My name is Ismail. I am Romanian and Hungarian and I live in California. I became a Muslim almost 5 years ago at the age of 17.
For me it all started while playing basketball, where I met someone who is still one of my best friends to this day. He gave me dawah and we argued about religion back and forth for about 4 years.
I was a Christian and he was a Muslim. He asked me questions I didn’t really have answers to, eventually all these questions started turning into doubts about Christianity. I always had a respect for Islam since I met him, and I actually thought it was very cool to see the Muslims take a break from playing and pray salah.
Eventually I prayed and asked God, “If Christianity is the right religion, make all my friends Christian, if Islam is the right religion, then make me a Muslim.” About a week later I took my shahada at the very basketball court where it all started Alhamdulillah it was the best decision I ever made in my life.
Before Islam, I was the most favoured in the family. I was the favourite nephew, the favourite grandson, the favourite cousin etc. After Islam, I became the most disliked in the whole family.
My grandma told me I’m not her grandson anymore, my cousins called me a devil worshipper, my aunts and uncles sent me hundreds of pages of their research and talked to me for hours on end trying to change my mind. They said the most hateful things you can think of about Islam and about my beloved Muhammad that many nights I could not sleep because out of sadness I was crying so much.
Before Islam family was everything to me I sacrificed a lot for them so for them to say these things to me really hurt me and affected me. I understand why they did it however, because they loved me and wanted the best for me.
At the end of the day I love my mother with all my heart and Islam taught me how to be a better son to her and how to be a better brother to my sister and brother. May Allah guide them to Islam so they too can feel the peace and tranquillity of this beautiful deen.