Rwanda Rwins; How do I choose Islam?

My Life before Islam;
We come from a strong catholic family. We were born a pair of twins who are identical and other 7 siblings.

At the age of eight we received the sacrament of Holy Communion and confirmation as true Catholics.

I will continue to say we because the story involve my twin sister and I. At that age we went to many worship places and religious gatherings. Our mother always insisted that we should avoid the hell fire and Satan’s temptations. It was precisely for that reason she took us one day to watch a play named heavens gates and hells flames. Days after that I dreamt of unusually huge creatures which looked like grass hoppers.
They were eating and tormenting sinners but instead of the grass hoppers tormenting me, they tickled and whispered beautiful things to me. They told me that I was going to heaven because I was a well behaved child. They told me to look at the sky and that if I see my name written on it I would go to heaven. At that age I thought heaven was just near in the sky.

I saw the name and to my surprise it wasn’t the name I was using. I asked the creatures why it was a name different from the one I was using written on the sky yet I recognized it as my name. They said it was the heavenly name that I would acquire just before I went to heaven. This story fits somewhere later.
Coming from a strong catholic family, we went to church every Sunday, my twin sister sung in church choir and we both planed to become nuns. However, with good grades at the end of our primary school my twin was sent to a convent and I was also sent to a school run by nuns. We had never been separated before but we coped with the change. At that time, there was a liberation war in our country (Rwanda) which turned into the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis. Our family along with other families that had been refugees in countries neighboring Rwanda and elsewhere in the world since 1959, 1963 and in the early 1970s moved back to its origin Rwanda and from Uganda my twin moved back with them.
At the age of 15, I was studding in a girls boarding school and had to remain in Uganda to attend that school. I was put under the care of my maternal Uncle, who happened to be a catholic priest and the school’s chaplain. Due to harassment (both sexual and bodily) from my uncle the school chaplain, (no offence intended), I began to understand that after all the priests were not as holy as they were assumed. Then I asked myself why these men were given permission to redeem Catholics of their sins, yet they were far worse than the congregation they lead. That was the turning point of my faith. I decided to escape from his care and return to my home country. I made it clear to my parents that I had no intention of returning to the school or under the priest’s care.

So the Catholic Church was out of the list of religions I would join to go to heaven. When I returned to my country and told my mother what had happened with my uncle, I considered her to be my best friend and to say the truth I told her all my secrets. She never took me serious to defend her brother thus taking his side since as an African wanted to cover up a relative’s bad behavior she denied the priest’s bad behavior even if she wasn’t an eye witness. My mother never knew that the incident with my uncle affected me and left me disillusioned with the Catholic Church
At the age of sixteen and for one year I joined the seventh day Adventists where I had several unanswered questions like the Sabbath, which is the standing point of all seventh day Adventists. One day, I went to the Pentecostal church as a visitor and that day’s topic was the Sabbath. I was able to learn that even Jesus the lord, worked on Sabbath and added that he was the lord of the Sabbath.

On that day I decided to receive Jesus Christ as my personal savior and became a born again because the preacher made it clear that accepting Jesus would give me peace and answer all my questions, and it seemed that being the lord of the Sabbath, my only way out was to accept him as my personal lord and savior. I served in the Pentecostal church for three years and there I thought I was becoming steady. I joined the band and was becoming a great gospel singer.
In the Pentecostal Church I learnt about the Holy Spirit. To my surprise I read 1Corinthians 14:26-40 which gives the real order in the house of God. In the verse mentioned above a person should only speak in tongues if he has a translator and speak in his heart to himself and his God if there’s no translator, which is not the case with the born again every one speaks in tongues and loudly causing ciaos, which is not acceptable in the above mentioned verse. In the same verse women are not expected to speak in holy places.

This verse strongly points out that if a woman even has a question, she should keep it until she returns home and ask her husband. This made me stop believing in anything at the church. I then stopped going to any church because, this verse steered the confusion in me.
A deem light of Islam manifests
Long before this my twin sister, had a classmate who happened to be a Muslim. She joined Islam not seriously but she only wanted to know the reason why they bow down in prayer. The bowing she referred to here was not the respectful one, but the abusive one. In Africa if an old woman wanted to curse you she could stand in front of you and bow facing where you are facing thus showing you her behind that was the concept she had about bowing, and she joined in order to find out why Muslims did that and she planned to become Rasta after leaving Islam. After researching, she decided to remain a Muslim.

We were twenty years old then. She had mentioned to me that she was a Muslim and wanted me to join Islam too. I told her never to tell me that, or else I would tell mum, who always allowed us to join any sect excluding Islam, because just like other human beings some Muslims don’t act up to Islamic values. To this, with a valid example, some practice witchcraft including a well known neighbor of ours in Kampala who practically was a traditional healer, a wizard, head of clan and a Muslim.

This is the excuse I gave to my sister, when she asked me to join her in Islam. I went on to do research in the bible and discovered very many contradictions to mention but a few; the circumcision, the role of women in church, the most appropriate way of a woman to behave in religious gatherings, the position of Jesus in the bible where some verses say he is the son of God, the son of man, and so on. All this left me in the state of confusion that I cannot explain.
Every evening was the same, every morning was the same because I had only one prayer and that was ‘’God almighty please guide me’’. Things remained the same for a year, and I changed my lifestyle. During that time I went to no church I didn’t believe in anything I started clubbing for fun, I never prayed in the name of Jesus I always prayed directly to God not through any saint. One day a young boy from Tanzania visited Rwanda, he was 12years of age back then he read the holy Qur’an and explained its meaning he read the bible and sighted deferent verses in the bible. He had God given wisdom of both books (please type in Google sheikh Sharif TZ and you will find his biography). His birth story fascinated me his knowledge did too. After listening to a friend of mine narrating the small boy’s story who is now a young man, I was shaking all over.
I took my time to think. Is it really true someone could be gifted that way? Shaytwan did his job whispering that is was the work of jinn sent by Muslims since I mentioned above a Muslim neighbor who practiced witchcraft. I will not forget to remind you that Muslims are not allowed to practice any kind of witchcraft in fact Allah will forgive any sin, but the Almighty will not forgive anyone who was involved in any sort of polytheism, black magic, or witchcraft. Then Allah sent me a whisperer who asked my heart ‘’ what if the almighty God has answered your prayer and is showing you the right path and you turn away, will you ever forgive yourself, or say that the Almighty God never answered your prayers? This was indeed the turning point then I was sure that I had no other choice but to become a Muslim, my body was shaking with fear mixed with joy. This is a feeling I cannot explain to anyone only the ones that have been given a chance to experience it understand it. I always feel the same when I read stories of reverts.
I had decided that I had to become a Muslim at whatever cost. I approached a classmate who told me that I wouldn’t manage Islam but suggested that I should ask another classmate who despised me (I didn’t know she did until she confessed to me after joining Islam) she brushed me off, telling me that with my ruthlessness I would never be able to practice Islam. I insisted and she told me to think about it for 3days. That was a Tuesday and that meant that I would wait until Friday and these three days seemed like years. I went to my twin sister and told her of my intention to join Islam, she was happy but scared that I wouldn’t manage to become a good Muslim. Finally the day came Friday I was asked to have a bath and udhu then off to the school mosque we went. There I pronounce my shahada and there I was a Muslim young girl in the Ramadan of 1998. For two weeks I felt good but the hidjab was not part of my wardrobe, it was Ramadan I met some friends who told me that every creature curses me looking at my dressing cord and that I would go straight to hell if I died like that. It was precisely avoiding hell fire that I decided to join Islam so from then I decided to put on hidjab.

Some people leave islam shortly after reverting and this is the main purpose of our story. Two weeks after Ramadan I got seriously ill and I was asked to return home for treatment. Due to the five times a day prayer, there was sort of a scar on my forehead. My mother asked me what it was, I felt that since I was in the right path there was no need to lie to her and I told her that I had become a Muslim. She was both shocked and annoyed with me and told me to go and tell Muslims to take me to the hospital. I returned to school, not treated and I spent two other weeks in the sickbay. The school doctor asked permission for me to go home for treatment once again and asked my friends to accompany me home. I was very badly ill in that I spent 3days in hospital. During my stay in the hospital, my 12years old sister stayed with me for the fear that I might try to revert the older ones.
Three days after my release from the hospital, my mother asked me to renounce Islam, I refused and she got an electric radio wire and started beating me, forcing me to renounce Islam and I did not. As if beating was not enough, she got the wire and tied it around my neck chocking me claiming that she had the right to end my life since she brought me to life. Here a thought came to my mind and I had to lie to save my life since she seemed serious. I told her that I would renounce Islam just to get a tiny chance to get away from her. She accepted and told me to do it in writing I asked for a pen and paper, started writing and another thought came I told her to go to work and by the time she would come home she would find the letter ready. The chance is that she did not know what was on my mind, so she accepted. The moment they stepped out of the house I also left home and went back to school. That is when our parents found out that my twin sister had reverted to Islam a year and a half before me.
From then without going into details we were disowned, beaten and abused our names at home changed to Taliban.

After being driven away from home, we lived in a mosque where livelihood was at the mercy of Allah and indeed Allah Gives whom HE wills.

We went without food at times but the harder our friends and relatives became on us the stronger out faith became and indeed if we had faith as big as a millet seed we would be fed like birds which don’t own any grain field but at the end of the day they are fed, satisfied and they carry some food for their young ones.

Fortunately with Allah’s grace we were able to finish secondary school. After secondary school, life took another turn the mosque where we lived was going to be shifted to another place which was much smaller than the previous one. We thus had to look for another place to live in. My twin sister decided to get married to her revert boyfriend in order to get a roof over our heads. Even after the marriage, on which no other relative apart from the new family {Muslims} was present, life was harder because, Allah continued to test us. The husband of my twin sister lost his job and we were back to where we started with a lot of patience and prayer, Allah has changed all that.

They are still happily married and Allah blessed then with a baby girl in 2007
I’m saying all this to give courage to new Muslims.

Don’t mind about whatever one may say to you or do to you.

I later decided to go back to school; I managed to convince my parents to take me back to school by the grace of Allah.

These were other trying years which also ended at the end of my degree, where I decided to get married.

I’m happy married to a Muslim revert and Allah has blessed our marriage with two princesses.

To cut the long story short, my twin sister and I have made a big step in life in all aspects of life by the grace of Allah who has been out guide and guardian.

The big step we took was accepting that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad peace and blessings of Allah be upon him is HIS last messenger la Illaha ila Allah Muhammad Rasuulu Llahi.

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