Sara Hermansson, Ex Christian, Sweeden

My life before Islam was empty in a way. Just the feeling to live for the day and not knowing the meaning and purpose of life. My self-confidence was quite weak. I didn’t feel that I belonged anywhere in the society, something was missing. I was searching for something, I just didn’t know what it was at that time.

It was a long journey and it took time. I knew there was a God, I just couldn’t identify myself with Christianity. God for me has always been something so great and big that my mind is limited to understand what He is. This, as God has such great power and can not be compared to a human being. God has no limitation, he is capable to do whatever He desires.

 I searched for a long time among different religions and the more I came to know about Islam, the more I felt Islam is the full truth and it made complete sense. Islam described God as I had always imagined Him.
 What I mostly love about Islam is Allah’s love and mercy. For me, being a Muslim means to live in peace with yourself and your friends, family and the whole society. And to show the best behaviour as possible, according to Prophet Muhammad’s (peace and blessings be upon him) Sunnah and how he treated people and how he showed love, charity and mercy. And also to please Allah Almighty and follow His words and ask for forgiveness and thank Allah for everything.

Islam gives you a rich life, in the sense that life has a purpose and you feel peace and love in your heart.
 I believe Islam is very much relevant to the world today. There is so much hatred in the world and a lot of people have the wrong concept of Islam, which is in many ways our own (we Muslims) mistakes in showing Islam in a wrong way. We need to show Islam in a peaceful way and with patience.

 Islam has many things to offer the world today. For example, charity is very much emphasized and to not be greedy regarding money and material things. To share love with your neighbors and with strangers. To keep self-respect, to show that confidence is not to show your body, it is to protect it; which is the ground to confidence and good morals.

 There are unfortunately many misconceptions about Islam. For example, that women are oppressed and forced to do whatever men say. So, it was not strange that my parents were not happy after I told them that I reverted to Islam, but they knew that I started to read about Islam since a long time before that.

They had and still have a negative view about Islam. Very much due to what is portrayed in media, but also because of the many bad actions done by Muslims who fail to correctly represent their religion. Unfortunately, I am held responsible for other peoples acts.

 My parents do accept me and they love me very much and when I’m there at their house they always cook food that I can eat as well. In that way they respect me, but they do feel ashamed if I need to pray somewhere.

 What’s positive is that they think that I’m helping them a lot and that I’m very caring. Some of my friends reacted in a negative way when I became Muslim. I have no longer any relationship with some of them, unfortunately. Others, I still got a relationship with, but I try not to discuss Islam too much with them, as some could feel uncomfortable with that. However, they do sometimes ask me things.
 My parents are not keen on discussing Islam. With time, I pray they will start asking and become Muslims insha Allah (God willing).
 It’s in the hands of Allah. I try to be kind to them, help them as much as possible, respect them and just show good behaviour.

I guess my relatives think I’m strange to revert to Islam, but none of them ever commented about it.

- From the Arabic language and/or specific acts of worship.
 I have felt frustration on not understanding Arabic. I have also not felt completely free to pray in any place, even in Islamic countries.

 Friends who showed charity and love and open arms had a great effect on me. I felt I did not see a purpose with life. I had an empty feeling; no peace. I embraced a whole new way of life with daily prayers, etc. I’m still doing the things I liked to do before that are permissible.

 It was not difficult for me to accept the belief in Prophet Muhammad. When you read about his beautiful way in dealing with people with understanding and love and his respect and love to people as well as animals in addition to how logical his acts were, it’s easy to believe in him. I read about Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism before embracing Islam, I believe that knowledge about other religions is very relevant to be able to compare and to get a larger understanding for your own religion and for other religions.

If we, as Muslims, want people to understand and respect us and our religion; we must act in the same way to others. Islam has given me a feeling of peace and harmony. It’s a feeling of satisfaction that I found the truth.