Rahima’s Story

Aug 7, 2020 | Conversion Stories

I went to the mosque on February 8th 2019, with an inquisitive mind and returned home as a Muslim. As I was about to start a 6 months internship in Nottingham. I reunited with a high school friend, I hadn’t seen for over 4 years after leaving Nairobi, although we were only a few hours away by train from each other. Two days into our reunion, I abruptly decided to call the nearest mosque that Friday, I was told by Sufi (a brother at the mosque) that I should come at 3 pm after Friday prayers and the imam will answer any questions I have.

I had been curiously researching Islam for 3 months. A Saudi friend I had met through mutual friends at a summer barbecue in 2018 would tell me things I found outrageous then, like listen to the recitation of the Quran when I had headaches instead of taking Panadol, and when I was restless or stressed, best advice I’ve ever heard although I thought he was crazy to suggest it, it did wonders. Simply listening to the Quran was calming, even though I didn’t understand. I then started searching differences of Christianity to Islam and the shocking revelation was reading about the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). As I read the similarities yet distinct differences between religions. I fell more and more in love with The Prophet for a reason unknown to me, as he was a prophet I have never heard of in my previous religion.

When I arrived at the mosque, funnily, I didn’t remember having any questions for the imam, I was emotional. I went on venting about reasons for my frustration of distancing myself from God. I needed spiritual guidance and been lost for over a decade. Weirdly, I don’t usually make myself vulnerable to people I just met five minutes ago. If the imam had not suggested I take the shahadah, I don’t think I would have returned to do so, because it wasn’t my intention when I left my house.

Before leaving for the mosque, my friend told me I couldn’t go to the mosque without a hijab. As defiant as I could be, I said, “I’m only going to ask questions, I don’t need to wear the hijab.” Since it was winter, I wore a scarf around my neck with the intention that if I needed to cover my head, I would use my scarf.

After taking the shahadah, I remembered returning home still covered up, it just felt right. After I tried on a proper hijab, I started to name my reflection with whatever Muslim name I felt was suitable, as I wasn’t used to the woman I was seeing.

I was invited by the imam to a class the next day (Saturday morning) and Sufi offered to give me a ride. Since I didn’t have a hijab, he came earlier with some. Reality had not yet kicked in, I’m now a Muslim even with the hijab on. After the class ended, the sister next to me (Sufi’s sister-in-law) knew I was a revert[1] and invited me the next day, Sunday, to dhikr[2] with the sisters. I attended and was overwhelmed by the gifts I got. From prayer mats, praying gowns, prayer beads, books, and mobile numbers suggesting I get in touch whenever I needed them. I learned that another sister conducts classes from Monday to Thursday evening. I was at the mosque every day after taking the shahadah, including Fridays for the Friday Prayer. Reality had only kicked in when I was making sure my food was halal, waking up at early hours to pray, and my phone was filled with apps I would’ve never downloaded as a non-Muslim.

My friends were supportive but not sure of what I had done, since they were used to me making unanticipated absurd decisions. I didn’t tell anyone one in my family until two months later. I told my dad, as shocking as it was, he had loads of questions but those were questions I had prepared answers for two months ago. He wasn’t convinced, he was heartbroken, very inconsiderate, and not understanding as much as I would love him to. I had to isolate myself for a few more months to learn more about my new religion. I wasn’t the first child of my parents to revert, I have an older brother who did way before me, but he wasn’t an influence to my conversion. I used that as leverage to get my dad’s support, but as his youngest daughter, wearing the hijab which clearly showed I’m a Muslim, unlike my brother, my dad’s concerns were more of me being discriminated as a Black Hijabi[3] woman, to thinking I’m being radicalised, to thinking I did it for a guy. He was thinking about everything else apart from the reasons I gave him. He eventually had to support me as I can be stubborn and there’s a part of him that is scared to lose his daughter. I was going months without speaking to him until he was ready to support me.

I was willing to lose my relationship with my dad and not lose the relationship I had gained with God. A relationship I had lost at the ruthlessness of my own justification, as I felt unloved by God. I felt He was giving me battles I wasn’t equipped for. Battles I had to be a solitary soldier for. I felt like He never made Himself known to me, inquisitive as He made me, I was born in a religion that wasn’t answering every question I had. It took me over a decade of entangling, with Satan leading me astray.

But it took only a few seconds to regain faith, trust, to feel His love, and His presence. I’ve been a disbeliever before, been there, done that. I wasn’t willing to live another second purposelessly if that meant losing my family’s support. The journey has been a sturdy one, but it’s a journey I wouldn’t trade for anything.


[1] A term some use for conversion to Islam.

[2] Remembrance and mentioning of God’s name in the form of invocations.

[3] A woman who wears the hijab.

Firm Foundations Level 1

Firm Foundations is a free 10-week online course in order for converts, especially those who are new, to learn the very fundamental aspects of Islam. Whether you’re a new Muslim or a convert of many years, New Beginnings is delighted to present to you the opportunity...

Converts Unplugged

Subscribe via the RSS feed or relevant subscription service by clicking the "box-arrow" icon in the player below or alternatively use this website link. New episodes are released every 2nd Thursday of the month.

Understanding Zakah

A 3-part course, for converts and new Muslims only, detailing the correct method of paying one's zakah and the spiritual dimensions related to it. Registrations close on 2nd November What is Zakah, the almsgiving? Why is Zakah important? How do I know if I am eligible...

Sunday Night Live

New Beginnings is pleased to present an online discussion forum. A much-needed space to discuss topics relevant to converts and practical ways to strengthen faith. Join us for Sunday Night Live. Hosted by Imran Rahim & featuring monthly guests. 📆 The first Sunday...

Life of the Prophet ﷺ

New Beginnings is pleased to present a new monthly class for new Muslims and converts covering the life of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ. As new Muslims and converts, it can be a struggle to connect to a prophet who plays such a pivotal role in the life of Muslims. One of...

Catherine’s Story

My journey to Islam started in a pub on Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham. I was seven years old and we lived in a big old Victorian pub that was crumbling even then and eventually knocked down. By the time my family lived there, Small Heath was almost completely a...

Islamic Literacy

The Islamic Literacy Course is a free 10-week online course in order for converts, especially those who are new, to learn the very basic Arabic terms of the prayer and general conversation. Whether you’re a new Muslim or a convert of many years, New Beginnings is...

Rahima’s Story

I went to the mosque on February 8th 2019, with an inquisitive mind and returned home as a Muslim. As I was about to start a 6 months internship in Nottingham. I reunited with a high school friend, I hadn’t seen for over 4 years after leaving Nairobi, although we were...

Lauren’s Story

Finding Peace in the Holy Land is a perfectly timed memoir told with brisk honesty and sharp humour. Sweeping from the suburbs of North London to the olive groves of Palestine, it explores a life of excess-to-spirituality impacted by the struggle of a distant people....

Khalil’s Story

It is the mid-1970s, Sunday morning, in a comfortable middle-class catholic church in Edgware, halfway through the service, I see a tired, distressed, dirty looking man come up the aisle to the front and try to speak, “Oh father, help ….!” I was born in the early...

Claire’s Story

For the last 10 years, Islam has been in my peripheral as I explored what I believed; steadily finding the confidence and conviction to admit I believed in a higher power, in God. I still remember being at a friend’s family party and listening to an imam recite the...

Na’eema’s Story

For teenagers growing up in the West today, they see and experience things that many people in the Middle East haven’t even heard of. So at age 14, I thought I knew everything, and with this, I felt I had the world on my shoulders. I had an amazing group of friends,...

Zahara’s Story

I took my shahada[1] in September 2010 but my interest in Islam had started about a year before. I always had a connection to God growing up even though neither of my parents followed a religion. I would talk to Him, nothing too deep, it would be more along the lines...

Sofia’s Story

I met my fiancé, Muhammad, four years ago while studying at University, we were both on the same course and got to know each other well. At the time I had very few Muslim friends, I was curious about his religion and we talked about it a lot. Through our...

Jade’s Story

My journey to Islam was a long one. It started (unbeknownst to me) when I became pregnant at 16. When I was 3 months pregnant, I told my boyfriend that I wanted to get our baby christened as I believe religion gives a child a moral compass. He flat out refused and...


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share This