Sunday, July 31, 2011

Poncardas Romas, finally realizes the truth

I was born on December 2, 1959, in Kawit, Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte, Philippines. Since birth my parents were devoted Seventh Day Adventists, one of the thousand branches in Christendom. I was a former Evangelist of the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA). Since childhood until I became Muslim in 1981, I had been a devoted SDA.
My Father’s Background
My father was a former member of the ILAGA and CHDF (Civilian Home Defense Force) formed by a former dictator, President Ferdinand Edralin Marcos. The Ilonggo Land Grabbing Association (ILAGA) is the name given to a cultic group of Christians who are trained to grab Muslim lands and annihilate Muslims in Southern Philippines. ILAGA members believe that they have an invisible bulletproof vest and some believe bullets do not hit them. They used to cut, roast, and eat the right ears of their victims, literally. Then, they make ashes of the remaining ears, and make these ashes as amulet (perfume-liquid bottles). The ILAGA members believe that the more Muslims they kill, the more power they will possess.
Brainwashing in Childhood
In childhood I was indoctrinated (brainwashed) that Muslims are pagans. We believed that Muslims are warlike people, traitors, happy to kill non-Muslims, lawless, and all negative attributes of humanity are in the Muslims’ doctrines. Actually when I was a Christian, I did not know the difference between Islam, Muslim, and Moros—I believed they were all synonymous with paganism. What I knew about Muslims was that "they were pagans and idiots!"
Personal Background
I was brought up in a conservative Christian educational institution (church school). In my early days of childhood we were trained to open the Bible quickly and explain the meaning of the text day and night. We were also trained to deliver speeches at the pulpit as smart as we could. In my youth, I conducted countless Ministerial works in the Seventh Day Adventist Churches. I studied at Southern Mindanao Academy, Managa, Davao del Sur; Matutum View Academy, Tupi, South Cotabato; Notre Dame of General Santos City; Forest Hills Academy, Bayugan 1, Agusan del Sur; and completed my college degree at the Silliman University, Dumaguete City. Silliman University was founded and supported by Protestant American philanthropists, a sister University of the UNIVERSITY OF PHILIPPINES (UP). I obtained a degree in Bachelor of Arts, major in Speech and Theatre, and a junior college degree in Mass Communication. In my youth, I was a battalion commander in paramilitary training. I was then the Senior Students’ president, and the Chairman of the Youth Organization, Science Club President, and Sabbath School Superintendent.
Training Ground
In 1981, I was trained extensively in Pagadian City, Philippines how to preach Christianity, particularly in Muslim community, and with the pretext of selling medical books under the banner of Adventism. We were later formed into groups and were assigned in Zamboanga City, Southern Philippines to conduct house-to-house and office-to-office evangelism. Our main targets were to raise funds and to spread our doctrines and convert the Muslims to Christianity (Adventism). Even today there are Christian Institutions in the heart of the Muslim community in Mindanao whose main motive is to gradually Christianize the Muslims.
First Encounter
One day in Zamboanga City, I was assigned at the Al-Malin Shipping Line Office, district of Santa Barbara, to do our jobs. That is where I had my first encounter with a Muslim intellectual. His name is Najeeb Razul Fernandez, formerly Samuel Fernandez, who was also a former Seventh Day Adventist-Evangelist. We discovered later that we were neighbors during our childhood, and our parents and his uncle’s family (Memong Fernandez) were close friends and neighbors.
Proper Encounter
I introduced myself to Mr. Najeeb Razul Fernandez. He warmly welcomed me and asked my purpose of visiting his office. He was a liaison officer that time at Al-Malin Shipping Line Office. He asked me, “Are you Seventh Day Adventist?”
“Yes, of course!”
“ Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”
“Of course! We would not be a Seventh Day Adventist, unless we believe and follow Jesus Christ!”
He continued, “Your religion is Seventh Day Adventist, was Jesus Christ a Seventh Day Adventist?”
I knew that if I answer “yes”, the next question would be; “Can you show me in your Bible that Jesus Christ was a Seventh Day Adventist?” I knew well that there is no passage in the Bible that mentions that Jesus Christ was an Adventist! I was shocked at the question, because in my experience I never encountered such question in my life. I tried my best to ignore his question, and I talked of things which were not related to his question. He repeated the question direct to my eyes, and said; “If you could not answer that question, please bring that question to your team leader and tell me his response.”
Shocking Revelation
Then he related to me the true name and life of Jesus Christ, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, whose name is Iesa Al-Maseeh ibn Maryam in the Muslim world. Jesus was a prophet and messenger of God. The religion of the Muslims and the prophets of Allah is Islam. And in fact, the prophets of Allah (God) were Muslims. He also emphasized that Islam teaches about the Day of Resurrection, Judgment Day, Paradise, Hell-Fire, Angels, Prophethood, Morals, Divine Books, etc. All these words were like thunderbolts that awakened me from a deep sleep! After I heard those words I did convey them to my team leader, and I asked him what the religion of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus Christ was. He did not answer, instead I received warning not to talk to Mr. Fernandez or I will be excommunicated. My team leader’s reaction had pushed me to investigate what Islam is all about. It also sowed doubts to my belief being a Seventh Day Adventist.
If indeed my belief is the truth, I am not supposed to be afraid to deal with other religions!
I did not heed his warning. Again I went to Mr. Fernandez, then he asked me “DID JOSEPH, MARY, THE 12 DISCIPLES WORSHIP JESUS CHRIST AS GOD, AS YOU SEVENTH DAY ADVENTISTS DO TODAY?” I turned speechless. I went back to our quarter in Zamboanga City, and debated with my team leader! At that moment after our confrontation, our team leader immediately ordered me to pack up my things and leave. That time I could not accept that I was a Muslim. My team leader and our whole group branded me that I became a Muslim and not fit to do our task in Muslim community. With tears and confusion, I was forced to leave my SDA companions. That was the turning point which led me to research Islam and eventually became a Muslim a few months later in September 1981, Isabela, Basilan, Philippines
I pondered. The center of the Muslim world is in the Middle East! If the West and the East knew the life of the Prophets, and particularly Jesus’ life, how about in the Middle East - the birthplace of the Prophets, and where the Muslims are praying, in the House of God,… built by Abraham, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. There are almost two billion Muslims throughout the world, and more people are embracing Islam daily than any other religion. Why? This trend had challenged me to research history in the Middle East, and the life of the last Prophet.
I had never believed that Muslims believe in God
I never ever thought that Muslims believe in God, as well as the above mentioned. What I had believed before was that Muslims are people who are doomed to Hellfire. Some non-Muslims believe that Muslims are like rats, a menace to a developed and peaceful society. This might be the reason why some countries systematically carry out ethnic cleansing and deprive Muslims of basic human rights. Such state-sponsored activities were done in Bosnia, Kosova, Kashmir, Chechnya, Mindanao, and the occupied territories in Israel which originally belong to Palestinians. In my native land, there is a well-known maxim which says: “A GOOD MUSLIM IS A DEAD MUSLIM.”
I embraced Islam because I found out that Islam is the true way of life (religion) prescribed by God, given to the Prophets, and the Quran is the only perfect book of God that has never been revised. I am appealing to non-Muslims to know about Islam from the Quran and authentic sayings or references written by Muslims.
Sad Reality
At time I write this article, the population of the Philippines has reached 95 million, only 10% are Muslims. This means that more than 80 million are non-Muslims, and the majority of these non-Muslims are Christians. Most Islamic propagators in the Philippines are driven to Muslim-Arab Countries for economic survival. If our Arab Muslim brothers are sincere to spread the message of Islam, why don’t they send us back to our country with substantial support to propagate Islam there?
In Saudi Arabia 90% who embraced Islam are Filipinos. It is easy for the Filipinos to understand Islam, because the original culture and traditions of Filipinos are rooted in Islam. Historically, Islam came to the Philippines in 1380, almost 200 years before Christianity. Christianity came in the Philippines on March 16, 1521. Muslims remained a minority due to incessant civil war, struggle for independence and enormous efforts and well-funded activities of Christian Missionaries. The early Christians embraced Christianity not because they love and understand Christianity. They were forced to embrace Christianity through guns and cannons brought by the Christian Spaniards.
Personally, spreading Islam to Christians is interesting and challenging endeavor. Due to my background as energetic Evangelist in SDA, I am enthusiastic in propagating Islam both publicly or privately. Alhamdulillah! I strongly believe that light is for the darkness: Likewise the non-Muslims need Islam for them to see that light and embrace the truth. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Phreddie, impressed by the respect Islam shows to women

I will say right away that I am very young. I am only 18, and that fact seems to astound most people. I think it is proof that we are never too young to begin looking for God, or to understand His truth.
I was raised Christian, nondenominational. We were never big church goers, but we always knew who our God was and what our obligation was to Him. In my living room, to this day, hangs a big velvet painting of Jesus as a black man. That left a huge imprint on me, because it made God real to me. Not only did he come to earth as a man, but he was black like me.
In my preteen years I was a crusader for Christ. I wanted to convert the world and save souls. I believed blindly 100% in everything that was given to me by the Bible and my pastor/youth leader. Then one day I ran across something in the Bible that didn’t sound anything like the God who I had learned to love and obey. I thought perhaps I was just too young to understand and took it to a more knowledgeable Christian who confirmed that it was what I thought it was. My world fell apart.
I read the Bible, cover to cover, and marked along the way all of the things that were contradictory or ungodly. By the time I got to Revelations I had a large segment of the Bible marked as invalid. So, thinking maybe I needed to look at it in a historical perspective I did my history work. There I found even more hypocrisy, blasphemy, and human tampering with Holy Scriptures. What shocked me was the story of the Council of Nicea where men “divinely guided” decided which text would be in the Bible and which ones needed editing.
I also had to ask myself how God could be three and one at the same time. What happens to a good man like Ghandi when he dies without Jesus? Does Hitler get to go to heaven if he accepts Christ as his Lord and Savior? What about those who have never been exposed to Christianity? I was once told that the Trinity was part of the essence of God and that since the breadth and scope of God is beyond my understanding I should simply believe. I couldn’t worship a God I couldn’t understand.
I never lost my faith in God, I just decided that Christianity was not the right path for me to travel. I felt no kinship with fellow believers. I never felt anything special while attending service except that I was doing an obligatory service to God. So I wandered faithless, looking for something to hold on to. In my search I found Wicca, the Bahai faith, and finally Islam.
I studied Islam quietly, on my own, in secret, for two years. I wanted to be able to separate fact from fiction. I did not want to confuse Islam with the cultures who claim to practice Islam while instituting things that are clearly against all that Allah has revealed to us. I wanted to make the distinction between the religion and the societies that adopted it. That took time and patience. I met a lot of helpful brothers and sisters via e-mail who answered all of my questions and opened their lives up for me to examine.
I never liked the image that I was handed as to what a woman was. In popular culture we are portrayed as very sexy, lady like, independent enough so that men have no real responsibility toward us or the children they help create, but dependant enough that we are continually in search of a new man. The average woman on the street is honked at, whistled at, has had her butt or breasts pinched, slapped, rubbed, or ogled by some strange woman. I never agreed with any of that and never found a “come on” flattering.
In Christianity I was taught that as a woman I should not teach in church or question the authority of any man in public. The picture painted of women in Christianity was one of inferiority. We were supposed to be chaste and silent with children about our feet. In Islam I found a voice, a system that gave me ultimate respect for being a mother and acknowledged the fact that I was equal to man in every way except one: physical strength. The hadith are filled with stories of women who spoke publicly and Islamic history is full of women who were leaders. It was a theology that I could respect because it respected me.
I had to ask myself if I really wanted to be like all of the people I saw around me. Who was really oppressed? The girl wearing skin tight jeans getting cat calls from boys rolling by in cars was not free. She was society’s whore and she got no respect. I was thankful that my mother had never allowed me to wear such things, not that I ever wanted to, but her disapproval was an added incentive. After examining the position of the Muslim woman and what I felt to be truth in my heart, how could I deny Islam?
Six weeks ago I made the decision to convert to Islam. I did so and have not looked back since. My friends respect it because they see that it has not changed who I am and what I stand for, in fact it has backed it up. My advice to any woman out there is to ask herself these questions:
What do you want your daughter to believe about herself?
How should she allow herself to be treated?
Is she really born with evil tendencies because she is a descendant of Eve?
How do you want her to feel about her body?
What are you modeling for her?
What image of womanhood are you promoting?
How do men treat you and how do you allow yourself to be treated? (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Moisha Krivitsky, explains the circumstances which led him to accept Islam

The Rabbi of Makhachkala synagogue embraced Islam. Every person has a different way of coming to the Truth. For Moisha Krivitsky this way led through a faculty of law, a synagogue and a prison. The lawyer-to-be becomes a Rabbi, then he converts into Islam and finds himself in prison.
Today Musa[1] (this is the name he has adopted when he became a Muslim) lives in a small mosque in Al-Burikent, a mountain area of Makhachkala, and works as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque.
Interviewer: Musa, before we began talking, you asked what we were going to talk about. I said: About you.
Musa: What’s so interesting about me? If you wondered. Then I live in the mosque..
Interviewer: How did you come to live in the mosque?
Musa: Well, I just dropped in... and stayed.
Interviewer: Did you find the way easily?
Musa: With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it isn’t much easier now. When you go deeply into Islam its inner meaning, you understand that this religion is very simple, but the way that leads to it may be extremely difficult. Often, people don’t understand how a person could be converted into Islam from the other side, as it were.
But there are no other sides here. Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine and what we don’t imagine.
Interviewer: Musa, as a matter of fact, we were given this fact as a certain sensation: a Rabbi has turned Muslim.
Musa: Well, it has been no sensation for quite a long while already - it’s more than a year that I did this. It was strange for me at first, too. But it wasn’t an off-the-cuff decision. When I came into Islam, I had read books about it, I had been interested.
Interviewer: Did you finish any high school before coming to the synagogue?
Musa: Yes, I finished a clerical high school. After graduation, I came to Makhachkala, and became the local Rabbi.
Interviewer: And where did you come from?
Musa: Oh, from far away. But I have already become a true Daghestani, I have got a lot of friends here - both among Muslims and people who are far from Islam.
Interviewer: Let’s return to your work in the synagogue.
Musa: It was quite a paradoxical situation: there was a mosque near my synagogue, the town mosque. Sometimes my fiends who were its parishioners would come to me - just to chat. I sometimes would come to the mosque myself, to see how the services were carried out. I was very interested. So we lived like good neighbors. And once, during Ramadan, a woman came to me - as I now understand, she belonged to a people that was historically Muslim - and she asked me to comment the Russian translation of the Quran made by Krachkovsky.
Interviewer: She brought the Quran to you - a Rabbi?!
Musa: Yes, and she asked me to give her the Torah to read in return. So I tried to read the Quran - about ten times.
It was really hard, but gradually I began to understand, and to get a basic notion of Islam. (Here, Musa looked at my friends son, the six-year old Ahmed, who had fallen asleep in the mosque courtyard. “Should we probably take him inside the mosque?” asked Musa.) And that woman had brought back the Torah.
It turned out to be very difficult for her to read and understand it, because religious literature requires extreme concentration and attention.
Interviewer: Musa, and when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the Torah?
Musa: I had found answers to many questions in the Quran. Not to all of them, of course, because it wasn’t the Arabic original, but the translation.
But I had begun to understand things.
Interviewer: Does it mean that you couldn’t find some answers in Judaism?
Musa: I don’t know, there’s Allah’s will in everything.
Apparently, those Jews who became Muslims in the times of the Prophet, couldn’t find some answers in Judaism, but found them in Islam.
Perhaps, they were attracted by the personality of the Prophet, his behavior, his way of communicating with people. Its an important topic.
Interviewer: And what exactly were the questions that you couldn’t find answers to in Judaism?
Musa: Before I came into contact with Islam, there were questions which I had never even tried to find answers to. Probably, an important part here had been played by a book written by Ahmad Deedat, a South African scholar, comparing the Quran and the Bible.
There is a key phrase, well-known to those who are familiar with religious issues: e g Follow the Prophet who is yet to cometh. And when I studied Islam, I understood that the Prophet Muhammad is the very Prophet to be followed. Both the Bible and the Torah tell us to do it.
I haven’t invented anything here.
Interviewer: And what does the Torah say about the Prophet?
Musa: We wont be able to find this name in the Torah. But we can figure it out using a special key. For example, we can understand what god this or that particular person in history worships. The formula describing the last Prophet [may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him] is that he would worship One God, the Sole Creator of the world. The Prophet Muhammad matches this description exactly.
When I read this, I got very interested. I hadn’t known anything about Islam before that. Then I decided to look deeper into the matter and see whether there were any miracles and signs connected with the name of the Prophet.
The Bible tells us that the Lord sends miracles to the prophets to confirm their special mission in peoples eyes.
I asked the alims (scholars)about this, and they said: Here’s a collection of true hadeeths which describe the miracles connected with the Prophet. Then I read that the Prophet had always said that there had been prophets and messengers before him.
We can find their names both in the Torah and in the Bible. When I was only starting to get interested, it sounded somewhat strange for me. And then...
Well, my own actions led to what happened to me. Sometimes I get to thinking: why did I read all this? Perhaps, I should say the tauba (a prayer of repenting) right now for having thoughts like that.
(The Religion of Islam.htm)
[1] Musa is Arabic name of Moses.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Dr. Gary Miller, read the Qur'an to try to find any mistakes

A very important Christian missionary converted to Islam and became a major herald for Islam, he was a very active missionary and was very knowledgeable about the Bible. This man likes mathematics so much, that's why he likes logic. One day, he decided to read the Qur'an to try to find any mistakes that he might take advantage of while inviting Muslims to convert to Christianity. He expected the Qur'an to be an old book written 14 centuries ago, a book that talks about the desert and so on. He was amazed from what he found.

He discovered that this Book had what no other book in the world has. He expected to find some stories about the hard time that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had, like the death of his wife Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) or the death of his sons and daughters. However, he did not find anything like that. And what made him even more confused is that he found a full "Sura" (chapter) in the Qur'an named "Mary" that contains a lot of respect to Mary (peace be upon her) which is not the case even in the books written by Christians nor in their Bibles. He did not find a Sura named after "Fatimah"(the prophet's daughter) nor "Aishah" (the Prophet's wife), may Allah (God) be pleased with both of them. He also found that the name of Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was mentioned in the Qur'an 25 times while the name of "Muhammad" (Peace Be Upon Him) was mentioned only 4 times, so he became more confused. He started reading the Qur'an more thoroughly hoping to find a mistake but he was shocked when he read a great verse which is verse number 82 in Surat Al-Nisa'a (Women) that says:

“Do they not consider the Qur'an (with care)? Had it been from other than Allah, they would surely have found therein much discrepancy”.

Dr Miller says about this verse: “One of the well known scientific principles is the principle of finding mistakes or looking for mistakes in a theory until it’s proved to be right (Falsification Test). What’s amazing is that the Holy Qur'an asks Muslims and non-muslims to try to find mistakes in this book and it tells them that they will never find any”. He also says about this verse: "No writer in the world has the courage to write a book and say that it’s empty of mistakes, but the Qur'an, on the contrary, tells you that it has no mistakes and asks you to try to find one and you won’t find any."

[Gary Miller]
Dr. Gary Miller.

Another verse that Dr Miller reflected on for a long time is the verse number 30 in Surat “Al-Anbiya” (The Prophets):

“ Do not the Unbelievers see that the heavens and the earth were joined together (as one unit of Creation), before We clove them asunder? We made from water every living thing. Will they not then believe?"

He says: ”This verse is exactly the subject of the scientific research that won the Noble Prize in 1973 and was about the theory of the “Great Explosion”. According to this theory, the universe was the result of a great explosion that lead to the formation of the universe with its skies and planets.

Dr Miller says: “Now we come to what’s amazing about the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and what’s pretended about the devils helping him, God says:

“No evil ones have brought down this (Revelation), it would neither suit them nor would they be able (to produce it). Indeed they have been removed far from even (a chance of) hearing it.” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 26, Verses 210-212.

“When thou does read the Qur'an, seek Allah's protection from Satan the Rejected One” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 16, Verse 98.

You see? Can this be the devil’s way to write a book? how can he write a book then tells you to ask God for protection from this devil before reading that book? Those are miraculous verses in this miraculous book! and has a logical answer to those who pretend that it’s from the devil”.

And among the stories that amazed Dr Miller is the story of the Prophet(PBUH) with Abu-Lahab. Dr Miller says: “This man (Abu Lahab) used to hate Islam so much that he would go after the Prophet wherever he goes to humiliate him. If he saw the prophet talking to strangers, he used to wait till he finishes and then ask them: What did Muhammad tell you? If he said it’s white then it’s in reality black and if he said it’s night then it’s day. He meant to falsify all what the prophet says and to make people suspicious about it. And 10 years before the death of Abu Lahab, a Sura was inspired to the prophet, named “Al-Masad”. This sura tells that Abu Lahab will go to hell, in other words, it says that Abu Lahab will not convert to Islam. During 10 years, Abu Lahab could have said: “Muhammad is saying that I will not become a Muslim and that I will go to the hell fire, but I’m telling you now that I want to convert to Islam and become a Muslim. What do you think about Muhammad now? Is he saying the truth or no? Does his inspiration come from God?”. But Abu Lahab did not do that at all although he was disobeying the prophet in all matters, but not in this one. In other words, it was as if the prophet(PBUH) was giving Abu Lahab a chance to prove him wrong! But he did not do that during 10 whole years! he did not convert to Islam and did not even pretend to be a Muslim!! Throughout 10 years, he had the chance to destroy Islam in one minute! But this did not happen because those are not the words of Muhammad (PBUH) but the words of God Who knows what’s hidden and knows that Abu Lahab will not become a Muslim.

How can the prophet (PBUH) know that Abu Lahab will prove what is said in that Sura if this was not inspiration from Allah? How can he be sure throughout 10 whole years that what he has (the Qur'an) is true if he did not know that it’s inspiration from Allah?? For a person to take such a risky challenge, this has only one meaning: that this is inspiration from God.

“Perish the hands of the Father of Flame (Abu Lahab)! perish he! No profit to him from all his wealth, and all his gains! Burnt soon will he be in a Fire of blazing Flame! His wife shall carry the (crackling) wood; As fuel! A twisted rope of palm-leaf fibre round her (own) neck!” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 111.

Dr Miller says about a verse that amazed him: One of the miracles in the Qur'an is challenging the future with things that humans cannot predict and to which the “Falsification Test” applies, this test consists of looking for mistakes until the thing that is being tested is proved to be right. For example, let’s see what the Qur'an said about the relation between Muslims and Jews. Qur'an says that Jews are the major enemies for Muslims and this is true until now as the main enemy for Muslims are the Jews.

Dr Miller continues: This is considered a great challenge since the Jews have the chance to ruin Islam simply by treating Muslims in a friendly way for few years and then say: here we are treating you as friends and the Qur'an says that we are your enemies, the Qur'an must be wrong then! But this did not happen during 1400 years!! and it will never happen because those are the words of The One who knows the unseen (God) and not the words of humans.

Dr Miller continues: Can you see how the verse that talks about the enmity between Muslims and Jews constitutes a challenge to the human mind?

“Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say, "We are Christians": because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant. And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth: they pray: "Our Lord! We believe; write us down among the witnesses” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 5, Verses 82-84.

This verse applies to Dr Miller as he was a Christian but when he knew the truth, he believed and converted to Islam and became a herald. May Allah support him.

Dr Miller says about the unique style of the Qur'an that he finds wonderful: No doubt there is something unique and amazing in Qur'an that is not present anywhere else, as the Qur'an gives you a specific information and tells you that you did not know this before. For example:

"This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee (O Prophet!) by inspiration: thou was not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to which of them should be charged with the care of Maryam: nor was thou with them when they disputed (the point)” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 3, Verse 44.

“Such are some of the stories of the Unseen, which We have revealed unto thee: before this, neither thou nor thy People knew them. So persevere patiently: for the End is for those who are righteous” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 11, Verse 49.

“Such is one of the stories of what happened unseen, which We reveal by inspiration unto thee: nor was thou (present) with them when they concerted their plans together in the process of weaving their plots” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 12, Verse 102.

Dr Miller continues: “No other holy book uses this style, all the other books consist of information that tells you where this information came from. For example, when the Holy Bible talks about the stories of the ancient nations, it tells you that a this King lived in a this place and a that leader fought in that battle, and that a certain person had a number of kids and their names are. But this book (Bible) always tells you that if you want to know more, you can read a certain book since that information came from that book”.

Dr Garry Miller continues: “This is in contrary to the Qur'an which gives you the information and tells you that it’s new!! And what’s amazing is that the people of Mecca at that time (time of inspiration of those verses) used to hear those verses and the challenge that the information in those verses was new and was not known by Muhammad (PBUH) nor by his people at that time, and despite that, they never said: We know this and it is not new, and they did not say: We know where Muhammad came from with those verses. This never happened, but what happened is that nobody dared to say that he was lying to them because those was really new information, not coming from the human mind but from Allah who knows the unseen in the past, the present and the future”. [The Amazing Qur'an]

Mrs. Amina Mosler (Germany)

One day, in the year 1928, my son with tears in his eyes said: `I do not want to remain a Christian any longer; I want to be a Muslim; and you, too, my mother, should join this new faith with me.' That was the first time I felt that I had to link myself with Islam. Years passed before I came in contact with the Imam of the Berlin Mosque, who introduced me to Islam. I came to recognize that Islam was the true religion for me. Belief in the Trinity of the Christian faith was impossible for me even at my young age of twenty. After studying Islam I also rejected confession, the holiness and recognition of the supereme power of the Pope, baptism, etc., and thus I became a Muslim.

My ancestors were all sincere believers and pious persons. I was brought up in a convent and hence I inherited a religious attitude towards life. This demanded that I should associate myself with one religious system or the other. I was indeed very fortunate and comforted as I decided to join the religion of Islam.

Today I am a very happy grandmother, because I can claim that even my grandchild is a born Muslim.

"God guides whom He pleases to the right path."
From "Islam, Our Choice"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Melissa Riter , about 27 years of her life in search of true religion

I was raised in a sadly dysfunctional family. My father was anti-religion (all religions) and my mother was a non-practicing Southern Baptist. On my father’s side of the family, religion was something to ridicule while one was “straight” and to adopt when one was drunk or high. On my mother’s side of the family, religion was “understood” but never talked about. My mother’s father had been a Southern Baptist minister at one time, but faith was something only for Sunday sermons.
At a very young age (as young as nine or ten years old), I started to have an interest in “going to church”. I was allowed to go to Vacation Bible School during the summer as long as it kept me out of my parents’ hair, and I was allowed to go to church on Sundays as long as they served a hot lunch afterward. I learned to sing songs like “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine”. It was good as it was fun. By the time I reached the age of 12 my father started to forbid me to go to church. Lessons in Sunday school were getting too serious. I had started to learn about morals. Don’t drink! Don’t smoke! Stay away from drugs! Never talk about what happens between husband and wife! I brought those morals home and tried to teach them. That’s when the Church was banned. Fortunately, I had learned enough to strengthen my desire to learn more.
My parents divorced when I was 12 ½ years old. I stayed with my mother and it was then that my search for the true religion began. I started attending a Pentecostal church every Sunday. I learned how to dress – no pants, no makeup, don’t cut your hair – and how to sing. I learned how to quote the Bible. I learned how to worship Jesus. May God forgive me! The idea of God’s mercy was intriguing, it was the first truly important lesson that I learned in my search for guidance. The more I looked into it, the more I found that something was fundamentally wrong with the concept. According to this belief, I was saved and no matter what I did, I couldn’t go to Hell! This didn’t seem right; furthermore, the Bible wouldn’t talk about punishment for our sins. There wouldn’t be commandments to follow. Where was the incentive?
I left that church and started studying other faiths. I stuck with the monotheistic religions by pure instinct. I knew in my soul that God was the key and that Jesus had to fit in there somewhere. I studied Judaism but the fact that they discounted Jesus altogether ruled that religion out very quickly. I moved on to the different Christian denominations. I tried Baptist, but there was no mercy there. If you did anything wrong, you went to Hell! No chance. No hope. I studied Catholicism, but something about praying to saints (Mary included, God be pleased with her) didn’t sit well with me. Methodist and Presbyterian weren’t much help either. Eventually I went back to the Pentecostal churches for no other reason than that they offered hope of redemption.
There were two big questions that kept me confused much of the time. The first was, if Jesus was God’s son, then how could he also be God? The second was much the same as the first. If Jesus was God, then whom was he praying to in the Garden of Gethsemane? I asked these two questions of my pastor and was told, “If you ask those questions, you’ll go to Hell for lack of faith.” I was shocked! To quote Galileo, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect has intended for us to forego their use.” I left the Pentecostal church never to return.
At the age of 19, I opened my door to a pair of Mormon missionaries. My search for the true religion was on again. I let them in and promptly began studies. Here was a religion that made sense! They told me that Jesus and God were not the same personage. They told me that those who truly strove to live the true religion would be rewarded with Heaven and that those who made big mistakes but who still had faith would only be punished a little while. Hell was not forever for believers. They told me about Prophets and how Moses wasn’t the last, after all. They explained that, even though they loved Jesus and considered him their eldest brother, they only prayed to God. I liked what they told me and it rang true. I joined their church and remained a member for 16 years.
During those 16 years, I found myself going through rough times. There were many times when I stopped practicing my religion altogether. I became an alcoholic and did the things alcoholics do. I divorced my husband and started “dating”. I degraded myself. There was always the belief, though. I always believed what the Mormons had taught me. I deluded myself into thinking that it didn’t matter what I did. Hell was only for people who didn’t believe. I could just go to the spirit prison after death and repent and then eventually make my way to Heaven.
There were times during those 16 years when I cleaned myself up and went to church. As one progresses through the lessons at the Mormon church, one begins to hear things that are kept quiet from “investigators” into the religion and from new converts. It was somewhere in late 2003 or early 2004 when it was “revealed” to me that God had been a human man on a different planet and that He had worshipped yet a different god. It was also revealed that any human from earth could become a god in his/her own right, if only he/she did the right things. This bothered me a little. Still, Mormonism was the closest I had come to anything that felt right both spiritually and logically. I tried to explain away those ideas of other gods by telling myself that they actually meant something else. I wasn’t quite sure what that other something might be, though.
In May of 2004, after having remarried and again left (for the last time) my previous husband, I stayed up late one night, playing on the Internet. I visited a chatroom that looked like the conversation was halfway decent and there met a very nice young man from Egypt. His name was Samy. Samy was very nice and always discussed appropriate topics. That was a first in my experience, so I sought him out online very often. We talked about his home, my home, family. We shared our hopes and dreams for the future. We also talked about God in a very general sense. We talked about Him a lot. I discovered that our basic beliefs about God were the same. In August of 2004, we began discussing marriage. It was then that I decided to study his religion – Islam.
It was never my intention to convert. After all, I was a Christian – a Mormon, at that – and to deny Jesus or the Holy Ghost was instant damnation. (In fact, I believed it was the only thing a person could go to Hell forever for.) My only intention was to learn enough of his religion to avoid offending him with mine.
Samy turned my studies over to his friend Ahmed, who is very knowledgeable about Islam. He said he didn’t want our relationship to influence me. Too many women convert just to please their husbands. I began by learning the nature of God. There is only One God. He needs nothing from his creation, but all of creation needs Him. He neither begets nor is begotten. And there is nothing like Him. That was easy to accept. My soul clung to that information for dear life. Still, I couldn’t convert. There was the whole idea of Jesus and the Holy Ghost. I didn’t dare deny them.
Then I learned about Prophets. I learned that all the prophets were equal, and that Muhammed, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was the last prophet. I also learned that Jesus, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, was a prophet, not the son of God. I had a little trouble with this one, so Samy’s friend showed me a number of places in the Bible where other prophets than Jesus had been called God’s begotten son, His only son and His firstborn son. He also showed me where Jesus himself forbade his disciples to call him the Son of God and pointed out that Jesus called himself the son of man. That cleared up part of my problem, but there was still the issue of the Mormon prophets. That was a little harder to clear up, but it came down to differences instead of similarities. The prophets in the Bible had a message for all of mankind, and that message was always the same. Worship God alone, with no partners. The Mormon prophets had a message only for the Mormon Church, and it usually had to do with things like food storage and self-reliance. Once it was pointed out, I wondered how I could have missed that one.
We went on and on like this, learning a new point, disproving another point (of Mormonism), for seven months. All the while, I insisted that I was not going to convert and Samy and Ahmed both said, “I know.” I demanded proofs in the Bible for what they were saying, and they produced them, including an obscure revelation about Muhammed. They even showed me where Muhammed’s name had been in the Bible at one time and had been edited out. The name given was Ahmed, which equals Muhammed the same way John and Jack are often used interchangeably. Only the name was removed. The rest is still in there. He was foretold by Jesus, himself, as well as by Moses.
In March of 2005, I learned the final lesson that allowed me to shake off the fear of Hell and to accept Islam with all my heart, mind and soul. I learned about the Holy Ghost. As a Mormon, I believed that, if I denied the existence of the Holy Ghost, I would instantly be condemned to everlasting hellfire. There was no chance of repentance, no matter what. Thankfully, I don’t have to, and in fact never can, deny such existence. I learned that the Holy Ghost, also known as the Holy Spirit, is also known in the Old and New Testaments as the Spirit of the Lord. Again, they proved it with the Bible. We all know the story. The Spirit of the Lord appeared to Mary…. The Holy Spirit, or Spirit of the Lord is none other than the Angel Gabriel – and Muslims know about the existence of the angels. It was Gabriel who revealed the Quran from God to Muhammed.
The next day, I spoke with an online friend and told her I wanted to convert. I had a surprise in mind for Samy and Ahmed. She contacted my local masjid (mosque) and arranged for a sister and two brothers to come to my house so I could say shahadah. It was very easy. They guided me first in English and then in Arabic, and I repeated after them, saying, “I testify that there is no god but the One God (Allah, in Arabic) and I testify that Muhammed is His messenger.” The sister gave me my first headscarf (hijab) and helped me put it on as a symbol of my conversion.
That night, I met Samy and Ahmed online, where we always chatted. They were both very pleased to see that I had converted, but they weren’t surprised. And I found out why they always said “I know” when I said I wouldn’t convert. You see, a Muslim is one who willingly submits his or her own will to the will of God. All children are born in that state of submission and are pulled away by outside forces. Still, our souls seek the “face of God” and a return to that submission. My soul began that search in 1978, and in March of 2005, at the age of 34, I did not convert. I reverted.
Incidentally, I totally cleaned up my act the moment I converted. The incentive is there. God sees all and knows all. Samy and I were married in July of 2005 and he has taken over the responsibility of teaching me about Islam. There is always something to learn. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Muhammad John Webster (England) President, The English Muslim Mission

Born in London I was brought up Christian of the Protestant persuasion. In 1930, in my teens, I was confronted with the problems normal to a reasonably intelligent young man, these problems being basically relating to the reconciling of everyday affairs with the claims of religion and here I came across the first weakness of Christianity. Christianity is a dualism which regards the world as sinful and seeks to turn its back on the realities of life, projecting its hopes into a future world. As a result of this there is created a Sunday attitude towards religion which has no place in the rest of the secular week. At this time in England there was a great deal of poverty and social discontent which Christianity made no attempt to resolve. More emotional than knowledgeable, with the enthusiasm of youth I rejected the Church and became a Communist.

Communism has a certain satisfaction at an emotional adolescent level but again it did not take long to realise the hateful nature of Communism based upon class warfare, in itself immortal. Having rejected the materialism of Communism I turned to the study of philosophy and religion. The unity which I observed all around me led me to identify myself with what is known as Pantheism, a natural law religion.

We in the West find it difficult to acquaint ourself with Islam for since the days of the Christian Crusades there has been either a conspiracy of silence or a deliberate perversion of Islamic matters. Anyway at the time living in Australia I asked for a copy of the Holy Qur'an at the Sydney Public Library, when I was given the Book and was reading the preface by the translator, the bigotry against Islam was so obvious that I closed it up. There was no Qur'an translated by a Muslim available. Some weeks later in Perth, Western Australia, I again asked at the library for a copy of the Qur'an stipulating that the translator must be a Muslim. It is difficult to put into words my immediate response to the first surah, the Seven Opening Verses: Then I read something of the life of the Prophet (peace be on him). I spent hours in the library that day, I had found what I wanted, by the mercy of Allah. I was a Muslim. I had not at this time met any Muslim. I came out of the library exhausted by the tremendous intellectual and emotional experience I had received. The next experience, I still ask myself: was it true or was it something I had dreamed up, for in cold print it seems impossible to have happened. I came out of the library intending to get myself a cup of coffee. I walked down the street and raising my eyes to a building beyond a high brick wall I saw the words `Muslim Mosque' I straightway said to myself `You know the truth, now accept it'.

`La illaha illalah Muhammad ur Rasul Allah' and so by the mercy of Allah I became a Muslim.
From "Islam, Our Choice"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marcela, from Mormon to Muslim.

My story begins in El Salvador. I was born in San Salvador, El Salvador, and at the age of 12 (19 years ago), I migrated to Australia with my mother, my brother and sister.
From the moment we arrived in Australia, I remember visiting different Christian churches of differing sects as we used to do back in El Salvador. Unfortunately, none were solid enough for us to remain in. I was originally baptised in the Catholic Church and as a teenager I found that being a Catholic was too comfortable. I began looking for more guidance in following God’s commandments.
At the age of 15, my family and I started to attend “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” commonly known as the “Mormons.” My auntie has been a long time member and we found it was making a lot more sense than many other Christian teachings we had heard. The only thing was that along with the good things came many that didn’t seem to have a logical explanation at all, like the fact that there are prophets inspired with revelations within the church. So I just thought that with faith, one day I would understand them and they would make sense. A few months later I was baptised. A few years went by and I really liked the Church but once again I found that I was confused at the fact that they didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with young people enjoying the nightlife as long as you didn’t drink, smoke and make any bad choices.
As a teenager, could you tell me how it could be possible to enjoy all of this but yet keep away from temptation? Staying away from a lot of temptation was kind of hard, so I was “inactive” as they say for a while.
At the age of 19 I met a guy who now happens to be my husband. He is a Muslim. He was not a practicing Muslim at the time, but what I liked about him was the fact that he had principles and loved God dearly. We talked about marriage and concluded that we wanted to be together. At the time, being an inactive Christian and he being a Muslim, we came to a mutual agreement to be married only through the marriage registry to avoid any preference of our respective religious beliefs.
As the years went by, I actually thought about going back to church – any church, as my love for Jesus was there and I felt the need to be close to God. But the thought would soon go away when I thought about one of the main reasons I had stopped attending church in the first place. There was too much bickering, back stabbing and criticising. This has always been going on in the many churches that I attended, which I found made people forget the real purpose of being there. Going to church felt more like a Sunday social event rather than worshipping God.
I can honestly say that, at that time, Islam was of no interest to me and believe me, becoming a Muslim would never ever had been an option on my “preference list” of ways to get close to God. There was no interest whatsoever, until recently.
A few months ago I had a dream that really shook me up. I felt quite scared and would wake up praying seeking guidance from God.
Two weeks later I had another dream very similar to the first, so I woke up saying in Spanish “¡En el nombre de Dios todo poderoso y todo piadoso!” (in the name of God all powerful and all merciful).
I prayed and asked God for guidance, to help me be close to Him and help me do His will and to show me how or what I needed to do to be closer to Him. I continually asked Him if he wanted me to go to church to worship Him, to please guide me to the correct one. But more importantly, I asked Him to make it clear for me to understand how and in which way He wanted me to get close to Him. I also asked Him to make it so clear that my heart could not deny any of His will.
Within that week I had a third dream. I was in the car heading up towards a very high mountain. I could not tell if I was the driver or a passenger. But as the car almost reached the top of the mountain, I had a really bad feeling that something bad was going to happen. I looked out from the car window and noticed that I had reached the highest point of the mountain and could see a blue lake at the very bottom. It was so tiny that you could barely see the blue water in it. In that split second the car lost control. I tried very hard to gain control of the steering wheel but it was impossible. I remember thinking how death had come my way and that there was no chance or hope of me surviving and that as soon as the car went over the cliff, I was going to die.
I felt so afraid and frustrated and really scared that there was no chance of salvation. I was actually facing death.
I began to feel extremely stressed from fear as the car was falling down towards the lake in the distance. As the car was falling, I then heard a loud voice echoing through the mountains. It was so loud that it made the mountains shake and tremble. The voice was loud but beautiful. It was so beautiful it gave me inner peace and made me lose the fear of dying but more importantly, what gave me this peace were the words being said.
I then heard the voice for the second time. This time it was carrying on for a longer period. A bright orange, yellow light then appeared between the mountains – it was the sunrise. As the car was about to hit the ground, a road appeared out of nowhere. It was the road to my salvation. But what had really saved me were the words spoken by this voice through the mountains, those words were
“Allah Akbar.” The call for prayer, the Adhan, is called out by the muezzin in the mosque.
I woke up instantly and was so emotional that I could not stop crying. I think I seriously cried for a good two hours, but it was the most beautiful feeling ever. I couldn’t even talk and my husband kept asking what was wrong. I told him my dream. I then told him I wanted to read the QURAN. I felt this was a message from God wanting me to seek knowledge.
The next morning I started to look into Islam. It’s so funny, for the last 13 years I had been surrounded by so many Muslims and was never aware of the true beauty of Islam. I remember my brother in law, a practicing Muslim, explaining the divinity of God alone and the importance of worshipping God alone and that no other being should be worshipped along with Him or instead of Him, but my heart was completely sealed. I was never interested in knowing anything about it. In fact I would get offended and at times I felt like telling him how misguided he was. I was convinced that it was not the right religion – definitely not the one for me anyway.
When I was seeking knowledge, I investigated so much that I learned quite a lot. I even began emailing people with knowledge from the other side of the world. I discovered how Islam is not only for Middle Eastern people or Arabs as most people think. Islam is for everyone regardless of their race, nationality or ethnic background. It’s for those who truly love Jesus’ (peace be upon him) teachings just the way I do. It is for those who love all the servants, messengers and prophets of God, and most importantly for those who acknowledge the importance of the benefits that follow when you truly worship God alone.
Alhamdulillah (All praise is to God) I was so fascinated about the treasure I had just discovered, the beautiful truth, the evidence and benefits of the teachings of Islam. I read the history of Christianity and I studied a few verses from the Bible. I read not only from the Islamic side but the real history of all of these beliefs that had so blindfolded me into following for so many years.
Who would have thought that hearing the call for prayer not only saved me in my dream but was the truth and salvation I had been asking for in reality? God had answered my prayers.
I put my spiritual feelings aside and looked at the evidence that I had in front of me, and my conclusion was this:
“Ashhadu Alla Ilaha Illa Allah Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammad un rasulullah”
“I bear witness that there is no true god but God, that none has the right to be worshipped but God alone, (and that God has neither partner nor son) and I bear witness that Muhammad, may the blessings and mercy of God be upon him, was a true Prophet (and messenger) sent by God.”
Now in 2010, after 13 years of being married to my husband I have reverted into Islam. My husband is still shocked that I have reverted into Islam, so is his family and of course mine too. But when you know that all that you are doing is for the sake of Allah, and no one but him, it feels so right.
Some of my closest friends were very supportive as they know that Islam has given me inner peace and humility. Others think I have become an extremist just because I pray 5 times a day and have changed my dress code completely Alhamdulillah. (All praise be to God)
When I started to pray, I remember feeling so strange at first but it seemed so right at the same time. Islam is not just a Religion but a way of life.
Alhamdulillah, wearing a Hijab now makes me feel so free and so respected. People who don’t know me automatically get the impression that I’m Middle Eastern and when they find out I’m Latin American, they get shocked as a Latina Muslim is odd here in Australia. I still have not met one. They ask me why the dramatic change, but Alhamdulillah, it’s a good thing because it gives me the chance to actually give them a small explanation of the beauty and wonders of Islam. Wearing the Hijab gives me a sense of pride because I feel I have contributed to the good values most of us have forgotten. The Hijab is not a responsibility, it’s a right given to me by my Creator who knows us best. I definitely feel like I’m contributing to today’s society in stopping women from being oppressed by having to dress or behave in a certain way to fit in. I cannot say how happy I am, Alhamdulillah, that Allah has guided me into His path and I know that we plan things but Allah is the best planner. Just like the Aya (verse) from the Quran says:
“He it is Who gives life and causes death. And when He decides upon a thing He says to it only: “Be!” and it is.” (Quran 40:68)
In just a matter of weeks, I knew that this was the right path. My heart felt the complete opposite of the rejection I had for Islam. Reverting into Islam helps me to strive to be by His side in the hereafter—my life in this earth is not for ever. Therefore I have to strive to be a good servant of God to be in Paradise one day. The happiness I get here is not eternal, but if I return to my Creator’s side I will have eternal happiness.
Please ask God alone with full submission for guidance and seek knowledge because you will be rewarded by our Creator.
My name is Marcela, I was born in El Salvador and I’m very proud to be a Muslima. I’m truly grateful to Allah for guiding me to revert into Islam. Those that Allah guides can never be misguided. Insha’Allah (God willing) my story will be an encouragement to bring more Latinos into the true beauty of Islam. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Miss Mas'udah Steinmann (England)

No other religion professed by a large community have I found so comprehensible and encouraging. There seems no better way towards tranquillity of mind and contentment in life, no greater promise for the future after death.

The human being is part of a whole; man cannot claim more than being just a particle of creation in its magnificent perfection. As such, he can only fulfil his purpose of living by carrying out his function in relating himself to the whole and to other living parts. It is the harmonious relationship between the parts and the whole that makes life purposeful, that can bring it nearest to perfection, that helps a human being to achieve contentment and happiness.

What place does religion occupy in this relationship between Creator and creation? Here are some people's opinions on religion.

"A man's religion is the chief fact whith regard to him; the thing a man does practically believe ... the thing a man does practically lay to heart, and know for certain, concerning his vital relations to this Universe, and his duty and destiny there ... that is religion."
(Carlyle Heroes and Heroworship)

"Religion is the sense of ultimate reality of whatever meaning a man finds in his own existence or the existence of anything else."
(G. K. Chesterton Come To Think Of It)

"Religion a daughter of hope and fear explaining to ignorance the nature of the Unknowable."
(Ambrose Bierce The Devil's Dictionary)

"The body of all true religion consists to be sure, in obedience to the will of the Sovereign of the world, in a confidence in His declarations, and in imitation of His perfection."
(Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France)

"All religion relates to life, and the life of religion is to do good."
(Swedenborg, Doctrine Of Life)

"Every man, either to his terror or consolation, has some sense of religion."
(James Harrington, Oceana)

At one time or another every human being is confronted with the Unknown, Incomprehensible, with the purpose of his existence. Questioning himself he creates a belief, a conviction --- `Religion' in its widest sense.

Why do I consider Islam as the most perfect religion?

First and foremost, it acquaints us with the Whole, the Creator: `In the name of God, the Beneficent, the Merciful; Say: He, God, is one, God is He on Whom all depend; He begets not, nor is He begotten; and none is like Him" (Al-Qur'an, 112:1-4). "To God is your return and He is Possessor over all things" (Al-Qur'an, 11:4). "I, God, am the best Knower" (Al-Qur'an, 2:1). Again and again throughout the Qur'an we are reminded of the Oneness of the Creator, "Indivisible", "Eternal", "Infinite", "Almighty", "All-Knowing", the "All Just", the "Helper", the "Merciful", the "Compassionate". So the Whole becomes a reality; again and again we are asked to establish a satisfactory relationship between Him and us; "Know that God gives life to the earth after its death. We have made messages clear to you that you may understand" (Al-Qur'an. 57:17). "Say I seek refuge with the Nourisher of mankind" (Al-Qur'an, 114:1).

One might argue that in order to recognize and believe in God and to live happily in a community it is necessary to believe in Divine messages. Does not a father guide his children? Does he not organize his family's life so that it may live together harmoniously?

Islam claims to be the only true religion that rehabilitates the truth of its predecessors. It claims that the guidance provided by the Qur'an is clear, comprehensible and reasonable. By guiding our way towards achievement of a satisfactory relationship between the Creator and the created it brings about a co-operation between physical and spiritual forces enabling us to equalize internal and external forces in order to be at peace within ourselves --- the most important factor to establish a harmonious state between one living part and another and an important condition towards our striving for perfection.

Christianity stresses the spiritual side of life; it teaches a love that puts a heavy burden of responsibility upon every Christian. The perfect love is doomed to failure if its achievement does not lie within the reach of human nature and contradicts reason and understanding. Only someone who has a deep knowledge of human conflicts and combines it with sympathy, understanding and a sense of responsibility may come near to the perfection of the Christian principle --- and, even, then, he will have to bury his reason with his love. S. T. Coleridge says in his Aids To Reflection: "He who begins by loving Christianity better than Truth will proceed by loving his own sect of Church better than Christianity, and end in loving himself better than all."

Islam teaches us to respect God, to submit to His laws entitling and encouraging us to use our reason as well as our emotions of love and understanding. The commandments of the Qur'an, the message of God for His creatures, regardless of race, nation or social standard.

"Say: O people, the Truth has indeed come to you from your Lord; so whoever goes aright, goes aright only for the good of his own soul; and whoever errs, errs only against it. And I am not a custodian over you."
(Al-Qur'an, 10:108).

No other religion professed by a large community have I found so comprehensible and encouraging. There seems no better way towards tranquillity and contentment in life, no greater promise for the future after death.
From "Islam, Our Choice"

Lynette Wehner, how a spiritually dissatisfied American Catholic teacher

My new position at the Islamic school was received with reserved enthusiasm from my Christian family. “Just make sure you do not convert,” my father-in-law at the time told me when he found out about it. My mother-in-law was intrigued by the idea of being around something “exotic”. I grappled with whether I wanted to work at this school. While I would have my own classroom (which I desperately wanted), I would only be part-time and I would be required to dress Islamically (even cover my hair). This whole concept was very foreign to me. I debated with myself for a day or two until deciding to take my first teaching assignment at this school. I was open and determined that this would be a learning experience for me. Boy was it ever!
On the first day, the new “non-Muslim” teachers were given a “scarf” lesson by a sister in the teacher’s workroom. We were laughing as we tried different styles. I still remember that morning being pretty relaxed, and it was during this event that I realized I always thought Muslims were stern and serious. It is strange how one can hold certain stereotypes of people without even knowing them. Cross off one misconception!
During my 1st year of teaching, I learned many things. I was extremely impressed with the way that my students knew my religion (Christianity) better than I did. How did they know the stories? My students were always asking me questions about my beliefs, and they made me think. What DID I actually believe in?
I was brought up Catholic, and as an adult, I started to stray from it. I didn’t know what it was that I felt uncomfortable with, but I just knew something wasn’t right. I ventured a little into the new-age type of Christianity, but that didn’t sit well with me either. I just knew that I wanted to connect with God. I didn’t want my religion to become something that I felt I had to do in order to be considered a “good person” in the eyes of my relatives (as was the case with my husband). I wanted to feel it in my heart. Looking back now, I was lost, but didn’t know it at the time.
Kids will be kids, and my Muslim students were no different. They left their books in my classroom instead of taking them home. This was a blessing in disguise as I started to read these books after class. So much of it made sense. To help matters along, one sister and brother were more than happy to answer all of my questions, and I had many! We would discuss Islam and religion for hours. It was very intellectually stimulating and I was excited about it. I felt that I had found what I was looking for. There was a peace slowly spreading over my heart.
Around this time, I started to read the Qur’an at home. My husband at the time (I have since divorced him) did not like my interest in Islam. When I would read the Qur’an, I would do so in private without his knowledge. At first, I felt that I was doing something blasphemous. I remember being very scared that God would be upset with me. I thought to myself how can any book other than the Bible be from God? I tried to listen to my heart, and it was telling me to read. Some of the passages of the Qur’an felt as if they were written just for me. I found myself sitting there and crying many times. All at once, I felt at peace, yet confused. There was something holding me back from accepting it full-heartedly.
After months of reading, talking with people, and a lot of soul searching, there was one event that I consider to be the determining factor in my becoming Muslim. I was standing in my son’s room trying to pray. I had a book on Islam opened to the “how to pray” section. I was standing there in conflict with myself. I was not used to praying directly to God. All of my life I was taught to pray to Jesus, who would then tell God my prayer (or something like that). I was so scared that I was doing something wrong. I didn’t want Jesus to be mad at me. At that moment, it hit me like a tidal wave. Did I really think that God would be upset at me for wanting to get closer to Him? Did I really believe that Jesus would be upset with me for trying to get closer to God? Isn’t that what he wants me to do? God knows my intent. To this day, I believe it was God talking to me-that is how powerful the feeling and voice inside my head was. What did I have to fear? How could I NOT convert to Islam? At that moment, I started crying and crying. It was what I needed to hear. I knew at that time that I had to convert to Islam. It felt right and nothing else mattered.
After taking my shahada in front of the entire school, I was a new person. I did not have that “where-do-I-belong-and-what-do-I-believe-in” feeling anymore. It was gone. I knew that I made the right decision.
I have never been so close to God as I have been since becoming Muslim. Alhamdullilah, I am so lucky. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Latasha, how she found Islam when amazed by Muslim women’s dress

I am an American who grew up in a strict religious Christian family. By the time I was 16 I became very devout and religious myself. The church was like a home away from home. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I had read and studied the Bible on a regular basis. All the while I was noticing many errors in the Bible. Many conflicting stories. So I would ask my grandmother or the pastor of the church about it, but would never get a solid answer.
I was told to just brush it off and not worry about these little details that weren’t adding up. So for a time I did.
Later on in my early 20s I was appointed as Youth Pastor at my local church. It was during this time that my biblical studies had become intense. The more I studied, the more questions I had.
Due to the lack of answers I was not getting from the church, I decided to enroll into Bible College. “For sure I would find my answers there,” I often thought to myself. Again, no such luck.
Nothing could ease my mind and so I decided to step down from “Youth Pastor”. I felt I could no longer lead the youth since I was confused and doubting things myself. I was the one in need of a leader. My heart was crying out to find some peace in all this confusion.
One night I turned on the TV and happened to flip straight to CNN. They were reporting straight from Iraq. Then, there in the background I saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. She was adorned only in black from head to toe. She was so modest, and to me that made her so beautiful. I knew that she was a Muslim but I didn’t know what the religious beliefs of Muslims were.
I was more caught up in her clothing attire. It sparked my interest more than anything. My heart immediately desired to be like her. Pious and modest. So this is where my search began.
I immediately got online and searched “Muslim Woman Dress” & “Muslim Woman Face Veil”. This is when I came across the words “Hijab” and “Niqab”. Wikipedia also referred to the women who wore it as Hijabis or Niqabis.
These hijabis and niqabis were my newly-found role models. So I immediately changed all my online nicknames to “hijabi” or “niqabi”. It had not occurred to me to investigate the beliefs of Islam yet. But it was soon to come….
One afternoon my neighborhood was having a community cookout. I was sitting next to my closest neighbor and we somehow got on the subject of religion.
He said “You know us Christians will probably be in trouble when we stand before God?”
I just nodded in agreement but not really sure where he was going with this.
He said, “Yeah, you know those Muslims pray 5 times a day faithfully and we Christians can barely make time to pray once a day.”
More curiosity sparked!
I immediately excused myself and ran back to my home. I opened the Computer and began searching the Internet about Muslim beliefs. I was amazed at their beliefs as it seemed to fit in line with mine.
But I wanted to be sure there were no surprises hidden in their beliefs; you know nothing that was going to throw me for a loop if I choose to convert.
The following weeks I drove to the closest mosque, which happened to be 50 miles away, requesting information. I searched the Internet into the wee hours of the morning reading all about Islam.
After a couple of months of researching and reading, I decided that I want to convert. I drove back to the mosque and took the Shahadah! A peace entered my heart and soul like never before. Subhanallah! (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Karima Burns, Iowa student of Arabic became a Muslim

I sat in the Alhambra Mosque in Granada, Spain staring at the script that bordered the walls. It was the most beautiful language I had ever seen. “What language is that?” I said a Spanish tourist. “Arabic,” they answered.
The next day, when the tour attendant asked which language I wanted my tour book in, I answered, “Arabic.”
“Arabic?” she said, surprised. “Do you speak Arabic?”
“No,” I replied. “Can you give me one in English too?”
By the end of my trip I had a bag full of Arabic tour guides to all the sites I had visited in Spain. In fact, my bag was so full that at one point I had to give away some of my clothes so I could make everything fit. But, I hung on to my Arabic tour books as if they were made of gold. I would open them every night and look at the letters of the language as they flowed across the page. I imagined being able to write such beautiful script and I thought to myself that there must be something worth knowing about a culture that had such an artistic language. I vowed that I would study this language when I started college in the fall.
Only two months before, I had left my family in Iowa to take a trip through Europe, alone. I was only 16 years old and due to enter Northwestern University in the fall and I had wanted to “see the world” first. At least, that is what I told my friends and family. In reality I was searching for answers. I had left the church only a few months before and did not know where to turn. I knew that I was not comfortable with what I was being taught, but I did not know of any alternatives.
Where I grew up, in the Midwest, there was no room for confusion - you were either part of the church or you were not. So, I had no idea there was something else. When I set off for Europe I hoped that there was.
In my church we were not allowed to pray to God, we could only pray to Jesus and hope that he would relay the message to God. I had intuitively felt that there was something wrong with that and so, without telling anyone, I secretly prayed to “God.” I sincerely believed that there was only one entity to pray to. But, I felt guilty because this was not what I had been taught. Then, there was the confusing matter of what to do during one’s “daily life.”
“I dutifully went to church every Sunday and was very serious about what I learned regarding honesty, kindness and compassion. So, it confused me when I saw people from church acting so differently during the week. Were there no rules during the week? Did they only apply on Sundays? I looked for some guidance, but found none. There were the Ten Commandments that covered the obvious things like killing, stealing and lying, but other than that, I had no guidelines for how to act when I wasn’t in church. All I knew was: perhaps there was something wrong with wearing mini-skirts to church and only going to Sunday School because of cute guys that attended.
One day, I went to a teacher’s house and saw a shelf lined with Bibles. I asked what they were. “Different versions of the Bible,” my teacher replied. It did not seem to bother him at all that there were so many different versions. But, it bothered me. Some of them were really different and some chapters were even missing from the version I had. I was very confused.
I returned to college that fall disappointed that I had not found the answers I was hoping for in Europe, but with a passion for a language I had only just learned about - Arabic. Ironically, I had stared right at the answers I was searching for, on the walls of the Alhambra. But, it took me two more years to realize that.
The first thing I did when I reached the campus was…enroll in Arabic classes. I was one of only three people in the highly unpopular class. I immersed myself in my Arabic studies with such a passion that my teacher was confused. I did my homework with a calligraphy pen and I went into the Arab areas of Chicago just to track down a Coca Cola bottle written in the language. I begged him to lend me books in Arabic just so I could look at the script. By the time my second year of college came around, I decided I should consider a major in Middle Eastern Studies. So, I enrolled in some classes focusing on the region. In one class we studied the Quran.
I opened the Quran one night to “do my homework” and could not stop reading it. It was like I had picked up a good novel. I thought to myself, “Wow. This is great. This is what I have always believed. This answers all my questions about how to act during the week and it even states very clearly that there is only one God.”
It just all made so much sense. I was amazed that there was this book written about everything I believed in and had been searching for. I went to class the next day to ask about the author of the book so I could read more books by them. In the copy I had been given, there was a name. I thought it was the author of the book, akin to the Gospels written by St. Luke or the other religions I had studied…that all attributed their writings to some person who was inspired enough to write it down.
My professor informed me that it was not the author but the translator because “according to the Muslims no one had written the book.” The Quran was, according to THEM (referring to Muslims) the word of God and had not been changed since it was revealed, recited and then transcribed. Needless to say, I was fascinated. After that, I became passionate, not only about my studies of Arabic, but about studying Islam and about going to the Middle East.
My senior year in college I finally went to Egypt to continue my studies. My favorite place to go became “Islamic Cairo,” where the mosques always gave me a sense of comfort and awe. I felt that by being in them, one could really feel the beauty, power and awe of Allah. And, as always I enjoyed staring at the elegant calligraphy on the walls.
One day a friend asked me why I didn’t convert to Islam if I liked it so much. “But I am already Muslim.” My answer surprised me. But then, I realized that it was a simple matter of logic and common sense. Islam made sense. It inspired me. I knew it was right. Why did I then have to convert? My friend informed me that in order to “be official,” I needed to actually go to the Mosque and state my intention in front of two witnesses[1]. So, I did. But, when they gave the certificate to me, I just filed it in my file cabinet with my “other” medical and personal records, because to me, I had always been Muslim! I didn’t need to hang a piece of paper on my wall to tell me that. I had known it the minute I picked up the Quran. The minute I opened it, I felt like I had found my long lost family. I hung a picture of the Alhambra Mosque on my wall instead.
(The Religion of Islam.htm)

[1] In reality, two witnesses are not needed. Once the Testimony of Faith is pronounced, one becomes a Muslim. It is something between that person and God alone.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kätlin Hommik, a young child at the age of 3 begins her quest of finding God!

My first memory is from the time I was three years old. I remember asking my father: “What would I become as I die?” He was very amazed to hear such a question from my little mind and unfortunately he was not able to answer me. Here, in Estonia, during the Soviet rule, faith was considered something taboo and nobody was allowed to talk about it – only crazy people believe in God, as how can we believe in something we don’t see? Our cosmonauts went to the space and they didn’t see God sitting on a cloud, in his white dress and with his long grey beard, therefore He does not exist! As a child of that society himself, my father was totally unable to give me an adequate answer. He said: “Well, my dear, you would just sleep in the ground ...”

I have never heard of anything as illogic or frightening as my father’s answer that day. It made me search for the truth, even though I was only three. But there was a long way ahead of me. I have always known, or actually felt, that God existed, even though I was not able to give Him a name. I knew He just was and He was always there to survey me. If I had to be a good girl, it was not for my parents, it was for Him, because He was the one who would see me anywhere I would be, and not my parents.

As I went to school, my questions became so hard on my father that he sent me to see his mother, my grandmother. She was born during the first republic of Estonia, so she was baptized like everybody else of her age. She was the one who told me first to call God God and she also taught me the Christian prayer of “Our Father who is in heaven”. As she also told me not to recite it in public or my parents could get in trouble, I promised myself to learn more as I would grow older.

And so I did. At the age of 11, as we got our independence from the Soviet Union, I went to a Sunday school (a special class for kids to learn about Christianity, usually held by the wife of the priest at the same time as the parents go to church) ... but they kicked me out. They told me I was asking too many questions I shouldn’t, that I had a lack of faith. I didn’t understand them. I didn’t find anything wrong with wanting to know how come Christ is considered the son of God as God didn’t marry Mary and how come then Adam is not the son of God, even though he didn’t have a mother nor a father. But this kind of a curiosity was just too much for the teacher.

When I was 15 I started to learn more about Christianity on my own. I considered myself a Christian, If I could leave out this and that and … at the end I realized that I couldn’t consider myself a Christian if I didn’t accept so many things in that religion. I had to look for something else …

After learning about different kinds of religions I finally found Islam. As I had previously been so disappointed about Christianity, it took me a long time to study Islam first. But it was all worth it.

When people ask me, why I became a Muslim, I usually tell them, that I didn’t become one, I have always been a Muslim, I just didn’t realize it. And as I discovered Islam, it took me three years to check if that is really who I am. So if one would ask me if I’m sure, I could answer with no doubt what so ever – YES!!! That is who I am, who I have always been. So finally at the age of 21 I converted to Islam; All Thanks to God!

I converted to Islam straight after the month of Ramadan, 2001. Ramadan is a beautiful time and is all about fasting, keeping yourself away from the physical pleasures, making your mind get the upper hand over your body, and thinking about the ones who are less fortunate than you. That is exactly how I feel about my life before becoming a Muslim – I was fasting from the most needed food a human being can long for – the “food” for his mind and his heart! I was constantly working on making myself better, constantly praying to find inner peace, constantly analyzing the situation in this life …

I still don’t have a totally logical explanation to why I exactly I converted AFTER Ramadan and not BEFORE or DURING it. I fasted the whole month of Ramadan then converted. I guess I had to purify myself; I had to take the last step towards accepting the perfection.

Being deprived of food and drink is one thing, but being deprived of knowledge, of simple truth, believe me, it’s even harder. That is why, every time we fast, we don’t only have to think about when would the minute arrive that would allow us to eat and to drink and to taste all the good things made by the women of our house for the break of fast, but we would also have to think about all the other people who are deprived, not only of food, but also of the blessing of being a Muslim, the blessing of being so close to perfection and truth. As Muslims, we are truly blessed: we are fasting one month per year to make ourselves better persons, but most of the people in this world have to fast large parts of their life in the search of truth. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Deborah Frazier, convert to Islam after 9-11

I came to Islam after 9-11. As an American I wanted to know my "enemy" and once I came to understand Islam I knew it was what I always believed anyway and I shortly thereafter took shahadah.

However I did not fully embrace Islam until right before Ramadan.

I am an American. Born and raised. Blond hair and green eyes, Christian background but empty and searching for answers. I even spent a year studying Judaism in my search but nothing ever answered my questions and fulfilled my longing for the oneness of my creator until Islam

I am not isolated from my family Their choice. I find it difficult to function in USA as a revert/convert. But I am committed to my new found way of life I thank you for this website ( and to the sense of community and belonging it will offer

Allah would not bring me to this if He was not going to see me through. Deborah Frazier . (

Josh Hasan, seeker of truth found Islam as his religion

I might not have become a Muslim. I could have been a Hindu, worshipping 14,321 gods and goddesses, such as a goddess for my neighbor’s dog, another for the moon, and yet another for Evander Holyfield’s lost ear. I would be worshiping all these counterfeit “gods,” and I would be sick…sick in the heart and blind to the logic of obeying a pink elephant with six arms, which can be found on the walls of some Hindu-influenced, Indian restaurants! Yes, they worship elephants, which are habitually afraid of mice.
Or perhaps I could be a Christian, worshipping Jesus Christ. But why should I worship a prophet, indeed, who never called himself divine? Wouldn’t he know? He does know, and so do I. Jesus is not God and God is not Jesus.
I could have gone to Buddhism, but which sect is correct? Who knows? And would I have wanted to listen to the Dalai Lama telling me how to enjoy life-in his words, “taking three hookers and traveling to Las Vegas.”
I did not become any of the above, nor will I. I turned in the direction of Islam when I knew almost nothing of it. One year later, I took Shahada. I only wish I had taken it much earlier. This is my story of becoming a Muslim. It began when I was 10.
One God
When I was 10, my parents enrolled me at the local Conservative Synagogue, in the densely Jewish town of Brookline, Massachusetts. I was sent there supposedly to learn Hebrew and be taught Judaism. I was adequately taught neither. The teachers were mainly Israeli. It is hard for me to remember now, but they actually taught [reformed] Judaism very well. At 10, I sincerely believed in God, read the stories from the Torah and Old Testament, and was more pious than my much older parents. I tried to pray and be steadfast, even though my family and friends, as I remember, did not think of it as even the least important. Why didn’t they care? Nevertheless, I kept up my inner Jew. During this time of Judaica, I took peeks at Christianity, wondering how so many of my friends followed this great man, whose name so many people used in vain when they dropped their papers or tripped. Shouldn’t Jesus Christ, I thought, be shown more respect? Moreover, could he be the son of God?
Then one day, still 10, as I went through my readings on the Jews and Israel, I came across a new religion. First, I saw a crescent and star; I read further. I was profoundly moved when I found out that another billion people in the world worshipped the same God as I did. As I think about it now, it was truly remarkable. These followers of Islam, of Allah Almighty read the Qur’an, as it was spelled, and went on a pilgrimage. Interesting!
Unfortunately, further learning at that time was hindered by the affinity for Israel. I was brainwashed about the Muslim terrorists who blew up Jews like dynamite. The Jews were good; the Arabs were bad. That’s what my friends told me, that’s what my teachers seemed to imply, and I would seldom hear of Islam again until 1999.
Meanwhile, 1994 turned into 1995. My family switched synagogues, and sects. From conservative, we now called ourselves “reform Jews.” We became very liberal. Our “Rabbi” was not kosher. He was hardly what I consider a spiritual leader, a man who leads Jews as followers of God. One night, as we sat in the “congregation,” our Rabbi tried to keep us awake. He referred to his pleasure of looking lustfully at Boston College “coeds” from his nearby home. He incited only a handful of laughs. Today, as I look back, I remember how he spoke of the “haram” in front of his wife, before the Torah, and in the presence of God. My discontent with Judaism grew, and I knew that a religious move to the right wing was inevitable. Only it wouldn’t be Orthodox Judaism.
The Other People of the Book
I was impressed at the time with the Christians’ spirituality because it seemed powerful. Judaism, I knew, was a corrupt religion, but I still believed in God. The Christians believe in God, do they not?
I went to mass, I spoke to priests, but I had the world’s most difficult time believing that Jesus could be divine. So I forced myself. I would pray to the “son,” and what a mess. I tried very hard, but I knew there was no answer. I didn’t understand, but I continued studying the Catechism and saying the Lord’s Prayer. I wasn’t baptized, so I wasn’t Catholic. In fact, to become Catholic, you needed to study for nine months. What if I died before I became a Catholic because the priests wouldn’t let me become Christian? Then what? I continued to notice flaws in the Christian doctrine. The priests seemed to notice them, but nevertheless they continued preaching.
Around January 26, 1999, I quit the confirmation class. I quit Christianity, although I was not even Christian. I was not “saved,” but I did not care. I pleased my parents immensely by leaving the Catholic Church. But, I still knew there was only one God. To this day, I am surprised at how instantly it happened. Not one week after I left the church for good, I was ready to learn about the final religion of God.
The Horrendous Procrastination
My father was overjoyed to learn of my fading interest in Catholicism and he welcomed me with open arms. Unfortunately, he took me to the library. There, I was presented with Encyclopedia Britannica. I read about Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. The article claimed he slaughtered all the Jewish men of their tribe. Having read this, I was deeply saddened, and I was angry and confused at the same time. I was indignant at having learned that this prophet from Islam had slaughtered Jews, and I was confused about what to do now. I thought I had ruled out Islam, but I still believed in God. Then what? Indeed, I could not go more than a couple of weeks before returning. I knew Judaism was corrupt, I knew Christianity was corrupt. Now I got it: Encyclopedia Britannica is also corrupt.
So I began my search for a local Mosque. In fact, I found a nearby Mosque by accident. I looked on the Internet relentlessly. As soon as I saw the word Boston, I clicked the mouse, awaiting the information that would bring me to worship God in the right way. I waited, patient with a slow and unfeeling modem, and finally, the site had loaded.
At the tap of a mouse button, I was greeted with Assalamu Alaikum. I took down the address, and planned the journey. So special was it to have found a mosque in Boston; I was thrilled that I wouldn’t have to travel to Egypt or Jordan or Yemen.
It was around February 28, 1999. I walked down Prospect Street, and I saw the Mosque. I walked to the front, I reached to open the door, and noticed a sign: Women’s Entrance. Women’s entrance! I didn’t know what that meant, so I walked around the mosque, hoping they would let men in somewhere. Suddenly, I felt nervous as I found the men’s entrance. I had never met a religious Muslim, and I had no idea what the Muslims’ reaction would be upon meeting me. I wondered if I should hide my Jewish identity. I took a breath and entered the door.
“Excuse me,” I said to the first man I saw. “I am here to learn about Islam.” I waited for his reaction. I waited for an education or to be sent out. Would they really send me out? I had hung up my shoes. The man opened his mouth to speak: “Sorry, I don’t speak English,” and he went inside the main room. I followed him in. I wasn’t sure if he had left me to wander. I looked around, at the faithful prostrating in submission to Allah (swt). I was moved, but I wasn’t sure what to do next. Then, I noticed the man returned with what seemed like a horde of faithful others. I sat down. There was one of me and what seemed like 50 of them. They all spoke to me at the same time. It was overwhelming, but it felt great. It showed how important Islam was to Muslims then and there. I was given “A Brief Illustrated Guide to Islam,” and within minutes, I had the Shahada before my eyes. There it was: La Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammadun Rassoolu Allah. I was ready to say it. Here and now. Nine months to become a Catholic, probably more to be a Jew. In a matter of moments, I could embrace Islam.
“Are you sure? You don’t have to do this,” came the advice of a friendly but cautious brother. I was surprised: was it such a big thing that I would have to think about it? Should I not become a Muslim now?
That day, I did not become a Muslim. But it was a wonderful Saturday. I met brothers from all over the world. And yet, as diverse as the people appeared, they all shared a common objective, which was clear: the utmost submission to Allah (swt).
It would be over a year before I would become a Muslim. During that year, I had been at the site of an alleged shooting in the Bronx, passing through in my family’s car. In fact, the bullet shattered the rear window, just a few feet away from my head. I survived without a scratch, and soon forgot about the whole incident.
On May 6, 2000, I took the same train I had always taken to the Masjid in Cambridge. This time, I brought with me a book on Arabic, as I thought it would be appropriate to learn the language. That was my philosophy back then. Study Islam comprehensively. By the time you take Shahada, you’ll be a genius. I ran into a Muslim I hadn’t seen in months. He asked me if I had become a Muslim yet. Then, we had a short conversation. He talked about how if I went out in the street and got in a car accident, I would die a non-Muslim. This very well could mean hellfire. He told me this exact story back in December 1999, but I had dismissed it, even in the wake of the Bronx shooting. This time, putting off Islam would not last.
At the Masjid that same afternoon, I sat down and watched as the Muslims lined up for Dhuhr, the second prayer of the day. I stared as they prostrated, an act Shaitan had refused. And I couldn’t take it any longer. I wondered what it would be like to become a Muslim now, but my thoughts were all one-sided. I told the brother right after the prayer that I wanted to become a Muslim today. As I write this, three months later, I know that taking Shahada was the best thing I could ever have done. I only wish I could have done it earlier. (The Religion of Islam.htm)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jonathan Abdilla, how God answered him

I feel honored to be a Muslim...
And I feel that way for many reasons. There are many norms in the society I live that are opposite to what it is to be Muslim. And when I first came to this way of life, I didn’t know how well I would fair with it. To become Muslim was essentially to join a visible minority, and that’s not something I would ordinarily be so keen to do. However, after learning the unadulterated teachings of Islam, I found myself compelled to embrace Islam as an absolute truth.
Having spent a large portion of my short life not being Muslim, I know the darkness that God speaks of in the Quran. I remember what it was like when Allah opened my eyes and shined light where the darkness had once been. In the beginning of my life, I had no definite form of absolute guidance.
The simplest aspects of creation would boggle my mind. I was totally oblivious to the miracles God put in nature. One time in particular I recall learning about evaporation in science class. I was unable to comprehend it. Not the how, but the why it happened.
I understood the idea of the water cycle and its importance for life, but what would make the water essentially disappear and float back up to the sky?
When viewing this question, without knowing God, my mind ran into a mental block at which point I could not come up with the answer. Boggled by the thought, I merely shrugged my shoulders and threw it to the back of my mind.
When looking at the human body, and how it’s made largely of water, or looking at the universe and trying to comprehend what was beyond it. I would be faced with the mental barricade of not being able to comprehend the reason for its creation.
Time and time again scientists could explain the how, but never the why. They could explain purpose within the mechanics of creation, but they could never explain the purpose for the mechanics itself. What caused the mechanics? What caused nature to have laws?
Having been brought up in a non-practicing Christian family, I had a general understanding of the principles of Christianity. The reason why I never turned to it for guidance was because it had never made sense to me. When I heard the word “God” as a child, I recall remembering an absolute, single, omnipotent being somewhere out there.
My problem with Christianity was the dogma, and more specifically the beliefs about God. The issue of a “Triune” God that is essentially three different individuals that all unite to take on the role of the “One” God. I know that is not how the Doctrine of Trinity is official promoted, and any Bible thumping Christian would probably accuse me of not understanding the Doctrine, but that’s the reality that I saw in it
Besides the inherent problems contained within the Doctrine of Trinity, I used to look at the fact that the Christians worship Jesus, and I would say, “If they worship Jesus, where does God come in?” Especially since Jesus is narrated as having said in the Bible that the Father who is in the Heavens is Greater.
Around that time, I unofficially rejected Christianity. I became a Christian / Atheist / Agnostic. I began to live life trying to come to terms with my surroundings and myself. Not knowing of a greater purpose, I saw no problem in taking part in destructive activities of any kind; on condition I would receive some sort of satisfaction from it.
I had little or no regard for my own body, or anybody else’s for that matter. I began to turn to the common reality escape, namely drugs and alcohol. At first using them as a social tool, and eventually using them habitually as a sedative. If people ever told me I should calm down, I would tell them I could stop if I had a reason, but I had no reason. And I lead my life like that for some years, eventually going deeper into it, experimenting with other types of drugs and at one point I even began selling them.
But eventually I started to feel a consciousness within me looking for some sort of consoling. Although I was lost and in the dark, since I never saw the light, I didn’t know the difference between the two. I began to think of “the bigger picture.”
I began to think about death. I tried to comprehend the concept of nothingness, and as many times before in my life, when trying to contemplate the purpose, my mind drew blanks. Until one night, while I lay on my bed, deep in thought , I turned my face to the sky, and I said “God, if you’re real, and You exist, please help me!”
I went to sleep that night never really thinking twice about it. Then on 9/11 I watched the uncanny events unfold. I was confused about the whole situation, why it happened, what exactly happened, and how they knew who did it almost immediately. For the first time there was meaning being applied to foreign terms that I had heard, but never new anything about, namely Islam.
I used to literally think that Islam was an Island somewhere in the Middle East (which surprisingly is still a common misconception amongst a large portion of the population today, thinking Islam is a country). I knew of the Muslim religion, but I looked at Muslims like Buddhist, with strange rituals. I used to think they worshipped idols. But that night when I went out with my friends, Islam had become a hot topic.
Some of my friends started to bash Islam, saying that it was a stupid religion. I was surprised that some of my friends happened to be Muslim and they began to defend their religion. Being curious about the whole topic and its impending impact on the near future, I began to investigate. And what I found surprised me. I found out that the Muslims worshipped God. Furthermore I found out that the Muslims believed in Jesus as being a Muslim (one who submits to God), who was a Prophet and Messenger of God, that God saved him from the Crucifixion, and that he was no part divine or any part of God, and that God alone should be worshipped.
Those pieces of information struck a chord with me, for I remembered believing in God as One Absolute being when I was younger, and likewise, I remember rejecting Christianity based upon its worship of Jesus.
Thus I began an inquest into Islam and Christianity. I became interested in the subject of religion and began reading constantly. I would consult my grandmother on issues regarding Christianity, and would consult my friend on Islam. I would bring the arguments back and forth to one another to see whose arguments would stand up.
Eventually after reading through the Quran and the Bible, observing God’s Miracles in nature and undergoing a thorough soul searching experience. I said to myself about Islam, “it sounds so true, but can it be real?” And right in that instance, I remembered my previous prayer when I said, “God, if your real, and you exist, please help me!” I was covered in goose bumps. I realized that this was the answer, but I still wasn’t sure if I wanted to become Muslim. I didn’t know how well I would fit in with the Muslims from an ethnic standpoint.
I continued reading and was really looking for something to give me a conformation about my decision. Then one day while reading the Bible, I came across verse 26:39 in the Gospel of Matthew. The verse reads:
Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
For me, this verse confirmed three things that I had learnt from an Islamic view of Jesus. That he was Muslim, as he prayed as a Muslim by falling to his face in prayer. That he didn’t want to die, because he prayed for the cup of death to be removed from him. And that he was not God, because he himself prayed to God for help.
This was the conformation that I needed that really solidified my decision to embrace Islam. And I couldn’t accept the Message, without accepting the Messenger. So on December 28th, 2001 by the Mercy of Allah, I took the declaration of faith (To say I bear witness none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), and embraced Islam. And since that time, by Allah’s Grace, I have achieved things, and been places, and have done things that I never would have imagined possible.
After tasting faith, I know the fruits it bears, and I pray that Allah allows me to do more good, and allows me to live the remainder of my life on His path. All praises are for Allah, and peace and blessing be upon His messenger, Muhammad. Ameen. (The Religion of Islam.htm)