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A girl with a mind, a woman with modesty, a lady with classthese are the confessions of a hijabi girl in a crazy world...

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Sunday, 29 August 2010

How I reverted- Lindsey McDonogh

Picture from my wedding day, after my date of conversion to Islam, its the happiest day of my life
About 6 years ago, I met a Muslim man who became my boyfriend (!). At this time I was a very believing although not always practising Catholic; my mother had my sisters and I on our knees praying the rosary most nights when we were young and I loved to go on pilgrimage with my mother. Even as a student I would be reciting Catholic prayers on the bus to Uni , I really believed and loved Catholiscism although the freedom of Uni led me to all kinds of irreligious behaviour like any teenager astaghfirullah.

Anyway a few years after Uni I met this Muslim man and we fell in love. He introduced me to Islam but I made it quite clear I would never leave Catholicism !! Over time our relationship disintegrated because of constant clashing opinions about religion and where I actually had respected his religion in the start, I grew to hate it. I actually hated Islam. We used to engage in constant debate and arguing over whose religion was 'right'.

In the end we separated, and I had a terrible bitterness and a real hatred for Islam. After we had broken up I decided to prove to myself that I had been right all along and decided to do some Bible study to find all the answers to the questions and points in our debates that I had been unable to answer. I suppose a niggling doubt had set in and I wanted to reassure myself that I was right all along. I had read the Bible multiple times already but was really focusing in on it this time. I also started to compare it with the Catholic Catechism which is the rule of the church.

As I read them, I began to realise how false a lot of things I had believed were. I began to study the history of the Bible and was totally shocked to see how many versions there were and how some translated things radically different to others , to the point where 'son of God' didn't appear at all in particular versions. I was shocked to find things like 'purgatory' were completely man made ideas. I felt like the rug had really been pulled from underneath me and a new sight had been granted to me. Suddenly I could see how I had swallowed everything I'd been taught without ever questioning or truly studying it. I had believed on a faith based on ....what?? Mostly unsupportable teachings by teachers, priests and my parents. At that point I told my mother I no longer believed Jesus pbuh was the son of God and she was very disappointed and I think hurt too that all her teaching me over the years had come to no fruition. At this point I still didn't like Islam.

I started to examine my own feelings towards it and once I had separated them from my feelings for my ex boyfriend, I realised that while I thought Islam was an oppressive religion (still!!) , I liked that it brought God into a persons life more fully , I liked the 5 times a day prayers, and the fasting and the charity and its teachings on Mary pbuh and Jesus pbuh and the similarities to Christianity. At this point I decided to read the Quran for myself having only ever briefly glanced at a bad translation from an English reverend with references to 'infidel' all over it. I bought a copy translated by a Muslim, to see what it really was all about.
I got through about 3 Surahs before I reverted. Its beauty, its truth and its gentleness overwhelmed me and a huge love for Islam washed over me. Alhamdulillah that Allah swt allowed me onto this path and opened my eyes. La hawla wala kuwata illah billah. Only God can turn a heart of hate to a heart of love. I realised how Islam had given rights to women for centuries where modern societies had granted them no sooner than 50 years ago in some cases.

However I was afraid of converting. I was afraid because I knew it was the truth and I couldn't deny it but I was scared about what this would mean for my life. I knew that I had to act on the truth but was disappointed to let go of my social life, drinking, wearing the clothes I loved, and the thoughts of hijab scared me. As did the impending reaction of my family. I realised that no matter what my own feelings were, I had to do my duty to Allah swt and I told my family and friends and my life changed overnight. I reverted, saying the shahada on 12th February 2007 alone in my bedroom while reading Quran. After just a few weeks I was dying to wear hijab and started a day here and a day there until finally biting the bullet and walking into my work one day completely covered in hijab. What a shock on their faces!

It was difficult for most people to accept at first and I was terribly lonely for almost a full year afterward but I just studied Islam and prayed for it to change. I had met a lovely Muslim man on the internet a few weeks after I reverted, and we talked on & off for that year about Islam before starting to become more serious. He was the only Muslim I knew so I loved to listen to him tell me what the khutbah had been in his local mosque and and what the sheikh there had been teaching. 2 years after that we got married with both our families and friends in attendance and Alhamdulillah we are married nearly 2 years now and we are so happy together, I love him to bits and he has shown me the real Islam of love and tenderness.

Allah swt has been so good to me. My mother and I now love to talk long into the night about our different religions and finding the similarities between them. She told me once that she is happy so long as I have God in my life. And the day she bought me her first scarf as a gift was a very special one for me. My father and sisters support me too and that means the world to me.
So that is how I came to Islam and inshaAllah I hope this has been interesting :)

InshaAllah keep me in your dua, I can never get enough dua, I'm greedy for them :D

2 comments:

  1. mash'allah sister, I came across this post by luck, but while I was reading it was like I was reading my own story, very similar

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  2. This is all very nice mashaAllah. As if ppl cannot sin. The boyfriend thing. Those of us Muslims, who stepped in devil's footsteps (are there any that didn't?), stepped as this was our destiny. Is there anyone whose heart is flawlessly clean? No black spots? Is there anyone? I cannot blame our father Adam (as) for doing what he did, can I? The sin is quick, and breathing down our neck, and makes us slip, and sometimes we brake a bone or two, but the skeleton stands firmly. Forgiveness repairs these bones unless we ask for it when it's already too late, when the soul sees the angels. It's a stormy day, and night. And another one. But eventually there has to be sun. And a moment when a hurricane becomes a breeze. Judging other's is easy. Judging others means raising yourself. But only in your own eyes. The fall is imminent. Unless one lowers the head down. And recognizes that there are paths in destiny we cannot comprehend. Nor can we control it. We are too tiny and fragile and only Allah (swt) is the All-Powerful. And All-Merciful. His Mercy prevails over his Wrath. Who can do against this? Me certainly not.

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