Assalam alaikum & Peace to all...
Welcome to another part of 'my story' ...
We left off with my 'revelation' of sorts. You may think that because I saw those words:
"O followers of the Book! Why do you disbelieve in the communications of Allah while
you witness them" 3:70
that instantly I was transformed and believed and all that...well nothing in life is really that easy!
Yes, I had been emotionally, spiritually and even physically moved by those words and had to take a moment to recover. I mean it is no little thing that happened... I mean I literally take this as God talking to me! (ok, its no burning bush but this was enough to shake my very view of Islam and
where my place in it has to be) Life is not like it is in the movies...it has a beginning, a middle, and and ending...but it is not neatly packaged to fit into a two hour time frame...nope, it takes months or even years for things to change! I don't exactly remember when or how...but after that time I had to get more information about Islam, see and judge for myself what all this is about.
I told my future husband about the verse that I saw, his response:
"oh there are many verses like this in the Quran" ...
Hmm...I guess it was one of those 'you had to be there' moments... I mean for him it was another verse (beautiful and meaningful as it was) it was nice that I had seen that verse but he didn't know
what my feelings and thoughts were...or how I came about seeing that verse. I think I told him later on about it...then he was like, 'OH!'...anyway...that's men for you!
Months progressed and I used the Internet to its fullest potential... I surfed, waved, copied, pasted all the information I could. Eventually I found a web site on MSN that had information on Islam but the best...it had a chat room! Light bulb....moment. This is where I could find 'real' life
Muslims and ask them all those burning questions in my mind. Ok, admittedly I set out to defend my Christianity and prove or find some way that my beliefs were not all wrong. Well,God as most wise and most knowledgeable...pushed me a different direction. I visited that page often... and I was introduced as the non-Muslim. Well...then the questions started up,who, what, where, why, why not, ...etc came up. I actually enjoyed most of it really. I mean this was my chance to see 'real' Muslims in action and see what they do and say! Most of it was good...some was just scary (radical thoughts that would have easily scared me into a corner had I not known that 'all people' are different' and take it 'with a grain of salt' ). What I did not find 'fun' was when they would say things about Christianity and I had to defend it...sadly I could not and that at first made me angry. I mean why couldn't I be able to defend it... and most importantly .... how was it that all these Muslims could defend all my accusations?? That set me off in another thought direction... " If I could not defend my religion...one as I believed was sent by God and was a true revelation, is it really a 'true' faith?" I focused on that and people in the chat group tried to explain to me that Islam is the 'truth' and that because they could so easily defend it ...that it was the only way. Hmm...well good ...so now what? I started to think. I remember getting really angry... and frustrated...I would find loop polls in Islam,
(at least I thought they were) and with renewed vigor I would come to the chat room, full of new zeal to say ...'haha...you were wrong here is ...blah blah", only to be 'shot' down and proved wrong. A kick to my theological ego for sure. But after the anger faded...I actually listened and analyzed their reasoning and found logic in it... yes, logic! Logic is the one aspect that Christianity does not have (and Ichallenge any Christian who reads this to tell me there is sound logic and fact in it.) So,
instead of coming to the chat room with anger and taking a defensive stand...I listened instead to what they believed and what they wanted to relate to me. Found that that was a much more conducive way to learn!
Probably a few months passed...actually now that I think about it ...I joined that site in October 04 and said my "Shahada" on January 2005. So, I guess in the span of about 3 months I realized that I was lost...totally and utterly lost in a sea of knowledge. I went through a whole range of emotions,
everything from confusion, anger, loss, hopefulness, hopelessness, fear, joy (are there anymore emotions left?) I just didn't know if I could go through with making such a big change...I mean this is life altering here...its not like choosing a new pair of pants.
This is about religion, about life, about God really. Ah ha, now here it was the ultimate dilemma I was facing. I always saw myself as religious in terms that I believed strongly in God and feared Him, and wanted to do good in my life. Simple huh? Well yes, it was. What was in front of me at that time pointed to the fact that I was committing a sin, by believing what I believed. I was terrified by the fact that I was in sin, that I unknowingly was doing something 'bad' and God would be angry with me. Now, you may think this was about Islam, well no it was about Christianity as well...
basically...which one do I follow? I had the path laid out in front of me..and wanted to follow it..but where was the handy map that would help me to see where I am going to?....
On to part IV...