I felt Islam deep inside my heart | Arab News
Anna Arwa is a Slovakian woman, who was undefined as far as belief in God was concerned. She couldn’t agree with catechism, used in Roman Catholic for religious instructions. In conflict with her faith, she took interest in other faiths to reach truth. She ultimately embraced Islam. Here she describes her journey into the faith.
DESTINY had it that I should become a Muslim. My childhood passed normally, with me living with my parents, surrounded by their love, and supervised under tight moral norms.
Together we solved everything, creating an amazing atmosphere of reciprocal understanding, closeness, and tolerance.
For most of the relatives and neighbors, we represented the exemplary case of how a family should be.
My life until I reached my sophomore year was pretty quiet. While attending secondary school, I had the opportunity to learn about the destiny of my schoolmates, their social environment, and moral norms. Thinking of these experiences, I was so thankful to God for being born into the family I was living with.
My faith, though, was something undefined as I believed in God but couldn’t agree with my catechism. I couldn’t absorb those many conflicts that my previous faith apparently bore. Right at the moment when I tried to understand my faith, God set me in a new situation, confronting me with another person, a Muslim who accepted Islam not a long time ago. I discussed with him about his faith. I couldn’t hold my feeling while listening to his story, but I kept them deep inside me.
I tried to live according to my parents’ teachings: Listen but don’t pay attention (thank God, I never subscribed to this point of view but had developed my own principles instead: Listen, think and make your own opinion). This enabled a contradictory situation within me that led to a sub-conscientious hunt for the truth on what was the cause, the source.
Thank God, my ‘investigation’ didn’t take long. Immediately after reading first publications on Islam, I found it. I decided fast indeed: The faith I really wanted, it’s the faith, the belief in one and only God, The Almighty.
As much as I wanted to become a Muslim, in fact I couldn’t. I was scared my relatives would abandon me and that I was not prepared. I was willing to do anything for this purpose.
While hiding my feelings and my wish to become a Muslim before the outside world, I tried the best I could to live as one for one year. Later, my sister noticed my behavior, as she had information on Islam too. She noticed that I didn’t eat pork, didn’t drink alcohol, kept fasting, and read the Qur’an. She wanted to stop me. I was scared that she could influence me with her negative remarks about Islam, so I isolated myself totally but I did not give up my dream.
The longer this period continued, the more introverted I became. I was even more scared that I could die as a non-Muslim. I knew I was not very strong in my faith, so I prayed to God to give me the opportunity to leave and begin anew. This was a period when I absorbed everything on Islam so that I could start living as a real Muslim at the first opportunity.
My decision was very hard, indeed, because Islam was totally unacceptable for my parents
The Creator made my path easy. My destiny was good and I was thankful for it. I met my future husband. His presence reassured me and influenced my decision to accept Islam and declare the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith). He supported me and taught me to step in the right path. I was happy, very happy.
My parents didn’t know about this at first, but it didn’t take long before I found myself looking them directly in their eyes while they forced me to make a shocking choice: Islam or parents. My decision was very hard, indeed, because Islam was totally unacceptable for my parents, so I was fully aware on how high the stakes are. However my response was clear: Islam.
My parents didn’t accept my choice and denied me as their daughter, the daughter they had promised for 18 years, since her birth, to take care of and to stand by in any circumstances. This experience opened my eyes to see the weakness of my parents’ faith, leading me to strengthen mine. Thank God for His guidance. Now I realize the benefits of the patience I was required to show.
I learned to fight for my faith. I want to be a good Muslim. I am sure that as long as I will be guided by God, I will lead a good and meaningful life. I lost my parents but gained a meaningful way of life. I am not afraid of anything, except God Almighty.
I learned to fight for my faith. I want to be a good Muslim; I am sure that as long as I will be guided by God, I will lead a good and meaningful life. I have accepted my destiny; it was really good. I became a Muslim!