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How I came to Islam

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I was brought up in a non-practising Christian family in a typically English small(ish) town. My primary school was a typical CofE school, where we sang daily hymns and the teachers read out Bible stories which we were expected to sit quietly and listen to. This, together with the occasional visit from a group of American Baptist ministers, ensured that I had a vague awareness of God, but without truly understanding him. This awareness was slowly dispelled during secondary school, where, in accordance with the government curriculum, we were introduced to the idea that men weren't created, but evolved from monkeys. This means that, apart from those who belonged to certain religious sects such as the Plymouth Brethren and Jehovah's Witnesses, children were subtly but forcibly distanced from their Lord.

 

As with most westerners of my generation, the first contact I had with Islam came via the news. It was the time of the Salman Rushdie affair, the first Iraq War, and dubious tabloid-trash headlines about people finding the word 'Allah' written in their tomatoes (this came about at the height of the Hindu craze for feeding milk to their statues). Understandably, this lead to me growing up with all kinds of misconceptions and prejudices about the faith I now follow.

 

These prejudices followed me into my university years, and yet it was at university that I came to realise the truth about Islam. Most of my learning came about through befriending some Malaysians on my course. My friends were very sociable, and mixed very well with the rest of the people on my course, so it shocked me to learn that they were Muslim - so much for Muslims being foaming-at-the-mouth, West-hating fanatics! It was through interacting with my friends, observing them fasting, and accepting their invites to join in their celebrations at the end of Ramadan, that I began to get an idea of what Islam truly was - not some weird, exotic faith, but actually something quite normal.

 

However, despite my increasing curiosity, I wasn't prepared to embrace it as I was still living the 'free' Western life of eating whatever I wanted, and trying to get drunk as often as I could. It was my adherence to this lifestyle (and in particular, the alcohol) that was slowly destroying me, although I did a pretty damn fine job of hiding it form my friends and family. My grades were slipping, I was finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate or to get motivated, and my life was feeling increasingly empty.

 

And so the cycle continued until my third year at university, until one very blessed occurrence in 23rd March 1997 - I met Betty, the woman who was later to become my wife. Not only did she give me the love and support I needed, she also gave me an even greater insight into Islam by answering my questions and introducing me to her circle of friends.

 

One day, I was invited to the Al-Manar Masjid in Cardiff where I had a very enlightening discussion with the imam, during which he cleared up any remaining queries I had. During this, he explained to me that there was more to our time on Earth than the life I was living, and he invited me to look out of his window, which looked out over the students union building, and he asked me to tell me what I saw. The view that confronted me was a disgusting scene of drunken rowdiness - some people fighting in the street, one person vomiting in a hedge, and everyone else generally being very loud and anti-social - and it was seeing all that which finally made me realise that the life I was leading was totally wrong and could even result in me ending up in an early grave! Although I was yet to be convinced of the existence of Allah, the imam then gave me my first copy of the holy Qur'an and gave me his blessings.

 

The first thing that struck me whilst reading the Qur'an was that Muslims worship the same God as the Jews and Christians, and not some foreign deity as I had been led to believe. I was also impressed at how the logic an clarity that it exhibited - there are no fancy parables, no beating around the bush, no skirting around the major issues. For instance, instead of pretending that war and disputes don't exist, the Qur'an places strict guidelines on these subjects.

 

It took a rather momentous demonstration on the part of Allah for me to finally make my commitment to Him. It was the 5th of June 1997, my university course had finished, I had gained my honours degree, and I was preparing to return my belongings to my mother's house. Everything was packed into our car, and as we were preparing to move off, my wife said 'Bismillah Hirahman Nirahim'. Without thinking, I immediately followed her - 'Bismillah Hirahman Nirahim'. The journey went smoothly enough until, without warning, the rear tyre burst and the car was sent into an uncontrollable 70mph spin, ending up in a nearby ditch. The horrified motorists who had witnessed this turn of events and had done their duty to assist us were astonished to see that we were virtually unharmed - Betty had a slight whiplash and a small cut, and I was more or less unscathed. We had just hurtled into a ditch at high speed, the car was a total write-off, and yet we walked out (or rather climbed out, due to the car doors being damaged) as though we were only involved in a minor shunt! The police and paramedics in attendance also commented on this.

 

As we were laying in the hospital bed waiting for our precautionary neck X-Rays, I was thinking "How the hell did we get out of this?". It was then that I remembered what had taken place before we started our journey - our supplications to Allah. I came to realise that these turn of events and our escape from harm couldn't have been sheer luck - I had never believed in luck, and I wasn't going to start now. Therefore, I decided that the time had time to take the Shahada and convert to Islam. Betty was surprised and glad to hear of my decision, as I hadn't shown any real indication that I was prepared to do so.

 

And so, just over a week later, on the 13th of June 1997, I attended my first Friday prayers at the Dar-Ul-Isra Masjid in Cardiff. Afterwards, the imam invited me to the front of the congregation, and as I nervously stood up in front of a few hundred of my brothers, I testified that there are no gods besides Allah, and I testified that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. The feelings of happiness, satisfaction and elation as I said those words were like nothing I has felt before, as one by one my new brothers welcomed me into their community.

 

Two months later, on the 4th of August 1997, me and Betty were married at the city registration office, and then at the South Wales Islamic Centre (affectionately known by the local Muslims as the Docks Masjid), which is where I now perform my prayers whenever I can, and where I have learnt a lot from the Friday khutbas. Since then, our life has been blessed and happy, and I have never once regretted my decision to come to Islam. Instead of feeling that I have embarked on a totally new way of life, I feel as though I have returned to the path my life should have been taking all along.

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PropellerAds

Mash 'Allah, i am myself in south wales, though i usually visit Dar-Ul-Isra Masjid.

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Mash 'Allah, i am myself in south wales, though i usually visit Dar-Ul-Isra Masjid.

I occasioanally go to Dar-ul-Isra for Friday prayers and Iftar with my wife, but the docks are my usual place of prayer.

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Assalamualaikum,

 

Alhamdullilah...Allah swt clearly showed you mercy to guide you into Islam.

 

Jazakallah khair for sharing your story with us :D

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asalamualaykum

welcome back to Islam, alhamdulillah.

it's always good to hear revert stories :D

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Guest amani

:D

 

jazakallahkhair brother

a nice story :D

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:w:

:D

 

May Allah increase your faith more and guide you more to the right path and save you from the evil... :D

And save all muslims and non-muslims too from satan..

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:D

 

that was a very touching story brother mashallah..

 

May Allah (swt) increase you imaan

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:D

 

 

mansha-Allah thank you for sharing your story.

 

 

'He whom Allah guides no one can mislead, and he whom Allah misleads, no one can guide'

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Mash'Allah...

 

It little things can do more to change our attitude about life than big earth shaking things....

 

Of course, I woudn't call getting out alive from that accident a little thing... :D (the little thing was saying bismillah' before the journey).

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Asalaam Alaikum

 

I noticed that you mentioned you are from wales as did a few other members.

 

there is a reverts listing at 4muslims/forums under the reverts database heading. I know there is a revert sister from wales lloking for reverts in cardiff area and is struggling. Inshallah you could leave your details there to help others and even contect her.

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Assalam-ul-Alaikum,

 

That was a truly inspirational story, mashallah. :D

 

Welcome to Islam, brother. May you forever stay on the right path and believe in Allah Almighty. Ameen.

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gosh brother,

that's a really nice story,

may Allah bless u and us and all our brothers and sisters in Palestine and Afghanistan

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:D

 

awesome story mashallah! Thanx for sharing...i was really starting ot miss the inspirational 'revert stories' :D

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