Assalam alaikum & Peace to all
So, here I was or rather there I was, trying to decide what path to take, do I stay as a Catholic and feel like I am committing a sin, or do I take a new religion and feel lost in it? I remember going through a few weeks of total and utter confusion, what do I do. I even took a 'break' from all the research I was doing to try and let it all sink in...but I always found myself going back and trying to read more about Islam. One day when I was in the chat room, there was this one 'brother' (took forever to get used to saying that and not 'a guy') who said basically: 'ok I'm giving you a week and you need to make your decision if you will say the Shahada or not'.
Hmm...so there it was...crunch time... do it or don't. This was around the Christmas holidays and I was off work, so I had some time but not too much time to look more and think. Funny it's a Christian holy holiday and I am in the middle of a theological debate. So, the holiday
passed by and new year was upon us and I thought that, 'ok I will just do it now', and be done with it. Well it didn't happen, in fact that night (new year's eve) I was in tears, not from this struggle to make a decision but from some other things in my life...so it became a very rocky start to the new year. Went back to work and went back to my old life... not knowing that before the day was out I would be a Muslim. All day that day, I was just replaying what that brother had said...'make your decision'... and I just thought over and over, what am I waiting for?
'Do you believe it is the truth, do you believe in God and his prophets?...' All the answers were yes, but there was this nagging in the back of my mind that if I do this, God will be 'angry' with me for not following the truth. The last thing I wanted to do was to be in more sin and make God angry, I could not bear that at all. People from the chat room kept on saying, 'well this is a test for you, God is testing to see if you will follow the truth'... needless to say this did not help me at all. So, that day at work I just ran through things in my mind...why and why not. I thought: 'ok, I already believe in God as one, never thought of Jesus as 'god', all the prophets I believe in and why not Mohammed as the last one - God had sent many Prophets before so why not one more and who cares what area of the world he came from and what culture it is.' Basically I, without knowing or realizing, was already a Muslim, the only thing missing was actually saying and believing it with all of my heart and mind. This came later that night...
I went home had dinner...etc usual boring stuff and sat down at my computer late that night and made my decision...yes I am going to say the Shahada and make it 'official'. I knew that there were always people in the chat room but I had wondered if there would be someone who would help me to recite the words and be my 'witness' Well I logged in and thought 'ok, if there is someone there then I will say it'. Once again God as all-knowing...made it possible. That brother who had given me the 'ultimatum' was there so I told him 'I want to say it' ...He was like really...and got all flustered and excited. So I went through what the words would be to say, (didn't have
microphone, so it was just 'typed' out) I typed out:
'Ashadu anla la illaha il allah wa ashadu Mohammed abduhu wa rasulluh'
'I bear witness that there is One God and Mohammed is his servant and messenger'
And that was it...he made me re-type it three times. Before typing it out I did recite is out loud and believed with all my heart what I was saying.
I know many will say: 'this is not a real shahada, no witness', no verbal recitation...etc' but I had read earlier that in Islam you do not need a witness...it is enough to believe in your heart truly that this is the way, and you profess to yourself and above all God, that this is what you believe and that is enough.
Announcements were all made to the chat room...and I was overwhelmed by good wishes...and tons of Mashallah's. All I can say is that after that recitation and belief in my heart I felt as
if a really big stone had been lifted from me. They say that when you say your Shahada (profession of faith) all of your previous sins are erased, and you start new. That is exactly how I felt, I was literally shaking from all the emotion of it. I cannot describe the feeling...just peacefulness and
a 'second' chance at doing 'the right thing'
So, now I'm a Muslim...
Oh my God, now what? The real road was just unfolding in front of me...and 'reality' stepped in when I realized that I have obligations that I must do...example prayer...dilemma...Mother at home has no clue about said daughters reversion and said obligations...so the story takes a turn