Like all of us, I was born submitting to God. Nine months and an eternity before the day I was born, I bore witness with all souls that my Creator was my God. I was raised to submit by my Muslim mother, and found examples in both her and my Christian father. At 18 years old and as a college freshman, I delved into the practice of Islam. Through the years, I struggled and stumbled in this effort while finishing my medical training and navigating life and love. After 32 years on this earth and an eternity after bearing witness to God, I’m finally learning what it really means to submit.

This is what submission looks like for a contemporary, Western, indigenous black American Muslim.