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On the afternoon of the 22nd of December 2012, I found myself sitting in my study at home, beholding my desk as though it were a sunrise on the horizon. The Quran on my left, my computer in front of me and The Bible on my right. A book titled Miss God'ed lingering by my side, with highlighter pens scattered about, and my study pen clenched in my hand. My notebook overflowed with references... and then it struck me, there was absolutely no study material left that could confirm that God is 3-in-1. There was absolutely no doubt in my heart BUT to believe like Jesus: "Hear o Israel The Lord, our God, The Lord IS ONE."

That Christmas my heart could not bear to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I had so many mixed emotions. For so many years I had associated partners with the Almighty God and I didn't want to do anything " even the smallest act" to hurt my Creator. 

It was a dull Christmas for my family. I was always the one who arranged everything for that day. Our house would always be filled with bright lights, an enormous Christmas tree, the aroma of food, drinks, sweets and gifts. But this Christmas was different - there was little recall for the birth of Jesus Christ, the son of God, the one to die for our sins, to be raised up again. This day I could not associated any partners with God. 

With the house cast in a shadow-Christmas, and my family opposed to the neglect of bright lights, my heart shone like the rising sun. I was at peace and filled with truth, a solace I could never imagine. Once the truth is revealed, one cannot live a lie composed by the writings of men and their accounts of guidance.

The Almighty declares within the Quran that this Deen is a journey to embark upon. While some may run towards His remembrance and guidance, others may choose to walk, and some may only take one step at a time. For as long as one's scenery changes as one grows closer to God and gains knowledge, a destination of peace will be found.

This journey is not always easy, it took me one year and six months before I was comfortable enough to cover my hair in public. It took me one year and six moths to overcome the fear of rejection from my family, colleagues and community - but as this fear lingered within my chest, I found the courage to put my trust whole-heatedly within the Almighty.

It was a long road to be accepted as a Muslim by my parents, family members, clients and friends. This acceptance, however important, was only secondary to the peace I have uncovered in my decision to follow this path. The Almighty has since saw to it that everything falls into place in my life, according to His will.  

Some key elements I discovered upon my journey from the point of acceptance is to not judge others, to realize that one is not the turner of hearts for someone to embrace Islam, to not argue about religion but to share one's understanding, to respect others' opinions, to look at peoples' hearts and not their status or wealth. We can only pray for one another, only God knows the intentions within our hearts and to Him alone belongs The day of Judgement. 
 

Allah knows how important it is for our Muslims to respect and to love our parents, to build our family ties, even if they are not Muslims. The Quran teaches us to love and to respect our parents at all times. Today I can honestly say my parents have accepted me as a Muslim and we love and respect one another more than ever before.   

My only child Ashraf (Arno) wanted to work for God as a Christian. During his student gap-year he worked overseas. Without his knowledge I put a Quran in his luggage -  By the grace and mercy of God he returned home as a Muslim. 

I want to thank:

  • My Creator for opening my and my son's eyes.
  • My client who gave me a copy of The Quran.
  • The teachings of Jesus in the Bible KJV New Testament.
  • The Deen Show where I have come across Dr. Laurence Brown who wrote the book Miss God'ed - Thank you, Doctor, for your knowledge and the research you have done. 
  • Shanaaz Khan for introducing me to Asma Hendricks. Today Asma has become my spiritual mom and best friend. We always pray together. 
  • The Discover Islamic center, more specifically, Zhagaria and Rushana Philander who first taught me the 5 pillars of Islam and how to pray in Arabic.  

Our lives are a spiritual journey towards our Creator. 

My parents

Mom and dadMom and dadAlhamdul'illah we are blessed to see each other every day. How thankful I am that Allah has given me two good parents who have brought us up to believe in our own abilities. 

My parents are God fearing people with a strong Christian belief. I respect and love them unconditionally. 

 

My son Ashraf Schneider and I 

My son and I My son and I

Today Ashraf and I pray together to the One God, the God of Adam, Abraham, Ismael, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, Jesus and our beloved prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings to all our prophets for their courage to tell the truth to their people. 

Ashraf has devoted his full time to God. You will find his testimony and studies by searching his name and surname.

 

 

 

Asma (my spiritual mom) and I 

Asma Hendricks and IAsma Hendricks and I

If we visit one another we pray together and our conversations are mostly about Allah.  
With her actions she has taught me to be patient, to listen more, to say less and to respect others' opinions.

Asma is a woman with wisdom who has never asked me to change.
She is indeed a God-conscious woman who can hear and see with her spiritual heart.