I would say that Islam gives people the peace they need to deal with the crazy things in society, the stress of life and any personal problems you have. Islam helps with that.
An Exclusive Interview of a Revert to Islam, Cynthia, from the United States, by Bentolhoda Mofakhami
Rahyafte team (related to Edoardo Agnelli Islamic Association) invites you on a special journey into the life of sister Cynthia. Thank you so much for your time and cooperation. Please introduce yourself.
My name is Cynthia. Since I have converted to Islam I have taken the Muslim name Amira. I took my shahada on January 28th 2015 when I was 18 years old. I am from Arizona America and I am 21 years old. I am going to be starting Islamic studies in February this year inshaAllah.
How did you get familiar with Islam?
I became familiar with Islam when I was in high school. When I was 18 years old I heard a lot of things about Islam on the news and I decided to go to my local library and read the Quran.
What drove you to convert to Islam?
What drove me to convert to Islam was when I read the Quran. I got this amazing peaceful feeling in my heart and I felt something inside of me awaken so I decided to do some research.
What was your family’s reaction after you became a Muslim? Did you have any problem with people who knew you?
My brother’s reaction was very negative. He made comments about how Muslims don’t shower, don’t celebrate Christmas. My mom was OK with it, she was just concerned about me and whether or not I had done my research about Islam. My dad and step mom were really concerned with if I was going to be oppressed. My dad wanted to know if someone converted me.
How do you see the spread of Islam in your country?
I think that there is potential for Islam to spread in the USA because some people have rebelled against Donald Trump and started supporting their Muslim neighbors. A group of Christians came to my local mosque and said things like: “ we are here to support you, don’t give up, you are loved,” this has lead to people learning about Islam and what their Muslim neighbor believes in. I also think that most people in my age are confused about religion because they did not grow up with religion; they don’t like Christianity. So I think that if the dawah continues then more people will come to Islam.
What is the most beautiful Ayah of the Quran in your opinion? And why?
I love Surah Rahman I love the way it sounds when it is recited. It has a beautiful melody to it. I really like the Quran quote, “He founded you lost and guided you.” (93:7)
What’s your opinion about hijab? Did wearing hijab have any effect on your private life? Do you think it is only dedicated to women?
I Love the hijab. I think that hijab is one of the things that makes you Muslim. I also think that hijab is more than just something you put on your head. It is a symbol you have dedicated yourself to God. I think it also involves behavior, religious views and a different outlook on life. The hijab is not just for women. The Quran quote where it mentions hijab, it says “tell the men to lower their gaze and guard their private parts”. Men have rules too when it comes to dress like no ripped clothes, no sagging, no sleeveless shirts, no walking around with your shirts off and no tight clothes. I am surprised that does not get preached more often.
How do you analyze the family institution according to Christianity and Islam?
I analyse the family as something that is important and the family has an effect on the individual and the community. I think that a family is like the building blocks of society, that is why Islam actually says that a man and a woman must take care of the household and why they both have different roles.
What specifically attracted you to Islam?
Sharia law, the media and society portrays sharia in a very negative way, however this is not the case. As I have started studying Islam sharia law is not bad it gives you the guidelines that you need to live a good life, like not drinking alcohol, no smoking, and dressing modestly. These are the things that help people have a relationship with Allah (swt) and live a better life.
What was your religion before converting to Islam?
I did not have a religion before converting. I come from a liberal family so before Islam I believed that there was a god, I just did not worship him and that is something I would tell people. I would get a lot of negative reactions to that people would tell me thats weird how do you believe in a god and not worship him?
What was your feeling when you prayed for the first time? Wasn’t it hard for you to pray 5 times a day?
The first time I prayed I had the most beautiful peaceful feeling inside my heart and I kept on trying to pursue that. Yes it was hard for me to pray five times a day but it was so amazing to see my prayers come true. I love how Allah (swt) says if you are grateful for something I will give you more. That is still something cool to see.
If you want to say some words about the beauty of Islam, the peace, the calmness you have found in this religion what do you say?
I would say that Islam gives people the peace they need to deal with the crazy things in society, the stress of life and any personal problems you have. Islam helps with that. I think that is something that should be on the cover of every Quran “Islam helps with that.” If you have alcohol issues Islam helps with that, drug issues Islam helps with that, stress Islam helps with that.
Thank you very much for your time. May Allah bless you and keep you strong and firm on this true path.
DUA: Allah please accept this from us. You are All-Hearing and All-Knowing. You are The Most Forgiving.You are The Most Relenting and repeatedly Merciful. Allah grant us The Taufiq to read all the 5 prayers with sincerity.
(Taken from: To Be Earnest In Prayers By Amina Elahi)
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