As salam u alaykum,
I am a revert to Islam and would like to share my story. I was born in New York as a Methodist Christian. For those unfamiliar with the term Methodist, I will briefly explain. “Methodism is a name designating several Protestant groups. Methodism has its roots in the work of John and Charles Wesley, sons of an Anglican rector and his wife, Susannah. A friend and Oxford classmate of the Wesleys, George Whitefield, was also instrumental in forming the Holy Club (c. 1725), which stressed "inward religion, the religion of the heart." These awakenings coupled with the club's insistence on exacting discipline in scholastic as well as spiritual matters earned its members the jeering title of "Methodists" by 1729.” It was basically a sect of a sect.
My immediate family is not too religious but as a kid I attended church on most Sundays. Like the majority of Christians, I did not give religion much thought. It was like, “ok I live in America and Americans are Christians”. My concept of God “the father” was of a stern figure that loves his children but is difficult to know and understand. There was also Jesus (pbuh) who was the son that was sent to us that we might understand God. He is portrayed as a god but not limitless like the father God. There is also the Holy Spirit, which is another limited god. Anyway, those along with a lot of other doctrines were confusing to me when I was younger. My interest in church was declining but if someone were to ask me which religion I belonged too, Christianity would be the instinctual answer.
In school we were learning about some Christianity and a lot of Greek and Roman mythology. The mythology spoke of even more gods and goddesses, evil and good too. I came to the conclusion that there is a God but people use that fact to control the masses. Every different group of people had their own ideas of who God or gods is/are. I had my own rules, do what I want when I want.
I didn’t know much about Islam except from what I saw on TV. Arab sheikhs in harems with like 100 women, people flying on carpets, hands getting chopped off etc. I was not familiar with the religion.
During my early teen years I started to hear Arabic phrases from the music (rap) that I was listening too. Some of the music was from Muslims and some were from the five per centers who are an offshoot of the nation of Islam. The most exposure to what I thought was Islam was the Nation of Islam who says that God came to mankind in the form of a man. That seemed to be very similar to Christianity so I just thought that it was another scheme. The first time that I heard Islam being explained was in high school when a Muslimah came to give to our school. She gave a basic overview of the five pillars but by that time I was pretty much deaf towards religion.
The next time that I heard about Islam was about 5 or 6 years later when a friend of mine “converted”. He would tell me about Islam every chance he got but I didn’t want to hear it. I figured that I’d better have all of the fun I could before I get old or die. My priority in life at that time was to party. In the meantime, two more of my friends accepted Islam and were also preaching to me. I finally told my friend to give me a translation of the Qur’an so I could see for myself what the big deal was.
When I got my copy, I don’t remember if I started reading right away but is was soon after. I read the first surah and started the next. I was blown away. It felt like Allah (swt) was talking to me, which he was but it was like the book was specifically for me. All of my misconceptions about Godhead were resolved about halfway through the second surah leaving me with no choice but to accept the truth.
My family had no problems with my decision whatsoever which is good. I have an Aunt who has been a Muslimah for many years alhamdulilah, so she was very happy with my decision. My then girlfriend at the time acknowledges the truth and we got married a while ago. My younger brother has also accepted the truth. I’ve met all sorts of Muslims who and made new and dear eternal friends inshaallah. Life for me now has a purpose and I’m just looking forward to learning about Allah (swt) and remaining a Muslim in this life and the next inshaallah.