Hassan Malakai Aiava
I am Hassan Malakai Aiava.
I am of Samoan and Argentinian decent.
Life before Islam
I was raised Methodist, I Converted to Catholism to get married to my then wife, after 2 children and a few years later, the marriage dissolved.
My children's ages are 21 and 14.
My first encounter with a Muslim
I had a Muslim friend when I was 8 years old, unfortunately he died.
His family left a lasting impression on me. They were very welcoming generous, humble and kind.
I was running a gym and many of the members were Afghan and Lebanese Muslim.
After observing them and being amongst them and questioning them, I became interested in Islam.
One day at the gym I randomly announced to them that I wanted to become Muslim, they were shocked and wasn't sure if I was serious, they
questioned me to see if I was for real.
I said my Shahada at the Mosque in front of 50 strangers, they all welcomed and embraced me.
What do I love about Islam?
The knowledge, I have learned about Islam, the prayers in Arabic and I understand Christianity more as a Muslim.
I love that I have peace of mind and that I can read and think for myself.
I love the daily rituals.
How has Islam improved me as person?
I am more attentive to people who are less fortunate. A strong point I learned was being able to give more freely.
I have learned how to respect woman, Muslim and non Muslim through the teachings, boundary's and practices we observe.
My family likes my changes
My parents and family are supportive of me, as long as I am at peace.
As a Samoan, Argentinian Muslim what challenges have I faced?
The challenges have been learning the protocols in prayer, having the confidence to pronounce and say the Arabic words properly, as it can be quiet daunting.
Alhumdulilah my community support me.