My path to Islam was long and in hard times. It was difficult for me to convert, and then I just searched for more information. When i converted to Islam, I kept secretly to my husband and family. I prayed secretly, but I recently I have told to everyone. Here is about my story.
Little bit about me
I am 21 years old girl from Sør-Trøndelag. I have a dream to be a doctor and therefore I’m studying medicine. While studying, I’m also working as an office assistant in a construction company. I have married to my husband since three and a half year. I like to traveling, reading, gym, and I am interested in cars. Last but not least. It was three years ago I converted to Islam.
My interest in Islam began at 14 years old
Fall of 2009, I became a Muslim after declaring Shahada and Islam became important part for my life. The story was started when I was 14 years old, it was in connection with a school project about religion. I started looking for information, which I continued even after the project was over. Previously, religion was never important for my life before Islam came to me. I did not learn very much about Islam at that time, I just learned the basic things, but I felt Islam is the true religion. When I turned to 15 years old, I told my mom and my stepfather that I wanted to convert to Islam. I knew that I can convert to any religion I wanted after I have turned 15 years old. I thought it was a right time to convert to Islam but my parent disagreed. They said they had no problem with my converting and would support me 100% if I it was that I wanted it but they requested not before I have learned more and gathered more information. They meant that I can’t be a Muslim before I know more. I was angry and sad, but it might be a good idea to learn a little bit more. I continued to gather more information, but I never told it to anyone.
I got a strong feeling to learn more
In this period I met a man who became my husband now. He is from Turkey, and we met by chance on the internet. My husband is Muslim, but this was not a topic we discussed that much in our early years marriage. There was a lot I wanted to ask, but I was just too shy and afraid to say something wrong. Although I had not yet converted, I started practicing Islam. First things first I learned was prayer/ salah. I printed several pages from the internet with step-by-step descriptions and Suhr (chapters of the Qur’an) and began to try. Time moved very slowly when I had to read word for word, but gradually I began to remember more and it became easier. When I did it all by heart and knew what the words mean, the prayer was really important for me. I felt close to Allah and peace and confidence, and I continued to pray five times a day. I borrowed a Qur’an from the library and it was the first time I have read the entire book. It was another great experience for me, and every word I read, I confirmed that this is correct. Previously, it was just part of my curiosity when I learnt something important. After I read the Qur’an for the first time, it was no longer just a curiosity, but something is certain. I had done a fasting in Ramadan every year since I was 16 years old.
Practicing Islam in Turkey and my Shahada
I moved to Turkey when I was 17 years old, and for the first time I learned Islam in practice. I never told anyone that I wanted to convert, but I learned much secretly. I learnt about Ramadan and Eid Fitr, the Islamic holiday, and visited Masjid. I also learned the correct pronunciation of the Suhr (chapters of the Qur’an) which I had memorized previously. Summer 2009, just after I was 18 years old, I got married with my husband. I also had to travel back to Norway a few months after the wedding to take an exam. It was at fall 2009, I decided to convert to Islam even though I have been practicing Islam for several years, and my dream came through. I had learned so much over the years, and I felt more confident that this is true. I declared the Shahada and felt a great joy.
Eating Disorders, Depression and the time before the convention
Before I became a Muslim, I was very depressed and struggled with eating disorders. It all started when I was 11 years old. I never felt that I was good enough and thought nobody liked me. Self-harming and suicide attempts were more in my mind. After I started believing in Allah, and especially after I began to pray, everything has changed. I realized that life was much more than the little things I worried myself. I know that only Allah knows what my future would be, and what I could do was to try my best to be a good Muslim and a good person. These made my depression almost disappeared. There are still hard days somehow but when I pray I get more strength and more confidence.
Summer of 2012, I was ready to tell my family. I thought they already had realized it since I had been practicing in Islam for several years, but it was not the case. They were also surprised, but this time they supported me 100%. Just before Ramadan, I got an email from my stepfather with a link to download a regular app to my phone. Firstly I was laughing, but then I was crying. The short e-mail meant so much to me. Finally I knew they have been supporting me, and I was incredibly relieved. In my retrospection, I am glad that my parents refused me to convert when I was 15-year-old. Even I was sure that it was my right. I still have much to learn. In recent months I have also told it to my in-laws and my friends, and now everyone knows who I am: a Trønder-Student, Office worker and Muslim.