Thursday, June 23, 2011

Amber Acosta, finds in Islam what she was searching for in Catholicism

Why did I become Muslim? I can clearly remember the day I officially converted at Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, I came right from the state of Connecticut (US), but what lead up to that day remains as a somewhat subconscious, yet continuous quest for God.
As a child, I was always sure of religion and God, but never in the way it was presented in Catholicism. I could never grasp how God could be three (with the Trinity), how we could pray to many people such as Jesus (peace be upon him), Mary and assorted saints, the concept of original sin, how priests could just “forgive” your sins, or why there were hundreds of completely different bibles.
Consequently, these are just a few of the things that anyone, including priests, could ever address or even explain. It was amazing that I went to church and religious education but came out without knowing exactly what I should be doing to be a good Christian. I learned I was supposed to be “good,” “giving,” “caring,” “merciful,” and many other desirable traits, but there was never any practical application for how I should go about doing that.
Without knowing it then, I was searching for a way to connect with the One God I knew and always prayed to, as well as a structure from God that would teach me exactly how I should be carrying out my life. But life went on, and with pressure from my family and objection from me, I went through the initiations into the Catholic Church. Up until college, religion was nothing more to me than a bother on Sunday mornings. God though, was still present.
I happened to go to a Catholic college and thought I would give Catholicism one last chance. I wanted so desperately to reach God. I tried my best once again to find my way through the only means I knew possible and it did not work. I finally renounced Catholicism, so that meant it was time to explore other options.
Catholicism and Christian denominations were out because of my previous troubles with them and so was Judaism because of its disbelief in Jesus. Although I had issues with Christianity, I was always sure Jesus had a powerful message to humankind — the message of worshiping one God. I could never understand how Christians ended up worshiping Jesus himself. I felt sure that he would have never wanted that. This left me with one more option — Islam.
I happened to be familiar with Islam through previous travels in Egypt, so I was open to the possibility of this faith. It was not alien to me, although at the time I did not know any Muslims other than a friend or two in Egypt.

No comments: