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How one teen remembered Allah and turned her life around
By: Maryam

As most people do, I turned to Allah and Islam during the hard times of my life. It's a sad fact of life. When times are happy and life is good, no one feels obliged to turn towards his or her Deen (religion). It's all about living the moment.

After I had turned towards Allah, I approached a friend in a very casual manner, trying to encourage her to also turn towards Islam. Her reply chilled my blood. "Right now, my life is good, I'm happy and I don't need any change."

I thought to myself, better bite your tongue. I wanted to shake her and say, "Would you really want some tragic event to happen before waking up to Islam?" Obviously no one in his or her right mind would want to do so, but subconsciously, I feel everyone does.

I was no exception to that. I was on the brink of depression, as a result of a series of events that happened. Now looking back at it, it wasn't much, but being a teenager who had lost her sense of identity and purpose in life, it was the monster of all crises.

I had been separated from my best friends, snatched up away from my life and replaced in a place I had once called home. It was hard, and I was suffering. I used to find comfort, lying awake at night and staring at the stars, amazed at the fact that these were the same stars I stared at when I lived on the other side of the world.

My family, Alhamdu lillah (All Praise be to Allah), had all changed towards Islam in the past years. No one forced me to wear Hijab, and I didn't simply because I thought I wasn't ready. They did, however, expect me to dress modestly and most importantly offer my daily prayers.

My aunt used to take me to these classes held nearby, and I went when I could. I was in pain and I didn't quite understand why. And it happened so that the particular topic at that class I had attended was on why pain and suffering happens. The teacher said that we are put through hard times as a test, to see how we cope with it. To see if we will turn towards Siratul Mustaqeem (the Straight Path), or away from it.

It was that day that I learned that every bit of pain we endure, both emotional and physical, alleviates us from our punishments in the hereafter. It was then that I started truly understanding the ways of Allah, how everything that happens has a purpose and that I was supposed to learn from that.

It's been almost two and a half years since that period of my life. It took me a year and a half to actually start changing. I knew Islam, but I did not practice it the way a Muslim is supposed to. I thought I was happy, but deep down inside I knew that I was not.

I was a hypocrite, and as much as I tried denying it, I could not. It sank in and I accepted it and prayed that I find the right way. My conscience was not dead, but I had muted it. Before, I used to get the urge to start Hijab, yet I used to fight it. I performed Umra and I prayed continuously that the next time my conscience spoke to me, I would not only listen to it, but I would amplify it so that I could not ignore it.

Last Ramadan, late one night, Hijab got on my conscience and would not go away. I told myself that I was not ready, that there were many strings attached that I may not be able to fulfill, but with the right words from supportive friends I told myself that if I didn't start now, I would never start. And I believed that 200%. So I no longer had any excuse for not doing Hijab. So Alhamdu lillah, I finally put on my Hijab on December 31st, 1999 at the age of 18, and have been wearing it ever since.

After a month or so, I realized that Hijab was not as big a deal as I had thought. It was not difficult in the least. To this day there has never been a moment that I regretted Hijab, and for that I am so grateful, Alhamdu lillah. I immediately found many friends who also wear Hijab. These friends and my family were the greatest strength for my new found Iman (faith).

I occupied myself with more Masjid-oriented activities and attended more classes to increase my knowledge of our religion. I am grateful that I put my foot down and decided to start Hijab then, because had I not, who knows how long it would have taken for me to start.
How do I remember Allah and His magnificent ways?

When I step outside and marvel at the beauty of nature. When I stop to play with a baby and see how perplexing, yet perfect, the precious cycle of life is. When I go out and people stop to say As-Salaam-Wa-Alaikum to me. When I study the Quran and the Hadith of our beautiful Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) and how perfectly and completely it incorporates our lives and faith. When I pass by my fellow sisters in Islam adorned proudly and confidently in their Hijabs. Everything reminds me of Allah, and I can feel my love for Him, our Prophet, and our religion grow by the day.



Your Comments

dini, kelantan, malaysia - wrote on 12/3/2010 4:42:12 AM
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Comment: salam. i'm 15 this year and live in a society where almost every muslimah wear hijab(we call it tudung). alhamdulillah, i'm attending islamic oriented secondary school with science, math, bio,chemistry beeing taught. but most of us here still do not understand what hijab mean what covering aurah means. teenagers mostly muslims are still involve in western habits. i think we muslims should show to our ikhwan and akhowaat that there are practicing muslims out there. 50 is surely not the age to start to worship it's when we turn baligh.

Mohammed, London - wrote on 3/9/2010 11:16:21 AM
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Comment: Mashallah. May Allah, the almighty, guide more sisters and brothers to the right path in Islam and inshallah all of us will be in Jannah.

subi, bangalore - wrote on 10/16/2009 1:25:03 PM
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Comment: That was a really touching story. May Allah help all the muslim sisters to understand the importance of hijab & join us all with the pious people. Ameen

Sum, London - wrote on 9/26/2009 12:06:09 PM
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Comment: A beautiful story about you. Mashallah, sisiter :)

salimah, Atlanta,ga - wrote on 7/8/2006 12:27:25 PM
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Comment: Allahu Akbar; these are the kind of youngsters we need as role models for our kids. This story brought tears to my eyes. Islam is the truth; and there's no debate. There is no God; but Allah and Muhammed (PBUH) is His Last Holy Messenger. May Allah always be pleased with all of the holy messengers; their righteous families; friends and companions. May Allah reward you all in this world and the ahira, ameen.

Ikhlas, Mississauga - wrote on 10/5/2005 1:50:01 PM
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Comment: asalam o alaikum maryam. your story was very inspirational and i enjoyed reading it. I also wear Hijab but just started it very reccently, when I was 15. This is because I did not have much influence of Hijab. I mean my mother nor my grandmother wore it. One day though, at the end of the summer when I was fifteen, I just decided to wear it. I still don't know what made me make that decision and I yearn to know why. My parent's didn't force me, but they reminded me to think long and hard about it because they said once you wear it, you can't take it off. Many people ask me why I wore but I still don't know. When I started wearing Hijab, I didn't really know what i was getting myself into. The only 'hijabi' friend I had was my a girl in my grade 8 class. She wore her Hijab only to school and nowhere else. So when I started to don the scarf, I was confused at first. But my mom explained to me that if I was to wear the hijab I was to wear it properly and that it everywhere outside of my home and infront of non mehram. Also I sometimes think back of how my life would be different if I hadn't chosen to wear the scarf. I think wearing the Hijab has made me more concieous about Islam. I always feel like I must represent it and also defend it. I also want to increase my knowledge of Islam because people look up to me when they don't understand islam and I want to be able to give them the right answers. I hope that one day I can discover the true reason why I chose to wear the Hijab. I also want to thank you for causing me to remember my decision and to reflect back on it. May the blessing and peace of Allah always be with you. Aslam o alaikum wa rammathula hi wa barakatho!

Fieruza Khan, London - wrote on 9/8/2005 4:02:36 PM
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Comment: you so remind me of myself, i started wearin hijab at the age of 16 n coz it was my own will to n im tryin to practice n stay strongwilled coz i dnt knw many ppl hu r practicing plz make du'a for me to extend my knowledge n better myself as a person ur story gave me great comfort jazakallahu khayran fi amanillah ... salaam sister

aysha, miskeen - wrote on 7/19/2005 12:01:33 PM
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Comment: assalamualikum.i am so happy for you and i hope you find the goodness in the hijaab and your new life.i am 14 and i started wearing thehijab fulltime at the age of 13. i am also a practicing muslim and the hijaab did make me feel more stronger in imaan and taqwa. good luck with your future dear sister and i hope you find pece in your life with the hijaab.

zeena, new zealand - wrote on 7/4/2005 4:37:02 AM
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Comment: hey! how are you! ..i just wanted to tell you that reading your article reminded me of 'me' basically..well not exactly but some bits, i started wearing the hijab at 18. i had no practice or time to think about it..just did it ...do you know where that came from...well my story is sad ...but my mother (allah bless her soul) died of breast cancer..so that was it for me..a mothers love out did it..if that makes sense. but i'm proud of you!

Ameena, Sri Lanka - wrote on 6/9/2005 7:58:37 AM
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Comment: Assalamu Alaikum, It was wonderful how you have decided to wear the hijab and all... I am a born muslim, because my father is a muslim.. and i have to admit, ashamed, that i have no religion in me. and its nice to read about people who do and have the strength to follow... Wish all muslims the best...

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