(MENAFN - Arab News) Kavita nicknamed Poonam belonged to a family associated with India's extremist Hindu organization Shiv Sena. Now Nur Fatima she describes the ordeal that she had to pass through while embracing Islam.
I WAS born in Mumbai and I am 30. But I consider myself as a five-year-old because my knowledge about Islam is not more than a five-year-old kid's knowledge.
After schooling from Mumbai I went to the Cambridge University for higher education. After completing masters I did computer courses. I attained several degrees but have done nothing for the life Hereafter. This I regret. But I must pay my gratitude to Allah for His blessings in bringing me to truth. It was a highly radical Hindu culture in which I was brought up where Muslims were severely despised.
I disliked idol worship since my adolescence. I remember once I had removed an idol in my house and put it inside bathroom which had infuriated my mother. I told her if the idol couldn't protect itself then what's the use seeking blessings from it or bowing before it.
As per a bizarre ritual in our family a girl when married had to wash her husband's feet and then drink the water. I refused to do so when I was married for which I was severely admonished. I would often in the meantime visit a nearby Islamic Center. I learned there that Muslims did not worship idols and instead they sought blessings from one Almighty God. I liked their views. Their prayers impressed me too.
After marriage I shifted to Bahrain with my husband. This helped me understand Islam. I used to visit a Muslim girl's house where I learned about the prayers and also about the Holy Qur'an.
I would imitate praying like a Muslim after locking my room. One day I forgot to lock the room and started offering Islamic prayer (Salah) when my husband entered there. He chastised me for doing this. I was afraid but then I felt a huge power in my inner self that made me courageous enough to face the situation. I cried out that I had converted to Islam so I was offering Salah.
He started to beat me. On hearing the noise my sister reached there and she too became furious after my husband narrated the whole thing. I told them 'I know what is good for me and what is bad. I shall walk on the way I have adopted." My husband thereafter tortured me due to which I lost my senses.
My two children were home. My elder son was in 9th class and younger son in the 8th. But after this incident I was not allowed to meet anyone. I was locked in a room.
One night when I was there locked in the room my elder son came to me and burst into tears in my arms. He told me other members of the family had gone outside and no one was at home. He then requested me to escape for the family was planning to kill me. I told them I didn't want to leave them (my sons) but he insisted that I must quit the house. 'Go away Mama they will murder you" his words still ring in my ears.
At last I decided to leave. I could never forget those moments when my son woke up my other son: 'Get up. Mama is leaving. Meet her now for who knows that whether she will me us again or not."
The younger son clung to me and burst into tears. 'Mama are you leaving" he asked me. 'Yes but don't worry we would meet again" I told him. My both sons were seeing me off on that dark and chilly night. For Islam I sacrificed my love for my children. Both the children were waving their hands to me with tears in their eyes at the gate. I could never forget those moments. Whenever I recall this scene I remember the Muslims who had abandoned their homes and families for Islam.
My injuries were fresh; I was unable to walk on foot. However I somehow managed to reach straight to the police station. A police officer who knew English consoled me after I narrated the story and my wish to embrace Islam. He assured me of all help and took me to his family and provided me shelter in his home. The next day my husband came to know that I was in police protection. He insisted that I accompanied him home and threatened me. I refused to go with him and said he instead could take all my jewelry bank balance and property. After having failed to convince me he got a written statement to obtain all my belongings.
The officer treated me like his sister. I could never forget his favor. I thanked him and went to a hospital for treatment as my whole body was wounded. I remained in the hospital for some time. Once a doctor queried about my why no one from your family visited me at hospital. I did not reply. For I had left my house in search of only one thing Truth. Now I neither had any home nor any family. My only relation was Islam which had extended me affection on the very first step.
After the hospital discharged me I straightaway went to an Islamic center. I met an elderly person there to whom I narrated my account. He hesitated for some moments and then said: 'Daughter! This sari is not the appropriate dress. Wear head scarf and clad yourself like Muslims." Later he taught me how to perform ablution. He made me recite the Kalima and then gave me the initial basic knowledge about Muslims and Islam. I was neither anxious nor feeling any burden on my mind. I was feeling myself very light. I felt like I had swum from polluted to clean waters. The owner of this center where I had embraced Islam adopted me as his daughter and took me to his home. Later he arranged my marriage in a Muslim family. My first desire was to see the 'House of Allah." And then I performed Umrah.
I never thereafter went to India not I intend to go there. My family has strong political links as well as has connections with extremist Hindu organizations there. I learned they have vowed head money for me. I am a Muslim now and I am proud to be so. I want to lead the rest of my life in the light of Islam. We have been told that they were oppressors who had crossed every limit of oppression. We were made to hate them. But now I have come across the truth and have love for them. I offer prayers for their success in every Namaz. I also pray to Allah that if He blesses me with sons I shall love to see them lined up as mujahid. I shall devote them for the glory of Islam. Inshallah.
Courtesy of www.islamway.com