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M. Syamsi Ali

Peace to Ummah...from Brazil!

By Sarah de Andrade Siqueira

I have always kept interest in the Muslim world; it passed to me a sense of peace. On the Brazilian Educative TV I watched a documentary about the life in some Muslim country. Those mystery women dressed in those beautiful long clothes and veils raised my curiosity. When a Muslim woman mentioned that it is not a matter of culture only but that her religion was a complete way of life (Deen), I wanted to know more.

The idea of a religion ruling all aspects of humankind’ way of life is not common where I live, not to mention having anything to do with economy, politics and social issues.

I decided to look into Islam. My first question was: How could I do this? No books were available at my University or in the bookshops.

1999 I earned my Bachelors degree in Languages. It was a moment that brought tears in my eyes, because my beloved family always did a lot of efforts to provide me with the best education they could, despite of our humble life. The present my parents chose to give me upon that was a computer. They saved long months to be able to pay for the gift they thought would enable me pursue a career. When I saw those big boxes in my room I felt such gratitude to them.

Now I could access the Internet and be able know more about Islam. I was surfing on the web looking for information when I came across Yusuf Islam’s (formerly Cat Stevens) website. After I read about his journey to Islam and how a famous pop star could give up the great world of music and find his certainty on the straight path. He chose Islam as a way of life based on pure love, charity, humbleness and the submission to the one and only God. When I listened to Yusuf’s lecture named “One God, One Community” my appreciation for Islam became greater than before. Since that day I have been studying Islam with an eager will to learn about the pillars of Islamic faith and way of life as well.

When I had a blessed opportunity to read the Holy Qur’an which narrates with scientific accuracy the development of the baby in mother’s womb, since his first moments of life; I have decided to embrace Islam. Beyond this, I also have to say that the submission to only one God and the complete way of life established by Allah through his last Prophet Muhammad had touched my heart.

During my “web Islamic research” I have met in an Arab chat room some Muslim friends, who helped me a lot in my journey to Islam, Alhamdulilah. The one I met first was a Sudanese Muslim student, who taught me my first words in Arabic language and always was by my side (with the famous web instant messengers), despite our distance, to solve my doubts in respect of Muslim women issues. The other one was a brother from Egypt, who was amazed with my path to Islam and gave me a blessed help shipping to me the Holy Qur’an (a bilingual version in English and Arab), the prayer carpet, books about Islam and even Hijabs, to allow me to practice the beautiful and honored concept of Islamic Modesty. My parents, are Christian, however they never opposed my religious choice-God bless them.

In my Brazilian city there is no Islamic Center. All websites about Islam I had visited were not Brazilian either and few of those I’ve found in Portuguese refer to Islamic Societies far away from my home. Hence, Allah and my Sudanese sister were my witness that I had embraced Islam.

After sometime, Alhamdulilah I have found an Islamic website developed by a Brazilian sister, who gave me the brilliant information that there was a small, but very serious and lovely Muslim Society in my hometown. She introduced me to The Imam and sisters there. It was a beautiful moment of my life, to get know a part of our Ummah in the city I was born and live in.

My mum is now considering converting to Islam. May Allah show her the right path. The last thing I would like to say from the bottom of my heart is:

“Ash Hadu Anlaa Illa Allah wa Ash Hadu Muhamadan Rasululah”

May Allah bless our Ummah!

M. Syamsi Ali adalah seorang muslim anggota ISNET yang tinggal di New York
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