My name is Margarita Aguirre and I am from the city of Guadalajara in Jalisco, Mexico. I was born in the midst of a practicing Catholic family. I remember that while I was in high school, I had my first encounter with Islam without realizing it. On our school’s bulletin board, they displayed a “poem” that caught my attention. I remember jotting it down in my favorite poetry journal because I loved it. At the end of the poem, it simply read: “The Qur’an.” I thought that it must have referred to a book of poetry, and so I did not think to look for any more information.
Years passed and again I came face-to-face with the Qu’ran. In my profession as a teacher, and until now, I have always been passionate about everything that has to do with history. Consequently, it was while I was reading about history that I learned about all the many world religions, including Islam. One day, I planned a lesson dealing with world religions for my students. It was during that particular class that I again found the word, “Qur’an” in the history books. Then I realized that this book was not a book of poetry, but rather a book that Muslims read, similar to the Bible for Christians.
It was a huge surprise for me, because I used to think that the Bible was God’s only book. I recall that at the end of my work day, I went home and searched for what I had written in my journal all those years ago during high school, and I found it. It was then that I wanted to know more about Islam. That was the most striking incident that occurred which sparked my search for information about Muslims and Islam. In fact I did not have a good concept about Islam but I wanted to explore and understand the religion myself, and I wanted to know why Muslims also had a holy book.
During my investigation I found an internet page with information about Islam. I really enjoyed reading the articles, and that is how I began learning. The site manager explained a lot about the religion and answered all my questions, dispelling any doubts. I would double check whatever the brother said, just to be certain, until one day I decided to download a copy of the Qur’an.
In the beginning, this Qur’an contained a biography of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and it impressed me. I finally learned firsthand about the person who had established the Islamic teachings. When I began reading the verses of the Qur’an, my heart recognized that they were God’s words; that I was reading the very words of Allah.
I felt so moved that I could no longer resist the truth that my heart had acknowledged. This beautiful religion that has changed my life is a fountain of wellbeing and joy for the heart. God, in His divine wisdom has left us with all the knowledge we need in the Holy Qur’an and in the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. More importantly is that it was in this religion that I finally understood God’s Oneness, and I learned how to love Him alone. I felt complete and I understood so many things. Islam perfected my soul and my feelings, and all my doubts were resolved, Alhamdulillah. And as Allah tells us in the Qur’an, “This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those conscious of Allah,” (Qur’an, 2:2).
My first Ramadan was about total surrender to God. I was very excited; it had only been two months since my conversion. I had declared my testimony of faith long distance with a Moroccan brother, because I did not know a single Muslim in Mexico. Later I searched for an Islamic community in my city, and to my surprise, I found other Muslims in Guadalajara. Until that time I had thought that I was the only one in Mexico! I was able to say the Shahada again with my Muslim sisters in the mosque. Alhamdulillah, it was a wonderful Ramadan for me, as I observed the fast, and not only did I leave food and drink during the prescribed times, but I also abstained from everything that was harmful to the soul, such as bad manners and evil actions.
I give thanks to God for having guided me to Islam as my religion and way of life, for I have never been happier, alhamdulillah.