Islam has been described as being the religion of Fitrah, the innate nature of all humans. It is not surprising therefore when we discover that Islam is being accepted as the only pure way of life a person can follow by millions of reverts around the world.
Statistics show that out of every 5 who revert to Islam, 4 are females. This blows away the false concept that Islam is a repressive religion for women.
The following is one account of a sister who submitted to Allah as her Lord, took Islam as her religion, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as her Messenger.
I have always, since developing an ability to think deeply, believed in the existence of a single Creator, on whom everything that exists is dependent.
Though my parents are Buddhist, from the age of 13, I have steadfastly prayed to this Creator and yielded guidance from every day that I can remember. Yet, being schooled within a Christian environment, I naturally identified myself as a Christian.
Sadly, my knowledge of Islam was minimal. I perceived it as a bizarre religion, limited to only a few underdeveloped nations, most of which were in the Middle East, and which endorsed an astoundingly suppressive lifestyle, particularly for women.
Muslim women, I presumed, were considered inferior, a passive domestic slave, bashed often and forced to compete among four for her husband’s affections, which he could withhold from them all if he wanted to.
The majority of these ideas I developed from hearsay, interactions with others I assumed knew what they were talking about and a few documentaries on Iran and Saudi Arabia I watched on television.
As I entered university nearly three years ago, I came into contact with quite a number of Muslim students from various backgrounds. Strangely enough, even to myself, I was drawn to them and developed a curious inclination to learn and understand more about their religion.
I observed how content they seemed and was very impressed by their openness and warmth toward myself and each other, but more importantly with their pride in belonging to a religion which holds many negative connotations.
I gradually became fascinated with Islam, and through a process of education, developed a greater respect for it than even my beloved Christianity.
I was stunned at how wrong my previous conception had been and became particularly overwhelmed at the tremendous entitlements, equality and acknowledgment Islam provided for women.
I realized the reality of the Islamic lifestyle and the truth concerning that feeble American innovation termed “Islamic fundamentalism.”
It is said that any person who possesses the faulty of reason and an open mind should recognize logic and truth when he/she encounters it, and so it was in my case.
More and more, literature, signs and evidence were revealed to me, and more and more, my intellect was stimulated and my heart warmed. I wanted to know everything about Islam and felt already a sense of brotherhood with and belonging among its followers.
What impressed me the most was how practical Islam is: How it encompasses a rule and a lesson for almost every facet of living! And by the sheer grace of God, I at last understood the faults of Christian theology and of the concepts I had previously accepted unquestioningly.
At midday, on August 4th, 1994, before over 20 witnesses, I recited the shahadah and became an official Muslim.
I shall never forget the bliss of that day and how much my life has turned around in only a year’s time.
I have often been asked what it is like to be a revert and of the difficulties I must endure. Though I do not wish to dwell on this topic, as pity is not my priority, I shall give some examples of what I have been through.
The period up till the end of Ramadan was, by far, the hardest to get through. Family disputes took place almost daily; I was showered with verbal abuse, ridicule and threats.
On many occasions, my room was physically torn apart, books mysteriously disappeared and slanderous phone messages were sent to my friends and their parents.
There have been times I have been locked out of home and forced to abstain from dinner as pork was deliberately served.
Even to this day, all my mail is opened before I have the chance to do so myself. Apart from my housing and meals, I must provide for myself financially.
My readings, as my conversations over the phone are done in privacy. My writings and my visits to mosques or other Islamic venues must always be concealed. I am similarly not able to visit friends very often as I may be “brain-washed” even more.