I first became aware of Islam as I walked past a Islamic book shop in Tooting, London. A picture with Islamic writing shone out of the shop window, inquisitive I entered and talked at some length with the shop owner. I remained at the shop some time and as Jummah ‘prayer’ came the shop owner got out his mat and prayed. I felt a source of energy draw in from the east, surrounded him and is carpet then touched me before filling the entire shop.
The experience was most profound; as I left the shop I felt lighter in spirit and in hindsight of clarity most significant was a concious revealing of profanity outside. I began to cover (hijab) myself, shielding from it and as I did so I felt a warm sense of peace from within emanate outwards. I also found the peaceful eastern blessing in Muslims everywhere; most Muslims I had the good fortune to meet were honest, charitable, hard working, peaceful people.
I observed Ramadan 2015 fasting for one month from sunrise to sunset breaking every fast alone; usually in a middle eastern restaurant. In the extremity of loneliness I felt a oneness with all Muslims, connection I believe is called ‘Ummah’ as though we were all family. In the evenings of Ramadan an awesome light used to appear emerging from the midst of the air as the days sun gradually set.
At this time I changed my name to ‘Hannah’ to be more compatible with Islam than Blodeuwedd or Maisie. Transsexualism, my female gender identity was dogmatic in Islam although not completely shunned. I also experience a number of attacks and slurs from the Islamaphobic far right..