My name is Rasheed. I’m from Florida, in the United States. I came to Islam in December of 2004 when I was 17.
I want to tell my story of how I came to Islam, and maybe give some advice to people who are trying to find their path In-Shaa-Allah.
Generally I was like a church kid, I was raised in the Southern Baptist church. I went to church very frequently; Bible studies and services, so I knew my Bible. I was not very knowledgeable, but knowledgeable enough for a kid of thirteen to seventeen years when I’d really gone into it.
How I Perceived Islam
Before converting, I was a very strong believer in the Trinitarian Christian faith, as I was a Southern Baptist, and I was very firm in this faith. I didn’t know much about Islam to have an opinion. I think that was a kind of self-imposed ignorance because of how the media portrays Islam. So I didn’t want to go there, as I was afraid of what I might learn. So I thought whatever the news told me basically.
I didn’t know much about Islam, but I had actually done my fair share of homework on Buddhism, Hinduism, and that was based on pure curiosity and interest in Eastern cultures.
Having been brought up in the Christian faith, going to Bible studies you get a kind of cursory basic information about Judaism because the Old Testament is incorporated into the Bible.
So, I knew a little bit about Judaism, basic tenets of Hinduism and Buddhism, Taoism not much, Shinto a little. So the major religions I did look a little into the basics at first.
I never went on like a journey to find the truth because being raised in the church as firmly as I had been, I always assumed that I was upon it already.
So what actually happened was that there was another revert brother that I went to school with, we were pretty good friends at the time.
But having been raised in this Christian environment, and finding out that he had left the faith that I loved so much, I was personally offended that he chose to leave it.
So I took it upon myself, as kind of a crusade, to bring my friend back to the church, witnessed to him and all this kind of thing, but without knowing anything about his religion.
I tried my best, and through that what I had to do is finally research about Islam on my own, and through asking him also, as we would have various kinds of debates on doctrinal issues.
So we discussed, and he would teach me this aspect of Islam and that aspect. It made sense to me, and I had nothing to say. So as this went on, actually my mission to bring him out of Islam led me to Islam.
Yes, I didn’t go on a search for truth as some people do. But I guess Allah guided me in the way that He did, Alhamdulillah.
Life After Islam
I can be totally honest and say my life hasn’t really changed that much because of how I was raised. My lifestyle didn’t change very much. I just picked up the few extra prayers per day and stopped eating pork. I didn’t indulge in alcohol at that time anyway, so I didn’t have to really leave it.
Belief in God as in the Trinitarian doctrine I always just accepted because that’s what we believed, but I didn’t understand it. So if you don’t understand something how can you really say that you believe it?
A Complete Way of Life
From the bottom of my heart I have to say just do it, because to me speaking from reason it is the only way of life that people should be following. It’s the complete way of life that you won’t find in any other religion. And it’s the most logical doctrine you can say you won’t find in any other religion. Islam makes perfect sense, and the way of life that is encouraged and commanded by God is the perfect way of life.
My advice would be to just make sure that that’s what you want for yourself, and just do it. Don’t worry and put your trust in God. Also, if you have any Muslim friends that may be teaching you about Islam, then ask them. Don’t be shy to ask them to bring you to the mosque they go to, to talk to their Imam.
So, if you have decided to take on this path, then congratulations. You will have my prayers for continued guidance and success in this life and in the next life; the real life.
My advice would be:
Just be wary from where you get information from. Don’t be hasty to join up with a sect with slogans and all these things.
Learn your information, go slow; it is the beginning of the path. You’ve just started. You just cannot attain ultimate truth within a year or something.
Take your time. Always make sure to purify your intentions, and whatever you’re doing is for the sake of Allah, and in His worship.
I hope my words could benefit you in some way, and inspire you to progress on the path.
Keep me in your prayers.