Muslim Sister Saarah accepting Islām

I was born into a Hindu family. From a very young age I was taught to worship deities, to read their religious scriptures and to celebrate all of their festivities and to follow all of the traditions. But, in my heart I always believed in One God, worshiped and prayed to One God. Later on in life, I started working in a place where I made many Muslim friends. I was intrigued by their dedication to their religion; five times prayers, fasting during Ramaḍān etc.

Many a times I got into discussions and often debates about aspects of Islām, and one by one all of my misconceptions were corrected. I read multiple books; as a result, I became more and more inquisitive. Everything started making so much sense. In my heart I knew this was the right path, but I was too scared to take my Shahādah because I didn’t know how I would tell my family.

A sign from Allāh

Then one day, I just happened to be looking through a few pieces of old school work from when I was 10 or 11. In there I found a booklet with a picture of a masjid I had coloured in. When I opened the booklet, I saw the letters Alif Lam and Mīm written in Arabic by me, along with the words Bismillah and Muhammad (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam).  Below this was the Shahādah written in English-again by me. I could not recall doing any of this. I had only kept maybe four or five pieces of old school work and this was in there. This could not have been a coincidence: I saw this as a sign from Allāh and the following week I took my Shahādah.

Challenges in learning and practising

After this, for quite a while I kept it from my family. I started going to see an Āpā [female teacher] who started teaching me how to perform ṣalāh and how to read Arabic. I remember the first time I tried to perform salah, I just couldn’t locate the Qiblah, I actually sat and cried from frustration! Then I got myself together and figured it out. My first Ramaḍān was tough as I usually ate really early, and my dad started noticing these things.

Telling my family about my Islām

Six months after 1 reverted, I plucked up the courage to tell my family. My mother passed away when I was 14, and so, I was raised by her brothers and sisters along with my dad, so telling my family meant hurting a lot of people. A lot of hurtful things were said to me by my family, but I stayed patient and gave them time to get calm. It was a tough time and when I look back, I don’t know how I got through it – it could only have been by the Grace of Allāh Ta`ālā.

My family’s acceptance

After about six months, when my family realised that I was not going to change my mind they started to come around slowly. They told me they still loved me and although they didn’t agree with my decision, they didn’t want to lose me.

My lovely Muslim family

I married a lovely Muslim man the next year. His family embraced me as their own and they have spent lots of time teaching me du`ās, Qur’ān and so much more about Islām. My family adore my husband. They see Islām differently now, to what they once perceived and this is due to the kindness and good nature of my husband and his family. Alḥamdulillāh, after the hardship, because of our faith in Allāh and keeping ṣabr, we have the love and blessings of all of our family and friends.

Striving for the Dīn

I have been going to Madrasah for over six years now. As you get older it becomes harder to learn and retain information, so it has taken me a while, but, alḥamdulillāh, I am now on my 30th Juz. It has been so helpful having Āpās that you can talk to about anything without judgement. They have not only helped me in learning more about Islām and to read Arabic, but they have also helped by listening and counselling me in times of need. I know many other reverts have faced so much more hardship than me. I honestly thought my family would disown me and never in a million years did I believe things would turn out like this for me. Alḥamdulillāh I am so grateful to Allāh Ta`ālā.