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36. Tasha's ... path to Islam

Source : Special to Aslamt.com
Assalaamu 'Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,
My name is Tasha, and I recently converted (formally) to Islam on July 7,2004.I had been studying Islam ever since I was in 7th grade. My interest in Islam began when I was invited to iftar for Ramadan by my Seventh grade teacher. And ever since then I was hooked!!!

I was raised a Baptist, but like so many former Christians I never really practiced Christianity. I rarely if ever attended Church or Sunday school because I just felt so uncomfortable there. My immediate family was the type where we just went to church on major holidays. So I studied Islam and fasted for the Ramadans while I was not Muslim (I knew that my fasts wouldn't count, but it was my situation, perhaps that was Allah subhana wa ta'ala's will). Then finally my sophomore year in high school I got back in
contact with my 7th grade teacher and I learned even more. I learned how to pray, I learned (and I am still learning) how to read Arabic, and I had started reading the Qumran (Alhamdullilah what a glorious Al Khitab it is. My favorite Surah thus far is Surat Yusuf). Then I began going to a dars in February (shortly after Ramadan) that she (my old teacher) spoke at for girls 12-18 (which I still attend). Then I slowly increased and I started going to a Lecture or Khutbah on Thursday nights. Then finally on that fateful Tuesday I converted/reverted (what ever people want to call it)!!! It was one of the best days of my life!!! Subhanallah!!! The only problem is that I haven't told any one because I am truly afraid they'll either disown me or try to Deprogram me!!!
I had mentioned to my Mother that I wanted to convert when I was a freshman in High School, but I had told her I'd wait until I was 18. And then My grandfather suspects something because even before I converted I spread the "good news" if you will, about Islam and how it cancels out the divinity of 'Isa (aleyhi salaam) and original sin, so he believes that I am brainwashed or what not. But the kuffar are in truth rejectors!!! Then to make it even worse I have a twin sister, she knows that I pray five times daily and that I go to the masjid frequently and all that, but she doesn't know if I converted or not!!! The only one that knows besides the other Muslims at the masjid is the Board of Directors at the library at which I work. I just pray that Allah (SWT) gives me guidance and soften their (My families and my friends and my co-workers) hearts, ameen. Insha'allah , I will survive and increase in my iman.
By the way I am 16 and I live in IL,Also I will be attending the ISNA conference/convention this labor day weekend and I hope that those of you on this mailing list will be attending. And isn't it ironic that when Muslimahs wear hijaab, or when for that matter whatever Muslims people see (no matter what ethnicity you are or whether or not u have been a citizen of the country where in you reside) people don't classify you as an American or as a Mexican or as a German, etc. they classify you as a Muslim (subhanallah). But sometimes, in an Americans case they look at you as if you don't know how to speak English properly and as if you are a terrorists and as if you are an Arab, ironic huh!!! But never the less I am proud of my Muslim identity and insha'allah I will be able to be a good image of a Muslim to the American people and insha'allah I will be able to wear hijab proudly (once I tell my family) not only when I pray but when I go outdoors too.
Wa salaam, Tasha


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