I was born into an atheist German family. Nobody in my family believed in God. We did not go to church, we did not worship anything, we did not pray.
However, from very early childhood, I felt that something big, something amazing was watching over me. I never really lost this feeling of protection but it took a long time until it pushed me to search for its source.
Interest in Other Cultures
I have always had an interest in other cultures and I liked traveling. That is why I started studying cultural studies. There I learned that religions are a part of culture.
I just saw religions as an interesting cultural phenomenon. I read about Buddhism, Christianity, different indigenous belief systems. And I read part of the Thorah, the Bible and also the Quran. At the same time, I still had this special feeling inside that somehow connected me with what I called a higher being. And then one day, I just wanted to know whether this feeling had any base or was just a feeling. That is why I made some sort of experiment.
My Experiment With Dua
I thought that this warm feeling of protection must surely have a source. So I asked the source of this feeling to guide me to it. I made a supplication. But nothing happened. I was disappointed because I wanted a miracle to happen right away.
I had read a lot about people of different beliefs describing so called miracles. Was it all fraud? Or had they just imagined the miracle?
For sure, it did not work for me. So, where did my feeling come from? Was I just imagining it? But I had it since childhood. The exact same feeling of being protected by some great Being.
An Unexplained Experience
Then, a few days later, I sat near my window and looked outside. It was a beautiful afternoon in spring. The first small light green leaves decorated the trees. The birds sung beautifully. And the sun was shining. It was perfect.
I observed the beauty and then I had these unexplained feelings and sensations. It was like I could feel the beauty in my whole body. I felt a warm sensation running down my spine. Butterflies were flying in my stomach. I had goosebumps on my arms. And the warm feeling of protection seemed to wash in waves through my body and my whole being. I sat still and just felt these sensations.
The Answer to My Dua
I was still in awe of what was happening to me. But I managed to stand up and walk to the bookshelf. As if my hand was ordered what to do, I took the Quran that was standing next to the Bible and the Thorah. I walked back to my chair and opened the book. I opened it somewhere in the middle and read the following verse:
Allah has sent down the best statement: a consistent Book wherein is reiteration. The skins shiver therefrom of those who fear their Lord; then their skins and their hearts relax at the remembrance of Allah . That is the guidance of Allah by which He guides whom He wills. And one whom Allah leaves astray – for him there is no guide. (39:23)
I was astonished. I was perplexed. This experience, this verse was the answer to my dua that I had made a few days earlier. I read the verse many times. This verse talked to me. It explained what I had felt since childhood. It explained the strange experience that made me get up and open the Quran.
Acknowledging My Lord
My dua, the special experience that followed it and the verse from the Quran that explained it, was reason enough for me to accept Islam. I did not know any Muslims at that time. I did not have Muslim friends or Muslim neighbors.
At night I sat down on the floor. I talked to my Lord. I spoke to Allah and I thanked Him for His guidance and I spoke my shahadah. It was just me and Allah as witness. Alhamdulillah.
An Exciting Journey
Ever since, it has been an exciting, interesting but also challenging journey. I have met other sisters on the way. The support system we have developed is crucial because many of us do not have any family support.
I would like to tell everybody who is currently searching for God or for their way of life to listen to their feelings. Listen to your inner voice. Don’t listen to what other people tell you. Don’t listen to the voices that like to threaten you that you will not be able to handle your new life. You are responsible for your success in this world and in the next life.
This is Anna’s story. She converted to Islam a few years ago in her hometown in Germany.