Peace Be upon You!
My name is Priyanka and reverted name is Ayeza. I was born and raised in a Hindu religion,and I used to follow everything what my elders used to do like; Visiting Temples, Worshipping Idols, Statues and even Human Beings. Being a polytheist, considering that all objects made by God are worth worshipping and that there exists a part of God in them in every single being. So all are worthy of worship.
In Hindu pantheon we have 33 million Gods. Since, childhood I used to think which God I belong to? Whom shall I worship? This question used to be always on my mind… Growing up, I always detested the concept of food, flowers offerings to the idols. I always used to think instead of wasting that food probably we can give it to some hungry or needy person, because God doesn’t need food, sleep, water, milk or any basic needs which are the need of human beings. As time passed, I learned more about faith, and I realized that I didn’t believe in Hinduism. I never felt the connection with my religion and visits to the temple left me feeling empty and confused.
In 2016, I stopped visiting temples and worshipping idols. And kept on believing that there is a God. We all have that natural tendency to believe in divine.
It was particular incident in 2017 that lead me to think seriously about God the creator. I was going through very tough situation. I made a supplication, to my surprise my supplication was answered on a same day, it gave me the courage and pushed me to do research on religions. In 2018, I started to do research on religions, and I decided to see what is the concept of God in Hinduism, what role God plays, and what scripture say about God in Hinduism. So I started to look into Holy scriptures of Hinduism, such as The Vedas, The Rigveda, The Yajurveda, The Samveda and The Arthervaveda. The Rigveda deals with songs of praises, The Yajurveda deals with sacrificial rituals, The Samveda deals with melody and The Arthervaveda deals with magical rituals. “Hindu treat every aspect of life as divine, and their days are full of observances and rituals where music and chanting accompany symbolic offerings.” (Priya Hemenway, Hindu Gods) Upon researching, I came across various shlokas which clearly indicated Hinduism does not promote idol worship. In Hindu scripture Yajurveda (32:03) it says “Natasya Pratima Asti” which means “There is no image of God.” Hindu scriptures confirmed to me that there is no image of God.
So naturally I decided to look into Christianity to provide some answers and clarify who God is? Upon my research I discovered that Christianity does not believe in one universal God. Their concept of God is Trinity which they believe in The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. This is quite similar to Greek mythology where people worshipped Zeus as Father.
In Greek mythology, Zeus was a womanizer, if he liked any girl, would do anything to impregnate her, according mythology, he had many sons and such as Hercules, Apollo, etc.
The Roman adopted the Greek mythology and later associated Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) with son of Zeus, because they believed that virgin Marry was impregnated by Zeus (Jupiter). When I looked into old testament of Bible, there I discovered the ten commandments of Prophet Moses (Peace Be Upon Him). The first and the most important commandment of entire Bible where it says “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.” The ten commandment clarifies that there is only one God in a Bible, but humans
naturally associate others with the Almighty God.
Christianity lead me to research on Islam. In Islam where I came across few pure monotheism. Where the entire Islam religion based on oneness of God. There are un-compromising monotheism on the heart of Islam which is distinguishing Islam from other religions. The Holy scripture of Islam asserts the existence of single and absolute creator, provider, sustainer and a unique independent and indivisible God Almighty who is independent of entire creation, who controls, monitors everything on the earth, and in the universe. By reading this, I was fully convinced that, if there is God the Creator then this is the One. I carried further research on the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) which is the only Prophet in human history that has an entire history documented in a book intact up to present day, which is the Holy Quran. Many questions were going on my mind at that time. My subconscious mind had Islamophobia that the mainstream had fed me. Because since my childhood I had a very negative views about Muslims.
The media did influence a lot of my opinions, I used to get scared whenever I see Muslims with long beard and woman covering themselves with black cloth, as a kid/teenager of course I didn’t really have adequate knowledge of different religions. During my research on social media, I came across a videos of Dr. Zakir Naik, preaching the message of “Oneness of God” (Tawheed). I was impressed by the references he provided not only of the Quran but also from Hindu scriptures and Bible. I checked every references he mentioned because it was very important to verify every bit of information received before relying on it. While I was reading I came across many subjects such as Why pork is forbidden in Islam? Why Muslims only eat Halal? Why does woman have to wear Hijab? Many questions were going on my mind and all of my questions were answered from only one book The Holy Quran. I fell in love with Islam.
The more I read about Islam the more I fell in love with its simplicity. Islam is the religion of Logic, Rational and Justice and there are many scientific proofs & facts in Islam. Science was invented from Islamic civilization, all the modern science and inventions goes back to Islamic golden age, these are some famous scientists. Ibn al-Haytham (965-1040) (Alhacen), Abū Rayhān al-Bīrūnī (973-1048), Ibn Sina (Avicenna) (980-1037), Al-Ghazali (Algazel) (1058-1111), Averroes (1126-1198), Ibn Khaldun (1332-1406). I specifically looked into scientific proofs about “Barrier between sweet and salt water” (Quran – 55:19 20), “Embryology” (Quran- 23:12-14), “Every living thing is made of water” (Quran- 21:30), I was astonished and surprised that, this was mentioned in the Glorious Quran 1400 years ago; which science has discovered in 19th century.
It’s impossible for anyone to write a book with so much precision and to keep it intact in this world of adulteration and manipulation. I started reading the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) Hadiths. Hadiths is an Arabic term which means sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) said, “Every child is born with Fitrah, with a faith of Allah.” Later on he is influenced by his parents, teachers, elders and you may start following their religions, traditions, cultures and so forth.
Eventually, in 2018 by the will of Allah I took my Shahada (Declaration of Faith) in my room. “La ilaha illalaah Muhammad Rasoollullaah.” There is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) is the last messenger. Since I was believing in One God and didn’t associate any things with Almighty so I was Muslim before I took my Shahada but without acknowledging it. I cannot explain that feeling which I had for the first time in my life. I still remember that day the feeling which I had, it was so pure, divine, emotional, and eye opening, I felt the connection with my creator Allah, it’s like I came from the darkness to the light and there is a verse in the Quran, “Allah guides whom he wills to the straight path” (Quran – 02:142 & 24:46). After I became Muslim, I wasn’t following Islam completely, like wearing Hijab, praying, eating Halal and so forth.
In the same year 2018, I signed for Nepali movie. Since childhood I was very fond of acting and always used to dream seeing myself on the big screen. By the will of Almighty I got that opportunity to work in a movie. My happiness touched the sky that time. In 2019 Jan, my movie released and when I saw myself on the big screen I wasn’t happy at all. It was like something missing, I felt emptiness inside me. I told myself this is what I wanted since so long time, why I am not happy? And I came back home from theater, I had a Muslim Pro application on my phone and I was going through it, I saw one quote and it’s written “Sometimes Allah gives you exactly what you wanted just to show you it’s not at all what you needed.” I burst out with tears. I knew from that moment this is not my purpose to pursue movie career in my life. I realized that worldly things, name, fame, money can fulfill your desires, needs and can give you temporary happiness but it can never fulfill your soul needs, it can never make you feel content in your heart. As for our body development and progress we need food, to maintain our physic we do exercise. If slightly changes come in our body appearance, we get so much concern about it right? Then why we forget to fulfill the needs of our soul? It’s very serious matter to ponder.
Eventually, from February 2019, I decided to follow Islam sincerely. First time I started wearing hijab & eating halal. And from April I learned how to pray 5 times and learned to read Arabic. It was too quick I learned Arabic not more than 15 days. The month of Ramadan were also approaching that time, I learned everything before Ramadan started. It was not possible for me to do without the will of Allah, all thanks and praise be to Allah!
And it was the first time my grandparents came to know about my new faith. It wasn’t easy for them to understand everything at once, I started interacting with them and other members in my family and some of my friends whom I thought were religious, but all in vain, everyone had a different concept and theories. Most of them contradicting with each other and none of them having satisfactory answers, because majority people don’t read their own scriptures, they follow oral traditions and the knowledge blindly, passed down to them from generation to generation. Nobody ever attempted to question or carry out their own research. They accept everything what they are taught. And never in my life could anyone provide me with the clear guidelines. All I thought “Do good and be good” but nobody could ever give the exact do’s and don’ts, which the Quran gave me. Islam offered me what no other religion could offer, peace of mind and pure contentment.
Everything that happens in life has a meaning and a purpose. The life of this world is temporary and this life is a struggle for everyone. Everyone has their own difficult trial, accidents, diseases, spiritual and financial troubles in this life. Hardships are not necessarily a punishment, know that they may well be to test our resolve, resilience, and strength of faith. Allah never takes something away from you except that he gives you something in return. Trials are spiritual growth. It happens through pain and hardship. The pain of trial opens up a well inside you, it’s up to you what you fill it with love or fear and anger. When you have faith, you will consistently look to find the positive qualities in each trial. Right now when I meditate in my life and look back into my problems and situations I was facing at that time, it’s impossible for it to be a coincidence. I am not perfect Muslim in fact no one is perfect on this earth except the one who created us. But every day I am trying to be a better version of my own self, I compete with no one but with my own thoughts, desires and so forth, because we all are sinners but the best of sinners are those who repent. At last to everyone who is seeking a guidance for a spiritual path either he Muslim or Non-Muslim, cover yourself with knowledge, seek philosophy ingrowth yourself and don’t stop. And be careful of what you can consume through your senses they can guide you, enrich you or debase you.
~ Priyanka Singh