By Fatima from Panama
I was born in a mixed-religious family (my father is Jewish and my mom is a Christian). I was a Christian in the eyes of the Jews and a Jew in the eyes of the Christians…So I decided not to label myself and just started to tell people that I believed in God and I didn’t need a religion to prove it. Back in high school, I had to do a research on the topic of women in Islam, though at that moment the only image I had was of a woman getting beaten up by her husband thanks to my neighbor who used to do that. I later found out that I was wrong, women do have rights in Islam, perhaps a lot more than in any other religion and that there are bad men everywhere regardless of their faith.
4 months later, I woke up one day wondering what would happen if I became a Muslim. So I decided to go to a mosque. When I was there, I heard the most beautiful thing I had ever heard in my life. I asked the Imam’s wife what that was and she told me it was her husband reciting the Quran. That day, I came back home as a Muslim, Alhamdulillah. I thought converting was the hardest part, but it wasn’t.
I tried to follow Islam correctly, but no matter how covered I was or how much I studied, it seemed it wasn’t enough for some people. After a year, I got tired and took off my hijab. I started to walk away from my faith. Somehow the hijab was a constant reminder of who I was now and kept me closer to my faith. I tried to wear it again but my parents won over this and I failed.
Last year I met this wonderful guy who was so religious, generous, and wise…I felt I had to try harder. I thought that if he could do it then I could do it too. I started to pray and study again. And most importantly, I now feel the same way as I did when I first listened to the Quran. He is now my husband, and I could never thank him enough for being so supportive and for making a better Muslim. Alhamdulillah (All praise to Allah) for him and for many other things. Thank you for reading this. May Allah SWT (All-Praised and Exalted) bless you.