If I had to mention the date I reverted and said my Shahadah, I would say June, 2006. But if I had to mention the day I started feeling muslim, I know it came much later. Years later!.
Being born in a Hindu household, I was brought up to believe in 33,000 crore deities! Yes, 33,000 crore! That’s like ten zeroes after 33 🙂 My mother is a very religious person and perhaps that’s why I feel the most scared of revealing my faith to her. It would perhaps hurt her, confuse her and she might feel betrayed. My father on the other hand is a more spiritual person. He believes in one God and goodness. His life has been spent to walk on a righteous path against corruption, dishonesty and wrongfulness of this world. One day I hope I am able to show them the truth behind my faith, revert them to Islam and go for Hajj with them Insha’Allah. In spite of their beliefs, I know they have loved me a lot, brought me up as an upright individual, given me education and freedom to choose my way into this world and accepted me with all my flaws. I know they are good people and I have been blessed to have them. Alhamdulillah.
A friend of mine introduced me to religion. I feel sorry to say that I was amongst the people who carried a lot of misconceptions about Islam and muslims. I could never understand the reason why muslims were so steadfast in their prayers and clothing. I lacked knowledge about the concept of Jihad and the piety of the religion. My classmates were mostly non-muslims and I personally never took it very seriously to take interest in Islam. However, when I came across Zahrah, she was the first muslim whom I actually befriended in school and she seemed perfectly normal to me! 🙂
There was this instant urge to ask her all the questions I had in my mind. One question led to another and I perhaps never realised when I was attracted to Islam. One ayah after the other which she put forth me made me realise that every word was so true. Every verse seemed to be a new revelation. It started staying in my mind. 33,000 crore deities actually made no sense to me suddenly! Why should I attribute a specific power to each of these deities when the is One entity to possesses all of them.. Imagining the greatness of this One entity got me in awe of Him.
For many days I kept ignoring this voice inside me. Perhaps I could not accept this change inside me myself. Perhaps I was scared of it, or maybe the world. I was scared of practicing it, the obligations as I would see them to be…
I had to accept it one day. How long could I be neglecting this fact? One day, as I was speaking to her about religion, she happened to ask me very casually. -“do you believe in One God?” -“yeah” -“do you think He can be given these forms?” -“nope” -“You believe Muhammad (salallahu alayhi wasallam) to be His last messenger” -“Yes. No doubt” She was chuckling! It was as if I stepped into this circle of faith I didn’t even know. She told me what they tell this in arabic, i.e the first kalma and I repeated. Isn’t that what I said in english a few moments back? So 29th June it was. In Allah( swt) and his messenger (saw) is what my faith abides by. I gave my Shahadah. At the moment, it felt as if this was the right thing to do. At the same time it felt scary. I was into a deen about which I knew not a word. I had to learn about it from step one! I did not know about the pillars, I did not know what they meant and I did not know how I would abide by it. For the time I wasn’t even sure how I would carry on with it.
Internet connection back then was not as good as it is today. So my material was limited to what I got from my friend. She taught me the importance of Salah. With the help of internet, alhamdulillah today I have figured out step by step the various aspects of Salah. I still feel my salah is not perfect. How I learnt about Salah and my process of improving upon it is something I shall deal with later.
I remember praying my first Salah in a mid-length skirt! I was yet to learn about islamic clothing 🙂 I remember the horror when my mother caught me the first time praying draping a dupatta around my head that I stole from her wardrobe, with a bedsheet being used as a musallah. I remember the fear when she broke this news before my father one day when she and I were having an argument and the troubles of skipping lunch secretly during the month of Ramadan! 🙂 All that said and done, it was until 3 years, after which I left home to join college.
Since then there has been no looking back. I would not say i became a completely practicing muslimah since then, but my faith certainly never deviated. I knew being a muslim is the right thing to be. In the years that passed my knowledge grew and my confidence on One God grew stronger. Indeed I had many questions about many religions. There had to be at least one more religion speaking rightly about God! How is it that the Qur’an and only the Qur’an speaks so firmly about it? There have been a lot of ups and downs which taught me many things down the line. I have been good, bad, failed and attained success as a muslimah at various points in the last 8 years and I am still improving. It was not until a few months back that I truly became passionate about it. I don’t know whether that day truly was my shahadah day. Certain things are best left to Allah. Even today very few people (4 to be precise) know about my reversion. I am still waiting to openly practice it and Insha’Allah I see that day coming soon.