I did not choose Islam, it chose me, or rather Allah directed me, pushed me, gave me no choice. My life turned in a direction that was not on my GPS, not in my mental framework, not in any aspect of potential, and had never been in my mind. It was completely unexpected.
I was sitting at the computer and either realized something or I became aware of something. I can only describe the next moments and hours and few days as being in a drug like state that was beyond my control. Allah knows I like to be in control and I feel very unsafe when I am not, but this time I did not feel unsafe.
In that moment I felt an energy on my right side hovering over me and a voice that said something like, “Choose Islam and you will never be alone again.”
I did not question and immediately used the computer to search for Islamic women’s organizations. I found IWAQ and sent an email. After thirty minutes, nothing; no patience. I found the number and called. No answer so I left a message.
Finally, a call from a man whose voice was soft and kind. My biggest concern was that I was Jewish and thought this would be a problem; instead he said, “We’re all Jewish before we were Muslim.”
I still had no idea what I was doing, I was still in a dream state and I was still not questioning what I was doing. This is very unlike me.
Forgiveness of My Past Sins
Then another man from the local mosque called. I took my first Shahadah and he said, “Now your slate has been wiped clean, you are new with Allah.”
I was forgiven for all my past, how could this be? How could God forgive this woman for all her sins? I was in a deep state of grief and gratitude and I needed time to process. I went home and laid on my bed and cried and cried for two days. Did God actually love me and think me worthy to be forgiven? Me? I didn’t think I deserved such forgiveness, or a second chance to be a better person.
My Turning Point
However, my journey to Islam actually began in January 2012 when I left the PhD program and decided to go to India for Ayurvedic treatment. I was offered two centers to go to, one was very traditional, simple, and the other was more of a resort with swimming pool and air con. I wanted the resort, nevertheless, I prayed about it.
The first night I prayed I awoke with the traditional center as an answer. Not convinced I prayed a second night and the same answer. Still not convinced, or wanting the resort as the answer, I prayed a third night, again the same answer. I called out to God and said, “OK, you win. I will go to where you lead.” I submitted from that moment.
India changed my life in so many ways. I met a woman who owned a school and I was invited to return to take on the role of Principal and make changes: a massive project.
Over the following 18 months I worked and lived in India with intermittent trips to Australia. In the school owner’s house I could hear the Adhan every morning and found myself waking before the call in expectation.
Everywhere I traveled in India there was a mosque, and it seemed that each new town the mosque became closer and the Adhan louder.
My final adventure was to Kashmir. The room of my hotel looked onto a mosque that had the loudest Adhan, so loud my room vibrated. Oddly enough I met more Muslims than Hindus in India, and six months after I returned to Australia, I took Shahadah. I always say, “Allah knows me, He had a long term plan for me, and He ‘called’ me to Islam.”
By submitting to His will in going to the center He has showed me that every subsequent experience was my initiation. Left to me I would never have become Muslim, so there is no question Allah had absolute control.
No matter how difficult the tests are, no matter how much I am ridiculed, I cannot deny Allah or the path He has laid for me. Subhan Allah.