It is a long time now that I have wanted to write regarding my conversion to Islam. My problem has been that I did not know what to write or how to write it. One of my main concerns now is that I want to write something that is of value to someone other than me.
I can remember a few times when I was asked to speak at a masjid and I was a little bit horrified, because I had come to learn from the people there and, in turn, they wanted to learn from me. What could I say that they didn’t already know or that would be of use to them? Whenever I’ve asked myself that, the answer has always been that I could speak only of my own experiences. Well, it seems arrogant to think that other people would want to listen to me talk about myself. But, perhaps there is some value in the tale of the experience of someone who chose to become Muslim.
In the past, I have written a few very brief accounts of how I came to be Muslim and I got tremendous feedback. People wrote to me who were investigating Islam and could relate to my story or wanted information. Other people who wrote to me were born Muslim and had found inspiration in the stories of converts. I have really enjoyed meeting so many people through those brief accounts. It made me realize that something in my story must be of value to other people, so that by telling my story I may be able to improve someone’s situation.
Therefore, I begin this work in the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful, and I ask His help in making this a work that has value and that will benefit others.
Diana (Masooma) Beatty
Note: Throughout the text, “swt” is written to mean subhanahu wa ta’aala, which in the way I have remembered means “Most Glorious Most High”, and is written whenever the name of God appears. Also, “saw” is written to mean “Peace be upon him and his family”, and appears always after the mention of the Prophet of Islam. Lastly, “as” or “sa” is written to mean “Peace be upon him/her/them”. To a non-Muslim reader this may seem strange, but it is not meant to be a mystical thing. It is something like Islamic etiquette to use them, and many Muslims believe it is obligatory. I use both the words God and Allah in this text. “Allah” is simply the Arabic word for the One God, and it is used by all Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews.
The translations of Qur’an used are by Pickthall and Yusuf Ali, and the version of the Bible used is NIV.
I humbly dedicate whatever is good in this work to Imam-e-Zamana (as), may Allah (swt) hasten his reappearance.