The new Muslims who came together in the spiritual atmosphere of the month of Ramadan and opened iftar with zamzam water and ajva dates, experienced the joy of meeting each other with the joy of Ramadan and iftar in that spiritual atmosphere.
(The people in the photo, left to right: Isabella Bayona, Isabella's mother Liliana Zapata, Tijen Partl, and Ester Sorhegui)
Ester Sorhegui, who is of Cuban descent and settled in America many years ago and became a Muslim about year ago, is still working and fasting, although she is 68 years old.
We asked Esther, “What prompted you to accept Islam at this age?' She replied: “I was always interested in researching religions from a very young age, I always trying to find the truth. That's why I read many books. I researched other religions, I was looking for truth and God. I believed in God in the past too, but today I'm not only believe, I know with all my heart that God exists.
I was late to accept Islam
One day, I met a woman named Tijen Partl, at the place where I worked. It whas a friendly Muslim woman with a wearing scarf on head. I was a little sad that day, it was my birthday and no one had said 'happy birthday' to me, it was like I had so many friends but non of them seemed to cared about... When I met Tijen, I told her that, she said 'I care, it doesn't matter if I know you. God loves you, just know that. It is good that God created you,' she said and hugged me. I was so impressed with her, I never let go of her after that. Now I had someone to ask the questions that were on my mind, and I immediately started asking them. With her help, I became a Muslim and took shadah. My only regret is that I was late in accepting Islam. I am now 68 years old and still have to work. My memory is not that strong anymore and there is a lot to learn” Ester, who was very happy and touched when she presented the Quran with Arabic and Spanish annotation, which has been waiting for its owner for years, said, "I know, by the direction of fate, I came here today to receive this Quran that has been waiting for me." We also gave a small Risale-i Nur book in Spanish as a gift.
STORY OF TİJEN PARTL
Tijen Partl also has an interesting life story. Tijen, who is 48 years old and originally Turkish, married an American gentleman at a very young age and settled in America. Tijen, who was only a Muslim in name for years and did not know anything about Islam, started going to church after her husband, who took shadah and married her in 1996 encouraged her to go to church a year later because he got bored with the lifestyle of neither church nor mosque. After she broke up with her husband 4 years ago, she is on a plane trip to Turkey. American lady named Jessica, who is married to an
Egyptian Muslim and lives in Turkey, was sitting next to her during the trip, she insisted to Tijen to, "read the Qur'an with Turkish explanation" insistently and said that she would send her the Qur'an. Tijen Partl, on the other hand, asks her family for the Quran without waiting for Jessica to send it. After reading the Quran, Tijen started covering up and prayering.
Isabella Bayona 22 who converted to the Islam in January of this year, Story of conversion was published in Yeni Asya on February 16, 2002, also came with her mother.
(For those who are wondering: She chose The Shahadah as a birthday present for herself)
This Ramadan, Isabella's first Ramadan, has a special significance for her. Isabella's mother, Liliana Zapata, who attended an iftar dinner with us for the first time, said that she felt a peaceful and calm atmosphere prevailing inside, and that it was a relief to see that everyone was very sincere. She added that her daughter Isabella told her that she had these same feelings after she took her shadah. We gave her a small Risale-i Nur book a gift along with the Quran, which is only in Spanish. After a nice and meaningful iftar dinner for everyone, we left with the hope to meet again.
We presented the Qur'an and the smal book from Risale collection.
When Ester presented with the Quran with Arabic and Spanish annotation, which has been waiting for its owner for years, Ester became very happy and moved. We also gave a small pamphlet in Spanish as a gift.
GEVRİYE SHAMSIDDEN - TEXAS / AMERICA