So, this is part II...(I don't know how many parts there will be! ) I left off with me being in High school and not really focusing on religion. I was not the typical teen who had tons of dates and went out a lot...mostly a geeky type and had a few really close friends...anyway without going into tons of meaningless details. I basically was your ordinary teen with problems and stuff going on! Religion was something personal and I was fine with that. I didn't feel that I had any problems with my religion...I did not do what the church asked nor did I feel any guilt for that. I did not agree with
many of their ideologies, which was fine in my opinion. I believed in God and that was it...I didn't need anything else in my life! I remember that in grade 11 I took a world religions course..and Islam was one of the religions that we studied...unfortunately I really don't remember much of it! But one thing I do remember was the teacher saying that 'Muslims will stop whatever they are doing and pray 5 times a day' I remember thinking, 'well that's nice...you take time out of your day to pray'
So years went by I graduated and went to College....more years went by and I still was believing the same about myself and religion...I am Catholic I would say when someone would ask...albeit a non practicing one, along with probably 2 million others who claim to be catholic. So you're probably asking...'ok when did she have this big religious crisis! what made her change?' Well, that came along only about 3 years ago or so...
As some of you may know (most not) I am engaged to be married... (oh here it comes the usual..'he must have made her change religions) ...well nope not really. Yes, because of my future husband
I was exposed to Islam more and saw it first hand...well mostly.
Growing up here in north America...I always got bombarded by negative images of Islam and Muslims. I mean I grew up watching the wars in Iran and Iraq and Lebanon etc...There was always the word 'suicide bombers' ... never understood that when I was small...it was just something thing that was happening. You could almost equate Muslims with bombs (this was how the media made it out to be...how horrid I know.)
To be quite honest I never really judged Muslims that way...I would think, 'yeah those are bad people who happen to be Muslim' I never thought that all the people who follow the religion of Islam are terrorists, or bomb makers...or any other negative things associated. But in the back of my mind it was a scary reality that I saw on TV, and it was always...'well that's them...not me'
So now, I am here with a fiancee who is Muslim. When we first met, we were 'dating' yes, ok shock horror...(get over it! ~ we will all have things to answer for at the end of our lives)
I will not get into the discussion here about what kind of Muslim man goes out and dates a woman, nor will I accept anyone who will judge me or my husband based on that ...only God is the judge.... (ok rant over with...if you wish to read more then continue...if not please stop here)
Our relationship grew nicely and we had a good understanding of each other. I never thought about him as being Muslim, that was his religion and that's it. Only a few years later did I start to look into the religion more and kind of casually read things. I would look in my spare time at web sites talking about Islam and what it is and what they do. To be honest I don't remember what the first things I looked at. Actually before doing my Internet research, my future husband bought a book about the
Quran (it had verses in it and a bit of explanations ~ upon looking back it was not the best of book...just not enough information in it) I remember he would look up a verse in his Quran and read it ... I remember him saying what his favourite part was... it was a few passages from Surah Ya-sin...
1. Yâ-Sîn.[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur'ân, and none but Allâh (Alone) knows their meanings.]
11. You can only warn him who follows the Reminder (the Qur'ân), and fears the Most Beneficent (Allâh) unseen. Bear you to such one the glad tidings of forgiveness, and a generous reward (i.e. Paradise).
He read from it and I just listened to it, thinking it was a nice passage. As well, I remember the time when he told me that Muslims believed in Jesus....(I had my mouth drop to the floor) and then came Abraham, Moses..etc so many of the people I knew from the bible. That kind of set off a light bulb in my head....there is something about Islam then ....if there is a shared history of peoples? I mean we all know about these people from the bible...and you believe that these people were alive but when another source confirms it... just makes your belief stronger!
After the readings I started to look at online versions of the Quran and liked how it sounded. Once again I don't remember what I was reading but I did continue it for quite some time. Usually I would look on Fridays at work...(everyone leaves and I would be left alone to read! )
So, it was just another Friday and I sat at my desk...and closed my eyes and said to God
'Ok, if this is real....if this is how things should be and this religion is the true one show my some kind of sign or something so I know that I am not committing some sin in looking into Islam'
I basically had the whole Quran in front of me...on my screen and I closed my eyes and scrolled the page and stopped when I 'felt' I should. I opened my eyes...and this is what I read:
"O followers of the Book! Why do you disbelieve in the communications of Allah while you witness them" 3:70
Well needless to say I was floored...I was literally shaking in my chair...had God just 'spoken' to me? Was there really any need to doubt? If you believe it or not ....this is exactly how it had happened.
If you still are with me and reading...(or lost on page 1) I will post more ... I think this is good for me...I need to re account how this all happened... and if someone finds this a good story then I'm happier...and if someone reads this and feels moved to research Islam more...even better!
Alhamduillah (All praise to God)
Part III...to follow... how exactly do you become a Muslim??? And I need to do