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Youtube Videos Led Me to Islam

Interviewer:

Where are you from?

Sister Nicole:

I’m from Dallas, originally.

Interviewer:

So how long have you been Muslim?

Sister Nicole:

I converted to Islam in May 2007.

Interviewer:

What were you before you become a Muslim?

Sister Nicole:

I was Baptist, which is Christian. I grew up Baptist.

Interviewer:

What made you to be a Muslim, and what was your life like before Islam?

Sister Nicole:

I was extremely lost before that. I went through a phase just a couple of years ago where I was just looking for something different.

The Baptist religion was good. I went to church, and I followed the religion. But I went through a period where I didn’t know the reality about many things: Is there really a Heaven? Is there really a Hell? What’s going to happen? What I’m going to say to God when I see Him? All these questions went through my mind.

I was drinking. I was doing all of the things like typically an American would do. My work was in nightclubs, photographing. There were a lot of things that I was going through that were just not with God and I needed something to change.

So, friends told me about some different lectures on Youtube. And I started taking a look, and listening to all about Islam. And I became addicted to it, like I would stay up until 5 O’clock in the morning on my computer watching lectures about Americans who had converted to Islam and what they were going through.

It seemed that everyone was saying the same things that I was going through and the same things that I felt. So I felt like I could relate to that, like these people were Christians before, they were facing these challenges, and they found something that gave the answers they were looking for. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted answers. I didn’t just want someone to tell me what to believe. I wanted to know why, and how is that going to affect my life, and how do I put that into my life.

So I found that in Islam. And I studied for a while before I actually went to classes at the masjid (mosque). And more and more I was surrounding myself with the books and everything. And so when I said my Shahadah, I never looked back and I changed everything in my life: my friends, my wardrobe, my job, and everything. I changed immediately and it wasn’t hard because I understood why it was the right thing to do. And I’ve been thankful ever since, thankful to God to have Islam.

Interviewer:

What was your parent’s reaction to that?

Sister Nicole:

It has been hard with my parents. They were still kind of going through all of them getting used to it. I went to my mum and I told her that I was studying Islam before I converted and that I was interested in it. And I think she thought “Oh, maybe it’s just a phase. I don’t think she is going to do it.” But when I told her I’ve converted to Islam, she realized that I was serious about it.

But one good thing is that she was watching me going through the changes. She saw me before and how my life was and then she saw me after changing. She saw me dressing differently. She saw me stopping all the Haram things that I was doing. And she realized that when I converted to Islam I was closer to God and that’s what made her happy. You know, if that is what brought me closer to God then she was happy about it. So, it became easier when she realized this.

Interviewer:

Another question, many non-Muslims, they come and they try to harass Muslim girls. Or you become a Muslim because of a guy or a man or something? Was there a reason for you to become a Muslim?

Sister Nicole:

There wasn’t a reason, not at all, because I did this on my own. I went to classes on my own, and I studied everything on my own. So I can’t say it was because of another man. I know some girls that have done that. And if you don’t feel it in your heart, it’s not going to stay there. I have seen girls come and go from Islam because they wanted to be with someone so they converted. And afterwards, they left Islam if he didn’t want her. I have seen a lot of stories like that. It has to be in your heart, and to feel the faith and to wear the Hijab and everything. It has to be in your heart or it’s not going to stay there.

Interviewer:

What about your friends? Are they a little bit far away or like close friends before Islam? And now, how do they see the change and what were their reactions? Are they questioning or trying to be away from you or trying to get closer and ask about it? Give me some kind of examples of your friends like what was their reactions.

Sister Nicole:

Of course, I had a lot of friends from my previous life before I converted who always wanted to go out to clubs and different things. You know, things we do in our age and being single and everything. And when they saw me going through the changes, because it didn’t happen overnight, I went through transitions of embracing it more and more. And they watched this because I was very open about it with all my friends. And they saw me less and less because I wasn’t in those clubs anymore and I wasn’t doing those things.

And when I talked to them about what I am doing with my new life, they kind of felt like: “Wow! She is moving on with her life and we are still doing the same things.” So my friends would better understand what I was going through and why I was not really around anymore.

I wrote a blog about it, put it online, and invited a bunch of people to go on there and read it. And we had lots and lots of girls who weren’t following any religion, who were just kind of living their life and doing whatever they wanted. And they went on there and when they read about my life changes and who I was before and who I was after, tons and tons of girls who go out and drink when they went on there and they read this blog, they wrote that they were crying when they read it, that they felt like it touched them and that they looked at their life and thought “I need to make changes too.”

So, Alhamdulillah (praise be to Allah), the more I talk to people about what I was before and what I became after, the more they look at themselves and think “I can do that too”. My friends reacted like that and they respected the decision that I made.

Interviewer:

Do you face any of the challenges facing people as an American, like finding a job after being a Muslim?

Sister Nicole:

I stopped working in the clubs that I was photographing in. and so I had to find something different, a different area. And when I started to wear the Hijab, I noticed some changes. I was interviewing more often than normal for jobs. But now that all kind of went away. Honestly, now I just dress nice and I go to the interview and I show them that I have the skills and experience and I have everything. And I haven’t really had a problem with this so far, Alhamdulillah.

But yes, it’s different. As an American, you get a lot of questions. But it just opens up other opportunities. For example, when I go around the town, people would stop me and ask me “Are you a Muslim?” because they can tell that I am American. And I just take the time to tell them “Yes I am”, and I tell them why.

And it makes them think “Wow!”…