Well, it all started when I met my ex-husband. He was a Muslim but at the time that I met him, he wasn't practicing Islam (now he does, al-Hamdulillah (praise be to Allah)). We married 3 months after we met. Well, he didn't really tell me anything about Islam, but when we went to go to visit his friends, I talked to the wives and they told me about Islam. At first, I didn't want to be a Muslim. I was raised by my step mom from the time I was 14 and she was a serious feminist. So, I viewed Islam as oppressive (Islam is not oppressive of course, it is just that I didn't have that much knowledge at that point). I was actually very rude to the Muslim ladies and kept trying to get them to dress like Americans dress. I told them that they should wear short sleeves because it is too hot for long sleeves.
Boy was I bad. Well, the ladies were very patient with me and just kept discussing Islam with me without any pressure. Still, I had no intention of ever becoming a Muslim. Well, one of the ladies who told me about Islam moved away and I kind of dropped the issue for a while. Then my brother in law (my ex-husband's brother) came to live with us. He asked me if I wanted to learn about Islam. I told him that I do not plan on becoming a Muslim but if he has any books about Islam, then I would read them so that I could understand Islam.
Well, my brother in law gave me a copy of the Qur'an and it set on the shelf for 8 months before I even touched it. I was totally convinced that I would never become a Muslim. I had always just assumed that as long as I was a nice person and didn't harm anyone, then I would just simply die and go to Heaven.
Well, now I know that it doesn't work that way because if someone does a good thing only to impress others, then how can this really truly be a good thing. We must work to please Allah (The God) because it is through his Mercy alone that we can be admitted to the Heaven. Allah rewards us and punishes us according to our good and bad deeds. This makes total sense. Everyone is accountable to Allah alone for his or her own deeds. I now know that Islam is the final revelation from Allah. It is the revelation that Prophet Muhammad (who was foretold by the Prophet Jesus in the bible) was entrusted to teach to all of mankind.
Well, before I converted to Islam, my brother in law had borrowed some Islamic videos from a friend of his. One day while I was sitting in the living room (he usually stayed in his bedroom whenever he was home and I stayed in the living room because my husband was rarely ever home) he came out and asked if I would watch a video. So I said yes. And it was a video by Ahmad Deedat. Ahmad Deedat was a scholar of both Qur'an and the Bible. After watching his tape, I started getting curious about Islam. So then I read the Qur'an, and Glory to Allah (SubhanAllah in Arabic) I was so taken in by the Qur'an. I couldn't put it down. I believed completely in my heart that the Qur'an is the truth from Allah (God). I spent the next 6 or 7 months studying the Qur'an and reading about Islam on the Internet. At the time, I was a college student, so I had to go to my school to get on the Internet. I printed out thousands of pages about Islam. I wanted to become Muslim so badly, but I was scared of what people would think. I hesitated to become Muslim for a while. I studied Islam a total of one year before I converted to Islam.
The reason why I hesitated is because I knew that my family would throw a fit. And sure enough they did. On Fourth of July, 1997, I announced to my parents that I was going to convert to Islam. They threw a fit and screamed at me and called me every 4-letter word that you could possibly imagine. They told me that I am ridiculous and stupid. They screamed and told me that I should put them before Allah because they created me. Astaghfirullah. My dad and step mom do not believe in Allah. They tried to make my life very hard. They refused to see me unless I gave up my religion. Well, my religion is number one. My parents cannot save me from the hellfire, only Allah can save me. I have been Muslim for 2 1/2 years and I have only seen my parents three times since then. The first time they saw me was when I got married to my second husband. Then they came to the hospital when I gave birth to my daughter. Then the last time they saw me was 5 months ago. They wanted to see my baby again.
Well, I can tell you that most parents do eventually accept the idea. As a matter of fact, my dad and step mom are starting to communicate with me again and they did come to my house for dinner recently. They are not crazy about the idea of me being Muslim, but they are getting used to it. On the other hand, my real mom is totally cool about me being Muslim. She is a Christian, and I think that is why she accepts that I am a Muslim. When I became Muslim, I talked with my mom and explained to her that Muslims believe in God, and that we believe in Jesus as the messenger of God rather than as a son. I also told her about the Prophet Muhammad. I explained to her that the Prophet Muhammad was the great great...... grandson of the Prophet Abraham. I showed her many verses of the Qur'an (especially the verses which show scientific proof that the Qur'an is the truth). My mom was actually happy for me.
I showed her many verses of the Qur'an, including the following verses: "Have not those who disbelieve know that the heavens and the earth were joined together as one united piece, then We parted them?
And We have made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?
And We have placed on the earth firm mountains, lest it should shake with them, and We placed therein broad highways for them to pass through, that they may be guided.
And We have made the heaven a roof, safe and well guarded. Yet they turn away from its signs (i.e. sun, moon, winds, clouds.)
And He it is Who has created the night and the day, and the sun and the moon, each in an orbit floating."
These verses are even more amazing when you read them in the Arabic. Arabic is the original language of the Qur'an. The Qur'an has the English and the Arabic side by side so that a person can refer to the original text. If you look closely at the above verses. This explains the big bang theory. Also the verse about the mountains explains that without the mountains, the earth would be unstable (this is now a known scientific fact). Also the verse explains that the night and day are in an orbit. This verse and others throughout the Qur'an explain the fact that night goes into day, and vice versa, because of the earth's rotation. These are all scientific facts that no one could have possibly known about 1400 years ago.
I also showed my mother many Qur'anic verses about the development of a fetus and how a woman carries a child in 3 veils of darkness (3 trimesters). I must tell everyone that Islam has brought a comfort and peace to my life like I had never known before. I actually feel like I have a purpose other than just waking up and repeating what I did yesterday.
How many of us have found ourselves waking up and going to work, then coming home to eat and sleep and then you get up the next day and do it all over again. Well, now as a Muslim, I realize that the purpose of life is to worship our Creator and only our Creator. We worship Him and love Him, and hope for His Mercy and entrance to the Paradise. So, instead of waking up and working and wondering what the point is to all this hard work, now I spend my time learning religious knowledge and working to try and get good deeds in hope of earning the entrance to Heaven, insha'Allah.
Oh, it is so nice to know the meaning of life. everyday.