My Journey to Islam
You Would Find the Beauty of Islam in Ahlulbayt (a.s)

I was never intrigued with Islam. But when I met some Shias, it got me curious. Some of their behaviour and how they mentioned and praised Imam Ali (a.s) got me looking into Shi’ism.

According to Rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):An Exclusive Interview with a revert to Islam, Lestari (Fatima), from Australia, by Bentolhoda Mofakhami.

Sister Fatima! Rahyafte Team (related to Edoardo AgnelliIslamic Association) appreciates you for agreeing to hold an interview and also for the time you allocated to us.

First of all please tell us about yourself. (Name, Country, Job, Field of Study, Degree, your background, Age, Where Raised, and anything interesting about your background)

My name is Lestari, I’m 25, I’m from Australia, I come from an Indonesian and Brazilian background. I’m a disability support worker and support and look after people with disabilities.

How many brothers and sisters do you have? And how do you stand in your family?

I have 4 siblings and I’m the 2nd oldest. I take care of my mom as its just us two living together. My siblings have accepted me and support me in this chosen religion.

Please tell us about your previous religion, before converting to Islam!

I was raised catholic and attended catholic lessons at school, but I’ve never really practiced the religion. My mom side of the family is Muslim (Sunni) but my mom never really practiced either.

• Was your mom born Muslim? And is she still sunni?

Yes, she was born Muslim in Indonesia. She is illiterate and she doesn’t know what Sunni/Shia is, but I’ve made her attend Majlis and would say she is Shia, but she doesn’t know much.

How different was your previous religion with Islam?

Practicing Islam have gotten me close to God,  whereas when I was catholic nothing seemed spiritual even though I always felt there was a god or creator/high being out there.

How did you become familiar with Islam? What specifically attracted you to Islam?

I was never intrigued with Islam, and I didn’t like how it was strict and that some of the mentality that was associated with it. So, I left it as is and never investigated it again. But when I met some Shias, it got me curious again to investigate Islam and that led me to the sects within Islam. Some of the Akhlaq(behaviour) of the people and how they mentioned and praised Imam Ali (a.s) got me looking into Shi’ism.

When and how did you convert to Islam? (Please also talk about your last second before converting)

I converted just before Ramadan 2014. I looked and asked how to convert, then between me and Allah, I took my shahada.

When did your journey to Islam begin? (Your Opinion?)

My journey began before Ramadan 2014. I was still new in the religion and didn’t have much knowledge about the different schools of thoughts. As days went by, I started reading a lot of books on the history and the Shia/Sunni split.

How did you get familiar with Shia?

I came to know about Shia Islam when I met some Shia people. There was something about them that was different. And always the praises of Imam Ali (a.s) made me interested.

Did You Ever hesitate to say Shahadah?

I never hesitated. I knew that this was meant for me.

Did you have any problem with your family members when you accepted Islam?

Not really, alhamdulillah my family has been ok with it.

How did you come up with and Control the clashes with your family members?

There were times when 2 of my siblings didn’t like it and my brother hated it and used religion against me. My dad didn’t like that I suddenly changed into this religion and started to wear the hijab. But alhamdulillah things went well. As time went by, I explained him why I wear hijab and answered whatever questions he had. Now he accepts me but still doesn’t like it as much, but my sisters have been supportive about it.

Did the people around you cut their relationship with you after converting to Islam?

I started to lose friends after converting.

What were your family members’ reactions when you were practicing Islam or doing your prayers?

They thought I was too much into it and that I was strict. They wanted me to be modern Muslim without out praying, eating haram foods, drinking haram drinks, not wearing a veil, that type of Muslim!

 

 

 

What was your feeling when you prayed for the first time? Wasn’t it hard for you to pray 5 times a day?

It was hard at first because I didn’t have anyone to teach me. Then with the help of Allah, eventually I taught myself how to pray, memorize surahs etc. It was hard getting around to pray 5 times a day in the working days.

When and how did you announce your conversion to Islam?

I just told my friend that I converted. Then few weeks after I started wearing the veil and that’s when I was known to be Muslim.

Did you think that Islam is a religion just for Arabs? (Before converting to Islam)

Not really.

How do you see the spread of Islam in your country?

There are a lot of Muslims in my country. I’m from a small city so it’s a small Muslim community and very few Shias.

• Many people think that religions are the main cause of problems in the world today. Do you believe that too?

Not really. But when I started reading up on religions and a bit about politics everything connected like a puzzle.

Did you find anything illogical in your last religion? (How about Islam)

Well, trinity in catholic faith does not make sense and just didn’t make sense!

Did you use Media like You Tube, Facebook, etc. to be more familiar with Islam?

I used a lot of YouTube and reading materials online and also revert groups to help me with the religion.

How did you adapt yourself with new ethics of Islam?

It wasn’t hard to adapt as much. I just had to change few things to suit the Islamic faith.

How was the effect of reading the holy Quran for you? How did the holy Quran Influence you?

The holy Quran has always been a struggle for me. But it has helped me to also become God aware and to work for my Akhirah(hereafter).

• What is the most beautiful Ayah in Holy Quran? (Say your opinion)

I can’t say what is the most beautiful ayah of the holy Quran.

Why did you change your name, and why did you choose Fatima?
Once I went to a mosque and friend said “are you going to choose a name? Fatima or Aisha?” At that time, I was new, and I didn’t know much about on who was who, but it got me thinking and I just chose Fatima. When I started reading on the personality of Lady Fatima (s.a), I was so glad that I chose that name.

Why do most of the media attack Islam? Why most of the Media are against Islam?

To suit their agendas. To make people fear of the truth.

What’s your opinion about hijab? Has wearing hijab had any negative effect on your private life? Do you think it is only dedicated to women?

Hijab is the most beautiful thing a male or female can observe. It is hard to wear hijab sometimes because of the negativity in the media against Islam. But alhamdulillah so far it has been good. No, hijab should be observed by both genders.

Has wearing hijab limited any activities of your normal life?

Not really. But sometimes I feel uncomfortable going swimming or going to an event where people are drinking alcohol.

How do you analyze women’s right in Islam compared to what the West has propagated?

In Islam we’ve been given a lot of rights. Whereas the West degrades us.

How do you analyze the family institution according to Christianity and Islam?

Well some are the same but if you put it into West or Islamic views, the family dynamics in the West are falling apart.

As a convert, what way of inviting to Islam you believe is more effective on non-Muslims?

How you present yourself, how you act and your welcoming personality.

How are Muslims’ behavior?

Being a convert, Muslims need to change the mentality and behavior towards converts because how can they invite non-Muslims if this is how we are treated.

And how are your TV programs in your country? Is it good for family?

Depends on the time of day and the channel. Some are educating and some are not.

How do Muslims supply their own Halal food? Is there a main shop for it? What is its name?

We have a Muslim meat shop that also sells halal foods. Its name is Suhana butcher.

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 you would find these beauties in Ahlulbayt (a.s).

What roles do Imams have in your life?

The Imams (a.s) have leading role in every aspect of my life. They teach you a lesson in everything.

What do you think should be done for Imam Zaman’s reapprance?

To remember him (Imam Mahdi (ajtfs)) more, to act and behave as proper Muslims and to perform our duties.

What is your opinion about Ahlolbayt? Whom do you like?

I can’t say who I like, as the Ahlulbayt (a.s) are special in each and every way. But the ones closest to me I would say are Imam Ali (a.s), Imam Hussain (a.s) and Imam Mahdi (ajtfs).

Thank you very much for your attention. May Allah bless you and keep you strong and firm on this true path.

Edited by Zohreh Nourang.

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)

■ Feel Free to Share the posts with your Friends…
■ You too can take part and help us in sharing the knowledge…
■ May Allah SWT reward you for conveying His Message To Mankind

■ Feel Free to Share the posts with your Friends…
■ You too can take part and help us in sharing the knowledge…
■ May Allah SWT reward you for conveying His Message To Mankind

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