She wanted to deal directly with God . . .
"Muslim - Christian Dialog" changed her life
Becomes 15 Year Old, Good-Muslim Girl
"Girl Becomes A Muslim"
There were times when I thought myself close to God. I often prayed to him for guidance and strength in times of despair or for a wish in times of want. But I soon realized that this feeling of closeness soon evaporated when I was no longer begging God for something. I realized that I even though I believed, I lacked faith.
Was A "Game"
As I grew older and became more aware of the world, I believed more in God. I believed that there had to be a God to bring some order to the chaotic world. If there were no God, I believed the world would have ended in utter anarchy thousands of years ago. It was comfort to me to believe there was a supernatural force guiding and protecting man.
Take Religion From Parents
I have heard that religion cannot be argued. My friends and I tried to do this many times. I often had debates with my friends about Protestantism, Catholicism, and Judaism. Through these debates I searched within myself more and more and decided I should do something about my emptiness. And so at the age of 13, I began my search for truth.
Humankind is always in constant pursuit of knowledge or the truth. My search for truth could not be deemed as an active pursuit of knowledge. I continued having the debates, and I read the Bible more. But it did not really extend from this. During this period of time my mother took notice of my behavior and from then on I have been in a "religious phase." My behavior was far from a phase. I simply shared my newly gained knowledge with my family. I learned about the beliefs, practices, and doctrines within Christianity and minimal beliefs and practices within Judaism.
A few months within my search I realized that if I believe in Christianity I believed myself to be condemned to Hell. Not even considering the sins of my past, I was on a "one way road to Hell" as southern ministers tend to say. I could not believe all the teachings within Christianity. However, I did try.
But not only did I lack belief but I had many questions that I posed to every knowledgeable Christian I could find and never really did receive a satisfactory answer. I was simply told things that confused me even more. I was told that I am trying to put logic to God and if I had faith I could simply believe and go to Heaven. Well, that was the problem: I did not have faith. I did not believe.
The questions went on and on. My perplexity increased. My uncertainty increased. For fifteen years I had blindly followed a faith simply because it was the faith of my parents.
- Christian Dialog"
I took the book and read it. I am ashamed to say that during my searching never did I once consider another religion. Christianity was all I knew, and I never thought about leaving it. My knowledge of Islam was very minimal. In fact, it was mainly filled with misconception and stereotypes. The book surprised me. I found that I was not the only one who believed there was a simply a God. I asked for more books. I received them as well as pamphlets.
After a couple months of reading the month of Ramadan began. Every Friday I could I joined the local Muslim community for the breaking of the fast and the reciting of the Quran. I posed questions that I may have come across to the Muslim girls. I was in awe at how someone could have so much certainty in what they believed and followed. I felt myself drawn to the religion that alienated me.
Brought Comfort & Reminder
Beliefs were not the only thing important to me. I wanted a discipline to pattern my life by. I did not just want to believe someone was my savior and through this I held the ticket to Heaven. I wanted to know how to act to receive the approval of God. I wanted a closeness to God. I wanted to be God-conscious. Most of all I wanted a chance for heaven. I began to feel that Christianity did not give this to me, but Islam did.
I continued learning more. I went to the Eid celebration and Jummah and weekly classes with my friends.
Through religion one receives peace of mind. A calmness about them. This I had off and on for about three years. During the off times I was more susceptible to the temptations of Satan. In early February of 1997 I came to the realization that Islam was right and true. However, I did not want to make any hasty decisions. I did decide to wait.
On March 19, 1997 after returning from a weekly class, I recited the Shahadah to myself. Then on March 26, I recited it before witnesses and became an official Muslim.
People are often amazed at how a fifteen year old can make such an important decision in life. I am grateful that Allah blessed me with my state of mind that I was able to find it so young.
to Be A Good Muslim - In Non-Muslim Society
I must admit that I lack the aptitude to express the greatness, mercy, and glory of Allah. I hope my account helped others who may feel the way I felt or struggle the way I struggled.
As salamu alaykum wa rahmatulah wa barakatuh,
Natassia M. Kelly