My journey to Islam and most importantly Allah (SWT) begins like many others, with another religion. I am grateful for my journey and I hope that reading my story inspires even one person to reconsider Islam, Insha’Allah, however I do apologize for the length of it.
My family is Catholic always has been but it comes with being Puerto Rican. If you’re Puerto Rican than it’s assumed you’re Catholic. However, it (religion) was never enforced in my house, I was raised by a single mother who thought I should make the decision myself. So, I was therefore never religious although I was very curious. I went to different churches with friends always looking to understand and get my questions answered.
No religion really spoke to me or answered my questions. I began to get further and further away from religion and God consequently. Being interested in science didn’t help the distance developing either.
In my teens I became more “spiritual” believing that there was something higher up, so to speak, but not in the man made religion. However, I began to doubt and still sometimes find it hard to believe in a true existence of a “higher power”. Every time something is going badly or I feel blessed I always end up talking to this “higher power” which I have now come to know as Allah (SWT), the one and only God. The fact that I would always turn to this “higher power” growing up proved that there was a void I was trying to fill.
In college, I wasn’t really concerned with religion and didn’t agree with many aspects of most religions, including Islam. For example, I never agreed with considering someone to be almost as important as God, as many do with priests and the pope. Plus, I didn’t like the fact that in order to be “forgiven” of my sins I needed to tell a third party. I feel as though my sins are between Allah (SWT) and me. I have to say, however many bad experiences I’ve had with certain religions I am not as educated as I would like to be to in order to make any judgments. Even with Islam I was persuaded into sometimes believing what the media was saying. However, Islam felt like I was returning home.
It all started when my friend rediscovered her faith (Islam) and I saw a difference. There was a peace in her that sparked an interest and many questions in me. Through conversations with this sister I began doing research and reading parts of the Quran, and I liked what I was learning. A month later there were aspects of Islam I still didn’t understand or necessarily agreed with which made me hesitant to do the shahada. A wise friend of mine told me if I were to die tomorrow, God forbid, I wouldn’t be a Muslim. It was explained to me that there is no such thing as a perfect Muslim and that I would always ask questions and be expected to continue learning. This led to my first visit of a Mosque where I ended up doing the shahada on October 23, 2013 – the best decision I have made in my life thus far, Masha’Allah.
I’ve had people asked me “Why Islam and not Christianity or another religion?” It’s complicated to explain because the moment when I knew Islam was the true religion for me was in the middle of a panic attack. The feeling of peace that I felt and allowed me to calm down is indescribable. I truly believe I was only able to deal with the serious personal matter at hand because of my growing relationship with Allah, even before the shahada. However, I do have more tangible reasons. Islam is amazing in that it truly brings peace to those practicing it. I accept it as the one true religion because I believe that there is only one God who should be idolized and that does not share any characteristics with mankind. Being someone who is interested in science, the Quran surprised me in how much it references things of our time that the prophet (PBUH) could never have known. I was drawn to Islam when reading its principles listed on a mosque website. These principles were similar to how I live my life or thought the world should be. The website listed these as its principles:
Oneness of God:
He is One and the Only One. He is not two in one or three in one. This means that Islam rejects the idea of trinity that implies more than one God.

Oneness of Mankind:
People are created equal in front of the Law of God. There is no superiority for one race over another. God made us of different colors, nationalities, languages and beliefs so as to test who is going to be better than others. No one can claim that he is better than others. It is only God Who knows who is better. It depends on piety and righteousness.

Oneness of Messengers and the Message:
Muslims believe that God sent different messengers throughout the history of mankind. All came with the same message and the same teachings. It was the people who misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Muslims believe in Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Ismail, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus, and Muhammad. The Prophets of Christianity and Judaism are indeed the Prophets of Islam.

Innocence of Man at Birth:
Muslims believe that people are born free of sin. It is only after they reach the age of puberty and after they commit sins they are to be charged for their mistakes.

I’d have to say though the aspect of Islam that drew me in the most was how women are treated in accordance to Islam. Contrary to popular belief, women are valued so highly and given so many rights. I urge anyone who thinks otherwise to read the Quran or do research that is free from manipulation.
Islam is perfect; it is the creations that aren’t. I still have so much learning to do and I often notice my doubts and insecurity of not knowing enough, or being good enough, make me distant, but it is a journey that I am thankful for and Insha’Allah I will continue on the straight path even if it is at my own pace.
As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said,
“If one goes one step towards Allah, Allah comes two steps towards such a one; if one goes walking towards Allah, Allah comes running to him.”