Posted on Oct 03, 2012
This month's Hijabi of the Month comes to us from Houston, Texas! Sonya Khan was nominated by a friend who had this to say about her:
Ever since I've known Sonya she's been a hard worker. She got married young, had her first baby soon thereafter and still managed to finish school, go into the medical field, and is now an endocrinologist. She has three kids and is not only active in the community, but also stays active physically, having recently biked for MS. You can tell she strives to be the best and lives for her kids. She's a great inspiration for us all!
I am a proud mom alhumdulillah of 3 beautiful kids, who to say it simply are the greatest accomplishment of my life. They are my joy and my life. I share this life with a wonderful husband who mashaAllah is very adventurous and loves to keep me on my toes. I was born in Detroit and grew up in Houston. I studied at the University of Houston and received my Bachelors of Science with summa cum laude honors. During that time, I married and went on to have my oldest son Hasan. I graduated early and spent the year studying alongside baby formula for my MCAT. I started Medical School and had my other two children, Yusuf and Safia during my 3rd and 4th years of medical school. I finished my training at the University of Texas Houston, and am now a practicing Endocrinologist. Alhumdulillah what a whirlwind journey it was, but yet, I remember it all with such fond memories.
Now, with a lot more time (no more 30 hour shifts and 80 hour work weeks), my husband Salman and I have taken up cycling. Last year we rode the MS 150, which is a 2 day, 150 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin. We rode under the group Muslim Go, an organization that my husband formed to show the community that Muslims are vested here, that we are here to contribute, and that we care about the world. It was a source of dawah last year, as many people of other faiths expressed gratitude for our participation.
With work and the kids, we are pretty busy, but alhumdulillah, blessed cannot cover it. I am thankful for all that life has taught me, for how it has improved my outlook on things, and for making me a better muslimah.
1) How old were you when you first started wearing hijab?
I was 8 years old when I started wearing hijab. I was lucky alhumdulillah to be surrounded with friends who were also wearing hijab at that age. At that time, it was something I chose to do and my mom started wearing hijab soon afterwards. As a child, I felt like it was something I had to do and as I grew older, I found it to be a source of empowerment, a way to really express myself, and a source of pride. I have never felt like it has held me back, and on the contrary, I have always felt like it has helped me present myself in a very respectable way.
2) Who were some positive role models you had growing up?
Growing up, there were very few Muslim women doctors to get advice from, but my parents have always been role models for me. My dad taught me to be very thankful for all that I have, to always be humble, to never want what you don't need and to thank Allah for everything. My mom has taught me to be strong, to never let things bring me down and to persevere through everything. Both of them have taught me that family is always first, no matter where you are in your career, no matter what your personal desires are, put your kids first and that's what they have always done for me.
3) What do you love most about being a doctor? I love being able to be someone that people can turn to. Giving shifa with the permission of Allah (S) to people is truly a blessing. I love being able to listen to people, investigate the problem, and alhumdulillah provide a solution. Many of my patients are looking for someone to listen to them, and I am happy to be there to hear them. Through the years, I have been able to volunteer and help with many of the younger kids in making career decisions, and I feel like this is a great way to give back to the community.
4) If you could tell your 17-year old self anything, what would it be?
Enjoy every step of life. Don't rush it. Every moment in life has it's own blessings. You will never be able to repeat your life, so really soak it in. Soak in your marriage, soak in your children, soak in your education. I have been so fortunate to enjoy every stage in my life. I know other doctors may not believe me, but I thank Allah everyday for the blessings of medical school, residency and fellowship. Those were some great days, and not everyone gets a chance to study in institutions such as these.
5) What's the best piece of advice anyone's ever given you?
Life will never slow down, if you want to do something, just say Bismillah and do it. I have lived by this principle ever since I heard it.
Is there someone you'd like to nominate for HOTM? E-mail us at email@example.com.