“And Allah guides whom He wills”
The Qur’an is a beautiful book filled with many inspiring and thought provoking verses yet this line, mentioned a number of times in the Book, is one I ponder over.
Aside from being extremely grateful and in infinite debt to Allah (swt) for He lead me to Islam and the right path, I wonder why He chose to guide me. As I contemplate, a feeling of great honour and privilege overtakes me and I feel humbled. The best way to describe it is the feeling one gets for being picked to captain their school’s football team but multiplied to the nth degree.
My journey to Islam was neither smooth nor straightforward and definitely not expected; however, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
In hindsight the foundations of this journey were laid down when I was in my mid-teens. I was born a Hindu, albeit not a very religious one, and was questioned about my religion by a Muslim friend at school. Evidently, I did not have answers to those questions but it got me thinking nonetheless.
Those enquiries led me to do some due diligence. Islam first made an impression on me when I viewed a lecture about the similarities and differences between Islam and Hinduism. In all honestly Islam made a lot of sense whereas some of the concepts of Hinduism left me dumbfounded.
My initial enthusiasm into my new found interest was short lived. Various commitments and responsibilities took over as did worldly pleasures and the sense of contentment with the way I was and the religion that I followed because it was the religion of my family. I was a happy and good person therefore did not feel a need to dive into the rabbit hole of religion.
There were two turning points in my journey to Islam; the first was my fall into depression and later anxiety, which blighted me for between 2-3 years. A feeling of low mood, hopelessness and worthlessness became the norm, which affected both my family and social life as well as my studies. I took up many vices such as alcohol and cigarette smoking in order to temporarily relieve those unwanted thoughts and feelings. During the darkest days of that period of my life, I had contemplated and even attempted to end my life. Not only were things difficult for myself but also for my family.
I went down the route of medication, counseling and psychotherapy; all provided little or no help and any improvement was short-lived. I could not understand my emotions and felt completely lost in my failed attempts to escape this viscous whirlpool dragging me in further and further. I lived my life like this for numerous months.
The second turning point ensued; in fact, this was a miracle and is difficult to explain in written text in a way the essence can be felt. All praise belongs to Allah that after long periods of difficulties, on an ordinary morning, I woke up from a rough night drowning my sorrows and for a reason, which even today is not known to me, I remembered God, my present reality and all my actions committed. I can understand how the latter arose but do not have an explanation as to where my new found conscious/fear or, at least, acknowledgement of God came from (aside from it being a mercy and blessing from Allah). A sense of guilt and regret overtook me and at this point of despair, I decided to pray to God. Since then to the present day, I have prayed to God, which slowly evolved into praying in the Islamic way.
As time passed, my prayers continued I became increasingly God-conscious and slowly departed from all my bad habits. In the meantime I also watched a documentary called The Arrivals and another about the dark side of the music industry. Both documentaries enlightened (and shocked) me about the reality of this world and my reality. I cannot pin point the period I became fond of Islam but this period is the most likely because both documentaries related to the Dajjal and the return of a saviour and these truths are a core part of Islam.
During this period I did suffer from relapses and procrastination but there was an overall upward trend. A point came where I chose to read the Qur’an and it was amazing. Bear in mind I only read the English version and was impressed, Insha’Allah I will learn and read the Arabic version where the real essence behind Gods words to our Prophet (SAW) lies. I had also decided to learn about Hinduism, Christianity and Judaism for comparative purposes, to find the truth about God, my purpose in life, where I am heading and what my final destination is.
In my personal view, I came across many contradictions, unexplained answers and evidence of deliberate corruption to the religious scriptures, of the three aforementioned religions, on the other hand, in Islam, anything I questioned or was unsure about was answered more than adequately and misconceptions succinctly addressed.
I was in awe of Islam. I cannot describe the feeling I had. Islam is nothing but the truth and to me it was glaringly obvious.
I made the decision to revert. Upon telling my parents, they were angry and unhappy with me and also fearful due to the way the West paints Islam. I endured a difficult period but Alhamdulillah, with every hardship there is ease and my family have accepted me in my new faith.
My journey is not complete and will never be; it is an eternal, never-ending journey of learning and understanding the nature God. God is infinite therefore it is impossible for one to ever fully understand Him. I am enjoying every minute of it, from learning how to pray and other various laws, adding to my knowledge on the history of Islam and major figures in Islam, to attempting to experience the spirituality of the religion.
This is my account of my journey to Islam from the best of my memory. If you are a revert, somebody thinking about reverting or even a born Muslim, the following are some useful resources that I use to add to my knowledge.