Maymuna Abdulrahman, Nairobi, Kenya
It has been almost two years since I accepted Islam Ahmadiyyat and did bai‘at, and around two and a half years since I initially learned about Ahmadiyyat.
I recall – like it was yesterday – in 2021 when I was at my lowest point. With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, staying home all day, and facing a complicated situation at home, I was engaged in a battle within myself and was overthinking things. It took a heavy toll on my mental health.
I just wanted to be busy and distracted, so I started praying fervently and seeking Allah’s help. I eagerly desired to become a better person, get a job, and be more independent. I fasted and prayed, seeking Allah’s help, and not two weeks later, my mother called me on the phone, saying that a family friend had called and asked if there was anyone who wanted to become a flight attendant. My mother said she remembered me wanting a job. Look upon Allah’s doings!
I wasn’t excited about the job; however, I had prayed for it, and here the job was handed to me on a silver plate. Allah had answered my prayer, and He had a plan for me.
I went for the interview with no history in aviation. The company specifically wanted Somali-speaking ladies. Although I am Somali, I don’t speak the language, yet I still got the job.
Then, when we were almost done with training, four of us had to be transferred to the company I work for now. That’s where I met a colleague who intrigued me with his character. From our first conversation, he challenged me on what I believed in and asked me what I wanted from this life. All I could say was that I wanted to be better—a better Muslim, a better daughter, a better sister, and a better friend.
He told me to research my faith and understand the differences between the sects of Islam—what Sunni, Shia, and other sects believe in. He also told me to read about Ahmadiyyat, but the name kept escaping my mind. I would read about Shiaism, Sunnism, and the other sects; however, for some reason, though I would always ask him to repeat the name, I would forget about Ahmadiyyat. The day I remembered and read what it said, I was intrigued. I would think to myself, “How could these people believe in a man to be the Promised Messiah and Mahdi? Don’t they know Prophet Jesusas will return?” I went to my colleague to tell him that I read about Ahmadiyyat and thought, back then, that they were very wrong.
He told me not to be quick to judge and said to read more about Ahmadiyyat and to pray istikharah, seeking Allah’s guidance. He gave me books on Ahmadiyyat, and I read them. The first book I read was Ahmadiyyat or The True Islam. With every chapter I finished, I became worried, and I remember telling him that it was alarming and challenging me. I would find myself crying while reading the books, especially Invitation to Ahmadiyyat.
Everything made sense. I was excited! I wanted to tell everyone about what I had found and how lost we had been. I called my sister and told her about it, and I shared it with my cousin; however, they didn’t replicate the enthusiasm I expected. They said they didn’t agree with me and posed many questions that I couldn’t answer. They also placed doubts in my mind. A cousin of mine went to school with an Ahmadi at the university, and she said the Ahmadi girl never used to pray with them. It raised questions in my mind, as I did not know enough about Ahmadiyya. At that moment, I wondered, “Why pray separately? Do they pray differently?” Thus, I would rush to my colleague with all these questions, and every question I asked was answered. I felt like I had no doubt in the answers I received; they seemed logical. I went through brief periods of uncertainty, wanting to close this chapter and go on with life.
I was constantly arguing with my sister about Islam Ahmadiyyat, and the arguments would always escalate. Ceasing to learn about it and just placing this discovery to the side seemed like an easier option, yet my heart kept telling me, “While this would please my relationship with my sister, what about my relationship with Allah?”
By the time I was done with my fourth book by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmadas, I was convinced and there was no turning back. I went to my colleague and told him, “I had discovered a lot of truth in this, and I don’t know how I could ever refute this.” I felt like my heart had settled and decided to take the next step and take my bai‘at. The day I took my bai‘at, I was lying on my bed after Asr. I wasn’t really asleep, yet I was unaware if I was dreaming; the words حي على الفلاح were being said to me. I felt my very being shiver, and I just wanted to get up and pray. This is what success is.
I have found that Islam Ahmadiyyat is the success I was looking for, and Alhamdulillah, Allah guided me to it. May Allah preserve us and allow us to practise our religion in its pristine state, and may Allah enable us to be true followers of the Promised Messiahas and grant us heaven in this very world and the Hereafter.