Originally Posted by 'Abd-al Latif
I converted to Islam because I had felt a void deep in my heart for the longest time. When I was younger. Around 10 years, I constantly searched and searched for religions and examined them. I was born a Catholic because my father is a Catholic, my mother is Christian (weird huh) but I was never raised Christian, nor Catholic for that matter. I felt this kind of void that just lingered.
I remember the event that actually made me look deeper into my void. Ironically it was the imagine of the twin towers burning up as they kept playing over and over again like some kind of indoctrination in our schools. I remember going to school and being asked to wear plastic backpacks so people could see. And then I kept asking myself, what will happen to me if I suddenly die? That questioned went really into my mind. So I went to a church and I listened to sermons and read the bible. I went to synagogues and listened to the rabbi. I read the Torah. I even cleansed my body off animals when I became interested in Buddhism and later Hinduism. I found each to be interesting. To have things that were good, but I didn't find either / or to be complete. To be fulfilling.
My family moved to Canada from the US so that it would be easier to get a higher education at university. The costs for Ivy League schools in the USA are tremendous and Canada has an amazing schooling system for less than that. So I came here. I had Muslim friends and I remember constantly trying to convert them to being Christian. I always talked about Jesus as being the son. But i could never fully elaborate on the justification. It felt like a weak argument that I was just spinning on its head. Unfortunately I was not convinced by Muslims around the school that their religion was right either ways. It wasn't until I traveled overseas to Qatar that I heard it. The athan. For the first time I started to feel a relief in my gut. Like I had found that missing and horrible void in my stomach, like the good food that you know is worth it.
It also helped that I had made friends with a woman who was so kind and sweet. ما شاء الله
Her attitude and her generosity and treatment of her guest (me) made me feel like I was her family member, like a sister. I started to wear the hijab before I became Muslim. I liked the way she wore it. She had the full niqab and although I didn't use the niqab, I used the abaya everywhere. I enjoyed that feeling of being able to walk without feeling conscious of myself. It was there that I noticed the subtle and yet dominating male glaze to which had been oblivious most of my life.
I became Muslim in Qatar, before I had to come back to Canada to finish my studies. I applied Islam in everything and I felt it had given me confidence, strength and assurance of myself. Before being Muslim, I was rather vapid, I was obsessed with the way I looked, what my friends thought, I wanted to be liked for my beauty and this resulted in me constantly trying to fill the void other religions couldn't fulfill with an obsession with modelling. Although I was a self professed Christian who tried to convert my friends. I failed to follow the verses of modesty clearly inscribed in the bible. I memorized the bible, but I disregarded some of its commandments and tried to accommodate that void with modelling and acting.
Islam changed me entirely. I became the person I was actually meant to be since I was younger. Lover of books, knowledge and justice. I changed my degree and coordinated it entirely to be about Islam in a political context. My grades and my achievements الحَمْد لله have been because of my submission to اللهُ.
I do not regret my decision to accept Islam. I do regret the stupid things I did before I became Muslim and the time wasted trying to fill a void with meaningless things. But اللهُ has a reason for guiding me the way I was guided and for allowing me to experience the things I experienced before accepting Islam.