KABEER YOUSUF –
For the believers, the holy month of Ramadhan is a time of great dedication to the five pillars of Islam. For the new converts, it is an opportunity to elevate their faith and to reconnect with the most basic of their faith.
Hanan aka Nur Al Khamar, is an Italian who responded to her inner calling of searching for truth and became a Muslim after she studied the Holy Quran and followed the lifestyle of Prophet Mohammed (May Peace be Upon Him) in 2014.
“My first Ramadhan gave me a great feeling, a feeling that I belonged to a sheltering ummaa, finally”, an emotion-laden Hanan shared.
“As soon as my first Ramadhan started, I felt cleaner after every passing day. I felt the connection with Allah. I could speak to him freely about anything bothering me but also about my new happiness because of Him in my new life. My sense of loneliness eased because I knew I had sisters and brothers I could count on”, she added
Hanan came with her ex-husband to the Arab world in 1977 to Abu Dhabi.
“I remember, as I was watching then, when out in the desert, the members of the caravans, prayed on the sand. It was a marvellous sight that moved my soul,” she said.
“To hear the adhan coming from small mosques in the villages was inspiring and moving. Tears usually spilt out of my eyes every time. I couldn’t figure out why,” she said.
Bothered by her overwhelming emotions, she searched for what triggered her emotions. She studied various books authored by intellectuals in different languages and noted down her own observations for many years and started searching for eternal peace only to understand that the peace she was in search of was actually searching for her, according to her.
“It was a difficult phase in my life for I’ve been going through a tumultuous journey of thoughts wanting me to settle down at my own space and my own belief.”
After her stint in the United Arab Emirates, she went back to Canada and for a time set aside what was conflicting her. Her visit to Oman rekindled her yearning of figuring out what she was feeling.
“I went to visit the Sultan Qaboos Mosque and the sense of belonging grew stronger and stronger, till the day I decided to convert in 2014. I remember only an endless stream of tears and a sense of peace. My new name is Hanan and another given name at the Shari’ah College is Nur al Khamar which I love more”.
Since then, she said, she found the peace and contentment she was looking for and she finally stopped crying every time she heard the adhan.
“I must say it was a marvellous experience,” Nur al Khamar said with a smile.