My journey to Islam began in a part of the UK that had very few Muslims or even people of different cultures. I grew up as a Christian and attended a Christian school. I was well-versed and educated in Christianity and the bible and regularly attended church.
As I grew older and reached my teenage years, most of my friends began to party, drink alcohol, and take drugs. People were having sex from a young age and my generation in British society was very far away from the Christian faith. Many of the people I knew stopped identifying as Christian altogether and became atheists. As I progressed to college and University, I saw people becoming further and further away from Christianity.
Although I also participated in this lifestyle. I always felt a connection with God from a young age. Atheism never made sense to me. How can a Universe just appear from nothing, without a designer or cause? I felt the presence of a creator in my life, but I never felt the presence of Jesus as an omnipotent power. I prayed to Jesus occasionally but never felt any presence or response, but always felt the presence of God the creator.
I liked to learn about the stories and teachings of Jesus, as well as the other prophets of the bible. However, my relationship was only directly with God. I went to Church and took Holy communion. The bread and wine that is supposed to represent accepting the flesh and blood of Jesus, representing his blood sacrifice to "cleanse us of our sins", but I felt absolutely nothing. I tried to open my heart to Jesus, but again felt nothing. Only opening my heart to God the creator did I feel the presence of God in my life.
As I grew older,
As I grew older, I studied science at University. My primary field was physics, so I had an interest in the big bang theory. However, I also had friends in University who were studying genetics and biology and other fields, and so we used to get together and discuss religion a lot. They were atheists, and believe the Universe came about by chance, and that we evolved from ape like creatures after life began as a freak accident billions of years ago.
I couldn't find myself believing in Atheism, but nor could I find myself fully accepting the Christian teachings. Not only did I have a problem with the trinity, and the idea of Jesus as a God to worship, but I struggled with other parts of the bible and Christian beliefs. What was the point of doing good in society if Jesus died for our sins? Why could God simply not forgive us? Why did he need to send a human version of himself to die on the cross for us? Why did the different accounts of Jesus life in the new testament gospels have clear contradictions? I had a lot of questions.
Furthermore, I saw the Christian/Atheist society I was growing up and falling into a state of societal decay. Children being born out of wedlock from one night stands. Young people abandoning God and preferring to get drunk in nightclubs. Homeless people and drug addictions. A collapsing economy. Huge numbers of people suffering depression and mental health issues.
For those who did get married, many were ending in divorce. There was clearly something wrong with the society I was growing up in. Values were being lost, religion was being lost, and Christianity was failing to offer solutions, and Atheism was not providing an alternative, but making things worse.
Start of a Journey
I considered other religions. I looked into Buddhism, Hinduism and other faiths, searching for the truth, and a solution to societies problems. The only religion I didn't consider was Islam, due to the negative perception I had of the Islamic faith that I had from the media and its constant attacks on the Islamic faith.
That all changed when I met some really kind Muslims for the first time. I was amazed at how kind these people were. Shocked, that my whole perception of Muslims was completely wrong, I decided to ask more about the faith. I found that Islam is not a polytheistic or idol worshiping religion. I had thought "Allah" was some kind of desert god. But when I learned about Muslim beliefs, I realised it was everything I was searching for and believed in, and that it offered the cure for the many societal ills I observed in the UK.
I engaged with the Muslim community and began to travel to various mosques around the country, bought books on the prophets life, the qur'an, the 5 pillars of Islam and other essential books, and was convinced that Islam was the religion I had been searching for. I took my shahadah in a masjid and began to study and practise Islam.
To further my knowledge, I studied Qur'an Recitation, Tajweed, Arabic Grammar and Morphology, Fiqh, Usool, Aqeedah, Tafseer and other Islamic Fields. I found great benefit and wisdom in studying Islamic knowledge and found peace with practising Islam and learning to worship my creator and live in the manner that the creator wishes for mankind to live. I developed great love for the prophet and his companions, as well as the qur'an.
Hope for the Future
Islam offers the solutions for mankind. I hope that Muslims in Indonesia and all around the world focus on learning and practising Islam. Moreover, that we live in accordance with its teachings, and focus on raising large Muslim families to spread the message of Islam. As well as focusing on building an Islamic society that represents the faith well.
In future I hope to serve and inspire the Muslim ummah, through Dawah. I want to support new Muslims on their journey. I want to participate in charitable and political causes for the Muslim ummah. I want to inspire the Muslim community in their various efforts to study Islam. Moreover, to raise Muslim families and continue the vision of spreading Islam, with Allah's permission. Keep up to date on my efforts on the following Facebook page:
You can find more inspirational stories about people's journey to Islam here.