Till I Hear the Greetings of Angels
By Aminah Fogarty (Umm Bilal)
It seems as though I’ve read hundreds of “revert’s stories” since I connected to the Internet two years ago. I consider the Internet one of the most powerful tools the Muslims now have at their disposal for Da’wah purposes. I pray that all the brothers and sisters, who have taken the time to write their own stories about their lives and faith, will receive a vast reward for helping to spread the beauty and truth of Islam. This also serves as my own motivation for writing this description of my journey to and in Islam. I pray it will affect someone, and allow them to consider or perhaps reconsider Islam as a powerful and viable way of life for the 21st century.
My journey to Islam was a subtle one. I myself am always amazed and amused by the stories of Muslims who came to know of Islam through fantastic means. My husband was the catalyst that Allah sent to me, to allow me to know and accept Islam. He claims now, as he did 20 years ago, that he somehow knew that there was “something different” about me. I believe that difference was my longing to find a way to define, worship and know my Lord, the Lord of all mankind; Allah. My husband’s very first conversation with me was about Tawhid, the Absolute Oneness of Allah. Very few people are able to discuss Islam more honestly, poignantly, and clearly than he did with a total stranger. Surely it must be sign of great faith and love of Allah!
I was born in 1961, in Ohio. I don’t know how much bearing that has on who I am now. I never really felt connected to an era or place or concept, until Islam. Now, I am connected to nothing but Islam. It is my place in life, and defines it. I was raised in a Roman Catholic, church-going family. I attended parochial schools from first grade through college. I believe I received an excellent education. I think that those in pursuit of spirituality tend to love knowledge as well. That is certainly a truth found in Islam. My education has served me well, and continues to serve me as I continually explore my faith.
I was never concerned about my spiritual state in my youth. It existed but didn’t impact my life greatly. The exact opposite of my life as a Muslim! It seems as if people outside of Islam tend to ponder, wonder and question much, often without purpose or result. I guess I was a floater. Just going through the paces of life, without much concern for where it led me, or how I got there, or what happened along the way! In Islam, I’ve found all my answers. I no longer float, but step boldly forward each day, praying that Allah accepts and rewards my actions done for His sake alone.
I was in high school when I accepted Islam as my new way of life. My life didn’t change overnight, but my heart did. I knew from the start that Allah was indeed the only deity worthy of worship, and that He sent Prophet Muhammed to guide all mankind to that knowledge. With each passing month and year I grew in my knowledge of Allah, His Messengers, His creations. I continue to study and read today, 20 years later, knowing that I can never know enough of His Majesty and Might.
I am blessed with a wonderful family. My five children are a great source of joy and inspiration to me. I look at them and wonder how Allah could have found me deserving of such blessings. I only pray that I live up to the task at hand, and am able to raise pious Muslim children, who I pray, will ask Allah to have mercy on me in the hereafter, should I die before them. I pray that all the bounty that Allah has blessed me with, never turns into a fitnah, or trial, for me, or blinds me to the real task, the only task of this life, to serve and worship Allah alone.
My greatest wish, is that I will continue to grow in faith, piety, sincerity and knowledge in Islam, so that I hear the greetings of angels in my grave: “Peace be upon you”, by Allah’s Grace alone