Involved with the neo-Nazi skinhead movement, Marc Springer grew up as an anti-Islam, anti-Muslim racist. His passion into reading eventually led him to read about Islam and Muslims, and finally to Islam, turning around his life completely from disbelief to a devoted worshipper of Allah. He says: People say that miracles do not happen today, but I would contend that my story proves them wrong:
I had been divorced for several years and I knew that one of the main ways to fulfill your deen is marriage. I was a bit worried about this, being a convert. I know that many Muslims come from ethnic backgrounds that would not be too welcoming of a white American convert for their daughter. This was compounded further because I had tattoos that I had gotten as a teenager, and I was very uncertain that I would find a Muslim woman and her family that would accept me.
A new friend of mine said that he knew of a sister that was looking to get married as well, so he asked her if it was OK to give me her number. I tried to call her when I first got home, but she wasn’t there so I left message. So the next day I called her back and we talked for hours. We exchanged e-mail addresses and for the next three days we talked for dozens of hours. We hardly slept those first three days. I got so little sleep I found myself falling asleep at work. We talked about all of the important things that we would need to know to make a successful marriage work.
It was clear from the beginning that we had a lot in common, and that it all centered around our devotion to our faith and to God. I had this feeling that she was meant for me. She was such a good God fearing woman and she had so much she could teach me not only about the religion, but she could help me with Arabic, as she is a native speaker. We talked on the phone and via e-mail for several months.
Talking and e-mails were wonderful, but we both knew that we had to meet each other face to face to see if the connection we had would transfer face to face. Always keeping God and our religion in mind we wanted to make sure we did everything Halal and in the proper manner. We decided, with the permission of her family, that I would visit during Ramadan of that year to join the family for dinner and the breaking of the fast. I was very nervous, and I think I had a right to be. There is one bit of information I have left out here and after I say this you will understand my nerves, my wife and her family are from Saudi Arabia, both parents were born in Makkah. My earlier fear of the cultural issues that any prospective wife and her family might have with me were compounded about 100 percent by this fact.
Trusting in God, and having a lump in my throat, I set off to meet this wonderful woman and what I supposed to be her intimidating family. I arrived in DC right before sundown and collected my bags and waited for a taxi. When it was my turn for a taxi I jumped in. The taxi driver was wearing a red and white checkered gutra (or, Arabic headdress). When I got into the taxi I greeted him with “Assalaamu Alaykum” and he returned the greeting. The sun had gone down and he was just breaking his fast with a date, he asked if I was fasting, and when I replied in the positive, he offered me one of his own dates to break my fast. It turned out this nice older gentleman was originally from Afghanistan. I saw this is a very positive sign.
After dropping off my luggage at my hotel I proceeded to the family’s house with a traditional gift of dates and incense in hand. As I got out of the taxi and started walking up to the door I just said “Bismillah” to myself and knew God would choose the best for me. All sorts of scenarios played through my mind. She would like me, but the family would hate me. The family wouldn’t mind, but she would be indifferent. What if they liked me and I didn’t like them? The 20 feet from the curb to the door seemed to be miles. Finally I got to the door and rang the bell.
What seemed to be a dozen people answered the door, family elders, people my age, sisters, sons, daughters, and family friends. I was warmly welcomed and asked to come into the house. After I entered I was asked to take off my shoes and join the family in the meal they had made for me. It turned out, Alhamdulillah, that I need not have been worried. The family and I took to each other instantly. In talking during the dinner and after it was clear that the nice young lady and I had a connection that transcended the miles and the phone line.
I came back to the DC area that January where we were married in front of friends and family. We took a nice honeymoon, and then I had to return to my work in Alaska, which was not to finish until the end of April. When it finished I moved to the DC area where I took up a job with a division of my company here. I have been here almost two years now.
It is amazing, Subhan’Allah, how God led me from disbelief in a home filled with hate, and guided me to Him. At first glance it might seem that in my childhood house I couldn’t have been farther from Allah, but I would argue that wasn’t the case. Allah was always there looking out for me. He directed me through some dangerous and bad times to become the man and the Muslim that I am today.
People say that miracles do not happen today, but I would contend that my story proves them wrong.
• Courtesy: islamicbulletin.org