My Journey to Islam
I am from Colombia. My family is Catholic (Christian), but they are not practicing. At the age of 14 years old, I started to be very curious about other religions like Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and other denominations of Christianity because I felt that I needed God, and that I wanted to be closer to Him, but I didn’t know how.
I spent a long time reading and understanding all those religions, but none of them gave me a feeling of “that’s right”, so I decided not to have a religion, but to believe in God. Plus, I told my granny about my thoughts regarding God and religions, and she said that God didn’t have religion, and that all humans belong to Him. It kept me feeling peaceful and happy for a time. I lived only with my grandparents and my sister in a small city at that time.
I never thought about learning about Islam because I believed in everything the media showed. I thought it promoted the terrorism and murder of innocents for God, so I didn’t think of considering it, and meanwhile, the media kept doing its job. Somehow I started to find tiny books about Islam, so I decided to start reading them. It was the start of pursuing knowledge about Islam. I started to visit Islamic websites, to watch videos from the Islamic channels and everything, but later on I started to have some bad health issues and I had an operation in my backbone.
I remember that my whole family was so worried about me and were all praying for me, but I was feeling good. I knew that my operation was pretty dangerous, but I was feeling so peaceful because a feeling of “everything is gonna be alright” came to me and kept me in the most peaceful mood until the end of the operation. I didn’t worry about anything because I knew that God is with me always and because of Him, everything would end alright. Just like that, the operation and everything ended alright. Thanks to God, the recovery took me a year or so, and it was a really painful and hard time all the time. I stayed at home. I was dedicated to learn more about Islam and after a time, I began affirming everything Islam taught as if I were a Muslim.
I was feeling like it was the right thing, so I decided to be a Muslim and took my Shahada. I kept it a secret from everyone. In the city I lived in that time, they didn’t have any Mosques or Islamic centers. I was really in need of having them nearby, so I started to make dua asking Allah to make it easy for me and help me find some assistance from an Islamic center where I can learn more. Then, suddenly my grandfather got very sick and my sister and me had to go to the capital city where my mom was living because, to put it simply, our grandparents couldn’t take care of us. After a couple of weeks, my grandfather was okay again, but my sister and me weren’t going to live there again because my mom already found a school for us here. At that time I was 16 years old.
I started to think about what happened and it was simply Allah answering my dua, but later I was felt afraid to to an Islamic center because I thought that people would judge me and ask me many questions that I would not be able to answer because I was new. Meanwhile, at home, my aunt watched the news and said bad things about Muslims and Islam. I was suffering silently because I was trying to finally go to an Islamic center, but I knew I had to ask for my mom’s permission and my aunt would find out and would talk to my mom about it, and ultimately my mom wouldn’t let me go there. I didn’t know what to do. With time, I told my friends at school that I was Muslim and also told my sister. So, when there was pork in my lunch, I gave it to my friends or sister :).
I liked the page of the Islamic centers on Facebook and saw that in one of them, there was going to be an event, so I thought of finally going. I asked a friend to go with me, but a day before it she said no because she had other things to do and I had already asked my mom permission saying I was going go out with my friend. So, I decided to go alone, and that’s what I did.
I was afraid and feeling lost when I first arrived. Finally, a sister came to me and asked me my name and she put a hijab on me. It was nice! I got to know many nice ladies and I thought, why didn’t I come here before?! They were really nice with me and I told them my story. They gave me programs of the lessons and some books. I started to go every weekend. I told my mom about my religion and I thought that there were going to be some kind of disgusting comments, but she simply said that it was okay, and that I will always have her support.
Since then, I started to get closer to the Muslim community and I felt more support by their side too, but at home, my aunt was still trying to convince my mom that I made the wrong decision and that I was becoming a terrorist. She was asking my mom if she was blind or deaf because she couldn’t see what was happening in the news every night. My mom scolded me because of my aunt. It was hard time for me because, you know, all what we have is our family and they started to rally against me. All I could do was look for some comfort in Allah and at the end of that year I found out that my aunt got a new and better job in another city, the city where her son was working and living, so she moved there. I started to live with my mom and my sister and everything got much easier. Allah gave me the chance to talk with my grandparents and other relatives to explain Islam to them better that I was not a terrorist … everything seemed like they understood and were fine with my decision.
Nowadays, I live only with my sister and mom and it has gotten easier for me to live as a Muslim because they try to understand me and respect my decision. I keep talking normally with my family just like I always have, even with my aunt. I’m trying to teach my sister more about Islam because she is facing confusion about religions and I will start to take her to the Mosque, so that she can learn more.
InshaAllah she will accept Islam, too.
By: @_Gabicienta (MW Guest)