Today is a very special day for me, so you lucky people get two photos of me! The reason that today is such a special day for me is because today I took my Shahada (declaration of faith) in the new mosque, which was the first Shahada that they've had so far! It was rather daunting, especially as the imam recited it in Arabic first (he then repeated it in English for me!), but I had my lovely sisters to help me out and I only got stuck on two words! The declaration went as follows: "I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah, and that Mohammad is his slave and messenger, and that Jesus is his slave and messenger". I know it sounds a little archaic, but there you go - I don't mind.
It was so overwhelming becoming part of my new family, mostly because I've always been an only child. Having brothers and sisters, and even being an auntie to some of the children (not a literal auntie, a metaphorical auntie) is amazing! After the declaration was over, they all said "Mubarak" (congratulations) and welcomed me into Islam as their sister, and it was so lovely I nearly cried! Yes, I'm a softie at heart! We then had cake, sandwiches and other snack-type foods (and I had a cup of tea) and talked. I met some lovely sisters, including one called Salama (sorry if I misspelt it!), one called Isabelle, one called Sherwit and obviously my sisters from university. Salama and I have a common bond of German - she is from Germany and I have a GCSE in German, and everyone else was really lovely. I also met my friend Aminah's sister Hafsah, and she is a lovely lady.
I still haven't told my parents that I am Muslim, and I probably won't tell them face to face. I will write to them this week and tell them that I have converted, but to be honest I don't think it will go too well. Still, Allah (swt) knows best and all I can do is pray that he helps me to write the letter and guides them towards acceptance. Other than that, all I can do is pray for myself, my fiancé and my friends and get on with my life. After all, once it is done it is done and I cannot worry about things that are beyond my control.
Tomorrow I will finally get another day off, so I will hopefully be able to tidy my room, set up my "Allah (swt) area" which is basically the top of my chest of drawers, but it will have all my books on Islam on it, my Qurans (yes, I have about 4 or 5 which is pretty impressive!) and various other bits and pieces. Insha'Allah everything will go well! The rest of the day will be devoted to editing my dissertation and making sure that it is all right before I write the final 3,000 words and then edit them. I hope that it goes well and that I can find the words.