Monday, December 29, 2014

Growing Up Muslim In America

written by guest blogger, Sheima Salam Sumer. Sheima Salam Sumer possesses a Master’s degree in Counselor Education and is the author of two books, “How to Be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah: Rise Above Your Problems and Choose Inner Peace and Joy with Ideas from the Quran, Sunnah, Counseling, and Health Fields” and “The Basic Values of Islam: Alphabetically Listed with Islamic References.” Her website is 

My name is Sheima Salam Sumer and I was born and raised in America, although my parents are originally from Afghanistan and Lebanon. I have always been drawn to seek a connection with God, and when I learned at the age of 9 that a Muslim should pray five times a day, I would talk to Allah at night and promise Him that I would start to pray 5 times a day on my 10th birthday.

Alhamdulillah (praise be to God) I was able to keep this promise, although I wasn’t perfect; but I certainly tried to keep up my prayers. I always loved how Islam taught me to do good deeds and that God sees the good deeds we do and will reward us. I loved how Islam taught us to help others, to seek knowledge, and to remember the blessings of God.

I always had non-Muslim friends and although I felt different, I also felt happy to live in America and I enjoyed my childhood. My middle school years were the first time I learned that Muslims are not always viewed favorably by others and that political problems existed in Muslim countries. From those years I decided to try to be a positive voice for Islam and to represent Islam as the kind, compassionate and tolerant religion that I believe it is.

I earned a Master’s degree in Counselor Education from the University of South Carolina in 2007 and chose to pursue this field largely due to Islam’s emphasis on helping others. I have recently published a book titled, “How to be a Happy Muslim Insha’Allah,” which combines the teachings of Islam with the teachings of counseling.

I hope to benefit my Muslim community with my counseling knowledge and I provide free e-mail counseling via my website, I also hope to continue to positively represent Islam and my beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as best I can.

I have always appreciated the religious tolerance I felt in America and I appreciate the humane work of Project Interfaith.

Books by Sheima Salam Sumer, Ed.S., Author/Trained Counselor
How to Be a Happy Muslim Insha'Allah: Rise Above Your Problems and Choose Inner Peace and Joy with Ideas from the Qur'an, Sunnah, Counseling and Health Fields | Available on (FB Publishing 2014)

The Basic Values of Islam: Alphabetically Listed with Islamic References | Available on and (AS Noordeen 2012)
Available here


anne said...

Thanks for sharing, look forward to finding out more.

Farah said...

Thank you for sharing your story. What a wonderful way to give back. God bless.

Sheima said...

Thank you both for your kind words! I feel very blessed to be an American and to have had the education and experiences I had.

Donald Schellberg said...

Good luck on your endeavor. As a Baha'i living in the US, I have often defended Mohammed and Islam against their detractors here. Unfortunately, I am not expert in this area because I cannot speak Arabic and the English translations of the Koran are not very good. The world needs more people like you to counteract the negative images seen on TV and so that people can trully appreciate Islam.

Sheima said...

Thank you, Donald, for your kind words of encouragement and for your efforts to enhance a true understanding of Islam.