Inspiration - Iya's post about becoming closer to Allah as a born Muslim.
"So whoever Allah wants to guide - He expands his breast to [contain] Islam; and whoever He wants to misguide - He makes his breast tight and constricted as though he were climbing into the sky. Thus does Allah place defilement upon those who do not believe."
❤ السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
Some may be wondering about my life before becoming a Muslim, why or how I came to Islam. I would like to share for education and inspirational purposes. I know we shouldn't expose our sins but these are my sins as a non-believer. I think it's beneficial for the sake of Islam and I ask that Allah forgive me if I am displeasing him in doing so.
My life before becoming a true believer: Feckless. I lived a life of roulette. I didn't really think about tomorrow, I lived for the moment, what I wanted to do in that point of time. I'd jump and work for irrational dreams, for boys, I was desperate, searching for someone to cling to. My early teens I spent searching for the love that I lacked from my family. I spent an immense amount of time online searching, subconsciously, for a 'dream guy' who would save me. I escaped through these fantasies, friends and smoking marijuana. At the same time I was searching for something pure, sincere, people who would accept me for me, because I was getting tired of being ‘different’ and being teased for my differences. In my later teens things were much the same. I did find a handful of incredible friends at the end of High school who did well in my life. I also made some bad personal choices with other friends just to 'fit in' and escape the pain I felt. I felt pain for being a measly human being with no big goals or dreams. I was torn between good and bad. I was really lost. University came. I gained some friends, lost some, took a 180 degree change in my looks and personality. I started going downtown, giving into my strangest desires; I drank alcohol even though I despised it, and influenced others to smoke pot with me. I continued doing these things to have fun, to experience, and live life to the fullest.
This ‘fulfillment’ was the anticlimax. I felt dirty. I felt ill. I was always sad, twisted in between other people’s lives, constant drama, and constant doubt. ‘Friends’ were over running me, using me; everyone was lying through their teeth. There were times when I couldn’t sleep for days. Are people really, truly happy living such lives? It’s one big facade. They must all live in denial, escaping reality. I just see a mass of struggle to be something society tells people to be. Find me one person who is truly happy living this way. They all convince themselves of meaning through recklessness. All humans want is love, happiness, and meaningful lives. That’s why they continue searching. But they're searching in all the wrong places. I lived it, witnessed it, and did not see one sincere smile at the end of the week.
Throughout all this dismal I was learning about Islam. I was introduced by a boy and that had some influence on pushing me to learn more so that I could be closer to him. I also met many wonderful Muslim friends who helped me understand and explore the religion. The many late night talks about God really got me thinking about my creator. I was interested in Buddhism at the time as well concluding an Asians religion course. I found out there was a religions course about Islam and it would fill one of my credits, I also thought it would be easy. (I was wrong) My prof. was actually Dr. Jamal Badawi. It was a phenomenal experience. I even met him out side of class to ask doubts I had. He answered every question I had with a very fulfilling and sensible response. Allah’s grace slowly leaked into my life. I started to fear misfortune due to my sinful deeds. As I walked into the clubs now, stoned out of my mind, Allah was sitting there in the back of my mind. Throughout the whole night, crawling like a cockroach in the garbage infested dance floor, I was in a constant battle with denying the wrong I was committing. Lying in my bed at 5am ensuing my downtown escapade I would cry.
I would cry because I was not happy. What a meaningless life full of hurt, loneliness, fear, loss and lies. What was I gaining?
It was one night that pushed me to turn things around. After trying to flag down a cab and being denied by many we finally got one. The driver was a dark man with a beard and cap on. “Where are you from” my friend asked, who is a Muslim. “From here” he replied. “No, where are you really from”. He replied again, “Iran”. It could have been Lebanon but that’s beside the point. “So you’re a Muslim?” Indeed he was. And the Islamic topics flourished so was the fact that I was on the road to reverting. He said one thing that stabbed my heart, “So do you believe in Allah? Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? Jinn? The Day of Judgement?” I replied, “I do.” He chuckled, “Then what are you waiting for?” By this time we’ve been sitting in front of the apartment complex for a good 10 minutes. My friend said, “She wants to wear Hijab, be a perfect Muslim.” The cab driver confidently replied, “It’s not about Hijab or perfection. It’s about what you believe that makes you a Muslim.” I left the cab enlightened. I was in a state of shock during the elevator ride up to my apartment. Once inside I sat on my bed and the tears flowed and I thought to myself, “I’m pretty much a Muslim.”
After the ride in that cab, may Allah bless that man, I started skipping the regular trips downtown going every other time. I started working harder to become a real Muslim. I searched my heart for faith. To truly believe and make that choice to say, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and Prophet Muhammad is his final messenger.” Alhamdulillah it wasn’t much longer. I made nia to make my choice to revert or not when I complete reading the Qur'an. I recited those words on September 7th 2010. However I did fall back into the slums of partying for a short period of time, giving into my desires and smoking pot. I convinced myself that it wasn’t so bad. But Allah seeped into my mind again and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I said enough is enough and I gave my pipe away and told my friends no more. I was done. Its haram and I couldn’t deny it anymore. Thus continues my spiritual journey of bliss. I’ve found my escape from reality and it’s the truth to all the problems in this decaying world: Islam Sequence