My Testimony: How I became Muslim

I must remember my own humble beginnings many years ago when I became a Muslim.  I wish I could say it was an extremely simple process, but it was not. If I look back and how Allah had planned my life out to a tee, it is nothing short of a miracle.

I am not sure if you will believe my story, but this is what happened to me. When I was 9 years old my mom sent me to bible school camp and there I met a woman named Janie Arrowood. My camp bed was next to hers and she taught me much. She would take me aside each night and talk about God. I confided in her that I was afraid to die and she gave me this tiny red Bible and told me I am reading to you out of this tiny bible now but when you die God reads to you from this bible. I was so calmed by her words and before the camp was over I was a born again Christian.

I went home and joined the church and even at the age of 9 started teaching Sunday School. I loved my class and the more I learned, the closer to God I became. I could feel him ever so close to me and almost like the power of God was within reaching distance. I became humbled and reverent and the more I read and studied, the more I felt I was being called to be a Missionary. So I prayed to God, if you are truly calling me to be a missionary give me a sign.

Well he gave me a huge sign and to this day I don't talk about what happened to me and I was so frightened by what happened to me that I ran away from God and the church. I was only 9 years old and I just could not handle what was happening to me. My mom had a fit and even the church elders tried to convince me to come back, but I would not.

Eventually after a few months, I did calm down enough and went back to church and teaching, but I was not close to God again like before. I prayed and prayed, but never had that feeling again.

So for years I was trying to get that closeness to God again and just could never get there. Funny when we are called it may not happen again or ever, so we must run like wolves to him when he calls.

So as I went from religion to religion searching, but I just could not find God again. I was an original Southern Baptist and went to a church of 10,000 people called 4 Square Church and we praised God all the time with song and raising our hands in the air. It was uplifting, but not close enough.

So I decided to move close to the church, so I could go more often than ever. I quit my job, gave notice on my apartment and went to seek a new apartment. Funny each and every apartment I went to refuse to even show me the apartment.

So I asked the pastor what was I doing wrong and he said, "God does not want you to move to Van Nuys, he wants you to say yes." So I went back to Downey, took back my job and my apartment and said "yes" to God.

Within 2 weeks I got fired from my job. Now I was stunned, how come I did everything I was told and now I lost my job. I had been working part time in another job and went to my other boss and said what am I going to do and she told me, to work very hard and be a success. So I did that and within 2 months I was the number one sales person and I bought a new white Mercedes. I said yes.

During this process I met a woman who recently came back from Egypt. She knew of my quest to be closer to God and told me that she wanted to give me a present. She handed me the Glorious Quran. I took the Quran to my home and for 3 days read. I read about how Allah, Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala gave us direct orders on how to live our life and the punishment we would get if we did not lead that life. I read about praying and humbling ourself and when I prayed to Allah, I felt very close. I felt better than I had in those 30 years of searching.

So I told my friend, I want to be a Muslim. So we went and searched for a Mosque. We could not find one, but finally in Orange County we found a Mosque and I went in and talked to the sheik about being a Muslim. He first told my friend to leave the room as she was a Catholic and told me to sit down. He told me all you have to do is sign this "Shahadah" statement.


The English translation is:

"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshiped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."

Ok, I said and I signed. That date was November 23, 1993. I was so happy. I went outside and met a woman named Fatima from India and she took me under her wings. A man was so excited and told me, I want you to come to lunch at my house tomorrow. I was shocked at the tone of this man and frightened. Fatima told me this was a great honor for this was a very good sheik. He wanted to take care of a new Muslim. So she went with me and we had lunch with his family and children.

He gave me my first prayer rug. I was so excited I had a gift. I then went to class to learn how to be a Muslim. It was very much to learn and I found the more I studied the more I had thirst for knowledge. I was happy. I was making all the changes I was supposed to, such as not painting my fingernails anymore and removing all paintings and statues from my home.

They were shocked in how quickly I did everything I was supposed to do. After 3 months they told me that there was a man who wanted to marry me and I refused as I wanted to know more and told her the best Muslim gets the best husband. So again I read the whole Quran and after 6 months they came to me again and said there is another man who wants to marry you and I finally agreed to see the brother.

One week later we were married. We only had 7 years together before he died, but he taught me more in those 7 years than I had learn in 30 years of searching. It is not so much how much Quran we read, but it was about how much we loved Allah, and his most beloved messenger. So real faith comes from the heart. I would watch him daily pray and cry. I would watch him read the Quran over and over and I watched how his whole life was dedicated to his religion.

One day I was watching Amr Khalid on TV about doing Zikr and I told my husband. If I do this zikr and pray and read Quran I can go to heaven. He laughed, "He said not enough. You must do more."  I was shocked, but Amr Khalid said I could go to heaven if I did some simple zikr on my fingers after salat. So through watching him, I begin to realize that the true religion entails many things and much more than just praying.

My late husband died on January 24, 2002 and I never cried. I was sad at his passing, but I always remembered his words to me, "Whatever Allah is happy with I am happy with."

So being happy with our destiny is part of the religion and accepting your destiny is important. So imagine how Allah loved me so much that even at the age of 9 years old he was planning for the day I too would be Muslim. I am humbled and too much in shock to think that out of all the millions in the world Allah, Subhaanahu Wa Ta'ala chose me. None of my family is Muslim and I pray one day they will be.

We must know that life is very short and that maybe unexpectedly we will die. So if you choose life over death, choose to walk with me on this day and to say the Shahadah


The English translation is:

"I bear witness that there is no deity worthy to be worshiped but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger."