My Journey to Islam
Assalamu alai'kum va rehmatullahi va barakatuhu
My name is Firdouse Rao.By the Grace of Almighty Allah I embraced Islam
At the age of 18 years, along with my elder brother Mohammad Umar Rao.
I would like to share my Experience with u all, Inshallah…
My Family: We were born and brought up in a strict Brahmin Family. We are 3 children, my brother Nagaraj, is the eldest son, my sister Veena and I am[Asha] the youngest in the family.Being the youngest, I was pampered by my parents,especially my mother.
Before sharing experience of my journey to Islam with u, I would like to share this strange incident which happened with me when I was in 8 th standard. One day evening I was playing and there was a mosque near my house, I think it was asr time and I heard Adhaan,I started listening to it carefully and when this line came, "Ashhadu Allah ilaah illalah,Ash hadhu anna Muhammad ur rasulullah", I heard it and started repeating it with intention of imitating it, little did I know that time that Almighty Allah would Accept my Shahada and would make me a muslim when I grow up?? Allah hu Akbar.
My Journey to Islam: My brother was very strict in doing pooja everyday morning and evening; he used to visit all the temples in our area. He was rude and used to beat us sometimes.
Once he started going to Syed Kalim's garment firm, he stopped doing
Pooja and everyday there used to be a big fight between my mother and my brother regarding this topic.My brother used to argue , that he will not bow in front of idol which cannot see , talk and not beneficial. His behavior also changed and he started being more responsible and soft spoken boy. During that time I was in 10 th standard and I was shocked about his sudden change.
Every day he used to debate with my mother about, why eshwara needs a wife? Why God who is so powerful needs a son and family? When God is so powerful enough to create us from nothing, then why Eshwara was not able to get ganesha's head back?? (Eshwara, a Hindu deity) I was shocked to hear all these questions from him.
I started observing my brother's actions closely, every day, he used to lock himself in a room for few minutes and I was curious to know what he is doing inside. One fine day, after he left the house I went inside the room to search what he has hidden there. Allah made me to search and in the cupboard I found a black dairy, when I opened it I couldn't understand anything in that dairy. Last chapters of Quran were written in the dairy and procedure to do Namaz. The only word I could understand was Namaz.I thought of asking my brother about this that day evening. My mother and my sister had gone to my grandmother's house , only myself and my brother were left at home. I started asking my brother about that dairy and what has gone wrong with him that he has stopped doing pooja? My brother explained me the story from Quran about how Allah created Adam and Eve, Allah asked all angels to prostrate, everybody did except Iblees who disobeyed Allah's command.Iblees was thrown out of heaven and he owed to Allah that he will lead Mankind astray, and this idol worship is Satan's handiwork to lead man astray from straight path.
I started Analyzing within myself about how man can imagine God's picture? My brother gave an example saying that, for example, if u consider a shirt , and put some life into it , It will start thinking that my creator is also a shirt but much more special like : with 3 to 4 extra hands and more heads etc. Similarly man has imagined these pictures, which does not exist.
Also, I analyzed that our eyes can only see up to sky, we can't see what is beyond sky with our naked eyes, similarly our mind has a limitation and we can't imagine God.
During Ganesha festival, I used to observe that man himself makes that idol out of Mud and I further started thinking how can we sell God on footpath? Is it that, our so called God Ganesha is so cheap? , that we buy them on footpath and then I came to conclusion that these are idols which man has created and they are not God.
One day I happened to go to that firm and I saw Syed Kalim's brother reading Quran. I went near the Quran and tried to read, it was English translation of Quran by Abdullah Yusuf Ali. First verse which I read was from surah AL-Kahf which says, "If you take ocean as ink and all trees on earth as pen to write Allah's praises ocean will end but not the word of Allah" , Allahhu Akbar. I started thinking, is Allah's praise so much that ocean will also end? This verse made me think about Allah's creation, I started reflecting on how human being is created, trees, birds, earth and all which exist , I got convinced that this verse is true. I decided to follow Islam but I had not told this to anybody in my family. Meanwhile my brother was in the process of convincing my mother and my sister about Islam. I used to just listen to his discussions and got answers for many of my questions. My mother used to teach us some shloka to recite while sleeping so that we don't get scared at night. I thought, AllahhuAkbar means 'Allah is the Greatest' , so I will tell this only and I used to say AllahhuAkbar while sleeping .I was in my 2 nd year diploma and I had decided to lead my life as a Muslim. I used to escape from doing pooja by going out to play and my parents ignored it.
I started thinking, how will I leave my house being a girl? Then, I used to get thoughts like, "me being a girl should not stop me from accepting and following the truth". My sister was also convinced with Islam. One day on Ganesha festival all 3 of us opposed for whatever wrong was happening at home. My mother did not agree with us and asked us to leave home after lot of argument. My brother went to make arrangements for accommodation. One person by name Khurshid bhai who works as manager in Syed Kalim's shop agreed to give us his store room for few days. My sister stepped back telling she'll not join us. Alhamdulillah, I was firm with my resolution to follow Islam and started packing to get out of home.
My mother was trying to convince me telling that, she'll give gold and get me married to a nice guy etc. I told, I do not need all these.
The same evening my brother and I left our home, loaded all our clothes in hand covers and my brother just had 100 rupees. Alhamdulillah, Allah gave us that courage to leave for the sake of Allah.
I was in my final year diploma when we left out home. My mother met me in my college and asked me to meet my grandmother at home.
I went home; my grand mother started questioning me saying; "that you have become Muslim?" I said, "yes". She said, "You become a Christian or anything else but don't become a Muslim, they are the worst people". I replied, "You don't know about Islam, that is why you are talking like this".
They tried to lock me in a room but I ran away from there saying that, I don't want to live with you people.
Alhamdulillah, Allah gave me the courage and strength to face that day. My mother threatened us by telling that she'll complaint to the police and my principal but Alhamdulillah, we were firm regardless of consequences.
As we left our home, my brother quit his job because he had to work in shifts and he was unable to perform Friday prayers. We started living in small home, we did not had anything except one small stove, one mat to sleep and some vessels to cook. I still remember, I used to keep our clothes on floor, we slept for few days by making our books as pillow and my duppatta as bed sheet, and we used to comb our hair by looking at steel plate in which we used to eat. Alhamdulillah, those were most beautiful days in our lives. I am grateful to Allah that he honored us with such tests.
My mother used to come near my college with lunch box to convince me to return home, even though I was hungry, I did not accept her offer.
For 8 - 12 months, my brother did not have a job. Sometimes, we used to live on bananas and bread with water because we were unable to afford a good meal. I used to come back from college and drink a glass of water and sleep so that I do not feel hungry. Alhamdulillah, it is Allah who gave us the strength to be firm on straight path.
Today if we look back we feel that, had not been Allah's mercy we cannot even imagine to leave family and to face such hardships in Life.
Alhamdulillah, I'm blessed with an Engineering degree in Telecom and Allah has blessed my brother who is working as software Engineer in a very good company.
I remember an incident in every prayer, which happened when I was in 7th standard. I used to stick pictures of idols in my pencil box and I used to tease my Muslim friends telling them, "See; we have a God whom we can see but u people only worship a wall and nothing else".
Today Allah made me to stand in front of him and bow in front of him for 5 times a day, it brings tears of joy to know that Allah has trained us and purified us with so many tests till today and we both feel happier to face tests in life when we remember this hadith. Prophet Muhammad [PBUH] said, "Allah tests only those people whom he loves the most" Allah has blessed us with Islam.Alhamdhulillah!!