So let me start with a quick disclaimer. I am by no means a scholar nor am I speaking with regard to the laws of Islam. I am simply a Muslim, and a woman trying hard to practice Islam the right way according to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). If you would like to learn from a scholar or from other reliable Islamic sources, I can certainly help to advise you as to where to look.
So, starting from the beginning, I absolutely love spirituality. I think that is it a beautiful thing and I feel that all of us as human beings can agree on that, whatever our beliefs. It is about connecting with your higher power and really developing that relationship – Whoever or whatever you believe your higher power is. I’m pretty sure that everyone can feel that connection somehow. If you haven’t gotten there yet, well I think it is a really cool thing to dive into and just try to find your connection whether it is through meditation or something similar to that.
I have done so many things since I first converted to Islam and of course been through so many challenges. But let’s first talk about how it happened.
It all started back at a Tony Robbins event. I went to a Tony Robbins UPW event, and for those who aren’t familiar, he’s a leading personal development coach. UPW stands for: “Unleashing the Power Within”. It was a very intense four-day event that had around 10,000 people come together to jump around, try to walk across fire, and lots of other fun stuff. So I had gone there and some of the people that I had gone with were Muslim, although it wasn’t an Islamic event and Tony Robbins himself isn’t Muslim.
So the event took place from Thursday through to Sunday, and on Friday my Muslim friends were going to pray at the mosque for Jumu’ah – the Friday congregational prayer. The men must go, and the women are allowed to go to of course. So, out of curiosity I asked “am I allowed to pray?”. I had no idea about the prayer or what to do. When I went to the mosque, somebody said something like “practice as if you believe and God will guide you”. I wasn’t sure if it was a message that I either heard in passing or if it was said directly to me. I’m not 100% sure, but I just remember hearing that.
Let me just take it back it back a little bit. A month earlier I went skydiving in Fiji. I was out with a friend and it was her birthday and she really wanted to go skydiving.
It was not something that was on my bucket list but it was something that she wanted to do. It was her birthday, and I was like, “all right, let’s go, let’s do it”. If you’ve ever been to skydiving before, you know that there is a free fall period where there is no parachute, and you’re literally just falling. I think you’re about 13,000 feet up in the air, it’s cold, it’s crisp and it is such a fascinating experience. Then, your parachute opens and you explore the view. So in that free fall experience, I just remember having this overwhelming blissful moment. It was just so pure. The air was crisp and was clean. It was honestly the most relaxed, calm and happy state that I had ever been in in my entire life. It was just so beautiful.
I’m not necessarily recommending going skydiving or anything like that! However, I wanted to describe something important that I had just experienced in the context of my story.
So bringing it back forward, I had gone home from the Tony Robbins event and decided, “okay, I’m gonna practice as if I believe”, and I decided to pray all the five prayers one day. I think it was maybe on day two of these prayers that I was on the prayer mat and I just had that overwhelming feeling of bliss again. It was just as it was when I was skydiving, and in that moment I knew this was not a coincidence. It was 100% that same feeling.
I thought, how can you get that same feeling of pure bliss whilst sat firmly on the ground as you had in the air? I had no idea other than that it was an act of God. I knew it 100%. It was beautiful and I loved it.
Again, this was not a coincidence, at least that’s what I believe. But Islam isn’t solely about feelings it is much more than that. I know and I say this because if it was like that, then you would act simply because you think something feels right or not act when you think it feels wrong. However, I wanted to share with you my spiritual journey to Islam.
I wanted to bring you on this journey with me because if I can help one other person who might be a new Muslim or somebody who might be newly practicing again, then I’ll be very happy. Thank you so much for reading.
Source: Becoming Muslim Podcast
Marilynn Rose an American businesswoman and a muslimah convert. She shares her advice, experiences and interviews inspirational guest to help empower Muslims to truly shine their light and live their own best selves.