Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatu
All praises are due to Allah alone. I thank Allah (SWT) for guiding and choosing me to be a part of Islam.
This is the story of my journey into Islam.
I was born a Christian, a Roman Catholic, and I was raised as a typical Christian who goes to church every Sunday, in short, a regular parishioner. All that I can remember that the church had taught me is the belief that God, the Creator, and Jesus Christ, His Son, are but one entity; that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life; and that by believing in Him, I can be saved from being punished for my sins.
This belief went on until I reached my teenage years. During college, I had been introduced to almost all of the sects of Christianity, but I didn’t see or feel any difference at all, they’re all the same, they carry the same message that “in order to be saved, one has to believe in Jesus as the Saviour.” So, that was enough for me, I believed, and I was confident that I would be saved.
Until some years back, around year 2002/2003, my sister Johara, who had been working here in Jeddah for many years already, came home for a vacation and brought with her a lot of reading materials about Islam (though she had started introducing Islam to us through phone conversations). I started reading and SubhanAllah, I was so interested that after only a few weeks, I did my first Shahada by myself. I chose my Islamic name “Aminah” and even gave my son his Islamic name. I continued reading, tried to practice fasting during Ramadan, but I couldn’t practice Salah because my husband was not in favour of us reverting to Islam (and until now, he has not decided yet). Then in 2006, he lost his job. We both became jobless.
For one year, I patiently waited to see what Allah (SWT) had in store for us. Alhamdulillah, during those times, my sisters and brothers supported me and my family. Then finally in October 2007, Dr. Khalid Idriss Hospital hired me through the help of my two sisters, who were also working in the same hospital.
Three days after my arrival in Jeddah, I did my second Shahada having my sisters as witnesses. They taught me everything about performing wudhu and Salah. I continued reading Islamic books. One day, Sister Hanadi informed my sister Shaima that the Islamic Education Foundation in Al Hamra is still open. We went there one Friday morning on 30 May 2008, together with another colleague from the hospital, and there, my formal Islamic education started. I had my Shahada in court on 16 June 2008, and this was my third Shahada, Alhamdulillah.
I take this opportunity to thank everyone, who, in one way or another, has helped me, and still is helping me in my “formative years” in Islam. I specially would like to thank Ablah Hanadi, who is always ready and available to answer any query I have in mind, anytime, whether here in our classroom, or outside, or even on phone (jazakallahu khairan, Ablah).
Indeed, Allah (SWT) is Al-‘Aleem (the All-Knowing), Ar-Rahman (the Most Gracious), and Ar-Rahim (the Most Merciful). It is through His blessings and guidance that I was able to see the Light towards the right path and InshaAllah I will be able to share these blessings with others as I continue my journey in seeking knowledge about my Deen, our Deen, Al Islam.
Assalamu alaikum warahmatullahi wa barakatu.
Aminah (Elizabeth) P. Banaag-Talibong