I Find Islam to be the Only Religion which is Scientific

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SHAFAQNA-

Sister Simone! Rahyafte team (related to Edoardo Agnelli Islamic Association) appreciates you for agreeing to hold an interview and also for the time you allocated to us.

First of all please tell us about yourself. (Name, country, job, field of study, degree, your background, age, where you were raised, and anything interesting about your background)

 

My Name is Simone Dønvang, I am Danish (Denmark) and I’m 28 years old. I am studying International Marketing and Trading and have previously worked as a marketing manager and associate producer for an advertising company.

I have my own e-commerce, where I sell Scandinavian Islamic posters (doenvang.com) where I exploit my abilities within marketing/branding/business as well as combining them with my creative nature.

 

How many brothers and sisters do you have? And how do you stand in your family?

I have two siblings. A younger brother who’s in high school and a sister who’s studying communication in university. I am the oldest one.

 

Please tell us about your previous religion, before converting to Islam!

No specific religion. I did a lot of searching, and has always been interested in philosophical questions regarding what we are, where we come from, what happens, why people behave in a certain way etc. My family is predominantly atheists.

No one had an explanation for anything in any real way. I love science, which is why I love Islam. I find Islam to be the only religion which is scientific.

 

How did you become familiar with Islam? What specifically attracted you to Islam?

I grew up with a lot of Muslim friends, but it was never a talk beside, when they visited we just didn’t eat bacon.

I had a friend when I was a teenager who was pushing very hard for me to find Islam, and it ended up pushing me away. I felt like she was pushing it down my throat, which completely put me off. She started to give me rules and so on – and wanted me to fear God.

Till this day, I think people should learn to love God, not fearing Him. If you fear something, your instinct tells you to run away. If you love something, you want to be closer to it.

I didn’t find Islam until I was 24 and was drawn to it naturally.

 

 

When and how did you convert to Islam? Please also talk about your last second before converting.

I made up my mind to convert to Islam, when I was reading the Quran, and looked everything up in science. Quran is logical and there is a reason for everything in the Quran. It makes sense.

So I sat silently and said the shahada in my room alone.

I officially converted to Islam, when I was visiting the Imam Reza Shrine in Iran. I just felt relieved. I felt like I had found something which was true, and I felt at peace with that–even knowing that I would be facing a long period of questioning and judgement from my family and my own people, when I would become public about converting to Islam.

 

Did you ever hesitate to say Shahadah?

No

How do you feel when you work for your Akherah (hereafter)?

I think it is still very abstract to work towards the afterlife, as most people have issues to even work through the current one. I think most people forget the ones around them here, not knowing if the poor person on the street, might be an angel in disguise seeing if you are helping the poor and being good. A lot of people are focusing on praying, but are forgetting everything else. Humanity!

 

Did you have any problem with your family members when you accepted Islam?

I think it is quite obvious that people who convert to Islam are facing issues with their families. Mine did not understand, as they have always seen me as a very logical person, who is smart and so on. They are still baffled. However, the easiest way to make them understand is to talk to them from their perspective.

When I explain why I wear hijab, I cannot say that it is because of God, as they will not understand it as atheists. Instead I explain it from a non-religious perspective; that I wear it because I don’t want strange men to come over and hit on me. I don’t want men to look at me with sexual thoughts. They understand that.

When I explain how praying has provided with a structure to my life, they understand.

 

How did you come up with and control the clashes with your family members?

I talk to them in a perspective, they can relate to.

 

Did they (your family) try to convince you not to revert to Islam?

No – I converted to Islam without them knowing it. They are still offering me a glass of wine or a beer, when we are meeting for family gatherings, and they are still asking to see my hair etc. But it is minor things, which are easy to handle.

 

Did the people around you cut the relationship with you after converting to Islam?

I’ve never been a person with a lot of relationships. But I think people found it weird. But I guess not. I always traveled, so I have never been super attached to people from my past.

 

What were your family members’ reactions when you were practicing Islam or doing your prayers?

They didn’t notice at first. Their reaction to hijab was to back off as they felt I wore it to push them away.

 

What was your feeling when you prayed for the first time? Wasn’t it hard for you to pray 5 times a day?

I was given a handbook on how to pray, so I guess I was concentrated, trying to know the meaning in English first, as it made more sense when I could understand the prayers.

The hardest part about praying in Western Countries is convenience. Life is not made for it here, and most work environments aren’t allowing it. It is not hard when you want it in your heart.

 

When and how did you announce your convert to Islam?

It came slowly. I didn’t make a huge announcement. Most people thought it was just a phase until I got married to my husband. Until then they didn’t really believe I was going to stay a Muslim and then they blamed him for keeping me in Islam.

 

How do you see the spread of Islam in your country?

All the attention makes people curious, which eventually leads people to convert. I meet more and more people who are finding Islam. At the same time, I see more and more born Muslims who are struggling to stay on an Islamic path.

Danish people grow up with lots of alcohol and sex, which we are used to. By definition the Muslim population is growing, but I think less and less people are practicing within the communities.

 

Many people think that religions are the main cause of problems in the world today, did you believe that too?

I’ve never thought so. Even without Islam, you would still have radical religious people, who would destroy the reputation of a minority. I don’t think the world would have been different in that perspective. You still have radical communists, and radical nationalists. Extremism has nothing to do with religion!

 

Did you find anything illogical in your last religion?

When I was a pre-teen I was exploring Christianity, and a girl I knew died from a very aggressive form of cancer. I asked my priest why she died in such a painful way, and he answered: “This is God’s way of punishing her family.”

It didn’t make sense for me, and I could not support a God like that.

 

Did you use Media like You Tube, Facebook, etc. to be more familiar with Islam?

No – I read the Quran. There are lots of “Google Imams” who are making up toxic content for Muslims. God gave us the Quran to read it. So all answers are in the Quran.

 

How was the effect of reading the Holy Quran on you? How did the Holy Quran Influence you?

It was an eye-opener, as it is words and descriptions of the things I felt for a long time, but couldn’t point out myself. I feel at peace when reading the Quran, and whenever I feel lost or confused, it brings me down to earth and back on track.

 

What is the most beautiful Ayah in Holy Quran? (Say your opinion)

“Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, who taught (to write) with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.” (Surah Al Alaq 96:1-5).

 

Why do most of the media attack Islam? Why most of the Media are against Islam?

It is not Media but the people who are controlling media. If politicians can create a hate towards Muslims and Islamic countries, people will back wars and conflicts.

World powers (quite obvious who) are making a lot of money on selling weapons and ammunitions. Their economy is based on weapons, which is why they need to keep conflicts going. I always point out that a conflict like the one in Kashmir – that both sides are purchasing weapons from the same country.

Medias are just used to brainwash people into hating Musliمms, so they can get support to create wars and eventually profit for themselves.

 

What’s your opinion about hijab? Has wearing hijab had any negative effects on your private life? Do you think it is only dedicated to women?

Both men and women have a mandatory hijab. I don’t think hijab means scarf, rather than a state of mind. It bothers me that men are so focused on women’s hijab, and not their own. It is commanded in the Quran that if a man sees an attractive woman, he needs to lower his gaze.

Both men and women are responsible for hijab.

People often see me as oppressed and brainwashed because I choose to wear hijab, but I feel empowered. I love my hijab. However it is something which should be felt at heart.

 

Has wearing hijab limited any activities of your normal life?

Not really. People look at me differently but hijab is a state of mind. I don’t feel limited. I have my own company and I can move around freely. I wear a burkini to the beach and a sports hijab when I exercise.

 

How do you analyze women’s right in Islam compared to what the west has propagated?

Women in the west are oppressed in a very different way. We are taught to be sexy and that we should want men to desire us. Our value is very much equal to the desire of a man. I am really tired of the “a free woman is a naked woman, who is like a man” idea. The western view of women’s rights is very distorted.

It is not just men but women as well. I don’t think we have any real respect towards one another. We are taught it is okay to just use another human for satisfaction. It is very sad.

In Islam women are not a thing to use and throw away. In Islam you are not allowed to treat each other without value. Both men and women have obligations towards one another.

 

How do you analyze the family institution according to Christianity and Islam?

They are very familiar and yet not. Christianity has so many secrets. If Christianity was the answer, why is there be a secret library in the Vatican, that normal people are not allowed to access? If Christianity was the true religion, they would not cover things up and only select some Gospels over others.

 

As a convert, what way of inviting to Islam you believe is more effective on non-Muslims?

I don’t like to label myself “a convert”. I converted to Islam to be a Muslim – not a convert. I think we need to stop labeling each other, and just be Muslims. So – I am not a convert – I am a Muslim.

Learn to speak a language they understand and be a good example. Learn Islam from a scientific perspective, from where you can speak to non-believers. Educate yourself and show that Islam is guiding you into being more successful in this life and brings you peace and does not hold you back.

 

How do Muslims supply their own Halal food? Is there a main shop for it? What is its name?

There are many halal stores here, and there are organizations which marks the food halal in regular supermarkets (with a halal stamp).

 

If you want to say some words about the beauty of Islam, the peace, the calmness you have found in this religion what would you say?

Sometimes you must lose everything to gain everything. I found Islam, but I lost a lot of things as well. I don’t think everyone is prepared to have their world scattered. God is often putting you through a huge test after converting, where you are questioning everything once again.

I think the most beautiful thing is to love Allah and trust that you are on the right path.

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