This is the story of an American woman who embraced Islam after her fiancé was killed in a car accident. Her name is Maria and she converted to Islam approximately one year ago.
Maria was born in Boulder, Colorado United States of America and spend almost whole part of life there. She grew up here, attended schools and spent her times here.
Her parents migrated from South Africa and were atheist by their faith and they lived without the acknowledgment of Allah.
Her brother is a Catholic Christian and studies music at University of Colorado. So, Islam as a religion wasn’t close to her in anyway.
Maria herself was atheist before she embraced Islam. She grew up without God and lived her life without having any specific belief. She learnt what her parents taught her and she became atheist too.
Not because that it was her belief but because she never cared about religion and grasped whatever her parents taught her in matters of faith.
She says, “If we talked about religion, we kind of talked about it almost negatively, I guess. Before, I didn’t really see religion as a good thing. I thought it was something that like caused a lot of problems, like wars in the world and stuff. I viewed it as mostly negatively.”
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Maria met a Pakistani Muslim guy whom she felt attractive and it was him through whom she learnt of Islam for the first time. She had no opinions or anything specific about it in her mind prior to her meeting with him.
But after meeting and spending time with him, she started to gather more facts and bought an English copy of the Quran and started reading.
Maria says, “When I met my fiancé, we didn’t really talk about religion. I didn’t think about him in a sense of being a Muslim, or being very religious.”
I guess I just thought of him as being like a really noble and kind-hearted person. He was one of the best people that I had ever known, he had such a good character, he was really like kind to everybody.”
In a matter of time Maria jumped to the conclusion that it was his religion i.e., Islam which made his behaviour so kind and humble. Now she was aware of the goodness of the religion which impressed her from top to bottom.
Everything was going smooth for her and she was convinced of her future with her Pakistani Muslim fiancé and had a vague plan to convert to Islam too.
But Allah’s plan was very different from hers. Once her future husband was travelling from Boulder to Arizona to meet her while she was in school there. But he met with a car accident and died in it.
Maria got devastated as it was the first time when someone close to her died. She was inspired to take refuge in Islam.
She describes it as, “I just knew that there had to be more to him than just dying. He just couldn’t die, like there had to be like a reason, not even a reason, there had to be something like a higher power that was like dictating it.
She started reading Qur’an and other books and started talking with other people. One day while she was reading Qur’an, she felt like everything is clear to her now and she embraced Islam.
She took Shahada by herself but later went to Denver and met a sheikh and took Shahada officially there.
Unlike other Muslim reverts she faced no opposition from her parents as they were not interested or against any religion.
“I suppose that if I hadn’t met my fiancé, I might not have learnt as much about Islam as I did, and I might not have made my decision to convert as soon as I did.
I mean now looking back at everything that happened, I think I still would have ended up converting if I learned what I had.
I think it was taking me a lot longer and it wouldn’t have been as clear decision because when he died that really made things clear to me like maybe because I never had such an intense experience I guess.”
After converting to Islam, she felt like a pure woman or ‘clean slate’. Maria isn’t planning to get married but she says “I feel like I will find the right person. And I do want him to be a Muslim obviously. I’m not interested in dating anybody that’s not a Muslim right now.”
At first, she found it difficult to adapt with Hijab but later she adapted to it and now is confident about Hijab. She is very proud of being a Hijabi Muslim.
Her parents are also open to her lifestyle and proud of her as they are sure that their daughter is morally correct and would not end up in getting in trouble like other young American girls.
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