Inspired by a thread on Ravelry that I was reading I realized I never really explained how I came to revert. So I decided to write about how I came to Islam.
When I was very young we went to church just about every Sunday. The church we attended was called the “Boston Church of Christ”. My mum used to french braid my hair so tight that my skin would be pulled back and I would whine and complain. I didn't like it(the braiding or the church).I spent time in Sunday school, then when I got a bit bigger I sat with the adults.
My experiences in the church were strange, everyone else seemed content, it looked like they felt something. The only time I ever felt anything spiritual in church was if I forced myself to, like I had to trick my mind into believing what everyone else did. I could never really believe that Isa(as) was related to God in any way, as a son, or anything else.
As a teen, I just stopped going to church. I didn’t know what to believe, I felt like something was missing but what was it? I found Paganism and that seemed like a better fit in a way. Close to nature, respect for the earth, that felt pretty good, but I still had the same problem as when I was going to church. I had to force the feeling of belief.
After a while I drifted away and started reading about different religions. I read about Judaism, skimmed the basics of Islam, but mostly ended up finding the negatives. More on Christianity, thinking maybe I just hadn’t been in the right church, maybe if I did find the right one I could believe what they said about Isa(as).
Soon after I started to research more, I met Tariq(at the time my not quiet yet DH), I liked him, and he seemed to be so content as a Muslim. So I went back to look at Islam. I went straight to the source and bought a translation of the Qur’an. As I read it I felt something, absolute peace, belief, I didn’t have to force it.
After reading the Qur'an, and studying more, I wanted to talk to some Muslim women, to ask them questions. On Christmas day of 2006 we finally had the day off from work(retail jobs are killer in the winter), so we went to the masjid. At first it appeared to be empty, it was between Asr and Maghrib, and so we figured we would wait around a bit and see if anyone showed up. Just as we were about to leave a young woman came down from the balcony area, Tariq explained that I was a non-Muslim and I just wanted to ask some questions and talk to somebody. She agreed and we sat down to talk while Tariq wandered around. I asked her all the questions I had and just chatted for a bit, the more I talked to her, the more I felt calm, peaceful.
We left after a while and I was pretty sure that I wanted to revert, it just felt right, but I didn't tell Tariq right away. Two days later on December 27, 2006 Tariq and I got married in a civil ceremony. Then on December 29th in front of Tariq and another friend of his from work I said my shahada.
The next day, was Eid al-Adha(December 30th), so we went to the masjid again. Tariq found a space for me near the women, and went off to the men's section. While standing there, I felt lonely, I didn't know anyone. Just when I was getting nervous being all on my own the same sister that I had talked to the week before came up behind me. I was so happy to see someone I knew. She help me to wrap my dupatta up properly, and we went to find a space to sit down.
When the time came to pray she told me just to follow what she did. Standing there and praying beside her felt like the most natural thing in the world.
After the prayer and khutbah were over we said salams and she had to leave. I found Tariq, and then together we went to find the Imam. Tariq explained that I wanted to say my shahada(I felt like I had already said it but I wanted it to be more official), and we wanted to have our nikah. So that is what we did. From the start of my shahada to the end of my nikah was less than 15 minutes.
Alhamdulillah, I have been a Muslim now for almost five years!
I have in the past thought about writing about my reversion, but always ended up putting it aside. I sometimes get a bit defensive about it. People sometimes think that I reverted for my husband, so that I could marry him, or out of pressure from him or his family. I did not revert for him but because of his example. Even with his flaws/bad habits, he was a good person who was trying to follow his deen. Alhamdulillah that I met him, whatever good or bad happens in our life I am so thankful to have met him and found Islam.