Islam religion: My Life as a New Muslim
Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My Life as a New Muslim

I am Fathima Liebenberg, a white Muslim woman converted to Islam in 1995. I am very proud to say! I am a Muslim,

but if it was not for my son I would never have been a Muslim.

For me it was a hard and long struggle because it cost me my job, friends and family.

My life before Islam

I was a very pious Christian who went to the Pentecostal churches.

I used to collect the street children and take them to the church and Sunday school.

My life consisted only of reading and studying the bible, until my son told me about Islam.

My son came home one day and said, "Mummy! Why don't you become a Muslim?'

I was shocked at the very idea and said, "Never'.

He said, "Mummy! Islam is such a pure and clean religion, they pray five times a day'.

That is when I decided to read the books and the translation of the Noble Quran.

The more I read the Quran, the more I was convinced that Islam was for me.

I turned to Allah and finally I found peace and tranquillity.

I hid it from my family until one day I decided to phone my brother and tell him I was now a Muslim.

My brother was so shocked, because we were very devoted and pious Christians,

and I was the only one to be converted to Islam.

My family phoned me about a year ago and told me never to contact them again as I now was no longer their sister.

I love my family very much and miss them but I know one day we will meet again. Insha Allah.

I was so happy when I received my 'Muslim Identity Card' that I felt like standing on the roof tops

and shouting out to the world that I am a Muslim.

I lost my family, but gained a new family in Islam.

My new family, the Muslims, were so wonderful, I cannot express it.

I would like to make special mention of my appreciation to the Fakrodeen family of Prince Edward St.

I love you who treated me as if I was part of the family, May Allah reward you all.

Appa Tasneem Jazakallah, when I am in your Madrasah with all the little ones, it feels like I am in Jannah

surrounded by little angels.

I am so happy that Allah Taala has chosen me to be a Muslim.

I have worn the Hijaab since I became a Muslim and will never take it out.

My only wish is to go to Macca even though I doubt that it will be possible but Insha Allah,

one day Allah will provide me with the means to reach there.

Each time I want to be closer to Allah, I read the Sunnats of our Beloved Prophet (SAW).

Paper will not be enough for everything that I wish to tell you about Islam.

I also want to say Jazakumullah to the Kazi family, and I would like to thank our Ulamas of the Jamiatul Ulama (KZN).

And to our brother Ahmad Deedat who is so ill. May Allah Taala cure you and return you back to all of us.

Islam is a way of life. Islam means peace and a Muslim is one who strives for peace through his submission to Allah Taala.

A Muslim's first duty is to Allah the Almighty and it is out of your deep love for Allah that your duties become acts of devotion.

It is no easy task for me as a white Muslim lady, living amongst Christians, but I keep my head up high and I am so very proud to be a Muslim.

So, my dear brothers and sisters if you are born Muslim but have not been a dutiful one it is not too late.

If you have not started yet, you can start tomorrow or even tonight.

Brothers and sisters, as Muslims, keep your heads up high and show the world that you are proud to be Muslims.

Yours Sister-in-Islam, Fathima Lienberg

Emad-ud-Deen Richard Leiman’s Testimony

My Childhood:

As a child I always had access to a short-wave radio I used to listen to the BBC World Service and the Middle East.

I also loved the music from that part of the world and I probably was listening to the Qur’an being recited,

but did not know it at the time.

As I grew older:

As I grew older I still listened to the BBC World Service mostly. Back then, they had a programme called

"Words of Faith" where they had a 5 to 8 minute talk given by a different religious speaker

each day of the week representing all the major religions in the UK. Out of all the speakers,

I loved it when the Muslim spoke.

Every time he spoke, I wanted to find out more about Islam.

My impression of the Islam was one in which the person who practices Islam was

a happy person, not like the mean people portrayed by the American media.

I just refused to believe people that loved Allah so much could be like the people portrayed by the media.

Since I come from a Jewish background, the thing that united me with Islam was the belief that

Allah had no partners.

Working in the UK:

Then came an important time in my life where I was about to meet a real Muslim, but did not know it yet.

I was doing contracting computer programming work in New York state when the urge to visit

the UK was very strong.

I took a visit to London and loved it. During my visit I went to several employment agencies without luck.

One of the agencies gave me several trade magazines. When I arrived back in the states

I started to send more CV’s (resumes) to companies and other agencies in the magazines.

Again I came to the UK because one of the companies wanted to interview me. Then I started to visit more

companies and agencies when I landed a position even though I was on a visitors visa.

The company applied for a work permit and the Department of Employment told us that I had to leave the country

in order to process the paperwork. Again I went back to the states.

Another Agency obtained a temporary work permit and hired me to the company called LogoTech,

at that time was in Egham, Surrey.

Meeting a real Muslim for the first time:

Some time after I was working at LogoTech, I found out that my supervisor Anis Karim was Muslim.

I asked him if he knew how I could get a copy of the Holy Qur’an.

To my surprise, I had a copy of the Qur’an within a few days.

He also asked me to make a pledge. I pledged to make sure that I would have a bath before I read from the Qur’an

and that I would never show it to anyone who may make blasphemous remarks about it.

The next day, I took my morning bath and made breakfast. Then whilst eating breakfast I started to read.

Later I found out that READ is what Allah had the angel Gabriel instruct our beloved prophet

(peace and blessings be upon him) to do, even though HE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE!

Well, words can't describe how I felt when I read just that small portion of the worlds most holy book.

It took only 10 pages when I told myself that this religion was for me.

This was around 1990. The more I read, the more I wanted to know and loved what I was reading.

Also at the time I did not know anything about how to pray or any of the details of Islam.

If Anis had invited me to go the Masjid in London, I would have gone with him.

The only thing I knew about praying to Allah was the Shazute position.

At the time I knew that Muslims prayed several times a day and I started to do so at

night before I went to bed and in the morning when I woke up.

Back to the states again:

When the work permit ran out. I had to come back to the states and was unemployed for several years.

I visited my father in Huntsville, Alabama and created a database application for him.

I saw that Huntsville was a high tech cosmopolitan city and decided to try and land a programming position there.

My father told me that if I did not get a position, I would have to go back to New Jersey to my mother.

They moved from New York to New Jersey. About a fortnight before I was going to go back to New Jersey,

I landed a programming position at a company in Huntsville.

Planning a trip to a Muslim country:

My sister and I were planning a trip to Indonesia because we had a pen-pal on the internet.

My sister asked me if I could help her find Islamic Jewelry as a gift.

At that time I had no idea that there were Muslims in Huntsville.

My first trip to a Masjid (Mosque):

Then Allah put things into place. I remembered that there was a shop called Crescent Imports

which I thought was run by Muslims. It was not. It was run by the group called Nation Of Islam.

Now here is the strange part in which only Allah could be put in place.

We spoke to the owner of the shop and told him that we wanted to find Islamic jewelry.

He directed us to the Huntsville Islamic Center.

I do thank Allah for having them direct me to the Masjid. We went to the building,

but there was only one car parked there. I spoke to a man in the car, and he told us

that we should speak to the Imam about where to find the Jewelry.

I was still afraid to go into the building because to me it is such a holy place.

Invitation to pray with other Muslims:

I saw a lady at work wearing a Hijaab. I told her about my accepting Islam personally and she said

"why don’t you visit the Masjid in Huntsville?"

We eventually went back to the Masjid after I summed up enough courage to go into that a holy place.

We spoke to the Imam and he invited me to make Salat with the Brothers.

This was a turning point in my life. I loved it and started to come to the Masjid once a week at night.

Then I started to come several times a week at night.

The urge to come more times was stronger and now I make all 5 prayers each day mostly at the Masjid,

except Asr and Margrib when at work.

I officially accepted Islam!!!!!!!!!!

In November of 1996 I publicly made Shahada.

At work I pray Duhur and Asr by myself or with other brothers in a small Mosque right in the work place!

I proudly carry my prayer mats in the work hallways in an attempt to get people to

ask me what they are (a form of Dawah). When this happens

I tell them that I am Muslim and the mats are what I use for prayers Also,

my work area has Islamic decorations all over the place,

and that includes my computer where the graphic on the screen is that of the Kabah or our Masjid.


I am also a member of the Dawah Committee at the Masjid and am also trying to make Dawah by

providing this in every web page.

Now that I am a Muslim, (One who submits to Allah) there is no turning back to unbelief!!!!!

Rashida S. (Rachel Singer -USA)

I came to Islam late, a daughter of a devout Roman Catholic mother/very devout Jewish father.

By age 4 I knew of Allah and in 1991 I traveled to Egypt to read some of my writing.

I had already spent almost 20 years among the most pious of Jews, had married, had children.

When I heard the muezzin* before Fajr* his voice was like the arrow one dreams that a lover will shoot into the heart,

it cut & held me unable to speak.

Not even knowing Arabic, I knew the sound, it is like a recognition of something so profound,

so great and if I may say, so sweet that one has been searching for.

The Quran speaks to me clearly as if it was written for Jews to hear and wake up.

I had to leave the community I lived in and my children. I did not chose to, I had to.

Those of you, young and coming into Islam are truly blessed. You have your lives,

will marry and raise Muslim children in’shallah.

The only people who can say they are Chosen, are those who search for the True path to Allah with all their heart.

* Muezzin: A person who calls for prayers in the mosque. The AZAN is the call.

It usually occurs 5 times a day. The AZAN’s context is the following:

Allah is greater...I witness that there is no god but ALLAH.

And I witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Come to the prayer..

come to success...

Allah is greater...

* Fajr: Dawn.


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