My name is Aisha
Canlas. Before I came here in Riyadh, the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia, I was a Catholic since my parents are
We went to
different churches to pray to God but through man made
images. During that time I was asking myself is that
the real face of God? How come anyone could know what
He looks like? Have they already seen Him?
There is this
one place in Manila where there is a mosque. Whenever
it was time for prayer and I heard the Adhan, I would
close my eyes and feel serene even though I didn't
know what it meant. It was like music to my heart.
No one, even I,
had known that I will convert to Islam eventually. I
applied for a job in Saudi Arabia to give my family a
To be equipped
and not to experience a culture shock, I researched
things that may help me to get along well while living
in a Middle Eastern country.
about the culture, the country as a whole, the
language and of course the religion. I really got
curious about Islam, that even before I took the plane
going here I read things about it.
was not done in a snap of a finger. I frequently ask
my doctors about Islam. Because in my mind they will
be able to help me understand more about Islam since
they have lived their whole life here in the Kingdom.
It was in
January 15, 2008 that I learned that there is a
Madrasa or ‘Islamic Teaching' in my workplace. That's
when I decided to attend the class. I first attended
it with my friend and roommate, who is a born Muslim,
on January 17, 2008.
All eyes were on
me at first, since I was new in class and the only
Christian sitting among them. I listened to what our
teacher was telling us about Islam, the Quran and
about Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of
God be upon him, and God.
From then on, I
started to really understand Islam. After that I
asked permission from my Mum who is in the Philippines
to allow me to convert from Catholicism to Islam.
(praise be to God), my mother did not oppose. (My
father died November of last year). She said she was
just afraid that when I convert I would forget them.
I said that Muslims have high regards towards parents,
especially with the Mother.
It was January
24, 2008 when I made my Shahadah in front of my
teacher and other students. While I was reciting the
Shahadah there was heat emanating from me. I can't
explain the feeling that time.
The only thing I
knew after reciting my Shahadah is that my heart felt
light from burdens. At last I found the inner peace I
was looking for in my life. Being in Islam is really
I was questioned
by some colleagues why I decided to enter Islam. I
said that I believe that there is no one else to be
worshipped than God and one of his messengers is
thought that I betrayed my faith. Yet, in my heart I
know that it is not true. Alhumdulillah (praise be to
God), I had also experienced Umrah. I went for Umrah
last March 5, 2008 and it was really memorable and
It's like I am
separated from my problems, my worries and all the bad
things in the world. I was really delighted and felt
that I can stay there a lifetime praying to God and
praising him for all the wonderful things he has done
Never had I
known that I will be able to see the Kabah in real
life. I've seen it in pictures when I was young but
to actually see it personally filled me with
happiness; and gratefulness filled my heart.
I am attending
Madrasa (Islamic Teaching) during weekends in my
workplace. As time passes by, I've been learning
about Islam. I feel everything will turn out alright
as long as my faith with God is intact and keeps on
I hope and I
pray to God that I will be able to convince my family
to embrace Islam also. I want them to be saved from
the wrath on the Day of Judgement.
In my opinion,
the best thing a Muslim can do is to lead a life of
goodness to be a good example. That gets non-Muslims
curious and also helps them realize that the negative
stereotypes about Islam are wrong.
I was a very
committed Christian, who married a Muslim man. I
married him because of his character, because I knew
of no Christian man who so demonstrated the teachings
of Christ as this Muslim did.
Still, I was
determined to prove to my husband that he was on the
wrong path and that he should become a Christian. All
he did was ask me serious questions about my belief,
such as "Where in the Bible does Christ teach that he
When I found
that there is no such place, I began to search more
and more. After a lot of research, I became
frustrated. I read the English meaning of the Noble
Quran (ironically, that my pastor had given to me) in
order to better debate with my husband.
Instead, I found
a text harmonious with Biblical teachings. I found
comfort in the concept of One God. Thanks be to God,
we are now a Muslim family.