Asalaamu alaikum (Peace be upon you)...
I wanted to explain how I came to Islam. It is a bit long, so I apologize in advance.
My interest in Islam began over a decade ago, when I was in 10th grade. My Social Studies class was learning about the Arab countries, and in doing so, we were taught about the Five Pillars of Islam (proclamation of faith, prayer, charity, fasting, and hajj- pilgrimage to Mecca). I was really fascinated by the pictures I saw of the Muslims in congregational prayer, bowing and prostrating in unison. I was also intrigued by the pictures of the hajj...thousands of people in white, worshipping God. I wanted to learn more...but three things prevented me from doing so. One was that I was a teen and dealing with many issues at home, and so I didn't take the time to follow up on it. Secondly, I felt sort of guilty, being a Christian, for being interested in any other religion. Lastly, the way the class was presented, it seemed as if only Arabs could be Muslims.
Fast forward two years. In my senior year of high school, there was a student from Saudi Arabia...Faisal....and I had a big crush on him. LOL One day he was showing a friend of mine, and myself, how to write a little Arabic. Knowing him again piqued my curiosity in Islam, but I didn't have the courage to ask him about it. I still had the misperception that Islam was only for Arabs...and now African-Americans. This new misperception came about because my mom was dating a black Muslim man...and he would often tell us how he was not supposed to be dating my mom because she's white. So, obviously, that caused me to believe that Islam was at the very least, not for whites to practice. (Knowing what I know now, I assume my mom's ex-bf was part of the Nation of Islam....not a tradtional form of Islam).
Fast forward again a few more years....In my mid to late 20's, I stopped attending church and really lost faith in Christianity. There were q's I had that I couldn't get the answer for. Let me say this...I never stopped believing in some sort of higher power...but that was about it. At first, I thought it was just the denomination that I wasn't satisfied with (Methodist), so I looked into different denominations. Then I looked into Buddhism, and even considered the occult. Nothing seemed right to me.
Finally, two years ago I met my fiance. He is Muslim. In one of the first letters I wrote him I said "You wouldn't expect me to convert to Islam, would you? Because that's not going to happen!" LOL I suppose one should never say never, eh? Allah (SWT) is the best of planners, indeed. Anyways, he replied that no, I didn't have to revert...that if I were to do so, I'd have to do it for myself and the sake of Allah (SWT). To convert to Islam (or any other religion for that matter) for someone else, other than yourself and God, is pointless and means nothing. Although, I didn't believe I'd ever convert to Islam, I did tell him I was interested in learning more about his beliefs. Over time, I'd ask q's here and there, and he'd answer.
Then about a year and a half ago, one day I just had the sudden urge to wear the hijab (headscarf). Idk why....just did. I wrote him a letter and asked him if he'd want me to wear the hijab, to show my respect for him and his beliefs and to show our solidarity as a couple. I secretly hoped he'd say yes. He responded by saying that no, I didn't have to...if I did, it'd be my choice, however he wanted me to understand why it is worn. He quoted the Qur'an verses dealing with covering, and he sent me a brochure about hijab. After this, I began asking more q's, and the more I learned, the more I wanted to learn.
Finally, a year ago, I went to the local masjid, to speak with the Imam and his wife. I spoke with them for 2 hours, and they answered many of my q's. They gave me a Qur'an to read and some other books as well. I read through them, and checked out some more books at the campus library. After doing so much reading, I wanted to see what Jum'ah (Friday service) was like and how the prayer was performed. I called the Masjid in February 2009, and the Imam's wife told me I could come to Jum'ah that Friday. I went, not knowing really what to expect. The sisters there were so warm and welcoming. I really enjoyed it. I began going every Friday. By the beginning of March, I wanted to take my shahadah (proclamation of faith), however I was scared...so many unknowns. Would I be a good Muslim? Would I be able to learn the prayers? How would my family and friends react? Would they be upset? Would I be harassed for wearing the hijab? Finally, I realized that becoming Muslim by doing the shahadah was something I NEEDED to do; I just knew that this was Allah's (SWT) plan for me.
So, on 20 March 2009, I became Muslim. It is the best decision I have ever made in my life. I truly believe that Allah (SWT) guided me to Islam and I am forever grateful for this blessing. Alhamdulilah! (Praise be to Allah)
When I told my fiance that I took shahadah, he was so surprised and pleased. He never expected me to ever revert since he knew my stance early on re: religion in general. All he could say was "Alhamdulilah! Masha'Allah!" (Praise be to Allah! As Allah has willed!)
So, now here I am..a new Muslimah of only 6 months, and I love this deen! (Way of life/religion). I thank Allah (SWT) during every prayer for guiding me to Islam and for giving me this opportunity to worship him.