Sold into slavery in her native Afghanistan at a young age, Sooraya Qadir was liberated by Wolverine of the X-Men. Subsequently enrolled as a student at the Xavier Institute, Sooraya was originally placed in the Special Class to allow her time to acclimatize to her new environment. When the Class' instructor, Xorn, was manipulated into believing he was Magneto, Sooraya joined the X-Men in opposing him. Later, when the student body was organized into squads, Sooraya was placed with the rebellious Hellions. Seemingly out of place with her respect for tradition and strong moral code, Sooraya still did her best to work with her teammates. When the Hellions made a deal with the Kingmaker, Sooraya was reunited with her mother. In repayment, the Kingmaker instructed the Hellions to commit crimes for him but they ultimately refused, and Sooraya's mother was lost to her once more.
After the effects of House of M|"M-Day", Dust was one of the few students who didn't lose their powers. The depowered students and staff were sent home; however their bus was bombed by anti-mutant religious zealot Reverend William Stryker. Subsequently, Emma Frost had the surviving students engage in an all-in brawl, with those deemed to be the best performers assigned to a new team of trainee X-Men. Dust was among those students who made the grade.
Sooraya became a target of William Stryker's crusade against the Xavier Institute. Icarus gave her a note, which X-23 told Sooraya not to trust. When Icarus visited the church of William Stryker he was shown why Dust was his next target. Nimrod had a vision of an altered future in his memory banks which showed Dust killing all the Purifiers by turning into a sand storm and ripping the flesh from their bones. After entering the church of Reverend Stryker, she was shown being shot down, though it was revealed to be X-23 dressed in one of her burquas. When Stryker's team infiltrated the school, Dust reappeared, surprising Stryker and playing a key role in defeating his Purifiers.