Shannon Abulnasr, Ex Christian, USA (part 2 of 3)
Sadly, one night, I had been out partying and drinking, and was intoxicated. I had driven home by myself, but had made a stop at a Hindu friend's store (different friend) on my way home because I felt I couldn’t drive any further safely. My vision had become blurry. Well, it was night time so, my friend was not there, but their employee that was there knew me, saw me outside in the parking lot, and had went outside to smoke a cigarette. I didn't remember talking to them, but the next day, their boss (my friend), called me and told me what all I had said to their employee (that was also a Hindu). I was totally in disbelief and shock at what they said I was doing and saying. This employee said they saw me standing outside my car with my head on my folded arms crying against my car, and they approached me to ask me what was wrong and that I didn't even notice they were there or talking to me. They said that when they approached me, while I was crying, I was talking in Arabic. I asked them how they knew it was Arabic if they didn’t speak it, and they said because they heard me say "Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim" and they knew it was Arabic. However, they didn’t know what it meant. I didn't know anything in Arabic. Well, since neither of us knew what it meant, I just kind of moved on and didn’t think much of it. I assumed they didn’t know what they were talking about.
Time went by and nothing really happened, but one day maybe about a month or so later I was thinking about that night, and I looked at the Quran I had been given that was all in Arabic and wanted to know what it said. So, out of curiosity, I went and purchased a Quran that had the transliteration of Arabic as well as the English translation. I opened it to the first page and started reading. It took me a moment to figure out what the transliteration was, but when I tried reading the transliteration by sounding it out, I almost fainted because I heard myself say "Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim"! The first line of the first chapter began with "Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim". I was in complete shock because I remembered the Hindu telling me that I said those exact words. I began thinking a lot about this. How could I say these words if I didn’t know what they were or even what language it was? I had never heard them before except from the Hindu. Even when the Hindu told me the words, I still didn’t know what it meant. I then decided I had to start learning more about Islam because that was just too odd to look past. I feel it was a signal from Allah to show me the truth and to change my ways.
I began studying a little here and there, and I just knew that this was really what I believed. I didn’t really know how to convert or anything, but it was already in my heart. I met some Muslims in Dallas, but they were men. I didn’t know any Muslim women. I asked my Muslim friends to take me to the mosque because I had never been and wanted to. I didn’t want to go alone, and they all told me that they couldn’t take me and I didn’t understand why. They said they would have to find a woman to take me, but no one ever followed through or took me seriously. I then asked them to teach me how to pray…same thing, no one took me serious and never did.
More time goes by, and in the end of 2005, I had purchased a restaurant. In the spring of 2006 I was defrauded by a person that was trying to "steal" my restaurant from me because I wouldn’t sell it to them. It was a totally devastating matter to me because I was losing everything I worked really hard for and couldn’t stop the man that was trying to steal it right out from under me. I was having a nervous breakdown one day because I was having other issues compounding my agony. I was crying all day long, and I wanted to talk to a professional counselor. I didn’t go to my restaurant that day, and stayed at home because I was an emotional roller coaster of tears and anger. I knew that if I didn’t talk to someone that I might hurt or even kill myself because all my issues piled up together were extremely overwhelming. I was thinking in my heart that it was wrong for me to kill myself…I believed I was created by God, but didn’t know what to do. I asked God to please show me what He wanted me to do, because I was lost and couldn’t find my way anymore because I knew I couldn’t get through this by myself.
I got the phone book out and called many psychologists, and psychiatric doctors’ offices and no one could see me without an appointment. If I made an appointment, the earliest they had available was more than month away for all the ones I was calling. No one was available to talk to me on the phone either. I told the secretary that answered the phone at one of them that if I didn’t talk to someone "today" that I might do something dangerous because I had reached the end of my rope. She told me to call a number that she gave me and that someone there should be able to counsel me over the phone. She didn’t tell me what the number was for. I thought it was just a hotline number. I called it and a woman named Jameelah answered the phone right away. I didn’t know what company/organization she was with, and didn’t ask, because she answered right away. She asked me if I could come to her office that same day, and I told her I could and when she gave me directions, I realized she gave me directions to a mosque. I asked her if it was correct because a mosque was at that location. She said yes, she worked there. I was nervous to go alone, and I asked her if she could meet me outside, which she did. I was once again amazed at the chain of events that led me back to Islam. SubhanAllah.