Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hungarian Sister Finds Contentment in Islam

When I was 15 years old, my family and I moved from Hungary to Austria, to a little city called Villach.
The integration was not an easy task without the knowledge of the German language.
I was suffering a lot from homesickness and I always wished to have lots of friends who could relieve me from this bad feeling in this new country.
One day at school, a Chechen girl came to me while I was sitting alone in the garden during the break. She smiled at me, took my hand and pulled me to her group of friends. This was my really first time to meet Muslims.
Back in my little hometown in Hungary, where a single foreign was never seen, I actually did not know a lot about Muslims, because I was busy with my own life. But Austria is different; here even in the nursery, the children are fully aware of the different religions. They perfectly know that some among them are Christians, others are Jewish or Buddhists, and others are Muslims. They grow up in this multicultural atmosphere.
But for me, all my knowledge about Islam was learned from the media which is known to show wars and violence, oppression, and other bad stuff about Islam which might happen but are far from the real teachings of the religion. Well, I was not aware of this part, therefore I didn’t want to hear anything about Islam and Muslims. Why should I be informed about things which scare me and are alien to me?
But at the age of 15, I started to look out of the box and see that Muslims are just as much human beings as anyone of us, and they are not necessarily cruel like I thought. I realized that they are not scary, but actually nicer to me than anyone else in the school.
Moreover, it happened several times that when my classmates were laughing at me or bullying me just because I couldn’t speak German fluently, the Muslim students were those who came to help and protect me.
Then I realized something else which really astonished me: while I was walking through the corridor of the school with my non-Muslim female classmates – who were wearing tight and revealing clothes- the guys didn’t show any respect to them. They were whistling, saying improper comments to us as if those girls would be just like a piece of flesh. It really disgusted me how girls can be so cheap and enjoy the attention of the boys.
But when I was walking with Muslim girls, the guys passing by took even a step away not to even coincidentally touch any of them. They wouldn’t dare to have a single comment to them because they knew perfectly that:
1-    Muslim girls are raised up according to the teachings of Islam, therefore they have some proud and modesty in them.
2-    The eyes of other Muslim boys are always on those Muslim girls and they are ready to protect them at any time from bullying. This respect of the Muslim boys towards the girls really impressed me.
This was the first thing I learned from Muslims. Two years passed and I got to know more about the believers of Islam; they pray five times a day and they even clean themselves before it. So I concluded that a practicing Muslim cannot be dirty for sure.
A couple of times, my Muslim friends invited me for lunch in their home where I was able to grasp some more information about them. They live a very different life; their family is quite big, studying and their careers are very important issues, however they’re never more important than the family.
 
They maintain strong relationship with their far relatives as well, therefore they are very united and help each other in everything. Somehow, I have never seen depression among them, they always seem to be happy and content with what they have.
They simply live another lifestyle in which they don’t know the meaning of being alone; they trust Allah who doesn’t leave them ever. At least these were my impressions at that time.
In my life, everyone is busy with himself. They have only one or maximum two children and even those children are left with a babysitter many times, because the parents must overwork and at the same time overload themselves to the extreme. So in such a lifestyle it is not surprising to find people suffering from stress and depression. They only think about worldly stuff and never can be satisfied with things they have. To be honest, I do not really know a family who eat two meals together at the same table.
But I found out a Muslim family is different and all this new information overwhelmed me. Islam became my dream, but I was not brave enough to convert. I was 18 at the time and knew that I wanted Islam but knew also that if I really make this step, everything around me will suddenly change.
People will most probably turn away from me and will look at me in a hating way. My family will think I am a fool and my friends will break the relationship with me. I knew that Islam is not a joke. It is not only a religion, but it is a way of life. Then thoughts came to my mind like: "What if I once want to wear mini skirt again? What if I want to go to a disco or drink alcohol? Am I really ready for all of these changes?”
Finally, I learned the language of this country and was accepted in this new society. Shall I now throw everything away?
So, with these thoughts in my mind, I decided to postpone this issue with Islam and becoming a Muslim.
Then we moved to the capital city of Austria, to Vienna, and I started to go to parties and all that bad Western stuff. Well, I do not like talking about the sins of the past, so to make it short, I lived my life, had lots of friends, a good job I loved, enough money, and a loving family. But something was missing. Something was really really missing. It was bothering me and made me think a lot.
Then shortly I found the answer: the belief is what I miss from my life. Because things like parties, money, fancy clothes are just the temptation of this world without a real meaning behind. I started to realize how lost the youth -like myself- are (well at least those around me): they get drunk every single weekend, girls have no morality or pride and everyone’s biggest goal is money. People can lie, cheat, beg, and sell themselves to have more money. Let alone that you cannot really trust anyone.
That was the time when I decided that I do not want this meaningless lifestyle anymore: I need Islam. I need God in my everyday life, I need this humanity, unity and purity I saw among Muslims and their religion.
Muslim Support
On the internet, I found a group of Hungarian Muslim sisters living in Vienna who immediately invited me to their place. When I entered, five of them and many children welcomed me with warm hugs as if I was one of their relatives or at least a close friend of them. A dinner was prepared and while eating they were telling me their stories of reverting to Islam.
I was astonished again, just as I had been at the time when I first met Muslims in my high school, due to that feeling of harmony, balance, and family I felt from them. The topics we were chatting about were not clothes, work, money or the latest diet trend as usual, rather it was about faith and family.
This time, I did not hesitate for a moment to take my Shahadah and Al-hamduliallah I became a Muslim. Every one of them burst into tears and I finally offered my first prayer. It was so beautiful and so memorable for me.  I felt like a 200 kg stone has just been lifted from my heart and tears came to my eyes during each time I prostrated. I knew I do not want to leave these moments ever again. Till today these girls are very good friends of mine.
Then I went home and the difficulties started to show up.
My family was shocked. I remember, my mom cried every single day and when we started a conversation, it usually ended as a quarrel. My sister avoided me completely, she didn’t speak a word to me. My friends couldn’t imagine what happened to me and they didn’t want to see me in hijab. I was forced to leave my job, because it was not allowed to work in veil.
I was left alone, no family, no friends, no work. I cried a lot to Allah in my du’as for help and to make it easy for me. Subhan Allah, within three days the governmental school I eagerly wanted to work at and had applied to a year earlier, called me and said that they need me. Al-HamduliAllah, the problems of work and money were solved. At the school, after a short time I got to know so many friends that basically every day I had a meeting with some of them.
My family calmed down as well and they completely accepted that I am a Muslim and I, for example, only eat Halal meat. Moreover, once my mom bought me a nice hijab as a gift!
Allah has gifted me with a nice husband, too, who I got to know through one of my friends and we got married after two months. It has been two years by now, I am a happy mother of a twins, I have finished my high school and continued my studies as a night school student.
My husband supports me in everything and I cannot describe how content I am to have Islam in my life.
I am truly grateful to Allah for His guidance and for having allowed me to be a Muslim. I am honestly saying that it was the biggest gift I have ever received in my life. I got more self-confidence by Islam and now I know the real purpose of my life: making good and useful deeds to, by the help of Allah, reach Paradise, insha Allah because that is what matters, the permanent life not the temporary one.
Anyone can die at any moment, but what comes next will never end. I learned that God is the only One who I can thank for everything: my family, my health and my entire life.
That is why I really take care of my faith and Islam. Because if Allah is with me then who could be against me?
Then shortly I found the answer: the belief is what I miss from my life. Because things like parties, money, fancy clothes are just the temptation of this world without a real meaning behind. I started to realize how lost the youth -like myself- are (well at least those around me): they get drunk every single weekend, girls have no morality or pride and everyone