An Exclusive Interview of a Revert to Islam, Anne-Marije , from Netherlands, by Bentolhoda Mofakhami
See the Persian text here
Congratulations on converting to Islam
Thank You for agreeing to hold this Interview
- rahyafteha.ir: First of all please tell us about yourself. (Name, ,Country, Job, Field of Study, Degree, Your background, Age, Where you were raised, and anything interesting about your background)
My name is Anne-Marije and I’m from the Netherlands. I’ve currently got 2 jobs in the catering service and going back to school to study computer sciences. I’m 20 years old and also married to an Algerian man. He doesn’t live with me yet because he needs a visa. Being married nowadays doesn’t mean that you get nationality anymore.
I was raised up as a Christian but we never really believed.
- rahyafteha.ir: How many brothers and sisters do you have? And how do you stand in your family?
I have three sisters. Lisette, Stefanie and Amanda. They are 34, 32 and 30 years old. Im not in contact with lisette anymore as she refuses being in contact with our family
In my family I’m the pillar, the one who’s holding us together. That is where I stood before Islam and this position is the one i try to maintain
- rahyafteha.ir: Please tell us about your previous religion, before converting to Islam!
Before I was raised as a Christian but we never practiced with any religion at home
- rahyafteha.ir: How did you become familiar with Islam? What specifically attracted you to Islam?
What attracted me to come to Islam was manners of others. Many people told me “if you don’t do this you will go to hell” blah blah blah
Sure, in some way it was true but it only made me angry “who are you to tell me I will go to hell” and so on.
- rahyafteha.ir: When and how did you convert to Islam? ( please also talk about your last second before converting )
So eventually.. I met a guy. His name is Mohamed. He was a sweetheart (and still is) He didn’t tell me about Islam but showed me the way.. He made me curious by showing things without explaining them too much
- rahyafteha.ir: When did your journey to Islam begin? (Your Opinion?)
So I started asking him much and eventually I found myself falling In love with him as well as his manners
He never forced me onto Islam, it has always been my choice. He even asked me if I was sure and didn’t rush to make me say the shahada. He first let me see if this is really something I can hold on to. And eventually he made me say it. That’s how I came to Islam. And 8 months after it we got married
- rahyafteha.ir: Did You Ever hesitate to say Shahadah?
It was a tough decision.. Because if I stepped into Islam, I had to get rid of my job and the study I was doing. I was studying nursing, that was including washing men naked. And my job was in a pizza place with much alcohol and pork. It was tough because I wanted to become a nurse and needed money.
But I did it. I took a step further into Islam and I have not regretted it (well maybe the first week… Grief for giving up on a dream).
- rahyafteha.ir: How do you feel when you work for your Akherah (The other World)?
When working for the Akhira I feel happy. It does make me feel good to do good. It makes me feel I’m doing my duty towards Allah (SWT)
- rahyafteha.ir: Did you have any problem with your family members when you accepted Islam?How did you come up with and control the clashes with your family members?
When I came to Islam, I had to fight my way through a little bit.. My dad was supportive and my mom is just sometimes. Example: I converted and wanted to wear hijaab. Where my dad told me to do it but my mom told me to leave the home if I wanted to wear hijab
Now, 2018.. I started wearing it just since 11 days ago. My mom is still not happy with it but everyone around me is being okay with it so far Alhamdulillah
- rahyafteha.ir: Did the people around you cut the relationship with you after converting to Islam?
Actually many people have cut me off since I came to Islam. Many people didn’t exactly like it. In the beginning it did upset me but nowadays I don’t really care. But nowadays if they call me around dinner time and I don’t respond they say “ah she’s probably praying”
- rahyafteha.ir: What was your feeling when you prayed for the first time? Wasn’t it hard for you to pray 5 times a day?
When I started praying my 5 daily prayers it was alright but I was nervous because I was kind of afraid to tell my parents when I prayed
- rahyafteha.ir: When and how did you announcing your convert to Islam?
When I announced my conversion to Islam I really just threw it
“mom.. Dad… Uhhh…i…uu….DONT LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT OKAY I WANT TO BE MUSLIM BYE” and I stormed out of the living room with half a heart attack
- rahyafteha.ir: Did you think that Islam is a religion Just for Arabs? ( before converting to Islam)
I did think Islam was for Arabic people. I thought only Moroccans are Muslim. Excuse my narrow minded brain when I was 15.
- rahyafteha.ir: How do you see the spread of Islam in your country?
I don’t know how to explain that Islam is growing so fast in the Netherlands. But I do know many converts from the Netherlands. One living in Jeddah and one is living in Egypt.
- rahyafteha.ir: Many people think that religions are the main cause of problems in the world today, did you believe that too?
Religions are not a problem in nowadays society. Mindsets are. People are misleading each other. If we all went back into the books we’d find much morality and ethics that are used today in the right ways.
- rahyafteha.ir: Did you use social media like YouTube, Facebook, etc. to be more familiar with Islam?
I use Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Tumblr to learn things about Islam alongside with other sites and books and the Quran
- rahyafteha.ir: How did you adapt yourself to the new ethics of Islam?
I’m still adapting to the ethics of Islam… But I’m going step by step. Somethings are easy to accept other things are harder. Also based on what country you’re living in.
- rahyafteha.ir: How was the effect of reading the holy Quran for you? How did the holy Quran Influence you?
The effect The Quran is having is that it makes me peaceful. Things are explained into detail and you can start full philosophical conversations about subjects like the day of resurrection and dajjal or about the end of time etc.
- rahyafteha.ir: What is the most beautiful Ayah in Holy Quran?(Say your opinion)
The most beautiful ayah in my opinion is “He found you lost and guided you”
- rahyafteha.ir: Why do most of the media attack Islam? Why are most of the Media are against Islam?
Why most of the media attack Islam is because they need a scapegoat to blame things on. We’re indoctrinated in the west and most of our news is fake anyways. Most of the terrorists never existed as they’re just government paws to keep us afraid and make us listen to them but many people aren’t aware of this.
- rahyafteha.ir: What’s your opinion about hijab? Has wearing hijab had any negative effects on your private life? Do you think it is only dedicated to women?
I started wearing it 11 days. It doesn’t restrict me. It actually brings me closer to people. Today, subhan Allah, a woman walked up to me and said “wow.. Ma Shaa Allah Look at you. You’re wearing hijab perfectly. You’re a convert aren’t you? Welcome to Islam dear”
Hijaab isn’t just for women. It’s more than a scarf. It is morality and also behavior. It’s for men too. Lowering the gaze and wearing wide clothes. Allah (SWT) ordered hijab for men before he ordered us to do so.
- rahyafteha.ir: How do you analyze women’s right in Islam compared to what the West has propagated?
Women have so much rights… We as western people are actually not as free as Muslim women.
They think west women are free because they can go out without mahrem and mix with men and and and and. But we as Muslim women have many privileges. Like being able to own land and also people who were Islamic invented school as we are obligated by Allah to keep learning.
- rahyafteha.ir: As a convert, what way of inviting to Islam you believe is more effective on non-Muslims?
I believe when you invite someone to Islam. You should show them and not tell them. Show them Muslim ethics and kind behavior. Show them that the smile is sunnah. Tell them about the kindness of the Prophet. Take time for them when they ask you something,
- rahyafteha.ir: How are muslims’ behaviors?
How other Muslims behave depends on who you talk with. Some are kind with you and some are very rude.
- rahyafteha.ir: How are your TV programs in your country?Is it suitable for the family?
TV shows in the Netherlands are not always family friendly as they show much Zina.
- rahyafteha.ir: How do muslims supply their own Halal food? Is there a main shop for it? What is its name?
I’ve got 3 halal stores close to my home, Ergin market, cedar market and market plaza oude bouw.
- rahyafteha.ir: If you wanted to say some words about the beauty of Islam, the peace, the calmness you have found in this religion what would you say?
Islam is just beautiful. When you make a decision to change for the better its hard at first. But eventually you’ll see it was a good decision. Maybe not the first day or week, but you’ll notice how much good it does in your life.
See the Persian text here