Assalamu Alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu,
When I initially thought of starting on interviewing Muslim women for the blog, I honestly never thought it would be this beneficial. Even recently, I received an email from a sister telling me that reading the interviews from the blog had really helped her, so Jazakallah khair to all those lovely sisters for their amazing interviews. May your words continue to inspire many more Muslims and non-Muslims!
That said, here's another lovely interview we had with sister Dhilnawaaz (I'm sorry for the delay in posting the interview sister. Jazakallah khair for your patience!)
Do also check out her blog Diary Of A Secret Muslimah
Tell us about how you found Islam
Well I live in a muslim community with 3 mosques within 5km radius of my house so I came into contact with muslims daily. I think what caught my attention was hijab, abayas and niqabs; there was just something about it I found so modest and beautiful especially women in niqab. Eventually I took an interest in Islam and started researching everything about it. I then realized that this is where I belong and I finally felt at peace with myself.
How old were you when you reverted to Islam?
I started taking Islam seriously and reverted at the age of 16, but did my research from around 14/15. I unfortunately have not yet taken my shahadah, but In sha Allah will soon.
What is the greatest challenge you've had to face after reverting?
I think it would be Ramzaan, reading namaz, wearing hijab and abaya and especially learning more about Islam without someone to teach me.
How would you say you have changed after accepting Islam?
I'd like to think that I've changed quite a lot. As before I reverted I was a model, someone who would pose in the most revealing outfits, I used to drink alcohol, go clubbing, occasionally do drugs and I also used to curse God quite a lot when I had problems or something bad happened to me. Now as a muslim, I can't stand any of that, I absolutely love wearing hijab and abaya, I admire muslim women and I put all my trust in my Creator and believe that when Allah (SWT) takes something from you, He is most definitely preparing you for something ten times better.
If there was one thing that you could tell someone who is thinking of reverting to Islam, what would it be?
I'd tell them that Islam isn't just a religion, it's a way of life. You have to be very sure before taking such a big step, do research so you know what you're getting yourself into and be prepared for something amazing. Your whole life will change.
A lot of people believe that Muslim women are oppressed and that they have no rights in Islam. What were your thoughts on this before becoming a Muslim?
Ironically, I had the exact same mindset. I looked down on muslimahs and saw them as inferior and property of their husbands. But you'll never really understand the status of a women in Islam until you make an effort to find out more.
“When she is a daughter, she opens a door of Jannah for her father. When she is a wife, she completes half of the deen of her husband.When she is a mother, Jannah lies under her feet - if everyone knew the true status of a Muslim women in Islam, even the men would want to bewomen" - (Shaykh Akram Nadawi)
How do you feel you've changed as a person after accepting Islam?
I think mentally and psychologically I've matured as I've learned that everything does happen for a reason, even if you cant see it at that moment.
Anything special you would like to address the Muslim youth of today?
Don't ever take Islam for granted. You will never understand how sad it makes me that I wasn't raised in a muslim home, that I couldn't start practicing this wonderful religion from an early age. Be proud of your religion.
What do you think about the Hijab and Niqab and how would you clear any misconceptions about it?
It probably sounds weird but I find niqabis radiantly beautiful. There's just something about them that I admire. As for hijab, I respect women who wear it full time as it takes a lot of dedication especially in the heat. It's sad that non muslims see us as oppressed when we wear our niqab and hijab. There's nothing oppressing about being modest.
You are new to Islam so you can relate to a lot of difficulties other reverts face. How do you deal with all the struggles?
Sabr. For now that's the only way I can deal with the struggles. I constantly make Dua for Allah (SWT) to grant me Sabr, because being a revert is very scary. Especially on your own.
The Quran is beautiful, but we always have that one verse which is especially special to our heart. What is yours?
I have not read the entire Quran yet but so far I actually have two.
“…But it is possible that you dislike a thing which is good for you, and that you love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knows, and you know not.” [2:126]
“But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” [8:30]
Any misconceptions about Islam that you would like to make clear to any non-Muslims reading this?
Please people, Islam is perfect don't always slander our religion because of what muslims do. Get the idea out of your head that people's bad actions and ways represent Islam. Do yourself a favor and research it. You won't be sorry.
Any specific Duaas you would like readers to make for you?
That Allah (SWT) guide me on Siraatul Mustaqeem and that I never go astray, because I know that I'll never go wrong if I have faith in my Creator.
Finally, a few words to round up on how it is to be a woman of Islam.
You wear your bikinis, mini skirts, tight fitting tops and pants because society wants you to. We wear our hijab & niqab because we want to please our creator. So who is really oppressed? You will never be as 'free' as an Islamic woman.
Note: If you would like to be interviewed for our blog, leave us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get back to you, In Sha Allah. Sisters only.