Growing up in New Zealand, I was raised as a Christian; however my parents were not overly religious. As a young girl I went to Sunday school every week and attended church with my grandmother; I went to Christian classes as part of the school curriculum.
As I got older I stopped going to church as I never really felt passionate about Christianity. In my teenage years I made a few mistakes as I got involved with a group of friends that were a bad influence; and my family decided to move to Australia at the beginning of 2006 when I was 15.
I attended high school in Australia and really began to excel at school and began a new life. I achieved the grades I needed to get into my University Course; so I moved out of home (closer to the university) and into student accommodation. Up until this point I had no idea about Islam except from what I had heard in the media, I had never met a Muslim person before.
One of my housemates was a Muslim and he was very open minded; he was the most genuine, kindhearted person I have ever met. I did not ask him much about his religion until I got to know him a bit more; and when I did I was very intrigued.
I was asking him questions everyday about everything from the Quran to Arabic words! I was always interested and excited by the answers.
Skeptical About Religions
I was usually very skeptical about religions but with Islam I felt connected right away. A year went by and I met a lot of Muslims; they were all very kind and peaceful people and they were always willing to answer my questions.
I started doing my own research just before I turned 19; and I knew I wanted to convert to Islam before Ramadan. The previous Ramadan I had fasted some days but I later learned that none of those counted unless I was Muslim.
After my 19th birthday I was eager to learn even more about Islam as I received the book called “Don’t Be Sad”; it had a lot of referencing to the Quran and I realized a lot of it was my theory on life anyway.
I then moved into a house by myself and I was very lonely and depressed all the time. Because I was always alone, whenever I said Bismillah (I begin with the name of God) I felt very relieved and safe.
I Wanted to Convert, But…
I knew I needed to convert to Islam but I didn’t want my Muslim friends to think I was doing it just because of them so I was very hesitant.
I was also hesitant because I did not realize how easy Islam would be for a 19 year old girl. But I was very concerned that people, even my friends, did not know much about Islam.
Then one night I had a dream that I was Muslim and I was wearing a Hijab and it fell off in front of everyone, but nobody said anything to me. When I woke up I felt this was a sign that Islam was going to be easy for me.
Many things happened to me over the course of the few weeks, all of which I knew were signs from Allah.
I was so happy that evening, I cried out of joy. It was one of the happiest moments of my life.