Incredible Journey of Sister Alisa Jamerson based out of South Carolina, USA. Since early age she got attracted to Islam due to the incident when a young Hijabi girl was thrown out of school for wearing a Hijab. Read further her struggle with her family to allow her to pray and read Qur'an and her journey to Islam..
My name is Alisa Jamerson born in Oklahoma but now based in Florence, South Carolina, USA. This is my Journey to Islam.
I was 15 years old when I first learned about Islam or Muslims. Prior to that I had only heard about of them. My younger sister had told me of a classmate of hers that wore a headscarf (Hijab) that covered her hair. This classmate would not eat bacon,and had to pray five times a day! Man,I thought,that must suck! Little did I know what Allah had in store for me...
During the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school I volunteered at a hospital. My stepmother was a nurse in the Endoscopy Unit. I assisted a supervisor by running errands, answering phone calls, assisting patients, transporting patients in wheelchairs and printing and copying papers for the nurses.When it was slow I would play games on my supervisor's computer. One day out of the blue I decided to Google the classmate my sister had told me about- Nashala Hearn. She had been suspended from school for wearing her hijab,and it had made the local news. I was suddenly bombarded with a wealth of information about Islam and Muslims. I began to read and found out that they believed in one God. God? I thought to myself.
Growing up I had never been religious,which was primarily due to my father and stepmother's lack of attending church. When we did attend church it was brief. Because of this, I had never truly learned about God and Jesus,just that they were the same person. This was something I never understood. How can Jesus be God,and God be Jesus? I thought. And if Jesus was God,and Jesus(i.e.God) died on the cross,then didn't that mean that God was dead? How can God die?! He is eternal! I asked my pastor and other pastors these and many more questions,but was never given a straightforward answer. "Just have faith,and you will believe.". I was told. That didn't sit well with me. I needed answers!
I continued to read about Islam and discovered that in Islam, Muslims don't believe that Jesus and Allah(God) are the same. It is believed that they are two different beings. And also in Islam it is believed that Jesus is not God's son. That appealed to me because I also didn't understand how God could have a son. What did He need a son for?! I continued to fill my brain with information about Islam and Muslims,and the more I continued to read and learn, the more I realized that this was what I believed all along. Only one God. He has no partners, sons or daughters. He is eternal and can never die. I do not need to pray to Jesus to get to Him, I can pray to Him directly. On June 4,2006 I gave my shahadah. I was officially a Muslim!
Being Muslim was exciting yet challenging,as my father and stepmother still did not know of my conversion to Islam, let alone the fact that I had been studying the religion! I found it difficult to perform the five daily prayers and abstain from eating pork, but I did my best. One day I decided I was tired of sneaking around to read the Qur'an and pray and I decided to tell my father about my conversion. I felt that he would be understanding. I was wrong.
My father accused me of wanting to be a "terrorist". My stepmother claimed that she couldn't be a part of something that didn't believe that Jesus was God. My brother and sisters could have cared less.I was forbidden from learning about Islam or talking to Muslims. I had to give up my Holy Qur'an and free Islamic literature. I was devastated, but did as I was told.
Secretly though, I continued to learn about Islam. I watched videos on Islamic websites,chatted online with Muslim sisters and even got another Qur'an from Nashala Hearn. After my conversion to Islam my parents began to start taking us to church more often.I guess they wanted to get my mind off of Islam and Muslims.We bounced from church to church until we finally settled at one. During this time my parents made me speak with various pastors about Islam, all who, of course, had negative things to say about the faith. One day I was at a church picnic and the pastor was doing baptisms in the river. My dad looked over and said,"Are you going to get baptized?" I felt like he expected it of me,so I did it. The pastor mumbled a few words and sprinkled water over my head because I didn't want to get in the river. Now I was a Christian, no longer a Muslim.
When I became Christian I suddenly began to take my faith seriously. I bought a Bible and began to read it,trying to focus on Jesus and what "he said". I started to attend Christian youth groups at school,and had daily discussions about the Bible with my Christian friends. But still, in the back of my mind, I could not understand how Jesus was supposed to be God and vice versa. I did not understand the Trinity. I still had the same questions about Christianity,and my friends could not answer them. I even went to church with one of my friends,trying out different denominations. Nothing sat right with me.
I started to look into many other religions. I believed in Jesus,so Judaism was out. I always had a strong belief in One God,so Hinduism was out. I didn't understand Buddhism's philosophy,so that was out as well. I even looked into Krishna Consciousness,because they believed in one god,but I came to find out that they believed that Krishna was god,and that they also believed in reincarnation. So that was out as well.
I finished high school,never fully accepting any religion. I began to become worldly,only living for that day,that moment. I had a part time job and attended college full time. One day I was reading the newspaper during work and skimmed over the obituaries. I read the obituary of a 20 year old girl who was killed in a car accident. It hit me then. That could have been me! I can die right now,not knowing God.
"Every soul shall have a taste of death: And only on the Day of Judgement shall you be paid your full recompense. Only he who is saved from the Fire and admitted to the Garden will have succeeded. For the life of this world is but goods of chattels of deception" (al-Imran 3:185)
I decided right then and there that I was going to find the Truth,and accept God. I started over from scratch,researching every religion.Judaism.Christianity.Hinduism.Buddhism. And I finally came back to Islam. Alhamdulillah! I looked once again into this religion and once again liked what I was reading. I decided that Islam was definitely what I believed in. No god but Allah. Jesus was only a prophet. Muhammad was a messenger. I was accountable for my own sins,and I could pray to God directly instead of through a man or something else. I converted in December. I don't remember the date. I said my shahadah, and once again, I was Muslim!
I gave my final and official Shahadah on February 17,2010. Finally! I was officially a Muslim! I didn't have to sneak around to pray or read the Holy Qur'an. I could profess my faith freely,without fear of the consequences. I was no longer forced to attend church and pray to Jesus. I could wear the hijab now. I could say, Alhamdulillah! Allahu Akbar!,and MashaAllah!
This journey is one that I will never forget, InshAllah. I praise Allah daily for making me Muslim and showing me Islam. Even though I am not a perfect Muslim and have my faults, I still love being a Muslim and strive every day to become better as both a Muslim and a woman!
(Today sister Alisa is happily married to Muslim brother and they have a adorable little baby, who is being raised as Muslim.....Alhamdulullah and may Allah bless the family)