The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Part 4 - the final Part)

MELANET UnCut Chat and Discussion: MelaNet UnCut Talk: The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Part 4 - the final Part)
By #Forwarder# Ahmed A. ( - 139.174.243.65) on Friday, July 27, 2001 - 06:11 pm:

[Continuation]

The Light at the End of the Tunnel (Part 4 - the final Part)
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by Tavis Adibudeen

It was a late afternoon in September of 1995 when I began flipping
through the yellow pages for something that said "Mosque." I found two
entries in the yellow pages. I called the first one and got no answer.
Then, I called the second one, and the answer machine picked up giving
an alternative phone number to call for help. I called the number, at
this point shaking from nervousness. Many things were going through my
head, "What if they don't want to be bothered with me? What if they
don't accept me? What if I'm making the wrong decision?" I had always
been a worrisome person. In fact, earlier that same year, I had
worried myself into the hospital. All they could ever conclude was
that my stomach was inflamed. The only thing I could do was see a
Psychologist who taught me how to relax, and I adhered to a strict
diet. It still happens sometimes, but it is a rare thing. I dialed the
number not knowing what to expect or who I was calling. A woman
answered the phone, and just said, "Hello?" That made me think that
this must be a home phone number. I told her I was interested in
Islam. I expected her to seem surprised, say she didn't care, or just
say, "and....," but she didn't. In fact she acted as if it happened
all the time. She told me her husband, the Imam, was at work, and she
would have him call me. All of my foolish worrying suddenly ended. I
was calm now. Later that night, he called me, and we talked for a long
time. He too had reverted some 20 years ago. It was as though he had
already lived through the same things I was telling him. Not only did
he understand how I thought, but it seemed like he had once had the
same thought process. It is natural to question the unknown, and
that's all I had done. He invited me to Wednesday night Taleem at the
Islamic Center. Oddly enough, it was a rainy night, and no one showed
up that night. When I
arrived, it was just he and I in an empty building discussing faith,
politics, and life. After talking for at least an hour, one other
person showed up, and they prayed. The first night I just watched. The
second night I participated, and from that point forward, I was
committed to this wonderful religion. As I learned more about Muslims,
I continued to study Islam. I started going to Arabic classes on
Sundays, and I began to grow even more appreciative of the Glorious
Qur'an.

About one month after the day I first stepped into the Masjid, I took
the Shahada. It was an emotional night for me. I still remember the
brothers that were there to witness it, and I'm sure they remember
too. Those words had so much meaning, and so much power. I may not
feel that much joy and emotion again until Hajj. It was that powerful.
When it was over, I went home and told everybody important to me. My
mother was the first to know. She didn't seem surprised. Instead she
congratulated me as though she could feel my emotion. My father had a
less emotional response, but it was equally as approved. I'm still not
sure what my sister's feelings were about it, but she never objected.
In fact, my whole family kept most of their opinions to themselves.
That showed me that they trusted my judgment, and they were right for
doing so.

That was over one year ago when I took the Shahada. It wasn't long
after that when I learned to do many of the obligations such as salat,
wu'du, the athan, and other things. I had finally began my final
journey. No longer would I turn around and go back. I knew this was a
lifelong decision. Since that time, I have sometimes had to defend my
decision to people, and maybe even justify my very way of life, but
that hostility was often from people who were really interested but
denying themselves as I had. People have often asked me how I do it.
They think Islam is hard. I tell them that after going through what it
took me just to realize Islam, this religion is easy. Allah does not
wish any difficulty on you. The Qur'an puts it in the most beautiful
words that I will humbly display in English, "This day have those who
Reject Faith given up All hope of your religion: Yet fear them not But
fear Me. This day have I Perfected your religion For you, completed My
favour upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your
religion." Qur'an; sura Al-Mã'ida, ayat 3. The road which we travel to
get where we intend to go is often worn by the time we get there. I
have learned that Islam is a lifetime struggle. This is the essence of
Jihad. Those who strive in the Name of their Lord are those who are
the righteous. It has indeed been a ride for me. When I first became
dissatisfied with Christianity, I entered a tunnel that appeared to
have no end. My life seemed to be headed towards a fabricated way of
living. With Islam, however, came my exit. It is the light at the end
of the tunnel. No longer can I say that I live in self-inflicted
solitude. No longer can I say I have lived my life in darkness. No
longer can I worry what will happen next. No longer can I say that I
am dissatisfied. All I can say is Al-Hamdulillah (praise be to Allah).

---END---


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