One night when we were sitting together at the kitchen table, she was reading her Bible out loud and she arrived at a part where she was too embarrassed to continue.
I thought to myself, she is so committed to reading this book every night, yet she disagrees with the content. I wondered if inside she had doubts about Christianity, but it didn't show on the outside and that was impressive. I respected her confidence and adherence to her faith. My grandmother was known as a religious woman but that was okay because she was old and old people were expected to be religious.
Believer at Heart
I held tight to my beliefs for sometime, but with minimal knowledge, I was unable to respond to my insulters. Not only kids my age were rude but adults as well just didn't accept my faith. Which is strange because I was not doing anything in front of them. I just when to church and tried to be a good person. It was not like I prayed at school or tried to convince anyone to join me. Even so I was made to feel weird.
I decided it would be easier to pull back from showing up at church and just keep my faith in heart alone. Of course upon doing so my faith rapidly weakened. I didn't explore religion again until I finished high school.
A Christian with a Quran
We became friends over time and reached the point of deeper religious discussions. I decided only one of us could be right, so I would try to convince them about Christianity as they tried to convince me about Islam.
I quickly realized I was poorly equipped. Although I called myself a Christian, I hadn't been in a church for years, and didn't even own a Bible. My new friends however had already given me an English Quran. So here I was a Christian with a Quran at home but no Bible.
At first I was just looking for a Bible that caught my eye. You know, a medium size book with a nice cover. I picked up a few and set them in my shopping cart to narrow down my choices, when I noticed they were different versions. Now I know it seems strange, but I had been so naïve just following the only church I had ever attended. Never questioning, never doubting, I never realized there were so many different versions of the Bible.
I opened two of them to the same chapters and tried to decipher which one it was that I believed in. They were so different I didn't know which one to buy. Totally shocked and embarrassed, I was thankful I was alone. I looked around to be sure no one was watching me. Quietly I returned all of them to the shelf and left the store.
I continued searching for months. I watched numerous videos especially, "Islamic & Christian debates". I was on high alert while around Muslims, watching for some sign of the scary behaviors that everyone was warning of. An acquaintance told of once "seeing a whole group of Muslims chanting in a weird language." Immediately images of cults and candles flashed in my head when I heard her account. All I saw when I was around Muslims was beautiful recitations, remembering the Creator throughout the day.
- Why can I accept that there are prophets named Jesus, David and Solomon etc., but to believe in one more named Mohammed (PBUH) is so difficult?
- Islam is widely thought to be an evil religion yet it ranks second in number of followers in the world. Could that many people be evil?
- Many non-Muslims I knew had warned me to be away from Muslims because they had heard things about them.
- I had stopped celebrating the commercial based holidays such as Mother's Day, Easter and Christmas etc. a couple of years ago because I could see that they had lost all their original meaning.
- Life was so much "easier" as a Christian, I just lived day by day going with the flow and never thinking about the hereafter.
- It wasn't that I didn't believe in a Prophet called Mohammed (PBUH) it was that I was afraid to accept him because after I did, I would have to live by Islam.
- The more Muslims I met the more positive things I witnessed about their lives.
- Islam had two holidays and were still remembered for their original meaning.
- Muslims I had met held family values I have never seen anywhere.
- Life wasn't suppose to be "easy", I was created for a purpose and death was inevitable.
- Islam was not just an Arab religion, there were Muslims in all parts of the world.
- Islam was a way of life, from what to eat, to how to bury the dead. A complete way of life.
A Newborn Baby
I have always been a believer in God and the Hereafter. However, as a Christian I couldn't defend my belief because there were too many things I had doubts about. I feel I was chosen by Allah and guided to Islam. Now I have answers for myself and can respond to the ignorant false views others have of Islam, AlhamdulliAllah!