My name is Fay Tofilau (Fawzia)
I'm a Samoan revert and it's only been 3 weeks so I'm fairly new.
Life before Islam.
I was born into the Latter Day Saint (Mormon) church. Then mother's family converted the Seventh-Day Adventist church so I was brought up as a Christian.
I always knew there was a higher being and I was always connected in my own way. As I got older, l felt lost Spiritually. While studying, I learned that before Christianity, Samoans had their own Gods, so I felt even more lost.
I didn't know who or what to worship and who ask for help.
My first encounter with a Muslim.
While I was studying Pacific Performing Arts, I got connected to a brother on a dating site. We talked about Church and he mentioned that he was Muslim and talked about Allah SWT.
I felt offended that he didn't pray to Jesus. I became hard headed against Allah, Islam and the umah because I wasn't educated enough and ignorant.
I wasn't really interested until the Christchurch shooting. I saw how fast those Muslims forgave the shooter and similar videos started surfacing on YouTube. So I started asking questions and did my own little research through social media and some people I knew.
Then Alhamdulillah, I came across "The Resurrection of Ertugrul" and started watching it and really, that confirmed it for me. So I showed it to my mother and my grandmother. It has been 3 beautiful weeks since I took my Shahada.
What do I love about Islam?
PEACE! It's the total opposite of what they portray in the media. Plus Islam is family and community based, very similar to the Samoan culture.
"Muslims aren't perfect but Islam is"
How has Islam improved me as person?
I feel that I'm more at ease spiritually and I'm very happy and at Peace with myself. Before Islam I was in a relationship that caused me Anxiety and Depression so I turned to Alcohol, Sex and Suicidal thoughts to ease my pain, but that all has changed since I found Islam. Alhamdulillah
My family likes my changes.
Although I'm the first and the only Muslim in our Aiga, my family likes the fact that I have more time at home with them. Cousins are asking questions and wanting to know a bit more about Islam because they say that I've actually changed for the better, MashAllah.
As a Polynesian Muslim what challenges I have faced?
Well there have been challenges hitting me from every angle.
I told my Mormon father that I have made the decision to become Muslim, and straight away, he had no hesitation to disown me as his daughter.
Samoans at work are gossiping about why I've changed and started to cover my hair. May Allah turn their heart to Islam, and also make it easy for all of us facing all sorts of challenges. Inshallah!