Salam (Peace) Kenyah,
I am happy to hear that you are interested in becoming a Muslim, and I pray that God will guide you and help you in this.
You can try looking on the Islamic Finder or any other search engine on the Internet for mosques or Islamic centers near you.
But let me also give you some advice about telling your family about your desire to be Muslim.
You give your age as 25 to 35 which means that you are old enough to be financially independent of your family, though you do not say whether you are still living with your parents. If you are living independently, your conversion to Islam should be much easier.
Therefore, it might be wise to take steps to become independent (if you are not already) before declaring your Islam to your family.
And if you are so moved to become Muslim, you might declare your shahadah (Testimony of Faith) but not tell your family about it for some time, perhaps several months or more.
Some Christian churches teach that parents should totally reject any child who leaves the church. But if your best friend from childhood was Muslim, it would seem that your family must have been somewhat tolerant to allow you to have such a friend.
And from that relationship, they might have some idea of what Muslims believe in, though they might also have a lot of misconceptions mixed in there.
You say that your family is strict. I don’t know in what way you mean, but many of your beliefs and practices as a Muslim will be in accord with that. I imagine that strict Christians do not drink alcohol, gamble, or commit adultery.
All of these prohibitions are also present in Islam, so you should have few problems in that way (imagine on the other hand if your family expected you to join them in drinking parties; it would be much more difficult for you as a Muslim to hide your Islam).
You say that your family would be “horrified” if you became Muslim. Without knowing more about your family and what denomination they belong to, I can’t judge what their reaction is likely to be. If you truly believe that your parents would reject you as a Muslim, then you should prepare yourself both financially and spiritually for that possibility.
I would suggest that before you actually commit yourself to Islam — or at least before you tell your family of your decision — you do several things:
Your best friend was Muslim, but how much did your friend know about Islam and how much correct information did she give you? Therefore, you must learn as much as you can about the correct teachings.
2. Make friends with other women at the mosques and make contacts with the imams. Explain your situation so that if you do become Muslim, you will have someone who can help you if you need it.
3. Slowly introduce the subject to your family, but not in terms of I want to be Muslim. You might bring up the subject of your childhood friend by saying, remember my old friend? She was so nice. I wonder where she is now? Later you might say something like: My old friend was a Muslim. She had such good manners (or whatever you can truthfully and positively say about her Islamic behavior).
4. Talk in general terms about what Muslims believe with an emphasis on how similar they are to Christians. Muslims accept Jesus as a messenger and prophet of God; they believe in his virgin birth and in his return to rule before the end of time.
Over time your family will get a hint of your intentions. You can judge from their reactions how to proceed from there.
Remember that Islam should make you a better person. You should move slowly into Islam and not go to extremes in any way. You can work on developing your relationship with Allah.
Learn how to pray the five daily prayers (salah), and eventually, if you can, learn how to read the Qur’an. Spend lots of time supplicating Allah to help you. Read stories about the Companions of the Prophet to become stronger in your faith. Many of them were rejected, imprisoned, or tortured by their families or masters, yet they never gave up their faith.
Thank you again for your question. If you have any more, please send them to us. May Allah guide you on your path and make things easy for you. Salam.
(From About Islam’s archive)
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