I was baptized a Catholic before I could say the word “God”.
As a babe my loving mother taught me that prayer is my connection with God, and that anytime anywhere I can talk to God. She also taught me that in the morning and evening I should talk to God, thanking Him for all that He has done.
She also taught me that I should thank Him before I eat and after. That I should tell God sorry for all my sins and that He would forgive me.
“Our Father who art in Heaven” was recited every night until I knew it by heart and I could say it anytime.
My grandmother would sing “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong”
I learnt that God is God, there is none like Him. That he created everything in this world and that he loves us all. That we should love each other as He loves us.
“Pause: I do not want to bash any one sect or denomination. I am trying to tell my story of why I reverted and why I am still on a spiritual journey. So what I write is not meant to bash or degrade anyone. These are my observations and experiences. You are free to leave this blog.”
Fast-forward to Tanzania:
I saw a woman covered up. I saw Hijabs and buibuis. I was 5. And my curious little mind asked my new friends why their mommy’s covered their hair and dressed differently from “us”.
During my years in Tanzania I learnt and saw how my Muslim friends & families acted. I asked several questions about everything they did. Never once did they tell me to revert, they just answered my questions kindly and patiently. I also observed them, and found that they were actually peaceful and loving.
Something about Islam felt right with me. Maybe it was the fact that I literally grew up hearing the Adhan (call to prayer) every day.
AND… I never went to a Catholic mass in Tanzania. I ended up going to Baptist and Pentecostal churches.
My spiritual journey began when I realized that Catholics “pray” to too many saints. The one that bugged me the most was Hail Mary. To me, those were the words that Angel Gabriel said to her and were never meant to be a prayer. Why did I have to do the sign of the cross every time after a prayer? Did I have to really partake of Holy Communion every mass? And what was with the “if you have sinned and not repented do not eat of this bread” clause? Like I’m I to keep track of the sins at Mass?
So I became a Baptist. Yet there were something’s that were just plain annoying. To this day I know that Christ taught us to love.
Majority of the Christians I met did not love.
If your face reacted to the above statement:
Well if the shoe fits….
I do know a lot of Christians that Love by the way.”
Church, I saw, became a pissing contest to see who the better Christian was. Who had the least problems because they prayed more, or keshad. Who was blessed more because they gave to the church.
And the list can go on.
The one that hurt me the most was when I dearly needed help because I had an alcohol problem. Being told that you’re a sinner and you are being punished is not nice. That my alcohol problems were as a result of my sins and that I needed to repent.
So for 7 years I “was punished”……
Lol…For 7 years I was an alcoholic. And in those 7 years I still prayed to God, despite what everybody thinks of addicts and alcoholics.
I prayed, but I stopped going to church. I couldn’t bring myself to go to a place where “good” people were competing to see who the better Christian was and here I was an alcoholic. I would seriously fail that competition.
Eventually I got the help I needed, even went to a rehab. And there I was shown God, again, in a way that I knew and understood.
I was shown love, pure and unconditional love
And in rehab is when I felt the urge to revert. But I didn’t.
I reverted because to me Islam is pure love, peace and kindness. That is all I saw and ever wanted.
I was baptized Catholic, became a Baptist and now I am a Muslimah.
And you know what
We worship the same God
We just complicate things.
Peace, Love and Blessings be upon you