Iqama Magazine, Letters from Muslim American Converts, Anonymous Submission
In the months since I have converted to Islam I have met many Muslims and learned so much about my new faith. I firmly believe this religion is perfect, although not all of its followers are. I think that is one of the things that makes it difficult for a new Muslim to learn about Islam. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with learning “how to be a good Muslim”. I see different Muslims who practice the religion in different ways, and I think I need to do everything in order to be “the perfect Muslim”. However, there is no such thing and I need to be reminded of that from time to time.
I remember the day I decided I was going to be Muslim.
This was something I struggled with for some time because I wanted to make sure that if and when I became Muslim, I would do it for the right reasons.
In October 2017, I was in Colorado with a friend who told me the mountains would be good for my soul. I had no clue what she was talking about until I saw the mountains, and she was right.
One of the days we were there, we hiked up to some rocks in one of the parks and sat to watch the sunset behind the mountains. I brought a small copy of the translation of the Quran because I thought spending some time reading and reflecting would help my decision. Until that point I didn’t know what was holding me back, but something was. I said a quick prayer asking Allah (swt) to guide me and I opened the Quran to a page (I don’t remember which one now), and the first thing I read was,
“What are you missing?”. That was all I needed to read.
I felt as though Allah (swt) was literally asking me, “What else do you need to be convinced of the path you should take?” It was no longer a decision for me because it was decided.
When I returned from Colorado, I researched how I could become Muslim. So I performed ghusl and stammered through the shahada by myself in my tiny flat in Michigan. Since then I’ve prioritized my salah and learning as much as I can about Prophet Muhammad (saw) and his companions. I also decided to take my shahada more formally with a mufti at the local masjid. When I am unsure of things and have questions, I usually talk to one of my closest Muslim friends, or I call the mufti who I took my shahada with.
My journey has not been easy, and there are things I struggle with, but I wake up every day grateful for being a Muslim. Being the only Muslim in my family makes it hard to share my faith with those closest to me so I wish I could meet other reverts in person to share my story with and learn theirs as well. One of the things that gives my heart peace is knowing I’ve been guided to the straight path, and that Allah’s forgiveness and mercy are endless.