The Haqqani Fellowship

Please post your story how you convert to islam, thank you for sharing, alf salam

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I actually became a Muslim because of some questions I had after September 11th in 2001 when I was 28. I just could not imagine blaming a whole religion on something like this, and it bothered me the way people were talking and writing - especially after something I had read years earlier while doing a research paper for high school about the Crusades and how Richard the Lion Heart was nursed back to health in the middle of heated battle by the personal Dr.s of Saladin. To my mind this was something I was shocked by - Mercy on the battlefield. Then I slowly began to research Islam and realized this was something that made complete sense - there was a code of ethics within Islam that guided followers to that. As I read more and more, I sat for a while and thought back on my life. I hit on a few things that made me kind of shocked.
Growing up in a Christian family, I was never sure why and I asked all the time but never really got an answer why someone had to die for me because of the sins I committed. The only answer that I was given was just accept it, but I still questioned and even at some point asked - well....if I steal or rob or kill someone, and someone else goes to jail and dies for it - is that okay too - an innocent person to be punished for what I have done? Of course the answer was No, not at all. So, here I was again asking why they believed this? Islam for me held the answer - we are all responsible for our own actions before Allah! This was a wonderful revelation to me because it was what I believed to be right in my heart the whole time. Then, I also came into trouble with my family for asking when we pray why must we pray in the name of someone else in order to give thanks to our Lord? That was a no no.... but still no answer - just that is the way it is done.

So, in 2002 some months after learning about Islam and talking to many Muslims online trying to learn more, and with the help of a convert living in Canada, I decided to make my move and go to a Masjid and become a Muslim. I called the Imam and asked him to meet me that evening so I could become a Muslim. He said alright, and we met. We sat and talked for a few moments. I will never forget what he told me because in every detail he was right. After talking he said well it was nice to meet you, Inshallah you will come back when you have made your decision. I said I made it I am ready now, but he looked at me for a moment and then told me to go home and think some more because it wasn't something I could turn away from once I decided on it. He told me being a Muslim is not easy. It is especially hard on converts in the beginning because you will lose family, and friends that you never thought would turn on you, so you better be sure that this is something you really want. So, I thanked him and left.
That night I really started to think about what he said. I already knew my family wasn't happy about me becoming a Muslim. However, I had always been a good girl doing everything I could to make everyone else happy and I just wanted this for me. So, I called the next morning and told him I wanted to convert that very night - and I did! It didn't take long for what the Imam had told me to come true.
My mom hated the idea of me covering my hair telling me to take that thing off my head. My dad...well lets just say to him it was like I had broken the law and would not be seen in public with me even to have a meal in a restaurant with the family. My oldest brother, he had never raised his fist to me before but he pushed me in the bathroom and knocked me into the bathtub in his hanger and instead of hitting me he hit the wall putting a huge whole in it he had to fix later. I was told by some people I wasn't American any longer and by some I was told to go back to my country ( this made me laugh because it just seemed so absurd a thing to say I'm in my country).
I spent a lot of time alone, away from my family trying to be at the Masjid for every Friday prayer, and to be in the ladies learning circles as much as possible, to be around other Muslim women as much as I could. It was hard. Then, I married and not long after we married we discovered we were going to have a baby. Alhamdulillah! Mashallah! I was so happy because Allah gave me something better than I had ever expected. Well, the marriage has not worked out, but we still have our daughter and May Allah bless him and guide him to the right path - Ameen. Allah knows best and I am so thankful to Allah for guiding me to Islam and helping me to find people to help me stay on the Path. I am so fortunate. Alhamdulillah!
Assalamualikum ya sister Sandra,
Alhamdulillah for Allah has guided you to His arms.
May Allah keep you in happiness always and may you be surrounded with love by fellow muslims around you. Indeed, there are trials and tribulations as we walk this Earth serving Allah. Be it muslims or non-muslims but as believers, we seek refuge in Allah swt for the tranquility while in the face of adversity. For we have the weapons through our duaa for Allah is Ar Rahman , Ar Rahim. Let us hold on strong to the Kalimah that we make in Loh Mahfudz.
Wassalam.
Salam Alaykum wa Rahmatullah sis Sandra. I am so touched and inspired by your story. MashAllah!!
May you be an example of faith to all and may Allah bless you always.
I became a Muslim without my knowing it !
Well not quite true, but let me explain ...

in 2000 I was working as a software contractor in Brisbane and a new colleague and I often spent lunchtimes walking along the Brisbane river side discussing everything under the sun including philosophy, physics, computer stuff, business ideas and spirituality. Anyway our friendship grew and eventually after about a year my friend let me know that he was a Sufi (and actually had a muslim name!). Soon after this I had to leave Australia and as a parting gift he gave me a copy of a book about the Naqshbandi order, which I found inaccesible and I didnt read it fully. Anyway, we kept in touch intermittently via email.
Fast forward several years ... My friend put me in contact with some people he knew who were looking for a farm manager in Tasmania. As my family and I were seeking a lifestyle change, this seemed like a good opportunity. THe farm we were to manage was no ordinary farm but was originally set up by a sufi Shaykh , who had now passed on and left the property in trust for his mureeds to manage. For much of my adult life I have had a more than passing interest in Spirituality and have explored Budhism, Hinduism, Bahai and Christianity although never made any commitment other than attending some mediation retreats and reading literature. The opportunity to both work as a farmer and be in contact with a spiritual community seemed like a fantastic combination. It was.

Over the next few years , I learnt a whole lot about Farming , living in rural Australia and more importantly I came into regular contact with Sufi's. These Sufis' were all converts who for various reasons kept their faith very private, however as their Shaykh was actually buried in the grounds of the farm , there was a compelling reason for them to make the arduous journey to the Farm and also a very powerful energy around the whole property.

Fast forward a few more years ... I still remained pretty secular , and reasonably content in my mostly Budhist orientation to life. I found great comfort in listening to the taped teachings of the Shaykh , however was not even slightly tempted to persue Sufism or Islam . Around this time Our familly life started to disintegrate. The strains of a lonely rural life plus a new baby and the heavy workload of farming took its toll. My wife left me to live in Melbourne, and I ended up chasing her to try to maintain contact with our two young sons and to repair whatever damage had been caused by my thoughtlessnes. Once in Melbourne , things didnt improve and we seemed to lurch from one crisis straight into another. however at this time I came into contact via my old friend with the Mureeds of Shaykh Nazim. I started attending the weekly Zicca . Possibly my motivation was as much to get respite from the tense home atmosphere, as to get any spiritual nourishment. Anyway things started moving in my life. Before long I found myself ( still not a Sufi) volunteering to help with transport for the then imminent visit of Mawlana Shaykh Hisham. As I have a people carrier vehicle , I was privelleged to transport many of the Shaykhs entourage including Shaykh Nurjan , Shaykh Ali and Shaykh Sahib. Of more privellege was to be present at so many of Mawlana's public and private functions during his visit. For the whole week I was bathed in a wonderful feeling of energy and love. Sleep was unecessary and many obstacles seemed to just fall away. potential Disasters turned into wonderful opportunities and I must say I was swept along by things. However - my stubborn intellectual nature persisted in holding me back from the logical choice to make. Even the vivid dreams I recieved during the week of the visit were not enough to overcome my reluctance towards organised theistic religion.

Menwhile back at home things seem to have settled down but my Wife is now getting more concerned about my increased interest in Sufism. When I learnt that Shaykh Hisham was visiting UK in the summer of 2009 , I make a very spontaneous decision to get some space visit familly and also perhaps take in a few of Mawlanas public talks at the same time. Everything seemed to fall into place, I got a super cheap last minute ticket to London , about half normal price. Better still, the stopover in Seoul included a complimentary nights stay in the Hyatt Regency !
When I eventually arrived in London, I found myself warmly welcommed and accomodated at the Shaykh Nazim Priory in London and began what became a three week crash course in practical Islam. I experienced the brotherly affection of fellow Muslims and was introduced to the Prayers and Wudu, Having no fixed agenda , I found myself able to travel to most of Mawlanas public talks and besides the obvious joy in being in Shaykh Hishams presence, I was shown much hospitality by the Pakistani community who helped in so many ways with accomodation, transport and great food. During all of this, I learned that Shaykh Nazim had a place in Cyprus and that It was possible to travel and visit. I took this news seriously and next thing I know I am booking a Ticket to Cyprus. A packed tourist charter flight followed by several local busses and dilapadated taxis and I find myself standing before the front door of Shaykh Nazims Durgah in Lefke. Pretty much as soon as I arrived I look up and am astonished to see our beloved Shaykh Nazim gazing down at me from his upstairs window. I felt physically moved and nearly fell over had it not been for the large watermelon truck behind me ( possibly the real reason Shaykh Nazim was looking out the window !)
Anyway a blissful week ensued . Shk Nazim personally gave me my Muslim Name - Dawud, I took Baya' from Shaykh Hisham and Shaykh Nazim and I was able to have a personal audience with Mawlana Shaykh Hisham. I prayed and slept in the mosque and tried to help out with the work.
During all of this , I dont recall having actually , specifically and consciously said I'm a muslim or recited the Shahada. All of the mureeds were very supportive and very understanding of my dilemma. Anyway I returned to Australia ( I never really got to visit my familly much during the whole trip) and as soon as I could I raised the issue with our Local Shaykh Hazem here in Melbourne. His initial response was - You must be a Muslim - When you took Baya' this is the same thing as becoming a muslim. Anyway, just to be sure, I asked the Shaykh to do the ceremony again so that I was fully aware that I am now a Muslim.

This was nearly six months ago and do you know what? It has been a lot easier than I ever imagined. I find it still hard to recite the prayers and am sure I dont do them properly however - wonderfully for me- I am feeling and living a strong faith. I feel a presence of Allah in my life. Nothing earth shattering or revelationary but just a quiet background understanding that all is Allahs will. This has been a tremendous strength for me and I pray it will continue. My difficulties continue but for once in my life I feel I have a centre which lies beyond my fickle and inconstant ego.
Thank you many, many times my beloved Shaykhs for guiding me to this tariqa

p.s. please forgive if through ignorance, I have transgressed or offended anyone by anything I write
As salam alaikoum Abbas al Reza,

Thank you so much for sharing this precious experience with us. As a north american convert myself, I cannot but be amazed by the way Allah choose to guide you and at such a young age. I am so happy for you. May Allah continue to guide you and use you as a proof of His Truth in your communauty. May more young people find their path towards Allah's love by the light He sends trough you.

Wa min Allah at-tawfiq, bi hurmatil fatiha

Jamila

abbas al ridha said:
asalamu alaikum and heres my convert story to islam
my name is abbas al reza but my original christian name is luis rey lopez and i am 14 years old and live in california united states. i am the only moslim in a family of catholic christians and have been raised in such an attire. when i was really young i never really thought or knew anything about my faith or god or anything like this. i just followed what my parents followed went to church with them, ect. it wasnt until i was about to become a freshmen in highschool when i really took thought about my beleifs and my view on islam. i remember one morning i was really young, seeing my mother watching the t.v. screen closely and weeping i looked at the t.v. and saw the u.s. world trade centers (twin towers) burning up and falling to the ground after what looked like a huge impact with something, of course i didnt know what was going on and my mother wouldnt truley tell me she just said that "some really bad people have done this" and we just left it like that. i thought it was just a bad fire break out in a building, but little did i know that this event would effect my family views on islam and my own life dramaticly. i remeber the same day hearing all the teachers talking about the same thing and thats when i got really curious about.....alas though it remained the same to me and i just went on in life. when i got a little older like in my late 6th grade year i learned about the u.s. going to war in iraq and afghanistan and also was finally told that this was a response due to terrorism which obviously was the twin towers inccident. my parents strongly dislike moslims at this time they knew nothing about them except about the day when al quaeda attacked the u.s. thus causing them to think the same about ALL moslims "terrorists" they were all refferred to and i was never told anything else. me being a preteen was into this warlike stuff and looked into it watched american made movies about the war, ect. they all were the same the hero american soldiers come and kick the butts of the masked crazy suicide bombing moslims in iraq, i thought this was reality i thought that this was the real picture of moslims in my life..this was a lost and confused point of my life... i remember watching videos on the internet that insulted moslims and read articles on hate websites that ridiculed islam and encouraged americans to hate moslims of the world..it was almost especially designed to trick young ones.. i was so exposed to the lies....now when i look back i cringe to the things i saw and read.. at this point of my life i thought terrible things about moslims due to the exposure of terrible lies, i thought they were all terrorists and crazy people. my parents never stopped to show me anything or teach me rightly becasue they knew so little of this situation. this point went on for a couple years of family hardship and depression, until my late late middle school years,i delved deeper and deeper into the evil media that i was constantly exposed to something in me didnt accept all that i heard,,,i expanded more and more until i found something new i found a group of some moslim community and began to read about them, i studied and studied and studied it to the realization that all that stuff i knew before was absoulutly CRAZY...on i read and read and studied till the point were i took complete side with the moslim nation,,,i was at peace with them and i knew the truth of the loving and truley great religon that is islam i like it alot and loved all moslims i exploded inside myself i always thought to myself to this day "how could i have been so ignorant of the truth",,but this was just the people and the whole middle east deal i still was lost religously i didnt know anything about being a moslim. things were silent and i just kinda let the matter die out for a while i didnt even pay attention to the new religon and people i found about,, mainly becasue of a huge tragedy that occured, my grandfather who was extrmely close to me passed away, i was heart broken and just crashed down the world or anything didnt matter to me and i was so despressed. i remeber listening to death black metal and even drawing morbid pictures to even close thoughts of suicide due to my depression i even did extremely poor in school failing all my classes,,it was truely terible. fortunatly this bad and lost stage of my life didnt last that long,,,,i got counseling and and began to live in peace again,,,this stage was gone for good and i felt like a new person. one day i remebered suddenly about islam again and how much i lwas interested in it...i returned to much studies and learned more, but this time about the religon. i learned EVERYTHING from the quran to the beloved prophet mohammed (pbuh&hf), to how moslims pray and the diffrent holidays like ramadan. i eventually completely let go of my past life and began to try to live the life of a moslim, i remember my old friends abandoning me because i no longer cared for there mischief to the point when i was completely alone in school, i studied and studied and studied i learned more and more staying up long nights reading and learning about moslims till i found out about people in the west that convert to islam and who take up the tru life of a moslim. i joined various diffrent convert moslim groups and then learned to how to cpmpletely take the vow and become a complete moslim,,, i was so eager and ready to dedicate myself to allah(swt) and on the night of january 23 2010 i said my shahadda and embraced islam and dedicated myself to allah(swt) i felt completed i felt like i came home from a long journey and i was happy at last.i did all this pretty much alone and secretly without my parents knowing,, i now changed and knew,,but my parents didnt change a bit. they always were watching me and ridiculing me for my decision, they even thought that i may be a supporter of osama bin laden! they were always worried i might do something stupid like go fight for the jihadists in afghanistan in my future. fortunatly thanks to my great and growing knowledge of islam i eventually taught them the truth like i was taught i showed them the real picture and how those jihadists and suicide bombers absolutley have nothing to do with being a moslim. after a while they stopped arguing with me, and today the are very proud of me for my decision and allow me to practice all the time. as for school islam inspired me to do very good and today i went from a F average to a B average! i live a much better life now due to my great discovery of islam. i am always confronted my fellow teens who always ask me me why i just let go of everything teens are into like expensive clothing video games sports,,,but now the only real thing that matters to me is islam and turned my life around from the worst to the best. i am so thankfull to allah that i was able to find the truth at such a young age and alone! there are apsolutlety no moslims that live in my area of california therefore i had to seek help from beloved brothers and sisters on diffrent web-based convert groups. today i still live me life as a devout moslim and am actually growing better to it, i take alomst all the time outta of days to pray extra sunnah, to read quran and other islamic scriptures, and i also like to help fellow converts who need help. i embrace my religon alot more than when i began actually, and i went from making it a side thing to making it my entire life. i thank allah so much for enlightening me with the truth i do not now how i could have made it without realizing the stuff i beleive in now, and i hope that everyone else out there that is lost learns too, if i could do it anyone can :) becasue allah(swt) truely is the most forgiving and mercifull

thanks for taking the time to read this, hope it was interesting
allah protect you -br abbas al reza
As Salaamu Alaikum! A very inspiring story! You are a true woman and human being. Your thoughts and emotions are real Sister! May Allah grant you abundance of love happiness and many more Ameen. Hugs Zohra
abbas al ridha said:
asalamu alaikum and heres my convert story to islam

my name is abbas al reza but my original christian name is luis rey lopez and i am 14 years old and live in california united states. i am the only moslim in a family of catholic christians and have been raised in such an attire. when i was really young i never really thought or knew anything about my faith or god or anything like this. i just followed what my parents followed went to church with them, ect. it wasnt until i was about to become a freshmen in highschool when i really took thought about my beleifs and my view on islam. i remember one morning i was really young, seeing my mother watching the t.v. screen closely and weeping i looked at the t.v. and saw the u.s. world trade centers (twin towers) burning up and falling to the ground after what looked like a huge impact with something, of course i didnt know what was going on and my mother wouldnt truley tell me she just said that "some really bad people have done this" and we just left it like that. i thought it was just a bad fire break out in a building, but little did i know that this event would effect my family views on islam and my own life dramaticly. i remeber the same day hearing all the teachers talking about the same thing and thats when i got really curious about.....alas though it remained the same to me and i just went on in life. when i got a little older like in my late 6th grade year i learned about the u.s. going to war in iraq and afghanistan and also was finally told that this was a response due to terrorism which obviously was the twin towers inccident. my parents strongly dislike moslims at this time they knew nothing about them except about the day when al quaeda attacked the u.s. thus causing them to think the same about ALL moslims "terrorists" they were all refferred to and i was never told anything else. me being a preteen was into this warlike stuff and looked into it watched american made movies about the war, ect. they all were the same the hero american soldiers come and kick the butts of the masked crazy suicide bombing moslims in iraq, i thought this was reality i thought that this was the real picture of moslims in my life..this was a lost and confused point of my life... i remember watching videos on the internet that insulted moslims and read articles on hate websites that ridiculed islam and encouraged americans to hate moslims of the world..it was almost especially designed to trick young ones.. i was so exposed to the lies....now when i look back i cringe to the things i saw and read.. at this point of my life i thought terrible things about moslims due to the exposure of terrible lies, i thought they were all terrorists and crazy people. my parents never stopped to show me anything or teach me rightly becasue they knew so little of this situation. this point went on for a couple years of family hardship and depression, until my late late middle school years,i delved deeper and deeper into the evil media that i was constantly exposed to something in me didnt accept all that i heard,,,i expanded more and more until i found something new i found a group of some moslim community and began to read about them, i studied and studied and studied it to the realization that all that stuff i knew before was absoulutly CRAZY...on i read and read and studied till the point were i took complete side with the moslim nation,,,i was at peace with them and i knew the truth of the loving and truley great religon that is islam i like it alot and loved all moslims i exploded inside myself i always thought to myself to this day "how could i have been so ignorant of the truth",,but this was just the people and the whole middle east deal i still was lost religously i didnt know anything about being a moslim. things were silent and i just kinda let the matter die out for a while i didnt even pay attention to the new religon and people i found about,, mainly becasue of a huge tragedy that occured, my grandfather who was extrmely close to me passed away, i was heart broken and just crashed down the world or anything didnt matter to me and i was so despressed. i remeber listening to death black metal and even drawing morbid pictures to even close thoughts of suicide due to my depression i even did extremely poor in school failing all my classes,,it was truely terible. fortunatly this bad and lost stage of my life didnt last that long,,,,i got counseling and and began to live in peace again,,,this stage was gone for good and i felt like a new person. one day i remebered suddenly about islam again and how much i lwas interested in it...i returned to much studies and learned more, but this time about the religon. i learned EVERYTHING from the quran to the beloved prophet mohammed (pbuh&hf), to how moslims pray and the diffrent holidays like ramadan. i eventually completely let go of my past life and began to try to live the life of a moslim, i remember my old friends abandoning me because i no longer cared for there mischief to the point when i was completely alone in school, i studied and studied and studied i learned more and more staying up long nights reading and learning about moslims till i found out about people in the west that convert to islam and who take up the tru life of a moslim. i joined various diffrent convert moslim groups and then learned to how to cpmpletely take the vow and become a complete moslim,,, i was so eager and ready to dedicate myself to allah(swt) and on the night of january 23 2010 i said my shahadda and embraced islam and dedicated myself to allah(swt) i felt completed i felt like i came home from a long journey and i was happy at last.i did all this pretty much alone and secretly without my parents knowing,, i now changed and knew,,but my parents didnt change a bit. they always were watching me and ridiculing me for my decision, they even thought that i may be a supporter of osama bin laden! they were always worried i might do something stupid like go fight for the jihadists in afghanistan in my future. fortunatly thanks to my great and growing knowledge of islam i eventually taught them the truth like i was taught i showed them the real picture and how those jihadists and suicide bombers absolutley have nothing to do with being a moslim. after a while they stopped arguing with me, and today the are very proud of me for my decision and allow me to practice all the time. as for school islam inspired me to do very good and today i went from a F average to a B average! i live a much better life now due to my great discovery of islam. i am always confronted my fellow teens who always ask me me why i just let go of everything teens are into like expensive clothing video games sports,,,but now the only real thing that matters to me is islam and turned my life around from the worst to the best. i am so thankfull to allah that i was able to find the truth at such a young age and alone! there are apsolutlety no moslims that live in my area of california therefore i had to seek help from beloved brothers and sisters on diffrent web-based convert groups.
today i still live me life as a devout moslim and am actually growing better to it, i take alomst all the time outta of days to pray extra sunnah, to read quran and other islamic scriptures, and i also like to help fellow converts who need help. i embrace my religon alot more than when i began actually, and i went from making it a side thing to making it my entire life. i thank allah so much for enlightening me with the truth i do not now how i could have made it without realizing the stuff i beleive in now, and i hope that everyone else out there that is lost learns too, if i could do it anyone can :) becasue allah(swt) truely is the most forgiving and mercifull

thanks for taking the time to read this, hope it was interesting
allah protect you -br abbas al reza
Dear Abbas. I was deeply moved by your story. It is not easy to convert when you are so young because you have to sacrifice so much,and taking a big decision in ones life must have been hard.May allah bless your family for supporting you and open their doors for barkkha.May allah open the heavens and the earth for knowledge both her e and the hereafter and the gate to jannah ameen. Inshallah may your efforts be rewarded and one day you will be wearing a turban like maulana inshallah. MAY allah always guide you.Naheed

Naheed Niaz said:
abbas al ridha said:
asalamu alaikum and heres my convert story to islam

my name is abbas al reza but my original christian name is luis rey lopez and i am 14 years old and live in california united states. i am the only moslim in a family of catholic christians and have been raised in such an attire. when i was really young i never really thought or knew anything about my faith or god or anything like this. i just followed what my parents followed went to church with them, ect. it wasnt until i was about to become a freshmen in highschool when i really took thought about my beleifs and my view on islam. i remember one morning i was really young, seeing my mother watching the t.v. screen closely and weeping i looked at the t.v. and saw the u.s. world trade centers (twin towers) burning up and falling to the ground after what looked like a huge impact with something, of course i didnt know what was going on and my mother wouldnt truley tell me she just said that "some really bad people have done this" and we just left it like that. i thought it was just a bad fire break out in a building, but little did i know that this event would effect my family views on islam and my own life dramaticly. i remeber the same day hearing all the teachers talking about the same thing and thats when i got really curious about.....alas though it remained the same to me and i just went on in life. when i got a little older like in my late 6th grade year i learned about the u.s. going to war in iraq and afghanistan and also was finally told that this was a response due to terrorism which obviously was the twin towers inccident. my parents strongly dislike moslims at this time they knew nothing about them except about the day when al quaeda attacked the u.s. thus causing them to think the same about ALL moslims "terrorists" they were all refferred to and i was never told anything else. me being a preteen was into this warlike stuff and looked into it watched american made movies about the war, ect. they all were the same the hero american soldiers come and kick the butts of the masked crazy suicide bombing moslims in iraq, i thought this was reality i thought that this was the real picture of moslims in my life..this was a lost and confused point of my life... i remember watching videos on the internet that insulted moslims and read articles on hate websites that ridiculed islam and encouraged americans to hate moslims of the world..it was almost especially designed to trick young ones.. i was so exposed to the lies....now when i look back i cringe to the things i saw and read.. at this point of my life i thought terrible things about moslims due to the exposure of terrible lies, i thought they were all terrorists and crazy people. my parents never stopped to show me anything or teach me rightly becasue they knew so little of this situation. this point went on for a couple years of family hardship and depression, until my late late middle school years,i delved deeper and deeper into the evil media that i was constantly exposed to something in me didnt accept all that i heard,,,i expanded more and more until i found something new i found a group of some moslim community and began to read about them, i studied and studied and studied it to the realization that all that stuff i knew before was absoulutly CRAZY...on i read and read and studied till the point were i took complete side with the moslim nation,,,i was at peace with them and i knew the truth of the loving and truley great religon that is islam i like it alot and loved all moslims i exploded inside myself i always thought to myself to this day "how could i have been so ignorant of the truth",,but this was just the people and the whole middle east deal i still was lost religously i didnt know anything about being a moslim. things were silent and i just kinda let the matter die out for a while i didnt even pay attention to the new religon and people i found about,, mainly becasue of a huge tragedy that occured, my grandfather who was extrmely close to me passed away, i was heart broken and just crashed down the world or anything didnt matter to me and i was so despressed. i remeber listening to death black metal and even drawing morbid pictures to even close thoughts of suicide due to my depression i even did extremely poor in school failing all my classes,,it was truely terible. fortunatly this bad and lost stage of my life didnt last that long,,,,i got counseling and and began to live in peace again,,,this stage was gone for good and i felt like a new person. one day i remebered suddenly about islam again and how much i lwas interested in it...i returned to much studies and learned more, but this time about the religon. i learned EVERYTHING from the quran to the beloved prophet mohammed (pbuh&hf), to how moslims pray and the diffrent holidays like ramadan. i eventually completely let go of my past life and began to try to live the life of a moslim, i remember my old friends abandoning me because i no longer cared for there mischief to the point when i was completely alone in school, i studied and studied and studied i learned more and more staying up long nights reading and learning about moslims till i found out about people in the west that convert to islam and who take up the tru life of a moslim. i joined various diffrent convert moslim groups and then learned to how to cpmpletely take the vow and become a complete moslim,,, i was so eager and ready to dedicate myself to allah(swt) and on the night of january 23 2010 i said my shahadda and embraced islam and dedicated myself to allah(swt) i felt completed i felt like i came home from a long journey and i was happy at last.i did all this pretty much alone and secretly without my parents knowing,, i now changed and knew,,but my parents didnt change a bit. they always were watching me and ridiculing me for my decision, they even thought that i may be a supporter of osama bin laden! they were always worried i might do something stupid like go fight for the jihadists in afghanistan in my future. fortunatly thanks to my great and growing knowledge of islam i eventually taught them the truth like i was taught i showed them the real picture and how those jihadists and suicide bombers absolutley have nothing to do with being a moslim. after a while they stopped arguing with me, and today the are very proud of me for my decision and allow me to practice all the time. as for school islam inspired me to do very good and today i went from a F average to a B average! i live a much better life now due to my great discovery of islam. i am always confronted my fellow teens who always ask me me why i just let go of everything teens are into like expensive clothing video games sports,,,but now the only real thing that matters to me is islam and turned my life around from the worst to the best. i am so thankfull to allah that i was able to find the truth at such a young age and alone! there are apsolutlety no moslims that live in my area of california therefore i had to seek help from beloved brothers and sisters on diffrent web-based convert groups.
today i still live me life as a devout moslim and am actually growing better to it, i take alomst all the time outta of days to pray extra sunnah, to read quran and other islamic scriptures, and i also like to help fellow converts who need help. i embrace my religon alot more than when i began actually, and i went from making it a side thing to making it my entire life. i thank allah so much for enlightening me with the truth i do not now how i could have made it without realizing the stuff i beleive in now, and i hope that everyone else out there that is lost learns too, if i could do it anyone can :) becasue allah(swt) truely is the most forgiving and mercifull

thanks for taking the time to read this, hope it was interesting
allah protect you -br abbas al reza

Salaam Alykium,

 

I deployed in support of Operation Iraq Freedom in 2007. When I left, I was a die hard fundementalist christian, who had served as a lay minister for the United Methodist Church. It was my first overseas deployment, I was worried about my wife and kids, scared, and counted the days until the end. I was proud to do my duty, but missed my wife and family awfully.

Time came for our leave, and I took 4 days leave in Qatar. While there, I took part in a Doha City tour. One of our stops was the souks in town. While there, this man came up to me and my buddy handing us some boxes and saying "please take your gift, on behalf of Doha."  I did not want to, because we had recieved many warnings about accepting gifts from local people. But I did not want to offend him, and they seemed harmless, so I took the box and said thank you. He said your welcome and walked away. I wish now I could talk to him to thank him, maybe someday inshallah. When we got back on the bus I opened the box, and it was full of books about Islam and booklets. I stuffed them in my duffel bag and went about my day.

But even on leave, the days stretch on and on, and I needed something to read on some downtime. So I started reading the books. What I found was not what I expected. I expected to find a medival theology which would be easy to disprove. Instead I was finding answers to questions I had about my own religion at that time. I was being stretched beyond the "safe zones" I had never left before in Christianity. One book led to another, and something inside kept whispering "this is the truth, this is the truth." Finally, after downloading a english translation of the Quran from a website, reading it on my laptop, I gave in alhumdillah. I took my shahada in my small room, on a rusty bed. I did my first prayers in front of my computer screen, trying to get them right, and in desperate fear of being found out because of the harrasment I thought would follow. But time moves slow there, and  soon I was doing the prayers correctly, and not as worried about being caught. Now my praying in my unit is no problem, and I continually find myself in situations where I can explain Islam in a good light, and correct misconceptions for which I am gratelful, alhumdillah. Slowly, my wife accepted my conversion. She remains a Christian (for now inshallah), but I have been extremely fortunate in that there were no arguments nor divorce or anything like that.  Allah (SWT) in His Mercy showed his light of truth to a die hard christian soldier in the sands of Iraq. I am so grateful to Allah (SWT) for that. Some time afterwards I found the Naqshbandi site, and that was the final touch. I took Bait online, and inshallah some day will be able to do so at the hand of our beloved Shaykh, may Allah be pleased with him. I am still learning the arwad, and doing the best I can inshallah. But I am so profoundly happy to be a Muslim, to be here, and grateful.

Wa Salaam

Bro. Richard

Ever since I was a child I was raised to believe in one God and Jesus was a messenger. To me Jesus was a spiritual teacher whom I shared spiritual experiences but I repressed them thinking maybe it was just childhood day dreaming. Even after I accepted Islam I had no idea how real spiritual experiences really are till I meet the ‘Sufis’ then I realized it’s not just a figment of our imagination. I suppose I couldn’t value the experiences either because my behavior gave much to be desired such as temper, greed, jealousy, etc… It was more important for me to have a connection with God, self-restrain, a good character, & feel peace in my heart.

I left the Catholic Church at age 11 after talking to my parents about some theological questions that didn’t make sense. My mother, a Sunday school teacher, took me to speak to a Priest whom I tried to ask my questions but only got the answer to one of them. I had an issue with a person defending their family and in the process they kill someone in self-defense yet they were going to hell (purgatory) for some time but the Pope issued a Just War concept this was contradictory. Then in high school I had a best friend that belonged to a Pentecostal church. Her father was the pastor of the church. My friend actually told me once “Oh you Catholics have a different Bible”. I was confused and began to research what she meant. After this I went to other churches of different Christian denominations but none filled up the void inside nor answered more logically my questions. After reading the different bibles I did however had some questions such as what’s the name of God, who exactly was Jesus, who are the prophet(s) after him, & the head scarf like marry wore it.

From what I understood God seemed weak and a mythological character to which I rejected. I decided to erase my mind of anything I thought was God and start a blank slate. In the west especially if you have no religion or are seeking then the substitute becomes science. After taking science courses at the university level and learning about the DNA this triggered a reality in my mind God is an intelligent entity! It may sound strange but for the first time I saw God as The Creator whom had the ability to be mathematically precise The Counter. My view of the world had changed to an engineer’s work. On top of that the esthetic beauty that surrounded us was amazing and by no means a coincidence.

In my phycology class I realize how little neurologists know about how the brain works specially relating to dreams. If you take a Freudian approach it’s all tied to a dirty self. It was interesting when the whole class shared their experiences with dreams which many people have very spiritual dreams yet science disregarded them. For example many people dream of an event then in real life it happens exactly the same or they meet someone in their dreams then later on they encounter them in real life. Such experiences were called coincidences or it didn’t really happen you just think it did. I felt I was being lied to about my own personal experiences by someone outside me. I also took a philosophy course and logic to which I was introduced with new thoughts. Not all philosophers were atheist or agnostic some actually were theists with some good arguments. Despite the knowledge they shared it was limited to their time and location.

I also ventured out into studying a few world religions which ironically Islam hadn’t been mentioned in any History book I read other than making derogative references to the Ottoman Empire. My searches at university level were about a year prior to September 11. I found Buddhism appealing since it represented spirituality, a human being trying to better themselves to get rid of the ego, & the idea of a spiritual master was very appealing. The problem was that I knew Jesus was real and he spoke of another prophet following his teachings. Also I found it strange that Buddhism claimed to be pacifist yet when people in Tibet were getting slaughtered the monks didn’t stay to defend the innocent people rather the Dali Lama fled to India a nuclear armed country.

I decided to do the one thing I heard across from different religions on how to communicate with our Maker which is to pray. I would go to the chapel in my university since it was quiet and I would pray morning, middle of the day, afternoon, evening, then when I went home I prayed some more at night, and during the night. I would beg God for the truth the world around me was becoming increasingly corrupted and I needed guidance desperately. When I would stay up at night I would call God out telling Him how everyone leaves us one way or another but I knew He was always with me. God was my best friend and my best well-wisher. I would read our father and stopped at the part “…let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven…” & I would ask God yes smash my will & I give you my soul back to do as you wish I can’t carry it. In those times I truly rather had ceased to exist then go on without knowing why I existed what was the meaning of life.

Then one day I went to my university’s library and began to talk to people online about their thoughts on God and that was my first encounter with the Muslims but I didn’t know they were Muslims. Someone typed out basically what is in the Quranic Chapter titled Sincerity but didn’t tell me its source. I was amazed someone out there had taken the words out of my mouth and put them in seemingly simple sentences. God is one unique there is nothing like Him, He doesn’t need anything but everything needs Him, He isn’t born nor does He give birth, and there is absolutely nothing like Him. Naturally I began to research the source of these ideas and with a simple search I found the name Islam and someone who follows Islam is a Muslim. Then my eyes presence the most beautiful name I’ve ever read Allah then followed Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) is the prophet of Islam. I felt my heart melting and tears pouring out really in that moment I said to myself and called my Christian friend to tell her I have found God.

Within the different sects and having to decipher why some people make Islam more complicated than it is I began to see a pattern of sensibility and wisdom among the Sufi teachers. That has been a whole other quest to find my Sufi Teacher and about 3 years ago I finally did Mawlana Nazim. In these past few years I feel I am waking up slowly from a dream into a beautiful reality. No matter where I am church, synagogue, mosque, house, nothing has touched my heart and kept it more connected to our Maker then having given my heart to Mawlana Nazim. Praise is to Allah whom has given me the honor and privilege to be conscious to know of Him the treasure of treasures.

The journey has been rough and many times I have been broken but I do swear God never left and always lets His presence be known one way or another. Islam gave me certainty of faith that God does exists and He is Just. I also can testify that our Master Prophet Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him is real and part of our lives as our intercessor that at times comes and literally gives us his hand to take us out of harm’s way.
Asalamalaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatu Bismillah

I'm French , born a catholic & a believer of that religion till the age of 15.From that time on, I wasn't interested anymore in that kind of belief, too many confusions.... God: a father, a son & a spirit! Too many ! So I left the church, attending masses only for convenience( my parents) participating still in some humanitarian Christian groups. I still liked the way some Christians care about one another, their love for the poor & weak. Jesus , the Prophet, Alaihi Salam , has till our days an
impact on the way some true Christians live their lives( SubhanAllah) So it went on till 19..... The time I decided to leave home. In Europe, when you are 18 & up,, it's time to get you freedom( or at least, it was like this 35 years ago) So I took my bag even though my Dad wasn't so happy about it(a stern Christian) and left for Nantes, a big university city with plenty of cultural activities . For a year, I lost myself ... Trying everything ! I was an atheist.
Trying to get my life together wasn't simple, between petty jobs & a " frivole" life. I decided to room Europe , maybe happiness would be found in one of those northern countries ...on my way , I met a lot of different people with different beliefs but none were satisfying.Till I reached Holland, precisely Amsterdam. Amsterdam , the city of freedom par excellence . Drugs, sex,religions.... Everything you want for , is there. The atmosphere of freedom is incredible, Im happy,
everything is fine,I ve found The place....
I was sharing an apartment with some friends , same style, happy free people. Then one of them became Muslim. Muslim? What? Muslim? Ok become Budhist, Toists whatever but Muslim? That's the religion of the ignorants!! And only Arabs are Muslims, violent, sex oriented freaks!!!But my friend has none of these " qualities" so?? So I started reading some of the books my new converted friend lent me. And to my amazement , I discovered A Prophet, A man , like you & me, but a man with the greatest qualities. A man full of love for his fellowships , The Greatest of all men!!!! Alaika Sallam Ya RassulAllah! Ya Habibi! Ya Mustafa!! And a change happened inside me! Allah Subhanu opened my chest to His ways. And True happiness was poured over my soul..... ( to be continued)

Merci Martine de partager avec nous ton histoire. J'attends la suite avec intérêt.

Jamila (Ysabelle, une autre convertie du christianisme, à l'incertitude face à l'existence de Dieu, puis pour finir à l'Islam)

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Shah Naqshband on Fellowship

The Imam of the Naqshbandi Order said, "طريقتنا الصحبة والخير في الجمعية - Tariqatuna as-suhbah wa 'l-khayru fi 'l- jam`iyyah" - “Our way is fellowship, and the goodness is in the gathering”.

Definition of Fellowship:

1. The companionship of individuals in a pleasant atmosphere.

2. A close association of friends sharing similar interests.

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