Sunday, 12 October 2014

My Journey to Islam: American brother Quentin

Fascinating story of how US brother Quentin reverted to Islam. His journey took his across different worlds to ,which helped in seeking Allah and the right guidance. This is his journey in his own worlds


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
 
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds: The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. Glory be to our Perfect Creator and Master. Praise be to Allah, the Eternal Refuge. I ask for His Peace and Blessings upon our Noble Prophet, the Last Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ, and his family, as He bestowed his Peace and Blessings upon Ibrahim ﷺ and his family. I thank Him for his Blessings upon me, and for guiding me to the Straight Path, which is Islam, and for removing the veil from my eyes through His Mercy so that I could understand the Glorious Qur'an is His Direct Speech. I seek His Forgiveness, and I ask Him for Paradise, and to save me from the torment of the grave, and the torment of the Fire, and the trials of life and death, and the evil of the trial of the False Messiah.
 
I was raised as a Catholic in the Midwest United States. My grandmother taught me most of what I knew about religion, and she instilled in me a deep love of Jesus ﷺ and his mother Mary (peace be upon her) and Saint Michael the Archangel ﷺ. She was from Ireland.

My parents sent me to private Christian schools, and I heard about Islam for the first time in my high school religious studies class. We were taught that there were five "Great" religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. I came away from that class with the idea that these religions were equally good and correct: Five different ways of being "spiritual."

The next time i heard about Islam was in university in a course about Judaism. The Qur'an on the list of required books. My copy - the Yusuf Ali translation - was very small. It had many, many footnotes. We hardly looked at it in class, which was mostly about the first-century Christian evangelist named Paul. However, I came away with one piece of new information about Islam that really surprised me, which was that Muslims also believed that Jesus ﷺ was born of a virgin.

Islam disappeared from my mind until several years later, after I had finished college. At that time, I was teaching English in South Korea. One day, I found a mosque with a bookstore next door. I went in and met some the owner of the store. He told me that in Islam, a man's intention is part of his soul. He was very enthusiastic. Islamic theology seemed very deep and advanced. He had a real passion in his eyes when he spoke about the religion that I didn't often see in any of the Christians that I knew.

I have heard other reverts say that Islam was the last religion that they turned to in their search for the best way of living. That was also true about me, and so despite these early encounters with Islam, it did not come into my heart.

I continued my teaching career in Japan, still looking for the right way of living. In the ancient city of Kyoto, there were a lot of little shrines there to different spirits. Most Japanese had no religion, but I met some people who had a Bible written by a Japanese man in the 20th century. People said Kyoto hadn't been destroyed by earthquakes because there were too many gods there. I didn't find anything in Japan that was worth committing my life to, and I kept thinking about Jesus ﷺ. I began to pray the rosary a lot.

Christians say the Hail Mary 100 times during the rosary. It goes:

Hail Mary, full of Grace: the Lord is with you.
Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

I had always loved this dark and mysterious prayer. But as I said it over and over, the last line began to seem wrong. How could God have a mother?

I stopped saying "mother of God" and replaced it with "mother of Jesus." But it began to seem strange to be asking for help from someone who had died. I knew that we could speak directly to God - He created us, He is always there. So I stopped asking Mary (peace be upon her) to pray for us. Eventually, I returned to the States. There, I had a vision of Satan and the Fire.

I was on the train, going far out into the suburbs to meet a friend. And I was writing in my notebook, praising God, telling Him how Wonderful He is! When I waiting for the train to go back, I saw a vision in the clouds. I saw an old roommate of mine from college. He was walking. He was dead, and he did not know. He was in the Fire. This man was basically a good person, it seemed, but he was arrogant. Suddenly, a demon came from behind him and bit his neck then another demon came and bit the demon who was biting him then another demon came and bit the demon who was biting the demon who was biting him. Then a woman came. And she tortured him. Then the images departed and I saw Satan the Rejected. He flexed his muscles, as though he was proud of all the evil he had caused. But in truth, he was just a slave of Allah, like everyone else. And that was the beginning of my reversion. This vision troubled me deeply, and from that time, I began to be visited by Jinn.

When the Jinn spoke to me, I heard their voices through other sounds - through the sounds of electrical appliances, or running water. I thought that perhaps, since the Jinn were made of smokeless Fire (Quran 15:27), they travelled through electrical currents, or through water. They said some things that were true, but most were lies, which seemed true, until I thought about them a lot afterwards, and decided that they weren't. I had never heard voices like that ever before in my life.

I decided to go to Vietnam. This was as a way to continue my teaching career, but I chose that place because I wanted to enter the psychology of suffering people that had been inflicted by my country. Since I was born on the Fourth of July, I felt a special connection to the United States. In Vietnam, I became a Prophet - the Last Prophet. Or that is what I thought.

In Vietnam, I saw a lot of people born without arms and legs, because of the American use of the genotoxic chemical weapon Agent Orange. I began to have strange dreams, and to have visions. And I thought I was receiving prophecies from God. The Jinn had told me that the world was going to end on 12/12 - December 12, 2012. At the time, I believed it, because I didn't know what Jinn were, and I didn't know where the voices were coming from. I published my revelations in a blog called "Visions of the End of the World." The blog had bits and pieces of texts from all the religions I had studied - the Bhagavad Gita, the Buddhist scriptures, the Gospels, the Torah, and eventually, the Quran. A significant portion of the messages were to the Jews. It seemed to attract their attention, and when I heard the Jinn, they began to be accompanied by the voices of Jewish people.

God was telling the Jewish people to change their ways and stop oppressing the Palestinians, because He told them not to oppress the stranger, since they were strangers in the land of Egypt. "Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt" (Exodus 22:21). In fact, Jewish voices often accompanied the Jinn. The other significant message from God was for the Jews to rebuild the Temple, to reinstitute the sacrifice they had abandoned, and so "The one who they will call Messiah will come." But the Temple specified by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40-43) was too large for Temple Mount.

Jesus ﷺ never said that he was the last prophet. So as a Christian, it was not impossible for me. I began to go to church regularly, in Vietnam. I was reading the Bible quite a bit, and struggling to understand it. I began to make the Sign of the Cross backwards. I was deeply affected by my own country's role in the plight of Vietnam, and increasingly, that of another country in the region, Cambodia.

Cambodia had experienced a genocide led by a criminal psychopath named Pol Pot, as a result of the American interference in Vietnam, which had been a result of lies told by President Lyndon B. Johnson that became known as the Gulf of Tonkin incident. The streets of Cambodia were largely empty of people. I felt an enormous sadness, and since my own country had caused this suffering, I felt responsible.

I saw that the government of Cambodia was evil, led by a former Khmer Rouge member named Hun Sen, who has one eye, like ad-Dajjal. Hun Sen had torn down people's houses near a lake, and drained the lake, and sold it to the Chinese, in order to build a strip mall. So, I began to criticize them severely in my blog. As a result, they began to practice magic on me. But all this time, I felt protected by God. Even my local friends said this.

One day in church, a letter came to me from God. It said, "go to Cambodia and work in an orphanage for one month. And give your guitar to an orphan." So, I started to get ready.

Then I was visited by Satan. He was crafty and manipulative. I was being followed by strange people. One day, George W Bush spoke to me from the toilet - because he was a member of Skull and Bones. I was very troubled by this visitation. It was very important for my reversion, because, from this incident, I realized that I was following the wrong religion. That was because, following the Christian religion, didn't protect me from visitations by devils. One time, a big group of shayatin came to my house who were working with people in the area who practiced magic. I could see them, and one of them stuck his tongue out at me from a tiny hole in the ceiling and made an unnatural noise, like hissing. I got out of there I think that very same day. On the way to the bus, I saw a human devil. He was riding a red motorcycle. He was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. I was writing a blog on blogspot, writing all the prophecies that came to me - the messages from God. It was confusing. Some of it I felt was true, and some of it seemed doubtful. One of them said: " Forget God and you will be forgotten." Later I saw something like it in the Glorious Quran.

Alhamdulillah, I escaped from the devils and their supporters to Cambodia and Vietnam. That is the place where I started to become a Muslim in Cambodia, I found an orphanage, called Rainbow Orphanage near Siem Reap. And I gave my guitar to a young man whose name was like mine - this is something God told me to do - to give my guitar to an orphan there. I worked there one month. during this time, I began to pray lying down, with my face on the ground. It was sujud when I didn't know how to do sujud. When I was in Cambodia some words came to me - that I believed were from God - "You will go to ANKOR and then you will study KORAN" (Ankor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world, although now it is in ruins). A little while after that, I went to Ankor Wat.

When I returned to the U.S. from Cambodia, I applied for a job teaching English in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, i took a keen interest in Judaism. My grandmother on my father's side was Jewish and my grandfather's lineage was from Siciliy. His father's father was an orphan, so we lost track of the origin of our family name, "Obis." But when I later came to Arabia I thought it must be from Arabic: عبس, because Sicily was ruled by Arab Muslims for a long time. And so Obis was probably the Latinate rendering of this Arabic name. There was some other evidence to support this view. I knew that either Judaism or Islam was the correct religion, but i didn't know which religion was right. They had a lot in common: both required circumcision of males and prohibited pork. So I knew I wanted to be either Jewish, or Muslim.

I was staying in a hostel in Chicago. I continued praying by lying face down on the floor: at this time I was reading the Zabur I had a dream about 'Isa ﷺ he was wearing white, and walking away from me. Later on, I realized that this was his way of saying "I never told people to worship me, and I am innocent of your asking me for help." then in a dream, I saw God He was the Ancient of Days from the Book of Daniel 7:9 "And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool." He looked very friendly but also extremely powerful, and He had seen everything He was sitting in a wooden chair He had a square of paper in his hand, with the number "12/12."

My father bought me a Jewish prayer shawl made of white wool, with part of the Torah written on it. It was made in occupied Palestine. After he got it for me, I never prayed without it. I didn't understand the Torah. It was really difficult. I wondered if I would come to Saudi Arabia, and then move to Palestine, and become a Jew. It was called a tallith. There were white tassels on the ends called tzizit. The Jews said that Allah's tallith was light. There was something strange about the tallith. As recorded in the Torah, Allah told Musa ﷺ "speak to the children of Yisrael and you shall say to them to make tzitzit on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue cord in the tzitzit of the corners. And it shall be to you for a tzitzit and you shall see it, and shall remember all the commands of YHWH (Yehowah) and shall do them, and not search after your own heart and your own eyes which you went whoring, so that you remember and shall do all My commands, and be set-apart unto your Elohim" (Deuteronomy 22:12). All the tzizit (tassels) of my tallith (shawl) that was made in israel were white. None of them were blue. I researched the issue. It turns out that most talliths are made without the blue strand. This is because the Rabbis are so nit-picky they cannot decide which animal the blue dye was originally made from. Later on, it reminded me a lot of the Jewish arguing and quibbling of Surat al-Baqarat. They disobey Allah's word in the Torah because they still cannot agree on which animal to make the dye from. So I got a blue pen and colored one of the tzizit blue.

I went out for pizza and with some visitors to my city, Chicago. I had been thinking of giving up eating pork for Allah's sake. But when we were sitting in the restaurant, I realized that the sausage in the pizza probably had pork but I thought to myself, "it's for the guests, and it's the only time I will eat it." Then I went home and I said to Allah, "I will never eat it again."

When I woke up in the morning, there were words in my mind very clear. The words were: " Today I have made you a Muslim."

That was the most wonderful moment of my entire life until that point. I still wonder about it.

I didn't know what a muslim was, so I looked in the dictionary. It said that the world "Muslim" meant "One who surrenders to God." It came from the word "Salaam," which meant, "peace." So being a Muslim meant having peace because you surrendered to God.

On the visa application they asked for my religion. I looked up how to become Muslim online. And I saw that you made the shahada: "There is no god but God (Allah), and Muhammad ﷺ was a Messenger of God." When I returned to the States from Cambodia, one of the first things I did was buy a Qur'an, in English. I had never actually read it before, except for the first Ayat: بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم This Ayat affected me very strongly. Before I read the rest of the Qur'an, I thought about this Ayat for months. The Qur'an was just like the revelations that had come to me before, except it was purified. The speech was organized in a way that I couldn't find when they were coming to me. When I read the Quran later, I found the perfect way of expressing it: قل (Say:).When the words and revelations came to me, they were mixed-up and I could not figure out how to express them. This is what the Qur'an looked like: I thought, I knew how Muhammad ﷺ felt.

I didn't know that he ﷺ was actually the Last Prophet. And I had deleted my blog Visions of the End of the World because some of it didn't seem right, and I didn't trust it. Parts were true and parts were not. I had begun a different blog, which was called, I Am the Last Prophet. So I really believed that Muhammad ﷺ was a Prophet. And I wasn't sure if I was, or not. I didn't know exactly what a Prophet was. But I knew in general, that it meant that God wanted him to tell the people something. And I believed that Muhammad ﷺ was one. And I believed in One God. So under religion I wrote, "Muslim." The Saudi embassy in Washington asked for proof of my religion. But I had never prayed in a mosque. So I wrote down the shahada, and I went to a public notary, and had the document certified.

My father brought me to a mosque. The first time I entered a masjid was 1/1/1433. But it was just to see it. He's not Muslim. But he was supportive of my getting a new religion that would be structured. We just went to the Muslim neighborhood in Chicago near Devon and Wester and stepped inside. A sign in the window said: “Don’t talk to strangers.” Boarding the plane to Arabia, I was still not sure about whether I would be a Muslim or a Jew. But when I met the Muslims of Arabia in person, my heart filled up like a balloon. They weren't like the people I knew in the USA. They were really patient. I loved their commitment to religion, which was beyond anything I had ever seen. They were courteous and devout. They smelled nice. I was teaching in the Aramco program. My students were 18-22, all males. All of them were chaste, and none of them had ever drunk alcohol. I couldn't believe how pure they were. It made me really happy. The culture I came from prized fornication and drunkenness. They didn't consider you a man unless you fornicated as soon as you were able. Our families were mostly broken up.

At this time, I was still occasionally hearing voices. The voices and feelings that I had of being followed by Satan the Rejected and Illuminati were almost tormenting me. But then, something amazing happened. I read that, if a person read Ayat al Kursi after every prayer, he would be protected from devils. By the Grace of Allah, I memorized this Ayat in Arabic (which is remarkable, because I had zero knowledge of Arabic and wasn't used to memorizing anything), and I began to say it after every prayer. The voices immediately stopped. AlHamdulillah, I have said Ayat al Kursi after every prayer since that time.

Shortly afterwards, I was moved out of the hotel where my company had put me, and was moved to another hotel, where I met some of the other teachers. One of them was an extremely kind Syrian Muslim, and we became dear friends. He showed me some basics of the religion. I was amazed to discover wu'du (ablution). I couldn't believe I hadn't ever done it before. People brought me a lot of books - all kinds of books about Islam. I heard Shaykh al-Sudais reciting Surat al Fatihah on the KSU Quran website. I was amazed to hear the Qur'an. It was sung, like the ancient people used to sing Homer and Beowulf - not read in flat monotone, like the Gospels when I used to go to church. I was amazed to find about how to pray - bow, and then prostrate. I never prayed like that before in church. We only kneeled down. I realized that my whole life, I was searching for Islam.

In that hotel, I had a dream of Allah. There was a big eye that looked like the Helix Nebula. Inside it, I saw the scales of Justice, and then a rapid succession of abstract symbols. I fell to my knees saying, “Allah, Allah.” Allah was much greater than the God I was familiar with.

As we began our working teaching English, I was learning more and more about the religion of Islam. My Syrian friend began to introduce me to a series of extremely gracious and kind individuals who inquired about my religion, and my belief that I was now Muslim. Eventually, they brought me to a main da'wa center in Riyadh to speak with a very learned scholar of the religion - a sheikh - and I still had some small doubt about whether Jesus ﷺ was the "son of God" in a literal sense, or a metaphorical sense. My instinct told me that it was only metaphorical - that "son of God" was a term for someone who God loved. So I asked whether in Islam, Jesus ﷺ could be called a "son of God" in a metaphorical sense, and he said yes. I felt very good about this answer and confidence filled my heart. I made the shahada there in the office and it was tape-recorded - they put the video on YouTube.

Then he said we would go to the masjid and make the shahada again. I didn't know why, but we went there. He told me to repeat after him some words, which were "Jesus (ﷺ) is a man and a Prophet, and not the "only begotten son of God" (which, I later learned, was an interpolation, a fabrication, inserted into John 3:16 by the King James translators of the Bible, which was used in the English speaking world for several centuries). After the shahada, which was after Isha'a prayer, many people in the masjid came up to me to hug me, and many of them had tears in their eyes or on their faces. I was amazed - "Why are they so happy? I wondered. He told me to go home and take a shower, which I did.

Then, two incredibly amazing happened - Glory be to God forever and ever.

I heard many voices which I understood to be angels, saying "Salaam alayikum!" and "AlHamdulilah" and "SubHanAllah" and "Allah akbar."

Then I went to my room, and I picked up the Qur'an I had brought from the States, which was entirely in English, and I opened it. When I looked at the page, I felt a piece of cloth, or a veil, fell from my face, which was upon my eyes and I understood, in the same moment, in a flash, that the Qur'an was 100% the direct speech of Allah and it was not Prophet Muhammad's ﷺ words but the words of Allah.

One of the last things that I heard from what I believe was an angel, and it happened shortly after, was "Your name is Muhammad." So the first Muslim name that I took was Muhammad Abdullah.

By the one in whose hands my soul is, this is how I became Muslim.


Glory be to Allah, the Holy, the Sublime, the King, who has no partner and shares his authority with no one. May His Peace and Blessings be upon His Final Messenger Muhammad ﷺ and his family as His Peace and Blessings were bestowed upon Ibrahim ﷺ and his family. May Allah forgive us and give us what is good in this world and the next, and re-establish our Khalifa, in order that we may live according to His Laws peacefully with our neighbors.


الله اكبر الله اكبر الله اكبر
لا اله الا الله
الله اكبر الله اكبر الله اكبر
ولله الحمد

Completed on the Day of 'Arafah
1435

There is no god but Allah.There is no god but Allah.

 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

How I came to Islam: Carrie

How I came to Islam
By Carrie


Assalamu Alaikum brothers & sisters. I am a new revert to Islam and live in an area where there is not much of an Islamic community so I’m reaching out on the internet to connect with other Muslims. It has not quite been a full year yet since my conversion and I still have a lot to learn but this first year has been an amazing journey already.

If I may, I’d like to share the story of my coming to Islam. In’Sh’Allah, others may be inspired by my experience or learn from it in some way.

Thinking back, It makes perfect sense that I would be called to Islam as my chosen religion. It’s been right in front of me my whole life although I’m only now seeing it. You see, my life’s career has been as a professional performer & teacher of Middle Eastern dance. For 20 years I have worked within the Middle Eastern communities throughout the United States, performing in Mediterranean restaurants and at functions such as wedding receptions and various other special occasion celebrations many times with live musicians from the Middle East. I have always loved middle-eastern music, art, architecture, fashion, jewelry and of course the dance. My life has been very influenced by Middle Eastern culture and many of the people I have worked with over the years have been Muslim.

I have always been a spiritual seeker and have been very dedicated to my spiritual path for my whole life but never felt comfortable claiming myself to be any one particular religion because with all of the religions I had studied, I never found one that really felt in alignment with the spiritual beliefs of my heart until I started learning about Islam.

In my life I’ve studied everything from Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism to Bahai and even Paganism. With all of my searching, I never considered that Islam could be a path for me so I never studied it. I don’t know why I assumed that without knowing anything about the religion but SubhanAllah, Allah found a way to guide me to the path anyway.

My interest in learning about Islam first developed thru a friend that I have who is Muslim. My first curiosity about the religion arose because of the quality of character I saw in my friend. He was always so mannerly, friendly, kind, generous & just an overall good person. I knew that he was a practicing Muslim and being the spiritual seeker that I am, I wondered if these good natured qualities I saw in him were somehow cultivated thru his religion. So I began researching and learning about Islam out of curiosity

I started my research in March of 2013 by doing internet searches on “Islamic spirituality’ which first led to me watching documentaries about Islam online and eventually led me to discovering & taking an online video course on Islamic Meditation www.islamicmeditation.com . As a watched the first few documentaries and took the course, I felt so much excitement & amazement because I was discovering that that so many of the natural spiritual beliefs in my heart are at the core of the spiritual teachings of Islam. I was intrigued by what I was learning and wanted to learn more and more. I even started watching videos on youtube about people from all walks of life who had converted to Islam. Everything I was learning made total sense to me and made me want to keep learning more. In everything that I was learning, I could not find anything that I disagreed with.

As Ramadan of 2013 was drawing near, I had decided that I was going to read Quran and do the fasting for Ramadan and then assess my experience afterward and make a decision on if I wanted to convert or not after Ramadan. This plan changed when on the night before Ramadan I watched another documentary on Islam called “Islam for Dummies’ http://youtu.be/A-678-XuX4M . Something about the way the information was presented in this video left me feeling like I didn’t need any more convincing (by this time I had watched many documentaries, took a 6 week online course & watched hundreds of conversion stories) and I felt in my heart that I wanted to convert. I watched the same video again the first evening of Ramadan, told my friend that I wanted to convert to Islam and said the shahada to myself that night.

I did read the Quran cover to cover during Ramadan and did the fasting as best as I could. Once I read the Quran I knew for certain that my choice to convert was right for me. I felt like it was the only choice to make, knowing what I learned from the Quran.

I started learning about & practicing wudu and the prayer during Ramadan too. I learned the wudu online and for the prayer I followed along with videos on youtube.

About 6 weeks after Ramadan I was invited by my friends family to attend their mosque with them for prayer and so I did. This is the day I officially took my shahada with the Imam of the Mosque and my friend’s family there with me as my witnesses. They even had a party for me at their home afterwards to celebrate my conversion. Words can’t describe how much joy I felt in my heart that day. It felt like coming home after being lost for a long time.

I feel so happy & blessed to have been guided to Islam. The prayers make me feel so closely connected to Allah and everything I am learning about the core spiritual teachings of Islam feel totally in alignment with my hearts truth. That right there is a huge blessing. I want to live my life based on the spiritual teachings of Islam in the best way I can. It’s taken me 8 months but Alhamdulillah, I have the prayer memorized in Arabic now and can recite it without having to follow along to videos anymore.

The main struggles I am facing now with my growth in Islam have to do with the fact that I do not have a Muslim community in my home town. The closest Mosques are 2 hours away in Phoenix, AZ ( I live in Sedona) and so I have very little support with my growth in Islam. I do intend on visiting some mosques in phoenix when I can but right now I am primarily having to learn thru my own self guided study and I wish I had more Muslim friends around me for support and to develop friendships with. I do want a Muslim husband too and so feel unsure as to how that will happen.

My closest friends and my immediate family members all know that I converted to Islam and subhanAllah they are all very supportive of my decision so I am happy about that.

These days I am taking some time to integrate all that I have learned in the past 9 months as I am step by step deepening my understanding of Islam and refining my practice of prayer and Islamic lifestyle. I hope to meet and make more Islamic friends within the next year. This first leg of my journey has been a bit of a whirl wind so I am looking forward to getting more grounded and balanced with it in moving forward.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Shariffa Carlos amazing Journey to Islam



Sister Shariffa Carlos was being groomed by individuals in high Government positions in US to study, learn and then go to Egypt to destroy Islam by instigating the 'oppressed' Muslim women. They had their plans and Allah had his Plan. Allah is the best planner!!!! read her story in her own words..........

 

The story of how I reverted to al Islam is a story of plans.  I made plans; the group I was with made plans, and Allah made plans.  And Allah is the Best of Planners.  When I was a teenager, I came to the attention of a group of people with a very sinister agenda.  They were and probably still are a loose association of individuals who work in government positions but have a special agenda — to destroy Islam.  It is not a governmental group that I am aware of, they simply use their positions in the US government to advance their cause.

One member of this group approached me because he saw that I was articulate, motivated and very much the women’s rights advocate.  He told me that if I studied International Relations with an emphasis in the Middle East, he would guarantee me a job at the American Embassy in Egypt.  He wanted me to eventually go there to use my position in the country to talk to Muslim women and encourage the fledgling women’s rights movement.  I thought this was a great idea.  I had seen the Muslim women on TV; I knew they were a poor oppressed group, and I wanted to lead them to the light of 20th century freedom.

With this intention, I went to college and began my education.  I studied Quran, hadith and Islamic history.  I also studied the ways I could use this information.  I learned how to twist the words to say what I wanted them to say.  It was a valuable tool.  Once I started learning, however, I began to be intrigued by this message.  It made sense.  That was very scary.  Therefore, in order to counteract this effect, I began to take classes in Christianity.  I chose to take classes with this one professor on campus because he had a good reputation and he had a Ph.D. in Theology from Harvard University.  I felt I was in good hands.  I was, but not for the reasons I thought.  It turns out that this professor was a Unitarian Christian.  He did not believe in the trinity or the divinity of Jesus.  In actuality, he believed that Jesus was a prophet.

He proceeded to prove this by taking the bible from its sources in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic and show where they were changed.  As he did this, he showed the historical events which shaped and followed these changes.  By the time I finished this class, my deen [religion] had been destroyed, but I was still not ready to accept Islam.  As time went on, I continued to study, for myself and for my future career.  This took about three years.  In this time, I would question Muslims about their beliefs.  One of the Individuals I questioned was a Muslim brother with the MSA [Muslim Students’ Association].  Alhamdulllah, he saw my interest in the deen, and made it a personal effort to educate me about Islam.  May Allah increase his reward.  He would give me dawaa [i.e. tell me about Islam] at every opportunity which presented itself.

One day, this man contacts me, and he tells me about a group of Muslims who were visiting in town.  He wanted me to meet them.  I agreed.  I went to meet with them after Ishaa [night] prayer.  I was led to a room with at least 20 men in it.  They all made space for me to sit, and I was placed face to face with an elderly Pakistani gentleman.  Mashallah, this brother was a very knowledgeable man in matters of Christianity.  He and I discussed and argued the varying parts of the bible and the Quran until the fajr [dawn prayer].  At this point, after having listened to this wise man tell me what I already knew, based on the class I had taken in Christianity, he did what no other individual had ever done.  He invited me to become a Muslim.  

 In the three years I had been searching and researching, no one had ever invited me.  I had been taught, argued with and even insulted, but never invited.  May Allah guide us all.  So when he invited me, it clicked.  I realized this was the time.  I knew it was the truth, and I had to make a decision.  Alhamdulillah [All praise be to Allah], Allah opened my heart, and I said, “Yes.  I want to be a Muslim.”  With that, the man led me in the shahadah [the testimony of faith] - in English and in Arabic.  I swear by Allah that when I took the shahadah, I felt the strangest sensation.  I felt as if a huge, physical weight had just been lifted off my chest; I gasped for breath as if I were breathing for the first time in my life.  Alhamdulillah, Allah had given me a new life — a clean slate — a chance for Jennah [Paradise], and I pray that I live the rest of my days and die as a Muslim.  Ameen.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Sateesh Khan: A journey that has just begun......

Sister Sateesh Khan is a Pakistan based actress, model and was a born Muslim, but like so many of us she realized the meaning of Islam and returned back. Since then she has given up Acting and modeling for the sake of Allah. Here is her story in her own words. May Allah reward her




The journey that has just begun.

About 10 years ago when my parents split up. I had this urge to have a perfect family since. I grew up learning from the circumstances, from people around me, from places I travelled and live. I had a sister who died of Hepatitis at the age of 17 and I was only 11, my younger brother was 9 and elder one was 13. We had never heard of any sort of disease nor had we known that people can die so young. My family needed a strong leader to help fill the void left by the death of my sister.

It was a shock for the whole family, nobody could believe for years that she was gone. Though four of us left behind, I, My two amazing brothers and my mom were too affectionate.

I didn’t feel like I was lacking love or attention. But there’s always been something missing. I had trust issues and I wouldn’t make friends so quick. I used to be a very happy person and cheerful but a lot of things changed after the death of my sister.

 It wasn’t just the pain of seeing my family break down in front of me and the shattering of the image of my father whom I idolized, nor was it the traumatizing loss of my amazing elder sister who I deeply loved, depended on and looked up to, but it was a loss of my innocence, of my vanished childhood and the resulting shattered belief in life. Inwardly I felt fate had abandoned me and taken away all that I held so dear. I would never let my pain be known and carried on with an outwardly smile.

By the time I was 16, I felt like my life was falling apart from an emotional aspect. As far as my Education, career and my future God had truly blessed me. I was so grateful and lucky that I’m physically in the position I’m in Alhamdulillah.
I took almost four years to find myself with the help of some amazing friends. I’m pretty sure most girls of my age go through this.

When I was 18 I started working as an Actress and made some really Good friends. My co-Actors Sarah Chaudhry, Mariam Ali, Affan Waheed, Jamal Shah, Layela Zuberi were like my family. I could totally be myself with them.

Strange thing was, every time we’d sit together we’d talk about GOD and nature and HIS creation. How we fit together in this world and It’s system. Because I’m very spiritual and always have been, I was really interested in all of this stuff. But if you talk about religion and Qur’an, I’d run away !!!

Well My Journey had begun then to Where I am today. I’ve lived a Kaafir’s life. I was only called a Muslim because I was born in a Muslim family otherwise I have done much to disappoint Allah Subhanahu Watalla and My Prophet (May peace and blessings be upon him).

I was looking for a miracle to happen. I was probably waiting for Angels to come down and wipe my tears off. And that actually happened, My friend Sarah . She had left Showbiz and moved to Abu Dhabi with her husband, went all religious. Definitely left me with too many questions.

 One evening Sarah was online and she said to me I have a question to ask from the youth, She said “We know everything, somewhere back of our heads, we can differentiate the wrong and the right without getting confused. Then I fail to understand, WHY don’t we follow it”

My thinking process had increased and then I started feeling guilty and ashamed of myself. I hated myself like never before. I was upset because I used to be a really nice girl, I used to be loving, caring, disciplined and smart. And maybe I was feeling this way because I’ve always been extremely sensitive. The question that shook me was ‘’Why have I ruined myself into this worldly environment’’ I knew she was hitting me where it hurts the most. She knew I was capable of changing.

Is it Satan that took control over me? One by one I stared to Quit and eliminate the bad things and people from my life. I needed good influences. I needed motivation to stand up for the Truth. I didn’t really know what to do but I kind of knew that I’m not too far from the reality.

End of 2011, I find out Sarah is coming back to Pakistan. She invited me to this event, where she’s giving a speech and some other scholars & researchers are attending too. I and Mariam (My friend) had planned to go see Sarah to Islamabad few hours’ drive away from Lahore.

As we reach to the venue Faisal Mosque, my heart sank. The first tear dropped by just looking at that Masjid (Mosque) it looked so spiritual and peaceful. We walked across the corridor and I see book stalls left & right. Boys and girls are standing smiling selling Islamic books. They were so welcoming unconditionally Alhamdulillah that I almost forgot that this is the same world we live in. We entered the first Hall when I found out that the event was organized by Al-Shifa medical college. I was really excited because I was experiencing it for the first time.

The first hall we went to, all girls were sitting there and a fashion show was going on. Lol before you jump into any conclusions this was an ISLAMIC fashion show of Obaya’s (veils) and appropriate dresses for Muslim women. But I was probably expecting a little too much so for me it was almost inappropriate fashion show. As all girls were screaming out loud and they played this ugly music for the runway. Anyway after the show this lady walked up on stag, she wearing a beige coloured veil.

As she starts to talk, She said “Assalam o Alaikum, with the name of GOD here I am today to talk about the most important thing that our youth (especially girls) go through “The void”. Instantly my jaw dropped and I thought for the first time in my life and I MEAN IT (the first time) I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I felt like GOD is communication with me directly. All these years the questions I had on my mind. She had answered so easily in 20 minutes.

I and Mariam were in tears. As she kept giving examples of Hazrat Mariam R.A (Merry) Hazrat Ai’shah R.A (Aisha) Hazrat Khateeja R.A. Everytime She says Mariam, she says ‘Listen to me carefully’ I would look at my friend and we just didn’t know what was happening to us. That feeling can’t be described in words. That woman said this repeatedly ‘Build your connection, build your connection’

As we walked the second hallway I see this man preaching standing on the stage. He is a researcher named Adnan Rashid. He was talking about women in Islam. For an hour, I was listening to him. I was so involved that I didn’t know where I was and who were with me. I was in a state of shock and couldn’t see him clearly; he was a blur as tears wouldn’t stop rolling down my cheeks. My shawl was gone wet.

When he was done talking he walked off saying one last thing to wind up “Look what we have and how we waste it, look who we are and how we deny it. We’re following west, poor confused people who don’t even have family values. We have given them the way of life, we have given them the freedom and we have given them The Religion, and yet knowing how constant our Religion is, we have left it on a side as an Obligation. Wake up People, Wake Up”

January 9th 2012.

Changed the whole purpose of my life. The whole prospective towards this world. I walked out of that place promising to myself that I will bring the Revolution. I will be the motivation and I will inspire people. I had found my identity, I had found myself.
Because brothers and sisters, the fact that is undeniable is that we’ll have to face ALLAH subhanahu Wa talla one day, whether we want it or not. He definitely does not need worshipers but HE’s our creator right? Like our mother and HIS love for us is 70 times more than 1 mother, Imagine that passion of love and imagine its ‘unconditional’.
Imagine if HE loved me even after I neglected HIM so much. HE loved our Atheists, Jews and Christian brothers and sisters that they’re converting to ISLAAM every single minute of the day!!!

Ask yourself why? I did, and I found the answers.

WALLAHI we can’t even imagine the amount of Love that ALLAH has for us. Tears wouldn’t stop falling down my cheeks as I get flash backs of my life. I’m a sinful person and I’ve been so unfortunate not to accept ALLAH subhanahu Wa talla in my heart and how lucky I am today that I get an opportunity after everything that I have done.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Canadian Sister Elizabeth's Journey to Islam



My name is Elizabeth, 25 years old from Ontario, Canada and this is my journey to Islam

Before my reversion, I was the talkative and "bubbly" girl. Always laughing and having fun, always the social butterfly. People liked to be around me and I too enjoyed the attention. In fact, I craved that attention. It was interesting to see that even the new me was getting attention too, but not in the same way. People were confused about me practising Islam and people were very curious too. Even today the staring does not seize. People can be so cruel. Even the people who know you, they too can be cruel. Sometimes they are the cruelest of people. Its was hard to see that some of those people who were once so close to me, now viewed me as an entirely different person. All simply because of the clothes I wear. 

 I first started looking into Islam when I was about 13 years old. Something about it just caught my eye and from that moment on, I was hooked. I couldn't stop researching Islam. My teachers would give us an assignment and tell us to pick a topic. You can guess what my topic always was. Islam. I started to realize that despite all the misconceptions I had, I was always convinced with a reasonable answer. No matter what it was, I was faced with surprisingly perfect explanations that I just couldn't ignore. I looked at my family and my childhood and I wondered how my life would be if we were Muslims. I started to compare myself to pious Muslims. "How could I ever be like them?" I told myself. It seemed like it was an unrealistic goal to approach. After years of Islamic studies, I decided that I was ready for the challenge. After all what did I have to lose? I just wanted some stability and happiness in my life.

 Let me tell you a little bit about my family and how I lacked the guidance there in. Maybe this will give you a better idea of me and why I chose Islam. I come from a broken home, no family dynamics, no rules and no love. My sisters and I could run wild and no one even seemed to care. I could be gone for weeks on end, missing school and never even coming home. When I'd return back home, no one would even care to ask where I was or what I was doing. I could do anything and everything I wanted to do and I have never been punished or grounded by my parents, not even once. It was Just complete confusion and pain for so many years. My father was an alcoholic and my mom was addicted to drugs. Astaghfirallah. My sisters and I were so use to our way of life, we didn't question it at first. The pain came as something almost normal. I thought to myself a lot, "life just sucks". I remember many nights of my dad yelling and being violent. Mom was always crying. I can remember all the holes in the walls and all of the bruises left on my mothers face. How could I ever forget that? Three little sisters, stuck right in the middle of an inevitable disaster. We were constantly crying out for him to stop hurting her. Such trauma we endured as children. I started to notice what my family was missing. Obedience to God. How much different could my life have been if I was brought up with religion? This was constantly on my mind. 

 One early morning as my father slept, my mother quickly packed a bag and she grabbed my sisters and I. We were out of the house in such a hurry that I can remember running through the streets in my bare feet. My hand tightly clutched my older sister. "Where are we going?" I asked. My sister replied to me "We are running away". I was sad and confused and I didn't want to leave my dad behind. I didn't know if I could ever see him again. We ended up in a battered woman's shelter and not too long after, I was talking to my dad behind a thick glass window within the prison walls. Life was so hard. My sisters and I moved with our mother from shelter to shelter, until we finally settled down in a little low income community. I started to realize that there were so many people who faced similar problems. So many children lost and confused because their parents were lost in the ways of society. Canada was no exception. People living in their sins with no shame at all. After all, it was completely legal to live in haram. Canada was somewhat condoning this way of life. I realized how life in Canada could be so much better, if we just implemented obedience to God in our everyday lives. During our adolescence, my sisters and I made many terrible mistakes. Searching for the attention of a father figure and looking for love in all the wrong places. The mistakes we made brought us so much guilt and pain. Id cry myself to sleep on numerous nights and in those tears also came some healing. How beautiful it is, the honest cries of breaking hearts. The Confusion and pain still lasted for many years to come. We were turning into our parents. Couldn't we just break the cycle and start our own lives differently? How would I ever begin living a life that I never knew nothing about? How hard could it REALLY be? After years of "living in Haram", I almost found it impossible to break out of the lifestyle I knew so well. I was broken but this brokenness was the feeling of a deep need, a deep desire to submit and surrender to Allah. I was beginning to realize that Only God can help me and without God, I am truly nothing. I had a really long way to go before I could truly know God. I didn't even know where to begin. How would I get started? One night I cried out to Allah. " Oh Allah the beneficent and the merciful, I have wronged myself and Surely only you can help me. Please help me Allah, please please please help me! Remove this pain from my life and show me what I need to do" From that moment on, I began by taking it one step at a time. Here is my beautiful journey into Islam. 

I reverted to Islam on Jan 28th 2012. Wallahi it was the best decision I have ever made! An easy decision to make, considering my circumstances. Being on "the other side" without Islam, I knew first hand the consequences of Living without obedience to Allah. Words cant even describe the overwhelming relief and comfort I felt on that day of my reversion to Islam. I spoke the words "La illaha il allah muhammed rasoul allah" and just then, My body was shaken by an intense spiritual awakening. I bursted out in tears of joy. Finally I found what I have been yearning for all these years. I felt new again and I felt hope. For the first time in my life I actually felt hopeful! I left my past behind me. "Things are looking up now" I thought to myself. I now had a decent a chance at a good life. I started making friends with Muslim woman in my community. I was starting to feel a sense of belonging. Just knowing that there are countless others out there who love me and respect me, and they barely even know me at all. I thought to myself again "wow I have a family now, a big family" and I was only beginning to feel the love that they had for me. I felt so happy to realize that these people care for me and they want the best for me. Anytime I ever needed help in understanding Islam or even if I just needed someone to talk to, there was always a nice Muslim there for me and willing to lift my spirits high. How blessed am I? I truly am so thankful to have had this opportunity. Indeed, Allah has found me lost and he guided me. Alhumdulillah. Alhumdulillah ALLAHU AKBAR! God is great, I have no doubts about that. Minutes after my reversion to Islam, I began to feel the spiritual high. I was so motivated, so enthusiastic and very excited about the new life ahead of me. I put the hijab on that same day, and it was liberating! I didn't have to worry about keeping up with all the latest styles and trends. I didn't have to fit into the expectations society had on woman. I was free. free at last. Hijab changed me. It made me shy and it reminded me everyday that I have great responsibilities.

 One day I was walking through a crowd of teenagers. I watched them all move aside creating a perfect path for me to walk through. Some of them stopped talking with each other, others rushed to hide their cigarettes behind their backs. I walked up to the bus terminals and an old man smiled as he held open the door for me. People were thinking good of me and I was shown such high respect. I now had a reputation to uphold. After lots of hard work and research I began to grow. A few months later I could say my prayers in Arabic and I was beginning to feel even more close to Allah. By then, all my pains and my worries from childhood faded. My heart was healing. I couldn't believe how I was able to almost forget about all my sadness and anger. Any resentment I once held in my heart, was completely erased by love and forgiveness. I began to feel sorry for my family. I wanted them to feel good too and I didn't want them to suffer any longer. "Allah does not change the condition of a people unless they first strive to change what is in themselves" I remember the Quran and what it told me. Then it hit me hard. Id have to share the beneficial knowledge of Islam... if I want the best for my family. They needed to know about the peace I felt in Islam. I had to share this beautiful religion with them and I knew that this would not be an easy task. I started out by giving away Islamic books to my mother and sisters. I offered kind words of advice and I showed them about Islam through my loving actions and deeds. My mother began to be more loving towards me and she was now coming to me for advice and comfort. One day my youngest sister asked me if I can put hijab on her and of course I didn't hesitate one bit. She looked at herself in the mirror with her hijab on and she smiled. " I wonder if I can be like you" she said. I cried with such happiness. I remembered having a similar feeling when I compared myself to the born Muslims. I thought that I could never be like them. I replied back to my little sister " With the help of Allah, You can be anything you want to be. You just put your heart and mind into it". She looked at me with surprise. I don't think that she ever heard such encouraging words before. I can see that My family is slowly getting better and I am still actively giving them dawah. Little by little, I feel like I am making a positive difference in their lives. I can still tell that my family is interested and curious about Islam, but they have yet to fully embrace it. Please pray for Allah to give my family guidance. I think that I have been growing steadily in the deen and each day my faith is increasing in sha allah. Sometimes I rise and sometimes I fall, but i am beginning to see that this is a part of faith. What matters most is that you never give up and you always get right back up and keep on trying. I hope that all the reverts out there who read this will find some comfort and hope. You are never alone, you are loved and Allah is always there for you. **Even in the darkest of places, out can emerge people of wisdom and faith** Sometimes even the best of people can come from the worst places. We all have an opportunity to achieve success. No matter who you are or where you come from, with the help of Allah you can succeed. It may be more difficult for a revert then those born Muslims who have certain advantages. The bigger the struggle the greater the reward. Remember that. It just depends on how much you want it and how far you are willing to go for it. Nothing is impossible with Allah. He can completely transform your life. My life has been transformed and I have Allah to thank for every single blessing he has bestowed on me. I am thankful for all my struggles and all my pains because with out them, I wouldn't be who I am today. Alhumdulillah.