impressive story of a how a German teenager converted
to Islam and won the respect of his classmates.
By Yahya Schroder (from islamonline.net with
My name is Yahya
Schroder. I am a "European" Muslim. I became Muslim
11 months ago when I was 17. I am living now in
Potsdam, Germany and I want to share my experience
with you as a Muslim in a non-Muslim state.
As a convert to
Islam, I think it's much easier to follow the deen
(religion) than a born Muslim who is been raised up
here. Almost all young born-Muslims I know want to
become German. For them Islam is only a tradition and
they think that they have to give up their tradition
(Islam) to be accepted by the Germans, despite the
fact that the Germans won't accept them even if they
gave up their religion.
I grew up in a
little village. I lived with my mother and my
stepfather in a huge house with a big garden and a big
pool. And as a teenager I "lived a cool life;" I had
some friends whom I used to hang around with, do
stupid things and drink alcohol like every young
The life of a
Muslim in Germany is quite difficult than one would
think especially for me as a German Muslim because
when someone asks a German what they know about Islam;
they would tell you something about Arabs. For them
it's like mathematical operation, Islam = Arabs.
They still don't
know about our big nation. When I converted to Islam
I had to leave my family and I moved to the community
in Potsdam near Berlin. I left this huge house and
all my material valuable stuff.
When I lived
with my mother and my stepfather I had everything; a
big house, my own money, TV, Play-station. I was
never concerned about money, but I wasn't happy. I
was searching for something else.
When I turned 16
I met the Muslim community in Potsdam through my
biological father who became Muslim in 2001. I used
to visit my father once a month and we used to attend
the meetings of the community which were held on
At that time, I
was interested in Islam, and my father noticed this
and told me one day that he wouldn't speak about Islam
when we are together because he wanted me to learn
from people of greater knowledge so that other people
won't say: "Oh he became Muslim just because he's 17
and does everything his father does."
I agreed and I
started visiting the community every month and learned
a lot about Islam but at that time something happened
and changed my way of thinking. One Sunday, I went
with the Muslim community swimming and I broke my back
twice by jumping in the pool and I hit the ground with
brought me to the hospital and the doctor told me:
"You have broken
your back quite bad and if you did one wrong movement
you'll become handicapped."
This didn't help
me much, but then just a few moments before they
bought me to the operation room. One of my friends of
the Muslims community, told me something. "Yahya, you
are now in the hands of Allah (God), it's like a
rollercoaster. Now you are on the top enjoy the ride
and just trust in God." This really helped me.
took five hours and I woke up after 3 days. I
couldn't move my right arm but I was feeling like the
happiest person on this earth. I told the doctor that
I don't care about my right arm I'm so happy that God
has let me survive.
The doctors had
told me that I have to stay in the hospital for a few
months. I stayed for only two weeks there, because I
was training very hard. One day a doctor came and
said: "today we will try to take one step on the
staircase," the exercise that I did on my own two days
before the doctor told me.
Now, I can move
my right arm again and I was just two weeks there
Al-hamdu lillah (thanks God). This accident
changed a lot in my personality.
I noticed when
God wants something; the individual's life can be
turned over in one second. So, I took life more
serious and started thinking more about my life and
Islam, but I was still living in this little village.
My wish to
become Muslim became so strong that I had to leave my
family. I left my stepfather, my mother and the nice
luxury lifestyle to go to Potsdam. I moved to my
father's apartment which is rather small and I had to
stay in the kitchen but it was okay because I had
nothing just a very few clothes, school books, and
It must sound
for you like I lost everything but I am very happy,
I'm as happy as when I woke up in the hospital after
the dreadful accident. The next day was the first day
of Ramadan. The day after this was my first school
day in my new school.
The day after my
first day in school I said Shahadah (the
testimony of becoming a Muslim), praise be to God.
So, everything was new for me, new apartment, new
school, and first time without my family. Like in my
school when they first noticed that I am a Muslim they
started to make jokes at me.
I think this is
usual because of what they learned from the media. "A
terrorist," "Osama bin Laden is coming," "Muslims are
dirty," some people thought I am just a crazy guy.
And they even didn't believe me that I am German.
But now after 10
months the situation changed. I made a lot of
dawah (inviting to Islam) to my classmates and now
I even have a praying room although I'm the only
Muslim in my school.
changed from making jokes to asking serious question
about Islam and they noticed that Islam is not a
religion like the other religions. They noticed Islam
They see that we
Muslims have Adab (good manners) in dealing
with each other. They noticed that we are
independent from all this peer pressure; we just keep
it real we don't need to be in a special group like in
At my school
there are three main groups: the hip hop guys; the
punks; and the party people. Everybody tries to be a
member of one group, so as to be accepted by others.
Except me! I
can be friends with everybody. I don't have to wear
special clothes to be "cool." So what happened is
that they are always inviting me and my Muslim friends
to their barbecue parties.
thing on this is that they respect me as a Muslim and
even more, they get Halal (allowed) food
especially for me and they have organized two barbecue
grills one for them and one for us Muslims! The
people here are very open for Islam.