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Elyh Fennell

Convert Q&A

I was raised in a Christian household growing up. As I got older I was slowly introduced to Islam by my friends and people I associated myself with. I had always had an open heart and was never against learning about Islam. Eventually when I was formally introduced to Islam I fell in love with everything that it came with and decided to convert. The truth was not hard to believe.

I considered myself as a Muslim and followed Islam since 2018. I officially converted and took my shahada at my local masjid in February 2022.

Before I converted to Islam I would fast with my Muslim friends occasionally as respect to their religious beliefs. My first official Ramadan after taking my shahada I found to be enjoyable. There were some difficulties for me such as attending all tarawih prayer and competing/practicing for track and football while fasting. All though these challenges were difficult for me I knew that it was more beneficial to fast than not fasting. After Ramadan I felt my deen strengthen permanently and felt close to Allah subhanahu wa ta'allah.

Converting to Islam has changed my life in numerous ways. I feel more at peace with any thing that goes wrong in my life. I typically feel stress free because I trust whatever plan Allah (swt) has set for me. I have more purpose in life than making something of myself in the eyes of others but, to be a strong believing and honest Muslim in the eyes of Allah (SWT).

Before I was Muslim I was a Christian.

My family was very accepting of my decision. I was scared to tell my mother in fear of how she may react but, when she had found out that I converted she was very accepting and told me to follow my heart despite what anyone else thinks including herself. I asked Allah (SWT) to make my family accepting of my decision and make it easy for me for a long time, and I was given exactly that.

I would say that my most difficult struggles when I initially converted to Islam was praying consistently. It takes a lot of dedication and time to be consistent in prayer. Also, many Muslims consider this to be the bare minimum which has also impacted me negatively. Feeling as if I could not do what is considered the "bare minimum" used to create doubt in my mind and made me feel as if I were not a genuine Muslim. Though many people feel that praying is the bare minimum I believe otherwise. The grounds of what makes someone a Muslim besides believing in Allah (swt) is Salah. To perfect your prayer as well as pray on time consistently day after day while living a busy life can be difficult. I have overcome this difficulty with time and the help of Allah (swt).

I would like to tell other converts to take things at their own pace. It is not easy to learn arabic, hadiths, surahs, salah and other aspects of Islam. Being surrounded by others who were raised into Islam can make you feel as if you are lacking but, inshallah Allah (swt) will reward you immensely for your struggles. Be grateful that you have the chance to face hardships for that sake of Allah (swt) mercy.. Being a convert takes consistency, practice, patience and trust in yourself and Allah (SWT).

I grew up in New York City which I would say is a state that is comprised of many religions including Islam. In high school I was introduced to Islam formally by someone I had become close with. I struggled with learning Islam and everything that came with it. In college I prayed more than before but it still was not enough for me. I transferred from my university in NY to attend college in California in hopes of pursuing my dreams. Moving to California was the biggest turning point in my life as far as my deen. I strongly believe Allah (swt) allowed me to move to California to come closer to him. My home was located perfectly next to a masjid and halal food market that I was not aware of until I had already lived there. Although I wanted to become closer with Allah (swt) I also feel almost as if Allah (swt) wanted me to embrace Islam and come closer to him.