Salaam Alaikum,

I am really bored right now and I want to go to sleep but alas, that is not the case. So out of boredom, my friend and I decided to start a blog.
So I figured if I were to start one, I might as well put some use to it and in hopes of creating one, ultimately spread Dawah.

The first thing that seems appropriate to talk about is how I became a practicing Muslimah.
Though I was born a Muslim in a very religious household, I necessarily didn't encompass the understanding of grasping the exact idea of what Islam was. From a very early age, I attended Masjid, learned surahs and worked my way up on reading certain scriptures.
When I turned 9, I picked up the Qur'an for the first time and began reading it. For the next three years, I attended summer school at our local Masjid and began to take classes on Tajweed. At the end of the summer, I recited a surah I had to memorize from the Qur'an. Though I was nervous at first because of my extremely shy nature, and also because it would be in front of parents and Imams and students, I still took steps into memorizing it. Each day, I would sit with an Imam and recite it in front of him and he would show me the correct way to pronounce it, how to better the recitation and finally how to apply everything I have learned in the course in order to present a swift and smoothe recitation.

Finally, the day came and I stood there with a mike in my hands, with my tiny scrawny knees shaking and delievered my recitation. At the end of the day, I was taken by surprise when I realized that the commitee of Imams decided to award me 1st prize in Qur'an recitation.
For the next 2 years, I delivered 2 more recitations each summer, and each year, I won first place with another student always in 2nd. At the end of my third year, as I matured and grew, I withdrew myself from the Masjid.

But I didn't stop right there. I continued to read Qur'an on the weekends and learn more and more Islam as I had been doing since the years following, and to this very day, it still stands true.

But my understanding and accepting of Islam didn't began until I was in the 7th grade. As part of a final project, each student had to choose one aspect of Africa and write a resport on it. As a last minute idea, I decided to choose religion and little did I know that I would end up with researching Islam. The more I began to read, the more interested I had become. By the end of the project, not only did I learn about a beautiful religion I had missed out on, but I also aced my finals, Alhamdulillah.

The entire experience led me to more and more curiosity as I started to read books on our beloved Prophet PBUH. Because I had started from the beginning, my understanding of Islam grew and became more clearer. I was no longer questioning my parents "If we can't see Allah, then how did His Hands put the Qur'an on Muhammad's PBUH hands?"

Things became more clearer and my fascination turned into an obsession. I would preach it to my friends, discuss it at the dinner table and occasionally grow frustrated because I couldn't absorb certain details. However, all in due time, I began to perform prayers and kept at it.

Though there have been times where my Iman [faith] had been extremely low due to certain circumstances, the idea of leaving Islam seemed impossible. I wasn't ready nor was I accepting the idea that my leaving Islam would solve problems. I started questioning my faith more and each time, I came to the conclusion that Allah SWT was testing me and in adherance to his tests, I was failing each one of them due to my lack of endurance.

Even today, there are times where I question things but that's only for the sake of the betterment of my understanding. Though there are people who may condemn such an act, it is purely out of ignorance. Surely, I can challenge myself, science and the environment around me, but I can never challenge Allah SWT because Allah SWT knows all, hears all, and sees all.
And even though we live in this very world, all of our actions and deeds are merely what we try to attain or accomplish for the heareafter.

"Every soul shall taste death..."
Al-Qur'an: Surah Al-'Ankabut [The Spider] 29:57

Wa Alaikum Salaam