It filled me with peace and happiness
My folks believed in God, but did not “practice” their “faith”. I was raised as a devote Christian with my Grandparents being heavily involved with Church activities and members of the board. As I grew up I was extremely well versed in all the song hymns and scriptures (as well as I went to a private school for elementary).
When I went to college I went to a Christian University. It was there that I was first exposed to Islam. We were required to learn of other faiths; I believe this was to strengthen our faith. This exposure did not strengthen my faith, but rather created doubts and questions.
The odd thing is that while studying a little bit of Islam I met a Muslim man that I befriended who introduced me to their community of friends where I met a man that is now my husband. When married I still had not converted nor interested in conversion. I knew that there was only one faith and it was the path of Christianity. I had no intentions of converting my husband and he had no intentions of converting me. After about two years of marriage we decided to have baby and that’s when everything started to change for me.
My husband had been diagnosed with Kidney failure and I was two months pregnant. Times were difficult needless to say. I found myself angry and praying to God. I found little comfort in turning to God. At some point I think I just disconnected from God and my faith. When my daughter was about 2 ˝ I started to think about her future and her up bringing. I knew there was a God, but had lost my relationship and could not raise a child into that type of world. I begin to look into Islam, as I knew my husband would not allow me to raise her in my faith. I did not share this with him because I did not want to be pushed into something I knew only a little bit about. I began going to the mosque and meeting with the Imam as I knew he was an educated man in Islam who could answer my questions in great detail. I struggled with the thought of conversion, as it was so ingrained in my head that “Christianity” was the only correct faith. I started to analyze my previous beliefs with what I was now learning and realized that I had some decisions to make and had to be honest with myself and reasons for even considering a new faith. When I stepped outside of the box it became apparent to me that I was following “Christianity” because that was what I knew and the only faith I really ever learned about. I realized that there were so many missing pieces to the puzzle in my faith and lack of understanding why certain routines and actions were being taken within the faith.
At first I thought, “Oh you are just doing this because you want your daughter to believe in “something”. It may be that which started the search, but it is not what ultimately made me decide to convert. After grilling a ton of people and reading a ton of books, I realized that Islam was a way of life that provided guidelines and with understanding. The day that I took Shahadah it filled me with peace and happiness. The idea of conversion
also meant sharing the information with my family so that they would understand a few changes in my life. Change is always a struggle, but with our personal Jihad we grow and learn and this makes us stronger Muslims.