Mrs. Shariffa Carlo



The story of how I reverted to al Islam is a story of plans. I made plans, the group I was with made plans, and Allah made plans. And Allah is the Best of Planners. When I was a teenager, I came  to  the  attention  of  a  group  of  people  with  a  very  sinister agenda.  They  were  and  probably  still  are  a  loose  association  of individuals  who  work  in  government  positions  but  have  a  special agenda - to destroy Islam. It is not a governmental group that I am aware of; they simply use their positions in the US government to advance their cause.  

One member of this group approached me because he saw that I was  articulate,  motivated  and  very  much  the  women's  rights advocate. He told me that if I studied International Relations with an emphasis  in  the  Middle  East,  he  would  guarantee  me  a job  at  the American Embassy in Egypt. He wanted me to eventually go there to use  my  position  in  the  country  to  talk  to  Muslim  women and encourage  the  fledgling  women's  rights  movement.  I  thought  this was a great idea. I had seen the Muslim women on TV; I knew they were a poor oppressed group, and I wanted to lead them to the light of 20th century freedom.

With this intention, I went to college and began my education. I studied Quran, hadith and Islamic history. I also studied the ways I could use this information. I learned how to twist the words to say what  I  wanted  them  to  say.  It  was  a  valuable  tool.  Once  I  started learning, however, I began to be intrigued by this message. It made sense.  That  was  very  scary.  Therefore,  in  order  to counteract  this effect, I began to take classes in Christianity. I chose to take classes with this one professor on campus because he had a good reputation and he had a Ph.D. in Theology from Harvard University. I felt I was in good hands. I was, but not for the reasons I thought. It turns out that this professor was a Unitarian Christian. He did not believe in the trinity or the divinity of Jesus. In actuality, he believed that Jesus was a prophet.  

He proceeded to prove this by taking the Bible from its sources in Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic and show where they were changed. As  he  did  this,  he  showed  the  historical  events  which  shaped  and followed these changes. By the time I finished this class, my deen had been  destroyed,  but  I  was  still  not  ready  to  accept Islam.  As  time went on, I continued to study, for myself and for my future career. This took about three years. In this time, I would question Muslims about their beliefs. One of the individuals I questioned was a Muslim brother. Alhamdulillah, he saw my interest in the deen, and made it a personal  effort  to  educate  me  about  Islam.  May  Allah increase  his reward.  He  would  give  me dawaa  at  every  opportunity  which presented itself.  

One day, this man contacts me, and he tells me about a group of Muslims who were visiting in town. He wanted me to meet them. I agreed. I went to meet with them after ishaa prayer. I was led to a room with at least 20 men in it. They all made space for me to sit, and  I  was  placed  face  to  face  with  an  elderly  Pakistani  gentleman. Mashallah, this brother was a very knowledgeable man in matters of Christianity. He and I discussed and argued the varying parts of the bible and the Quraan until the fajr. At this point, after having listened to this wise man tell me what I already knew, based on the class I had taken in Christianity, he did what no other individual had ever done. He invited me to become a Muslim. In the three years I had been searching and researching, no one had ever invited me. I had been taught, argued with and even insulted, but never invited. May Allah guide us all. So when he invited me, it clicked. I realized this was the time.  I  knew  it  was  the  truth,  and  I  had  to  make  a  decision. Alhamdulillah, Allah opened my heart, and I said, "Yes. I want to be a Muslim." With that, the man led me in the shahadah- in English and in Arabic. I swear by Allah that when I took the shahadah, I felt the strangest sensation. I felt as if a huge, physical weight had just been lifted off my chest; I gasped for breath as if I were breathing for the first time in my life. Alhamdulillah, Allah had given me a new life - a clean slate - a chance for Jennah, and I pray that I live the rest of my days and die as a Muslim. Ameen.  

Shariffa A Carlo (Al Andalusia)

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