One week later, I said my Shahadah (testimony of faith) at a public groundbreaking for a new mosque. As soon as I said it, two rainbows appeared in the sky! Everyone who witnessed it was very touched and all the Muslim sisters came up to me afterwards hugging me. I was crying from so much joy, as were most of the people there, happy to have me in the Ummah (community of Muslims).
The next day, eager to show the world I was a Muslim, I went to a local Middle Eastern store where they sold beautiful hijabs (headscarves) and dresses appropriate for the required Muslim dress. I bought many dresses and scarves, and from that day forward, I dressed properly. Ah … free at last! I had broken the chains of fashion and physical enslavement enforced by a superficial society.
Honestly, I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I no longer felt the pressure to dress and look better than everyone else. I finally respected myself and no longer based my self-worth on the reactions and attention of others. While many looked at me strangely — some with pity, some with anger, and some with curiosity — I really did get so much respect like never before.