Bismillah AlRahman AlRaheem
I was born in
I grew very fond of the Bible and I could see God’s word in it. But there were areas that confused me and when I would ask church leaders about them I found myself dissatisfied with some of their answers. For instance, in the first book of the Bible Genesis Ch 32 it says that God came down to earth as a man and wrestled with the Prophet Yaqub (as) (Jacob). As a Christian I believed that Isa (as) was God so it actually did not bother me at the time that God would come to earth as a man but in the Biblical story God loses the fight with Yaqub (as). I did not understand how an all-powerful God could lose a fight to anybody. I was also disturbed to read in Jeremiah Ch 10: 2-4 “Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.” In the very next verse it equates this as the same as idol worship. I made a fuss about this to my parents when I was young and I got them to put away the plastic Christmas tree that year. But the next year they put it up again and said that it was not an important rule, and our minister agreed with them. I felt that every rule in the Bible should be important if it was the word of God. There were other issues that puzzled me in the Bible but it also had so many good and had such a powerful message that I still felt it was still the word of God. I told myself that I know I am not the smartest guy in the world so if I do not understand something then that does not mean it is not truth; it could be my own ignorance. So I put everything I could not understand under this category.
I continued studying on my own and after I graduated high school I officially left the Methodist church to join a non-denominational church. I had too many Biblical disputes with the Methodist church. I joined the
One morning as I was reading the Bible and I came upon a Psalms Ch 84, “Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you. Selah Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the
Since I wanted to be a missionary I wanted to learn more about other religions so I could know where they were coming from and Islam appealed to me because there were many Muslims at my college and it seemed exotic. I had always heard that the Qur’an teaches Muslims to kill Christians and Jews and that it was a violent religion. I thought the best way to know where Muslims were coming from was to read their scripture, so I checked out a Qur’an from the public Library. I felt like I was about to read the other teams play book. I was stunned when I read the first chapter of the Qur’an called Al Fatiha. The last part of the chapter where it said, “lead us the path of those whom you have guided not the path of those for whom your portion is wrath, or those whom you have lead astray;” it reminded me of the prayer I had been asking God for so long ago. This did not make me want to convert but it got my attention. In the translation of the Qur’an I had there was a concordance and the first thing I did after reading Al Fatiha was to look up what the Qur’an said about Christianity. I had also heard that Jesus (pbuh) was in the Qur’an so I looked that up too. I was surprised that not only did I not find a verse that ordered Muslims to kill Christians but in Sruah Madiah Ch 5:81-83 “… and you will find nearest in love to the believers (Muslims) those who say “We are Christians.” That is because amongst them there are priests and monks and they are not proud. And when they (who call themselves Christians) listen to what has been sent down to the Messenger (Muhammad peacebeuponhim), you see there eyes overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognized. They say, “Our Lord we believe so write us down among the witnesses. And why should we not believe in Allah and that which has come to us of the truth? And we wish that our Lord will admit us (in
I tried telling Muslims at Northern Virginia community college and George Mason University about Christianity and they were easy to talk to because religion was something special to them and they did not mind talking about those things. But as I talked with them I noticed that religious Muslims seemed to follow many parts of the Bible better than Christians did because the two faiths were very similar in many ways. The book of Exodus commanded men to trim their mustaches and to let their beards grow but few did that. 1st Corinthians Ch 11 stated that a woman must cover their hair but I didn’t see any who did. All the Prophets in the Bible from Ibrahim to Isa (peace be upon them all) prayed on their faces but few Christians did while I saw that all Muslims did. I also liked the fact that the Qur’an was in the first person, and I had respect for my Muslim friends at school, but I still did not want to convert.
I saw that my efforts to convert Muslims to Christianity was not working so I tried a different approach and I asked the Muslims to tell me about their religion in there own words; since I had been the one doing most of the talking. During one conversation a Muslims was telling me about the five pillars of Islam, I already knew about them but I did not want to be rude so I did not interrupt. Then when they got to the fifth pillar they said the word Baca instead of
May Allah forgive me, I think I knew Islam was the truth about a month before I converted to Islam but I had a so much invested in Christianity and I knew I would be leaving something big. I did not have any ill will towards my Church, I was not jaded by a bad experience, but even if you have something great to come into it is hard to leave something. So I fasted and prayed about it, I even dropped the classes I was taking to think about my decision, and finally I remembered that I had always said; I only want to do what is right and that I knew I had to submit to God’s will. So I felt ashamed of thinking about what worldly reasons should keep me in Christianity and what type of pain I would experience in this life if I converted. I contacted a Muslim friend of mine and told them that I believed Allah was the only God and that Muhammad was his final prophet, and I wanted to know how to become a Muslim. He said I just did, and then explained that to become a Muslim you need to say ‘I bear witness that there is no deity worthy except Allah and that Muhammad is his servant and final Messenger.” This beautiful phrase is called the shahadah and I said mine on