Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From Darkness to Light...The story of my reversion to Islam

The reversion to Islam by any human being is always cause for wonder, and the greatest mercy Allah can give to those He loves. Yet in my case, it was so much more. Truly it was a miracle, alhamdulilah. Before I ever knew the word Islam, or what exactly a “Muslim” was, Allah guided me by my fitrah (God-given inborn nature) to deduce—with my heart and mind—exactly how He wanted me to live. It is an amazing story, and all praise is due to the One who guided me.

Beginning in the summer of 1981, this gift of Islam was bestowed upon me slowly over a period of one year, during the lowest and most challenging point in my life. I was a devout Roman Catholic—devout as in fully practicing and believing wholeheartedly in my faith. My marriage was failing, due mainly to the fact my husband was not only a non-Catholic, but an atheist as well. Although this disturbed me, it was not cause for serious problems in my marriage until after my daughter was born in 1979. From that point on it became a constant source of frustration and pain. While he did allow me to have her baptized, he was not keen for her to be raised in any religion. No amount of discussion would budge him. Nor did reminding him that when he married me, he had signed a paper in the church, promising any children born of this marriage would be raised as Catholics. He simply refused the idea of her growing up believing in any deity or faith at all, and in fact began to make fun not only of my beliefs, but of God as well.

I scheduled a meeting with a priest I’d known for many years, hoping he could guide me in this matter. He gave me little comfort. I felt he didn’t take this subject as seriously as I did. He seemed more concerned with my saving the marriage than he was with the issue of my daughter’s faith. He couldn’t quite grasp the pain I felt each time I heard my husband curse or joke about God. Nor did he understand how devastating this would be to my daughter, who would definitely receive a horribly mixed message as she grew. I feared the day would come when my husband might actually prevent either of us from going to church. Somehow, our conversation veered off into another direction, and we begin to discuss principles of Catholicism. Although I don’t remember it now, I asked a question about the trinity. I received the standard answer…three Gods in one divine person. When I pressed the issue further, the priest became very agitated and informed me that if I needed to ask questions like that to begin with, I had no faith at all.

While I can understand his reaction now—that it was due to the fact that he had no better explanation for this “mystery” than I did, at the time I was shocked and hurt. I felt as if I had been literally expelled from the church. With one innocent question, and the desire to come closer to God, I had been deemed a person of no faith at all. I quickly made my exit, and thought long and hard about the priest’s remarks. I simply refused to accept his opinion of me. I knew I was a person of great faith and reliance upon God, and no human could convince me otherwise. But from that moment on, I no longer considered myself a Catholic. There was so much turmoil in the church at the time, and people were leaving the religion in droves. While I never imagined I would be one of them, suddenly, I was. Without looking backwards, I went in search of the truth.

I tried briefly to just read and study the Bible—a book of which I amazingly had little knowledge. Catholics aren’t really Bible readers. We focused more on church catechism. I found the Bible difficult to understand, disjointed, and with little guidance on how I was to live my daily life. To me it seemed more like a story book. In hopes that I was wrong, I contacted a local Christian church and asked if I might join in religious lessons. My first exposure to them was my last. They were evangelicals and focused heavily on talking in tongues and receiving the “gift” of the Holy Spirit. It was just too out there for me. I needed a religion that I could keep constantly in my heart, not something I had to conjure up with ghosts and dead languages.

After that I turned to the study of Judaism, which I had always been told was the “true” and first religion of man. I soon found myself excluded from this club also because I was not born of a Jewish mother. Although conversion was possible, it was mostly unaccepted by the Jews themselves, especially the orthodox. Further, it was this belief of Jews as God’s chosen people that seriously troubled me. I could not imagine a God who made His religion available only to those who were born into it, and then despite their deeds—good or bad, would be the only people admitted to Heaven based on a birthright. It didn’t seem fair, and I was sure God was nothing if not just.

And so began a whirlwind of study of every religion I could find. Hinduism, Buddhism, Tao, Confucius, Hare Krishna…I studied them all and rejected them faster and faster. All except Islam. I didn’t even know it existed. And I understand the reason why Allah allowed me to investigate the other faiths first. So that when I eventually found Islam, I would be 100% certain it was the only true religion.

At that point, I was very depressed. I was in the midst of divorce proceedings by then and living back home, caring for my ailing grandfather. My dear grandmother, my best friend in all the world and truly the only "mother" I ever knew, had died unexpectedly the past winter, and my mother was not interested in my quest for enlightenment. I felt so alone. I was trying to juggle returning to college full-time, an active daughter, a sick grandfather, housekeeping and worst of all, my distance from God. I had no beliefs left, just the knowledge that there was a God. I was a blank slate. Every previous notion of God wiped away, except for the certainty He did exist. And based on that alone, I prayed to Him. Continuously. Always begging for His guidance.

Over an agonizing period of a few months, I tried thinking logically in my journey to find Him. If there was a God, I reasoned, surely He had His own unique way in which He wanted us to know Him. A way in which we could truly worship and connect with Him, all the while making Him a constant part of our daily lives, not just something to be taken out once a week, then put away for the remainder. But above all else, in my mind I told myself, One God, One Way. All these religions laying claim to God, yet such divergent paths. No, I could not accept there was anyway to God but one way. I needed only to find that way.

Further I deduced that God’s path had to be for all people, for all time. No one was special, no one was chosen, and no one was excluded. Neither those of us living, those who had gone before us, nor those who would come after. I could not believe in a merciful God if He had not made his religion known to mankind since time began. Somehow, back at the beginning, from the creation of Adam, I knew there had to be a “secret”. Something I had missed from the very beginning that was the key to it all.

There were problems in my family. My brother, younger than me, was already an alcoholic. He was mentally unstable and given to fits of rage. My mother however, always took his side in any confrontation. I was so extremely stressed. I had to drop out of college because I could not concentrate properly on my studies. I also hated having to leave my daughter in daycare to attend classes. I wanted to care for her full time. My grandfather was getting worse by the day—early one morning after my mother had gone to work, he set his chair on fire by dropping a lit cigar between the cushions. I thought I was dreaming when I heard the buzz of the smoke alarm going off in the house. Even the acrid smell of the smoke didn’t awaken me. It was my daughter calling from the nursery “Mommy, Mommy” that finally got me up and out of bed. I opened my bedroom door to a house full of smoke. I grabbed her from her crib, woke my brother, and we left the house. The fire department came but by that time my brother had already carried the smoldering chair into the yard. He had to first move my grandfather out of the way, as he was sitting on the floor in front of it, trying to put the fire out by beating the chair with a yardstick. It was obvious my grandfather was now in need of more supervision than any of us could provide.

It was at that time my mother began to think seriously about putting him into a nursing home. And thus, my “services” would no longer be needed. She told me in no uncertain terms I would have to move out. There was no room for me or my daughter in her life. Without grandfather to worry about, and my brother out getting drunk most of the time, my mother found she would have more time to spend in privacy with her boyfriend. She felt it was her time to “live her life the way she wanted”. I was petrified. My husband and I were still in the process of a divorce. I could not get welfare payments while still married to him. If I tried, they would have first gone after him for child support—something of which I hadn’t seen a penny. He threatened me if I tried to take child support from him, he would fight for custody of our daughter. His mistress was behind him, urging him on. I didn’t know how I would survive unless I got a job. And that meant putting my child in daycare again. It was agony to feel so alone and with no solution in sight. I was beginning to feel as if I was the only sane person amidst all the insanity, yet sometimes I even questioned that. I felt like a square peg being hammered into a round hole. I just didn’t seem to fit into the family after my grandmother died, and was slowly being pushed out of it entirely. In desperation, I turned to God yet again, begging for the answers to my problems.

One day I found myself alone in the house. My daughter was with her father and my mother and brother were off somewhere. In the silence of my bedroom, I felt a strong urge to pray. But how? I stood in the middle of my room not even knowing where to begin. I stood as if listening, trying to find some guidance in this simple matter of how to pray. The idea came to me that to talk to God, I must be clean. As if overtaken from a force beyond myself, I headed to the bathroom for a shower. I bathed from head to toe. Returning to my room, once again I stood, waiting for something—or Someone—to tell me what to do next. Again I was guided towards the answer—I felt the need to cover myself—completely. Donning a long-sleeved, ankle-length robe was not enough. I felt I had to cover my hair as well. I wrapped a long scarf around my head and stared into the mirror, feeling strangely comfortable with my appearance. And even though I had no idea what a Muslim was or how one dressed, there I was, basically wearing the hijab.* Anyone who knew about Islam would have thought I was a Muslim preparing for prayer. But glory to God, at that time, I still knew nothing about Islam.

So there I was dressed for prayer yet still having no idea what to do next. I turned towards the window and just stood there, looking outside on that sunny day. What next? I didn’t want to kneel down—that was too much like church. I felt I needed to humble myself before Him. I wanted to be in a position of complete submission to my Creator (remember that word submission—it's important). The only idea in my mind was to lay flat on the ground. Again that conjured up images of the church, when would-be priests and nuns taking their vows lay themselves out flat on the floor, arms extended at their sides, basically in the shape of a cross. As much as I wanted to totally humble myself in front of my Creator, I had no idea how to do it. Finally the thought came to me that I must kneel down on my knees and put my face on the floor. Before I did that though, I realized the floor might not be clean enough, even though my bedroom was clean, I felt the need to prostrate on something I was sure was pure. Beside me on my daughter's crib was a small blanket I had crocheted for her stroller. It was, I realized later, exactly the size of an Islamic prayer rug. And it was freshly washed! So I took the blanket and laid it out in front of me on the carpeting. And amazingly I would later learn that was the exact direction of the Kabbah*, the direction Muslims face for prayer. Satisfied that all was well, I dropped to my knees, then lowered my upper body onto my hands, and placed my face on the floor. It brings tears to my eyes and a shiver runs through me as I remember that day. I picture myself in that room, in that position, and see that I was clearly dressed and praying like a Muslim. Subhannah Allah* how merciful was God to guide me this way.

In that position, feeling as if I had finally connected with God, I cried and begged Him again and again to show me the way He wanted me to believe…the way He wanted me to live. The tears would not stop. I finally felt as if I had found a major truth that day. I just needed to fill in the blanks. And thanks to the guidance and mercy of my glorious Lord, I would soon find all the answers.

Since my mother was still considering a nursing home for my grandfather, and I was still forced to look for a new place to live, Thanksgiving came upon us and I was yet at home. My mother became busy with holiday preparations and somehow, outwardly, the days passed peacefully. But in my mind, I never forgot for one minute my quest to find my religion. After Thanksgiving, the usual round of Christmas parties began, and I was invited by a girlfriend to attend a gathering of college students at a local restaurant. We were a large group and at dinner I found myself seated next to a man from Nigeria, who was working on his doctoral degree at the University of Pittsburgh. I was fascinated by his dress—Nigerian native garb—his head covered in what looked like a larger version of a Jewish yarmulke. He had a kind face and bright smile, and we began to talk about school. When it came time to order dinner, he asked if I would help him with the menu. "I can't eat pork or alcohol", he explained, and I gladly consented. After ordering our meals I asked him why he didn’t consume pork or alcohol. "Because of my religion", he responded, smiling. "And what religion is that?" I wondered aloud. "I am a Muslim", he replied.

Lights, bells and whistles went off in my head. That's one I hadn’t heard of before, I realized. I was very anxious to hear more. Already having searched and studied every belief under the sun, I knew exactly what I wanted to ask. "Tell me please, if you don’t mind, what is the cardinal belief of your religion? What is the one point you would say describes your religion the best?" Without hesitation, he smiled again and said "We believe there is only one God. God is not part of a trinity, nor does He have a son. He has no partners. God is One." It sounded so simple. I had no problem with that. I told him that made sense to me. Again he smiled. I then asked him how his religion viewed women. What was their status in his beliefs? Having suffered as a woman in a society where my religion provided little guidance—or respect—for women, I held my breath waiting for his response. I so wanted to hear something that satisfied me! Again he was quick to answer. "Women in Islam are equal to men. They have basically the same status and obligations as men. And they take the same rewards and punishments. However, being equal does not mean the same. Men and women were created differently from each other. They are equal but different." I wanted to know how the differences manifested themselves. He responded. "In marriage for example…while a Muslim woman has many rights—perhaps more rights than a man—to be provided for completely, she is also required to obey her husband." "Obey her husband? Hmmmm. What does that mean?" He started to laugh. It was clear he had been down this path before. "It means", he explained patiently, "that if a decision must be made for the good of the marriage or family, while a man must consult his wife and ask her opinion, in the end the final decision is his. Look at it this way—as if marriage is a ship sailing in the sea. A ship can only have one captain who is ultimately responsible for its welfare. A ship with two captains will sink." He sat back and awaited my response. I couldn’t think of any argument against what he said. It made sense to me. I had always felt, deep inside, that the husband must take final responsibility for the family. I was pleased—more than pleased actually—happiness slowly turned into elation as I asked more and more excited about Islam. Everything he told me made perfect sense. And amidst the extreme joy and peace I felt, I also wondered how it was that I had never known of Islam before? Subhannah Allah, everything happens in Allah's time. I asked him how I could learn more about this religion and he kindly offered to put me in touch with Muslims at his mosque who would give me a Qur'an and answer any questions I had. He took my phone number and promised to call me. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait!

That was Friday, December 3, 1982. Next Monday morning found me on the steps of the local library, waiting for it to open. I took out every book there on Islam, which sad to say in those days were few, and not very accurate either, but I didn’t realize that at the time. When I opened the first book, the introduction began "Islam means submission to the will of God…" Amazing! There's that word "submission"! Exactly the word I used myself before I knew anything about it. I only knew complete and total submission to God's way was required if I was to attain peace. In that very instant I knew I had found the truth. I devoured the books and waited on pins and needles for Ahmad—the Nigerian man—to contact me again. And true to his word, he did. I was given the number of the mosque and a contact name. Shaking with excitement, I dialed, praying someone would answer. And someone did. The man who answered my call said in a very thick foreign accent the one I was asking for was not there at the time. Undaunted I explained that I was very interested in learning more about Islam. Immediately he welcomed me and gave me the address, inviting me to come to come right away to speak with him and receive a copy of the Qur'an! I was excited beyond words. I made an appointment for later that day, and eagerly got myself and my daughter ready for the meeting.

I laugh now to think of myself that day. I wanted to appear my best. So I put on a pantsuit, curled my hair, applied make-up and perfume, and dressed my 1 year old daughter in her cutest outfit! I knew we were embarking on a new life. My daughter and I—together—we were a team! When I arrived and entered the building the first person I met was a Muslim woman wearing niqab*. I found her exotically foreign looking and beautiful. I told her I was there to meet a man named Abdul Hamid. She graciously directed me towards a staircase. "You'll find him in the office at the top of the stairs", she said in perfect English, which surprised me. I had yet to learn Islam was not a "foreign" religion, or that it was the fastest growing religion in the world. There was so much yet I didn’t know. But one thing was for certain, I was sure I was on the right track. When I entered the office all heads turned in my direction, then all eyes were lowered. No one looked me in the eye. But everyone did start smiling! Warm, happy, sincere smiles. One man walked towards me, speaking in a strange language. Later I found out he was assaying "Masha Allah, masha Allah" as he came and took my daughter from my arms. "How beautiful she is" he exclaimed, and proceeded to introduce her to the other men. For some reason I felt no fear of this strange person taking my daughter. He sat her down on top of a desk and handed her pens and pencils and a stapler—anything he thought might amuse her, all the while laughing and trying to get her to talk. The other men gathered around her as well, and finally Abdul Hamid came to greet me. I offered my hand but he pretended not to see it—ah, there was still so much to learn about Islamic etiquette between the sexes—and began asking me how I had discovered Islam. I told him briefly about Ahmad the Nigerian, and he proceeded to explain the basics of Islam to me. At least an hour passed, and then he gave me a copy of the Qur'an, asking that I take it home and shower before opening it. I quickly agreed. He told me that it would soon be time for prayer so he needed to prepare himself. I thanked him but had one final request. I wanted to watch the prayer. Having been married to an atheist, for some reason I was very interested in watching this man pray. I always felt a man was not truly a man unless he prayed to God. Abdul Hamid told me I could watch the prayer from the back of the mosque but to please not make a sound. Again I agreed and we went downstairs were he placed me in the rear of an empty space decorated only with beautiful lush carpeting and a niche in the wall. That niche, I would learn, marked the direction for the prayer. As I watched the men enter, I was startled by a loud noise—it was the call to prayer. Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar!* As I listened I felt as if ice water was running through my veins. It was as if my whole being was awakened by this loud and magnificent call. Although I didn’t understand a word, I felt it speaking to me. Tears filled my eyes and I began to shiver. I crossed my arms and hugged myself, in an attempt to warm myself and calm down. The tears flowed as I watched the men first bow, and then prostrate themselves in prayer, just as I had done so long ago that sunny day in my bedroom. I was in awe. I was thrilled and moved beyond words. More than that. I was home!

Over the course of the next few weeks, I met more Muslims at the mosque and took lessons in Islam. I began to sew Islamic style clothes for myself, although I wore them only in my bedroom when I attempted to pray alone. I began to change. I gave up drinking alcohol and refused to eat pork. My personality changed. I became quieter and calmer. I was at peace. My mother asked about the change in me. She thought I was depressed. "You never laugh anymore", she said. I tried to explain to her that I was very happy—just in a quieter sort of way. I finally found the courage to tell her about Islam. I even showed her the clothes I had sewn and modeled an outfit for her. She became furious. She hated the clothes instantly. My mother was always a high-fashion kind of woman. She ridiculed their simplicity and the fact they were loose. She thought they looked like sacks. Her unkind remarks hurt me but did not dissuade me. Nothing would separate me from Islam.

My last Christmas before I said the shahadah* was a nightmare. Even during that time I knew this was Allah's way of sending me out of the darkness of false belief with no good memories of Christianity's lies. Still they were difficult days. My mother was angry with me for not participating in the holiday, and my brother, drunk as always, destroyed some of my belongings in a fit of rage and threatened to kill me. Previously he had entered my room and saw me dressed in Islamic clothing. Although not religious—he didn’t even go to church—he too was furious with my decision to become Muslim. The more they raged, the more certain I became I was doing the right thing. I simply no longer wanted to live the lives they were living. After a few months time, I made my profession of faith. One Friday evening in the spring, I became a Muslim. I gratefully and humbly accepted the gift of Islam. My mother insisted I leave her house. But Allah in His infinite mercy had arranged a home for me. The night I took shahadah, one Egyptian man who witnessed it asked about me for marriage. My wali*—the man who had taken my daughter from my arms on my first trip to the mosque—asked my opinion. My only concern was that he be a good believer. My wali had already checked. He was. Within 10 days I was married and living with my daughter in my new home with my new husband. He raised my daughter as his own, and alhamdulilah, we had two sons after that.

It's been over 26 years now that I have been blessed to live my life as a Muslim. The years have passed so quickly. They have not been always been easy, but they have been blessed nonetheless. Allah tests those He loves. But as He says in the Qur'an…"with hardship comes ease." And it has proven true. In the meantime, my mother—who separated herself from me for many years—is now living with me in an Islamic country and wearing the hijab voluntarily! I have hope she too will accept Islam one day soon, insha Allah. Despite the difficult times, I can not imagine living my life in any other way. I thank Allah every day for the mercy of His guidance. And for this miraculous journey…from the darkness of kufr to the light of Islam.


  • alhamdulilah: all praise is due to Allah (the God)
  • Allahu akbar: God is most great
  • hijab: the term for a Muslim woman's garments, which cover all but her hands and face
  • insha Allah: God willing
  • Kabbah: located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, it is the House of Allah, built by the Prophet Abraham and his son Ismail; the direction Muslims turn to for prayer
  • kufr: associating partners with God; believing in more than One God; believing Jesus is God or God's son
  • masha Allah: as God wills, said to ward off envy upon seeing or hearing something good
  • niqab: optional face veil; a piece of cloth worn to cover a Muslim woman's face
  • shahadah: the testimony of faith; the words one says to become a Muslim "I bear witness there is no god but One God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His prophet"
  • subhannah Allah: glory be to the only God
  • wali: guardian of a Muslim woman--might be her father, brother, or in lieu of those a respected member of the Islamic community

Friday, September 12, 2008


You Should Follow Islam

You believe that there is one true God and that it's your duty to submit to his will.

Life may be trying, unfair, or painful here on earth. But you're waiting for the Paradise in the afterlife.

Religion is the most important thing in your life, and you are fully devoted to God.

You are willing to fast, pray often, and follow all of God's rules to make sure you have a place in heaven.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot un-educate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore.

Cesar Chavez

Address to the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco. CA, November 9, 1984

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Quotes of famous non-Muslims on the Prophet Muhammad...Part 2

Sir George Bernard Shaw in 'The Genuine Islam,' Vol. 1, No. 8, 1936.

"If any religion had the chance of ruling over England, nay Europe within the next hundred years, it could be Islam."

"I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity."

"I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today."

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Is the Muslim Brotherhood a "terrorist organization"?

UPDATE: I am deeply honored and grateful to Allah that Ikhwanweb has chosen to publish this blogpost on their site. Raabinna barak feehum!

In a word...NO!!! That's the short version. In a somewhat deeper evaluation, one need only read the profound works of our beloved Imam Shaheed Hassan Al Banna to know there wasn't a violent or terroristic bone in his body. In fact, his writing is so filled with love, compassion and non-violence, it makes me wonder if all those naysayers (liars) out there are talking about the same man as I!

In doing research for this post, I googled the words..."is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization". The results came back and garbage--dare I say filth--abounded. All of it lies. But amazingly there was one bright spot on the bottom of page 1 (wonder of wonders), and you can read it here. Although the article is a year old, much credit is due to the authors, Joshua Stacher, who is an adjunct history lecturer at the American University in Cairo and Samer Shehata, who is assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University. Not only have they painted the Ikhwan in a favorable light, they had the foresight to call upon the US government to do exactly what it is doing now in 2008, and that is engage themselves in dialogue with the Brotherhood, whether the Mubarak regime approves or not!

On a side note, even their description of the Brotherhood's Cairo headquarters brought tears to my eyes. The simplicity of their offices coincides with the humility of their message, and further elucidates that the Ikhwan are not out for money, glory, power--or blood. They simply want the right to live in an Islamic country, governed by a rule that the citizenry have voted on democratically.

It is not the "fault" of the Muslim Brotherhood that so many constituents (perhaps the majority?) would welcome life under an Islamic form of government as espoused by their writings and practiced by their members. If implemented according to the teachings of Allah in the Quran, the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad, and the contemporary guidelines of Imam Shaheed Hassan Al Banna, Egyptians could do no worse than life under the present regime. In fact, lives would be much improved. Or have too many forgotten the golden ages of life under Islamic rule, or have too few failed to study not just Islam's illustrious history but the writings of Imam Shaheed as well?

The Ikwhan preach a tolerant form of Islam. Non-violent, charitable, equitable and nonthreatening, except to the corrupt and law-breaking powers that be. Living conditions are so repressive and constrained now in Egypt that it is fast becoming a powder keg. When your average Egyptian can no longer afford to buy bread for his or her family, yet alone be safe in the insanity that has taken over the bread lines themselves, it's seriously time for a change. Far better to back the Brotherhood's solutions for the myriad of crises facing Egypt today, than allow truly terroristic factions to gain ground among the disgruntled populace. This is the real danger in the Ikhwan today--that they will continue to be persecuted, arrested, have their businesses closed and assets frozen, tried illegally, maimed and murdered until finally, the fear factor among Egyptians will drive average citizens underground to look look for quicker (read violent) solutions.

Has history taught us nothing? When conditions deteriorate to the point parents can no longer feed their children, a violent eruption follows.
As the colloquial Egyptian proverb warns...bite my heart but don't bite my bread!

Better to let the Ikhwan run! Hasbun Allah wa ni'am al wakil.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Quotes of famous non-Muslims on the Prophet Muhammad...Part 1

Napolean Bonaparte

Original References: "Correspondance de Napoleon Ier Tome V piece ne 4287 du 17/07/1799..."

"Moses has revealed the existence of God to his nation. Jesus Christ to the Roman world, Muhammad to the old continent...

"Arabia was idolatrous when, six centuries after Jesus, Muhammad introduced the worship of the God of Abraham, of Ishmael, of Moses, and Jesus. The Ariyans and some other sects had disturbed the tranquility of the east by agitating the question of the nature of the Father, the son, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad declared that there was none but one God who had no father, no son and that the trinity imported the idea of idolatry...

"I hope the time is not far off when I shall be able to unite all the wise and educated men of all the countries and establish a uniform regime based on the principles of Qur'an which alone are true and which alone can lead men to happiness."

See also amazing comments to this post:

God I Love The Internet: Napoleon and Islam


Napoleon Bonaparte embraced Islam?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Last Sermon of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him...

Words to live by...

This sermon was delivered on the Ninth Day of Dhul-Hijjah 10 A.H. in the 'Uranah valley of Mount Arafat' in Mecca.

After praising, and thanking God he said:

"O People lend me an attentive ear, for I know not whether after this year I shall ever be amongst you again. Therefore listen to what I am saying very carefully and TAKE THESE WORDS TO THOSE WHO COULD NOT BE PRESENT HERE TODAY.

O People just as you regard this month, this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the life and property of every Muslim as a sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you. Remember that you will indeed meet your LORD, and that he will indeed reckon your deeds. ALLAH has forbidden you to take usuary (interest), therefore all interest obligations shall henceforth be waived. Your capital is yours to keep. You will neither inflict nor suffer any inequity. Allah has Judged that there shall be no interest and that all the interest due to Abbas ibn 'Abd'al Muttalib (Prophet's uncle) be waived.

Every right arising out of homicide in pre-Islamic days is henceforth waived and the first such right that I waive is that arising from the murder of Rabiah ibn al Harithibn.

O'Men, the Unbelievers indulge in tampering with the calender in order to make permissible that which Allah forbade, and to forbid which Allah has made permissible. With Allah the months are twelve in number. Four of them are holy three of these are successive and one occurs singly between the months of Jumada and Shaban.

Beware of Satan, for the safety of your religion. He has lost all hope of that he will be able to lead you astray in big things, so beware of following him in small things.

O People it is true that you have certain rights with regard to your women but they also have right over you. Remember that you have taken them as your wives only under Allah's trust and with his permission. If they abide by your right then to them belongs the right to be fed and clothed in kindness. Do treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers. And it is your right that they do not make friends with anyone of whom you do not approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in ernest, worship ALLAH, say your five daily prayers fast during month of Ramadan, and give your wealth in Zakat. Perform Hajj if you can afford to.

All mankind is from Adam and Eve, an Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab nor a non-Arab has any superiority over an Arab; also a white has no superiority over black nor a black has any superiority over white except by piety and good action. Learn that every Muslim is a brother to every Muslim and that the Muslims constitute one brotherhood. Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim which belogs to a fellow Muslim unless it was given freely and willingly. Do not therefore do injustice to yourselves. Remember one day you will meet Allah and answer your deeds. So beware do not astray from the path of righteousness after I am gone.

O People, NO PROPHET OR APOSTLE WILL COME AFTER ME AND NO NEW FAITH WILL BE BORN. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things, the QURAN and my SUNNAH and if you follow these you will never go astray.

All those who listen to me shall pass on my words to others and those to others again; and may the last ones understand my words better than those who listen to me directly. Be my witness O ALLAH, that I have conveyed your message to your people."

Friday, February 29, 2008

Friday Nasiha 2/29/2008

Friday is the Islamic holy day, for congregational worship. It is incumbent upon men, but optional for women, as they may be ill from menstruation, pregnancy, or have young children to attend to. Nasiha means advice. This is from Young Muslims of Canada's weekly newsletter.

Seek the Good in Everyone

We must recognise that every person who believes in Allah and in His Messenger cannot be devoid of some inborn good, however evil his practice may be. Involvement in major transgressions does not uproot a person's iman unless the transgressor deliberately defies Allah and scorns His commands. We have to heed the Sunnah of the Prophet who used to treat wrongdoers as a physician would treat a patient, not as a policeman would treat a criminal. He was very kind to them and always listened to their problems.

The following example illustrates this point: a Qurayshi adolescent once came upon the Prophet and asked permission to fornicate. The Prophet's Companions were so outraged by the young man's request that they rushed to punish him, but the Prophet's attitude was totally different. Calm and compose, he asked the young man to come closer to him and asked: 'Would you approve of it [fornication] for your mother?' The young man replied: 'No'. The Prophet said: '[Other] people also would not approve of it for their mothers'. Then the Prophet repeatedly asked the young man whether he would approve of it for his daughter, sister, or aunt? Each time the young man answered 'No,' and each time the Prophet added that '[Other] people would not approve of it for theirs'. He then held the young man's hand and said: 'May Allah forgive his [the young man's] sins, purify his heart, and fortify him [against such desires]' (Ahmad and Tabarani).

The Prophet's sympathetic attitude clearly indicates a gesture of goodwill, a conviction that inborn goodness of the human self outweighs the elements of evil which could only be transient.

Islam: The Way of Revival, "The Ethics of Dawa and Dialogue" - Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, pp. 224, 225

Friday, February 22, 2008

We're Just Like YOU!

People are the same everywhere. There's good and bad in all faiths, cultures, races and societies. Muslims are no different--we have the good and bad. But in fact, we are just like you. We have our hopes and dreams, the extraordinary and the mundane. Here is something we'd like you to know. The voice you're hearing is that of Kareem Salama, an Arab-Muslim country singer! Please watch and enjoy.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

On calling others to Islam...

The following are excerpts from a speech by the emminent Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi. While it was originally given as a testament to the invaluable work done by IslamOnline, it applies to every Muslim in general. Our duty is not just to spread the beautiful truth of Islam to non-Muslims, but also to invite Muslims to enrich their faith. This blog is my humble attempt at answering this noble call.

It is our duty to carry this religion to all people around the world until they understand it, become interested in it, look for it, and enter it in surges as God would like. This is the duty of the Islamic nation. It is a collective obligation for this nation to propagate the message of this religion to the corners of the globe, and it is an individual obligation for the scholars of this religion to propagate Islam in all languages and tongues and be as God said: "We sent not a messenger except (to teach) in the language of his (own) people in order to make (things) clear to them."

The Muslims must be at the forefront of those calling to their religion; that is the obligation of this nation at this time, when relationships have intertwined, people are closer together and the world has become a giant village, or even a small village.

Our duty as Muslims is to call our religion and to teach it to people correctly from its pure sources. We should teach it as a creed, a way of worship, a set of behaviors and ethics, as a law and as an ideal civilization that connects the earth to the heavens, finds a place between the heart and mind, balances between rights and obligations and between individual rights and communal interests.

The Qur'an says: "You are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind. Enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah," and "Thus have We made you a nation justly balanced. That ye might be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves."

I ask God Almighty to light our paths and guide our steps. May He help us carry out this dangerous mission: to call, educate and adjudicate so that our call to this religion may be the best it can, and for us to possess a certain knowledge in all we present. The Qur'an says: "Say thou: 'This is my way; I do invite unto Allah - with a certain knowledge - I and whoever follows me. Glory to Allah! And never will I join gods with Allah."