Eventually, I gave up on finding out who I was. I didn’t look for Islam either. When I stopped looking for any sign of who I was, that is when Islam found me. I made my first Muslim friend at 18 and the rest is history.
I am very grateful for finding Islam and there are many reasons but I am going to limit it to the five things I am most thankful for as being a convert in Islam.
1. I am thankful I have a place I finally belong.
I was always looking for places to fit in as a child and as an adult. I always questioned my faith and my ideas and questions didn’t help me fit in at the church either. As a Muslim, I found my place of belonging and I am so blessed to be a part of one big family. Yes, I lost many family members and some of my friends, BUT I gained way better friends and family in return.
2. I am thankful and humbled to be like one of the sahabah (companions of Prophet Mohammed [PBUH]).
They went through a lot of struggle to establish their religion, they lost everything they had (family, friends, money, etc). Though I did not face the exact things, I lost family, friends, and almost everything I had in the last 5 years. This really tested me and that makes me very thankful for what I have now. The Trials you go through are what make you the strongest.
3. I am thankful I can now be seen as an intellectual and not just for the way I look.
It took me 3 years to wear hijab. I tried to wear it two months after converting, but was not ready to wear it. Islam is not a superficial religion, it is humbling and open to anyone. I get to choose what society sees of me. Once I started to wear the hijab, believe it or not, I found it was way easier for me to make friends with non-muslims.
4. I am thankful For my different outlook on life.
I am way more open minded than I was. There is way more to life than what you find in northern Wisconsin. I used to be so naive.
I began to see life for what it really is. I became way more grateful for everything. I am more giving now. I always want to give now — whether it is donating money, clothes, food, or my time to help others or animals.
5. I am thankful for my husband.
I converted 3 years before I met him. (It annoys me how people think i was too stupid to find the religion for myself.) I do not want to be sappy here, but my husband really made my life better and saved me from the bad. Someone told me once, “Kaya, life is not a fairy tale, you can never and will never be treated like a princess.”
Also, I never would have met my husband if I had not converted. That reason being, when I was ready to marry, I stared to look on a Muslim halal dating site (singlemuslim.com) because there were no Muslims around for me to just find a husband. I obviously would have never would have went on a Muslim dating site if I was not a Muslim.
Overall, I am thankful for Islam, period. I faced many trials in my life before I converted. Islam changed my life and made it better. Islam gave me guidance to how I should live my life and answered the many questions I had. My trials made me who I am right now, but Islam is what lifted me up from the rubble. My life now has meaning, and I am so thankful for that.