“Would you like to come in tomorrow? A woman is taking Shahadah,” my son’s teacher asked me. My son is studying in an Islamic school in America. I had never actually seen a non-Muslim embracing Islam, so I said I would like to join them. I am glad I did, as it turned out to be a highly enriching experience.

I got there a little early to set up the snacks. I did not know the sister, who was going to take the Shahadah, except that she was a student’s mother. Whenever a woman came in, I thought may be she was the one?

Soon entered an African sister, and by the way she walked in, unsure, yet smiling, I knew she was the one. The teacher ran to greet her and asked her to join us. We tried to make her feel at ease, as she seemed elated and perplexed at the same time.

I wondered what was racing through her mind? What made her decide to revert to Islam?

We sat down on plastic mats on the floor, the sister in our midst. The school children stood around us. A Muslim man associated with the school came in and sat on a chair facing the sister.

He spoke about believing in One God and His Prophet (sa), about the responsibilities of a Muslim, and the pillars of Islam. The sister listened very intently as did everyone else. He then asked her a few questions about the basic message of Islam.

Then, she slowly repeated the words of the Shahadah after the brother.

“Ash hadu an la ilaha ill Allah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar Rasul Allah.”

“I declare there is no god but Allah (swt) and I declare that Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah (swt).”

It was pure joy to hear her significant words! I felt a very palpable peace enveloping the room. “The angels surely are surrounding us,” was a thought that came to my mind.

I felt blessed to be witnessing a soul being carried into the safety of Iman. We take for granted being born in Muslim families, whereas here was a woman, who had been through disbelief and was choosing to become Muslim with Allah’s (swt) Mercy.

I also felt a deep yearning for what she had gained here.  All her sins before entering Islam had been erased and forgiven by Allah (swt). She was sinless at this very moment and had a fresh start.

Our hearts filled with love for the new Muslimah. It was amazing, how we felt an instant bonding with this stranger, as soon as she became a sister in Islam. This is also one of Allah’s (swt) bounties that Muslims can feel an immediate attachment with other Muslims.

With moist eyes, we congratulated her, and all the women hugged her. The teachers hugged her son, who beamed happily at his mom, who was now cheerful and calm.

Each one of us gave her gifts, including books of basic Islamic guidance, such as Wudu, Salah, and Fasting. She said these were the things she has many questions about. There were also scarves, CDs of Quran, and sweets.

Chatting over snacks, she said that her Muslim husband put their son in this Islamic school, where she got the opportunity to observe and interact with so many Muslims for three years. This helped her to make up her mind about reverting to Islam.

May Allah (swt) keep her and all of us steadfast in faith till our last breath. Ameen.