Eight years ago I met my former husband in North Africa. We fell in love and decided to live together in Holland. He is Muslim but I did not really see him practising anything except for Ramadan. I wanted to marry him and have children together. I understand Muslims want to bring up their children in an Islamic way so I started to read about Islam. I found it important to know much about this religion so I also did Ramadan together with my husband. In this time I also took some Arabic lessons, the teacher had a lot of knowledge about Islam so I could ask him a lot of questions.
I still was afraid about Islam, Dutch people believe Islam is a violent religion. But the more I read about it the more I felt good about it. I was brought up Catholic, go to church at least one time every week and do a lot of things inside of the church. However the last years I have not felt at my place in the Catholic religion, it seemed old fashioned and far away from my normal life. In Islam I found answers to the questions of my daily life. For me it is a more practical and modern religion.
When my husband finally wanted to marry (this was more because otherwise we couldn’t stay in a hotel in his country together than for something else) I also decided to do the Shahada.
I didn’t know before they would ask me some questions and I was surprised by the question: Do you think Jesus is the son of God? Of course not, I never believed that this is symbolic, it
means you are close to God because you are a prophet. I never see this literally.
After three years our marriage ended and there I was a Dutch Muslim woman alone. How I can be a good Muslim with only a few Muslim girlfriends around? How I can find a good Muslim husband? Why I decided to become Muslim? Why I not just marry a nice Dutch man, Muslim or not Muslim?
This was a very difficult time in which I prayed a lot. And I feel I get support from God, I feel I decided for myself to become Muslim not for my husband. Now I see this time as a test of my religion, I am very happy, I search for support in praying to God because he gives me answers.
Not long after this I found a new husband. A man who is very serious about Islam. Who, like me, still needs to learn a lot but who also can help and support me and live with me in an Islamic way. He gives me new energy to study more about Islam.
I always say religion is something in which you believe, you shouldn’t need to ask for proof because then it is not religion but a fact. But God is everywhere and he support me in my life, I had some difficult times but he never gave me more then I can handle. I have one other very strong example in which God directly communicated with me:
After five months of pregnancy our baby died, the doctors couldn’t hear any heartbeat and they sent me home to come back two days later for the delivery. I didn’t want to loose our baby, I thought it was better he stayed inside me, dead or alive, this is our baby nobody can touch him. I talk about him because I was sure it was a boy, I never see myself with a baby daughter. In these difficult days I prayed a lot, in one of these prayers I suddenly saw a girl about 4 years old playing on a green hill (like in the Teletubbies) and I am sure this is our daughter. She
was very beautiful and happily playing. Then I heard or understand there is somebody behind the hill, an old man, I did not see but feel this. This man told me I shouldn’t worry he would take care of our daughter. After this I was not stressed anymore for the delivery, already our daughter was with God. It makes me feel quiet. After the delivery I was not surprised our baby was a girl, already I was sure for this.
In this relatively short time I am a practising Muslim I have three moments in which God directly helped me. Although my daily life can be very busy and stressful I know I can give everything in the hands of God, Islam.