From a very young age ( 5 or 6 ) I have been interested in spirituality. I was always concerned with figuring out why I am here and what the purpose of my life is. I loved reading stories about Jesus. My parents, whom I love so much, are both not actively practicing their religion, and so I had to do my own work and search for a spiritual path that really suits me.
I was baptized catholic and became very keen to pray and come closer to God to the point where I wanted to become a nun at around 10 years. This changed partly because the church community in my new town, we had just moved from Germany to the Netherlands, was not that great for young people.So as a teenager I had an atheist phase just believing in the material stuff, and from the age of 16 I was agnostic (believing that there is more to this world than just the material but not following a certain path.)
Whilst moving to London in 2008 I was really looking for some deeper answers and I didn’t feel like knocking on the door of the church. I found out about the Dalai Lama and started attending classes in a Buddhist Centre nearby. I eventually became a Buddhist and believed I had found my spiritual path for life, it was my first encounter with a spiritual practice (meditation, contemplating death etc.) as a young adult and I thought there was nothing out there that could be better for me.
A few years later I moved to another city and encountered Muslims from Senegal, they looked like Rastafarian’s from Jamaica, but when they started talking about Allah to me I was very surprised and thought: If this is also Islam I want to know more (so far my image of Islam was rather bad, thanks to the media). The more I learned the more I wanted to know. At the same time I was learning more about my Arabic roots and Islam is part of my heritage. After about 3 years of investigating I was ready to convert and become a Muslim, alhamdoulilah (thank God).
I know that religion in general is not a hot-topic these days and especially in the West it is not seen as something important, but to me it is everything. The original purpose of religion is to give you the tools to become a better human being. To bring you closer to God, to your true nature, so that you can cross this vast ocean we call life with a spiritual dimension.
Buddhist’s say mantra’s, Christian’s pray the rosary and Muslim’s do Zhikr (Remembrance of Allah), whilst holding the prayer beads in your hands you repeat at each bead: Alhamdoulilah, alhamdoulilah, alhamdoulilah… (Praise be to God). Working on your presence with God…
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