My Journey to Islam: Embracing Allah's (SWT) Favours
August 20, 1966. Born in the quaint village of Libode, in the old Transkei, I embarked on a journey that would lead me to the embrace of Islam and Allah's countless blessings. The eighth child out of nine, raised by a resilient Christian widow, my story is one of trials, revelations, and ultimate transformation.
Growing up, my understanding of my father's absence evolved over time. What I once believed to be a loss, I later realized was the foundation of my strength. My mother, a single parent, had met my father years after her husband's passing, a fleeting encounter that shaped my existence. As I navigated my truth, feelings of rejection and inadequacy tested me, but within the depths of my heart, I held onto the certainty that God's creation is never a mistake.
Despite facing challenges and setbacks, the desire for closeness to Allah remained a constant flame within me. A journey of education and self-discovery led me to be a single mother of four sons, dedicated to providing them with the best life possible. Yet, an aching for purpose lingered, driving me to question the path laid before me.
The moment of liberation arrived when I forgave my father during his burial, shedding the weight of resentment that had plagued me for years. It was then that I understood Allah's master plan had been at play all along, moulding me for His divine purpose.
In 2007, my youngest son's intention to marry a Muslim woman paved the way for Islam's entrance into my life. Initially resistant to his choice, I eventually saw the beauty of his commitment to the faith. Encounters with devout brothers further piqued my interest, drawing me closer to the profound devotion to Islam.
At the age of 45, in 2010, I wholeheartedly submitted my will to Allah, taking my Shahadah and embracing a life devoted to His path. Though my marriage to Kamal eventually ended, it was a catalyst for my spiritual journey, enabling me to focus on becoming a true servant of Allah.
Over the past 12 years, I've dedicated myself to understanding and practicing Islam, seeking gratitude for the blessings showered upon my family. Through Allah's grace, three of my sons and their families have embraced the faith, leaving me hopeful for my second eldest's journey.
My affiliation with SANZAF, initially as a volunteer, has been an honour. Each day is a chance to learn, unlearn, and serve the Ummah, with the purpose of growing and aiding those around me.
Last year, Allah (SWT) bestowed upon me the opportunity to embark on Umrah, reinforcing the notion that His timing and plans are impeccable. Through trials and blessings, my journey to Islam has been a testament to the power of belief and the unwavering grace of Allah.
Alhamdulillah, Rabeel Allahmeen.