A Shahada 14 Years In The Making!
Vanessa, a young mother, embraces Islam after years of interest and research.
A Google Search of “Mosques Near Me” and coming across the word “Spanish” led Vanessa to take a 68 mile drive from Galveston to Houston. She showed up at the doorstep of our IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico temporary location with a purpose—she wanted to become Muslim.
Holding her handsome young son, Amir, at her side, Sister Vanessa recited the shahada with a beaming smile on her face. While her journey to the Centro Islamico took a little over an hour, her journey to Islam was much longer.
Vanessa was raised Catholic and regularly went to Sunday School and other classes but she never felt Catholic. The concept of Jesus and the Trinity just didn’t make sense to her.
“I was always that one little girl that was asking too many questions,” said Vanessa, 32 and of Mexican heritage. “And the teacher could never answer my questions.”
When Vanessa turned 18, she stopped going to Catholic church and began soul searching. After dabbling in different phases of Christianity, she was dissatisfied with not getting clear answers about Jesus from fellow Christians.
“I feel like Jesus led me to Islam”
After discussing the topic with Muslims friends of hers, she decided to pick up a Qu’ran and went home and started reading it. Her reaction?
“I started crying like someone had died. It was amazing.”
This experience planted the seed that Islam was the answer she was looking for but it took over a decade for Vanessa to take the dive into embracing the faith. She stated that her son was a driving force of her making the decision to convert because she wanted to raise him the right way.
The approaching month of Ramadan gave Vanessa the push to explore mosques. She had observed Ramadan for years by herself but wanted to be part of a community. This led her to finding IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico.
The welcoming atmosphere and smiling faces gave her the comfort and ease to enter and attend the Friday service and after it had concluded she was ready.
A New Beginning
Vanessa says she knows the basics but is eager to keep learning and growing and we here at IslamInSpanish are eager to be a resource for her to attend, learn and to socialize with other Latinos and New Muslims who not so long ago were in her shoes as well.
Had it not been for IslamInSpanish Centro Islamico, Vanessa may not have been encouraged to make such a life-changing decision. The center’s mere existence pushed her to take the drive all the way over from Galveston to witness the community that has formed here and made herself a part of it with the testimony of faith.
Our parting words to Vanessa and her son? Keep coming back.