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A Lady’s Journey on the Path of Truth: Sharifa Carlo

Translator: Rümeysa Şevval Ayvaz

Imagine a group of people whose purpose in coming together is to denigrate Islam… In the midst of this group, we will talk about a Muslim lady named Sharrifa Carlo.
Sharrifa Carlo, an American who embraced Islam in 1985, has completed her undergraduate studies in English and Science and is a scientific research professor at a Health Sciences University.
She describes her own journey of truth as follows:
“My life was a story of plans. I had my own plans, and the people around me had theirs. And Allah had a plan too.”
I was an American girl. My surroundings were good, and I had a normal family. I didn’t use drugs or alcohol. I was quite hardworking, so people whose sole purpose was to denigrate Islam approached me.

To denigrate Islam, I needed to learn what true Islam was. For this, they wanted me to go to university to study the Qur’an and hadiths and learn. They also wanted me to work in the field of women’s rights. Our intention was to distance women from Islam and cause Muslim families to lose their existence. I also had a bias against Muslim women and Islam in my mind.
I believe that if you embark on a research journey about Islam and if you have a sincere desire to know the truth in your heart, the truth somehow finds you. As I gained knowledge about Islam, I also began to understand the true Islam.
Before embracing Islam, I researched Christianity and read about Buddhism. I studied all different religions and came to the conclusion that Islam is the truth. After three years of intensive studies, I chose Islam. Alhamdulillah, today I am a Muslim. I am grateful to Allah for this.
For me, Islam is love, peace, and good character. What you see on TV or in the media is not violence. When you truly accept Islam, you realize that everything is in the hands of Allah. You are not in control; Allah is in control. When you trust in Allah, you cannot worry.
Moment of Shahada (Declaration of Faith)

The moment of my Shahada was a very important moment for me. Because subhanAllah, I felt like I was taking my first breath in my life. And it surprised me a lot. Later, coincidentally, when I read a verse in the Qur’an about those who do not believe in Allah having a heaviness in their chests, it was exactly what I had experienced. And when I declared the Shahada, that heaviness in my chest disappeared.

“…Say, ‘It is, for those who believe, a guidance and cure.’ And those who do not believe – in their ears is deafness, and it is upon them blindness. Those are being called from a distant place.”
(Fussilat 41/44)

After Becoming Muslim

After becoming Muslim, people in the mosque came to help me. They taught me through books that provide information about Islam. There was a person from Morocco who embraced me like a friend. An Egyptian family took me in and worked with me. They made efforts for me to learn my religion, Islam. I received a lot of help from Muslims. I liked the way Muslims come together, and they showed me true brotherhood, and they made me experience it.

Advice for Those Researching Islam

Read the Qur’an, read the words of the Prophets, and learn how Muslims have learned these things. When you do that, you will have learned the true Islam, not what the media says, or what people or haters narrate.
This is how Sharrifa Carlo expresses her journey of guidance. Sometimes, there is good even in events that may appear as evil, just like in Sharrifa Carlo’s journey. Let us conclude our words with a hadith:

Umm Salamah (may Allah be pleased with her) was asked,

“O Mother of the Believers, what was the most frequent supplication of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) when he was in your presence?” She said, “His most frequent supplication was: ‘O Changer of the hearts, make my heart firm upon Your religion.'”

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