بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيْمِ
In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
To have become a Muslimah is the biggest gift I’ve ever get. But it’s also the most foundational in life. Because, our belief dictates our intention and actions, which we are solely responsible for in front of Allah SWT. To say it’s the most foundational, I mean it really is, because that makes you understand and know what your really purpose of life is and what to strive for. This is about my journey to islam.
I had a normal Swedish upbringing. I have a brother, my dad had a Volvo and we had a cat. We didn’t use to travel except to our country side house though. But otherwise it was quite normal, and I started kindergarten at the age of five, but this was in a Christian one. I can still remember how we had a small church in the basement and how we drew the beard on Jesus as we were drawing and painting.
Many of my older relatives past away when I was in this age, and death was truly scary to me. I got panic from thinking about being put in a coffin and that, that would be the end. SubhanAllah. I was searching and thinking a lot, but not even my absolutely amazing mum could answer my deep questions. I tried to believe in Christianity as I took my confirmation in early teen age years, but I didn’t work.
I was trying hard to fit in and feel good with myself as a teenager. I was struggling. On the surface it looked really cool though. Traveling, friends, social life, inspiring job and so on. But on the inside, I wasn’t really shining. I made my inner feelings quite in various ways.
In 2004 I bought my first Ashtanga yoga book and got addicted to yoga. I loved it back then, and I’ve learned many good things from it. Yoga brought me to India and Thailand, as I was there practicing for weeks and months, as well as I took my teacher training at Koh Samui.
But to connect to the Universe and believe in gods that you give food on alters, wasn’t logic to me. Neither that it would be enough to only be loving and caring. Something was missing.
When I lived in Norway, I got head hunted from Four Seasons Hotel in Doha, Qatar. I got the job. I was thrilled. But also terrified. All I knew was practically that it was close to Saudi, which is a muslim country, and I all I believed was that it must be really dangerous.
I wanted to be out of my comfort zone however. I was so tired of being shy from within. So I left everything. I left so many things. I just left. And I moved to Qatar.
It was really different. Really different. I loved it, but I didn’t fit in there either. I had difficulties to find my own me and my own place at first. “Hello, anyone I can practice yoga with here? Any women into fitness? Any women wearing practical shoes and backpacks here…” I came to change my comfy shoes to the highest heels I’ve ever seen too…
But I did change my business suit to an abaya and hijab too. (#love).
People in Qatar had an inner peace that I always had been searching. SubhanAllah. And that really hit me in a positive way. SubhanAllah.
I wanted that tranquility and inner peace. Where did they get it from, and why did they say in shaa Allah all the time?
Men kept distance and men were so tremendously caring and helpful at the same time. It was different from what I’ve experienced before.
I still remember two of my male employees as they always stood up for prayers in our staff room. As I passed by, being busy, I recognized them there in peace. How come… One of them were the one who out of the blue almost, came with two big bags of islamic books to me! And most of them were in Swedish, including the Swedish translation of the Qur’aan. Allahu Akbar. MashaAllah subhanAllah.
This happened just before Ramadan, after 1,5 years in Qatar. I didn’t understand how fasting could be anything good at all, and especially not in 50 degrees Celsius heat, so in order to improve my cultural adaptability and become a better manager, I thought I had to fast too. So I decided to do so.
Likewise, I didn’t understand why women were covering, and I had like always been scared of these women when I’ve seen them at airports or so previously. But it was something very beautiful and honorable about it. So I had to explore that too. I went to the shop and I bought an amazingly beautiful long black abaya with flowers on the sleeves with matching head scarf. I put it on and started to wear it, I loved it.
People must have been surprised, yet wow, how I could feel their deep and sincere happiness. Alhamdulillah.
I started to learn the prayer from YouTube and practiced alone at home on my room in the compound. It was difficult for me to make female friends at first… the sisters in the compound had a different lifestyle than me.
Ramadan started. I was fasting, and I was wearing hijab. But not at work, because I wasn’t allowed, and that bothered me. Just because it didn’t make sense to me to wear it outside, but not all the time. Just like it later didn’t make sense to me to wear hijab when I was praying, but not otherwise. That was why I later resigned from this prestigious and most amazing job I’ve ever had. But instead, I later started my own business, which was another super inspiring thing.
Anyways, so on the third day of Ramadan, I went to the Islamic Center. An incredibly sweet revert sis from the Philippines, married to a well known sheikh, gave me a tour. She showed me so much love and care. Amazing. I can still feel her warm hug and the inner peace and tranquility that she transmitted. She spoke to me about islam and told me that the first pillar of islam is to believe in only One God, in Allah SWT.
SubhanAllah! I never knew these things.
She showed me the mosque in the center. I wanted to be there.
The next day, on the fourth day of Ramadan, I went back. I didn’t have any plan really. But I knew I wanted to go back.
When I came she asked me if I was ready. I said yes. I took my shahadah… (#feeling like crying out of happiness just remembering this moment). MashaAllah tabarakAllah.
The thing is that many reverts, especially in Sweden or because those are the ones I’m msot in touch with currently, are making things a little bit too complicated sometimes. I think it’s great to question things, because we should. But if we feel a call in our heart, if we actually know the truth, then don’t hesitate. Let go. Accept and surrender.
I never read the Qur’aan before I reverted, I didn’t know much. But what I did know, was that I knew that there is only One God. The One Who wasn’t born, Who isn’t a human and Who cannot be compared to anything. That was enough for me. That was all I needed to make my decision.
The best decision I’ve ever taken. Alhamdulillah.
I was in some kind of weird shock that day I reverted. I just wanted to be quite and just feel. I just wanted to be. I think it was this kind of inner peace that just appeared. The natural inclination and belief in God, in Allah SWT that finally was confirmed. MashaAllah.
Not that I’ve been super calm all the time ever after. No I had crazy crying outbreaks and “tons” of ice cream jars during my time in Qatar, but I always knew that Allah SWT was with me, and I knew What I Was Striving For! I got to know halal and haram, and I knew what would make me become happy. SubhanAllah. Alhamdulillah.
The amazing sister Sara at the Islamic Center, allahumma barik lahaa, invited me for numerous iftars in her house together with other sisters. It was amazing, amazing, amazing. She brought me to the long night prayers for tarawee, even though I didn’t understand much of it yet. She was smiling and she just cared so much mashaAllah.
I got so many sisters! MashaAllah. And we had lectures, we had Arabic classes and we had iftars together before we went for Tarawee prayers in the mosques. It was like a dream, yet it was reality.
There are so many lessons and reminders from my own journey to Islam. Such as never judge anyone, you never know who will be guided to Islam by Allah SWT. SubhanAllah. Show kindness, because you never know what of your actions that might be the cause that someone get interested in Islam thanks to you. SubhanAllah Alhamdulillah.
Finally, keep making du’ua to Allah SWT, keep begging, keep asking, keep trying, keep doing your best and keep believing in Allah SWT. He’ll show you the way In Shaa Allah, and He SWT will give you what is good in this dunya and what is good in the akhira, bi’thnillah!
Alhamdulillah for everything. Thanks for reading, thanks for supporting on another sisters.
Thank you & Energetic Regards,