My name is Martha Guadalupe; I am originally from Ecuador, but live in New Jersey, and I have been Muslim since 2003, alhamdulillah (all praise is due to Allah).Why did I embrace Islam? Interestingly, every time I have been asked this question, I have a different story to tell. There is never enough time to say it all. I recently saw a post on Facebook which drew my attention. It stated: “Searching for happiness, I found Islam.” What I can say is, “While searching for God, I found Him in Islam,” alhamdulillah!
At first I was not the one who was searching for this beautiful religion. My family and I had distanced ourselves from the Catholic religion, but I never stopped worshipping God, praying to Him, asking him to guide my children by whatever means would permit them to reach Him, and to never abandon them. I was sure that God always protected us and that He was the only one who provided us with everything we need.
It so happened that on September 11, 2001, my son Hernan (the eldest and a university student at the time) visited us in the evening and told my husband and me that he had accepted the Islamic religion. In my ignorance, I responded, “What is that?” He explained to me that it was the true religion of Allah, and I remember saying to him, “If this is the path that will take you to God, blessed be His Name, then may He continue guiding you,” and I hugged him.
It was my eldest son who brought the religion of Islam to our home but a month after he became a Muslim, my second son did so as well, alhamdulillah. Then I began to learn for myself about the basics of this religion. Hernan would tell me about the life of Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), that he was the last and seal of all the Prophets. At first I found it strange because for me, the last prophet had been Jesus (may peace be upon him).
Whenever he could, Hernan would teach me about Islam. I began to worry because during one of our conversations, he told me about the punishments in the hereafter for those who did not obey the laws of God. That filled my heart with terror, and I feared God more than ever. “What will happen if I don’t follow what God wants? What will happen if I don’t have any time left? What will happen if I don’t wake up?,” I would ask myself. This is one of the reasons why I began to reflect deeply about what was better for me. I wanted to be a good servant so that God would not punish me.
Two years later I accepted this wonderful religion. Now I am a proud Muslim, alhamdulillah. I won’t say that the change was easy. At first, it was very difficult, but Allah eased the way and I have been able to persevere, breaking through barriers and overcoming all obstacles in my path. I know that Allah has always guided me, but I had been blind for a portion of my life. Today everything is clear and I am very happy knowing that I am a humble servant of Allah; to Him we belong, and to Him we will return.
In my daily living, my faith imbues all aspects of my outlook on life with hope and trust in God. When I left my job, I said to myself, “If Allah has taken me away from this job which has been very good, it is because He has something better for me.”I have always loved sewing and I used to make clothes for girls, but had stopped doing so 11 years previously. Then during a conversation, I heard some sisters speaking about how they would like to buy Islamic clothing online but it was too expensive. I suggested, “If you want, I can make the clothing for you at a much lower price, insha’Allah.” With the help of Allah, and my sons, I decided to start my own business, which we called, “Modasty Designs,” alhamdulillah. The business has been successful at a national level due to internet sales and Islamic conferences, and above all, Muslim women in my locality who ask me to make their clothes. It is always a pleasure for me and I am here to serve my Muslim community, insha’Allah.
Since I have been Muslim, I dedicate myself to prayer and following the Sunnah, or the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him). May Allah bless us, protect us, and guide us always. Ameen.