Why I choose Islam.
Would it be completely cheesy if I started this post by saying, I didn’t choose Islam, Islam chose me?
HAHA! Yes! Totally and massively cheesy, so No I won’t start with that!
Let’s start with an incredibly curious, open hearted, open minded young teenage Tanj, overwhelmed by some deep, emotionally and mentally exhausting questions, desperate to know God! Desperate to understand her own soul, what happens after we die, why we have to die, and so on. Often I read about what motivates converts or religious people and Death is almost always the motivator and centre of it.
At the ripe age of 13 I experienced my first paralyzing Panic Attack (which felt and still feels a lot like what I imagine dying would feel like) what I didn’t know until 6 years later was that these panic attacks would cement my need for answers and belief in something greater than this dunya. My condition would fuel my faith in a Creator which would ultimately save me from some of the darkest moments I have ever endured.
Let’s fast forward to age 20, in which I was blessed with a profound Islamic dream…(more on that perhaps for another post) this dream would set in motion my need to know more about why I was shown the signs I had been shown.
I recently told a friend that choosing Islam saved my life. And it did. It became a light for me in a very dark tunnel. It gave a very depressed me hope again. It gave me direction, motivation, purpose and meaning.
When I frequent the Aya, “Verily with every hardship, comes ease” (Quran 94:5) I can’t help but think about my diagnosis with depression and anxiety disorder, my conversion and estrangement from my family, my miscarriages, and the ease that followed soon after. I look at my husband and I feel ease, I look at my children and feel peace. Alhumdulliah. “Verily with every hardship, comes ease” (Quran 94:5)
I chose Islam because it was a truth I felt I knew and believed in long before I knew it. Does that make sense ? I can’t really explain in words what it feels like to know something deep down to your very core, in your heart of hearts, to be awoken to something so undeniable. For me that was the realization of God. I knew God existed before Islam, but I didn’t quite feel connected to Him. I tried. I tried really hard to adopt my then Orthodox roots, but something just wouldn’t stick. There were just too many questions left unanswered, which Islam simply answered for me.
Image courtesy of @thearistochick