23 Nov Mina’s Story
I grew up as a Christian but my parents weren’t really practicing so as a teenager religion was not really a priority in my family. But I felt things happened for a reason, following a defined scheme and I had the need to get closer to God. At a certain point in my life, I started questioning the religion my family followed. I had the chance to meet some Muslims that made me get closer to Islam, in particular a classmate.
From time to time, during philosophy and history class, our teacher asked her questions about her faith or culture to understand her better and sometimes she compared the new ideas we studied with some concepts in Islam. I became interested and started to make my own research on the internet. I felt like I needed to show myself that Islam was not as bad as media were portraying it. I was sure this proof was in the Qur’an so I started to read it and to listen to its recitation, in the evenings under my bed sheets and later on at any time during the day. I knew my parents would have never approved that but I just couldn’t stay away from the beauty of Islam.
As I was reading the Qur’an I felt in peace and it was like my heart started to beat again, some verses just got stuck in my mind and in my heart. Some of them were:
3.29: ‘Say (to the believers): “Whether you keep secret what is in your bosoms or reveal it, God knows it. He knows whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. God has full power over everything. “’
33.51: “God knows (O people) whatever is in your hearts. God is indeed All-Knowing, All-Clement.”
I remember reading some other verses and falling in prostration with so many beautiful feelings. I thought it was going to be an important change if I had to convert and since I was still worried about the opinion of people around me, I decided to take little steps and hide my faith. So I started praying by my own following the information I could find on the internet.
Once or twice my parents nearly caught me up so for a period I decided to stay away from the whole matter. But I couldn’t. My heart felt something was missing. One day I went to a bookshop with my best friend and I saw a book by Al-Ghazali called ‘the libra of action and other writings’. I got curious and while my friend was searching for other books I checked on it. It seemed related to Islam and Islamic philosophy. Philosophy was one of my favourite subjects and I loved to learn about different ways of thinking so I had to give it a try and as I came home I searched more about it and then borrowed it from a local library.
In December 2017 me and my family were having a particular hard time. My mom’s cancer had come back, she had tried a new therapy but nothing seemed to work and we were waiting for doctor’s opinion. Despite everything my first thought was “Allah”. I knew that I could do nothing to help mom but Allah could. I relied on Him. On 27th December I was reading that book by Al-Ghazali suddenly I closed it and told myself “okay let’s go pray”. I have been praying since then. Doctor found another new therapy for mom and she started to feel better. Alhamdulillah.
I kept practicing my faith by my own for some months asking Allah to guide me to the right path but then as Ramadan approached I had some questions: if I needed to recite my shahadah (testimony of faith to become officially muslim) in a mosque, how to deal with my situation, what to do if I could not fast etc.
On 17/05/2018, first day of Ramadan, I recited my shahadah. I am still learning and practicing the religion.
5.83. When they hear what has been sent down to the Messenger, you see their eyes brimming over with tears because they know something of its truth (from their own Books); and they say, “Our Lord! We do believe (in Muhammad and the Qur’an); so inscribe us among the witnesses (of the truth in the company of his community).