My Reversion Story – By a Muslim Sister

Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā began guiding me to Islām when I was fourteen years old. I was living in a very small village in Finland, two hours away from the nearest town. I knew very few people; I spent most of my time with my family: mother, father and two brothers. In the country where I am from, majority of the people are Christian. I was also a Christian and had always believed in God. In order to educate the young about their religion, the church organises classes for them which are called confirmation classes. At the end of the class there is an intensive learning period of one week which is normally spent somewhere away from your locality. Whilst I was in that class, I felt that my faith was strengthened and I wanted to become a better Christian; hence, I started reading the Bible. I had hardly started reading when I already began to feel that it wasn’t making sense to me, and it didn’t seem real and truthful to me. I got put off from reading the Bible, but started reading religious discussions on internet. Somehow my eyes fell on the comparison that someone had made between Christianity and Islām. It was very anti-Islamic, but through it I got interested in reading more about Islām. I typed ‘Islām’ on Google and started reading. I didn’t just read about it for a few hours or days, but for weeks and months.

In the beginning Islām appeared to me as an interesting, ‘exotic’ and a logical religion. I continued reading more discussions on Islām and the arguments written by Muslims seemed to be very logical and intelligent. During the process, I had to admit to myself that God is not three (as Father, Son and Holy Spirit) but instead God is one; and since then I had given up my belief in the trinity. I would read about Islām every day and my zeal to learn about Islām kept growing and growing until one day I said to myself, ‘You need stop reading now and carry on with your life, you have become too involved!’ I decided to completely stop reading, but the eagerness to learn about Islām in me had grown to such an extent that I couldn’t even skip a single day without reading about Islām; hence, I continued reading. In the beginning, I had been reading for the sake of becoming more aware, just to increase my general awareness. I had already given up most of my Christian beliefs, whilst still having a firm faith in God. Now Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā had changed my heart. Slowly but surely, I came to the point that I wasn’t reading for the sake of only knowing, but for the sake of believing; rather to embrace it, accept it and make it my own! Islām had become very important to me and I had started writing to Muslim ladies on internet, asking them questions and discussing issues with them.

Then whilst I was 15, in February 2007, I decided to become a Muslim. I wanted to tell my parents about my decision, but telling them was very difficult. It was Friday night, and I was trying to muster up the courage to tell them politely and wisely that I wanted to become a Muslim. Then all of sudden, very nervously, I said to my parents, “Mum, dad, I want to tell you something. I want to become a Muslim.” My mother couldn’t believe it and asked if I was joking. On the other hand, my father wanted to know if someone was coercing me. No I wasn’t joking, and no one was forcing me. I ran upstairs and that was the end of the discussion. The following morning, my mother came to me and said that she couldn’t sleep all night and that she was very worried. I felt guilty for the worry I was causing my parents by making the choice. Once again, I tried to forget about Islām, but now it was absolutely impossible. I didn’t talk to my parents about it at all, but kept reading and now also started following some teachings of Islām. I stopped eating pork. In my heart, I already believed in Islām, but I didn’t testify it with my tongue. I was worried and scared because of my parents. I thought that it would be best to give them some time. From time to time, I talked to them about Islām and explained my decision to them which I was going to take i.e. becoming a Muslim. I had been listening to nashīds for the past year and heard the kalimah many times in them. Initially, I used to pray the Kalimah whilst listening to the nashīd. Then I stopped, because I realised that I might become a Muslim by accident. I refused to pray the Kalimah on the tongue even though I really wanted to, and I already had a lot of love for the Kalimah. Almost a year passed like this until I couldn’t take any more. The urge within me to become a Muslim was overpowering. I asked Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā every night to keep me alive till I took my shahādah. I cried in bed and thought to myself that what if I was to die now and go to Hell? With this thought it became very hard to fall asleep. I already had Īmān in my heart. I was scared of the all the responsibilities that would fall upon me if I became a Muslim. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to follow the Dīn properly. However, through the internet, I had learnt how to read ṣalāh and perform wuḍū. I had already learnt a few short Sūrahs of the Glorious Qur’ān. Until now I had never met a single Muslim in my life. Through internet I got to know two Muslim women, who used to reply to my questions, encourage me and give me comfort. Then one day I texted one of them and said that I wanted to take my shahādah. We fixed the time for the next day (the 5th of February 2008). It was agreed that I would phone her at 3 PM when she was with another Muslim sister so that I would have two people to witness my shahādah upon becoming a Muslim.

I was alone in my parent’s house, 250 miles away from these 2 sisters. Nervously, I was walking around the house as I knew that I was about to make the best and the biggest change in my life. As I phoned and read the Kalimah, tears began to roll down my cheeks. The sisters were giving me their du‘ās and congratulations. After I put the phone down, I lay down on the floor, cried and kept praying the Kalimah. I felt such contentment, peace and tranquillity that no other thing had ever given me before. And as I had refrained myself from reading the Kalimah for such a long time, I was now extremely overjoyed to finally read that which for a long time I was longing for. I felt as if I had been in a prison, and had just been released. I felt that finally the chains had come off. Rather, I felt that I had chained myself and locked myself in prison, and now Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā had come to free me. It had been one and a half years since I was introduced to Islām. Raising my hands I made du‘ā to my Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā for all the Muslims of the world, and I asked Allāh for all goodness for myself. After that, I performed ghusl. I was totally content. Even if initially things were not very easy with my family, I had full tranquillity in my heart, and I felt that in this whole world there was only me and Allāh!

I started reading ṣalāh and following the teachings of Islām. Initially I only told my best friend that I had become a Muslim. I started reading ṣalāh at school, cut my relations with the opposite gender and started to dress more modestly. Two and a half months after reading the Kalimah I met a Muslim sister for the first time. At the end of my school year I started to wear ḥijāb at all times. The Help of Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā was with me, and Allāh made everything easy for me. I kept reading more and more, and with the du‘ās and encouragement of a Muslim sister I myself started to learn how to read Qur’ān using the internet. I learnt the Arabic alphabet and learned how to read small words. Then I moved on to reading the Qur’ān. I first read the Sūrah that I had already memorised. Then I started to practice reading from the beginning. I remember it taking me a one full hour to finish one page. But I didn’t give up, and through the Grace of Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā I became more fluent, and after 8 months I could pray Qur’ān with ease.

I listened to lectures online and came across the lectures of our beloved Shaykh Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat ḥafiẓahullāh. There was one particular lecture that had an immense effect on me which was entitled ‘Preparation for the Hereafter’. I wanted to write to the beloved Shaykh and I managed to contact him through the IDA. I requested for bay‘ah, but as I was only 17 and from overseas, the Shaykh responded by asking whether I had taken a permission from a maḥram. In reply I wrote that I didn’t have a maḥram as such, and with my circumstances as they were, the respected Shaykh accepted me into bay‘ah on the 10th of August 2009. A couple of months later, I visited Leicester. The beloved mother of the Shaykh suggested that I should come to Leicester and study in Riyāḍuṣ-Ṣāliḥāt, which is run under the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy. I came back home from the UK and carried on going school but that thought remained. I also benefitted from the annual youth conference in 2010. I wrote to the respected Shaykh asking whether I should come to Leicester; and the respected Shaykh welcomed me having made previous and necessary arrangements. I asked my parents their opinion about moving to the UK and they raised their concerns regarding my finances, as I was only eighteen and I wasn’t going to earn through working. They thought that they give it a try and let me go to live in the UK. However, they were expecting me to come back once the money had run out. After gaining their permission, I made arrangements, and in April I moved to Leicester. The favours of Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā increased upon me, and He put me under the care of our beloved Shaykh and his family. Their kindness upon me has been boundless. They treated me as their own daughter.

I started the FE (Further Education) classes at the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy in April and studied there till Ramaḍān of that year. In the meantime, I applied for a place in the full time ‘alimiyyah class. An interview was held, and alḥamdulillāh I soon received a letter confirming my acceptance. Just before Ramaḍān I had agreed to rent a house of a pious elderly Muslim lady. On 15th of Sha‘bān, I made du‘ā to Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā for increase in my provision. Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā accepted the du‘ā and very soon I got to know that there is someone who wanted to financially assist me during my studying at Riyāḍuṣ-Ṣāliḥāt.

After Ramaḍān, I started at Riyāḍ-aṣ-Ṣāliḥāt which kept me very busy. I had requested Shaykh to find me a suitable spouse. Three days before my nikāḥ, I came to learn that my resources had finished. At that point I realised how Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā had planned that my provision was now going to be sent to my spouse. On the 5th of February 2011, exactly three years after I had become a Muslim, our beloved Shaykh performed my nikāḥ. I’m now studying at a madrasah in my new hometown, through the advice and consultation of the Shaykh. I pray Allāh Subḥānahu wa Ta`ālā blesses the Shaykh always. Āmīn.

© Riyāḍul Jannah (Volume 21 Issue 1)