May 23 2022
I remember being a very young toddler and being in church. I remember being taught verses from the Bible, and knowing that it was the verses that I needed to remember, not the Bible as a whole. When I became conscious of my existence on this earth, I remember praying to God alone.
I prayed to God alone at all times until I was around 9 years old. When I was 9, I recall being told that God doesnt answer or even hear prayers that are not ended in the name of Jesus(as). For this reason, wanting to be correct in my supplications to God, I ended all prayers in the name of Jesus(as).
Never during my life as a Christian, did I view Jesus(as) as God Himself. Nor did I feel that he was equal to God. I changed churches several times because each denomination seemed a little different as far as the view of Jesus(as) went. Finally, I settled into a Pentecostal church where my grandfather was a preacher. It was taught there that women are to be modest. I liked that. Even at a very young age, I felt that scantily clad women were women deprived of common decency. The Pentecostal church is of the thinking that women should wear long sleeves, and skirts, and never dress like a man; wearing pants and such. I did wear pants, but always wore shirts that went near the knee. This caused my mother to be very irritated with me as when I didnt wear long shirts over my pants, Id tie a long sleeve shirt around my waist to cover myself from view. I recall crying when my mother bought me a dress to wear when I was 6 years old because when I sat down, my under clothes would show. I have always been modest in dress. There is a picture of me in that dress along with my brother. You can clearly see the tears in my eyes from having to wear that dress. My point here is that God, I feel, has created girls with a degree of shame and a desire to be modest until it is corrupted by society and popular fashions; making women and girls feel inadequate if they dont dress in a manner suggestive of sexual readiness, even at a young age.
I remember being afraid of the dark to the point of going to bed well before it would get dark. Because of this fear, and my reliance on God to help me, I would leave room beside me for angels. I recall during those nights where I would be terrified with nightmares and my fears of having them that I always, for some reason unknown to me even now, pleaded with God, alone, to protect me. It never entered my mind that anyone else had more power to help me.
When I was in the 4th grade, 11 yrs. old. I met a young Jewish girl. She never ate lunch at school and this made me quite curious about her beliefs. I spent many nights at her home and the talk of religion was open and it was made known that her house was a Jewish house. No pork would ever be served. I knew that Jesus(as) was a Jew, in all respects. He lived as a Jew, taught Jewish scripture, and came as a confirmation of verses in the Old Testament. I continued to eat pork, but my mind always felt ill at ease with it.
We soon moved from the school where I met my Jewish friend. We moved from a rural area to the city and I began school in the public schools in the city. I had at that time stopped going to church. My parents never forced my brother and I to go, so it wasnt an issue. The inner conflicts about religion had begun at that time to make me quite confused and although not to the point of doubting the existence to God, but the confusion was such that when I would hear someone begin a prayer with, ” Dear Jesus,” I would feel as if I had totally missed out on something. Hearing things such as, ” Jesus loves you, ” would create such inner turmoil for me, that I began to think that I didnt believe what I was supposed to believe and was therefore different, even undeserving of that love. Singing the song ” Jesus loves me,” was in its self a point of mental exhaustion as I recalled that Jesus(as) said that he done only as God willed and required him to do. Did this credit of love then not go to God who cared to effort into my salvation in the first place? Why didn’t we sing “God loves me?” If God was All Powerful and Almighty, didn’t that mean that at some eventual point all credit for anything would go to God?
Sometime during this stage of questioning what I was being taught took me to my grandfather. He was the preacher and he knew what was right; in my mind, he was the one to ask. I asked him, ” Grandpa, is God one or three, or one with 2 more slightly below Him. What exactly should I know about this subject in order to have the right belief?” He answered, ” Honey, we don’t question such things. These are things that we take on faith. God said that He sent his son as a means of saving us from our sins. Gods son is part of God; therefore, we refer to one and both are glorified. The Bible says that there are three that bear record, The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. These three are one in spirit and so that means that they are one in total.” My grandfather’s answer only left me with a bigger thirst and more confusion as I remembered vividly the Jewish slogan ” Hear Oh Israel, The Lord our God, The Lord is One.” The Bible and all of the world calls the Jewish people Gods chosen people, and they believe that God is one, alone in His authority and power. This was the only thing that remained a point of logic and ease of belief for me.
Within months of talking to my grandfather, I had to put everything about my belief in God to the side. The only person that I thought would know had only given me more confusion. In my mind it was me, I was the problem; maybe I was wicked and evil. Maybe God didnt love me as He loved everyone else because I sure didnt feel secure that I was going to be saved due to the fact that none of it made sense. I couldnt get to the step of just having faith in something and accepting it when it made no sensible connection in my mind. I only kept the belief that God existed, and the rest was undetermined or something to eventually learn and understand.
It was at this point in my life that I made most of my mistakes. Although I wouldnt change any of it, as it has made me who I am today, I can clearly see in hindsight that my ignorance wasnt a chosen type of ignorance. I had tried so hard to grasp something that I just couldnt see. I had asked about my doubts and asked about what was proper to believe only to find that nothing that was given to me satisfied my mind. Again, I was feeling as if there was something wrong with me, it had to be me, otherwise I wouldnt have felt so alone. Since I felt that I was evil because of my doubts, I began to do things against my taught belief system. What good did it do me to believe anything when it never made sense and I was evidently mad anyway?
Setting this next stage is necessary because I continue to feel that my mistakes are what has made me who I am today. Of course, they were awful. Of course, I am filled with regrets. However, if I had not made these mistakes then guidance would not have come to me. It wasnt the mistakes per se, but the growth of conscience that occurred as a result of them. At this stage in my life I had left the church. At the time, it seemed an awful thing to do, but today I know it was the best thing to do and I can elaborate on that a little later.
When we moved into town, we moved into an area that was mainly retired people. The only young adults were the ones that every mother warns you about. They were folks who drank heavily. They also done drugs on a daily basis. I was introduced to this lifestyle at the age of 13. In the summer after I turned 13, I had too much time and little guidance. Both of my parents worked so my whole day was unsupervised by any responsible adult. I had been a good girl and had always listened to my parents. My mother has always said that the only reason she had another child after I was born was because I was always obedient and good. My parents being gone all day at work and leaving me to take care of my brother was something that I had earned, I felt. My days consisted of cleaning the house for my mother, feeding my brother some lunch, and then going two houses down where the loud music was. I would always come back home in good time to get food starting to cook for my mother. Not long after this routine I began to be sucked into the life of these neighbors. I wanted to do what they done all day. They made it seem like so much fun. No responsibilities were the rule of each day. Accountability was never brought to mind. They had offered me beer and drugs and I drank and done drugs with them daily. It got to a point where I started sneaking out of my window at night on the weekends when they had parties.
The neighbor and his wife had separated and she moved to Indiana, back to her mother’s house. For a few days after she had left, I stopped going. I then got a message that just because she was gone didn’t mean that I wasn’t welcome there. Of course, I went. There were more men now. At this point I had only drunk and done drugs, but having a drunk and drugged mind isn’t good for a very young girl around a bunch of drunk men. I knew that everything I done was wrong, but it didn’t seem to matter. Nothing made sense to me anyway. I justified things to myself in two ways; I was evil anyway because I didn’t believe what I was taught, and secondly, God was forgiving and nothing I done really mattered. One night I was drunk, and high on drugs, and at 13, I became pregnant. This would break my parents’ heart. The fear of seeing their faces in such utter disappointment lead to me running away from home one day during the fall of 1982. I left with the father of my baby who was 21. This was a time slumber for my good conscience. I had to put it to sleep otherwise guilt would incapacitate me. I was however a spoiled young girl. My parents gave me and trusted me in everything. I was accustomed to eating and getting new clothes when I wanted them. Both of my parents worked and money wasn’t ever a concern for me. Leaving home was a battle within myself of sleeping and crying, being hungry, and feeling like I was the worst of God’s creation. I had to steal clothes from clothes lines at night. I had to lie my way into people’s homes. I had stopped drinking and doing drugs because I was pregnant, but my baby’s father continued to drink and do drugs. I began to see him in a different way and I would bring things up to him about morality. Since I wasn’t drunk and my mind was sober, I disagreed with everything he did. He began to abuse me. He beat me and drug me by my hair up and down stairs. I began to wonder if this was what I had resigned myself to. Was this going to be how my life was always? For six weeks I was gone. During that six weeks I grew a bit. My parents were walking as zombies with no thought except that of my safety. Putting them through that is a huge regret. I went back home after that six weeks with a different vision in my life. I no longer thought that a life with no responsibilities was ideal. In that six weeks, my mind grew into that of an adult. I say that because much of my thought process is the same now. I was going to be a mother. I needed to grow-up and be an adult, even if my age reflected something different. As winter came and I reached the age of 14, I was mentally prepared to be a mother. I had broken any relationship with my baby’s father after he physically and mentally abused me one last time that winter. After my daughter was born, I gave him a chance to be involved with her, but he wasn’t interested in being a father or supporting a child and went his own way. My parents were there for me for support, both financially as well as emotionally. My first daughter will be 20 this year, and her natural father has still never cared to contact or support her.
I started school two weeks late due to recovering from childbirth at 14. I started in classes for students in special circumstances that only required me to be in school for 3 hours a day. Near the time of my 15th birthday in December, I started to feel as if I were taking and asking too much from my parents. They gave willingly and without complaint, but I felt like I was a huge financial burden on them. I wasnt even old enough to get a proper job. If I were to get a job, it would mean that I would need day care because both of my parents worked. I had resumed going to church for a short while only to find that nothing had changed really. It was important to me however, that my child learn to know about God early on.
I feel that it is important to include all of this because it all plays such a huge role in my acceptance to Islam. The summer after my 15th birthday I met my husband. Honestly, I had no idea about Islam, although I knew he was a Muslim. He never prayed or fasted, or practiced anything in the religion at that time. We married on my 16th birthday. My husband accepted my daughter as his own and she has only ever known him as Baba. The only thing he requested was that we not eat or bring pork in the house. This brought me again to my memories of my Jewish friend. I decided in the fall of 1985, just prior to marrying him, that I would no longer eat pork, nor feed it to my child or future children. I felt that certainly Jesus(as) didn’t eat it, so there must be something to the rule. My conversion to Islam was surrounded by this law.
When I was 17, I started going to church again. We had a daughter together in February, a few months after my 17th birthday and it seems from looking at it now that each time after I would have a child, I would be more and more pushed mentally to worship God in some way. The process of a child growing within me, and celebrating the new born life felt like such a huge blessing to me. When I returned to church, the Easter meal was planned and I attended only to find that it was a meal of a baked ham. A huge disagreement started with me and some church members. I was offended and repulsed that someone would celebrate the newly risen Jesus with a meal that he, himself would never have touched. A meal that was totally representative of filth on an occasion supposedly representing a cleansing of sins. I got up and tried to convince the congregation that this was wrong. It had to be. Jesus(as) was a Jew, he would have never eaten this meat. Moreover, he wouldn’t have been in the company of those enjoying it in such a manner. Jesus(as) said that he didn’t come to change the law, so why then is it changed in this church who follows him? My grandfather got up and opened the Bible and showed me a verse in the Bible that allegedly meant that all meat was cleansed. He then showed me a verse saying that it is not what goes into a person’s mouth that makes them unclean, but what makes them unclean is what comes out and what resides in the heart. It didn’t jive. I couldn’t make sense of it. Regardless of what the other verses said, Jesus(as) still said that he didn’t come to change the laws, but to confirm them. This was an inconsistency and I opted to follow what Jesus(as) said over the vision of some starving man on his roof hearing a voice telling him to go down and eat unclean food. Upon further investigation by myself, I found that the verse wherein Jesus(as) stated that it is not what goes into a man that makes him defiled was completely not about eating unclean meats, it was about following a law with no sense of anything except a habit with no thought of God and obedience to Him at all. I determined then, within myself, that the church had only hoped to deaden my conscience. They constantly encouraged me to feel as if I were forgiven, not to feel guilty about anything, and to be free and happy as God wanted me to be.
This next stage of my path towards Islam brought me to believing that I was a Jew. I was a Jew in my mind, but a Jew who accepted Jesus and his mission. I intended to follow the laws that Jesus followed; the laws that he taught as well. For 3 years I lived in this manner. I considered myself again as something different from anyone else. I had never believed that God literally had sons, or daughters for that matter. I never believed that Jesus(as) was part of God with the same authority. It was my ardent desire to emulate Jesus in my life in all respects. The question of the day was, ” What Would Jesus Do?” I answered it daily with, ” He wouldn’t eat pork, he wouldn’t praise himself, he wouldn’t put up a tree on his birthday, he wouldn’t do anything that praised anything or anyone other than God, The Creator of all. I dove into the Old Testament and found 637 laws or commandments that God gave the Jews. I grew bitter towards the church for not lifting these laws as they do the Ten Commandments. Why just ten when God gave so many more? Did God give these other laws in vain? Did God put Moses in a life of trials and difficulties from his very birth all for nothing? I started to see Christian beliefs as beliefs of convenience. If it suits them, they embrace it; if they don’t like it and want that ham dinner on Easter, they cast aside what they don’t like and teach one another to not feel guilty about it. After further investigation into Jewish laws, I came to the point of sacrificial rituals. These rituals were required of those Jews who committed sins unintentionally. In the Torah, God continually says that He places these sacrificial rituals as part of their lives so that they may learn gratitude and other things such as a conscience that guides them to continually try to do what is right and good. I began to study the definition of the word sacrifice in Biblical terms. It is basically a gesture wherein one gives up something that they love or value in order to show sincerity to God. A blood sacrifice is not always necessary and was rarely done for sins. When it was done however, it needed to be done correctly. Sometimes, if a person is poor, they need only give a bit of flour, or make a humble meal. The word “qorbanat” or sacrifice in Hebrew, means to make an offering to show sincerity of repentance. Most of the time, this would be for purposes of meat to eat. This was the only allowable way to eat meat; when it was/is sacrificed in a proper manner. This has nothing to do with forgiveness of sins. The best means to be forgiven according to the Torah is to pray for forgiveness and make gestures of obedience to God. any gesture of sacrifice, however, is not for sins done intentionally. Not like the church had taught me at all. These are the things that Jesus(as) taught and lived by. These things made sense to me.
After living for three years believing and thinking that if Jesus was a Jew, then I am too, I met the first practicing Muslims in my life. My father works for an oil company and the company had signed some contracts with Egypt. The company brought in some Egyptian men to train them in the supervisory level on how to instruct the assembly of submersible oil pumps. My father quickly called my husband and told him that there were some Arabs in our small town. He thought that this would please my husband because my husband was the only Arab around for a good 50 miles and he hadn’t seen any Arabs or even spoken Arabic in several years. The response from my husband was unbridled enthusiasm. He was ecstatic, to say the least. The Egyptians were here for 3 months and during that time I saw what Islam in practice was. My husband had started to connect with his religion, although he didn’t fully practice until I became a Muslim of that same year. The Egyptian brothers were excited to teach me about Islam. They thought that I was a Christian so they were making points of disagreement with Christian doctrine including the trinity which I never accepted anyway. I didn’t really learn anything new except one thing; Muhammad was the final messenger of God.
At this point I was asking all kinds of questions to my husband. I found that he would never answer me enough to satisfy my curiosity though. I didn’t find out until a few years later that my father had made an agreement with my husband before he would agree to our marriage. The agreement consisted of my husband never trying to change my religion. Never. My husband agreed with this stipulation in order to marry me and he didn’t want to appear to be encouraging me to change my religion and disappoint my father. He didn’t know that I was committed to finding out about Islam. He didn’t know that I was searching to an extent that if I had to by-pass him, I would do it. I had to know who Muhammad was. The brothers from Egypt spoke of Muhammad being in the Bible. I was either going to find that they were right, or prove them wrong, somehow.
A few months had passed and my aunt (mothers’ sister) married one of the Egyptians who came to train with at my father’s work place. Of course, he had to go back to Egypt, but he kept in contact with her by phone and it was planned that he would return to the USA in one month. Everything went as planned and he was back in the states and he and my aunt had rented a house in Tulsa. Since they were an hour drive away, I didn’t see them much. In September of 1990 I had another child. A baby girl. My aunt and her husband came to the hospital to see me. When she came in my room, she had a scarf on her head, and another American woman was with her who also had a scarf on her head. I looked at my aunt and I asked her, ” What are you wearing?” She answered, ” I became a Muslim and so now I cover my hair.” I was really shocked at her news. It was the first time I had ever seen a woman in hijab and although I was shocked initially, after I had studied the two of them closer, it was a thing to admire. I invited my aunt and her husband to our home while my husband and hers spoke in Arabic. I hated it when he done that because I couldn’t understand a thing. I was constantly asking what he was saying.
When I came home from the hospital my aunt and her husband came for a visit. I was full of questions but felt a little shy to ask them. It seemed like every time I would ask my aunt something, her husband would answer. It annoyed me. Finally, I said, ” Auntie, I am asking you, what made you change what you believe?” She answered, ” Well, my husband began to explain what he believed and it made such perfect sense that I accepted it. It also makes him happy.” I commented, “What exactly is it that you believe?” She answered, ” That there is no god, other than God, Allah; and that Muhammad is the final messenger and prophet sent by God.” I asked, “How do you know who Muhammad is?” “She said, “Well, I brought you these tapes, video cassettes, by a man named Ahmed Deedat. He completely explains in a better way than I can. The only thing is, is that he speaks with a heavy accent and I can’t understand him very well.” I asked her to go get the tapes and she brought them in, there were 3 of them. We put one in the VCR, it was titled Crucifixion or Crucifiction. I thought the title was catchy. We sat and watched it from beginning to end. It was a long process because I stopped the tape several times to write down references of what he was saying. My aunt said that I could keep the tapes until the next weekend. After they left, I spent the rest of the evening copying the tapes. I must admit that it felt wicked to copy them, but I was so very driven to remember the tapes and what was said.
I spent the entire week watching the tapes and intensely caring for my new baby. She was placed on a heart and sleep apnea monitor because sometimes when she would sleep, she would briefly stop breathing. I was constantly worried for her and afraid that there may be a time that I would not wake up when the alarms sounded. I was watching those tapes and reading the Bible making sure that there were no misquotes, nothing taken out of context, and I found it all to be exactly as Ahmed Deedat had said. I was at a point in my life where I was thankful for the blessing of another child, I was thankful that she was with me, but I was afraid that she might not keep breathing and from my tiredness, I wouldn’t be able to reach her to begin CPR. What stress that was I can never fully explain to anyone who hasn’t experienced it. I remember vividly when she was 3 weeks old, I was downstairs with her feeding her and I was so terribly tired that the fear of not waking up and hearing the monitor alarms that I began to pray. I prayed so fervently and I wanted so much to know what God was hearing my prayer. In my exhaustion, carrying her about the living room, I walked towards the fireplace mantle. Sitting on the mantle I had a plaque of the Lord’s Prayer. Instantly in my mind, the story in the Bible of how this prayer came about entered my mind. The followers/disciples and the multitudes came to hear Jesus(as) speaking on a mountain and he instructed them in supplication to God. Jesus said, when you pray (supplicate) do it in this manner: Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, they will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
I looked at the prayer after I said it. Something was missing. What was it? I read it again, looking at every word instead of saying it from memory. I then saw what was missing. There was no “in Jesus name” at the end. This was a prayer that was directly to God from Jesus as he instructed his followers to do. This prayer was specifically directed to God alone. This is how Jesus prayed, and how he instructed to pray. I stood there for what seemed a very long time thinking about the instruction of the prayer and the absence of what the church demands as far as acceptance and proper closure for prayer; it was not there. It simply was not there. Jesus said over and over as he was grieved, “Why do you call me master, and do not what I say?” My mind was going, my tears were flowing; my mouth opened and uttered the words, ” There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.”
My belief in Islam took me as a storm that was unexpected. I knew inside when I was reading those verses in the Bible that they were being repeated correctly. I feel now that I was hiding from submission for some reason beyond my conscious knowledge. But once I became conscious of it, there was no turning back. God was and is One; I had always, always felt that within myself. Now the hard part of learning about what I believed needed to run its course. I had never read the Quran. This book that I felt was true revelation from God, I had never seen. I kept my belief as a secured secret inside of myself. Knowing that I had submitted, yet thinking that I was in some way falling deep into something that would require a change in my life that would affect everyone around me. My parents would be hurt, my husband…would he understand? I mean he wouldn’t talk to me about religion at all.
I constantly went over the tapes, my notes, and read the Bible more than I had in my whole life for the next week. I made myself read the New Testament and began discounting everything that went against the Oneness of God in the Old Testament. This made the process easier to know what was placed there by someone uninspired, and someone truly inspired. God is consistent, perfect, and free from errors. His true prophets and messengers too would be consistent in a like manner. Since I had already considered myself to be a Jew of sorts, this was not a difficult task.
After a week or so had passed of my delving into the Bible extracting truth, and rejecting lies, I decided to tell my husband of my belief. He called from work at his lunch time. He asked how I was, and how the baby was doing. I commented that we were both fine and laying beside each other on the couch. I said, ” Honey, I need to tell you something.” I didn’t even give him time to ask what it was, I just said it. ” Honey, I am a Muslim and I believe in Allah as one, and in Muhammad and what was given to him, but I need a Quran.” He answered, ” This isn’t some kind of thing someone just jumps into. This is something that requires thought and total conviction. Well need to talk about this when I get home.” I was stunned by his reply. He seemed to be discouraging me in what I believed in. I was intent on telling him that he had no say in the matter and that he couldn’t change my belief for any amount of money, or any length of time discouraging me. I didn’t learn until some years later that he broke down crying after he hung the phone, and he thanked Allah, and made an oath to practice what he knew was right. He asked God to forgive him and when he got home, he recited the athan in our babies right ear, and the iqama in her left ear; something he had never done with any of the other 4 children.
He came home and was silent for a length of time. He then said, ” Are certain that this is what you believe? There is no going back now if you say yes.” I replied that I was totally sure and I felt like God had been guiding me to this time for my whole life. The next day he brought me a Quran and we went to Tulsa. On October 14, 1990, in front of my aunt, her husband, and my husband, I recited: AshaHadoo Ana La illaha illalah wa Ashadoo Ana Muhamadan Rasoolulah. I took a shower saying bismillah Alrahman Iraheem over my head three times, then over my right and left shoulders, respectively. I was a Muslim. Alhamdulilah.
I was dedicated to learn the salat in Arabic and in three days’ time I had perfect pronunciation. My only hurdle was hijab. I said for a month that I would never cover my hair. After a month I thought better when I had read the Quran and from that time on, I have been Muhajibah. All praise is Allahs.
I think Allah for guiding me in the manner that He has. So many things make sense now. All of the what-ifs are clarified and understandable. If I hadn’t had my first child so young, my parents would have never agreed to let me marry so very young. If my husband had practiced his religion while I was not a Muslim, this would have caused a lot of conflict. Although it was wrong of him, it happened, and for each thing there is a reason beyond our comprehension. If the church had succeeded in killing my conscience and guilt process as I mentioned earlier, I would have felt free to do anything with no fear of accountability. God gave us a conscience to guide us. We should feel bad when we do something wrong, it is a needed trait for true repentance. In order to be really humble, one has to remember their sins and forget their good deeds. Otherwise we will become prideful and boasting; a major sin.
I am also thankful that I knew Islam before I really knew Muslims. People still today, more than 1400 years after the advent of Islam can’t differentiate between culture and Islam. Some combine them even opposing Islam altogether. Indeed, in some cases, culture is more important.
For any Christian reading this, I really recommend learning about how Jesus lived his life as a Jew. Jewish beliefs were taught and studied by Jesus at every point in his life. You cannot know about what Jesus was like by reading what the man who killed his followers wrote
You will be surprised to learn that there is little ritual difference between Islam and Judaism. Also, there is little difference between the two in major aspects in foundations of belief.
If you really want to know what Jesus would do, if you really want to know what Jesus taught and believed, learn about the Jewish beliefs. It is imperative to know that blood sacrifice is not only unnecessary, it was never done as it is explained by the church. It is so important to know that the laws of the Torah were viewed as a form of blessing and guidance and never the burden as it is implied as when it is explained to you that you are freed from the laws under the New Testament. If Jesus said that he didn’t come to change the laws, then even if you accept the church doctrine of salvation, the laws remain valid. Read, Read, Read. Salvation is obtained by repentance; it was the manner of forgiveness before Jesus(as) and it remains the same now. Jesus prayed to God by falling prostrate on his face. If he were God, this would seem ridiculous. Don’t limit God by saying that He can’t forgive without blood, nowhere in the rituals as practiced by Jesus is this written or believed. God does as He pleases and cannot be contained in any form, whether you have a vision of it or not. Muslims have the same God of the Biblical prophets. Arab Christians refer to God as Allah. Allah is the Arabic word for God. Allah is not the “Muslim God.”
Finally, may God be with you in your search for truth, or even just understanding. If you’re sincerely seeking, God will never abandon you in disbelief. I hope that truth will flood over you, making plain all things, and truly making your cup overfill.
Some day in the future I will Insha’Allah explain how I came to be a Shia, Insha’Allah.