I believe in one God. I converted to Islam. I am from Guatemala and I was raised Christian, in a Catholic family. Growing up, there were a lot of things that I didn’t believe in. The first question I started to ask my mother was, why do they say there are three gods? My mother told me, you know, “when you go to heaven you will understand that”. But I read the whole Bible, and I knew a lot about the Catholic religion. In the end, I had enough knowledge to leave Catholicism. Because I really believe in one God.
For me, everything demonstrates that there is one God. The creation! It’s not evolution! [laughing] Because, who created that? It cannot be just magic. Who was the magician?
I started to research about Islam before I converted. First, a Muslim family gave me a Quran in Spanish, and it really impacted me a lot. The way Allah talks in there is so different from the Bible. Totally different. I thought, “this is the truth”. I don’t need to interpret, I am not reading between the lines as I was with the Bible. The Bible needs to be explained to you. And even then, there are so many explanations! But in the Quran, the message is direct.
[An argument breaks out at the mosque after prayer. She observes the scene and giggles] We are not perfect. Nobody is. But we are struggling to become that way. Every day you learn. The knowledge is there, you can take any book and learn. Nothing is hidden, everything is open for you. Of course you have to verify the source, because nowadays they are inventing anything in order to deviate people.
There are a lot of misinterpretations about women, about how a woman lives, including among Muslims. We are not perfect, and sometimes the misinterpretations are cultural. People who are born as Muslims confuse a lot of their culture, their traditions, with the religion. That’s why you can see many strange things in different countries: marriage for instance. There are some cultures where you can force a marriage, and that is not Islam. Nobody can force no one to marry, if she doesn’t want it. In the religion, it’s not accepted; by Allah it’s not accepted. But some cultures do it.
If I cannot pray, and do the ritual before prayer – you have to be clean – at the time of prayer, I can do it later. But I have to do that missed prayer before doing the next one. When I was working the whole day, it was hard for me. During work I didn’t find any good, clean place. And then when I get home I have to do all my missed prayers. But, for me it was better, because I could concentrate, be more relaxed to offer my prayer to Allah.