I am a Caucasian female who has in the past year discovered Islam. I'm almost addicted to learning what I can about the religion. I've never understood, respected, or admired any other religion as much as I do Islam. A Muslim coworker opened my eyes to it. He would speak about religious or spiritual matters with me just as small talk and he was always impressed by my feedback. He finally told me one day that my ideas and view on life are "so Islamic". I had never been told this before and since I only knew of the Islam that which was broadcast in the American media I had to do research of my own on Islam. I bought a book simply titled "Understanding Islam". I was very shocked at how much I agreed with and understood. He was right. The natural ideas I have thought were all my own and my own view of life were all in this book! Anyway, months later we got married! My next step is to convert. I just have to overcome this fear of society judging me when they see a white, blonde-haired, blue eyed girl wearing a hijab. Also, my family would eventually accept it but not easily. I have not yet gained the courage to wear the hijab. I'm 27 years old, brought up in this materialistic environment. Anyway, before I convert I would like to be fully educated on Islam. I want to learn how to pray and I of course would like the guidance of a muslimah. Can you help me?

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It is a tremendous blessing to make a friend who has true faith in God. The bond of faith is an excellent reason to get married. Congratulations for this wonderful realization! From what I read, you are already a Muslim. What is left is simply a declaration of faith. There are many things you can read, but the best way to learn about prayer is to join the group prayers, especially the one on Fridays. During the Friday prayer, we at the Islamic House of Wisdom not only do the prayer but have a sermon about moral, social and political issues in our society. If you are close by, you are welcome to participate. You must wear the hijab to perform the prayers, and then gradually adjust yourself with the hijab. The first step is to project a modest serious image by keeping your legs covered and your eyes lowered. As a new Muslim whose former social support network may now be shaky, you should learn about Islam without alienating your family. Wearing hijab step by step may reduce your family backfire. Take it slowly. Practice wearing a scarf outside on rainy or windy days would be the best start.



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