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Greetings, I was born into a Christian family but got disenchanted not with my basic beliefs but with the ways of the organised relgion. I now live by chance in a largely muslim country and through a close friend, who is now my fiancee, was introduced to Islam. Initially, I was biased by many negative images but thru discussions and opening my heart and my ears I began to change my perspective.

As the posting from Stacey says : "It is because everything we were being taught I could really relate to. I kept saying to myself "I do this already, I do that already, I understand that etc.." and through all this I have found a new belief and comfort in God. Of course I do my own reading on the netand go to conversion classes and as I progress the more I feel convinced that this is the way forward for me ... but I get frustrated - the government sponsored bodies really are poor and do little to either encourage me or deepen my understanding of Islam - they even tell me that I have to "pass a test" before they will let me officially convert - can this be right?

I am also faced with a barrage of foreign and flowery language and "strange" practices and no easy way to understand their purpose or merit. As I sit here listening to the first call to prayers, I feel a barrier because if I walked round the corner to the local mosque I wouldn't know what was expected and suspect that there would be little help or guidance.

Islam is a wonderful, open and tolerant religion, I pray to God in my own way and at my own times and so far this has brought me a one-ness with God that I couldn't have imagined before but how to embrace this fully?? I am starting to read the Quran although progress is inevitably slow, but feel the need to make that commitment right now, so that I can develop myself within the religion rather than outside it. My fiancee (born a muslim) is very supportive (we attend classes together) and we also want to extend our beliefs and understandings together so that together we are able to lead a good and meaningful life. My best wishes Michael
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Assalaam Michael, I know and inderstand totally what you are talking about and I even can feel your insides when I read your email. I mean, I came across Islam on my own so our introductions are different. But when I first and still go to the Mosque here, I find it difficult because sisters are not approachable as in what Abdu (the brother who replied to your post here before I did - I apologize for mis-spelling your name brother)... Anyway, even now, I have a brother who I go to for questions beause I havent been able to befriend a sister to ask questions to or go to for help... I find it a little discouraging. I also have noticed that most brothers and sisters are either older than me or are school age children. Just now are there starting to be some foreign students attending the university how are a few years younger than me but they too are mostly (99%) brothers. So I find it difficult to even go to them for questions... Anyway, that's one of the biggest barriers which I have come across. But I have bought so many books to read and learn about Islam that it has filled up my gap. As well, I have and read my Koran and I even got a CD version of the Koran and I really enjoy it! I didn't have to pass a test and I have never heard of such a thing as a test... All I did was go to the Mosque and say the Shadallah (please forgive my mis-spellings). Then I was considered a sister and have been since. Finally, all I want to say is that you are lucky to have your financee in your life to guide and teach you Islam. Take care brother, Salaam Stacey
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Dear Mike, Thanks for sharing your journey towards Islam with us. What country are you in? I was also born into a christian family here in the UK. I embraced and reverted to Islam in 1995, when I was in Indonesia. I am so grateful to God for this blessing, which has, of course changed my life. I am happy to share my experiences with you, if you like. May God bless you in this world and the next. Peace be upon you, Muhsin
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waleykum assalam wa rahmatullah wa barkatu... Masha'Allah sister stacey...I was so happy to read your story...alhumdulillah! May Allah ta'ala always keep you on the straight path...ameen. It's so amazing how you never felt like doing things that were the norm in your society....Allah ta'ala has a plan for everyone.. how do your parents feel about your reversion? Your sister in islam hanifa

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Assalaam Ailkuim Sister Hanifa, Thank you for the welcome. That is very kind of you. To answer yor question: how do my parents feel about my reversion? Well, they are okay with it. I mean they never turned back on my or tried to make me stop appreaching or converting. All they asked me were two questions. 1) It is God who I will be worshipping not the devil or a lower level being? I said yes it is still God and nothing else because God is God and nothing else... 2) Will I be practicing my faith? I told them I would be. They were happy to hear that because all they care about is that I do belong to a faith and believe in God! So in short, there were no problems or concerns... Take care Stacey
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Assalam Ailkuim Sisters and Brothers, wa alaykum as-salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh sister MashaAllah! Guidance comes from Allaah(SWT) May Allah(SWT) bless you in this life and give you jannah in the hereafter - ameen Make dua for all the muslims please - ameen -- Abu Abdullah
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Hi Muhsin Thank you for your note - I'm not too far from Indonesia - in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Regards Mike