Sakina had this amazing energy about her, Alison thought and her charismatic personality drew Alison to her immediately when they first met at Uni. As she got to know her, Alison’s curiosity was piqued: why does she wear the hijab? Why does she have to pray 5 times a day?
But what Alison really wanted to know was how Sakina flowed through the motions of her prayer with a serenity that even yoga had never allowed her.
As a child Alison had so many questions: questions about the trees, the sky, the sun, the moon and everything in between, but the more varied the answers she got growing up, the more her curiosity peaked. She went through educational institutions always aware of and even befriending Muslims, but it wasn’t until she started researching Islam for herself that it satiated the plethora of questions she had about existence.
It was when Sakina invited her along to the ISOC seminar that she heard the words from the speaker:
سَنُرِيهِمْ ءَايَـٰتِنَا فِى ٱلْـَٔافَاقِ وَفِىٓ أَنفُسِهِمْ حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَهُمْ أَنَّهُ ٱلْحَقُّ ۗ أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِ بِرَبِّكَ أَنَّهُۥ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ شَهِيدٌ
We shall show them Our signs in every region of the earth and in themselves, until it becomes clear to them that this is the Truth. Is it not enough that your Lord witnesses everything? (41:53)
Alison felt something stir in her heart and could not focus the rest of the day, almost as though she was having an out of body experience. Everywhere she looked it seemed as though she was looking at it for the first time, the blue sky above her head suddenly looked far more majestic than before. She struggled to sleep that night and recalled that day several years ago, while she was on holiday in Turkey, she heard the Adhan (call to prayer) for the first time, the melodious sound of the Arabic language, which she didn’t even understand, had stopped her in her tracks. Since then, she had been researching about Islam and the more she read about it, the more the truth was manifesting within her.
That night after the ISOC seminar she whipped out her laptop at 2 a.m. and searched ‘How do you become a Muslim?’ She felt ready for the first time in her life – she felt certain that Islam was the truth. Searching for a mosque that might be able to help her, her search drew a blank due to the pandemic. Thankfully she came across the Solace website, called them and was later able to talk through how everything could be arranged for her over the phone and online.
She took her shahadah, not in a room full of people but sitting in her room facing her laptop, but that was ok. She could feel the presence of her Creator, The One Who would and always did witness everything.
The support she got from Solace, in what was a lonely time for many, was invaluable. She had so many fears about learning new things: the prayer, The Quran, the Islamic teachings and rules, but her support worker understood her needs and helped her through them. It was daunting at first – the foreign language on her tongue, not being able to understand what she was reciting when she was reciting it, but her support worker helped calm her fears.
She worked with her to set up a manageable learning plan which would help her memorise the prayer and talked through her questions about Islam. Alison looked forward to and enjoyed the sessions, reviewing her memorisation goals and learning more and more about Islam and Allaah. She was given the safe space to clarify the misunderstandings and doubts that invaded her thoughts on occasion. Her support worker also helped her build confidence so that she could tell her family and friends of her new faith.
She was hopeful now that with her newfound motivation to learn she could bring answers to other seekers of truth. She hoped that the support that she had gotten from Solace could be the ripple that runs through her to spread the message of Islam: Alison wanted to be an ambassador of hope just as Solace had been for her.
Will you be a beacon of hope for the many like Alison out there?
Give them solace this Ramadan, and multiply your rewards by helping your revert sisters to find Sakina (peace) in their lives, by doing the following:
Support revert sisters in difficulty this Ramadan: givesolace.uk/behersolace
The Revert Stories are in aid of Solace UK’s “Be Her Solace” campaign, which are 4 simple ways you can give our revert sisters solace in Ramadan.
Disclaimer: These stories are derived from multiple real stories to depict real-life events and circumstances experienced by revert sisters. While the stories are based on real-life events, none of the stories belong or refer to one particular person. Full anonymity and confidentiality has been upheld in the writing of Revert Stories. Solace takes the privacy of its service users seriously. All names, characters, locations and events have been changed.
This Revert Story was written by Meru Hussain.