Today I finally decided to write about my own journey to Islam.
A journey that started many many years ago. For those of you who do not know me, I was born in Athens in Greece. There is where I lived to the end of my high school years. My family was small but very loving, I only have one sibling (sister) and our parents gave us the best they could.
Religion did not play a big part in my life as I was growing up. When we were young we would go to church but that was not very often. The usual attendances maybe for Easter, weddings, baptisms, and the occasional Sunday. A few times I even went to Sunday school.
However God was at the back of my mind but as something very distant.
I used to be conscious that sometimes He was watching me but that did not stop me to at times act upon my whims and desires. I had this belief that He would understand and forgive me no matter what I was up to. The Christian belief of we will be forgiven as a result of the sacrifice of Jesus(as) was deep rooted in me.
Anyway, when I finished high school in Greece I came over to UK to continue my education. Here is where I met my husband who was a Muslim.
I was not compromising at all in any religious matters. So religion was something that we never discussed. I respected his faith and he, mine.
I had deep rooted negative beliefs and fear of Islam. In school we had learnt only very little about Islam and a very negative picture was embedded in me.
When our children were born, they would all go to the mosque for Eid and other Islamic occasions but I never joined them. Either I would stay in the car or stay at home. I was convinced that the Greek Orthodox religion was the only religion for me and it was the correct faith. Now how I had come to that conclusion, without even trying to research is a mystery. I think it was pure arrogance and ignorance all in one.
The years passed by and I carried on in my own world. I would also feel guilty for having married a Muslim and at times I felt like a traitor towards my parents, religion and country.
Then my husband passed away. He was abroad and my sons were at the airport travelling to attend the funeral. I received a text message from my youngest son saying, “Mum we love you and we do not want you to be different from us when you die and go to a different place. Please become a Muslim.”
In my mind I was fighting the concept, but after 30 years I finally opened the Qur’an. Reluctanlty at first. But then I read and read and read on. Fascinating. The miracles of the Qur’an, the language (even though it was only a translation), the stories of the prophets. I knew I was reading the word of the Lord of the worlds.
Islam was not a new faith. Islam is the religion that all prophets(as) sent by Allah brought to humanity with Prophet Muhammad (saw) being the last and final prophet. It was easy to understand. Believe in One God Only with no partners and all the prophets.
No trinity and complicated concepts. So easy to explain to a child. No need for clergy to speak to Allah (swt). Basically no middle men. Just me and my Creator. I could speak to Allah (swt) and He could hear me. I speak to Him during the five daily obligatory prayers. I speak to Him anywhere. In the car, in the supermarket. Anywhere. I do not need anybody to intervene on my behalf for forgiveness. I go straight t to Allah (swt), I repent and I know He hears me and hopefully forgives me. We believe that He is the best of judges, He hears the supplications and our sincere requests for forgiveness providing we abstain from the sin.
Islam is not only religious duties. It is s a wholesome and pure way of life. A perfect system. Allah (swt) not only sent us the Qur’an as a guidance but sent us Prophet Muhammad (saw) to show us how to apply the Qur’an in our lives and how to live in order to enter paradise. The road to paradise is full of obstacles. The only way we can get into paradise is by following the Qur’an and the prophetic sunnah. We will also need the mercy of Allah (swt).
Islam encourages us to find out things for ourselves. Islam does not say, ” This is it. Now follow it.” Allah swt says, “Look! Look around you, travel, look at your own bodies, the sky, the nature. Why can you not see?”
So I looked and looked again. I researched. I asked questions. The same questions again and again. It all came back as one thing. Islam is Allah’s true religion and I now was ready to become a Muslim.
No guilt, no doubts just pure determination. I then accepted Islam as my religion. No need to feel guilty for following monotheism. For being on the straight path.
I thank Allah for taking me out of the darkness and into light. Alhamdulillah 3 years ago was when I reverted.