August 20th 2011 Manila Time. August 19th 2011 Riyadh Time. 19 Ramadhan 1432 Higri Calendar. Finally, I have arrived.
I had a bad dream the night before. I dreamt I was with my whole family and my cousins (mom-side). And I heard the Adhan or the call to prayer. Then I left my companions and searched for a place to pray. I saw people from my local community praying in their own plain clothes on individual sujadas (prayer mats) on two rows. I placed mine somewhere close to them but in a peculiar corner to be discreet. And then while I was prostrating in prayer, these men touched me, my body, my face, and mocked me. I ran in fear. But suddenly I realized that I had to fight back. So I ran back to the men and hit them back. Alhamdulillaah I woke up right after. But I was panting. Scary. Freaky.
Although I was on day-off for this particular Friday, I wasn’t really planning to go anywhere except to Batha with my friend to find this particular copy of the Qur’an. So we went to the “headquarters” of the mottawa (which I call Bulwagan ng Mottawa in Tagalog) to ask about it. The people outside said that particular copy was not available and that Qur’an was never sold. And then my friend resolved to enter into the dreaded headquarters, in my mind, just to ask. And then she finally surrendered me to perform my Shahadah. Finally.
Coming into this tent was usually scary for many because this was the place where the erring Muslims or non-Muslims would be brought to be apprehended for violation of Muslim rules. But I was kinda flat affect. Adee. Arabic for “usual” or “normal”. And then this woman started to approach my friend and I. And then she started to talk about Islam, Muslims, Allaah, Prophet Mohammed. I listened to her very intently as I imagined I was hearing what I have already read. I felt so good to hear about what I had already read. It affirmed my understanding. After over an hour or two, I spoke to this Arab man right behind the wall. One of his questions was “Are you 100% sure?” I said “No. 101% sure.” And I heard him laugh. And then he asked me another time. And I said “102% sure.” And I heard him smile and he said “Fi zayada ithneen huh? (Increased by two!)” And I said “if you ask me another time I will tell you 103% sure.” And then he said, “You are now a Muslim and your children are automatic Muslims too.” Alhamdulillaahi Rabbi Al Ameen!
This is a most wonderful surprise for me! Indeed a prayer is answered. And I am so forever grateful! What made it so emotional was that the Mottawa mentioned that my children are automatically Muslims too! And I have prayed all this time for a way to make them be brought here for them to become one Inshallaah. Subhanallaah! I find them so lucky because my daughters need not struggle so hard to start their quest for the truth. Mumay is here, my dear ones. I will be like the star that will shine your way in the beautiful darkness of the sky.
I have hit two birds with one stone. Within my prayers before wherein I do not know what else to ask for but that to open the hearts of the people I love, all the more right now, what is there that I need when Allaah has already sent this blessing to me and my children – this blessing that I feel have taken me a lifetime to long for. There is nothing I shall want. But I continue to pray that I be kept stronger and more steadfast in faith to deserve such wonderful blessings that is indeed a privilege for the chosen. And that in being so, I shine brighter to show others the truth in Islam as there is no ‘real’ other.
My name is Najma. And I’m so glad, I am home!