This morning, I felt so troubled. I couldn’t study. I’m worried because Allah seems to be changing my plans again. I tried calling my family as I badly needed company just to talk and ask for advice. None of them were available. I felt so desperate. I prayed and just spend time talking to Allah. Then I felt the need to go to a mosque. I didn’t really plan to go today. I was thinking of delaying my trip to the mosque until after the storm stops… like tomorrow or on Tuesday. I also didn’t plan that I’d go to the Blue Mosque in Taguig. I thought of going to the Golden Mosque in Quiapo Manila. But Allah just made it happen. Allah just gave signs… it’s a good thing I followed the signs. Alhamdulillah. He made things so easy for me. There’s a storm here in Manila since yesterday. But as soon as I stepped out of my house, the rain stopped (and it did not rain again until after I got back home!) Finding the mosque wasn’t difficult at all.
When I was at FTI’s Sunshine Mall, I asked for directions to the Blue Mosque. I know it was just near. Someone told me to just hail a tricycle and tell the driver to bring me to the Blue Mosque and that it’s only 10 pesos from that point to the mosque.
I was literally weeping when I got there. I went in and asked for directions. The man showed me where the women’s area is for ablution. There at the ablution area I found the only Muslimah in the mosque. I asked her where I could do my wudu. She asked me what tribe I’m from. I said, I’m a convert. And after that she almost never left my side. 😀
She taught me how to properly do my wudu. She showed me where our prayer area is and where the classes are usually held. She told me about the usual schedule that people follow there. She also introduced me to the other Muslim men. Some I realized were Sufis. When they all asked me why I reverted, I cried. Oh I didn’t stop crying. One brother asked me, “Why are you crying?” I said, “I’m just so happy. I felt Allah really wanted me to be here. I didn’t plan to come today, but Allah made it happen.” Everybody was welcoming and warm!!! I didn’t expect the Muslims at the mosque would treat me like that.
I did my Shahada again, this time with a Muslim elder who was facilitating the Quran reading session. The Imam was not available. Oh! The experience was just amazing. I was in the room with 3 other brothers and sister M. We prayed with the elder and then listened to his teaching and then I said my shahada three times. That was the best experience. I literally felt that I have been completely healed and renewed by God. Alhamdulillah.
After that, everybody went around me, congratulated me, and just kept offering me things!
There were a couple of men who were talking to the sister and asking how much does she think my dowry is. I took it as a joke. But one man was very serious. He was profiling me how sincere I was and then talked about marriage. I just took the brother lightly and just didn’t say anything. He must have sensed that I really wasn’t ready and interested. He apologized and told me that he’s not forcing me, but will keep in touch. I kept quiet and just listened to everybody who talked after. I didn’t expect to receive so much attention.
At the office secretariat, they gave me dates for snacks. Then another brother brought sandwiches for everybody and we all ate. Then another brother prepared juice for everybody. Hahaha. So much food! Then another brother kept showing me books and talking about how inspired he is and how amazed he is that someone would still want to revert to Islam even when everything on the news is just about the conflict in Mindanao.
Before Asr, the sister gave me small booklets in Tagalog, and one brother gave me more booklets. A brother gave me 2 kilos of dates and even offered to give me his prayer mat when he heard I was looking for one. I accepted the dates but politely refused on the prayer mat. I told him I would rather choose one for myself… the color I like, the size and texture I think would fit me. He understood.
When I heard the Athan, I excused myself and went to the Wudu area. Then I went to the prayer hall. I was the only woman there standing, then just a few seconds before the Imam started, the brothers and the sister ran to their places. I found that funny. No one entered the mosque late. Everybody respected prayer time and also respected the Imam who was leading the prayers. We all prayed. The feeling was unexplainable. Ahhh.
I learned that we have to wait for the Imam to make the actions first, we can’t go ahead of him. I also learned how to pray properly. The sister taught me important things about prayer and what to do whenever I get to the mosque. She also gave me tips. She encouraged me to come whenever I’m available to join the reading of the Quran. And if I feel troubled, I go to the mosque and just stay there to pray, to talk to Allah, or just be quiet, or talk to the sisters. She also told me some personal things about her, and how much she loves coming to the mosque. She feels she belongs.
One of the conversations during discussions with the brothers and sister is how divided Muslims are. They all agreed that even if Muslims, not everybody shares the same cultural beliefs and even practices Islam completely. They also mentioned that what’s important is what’s in the heart… it has to be pure… and if I always mention Allah, that helps me purify myself make myself more pleasing to Allah.
I went home… again it was just so easy for me to go home.
As soon as I stepped in the house, then it rained so heavily.