As a revert I often get asked what is my story, how did I come to Islam, what is it about Islam that drew me to it… This is not an easy question to answer and there’s no simple response. The short version is simply Allah guided me, alhamdulillah. For most reverts if not all, it was an emotional and moving journey which cannot simply be conveyed in a sentence or two. So anyway here is a more detailed explanation of how I became a Muslim and why.
First of all for a bit of background, all of my family are atheists and quite strong in those views so I had no religious upbringing of any kind. However, as long as I can remember I’ve always been a deep thinker and always believed in something more but I didn’t know enough about any religion. At a young age I do remember we had a bible in our home but only because someone had given it to my mum. I was quite young, around 10 and I remember wanting to read it to find out more and I did start to but that didn’t last very long.
My exposure to Islam started when I went to secondary school. The majority of my friends were Muslim and my best friend, who is still my best friend today, was masha’Allah very strong in imaan and she wore hijab and she was always trying to help other Muslims improve. I always admired this about her and I remember wishing I could be apart of this faith even at that stage but for some reason at this point I felt it could never happen. Throughout secondary school I learnt a lot about Islam from being around my friends and always had a lot of respect and admiration for it. Me and my best friend used to joke about me converting and deep down I knew I wanted to but at this point I didn’t have the strength or the level of faith that I have now, alhamdulillah.
When I went to sixth form I studied philosophy. This is when I really thought a lot more about the existence of God and the purpose of our lives on this earth and also the reason for following particular morals. One theory that stands out in my mind is the design theory and this particularly resonated with me and stayed in my mind a lot. When I read the Qur’an, after reverting, certain ayats expressed this and made me think again of this theory.
“We will show them Our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.” [41:53]
“Indeed, within the heavens and earth are signs for the believers.” [45:4]
However, still at this point I didn’t consider actually taking the step to embracing Islam.
A few years later and nothing significant happened in terms of my understanding of the deen.
It was only in 2014 that everything started to really change for me. In September of that year my auntie passed away which was a really hard time for my family. I didn’t really know how to deal with the loss so I guess I pushed it in a box in my mind. But this loss and hardship again made me think deeply into our purpose and the hereafter. Then in the beginning of 2015 I had an extremely personal and painful experience, which I won’t go into, and this was what really made me turn to Allah. I found myself reading a lot of quotes, looking for some kind of inspiration or guidance and I came across a lot of Islamic quotes and ayats from the Qur’an. One in particular, which when I read it just filled me with hope and made my heart felt at ease, was…
“and He found you lost and guided [you]” Qur’an [93:7]
Such a small thing and just a few words but it had such an impact on me. Reading more extracts from the Qur’an and other things in relation to the deen was the only thing that truly brought me solace at this time. This was the point when I actually made the conscious decision that I wanted to convert to Islam. After that I decided to do a lot more research into Islam and the more I learnt about it the more I loved Islam. Everything about it makes so much sense and since then I have felt so much love and guidance from Allah. I finally took my shahada in May 2015, alhamdulillah. I realised anyone could die at any time and I wanted to be Muslim.
As a person I don’t think I have changed much since reverting. However, my outlook on certain things has definitely changed. For example before I was Muslim, it sounds silly but I had no hope in love or marriage and all I saw was people betraying and hurting each other. But the concept of marriage in Islam is just so beautiful and it has completely changed my views. Also I am now able to face any difficulty or hardship with a different outlook and I have faith in Allah for He is the best of planners and with every hardship comes ease. Everything about Islam is beautiful and I thank Allah everyday for guiding me. Islam is the best thing that ever happened to me.