The bumpy road to the straight path

Not one of us goes through life without times of challenge. It is a commonality for which we can all be certain.

Though I realize in the big scheme of things I am quite lucky, three years ago I hit a particularly bumpy time. I was betrayed by someone in way that can only be described as ‘truth is stranger than fiction’. As part of this betrayal, I found out I had unwittingly participated in something I viewed as unconscionable. I was devastated.

But I kept telling myself there had to be a reason for all of this. I knew there was something I clearly needed to learn and this was part of my path.

Just two months later, I experienced an even worse blow to my life when my sister, with whom I had been estranged for more than 20 years, died before we could reconcile. I was numb.

Then lots of small things happened: financial troubles, friends moving away — all of which brought me lower. I delved into anger and isolation, and behaviors and relationships for which I am not proud.

Two things kept me going: that voice in the back of my head saying there was a bigger picture here and I just could not see it yet, and the fact that I was moving my professional life in a calmer direction in the hopes that I could re-build my personal life. I had found the perfect job that maintained my standard of living but moved me off the ‘fast track’.

Then, just a few months later this was taken away. I still had a job but I was transferred back to a high pressure position. Certainly I had the choice not to take the position and leave, but due to a variety of circumstances I chose to stay.

Though it was my decision to stay, I was resentful. And not just of the job. I was angry with God. I felt like I had lost everything in my personal life, my family was still reeling from the death of my sister and after years of trying to down shift my career, I was right back where I started. I felt… completely broken.

I also realized that many of the circumstances in my life were in large part a result of my own choices and actions. So I decided that as a starting point to try to move things in the right direction, I was going to dig in to the job I had agreed to take on and do it to the best of my ability, hoping it would lead me to something better. I did not know why or how it would lead me to something better, I just knew I needed to do something…anything.

During this time as a result of this job that I had not wanted, there was a person I came to know who had this amazing core of strength, and I don’t mean the kind you can get with Pilates. I wanted to understand the source of this strength and how I could get it, so I began asking questions.

Low and behold…..this is how I was introduced to Islam.

In the beginning, I just found it interesting. I have always been interested in religion – its history and philosophy – and I began to learn more about Islam in that spirit. To my surprise, there was a lot in Islam that I already believed. Many of the things I struggled with in Christianity were solved with Islam. It all made so much sense. It was logical. It was beautiful. It was grounded.

I still did not think I would or could ever convert. Yet, as time went by and I learned more about Islam, I started to feel better. I was healing.

Gradually I realized I couldn’t not follow Islam. I couldn’t not be Muslim. And one year ago this week I said my shahadah. Alhamdulilah.

I know that this is the path I was being guided towards all those years ago. And I also know the journey is still just at the beginning. Inshallah.

Whether you were born Muslim or are a revert, what was your journey to Islam?

7 responses

  1. Mashallah very interesting read.
    More so because of the feeling of underlying presence and power of the Creator – when HE Chooses to Guide and show the right path – HE paves the way – creating circumstances and situations that can be mind boggling.
    Congratulations for being that one.
    May God’s Grace & Mercy be always upon you.

    Indeed everyone would have a unique story that has been a catalyst to bring him/her closer to HIM (irrespective of being a born Muslim or a convert/revert).
    Indeed HE has given everyone that opportunity in their life – it is up to us whether we have accepted it or been oblivious to it.
    May Allah (swt) always guide us to be and remain on the right path.

  2. Fascinating read…….I must say as a born Muslim and educated in the US i can truely follow your struggles. I feel blessed and honored to know there are people like you and what you went thru to find your inner calling. It certainly has tightened my embrace of Islam just a little more and more thankful when i go thru difficult situations. Mashallah to you for overcoming those obstacles:)

  3. Thank you sister for this article. I am from Malaysia, was born here and still studying for my first degree at a local university, International Islamic University Malaysia. I’d say that I am very grateful to be born here, where the majority are Muslims and been selected to study at my current university, which gives huge impacts for my life. I always think that if I were being placed somewhere else, I might be ‘losing’ in the battle of living life as a Muslim. Alhamdulillah, Allah knows best.

    In my Methods of Da’wah class, my lecturer said something about how human being are dependable on something. We are looking for something to rely on. For Muslims, Allah is everything. We are dependable on Allah. We cannot survive without Him and His love. That is why my lecturer said, Muslim reverts were looking for ‘something’ to rely on before this, and they found Allah the Almighty. Alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah, alhamdulillah.

    May Allah bless us all in going through any tests from Him. Ameen.

  4. Assalamu Alaikum!
    Whether you are convert/revert or born Muslim it only comes to understanding Islam with intellect so that one can defeat doubts that infiltrate our minds again and again. Yes doubts does enter even the strongest of minds in piety and piousness. But it is the understanding of the Islam intellectually which enables ones mind to have a crack at doubts efficiently.
    There are many born Muslims who turn away from their own religion as agnostics or atheists etc. because they lack the real understanding, meaning, purpose, the logical reasoning and existence of Islam.

    Now why the doubts arise at first place, because they always try to feel things through 5 senses and that is the end of the story for them, well spirituality is felt beyond 5 senses………..that is the reason why many don’t understand the message of Islam (including Qur’an & Hadith).

    For example: (1)when I came to know of these facts(As it is):

    “The genocide of the people of Bosnia and especially the brutal rape of its women will go down as a permanent black spot on the face of the so-called civilized world. For the first time in history, the world witnessed the svstematic use of rape as a world. “Rape camps” (sic) began sprouting over the territories occupied by the fascist Chetniks. The meaning of war took on a new dimension with the Chetnik barbarian’s carefully planned assault on the psy- che of Bosnia by targeting women. The opening of this diabolic dimension to the already gruesome saga of ethnic-cleansing emphatically underscored the wanton, barbaric and utter moral depravity of the Chetniks.
    The nascent state of Bosnia-Herzegovina, with its hands tied due to the criminal imposition of the arms embargo, could do little but watch its women’s honor being trampled upon, its children being mowed down and its men becoming a statistical casualty to the marauding Chetniks.
    The heart-rending cries of sixty thousand (60,000) Muslim women including 6-12 year old girls, are nothing but irritating ‘noise’ for so called civilized barbarians, who will never report truth………

    (2)Same atrocities done in Myanmar(Burma) recently, Iraq, Afghanistan…….. In Libya, Syria through 4GW doctrine now towards Pakistan and Iran.

    And other difficulties faced by Muslims and many other things……

    This all made me really sad, loss of Millions of lives…….mass rapes……….. doubts were raising in my mind but………….

    Very next day one my instructor told a hadith out of no where:
    The holy Prophet(Sallallaho Alaihe Wa’salam) said when a person can’t reach the higher ranks through worship or sins are too much than hardships are inflicted, so that his/her sins can be washed off and they don’t have to go through Hell, whose heat is more terrifying than the 100 million SUNS combined that the oppressors, transgressors, and non-believers had to go through for eternal life (infinite time).

    I was speechless because I was answered without 5 senses because questions were still in my mind haven’t told anyone and the hadith was spot on my doubts………… because my doubts were innocent in nature and I was answered through my instructor………….
    That is the thing that non-believers will never understand because they want to do it through 5 senses and can’t experience through spirituality…………….true dreams are also part of it…

    Narrated Anas bin Malik:
    Allah’s Apostle said, “A good dream (that comes true) of a righteous man is one of forty-six parts of prophetism.” (Sahih Bukhari : Book 9 , Volume 87 , Hadith 112)

    Than few other hadith also hit me:
    Abu Dawood, mentions in the Sunnan, related by Ahmad,
    “This my Ummah, is a Ummah that has mercy upon it, ‘Marhooma’- a Ummah that has mercy that’s been wrapped in Mercies; there is no punishment for this Ummah in the Hereafter except their punishment that they experience in the Dunya — killing and death and dying, trials and tribulations, earthquakes and the like.”

    ‘As recorded in Buhari and Muslim: The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said :
    “Whoever Allah wants good for him, he puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties.”

    “Allaah the Exalted states in Surah Al-Zumar:
    “Verily the patient will get their reward without it being estimated, without it being calculated. It can’t be counted. O­ne is waiting for reward, for that o­ne who is patient.”

    I read a Hadith, one of the mountains in Hell from where these oppressors, transgressors, and non-believers will be thrown, it will take them 100 years to hit the bottom surface level and then repeated again.

    BUT THERE IS ANOTHER REALITY IN FALLING OF HARDSHIPS:

    “And why should ye not fight in the cause of Allah and of those who, being weak, are ill-treated (and oppressed)? Men, women, and children, whose cry is: ‘Our Lord! Rescue us from this town, whose people are oppressors; and raise for us from thee one who will protect; and raise for us from thee one who will help!’” (Qur’an 4:75)

    These verses were revealed 1400 years ago but they fit on the Muslims of Bosnia, Kashmir, Palestine, Myanmar, Afghanistan………etc.
    But did any of Muslim country arose against the criminal acts done on the Muslims, unfortunately NONE………….. even puppet rulers of oil rich Muslim countries are in control of zionists, why they will raise their voice???

    “And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; but if they cease, verily Allah doth see all that they do.” (Qur’an 8:39)

    When we see wrong-doing in front of us and we don’t stop it then we should also expect tough time on our own-selves.
    There are 3 levels of faith when wrong is being done in front of us:
    1 in which we stop through force, physically
    2 in which we stop through tongue
    3 in which we think of it as bad in our own heart (this is lowest level of faith)
    —————-

    And yes being born Muslim, It was not straight forward as far as the intellectual faith is concerned that is through logic and reason but I attained right faith at right time, Alhumdulillah!…………and have to guard it against falsehood that is continuously thrown at us.
    ______________________

    I have conveyed right knowledge to you, now how you spread it and use it in your own life and writings, where ever you want is up on you……..

    At last not least, let me tell you another good hadith on dreams:

    Allah’s Apostle said, “When the Day of Resurrection approaches, the dreams of a believer will hardly fail to come true, and a dream of a believer is one of forty-six parts of revelation, and whatever belongs to revelation can never be false.” Muhammad bin Sirin said, “But I say this.” He said, “It used to be said, ‘There are three types of dreams:
    1.The reflection of one’s thoughts and experiences one has during wakefulness,
    2.what is suggested by Satan to frighten the dreamer,
    3.or glad tidings from Allah.
    So, if someone has a dream which he dislikes, he should not tell it to others, but get up and offer a prayer.” He added, “He (Abu Huraira) hated to see a Ghul (i.e., iron collar around his neck in a dream) and people liked to see fetters (on their feet in a dream). The fetters on the feet symbolizes one’s constant and firm adherence to religion.” And Abu ‘Abdullah said, “Ghuls (iron collars) are used only for necks.”(Sahih Bukhari : Book 9 , Volume 87 , Hadith 144)

    _________

    Allah Hafiz!

  5. Salam sister! What a very inspiring story!!!

    The same statement I said:

    “Many of the things I struggled with in Christianity were solved with Islam. It all made so much sense. It was logical. It was beautiful. It was grounded.”

    A lot of teachings in Islam that I learned that are more logical and always talking about the natural order in this world.

    Alhamdullilah! I found your blog… I like reading all your posts… keep inspiring us!

    All the best!

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