My Life as a New Muslim
By Fathima Lienberg from South Africa
Published by Jamiatul Ulama (KZN) Vol. 3 No. 4
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 Sunnahs 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.