June 23, 1996. I was introduced to Islam in 1995 by an Egyptian classmate who arrived in New Zealand the previous year, and who was placed into my Chemistry class. I had no religion before this, though I guess I was a non-practicing Christian, since I attended Sunday school when I was young, (but mainly to learn Chinese, my native tongue, rather than religion).
In fact I was uninterested in much that was taught to me, however I never at any stage discounted the notion of a higher being (i.e. Allah, or God).
Because of my background in religion, I did not know much about religions other than Christianity and Buddhism. My parents are Buddhists, but my knowledge of it was so weak that I did not even know the proper name for their religion until a few years ago. So I was naive when I met my classmate, Muhammad.
During the first few weeks, another classmate of mine kept teasing Muhammad about his religion, asking leading questions and the like. I thus became interested in some of the things that this other classmate, James, was suggesting. So I got talking with Muhammad about this religion called Islam, and we became acquainted quickly.
I requested to see a Quran but did not find the time to read it, during a busy school year. So when the workload became a bit lighter, I went to see my friend’s father, who is our local Imam. He spoke to me at length about Islam, and planted a seed which in a few months time, with the blessing of Allah, blossomed into strong Muslim, alhumdulillah.
I took shahada in November 1995. I am often asked why I came to Islam. The question seems logical, and simple, but in fact, I still find it the most difficult question to answer, even though I have been asked it so many times.
You see, I saw many things in Islam that I liked. Included in this were the strong brotherhood and sisterhood in Islam, the way fellow Muslims looked after each other, and the logic in Islam. The logic in women wearing Hijab to deter from that which is haram, the logic in the forbidding of alcohol, which harms more than it ever will heal, and the logic in many other areas of our lives.
I have been told that many people who revert to Islam find they fit right in with the religion. Indeed this was the case with me. Coming from a kafir (a non-Muslim) country such as New Zealand, I have lived here most of my life, it is rare for a person to be good religiously like myself.
You see, alhumdulillah, I made intentions in my heart never to drink in my life, and never have; I made intentions not to fornicate, even though everyone around me in school was either fornicating or planning to. So you see, alhumdulillah, Allah blessed me from the beginning, and I felt Islam was the next obvious step for me to take in my life.
I decided in November of 1995, with the encouragement with some brothers and sisters on the Internet, to take shahada as a first step in Islam, and then take further steps to learn more about Islam, after all we are all in a constant state of learning about Islam. Since then I have progressed slowly but surely, learning some chapters from Quran during a very busy school year.
Allah blessed me with some amazing results last year, alhumdulillah, and now I want to thank my Allah by increasing the time I spend learning Quran and about Islam this year, while I pursue entry into a Medical degree.
May Allah give me the strength inshaAllah to enter Medical school next year. May Allah help us all to learn more about Islam, and let us all undertake to live our lives in the correct way, and follow the one true and surely straight path, that of Islam. Ameen.