How does it feel to be Muslim?
Amazing, ... indescribable.
Sometimes when people touch my life, or when Allah touches me, it’s a feeling that I never thought I could feel.
It’s like overwhelming compared to any sense of happiness that I've ever had in my life before this.
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In what way is it different than before?
I’m much more patient now, I’m more understanding, more accepting. I’m not afraid to die anymore like before when I didn’t believe there is anything after death, that this is all what we have and then it’s over, and whatever you do in this time is what you do.
But now it’s like whatever I don’t do now I can do later. It’s like an unlimited amount of time, and it just makes refraining from all the things we shouldn’t do so much easier to know that there is going to be 10,000 times better things that we can’t even imagine afterwards. I’m just more at peace in my everyday life, in the way that I deal with people and in the way I deal with my work.
How has it changed your everyday life?
Well, I’m a modest woman now so let’s not go into so much detail about the things I used to do! But because of prayers I have more structure. I pray five times a day and I got to wake up early in the morning, and I got to make sure that I’m in a good state of mind five times a day. Just those 15 minutes five times a day really makes you calm, makes you so much at ease.
And whatever problems you had before, when you go to the mosque is like it’s gone and it’s already settled. And you feel like there is a solution for it. Before I could only rely on myself, but now I know I have something up there watching over me in every second and every detail in my life.
And that makes me feel so secure, so safe, like when I see other people in trouble or whatever and they are not turning to Allah like I beg them: “Please go and pray. Don’t just pray now and not pray later when you are not in trouble anymore. Pray and get out all the trouble and see the power of Allah and continue, because every time you pray there is going to be problems in your life and they are going to be solved for you so easy. Because once you commit yourself to Allah, Allah commits Himself to you fully as well.”
|It’s like you are not living for yourself and your family, you are living for the entire earth now|
I guess from the beginning, just changing my life 360 degrees. If I were to tell myself two years ago that I would be a Muslim now and that I wouldn’t be doing anything haram and I would be working towards a whole different purpose, I wouldn’t have believed myself. And just the transformation that the past year has had on me, I think has been my biggest tribulation, to change my western mindset into like a whole different concept now.
It’s like you are not living for yourself and your family, you are living for the entire earth now. And being a convert into Islam, it’s like Muslims will tell you that Allah loves converts more than people who are born into Islam, because I feel like I was given this gift that Allah like saved me and gave me this beautiful gift of Islam, and if I don’t appreciate or respect that it’s like 10,000 times more disrespect of Allah than if someone was just born into it and was told to be Muslim from the beginning.
So I think I’m just trying to deal with the guilt when I do slip, but I mean everyone says Islam is easy, but I don’t like to take it so easy because I think I’m going to get lazy. They say there is always a way and there is always a reason as long as you have the intention to do good and stuff, but I think we shouldn’t take it so easy like that because we are given a beautiful gift that a lot of people may never be so lucky to see this beautiful caring, loving, giving society that Islam creates if it’s done properly.
Do you get support from other Muslims? Does it get overwhelming?
Well, when you asked the first part of the question do I get support from other Muslims I would say overwhelming amount of support, so for the second part of the question overwhelming? Yes sometimes it really is. Sometimes it is like every Muslim I meet they want to give me something whether it’s prayer beads or prayer mats or a book or a Quran, or advice. I have like five different translations of the Quran. I have one from 1980s! I get some really crazy cool gifts and advice and support from every Muslim.
When I tell them I’m a convert their face like lights up, and say things like “Mash’Allah, I’m so happy to meet you.” And they welcome me, and they want to hug me, and say things like “Just like whenever you need anything, call me and if you need me if you need advice, if you need this or that.”
I’m from Canada so we do have a very good sense of community like when you pass by someone in the street they greet you Hello. And there is something like Islamic value also, but the extent of it in Islam is like, masha’Allah, amazing. People are just so happy to see that you embraced Islam and they also want your prayers, but genuinely I think that they are just really happy to see something like somebody has been saved from the dark side.
Do you need more patience now?
No, I don’t need it a lot more now. I think I needed it a lot more before, but now because I take everything a lot more easy now. This is the test. This isn’t the final frontier, you know. This isn’t it. So everything that happens to me in this life I’m a lot more easygoing on it, I guess.
How about your temper?
Much more calm. I’ve seen myself in a lot of situations recently that I would usually flip out, but I kind of remind myself to take a breather, and you know it’s not a big deal.
|it’s not really our job anyway to convert people and only Allah can guide whom He wills|
Yes I definitely wouldn’t accept the fact that I’m wrong before. But maybe it’s because I’m stepping into something that I knew nothing or little to nothing about. I did know a bit about Islam before. I knew a lot of Muslims.
So because I don’t know everything, I had to be accepting of what people tell me more, because I'm always looking for new information about Islam, like if I meet somebody who has got good knowledge I really love to get into conversation and hear what they have to tell me about Quran or Hadith or the history of Islam, how it has changed today, or whatever the topic maybe.
I hope I don’t go back to the same way before when I thought I had a lot of knowledge. I don’t think I will. I think I learnt a good lesson because it’s good to be able to admit when you are wrong and accept good advice and good information from reasonable sources, not from everybody. You got to be a skeptic because there are a lot of people who are full of a lot of nothing
Do Muslims do well in spreading Islam?
I think it’s really hard to convert people, like Muslims find my story really inspiring, and maybe somebody who is interested in Islam would find it inspiring, but it’s not really our job anyway to convert people, and only Allah can guide whom He wills. You can give somebody a million pieces of evidence why the Quran is one hundred percent true and the real last Book of Allah, but even then their own stubbornness and the veil that has been put over their hearts by Allah can’t be lifted by us.
Of course it’s our job to give right information, and when asked to inspire and to show what a good Muslim is and where the truth of Islam lies. But I mean if they are not meant to come to Islam, there is nothing really we can do about it. And I think this is the hardest part. If you see somebody that has a very open heart, yes do your best but don’t push, never force, because anybody who is pushed into something won’t do it well.
I’ve seen this with somebody who converted recently. He converted because of his girlfriend, and I still see him wearing his cross, and he doesn’t really keep up with his prayers from what I see as he doesn’t come to pray in the masjid anymore. And I think it wasn’t his choice so much to come into Islam so he doesn’t really feel the true spirit of it I suppose maybe, because for myself I really got delved into it because it was fully my choice.
Tons of people have told me about Islam for years and years and I didn’t even care. I was like “Whatever, I’m not going to join this, and it has nothing to do with me, and it’s all lies astighfur Allah al-`Azeem (May God forgive me). But yes I think if that person is willing to know and willing to open their heart, yes we do all we can to show them the truth and tell from our own stories and use the Quran as evidence to back it up because people relate more to something they know is real, as opposed to what they have known has been in a book...
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