I grew up in a small southern town. I attended church all my life and was raised by a missionary mother and a very religious step-father. In fact, I was well on my way to becoming a missionary as well. Although, I had been to the alter several times I never felt the feeling that I had always heard you were ‘supposed’ to feel when you are saved. I never had a peace or a contentment. I would cry all night and read the Bible in search of the truth. I would speak with sunday school teachers, my mother and pastors of various denominations and churches. However, try as i may, I could NEVER feel as though i was saved. So, I finally ,feeling embarassed, put those feelings on the backburner and decided even if I didn’t feel it I would fake it.
All this would change during my last years of highschool…
My junior year in highschool I met a Muslim at my mother’s workplace. He gave me his sisters telephone number and I took it with the sole intent to convert her to Christianity. The more I spoke with this girl the more I realized that she did raise some good points. She wasn’t the opressed victim that I had always perceived Muslim women to be. Rather she was outgoing and opinionated. She spoke up for herself and her beleifs. Even though, I was sure she was going to Hell I was still impressed by her personality and convictions. My relationship with this girl continued to grow as did her patience with me. She would spend countless hours answering my questions. The more i studied her religion the more I was enamored by it.
Finally, I began to realize that Jesus did seem more as a Prophet than a son of God and the more i studied the teachings of Jesus i saw that Muhammad taught the same things. However, i wasn’t ready to convert just yet.
I continued praying excessively that God would guide me and help me to “be saved.” Then one day, I woke up and read a passage of the Qur’an:
Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clear from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things. (Qur’an 2:256).
At that point I knew that i believed in Islam and didn’t want to hesitate anymore. I had literally almost woken up a muslim. After all the nights spent in prayer asking God to guide me. I was guided.
Immediatley I called the sister to go to the masjid. We traveled the 2 hours to the Masjid and I took the shahada (Islamic testimony of faith: La ilaha il Allah, Muhammad-ur-Rasool-Allah :None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).
Then, it happend. I felt it immediatley. It felt as if i had huge weights lifted off my shoulders and my heart opened up. I felt an undescribeable peace and calm. An amazing tranquility came over me. Alhamdullilah, Allahu Akbar( All praise and thanks are due to Allah and Allah is the Greatest)
Then began my journey as a Muslimah…..