I consider myself to have three birthdays. Three, why? I have my real birthday (as in when I was born), the day I decided I was going to be Muslim, and the day I actually went to the mosque and took shahada.
Ever since the day I decided I was going to be Muslim, in my heart, I was already Muslim - I was already a revert. But I only made it official last week. Masha'Allah it was an amazing experience, not only because I reverted, but also because it was my first time at a mosque.
It was a fun day.
To get an excuse of leaving the house, I told my parents that I was going to watch a film in Burton (which I did, after taking shahada) with some friends. (It's true!)
I went to Burton on the bus with my friend Ed, an agnostic who wants to learn more about Islam. On arriving to Burton, as with most voracious teens, we set off to find somewhere to eat. Subway!
I very nearly decided to get the Subway Melt (my favourite sandwich from subway); unfortunately, it contains bacon, and I chose otherwise. Much later, with a lot of help (basically a 20 minute conversation) from TheSisterWhoSmiles who was on Google Maps at her house, while Ed and I were being guided by her via phone. JazaakAllah kheir, TheSisterWhoSmiles, for your excellent navigational skills!
Then we found the mosque. It was around 2pm.
I was very scared to enter because I thought it was prayer time, and we did not want to cause any disruptions to the prayer. So I asked TheSisterWhoSmiles when the prayers would start. I believe I must have said "the asr prayer" which is obviously later in the afternoon. I thought she said that the prayers won't start until the afternoon, but what I did not realise that the zuhr prayer was why there were a lot of people coming into the mosque!
So Ed and I walked in, thinking that there were no prayers happening. I got in to the place where you take the shoes off - but there was no one there. Then someone walked in. I asked where the imam was, explained why I was there, etc. Then suddenly he took me into the wudhu room, and began to instruct me to perform wudhu, which I gladly did. It turns out that he was the junior imam at the mosque.
What a blessing... to walk in the mosque just before the imam does. Allah subhana wa ta'ala does work in wonderful ways! SUBHAN ALLAH!
Then Imam Zia led me to the prayer room, and I followed the actions of the brothers there, praying the zuhr prayers. It was beautiful, very peaceful... and very awkward! I wasn't totally sure whether I was doing the right actions, etc. but it went well.
Later on, after a length sermon in Arabic (which I could not understand, to my dismay), the head imam called me to the front of the congregation, and he asked some questions, and then I took shahada.
After lots of talking, and many of the congregation leaving, I had a chat with the imams and they gave me lots of books about Islam, and they also gave me a copy of the Holy Qur'an! :)
Anyway, I wrote a poem about the day's proceedings:
A beam of light shines, blinds
stirs me from my sleep.
The rusty mind creaks, bends,
unravels mysteries, upon mysteries.
All my life waited for this...
to break out, step out of line,
and into a new one,
the line leading to the circle of the...
The path of truth begins...
and the truth quest for...
commences. The ship of life beckons
and I must embark on a journey;
Take the plunge.
ALHAMDULILLAHI RABIL ALAMEEN!