My journey to Islam started when I was a teenager. I lost my mother at the age of 12, which led me on a journey to spend time with the elderly. And because I went on a Sunday to help them, they would end up taking me to church. I would go and ask all kinds of questions, trying to find out why God took my mother.
Well, quite naturally, when people saw a 13 or 14 year old child ask such in depth questions, they thought I had knowledge. I went from the Sunday School room asking questions to the pulpit delivering lectures or preaching as they say, in a Pentecostal church, for a year. I only narrated stories that I liked, but one day when I was up there on that particular Pulpit, God took the words, ‘in the name of Jesus’ out of my mouth. I could not utter those words. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I tried as hard as I could to say those words, but they would not come out. And so when I finished the lecture that day, I went to the Elders of the church and told them about it. I had to even write it for them. And so they prayed for me for 30 days and I still could not see it. Nothing changed. I told them that I knew there was a God and if they won’t give me an answer, then I would go and find it myself.
I then went on a search to the Church of Christ and found Reverend Williams. He taught me the beginning of creation all the way up to the birth of Jesus. He gave me that background knowledge I needed in order to accept Islam whenever it came in to my life. While I was in college, I decided to relocate to Florida, where I met another Reverend in Fort Lauderdale and I don’t know where he got his knowledge from but he wasn’t like my former Reverend. His behaviour turned me off. Due to that, I stopped going to the church, continued my education at college as well as debated religion.
One day, while at work, I was debating a Muslim co worker and asked him to let me see his book, the Quran. On a Friday, he showed me how to do wudu(ablution) and made me promise to do it before I read the Quran and then give my review. I took the Quran and was just ready to go home, and lo and behold, I have my first test with that book. The lady who used to give me a ride home everyday told me that I couldn’t ride in her car with the Quran. So I got out of her car and started walking home. I was going to read this book no matter what.
I didn’t know it at the time but I was being tested. I made the ablution and then began to compare. I got the Bible and the Quran and put them on the bed and thought that I would read the first few verses of each book side by side. I then came to the part where it says,’ O you who believe! In this book there is truth. There is no doubt for those who believe’ and I’m thinking oh, no doubt for those who believe?
Soon after, I passed out and went completely into deep sleep. I don’t know what had hit me, like a drug came over me. I woke up that morning at 2:30 a.m. with the worst nightmare ever. I was so frightened. I thought somebody had put something in my food or drink, so I went and dialled 911. I told the operator to send someone as I was hallucinating.
The person on the phone asked me what happened? I explained to him that my friend gave me a book, his Quran and I had my Bible, and I was comparing them and fell asleep. Then the operator says that it’s going to be okay. “That’s just God’s way of purifying you. He’s taking all those bad concepts out of your head and you are going to be Muslim.” He said that all I have to do is say the Shahada and not just believe that there is one God but also accept that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.
I told him that I could accept whatever God sends, because I’m that kind of person. I’ll be Muslim right now if that’s what God wants me to do. And I took the Shahada and repeated after the operator. He helped me say it and said that now you are a Muslim. He explained how that’s all it takes and all I had to do now was believe that and practice reading the Quran and follow the laws of God and be a good person.
After that, he asked, “ how did you get my number? I’m Imaam Rashid at the Sunrise mosque.”
It was a miracle. I was sure that I had dialled 911 but for some bizarre reason, it connected to the Imam at the masjid. This is how Allah brought me into the religion of Islam.
The Imam then gave me his phone number as well as of a sister who could communicate with me and help me through the process of my new life as a Muslim.
That same night I went back to sleep, but everything had changed. I was a Muslim. My dream also changed. I saw people in white dresses and myself teaching them and till this day, I’m a teacher.
Whatever happens in this life is by Allah. God gives us strategies to refute Satan and He says that the devil cannot make you do anything without your permission, because Allah gave us the power to refute the satan.
I stay on a watchful eye to see my environment because that’s what God tells me to do. He has given me my faith and my belief in Him. He is my number one protector in this world and that if any harm is going to come to me, it is by His Will and there’s nothing I can do to change that. We should stay steadfast and understand the true power of that God and how He has put in place factors that protect us and help us lead a life that is good for us. As long as we follow that, we are on the right path. Our true lifestyle is what God has given us, in that is to serve Him and Him alone in this world.