My name is Yahya Schroder.
I am a “European” Muslim.
I became Muslim when I was 17.
I am living now in Potsdam, Germany and I want to share my experience with you as a Muslim in a non-Muslim state.
As a convert to Islam, I think it’s much easier to follow the deen (religion) than a born Muslim who is been raised up here.
Almost all young born-Muslims I know want to become Germans. For them Islam is only a tradition and they think that they have to give up their tradition (Islam) to be accepted by the Germans, despite the fact that the Germans won’t accept them even if they gave up their religion.
I grew up in a little village. I lived with my mother and my stepfather in a huge house with a big garden and a big pool. And as a teenager I “lived a cool life;” I had some friends whom I used to hang around with, do stupid things and drink alcohol like every young German teen.
The life of a Muslim in Germany is quite difficult than one would think especially for me as a German Muslim because when someone asks a German what they know about Islam; they would tell you something about Arabs. For them it’s like mathematical operation Islam = Arabs.
They still don’t know about our big nation. When I converted to Islam I had to leave my family and I moved to the community in Potsdam near Berlin. I left this huge house and all my material valuable stuff.
When I lived with my mother and my stepfather I had everything; a big house, my own money, TV, Play-station. I was never concerned about money, but I wasn’t happy. I was searching for something else.
When I turned 16 I met the Muslim community in Potsdam through my biological father who became Muslim in 2001. I used to visit my father once a month and we used to attend the meetings of the community which were held on Sundays.
At that time, I was interested in Islam, and my father noticed this and told me one day that he wouldn’t speak about Islam when we are together because he wanted me to learn from people of greater knowledge so that other people won’t say: “Oh he became Muslim just because he’s 17 and does everything his father does.”
I agreed and I started visiting the community every month and learned a lot about Islam but at that time something happened and changed my way of thinking. One Sunday, I went with the Muslim community swimming and I broke my back twice by jumping in the pool and I hit the ground with my head.
I noticed when Allah wants something; the individual’s life can be turned over in one second.
My father brought me to the hospital and the doctor told me:
“You have broken your back quite bad and if you did one wrong movement you’ll become handicapped.”
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