Feeling Lucky and Secure
Two German Sisters Find Islam in Their Teen
- By Tuba
When I write about my journey to Islam, the first thing I have to say is that I was "lucky" that not so many of those who were born Muslims had found their way to Islam yet. I knew about Islam through these Muslims though.
When I became a Muslim in the year 2000, at the age of 16, I was thinking of how lucky I am that I became part of a community which consists of brothers and sisters who fear God. Their hearts are made of gold and are respectful. But quickly I realized that this had nothing to do with luck, but it was rather the will of Allah, Who pulled me closer and closer to Islam.
[(All) people are a single nation; so Allah raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners, and He revealed with them the Book with truth, that it might judge between people in that in which they differed; and none but the very people who were given it differed about it after clear arguments had come to them, revolting among themselves; so Allah has guided by His will those who believe to the truth about which they differed and Allah guides whom He pleases to the right path.] (Al-Baqarah 2:213)
I lived the first 14 years of my life in a Catholic family in a village which consisted of around 2,000 inhabitants. Among these, there were four or five non-German families and ours was one of them. Even though my parents were foreigners (father French, mother Croatian), we had a "German" upbringing; we always spoke German and had German friends.
WhenI was 12 years old, my elder sister — then 14 years old — and I had left our village to the second biggest city in Germany only to go shopping with our parents. But after that, we went more often to the city and got to know several teenagers. Most of them had Turkish and Bosnian backgrounds; in other words they had Muslim parents. We became friends quickly and were attracted to them. This was the first time for me to hear about Islam. In fact, I didn't even know that religions other than Christianity existed.
Our new acquaintances did not really tell us anything about Islam; in the course of time we found out that they were different than we were. We noticed this when they mentioned that they don't eat pork or that they don't buy Christmas presents, but they used to talk about Bayram (`Eid in Turkish), and other interesting things.
Despite the fact that these small differences made my sister and me rather curious, we did not talk much about religion, even though I was always certain of God's existence and I believed in this.About a year later, my sister met a Turkish man, who became her husband. And he told her more about Islam, brought her Islamic books in German, and tried to answer her questions about the religion. I kept my interest about Islam to myself; it remained merely a big curiosity for me. This curiosity led me to read the books that originally were my sister's, and I really liked what I read. However, I realized that what I read did not correspond with what our Muslim friends and acquaintances told us and how they lived and practiced. For example, I didn't even know a Muslim girl who was wearing a hijab, but I read that Muslim women should wear hijab.
When I was 16, I met a friend who is now my husband. Only after I got acquainted with him I could say that I met more Muslims who really are practicing Muslims and don't just act as such. Bit by bit I started to memorize prayers such as Al-Fatihah (the introduction of the Qur'an) but without yet being a Muslim. I think I was sure at this time that I would convert someday — I just didn't know when and where.
This moment came about after I met several sisters who tried, and still try, with all their love and strength to practice Islam, to learn more, and to pass it on to others. I used to have regular meetings with them until one of them questioned my hesitance to convert, even though I already believed in Islam. That very day I spoke the Shahadah — al-hamdu lillah (all praise to God).
My circle of friends and acquaintances changed considerably since then. Many of my old school friends wouldn't greet me anymore; others didn't want much to do with me. But al-hamdu lillah, after becoming a Muslim, I have found so many new friends who are my sisters in Islam. Allah Almighty knows what is best for us humans.
My parents, especially my mother, tried for several months to distance me from Islam. However, she had to quit that fight rather fast. With time, she finally understood that it wasn't my boyfriend or my new circle of friends who were responsible for the changes in my way of life, but that it was me who sought those changes.
Our relationship has gradually changed for the better and so much that she no longer cares if I wear a veil or an overcoat or a miniskirt. I am still her daughter and she sees how content I am. And she knows very well that my life is fulfilled, that I am truly satisfied, and that I feel secure in my heart and with my Muslim community.
May Allah guide us always on the right path. Ameen.