Fatima Grimm was one of the first German Muslim women to embrace Islam. Born in 1934, she accepted Islam in 1960, during a time when Islam was not a topic of everyday life in Germany. She gained great prominence as a German convert and worked for different German Muslim organizations. She died in 2013 in the city of Hamburg.
Searching For Universal Rules
Before I accepted Islam, I was looking for universal rules. I wanted rules to hold on to. Rules that actually have validity. Even back then, in the late 1950s, there seemed to be a tendency towards individualism.
Everybody claimed to have found the truth. Everybody had different norms. And interpreted rules according to their personal taste. That confused me.
Weren’t there any universal rules? And who was able to come up with these kind of universal rules? A great philosopher? Some genius? And how long would these universal rules then be applicable?
Searching for God
All my pondering led me back to the question about God. My heart had already affirmed His existence. There was no question about that. All the good that happened to me, must have had a divine source.
My heart wanted to show gratitude. But to whom? Who was God? Was He the father-God sitting on a cloud in the heaven? Or was He the suffering god on the cross? Or this smiling figure from the far east? I wanted to give gratitude to God. But my heart wanted to be absolutely sure about God. There was no compromising on sincerity. And it had to be with complete conviction.
That is the Truth
After I survived a critical surgery, I continued searching for the purpose in life. Why was I still alive? Then, for the first time, I consciously came in contact with Islam. I was still wary because of all the disappointments with my search for the divine truth I had made before.
So I read the Quran. I talked to the very few Muslims around me. And my heart could only say: Yes. That’s it. That is the truth. I did not find any unbridgeable contradictions. Everything made perfect sense. And that was when I started to feel inner peace inside my heart. It was a victory.
Only the First Step
However, becoming Muslim was only the first step. And to keep that inner peace needs constant working, learning, trusting in God. I learned that it was extremely important to follow the rules given to us by Allah. Only by following His rules, we can feel inner peace.
That includes especially praying. Meeting our Lord five times every day. Only if we have the inner peace in our heart, we can try and go out. To spread peace.
However, we should do this not through tiresome preaching. But by being a good example. By living Islam in our daily life. And by living peace in our everyday interactions with other people.
Keeping Our Inner Peace
If we want to keep our inner peace, we have to ground ourselves in deep knowledge and recognition of God. Allah’s holy book, the Quran, is an infinite source of inner peace.
Reading and pondering the Quran everyday is a steady and reliable help in our everyday life. And we should always realize that the life in this world is only temporary. By realizing this, we will be freed from the most difficult fears of this world. The fear of death.
As Muslims, we know that we will return to our Lord, the Most Forgiving, the Most Merciful. And inshaAllah we will be given a place in His paradise.
(From Discovering Islam archive)