Sara Hermansson was born in
Mariestad, Sweden. 27 years later, she tells us how
she in 2004, found her "way to the most beautiful
By Sara Hermansson (from IslamOnline
with permission, slightly edited)
How was your life
before finding your way to Islam?
My life before
Islam was empty in a way. Just the feeling to live for
the day and not knowing the meaning and purpose of
life. My self-confidence was quite weak. I didn't feel
that I belonged anywhere in the society, something was
missing. I was searching for something, I just didn't
know what it was at that time.
What was the turning
point that led you to choose Islam?
It was a long
journey and it took time. I knew there was and is a
God, I just couldn't identify myself with
Christianity. God for me has always been something so
great and big that my mind is limited to understand
what He is. This, as God has such great power and can
not be compared to a human being. God has no
limitation, he is capable to do whatever He desires.
I searched for a
long time among different religions and the more I
came to know about Islam, the more I felt Islam is the
full truth and it made complete sense. Islam described
God as I had always imagined Him.
What do you love most
What I mostly
love about Islam is Allah's love and mercy.
What does being a
Muslim mean to you?
For me, being a
Muslim means to live in peace with yourself and your
friends, family and the whole society. And to show the
best behaviour as possible, according to Prophet
Muhammad's (peace and blessings be upon him) Sunnah
and how he treated people and how he showed love,
charity and mercy. And also to please Allah (swt)
[Editor's note: (swt) is an abbreviation for Subhanahu
wa Taala, used by Muslims, meaning Almighty] and
follow His words and ask for forgiveness and thank
Allah (swt) for everything.
What would you like
to tell people about Islam?
Islam gives you
a rich life, in the sense that life has a purpose and
you feel peace and love in your heart.
Do you think Islam is
relevant to today's world? How?
I believe Islam
is very much relevant to the world today. There is so
much hatred in the world and a lot of people have the
wrong concept of Islam, which is in many ways our own
(we Muslims) mistakes in showing Islam in a wrong way.
We need to show Islam in a peaceful way and with
What do you think
Islam has to offer the world today?
Islam has many
things to offer the world today. For example, charity
is very much emphasized and to not be greedy regarding
money and material things. To share love with your
neighbors and with strangers. To keep self-respect, to
show that confidence is not to show your body, it is
to protect it; which is the ground to confidence and
What are the
obstacles that you faced after embracing Islam?
- From family,
friends, and associates, etc.
unfortunately many misconceptions about Islam. For
example, that women are oppressed and forced to do
whatever men say. So, it was not strange that my
parents were not happy after I told them that I
reverted to Islam, but they knew that I started to
read about Islam since a long time before that.
They had and
still have a negative view about Islam. Very much due
to what is portrayed in media, but also because of the
many bad actions done by Muslims who fail to correctly
represent their religion. Unfortunately, I am held
responsible for other peoples acts.
My parents do
accept me and they love me very much and when I'm
there at their house they always cook food that I can
eat as well. In that way they respect me, but they do
feel ashamed if I need to pray somewhere.
is that they think that I'm helping them a lot and
that I'm very caring.
Some of my
friends reacted in a negative way when I became
Muslim. I have no longer any relationship with some of
Others, I still
got a relationship with, but I try not to discuss
Islam too much with them, as some could feel
uncomfortable with that. However, they do sometimes
ask me things.
My parents are
not keen on discussing Islam. With time, I pray they
will start asking and become Muslims inshaAllah (God
It's in the
hands of Allah. I try to be kind to them, help them as
much as possible, respect them and just show good
I guess my
relatives think I'm strange to revert to Islam, but
none of them ever commented about it.
- From the Arabic
language and/or specific acts of worship.
I have felt
frustration on not understanding Arabic. I have also
not felt completely free to pray in any place, even in
What methods of dawah
(Islamic Propagation) were used to invite you to
Islam? Were they effective?
showed charity and love and open arms had a great
effect on me.
What were you unhappy
with in your own religion/lifestyle?
I felt I did not
see a purpose with life. I had an empty feeling; no
After accepting Islam
did you embrace a whole new way of life; or did you
experience just isolated changes to your life style?
I embraced a
whole new way of life with daily prayers, etc. I'm
still doing the things I liked to do before that are
How difficult was it
to believe in Muhammad (peace be upon him)?
It was not
difficult for me to accept the belief in Prophet
Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). When you
read about his beautiful way in dealing with people
with understanding and love and his respect and love
to people as well as animals in addition to how
logical his acts were, it's easy to believe in him.
What role did current
events have on your journey to Islam?
had the effect of "A wakeup call".
Did the search for a
spiritual path lead to other religions before finally
Yes, I read
about Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism before embracing
Islam, I believe that knowledge about other religions
is very relevant to be able to compare and to get a
larger understanding for your own religion and for
If we, as
Muslims, want people to understand and respect us and
our religion; we must act in the same way to others.
What is your current
state after embracing Islam?
Islam has given
me a feeling of peace and harmony. It's a feeling of
satisfaction that I found the truth.