Converts to Islam

Converts to Islam0%

Converts to Islam Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
Category: Religions and Sects

Converts to Islam

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Author: Zainab
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
Category: visits: 12544
Download: 2150

Comments:

Converts to Islam
search inside book
  • Start
  • Previous
  • 20 /
  • Next
  • End
  •  
  • Download HTML
  • Download Word
  • Download PDF
  • visits: 12544 / Download: 2150
Size Size Size
Converts to Islam

Converts to Islam

Author:
Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english
English

This book is corrected and edited by Al-Hassanain (p) Institue for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Alhassanain (p) Network for Islamic Heritage and Thought

Converts to Islam

Author: Zainab

www.alhassanain.org/english

Table of Contents

Preface 4

Qualities of the God-fearing and the pious 5

A Blind Woman Sees The Light 6

Native American Muslim 12

Dr. Bilal Abdul-Alim 12

Jameka Neil 13

James / Jamal Lutfi 15

When I found Islam I knew it was the ‘last stop’ 17

Your sister in Islam 20

Saabirah AbdulHayy 21

Dr. Kari Ann Owen, Ph.D. / Sister Penomee 26

Sister Jan Jackson 28

Sister Hayam 32

My Body Started To Tremble with Fear and Tears Were Flowing 34

AFTERTHOUGHT 36

Your brother in Islam 37

Sister Mardiyyah 40

Khayreyah bint Tom Sawyer 44

Peace and Blessings 44

Raja Ferrell 45

Fa’izah Jauharah 46

Abdullah Islam 49

Jannah ,Embracing the Truth 54

Latifah Abdullah 55

Masalam 56

Abdullah J. Armada 56

How simple... and simply beautiful 58

Karima 64

Maryam 65

Ibrahim 67

From Ignorance to Islam 71

Heather Olmstead 72

My Journey to Allah 72

Brother Yahya ,Donald Flood: An American English Language Instructor 74

My Religious Background 75

Experience with New Cultures 75

Camping Trip 75

Social Activities 75

Overseas Trip 76

My New Career 76

My Experience in Las Vegas 77

Within one month I was there. Repentance 77

The Meaning of Freedom 77

The Game of Roulette 78

Not an Ordinary Picnic 78

Visiting a Mosque as a non-Muslim 79

Overcoming Obstacles 79

An Inspiring Video 80

The Aftermath 80

My Insistence on Accepting Islam 81

Muslim Name 81

Goal of Life 82

Islamic Education and Growth 82

Islamic Marriage 82

Reaction of the Family 82

The Shahada of My Mother 82

Her Extraordinary Observation 83

Brother Mubarak 84

Islam and me 85

It filled me with peace and happiness 88

Beyond the “Chosen People” Vision 90

Khadijah Jones 94

Antoinette Azim 95

Brother Yusuf 98

Abdur Rahman 99

Brother Yusuf Estes 102

Brother Ahmad 109

Twenty Year Search begins a Lifelong Journey 109

Dennis Wayne, Brother Hasan 114

Here is my background: 114

Here is my story: 114

Hasan 116

Ali Molina 116

Sister Susannah 119

Susannah 121

Brother Khalil 122

Anisah Georgia Liliou 123

My Conversion Unto Him 131

Aaron Haroon Sellars 131

Chad M. Snyder 135

Preface

Bismillah-Ar-Rahman-Ar-Raheem

In the name of God the Beneficent the MercifulAll thanks be to God and to Him be all praise.

The light of Islam is attracting many who are wandering lonely in the darkness. Amidst this world of vain desires and materialism there is an ever-increasing number who are searching for a true purpose to this life that goes beyond our earthly existence. Many hearts are drawn to the complete way of life described within Islam, the truth of the Divine message that touches the inner being and the sense of satisfaction having found what they have been longing for.

The journeys to Islam are many and varied, and from these stories we can see the Mercy of Allah (swt) at work. InshaAllah these stories will offer hope and encouragement to those navigating the path in search of truth, and will motivate us to work harder for the sake of Allah (swt). Even as Muslims our journeys towards the pleasure of Allah (swt), and multiplying our devotion to Him, are everlasting.

The stories in this collection have been sent in from all over the world, and as far as we can attain are all truthful accounts. As this book consists of personal testimonies we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information given as factual within the content. Each story remains in the original wording of the writer, we have only corrected obvious spelling and grammatical errors, as a result each story hasit’s own unique appeal. We hope you enjoy our collection.

Qualities of the God-fearing and the pious

He (the believer) kept his mind alive and killed (the desires of) his heart till his body became thin, his bulk turned light and an effulgence of extreme brightness shone for him. It lighted the way for him and took him on the (right) path. Different doors led him to the door of safety and the place of (his permanent) stay. His feet, balancing his body became fixed in the position of safety and comfort, because he kept his heart (in good acts) and pleased his Allah.

Nahjul Balagha

Imam Ali (as)

InshaAllah we would like to start another collection of stories to be published in the future. If you are a new brother or sister to Islam and would like to tell your own story then please email it to Stories786@aol.com. Please write your story into the email itself, rather than send an attachment. Please also state within the email what name you wish to be included in any future book, or if you would prefer to remain anonymous.

A Blind Woman SeesThe Light

The name I am called by my Christian parents is Bobbie Evans, but the name I am known by in the Muslim community is Khadija Evans. This is the story of how my husband and I came to embrace Islam.

I can remember standing in the kitchen of the house I lived in when I was just seven or eight years old and looking towards the door that went outside. I prayed to a god whom I wasn’t sure existed and I begged Him to show himself to me if He was really there. Nothing happened.

I can remember being nine or ten years old and writing a letter to God and hiding it in the heat register in my bedroom, thinking God, if He existed, would come and retrieve it and answer my prayers. But the next day, the letter was still there.

I had always had a hard time accepting the existence of God, and of understanding the beliefs taught in Christian churches. Even though my parents weren’t very religious, and rarely went to church, they thought it was best that my two brothers and I go. We were allowed to choose our religion when we very young. I think I was about six or seven, and my brothers were one and two years older then I. I chose a Methodist church for no other reason then it was a few blocks away from our house, and my brothers chose a Lutheran church because it was also close, and I hadn’t chosen it.

I went to the church until I was thirteen years old. I was baptized and confirmed there when I was 11. I went along with the baptism and confirmation because all children who were 11 received confirmation, and if they hadn’t already been baptized, that was done at the same time. Even then I knew that doubts about God and Christian teachings were things best kept to myself.

When I was 13 my family moved to another town with no churches within walking distance, and my parents weren’t eager to get up early and drive us kids to church, and so our religious training stopped until I was 15 and my mom suddenly found religion. She began attending an Assembly of God church, occasionally dragging my dad along. I went willingly. I had already begun a search for God that wouldn’t end until I was 42 years old. I remember being “born again”.Caught up in the fervor of the hell and damnation that the minister preached at the Assembly of God church. I became “high on religion” thinking I had finally found “Him.” Little did I know, but the high would be short lived, as I again began to have doubts and unanswered questions.

When I was 17 I met the daughter of an assistant Baptist minister and began going to their church. I had been sexually abused by my dad from the time I was at least six years old and I told the assistant minister about it. He arranged with my parents to let me live with him and his family in a type of “private foster care.” My dad paid him $100 a week. My parents also attended the church for a brief time, until the minister announced on the pulpit that my dad was a child molester. Before that though, my mom, dad and I were each baptized at the church.

One day after spending the day with my parents I returned to my foster home only to find the house empty.Cleaned out. Not a stick of furniture. We found out that the minister had been caught embezzling from the church and he and his family had left town in a hurry. I returned to myparents home and the abuse. As a result of that incident what little faith I had in God was totally lost and I became an atheist. For the next 25 years I would fluctuate between believing, wanting to believe, and Agnosticism, and Atheism.

When I was twenty-six, I went to three months of Rights of Initiation for Catholic Adults and then was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church. I had been allowed to by-pass the full year of classes because I hadn’t called the church to inquire about converting until three months before the Easter Vigil Mass when confirmation for adults was held.

I had entered the Catholic religion with the same philosophy that I had once heard Alcoholics Anonymous has, “Bring your body, your mind will follow.” I didn’t really believe in God, or in the core teachings of the Catholic Church, but I wanted so badly to believe in a power higher then myself, that I went faithfully to mass seven days a week, hoping that somehow I would start to believe. But after several months, I began to realize that it wasn’t going to happen, and my mass attendance became a once a week thing, then once a month, until when I was thirteen and met the man who today is my husband and who wasn’t Catholic, I stopped attending mass altogether.

I had never told anyone, before my husband, that I didn’t believe in God. I don’t think he took me seriously at first. I don’t think he had ever known an Atheist.

My husband is 29 years older then me. We’ve had a wonderful marriage for these last 10 years. When we first met, I still desperately wanted to believe, and kept making him promise me that “When you get to Heaven” he would ask God to give me the strength to believe, and he if at all possible, he would give me a sign, one that I couldn’t chalk up to my imagination, so I would know there really was a god. He always promised me he would. We were living in rural Alabama when I was 32 years old. I developed ulcerations on both corneas and when they healed, I was legally blind. Because of damage from infection that had been done to the tissue that donated corneas would have to adhere to, I couldn’t find an eye surgeon who believed that transplanted corneas wouldn’t be rejected.

I was still searching for God. I was searching for hope of something better then what this world had to offer.Some kind of evidence of the chance for existence after death. Some way to achieve it. I listened to Christian programs on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, even though I couldn’t find any ministers on the stationwho’s opinion I trusted. I watched anyway, hoping that one would say something that would click in my mind, and I would finally know, that “Yes, there really is a god.” None of them ever said anything that caused that connection to happen, though many said things that confused me even more.

During the first 10 years after I became legally blind, I tried attending different churches, Baptist again, Assembly of God again, non-Denominational, Church of God, Mormon, and even studied up on Wicca. But I always lost interest after just a few months. Things the religions taught just didn’t add up. There were just too many things left to faith. Things that had no proof other then one’s faith. I couldn’t believe something when the onlyproof were some words in a book that in large part didn’t make sense.

I remember one night when I was about 35 years old, lying in bed and praying to God, whom I still wasn’t sure existed, and asking Him that if He did exist to lead me to someone who could help me to believe. But I found no one. At age 36 I acquired a braille Bible and started reading it, once again hoping to find proof of God’s existence. But with the Bible being so hard to understand, with so much of it not really being explainable, I lost interest after reading just a few of its books.

At about that time, though still wanting to find God, I gave up my search. I had become completely disillusioned with religion.

On September 11, 2001 I was sitting at my computer. It was before 9 a.m. and as usual the television, which was sitting to my right, was turned on for background noise. I heard the sound that is made to notify viewers of an important news announcement. I stopped and turned towards the TV. A reporter began talking and one of the towers of the World Trade Center showed in the background. He said an accident had happened. A small plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I’m legally blind, but I could see well enough to know that it wasn’t a small plane that had hit the tower. The hole was massive. And I didn’t think it was possible to accidentally hit something so big.

As I watched, another plane flew into the other tower. I couldn’t see the plane itself, it was too small for me to see, but I saw the fireball that exploded away from the building.

I jumped up and ran into the bedroom and told my husband to hurry and get up because terrorists were flying planes into the World Trade Center buildings! He immediately got out of bed and came in to the living room and sat in his recliner and began to watch. It was about 9 a.m. As time went by it was announced that a plane had been flown into the Pentagon and another hijacked plane had crashed in Pennsylvania. I wondered when it wouldend? And what in the world was going on??? The reporter said it looked like “debris” was falling from the building. My husband said it was people jumping. Something he has never been able to forget. I was grateful that my vision wasto bad for me to be able to make out what even looked like “debris”. “The reporter said a part of the first tower had fallen away from the building. He spoke in a kind of hesitant voice. Now I wonder if he was unsure of what he was seeing. Because we later found out that a part of the building hadn’t fallen away. The building had completely collapsed.

A female reporter was crying and a male reporter hugged her. I was crying too. And my husband hugged me. For weeks afterward I would start crying for no apparent reason. I’d be riding on the bus and have to turn my head towards the window and pretend I was looking out so that others wouldn’t see the tears escaping my eyes.

When we were in a restaurant, I’d have to use my napkin to dab the tears welling up in my eyes before the other diners noticed and wondered if I was some kind of a nut.

I was Christian then and I cared. And I was devastated. I couldn’t understand how a religion could promote such violence, as the media was saying Islam did. It made no sense to me. So I decided to find out for myself. One way or another I wanted to know the truth. Because of my partial blindness I was limited to information from the internet. Finding braille books about Islam in braille or ink print that was large enough for me to read was impossible. I was able to use a computer because I had magnification software installed so I could enlarge the font on the screen to a size that I could read.

I did searches and I began to read about Islam. I went to web sites that taught the basics of Islam, and I joined Muslim women’s e-groups where I was able to ask and get answers that I confirmed through further research.

I’ve always been a sceptic. It’s always been hard for me to believe something that I didn’t understand. I was never one to believe something simply because someone said it was so. I had to know it in my mind as well as in my heart. While studying Islam I learned that the god Muslims worship is the same god as that of Christians and Jews.The god of Abraham and Moses. I found that Islam doesn’t promote or condone hatred of non-Muslims, nor does it condone the killing of innocent people.

By studying Islam I found the answers that the media wasn’t tellingus and I came to know that Islam is the True Religion. I read a lot of convincing evidence, but the things that proved to me that there is a god, and that Islam is the True Religion and that that the Qur’an is the Word of God, were those in the Qur’an itself.The things that are of a scientific nature. Things that have only been discovered by scientists in the last 100 years. The only one who could have known those things 1400 years ago was God.

For example, One day I was at a web site that was about some of the scientific proofs in the Qur’an. One of the verses in the Qur’an tells about the death of our own solar system. Al-Rahman 37-38

“When the sky is torn apart, so it was (like) a red rose like ointment. Then which of the favors of your lord will you deny?” There was a link that went to the NASA web site. When I clicked the link I had no idea what was going to be on the next page, but what I saw took my breath away. Tears came to my eyes. I knew - if I had had any doubts left - I knew at the moment, that Islam was the True Religion of God. The page the link took me toshowed what looked like a rose. It was the “Cat’s Eye Nebula.”Which was an exploding star 3000 light years away. It had been photographed with the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists say that it is the same fate that awaits our own solar system. Muslims refer to it as the “Rose Nebula.” It had been described in the Qur’an 1400 years ago. People back then had no way of knowing about it. Only God could have known. After accepting in my mind as well as in my heart that Islam is the True Religion, I knew that I was already a Muslim and the only thing left was to profess my faith.

I looked in an internet directory for mosques in my community. I called the one in the next town and told the person who answered the phone that I wanted to convert to Islam, and asked him when I could make my Shahada. He told me to be there at 4 p.m. on Saturday when the imam would also be there. I told him that I ride the bus everywhere and it wouldn’t be running late enough for me to be able to get back home and so could I come earlier? He said not toworry, someone would give me a ride home. I arrived as scheduled, and as God had scheduled, so began my new life. I have since come to realize that on that day, the greatest event of my life occurred. I had always thought that the most wonderful thing to ever happen to me was the day that I married my husband. But I now know it wasn’t. The most important day of my life was the day I made my Shahada and accepted Islam as the way of life God intended me to live. It was the day I acknowledged that Islam is the way to salvation, to Heaven, and I made a choice to practice it.

I can’t say my husband was thrilled by my reverting to Islam. He believed what the media was saying about Muslims and the religion. He didn’t like it that I went to the mosque several evenings a week and left him home alone to be bored.One night after he was finished complaining about me going again I sat down a few feet away from him and I calmly told him, “I will never ask you to practice a religion you don’t believe in. I love you too much to try and force that on you. But I do want you to learn about Islam so that you will at least understand what it is I believe.” I then stood up and went into the bedroom and finished dressing to go to the mosque. I kissed him goodbye and I left.

When I returned home I found his whole attitude had changed. He was bright and cheerful. That night, before going to bed, he began to learn about Islam.

My husband began going to the mosque with me. While I studied with the sisters, he would talk with a brother and ask him questions. At home he read things on the internet, and books that he had borrowed from the mosque. We would discuss different things he was learning, and I would point things out to him.

When the day came and he told me about how some aspect of Islam was to be practiced, in a “know it all” tone of voice, as if it were a fact, something that I myself didn’t know, I asked him to tell me “How do you know that??” and he replied, “Because it’s in the Qur’an!” I was stunned! He believed! He knew that Islam wasTrue ! If it was in the Qur’an, as far as he was concerned it was true! Thirty-six days after I publicly professed my faith in God and His messenger,prophet Muhammad, my husband professed his. We had an Islamic marriage ceremony the same evening. I cried when my husband made his Shahada. I knew we would be in Eternity together!

A month before, a brother had asked me what I thought the chances of my husband converting were. I told him, “Zero.” I said, “I can’t imagine someone so dramatically changing their beliefs after having believed something else for 70 years. But 14 days before his 71st birthday he embraced Islam as his religion and his way of life. In the Muslim community we have found another family. We have found friendship, love and acceptance thatwas taught in the Christian religions we practiced at different points in my life, but that we felt never actually existed among most of the members of the churches we went to.

Many of the Muslims in our area are immigrants, but we have found no intolerance of Americans whether they are Muslim or not. We were both welcomed into the family of Islam the very first time each of us went to the mosque. We’ve always felt welcome and accepted.

Since embracing Islam We have found direction and purpose for our lives. We have found the meaning for our existence. We have come to realize that we really are here only for a short time and that what comes afterwards is far better then the fleeting pleasures that this world has to offer us.

I have found a sense of security concerning life after death that I had never known before. We have both come to see the problems that we once saw as being major as actually being opportunities to grow. We thank God for what we do have, as well for what we don’t. Today we are Muslim. We still care about 9/11. I still cry when I think a little too much about the events of that day. My husband still remembers the people jumping from the buildings. We wish all we could say about that day was where we had been when we heard that the WTC had been attacked. But we did see it happen, and it was the most devastating thing to ever happen in our lives. But from tragedy came victory. From death has come the knowledge that we will have life after our death. And it will be spent together.

Holy Quran 3:138This is a clear statement for men, and guidance and an admonition to those who guard against evil.

Native American Muslim

My name is Mahir Abdal-Razzaaq El and I am a Cherokee Blackfoot American Indian who is Muslim. I am known as Eagle Sun Walker. I serve as a Pipe Carrier Warrior for the North-eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in New York City.

There are other Muslims in our group. For the most part, not many people are aware of the Native American contact with Islam that began over one thousand years ago by some of the early Muslim travellers who visited us. Some of these Muslim travellers ended up living among our people.

For most Muslims and non-Muslims of today, this type of information is unknown and has never been mentioned in any of the history books. There are many documents, treaties, legislation and resolutions that were passed between 1600s and 1800s that show that Muslims were in fact here and were very active in the communities in which they lived. Treaties such as Peace and Friendship that was signed on the Delaware River in the year 1787 bear the signatures of Abdel-Khak and Muhammad Ibn Abdullah. This treaty details our continued right to exist as a community in the areas of commerce, maritime shipping, and current form of government at that time which was in accordance with Islam. According to a federal court case from the Continental Congress, we help put the breath of life in to the newly framed constitution. All of the documents are presently in the National Archives as well as the Library of Congress.

If you have access to records in the state of South Carolina, read the Moors Sundry Act of 1790. In a future article, Inshallah, I will go in to more details about the various tribes, their languages; in which some are influenced by Arabic, Persian, Hebrew words. Almost all of the tribe’s vocabulary includes the word Allah. The traditional dress code for Indian women includes the kimah and long dresses. For men, standard fare is turbans and long tops that come down to the knees. If you were to look at any of the old books on Cherokee clothing up until the time of 1832, you will see the men wearing turbans and the women wearing long head coverings. The last Cherokee chief who had a Muslim name was Ramadhan Ibn Wati of the Cherokees in 1866.

Cities across the United States and Canada bear names that are of Indian and Islamic derivation. Have you ever wondered what the name Tallahassee means? It means that He Allah will deliver you sometime in the future.

The Message, July 1996

Holy Quran 10:57 O men! There has come to you indeed an admonition from your Lord and a healing for what is in the breasts and guidance and a mercy for the believers.

Dr. Bilal Abdul-Alim

Personally, I embraced Islam at the age of 24, in the summer of 1975, while studying medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After a long day of study, I went to bed on a Saturday night with no intention of becoming a Muslim. However, two things happened during that night that would change my life completely. First of all, I had a dream in which I was commanded by a strong and firm voice, to embrace Islam immediately. I was reminded of how I had previously studied comparative religion at Wesleyan University, but refused to accept Islam even though I felt in my heart that it was the most practical way of life. When I woke up the next morning, I sat on the edge of the bed contemplating what to do, when the telephone rang. The call came from my ex-roommate from Wesleyan who had embraced Islam after graduation and was living in Washington, D.C. At that time, he was studying to be an attorney at Catholic University School of Law. This phone call was the second and final thing that convinced me to embrace Islam immediately.

My friend asked me, “Are you ready to become a Muslim?” I replied, “Why are you calling me this early in the morning with such a question?” He answered in the following way, “Last night, I had a dream. In that dream, I saw you smiling, surrounded by a sort of spiritual light (called Noor in Islam). Then, I heard a strong and powerful voice saying, ‘Allah has made this man a Muslim in the night and Allah has given him the name, Bilal Abdul-Alim (3 times). So, your job is to call him in the morning, and invite him to accept Islam and, give him his new name.” My friend continued by saying, “Don’t play games with me! Tell me what happened!” I then related my experience the night before with tears in my eyes. A few days later, I drove non-stop from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C to accept Islam in the presence of my dear friend, Attorney Haroun G. Cook.

Holy Quran 14:12

And what reason have we that we should not rely onAllah( swt)?, And He has Indeed guided us in our ways; and certainly we would bear with patience your persecution of us; and on Allah(swt) should the believers rely.

Jameka Neil

I will say right away that I am very young. I am only 18, and that fact seems to astound most people. I think it is proof that we are never too young to begin looking for God, or to understand His truth.

I was raised Christian, nondenominational. We were never big churchgoers, but we always knew who our God was and what our obligation was to Him. In my living room to this day hangs a big velvet painting of Jesus as a black man. That left a huge imprint on me, because it made God real to me. Not only did he come to earth as a man, but also he was black like me.

In my preteen years I was a crusader for Christ. I wanted to convert the world and save souls. I believed blindly 100% in everything that was given to me by the Bible and my pastor/youth leader. Then one day I ran across something in the Bible that didn’t sound anything like the God who I had learned to love and obey. I thought perhaps I was just too young to understand and took it to a more knowledgeable Christian who confirmed that it was what I thought it was. My world fell apart.

I read the Bible, cover-to-cover, and marked along the way all of the things that were contradictory or ungodly. By the time I got to revelations I had a large segment of the Bible marked as invalid. So, thinking maybe I needed to look at it in a historical perspective I did my history work. There I found even more hypocrisy, blasphemy, and human tampering with Holy Scriptures. What shocked me was the story of the council of Nice where human men “divinely guided” decided which text would be in the Bible and which ones needed editing.

I also had to ask myself how God could be three and one at the same time. What happens to a good man like Ghandi when he dies without Jesus? Does Hitler get to go to heaven if he accepts Christ as his lord and saviour? What about those who have never been exposed to Christianity? I was once told that the trinity was part of the essence of God and that since the breadth and scope of God is beyond my understanding I should simply believe. I couldn’t worship a God I couldn’t understand.

I never lost my faith inGod, I just decided that Christianity was not the right path for me to travel. I felt no kinship with fellow believers. I never felt anything special while attending service except that I was doing an obligatory service to God. So I wandered faithless, looking for something to hold on to. In my search I found Wicca, the Bahai faith, and finally Islam.

I studied Islam quietly, on my own, in secret, for two years. I wanted to be able to separate fact from fiction. I did not want to confuse Islam with the cultures that claim to practice Islam while instituting things that are clearly against all that Allah has revealed to us. I wanted to make the distinction between the religion and the societies that adopted it. That took time and patience. I met a lot of helpful brothers and sisters via e-mail who answered all of my questions and opened their lives up for me to examine.

I never liked the image that I was handed as to what a woman was. In popular culture we are portrayed as very sexy, lady like, independent enough so that men have no real responsibility toward us or the children they help create, but dependant enough that we are continually in search of a new man. The average woman on the street is honked at, whistled at, has had her butt or breasts pinched, slapped, rubbed, or ogled by some strange man. I never agreed with any of that and never found a “come on” flattering. In Christianity I was taught that as a woman I should not teach in church or question the authority of any man in public. The picture painted of women in Christianity was one of inferiority. We were supposed to be chaste and silent with children about our feet. In Islam I found a voice, a system that gave me ultimate respect for being a mother and acknowledged the fact that I was equal to man in every way except one: physical strength. The hadith are littered with stories of women who spoke publicly and Islamic history is full of women who were leaders. It was a theology that I could respect because it respected me.

I had to ask myself if I really wanted to be like all of the people I saw around me. Who was really oppressed? The girl wearing skin-tight jeans getting catcalls from boys rolling by in cars was not free. She was society’s whore and she got no respect. I was thankful that my mother had never allowed me to wear such things, not that I ever wanted to, but her disapproval was an added incentive. After examining the position of the Muslim woman and what I felt to be truth in my heart, how could I deny Islam?

Six weeks ago I made the decision to convert to Islam. I did so and have not looked back since. My friends respect it because they see that it has not changed who I am and what I stand for, in fact it has backed it up. Myadvise to any woman out there is to ask herself these questions:

What do you want your daughter to believe about herself?

How should she allow herself to be treated?

Is she really born with evil tendencies because she is a descendant of Eve?

How do you want her to feel about her body?

What are you modelling for her?

What image of womanhood are you promoting?

How do men treat you and how do you allow yourself to be treated?

Holy Quran 29:69And (as for) those who strive hard for Us, We will most certainly guide them in Our ways; Allah (swt) is most surely with the doers of good.

James / Jamal Lutfi

I was raised in a Mormon family (my father was a Bishop) but also attended a Pentecostal Church. I converted to Islam about two years ago. My parents converted to Mormonism (LDS Church) when I was only 3 and so it was the only religion I knew up until I was a teenager. I lived in Central Florida (BibleBelt ) where there was little tolerance for Mormons, much less Muslims. I really tried to get a grip on the Mormon faith. I went on Temple trips to do the baptisms for the dead, I read the Book of Mormon, I prayed, etc.... However, I never received that testimony they always talked about. Sometimes I think we can convince ourselves of anything (gain a testimony) if we tell ourselves we want to believe something enough. I became so frustrated with teaching in the Mormon Church and nobody could answer my questions (why could African Americans not hold the priesthood until 1976, why would God curse someone with darker skin, why could Jesus create wine but we are forbidden to drink it, why could we not drink coca cola through my whole childhood and then when the Church gets stock in the company we can drink it and nothing is wrong). I left the church with much heartache.

I used to go with my friend to his Catholic Church but that made no sense to me at all.

The first time I heard of Islam from a Muslim was when I was in the Army training as a radio repair technician. While training we had a soldier from the Jordanian Army training with us, I believe his name was Sergeant Mutasum. I thought Islam was somewhat like Hinduism so I questioned him about how many gods he believed in and what he thought of Jesus (peacebe upon him). I was really shocked when I found his beliefs were not all that different from mine except he believed in a Prophet named Muhammad (peacebe upon him). I lost track of the Sergeant after the school ended and never thought much of Islam after that day. While in the Army I attended a small Pentecostal Church a few times and thought I would give it a go when I got out.

After leaving the Army I met some people that were Pentecostal and decided to join the “mainstream” Christian community. The people seemed really friendly and well intentioned. After about a year of going there I began to question again. Why were these people so caught up in emotion with no theological study? How could Jesus be God and make claims against it? What was this speaking in tongues nonsense, the people did not understand what they were saying? I felt there was more to the religion that Jesus left but I didn’t know where to find it. I quit the Pentecostal Church and went back to Mormonism.

Later in my life I travelled to Ogden, Utah to go to Weber State University. I wanted to give the Mormon Church another try. I signed up for religious classes at the LDS institute. I was not on a pilgrimage to get a theological degree but I wanted to be in the Mormon stronghold where I was not a minority. I really liked going to college and started going to Church regularly. While there I met a woman in an institute class. After one year of school and a stronger belief in the Mormon faith I decided to get married and it was sealed in the Salt Lake City temple. Everything was perfect, or so I thought.

After a few weeks of marriage I began to feel those thoughts of doubt about the Mormon Church and what they taught. I tried to believe so hard but it is difficult when the teachings are so contrary to what I perceived God to be. Can a man become a God? Can a God become a man? Can I create my own world one day?etc .... My ex-wife and I got along perfectly except in the area of religion. Eventually, after 4 years, we separated quite amicably and were better off. I felt that my lack of faith tore her down and I could not believe some of what I considered non-sense.

After my divorce I began searching the Internet for truth. I joined chat rooms on religion and joined in discussion boards. I met some Muslims and was fascinated. The beliefs they held were so close to mine. I did not believe Jesus was God, I believed Jesus was more than a normal man (a Messenger). After talking online I wanted to go meet some real Muslims so I went to a Mosque in Tempe, Arizona (next to Phoenix). While there I met a group of American Converts that were doing Dawah (basically telling people about Islam). They were just getting ready to leave when I walked in and told them I wanted to learn more about Islam. I told them where I stood and that I already believed much of what they did. After a long discussion and a study from the Quran and Bible I came to conclusion that I was a Muslim at heart, it was my parents that has raised me with those beliefs contrary to Islam. I told them I wanted to take my Shahadah (declaration of faith) and I embraced Islam that day. Imagine my surprise when the first time for Jummah came (Friday, the congregational day for Muslims to gather) and the Imam (leader) announced my conversion to Islam. I had hundreds of people giving me their phone numbers, hugging me, and accepting me as their brother. That brother hood and my faith have not wavered to this day. Anytime I have a question it is answered and that is the beauty of Islam.

Holy Quran 39:18Those who listen to the word, then follow the best of it; those are they whom Allah (swt) has guided, and those it is who are the men of understanding.