A New Zealand Woman's Journey to Islam

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

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One of the perks of having a blog is that I have the opportunity to reach out to people and help others for the sake of pleasing Allah s.w.t.. I consider it to be a great blessing because helping others is a form of worship in Islam and I try my best to worship my Creator in anyway possible. I am not perfect but I am always trying. 

Almost 2 months ago I received an e-mail from a woman in New Zealand. She expressed her interest in accepting Islam but she didn't know any Muslim women therefore she reached out to me because she came across my blog while doing some research about Islam on the Internet. We exchanged a few e-mails and I have found her to be a warm and wonderful woman, mashaAllah. After introducing her to some Muslim sisters via e-mail I finally asked about her journey to Islam.  Her story touched me because after all that she has been through she found Islam. Allah s.w.t.'s Love for His creations is Wide and All-Encompassing, subhanaAllah

She is inspirational in my eyes because, tell me, how many women in this world have been hurt by men? How many women have been emotionally and/or physically abused by the very same men they love and trust? Innumerable. It is amazing when I find proof of women who find solace and strength in Islam. The media always portrays Islam as a religion that subjugates and oppresses women. This couldn't be even more further from the truth. Before you make such a judgement please speak to a Muslim woman and hear what she has to say.

No doubt there are Muslim women who are not happy but it isn't due to Islam, rather it is because of the injustice some men have subjected them to. Not all Muslim men are knowledgeable enough about what Islam teaches regarding the treatment of women. Often times they allow cultural beliefs to dictate their lives and instead of adhering to Islamic principles they continue the vicious cycle of bad cultural practices. Some Muslim men even manipulate Islam in order to find loopholes to justify their behaviour and choices. In Islam, the kind treatment towards women is not only encouraged but commanded by God because women are precious beyond description and righteous women are regarded as a blessing to a family and a community. 

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Anyway when I read my newly acquired friend's e-mail about her discovery of Islam I had tears in my eyes and I'm not the kind of person who cries very easily. I cried because with her discovery and acceptance of Islam her journey has not ended. It has only just begun. May Allah s.w.t. always bless her with guidance so she may attain Paradise on Judgement Day, inshaAllah.

Kimberly* has agreed for me to share her story with you. I am only doing this to remind all of us about the beauty of Islam and the Greatness of Allah s.w.t.. Being Muslim isn't about having the perfect past because we all make mistakes but God loves those who don't associate Him with anyone or anything else by turning only to Him, the One and Only Sustainer of Everything, in their search for the Truth. I also want to reiterate my point in this post and encourage everyone to reach out to someone. Don't be a negative person today. Be kind. Be compassionate. Be cheerful. Remember, you don't always need money to help others. Just some time and sincerity is all it takes, inshaAllah


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As salaamu Alaikum

:D (Practising )

Hiya Sha

Yes, I have been receiving heaps of wonderful emails. Thank you so much. Words can’t express how grateful I am! You Muslimah have made me feel so welcome. Praise to Allah for blessing me with your friendship.

I have quite a long story, which Insha a Allah, I will try to keep simple. I have always believed in Allah, but didn’t have a name for him. My parents sampled various Christian Churches, and that was my main influence, till one day, I got myself into a compromising situation, and turned to the Youth Leaders of the Church and was Ostracised. So I always held a Love for Allah, just was hurt by the people, so turned from Allah and as you can imagine, it wasn’t a good outcome. Eventually, I ended up a Single Mother (though Praise Allah, the Most Merciful) it was a complete Blessing. I turned my life around, and had a desire to return to Allah, I just wasn’t sure where to look.

Anyway, throughout my life, I have had (as you can imagine, living in the shadows) issues with depression. My saving Grace (All praises to Allah) was my daughter, who in now four. One day, I was grieving as I had finally got free of Emma's* Dad (He has issues with drugs and alcohol), but was feeling this intense loneliness. I went into this site called Oasis Active, which is a friendship dating site. Don’t get me wrong, I’d never really internet dated before, but had only wanted to meet interesting people for interesting conversation from somewhere other than New Zealand. I wanted to know the big wide world.

I was talking to some people, and flicked through full of frustration, when a Person, who was ex pilot in RAF caught my attention. We started chatting (i thought he was in London), turned out he was from London, but studying in Wellington. We clicked. After a week or so, he commented on going to the Mosque, so I asked him if he was Muslim, and he said Yes. I asked him if he would share some of it with me, as I wanted to get to know him. I had also only really been bombarded with terrorism, and wanted to get more of an understanding of Islam, and a different perspective. I try to be open minded about different cultures and beliefs. I like to try to understand people and know them for who they really are.

He sent me about 4 sites to look up, introductory sites, Islamic Women and an English translation of the Quran, and as I was researching, it really spoke to me. I really especially loved they way women were in the true Islamic sense revered (If that is the right term). I have had a lifetime of different forms of abuse and as you can imagine, wanted to try to protect myself from society to retain what little dignity I had left, and to somehow raise a healthy, confident daughter.

Here was this whole belief system designed (By the Almighty and Merciful Allah) to grow healthy people with healthy hearts and Healthy Minds. Lol, My friend just about fell over backward (in the virtual sense, we still email, still haven’t met, but he is my friend and brother in Islam) and has supported me through thus far. He thought that I was only converting for him. I had to do some explaining to show that it was Allah I was interested in! Since then, Allah has shown me you Sisters, and now I have met a Very nice, Very spiritual Muslim Man in Egypt. We will marry when he gets here Insha a Allah. Now I feel this sense of peace and happiness. (Allahu Akbar). I feel like I have come home.

Anyway, that is pretty much the story. Insha a Allah, it may give you some insight to me.

Again, Thank you for making me feel so welcome and supported. I really want to do my best by Allah.

And thank you so much for listening to my story.

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Assalamualaykum Kimberly*,

Very nice, practising I see! lol

Wow. I have to be honest. Your story brought tears to my eyes.

Alhamdulillah. I am so happy for you. So so happy. To find peace and happiness is truly a gift from Him.

You are such an inspirational and wonderful woman. I am so happy that you e-mailed and gave little ol' me the opportunity to help you find more Muslimah friends. Actually, I haven't done anything at all. It was all YOU. You brought yourself closer to Allah. I feel very humbled right now. May I ask how old you are? If you don't mind, that is. I'm 23.

And please give your daughter hugs and kisses from me =)


Wa alaykummusalam,
Sha


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Wa Alaikum Assalam wa Rahmatul – lahi wa Barakatuh Shahirah

Thank you so much for your kind emails. Its funny how one sees their own story as insignificant, yet someone else finds inspiration. That actually takes me by surprise! Thank you so much. (Lol, especially since I first wrote to you as I felt completely inspired by You!) Allahu Akbar!

I am 36 yrs. I first left Allahs grace when I was 19, so you can imagine how long I lived in the shadows. But Praise Allah, he called me back. I will do my upmost to be the honourable servant that he intended me to be (Insha a Allah).

I have received emails from **, ** (she sends me heaps of reading material, she’s brilliant! May Allah Bless her!), **, **, and **. They are all so lovely.

I will pass on my Love and hugs to Emma* for you. Thank you so much for your friendship and support. May Allah Bless you!

As salaamu Alaikum

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*Names have been changed or omitted for privacy reasons.

17 comments:

shufshuf68 said...

How wonderful to read this! I am a revert as well, alhamdulillah, and I know what it is myself to come to Islam at not such a young age, with a past of struggles, failed relationships and a child. But Allah SWT has a plan for every one of us. Subhanallah. It helps to have sisters in Islam to support and guide you, especially when everything is new and overwhelming. Jezakallahu kheiran for aiding this new sister as others aided me! Halima

yunayuni said...

you are so lucky sha,to have a chance to help another person to embrace our beautiful religion.

i am glad to read that she has found solace in our religion and have learned to know our Creator.

Alhamdulillah, Allah telah membuka pintu hatinya, dan sebagai hambaNya perlulah kita mengambil iktibar dan sentiasa berusaha untuk menjadi Muslimah terbaik. Insya Allah.

Ami Schaheera said...

This is such a wonderful story sha, thank you so much for sharing it with us. You are indeed have the charisma & wiseness to aid a sister into Islam, may Allah give us guidance. I'm so glad to have found support from sisters in Islam such as you, wishing you lots of luck to you & Kimberly. Can't wait to read more of her progress in knowing Islam. Subhanallah..

Riham said...
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syieranuar said...

masyaAllah, what a great opportunity u have sis :) and her story really touches our hearts, i believed :) may Allah gives us HIS blessing insyaALLAH =)

RS said...

I wish her all the best! May Allah pour His love and Mercy on her and her daughter. =)

hijabi hippie hypo said...

amazing post, loved reading it :) mashaAllah you are so lucky to have helped someone connect with the ummah!

Ashi said...

masha'Allah, as everyone has already said you are lucky to have helped someone into this beautiful deen of ours. but i feel Kimberely couldn't have had a more sincere person, such as yourself, help her. I wish you both the best in life =)

naziehah said...

What a great story masha-Allah. It always filled my heart with light and happiness when I heard wonderful stories like this.

Thanks for sharing and keep doing the good work that you do, insha-Allah.

Esra said...

MashaAllah. Thankyou to you both for sharing the story.

Sabrina said...

Alhamdulilah.such an inspiring story..tq v. much for sharing. May Allah reward u both with goodness.

ikachrypurtoza said...

Salam sha,

I have always been a silent reader of your beautiful blog. This is the most inspiring story, to remind us what we are, who we are at times when our iman and faith drifting away. Masya allah, thank you for sharing.

Ika

Rina Zulkifli said...

salam ukhwah...thanks for sharing..it's worth reading. u really inspired me and motivated me..may share this to my friends out there..syukran.

Anonymous said...

Salam ukhwah..

thanks for sharing...u really inspired and motivated me to be a good muslimah..never stop reading your articles..may share this to my friends out there..syukran.

fafa said...

Hello, sha. What an inspiring story! Just came across your blog today and I just wanted to say you write very beautifully. =)

Anonymous said...

Inspiring story this - But consider this situation - when one wants to quit Islam, it is much more difficult to announce it in the open, though quitting a religion can also be as inspiring to someone as entering it is for others. Just my thoughts....

Shahirah Elaiza said...

Anon: I think that completely depends on the society you live in. Of course, within a practicing Muslim community it's not something they would be excited about, and I think it would be the same in any religious community be it Christian, Jewish, etc. Inspiring or not, that's completely in the eye of the beholder.