Ashley Mountasir became curious about Islam when she watched her Muslim boyfriend Taha fast during the holy month of Ramadan two years ago.
The 19-year-old Murrieta woman was Catholic at the time but in June she converted to Islam. On Monday, the first full day of Ramadan, she fasted with her now-husband Taha for the first time.
It wasn't difficult, even though the fast lasted almost 16 hours, she said.
"My body told me, 'I'm not hungry. My body doesn't need anything. I'm doing this for my God,'" Mountasir said.
Mountasir was one of several recent converts who attended prayer services Sunday night at the Islamic Center of the Temecula Valley in Temecula. Ramadan began at sundown Sunday. Two men converted during the service.
Ramadan commemorates when Muslims believe Allah revealed the teachings of the Quran to Mohammed. During the month, observant Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset. This year, Ramadan will end Oct. 1.
When Mountasir met Taha two years ago through friends, she didn't know he was Muslim until she asked him why he was fasting. She was nominally Catholic but never connected with Catholicism and rarely attended Mass.
Mountasir asked Taha, 23, and his mother, Nafissa Larson, many questions, first about Ramadan and then about Islam in general. The more she learned, the more questions she asked. (MORE)