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Sabira

I wanted to share my revert story of how I came back to Islam or rather how Islam was
reaffirmed in my heart. I have had twenty years of exposure to this beautiful religion ever
since my older sister converted then. When I would visit her I would sit back and be a third
party witness to the daily dedication of prayer, how she would share common beautiful
greetings with fellow muslims such as salaams, inshallah, mashallah and how she would cover
herself and be modest in public. As years went by I became more and more interested in
learning about Islam and would read a bit on it each year and educate myself without telling
anyone I was doing so and sometimes would shock my sister when I knew information on a
topic that would come up in conversation when visiting her.

When I went out in public and would see muslim women wearing hijab I would always give them a smile and say in my head I would love to be able to wear a scarf one day like this and show this amount of modesty and faith to god as this must take a lot of courage to do so. Unlike the typical negative and biased opinions from today’s society on hijabs and muslims I would praise them silently and not speak to my friends or family on this matter of how I really felt . How I really felt was deep down I did have a connection with them outside of the fact that my sister was a muslim and that one day maybe I could be one as well. Not once would my sister ever push her religion on to me when visiting rather she would let time do it’s work and trust that Allah (s.w.t) would guide me and show me the straight path if it was meant to happen. It was my calling to explore it more throughout the years behind closed doors you could say after being exposed to it throughout the years through her and other people that I would meet in later years down the road.

I was born and raised in Calgary Alberta and have a mix of ethnicities . French, German and quarter Japanese. I was baptized as a baby in the Lutheran/Christian faith. I have always believed in god and for quite sometime even prophet Jesus (s.a) . I would accompany friends to bible summer day camps as a child. In my adulthood I became interested in Catholicism through my Italian boyfriend at that time and attended catechism classes and went to masses held at Christmas time and Easter. But despite all this something never would truly hit me as the truth in my heart and speak to my soul. At that time I was devastated when I found out after investing time in studying this religion that I was not able to be confirmed in it as I was living with this boyfriend and not married so the Father told me at the end of my classes that he would not be able to confirm me . I know realize looking back that allah (s.wt) knew I was not meant to follow this religion and this is why I never entered it. Subanallah. After being given a hardship of this same common law partner leaving me after a ten year relationship I had to relearn how to love myself and pick up the broken pieces which took some time . I have struggled with anxiety and depression most of my life and still do to this day but I would always have a conversation with Allah (s.w.t) to help me through the tough days and definitely had to have many conversations after this heartbreak to give me strength to move on. Needless to say Allah (s.wt) would be giving me some direct conversations in the years to come rather than the other way around.


A few years ago on my journey to healing I met a Muslim male from Afghanistan who started to
also show me the beauty of Islam as well but more so on a first hand account compared to my sister since he was a born muslim. . Some of these examples would be stopping everything to
pray and how humble and grateful he was for simple things I took for granted growing up as a
Canadian. He would say a powerful thing to me one day that “Brandi you just need to have
prayer in your life and it will help you in a lot of ways” and mashallah since converting I have
seen what he has meant by this. That feeling while you are in sujood and are completely in
submission to our creator is one that is so humbling and yet so eye opening to be grateful for
the present moment and all that we have. I was always drawn to the sound of the call to prayer
as well when I would hear it play and he would let me listen live when he was back home
visiting in Afghanistan and it would make the hair stand up on my arms . And to add another
interesting note it was this exact trip that he brought me back a keychain with the arabic name
“Sabira” that he was drawn to. This name means “patience” and who knew that this would be
now the muslim name I have decided to choose to go by due to the significance of the meaning
which I need to implement more of in my life and as a special way to honour this story.
After some hardships with this person as well as some ups and downs in our relationship we
were torn apart for a bit. Either it was an angel or Allah (s.w.t) directly spoke to me one day
and whispered in my ear “ you know what you have to do to make it right “. So we started
seeing each other again and allah (s.w.t) brought him back in my life for a reason to lead me
closer to Islam and finalize my conversion story.

Allah (s.wt) gave me quite a few physical signs in the last 6 months using nature and social
media, believe it or not, to affirm I was on the right path to taking my shahada. Such as a leaf
falling from the sky and landing in my cup of tea I was drinking one day outside despite there
being no wind and no leaves blowing around and I just finished reading a Quranic quote on
social media “ not a leaf falls but that he knows it”. And this was followed a couple weeks later
by a final affirmation involving another leaf. This time a huge single one laying on my bus stop
seat in the early morning before sunrise “fajr” time when I got there, despite there being a skiff
of snow on the ground at the time and most of the leaves disintegrated by then. God showed
me his mercy first with a tiny small leaf and then by doubling or tripling the leaf in size only
affirmed his significance. In both incidences I was overtaken with an overwhelming peace in my
heart that made me stop to see the beauty of this world and know that this was truly a physical
affirmation directed just for me and Allah (s.w.t) using it as a means to speak directly to me that
I was on the right path. Now I speak directly to him five times a day and have a beautiful
conversation with him and get this same peace he gave me by showing me those leaves.
There were quite a few other occasions throughout the years where a person, object and
social media were used to guide me to Islam which I won’t mention them all. One significant
example that I will share though is my sisters son at just four years of age whispered in my ear
one day. “ Aunty Brandi you know you will burn in the hellfire if you aren’t Muslim”. The
manner in which he said this and what he said shocked me at that time and I had forgotten this
incident until recently it came to me in my dream and I woke up remembering I had wrote it in
my journal years ago. Sure enough I did write it down and realized yet again this was allah
(s.w.t) giving me yet another affirmation. . My nephew is now eighteen years old and
mashallah I shared this story with him the day before taking my shahada and he had a smile on his face and knew that yes this was a direct message from allah (s.w.t) when he had said it
many years ago. ( I wish to add that I mean no offence to any non Muslims reading this about
the burning in the hellfire) but had to share this to add to my own individual revert story).
In the last 4 months before taking my shahada I took it upon myself to start reading the Quran
and learn some parts of prayer in Arabic and gain more knowledge I didn’t have before. I went
out of my comfort zone and attended the Being Me conference in Calgary by myself and have
made connections with sisters in Islam that will help me grow and be of a good support for me
now. I also made friends with other reverts and attended some halaqas at mosques while
wearing hijab to get a feel for it and even had the opportunity to attend a lecture done by
Nouman Ali Khan. Some of these connections have been amazing to say the least and have
lead to opportunities for me such as being able to share my recent revert story on social media
and having the recent opportunity of having a piece of clothing named after me . All because I
purchased a hijab and a shirt from a fellow sister who has her own clothing line inspired to
share stories of different women and I ended up wearing it while taking my shahada and she
was looking for recent reverts as an inspiration for her new clothing line coming out. All of this
has forced me into the “spotlight” you could say and out of my normal comfort zone. I have
been blessed with a new social life and friends which I never had before and always wanted
which can only help me grow as a new revert and as a women. There is definitely no mere
coincidence in life and I have always held the firm belief that everything happens for a reason.
Subhanallah.

To finalize my story I took my shahada on December 21 2019 and with Allah’s (s.w.t) blessing it
was done by sheikh Omar Suleiman at the RIS conference in Toronto. My sister and her family
got to be apart of it. It was a very intimate yet grand experience at the same time and the
emotion that overtook me while saying the testimony of faith was unforgettable. The liberation
I felt after and joy in my heart was my final affirmation that Allah (s.w.t) finally guided me to his
light. “ Light upon light allah guides who he wills”. He definitely guided me throughout these
past twenty years with my sister being the start of this exposure and then me seeing the signs
and other connections I have made through these last few years to lead me to what I now feel
is the truth and what was always the truth deep down in my heart all along. I just needed
reaffirmation of this to come to me for which it did. Mashallah.

I must add that I wish to thank my parents who have been supportive through this journey
having already experienced this twenty years ago with my sister’s conversion but my reversion
has been a bit smoother for them to accept and not so shocking as when my sister first did it. I
wish to also thank my family, friends and coworkers who have also been supportive of my
decision as well and have not been judgmental. Last but not least I would like to thank my sister
and her friend Melissa for always guiding me to the straight path throughout the years prior to
my reversion wether they realized it or not and showing me that as revert’s you can overcome
the obstacles we face and will continue to face unfortunately in today’s society as muslim
women. They continue to be my support throughout my journey along with other sister’s I
have met through them and who have become my muslim family. Alhamdilallah.

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