Story of Wanda and how she became a Muslim - very inspiring for all.
I was raised in a Christian environment, but from about the age of 7 or 8 I openly refused to accept the idea that God and Christ were one in the same--nor did I accept the trinity.
There were six children and my parents. No one else thought as I did, so you can imagine how very interesting "Bible Study" got at home. My mother was so shocked by my steadfastness, but nothing she said could change my mind. As shy as I was, I stood my ground and refused to accept my families' beliefs. For whatever reason, I simply could not accept the Christian concepts to the point I got nothing out of the studies.
When I was fourteen, I decided I wanted to search for what I could not find in Christianity. I was literally starving spiritually for something I had no name for, but felt it existed somewhere.
I visited other religions--studied with some of them, but there was always that point where I was aware they were not for me. I just about visited every church/religion you could think of and they all fell short of the concept I had in my mind and heart for My true religion. The one religion I kept searching for was that which I could serve with all my heart and soul totally, fully, truly and uncondionally beyond a shadow of a doubt.
I was an oddball among my family and my peers. All during my childhood strange things happened to me that could not be explained by ordinary standards. I stood out like a sore thumb. I stopped going to church except for special family funcions and funerals. I prayed to God often, and tried to live my life each day to the best of my abilities with God's guidance. I prayed to God to show me where I belonged. I asked Him where did I belong? I prayed for years and years, and would you believe I finally got my answer? Almost 4 years ago, I got an unsolicited letter out of the blue from a man who got my name from a penpal list sent to him by his sister-in-law.
I answered his first letter and from then on, it all was very interesting. I could read from the flavor of his letters that he was Muslim; he acknowledged this fact. I noticed his beliefs were a lot like my own and over time,he told me that without knowing it,I basically lived my life as a believer. We had so much in common when it came to serving God.
He sent me literature. The first piece of literature was so very beautiful, I could hardly stand the overwhelming emotion that came forth as I read it. It touched me to the point that I could not hold back my tears. I was so shaken by it; I have no words to explain what was in my heart at that time. I thorouhly studied all the literature sent thereafter, and it had the same emotional affect upon me.
There came a point in my studies where I hungered to know more and more, so I bought my own Holy Quran. I needed to read this Book from whence all this beauty and truth flowed. I have never been able to simply take someone's word for anything. Religion is definitely not something to embark upon with "blind" faith; I have always felt the need to seek truth and knowledge for myself.
The first day I got the Holy Quran [English translaton], I read the opening, Al-Fatihah. It was short, but so very beautiful and so powerful!!! That year I read the entire Holy Quran. I learned the Five Pillars of Islam and the Six Articles of Faith.
At the age of 45, Allah finally told me where I belonged. I accepted Islam openly and fully. That which I sought, but had not the name of, was in fact Islam. I eagerly embraced it fully and as natural as the air I am blessed to breathe each day I wake. My soul was starving for Islam, and my heart yearned for it. Islam has never felt like a stranger to me. By the Grace, Love and Mercy of Allah, I AM HOME!!!! AMEEN!
As far as I know, I am the first in my generational family line to become Muslim. Needless to say, my family members were not happy campers! It was like a single republican [me] being in the midst of generations of democrats! All praise be to Allah, One of my two sons embraced Islam a year later.
In closing, I would like to include a part of something I wrote to a friend who recently apologized for some very harsh/bitter things he said with regard to Muslims/Islam as a result of the 9-11-01 bombings in the U.S. These words sum up all that I feel for Islam:
"I embraced Islam because I have basically lived my life in this manner anyway--all my life. It seemed so natural and befitting to embrace Islam, and so I did. It has wrapped itself around me like a cloak of warmth, honor and protection. I try to wear this "cloak" each day to the best of my abilities--I want to make it even stronger, for in doing so, I come closer to becoming what God has ordained for me to become. Whatever, that is, I know it is a good thing. God only has goodness and is goodness."
This is my story of How I entered into Islam. This story has no ending. It begins again each time I wake and will not end until Allah calls me back to him. In the meantime, I will strive to work very hard at sending good things ahead of me!