Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine


RABI-UL-AWWAL / RABI - U - THANI
MAY 2004
Volume 17-05 No : 209
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Journey to Islam


Now I Fear Only Allah

Now I Fear Only Allah

I knew that Allah alone could bring my mother close to me again

By Eman

I was raised as a strict Catholic in the South coast of Australia. Being of Italian origins, I had never been in contact with Islam or Muslims; I didn't have any information about Islam. As I was growing up, I questioned my family about their Catholic identity, and the response was always: "Italians are all Catholic and we have always been." I thought to myself, is it right that we should believe in something simply because our parents follow it?

By the time I was 15 years old, I already had a strong belief in God. I would go to Sunday mass every week with my mother, but I found praying to Jesus to be very confusing. I started asking my mother questions about the difference between God and Jesus, but her answers never seemed to satisfy me.

At the age of 16, I got married, had two boys, and then separated by 21. After that, by the will of Allah, I met a Muslim man. I began associating with his friends, including a sister who was wearing hijab and was also a convert. She introduced me to more Muslim sisters who gathered regularly at a Muslim youth center in Lakemba. They explained Islam to me effectively, and the missing pieces were filled in by what I read in the Holy Qur'an. I asked a sister to lend me a book explaining the Prayer, and I taught myself to pray five times daily.

Months went by in this state. One day, my mother became furious when she found Islamic books in my room. She was devastated to learn that her only daughter, who was raised a strict Catholic, was interested in Islam of all religions (for some reason, whenever anyone hears that I converted to Islam, they say, "Why that religion?!"). My mother made it clear that if I changed my religion, she would have nothing to do with me - I wouldn't be her daughter anymore.

Notwithstanding this, my faith grew stronger. I sincerely wanted to live an Islamic life, but the only way to do so was to live on my own with my two children. I had to establish Islam, not just as a religion but as a complete way of life.

When my knowledge of Islam grew, I understood that I had to either obey Allah, the Creator of all, or listen to my parents who didn't want me to convert. I was in a dilemma: should I keep my parents happy, or should I choose what I believed to be the right path of life. I chose the path of God Almighty - our Sustainer and Nourisher and the only true Guide to success.

In order to make my choice official, on I put on my hijab. From that day on I didn't care about the opinions of my friends and relatives as long as I believed that I was doing the right thing. When I began wearing hijab, my life became easier with Allah's help. One of my Muslim friends chose the name Eman for me, meaning faith.

I decided to give my children Islamic names: Tareq and Bilal. As a Muslim, I have overcome my fears of others' opinions and try to fear Allah only in my actions and decisions.

I phoned my mother and told her the news about my choice to wear hijab. At first she didn't believe me - she told me that if she saw me wearing hijab she would rip it off. A week went by and she realized that I was serious. She told me never to set foot in her house again and that she did not consider me her daughter anymore. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life.

I knew that Allah alone could bring my mother close to me again. So after a few months, I was praying and I started to cry while making dua' (supplication) to Allah to let my mother call me. The next day Allah answered my dua' and my mother rang. Alhamdulillah (all praise be to Allah), Allah is the Controller of all affairs!

Later on I started having financial problems. I made dua' to Allah to ease my situation, and the next day I received a check in the mail. After that, there was no way I could disobey Allah by not following His commands. I strove to do what was good and avoid what was evil.

Taking my son to kindergarten, I met more sisters. I got very close to two of them, and they helped me and always made me feel secure, especially when my mother rejected me. I was told about Arabic classes for my five year-old son, and he has learnt a lot since I converted. I have taught him how to recite the Qur'an. In sha' Allah (God willing), my children will grow up learning about Islam and the best way to live their lives.

It's been almost two years since I converted, and I am now able to speak to others about Islam.

One morning I went to the shop and a young girl served me at the counter. She asked me, "Did you convert?" I replied yes, and she told me that she also believes in Allah and is thinking of converting. We kept in contact; I gave her a copy of the Qur'an, books, and video tapes so she could understand and learn more about Islam. At the same time, I knew to stay close to her and give her as much advice and help as possible. My being a Catholic convert to Islam helped her to relate to the religion, though she already knew some things about it.

After six months, she called me and asked if I could take her to the mosque to convert officially. I was so happy that Allah used me as a means of her guidance. Alhamdulillah she is now a Muslim!

I thank Allah everyday that He awoke me into this wonderful religion.

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