My story of accepting Islam is nothing special.
Although, I consider it to be the most special day of my life and a focal point of change in all aspect of myself; from my diet, to my mindset, my ideology, belief and physical appearance. Diet because as a Muslim I have become more concerned about the foods that I eat, and physical appearance because I already started to grow my beard which I previously thought was grotisque.
It happened 14 years ago during my life as an education student, but as far as I can remember my interest in studying the ethnic cultures of the maranao tribe, who are known to be Muslims, started long way ahead.
I was a student of Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro, and I am actively participating in their religious fora. In this event, I met a Muslim sister who is unlike any other lady. She was so refined and disciplined. She was the only one who is wearing her uniforms with sleeves down to the wrist and a long skirt down to her ankles, and wearing her hijab like covering her whole body. I was so suprised that in the second semester she happens to be my classmate in one subject. So I thought this a good oppurtunity to ask her about their Islamic culture.
Almost everyday we had a good and satisfying conversation. I can still feel that she is not comfortable talking to me, as she keeps reminding me to keep distance and to talk only about academic matters and topics related to religion. She doesn’t even look at me in the eye. I was thinking that maybe she is afraid that other Muslims might see her talking to a non-Muslim guy. And so we talked about religion where I debated their faith and think of it as obsolete and medieval or ancient faith. I had totally no idea about Islam that time because what I only knew are from dubious sources and biased book and news, where they portray Islam inaccurately. Eveytime I tried to explain to her the divinity and superiority of Jesus as the son of God and as the savior of humanity, she always had what seems to be a ready reply and emphasized tawhid to me, a concept that is not unknown to Christianity but has not been given a careful attention.