Because of my curiosity, I started reading the skipped chapters... And right there in my history book were the tenets of faith in Islam as a description of what Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. They described what I held to be true in my heart.
As I was looking at the House of God, I remembered my home in northern California, surrounded by beautiful mountains, lakes, rivers, and green scenery. I always thought I was living in paradise on earth until I saw the Ka'bah.
What do you see when you drive down a busy Madinah street? Madinah is divided into several districts. Ann Reese, who embraced Islam on January 1, 1989 and thereafter adopted the name Anisah, lives in the district of Al-Khaldia. Born and raised in Northern Illinois, Anisah is grateful for the blessing of having spent the past thirteen years living in Madinah...
I looked around at my Muslim friends at work. These were good people, not terrorists. I began talking to them. At first, I was interested in the geopolitical aspects of what was going on. Why did "they" hate "us"?
If we are humble and honest with ourselves, we will see that many of the ways we judge others are a direct cause of the hardships we ourselves face. Absolutely none of us is immune to sin, and God has used our sin, time and time again, to remind us that we are not better than anyone else.
I felt a rushing sensation go through me which felt like a thorough cleansing. I felt pure and was given lightness, peace and genuine happiness. I had never felt such innocent gladness like that in my life.
That night I had a very powerful dream that I am drowning. I knew this dream was important and I had a feeling it was something to do with God or Islam. I searched for some words from my dream as ‘Islam’, ‘hands’, ‘five’, ‘pearl’ on my phone and came up with some answers.
I tested myself to see if I remembered different swimming styles. Once a swimmer, always a swimmer! It was an incredible afternoon, but one of the things I found so encouraging wearing my new burkini at the beach that day, was finding numerous other burkini wearers, too.
I decided to read the Quran. And the purpose of reading the Quran was because I wanted to learn what Muslims believed because I wanted to evangelize them so that they would become Christians. I knew that the Quran was the holy book of Muslims because I had read missionary literature that described the Quran and described Islam.
I could smell the mercy and the sweetness of heaven, felt the presence of God in my torn, sick heart. I felt clean brightness in my new way of life. My life was ready for the next journey on earth, the journey to Paradise.
I was stunned. Weren’t Iraqi women not allowed to have educations? Didn’t they have to stay home? Why wasn’t she dressed like the women I’d seen on television? I had to know more.