Tena kotou tena kotou tena katoa te whanau
My name is Nathan but I am known as Abdul kariim or Ak.
I became a father in year 2000, I now have 6 children.
I have been married to my beautiful wife since 2007.
I have been Muslim since 2010 Alhumdulillah.
Daee since 2013.
Amir of South East Dawah since 2013.
Amir and President of Spinvic/Amin since 2017.
I was born and raised Christian. I went to Catholic shools, (back then most schools were religious) but my mother wasn't the best Christian!
I had a fight (fall out) with mum at a young age, (I was a naughty boy haha), and so I went to live with Dad.
My father is an Aethiest, he raised me with good morals, but no faith! However, I still had the foundation for belief, although I did not practice it.
As I grew older, I remember still retaining those morals my father taught me and I kept the values my mother showed and raised me with also.
I would never use Jesus name in vain. It was a strict belief of mine. I swore like a sailor but never cursed Jesus ever. I would always tell my friends off for doing this also.
I was accepting and welcoming to all!
Had many friends boys and girls from different schools and different groups, nationalities and religions.
Life before Islam
My life was standard and I was a father and married.
I, the same as many of you, was on the HAMSTERWHEEL of life. Get money, spend money, get wasted, sober up. Then back to get money, then spend money and so on!.....
I had no sense of purpose no direction no ambition just family work and party, but it was always party before family or work.
My first encounter with a Muslim.
I had a Turkish Muslim friend who I went to high school with. We hung out alot, he did not practice regularly. But he did read and sometimes pray.
A few years later we were flat mates, with myself and my brother. I remember he convinced us 'sucuk' was donkey lol.
Anyway, whenever we were gettin' on it( liquids and others), before going out, he would rev us up with the story from Battle of Badr... lol. Astaghfirullah.
But, this intrigued me and l would ask questions about Muhammad pbh. He told me alot.
My reversion came from a mixture of things. First was the fact that my close friends, one Turkish bro, who is now practicing and another close friend embraced Islam including my brother. My brother does not practice but inshallah one day.
I watched an 8 hr dvd, (the Arrivals) with my wife, at the end we agreed it was the truth!
It answered all the questions we both had about our current faiths, she was Catholic and I was Christian - both non practicing.
We embraced the concept that, we don't need another person to be absolved of our sin.
*Allah swt would not murder his only son.
*We do not worship a man.
*And more importantly, we have a direct connection with Allah swt.
My wife said she would take Shahada right now, I said "I'm not ready," knowing I would need to change my whole life.
I knew that I would have to stop all the things I thought and believed I loved doing, then she said to me "if your going hell I'm coming with you!!!"
Then I realised I was being selfish, so we called my bro up and he came over in a flash then boom.... took Shahada.
Allah swt gave my wife hidayah (guidance) in that moment but for me it came the following year. Alhumdulillah.
We went on a family trip to Aotearoa New Zealand. During that time with our children we saw how much we had missed. With both of us working all the time!!!
My hidayah came when I lost my job on that trip. When we returned home to (Australia) my eldest daughter came to live with us( she was 12 at that time).
Then my wife's Grandfather had a stroke and finally my father in-law had a heart attack, this all happened in the same month!!!
I knew this was my hidayah and I never looked back. Alhumdulillah.
What do I love about Islam?
The promise of Jannah.
Acceptance, loving each other for Allah swt sake.
Constantly wanting to seek Allah swt rewards, in doing good deeds, some easier than others!
Meeting so many new people and keeping the ties with them, no matter where we travel.
How has Islam improved me as a person?
In every way I have improved.
I am nicer than I was.
I feel l am of a better character than what I had.
I am more generous than I was.
I am more caring toward my family.
My love for my wife has no limits. I have a positive outlook on the good, and bad things in my life.
I am aware of eternal bliss.
My list can go on for days lol.
Does my family likes my changes?
Alhumdulillah my mother accepted Islam, 1 yr before she passed.
My dad is Atheist and he actually has distanced himself from me and my family (his loss).
My brothers all think I'm nuts or extreme haha, but I know better.
I make dua to Allah swt, that I can help guide them to Islam one day.
My in-laws are great, my wife's mother, my wife's cousin and her niece gave all accepted Islam.
They all took their shahada with me, Alhumdulilah.
As a Maori Polynesian Muslim what challenges have I faced?
My identity in some ways, I never grew up with my culture or my language.
My extended family are judgemental of me due to Islam, because I disagree with our history of beliefs (its all shirk).
But they tolerate me I guess, you could say haha.
Navigating my path as a Muslim,
I have seen brothers I associate with, come from a Islamic background, where Islam is a part of their culture, and it is expressed in that nationality.
I have seen through this expression a sense of belonging for them all, which I never really have had.
I have had to insert myself in with their gatherings etc. Reverts I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about!!!
That is why our new Pacifica community is so important here in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
We need to strengthen our bonds and build a community of our own, so we have that belonging.
I am proud to say im 100% down for making this happen!!!
I appreciate you all reading this. I hope it was not to long for yas haha.
Aroha nui mai, Ka kite ano e te whanau.