Sister Zara’s Journey to Islām

I have always been interested in religion, even though my family were not very religious themselves. I always believed there was a God, but none of the religions completely made sense to me, until I found Islām. I must have been about 16 when I first became curious about Islām. Most of my friends and the people close to me were Muslims, both at University and at Karate.

Muslims’ faith devotion

I was always fascinated by the fact that people used to pray five times a day and had a code of conduct that they followed to live their daily lives. I had a very relaxed upbringing; however, my mother always taught me to be honest, respectful and hardworking. Although my mother is not yet a Muslim, she possesses all the good characteristics that a Muslim should have, alḥamdulillāh. This made it easier for me to accept Islām, as I was never brought up in an environment surrounded by alcohol or bad habits.

Muslims’ good character

Witnessing the good character of so many Muslims is definitely one of the main reasons that I became Muslim myself. It’s easy to tell someone how to live their life, but it’s much more powerful and effective by doing it yourself and setting a good example. During the start of my exploration about Islām, there were some difficult moments. I used to pray, “God, please show me what the right religion is.” I used to say a prayer whenever I walked past a mosque in the street. It just felt like that was the right thing to do.

Over the years, Islām grew on me more and more, until the moment it just felt right and I knew it was the one and only true religion. It felt amazing, but at the same time scary, as my family were not Muslim and Islām sometimes has a bad reputation in the media. Alḥamdulillāh, I have a very understanding family, and they all accept me for who I am. But it wasn’t easy at first: it took time and a lot of patience. Insha’allāh, one day. I hope my family and friends will also accept Islām when they see the beauty of the religion. Please make du’ā for that to happen.

Trying our best in worship and learning is what matters

Praying five times a day brings peace to my life and it means that you can never forget Allāh Ta`ālā, so it keeps me on track. My husband always says to me that if you pray all of your Ṣalāh, then Allāh will always guide you back to the right path, even if you go off track a little. I’m starting to learn that there are set rules that need to be followed and we should try our best to adhere to them and strive to be better each day. However, if despite our trying we falter, Allāh is forgiving. Whilst trying to learn the Arabic language, if you pronounce Arabic slightly wrong, or if you make mistakes, it doesn’t mean that you should feel unforgivable or that you are so sinful; rather that we are human and learning.

Being forgiving to oneself & setting a good example

We would all be Prophets if we were perfect. Islām is a personal relationship between us and our Creator and we should never be quick to judge one another. As a revert myself, I can absolutely say that the way Muslims act (including myself) has an impact on how we are perceived in society, and also whether someone decides to accept Islām. We have to set a positive and welcoming example to encourage more people to find out about our beautiful religion. There will always be ups and downs, but if our beloved Prophet (ṣallallāhu `alayhi wa sallam) went through difficulties, then of course we will be tested too and can get through them.

Gratefulness for Islām

I am extremely grateful that Allah guided me towards Islām and it’s the best thing that ever happened to me. I hope to give more back to the community and increase my good deeds, as this is all that we leave behind with us. I wish all of the Ummah [Muslim community throughout the world] success, unity and happiness, and hope that we can all encourage more people to join our big Muslim family, inshā’allāh. Jazakallāh to my Āpās (Muslim female teachers), my husband and our families that have given me strength and support during this process.