“And Allah found you Lost and Guided you.” [Al-Qur’an 93:7]
Today we are sharing with you a true story of a sister Leanne Payne about how she covered her journey to ALLAH. Leane belonged to a Christian family and she joined the AlQuranClasses 5-6 months back just to know about the Islam.How life is described in Islam and finally she entered in Islam be saying the shadah with her teacher during her class Alhamdulilah.!!. Let’s get through her journey towards Allah in her own words.
My journey to Allah
I was born in London, UK into a Christian family and baptized at a very young age, although my parents are not “practising” Christians. I have 5 brothers and 1 sister and seem to be the only one who has grown up with a very strong belief in God. I can remember being in the bath at around age 6/7, feeling scared by myself and talking away to my imaginary friend who I called “God”. I remember the strength and comfort I felt from talking to Him. As I reached High School and began learning more about God and how great He is.I started to pray as regularly as I could. My brothers and sister used to laugh at me and call me their “little God child” because of my beliefs, but this never bothered me.
A Practicing Christian
I always knew that I would become stronger in my religion as I grew older, and when I reached University I was desperate to become a “practicing Christian”. I used to stare at all of the Churches that I passed, wondering what it would be like to go inside and what kind of response the other Christians would give me. But for some reason I never went inside and made excuses to myself about how I was not ready.
At the end of 2010, I felt closer to God more than ever and was now praying every night to Him. I asked my Mum for lots of books on Jesus Christ and Christianity for Christmas and decided I was ready to learn more about my religion. I started reading one of these books and still to this day I have only read the first 58 pages. I found it so hard to read and take in, and I had to be in the “right mood” to read it otherwise I would end up reading the same page over and over again.
Questions about Christianity:
Christianity raised many questions for me about forgiveness, preaching and how God could allow “His Son” to die on a cross in such a slow and painful manner, even if he does work in “mysterious ways”.
When it comes to Islam, I have always had very close friends who are Muslim. It is a religion I have grown up considering to be the “elite religion”.Because if anyone was truly worshiping God it was the Muslims, with their five daily prayers, fasting during Ramadan and mandatory giving of Charity. They made me feel embarrassed that I only gave up chocolate over lent for My Lord!
First Step towards Islam:
I decided that I would read one book on Islam and try to understand this religion more.Why did the women always cover up? Who was Prophet Mohammed PBUH and how do they know his word was from God? I read “Islam made Simple” by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood in around 2 weeks – no issues understanding this book. It was clear, detailed and covered all the key topics I was hoping for and to be completely honest, once I finished this book I was hooked and ordered three more from Amazon.
I wanted to know more and more, for me Islam just made sense, it answered all the questions I ever had and more. So I began searching for articles on the internet, looking at Islamic websites and finally I came across www.alquranclasses.com. I was provided a tutor who would teach me how to read Arabic. Also how to pray like a Muslim over Skype! I was really excited and can still remember my first class and the confusion in my teacher’s voice. When I tried to explain to her that I was not a Muslim and just wanted to learn about Islam “Insha’Allah”.
Lessons In Islam:
The lessons were perfect, split between Arabic recitation, prayer and the five pillars of Islam – everything I could possibly want to know about this religion. Any additional questions I had, my tutor would fully research and email me everything she found on the topic fully referenced to either the Quran or Hadiths.
Not once did she respond with “God works in Mysterious ways”, as you are told when questioning any topics in Christianity. 4/5 months into my lessons and I was starting to wonder when I would feel ready to make a decision on my religion and if Allah would send me some kind of sign to show me the right path.
This moment came during one of my alquran classes. My tutor was explaining to me the concept of Al-Qadr. And how a good Muslim should not get upset when something bad happens to him/her and instead accept that it is Gods will and that He will have His reasons for it and if we are lucky we will too learn these reasons later down the line. Immediately my eyes filled up and I began to cry, I have always lived my life like this from a very young age, taking comfort in knowing that everything happens for a reason and that God knows best.
For me this was my sign that this has always been the path that I was on and that Allah was guiding me all along. Around the same time I had made friends with another Muslim girl at work and she took me to the Mosque for my first time to pray in congregation. That morning my tutor told me everything I needed to know about praying in congregation and answered all of my questions to fully prepare me for my first visit to the Mosque. It was a great experience and somewhat overwhelming. I was an inspiration to all of the young girls at the Mosque – yes that’s right me, the girl who just wanted to learn about Islam!
At this point I knew I had to say something to my family about the journey I was on. Me and my sister have grown up very close and I had been keeping her updated about what I was learning every step of the way. Unfortunately, she didn’t like that I was learning about Islam and keep telling me she didn’t want me to change. She saw it as me and her growing apart.Also we were now too different of people to be as close as we used to be. Honestly this was a very difficult period for me.
On the other hand, my mum stayed positive and supportive of me. She kept a “brave face” telling me if I was happy then so was she and as for my dad. I told him that I have given up pork and alcohol and he walked out of the room. My family means everything to me and I think that if this path didn’t feel so “right” and make me feel so happy and content with life. (this is the only way I can describe it) then I would have stopped learning about Islam to make them happy.
I had reached the point where I decided I was ready to convert and I sent an email to my tutor telling her. My new friend from work was so excited and gave me so many options on how I could convert. One of the many mosques, at her home, with one of the scholars I had met…. my only requirement was that I wanted my alquran teacher there on Skype with me so we could recite the Shahadah together. She had been my greatest influence and had taught me so much. It was an amazing day, I called my mum in the morning and she cried telling me how proud of me she was.
We managed to connect to the internet and I recited the Shahadah with my teacher over Skype. So many women came to congratulate me with hugs, kisses and even gifts.! MashaAllah for taking me on such an amazing journey. I am continuing my lessons and am now learning to read the Quran. I am regularly attending my local Mosque and have gained a huge family of Muslims across the world who are helping me along my way to becoming a better Muslim. May Allah continue to guide me on this straight path.Open my family’s heart to Islam and reward all of those who help along the way. Ameen.
By Leanne Payne
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