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I was born a Muslim and have always cherished this blessing. Even though growing up I didn't pray my five daily prayers, I never missed fasting Ramadan, and I always knew that the tenants of Islam are true... There is only one God and Mohammed is His last prophet. We were created to worship God the Almighty. Growing up in the Arab world I never thought of my faith being different or needing explanation. Then my family moved to Canada in the mid-eighties. I was one of few black students, and to my recollection, one of two Muslims in my class. At the age of 12, I knew that I was on the right path. I knew that I was blessed to be born Muslim. I felt that I was in the light. I felt bad that my classmates were confused as to the why they were created and what the purpose of their lives was. At that time I didn't wear the hejab neither did anyone in my extented family, but we were without a shadow of doubt Muslim. As teeanger, I knew that loved being Muslim. I have had many tribulations in my life. I lost my mother whom I adored with every fiber of my being when I was young, and became responsible for my younger siblings. I could have been bitter and angry, but I asked God to help me. I asked for patiences. I kept repeating what we say in Islam when somone days; " to God we belong and to Him we retun" My faith sustained me. In my early twenties I keep at a fork in the journey of my life. I had my first ever crush that felt like the real thing. It was someone who was not Muslim. I asked myself what is the most important thing in my life. I said that being Muslim and wanting to worship God Almighty was more important. I looked in my heart and saw my naked soul without pretense, lies, covers or adornments. I sincerely like who I was and I loved being Muslim. I never looked back. Few years later, I sat myself down again and looked in my heart and saw my naked soul once more. I asked myself what is stopping me from wearing the hejab. I said I am not 100% sure about the need for wearing since people have different opinions. I asked myself if I wanted aa piece of cloth to be the reason that God is not pleased with me, and I lose my chance to enter Paradise. I decided not to take any chances and to put the hejab on. At that times and many times to come, I accepted that I will not always know the answers to everything. I believe in the goodness of God and the truth in the message of Islam. I am the servant of God and am happy if He accepts me in that role. My life continues .... but I think this is enough. The bottom line is I love being Muslim before 911 and after. The religion is pure and awesome. The people can be good or bad but I don't worship them. I only worship the Almighty God. The words that I live by and pray die with them on my lips are.. "there is no God but God and Mohamed is His messenger. "