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Saturday, December 15, 2012

How a Spanish sister converted to Islam

My name is Maria, my father worked all his life in the Spanish consulate in a Moroccan city. So I grew up there. My life spent divided between two cultures and religions, Spanish and Catholic life with my parents and in the school and my life  Moroccan and Muslim, with my friends, and in the day to day.
My parents always made ​​sure that even if I lived in a Muslim country, my faith was anchored to Catholicism, so we were always there where they were practicing something religious and even started to give to a very small age, Bible lessons.
In vacacciones for Christmas, my parents sent me to my grandparents to enjoy the atmosphere, the lights, the carols .... And of course, I loved, it seemed everything beautiful.

When I reach adolescence, I started to get away from everything about religion, when it was time for Bible classes, I wanted to go with my friends .... when the time came for religious ceremony in the morning of Sunday, I preferred to fall asleep.
So in the end, my parents decided to send me to Spain to take my university studies.

I felt really bad,  I did not know anyone, and people did not act like I was used to. I felt out of place, confused. In the university I  met two Spanish girls, who seemed very nice, funny, a little crazy and I encourage to meet with them from time to time.

Through them I met my first husband with whom I married when I was 18 years old. He was of Nigerian origin, always with Bible in hand, prayed when he got up, before he sleeps and put on his  best clothes to go to church on Sunday.
My family never accepted my husband, and that made me away from them. Then I thought we were happy, we travel, we went to restaurants, nightclubs, ...... even went to meet his family.
But that all changed once  he obtained a stable residence in Spain, he came out, he was going to clubs and traveling .... while I was studying in the morning and working in the afternoon.
My husband became jealous, selfish, and especially violent. He beat me, for anything from whether  I was  late from the work , even if one day the food had too much salt...But his family always told me the same thing, if he hits you is  because he loves you, if a man does not loves you  he  leaves you. And because I love him , and my estrangement from my family, I accepted and quiet.
But of course everything got more and more, he cheated me, he lied me .... and violence came to the point that the neighbors called the police. I wanted to get a divorce, but  I did not know what to do next, ....where to go,... someone to turn to.
A day  he cames  home at midnight, drunk,  he wake up me and asked me to come down and buy a bottle of alcohol,  I had three hours to class. I refused and the battle began, I spent two days in hospital and  he was arrested.

I called my best friend from morocco, I explained her what  happened and the next day her family sent me money to take a plane and go back to Morocco, I spent some years with them, seeing how lthe Muslim life was, the way  they treated the mother , and how they treat neighbors, how  women were respected... and then  ................. Allah guided me to Islam.
 I recover contact with my family and  after to get my divorce ,got married

Today I  make spanish dawah to Islam, and especially  I try to show people what it is indicating in  the Quran and Sunnah regarding women.

Alhamdulillah for everything, my past, my present, and my future in shaa Allah.

Friday, December 14, 2012

How I became Muslim .

Salam Alaikum everyone, 

My journey to Islam was definitely a stressful but peaceful one. I felt peace in my heart but stress in my mind. So here is my story, I would describe myself as the normal American girl, I was new to the college scene and loving every second of it but I always felt something missing. I grew up in a really small town, with close minded people, you know the ones who call all arabs "terrorists", well I used to be one of the ignorant ones. Alhumdulillah, Allah guides whom he wills, and he guided me. . I grew up in a divorced family, and my mom re-married by the time I was 5 years old. I began having a really close relationship with my new step father and in time he became like a real father to me. I wasn't very close with my biological father so I always referred to my step father as being my biological one as well. So my mom is Christian, and my step father is Jewish. We would all go to Church on occasion, but we never really talked about religion nor learned about it. We were those people who always went only on special occasions, like Easter and homecoming. I remember when I would go to Sunday School and I would feel so out of place, and I couldn't understand the meaning to anything we discussed. I remember when I wanted to pray, I just put my hands together and would say "Thank you Jesus, Thank you God, .." Then I would ask for whatever I wanted. 

So by the time I was 16 I became very rebellious, I was spending a lot of time with my friends, out having fun, nothing too bad, but still not acceptable in my eyes now. I got in a bit of trouble, and I faced some challenges that some people would never have to face in their lifetime. I ended up leaving my parents house and moving to my grandparents during my senior year. After I graduated high school I began college where I had a class with a girl I went to high school with and we became close. We ended up staying together alot, and I became a bit wild. She began dating a Muslim at the university, and I was introduced to some of his friends. About a month before this I actually watched a documentary on MTV called "True Life: Resist the power of Saudi Arabia" I recorded it on TV and watched it many times, and I felt really bad for the people there. Growing up my parents also taught me that muslim women had no rights, and that we should feel sorry for them. I remember watching the news with my step father and he told me that if our troops left Iraq, who will be there to help the women? So anyways, I went with my friend and we began meeting many muslims at our university, mostly from Saudi Arabia, but one specifically I met first. I remember the questions I asked him first, which were so bad. He laughed and would show me things in the Quran, one of the first things he showed me was a hadith because I asked him about women in Islam. He showed me this : It was narrated by Abu Hurayrah that a man came to the Prophet and asked him: 'Who is most deserving of my close companionship?' He replied: “Your mother; your mother; your mother; then your father; then the next closest to you in kinship; then the one next closest.”
After I read that, I felt alot better and began to read about Islam myself. 

For the next year and a half I read about Islam off and on, and I became more interested in it the more I read. I would always read about many religions, because I was seeking the right religion to practice, and I always came back to Islam. I knew that there was a God, but I just didn't know how to worship. I was seeking set laws to follow, I was seeking the real way of life. So as time went on I continued studying, partying, hanging out with my friends, and doing so many other things. I had many muslim men friends who were teaching me things about Islam, and finally they just told me "Its time", they said you need to go to the mosque, you have to do it, you're Muslim! So finally, I decided to go on a Friday, I drove there, and I arrived about an hour before Jummah. I watched everyone walk in, finally I walked up to two separate people, and they both ignored me, or said they are busy. So I remember going back to the car upset. I called my friend who encouraged me to go back to speak with the Imam. I sat in my car, because at this point I was scared and upset. After watching everyone walk out and leave the masjid, I saw a few people standing outside so I went and approached the masjid and was greeted by a man. I told him I was interested in Islam, and he told me to come back that evening to meet his wife, another American convert. I went back that night, and I ended up growing really close with this woman.

About two weeks later, I took my Shahada, which was in September of 2011. After that I told my family, they weren't really surprised as they knew that I had muslim friends. My step father of course encouraged me to read the Torah and began giving me a lecture about Judaism and Israel stuff, and I asked him to read the Quran, which he refused. My parents completely rejected me being Muslim, they told me I was an embarrassment to our family, to our name, and all of that. They told me I was no longer invited to family gatherings, and I wasn't allowed to come to my brothers games. They told me I looked stupid wearing a scarf around my head. It was really hard at first, I remember crying and praying. I felt like an out of place when I was with my family. I remember it became so bad I thought about going back to before, I thought to myself, what if I just forget all of this, and go back to how things were before, and make it easier for me, and easier on my family. After I actually thought that to myself I came to a conclusion, I came to realization that the only religion for me is Islam, and the only religion I will ever follow is Islam. 

I realized that I have to be patient, and that Allah will make things easier for me. Everyday is a struggle, I admit, but it is completely worth it. I was looking for God, and I found exactly what I was looking for. I found Islam, the true path. I was looking for a way to worship God, and I found that in prayer. I remember hearing the Athan, and watching the prayer, and then understanding the prayer. Masha'Allah I just love it. I can't express the feeling I feel when I pray, I truly feel like I am worshipping Allah, my Creator. If I ever found something I didn't agree with about Islam, after I really thought about it, it is true and it is right, and it has meaning. I was looking for set laws and guidance, and Islam gave me that. Islam filled the place in my heart that was missing. Islam made me whole again.