Bismillahir rahmanir raheem
Alhamdulillah, I was so inspired by the lovely ladies over at Daily Muslimah that I wanted to share their reversion to Islam story with you all. It’s always nice when people want to share how they came to Islam as it often brings hope and reassurance to others.
So without further delay, here’s how Joanna and Alina came to Islam! Bismillah!
I was raised as Catholic but my family was not educated in religion so we would do only Catholic things related to our culture, so the main holidays and stuff like that but there was no bible in the home, nothing. At school, I would attend the religion classes but frankly I have no recollection of them so I assume they were pretty boring. As for the church, we would attend church every Sunday and sometimes some extra days, just to “kill the time and dress nicely”.
My spiritual side though was a bit different than people would expect. Firstly, I never believed in trinity concept (I was interested in history so I know the story of first council in Nicaea), I was against priests etc. But, I strongly believed in God and I would find my own way to pray because I found the catholic way of praying not sufficient. I would tell Him how grateful I was and if I had any problem or worry I would express it in my prayer too.
Surprisingly, my studies brought me to Islam J Last year I got my Master’s degree in diplomacy and my thesis was about women rights in the Middle East through few prisms, one of them being religion. Having this opportunity, I spent lots of time reading and doing my own research crucial for my thesis. Suddenly I found myself defending Islam in every discussion I would have at that time. Later on I really started to feel like muslimahJ Even though at that time I hadn’t taken shahadah yet. The day when I was defending my thesis was 3rd of November 2014, I remember sitting in front of the room where I was supposed to have discussion with all Thesis Commission and I was peaceful. I said to God: Give me strength and don’t let me be stressed so that I can really rock. And I went there being energetic and I rocked indeed. The professors said one thing: do not stop being so passionate about what you do. Never.
4th of November, night. I took my shahadah alone.
Well, my story is a little more complicated, like from the movies. I am from Cuba, a communist country. My dad was a political and communist person, and at his time in Cuba, communism is the opposite to religion (no matter what kind of religion). My mom is from Romania (Orthodox Christian). When I was born, she baptized me like a Catholic, against my dad’s values. So, I grew up without any kind of religious education in my life from my parents, big family, friends, school, etc. I knew something about Christianity, I read the bible sometimes but I didn’t feel it’s words in my heart. I had the hope there is a God who takes care of us but I didn’t feel myself like a Catholic so I was more interested about scientific knowledge. I admit, sometimes I prayed to God when I was sad, in need or happy, God without a specific religion, one and only God. I prayed in my own way with my own words and with all my heart. I thanked my God when something good happened to me, I asked to forgive me when I did something wrong and asked for help when I felt lost.
When I moved to Romania, an Orthodox country, I tried to go to the Sunday mass in church, but I didn’t felt comfortable, like you know… I felt it is not my place.
Few months ago, I met someone dear and I was invited to go to Egypt, Cairo for some weeks for tourism purpose. It was my first contact with the Islamic world. All I knew about Islam was from mass media, where any news was negatively presented. But, something happened! From the first minute in that country, in that city, from the first calling to pray I heard, I felt so great, I felt something new inside me, in my heart. It was something magical! I spent those days with a lovely and absolutely awesome Muslim family. I loved to see them praying together, I loved to see constant smiles on their faces, they were so happy with the few things they had. Their modesty, happiness, love for each other, support for each other, it made me think about Islam. What is Islam? Why are the Muslim people so grateful with nothing, why are they always happy and calm? What makes them to be like that? I realized I want to be like them, I want to have a family like them.
I came back to Romania after finishing my plan. I started to read the Quran, and read about Islam and about sunnah and hadiths and about Prophet’s (pbuh) life. I made some Muslim friends on Facebook and I loved to talk with them. I loved to hear them talking about God, every time I saw in their eyes an unconditional love for Allah. And with the time, I started to enter this amazing world.
On April 21st, the first day of Catholic Easter, I woke up early in the morning and I felt in my heart that I must convert to Islam, where I belong. I talked with a Muslim girl and I repeated after her my shahadah. From that day I am a new person dedicated to Allah, worshiping Him, and doing my best for Him and thanking Him for this opportunity. Alhamdulillah!
MashaAllah what inspiring stories. Please make dua that Allah swt blesses these sisters and puts barakah in all that they do. Ameen!
Wasalaam – Peace Be With You