I am a new revert to Islam and live in an area where there is not much of an Islamic community so I’m reaching out on the internet to connect with other Muslims. It has not quite been a full year yet since my conversion and I still have a lot to learn but this first year has been an amazing journey already.
If I may, I’d like to share the story of my coming to Islam. In’Sha’Allah, others may be inspired by my experience or learn from it in some way.
Thinking back, it makes perfect sense that I would be called to Islam as my chosen religion. It’s been right in front of me my whole life although I’m only now seeing it. You see, my life’s career has been as a professional performer & teacher of Middle Eastern dance.
For 20 years I have worked within the Middle Eastern communities throughout the United States, performing in Mediterranean restaurants and at functions such as wedding receptions and various other special occasion celebrations many times with live musicians from the Middle East. I have always loved middle-eastern music, art, architecture, fashion, jewelry and of course the dance. My life has been very influenced by Middle Eastern culture and many of the people I have worked with over the years have been Muslim.
I have always been a spiritual seeker and have been very dedicated to my spiritual path for my whole life but never felt comfortable claiming myself to be any one particular religion because with all of the religions I had studied, I never found one that really felt in alignment with the spiritual beliefs of my heart until I started learning about Islam.
In my life I’ve studied everything from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism to Bahai and even Paganism. With all of my searching, I never considered that Islam could be a path for me so I never studied it. I don’t know why I assumed that without knowing anything about the religion but Subhana Allah, Allah found a way to guide me to the path anyway.
My interest in learning about Islam first developed through a friend that I have who is Muslim. My first curiosity about the religion arose because of the quality of character I saw in my friend. He was always so mannerly, friendly, kind, generous & just an overall good person. I knew that he was a practicing Muslim and being the spiritual seeker that I am, I wondered if these good natured qualities I saw in him were somehow cultivated through his religion. So I began researching and learning about Islam out of curiosity
I started my research in March of 2013 by doing internet searches on “Islamic spirituality’ which first led to me watching documentaries about Islam online and eventually led me to discovering and taking an online video course on Islamic Meditation.
As I watched the first few documentaries and took the course, I felt so much excitement and amazement because I was discovering that so many of the natural spiritual beliefs in my heart are at the core of the spiritual teachings of Islam.