السلام علیکم ورحمة الله وبركاته
All praise due to Allah subhnawata'ala.
My Name is Abdullah I am 22, and I have been a Muslim for 15 years, all by the will of Allah.
I am of Maorī decent, born in Hawkes Bay, raised mostly in Sydney, Australia.
I am the second eldest of 6 siblings, and the oldest Muslim sibling in my family.
Life before Islam.
Ive always felt connected to a higher power from a young age and Allah has given me from his favors in abundance, but life before islam was filled with mostly uncertainty.
When l was 5 years old, my Parents separated, and my older brother and I were in the cross fire.
It ended in us also having to take sides, so I chose to live with my mother.
I come from a mostly non-religious family and at the time my mother had zero care for religion, but my neighbour (may Allah guide her to Islam) always used to take me to church and instilled the concept of God in my mind.
I used to come home and ask my mother questions about "God and the Bible" and other concepts like the original sin, and the explanation of the trinity. Bare in mind I was only 6 years old at the time.
My mother could not answer me, but because of my questions it prompted her to seek knowledge.
So my mother decided to read the Bible for herself just to answer my questions. Long story short, it confused her more than answered her questions.
So my mother decided to ignore my questions but went on to further her own small research. After finding nothing, she didnt really pursue much further, until she came to a suburb in Sydney called Chester Hill.
For the first time as I recall my mother was intrigued by what she saw, and I guess this was her first encounter with a Muslim.
She approached a women and at the time, my mother had no idea what a hijab was, let alone what Islam is.
She approached the sister and asked some questions and long story short the sister answered my mothers questions to the best of her ability.
The sister said, "I know a sister who may be able answer your question much better." Subhanallah,
how Allah works.
The sister she guided my mother, to was at the time a revert of 21 years.
She was an active member in dawah and also from NZ. So my mother felt comfortable due to their commonalities.
Within a week my mother had learned and came into Islam. She finally had the answers to all those question I had asked her.
She then answered all my questions and then asked if I would like to be a Muslim. With no hesitation I accepted.
My mother reverted first and I followed, my siblings are all Muslim except my older brother unfortunately.
I have cut this story alot shorter than it actually is but that is in essence what happened.
My first encounter with a Muslim.
It was in the Masjid. I went to a youth night as a kid and we had a small wrestling competition which thought was the best thing ever.
What do I love about Islam?
Everything! It is a complete system from the start of life, till the end of life and even a guide through the afterlife.
It has covered all bases.
How has Islam improved me as person?
Without Islam, I would be nothing and most likely on a path to nowhere real quick.
It has improved me and continues to improve me the more I seek knowledge.
My family likes my changes.
My non-Muslim family are very loving Alhamdulilah, and they are very accepting of who I have become as a person. And some are proud to have a Muslim cousin which is cool with me.
As a Maori Muslim what challenges I have faced?
Being a Māori Muslim, I have faced many challenges and I still face many challenges. I have dealt with racism, and bigoted ideals from sub communities among the Muslim community, but in my opinion has made me much stronger.
Allah has given me the gift of being able to read Arabic العربية and also teach it.
But some of the older generation Arabs in the community find it odd due to where I am from, and some are against it which is sad but Alhamdulilah it is what it is.
I would speak more but I've already written heaps.
I could write a book.
Allah barik feek for the time you guys have taken to read this.