The below mentioned story is taken from Sister SecretMuslimah blog and published after her consent and approval.
I'm a teenager of few words. I'm probably the most boring person you'll ever meet. But one day, something happened that changed my life completely. Verily, whoever Allah guides, none can misguide him and whoever Allah misguides, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (saw) is his slave and final messenger.
This is my story about how I came to Islam.
I was born to a father who was a Catholic and a mother who was Buddhist. When I was 3 months, I got baptised into the Catholic Church. When I was 2, my father suffered an asthma attack and was in a coma for 21 days, and so I was in the care of a family friend. During that time, my mother would pray to her statues, asking them to help my father get better and all of that. Basically, the doctors were like how if my father lived, then he would have to be in a wheelchair, he would be drooling. To sum it up, they said he would be an invalid. But then on the 21st day, there was a loud crash of thunder and my father immediately woke up. He was perfectly fine. The doctors had been proven wrong. This was not what they had expected. There was no wheelchair, no drooling. About a month after, believing that the statues had somewhat saved him, he converted to Buddhism, and I was dragged along with this too. My father eventually died 8 days after 9/11.
After my father’s death, my mother would make me bow down to the statues, read some Buddhist scriptures that I couldn't understand, and as I was around 5-6, I was naive to the subject. I would sit there everyday for 2-3 hours, miming something, and because I didn’t understand what I was doing and why I was doing it, I felt no real connection. So when I got to the age of 9-10, I started to not be bothered about worshipping these statues anymore. So therefore, I made any excuse possible so that I could get out of this forced worship. Eventually, my mother left me to do my own thing. But she wasn't finished. I felt like I was forced to do something that I didn't want to follow and that this was my mother's religion, not mine.
From a young age, I was always interested in religion as a result of being split between two religions. So I would read books on religion, most of the time focussing on Islam. I somewhat believed that there was only one God.
All my primary school life, I went to a Catholic school, prayed, read the Bible, talked about Jesus, etc. I know it's pretty complicated, but I guess it was what Allah had decreed for me. At one point, I thought that when I was older, I was going to be Catholic because of the Catholic influence around me. But my mother had already planned for me to be a Buddhist nun. It came to the time to apply for a place in secondary school. I was learning about Islam in RE lessons, like 'halal', 'haraam', 'Ramadan', 'Allah', 'Qur'an', etc. and I was pretty interested. My mother wanted to apply to a Catholic secondary school but it was too complicated, so she lost hope and decided to apply for 'non-religious school'. I eventually got accepted into one, and I thought to myself, 'This way, I can actually be Buddhist'.
I started my first day of secondary school, and the majority of my class were Muslim. I had never had that much exposure to Islam before. The only exposure I had was when I went to Regent’s Park Mosque with my primary school for a trip and that was it. And I remember when my mother and I were walking down the road once, we saw a Muslim woman wearing a hijab and a niqab, and my mother said, 'The men are selfish. They just want their wife's beauty to themselves. They don't want anyone else to steal their wife.' I didn't have a clue about Islam at that time. And also, at the time of the London 7/7 bombings, my mother said, 'They pray 5 times a day to their God, why are they so violent and go around bombing places?'
Going back to my secondary school life, I became friends with a group of Muslims at some point when I was around 12. We were learning about Islam in RE and about how the Prophet (saw) was illiterate and how he was given the power by Allah to read and write, and how the Qur'an was sent through Jibrail (as). I was fascinated about this matter. I decided to research Islam, its morals, rules and teachings. At some point I even searched 'how to convert to Islam' but found it too complicated, as what I read involved going to the masjid and talking to the imam and other stuff, and so I left it. But I couldn't leave it. Something kept on pulling me back to Islam, making me research it more and more.
My mother wasn't happy when she found out that I had Muslim friends, she said 'they follow a devil religion'. And to add fuel to the fire, fasting with my friends wasn't a great idea either. She was furious and went on about how I was being 'led astray and hanging with the wrong crowd'. But I knew I wasn't. Muslims were being portrayed in a bad way in the media, but it doesn't mean all Muslims are like that.
DON'T judge a religion by the followers.
When I was 14, I was more exposed to Muslims giving dawah on the streets. Once when I saw a dawah table while going to the library, I was somehow evoked of Islam, and decided to pay them a visit. Before I visited, I had wanted to be Muslim so badly but didn't have the guts to take the first step. The brother asked 'Are you Muslim?' I don't know why, but I said that I was. He gave me a book called, 'An Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam' or something along the lines and a leaflet that said 'How to Convert to Islam' immediately caught my attention. I looked through the book when I got home, and could not believe how verses in the Qur'an revealed thousands of years ago matched what science had just discovered decades ago. It was so miraculous.
There was an FAQ. 'One may ask, 'I think Islam is a good religion, but if I were to convert to Islam, my family, friends, and other people would persecute and make fun of me. So if I did not convert to Islam, will I enter Paradise and be saved from the Hellfire?' That's exactly what I was thinking. My mother would go mad if I had converted. So I delayed my shahada.
Before that, I went to a fair and saw a dawah table. I was immediately interested and went to their stall. They gave me a Qur'an and so I went home and started to read it. I read the first few pages and knew that Islam was the truth, but again, I delayed my shahada. I wanted to wait until there was nothing that could stop me from converting to Islam.
One of my close friends had started to practise Islam and pray 5 times a day. Because we went home together, I would wait for her to pray and then we would go home. She wanted to pray at the masjid, and so we would both enter and she would pray and then after we would have these 'religious discussions' while walking home. Once, while sitting and waiting for my friend to finish praying, I felt something go down my spine. It was a warm feeling and lasted for a few seconds or so. It felt like I had a connection with Allah and so our 'religious discussions' would develop even more.
It was like I couldn't stop talking about Islam. A few days or weeks later I did more research. And again I searched 'how to convert to Islam' I was glued to this page and found out it was actually an easy process. All you have to do is declare and believe that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad (saw) is his messenger. You didn't need some fancy ceremony or anything. I then watched a video of two sisters converting and I was so inspired by them and so I decided that this was the right moment. I finally said my shahada. I again got that warm feeling down my spine, like the one I felt while in the masjid. I was certain it was from Allah.
I was now Muslim. What next?
I researched how to pray, how to perform wudu etc. but it was too overwhelming, so I decided to leave it. I didn't tell anyone. This was just between me and Allah. Eventually I learnt the basics.
The problem when I first converted was praying at home. My mother could intrude and could’ve caught me red handed. Praying could be so difficult at times. My mother would either knock on the door, call me from downstairs, and if she didn't get a reply from me, she would end up trying to open the door, so sometimes I had to break my prayer, answer for unnecessary things and then restart my prayer from the beginning. Even when I was on the last rakat or doing the tashahud. Trust me, it was so annoying. But alhamdulillah, after some point, these distractions stopped and I was able to pray my prayers on time.
Sorry for going on and on. Hope that this introduction has somewhat given you an insight into my life, and upon looking back, I am thankful to Allah and that He had given me a chance to escape the hellfire and start off my life again by shedding light on me and guiding me to the straight path and also that He had made it possible for me to worship Him.