Thursday, March 20, 2014


Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu! 

It's been a while since I interviewed a Muslimah for the blog, so Alhamdulillah, here's one. The sister decided to go anonymous for the interview, but do make sure you read it right up to the end, In Sha Allah. It is wonderfully insightful, MashaAllah. May Allah make everyone reading this benefit.

Tell us your story to Islam and what inspired you to accept it

As Salam 'Alaikoum Wa Rahmatoullah Wa Barakatouh,

All praise is due to Allah, and Allah's Peace and Blessings be upon His Final Messenger, his pure family, his noble Companions, and all those who follow them with righteousness 
until the Day of Judgment

I was born into a Muslim family but who was not practicing Islam.  The only pillar we used to practice for so many years was Ramadan out of habit. I used to fast from the age of 12. I was very serious about it but never did make up for the days I did not fast (did not know the rules).
My only friends were French from an early age. We are living in the middle of nowhere in France in the countryside. In the schools I went, the Muslims by name were very few. So I don't speak Arabic and my culture is French (though we had this double culture at home (Arabic by my parents). Really we considered ourselves French (I am speaking of the children in the family). All our friends have always been French.

Here is the context to understand better:

Ironically, I hated the Muslims in general out of ignorance. Actually I made the mistake
(Muslim = Arabic) for so many years.  Because of  the bad behaviour of some of them, I was very prejudiced against all Muslims by name, Arabs and  Islam out of ignorance.
The worst came after the 9/11- I was really afraid of Islam! I did not know anything about Islam, and that's why I was afraid. Really crazy! I believed everything in the media. But I never talked bad about it, never actually had a discussion about Islam with someone. I did not dare to talk bad about any religion because I did not know anything. To me it was evil. It was more like a feeling inside that I kept to myself.This is very sad. I witnessed so many situations where there were gossips, backbiting, slander, bad behaviours from the born Muslim parents and children born in France that I did not want to resemble them and distanced myself from them. Some were good but is was very rare. It complicated my path to Islam...

For years, I knew that God existed. But it was more an abstract concept for me. I searched for years for the truth (I was not happy inside). Something inside told me there is something missing in your life. So I searched in books (American new age books and tv shows (Oprah : she was my role model in my jahiliya time), self-development authors, even Christian books and at the end boudhism, everything except Islam) isn't that ironic?!

But for a very long time, I was really respectful of the people I met who were religious; who were serious about their faith (sincere). I had the chance to travel to the USA. And I was incredibly shocked by the freedom of faith in that country. I felt more happy in the USA than in France! I met several practicing Christians who really shocked me. For the 1st time of my life, I could really say that God is real. There was such a harmony in their life, a joy and a sincerity and such a goodness in their heart. It was really shocking for me. I have never experienced that before. I knew that it was because they obeyed God. You could say "love" exists because of God's existence. From that moment, I began to ask myself questions but was too much afraid to change my life. I really wanted to be like them but had not the courage to change my life.

I came back to France; until I reached a point (a severe crisis): Either I change my ways or I will suffer more. People could say I was happy I was doing the job I wanted but inside, this was really a torment, the chaos. I was doing what I desired the most (job) but was suffering so bad.

What was wrong ?
I was working in the music industry. Music was my passion. I sacrificed a lot for music. One
day, I met a Christian man who talked about God, Christianity. I liked the way he talked about religion. I was still searching at that time. He gave me a video that exposed the music industry. He insisted that I watch this video but I did not watch it and even lost it. In between, a member of my family converted to Islam without telling us. He never talked about Islam, never ever. He used to buy Islamic books. He has become so kind and patient and tolerant. But this was something that really that shocked me the most because he was close to me. I have witnessed the difference between his behaviour before Islam and after Islam.  He was transformed! Inside, I knew that only God was the reason behind such a change of character. I was amazed... It was a miracle.

I was gradually beginning to wake up from my illusions (reality of life because of many
disappointments in the music industry, the show business, the artists);  I knew inside that this career was leading me nowhere in the music industry but I had not the courage to stop everything. The irony is that people wanted to be like me (same job, admired me; I really sincerely wanted to make people happy with my job in the music). Well, what an illusion! I was myself unhappy! This is all the drama and irony of those artists, actors who show to the media, to the people they have a glamourous life but inside they are suffering so bad. They are in fact destroying themselves.

And then one day I remembered the title of the video of the Christian man which exposed
the music industry. Something was telling me you need to watch it. This is urgent. Thanks
to Allah, I remembered the title and searched on youtube. It was a video in 18 parts!
I spent all the weekend watching it and other videos on the music industry. This was the
final blow! I was so shocked. I knew that the man was telling the truth. There was no turning back. The devil really does exist! I thought it was a myth like the majority of the people. You could not imagine how angry and disgusted I was. For 3 days, I did not go out because really I was too much shocked and scared of what I had discovered.  You could say I woke up from my sleep. Really, from this moment I watched this video, I asked Allah for several evenings- "Please if Allah you do exist, please guide me. I will do everything you want and I will change my ways". This was really difficult for me to say this prayer because I was proud. But Allah guided me to Islam. It is a huge blessing. From the moment, I said yes to Islam. I felt all the heaviness in the heart and shoulders disappear all of a sudden; I felt a joy I never felt before. I was lying to myself before, showing I am happy but I never was. This was horrible; I would never go back to Jahiliya, never ever. There is no happiness. This is a lie.

After a few prayers like that, I promised Allah I will stop this job, throw all my cds, books, mp3, vynils, EVERYTHING in the trash, which I did with absolutely no regret whatsoever. Could you imagine- I was addicted to music, could not live without it, and the day after, I did not listen to music anymore!!! My family was really shocked. It was all of a sudden. Allah can heal any addiction (whether music, cigarettes, alcohol, fornication, really ANYTHING) when you submit to Allah with sincerity.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever gives up something for the sake of Allah, Allah will compensate him with something better than it.” [Classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani]

I would like to stress something. Really I did not know anything about Islam, nothing.
But the behaviour, the attitude, of one person radically changed my life. This is the beauty of Islam.

How long has it been since you reverted?

A few years now.

What changes do you see in yourself after you reverted and how far do you think it has affected your spirituality?

Islam has brought order, light, goodness, blessings in my life. I can say now that my life is more balanced. Before I was a career woman, obsessed with success. It has given me a sense of inner peace, maturity (I have become an adult). Before, entertainment and my career were my only objectives. This is not the case anymore.

I have become a more responsible person; I am now able to think by myself without believing or following any opinion in the medias or my environment. Now I look for the proofs, search and then think.

Allah gives you the courage to do things you thought you would never be able to do. Really, this is incredible! Even though non believers may think you are weak in appearance, this is not the reality. The reality is that we reverts have more courage because we obey Allah. Courage is to do what you think is right although you have strong opposition. You don't compromise your values.

I know I am not alone anymore; I know that when there is injustice taking place, this is not the end of the world. You will not be destroyed, on the contrary it will make you stronger. Plus Allah is watching. Islam has brought me comfort and a solace because truth, justice, honesty, trust, courage are values that are dear to me- A strong attachment to the Quran and the wisdom in it. 

Allah The Exalted says: "Indeed, this Qur'an guides to that which is most suitable and gives good tidings to the believers who do righteous deeds that they will have a great reward." [Sourate Al-Isra verse 17:9]

In terms of appearance, I used to wear only jeans, lol. Now I wear only abayas or
jilbebs. I love abayas a lot! I now accept my femininity and love it. Before I was behaving like a tomboy (hiding my body, and behaving like a man  to protect myself in the music industry from perverts, I believed that to succeed in my job and be respected by my peers I had to resemble men). In Islam, the woman is a real diamond. Being a woman is absolutely not a disadvantage , but rather, the contrary.

Did you decide to wear the Hijab right after accepting Islam or did you start it afterwards?

One year after reverting, during a trip to a Muslim country, I told myself this is the test.
I have no constraint, no fear. This is now or never to be brave! I decided to wear the hijab all of a sudden. My family was really astonished and baffled and unhappy as if wearing a hijab from someone born in France was a sign of being in the darkness, to go back to the Middle Ages.
It was easy for me to wear it because it is natural to wear a hijab there. You don't look abnormal because it is a Muslim country. It was a relief. I was very happy. I felt that this hijab was really a blessing (modesty, feeling protected, femininity). But I encountered the mockery and harassment of my family due to ignorance. I could not take it off during all this trip.
When I came back to France, it was another story. I was still working (another job). In my workplace I was in direct contact with clients; It  was impossible to put the hijab. It was a no no. So I wore the hijab during the weekend. I felt torn and unhappy. I wanted to wear it at work. So I had to decide after a few months to leave this job. It was a real trial. I began to wear a hat covering my hair when going at work. And I had to take it off once in the office. I felt horrible. Really it was a real torture for me, a real dilemma. I felt very uneasy. Once you wear the hijab, you understand what it feels to "be naked" when you don't have a hijab. Now and then, even today my parents insist that I take off the hijab to get a job. THIS IS IMPOSSIBLE.

Once I quit that job, I felt a joy and relief. I was more happy without this job and with a hijab. My life was more beautiful.

You live in France where practicing the Islamic Hijab is difficult. Didn't that bother you when you decided to wear the Hijab?

Of course, especially when you don't live in a big city where there are more Muslimahs wearing the hijab. I live in the middle of nowhere in the countryside where there are a lot of prejudices, racism. I am the only Muslimah wearing a jilbab now. People always stare at you even glare at you, mocking you. I have to say that this mistreatment come from women not men.
In bigger cities, some owners of bakeries don't want to serve you because you are a Muslimath with a hijab. Once again these people are women not men.
I am talking about French disbelievers. French people who are ignorant or are afraid  and feel hatred towards Islam (because of the medias). You are sometimes insulted (it happened 3 times). You have other people who are on the contrary, open and very tolerant. It is very rare.

I think the worst experience is with the Muslim women. Those who are laughing at you because you are wearing a XXL hijab resembling a khimar and long skirt, these same women young, or old who say you are "sick" or "possessed"  to your parents (not in front of you of course) because you are wearing the hijab or jilbeb. This is the most painful for me to hear these comments. In the supermarkets, you expect a "Salam 'Alaikoum'' but no- on the contrary they avoid looking at you as if you were an alien or a criminal.

The worst is when you are wearing the jilbeb- In this case you are crazy, illiterate, stupid and a terrorist or a salafist. They say: "You have been manipulated by a sect", "You are manipulated by people on the internet ", "You are MANIPULATED by the books"! These peole know I am an educated and intelligent woman. I am not an idiot.

The worst was my mother who wanted me to quit the hijab, the jilbeb, not to wear gloves but I never obeyed. Now she does not say anything. My father avoids shopping with me; He gives me excuses. The worst opposition I've got has been from my parents. This hurt me a lot because I thought they would support my new way of life. It was really painful.  But now I feel stronger and would never give up my faith. Now I accept that we don't understand each other anymore. This is Allah's decree, trial and wisdom.

Allah the Most-High says: "Say, [O Muhammad], "If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people." [Surat At-Tawbah 9:24]

Now I live alone in a city to avoid fitnah living with my parents. I don't go out except out of necessity.  Being a Muslimah trying to obey Allah as become very very difficult especially when you have no support, no helpers. I have become a stranger in my own family, in my city, in my country and among people who say they are Muslims. This is a trial.

Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “Islam initiated as something strange, and it will revert to its (old position) of being strange. So, glad tidings to the stranger!” [Muslim]

So my goal is to make Hijra in a Muslim Country In sha'Allah. In my life I have never been so determined and sure about this project. I have hope in the future. Allah will never give up the believers who fight for his Cause.

Allah The Most-High says: “And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many [alternative] locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him – his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah . And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful.” [Surat An-Nisaa 4 :100]

It's always lovely to hear a new Muslimah's perception of the Hijab. Please tell us how much the Hijab means to you and what changes it has brought into your life

For the 1st time in my life, I stopped being so self-conscious (to hide my body, to be at ease with my body, about my weight); I did not like myself before. I did not like my face (too much Arabic)

You can say the hijab liberated me: 
- From the fashion industry
- From the women magazines (always buying the newest product...)
- From the men's diktat of being a sexual object in the Western Society (I always fought against it in my jahiliya time, I refused to be only beautiful like a barbie, I wanted to be respected for my opinions and intelligence, lol, first but it did not work and I refused to be attractive lol)
- From any tyranny about appearances, diets.
- I always found myself not thin enough like models in my jahiliya time

All these sufferings, really is it really worth it?! The hijab put a stop to all this nonsense.

Now I can say I love myself, Allah has created me like that. I am happy, I like my body, I like my face and I love to be a woman!
I don't beautify myself for a man, but for myself and Allah only!
If I put on weight, no big deal. I still love myself. 

The hijab really has changed my character in some ways. I feel liberated because with the hijab or jilbeb I am safe, under the protection of Allah, protected from corrupted men ( I was never at peace before), I hated to be seduced by strangers before like an object.

This hijab or jilbeb has changed me and my way of thinking because it gives you an honour, modesty and dignity.

The "hijab" in your behaviour is all the most important.
This veil or hijab reminds you that you are a Muslimah who must have good manners, must not be attractive or a cause of fitnah to men, must speak in a reserved manner... a lot of things that are actually very good for your piety and protection. In fact, this is the woman I want to be or trying to be, a conservative woman who tries to observe Allah's commands. 
Really the Hijab has shown me how our world is corrupted, the values are inverted.
I have realised that the most beautiful woman is the most modest woman in terms of appearance and character. It is really charming and disarming. She looks like a queen or a princess you want to protect.

It has changed my perception of men too. In my jahiliya time, we were like "enemies". lol! Now I feel we are brothers and sisters in Islam. We go through the same trials, we share the same emotions and weaknesses. It 's beautiful.

I would like to still speak about the Hijab.
From last summer, I had a new obsession: the NIQAB! I've read a lot of testimonies on internet, even watched interviews of niqabi sisters in France before the Niqab ban. I was really impressed by their courage and determination.
So I reflected a lot these last months. Last October, I decided to buy (without telling my parents) niqabs- Which I did! I was excited and a little afraid.
I had so many questions in my head (how to wear it, how to eat with it, what to wear an abaya or a jilbab). A lot of questions!

When I received them, I was really happy. But I knew that I bought them only to wear them abroad, not in France (because of the niqab ban). I knew that it would bring a huge fitnah at home with my parents.

In October, I spent some weeks in my brother's place in the South of France. At the local mosque, I 've seen a lady with the full face niqab one evening. I was in admiration! I was really impressed (she is brave despite the Niqab ban). I found her very beautiful like a princess. I was like: "I want to be this woman".  I was really obsessed with the Niqab. My dream was to wear the Niqab! So I bought other niqabs online while at his place without telling him.

One day he told me we will travel to Switzerland to visit an Imam (to answer my questions about Islam). Wow! Switzerland, I don't know this country. I searched a lot about niqab and if it was banned or not. I was surprised to read that the country we were going, the niqab is tolerated all the more because super wealthy Arabs from the Gulf visit this county very often; I was like this is great news!

This is the test : this is today or never. 
I put the full face cover. I was both excited and scared (I could not see much lol and because of the people's reactions)
My brother was unhappy. He told me we will be arrested because of your full face niqab. I told him, very determined, Allah will not let me down if I strive for his cause. Indeed, nothing bad happened during the trip. He was surprised and let me wear it knowing that I wanted to please Allah.

This experience was really incredible. The full face Niqab liberated me! I have to be honest, I was not at ease, I walked like a robot, it was not easy. This was the 1st time. I also went to the restaurant; I had no difficulty eating.

The Niqab is a real protection; I felt like a princess in her ivory tower lol, someone untouchable (I am talking about modesty, chastity) It is as if the full face Niqab is a purification for your eyes, for your character, for your piety and a protection for men too.
The full niqab really taught me what it means to lower the gaze; I was so happy not to look at men anymore while wearing it. It taught me how to eat with grace, lol! I am not kidding.

The full face Niqab enables you to be closer to Allah and avoid sins (gazing at men, bad manners, talking too much, a lack of modesty in the behaviour and so on). I will go further to say the full face Niqab is one of the best remedy to acquire a sound heart for women. I am very serious. 

After this successful experience, my dream is to wear the full face veil at work in a Muslim country, everyday! I am very determined. 

Any advice for sisters who have to endure insults as a result of wearing the Hijab/Niqab?

  • Be persistent
  • Know you are on the right path
  • Allah is testing you to know if you will accept the test or not
  • Behave in a good way while facing adversity and never get angry
  • Repond to evil with good, something better
  • You are on the truth. All these people are the army of Iblis who want to make you discouraged, regress and sin so that you think bad about Allah. Don't fall into this trap
  • You might feel sad. This is normal but know that Allah is pleased with you. He granted you a great honour to bless you with Islam. Allah loves you more than anyore on Earth, even your own parents
  • Hold on very strong on Tawheed.
  • The end of the journey is PARADISE, eternal life in the gardens of Paradise In sha'Allah so this is not real life on earth. Allah will never let you down
  • He will bless you in ways you would never imagine in this dounya and protect you against enemies of Islam.

Truly those who believe, and do deeds of righteousness, and perform As-Salāt , and give Zakāt, they will have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. (Al-Baqarah 2:277)

Allaah has promised those among you who believe, and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the earth, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion, that which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islām). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieved after this, they are the Fāsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allaah). (An-Nur 24:55)

Those who believe and work righteousness, Tûbaa (it means all kinds of happiness or name of a tree in Paradise ) is for them and a beautiful place of (final) return. (Ra’d 13:29)

…Verily, the earth is Allaah’s. He gives it as a heritage to whom He will of His slaves, and the (blessed) end is for the Muttaqûn (pious).” (Al-A’raf 7:128)

According to your opinion, what is the most beautiful aspect of Islam?

  • The inner peace of mind
  • The sweetness of Iman
  • The contentment and satisfaction of Allah
  • The Sakina (the serenity)
  • There is no racism, nor cast system.  Wealthy people are not superior to poor people. 
  • Your superiority or your merits are only measured by your piety, your heart only. This is the beauty, justice, wisdom of Islam.

Thanks for giving me the freedom to express myself. This is the 1st time for me after reverting to Islam. It feels strange but at the same time I am happy.

Your sister in Islam

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Jazakallah khair for the interview, Ukhty! May Allah grant you all that you wish for and bless you with the best in this world and in the Aakhira!

Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.