an was sent through Jibrail (as). I was fascinated about this matter. I decided to research Islam, its morals, rules and teachings. At some point I even searched 'how to convert to Islam' but found it too complicated, as what I read involved going to the masjid and talking to the imam and other stuff, and so I left it. But I couldn't leave it. Something kept on pulling me back to Islam, making me research it more and more.

My mother wasn't happy when she found out that I had Muslim friends, she said 'they follow a devil religion'. And to add fuel to the fire, fasting with my friends wasn't a great idea either. She was furious and went on about how I was being 'led astray and hanging with the wrong crowd'. But I knew I wasn't. Muslims were being portrayed in a bad way in the media, but it doesn't mean all Muslims are like that.

DON'T judge a religion by the followers.

When I was 14, I was more exposed to Muslims giving dawah on the streets. Once when I saw a dawah table while going to the library, I was somehow evoked of Islam, and decided to pay them a visit. Before I visited, I had wanted to be Muslim so badly but didn't have the guts to take the first step. The brother asked 'Are you Muslim?' I don't know why, but I said that I was. He gave me a book called, 'An Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam' or something along the lines and a leaflet that said 'How to Convert to Islam' immediately caught my attention. I looked through the book when I got home, and could not believe how verses in the Qur'an revealed thousands of years ago matched what science had just discovered decades ago. It was so miraculous.

There was an FAQ. 'One may ask, 'I think Islam is a good religion, but if I were to convert to Islam, my family, friends, and other people would persecute and make fun of me. So if I did not convert to Islam, will I enter Paradise and be saved from the Hellfire?' That's exactly what I was thinking. My mother would go mad if I had converted. So I delayed my shahada.

Before that, I went to a fair and saw a dawah table. I was immediately interested and went to their stall. They gave me a Qur'an and so I went home and started to read it. I read the first few pages and knew that Islam was the truth, but again, I delayed my shahada. I wanted to wait until there was nothing that could stop me from converting to Islam.

One of my close friends had started to practise Islam and pray 5 times a day. Because we went home together, I would wait for her to pray and then we would go home. She wanted to pray at the masjid, and so we would both enter and she would pray and then after we would have these 'religious discussions' while walking home. Once, while sitting and waiting for my friend to finish praying, I felt something go down my spine. It was a warm feeling and lasted for a few seconds or so. It felt like I had a connection with Allah and so our 'religious discussions' would develop even more.

It was like I couldn't stop talking about Islam. A few days or weeks later I did more research. And again I searched 'how to convert to Islam' I was glued to this page and found out it was actually an easy process. All you have to do is declare and believe that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (saw) is his messenger. You didn't need some fancy ceremony or anything. I then watched a video of two sisters converting and I was so inspired by them and so I decided that this was the right moment. I finally said my shahada. I again got that warm feeling down my spine, like the one I felt while in the masjid. I was certain it was from Allah.

I was now Muslim. What next?

I researched how to pray, how to perform wudu etc. but it was too overwhelming, so I decided to leave it. I didn't tell anyone. This was just between me and Allah. Eventually I learnt the basics.

The problem when I first converted was praying at home. My mother could intrude and could’ve caught me red handed. Praying could be so difficult at times. My mother would either knock on the door, call me from downstairs, and if she didn't get a reply from me, she would end up trying to open the door, so sometimes I had to break my prayer, answer for unnecessary things and then restart my prayer from the beginning. Even when I was on the last rakat or doing the tashahud. Trust me, it was so annoying. But alhamdulillah, after some point, these distractions stopped and I was able to pray my prayers on time.

Sorry for going on and on. Hope that this introduction has somewhat given you an insight into my life, and upon looking back, I am thankful to Allah and that He had given me a chance to escape the hellfire and start off my life again by shedding light on me and guiding me to the straight path and also that He had made it possible for me to worship Him.