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I Was Doing Well According to Our Western Standards

I Was Doing Well According to Our Western Standards
This realization was a big relief. It was the first light to fill this black burning emptiness inside of me.

I had everything I needed. I had a good job. And I had my own apartment. So, I was successful according to our worldly standards. I should have been happy. Everything was going well.

However, I felt empty. A strange emptiness. I was a Christian but Christianity was not able to fill this burning emptiness. When my long term relationship did not work out, this emptiness inside my heart turned into a huge black hole that was ready to swallow me.

 Just One Muslim

I am from a small town in Mexico, about 1,5 hour drive from Mexico City. There are no Muslims in this town. All I knew about Muslims and Islam was from the media. I believed that they were basically all terrorists and that nothing good could come from them.

However, I had one Muslim friend. She had converted to Islam several years before and moved away from Mexico. She was married to a Muslim man and had already children. So she was the one who stood by me in my most difficult time. She understood my emptiness. She understood the black hole that was ready to swallow me.

And instead of lecturing me about how to get my life back on track like all my other friends and family, she just told me about Allah. She told me about His Majesty, His Kindness, His Mercy. She spent hours and hours of her time chatting with me on the Internet.

Allah is My Creator

Through my friend’s selfless efforts, I started to understand that Allah is my Creator. This realization was a big relief. It was the first light to fill this black burning emptiness inside of me. I wanted to worship Allah. I understood that if I worship Allah properly, He will solve my problem. He will give me peace and contentment. Allah will fill the emptiness inside of me.

Then one night, Allah moved my heart. I fell in natural prostration. So, I prostrated in front of Allah. I cried. I wept. And I poured my heart out to my Creator. I asked Him to accept me. To accept my life.

After Three Days I Returned

After one month, I decided to go to a mosque in Mexico City. I wanted to make my accepting Islam official. And I wanted to become officially Muslim.

After I told the guy in the mosque that I wanted to become Muslim, he told me all the requirements I am supposed to do now. All the rules and regulations. Praying, wearing headscarf and so on. I told him, he is crazy and left.

But after three days I returned. I returned with my hijab in my hand and said my shahadah. Since then I have always worn my hijab. And I started my journey to learn how to worship Allah.

How to Worship Him

I wanted to worship Allah because I knew that this was better for me. I started learning the first chapter in the Quran, Al Fatihah. And I learned a few more short chapters. This way I was able to perform the prayer. I changed my life slowly. I set myself goals to achieve certain things in my journey to become more pleasing to Allah.

My religious belief changed. I used to be Christian and believed that Jesus was God’s son. I had prayed to Jesus and asked him. So, I learned that Jesus was only a person and a Prophet. And Allah is the only God. I stopped drinking alcohol and stopped eating pork.

Changes

I also asked Allah to change my job. I worked in a Western Art school and I felt uneasy to combine my job with my new found life with Allah. Alhamdulillah, after one year, I changed my job.

Many people stopped talking to me. And many other people asked questions. Many difficult questions. But with every question, my conviction became stronger. I knew that I had made the right choice to become Muslim. Now I feel that the most important thing is to work on myself. I want to become a better person with every day.

It has been over five years now. Alhamdulillah. A journey I never want to miss. I am married now and mother to a baby. My family has accepted my new belief and way of life. They are happy with me being Muslim because they see that being Muslim makes me happy.

 

This is based on the Gabriella’s story as told by her to the author.


About Claudia Azizah

Claudia Azizah is originally from Germany and mother of two children, writer and Assistant Professor at the International Islamic University in Malaysia. She has recently moved to Malaysia with her family after completing her PhD in Germany about Islam and Islamic education in Indonesia. She regularly writes for the German Islamic newspaper. She is interested in Islamic spirituality and art.

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