For the continuation of my previous post regarding my revert story, here it is!
So 3 years ago, I accepted Islam in my life. I took my shahada in an Islamic Center in Saudi and attended the class once a week for more teachings. They taught us how to pray and performed it individually in front of the Saudi teachers. We used to recite Surahs and memorize them every week. It was really helpful for me to learn faster. I was memorizing Surah at work during night shift when the area is not busy. I took advantage of the free time I had. It was not an easy journey but Alhamdulillah they gave me my Certificate of Conversion after 3 months. (I needed the certificate to change my religion in my residence permit in Saudi)
My Family. Before I started attending the classes, I already informed by parents that I am interested in Islam and I have plans of learning more. When I finally accepted Islam, I told them through phone and they didn’t say anything against my decision. Unfortunately some of my relatives were against it. They were even attacking me for disrespecting my parents because of changing my religion and not asking for their opinion. Recently, I learned that my mother cried because of sadness when I became a Muslim but she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to hurt me. May Allah forgive my mother’s sins and give her hidayah.
My colleagues. I didn’t tell everybody about my conversion to Islam. I only had few trusted people in my workplace, eventually they are the ones covering me up whenever I will go for prayers in my room. It’s not that I am ashamed of my new religion but I felt I was not strong enough to face their criticism and I was afraid of getting hurt especially from the non-muslims. I thought I needed more time and more knowledge to defend myself to everybody. I was like secretly preparing myself for a battle. I was studying and reading books about Islam.
My first prayers. I am a non-Arabic speaker so memorizing is very difficult for me, more so the pronunciation. I was taking long time to pray even just for two rakaats. I needed a very quiet place because a small noise can distract me and forget the next line. I even used to pray with a copy of Surah Al Fatiha and other short Surahs beside me just in case I get lost. During working hours (night shift), I used to hide in the vacant rooms so I can pray for Fajr. Some of my friends will help to cover me whenever my patients will call.
My first Masjid Experience. I was alone when I went to the masjid for the first time. I was so nervous. I should be calm right? But I was nervous and anxious at the same time because I was scared that maybe I will not be able to do my prayer correctly during congregation. Asking Allah for support helped me a lot! I became calm when I entered the masjid Alhamdulillah! Now, I love to pray in the masjid because I am learning from the other sisters and I am able to focus more. I love living here in Saudi because I am able to pray on time because masjids and prayer rooms are everywhere.
My first time to wear Hijab. I was not wearing hijab at work. I would wear it only whenever I will go to the mall or other places other than my workplace. Don’t judge me. I wasn’t ready. The day I left Saudi and went home to my country, I wore my hijab. My family picked me up from the airport. My mother was whispering to me if I can remove my hijab and answered her with a polite No, and she respected my decision. I heard my aunt at the back talking to my mother telling that they will get use to my new way of dressing eventually. From that day on, I didn’t remove my hijab.
Living with my Non-muslim family. I consider myself very blessed to have my family who understands the changes in me. I know a lot of revert stories which are too painful to bear. May Allah make them stronger and patient with the situation. Allahu Alam. I believe Allah will not give us challenges that we can’t bear. Alhamdulillah, my parents are supportive. They are waking me up when they hear my alarm for Fajr, buy for me hijabs and modest clothes. May Allah invite my parents to Islam. Ya Rabb!
Friends. Some of my friends accepted the new me, and there are some who left me but it wasn’t a big deal for me. I believe Allah will protect me from the people who will try to hurt me. I met a lot of Muslim friends during the month of Ramadan. I attended Taraweeh prayers and got connected to them. We learned a lot from each other and we formed a group for Allah’s sake. Alhamdulillah!
May Allah guide me always to the straight path. Ya Rabb!
Now I am in the path of seeking knowledge because I still have a lot of things to learn. I keep on reading books and listen to lectures. I love reading your blogs also because you inspire me with your stories so keep on writing my dear sisters and brothers!
My life is not perfect. I have struggles and challenges too that until now I am facing but I have to be strong and I have to be patient. As the Holy Qur’an says “Verily, with hardship there is relief.” (94:6)
P.S. I chose not to tell you my struggles so you will not feel sad. ☺️