Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm Joia and this is my story.



Khadijah: Assalamualaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu, thank you sis for choosing share your story, please tell us more about youself.

Wa alaikum Assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.
It is a pleasure to do so. Well, I’m a 20 something American recent revert from Christianity.  I like to travel when I can, sky watch, write poems, spend time with family, learn about Islam, cook, online shop, buy scarves and natural products, and I like cheesecake. I don’t in particular care for close minded people, crickets, gossip, and negativity. I am about an hour and half from of Philadelphia.

Khadijah: Describe to my what your life(style) was like prior to Islam.

Prior to Islam I guess you could say I was a good girl with bad habits. J I went out occasionally, but was still conservative. When I first was the legal age to drink, I went out often and would dance and indulge, but a couple years later that scene just got old.  I stopped partying and drinking less and less. Plus I’m from a small town so you see the same people and I started maturing Allhamdulillah. I was always spiritual, but not upon the right guidance.

Khadijah: How did you learn about Islam, how did you know it was the right religion for you?

I learned about Islam through a classmate in a class I was supposed to take two semesters ago and happened to be in the same project group, Subhan’Allah. Allah is the best of planners.  I had started going to church and wanting to get closer to God.  I was thinking maybe I could get my classmate to go to Bible study and learn about Christianity and think he would change his mind about Islam. Plus I was just curious to why he practiced Islam and not Christianity at the time. I didn’t know much about either religion except for that with Christianity, Jesus (pbuh) “died for our sins” and if you believed in that you were “saved.” All I knew about Islam was that the men had beards, the women covered, and I thought Allah was some distant God.
I knew it was the right religion for me after doing research about Christianity and Islam.  I was just shocked about the history of Christianity and its fabrications that I never knew occurred. As my classmate told me more about Islam and the more I researched it was the changing of my heart that I knew it was for me.  I always had an open mind and pondered about things.  I used to cry (still do) and just be enthralled about the truthfulness of Islam.  I was a little nervous at first and didn’t know what to do, knowing you have something in your heart that you believe and knowing family and friends would oppose it. I knew it was something I had to do for my soul. It was a struggle for months with different things going on in the dunya with my life, but Allhamdulillah. Allah showed his mercy and chose me! On July 7, 2012 I took shahada and was relieved.

Khadijah: What is Ramadan and what did you do for it?

Ramadan is a month of mercy and blessings! It is a time to really focus on your worship with Allah as well as come together with the Ummah. Participate in deeds in hopes of getting great reward like feeding the poor, helping the needy and sick. Most importantly you’re staying away from negativity, media, and fasting for the sake of Allah (s.w.t). Insha’Allah we all continue the same behavior even though Ramadan passed.
During that month I went to the masjid a lot and prayed, met up with a Muslimah friend of mine and was learning different things since I had took shahada just  a couple weeks before, and just focused on my worship with Allah, and was truly grateful. It was a blessing to be apart of that beautiful month.


Khadijah: What are some differences and similarities you found about Christianity and Islam 

Well both Christianity and Islam are two out of three of the Abrahamic faiths. Both believe in a deity, Jesus/Isa (as), heaven, hell, prophets, angels, revelations, etc. Islam is based on Tawheed, the Oneness of God.  No other deities or objects are worthy of worship except Allah and Allah’s many attributes and names. Every person has a fitra and is born knowing there is One God to be adored, worship, obeyed. It is our families and society which alter that and we grow up believing a different religion if our families are not already Muslim. Isa (as) is one of the 5 greatest prophets. He was born of a miraculous, virgin birth to Maryam who was one of the greatest women to walk the earth, who was righteous and modest to the highest degree. Jesus/Isa (as) spoke in the cradle while still an infant and was a servant to Allah. He raised the dead and healed the sick through the permission of Allah. He was not God, the Son of God, or part of a Trinity which is the Christian belief.  In Islam we pray 5 times a day in the remembrance of the most Merciful.  When I was Christian I didn’t pray any certain time and didn’t prostrate to my creator.

Khadijah: What would you tell your Christian family if you could invite them to Islam?

If I could invite my Christian family to Islam I would tell them I would like to see you all in Paradise so you could see things you never imagined and to enjoy eternity with no hunger, or tiredness. I would tell them Islam is the religion of mercy and not what you see or hear in the media. I would tell them the Prophet (saws) was the greatest man to walk the earth and not the slander and blasphemy you hear about in the media.

Khadijah: What are some typical misconceptions about Islam that you think people need to know?

People need to know that women in Islam are not oppressed and to not confuse culture with religion. Women have many rights that they didn’t have before Islam. Women have a lot of freedom and we choose to wear hijab and niqab. Women are protected in Islam.
There is no such thing as Islamic Terrorist. Once again don’t judge a whole religion on a group of people. There are people in other religions who did some type of cruel act, it doesn’t make it okay for people to say, “All those (religion inserted here) are murderers.”
Please do your own research!
Jazak’Allah khair sissy for allowing me to share and isha’Allah I’ll be starting my own blog. Allahu Allem when!J. If any sisters want to contact me please do! Leave a comment or contact Khadijah! Assalaamau alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu.

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