Growing up I used to drink, smoke, and go downtown every weekend. I would even go out on the weekdays for martini Monday and on Wednesday and Thursday nights on occasion. Because all of this was so socially acceptable in my culture I never once seen a problem with it. It was very normal as everyone used to have similar lifestyle
With mental health being a huge issue in my family I landed myself on three different types of medications. I used to cry and cry wondering what was wrong with me and why I wasn't a happy girl with a happy heart. When I was blessed with a overall pretty good life. I was bright, I worked as hard as I could since the day I was eligible too and I never really found it hard to find a guy to put a smile on my face. I found myself loosing interest in guys so quickly and I thought I would never find one that lived a moralistic lifestyle that was anywhere similar to my own. After studying psychology and the biology of the brain I almost drove myself crazy. I realized that with life, we get accustomed and grow tolerance to all the good things. I realized that most people in this westernized world are depressed with their fast past lifestyles and materialistic way of living. I felt a lose of contact with my culture as a white girl and I began to look at the world as consuming and manipulating as it was and realized how much we were just like robots living life the way media told us to. I never thought there was a true purpose in life (other then to help others) and in turn I never found happiness in my heart. I wondered how could I ever be happy when I was already doing everything a typical girl of my age would do to have a successful happy life.
At my university I was surrounded by Muslims. I found a sense of comfort and happiness being around them. I realized how passionate they were about Allah and I began to question myself and the world I lived in. I wondered how can we consider these people bad when they are not even living for their own individual reasons. They were living for a bigger reason, to worship Allah(swt). Most of my Canadian friends didn't like the idea of Islam but were still friends with Muslims. My family as well as myself just thought it was an overall oppressive religion to women. I guess the media did a good job at relaying that false message. I took comparative religion classes at my university and that lead me to really understand the peacefulness of Islam. I thought studying religion would bring me closer to my own faith ( Christianity) but I found myself more confused with the religion after the classes then before. I never once heard of this concept of Jesus being 'God' in the churches or at my supper table for that matter and to be honest I didn't like the idea of the trinity at all. It just didn't make sense nor resonate well with me.
Once I visited mosque just for academic purpose and after my first trip to the mosque I felt extremely satisfied. No awkward benches sitting down quietly with everyone awkwardly staring at your for the corner of their eyes. It was so peaceful and it even incorporated some yoga so I didn't get tired of just sitting in one spot, even though the carpets were pretty comfy for my bottom. I seen little kids running around playing and having fun and I realized overall how relax and non judgmental of an atmosphere it really was.
I met one young man from Saudi and as our friendship grew he let me in on his family history. He told me how he was an orphan that grew up on the Zaqat (Charity). I had remember learning about the zaqat in class and remember thinking to myself of how it was the only true way to end poverty. He told me how when he was a baby his family were driving in their car and got in an accident. During the accident his mother managed to roll down the window and chuck him out just in the nick of time to save my new best friends life. Everyone else in the car had passed away but alhamdulilah my friend made it. This sweet boy taught me a lot about Islam, along with other Muslims in the community. The made me realize the truth and beauty of Islam and how Islam was the only way from Allah for us Human beings. I also realized that the real happiness in life was in following the Qur'an and Sunnah. I had urge from time to time that I need to adapt the way and be a Muslim.
I am so thankful for all the brothers and sisters that have opened their hearts to me and made me feel accepted into the community. I never could have done it without any of you....May Allah bless the whole Ummah and grant us success in this world and hereafter!!!!!