I never wrote my shahada story before because I was afraid to be judged. Of course I gave my 20 second version of finding Allah (swt) to relatives, at sisters circles, to my Muslim friends who asked, but I never told them the real story of my conversion. I think a lot of that has to do with my reluctance to expose my old self, the person I used
to be before my conversion. When I was asked by a sister at the Mecca Center to write my story, I reluctantly agreed.
You see, I came to Islam as broken and defeated. During my teenage years into my twenties, I looked for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong people. I used and allowed myself to be used by whoever wanted me—always noticing but never acknowledging that the hundreds of people that wanted me only wanted me temporarily. I prided myself in being a-religious. Instead of putting my faith and trust in God, I put that trust in humanity. Yet it was this very trust in humanity that left me empty time and time again.
The highest and lowest point of my life came when I was living in the Middle East. I was completely alone there, caught up in the glimmer and glam of the material world and all of the horrors it had to offer me. It was while I was there, at this stage in my life, that I
actively sought out Islam as a crutch– a possible savior I could turn to in order to get myself out of the mess I was in. While I was succumbing to the horrors around me, there were other sisters that lived right next door that seemed happy and content with their lives. They seemed like they had a purpose. I observed these women: as they prayed, as they spent time with their families, as they fulfilled their roles as mothers, sisters, and daughters. I, too, wanted a purpose. I wanted to emulate them. I questioned their beliefs and their morality and decided that in order to transform, I needed to start over. I packed up my bags and left.
Upon coming to the U.S., I took my Shahada and became heavily involved in the Muslim community. I learned how to pray and follow the basic Islamic principles. The first time I made ghusl I felt so pure and new. Sixth months after this transformation, I found a Muslim man who forgave me and loved me regardless of all my faults. I attribute my personal transformation to two things: maturity that Allah (swt) granted me and my pure love of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Without Islam, I would still be a broken woman—without love, without a family, and without purpose.