An Indian Family’s Journey to Islam

By Sariyah Islam 
May 18, 2005

My story starts in 1979 when Allah SWT bought me into
this world into a very religious and spiritually aware
family. We were Orthodox Roman Catholics before our
reversion to Islam. My family being quite well to do
was actively involved in Church and Parish affairs.
And so we had, and still do have Priests, Nuns and
Missionaries (They still try their antics, but we know
how to handle them) as part of our family. My
grandfather has even built a church in our native
Kerala, India. But my family was one that stuck to its
ideals, we loved our Creator albeit misguidedly and
always tried to be good human beings. We prided
ourselves to be pious people and the best among us was
my mother. There were many times when our Parish
priest would make her an example to the other ladies.
She—my Mom was a model Christian Woman. She read the
bible regularly and practiced her religion devoutly.

Well, to begin with, my mother had a few spiritual
experiences which resulted in a deep sense of
dissatisfaction with her religion. She turned to the
Bible for answers but this only led her further away
from all that she had earlier held sacred. During
those days a lawyer named Mr. Ibrahim Khan was working
with my parents as a substitute legal advisor, this
was only for a short period of time, since our regular
lawyer was on vacation and my parents needed urgent
legal advise on some business matter. Being a
knowledgeable Muslim he introduced Islam to my Mom and
she accepted Islam within a few weeks of being
introduced to it. I was around 13 then.

My situation was quite confusing (to say the least),
being the eldest child. The family separated because
Mummy felt her marriage had become null and void. I
hated Islam because I believed it had broken up my
family. My father left us and went away. I felt it was
everything that the media made it out to be
(Astagfirullah), though funnily, I was rather fond of
the Adhan. I hated Islam then and felt that I could be
anything but a Muslim. But, I had tremendous respect
and love for my Mummy. And I couldn’t understand why
she did something like this. I wanted to understand
what was it that had attracted her—an educated,
cultured lady—to something as medieval as Islam.
Ultimately I asked her one-day and her answer was very
simple. “Read the Bible Page to Page”

It was then that I began my Journey of Discovery. I
was very young, but Allah (SWT) gave me the maturity
to understand what I read. I found so many
inconsistencies and mistakes in the Bible. I found
things mentioned in the Bible, which Christians did
not follow. I found things, which I felt, were not
logical. I found covenants which were broken. I found
clear mention of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (peace be
upon him). But I was very stubborn and refused to
accept the truth. Well, I continued to study
Christianity and slowly started digressing to
comparative religion but always refused to study
Islam. Around that time my Mom sent me a letter with
both the transliteration and translation of Surah
Al–Ikhlas written in it and this became an obsession
for me. I recited it as well as its translation
throughout the day—over and over again. It was like a
tasbih [editor’s note: tasbih means glorifying and
praising Allah] for me. When at last no other
scripture could satisfy me, I turned to the holy
Qur’an and was completely bowled over! This was the
truth I was searching for! Here were the answers to
all my questions! I knew then that I had found my
destiny. It had taken me two years of study but I was
thankful. I was around 15 then, or perhaps a little

I subsequently, reverted at the Bombay Airport! I had
gone to receive Mom and I wanted her to witness my
Shahadah. She later confided that she had prayed to
Allah SWT to give me Hidayah, so that where she had no
other help, she would have the support of her eldest
daughter. And Allah had granted her wish. Allahu

My brother and sister were very young and they sort of
followed in my footsteps and accepted Islam. We had to
make Hijrah to Bombay, since we had fears that people
would try and separate us—the three kids from Mummy.
We knew that in Kerala we would never be able to
practice our deen. Bombay was the only option we had
and we took it and MashaAllah, the blessings that
Allah SWT showered on us! The Muslims here accepted us
with open arms. We learnt Arabic, we completed our
studies, and we now have our own wonderful home,
Alhamdullillah. Daddy came back to us, though he is
sadly still a Roman Catholic. But we love him a lot
and he is part of all our decisions. He is learning
Islam and has tremendous respect for our deen, our
ways and Islamic life. He is our support pole and even
though he is out of Islam has bought us up without
interfering in our faith, always protecting us and
being there for us, a lot like the Holy Prophet’s
(peace be upon him) uncle Abu Talib. The rest of my
extended family is still staunchly opposed to Islam,
though they have come to terms with the fact that we
shall always be Muslim, InshaAllah. We do at times get
mails that would like to re-convert us to
Christianity, though these mails are getting fewer as
the days pass.

Recently we went to Kerala to visit my grandparents
for a short holiday and it felt rather great to visit
a place we had earlier fled as children. We were
strong with the strength of our imaan—the imaan given
to us by Allah SWT and thanked Him for letting us
return victorious. Perhaps someday we will establish a
Masjid and Islamic study centre there, InshaAllah.

Today, it has been more than 10 years since we have
been Muslims but it feels like we were always been
Muslims. We have come in a full circle when I say that
we have helped establish a madrassa [editor’s note:
madrassa means school] where the holy Qur’an is
taught. We have even found our Spiritual Guide—our
Murshid—Baba Moinuddin. He is 104 years old but so
strong and straight that he gives people half his age
a complex. He taught us and continues to help us
increase our knowledge and better our practice,
SubhanAllah. May Allah SWT bless him and all the
people right from Mr. Ibrahim Khan to so many many
Muslims who have taught us so many things about Islam
and who have helped us in our search and our striving
to come to the true, in fact the ONLY way of

Well, that’s about it.

I’m proud to be a Muslim.


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