My name is Paris Miller, I’m from North Carolina region… I was born and raised as Christian.
My mother and father divorced when I was 3 years old so I lived with my mother, so any religious teaching of God came from my mom… She wasn’t strict in religion but she followed Catholicism more than any thing.
I went to under graduate school and that’s where my journey towards Islam begins. I didn’t know at that time, but it started then.
When I was in the undergraduate all freshmen were required to take New Testament. That was the first time I was to study the Bible from religious perspective. I would say that it was very intellectual on more academic level and we started from the Old Testament. And that was very interesting to me because as a Christians, you really focus a lot on the New Testament and Jesus.
We thought Christianity that was supposed to be laws and ways that Christians are supposed to live their daily lives, but I didn’t see that growing up, I didn’t practice lot of things that were in the old testament.
The oneness of God is very clear to me in the Old Testament, and that in with great contrast to what I saw in the New Testament. The New Testament was void of law, and how a Christian was supposed to live their daily life. Of course there are Christians who don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t commit murder… but the actual daily day, worship of God, your relationship with God… was missing from me.
Fast forward, I’m in graduate school and I’m engaged to be married… so my journey to wanting to be a wife and ultimately mother led me and my to-be husband to the church and started our journey to find a church to get married in and to help us in the counseling of marriage and raising a family.
And as we went from church to church, we were disillusioned… I remember very specifically being invited to one of my husband’s coworkers’ churches, his father was pastor and he had like entourage… but it was more about personalities and less for us about our relationship with God, how we can connect with God.
Searching for the Truth
So we decided that we’re going to read the Bible for ourselves one more time… while I was at school, I was working part time with a Muslim Lady… I explained to her what I and my husband were doing… And because she converted to Islam, she understood a lot what I was going through. She invited me to the masjid and I remember the first time going to masjid, I made my first hijab, I felt perfect.
I had my first Ramadan, Eid.. that was on my birthday, that was very cool for me having that experience.
My fiancé wasn’t Muslim yet, he started to go to masjid, Jumuah prayer, talking to my Muslim co-worker and he embraced Islam as well. So it was like this great gift given to me…
My conversion to Islam was very intellectual. Upon reading the Quran, learning more about Islam have the pieces of the puzzle, all the holes that were there were filled.
It settled in my heart, I was so peaceful… it really makes it, especially in the personality of Jesus. The biggest concern that I had was not rejecting Jesus, and Islam does it…
Embracing Islam had made me a more conscious person; I have to be mindful in my dealings with my fellow brothers and sisters, Muslims and non Muslims, I have to think about my relationship with my family… I became less self centered, the ego was a big thing, it has allowed me to see myself as individual but as a part of the group.
And as an individual, I have a responsibility to the group. And I also see the group has a responsibility to me… speaking kind words, giving a smile…