COMING HOME TO ISLAM
By Sister Aliyah (Australia)
Assalaamu alaikum wa ramatullah wa barakatu,
I'd like to share my story of becoming Muslim, Alhamdulillah. I
noticed that there are many members who are not yet Muslim but
are thinking about it & it is my hope, inshAllah, that my story
will inspire them to take the Shahada, the first step to
becoming a Muslim. I would also like to say JazakAllah khayrun to Brother AbuUbaida
for forming this (MuslimConverts.com) to encourage & educate new
Muslims. May Allah reward you for your wonderful efforts!
This is my story of my journey to Islam....
Islam has intercepted my life since adolescence. It has crossed my path many times; in the form of friends& acquaintances and also in the form of an inexplicable interest in anything Islamic or 'middle- eastern'. Of course, Islam is more than just an Arab phenomenon.
Only after studying, working and traveling did I return to a question which had eluded me since my teens: Which is the right religion? I had investigated my Jewish roots in my mid-teens. I found out a little information about Judaism and then summoned the courage to call the local Jewish Temple. I hit a dead end though-the rabbi told me there was no way I could become Jewish if my mother was not Jewish (my father is Jewish but my mother is Mormon). A class mate at high school, who I helped sometimes at the library with his English assignments, was a Muslim. Unbeknown to me this man, after not seeing him for 15 years, has become my husband now. SubhanAllah!!
I have been married previously, to a Jehovah's Witness. I thoroughly researched what the JW's taught (well, they kind of push it on you!)- but I didn't buy it. I just couldn't accept the 'God has a son' thing or the fact that they are false prophets- re: 1918, 1974 - Armageddon prophesies. I lived a very comfortable life with my previous husband. It just wasn't enough-money is not everything. I was searching for something to make my life worthwhile. I knew that if I really prayed sincerely, from the depth of my heart, that God-the Creator of all that exists, would answer me. One day, I knelt on the floor (unbeknown to me then, in sajda) and prayed, really prayed from the bottom of my heart for God to lead me to the right way to worship Him. I fell down into prostration, with my forehead on the floor, calling out to Him, silently, "Please God, please God, please lead me to the Truth!" - later, after I found out the principles of Islam, I was amazed to discover that this is how Muslims pray! SubhanAllah!
Little by little, the pieces of the puzzle started to fall into place. I had a friend who worked at a nightclub. She introduced me to some Muslims she knew from work. I was curious about their religion- they lamented that they didn't have strong enough faith to be religious-may Allah guide them. A light clicked on in my head-they weren't practicing Muslims but they loved Islam & were so passionate about it! I was curious about September 11 too. I did some research on the internet about Islam. I never saw them (those Muslims) after that but my thirst for learning about Islam was insatiable. When I discovered that the Qu'ran has not changed, not even one letter, since its revelation, I was amazed! While studying with the JWs I was almost going to start learning Hebrew and Aramaic to get the real meaning of the Bible. And here was a book, revealed from God in the original language that people can read for themselves! This is what I had been searching for!!! That really was the last piece of the puzzle that fell into place.
Everything I learned about Islam just seemed so natural to me. The expression 'coming home' really is the right way to describe the way I (& other new Muslims) feel when they accept Islam. I never questioned why I had to do certain things (like pray, fast, give charity). Covering my hair when I went out took about three months for me to do fully. I started by going to Islamic ladies functions or to the shops with a scarf and little by little my dress became more modest and after about six months I wore abaya too. I felt such a hypocrite to wear it some places and not others so I just made the decision to wear it all the time. The saddest thing I had to do was to give away my beloved puppy dog, for the sake of Allah, Alhamdulillah. I was sad for losing her but happy to do it to please Allah.
Work was hard too. Some clients thought I was playing some kind of joke the first time I wore a scarf to work. That really did hurt - that people thought Islam is something someone would joke about. I don't work anymore-my boss wasn't very Muslim-friendly. As my clothing became more and more modest, she withdrew more and more too. I guess in her feminist eyes I was standing for everything that she was trying not to be. I could only take so much pressure. After I was married and then had a miscarriage she suggested I take some time off work and we would have 'a talk' in a few months-she never called and I didn't bother either. I got tired of defending myself everyday-call me chicken but I just had enough! I also found solace that I was pleasing Allah by staying home (Qu'ran: Al-Ahzaab 33:33)
Well, that's the short version! Allah the Almighty has made things easy for me though. While He has tested me, He has blessed me with a truly wonderful husband (the one I knew from school) who loves and fears Allah maybe even more than me. Alhamdullilah!
Assalaamu alaikum wa ramatullah wa barakatu,
Aliyah from Australia