Channel: Umm Jamaal ud-Din
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AsSalam alaikum Welcome to the deep discussions podcast river reflections. I'm your host Rosalyn. In these episodes we discussed the various aspects of a reverse journey from life before Islam the journey of discovering Islam in life now as a revert Muslim. This will include struggles successes, bloopers in hindsight wisdom inshallah.
You are listening to the deep discussions podcast episode eight with our fortnightly revert reflections. I hope you've had a chance to hear Episode Seven with cystic Alicia Benner and Brother Ye Ebrahim. You can find past episodes of the deep discussion podcast and all the major podcast platforms. Be sure to subscribe and be the first to know when a new episode is released. inshallah. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram using the handle at deep discussions podcast. My guest this week officially reverted to Islam in 1989. She has been seeking knowledge for over 25 years and has studied in Sydney and Saudi Arabia. She has a BA in languages majoring in Arabic. She
has an agenda in touch weight of the court and she has also completed her BA in Islamic sciences through the Medina International University specializing in fic. And also she is a wife and a mother of five motivational speaker, her office of the Quran and teacher of Quran and Islamic sciences. Her parents know her as Michelle and some of you know her as mana as Salaam Alaikum and welcome to the show share home jamaludin Polycom, Laura, Laura cancer. How are you Rosalyn? How are you? Thank you so much for inviting me along. I really appreciate it. Thank you so much for being here. I'm very, very excited to hear your journey today inshallah. inshallah, we just start off by telling our
listeners, how long have you been with them for Okay, so how long have I been Muslim for? Well, Subhanallah It's been more than 30 years, it's hard to explain exactly how long I've been Well, so far, because there's a time where I read the Quran when I was 16. And, like, the belief came in my heart like I believed in Islam, like the doctrine of is there. But then it was like, a few years journey until I went to uni. And then I got to meet some practicing Muslims and, and that's when I actually took my Shahada. If I if I take it from when I took my Shahada, it's still over 30 years. Ah, okay. You know what, you when I took my Shahada? Yeah, it was 90. Oh my god, it sounds so
ancient. It's It was 1989 9019 89. That's when you took the showerhead about obviously, it's in your heart. It had been in there. Yes. I had believed in Islam, but I had never met anyone who had converted to Islam. I never knew you could convert to Islam. And I thought it was only for like Indonesians and Arabs. And, you know, we didn't have internet back then everybody. So it was like,
talking like this old grandma now until in the past.
yeah. So that's why it was really hard to find out things. So it's much easier to find out things now. Much easier.
Much easier. Okay, so motion, let's say you, you said you first came across the chord M and you were 16. Okay, well, we'll come back to that. After that, inshallah. So you've been Muslim for over 30 years. Can you tell me a little bit about your education today? So you said you went to university? Yes. So what education has been spoked so sporadic over the years, because I got married quite young. And so like, I've just been, I've been learning over 25 years, actually. And I've been putting my education in wherever I could. them a very big believer in education, but I started off it actually Macquarie uni, originally and then I ended up marrying my husband and getting married
and hamdulillah. Went to Saudi studied a couple of years in Quran school daraga came back after having my twins, and when they're about nine months, I believe it was went to enrolled back in Western Sydney University, studied over a period of quite a long time, like doing part time uni until I finished my degree. I've got a Bachelor of Arts languages. So I was primarily studying Arabic throughout those years. Yeah. Yeah. So after that, I started studying from scholars who are based in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. So I did that over like, honestly, over a decade of I've been studying from various scholars.
There's a particular University that's based in Riyadh. These scholars are all like doctors and specialists in their fields in that university and comes in
And besides that, I say with my Schaffer and did my agenda in Ted read as well. And then I'm humbly lambing for the later Allah five years ago, I enrolled and deep, I decided I'm going to do my formal qualifications in Sharia. So I started that and I stayed for five years. That's actually a full time for you, cause but I did it 105 years because i have i've got a lot of like classes and activities that I do. So it's very important for me to study part time. But when I say part time, I was studying throughout holidays as well, because I did like short semesters, I was doing extra subjects to try to speed up my
speed up my course. Yeah. So now I have the law. Just recently allama hamdulillah. recently graduated, and I've got it. So now I've done. It's a BA, it's ba ba in shediac. So it's silk. And also like for those of you who would understand that it's like, basically just prudence
Yeah, and like the foundations of jurisprudence, that's how I can translate English.
It's like the core of shediac studies, you could say, what martial law.
I'm very passionate about learning. And I've just, I've just since I reverted, I was just so passionate about studying everything to do with Islam. So that's basically been my whole journey all along. It's just it doesn't end. Trust me. I don't get to the end and say, oh, and hamdulillah I've got my degrees now that's the end. No, no, no, I've got I've just got to keep going. You know,
a lot of drive I learned
When So you started your uni degree and then you got married? Yep. The one that the uni degree that you started was that also in language? Okay, so when I first started uni, I, like I just, you know, just got out of school, obviously went to uni, and I wanted to become a chartered accountant. Really, the reason was, because I had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew was I like economics when I was in high school. And I thought, you know what, let's make some money. It's really weird for me to say, because I've never been a money person after that. But anyway, I just thought, you know, and I also started working at the shale oil company, right? So I was actually doing I actually
handed I got a scholarship, I was working with them. And I was, you know, because I wanted to become a chartered accountant.
That's why they kind of gave me this, like, I had a like, I had a really good work arrangement with sort of helping me like go to uni. And then what happened was that I actually really embraced Assam and so stunning about the economic system of Islam and how he buries her arm and all that and I'm just like sitting in my economics classes going like you know, seeing through the capitalism and not believing in it and realizing reversal Hold on, what am I studying this for? I lost my drive for that. And then I got married, and I got married and hamdulillah and it just didn't you know, all just didn't seem like it just I lost my I lost my what, where am I going with this degree? That's
basically what happened. I I even did try to do some, just some general arts subjects, but I couldn't see where I was going with it. So there was just no point I got married and
hamdulillah Not long after I got married, like about two years. I had my first son. And then not long after that. We went to Saudi so um, yeah, so then and then, you know, it's been after that, that I kind of realized my direction where I want to go.
And I found the Islamic knowledge path. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, once I converted, I was already starting to want to learn how to read Quran when I learned Arabic because I've always been a language person. I've always loved languages. Yeah. So yeah, like, even before I became Muslim, actually, like I had a lot. I had a few Lebanese friends. I used to enjoy trying to learn, you know, like, or try to learn because they will have different dialects. I had Syrian friends, I had 70s friends, and each one would tell me something different. How to say that, you know, are vague.
Yeah, so I had already sort of got a little bit into Arabic before actually converted. Yeah, but obviously after becoming Muslim, then that just takes on a whole new, whole new purpose for you like you really want to get into it for the sake of it, sir. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. Yeah. You are your mother. I've got five kids. I'm handling one five key. Yeah.
Yeah. So they're all they've all grown up. Now. That's why and hamdulillah I'm able to do a lot more than I used to be able to do and I'm enjoying life. So I want to tell all the mothers out there there is light at the end of that tunnel, and lifetimes get a handle on awesome once you kids grow up.
My oldest son Alhamdulilah 28. And then I've got my twins who are now and have very large 25 and I've got a daughter who's 18 and I've got a son who's 14. Oh look, I've got lots of hobbies.
I'm people who feel following me on Instagram. No, I just absolutely adore hiking. Okay, so I absolutely adore hiking. I love adventure. I love getting out and just seeing the world and discovering new places.
And I love being with my family. I love going on holidays. I love exploring and I love swimming. I'm really into swimming I love I love my floaty. sounds really weird, but I actually love going on my floating in the ocean
to end up in Tasmania one day.
What else? I like having a laugh. People wouldn't believe that when they see me online that I think I know what people see when they see me that I'm just like a spirit. I know I come across sometimes like I'm really like, serious and street. But everyone who's studies with me, they will know I'm actually really light hearted. And I like laughing and my kids all know how much I like to laugh. Right? Yeah, it's just that, you know, look, let's be honest, as women, we have a lot more. We're under the microscope a lot more than males. And it's like, there's all these standards we have to live up to kind of thing and it's hard when you're operating online, you know, just sort of get the
right you know, you don't be too much. But at the same time, you want to sort of abide by your stomach, you know, guidelines, but at the same time, you don't want to also lose your personality that it's hard to navigate between that, you know, I've found that I've been trying to work on that for a few years now fit anyway. Yeah, I like having a lot. I love catching up with my old friends. I love catching up with my old friends, my friends, my old friends that you know, I've got a real I'm very sentimental about my my old my old my old Muslim friends you know, friends that I've known for very like they've been with me along my journey. Yeah, I'm very sentimental about them. There's some
sharing that journey with other reverts or other Muslims that there is that close connection that Yeah, even over time over distance, it just doesn't get broken. Yeah. So can Allah upon Allah. Yeah. Can you tell me a little bit a little history about yourself before you found Islam? So what is your background? Yeah. So my background is basically just Australian. We do we are kind of I think we're almost seventh generation Australians.
We do have a relative that came out on the first fleet here. So just Australian background pretty much my parents, you know, Christians. My father is a lay preacher. My, my mother's my mother's father was a lay preacher as well. So interestingly, I kind of grew up watching both my father and grandfather giving sermons in the church. And I don't know as the panel, I feel like that had an impact on me growing up. I feel like as if that maybe I sort of took that and felt like that's, I want to do that. But I didn't. That's a subconscious thing. Yeah, you know, I feel like that was there subconsciously, for me. So an interesting me so panela after I reverted dumb, I once went to
this lecture. This is really early days, I just become Muslim. And there was one of the Muslim scholars there. I don't know if anyone's heard of Dr. Jamal Badawi. But a sister introduced me to him and told him about my background. And the interesting, interesting mother comments he made, he said, she'll follow the same path as her as her father and grandfather back in Islam. A long time I was like, like, I was like, Ooh, that's interesting. You know, I didn't really think about it, but it actually happened. It actually did happen. I ended up doing that. Pretty much. Yeah, pretty much because it's exactly what you're doing. Yeah, that's why I do public speaking, motivational
speaking, you know, you know, and now and handed, I'm graduating so inshallah you're graduating to be like a Shaffer and my father the lay preacher, my and actually, I've got it by the way, I've got a great Auntie who's actually a Christian minister, which has passed away she's passed away now but she was a Christian minister along the line that my family Yeah. So it's quite interesting. Yeah, yeah.
You were raised as a Christian which denomination Okay, so that was the Uniting Church Uniting Church. Yeah. Protestant lifestyle Did you have as a child?
Look Alhamdulillah I was very blessed in that I had
both my grandmother's living very close to us. We actually lived in the beginning when my parents first got married. We lived between where my both were like within practically right in the middle of where both we were both grandpa's parents lived. So I was very blessed in having that close relationship with especially my my grandmother's in the early years which I really really thank Allah for it was Mashallah with handle it was a big blessing, right? Um, but besides that, I was just born as a typical Ozzy pretty much.
And we didn't go to church like we used to go like I used to go to Sunday school. That was actually compulsory on me to go to Sunday school, all
Up until like 15. And then my my dad basically said, you know, once you turn 15, you can kind of choose whether you want to go to
church or just stay in Sunday school. So, look, I was one of the more religious families compared to the other Ozzy's like all my other friends. None of them used to go to church or Sunday school. I remember trying to hide in my car feeling embarrassed that my parents actually going to church on Sunday. Like, I was like, Oh, my God, who does that anymore? Well, you know, um, yes, that was how it was. But I mean, yeah, look, I still live, you're pretty much Ozzy lifestyle. But my parents Look, I have to say, I am grateful to Alhamdulillah that my parents did tend to have a fairly good moral standard, like for Aziz, you know, so compared to say, some of my friends who didn't have that
Christian background, there was a difference, like, my dad would be like, I can, I can remember wanting to watch certain movies, my dad would say, No, you can watch that, you know, there were certain things that, you know, he wouldn't like me to do compared to like, your typical Aussie family. Yeah. So I think that I do appreciate that. We had that because I feel that that does help you in coming into Islam, you know, handle you've got the principles and morals of Islam. And I think that if you've got that kind of, like, moral base that you've had from before, is that it can help you a lot in adapting to the moral standards of is there. Yeah, you already know the protection
around having you know, high morals and yeah, yeah. So hamdulillah
What did you work any jobs? Yeah, so um, like I said, Look, I just went to school and you know, obviously did my HSC, then I straightaway went, one year, do one year full time uni at Macquarie. Then on Hamdulillah, I got that I got that job, working at Shell Oil Company. So I worked there for a couple of years. And that was, I was looking at the clock.
Right, so I did that. And that was actually that, beyond that, to be honest, I was actually on a really good path for a great career. To be quite honest, it was a really good bike, it had a lot of potential, like, I had to be specially selected for that job. And they were looking for special applicants. It was a very good job, I have to say, and it had a lot of potential to move up the ranks. But what happened was that and Hamdulillah, I, you know, embrace them during that time. And you know, 100, I was ready to give up that. And I put the job on when I was working. Once I did that.
See, the attitude had changed. Yeah.
And because that's the end as well, like, there was no one really wearing Hijab by it. Mikey, we're talking about a different time. You can imagine how it was there just was no one. He was just not better. You know, they didn't even understand what I was doing. Like they were actually asking me because, look, I have to say to you, I want to mention, I didn't put my hijab just straight on like that, I actually worked my way through who Joe like, Yeah, um, I actually started off because it was very scary to put on my hijab at work, it was a really big, it's really intimidating, like to, to go to make that change, like they've seen you every day, and then suddenly gonna just turn up with a
job, you know, so so I saw wearing hijab,
on the weekends when I was with the Muslims. And then I kind of got to the point where I can't live like this anymore. I can't live this double life.
I did this the first day when I when I went to work, I kind of put a scarf on, but I can't put it like with half my hair showing,
like some sort of hippie kind of design. Yeah. And I thought off like that no one said anything to me the first day, they'll just like Yeah, yeah, you know, because
but then I saw you started making it come forward until it covered all my hair. At the front, I used to show my neck in the beginning. Yeah. And then I remember them saying after about a week, you know, what's going on, you know, what is this new fashion, I thought my I'm coming becoming a hippie or like, they didn't really know what was going on, right? Eventually, I ended up telling them after about the second week or something like that, I'll start to feel more confident by them. Yeah. And it was like, Allah protected me until I was ready to be able to face them. Yeah. And I basically just told them, you know, actually, I've become Muslim, and I've decided to start wearing the hijab,
you know. And by then Alhamdulillah Allah made me kind of strong enough to be able to face any criticisms. And, you know, like, one of the ladies in the office, she was saying to me, oh, but you put such beautiful hair, you know, who's gonna marry you now? And I said, well, it's Charlotte. I'm gonna say inshallah, but like I said, you know, look, Whoever marries me, I hope they'll marry me for who I am. And not just because of my hair.
You know, so and she couldn't say anything about that. Yeah, yeah.
So before, before becoming Muslim.
I'm picking up on the on the fact that there would not have been many around you, especially in hijab. Oh, there was none. There was no
So did you have any thoughts on you know what a Muslim was? I okay, so look, let's start off when I was 16 because when I was 16 I didn't have a clue what was going on. I just thought Islam was a belief. You just believe in it, you know, but you believe that there's only one God who should be worshiped. And then we'll hammered peace upon him is the final resting job. That's all I because all the Muslims I knew back then they were just living a normal, you could pre Australian life they couldn't really say anything they were doing it was different.
It you know, like Christianity, Christianity, just pray on Sundays. Like I you know, I got told that Muslims pray once a week, but people like back then it was like the blind leading the blind. You know, like, if you're gonna ask the Muslim back then. Alright, what do you believe in? Like, I went to a shop once to ask them, What do you believe in because I knew they were Muslim. Like there were a Lebanese, to be honest, to be precise. There were a Lebanese pastry shop. So I went in with my great friend. And I just said to them, you know, like, Look, you know, I was just interested in your religion. I want to know a bit more about it. And they go, Oh, yeah, you can go look, Kimber mosque.
And you know, Muslims pay once a week on Fridays. Right. So, so I just thought it was like, like Christianity, you know, you but even uh, and, you know, so it was until I went to uni. But one of the funny thing was that the people who were putting me off from Islam or often will sons, like, they were like, they were just very, like, they really didn't having any knowledge themselves. Right. So there was one particular group that I heard about at uni. And when I say group, I mean, all it was was a holocaust. Like it was all it was was a little group of
uni students, Muslim unit, uni students, which are about 10 in number. In the whole uni, they used to meet up for a little holiday, or like a little, like a little less than they used to give to each other, you know, but even that, I was warned by some authors that are they're extremists and
they said they like to be precise. They said they like a total Khomeini, you know, like back then you don't even know what I told her my knees like that's, that's like the Iranian Revolution sort of thing. And like, they had this really strict dictator or leader or whatever it was.
So they were wanting me and I was scared, you know, anyway, eventually, one brother actually had approached me because I've been telling people that I was Muslim, but I think I'm Muslim, you know,
what I was doing. But he had heard about that somehow through the grapevine, because I was always seeking out Muslims. You see, yeah, even even though I didn't know what I was doing, I was always trying to seek out Muslims. Because like I said, there's no search button back then there's no internet. So how are you supposed to find out about it? You've got to kind of keep on seeking out people like, yeah, it's like a loss account. I was always propelling me towards, you know, trying to seek out Muslims until I'd find someone. Yeah. Anyway, he came up to me and basically just told me, this little group at uni, and, you know, he was part of it. And would you like to come along? And
now I've heard you and Wilson I said, Yeah, well, I think I'm Muslim, but like, I'm sitting there with my lipstick, you know, my hair now. And I didn't really feel the part you know, and I was looking all these there was a couple of Malaysian students at my university and it looks so perfect, you know, with their he jobs long he jobs look so perfect and angelic. You know, here I am seeing with my hair out and my, you know, my lipstick, my makeup, and I didn't really feel like I'm good enough. Like, I'll be honest, I didn't know if I'm good enough to actually go to this class.
You know, I ended up finding out this was so lovely. There's so welcoming, and, and all that you've got to kind of get over that initial inhibition of
you know, you've also you tend to like, you make assumptions, just because of the way people are dressed about how those people are. Yeah, you can be so wrong. Yeah, yeah.
No, yeah, that's true. It's judgment.
Just a bit, and
sometimes outsells because we might feel a little bit like
lacking a bit of self esteem ourselves, and we might feel like, maybe they're gonna judge me. We're worried about being judged ourselves. And so it's not necessarily Yeah.
Okay, so I want to find out, I want to know more about how you found it's then probably 16 year old This is how it was, I was living in a place called mooroolbark.
In Victoria, okay, it was pretty much out what
are these days? What what means?
Pretty much out
from Melbourne. So that was just all Anglo Saxons pretty much in that. Your Anglo Australians we call them Anglo Australians now, right? Okay. So Anglo Australians in that school although there was a couple of Italians and you know, he'll a spot of grapes here and there but in general, it was just an all Ivy school like, you know, Anglo school, okay, and go to school. So what happened was, I
I used to love different cultures I just found Oh my god, it's so boring Anglos. I'm surrounded by Anglos. You know, I always I'm telling you even as a young child even I'm talking about in primary school. If anyone different came along, I would want to be their friend, like an Italian girl came to my school. I want to be her friend. A girl from South Africa came to my school. I want to be her friend. I don't know. I think I just found all these boring. Yeah. Anyway, so I'm attracted to the different I was attracted to the different and I love culture. I still do. I love different languages, I would learn languages. I have my Italian friend, I learned her language. My South
African friend, I learned her language. I said, learning a language. I've always found it very interesting. Okay. So what happened was, I was in U turn. And then this Lebanese family happened to come to my school. And all the different I mean, they didn't wear hijab or anything. Yeah. But that looks different than the Anglos. Yeah. I said to my South African, I said one of my South African friends Oh, wow, look, there's a new girl that came to the school, you know, with her sister, and, um, and I found that there was firms and I've never heard of a Muslim before. Yeah. And then she goes, and unfortunately, she had a bad impression of Muslims. I she's from South Africa. And
unfortunately, the first thing she told me is, almost somes, lie, cheat and steal.
And I was like, Oh, wow. But you know, I have to tell you some that myself and hamdulillah I've always been a Thai. I don't listen to anybody. I've got to find out everything for myself. Yeah, I always got I don't care what people tell me. I've got to find out for myself. Okay, so basically, I went and I just started getting to know them. And, you know, they invited me to their house, you know, to visit Look, they didn't even know what they were doing themselves. Okay, they back in those days, people didn't know what they were doing with their religion. So they did they used to say some quite contradictory things to me. And what happened was that basically one time the father had gone
to the mosque, the mosque his parents hadn't brought up his kids to be religious right at all, but they pray my god and pray nothing. Okay, they did used to foster methodically that's the only thing they used to do. Yeah. So he went to the mosque one time and he brought back a copy of the English translation of the Quran. It was just sitting there on his bookshelf and I basically just saw it and I go like, do you mind if I just have a look at that I just I just really interested to read it because I wonder what it's about. Like it just didn't really I was you know, I've always found it, you know, everything different to be interesting. I'm Miss I am very, very curious person. Yeah, you
know, what I and they told me that hey, you most of the time speaking through here, you all know that you've got an English translation of the Quran. You don't have to go and take a bull okay? But they told me this is a pure English translation not Arabic at all in ads, but they told me that before you touch this book, you have to watch this certain way right so I found that really interesting like oh my God, that's really interesting. You know, they showed me how this like To me it was like mystical you know, you've got to wash yourself this certain way. And before we touch this, this this book, and you know, they told me you know, like, and you can you can put on a hijab
like I actually I'm not sure if it was then I think it was someone else who told me you wear a scarf when you read it and this and that and and you put it on your pillow and
you have good dreams or something like that. So yeah, so I used to sit at night and I used to sit and just like you know read I started reading through
through the Quran like English translation Yeah. And yeah and at night and then when it goes to sleep I put under my pillow
so that's it it's basically when I started reading I just came to like different a yet that basically said that you know, Jesus was a man he was a human being you know human his mom they used to eat and drink just like any other human being. So how could they be gods that you pray and worship and that you you know, you make the right to them? How can that be so therefore your all your drama or your worship should be for Allah the creator alone, you know, and that he's a prophet. He's not he's not a you know, the Son of God, he's a prophet and also that Mohammed peace upon him is a final messenger. And so that came in my heart. Okay, I believe that I 100% believe that but as
I said before, I had never in my life heard of anyone embracing Islam so I didn't know that I could actually be a Muslim
that I can convert it no such thing as converting or anything like that. I just had that in my heart. I knew that that was what I believed in. But I didn't really know what to do with that and so I just thought after that that you know, it sounds like any other you know, like a Christianity you believe in your heart but you basically pretty much carry on the same way but you know, you don't eat ham. You know, you drink don't drink alcohol. You don't go with guys, you know, stuff like that. So that's basically the way I understood Islam. Basically, that was in a nutshell, in that at that point, so you
About 16 at this point, yeah, you do adopt any of those rules that not to have pork in any form or alcohol or I'm trying to remember, I think I might have not had alcohol, like, I think I might have actually stopped having alcohol. And I think I might have actually avoided ham. I think I was copying off my Lebanese friends, like, whatever they were doing. I think I was just doing what they were doing. And I used to try to wear more modest clothes. So like, the way they taught me was like, you were a top up to your elbow. Okay, so that's, that's kind of like what I was doing. But that was about that was about Islam as it got. Right. Emotional laughter This is at the age of 16. And yeah,
knowing that you can no idea that you can become Muslim that you can revert to Islam. Yeah, adopted, just, you know, lightly a few rules because you're copying your friends. That's another thing I do have to mention. I kind of tried, I started trying to be more there beneath like, I sort of thought like, you know, like, I, I think I was because I didn't know you can become a Muslim and be Australian. So I thought like, well, that means I think I need to sort of be more live a nice
try to act like them a bit more, you know, in what way? Like, everything my friend was, was doing. I was trying to be the same like dude do similar things do like, of course, it was a try hard effort.
Buddy, I just tried to do some things she was doing, you know, I'm done trying to picture you. Like just spitting out my records. Yo, let's go. Yeah, pretty much like well, I just tried to use some of the expressions I would use and like anything she was into like she was into rap music. So Yo, you follow?
You pre This is pre internet. This is pre Google, you know? Yeah, yeah.
Okay, if you've read English translation of the code, and it's in your heart, you know that you can become Muslim. And I'm guessing just by other things that you've probably you would think out other Muslims and you would say, I think I am Muslim. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Like, for example, when I was in high school, this is when I was still in high school. Now it was I was living in Melbourne, I mentioned I was in Melbourne. Now what happened was my my family actually moved to Sydney at the end of year 10. Okay, so we came to Sydney. And then I had to try to find an I was still seeking out Muslim. So even though I was in these, like, I was in Castle Hill, because that was enforcement's
day. Right? And I'm not in those days, you know, it was like, in Brooklyn.
But I grew up in that area to other you know, exactly what I'm talking about. So, yeah, and I went to Castle Hill High actually, right? Yeah. In that whole school of 1000 students, about over 1000 students I sought out some remotely Muslim people like but you can like they didn't look like Muslims but like, you know, you're
looking at them the Muslim but only because obviously they they had to be a dock of features or something like that. And I haven't defined that that this one's Egyptian that one for the knees or something like that, you know, are you
Yeah, I just used to investigate. I was to get into this, like looking for different nationalities are still into that. So still looking out for the different nationalities and hanging out with those different nationalities? So um, yeah, so I found some I found some remote Muslims, you could say remotely Muslim people. And one girl that I met, she was a couple of years younger than me, but she used to pray
was a big thing. And she gave me a Subhanallah she actually gave me a prayer book. And I did not know how to put the action of the prayer with the words. Okay, so what Id subpoena law? Like what I did is, and of course, it was the English transliteration, right. So I would just what I do is before I go to bed, I just read through the English transliteration of the prayer, and that was my prayer. Okay, because,
yeah, do the action. So I just thought, Okay, well, I'll just do these. Was it illustrations, or it was just that I couldn't make out? Like, I didn't understand like, when do you like it was a book and like, I couldn't understand, like, how you put those actions?
I never prayed with anybody I've never like, yeah, yeah. So that's how it wasn't. It was it was when I went to like I said, when I went to uni, that's when I actually got to me. But through that class, I mentioned before, they introduced me to that they go, yeah, you can meet Australian and be Muslim. So they introduced me to some converts. Oh, handful in Sydney at that time. There's honestly a handful that go to about like six converts or like maximum 10 that's all there was right? Yeah, yeah. No, they introduced me to this little group of converts. And I'm like, Wow, so you can actually be Australian and be Muslim. That's amazing. You know, that's when I took my Shahada when I
And it also like falling a lot more into place after that, like, you know, for example, like I found people to be able to teach me sort of like
How to pray you know with the words and stuff like that put together yeah yeah. As in other reverts or other goods that were reversed more more reverse. Yeah, they've done a bit of research themselves and they were able to help you they were practicing these reverts that was the benefit these these records were these reverts were actually practicing, like they wore hijab they were praying five times a day like they actually were practicing reverse that's what really helped me the most
usually with reverts there is there's like a find out about Islam, and then there's this research phase, and then at the end of it, they kind of decide whether they're going to be Muslim or not. But we do it's kind of like, Oh, you found out about Islam, you've accepted it in your heart, and then later you do a bit of research and, and learn about it. Okay, so let me explain what happened with me. What happened with me is, it came in my heart, I went to uni, I was hanging around with some Christian Lebanese when I was at Macquarie uni, and I was telling some people because I remember I was remember I was telling I was going through 70s stage, so I was still trying to be on the base.
Okay, but then that will Christian liberties. And then when they found out that I was saying, I was Muslim, they started saying all these horrific stories to me about Islam and how the Quran came and how did the prophet SAW us and, and right, you know, how he got, you know, all these crazy stories anyway. And I had no knowledge whatsoever. So I was very disturbed. So what happened was, interestingly, was, I started so I say, going to those classes I mentioned, I went through a crisis stage, I actually literally went through a crisis in about three months, where I was absolutely disturbed. I was waking up at night, and I was crying to alarm I was saying your Allah. I don't
know, Mr. Wilson, on what Mr. Christian like, it's very hard to leave Christianity like all your life. You've known this to be the truth. And now, you know, you're finding out more about Islam. And what is the truth? What is the truth? I was so disturbed in my soul.
And I was making, I was praying to Allah, I was just saying, you know, God guide me, you know, what's the right thing? I was crying like, at night, like I was in a lot of grief. Yeah, I did. I thought I have to be proactive because I didn't know who to believe. What's the right thing was the wrong thing. I started doing massive research now what is research involving those days going to the library, and Macquarie uni? That's all there was not to forget about bookshelf bookshops. That didn't exist, okay. It was like, going to North Korea uni, go to the library, going to the library and see what books they have available. Okay. And then the only thing I also had, so I'd go to the
library and pick out books written by, you know, priests, ministers about Christianity. And then I would get books from the Muslim, you know, the Muslim group, I was going to I got them to give me books about Islam, by Muslims. So if I'm going to make a comparison, I need to know about it from those people. Yeah, better sources. And you know, in that way, you can have a proper comparison. Yeah. So the more I would read about Christianity as like, this does not make any sense. You know, I would even ask the my parents like, I asked, my father is Jesus God, oh, Son of God. He said, He's God. I asked my mother, she said, No, he's the son of God was like these two, like, a very good Java
and they can't even agree on the doctrine. You know, I go to the priest, what he wrote about Christianity, the doctrine, he was telling me one thing, the minister was telling me something else, then I started reading about that, you know, the SME doctrine, and the more I would realize, like, oh, man, this makes 100% sense. That's how I knew that this was the right way to go. And that's, that's what happened. I went through that process, which was, as I said, quite painful to go through. But once I got to the other side a lot, but what I can explain to people that absolute elation I felt the minute I took my Shahada.
It was like as if all the veils had been lifted from my eyes, and I can see exactly where I'm going. Yeah, that's literally how it was. It was unbelievable experience. And I have to add to that, it was when I started praying five times a day when I turned 19. I said, I made a goal when I turned 19. I have to pray all my prayers on the five prayers. When I started praying, that's when I and hamdulillah everything fell in place. I knew exactly where I'm going in his life. Before that. I was just all over the place. I don't know what I'm doing. After that, I had my vision. I had my goal, exactly what I'm working for. And I had my like, the, you know, the Salah is what keeps you on
track? Yeah. Yeah, that's why I really believe in that. Yeah, I can I can really relate to your life. crisis. Faith. Yeah. Did you go through your crisis phase and then you came out of a handler. You know exactly what you're doing, where you're going.
letting everybody know? That you are now Muslim
Friends, how did that go? Okay, so let me tell you, I was an undercover Muslim. At first, I was still living at home with my Christian parents in baulkham Hills.
So, you know, I just kept it to myself in the beginning. I take my Shahada with my base reverts sisters, but I had all these Muslim like, I had all these books lying around my bedroom, I put things up on my walls, this thing to put on each day in my bedroom. There was a lot of signs. A lot of signs were going on in that bedroom. You know that? On right, yeah, yeah. It was. It was after a while. I don't know exactly when it was. Probably before I started praying. Yeah, it probably was. I'm not sure exactly. But one was my mom just like eventually just said to me, when I shouldn't I didn't tell you. So when am before said was Michelle. Michelle. Yeah. And my wife is anything is
wanna I forgot to mention at the beginning, because, you know, everyone has its own genetic data. So anyway, the point is, she just basically said to me, you know, Michelle, what's going on? Like, why are all these you know, what's all these these kind of books and you know, what's going on? And she just said to me, like, it looks like, you know, if you're looking into becoming a Muslim, being like, Oh, no, you're reading about Islam or something. And I just all I remember saying to her is, yeah, Mom, I am a Muslim. Actually, animals learn. And that was a hard. That was a hard moment. My mom, like she actually did cry. She was very upset. Yeah. And she just said to me, you know, why
would you want to become Muslim? She goes, all our family have been Christian. You know, were Australian, you know, why would you want to be something different? Yeah, you know, and I just had to tell her like, Mom, this is the truth. Like, I've been searching for a long time. And this is the truth. And I really believe in it. That's basically what had to say. But we went through a lot of hard times. The first, the first few years in particular, we went through a lot of hard time, it was hard. Yeah, my parents,
because they had that strong, you know, Christian belief, it was very difficult for them. And not only that, because I was a firstborn, and they had all these amazing I, like, I think they had a lot of, I was the only one to go to uni from my whole family, or even at all my cousins, I was the only one to go to uni. So they had a lot of, I think, sort of what is it ambitions?
Not like I had a great, you know, and, and I had all this, you know, they're expecting all these great things. And then it was like, oh, but now she's become Muslim. But
you know, you've met all that go, you've let your career go, you know, what a waste.
Made me sisters. Like, let me say, sisters and brothers, by far was a waste, right? And how this thing ever happened, but then the eyes in their eyes, you basically, you know, all that, that hope that was there for you. You know, you've you've just thrown it away now.
Yeah, yeah, a lot of I think a lot of Muslims, a lot of Muslims bollington Muslim families
don't necessarily understand
the difficulty in letting your parents know or letting your family know because it's such a good thing to become Muslim. And it's something you know, it's such a big part of our lives and, and we're also happy and they don't understand why family won't necessarily be happy. It was very hard like my parents, like my parents, my family that were that were on my god that were giving me books about going to the Bible Society. They went and got all these books, horrible books, you know, written by like Christian Arabs about making Islam sound like the most worst religion you have ever heard of in your life. Yeah. And they've got me books about these poor Muslim women who have been
oppressed so badly, like really ignorant Muslims that knew nothing about their Deen, but like, and how that this person, you know, found Christianity and all that, you know, their life became so happy because they became, you know, they found Christianity so they, they tried really hard to make me a pasta size from us there. Yeah, like they really wanted me to a pasta size. Like they were trying really hard. Yeah, but the panela no matter what, how much they would try and handle like, it's from Allah. That's all I can say. Because I look back and I think what I went through, I sometimes think if I was tested with the same thing now, you know what I mean? Allahu Allah, you
know that the things you went through and you still hold on to Islam, despite you had no knowledge, really hardly any support whatsoever around you like you're getting in an area. There's no Muslims anywhere. Yeah, you don't I mean, no internet. You know, the only content you can do is call up some You don't even have mobile's back then everybody. We only had like a little landline. You have to call on that line.
It's like a public phone because it usually be in the hallway or in the kitchen. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Like they would listen to me like, I'd hang up the phone from someone so I'm on a call. Oh, look, she's gonna be Australian anymore. She's saying I said I'm on a call, you know. So that's I get comments all the time. And they were fighting me you know, they'd be they'd be fighting me they'd be like, you know, and I got challenged like, Do you notice them says this Julius them.
says that and it wasn't just happening in my home life, it was actually happening in my workplace. I had people attacking me that's attacking me my workplace. I had people attacking me in uni. So I was being constantly challenged by all these people trying to send me that, you know, it's them says this, you know, Muslims do that, and all this stuff. And like, I was so new to them. And I didn't know all this, you know, I didn't have knowledge. But you know, I would say Subhanallah I believe that was a catalyst for me to start seeking knowledge and initial catalyst and initial catalyst. It I started reading I needed to read to survive. debate with them, don't you worry about the eyes
debate with them. You can probably tell from my personality, I'm not the quiet type. So I didn't let them get away with it. Like, I would debate everything. And I actually became so because of how much I've been attacked, actually became quite skilled, he might come back because I don't want research, I started doing my research. And I started developing really good comebacks.
They all say the same thing. They've got the same arguments. It gets boring after a while, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So I actually develop pretty good comebacks, after a while and handling, you know,
a lot of the hardships you would have suffered, after becoming Muslim would have been with family and friends, and just the wider community trying to steer you away from Islam. And yeah, yeah. Mainly the pressure on you, like, the attacks on Islam and the attacks on why have you done that? You know, yeah, one of the things with your family now, local, humbly, like it's been a long time, so things are a lot better, like we see each other regularly. Yeah, look, we we had to it took it took a few years to reach a happy and happy medium. Yeah, we needed to reach a level of respect. Because, look, I mean, I had, for example, I had my grandmother even write me a letter at one stage
saying, you know, we're never going to take part in any of your rituals. You know, we believe Jesus is a blood in the flesh, and he's always gonna knock on your door, you know, obviously, I do admit that admit, you know, trying to adjust to a Muslim relative can be difficult, you know, because we've got a different we've got different
lifestyle answers that I can understand that is difficult. But at the same time, I think it's important that we just do not restrict respect, we don't try and like go over each of each other's boundaries. Yeah. Just like, I respect your right to do something, you've got to kind of build that with your family. I think that just like, I respect your right to do that. I also need you to respect my right. You know, for example, like, one example is I didn't want my kids to be given, say, birthday presents, for example, or, you know, on Christmas or Easter.
You know, it's very kind of you to give those prisons, but if it can just be done in a different time, because that's not our religion. Like, that's not the way we want to bring up our kids. You know, so it's about you know, and like, for example, I'd say to them, like, just like, you don't like us to put Quran on in the car. Like they used to hate the Quran panel, or like, they would hate me playing in my bedroom, or they didn't like the sounds, pal. I loved it. But like, the how not awkward to the lads. You know, that's the difference how Allah put that, you know, he died in people's hearts, or he didn't. Yeah. And so I would tell them like, you know, Alright, fine, you
know, I won't put the brown on. But at the same time, when I go in your car, please don't put music on my watch. I don't want music on in the car. When I go with
my kids or in the car.
We had to make these adjustments. And I'm like, if they feel infringed upon by me saying something to them, I'd say Well, yeah, well, you know, I don't I find it difficult when you do this for me as well. If you didn't like it, if you come to my house, I have cron on like how are you going to feel if you come to my house? I just got chronic pain, you're not going to like it. Yeah, you don't try to say so we have to learn how to be we have to have mutual respect. I really believe it's not always like we as Muslims who especially reverted, it's not always you have to compromise everything. You know, I mean, I think that it is important to like, Look, it's very difficult to
navigate that like not to be too harsh on them. But at the same time, not to give away everything not to give away all your your your morals and all your principles as a Muslim, you know, because we know what Allah says in the Quran, you know, like he tells us when Toba and Kenya Buddha went and nesara had said that Debbie maletto you know, like the Jews and Christians will not be happy with you until you follow the religion. Right? So So the thing is, you can trust me from my experience on my own and if you went through that wasn't you know, if you keep giving just keep you end up with nothing, you end up with nothing in the end. Oh, keep on saying, Oh, you know, like, for example,
they all want to use wear hijab like that and then it ends up No, no, no, we don't want you to wear hijab, but
why do you have to wear it? Yeah, yeah, why can't you just be like her? She doesn't mean he.
You know, um, so you can end up just giving away everything. So I think you do have to stand your ground, but you just have to try and find a way to do that in a way that's not it's so difficult, why it's not an easy
It's not an easy thing to kind of be trying to have that nice is that make us laugh, but at the same time, you know, be firm and not hurt their feelings. It's so difficult. Honestly, it's not easy, but it can it can be done. It can be, it can be done and not say can't be done. And you got to keep all those things in mind. I'm trying to balance between your stomach, you know, Semak, you want to get down to them. You want to try to have the beautiful Islamic character, but you also don't want to give up all your values and principles. Yeah, you know, yeah. Okay, we are coming to the end of the deep discussion, the podcast now. So I want to turn our attention, just two, three questions that
I'd like to ask you. Yeah. Okay. So the first question is just a random question from the deep discussions card set. Are we ready? Yeah. inshallah, inshallah, my beliefs are important to me, because, because that's my past agenda. That's my, that's my elfia. So that's why my beliefs are the most important to me, it's like we're making like, we are all making a life choice in this dunya. And it is an everlasting choice that you're making. So you have to choose very carefully, because it's one life and that's it. You don't get another chance, you know, but it's so true. They're wasted. no second chances.
Okay, my second question is, as a community, what do you feel we need to be having more deep discussions about? I think, there's so many things.
It's hard to narrow it down? Well, I think that a lot of people don't realize that why a lot of people are struggling in Islam, or to practice often because they could have gone through some type of traumas as children, it's not always that they might might be doing that by choice. But sometimes you've got to go back with the person and realize that there are other things that make up that person that is blocking them from being able to really 100% embrace Islam, you know, and sometimes people are very harsh on others in regards to the way they're practicing Islam. You know, I'm not saying we should all just be victims and feel sorry for ourselves. No, I can't help but there's no
reason for me to try to lift my game and with my standards, I'm not saying that, but it's a two way thing. You know, like, just as you shouldn't keep feeling sorry for yourself and saying what I had always happened to me as a child, therefore, how can I practice them properly, but at the same time, realize that people are really struggling for different reasons. And so therefore, we need to have Rama, you know, door to them. Yeah. And just and more understanding and why they may be struggling to actually, you know, step up and sort of embraces them on a better level.
approach with, you know, mind heart. Yeah. Okay. And the last question for today, if you could go back and give you a newly reverted, so any words of advice, what would you say, Okay, I would say to myself, don't lose your identity. Because I know I went through identity crisis for a long time. Even after I became Muslim. I lost my identity for a long time. And then I just one day woke up and go to myself, Why on earth am I trying so hard to be Arabic?
I can't be Australian, I can just cook all the food and I can cook Ozzie desserts, I don't need to just make all these out of sweets and try to be you know, trying to lose my identity as a as a as an Australian. It's very, it's very difficult because when when you revert to Islam, you kind of have to rebuild yourself again, you know? Right. And yeah, so it's very easy to be confused with your identity as well. Oh, you know, who am I? What am I going to do? Yes, that's actually really good advice. I would also give myself that advice.
That brings us to the end of the show. I say, just like Milan for for coming on here and sharing your story. Just pleasure was all mine Rosalyn, it was so nice to meet you.
Asked inshallah, in May Allah you know, feel all that brothers and sisters hearts with the light of the man and help us all to enter john nyatoh anatomy and safe and sound in sha Allah, Allah so that I can share how Angela would do. Thank you for being part of the show. Malaika Muslim or middle lawyer I cat two runs alone. It was a pleasure mallow widget.
The date discussions podcast is powered by developing diamonds which was founded by sister Felicia Bennett. Be sure to keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram or via the website developing diamonds.com.au. Until next time, don't forget to unplug and reconnect by having a deep discussion.