Atsuko Hushino “Fatima”


Atsuko Hushino “Fatima”

Categories: Autobiographies of converts(of those converted to Shiaism)


Atsuko Hushino (born in 1984) is a woman from the descent of the land of the shining sun (Japan) that after becoming Muslim, chose Fatima for her name. Her experience of becoming Muslim is an incentive to have conversation with her.

please introduce yourself?

I am Fatima Atsuko Hushino from Japan and I graduated in Bachelor of International Relations at the university in my country.

How did you become Muslim?

Before becoming Muslim, a little bit I had studied about Islam and I was slowly believing in Islam, but one night that I was listening and repeating the Surah Yasin (سوره یاسین), it seemed something in front of my eyes sparkled. I do not know how it was but Surah Yasin was for me like a prophet and I felt that a prophet appeared in front of my eyes. The more I read the verses, my sense about this issue would be stronger. When a prophet comes in front of you, certainly you cannot deny it. when I was reading it verse to verse, I was constantly telling myself OK, OK. It seemed those orders were given to me to be like this and…. every verse I read, I was telling to myself, OK, I will become a Muslim. It was exactly which that night i decided to become a Muslim.

When did you come to Iran?

Three years ago, I came to Iran and I got married here.

How did you get to know your husband?

Actually about 10 years ago I became familiar through a site called “the question” that answered to the new Muslim questions. He was among those who responded to new Muslim questions from different countries. From that time till I came to Iran, our connection was through internet. After that, 3 years ago finally, after 7 years of being away, we get married.

What was the qualification of your husband?

He was a bachelor in banking management.

Was it hard for you to come to Iran?

No, it wasn’t. I wished for years to live in an Islamic country, of course, living in a foreign country has its own hardship, but after becoming Muslim, because Japan was non-Islamic country, so it was difficult to live there. Actually in fact, if a Muslim wants to maintain him/herself in a non-Islamic country, he/she will face a lot of difficulties. Of course there are good ones too, but I chose the good of Iran.

was not family opposed to your becoming Muslim?

Of course they were completely opposed, because of this, it took a long time to come to Iran. They don’t like that I became a Muslim but finally they accepted that it has been my choice. I have really fought them for years to become Muslim.

What was your family’s religion?

They are Buddhists. But one of my uncles, when I was child, was converted to Christian and also was the master of the gospel. I was reading the Bible from my childhood, and I was going to the church, Then, unconsciously, I compared religions from the same time, this gradually led me to get to know Islam and also interest to Islam. Of course, before taking Islam I have tried several other religions, such as Buddhism, Christianity and Hindi, I first became interested in them and read books about them, but it was not at all convincing. Most of them were like a new prose of reading sacred books and had a mystical impression of religion.

How old were you when you decided to become Muslim?

I was 24 or 25 years old when I decided to become a Muslim. I remembered that when the September 11th event happened, I watched the incident live on TV. I was shocked at the first moment and then I thought how much this movie that was broadcast was similar to Hollywood movies. I did not quite believe this incident is just one event. I was thinking that there was something behind it. I did not know much about Islam at that time. I was curious to know Islam because of that incident, that always was talking about Muslims on television. Well, I did not have a Muslim friend at that time, and the number of Muslims in Japan was very low and most of the Muslims were foreigners, so I did not have much contact with them, but after 11th September, that was constantly talking about Islam and Muslims, I was interested to know a little about this religion. Later I realized that this religion is the largest religion in the world.

What resources did you use to learn more about Islam?

I first took and read the public books about religions, although these books were written by university professors, but did not have depth. So I got help from internet. I did familiar with some Islamic sites and through them I learned more about Islam. Because there are no clerics in Japan at all, so, mostly I could to get information about Islam from internet.

After you became a Muslim, you became acquainted with your spouse or before?

How you Convinced your family to be a Muslim and then marry with an Iranian?

I stood and resisted for 7 years. I talked to them about the Islam but because the media did overlook Islam, they did not believe in Islam, although I explained it. Not only my family, usually, if no one has a relationship with the Muslims, they do not know how they are and how they live. It can to say that they are somehow influenced by the brainwashing of the media. Because of this it took so much time. I only waited for 7 years and I was waiting and waiting only. After this time my family finally realized that I’m not change my decision.

Your husband came to Japan for matchmaking?

No, because getting a Japanese visa for Iranians is very difficult, especially if it’s single, it’s a bit impossible. Of course, it was easy before, but from 10 years ago till now the government has been restricted, so for this for first time, I traveled to Iran and saw the situation here. For the first time I saw my husband and his family closely. I later decided to marry him.

how was the encounter of your husband’s family in first visit?

Before coming to Iran, they were disagreeing, but when they saw me, they believed that I exist and I am not imaginary. Before coming to Iran, they were disagreeing, but when they saw me, they believed that I exist and I’m not a virtual person, because I became Muslim, they cherished me and they very much respected me.

you had job in Japan when you were there?

I was working in different fields before becoming Muslim, but after converting because of Hijab (حجاب) it was difficult to work. No one hired women with hijab. I thought so much what to do. I also wanted to work and keep my hijab too, so it came to my mind to work in the food factory because the dress in there was with full hijab and it covers head to bottom and only in that dress, the eyes remain out. The dress was loose and with full hijab. It was difficult. The salary wasn’t good, but I had good feeling because I tried to perform the command of God. I was saying to myself, may be this job not be 100% satisfying, but I was doing this job because of God. This thought and motivation made me withstand these hardships for 6, 7 years. Really gave me power and strength. For example, it was hard to fast during Ramadan.  Really, at home if I was fasting, all families insisted to break your fast and eat. Now they knew that I was in fasting, but they got very angry, they were saying that, why you doing this? Are you mad? Eat food, you going to be sick and etc. I wasn’t saying anything, only I was saying to God to help me that I can withstand. At the same time as I wanted to know about Islam, I met my husband. I became Muslim by research and … and I believed that this is truly a pure religion. It was interesting that after reading the Qur’an I learned the Bible more and this led me to prove to myself that the Qur’an is a holly complete book. The comparison of the Quran and the Gospel was new to me. I liked such studies so much which I had forgotten eating and sleeping at all. I was living in a small town at that time, and there was no Muslim in that city. Every day I used internet to read and check the sites. Then I spoke to the Muslims.

How many brothers and sisters do you have?

I have one brother and one sister.

What did they react when they saw you as a Muslims, would you like, they to become Muslims?

They were more open-minded because they are younger than my parents, so I did not have much trouble with them, for example I practice Arabic at home. It was interesting for them. For example, Arabic like Persian write from right to left and is not like Japanese that write from up to down, and it caused them to getting attention. They were asking about Islam and I was explaining to them. Somewhat they interested to Islam, but unfortunately, the lack of religion is best for majority of Japanese people (in their mind) and they think having religion would cause war and disagreement, so my brother and sister also thought the same way. in fact, it is not like that and I think this is a conspiracy of the Zionists, they advertised so much for this issue and now the influence of the Zionist media has increased so much which can’t say Japanese culture just made people think like this or the media’s propaganda keeps them away from religion.

What are you doing right now in Iran?

I completed all Farsi language learning classes in June. I go to the radio once a week and talk about Islam and Muslims there. I go to Calligraphic class and I also study. I intend to go to the class of the hifz-e-Quran (حفظ قرآن) after Nowruz Insha Allah because for many years I wish I could be the Hafiz of the Qur’an. At home, I work on the translation of the Qur’an.

What do you think a true Muslim should be?

Given that today the situation of the Muslims, especially the Shiites, is very complicated and difficult, hold the resistance for Shiites is very important because the conspiracy of the enemies is also intense. As a Muslim, we have to recognize our enemies and resist them. If we look good, we can know our enemies. For example, they are trying very hard to exclude Muslim women from their hijab or want to make this commonplace that saying God not exist, devil not exist. It’s very dangerous specially to say that devil is not exist because if anyone believes that there is no devil, then that means there is no bad thing and everyone is free to do whatever they want, but this is not so, that is, the creation of humans and the devil, or everything that exists, according to God’s plan. We have to recognize with the wisdom that God has given us that Which is the right way and do not go wrong way. Know what the purpose of life is. These are very important to humans. In addition, Muslims should know that there is no real freedom for man, because man can be bondsman of anything, a bondman of money, selfishness, a devil, a position, etc. but is free if be a bondman of God. I was really surprised when I first became acquainted with Islam, when I saw that all that happens in life is answered in Islam. From political issues to economics and so on. It’s so important, for example, we do not have such a thing in Christianity. Only religion is individual and does not matter to politics and economics etc. But everything is in Islam and is not comparable to other religions. This also proves that Islam is truly a complete religion. Therefore, at the first, Muslims must know their religion well, then know their enemies in order to resist them.

Which city of pilgrimage in Iran?

I went to Qom several times and I once went to Mashhad.

How was the experience of visiting these holy cities?

I like the Qom city so much, especially the mountain of Khezr (کوه خضر), because Mount Khezr is related to the advent of Imam Mahdi (A.T.F.S). So when I go there, I think more about the Imam Mahdi (A.T.F.S) and his advent and pray for him and feel his presence closer to me. I felt good for the first time in Mashhad. At that time my understanding about Islam was not so deep, I did not understand much but I felt that Imam Reza (a.s) are so kind. I felt it. I would love to go to Mecca too. We registered but our turn has not come yet.

How did you choose the veil (چادر) as a dress?

When I was coming new in Iran, I had hijab, but I did not wear veil (چادر) on my head. It was hard to wear a veil, but it seemed to me to be a beautiful cover. When I saw women by hijab, I thought how beautiful they are. So once I tried the veil, it was a bit hard, but then I got used to it gradually. At the beginning I just wore before going to mosque, then I got used to it. Well, I knew the veil was very important for Muslim women and I realized that having a veil has some hardship, because I had seen the hardships in my own country. On the other hand, with hardships like at the middle of the summer and in the heat should be covered or, it was seemed to me that setting veil itself was hard but these physical hardships was worth to spiritual and psychological freedom that hijab gives to women. I noticed that the opinions of others about the veil are not important, what was important and what is important, is the God’s word. When I find out just only God is important, I released spiritually and psychologically, and I became relieved and light. Well, I would make a makeup and wearing tight clothes before I was become Muslim but now, considering that I wear a veil, I feel relief. At that time, I was just for myself, but now it’s not like that. Everything was different when God became important to me. In fact, when everything was for God, it became stable and found a goal. For this reason, I believe that one who is bondman of God, is the freest being of the world. Finally, anything in this world has a price, the hardships of veil is the price to gain spiritual and psychological freedom.

How are your living conditions with your life partner?

We are very happy with our common life, my husband tells me you are my treasure, of course my husband is my treasure too. I like the way we live. We have not normal talking at all. We discuss to each other and talk about a lot of subjects. Maybe if someone sees us, says that how life partner they are, which their normal discussions are about Islam and so on, but we discus important issues and talk about it in order to understand better and find answers for them. This is very good for me; others also say how happy you are. Of course, I think this life has some price that we got it after 7 years expect. It was very hard, but we knew that we should not expect anything to be done without giving a price.

Based on what criteria you started your life, Islamic criteria or based on your country’s culture?

From the very beginning we tried to observe Islamic criteria, sometimes we discuss to each other, for example about food that these are cultural issues. Well, the Iranians eat meat very much compare to the Japanese and it was hard to me, because we did not eat a lot of meat in Japan or when we ate food, we used to not look at the TV because we believe we should focus on food. We have been discussing these issues but we always try to be on right side even if it is to our detriment.

Which Persian dishes have you learned and made?

I know and make most of dishes. Foods like Aash (آ ش), Soup, Kufte (کوفته), Vegetables (قرمه سبزی), Qeime (قیمه), Cutlet and many other foods. Sometimes I make Japanese dishes too, of course, materials for those foods is less likely to be found here, those materials are often expensive and their quality is not good. Sometimes my mother from Japan sends these materials to me and I use them.

since you came to Iran, how many times have you gone to Japan to visit your family?

I have not gone yet. I miss my family, but not much, because my husband’s family is very kind. Not only the family, but also relatives and acquaintances like aunts, they are all kind to me, it’s seems I’ve been a member of their family since the first day. Of course, this is a good feature of Iranians who are really kind and warm and sympathetic.

How do you see Iran as a country?

Iran is a really good country, but I think Iranians do not know their country’s magnitude well. It is a pity. I like Iran very much. Even if a country attacks Iran, I will not leave this country, because I know the magnitude of this country, because Iran is the only country that is officially Shiite, because of this, even if some country attack to Iran, I will not go from here. I believe that God has kept this world for advent of Imam Mahdi (A.T.F.S), if this country is for the Imam of the time, I have no reason to go elsewhere because of my security. Because living in a country where is belongs to Imam of time is far more important than my own security.

Which of the Imams will you resort to if you are in trouble?

I have seen miracles in my life several times by calling Imam Mahdi (A.T.F.S). So now, when I get in trouble, I call him again. Every time I get caught up, I said five times to myself Ya Sahib Al-Zaman (A.T.F.S) “یا صاحب الزمان عج” … then like a miracle my problem seems to have been solved. I remember that I recently asked God to make me guide others and suddenly this happened, because they were called to me and said that a Japanese woman wants to be Muslim like you, talk to her and guide her.

Right now, what is the most important work that you intend to do it and is your concern?

First of all, strengthen the Persian language. Of course, to make the normal communication, whatever I know is enough, but for more study and translation, I have to learn more because I like so much to translate Islamic books to Japanese. In Japanese there are not more than 2 or 3 Islamic books and Japanese have no any reference about Islam at all. Our conversation is not enough too, need to give them more books and more information to think and decide for themselves. God willing, after Nowruz, I also want to memorize the Quran. of course, I like so much to start an Islamic site. These are the duties I have to do.

What is your Comments for Iranian and Muslim girls and women?

First, know the magnitude of Islam and their country and other one that, I’ve seen so many girls in Iran that they have a lot of mehriye (dowry, مهریه) for themselves. I tell them that the mehriye is not a valuation criterion for a woman, so the high mehriye can’t mean their high value. I told my husband when we getting married, I want my mehriye be like mehriye of Hazrat e Zahra (s.a) i.e. water and salt, but he insisted and I chose just one coin for mehriye in the name of God’s unity, provided that my husband gives it to me in time of matrimony. He did the same. Later I thought that when my pattern is Hazrat Zahra (s.a), so, like her, we have to start our life simple. I preferred to buy two three small things for our home with the same mehriye coin. Girls should know their worth because they make society and they are the support of men, and the most important thing to do is educate their children. If they know Islam well, they understand that the position and dignity of women is very high in Islam and it’s not what others say. For example, Hazrat-e-Ibrahim (a.s), who wanted to sacrifice his child, it was very difficult for him who was the Prophet and immediately afterwards, was given the position of Imamat to Hazrat-e-Ibrahim, but we have mother of martyrs who sent their children to war without any expectation and it has worth. Our girls and women think more about these issues and observe Halal or Haram in life.