Matthieu Cioccocini is a 22-year old French who became Muslim a few years ago.
Raised by a father who doesn’t believe in God, and a Catholic mother who doesn’t attend church regularly, Matthieu didn’t receive any teachings about religion at the beginning.
The true beginning of learning about the religion was from his Muslim friends from Morocco, Turkey, Algeria and Tunisia.
Mathew started knowing more about Islam in a football match from a member of a Muslim da`wah group. This was the very beginning of an entirely new life as Muslim.
What exactly did brother Matthieu learn about Islam? How does he see his life as Muslim? What are the challenges that he faces? Does he have a problem being French and Muslim? What is his advice for Muslims and non-Muslims?
In the video here brother Matthieu talks about that ……
Source: Islam True Religion TV
Islam has been described as being the religion of fitrah (the innate nature of all humans). It is not surprising, therefore, when we discover that Islam is being accepted as the only pure way of life a person can follow by millions of reverts around the world. Statistics show that out of every 5 who revert to Islam, 4 are females.
I have been blessed to be one of those who have personally received the light and whose heart has been ordained to accept it.
This blows away the false concept that Islam is a repressive religion for women. The following is one account of a sister who submitted to Allah as her Lord, took Islam as her religion, and Muhammad (peace be upon him) as her Messenger.
I have always, since developing an ability to think deeply, believed in the existence of a single Creator, on Whom everything that exists is dependent.
Though my parents are Buddhist, from the age of 13, to this Creator, I have steadfastly prayed and yielded guidance from every day that I can remember. Yet, being schooled within a Christian environment, I naturally identified myself as a Christian.
Sadly, my knowledge of Islam was minimal. I perceived it as a bizarre religion, limited to only a few underdeveloped nations, most of which were in the Middle East, and which endorsed an astoundingly suppressive lifestyle, particularly for women.
Muslim women, I presumed, were considered inferior – a passive domestic slave, bashed often and forced to compete among four for her husband’s affections, which he could withhold from them all if he wanted to.
The majority of these ideas I developed from hearsay, interactions with others I assumed knew what they were talking about and a few documentaries on Iran and Saudi Arabia I watched on television.
As I entered university nearly three years ago, I came into contact with quite a number of Muslim students from various backgrounds.
Strangely enough, even to myself, I was drawn to them and developed a curious inclination to learn and understand more about their religion. I observed how content they seemed and was very impressed by their openness and warmth towards myself and each other, but more importantly with their pride in belonging to a religion which holds many negative connotations.
I gradually became fascinated with Islam, and through a process of education, developed a greater respect for it than even my beloved Christianity. I was stunned at how wrong my previous conception had been and became particularly overwhelmed at the tremendous entitlements, equality and acknowledgment Islam provided for women. I realized the reality of the Islamic lifestyle and the truth concerning that feeble American innovation termed “Islamic fundamentalism”.
Is it said that any person who possesses the faulty of reason and an open mind should recognize logic and truth when he/she encounters it, and so it was in my case.
More and more, literature, signs and evidence were revealed to me, and more and more, my intellect was stimulated and my heart, warmed. I wanted to know everything about Islam and felt already a sense of brotherhood with and belonging among its followers.
What impressed me the most was how practical Islam is – how it encompasses a rule and a lesson for almost every facet of living. And by the sheer grace of God, I at last understood the faults of Christian theology and of the concepts I had previously accepted unquestioningly.
At midday, on August 4th, 1994, before over 20 witnesses, I recited the Shahadah and became an official Muslim.
I shall never forget the bliss of that day and how much my life has turned around in only a year’s time.
Difficulties Facing the New Muslim
I have often been asked what it is like to be a revert and of the difficulties I must endure. Though I do not wish to dwell on this topic, as pity is not my priority, I shall give some examples of what I have been through.
The period up till the end of Ramadan was, by far, the hardest to get through. Family disputes took place almost daily; I was showered with verbal abuse, ridicule and threats. On many occasions, my room was physically torn apart, books mysteriously disappeared and slanderous phone messages were sent to my friends and their parents.
There have been times I have been locked out of home and forced to abstain from dinner as pork was deliberately served. Even to this day, all my mail is opened before I have the chance to do so myself. Apart from my housing and meals, I must provide for myself financially.
My readings, as my conversations over the phone are done in privacy. My writings and my visits to mosques or other Islamic venues must always be concealed. I am similarly not able to visit friends very often as I may be “brain-washed” even more.
I cannot perform my prayers until I am sure no one is around. Nor can I express my excitement and celebration during Ramadan. I cannot share the joy at knowing yet another sister has put on hijab, nor can I discuss the lesson I have learned this day or the speech given by an Islamic scholar/scientist. Moreover, I must continually defend the Muslims and the Islam portrayed on the media, and fight against the stereotypes my parents stubbornly maintain.
To see their expressions of disgust at myself is almost unbearable. I am now insecure as to my parents affections and constantly worry of how much I am hurting them. Through the entire month of Ramadan, my mother spoke to me not once. I had to hear her say time and time again at how I had betrayed the family. My pleading with her otherwise was to no avail. I am told over and over again that what I have done is unforgivable and if any of our relations or already few friends knew, my parents would surely be outcasts.
However, I do not claim to have a miserable life. I am more content and at peace now than I ever have been. My purpose in relating all of this is to try to display the opportunities that many of you have which are so often taken for granted, so little taken advantage of, but so precious to many reverts like myself.
What Islam Gave Me
To reflect on these hardships alone would imply I have gained nothing by becoming a Muslim other than pain. On the contrary, Islam has given me already so many vast rewards, I shiver to think of how much more wonderful the gifts of Paradise would be.
At the time of my reversion, although I had accepted Islam as being true, I had no idea of the vast internal changes it would incur upon me. Even I am astounded at how much I devour knowledge, how Islam is in my thoughts every waking moment, how compelling I feel my responsibility is to the Ummah and how much more of a Muslim I became every month.
It is as if as one’s life in Islam progresses, it spreads to encompass and govern every cellular and spiritual dimension in oneself.
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that: Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) once said:
“Allah said: ‘… and My slave keeps coming closer to Me… then I become his sense of hearing with which he hears, and his sense of sight with which he sees, and his hand with which he grasps, and his legs with which he walks…’” (Al-Bukhari)
This is precisely my experience.
What Islam Made out of Me
Remarkably, from one religion, I have gained a profound insight into the operations of human behavior and sociology, as well as geophysics and astronomy. As I mature, it becomes clearer and clearer to me that again and again, it is Islam that has already answered the social and economic dilemmas of our time.
Over the past year, I have developed quite an extensive breadth of Islamic knowledge and have studied verses of the Qur’an in much finer detail. Not once have I come across anything which would make me doubt the authenticity of the Qur’an and the relevance of Islam for contemporary society, for even one minute.
This has been the only religion I have ever been completely sure of and am more sure of each day that I serve.
Furthermore, I have established my identity, I am more confident of myself; a stronger woman and person of color, I am more aware of my existence and more secure in my battles.
I hope that I have depicted the greatness and mercy of our Glorious Sovereign, Who makes all things possible. Allah says: “He guides there with whom He pleases” (Az-Zumar 39:23)
Truly, I have been blessed to be one of those who have personally received the light and whose heart has been ordained to accept it.
Here’s the Swedish National Football Team Player, Ronja Andersson, conversion story to Islam, in her own words…
On February 21, 2018, something big happened in my life. I’ve become blessed to be a member in the big family; I took the step to become a Muslim. It’s the best decision I’ve taken in my life Alhamdulillah.
“Becoming Muslim is the best decision I’ve taken in my life”
Since I was 15 years old, I’ve always been for Islam. I always said “one beautiful day I will convert to the true religion, Insha’Allah”. At that age, I got my eyes open for Islam. I didn’t know anything about the religion, what it means, who are the Muslims and why they follow it.
I am Swedish. I was baptized in church, and thus born Christian. But my family was not practicing Christians. We were a perfectly ordinary Swedish family who lived a normal life, celebrated Easter, Christmas, Midsummer, Halloween, etc.
For 4 years, my interest in Islam has only grown more and more. I made friendships with Muslims, I searched the Internet and social media for Islam. This way, Islam just grew more and more every day.
During this time, I had a friend who was a Muslim; we did everything together. We traveled to his homeland, a Muslim country. I’d got to see many good things about Islam, including the mosques. I’d heard the adhan. That’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever heard.
For a period of three weeks I was in Istanbul where my love for Islam just grew even more. I was only with Muslims and they told me so nice stories about the religion and Islamic history. Islam is the true religion and the only religion that appealed to me. That religion has no evil in itself. It is simply about peace and purity. Peace is a basic concept in in Islam. We, Muslims, help everyone. We help poor people. We help ease the difficulties of others. Aren’t they nice? I think there is only something nice about this religion.
The religion today is thoroughly discredited. Many people see Islam as conflict-related religion where only violence exists. If it was, just think what misery a whole religion like Islam would create if it was about destruction and violence and not about belief!
Only Muslims greet each other with “Assalamu `Alykum” which means “peace be upon you”.
Many come to me and say Islam is a women-oppressive religion. 2018 was the year I converted to Islam. The days before and after I have seen several hundreds of Swedish girls (and guys) convert to Islam. Shouldn’t those who claim that Islam is women-oppressive religion think a little more about it? Can’t they see that the majority of those who convert to Islam are actually women?
Why would we women convert if the men looked down on us? I have never seen any other religion has so much respect for women more than Islam. The mother has a tremendous status in Islam. Obedience and respect towards one’s mother is a very important duty in Islam.
It’s about Respecting Each Other
Back to the period before my conversion, for four years, I have had the interest to convert one day. My family had been interested in the matter. They had become closer to my Muslim friend, who told us a lot about the religion and it was always positive to listen.
Of course, everyone has their own opinions on certain things. And this applies to Islam. We all have different opinions, and that’s OK. But it’s about respecting each other.
For example, it was very difficult for my family to accept circumcision. For those of you who don’t know what circumcision is, it is done by delegated doctors not at home in a cabin. So they are fully legal today in Sweden and became legal in 2001. What happens in circumcision is that the foreskin is removed which leads to cleaner genitals. These are facts not my own words and thoughts.
It is shown that one who has circumcised foreskin has significantly healthier genitals. If you want to go into details, it’s less bacteria and less Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Many with Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have to be circumcised in late age to cure their disease such as syphilis. Is it unusual for this to happen with men? Really not. Every day, adults get circumcised because of diseases.
Back to the point of my conversion, on April 3rd-as they have now been two months since I converted, my family has reacted strongly to this. They called me in panic asking if I have converted to Islam. My mother asked me questions that many asked me like “are you going to wear veil?” “Are you going to hide your beautiful hair?”, “Are you going to stop playing football?”, “Can’t you drink alcohol now?”, “Can’t you have intercourse before marriage?” and so many more.
She also asked me about marriage, “are you going to marry one of them?
It clearly reflects the negative image she and many other have about Islam. And that’s a shame. It’s too bad.
If anyone gave them a chance to read about the religion, I am almost sure they would change their perception of Islam and think as I and many others do today. My family who I thought supported me in this has today left me- because I’ve converted to the true religion and because I’m not against circumcision. They see it as an abuse, but no one has said that the child is unable to give his opinion about any religion. You can just wait and then the problem is solved when the person is able to choose for himself.
My Own Choice
Yesterday I didn’t get to hug my little sister for 7 years because I was considered a horrible person. My little sister in 7 years didn’t understand what happened as these adults immaturely depicted to a 7-Year-old how terrible person I was.
I know that many converts have these difficulties particularly when if they are alone in the religion., where nobody supports them, and they can feel very lonely. I thought I’d never be treated like that particularly as they reacted positively to me and my friend at the beginning.
That’s why I’m very shocked. No one forced me to be a Muslim. No one. I converted to Islam when I and the guy didn’t contact each other. My family claims I’ve been brainwashed by the guy and his family for 4 years, but it was the other way around. I’ve seen something bright in it, and no one have forced me into anything. This religion becomes the greatest religion in 2050, as statistics are gradually showing up.
I don’t think all these millions of people get brainwashed. We all have a choice in life and I don’t think people would convert if there was any evil in it. Here’s what the guy wrote to my fake dad.
“You do not change the fate of a child, you do not change their purpose or faith. It’s a foreskin that disappears. And you are now creating a problem for her. Does she have a son? Does she have a child? No, she doesn’t. So why are you worried about the future? Live for now and think about what you say and do. This is totally unacceptable behavior in my view for someone to betray his daughter. It’s her choice and the conversion didn’t happen with me and my family. My family can’t speak with her in Swedish. So why do you smear my family? So old and nice they are. They accepted Ronja for everything.”
For 14 years, I’ve grown up with only mom. Dad hasn’t been there for me. He left me and my mother when I was only 5 years old. And it’s been very tough. Mom has always helped me and supported me through everything. I love her infinitely, that’s my mother. But I am so incredibly sorry that she has given me choices in life.
She claims I preferred Islam to my biological mother. I have a very strong opinion on this and no one can influence it. This is what makes many people hesitate over Islam because it gets a choice. They ask you to choose between the religion or the family. It’s a fucked-up choice.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that unbelievers will be believers but their relationship with their family will be divided because the non-believers will force their children to choose either religion or family. Right now I’m there. That I never believed in.
Proud to Be Muslim
There are so many people who have asked me how did your family take it? I’ve always said positive. But I was wrong.
My purpose with this text is that there are so many people who are currently in my situation. And I would like to say with this that you are not alone. You have millions of people behind you who support you.
I am proud of what I have done. I am proud that I chose Islam and you who took this step also should be. Alhamdulillah. Religion has helped me so much. No one can influence my choice except for God.
Source: Ronja Andersson Facebook page.
Ronja Andersson is Goalkeeper of Swedish Uppsala Women’s Football team.
Yahya, a 46-year old Filipino, has embraced Islam since he was 27. His family belongs to the Committee of the Church and his brother is a priest.
Before Islam he was following Jesus Christ but not the real Jesus; the son of Mary and the Messenger of Allah he believes in today, but the doctrine of the Catholic church.
His love for boxing and for Muhammad Ali made him name his child after the Muslim boxing champion; Muhammad, knowing nothing about the meaning of the name. And that’s where his journey to Islam began.
Learn more about his interesting story from the video below…
Source: Islam The Ultimate Peace
Finding Him by Aliza Kim is a vlog series revolving around the journey of Aliza’s reversion to Islam. The series highlights the step-by-step process that she took when she became a Muslim.
Before finding Islam, she was an international model, actress and TV host. Currently, she is an inspirational speaker and active in da`wah to Islam. She was a Christian born and raised in USA.
How did she find Islam? From where did she begin? What was she searching for before finding Islam, and what did she really find in the religion?
Here’s her first episode: Soul Searching…