( صـلى الله علـيه و سـلم )
"You really hurt me tonight," she remarked. I took a deep breath, silently, and held it. Less than an hour prior she pulled into the Giant parking lot, just I was carrying my groceries to the car. She was smiling, and she acknowledged me, and I was wearing hijab. She rolled down her window and I tossed a bag of her favourite dark chocolate to her. She kept smiling. When I pulled out of the parking lot, I glanced into my rear view mirror to see her sitting her car eating the chocolate. When she got home, she was congenial, aside from the brief comment about how the neighbours "want to know what happened to you." We chatted about her work and my evening out without a problem. So how had I hurt her? And why did she not mention it in the parking lot, or ignore me? The reason I am driving and going to the store without her is because she is ashamed of me, and will not appear with me in public. Usually she says that I hurt her by wearing the hijab. But this time, what had I done? Apparently, by buying her too much dark chocolate, I caused her to eat too much, because she cannot resist it to save some for the following day. I exhaled, taking a sigh of relief. I pretended that I wanted to eat the excess chocolate, compelling her to leave some for me. As I hid it away for tomorrow, my heart rested for a moment, because for just once her common accusation that I 'hurt her' was not connected to religion.
Later on, we were reviewing a map of the Middle East, and I pointed out a few Sunni majority and Shia majority regions. She asked me relatively easily, "Which one are you?" "Sunni" I said, and explained why. Without raising her voice, my mom asked, "So why did you become Muslim? How did you become Muslim?" The aim in mentioning this is not to elaborate on my answers. There are countless reasons why I am happy to be Muslim, but my intention is to highlight that my mom and I sat together at the end of a long day, at the end of our oak dining room table, and she asked me a few questions about Islam. Albeit mom fairly quickly starts condemning our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the message of Allah in the Quran, and the entire faith as a lie. But to have her ask me, and listen for a few minutes to my perspective is priceless, is a gift.
My mom being Greek Orthodox, I tried to provide some examples of Christians at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who recognised his Prophethood, even at a young age. These Christians knew of him and recognised him prior to the Prophet (peace be upon him) receiving any revelation of Quran from Allah. Although I find these stories to be profound, these are not the types of accounts that convince me. I mean, I learned about the following two examples after my reversion. Therefore, I find them to be more affirming than convincing. Nevertheless, she listened as I told the story of Bahira the Monk from Busra, Syria. The young Muhammad (peace be upon him) was only 12 years of age when he travelled with his uncle Abu Talib on business to Syria. When their caravan entered Busra, Bahira the Monk observed a cloud hovering over them, shielding them from the sun as they walked. When the caravan stopped, the cloud remained stationary, shading them. When Bahira spoke with Abu Talib, he told him what he observed. Also, Bahira attested that the rocks and the trees were prostrating to the boy as he walked by, which they only do for a prophet of God. The Christian monk also recognised the seal of the Prophet on young Muhammad's (peace be upon him) back, which he said was stated as a sign of the next Prophet in Christian books.
Next, the companion Salman al-Farsi (may Allah be pleased with him) also was informed by a Christian bishop of three signs of the coming Prophet. Salman al-Farsi (the Persian) was living in a Persian land, and was a custodian of the fire which his father and other followers of the Magian religion worshipped. By chance, one day Salman encountered a group of Christians, and was completely captivated by their religion. Against his father's will, Salman converted to Christianity, and escaped to Syria. There Salman directly served three consecutive bishops of the Christian church. The last bishop Salman served, prior to Salman being sold into slavery, informed Salman of the three signs: (1) the coming Prophet would not himself consume sadaqah (charity), as he will known as al-Amin (the Trustworthy) (2) the coming Prophet would accept a gift (3) the coming Prophet would possess the seal of the Prophets. The full story contains details about how Salman al-Farsi met the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and confirmed all three of these signs, which he learned from Christians. SubhanAllah.