Why We Became Muslims_ Jan 2011_02 | Muhammad | Trinity

Preface: In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

I bear witness that there is no deity worth worship except Allah (The True God and Creator and Sustainer of this Universe) and I bear Witness that Mohammad is His Servant and Messenger, Afterwards,

In 1930, Dr. Sir Mohd. IQBAL, the well known Urdu and Persian poet and Islamic Philosopher, expresse the need of publishing a book, in which the stories of all those who had converted to Islam in India be recorded. He said that it would give a new boost to the cause of Islamic propagation. He was asked, if there are not already books that express the logic and truth of Islam and are they insufficient, the noted scholar said:

“Yes they are more than sufficient, but you would get so many new points from such a book that you will amazed. I think there are different ways to impress the heart and mind. Many times brain rejects the most potent of the arguments, but the hearts gets impressed by a very small incident or some very small point a grads the mind also.

Conversion to Islam is al related to brain as it is to the heart. A muslim missionary must know what are th darts that affect heart. There are so many tales of unbelievers coming to Islam thru out the history. We se person standing firm on his religion for many decades, yet a small point and a small acts of kindness, swe him away from his feet and he makes the most momentous decision of his life.

You have many logical arguments to prove the truth of Islam, but if you go to a new Muslim and ask him what impressed him about Islam and what were the points which impressed him. If you have in book form stories of a large number of such people, it would be a very powerful tool in the hands of Muslim missionaries. Many new arguments of truth of Islam will come out, which might not be available in the v Islamic literature we have”

So many books have been written for past few decades on the true stories of new converts of Islam. I hav compiled about 250 of them and abridged them to be between 6000-8000 words for ease or reading and to posted in many shared channels on Internet and distribution thru e-mails etc.

People might agree or disagree with some of points mentioned here. But these are personal experiences a personal reasons of these people who accepted Islam of their own free will. Some of them suffered much about this new faith. What kept them firm to their faith varies from one person to another person.

I pray to Allah to accept this effort and make it useful for those who read it and share it with other people. M.U. Qidwai Jubail, Saudi Arabia

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: GANGA RAM CHOPRA (ABDULLAH), ROHTAK, India A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a Landlord family in Jan,1948. I did my B.Com in 1967 and joined the department sales tax.

02. I got married in a well to do family and my wife was more educated than me and she was officer Education Department. Since I did not like women to work, I forced my wife to resign her job. This resulted in tension in our family life.

03. My wife left me and filed a case against me, there was every reason that I will loose my case and have to pay fine and maintenance allowance to my wife. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 04. This was the situation, when my lawyer told me that only way to escape fine and punishment is, I produce a certificate in court that I am no longer a Hindu, but have converted to Islam.

05. I was told that there is some Muslim MUFTI in MALYARKOTA, who does this but he will char 15 to 20 thousand rupees for it. The money was no problem , but he was out of station, and I was in urgent need of the certificate. 06. I asked the Imam of a local mosque and he asked me to go to PHULAT and meet MAULANA KALIM UDDIN. I went there on 29th January 1994 and told Maulana, that I do not want to accept Islam, but I only need a certificate, so I can present it in court and escape punishment. 07. He listened to my plea and said “OK, I will do your job , but do you know there is another court which you have to be tried. In that court, only your real Islam will protect you and not these fake certificates”.

08. He then explained me about Islam, and what it means and how it will save me from Hell Fire and eternal punishment…. I got convinced and accepted Islam.

09. Maulana told me that my certificates would be ready next day and I am his guest and could stay his house or the nearby mosque. I preferred mosque and was much impressed by the pious atmosphe

there…. Next day, I went to village market and bought 25 Kg of sweets and distributed it to all peop of mosque…I extended my stay to three days and then returned to my place with my “Newly Converted Muslim certificate” C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 10. I decided in my heart that I have accepted Islam only for the sake of Allah and I do not want to take any material benefit for it. So I did not present that certificate in the court and I was fined 100,000 rupees by the court and asked to pay monthly maintenance allowance to my wife. D. How I saved my Islam:

11. I was very afraid of death and once I got a sever heart pain and fell unconscious, I was shifted to local hospital and they kept me in ICU for 25 days. When I recovered, I decided to read books about Islam, I read many books and la\earned to perform my prayer in Arabic properly.

12. I was very eager to meet the Maulana and when I met him after many months, I recited full praye to him, …he hugged me and was very happy to learn about my efforts. (Contd.) E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 13. My life had left me with my children, friend advised me to re-marry, but I declined.

I consulted Maulana and he advised me to pray to Allah for their guidance and opening their hearts t Allah, I started doing so and one night I dreamed that my wife is imprisoned in a cage and she is pleading to me to save her and bring her out of that cage… I woke up with a start 14. One night, I during night prayers, put my head on ground and prayed to my Allah to bring back my wife to me….I kept on praying and weeping for a long ago.

Not many days after that, I heard a ring on doorbell, and when I opened it, my wife with my three ki was standing on the mat, looking very harried. She came to my arms and started weeping and told th her place is at my feet and she will never leave me now!! 15. She told that after leaving me, she was living with her brother and during an altercation with her Sister in Law, she abused her and told “that if I had any good, why my husband would have left me. A woman who is discarded by her husband is evil”…..so she decided to come back to me. She and all my grown up children accepted Islam and now we are very happy.

3. On Family members / Others. 16. There was a strange case with my Driver, who took me to PHULAT to meet the Maulana on the first instant. He also listened to the talk between me and Maulana.

When we were coming back, he told me that he was very impressed with what Maulana said…..and told me that he was also reciting silently the Islamic creed when Maulana was reading it to me…. Hi name was SUDHIR, but he told me that his new name was MOHAMMAD KALEEM, and I should address him by this name. 17. He went with a Muslim Missionary group for 40 days and grew beard. and he was a very good Muslim. He was killed in a road accident …. But he told me before he died that Allah has accepted his “fake certificate” of Islam!! F. Present Situation:

I am very content with my Islamic way of life and I feel confident that Allah will give me anything i ask Him. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 18. I request all of you to pray for me, that I die during the posture of Prostration. I have given my “Certificate of Islam” to my wife. They should place it on top of my burial clothes in my grave and pray to Allah to accept my “Fake Certificate” And I pray to Allah that no one dies without having Islam in his or her.

PS: ABDULLAH (G.R. CHOPRA) breathed his last on Friday 18th March 2005, during ISHA (Nigh Prayer, while he was in the act of prostration! We pray for Allah to have mercy on his soul…..his fai and his link with Allah was truly exceptional;
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

April 2005

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Why be became Muslims? MUHAMMAD JOHN WEBSTER (G.B.)

I was raised with sheer Christian education in London. In 1930, being a young student, I encountered some events like other youngsters, and tried to understand them. One of them was to establish some relation between the religion and the world,…

For Christianity defined the world as a place of torture whose mere contents are evils and vices, and men as creatures sinful from birth. Let alone showing people how to lead a peaceful life in the world imposed on them a concept of life like an area mined with sins, …

Christianity left people entirely to themselves, and confined their worships to unsatisfactory Sunday masses, which they perform in the perfunctory air of the church service. In those years Britain was in great economic depression and poverty. ..

Rejecting Christianity, I, like many other young people, took to atheism and communism. From a certain distance, Communism appealed to the young people. Depressed under economic straits and totally hopeless of their future life, the younger generation looked on Communism as a savior becaus it was being propagated with the promise that it would extirpate differences of wealth and rank. … Upon this I gave up Communism and dived into philosophy … there is a deep-seated rancor against Islam, which dates back to the crusading expeditions.

Europeans reject Islam with hatred, though they know nothing of it. They raise their children with an education dressed with a strong feeling of animus towards Islam. So much so that talking about Islam means a violation of the established rules of decorum in their society. If someone should bring up thi subject in a social gathering, the others will protest with a mute frown. In the meantime, I was sent o an official mission to Australia. ….when I went to the city of Perth in western Australia a couple of weeks later, I visited the grand library of the city and queried whether there was a translation of the Qur'an rendered by Muslims. They found a translation of that sort and gave it to me.

No words could define the emotions that began to stir in the depths of my soul when I opened it and read the first chapter in it, the chapter (sûra) called Fâtiha-i-sherîfa, which began with the phrase, “Hamd (thanks and praise) be to the Rabb (Lord, Creator, Allah) of âlams (classes of beings).” Th first chapter ended with the invocations that purported, “Guide us to the right path.” How beautifu was! I read the Fâtiha-i-sherîfa a number of times. The creator mentioned here was “Rahmân and Rahîm,” which meant “Very Merciful and Compassionate.”

Contrary to the Christian dogma, He had not created men sinful. I began to read the Qur'an and the more I read the more ecstatic did I become. Whatsoever I had desired and imagined I found in this holy book. Hours elapsed, and I was completely oblivious of where I was, of the time, and of everything. In addition to that translation of the Qur'an, they had brought me some books about the life of Muhammad PBUH. I was reading them in utter rapture, when at last the librarian came to me and said, “It’s time we closed the library, sir.” I came back to myself, and left th library. On my way home I was soliloquizing and repeating: “I have now attained my goal. I am a Muslim now.” With the guidance of Allah, I had eventually attained the hidâya (the right way). On my way back home, I looked for a convenient place to have some coffee. … I walked in, and became a Muslim. Until that time I had not known one single Muslim. I found Islam by myself and accepted it by myself. No one guided me in this respect. My only guide was my common sense.

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(Abridged) Why I became Muslim? D.T.F. WUWING (ABDUL HAQ), UK

I am Chinese by descent and came to Britain in 1977 for studies. I was born in Anglican Church and was educated in a Christian Missionary School. As to how I became Muslim, let me tell you, that it was only thru the guidance of Allah that I came closer to Islam. No Muslim preached Islam to me. It happened like that:

I was 23 then and in the final year of my education, one day, I happened to look out of the window and seeing the beauties of nature, like sky, land, trees and clouds. This made my mind wander about the Creator of this Universe. I was studying Architecture, and I knew that no structure can be made or stand, unless it is designed a designer and erected properly. How come this whole universe and every thing in it came by itself with such perfection? This made me realize that Creator of this Universe must be extremely powerfu and extremely knowledgeable. This removed the cobwebs which Church doctrine of Trinity was trying me to believe in.

One I happened to go into a Muslim bookstore and I saw English translation of Quran. I bought it an started to read it. I was surprised to find that it matched exactly with my recently “discovered “ idea the Creator of this Universe. I studied Quran carefully and I got all answers to the riddles which I faced in Christianity.

Then I had many discussions with Christian priest, who tried to convince me that Islam is a false religion and Christianity is the only true religion. However they had no answers to my questions and said that you only had to believe in teachings of the Church, even if you do not understand it.

I decided to become Muslim after getting convinced that it is the true religion. I learnt that most of the things in Christianity are human made and not based on divine guidance. Islam on the other han provides guidance on every sphere of life and they are directly traceable to Quran or sayings of the prophet.

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Salvation of humanity is therefore accepting the guidance given by our Creator and which is preserv in Islam (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? GEORGINA NOUEIRI, UK

My first in-depth encounter with Islam came when I met Mohammad, a fellow student at university Swansea. He had arrived in Britain one year earlier from war torn Lebanon. Despite a strong Anglic Christian background, and a secure faith in God, I had unresolved questions of faith, to which Mohammad’s religion seemed to have the answers. I had never understood about the Trinity for instance. Then when Mohammad said that there are no

partners with god, it just seemed very pure and beautiful.

Islam corresponded with everything I had always felt deep down inside. That Jesus was a wonderful prophet with a wonderful message of forgiveness, but he was not to be worshipped as God.

The more I learned about Islam, the more right it seemed to me. But conversion was not easy step to take. I did not know if I had the courage. Then one night when I was talking with Mohammad, I took the courage to say the KALIMA, the declaration of faith in front of him. When I went to bed, I was not sure if I had done the right thing, when I woke up next morning, I knew I had taken the right step.

I was well aware of the risk I was taking, Islam is a massive subject, suppose I discovered something did not believe in? But the more I learned, the more I felt it was everything I wanted to believe in.

Later I married Mohammad, but the marriage was not my reason to convert to Islam, we moved to London so that he could continue his studies. There we met many Muslims , and I was exposed to th practices of devout followers. It gave me a desire to adhere more strictly to the laws enshrined in Quran.

I also welcomed the Islamic rule of separating the sexes. It leads to a much more peaceful life. The wives are more relaxed because they know that their husbands are not going to be tempted by other women….the precaution gives women an enormous sense of well being when they are together. The is no tension, no showing off to opposite sex.

I was brought up in a Western society wanting to be attractive, then vanity started to drive away from me and I became a little purer. I was glad suddenly that I felt safer at streets and I felt happy that me would not whistle at me. 5 (Abridged) Source:: Saudi gazette, April 12 1996, p7 Prof. Abdul Ahad Dawud (Former Bishop of Uramiah) Formerly the Reverend David Benjamin Keldani, B.D.

My conversion to Islam cannot be attributed to any cause other than the gracious direction of Almigh God. Without this Divine guidance, all learning, searching and other efforts to find the truth may eve lead one astray. The moment I believed in the Absolute Unity of God, His Holy Apostle Muhammad became the pattern of my conduct and behaviour. I have not the slightest intention nor desire to hurt the religious feelings of Christian friends. I love Christ, Moses and Abraham, as I do Muhammad (PBUH)and all other holy prophets of God.

My writings are not intended to raise a bitter and therefore useless dispute with the Churches, but on invite them to a pleasant and friendly investigation of this all-important question with a spirit of love and impartiality. If the Christians desists from their vain attempt of defining the essence of the Supreme Being, and confess His absolute Oneness, then a union between them and the Muslims is n only probable but extremely possible. For once the unity of God is accepted and acknowledged, the

other points of difference between the two faiths can more easily be settled.

It would be a mere waste of time here to refute those who ignorantly or maliciously suppose the Alla of Islam to be different from the true God and only a fictitious deity of Muhammad's own creation. I the Christian priests and theologians knew their Scriptures in the Original Hebrew instead of in translations as the Muslims read their Quran in its Arabic text, they would clearly see that Allah is th same ancient Semitic name of the Supreme Being who revealed and spoke to Adam and all the prophets….

The Trinitarian branch of the Christian Church, for about seventeen centuries, has exhausted all the brains of her saints and philosophers to define the Essence and the Person of the Deity; and what hav they invented? All that which Athanasius, Augustine and Aquinases have imposed upon the Christia “under the pain of eternal damnation” – to believe in a God who is "the third of three"! … The first verse with which St. Johns Gospel commences was often refuted by the early Unitarian writers, who rendered its true reading as follows: "In the beginning was the word; and the word was with God; and the Word was God's".

It will be noticed that the Greek form of the genitive case "Theou", i.e. "God's" was corrupted into "Theos"; that is, "God", in the nominative form of the name! It is also to be observed that the clause "In the beginning was the word" expressly indicates the origin of the word which was not before the beginning! By the "word of God" is not meant a separate and distinct substance, coeval and co-existe with the Almighty, but an expression and proclamation of His knowledge.

The Christian aspiratory formula: "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" does not even mention the name of God! And this is the Christian God! The Christian Trinity - in as much as it admits a plurality of persons in the Deity, attributes distinct personal properties to each person; and makes use of family names similar to those in the pagan mythology - cannot be accepted as a true conception of the Deity. Allah is neither the father of a son nor the son of a father. He has n mother, nor is He self-made. The belief in "God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Ghos is a flagrant denial of the unity of God, and an audacious confession in three imperfect beings who, united or separately, cannot be the true God. (Contd.)

Then we are told that each person of the trinity has some particular attributes which are not proper to the other two. And these attributes indicate - according to human reasoning and language - priority a posteriori among them. The Father always holds the first rank, and is prior to the Son. The Holy Gho is not only posterior as the third in the order of counting but even inferior to those from whom he proceeds. Would it not be considered a sin of heresy if the names of the three persons were converse repeatedly? Will not the signing of the cross upon the countenance or over the elements of the Eucharist be considered impious by the Churches if the formula be reversed thus "In the name of the Holy Ghost, and of the Son, and of the Father"? For if they are absolutely equal and coeval, the orde of precedence need not be so scrupulously observed. The truth is that there is no mathematical exactitude, no absolute equality between the three persons the Trinity. If the Father were in every respect equal to the Son or the Holy Spirit, as the unit 1 is

positively equal to another figure 1, then there would necessarily be only one person of God and not three, because a unit is not a fragment or fraction nor a multiple of itself. The very difference and relationship that is admitted to exist between the persons of the Trinity leaves no shadow of doubt th they are neither equal to each other nor are they to be identified with one another. The Father begets and is not begotten; the Son is begotten and not a father; the Holy Ghost is the issue of the other two persons; the first person is described as creator and destroyer; the second as savior or redeemer, and the third as life-giver. Consequently none of the three is alone the creator, the Redeemer and the Life giver. Then we are told that the second person is the Word of the first Person, becomes man and is sacrificed on the cross to satisfy the justice of his father, and that his incarnation and resurrection are operated and accomplished by the third person.

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In conclusion, I must remind Christians that unless they believe in the absolute unity of God, and renounce the belief in the three persons, they are certainly unbelievers in the true God, Strictly speaking, Christians are polytheists, only with this exception, that the gods of the heathen are false a imaginary, whereas the three gods of the Churches have a distinct character, of whom the Father - as another epithet for Creator - is the One true God, but the son is only a prophet and servant of God, an third person one of the innumerable holy spirits in the service of the Almighty God. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: IRAM FROM BIJAPUR / MEERUT, India A. Family Background: 01. My father was Dr, ANIL MODI, he was nephew of Mr. PILOO MODI, the well known Indian socialist leader. We belonged to BIJAPUR, KARNATAKA…. But my father who was a very good physician and had done his MD from USA….shifted to MEERT in UP and bought a good mansion there and started his practice there. 02. I have two brothers who were named TARIQ and SHARIQ by my father….My father liked Muslim way of living very much. He was very fluent in Urdu and he even named his children with Muslim sounding names.

03. I did my education upto 12th standard in BIJAPUR and then admitted to Meerut college in B. Sc. did not face any problem in my home town, but I found the situation very bad in my new college. Local Hindu boys would teased me and pass bad and fouls comments on me….. I got so frustrated th I decided to forego my education.

04. I noticed however, that there was a Muslim boy in the class, who was different from all these boy He was alone Muslim boy in the class…. But every one respected him. They would immediately

change the dirty / filthy topic they were talking about, once he was near. 05. Every one called him KALIM BHAI (and he was same Maulana KALIM UDDIN at a younger age!!). I used to praise him and his character to my father and he even visited my house … when I told his about Boy’s teasing problem….he solved it in an ingenious way.

06. On the festival of RAKSHA BANDHAN (a Local Hindu festival) he asked me to go to boys Hostel along with 25 or 30 RAKHIS. When we reached there , he called all those boys and asked m to tie RAKHI to their hands (thereby making them my bespoken brothers, so to say). They felt very much ashamed and I got rid of this nuisance. 07. My parents were much impressed….(Later I cleared PMT, the Medical entrance exam and completed my MBBS and MS from London and was employed in SGPGI, Lucknow along with my husband.) B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 08. I decided to learn Urdu from Kalim Bhai , my parents encouraged me, because they thought that knowledge of Urdu is essential in good upbringing.

09. During me learning Urdu, he gave me some books about Islam and hereafter. I got convinced of the truth and I asked my parents, If I can become a Muslim. They told me that I am a grown up now….but I should take such decisions after deep thinking. I decided to accept Islam and on 1st Jan 1974, I accepted Islam in the college library on the hands of Kalim Bhai. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 10. My parents and no one in my family objected on my decision. My name was already a Muslim sounding name, so I did not have to change it.

11. I went to London in 1979 after doing my MBBS and returned from there in 1984 after doing MS

Kalim Bhai chose a very Good Muslim doctor from a respected family as my husband. He was a ve good doctor as well as a very good Muslim and I am very happy with him. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

I have three children and they are Muslim by birth, Thanks to Allah 2. On Parents. 12. My father was very impressed with Islam and Muslims, he performed my marriage with full Islamic way and spent lot of money on it. 13. I tried to talk to him about Islam and he was half ready…..but his connections with his uncle PILOO MODI and R.K. KARANJIA, the editor of Blitz made a mental block. But me and my husband kept on asking him and I am thankful to Allah that both he and my mother accepted Islam at our hands. 3. On Family members / Others. 14. I get many patients, both Muslims and Non Muslims in course of our work. I remind Muslim patients about their duties to Allah and I give missionary literature to Non Muslim patients.

This is having some affect and many people have accepted Islam because of our efforts, Praise be to Allah for that F. Present Situation:

15. I and my husband, try to read as much Islamic literature as we can, we even have a sizable librar at our house… I have read many books published on Islam. During our stay in London, we keep tra on latest books released on Islam and we keep ourselves up to date on that. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

16. I would like to convey it to all Muslims and especially women, that they should fulfill the trust which Allah has put on them. A Muslim women also has to share the Missionary activity of Islam a was during the days of our prophet and his companions.

The western civilization is thirsty and looking for something like Islam which we have. We should b aware of our trust and responsibility
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

July 2004

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Why be became Muslims? LADY ZAYNAB EVELYN COMBOLD (G.B.)

I am frequently asked why I became a Muslim. I am the daughter of a renowned family, and my husband also is well known and rich. To those who ask me why I became a Muslim, I reply that I do

not know for certain when the light of Islam rose in my soul. It seems to me as if I have been a Musl forever.

This is not something strange at all. For Islam is a natural and true religion. Every child is born as a Muslim. If it is left to itself, it will choose Islam, none else. As a European writer observes, “Islam is the religion of people with common sense.” If you made a comparative study of all religions, you would immediately see that Islam is the most perfect, the most natural, and the most logical.

Owing to Islam, many complicated problems of the world are solved easily and mankind attains peac and tranquility. Islam always rejects the dogma that human beings are born sinful and that they have expiate for it in the world. Muslims believe in Allah, who is one.

In their eyes, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad PBUH are human beings like us. Allah has chosen the as Prophets to guide people to the right way. For doing penance, for asking for forgiveness, or for praying, there is no one between Allah and the born slave. We can supplicate Allah on our own any time, and we are responsible only for what we have done. The word ‘Islam’ means both ‘to surrender oneself to Allah and ‘to have belief in Muhammad

Muslim’ means ‘a person who lives in peace and happiness with all beings.’ Islam is based on two fundamental facts: 1) That Allah is one, and that Muhammad is the final Prophet He has sent. 2) Th humanity should be entirely freed from superstitions and unfounded dogmas. The Hajj, one of the (five) tenets of Islam, has a great impact on people.

What other religion contains a form of worship as sublime as Islam’s pilgrimage, which brings together hundreds of thousands of Muslims from all four corners of the world regardless of their classes, races, countries, colours and rank positions, and makes them put on the (uniformal garb calle Ihrâm and prostrate themselves with one accord before Allah? It is a certain fact that Muslims’ worshipping together at these blessed places where the great Prophet announced Islam, struggled against Islam’s enemies, exerted himself with great determination and firmness, will attach them to one another with stronger affections, whereby they will try to find solutions for one another’s problems, and they will once again take an oath to cooperate along the way shown by Allah.

Another use of the Hajj is that thereby Muslims all over the world meet one another, know one another’s problems, and teach their personal experiences to one another. All Muslims assemble at th place whereto they turn their faces during their worships at home, and, all in one mass, one body in t presence of Allah, they surrender themselves to Him.

Seeing the Hajj once would suffice as an evidence to prove the greatness of Islam. Here is Islam, and have been enjoying the pleasure and satisfaction of having entered this great religion. 8 Why I became Muslim? GEORGE ASHQUON, VIRGINIA USA

George is a direct descendant of George Washington, First President of USA. He was born in Virginia, his father was a naval office in US Navy. He was a cameraman and reporter for a US

news channel and was deputed to cover many conflicts. During these journeys he came in clos contact with Muslims and he has following to say on this subject.

From my early childhood, I wanted to know more and more about Christianity. But the priests were not able to satisfy me with their answers. But I was certain that God and Jesus are two distinctly separate personalities. That was the hardest part of my life.

Later when I became a cameraman of Times and was deputed to Lebanon to cover the civil war in Beirut, I was a bit apprehensive to start with, because I had heard only bad reports about Muslims. B when I reached there and worked with Muslims there, I was surprised to notice that they were totally different from what I was told.

They took care of me and tried to save me from any harm and injury. When I got injured in the cros fire, they gave me all medical help. I was 20 at that time and there was a Mosque near to my hotel. used to discuss Islam with the Imam there. It was the first time I heard about Quran and sayings of prophet.

Then I was posted to Afghanistan, when Russia had invaded that country. I was surprised to see the Islamic spirit of Mujahideen there, they would leave all work and engage in prayer even in the battlefield. I was amazed to see the spirit with which they were fighting with a much superior army

Then I happened to go to Bosnia to see the plight of Bosnian Muslims at the hand of Serbs. The scenes I saw and the brutality and the massacre changed my view for ever. My initial plan was only for two days….but I decided to extend my stay there indefinitely….The scenes I witnessed there are too horrible to tell in words, only those who have seen them with their eyes can believe it.

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During my stay in Bosnia, I met many Muslim News reporters, who were covering that struggle. I h long discussions with them about Islam. I got answers to the questions, which I was searching in Christianity. I decided to become Muslim and join the only brotherhood that does not recognize any distinction in color, race or language (Abridged) . Why I Became Muslim? Abdullah al-Faruq - Formerly Kenneth L. Jenkins, Minister and elder of the Pentecostal Church Foreword

As a former minister and elder of the Christian church, it has become incumbent upon me to enlighte those that continue to walk in darkness. .. Beginnings

As a young boy I was raised with a deep fear of God. Having been partially raised by a grandmother who was a Pentecostal fundamentalist, the church became an integral part of my life at a very early

age. …

My mother worked two full-time jobs and continued to remind me of the teachings given to me by h mother. My younger brother and older sister did not seem to take our grandmother's warnings of the Hereafter as seriously as I did… Every Sunday we would go to church dressed in all of our finery. Rededication

After graduating from high school and entering the university I rediscovered my religious commitment and became fully immersed in Pentecostal teachings. I was baptized and "filled with the Holy Ghost," as the experience was then called….

I attended church every time its doors would open. I studied the Bible for days and weeks at a time. I attended lectures given by the Christian scholars of my day, and I acknowledged my call to the ministry at the age of 20. I began preaching and became well known very quickly. I was extremely dogmatic and believed that no one could receive salvation unless they were of my church group. I categorically condemned everyone who had not come to know God the way I had come to know Him …

I had never had any contact with Muslims. The only people I knew that claimed Islam as their religi were the followers of Elijah Muhammad, who were referred to by many as the "Black Muslims" or t "Lost-Found Nation." It was during this period in the late seventies that Minister Louis Farrakhan wa well into rebuilding what was called "The Nation of Islam." I went to hear Minister Farrakhan speak the invitation of a coworker and found it to be an experience that would change my life dramatically had never in my life heard another black man speak the way that he spoke. I immediately wanted to arrange a meeting with him to try to convert him to my religion. Welcome to the Real Church World

I soon discovered that there was a great deal of jealousy prevalent in the ministerial hierarchy. Thing had changed from that to which I was accustomed. Women wore clothing that I thought was shamef People dressed in order to attract attention, usually from the opposite sex. I discovered just how grea part money and greed play in the operation of church activities…..

Cases of adultery and fornication went unpunished. Some preachers were hooked on drugs and had destroyed their lives and the lives of their families. Leaders of some churches were found to be homosexuals. There were pastors even guilty of committing adultery with the young daughters of oth church members. All of this coupled with a failure to receive answers to what I thought were valid questions was enough to make me seek a change. That change came when I accepted a job in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. (Contd.) A New Beginning

It was not long after arriving in Saudi Arabia that I saw an immediate difference in the lifestyle of th Muslim people. They were different from the followers of Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan in that they were of all nationalities, colors and languages. I immediately expressed a desi to learn more about this peculiar brand of religion. I was amazed with the life of Prophet Muhammad and wanted to know more. I requested books from one of the brothers who was active in calling peop to Islam. I was supplied with all of the books that I could possibly want. I read each and every one. I was then given the Holy Qur'an and read it completely several times within four months. I asked question after question and received satisfactory answers. What appealed to me was that the brothers were not keen on impressing me with their knowledge. If a brother did not know how to answer a question, he would tell me that he simply did not know and would have to check with someone who did. The next day he would always bring the answer. I noticed how humility played such a great role the lives of these mysterious people of the Middle East.

I was amazed to see the women covering themselves from face to foot. I did not see any religious hierarchy. No one was competing for any religious position. All of this was wonderful, but how coul entertain the thought of abandoning a teaching that had followed me since childhood? What about th Bible? I knew that there is some truth in it even though it had been changed and revised countless numbers of times. I was then given a video cassette of a debate between Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart. After seeing the debate I immediately became a Muslim.

I was taken to the office of Shaykh 'Abdullah bin 'Abdul-'Azeez bin Baz to officially declare my acceptance of Islam. It was there that I was given sound advice on how to prepare myself for the lon journey ahead. It was truly a birth from darkness into light.

I wondered what my peers from the Church would think when they heard that I had embraced Islam. was not long before I found out. I went back to the United States for vacation and was severely criticized for my "lack of faith." I was stamped with many labels - from renegade to reprobate. Peopl were told by so-called church leaders not to even remember me in prayer. As strange as it may seem was not bothered in the least. I was so happy that Almighty God, Allah, had chosen to guide me arig that nothing else mattered.

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It is my prayer that Allah will forgive us all of our ignorance and guide us to the path leading to Paradise. All praise is due to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His last messenge Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those following true guidance. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SHAHNAZ, JAMMU, India A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 6th May 1975, to a MALHOTRA Family of Jammu, my father was a lecturer in commerce dept. My mother was a very nice and suffering lady. He became sick since her girlhood a her ill health continued even after her marriage.

02. I had an elder brother, who is 4 year older than me. I was told that when I was very small, my mother took me to a bridge and was almost ready to drop me into the river, a passer by asked her, wh she wanted to do it, she told that I have suffered much in my life, I do not want my little girl also top suffer. The man told her, not to do so, as every humans comes with her own destiny. May be I will very happy in my life.

03. My mother died when I was 5 or 6 years old, my father re-married. My step mother did not treat us good and she was always complaining to my father about our faults. I was subjected to overwork and abuses in home, I tried even to commit suicide by eating overdose of sleeping pills once. 04. Somehow I passed 10th standard, I used to go to temples and ask the idols there when my dark night would end….. now I know how they could respond to me, because they do not hear any pleas and even if they heard they are powerless to do anything.

05. Once when my mother accused me of stealing 1000 rupees from her purse, I decided to leave the house, because I was not sure what she would accuse me of next. I left house with a little bag containing a few pair of clothes. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

06. I boarded a train for Delhi, I boarded a compartment reserved for Military, when the ticket check came, one of Military man said that she is my sister. I reached Delhi safely. I did not know any one in Delhi, I boarded an omni bus, and I asked two boys, who seemed good to me, to please guide me a girls hostel

07. They asked me to go to their sister’s house, where I was very well received… they asked me to stay for a few days and then I could decide about hostel. While living there, I was introduced to the message of Islam. I was impressed by their good behavior and Islamic teachings seemed so reasona to me. I accepted Islam at their hands. 08. After some time, these people advertised for my marriage in a local Urdu news paper. It was answered by Maulana JAWED ASHRAF NADWI, whose first marriage was not successful. When knew of my case, he agreed to marry me and we were married.

He was afraid to take me to his house, because of resistance from his family members, so he kept me in a separate house in Lucknow.

09. Then my husband got a Job in Madina Munawwarah, and I reached there on Umrah visa. I staye back after performing Umrah and stayed many years there, all my three children were born in Madin

I am very thankful to Allah for doing all this to me, and I do not know how can I ever express my gratitude to Him C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: I have explained that in my story. I was indeed rejected by my society and they did not know about me anything for many years. D. How I saved my Islam:

11. Staying In Madina is in itself a great honor. I get so many guests of all ages and every backgrounds. I feel honored to serve old and elderly people and by this I earn their respect, honor an blessings. In my service and specially physical service is very effective to get prays and blessings from elderly and learned scholars. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

12. My parents were sure that I must have committed suicide, because they did not make any attemp to find me.

After many years, a student from Jammu who came to Medina told my father about me, he was very anxious to meet me.

13. Once when I went to Delhi to endorse my Visa, he came to meet me. He wept on seeing me and expressed his deep regrets about what he and his wife did to me. I forgave him every thing and told him about Islam. He promised to study Islam and take decision. I informed Maulana Kalim Sahib about my father and he is following up,

14. I also talked to my mother on phone and she also wept and asked for my forgiveness for what sh did to me. I told her that her poor treatment was indeed the reason of my becoming Muslim. I am regularly praying for her guidance. F. Present Situation: 15. I am very happy with my present life and I pray to Allah to let me die in Madina and I would be buried here… You should also pray the same for me.

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 16. I can only request my Muslim brothers, to recognize their responsibility. They should present themselves as an example of good Muslims and they should make this spread of Islam as their life’s mission.

If people take the life of our prophet as their ideal, they would not run after these actors and actresse and sportspersons and others.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

Dec 2004

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Why be became Muslims? Mrs. MAVISH B. JOLLY (G.B.) I was born as a Christian in Britain. I was baptized, and I was raised with an education based on learning what is written in today’s copies of the Bible. As I was a child, whenever I went to the church I was deeply impressed by the various lights, the candles burning on the pulpit, the music, the smells of incense, ..

The prayers that I listened to without understanding their meanings would make me shiver. I think I was a devoted Christian. In the course of time, however, as I reached higher levels of education, som questions began to rise in my mind. I began to find some faults in Christianity, in which I had held a full belief until that time…

By the time I graduated from the school, I was an atheist in the full sense of the term. It did not take me long, however, to realize that believing nothing would hollow the human soul, leaving a perpetua mood of despair and weakness. The human being definitely needed some power that would provide him refuge.

Consequently, I began to study other religions. I began with Buddhism…. Magianism... Judaism … One of my friends recommended that I practice spiritualism. “..

One day I saw an ad in a newspaper. It announced a “Conference on the divinity of Jesus" and adde that people from other religions would be admitted…I attended the conference, and met a Muslim there. The answers that that Muslim gave to my questions were so beautiful and so logical that I decided to study Islam, which had never occurred to me before. I began to read the Qur'an, the Holy Book of Muslims. To my astonishment, the rules stated in this book were by far superior to the statements made by most of the well-known statesmen of the twentieth century, which aroused stron feelings of admiration and adulation in me

These statements were quite above the human linguistic capacity. So I would no longer believe the li that “the Islamic religion is a concoction. The Qur'an is a fable,” with which they had been dosing u for years. The Qur'an could not be a concocted book. Statements in that acme of perfection could be

made only by a being above the human race.

I was still hesitant, though. I spoke with some British women who had embraced Islam. I asked them to help me. They recommended some books to me. …

I should avow that I felt bored when I read the Qur'an for the first time. For it contained so many reiterations. It should be known that the Qur'an is a book that impresses and penetrates the human soul slowly. To understand the Qur'an well and to attach yourself to it, you have to read it a number of times. So, the more I read this holy book, the more strongly did I become attached to it, so much s that I could not go to sleep without reading it every night.

What impressed me most was the fact that the Qur'an was a perfect guide for mankind. The Qur'an d not contain anything that a person could not understand. Muslims looked on their Prophet as a huma being like themselves. …..

I objected to that. “Why should there be no other prophet,” I asked. My Muslim friend’s explanation was as follows: “The Qur'an , the Holy Book of Muslims, teaches people all the elements of beautifu moral quality that a person should need, all the religious essentials, the path that will guide one to the approval of Allah, and all the necessaries required for attaining peace and salvation in this world and the next.” The veracity of these statements gets demonstrative evidence from the fact that the essenti in the Qur'an which are still the same as they were fourteen centuries ago, are perfectly consistent wi today’s life-styles and today’s scientific levels. Yet I was still demurring. For we were now in 1954; fourteen centuries later, that is. I wondered if there was not an iota of obsolescence in Islam that would make at least one of the principles communicated by Muhammad PBUH, who was born in 571, inconsistent with today’s conditions?

I embarked on an assiduous quest for mistakes in Islam. My efforts to find fault in Islam despite the fact that my soul had already attained a complete belief in Islam, -so much so that the verity of the Islamic religion was like a live picture in front of my eyes-, should no doubt have been rooted in the vilifications of Islam iterated by priests for the purpose of imposing into our infant minds the idea th Islam was a very defective, inferior and heretical religion.

The first file to rake around in was polygamy. Here, I had found an important loophole. How come a man could marry four women (at the same time)? When I asked about that, my Muslim friend, whom have mentioned earlier, explained the matter as follows: “The Islamic religion appeared in a society where a man could cohabit with as many women as he liked without any official responsibility towa them. With a view to restoring the woman into her proper place in society, the Islamic religion pared down the number of women that a man could marry, and stipulated that he should support the wome mete out justice among them, and pay them (the canonically prescribed) alimony in the event of a divorce. Furthermore, if a woman had no one to support her, she could join a family as a member, no as a slave, of the family. Moreover, marrying four women was not a religious commandment enjoine on men.

It was permission with provisos. Marrying more than one women was forbidden for men who would not be able to fulfill the stipulations. It was for this reason that many a man had only one wife. Marrying up to four women was a kind of tolerance.”

On the other hand, the Mormons in America compelled every male member to marry several women My Muslim friend asked, “I wonder if the British men cohabit with only one woman?” I confessed in embarrassment, “Today all European men enter into relations with various women both before marriage and even after they get married.”

Then the words of my Muslim friend reminded me of the story of a young woman who had lost her husband in the war and had been looking for a man to entrust herself to. The Second World War had ended, and a programme called ‘Dear Sir’ on a British radio announced the following request of a po young woman: “I am a young woman. I lost my husband in the war. I have no one to care for me now I need protection. I am ready to be the second wife of a good natured man and to carry his first wife my head. All I want is to put an end to this loneliness.” This shows that the Islamic polygamy is intended to satisfy a need. It is only a permission, not a commandment. And today, when unemployment and poverty are making the rounds over the entire world, there is next to no place left where it is practised. These thoughts completely eradicated the possibility that I would any longer look on polygamy as a fault in Islam.

Then, with the presumption of having found another defect, I asked my Muslim friend, “How can th five daily prayers be adjusted to our life-styles today? Wouldn’t so many prayers be too much?” He smiled, and asked me, “Sometimes I hear you playing the piano. Are you interested i music?” “Very much, ”was my answer. “All right. Do you practise daily?” “Of course. As soon as I am back home from work, I play the piano at least two hours every day.”

Upon this, my Muslim friend said, “Why do you find it too much to pray five times daily, which wou take you only half an hour or forty-five minutes in all? As you might lose your proficiency in playing the piano if you did not have practice, likewise the less one thinks of Allah or thanks Him for His blessings by prostrating oneself, the farther away will the way leading to Him become. On the other hand, praying daily means making progress step by step in the right way of Allah.” He was so right!

There was no obstacle to my accepting Islam now. I embraced the Islamic religion with all my soul and conscience. As you see I did not choose it at first sight and without thinking at all; on the contrar I became a Muslim after examining Islam minutely, looking for the possible faults in it and finding their answers, and reaching the conclusion that it is an immaculate religion. Now I boast about being Muslim. 12 Why I became Muslim? JAMES (ABDULLAH), PAKISTAN

I was born in OKARA District of Punjab in Pakistan. My parents were Christians and they wanted m to become a Christian priest.

In my schools most of students were Muslims and the general atmosphere was Islamic culture. I also

used to be dressed as a Muslim and would mingle with them. From the beginning I was interested in singing. I had a beautiful voice and on almost every function school, I would be called on stage and sing a song. When I was in 9th Grade, I was selected by a Film Company of Lahore to sing for them. Now my sights were set on becoming a famous singer. I did many shows in various parts of Pakistan and even in Bombay India.

It was at that time, that I met some Muslim missionaries, who explained to me about Islam and its teachings. I liked it very much and I preyed to god to open my hearts for Islam. I preyed to Allah tha my faith should be strong and I should not revert back to Christianity.

I accepted Islam at the hands of Imam of Main Mosque of Lahore. Then my elder brother also accepted Islam. What was most rewarding for us was that our father also accepted Islam in July 199 after satisfying himself of the good teachings of Islam. I even had a discussion with Rev. Joseph of Lahore about truth of Islam. He was amazed at my answers and that I have become such a strong Muslims and acquired this much knowledge in such a short time!! (abridged) Why I became Muslim? OMAR FAROOQ ABDULLAH, USA

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My father was a teacher by profession. He had done Doctorate in Chemistry and Zoology. He believed in one God and was always preaching against Trinity. I took English Literature in my University, and also had interest in Ancient History especially Aryans. This study convinced me tha original of teachings of Jesus was only of Single God which was distorted in the form of Trinity.

I read Leibniz, Spinoza, John Milton…and I was able to see that concept of One God was present in all of them. My studies on Greek, Latin and Hebrew told me that Polygamy was indeed allowed and practiced by most Jewish prophets.

I also was impressed by the thoughts of Malcolm-X , who said that only solution for USA was to uni all under the banner of one God and that will end all racial discrimination.

At that time, I knew little about Islam, but was under the impression that Muslims believe in more th one God. However after I studied Islam, I was surprised to know that it traced itself to Patriarch Abraham and followed his teachings. I also read the biography of Prophet Mohammad, PBUH, which convinced me that his life is in accordance with the life of other Biblical prophets. I accepted Islam, without help or aid of any Muslim.

After I became Muslim, I interacted with MSA and met other Muslims. It pained me to see that man Muslims do not present themselves as good examples of Islam and are divided on the basis of nationality and language and other things. I agree with the saying of Arnold Toynbee biggest curse of 20th century is nationalism. This divides

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human race into different parts and they all fight and hate each other on the basis of nationality. In f nationality is a thing which is not in our control. How can we divide humans into things on which w have no control. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Cardinal Abu Ishaq Coptic Cardinal

Note: The following is a translation from Arabic, of an audio lecture delivered by a former Cardinal the name of Abu Ishaq (Isaac) in the Egyptian Coptic Church. I was head of the Missionary Coptic Church of West Africa and Asia. I thank God for coming to Islam. I never thought I would ever become Muslim…

Since I was a child at school in ‘Said’, Egypt; then at Sunday school; then at ‘Koliya Lahut’ (Jesus College) in Beirut and then whilst I was doing my doctorate in religion at the Faculty of Theology at Cairo University; never was a lesson or lecture taught which didn’t in some way denigrate Islam and teach us to have a hatred for it.

We were taught to have two personalities and to accept that Jesus (pbuh) was the lamb and that he forgave all of our sins and that you had to believe he was God, the son of God and that he was all powerful. That God did not separate from the body of Jesus and that he was ‘the ferocious lion’ who defended the faith of Christianity against the moral degradation and the lies of Islam….

When I started to study the New Testament it was one Christmas. And boy what a Christmas it was! Whoever wants to see Christmas should come to Egypt. The lights are turned off in the church at midnight on Christmas day for five minutes signifying that we have not gone into the dark but from darkness into light (as represented by the birth of Jesus (AS)). And during these five minutes the you men and women mix freely in the church….

Whenever we used to go to church they used to remind us to be careful and wary of Muslims. "Don’ mix with them", they’d say; "don’t eat with them", "be wary of them". I used to say to myself, where are these Muslims that these priests keep telling us to be wary about! There aren’t any! … Whenever they would find me sitting with Muslims in school they’d come and separate me from them.

The Pope said, " We’re sending you to Alexandria and there are Muslims there that you can talk to … took the train from Asyut to Cairo. ..When I got to Cairo station I asked for a car (to take me to Alexandria). But I was told that all the cars were being used by the other cardinals. So I went to the bus station and took the number 64 bus.

A young man came on board the bus and was carrying some small books. He proceeded to give them out to the passengers and when it got to my turn he skipped past me and continued. ..I called out to th boy and asked for one of the books, and he refused. He said, " these aren’t for you priest" ..The boy would let the people keep the books to read on the journey for a price of two garsh (smallest Egyptia monetary unit), or else they could give them back to him. I persisted with the boy and asked him wh he wouldn’t give me a book. The boy ran away and I ran after him. The people looked a this comic

sight and laughed. By chance the boy stumbled and fell and I caught up with him. I offered him 5 for book. The boy took the money and he said "I think for that amount you might as well take them all".

I kept the books and made my journey to the Cathedral Abbasiya (in Cairo as he had missed the bus) and went straight to the room for special guests (VIPs). Usually when I was tired I needed to read the Bible and whenever I read the Bible I would sleep quickly. But this time I was going to read these books I thought to myself. I wondered if they’d make me sleep or keep me awake.

What I didn’t realize was that inside these books was a cure for me (in my heart). This was the first time I had held an Islamic book in my hand. I proceeded to open it. I opened it on a page which start by quoting a chapter of the Quran. It read:

"SAY THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD. THE ABSOLUTE THE ETERNAL. HE DOES NOT BEGET AND HE IS NOT BEGOTTEN AND THERE IS NOTHING UNTO LIKE HIM!" [114:1-4] I read it again and again and again. I read it till I had leant it off by heart. It felt so sweet. I felt so peaceful inside. (Contd.)

When I reached Alexandria the Cardinal in charge received me in a very pleasant manner. He had be told by the Pope that I had become a mental case as I had begun to ask the wrong type of questions. The Pope had phoned ahead to say that "we seem to have a Muslim inside the church". ..

On Sunday we went for prayers in the chapel. But the prayers in a church are very different from a mosque. In the mosque, you see, everyone is the same …In the church the more you pay the more forward you go in the pews…If the priest lifts his hand everyone does that, but what the priest says i his reading no one understands. I went to see the cardinal. .. I asked "Cardinal, so many people come to me to ask forgiveness and I forgive them, and I come to you for forgiveness and you forgive me and you go to the pope for forgiveness and he forgives them. But who forgives the Pope’s sins?"

He said, "you’re talking about the Pope, don’t you know he is Sinless!" I said " How can that be!", " prophet Lot is not blemish less and prophet David is not sinless then how can the Pope be sinless? G himself as Jesus was not sinless and yet you’re telling me the Pope is sinless?!"

The cardinal went straight to the telephone and told the pope that, "Abu Ishaq is still the same and nothing here has changed his views", implying that the atmosphere of more wealth and loosely clad women had not changed me. The pope gave strict orders to have me imprisoned in the Abbey and to have me tortured.

The comparison of prison to the torture of the church cannot be compared. I can say having undergo it that it is not a thousandth of the punishment that I had to endure in the Abbey for 97 days. As I we into the torture chamber I found 15-20 priests lined up with their staffs in their hands. One of them would beat me with the staff whilst another would spit on me calling me a "church seller" or saying

"you sold your church, your people and your mother".

My first punishment after that was that I had to look after the pigs in the Abbey, imprisoned within i and with the pigs. I endured horrendous punishments because I was looking for the truth. They punished me because I was drowning and I wanted to surface for some air. During the 3 months or so I was in the Abbey they sodomised me with their staffs on at least seven different occasions. They tore at and ripped off my beard with their bare hands. They took out my nails, but in front of the truth even if they had cut me into pieces I would have followed nothing but truth…

After all that had happened to me I decided there and then that I wanted to be a Muslim, to worship the One GOD, the Maker of the day and of the night. At that time when we were on the Nile, I starte to pray as a Muslim. I thank Allah for helping me see the Truth! All Praise is due to Allah the Lord and Master of the Worlds. 15 Peace Be Upon You All. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

This story has an interesting prologue. NASIM GHAZI mentioned here is now a well known Islamic Missionary and he is running MADHUR SANDESH SANGAM, an organization for propagation of Islam in India. Many of his cases have been mentioned in these posts.

The Case of: MADHU GOEL (SALMA ANJUM), GHAZIABAD, India A. Family Background:

01. I was born into a very religious GOEL family of GHAZIABAD. My father died when I was ver young, I was brought up by my mother and my elder brother, JAGDISH GOEL. His new name is Kalim GHAZI, I have another brother, HEM KUMAR, who is not Maulana NASIM GHAZI, I have four sisters, two of them have converted to Islam, two are dead and one named LAJJA is still Hindu.

02. My brother worked as Tax collector in GHAZIABAD, once during a local trade fair, he encountered one Muslim trader and asked him to pay his levy…. He asked him to give him some tim and he will pay the levy in the evening.

“And who pay the levy in the evening” my brother demanded…. “A muslim does” replied that small trader.

03. My brother kept wait for him and true to his promise, the Muslim came and paid his levy. Mt brother was very much impressed and selected him for friendship. 04. Then my brother met another Muslim QADI JAMEEL, who told him about Islam and gave him books about Islam. Both my elder and younger brothers were impressed by Islam and wanted to become Muslim. Younger brother declared his Islam first, my elder brother also accepted Islam.

05. There was a lot of commotion in local Hindu community and they tried to implicate my brothers false cases….but they held to their faith and whole family of my two brothers accepted Islam. Maulana NASIM GHAZI later went to an Islamic seminary and passed out from there as an Islamic Scholar B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

06. Nasim Bhai worked on our mother and our sisters and he wrote us many letters … one of his lett “a letter from Newly Converted son to his mother” was also published in book form.

07. I was very adamant to my brother and I never used to listen to him, to me all Muslims looked dir and thought that ALL of them are smelly and dirty. My brother took me to some well to do Muslim families and showed me that ALL Muslims do not live like that. 08. My brother kept on insisting on me accepting Islam, once he requested me with wet eyes to become Muslim…. I got impressed and asked him what he wanted from me. He told me to accept Islam and save me from the hell fire.

I said Islamic creed to satisfy him….. but it was only after 10 years that I got fully convinced of Islam and its truth and became a real Muslim. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 09. After I became Muslim, my family started to look for a suitable spouse for me. I was very particular in my choice, I told that my husband must not wear beard, and he should not have a large family etc…

10. After some discussions and arguments, I decided to marry my present husband, who was related Maulana Kalim Sahib….he came to our marriage party. 11. Now my husband has grown a beard and I like it very much…in fact most members of our household grow normal beards…. My objection to beard has gone and so are my many objections to Islam and Muslim’ way of living. D. How I saved my Islam:

12. My household is a very firm in their faith to Islam… My elder brother is very brave and very bol in his faith. During the Babri Mosque episode, he did not leave his house and continued to live there usual. When some asked him to move, he told, if the Angel of Death would not come to new location?

13. Since we were a well known family in our city, local Hindus tried very much to bring us back to Hinduism. They asked many Hindu Scholars and leaders to win us back. They tried to bribe us, the even threatened us, but Allah saved us from their clutches and we held on to our faith. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

14. My children owe more to my husband than me for their Islamic bringing up. My husband is a ve good Muslim and a very good Human. He is respected for his behaviour by both Muslims and Hind alike.

Once our Land Lord who was a devout Hindu, told my husband, that I am convinced of the truth of Islam…. This is the true way…. But he died without declaring Islam, There are many people like him, who are convinced of Islam and its truth but are afraid or lack courage 2. On Parents.

15. My father went from world without accepting Islam, my mother accepted Islam and I thank Alla for opening her heart to Islam. It was my brother Nasim Ghazi who did most work on her. 3. On Family members / Others. 16. My two sisters also died without becoming Muslim. Though they came very close to Islam. My another sister is Hindu and we are working on her. I pray to Allah to open her heart to Islam. F. Present Situation: 17. I am very content with my present life and I try my best to follow Islam as much as possible…. Somehow I do not eat meat, yet I prepare meat dishes for my husband and my children.

I consider it as if I am destined to miss the taste of meat in this life… It is not because of any religiou hangover. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 18. To Muslims, I strongly advise to live as clean people, Islam insists very much on bodily

cleanliness. It was their dirty style of living that kept me away from Islam for many years, there cou be many like me.

They should present them as example of Islam…see more than 50 people from my own family becam Muslim, just by the conduct of one Muslim, who paid his levy due!!
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

Feb. 2004

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Why be became Muslims? Mrs. MES’ÛDA STEINMANN (G.B.)

There is not a single other religion to equal Islam in its simple comprehensibility or in its reassuring smoothness. Islam is the one and only one religion which infuses a sense of peace and tranquility int the human soul, blesses man with a life of contentment, and guides him to eternal happiness and salvation after death…

What kind of a connection is there between man and the Almighty Being who creates him? No doub religion explains this. I studied the statements made about religion by various scholars.

Why do I believe that Islam is the most perfect of the world’s religions and that it is the true religion

Let me explain: First of all, the Islamic religion states that there is no god besides the one Allah, who great, that He is not begotten and does not beget, either, and that there is not another creator like Him There is not another religion to explain the existence, the unity, and the grandeur of Allah in the magnificence worthy of Him.

The fourth âyat of Hûd Sura purports, “[O my born slaves], your return shall be to Me, alone. Alla is Almighty.” The fifty-fifth âyat of Isrâ Sûra purports, “Allah has the best knowledge of the celestial and the terrestrial creatures.”

Moreover, many chapters of Qur'an state that “He is the only creator,” that “He is everlasting,” that “He is eternal,” that “He is omniscient,” that “He is the absolute judge who makes the truest decision that “He is the greatest helper,” that “He is the Creator, who is the most compassionate,” and that “H is the most magnanimous forgiver.”…

When a person reads these exalted statements, how could it ever be possible for him not to believe in that great Creator and not to seek refuge in Him? Aren’t all these enough for a person to bask in the consciousness of a merciful creator who will protect him as long as he lives, and thus to abide by the right way?...

Christianity busies itself only with spirituality and conscience and overloads every individual Christi with spiritual and conscientious burdens far beyond the human capacity. Christianity prejudges man

a sinful creature and demands from him preposterous expiations he could never understand. …

And then the group would sit and lament over the fact that that tiny particle of love has been lost for good in today’s Christianity, which is awash in superstitions. Coleridge states in one of his books, “ is a reality that a person who loves Christianity very much becomes gradually alienated from Christianity and begins to love the church more, and at the end he loves himself the best.”

The only way of attaining peace and comfort in the world and salvation in the Hereafter is to embrac Islam. 17 Why I became Muslim? SALAMAT MASIH (ABDUL SALAM) PAKISTAN I was born in a Christian family and would go regularly to Church on Sundays. I would not be convinced with what the priest or preacher would say. I started to learn some thing about Islam.

In those days, one Christian abused the Prophet of Islam openly and he was punished with the death penalty. Upon this another Christian Medical Doctor committed suicide. This incident has a deep impact on me and I started to think, what sort of religion is this that says bad words about another prophet. How come Christians in our country break the law of land and force the government to change rule that they be free to curse a prophet of God, which is revered by most people in this country. This made me realize that Islam is the true religion that teaches tolerance and praises all prophets of God.

I recently got transferred from BANNU to LORALIE and there I met a Muslim preacher who was engaged in Missionary activities. I told him that I want to become a Muslim. I went to my wife and discussed this issue with her. I praise Allah that my entire family of seven people agreed with me an we jointly accepted Islam on the same day. It happened on 24 July 1998.

When my parents and my family learned of our decision, they became very angry and they excommunicated us. But I was firm and told that nothing can now change our religion, we have accep it with full understanding.

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I would request Muslim Missionaries in Pakistan, that there are many people like me in Pakistan wh have a soft corner for Islam. They want to become Islam, but lack the courage or proper knowledge about Islam (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? ALEXANDRA (FATIMA) KRICKLER, AUSTRIA

I was born into a Roman Catholic family in Austria, my mother was a firm believer, my father was a atheist and had no respect towards religion From a very young age, my mother told me about God a I developed a deep love for Him ..

Growing up, I turned into a rebel, My parents had little control over me and were unable to provide m

with guidance. At the age of 15, I traveled to Turkey and this was my first contact with an Islamic culture. I loved the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and I spent hours there just relaxing..

After completing my A-level, I decided to continue with my education and join university. I was no sure what subjects to take but I decided to take Social Anthropology and Arabic. During my studies, received grants which allowed me to travel to Egypt and Sudan and gather data for my PHD thesis about the colloquial Arabic of Khartoum and Omdurman.

During these stays in Muslim countries , I felt very much at home. I loved the way people cared abo other people even in crowded cities like Cairo. I felt very close to Islam and I was longing to becom one, but only after I changed for the better.

After finishing my Ph. D. I left Vienna and went to Sudan…from there I took a train to Cairo and the went to Jerusalem. I went to see a person who lived at Mount of Olives and there I decided to becom Muslim.

My parents were not delighted at my choice, but did not put hindrances in my path. The most difficu thing was to meet old friends who would find it impossible that I had changed. After another year, I married an English Muslim convert and came to England to live with him and since then we have been blessed with three lovely children by Allah the Most gracious.

For me the power of Islam lies in Quran and the example of noble prophet, what convinced me was n a dogma or a set of facts but the sheer power of Islam to turn my life around.

An old myth about Islam is that it takes the freedom away from women. ‘What Freedom”? I ask. In my so called free days I was dependent on so many things, from cigarettes to drugs to the attention o men. Only now I feel that I am totally free and respected., dependent only on God and he is the best friends.

I say that the worst thing you can do is try to convince other people about Islam, as it just shows them that you are not sure yourself and it makes a problem between you and others because people do not want to hear about God or religion, if their hearts are closed. If they ask you, tell them about it, but never indulge in preaching to the ones who do not wish to hear…. 19 (Abridged) Source:: The MWL Journal Jan-Feb 199, p23-24 Why I Became Muslim? George Anthony - Former Catholic priest

Note: Fr. Antony was a Catholic priest in Sri Lanka. His tale of becoming a true believer and adoptin a name Adulrahman for him is quite interesting. Being a Christian priest he was well versed with the teachings of the Bible. He quotes the Bible frequently as he sits to narrate his journey to Islam. Whil reading the Bible he found many contradictions in it. He goes on quoting verses from the Bible in

Sinhalese language and points out the ambiguity.

“He quotes Esaiah 9:12 which reads like this.” And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith; I am not learned.” This verse is a prophecy towards prophet Mohammed (pbuh), because Mohammad (pubh) was an unlettered prophet and when he was an unlettered prophet and when he was asked by Angel Gabrielto read out the first divine revelation upon him he said, “I am not learned” Contrary to the Christian belief that Jesus is God, Acts 2:22 of the Holy Bible considers Jesus as a man. It says, “Ye men of Israel, hear these words, Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourself also know.”

Christianity and the other religions, do not define the Prophethood according to him. Nor does Budd and is silent about the other prophets. Contrary to this it is compulsory in Islam to believe in all the former Prophets and to revere them. According to Abdulrahman this belief is quite convincing and appealing to every body.

Abdulrahman says that there is no reason for the restriction that a Roman Catholic priest cannot mar when the priests of many other sects of Christianity can marry. Abdulrahman was pondering over the confusions of Christian belief. Meanwhile he got an Audio Cassette of a converted Christian priest S Lanka Shareef D Alwis. Cassettes of Ahmad Deedat also attracted him. His continuous efforts to fin the truth finally resulted in reversion to Islam. Fr. George Antony

Abdulrahman, hails from the Rathnapura village of Sri Lanka. He was rendering his services as a pri in Katumayaka church. He has ten years of training of the priesthood to his credit.

He wrote letters to his mother introducing Islam. After months of studies she followed the path of he son and embraced Islam. Abdurahman’s only sister is working in Greece. His father and sister still remained Christians.

Abdurahman gave up his highly respected career as a priest for the sake of truth. He happily sacrifice all material gains for the spiritual triumph. He is now working as a trainee in Islam Presentation Committee of Kuwait. 20 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: HALIMA SAADIA, DELHI, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I belong to a well to do SAINI family of South Delhi. My father is Accountant in Delhi Development Authority. I have three brothers and all of them are working as Officers in different ministries.

I did my MA in English and Diploma is Mass Communications and I work as secretary in one of the ministries. I am aged 33 now and very few people know me by my new Islamic name. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. Govt. of India established an institute to teach foreign languages to its staff working in different ministries. I was selected to learn Arabic … most of the teachers were Muslims there and they starte to teach Urdu to us along with Arabic.

03. My father is very well versed with Urdu language and I also spoke good Urdu, so I did not had much difficulty in learning Urdu or Arabic. One of our teacher Dr. MOHSIN OSMANI gave us som literature on Islam in Urdu and Hindi. That included a small booklet in Hindi named “AAP KI AMANAT AAP KI SEVA MEIN” i.e. “Your trust returned to you” by Maulana Kalim Uddin. I was very much impressed with that book and after that I studied Quran and then I told our teacher that I want to accept Islam. 04. I accepted Islam on his hands and then I used to go to Islamic Mission in NIZAMUDDIN and started learning about Islam and SALAAT from sisters there. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 05. I have not yet declared my Islam to my family and they are not aware of it. This causes lots of inconvenience to me as I must wait till every one is away before I can offer my regular prayers. D. How I saved my Islam: 06. I am now at a dilemma, when I read Quran it asks us to surrender ourselves to Allah fully and completely and I am unable to do that at present.

I am very fond of prostration and I pray to Allah during my prostration to give me strength and make me a Good Muslim. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

07. After becoming Muslim, I cannot marry a non Muslim, so I excused my parents to marry anyone whenever they bring up this subject.

I discussed this with my Islamic teacher and he brought a Muslim boy, who told me that he is ready marry me….there is no need for me to declare my Islam and he would not mind if I even go to templ once in a while “to maintain the façade”… This reply saddened me and I declined the marriage proposal.

08. I know that Islam wants Muslim women to remain inside house. So I do not like to work outside I am praying to Allah to grant me a Good Muslim husband, who will relieve me from this office wor F. Present Situation:

09. This is the situation in which I find myself. My only source of strength is My Allah and I always pray and ask Him to solve my problems G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 10. When I see Muslim women in Delhi and other places, I get convinced that they do not value the gift of Islam they have. In many Muslim localities, it is not possible to find out if they are any different from Non Muslim localities. I advise them to read stories of Muslim women in early age of Islam and use them as their ideals.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of April 2004

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Why be became Muslims? Prof. Baron HÂRÛN MUSTAFÂ LEON (G.B.) Prof. Baron Leon comes from a prominent British family and possesses the title of Baron. He owns a Ph D. and other scientific titles. He became a Muslim in 1882. One of the most perfect essentials of the Islamic religion is that it never demands of Muslims to act against reason. Islam is a religion whose teachings are quite reasonable and perfectly logical. …

Muhammad PBUH states, “Allah has not created anything irrational or illogical.” He states in another Saying, “I tell you with certainty that even if a person performs (his daily prayers of) namâz (regularly), fasts, pays (the prescribed alms called) zakât, goes on hajj (Muslim’s pilgrimag to Makkah), and carries out all the other commandments of Islam, he shall be rewarded in proportion to the degree of his using the mind and logic Allah has endowed on him.” The pure religion preached by Jesus also contained similar rules. For instance, ‘First try everything! Accept only the good one.” Yet, these rules were forgotten in the course of time. …

The last Prophet of Allah Muhammad ‘PBUH who is the greatest blessing Allah has sent to humanity, showed them the path that they were to follow. It was during his final days (in this world)

when the following incident took place: It was a couple of days before Muhammad’s passing away, and he was resting, half conscious, his head on the knees of Aiyesha , his beloved wife. All the people of Medina were desperately sad about Rasûlullah’s illness, ….This great Prophet who had brought them peace and security by means of Islam, was now bidding ‘Farewell’ to them….

In tears they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! You are gravely ill. Perhaps Allah will invite you to Hi presence and you will no longer be with us. Then, what can we do without you?”

Our Prophet Muhammad stated, “You have the Qur'an to consult.” Then they asked, “O Messenger of Allah! It is certain that the Qur'an will be our guide in many respects. Yet if we canno find what we are seeking by looking up in it, and if you have already left us, who will be our guide?”

Upon this, our Prophet ‘ “Act in accordance with what I have told you.” This time they asked, “O the Messenger of Allah! Since you will no longer be among us, what should we do if we encounter altogether new matters and cannot find anything about those matters in your Hadith?”

Our Prophet raised his blessed head slowly from the pillow, and said, “Allah has given a personal guide to each and every one of His born slaves. This guide is the common sense, and his heart, which embodies a conscience. If you use this guide well and properly, you will never deviate fro the right path, and in the end you will attain to Allah.”

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Here is the Islamic religion which I boast of having chosen. This religion is the true religion of Allah which is entirely based on reason and logic. Why I became Muslim? FELIX (AHMED), PHILIPINES

My father was working in Saudi Arabia for past 30 years and during his long stay, he accepted Islam learned it from my mother. At that time I did not know about Islam or Saudi Arabia.

I completed my study, and got a job in Saudi Arabia. My flight to Saudi Arabia was from Saudi Airlines, before take off, It played Muslim prayer for Journey in Arabic. I did not know any word of Arabic, but some how the wordings kept me spell bound. When I landed in Saudi Arabia, I found the way Muslims greeted each other, the way they went to regular prayers five times daily impressed me. I used to compare this with our Sunday Church services and could feel that this was indeed much better than our ways.

I used to watch religious programs on Saudi Channel 2.. I even memorized first chapter of Quran (after listening it recited so many times). I found that if I recited that chapter on any occasion where felt danger, somehow I could maintain my calm. I decided to know more about Islam and after return of my first vacation, I started going to Islamic guidance center. I met a missionary from Philippine, who had accepted Islam some time back….he

told me about Islam and provided satisfactory answers to my questions and doubts.

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I decided to accept Islam and I want to thank all those who contributed towards this, including Saudi Channel 2. (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? EDWIN M. (ABDUL LATEEF) ARSIO, PHILLIPINES.

I got the Chartered Accountant degree from Manila University and was selected to serve in Saudi Arabia. The position was inferior to my qualifications but the money was more than I could get in m country. The reaction of my parents were mixed on the eve of my departure to Saudi Arabia, a conservative Muslim country.

I was posted in Riyadh HO of Irish Mestok company that runs dairy farms in the Kingdom. I was to my duties and introduced to my colleagues many of whom were from my country and some from oth countries also. I had to share my office with a Pakistani Accountant who was quite aged and had a f beard.

After some initial hesitancy, we became quite talkative and discussed many topic amongst them Isla and Christianity. One day I had a severe headache, my friend read some verses and blew on my hea and I felt better. I asked him to give me English translation of these verses.

My Pakistani friend gave me some books on Islam, like Islam in Focus, Towards Understanding Isla Myth of the Cross etc. After reading these books, I thought that I must make thorough study of Islam and Christianity. I asked my friend to give me English Translation of Quran and what they read in prayers. When I read the Quran, I found its teachings very reasonable and I was much impressed by them. I tried to emulate my Muslim friends in prayer. I used to prey in an empty room, so that my fellow Pilipino Worker would not know about it. But one day, one Pilipino saw me preying and he informe all other Pilipino that I had become Muslim. When things came to that level, I consulted my Pakistani friend and we decided that it is best, if I declare my faith officially, so that I will not be persecuted. We went to the office of Sheikh Bin BAAZ, head of Saudi Religious organization and I declared my faith in front of him.

I wrote to my parents explaining to them good points of Islam. They did not respond well, when I went on vacation, my father told me, that if you are able to convince our local priest, we will become Muslim. I went to the priest and I gave him English translation of Quran and took time from him to come next week. But when we reached he was not there. My vacation time was over, but the priest did not find time to argue with me.

I started my missionary activity in Philippine with the help of some friends, with the grace of Allah this is now some what established. I married a Christian girl and she also accepted Islam after seeing its benefits. I was in Kuwait the day Iraq invaded it. I had gone there to open the new branch of my company

there. I had to reach Amman by road which took almost 26 days. I think my practice of fasting and Hajj helped me survive that ordeal. Now I am a senior member of that MNC and my employers are happy with my work. Some times I think back on the day, I was taking my first flight to Riyadh, Allah was preparing for best provisions for me on this earth and INLSHALLAH in the hereafter too (Abridged). 24 Why I Became Muslim? Dr. Jerald F. Dirks, Former minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church.

Note: He holds a Master's degree in Divinity from Harvard University and a Doctorate in Psycholog from the University of Denver. Author of The Cross and the Crescent: An Interfaith Dialogue betwe Christianity and Islam (ISBN 1-59008-002-5 - Amana Publications, 2001). He has published over 60 articles in the field of clinical psychology, and over 150 articles on Arabian horses

One of my earliest childhood memories is of hearing the church bell toll for Sunday morning worshi in the small, rural town in which I was raised. .. By my junior high school days, the local Methodist Church had closed, and we were attending the Methodist Church in the neighboring town, which was only slightly larger than the town in which I lived. There, my thoughts first began to focus on the ministry as a personal calling.

By age 17, when I began my freshman year at Harvard College, my decision to enter the ministry ha solidified. ..That spring, Harvard named me a Hollis Scholar, signifying that I was one of the top pre theology students in the college. I was a very promising young minister,

There is some irony in the fact that the supposedly best, brightest, and most idealistic of ministers-to be are selected for the very best of seminary education, e.g. that offered at that time at the Harvard Divinity School….As such, it is no real wonder that almost a majority of such seminary graduates leave seminary, not to “fill pulpits …

It was at this juncture that I began to come into contact with the local Muslim community. For some years before, my wife and I had been actively involved in doing research on the history of the Arabia horse. Eventually, in order to secure translations of various Arabic documents, this research brought us into contact with Arab Americans who happened to be Muslims. Our first such contact was with Jamal in the summer of 1991.

After an initial telephone conversation, Jamal visited our home, and offered to do some translations f us, and to help guide us through the history of the Arabian horse in the Middle East. Before Jamal le that afternoon, he asked if he might: use our bathroom to wash before saying his scheduled prayers; and borrow a piece of newspaper to use as a prayer rug, so he could say his scheduled prayers before leaving our house. We, of course, obliged, but wondered if there was something more appropriate th we could give him to use than a newspaper…

Over the next 16 months, contact with Jamal slowly increased in frequency, until it was occurring on biweekly to weekly basis. During these visits, Jamal never preached to me about Islam, never questioned me about my own religious beliefs or convictions, and never verbally suggested that I become a Muslim

While I never spoke to my Muslim friends about those books, my wife and I had numerous conversations about what I was reading. By the last week of December of 1992, I was forced to adm to myself, that I could find no area of substantial disagreement between my own religious beliefs and the general tenets of Islam… As such, I continued to read, and then to re-read.

It was now the very end of December, and my wife and I were filling out our application forms for U.S. passports, so that a proposed Middle Eastern journey could become a reality. One of the questions had to do with religious affiliation. I didn’t even think about it, and automatically fell back on the old and familiar, as I penned in “Christian”. It was easy, it was familiar, and it was comfortable. However, that comfort was momentarily disrupted when my wife asked me how I had answered the question on religious identity on the application form. I immediately replied, “Christian”, and chuckled audibly. ..

About a month had gone by since my wife’s question to me. It was now late in January of 1993. I h set aside all the books on Islam by the Western scholars, as I had read them all thoroughly. The two English translations of the meaning of the Qur’an were back on the bookshelf, and I was busy readin yet a third English translation of the meaning of the Qur’an. Maybe in this translation I would find some sudden justification for…

It was now March of 1993, and my wife and I were enjoying a five-week vacation in the Middle Eas It was also the Islamic month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from day break until sunset. Because we were so often staying with or being escorted around by family members of our Muslim friends back in the States, my wife and I had decided that we also would fast, if for no other reason than common courtesy. During this time, I had also started to perform the five daily prayers of Islam with my newfound, Middle Eastern, Muslim friends. After all, there was nothing in those prayers with which I could disagree. It was now late in our Middle Eastern trip. An elderly friend who spoke no English and I were walking down a winding, little road, somewhere in one of the economically disadvantaged areas of greater ‘Amman, Jordan. As we walked, an elderly man approached us from the opposite direction, said, “Salam ‘Alaykum”, i.e., “peace be upon you”, and offered to shake hands. We were the only three people there. I didn’t speak Arabic, and neither my friend nor the stranger spoke English. Looking at me, the stranger asked, “Muslim?”

At that precise moment in time, I was fully and completely trapped. There were no intellectual word games to be played, because I could only communicate in English, and they could only communicate in Arabic. There was no translator present to bail me out of this situation, and to allow me to hide behind my carefully prepared English monologue. I couldn’t pretend I didn’t understand the questio because it was all too obvious that I had. My choices were suddenly, unpredictably, and inexplicabl reduced to just two: I could say “N’am”, i.e., “yes”; or I could say “La”, i.e., “no”. The choice was

mine, and I had no other. I had to choose, and I had to choose now; it was just that simple. Praise be to Allah, I answered, “N’am”.

With saying that one word, all the intellectual word games were now behind me. With the intellectu word games behind me, the psychological games regarding my religious identity were also behind m I wasn’t some strange, atypical Christian. I was a Muslim. Praise be to Allah, my wife of 33 years also became a Muslim about that same time.

Not too many months after our return to America from the Middle East, a neighbor invited us over to his house, saying that he wanted to talk with us about our conversion to Islam. He was a retired Methodist minister, with whom I had had several conversations in the past. Although we had occasionally talked superficially about such issues as the artificial construction of the Bible from various, earlier, independent sources, we had never had any in-depth conversation about religion. I knew only that he appeared to have acquired a solid seminary education, and that he sang in the loca church choir every Sunday.

My initial reaction was, “Oh, oh, here it comes”. Nonetheless, it is a Muslim’s duty to be a good neighbor, and it is a Muslim’s duty to be willing to discuss Islam with others. As such, I accepted th invitation for the following evening, and spent most of the waking part of the next 24 hours contemplating how best to approach this gentleman in his requested topic of conversation. The appointed time came, and we drove over to our neighbor’s. After a few moments of small talk, he finally asked why I had decided to become a Muslim. I had waited for this question, and had my answer carefully prepared. “As you know with your seminary education, there were a lot of nonreligious considerations which led up to and shaped the decisions of the Council of Nicaea.” He immediately cut me off with a simple statement: “You finally couldn’t stomach the polytheism anymore, could you?” He knew exactly why I was a Muslim, and he didn’t disagree with my decision! For himself, at his age and at his place in life, he was electing to be “an atypical Christian” Allah willing, he has by now completed his journey from cross to crescent.

There are sacrifices to be made in being a Muslim in America. For that matter, there are sacrifices to be made in being a Muslim anywhere. However, those sacrifices may be more acutely felt in Ameri especially among American converts. Some of those sacrifices are very predictable, and include altered dress and abstinence from alcohol, pork, and the taking of interest on one’s money. Some of those sacrifices are less predictable. For example, one Christian family, with whom we were close friends, informed us that they could no longer associate with us, as they could not associate with anyone “who does not take Jesus Christ as his personal savior”. In addition, quite a few of my professional colleagues altered their manner of relating to me. Whether it was coincidence or not, m professional referral base dwindled, and there was almost a 30% drop in income as a result. Some o these less predictable sacrifices were hard to accept, although the sacrifices were a small price to pay for what was received in return.

For those contemplating the acceptance of Islam and the surrendering of oneself to Allah—glorified and exalted is He, there may well be sacrifices along the way. Many of these sacrifices are easily predicted, while others may be rather surprising and unexpected. There is no denying the existence o these sacrifices, and I don’t intend to sugar coat that pill for you. Nonetheless, don’t be overly

troubled by these sacrifices. In the final analysis, these sacrifices are less important than you present think. Allah willing, you will find these sacrifices a very cheap coin to pay for the “goods” you are purchasing. 25 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: CHAUBAL SINGH (MOHD. LIAQAT), MUZAFFAR NAGAR, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I belong to the JANSATH Tehsil of Dist. MUZAFFARNAGAR, UP. We are a small sugarcane grower family, we are five brothers and by the grace of Allah, four of us have accepted Islam along with our families. Our elder brother, who is leader of Congress party in our area is also closer to Islam, but he has not declared his Islam openly B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 02. If I can say, the let me say that it was the Idol of Lord Siva, who asked me to become Muslim!!

It so happened that some years back, we had a very good harvest of sugarcane, and we saved a lot of money. We reconstructed our house and there in we made a special room for prayer. It was a sort o small temple inside the house. 03. I went to the City to buy an Idol of Lord Siva and I purchased a very costly statue casting more than 5000 rupees. I was carrying the same in my hand, taking care lest it should break.

I was just in front of a Muslim mosque, when a thought came to my mind, what will happen if I drop this Statue…. I thought and the Idol slipped from my hand and broke into many small pieces. 04. I thought what sort of god is he, who cannot even save his own statue. The God of Muslims is much better, who does not break and does not need any caring from its worshippers. 05. I went up to the mosque and asked the incharge there to make me Muslim, when he hesitated, I told that I have taken this decision with lot of care and seriousness. He asked me to read Islamic creed….later I came to PHULAT and met Maulana Kalim Sahib, who instructed me in Islamic teachings.

C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 06. When I reached home,. I told my wife about Islam and that I had accepted it. She said that I am also impressed with Islam after seeing Muslim ladies.

I wanted to embrace Islam, but was afraid because of you, so she accepted Islam and our three childr also accepted Islam at the hand of local Imam

07. Our elder brother, who was the local leader of Congress Party, he became very angry and he bea me and my younger brother with stick and even got us arrested by the local police. They beat my brother mercilessly and broke his leg (see the attitude of Secular Indian Police, which had nothing to do in this case-MUQ). I complained to the higher officer in the city, he was very good and he sent an officer to our village and warned the local police and my brother to behave themselves. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children I told already that my wife and my children accepted Islam without much effort, Thank to Allah 3. On Family members / Others. 08. I presented Islam to my younger brother and tried my best to convince him…he said that he will consult with his wife…she agreed and the whole family of my younger brother became Muslim Alhamdolillah Then we started work on my elder brother, after some discussion, he along with his family also became Muslim, Alhamdolillah. 09. That leaves only my eldest brother, he showed lot of opposition and even tried to get us tortured the local police. He has no children and had adopted one of his nephew, when the entire family became Muslim, we wanted our children back.

He fell sick and despite many treatment had no improvement. He came to our house and asked us to forgive him for his past behavior. When we prayed for him, he was cured. He is studying about Islam, but is yet to declare his faith. We are hopeful F. Present Situation: 11. We are very happy with our Islam, all our children are learning about Islam and we encourage them.

When I think, How Allah brought us to Islam, our hearts are filled with his praise. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 12. I ask them to pray that we die as a Muslim and they should pray for guidance of all the Non Muslims in India and elsewhere… If Allah accepts the prayers then He opens His ways.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2004

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Why be became Muslims? WILLIAM PICKHARD (G.B.) It is stated in a Hadith “Every newly-born baby is suitable for and agreeable with Islam. Afterwards they are made Jews, Christians or magians by their parents.” Likewise, I had been born as a Muslim. Yet it was only many years later that I realized this fact. …

As a Christian, I had been given some teaching on the concept of Allah and on how to worship Allah Yet my adoration was not confined to their teachings; I felt the same worship-like attachment toward all paragons of chivalry and valor that I had read about in history. Eventually, I was given an office i Uganda, which was under the British sway in those days. … The difficult and unaccommodating life I was now leading in Uganda was making me feel closer and closer to the oriental people. As I was reading the stories of Arabian Nights now, I was comparing them with the people of Uganda and, as it were, I was living with them.

I was completely accustomed to life here, when the First World War broke out. When I applied for military service, they would not admit me into the military on account of my poor health. When I fel better I applied again. This time they admitted me, and sent me to the German front in France. In 191 I joined the terrible Somme battles. I was wounded in these battles, and I was captured by the Germans. …. My arm and leg were entirely out of service.

What would become of me now? How would I earn my living? These thoughts drove me to infinite despair. As I was in this mood of utter hopelessness, I somehow remembered the consolatory Korani statements that I had read in a book which I had bought in Uganda. In those days I had read them aga and again with deep interest and adoration; I had even memorized them. I began to pass these statements through my heart and to repeat them a number of times daily. It gave my heart a sense of relief and opened the gates of hope. And my hopes came true, too.

The Swiss doctors operated on my leg once again, and my leg began to feel better. I owed this to the Qur'an . As soon as I began to walk, the first thing I did was to go to a bookstore and buy a translatio of Qur'an by Savary. [This book is still my most cherished companion.] This time I began to read th entire Qur'an . The more I read, the more relief did my heart feel, the higher did my soul ascend, the deeper into my essence did a tremendous mass of light penetrate. My leg was completely well now. Yet my right arm was still motionless. Upon this, I obeyed the

command of the Qur'an , surrendered myself to the Will of Allah and drilled myself in writing with my left hand. The first thing I did after learning to write with my left hand was to embark on writing copy of Qur'an with my left hand. At one time, I had been deeply impressed by an episode in an Islamic book that I had been reading. The episode was about a young man who was reading the Qur' quite oblivious of his surroundings and without even knowing that he was in a graveyard where he h come accidentally. I put myself in his place, delivered my essence to the Grace of Allah, and carried on my reading the Qur'an. In other words, I was a Muslim now. …

A couple of days later he took me to the London mosque at Notting Hill Gate. I joined the daily prayers in that mosque for about a year. In 1922 I became a Muslim officially. We are in 1950 now. far, I have held fast to all the commandments of Qur'an with both hands, and this has given me a gr pleasure. (Abridged) 27 Why I became Muslim? PROF. BENIAL (ABDULLAH HASAN) HEWITT, USA

I think if you visit any Church, you will find nothing but statues and figure. If you look at the dresse of clergy and procession of priests, nuns and deacons….you would not see any spiritual dimension there. If will be as you have entered into a temple filled with idols and idol worship is in progress.

On the other hand if you visit any mosque, what you see will be rows upon rows of devotees, clad in normal clothes. There would be no idols, statues or music and every one would be busy in worshippi One Lord of Universe.

I don’t know if any reasonable man would not be able to notice the contrast in the two scenes. I always had an attraction towards Islam, but it was not enough for me to declare my allegiance to it. But the more I started to read about Islam from the books written by Muslim scholars, its truth dawn on me. I could see the service done on humanity by the Great Prophet of Islam.

What attracted me towards Islam was its absolute Monotheism. Then I saw that Islam does not only deal with spiritual matters, but it gives instructions for every walk of life.

Then Islam is free from narrow mindedness and treats with respect those who are non Muslims. It w Islam which first taught to the world meaning of tolerance and live peacefully with people of other faiths.

Islam is a religion of action…it does not encourage people sitting idle or renounce the world. On the other hand, if you want to become a good Christian, you have to renounce the world. Not so in Islam According to Islam, the purpose of human life on this earth is to enjoy everything what God has created for him…but he should remember God and lead life as per His guidance. (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? FATIMA HARRON , WEST GERMANY

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Shortly after I was born in 1934, it became a fashion in Germany to quit membership of the Church. In fact when I was 11 years old, one girl told me that there was no god at all and she seemed to be an authentic person.

The world at that time was far from ordinary, there were bombs day after day, there were fathers wh would come only now and then, and there were mothers, who knitted gloves and socks for ‘our poor soldiers’.

When the war was over there were strange people who took away our houses and American war film started coming in which melted my heart. I was unable to judge who was right and who was wrong and every thing looked cruel and senseless to me…

It was a miracle for me that out of all girls it was I who met a young European who had embraced Islam seven years before. I asked him to tell more about it. I was a great skeptic at that time. Yet wh he explained to me the meaning of the word Muslim i.e. one who out of his free will surrenders himself to God’s commandments, something started waking inside me… He explained how everything in the nature was following God’s commands...it was only men who disobeyed God’s laws. It was wonderful logic, the pure common sense. I learned as much as in the books in the following years, small though the stock of unbiased Islamic literature in German Language is. Mohammad Asad ‘s book Road to Makkah made a deep impression on me… I understood the deep meaning behind all Islamic injunctions, it helped me most toward my journey to Islam.

While Muslim at heart, I decided that I would try out first whether I would be able to follow the laws of Islam, so I kept fast the most difficult duty as it seemed to me then. I fasted the Month of Ramada of year 1959, and it taught me that if we do anything for love of God, it is no longer as difficult at it seems.

After that I became Muslim, me and my husband saved some money to migrate to a Muslim country and we settled in Pakistan, where my husband was given a suitable position.

I used to enjoy all freedom the West offers to women, free mixing of sexes, parties, cinemas, dancin concert, theatre, swimming, skating…Yet the peace of mind I have after becoming Muslim seems to me an ample compensation for what I have left behind…

The reason why I tell this is that I want my young sisters and brothers to understand that all the tempting glitter of materialism is just nothing when compared precious gift that God bestows on thos whom He makes Muslims.. 29 (Abridged) Source:: YAQEEN INT. FEB 7 1992, P200 Why I Became Muslim?

Muslima The Former Catholic Missionary (Burundi)

The nuns looked so clean and smart in their starched white habits. They looked like the saints in the pictures that hung on the wall of every classroom, that I dreamt of the day I could be like them. I wa among two other girls who get excellent grades at the end of the school year and we were asked if w would like to study religion. They thought we were pious for our ages because we liked to spend endless hours inside the church. They didn’t realize that the inside of the church was dim and cold an a welcome relief from the hot African sun. I couldn’t wait to tell my father, who surprisingly said, ‘absolutely not!’ He would not like that kind life for one of his girls; without husband and children. He enrolled me in another school, which had previously only admitted boys.

Besides myself, there was another girl in the Roman Catholic Mission school in Burundi. The years spent at this school made me quite tough as I competed only against boys. The nuns used excessive force in disciplinary matters. The fact that we were all adolescents might have had a good deal to do with it. Still, it didn’t seem a very Christian thing to do.

I was interested in religion and excelled in the study of languages and accepted a full scholarship to a university in Cameroon after graduating from high school. Again, as the only female, I enrolled in th College of Theology. I wasn’t sure where I would go with it, but after a short while, the administratio applied for a scholarship in the same College of Theology, but in Belgium. There I would learn how be a Pastor in the Roman Catholic Church. My language ability aided me quite a bit and my mastery of some of the African dialects attracted them as a good candidate for missionary work.

As the years went by, I began to see through the layers of theology and found the superficiality of th teachings. I was not alone in seeing the many contradictions in the New and Old Testaments. To lear that the ‘Trinity’ is mentioned only once in the New Testament was a surprise but when I learned it had been fully established at the Council of Nicea and that it was not part of what Jesus taught, something in my mind clicked.

We were shown certain books called the Gnostic Books, which we were told were hidden teachings, understood that the church was being deceitful and this was disturbing. How could I believe that this was, as they said, the word of God from A to Z. "The People of the Book know this as they know the own sons; but some of them conceal the Truth which they themselves know. The Truth is from thy Lord, so be not in doubt." (Qur’an 2:146-147)

Still I pursued my studies in an effort to be able to help myself and my people some day. "As for tho who divide their religion and break up into sects, thou has no part in them in the least: their affair is with Allah: He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did." (Qur’an 6:159)

After graduation from University, I took a position in Nairobi, Kenya. The Church was very anxious have an African in a position such as this. They had many programmes for women and I was a coordinator for these programmes under the auspices of the World Council of Churches. I handled different aspects of exhibitions, women’s projects, donors, workshops and conferences. I was sent to the regional office in Togo because they are mainly French-speaking which I spoke fluently and the type of projects I knew how to handle were being implemented there. I began to search for the spiritual force that was missing in my life and in Togo I searched through all the practiced religions. When one looks for truth there are many things thrown in one’s path. (Contd.)

This part of Africa has many people who practice witchcraft and who claim to have knowledge of th unseen and it was obvious they were just taking people’s money. There is no one with knowledge of the unseen except God. I had been facing much mediocrity from the Church and at the same time I had Muslim friends who were very comfortable in their knowledge of God, who prayed five times daily and who had many virtues. They believed in what they said, in contrast to the Church where you repeat what you have been taught without believing in it.

I had never been taught anything about Islam except a superficial introduction so I did a lot of readin about the religion.

I cannot say that to convert to Islam was easy; it was very difficult. But when one is searching for th truth there is no way to deny it. The decision was also difficult for economic reasons as I had one of the highest paying professions with many perks. I resigned from my position citing my conversion as my reason and immediately lost my job and salary, housing and medical benefits. I became destitute in one day! My family does not like my Hijab but they admire the moral aspects of Islam.

I helped to raise my brothers and sisters and they are much younger than I, and now to see how much they hate me is almost unbearable.

They felt the economic hardship immediately as I did, and cannot understand why I would do such a thing. But with the grace of Allah they too will find the truth of Islam, Insha’allah.

I hope and pray that I can use the knowledge that the education in the Church gave me towards the propagation of Islam. The spiritual climate of West Africa is ripe for Islam and there are many proje which need doing. This is what I have been trained to do and so my path is straight and narrow for m now.

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: KAMAL SAXENA (ABDUL RAHMAN) PRATAPGARH UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 9 June 1965 , in a KAYASTH Hindu Family in RANI GANJ of PRATAP GARH UP. My father is an IPS officer and presently posted at MUGHAL SARAI. In our family Urdu is we understood. I did my PHD is psychology from Allahabad University in 1994 and I am teaching psychology in a college in PUNE. I have a younger brother and sister and they are both educated and are employed.

02. I wanted to do research in Germany in Para-psychology… this subjects deals with subjects which are outside of our world… I wanted to do research on Jinn.

I wanted to control one Jinn under my power, so I could do my research and have an advantage over my other colleagues. 03. What is a better place to control Jinn than in India! So I met many Hindu Sadhus and Muslims who were known to have Jinn under their control… I tried all of their “sure fire” methods to control Jinn…. But after so much tries and efforts, I got no break thru.

04. I went to Famed Muslim college NADWA in Lucknow, where some one told me to go to TAKIA RAI BARELY and see a Scholar named Kalim Uddin , who might help me B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. I reached the mosque and was waiting there in the heat of month of June, when some one came a said, Are you Dr, KC SAXENA? I was astonished, how did you know my name?

“It is nothing special, my friend told me that a gentleman of this name would come today and when I saw you sitting I guessed” he said laughing. I was much impressed, the people I had consulted woul make every thing so mysterious and he was telling simple truths.

06. When I asked him about my mission to control a Jinn… he laughed and congratulated me on my bravery saying that he was afraid of Jinn…

When I insisted, he told me that the creatures whom Allah has made free, it is not OK to make them under control…he instead presented to me Islam, saying that it is more important than controlling Jin 07. But if you want to control Jinn, first you have to become Muslim, I was very excited in my mission, so I said that I am ever ready to become Muslim, if I am able to control a Jinn.

But he said that accepting Islam for controlling Jinn is not acceptable in the eyes of Allah….I must decide to accept Islam for Allah alone and if you became a true Muslim…then you come to me, I wi show you some of Jinn.

08. He gave me a list of books , which I should read, I went to Lucknow and bought “What is Islam” and “Madras Lectures”…after reading these I got convinced that Islam is the only true way. So I went to PHULAT and on 9 June 1195 accepted Islam , he named me Abdul Rahman… C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

09. After that I spent most of my time in learning about Islam, I purchased many books on islam and then I realised that research on Jinn is nothing compared to getting closer to the Lord and Creator of the Jinn When I met Maulana after some time and he asked me about my Jinn project….I told that now I am away from that and need to worship and get closer to the Lord and Creator of Jinn.

10. When the news reached to my family members, they forced me to get away from this and do not sully the family’s name and its reputation. They tried to even put pressure on me, but I remained firm and then they left me alone.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 11. When I accepted Islam, I was unmarried, I decided not to marry since it would affect my Missionary activities. But Maulana Kalim Sahib told me that it is against Islam and I should marry.

12. It so happened that one Christian Nun AP accepted Islam due to our mission activities… she had suffered in her first marriage and had decided to turn into a nun and leave that world behind. When I offered to marry her, she consented and we were married and I now a daughter from this marriage. 3. On Family members / Others.

13. I am really sorry that I did not work on my family members, I talked to my father once…and he read to me laughing this Urdu couplet “HUM TO DOOBEY HAIN SANAM YAAR KO LEY DOBBENIGE” ( Which means “I have drowned but I want to drown my partner also”

It is Allah who guides people to Islam, but more than 200 people have accepted Islam in past 9 year due to missionary activities of our small group, Alhamdolillah F. Present Situation:

14. There is a post of reader in Allahabad University , I have applied for it and am going for intervie there. If selected I want to do my missionary activities in this Ancient Hindu city.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

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Why be became Muslims? Dr. HÂMID MARCUS (German) (Dr. Marcus is a renowned man of ideas, a writer, and the founder of a magazine, i.e. the magazine entitled Berlinde Moslemische Revue.)

I was only a child when I took an interest in Islam and began to collect information about Islam. In the library of my hometown I came across an old translation of Qur'an that had been printed in 116 [1750 C.E.]. As I read the Qur'an, I was deeply impressed by its exceedingly logical and fascinating style of expression that penetrated deep into the soul….

When I left my hometown and went to Berlin, I made friends with all the Muslims living there, joine them and attended with rapt attention the interesting and instructive conferences held by the member of the Islamic Mission.

The more friendly I became with the members of the Islamic Mission, the more closely was I able to examine Islam. After a while I reached the conclusion that Islam was the true religion I had been aspiring after, believed in it, and accepted Islam.

According to Islam, Allah is One, and belief in One Creator is Islam’s most sacred creedal tenet. The Islamic religion does not contain any irrational or unbelievable tenet. There is not a creator besides Allah. In Islam you cannot find a single dot disagreeable with or contradictory to modern sciences. All its commandments and inculcations are entirely logical and useful.

In Islam, belief and logic do not contradict each other, which is the common blemish of other religio Consequently, for a person like me who has dedicated all his life-time to natural sciences, what could be more natural than preferring Islam, which is in full conformity with the scientific results that he obtained from his lucubration, to the other religions that are quite the other way round?.... Commandments of the Islamic religion lead a person to the right way not only in the Hereafter, but also in the world, and, in the meanwhile, they never restrict his freedom….

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How exquisite a passageway it is that Islam lays between the individual and the social life! Islam arranges these two lives. Islam is a religion of perfect justice and its sole aim is to guide people to th good end. Islam embodies all the good aspects of all the world’s social trends. (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? AN ANGLICAN CHRISTIAN (NAME WITHELD), Birmingham UK

Even though I had a vague believe in God, I really I had no knowledge about any religion or try to know about God or felt his need in my life. Then around 8 years ago my mother became seriously i and according to doctors she had only one more week to live. It was then that I prayed to God and asked from Him to extend her life. Surprisingly she recovered and lived one more year and I was ab to serve her. After that personal experience, myself and my wife visited a Baptist Church which was near to our University and one of Mathematics teacher was a member there. Soon he persuade me and my wife be formally baptized and we started to join Sunday classes in the Church regularly.

Soon I started to read Christian books and acquire some knowledge about it. I stumbled on the Doctrine of Trinity, which I could not understand, how so much I tried it. I asked my church fellows their answers did not satisfy me and I asked more doubts. Finally they advised me to accept Trinity taught by the Church and stop trying to understand it.

It was at that time, that one of Muslim Student told me about Quran and its clear teachings. He gave me an audio cassette of Mr. Jamal Badawi (Well known Muslim missionary from Canada) about concept of God in Islam. I could see that it was a straight forward concept and lacked any mysteries which Trinity tried to introduce.

I got busied in cultural activities and I noticed that black people were not encouraged or welcomed in our Church. On many occasions when my wife brought some of her black friends to the Church, no one spoke to them. When we tried to join in the movement to restore Walter Helms (first Black Superintendent of School in Birmingham, who allowed non union teachers in Black schools), our Church openly condemned us.

It was at that time that I got an offer to teach mathematics in KFUPM University Dhahran. There I g an opportunity to learn about Islam from those who were Muslims. Those people gave me English translation of Quran and other Islamic literature. I got audio and video tapes of Jamal Badawi, whic helped me a lot to know what Islam really is.

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I started Muslim prayers even before I declared my faith…..but soon I decided to join brotherhood o Islam (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? K.U. (KHALID) KUNDAN, KARACHI, PAKISTAN

My Name was K. U, and our parents were Christians. My mother worked as maid in rich person’s homes. Some of these were Arabs and they had some children named as Khalid, I liked that name an at an early age, asked my mother to call me Khalid in place of my original name.

It was in 1985, when my mother was working at a rich French Gentleman, in Karachi that I saw a dream as if there is a great flood and most of big houses are getting demolished, but our small cottag is intact. I heard some one calling “Khalid get rid on unbelief from your heart”. I mentioned this to my mother, but she said dreams are nothing. But I was for many days trying to figure out meaning o that dream.

It so happened that Muslim month of Ramadan was close by and I thought that we Christians also fa why should I not fast the way Muslims do. Accordingly without informing any one in home, I fasted the way Muslims do and what is more and I went to Mosque and preyed with other Muslims. This first prayer gave me a lot of peace. I got so addicted to fasting and prayer and I would attend most prayers in mosque, without informing my parents. Slowly the mark on my forehead started appearing, which told its own tale.

My family was very much angered by my action, I was engaged to be married to my cousin, their family refused to agree to marry their daughter to a Christian. I talked to my fiancée and told her, th I am ready to marry her, in court. She agreed and we were married by a court in 1988. This further angered my family.

It so happened that circumstances took me to live in Christian colony, my presence there was a sourc of many debates about Islam and Christianity. I did not have much knowledge about comparative religion of Islam and Christianity, but Allah helped me and no Christian would convince me that Isla is a fast religion.

Then I got hold of that marvelous book IZHAR-AL=HAQ, by RAHMATULLAH KERANWI, whic was translated in Urdu language in Pakistan. This book opened my eye and I got so much informatio on the problems of Christianity and their standard objections to Islam that I felt that now no Christia can stand before me. This book which was written almost 150 years back is still without parallel on this subject. Then I read other books also on Christianity and Islam and now I feel very comfortable any debates with Christians.

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In the end, I request my Muslim brothers to prey for me and my family and that Allah opens the hear of my mother and brothers also to Islam (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Rabbi Moisha Krivitsky of Makhachkala synagogue

Note: 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 (this is the name he has adopted when h became a Muslim) Q. Did you find the way easily?

- With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it isn’t much easier now. When you go deeply into Islam 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 ‘sides’ here: Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine and what we don’t imagine.

Q. Musa, as a matter of fact, we were given this fact as a certain sensation: a Rabbi has turned Musli

- 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. Q. Did you finish any high school before coming to the synagogue?

- Yes, I finished a clerical high school. After graduation, I came to Makhachkala, and became the loc Rabbi. Q. And where did you come from? - Oh, from far away. But I’ve already become a true Daghestani, I’ve got a lot of friends here - both among Muslims and people who are far from Islam. Q. Let’s return to your work in the synagogue.

- 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 neighbours. 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. Q. She brought the Quran to you - a Rabbi?!

- Yes, and she asked me to give her the Torah to read in return. So I tried to read the Quran- about te times. It was really hard, but gradually I began to understand, and to get a basic notion of Islam.

Q. Musa, and when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the Torah?

- I had found answers to many questions in the Qur'an. Not to all of them, of course, because it wasn the Arabic original, but the translation. But I had begun to understand things. (Contd.) Q. And what exactly were the questions that you couldn’t find answers to in Judaism?

- 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 tho who are familiar with religious issues: “Follow the Prophet who is yet to come”. And when I studied Islam, I understood that the Prophet Muhammad (let Allah bless him!) is the very Prophet to be followed. Both the Bible and the Torah tell us to do it. I haven’t invented anything here. Q. And what does the Torah say about the Prophet (let Allah bless him!)?

- We won’t 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 (let Allah bless and greet him) is that he would worship One God, the Sol Creator of the world. The Prophet Muhammad (let Allah bless him!) matches this description exactly

Q. Should I understand you, Musa, that you now feel a great responsibility for becoming a Muslim, o do you have some other feelings?

- Yes, responsibility, but something else as well. I can’t put my finger on it now. When a person kno Islam well, he’s got both his feet firmly on the ground. Islam helps a person …When I understood th I had to become a Muslim, I thought that Islam was a single whole - one common road, or a huge indivisible ocean….. Q. Musa, and what brought you into the prison?

- I’ve recently seen a programme on the TV, and a representative of the Chechen republic in Mosco - I forget his name now, I believe he had some beautiful, French-sounding name, something like Binaud - he said that if the authorities were going to carry on like they had done before - barging into homes, planting drugs and weapons on people - then the people would be out in the streets protesting This has happened to many here. So there was something planted on me. Then they came and took m away at night. Q. Musa, why were the authorities frightened by you? - No idea. Even children aren’t afraid of me.

Q. Did you avoid the question on the nature of your crime on purpose?

- No, it was illegal weapon keeping. I’ve forgiven those people, of course, although I used to be very angry with them. What matters is the Islam, and the things that are good for it. … What we hear instead is that if a Muslim is wearing a beard, he’s a Wahhabi. I have such tags attached to all I’m wearing. It’s ridiculous.

I think that what happens to me is right. And what I want now is to come to people who don’t understand me, to tell them about my ideas, to explain what Islam is. We’re all in the same boat, anyway. Especially here in Daghestan: we know everything about one another. Why then should we trying to find enemies in one another? Life is going by, and finally, we’ll all have to answer for what we’re doing. (Abridged)

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: V.K. CHAKARVARTY (MOHD. ANAS) CALCUTTA INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I belong to a Brahmin Family in Calcutta , my father had a leather good shop, which ran very we I had one younger brother and one elder sister.

I did my MA in English and wanted to do PH. D , but father’s sudden death caused me to drop the id and I had to manage the shop. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. In 1999, my father got a severe pain in his stomach, despite treatment his condition deteriorated and he expired. As eldest son, I had to lit his pyre. That scene and what I had to go thru made me ve disgusted from our religion and its practices. 03. Then after five months, my elder sister also died because of brain fever. She was six or seven month pregnant. When we took her to cremation ground, the Pundit there said that, the child in her womb cannot be burned. He has to be buried and we cannot burn the body like that.

When I said that we will burn here body elsewhere, my family member protested and in front of me,

my sister was made naked and her stomach was slit open and the body of infant was taken out…

04. This made me leave Hinduism for good and I left Calcutta and I went to Patna and started workin in a small nursing home. The doctor was Muslim and a very good person. When I told him my situation, he asked me to go to Delhi and accept Islam

05. I went to JAMA MASJID in Delhi and told Imam that I want to accept Islam … they asked me to bring certificates from tow reliable persons from my town… I went to the Head Office of Jamat Islam Hind, but they started asking me so many questions… I went to many people but none was ready to make me Muslim.

I decided to return to Patna, on Delhi Station, I met a Muslim who told me to go to PHULAT and me Maulana Kalim, I went there and he gladly made me Muslim.

06. He then sent me with a Muslim missionary group for 40 days, in these days I learned how to pray and how to recite Quran and that helped me a lot D. How I saved my Islam:

07. Maulana explained to me, why the other people were hesitant to make me Muslim. Because ther have been cases where some one became Muslim and later when the matter came into light, he accus these Muslims to convert him by force or thru offering him money. In PHULAT the situation is different, we are in a small village and every one knows us and the work we do. We are better organized also to handle these situation. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 08. I was not married when I became Muslim, I met a girl from Bengal who was working in a cloth shop. I told her about Islam and after some persuasion, she agreed to become Muslim. I married her after she became Muslim, and I have a son, whom I have named Abu Bakar. My wife gets Islamic education from the wife of Maulana and we are very happy. Parents.

09. My mother is alive, but she is much advanced in age. She likes me very much, but she is not read to accept Islam yet. 3. On Family members / Others.

10. My brother and Sister have become Muslim along with their families, Alhamdolillah…. I hope th my other two younger brothers shall also accept Islam. They love me and they honor me and my fait

F. Present Situation:

I have started working as Manager in a Bakery in Patna. The job was also arranged by Maulana Kal G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. The Muslims should do the Missionary activities sincerely and they should look after the social needs of the New converts. If we do not take care to help and solve their problem, the inflow will be less.

If one Muslim family decides to take care of one Newly Converted Muslim, then this problem can be solved.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of May 2004

36

Why be became Muslims? Mrs. ÂMINA MOSLER (German) Why did I become a Muslim?

My son was asking me various questions, and I was unable to answer them. When he asked me, for instance, “Mummy, why are there three gods?” I was at a loss as to what to say because I myself did not believe in trinity, and yet I could not find another answer to convince him. Eventually, it was sometime during the year 1346 [C.E. 1928], and my son had reached a mature age, when, one day, m son came to me, his eyes welling up with tears. He begged, “Mummy, I have been studying Islam. They believe in one creator. Their religion is the truest one. So I have decided to become a Muslim. Join me!”

Upon his request, I, too, began to study the Islamic religion. I went to the Berlin mosque. The imam the mosque gave me a cordial welcome and told me the essentials of Islam. As he spoke, I saw how right and logical his words were. Like my son, I, too, began to believe in the fact that Islam was the truest religion. First of all, Islam rejected trinity, which I had never been able to understand or accept since my yout After examining Islam thoroughly, I realized the absurdity of such things as redemption, looking on the pope as an innocent being never prone to sin, baptism and many other rites of the same sort, I rejected all these falsities and embraced Islam.

All my ancestors were fanatical Catholics. I was raised in a Catholic monastery. I grew up totally under Christian education. Yet this sheer religious education that I had received helped me to choose the true religion that would guide me to Allah.

For, all the good things that I had been taught throughout my education I found not in Christianity, b in Islam. I am so lucky to have accepted Islam.

Today I am a grandmother. I am so happy because my grandchild has been born as a Muslim. I know that Allah will always guide those people whom He has brought to the right way. 37 Why I became Muslim? JONATHAN BERT, UK

Jonathan is the son of John Bert, former Director General of BBC. H accepted Islam in 1996 and too the Islamic name of YAHYA which is Arabic Translation of his Original Name Jonathan. His story accepting Islam in his own words is reconstructed here from statement of his friend. It all happened when I had a Muslim room mate during my university yeas. I found his manners, life style and his putlook so different from ours that I got interested in his religion. After studying books about Islam, I started working in the Local Islamic center so as to know Islam still better. During this I studied Arabic language and read original books of Islam in its own language. My Arabic skills are so advanced that I can give lectures to my country men in Arabic. My studies convinced me of the truth of Islam and I accepted islam. I alter married an Indian Muslim girl FAUZIA and we are happily married now and spend our spare times in missionary works(abridged). Why I Became Muslim? EMILLY B. ASSAMI

38

As I read the book “Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin, it seemed that the book separated men of science from men of religion. It made Biblical version of creation outdated. My father did not believ in God and considered Old Testament as book of fairy tales. We have no records, except a few remnants of early scriptures, the meaning gone, their wisdom lost thru countless years and numerous translation.

In school we had period of comparative religion, my teacher was so biased against Islam that he always talked ill about it. He lectured us on Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. He would always picture Islam as a decline from the peak of Christian teachings into a collection of rituals whi led to the stagnation of Muslim people.

Singling out Prophet of Islam, he would say that he was an imposter who deceived his people and le them into wars.

Somehow I could not digest all this negative talk about Islam, I wanted to know more about the religion of Islam, about prophet Mohammad and what he said about God. I got so irritated from the one sided criticism of my teacher that I wanted to leave the subject altogether, I asked my father, if there was a way, I could study about Islam and know its real teachin He asked me to search in school library a book on Prophet Mohammad written by a muslim writer. I tried but I could only fid books written on Prophet Mohammad by Western writers and no one by an Muslim writer.

Finally I was able to find a Muslim who gave me Translation of Quran in English by a Muslim and also the biography of prophet Mohammad written by a Muslim writer.

I started to read the translation of Quran from the very beginning. I found there were many things I did not understand, but others impressed me. So I decided to continue reading , as I was unable to sleep any way. I continued reading as his my heart was not in it, and suddenly before me were these words “And give glad tidings to the patient, who say when misfortune strikes, to God we belong and Him is our return” (2: ) . I felt better immediately.

My studies convinced me of the truth of Islam and the link it had with Old Testament and Jesus. No I could find why Western Writers were so against Islam and its prophet. It was their fear of Islam an its teachings that caused all this negative propaganda. From then to come into fold of Islam was a logical and simple step for me. 39 (Abridged) Source:: Why I Became Muslim? Selma A. Cook , An Australian Missionary’s Journey to Allah

For many years I lived alone, isolated in a world of fear and unrest. Some happy childhood memorie times of love and joy were always covered by a cloud of uncertainty; a feeling of being lost but not knowing where my real place was. ..In my isolation, I sought help and comfort in the One Who had created me; I had no doubt that there exists a Creator and Sustainer of all things. I knew this as clearly and as surely as I know the sun rises and sets, the movement of the tides, the echo of a thund storm and the delicate beauty of a spider’s web. No! This world was no accident! As sure as an explosion in a paint factory could never produce an encyclopedia, I always knew this world has a Designer – the Source of all peace.

At sixteen years of age, I prayed as I had always done, knowing that He is so Powerful and AllEncompassing that there was no need to pray in the name of Jesus (peace be upon him). I forced myself to throw off the shackles of Christianity and dependence upon Jesus as a medium between m Creator and myself. I felt a surge of peace and inner quietness.

I always felt close to God and prayer was a way of life for me. Deep in my mind, for I could never voice any doubts, I had some misgivings about what I’d been taught about Jesus (peace be upon him some things didn’t make sense to me, but as a missionary I felt I was calling to God, not to a particular church. I could recognize a harmony and structure in all the nature around me, yet I found an absence of order wherever I looked around people.

I learned to love Jesus as a messenger of God but it seemed strange to me, that God would require a sacrifice in order to forgive us. I believed that God was above having any need. I felt I could communicate with Him as I was, without the necessity of an intermediary because, again, God didn need any help to hear what I said. (Contd.)

I met my neighbors who were Muslims. I thought I would do some missionary work. I always like t remind people about the Creator, goodness, and the existence of truth. What little I knew about Muslims and Islam was colored by the Christian-Judaic doctrine in which I’d been raised. I was

taught that Muslims did not believe in Jesus (peace be upon him), that they were ignorant heathens who deserved to be usurped from the land of Palestine. How ignorant I was!

They listened to me patiently, and then I too listened to them. They did not try to explain any complicated issues, they just read to me from the Qur’an. First they read in Arabic, then in English. was the chapter of Maryam (Mary). I listened in silence. The sound was so tranquil – something independent from the reader, something that contained the ability to touch hearts, remove the obstacles we place in front of ourselves, and redirect us towards light, guidance, and that constantly elusive element of life called happiness. I cried. I could not find words to explain my tears and all I could say was, “It’s beautiful.”..

I learned that prayer is strictly between the individual and God, and that each person is held responsible for the actions they have sent forward. No one can bear the sins of another, not even a parent, child, or friend. Thus Jesus (peace be upon him), is loved and revered as a Prophet and Messenger of Allah; for his righteousness and closeness to Allah. I learnt that Muslims believe that Jesus (peace be upon him) will come again to the earth and that all the confusion about his origin an role will be wiped away.

I knew deep within myself that I had reached the place of light that I had sought for so many years. was twenty-two years old. I had been a missionary since I was seventeen. In my heart, I left the church the moment I heard the Qur’an. But I decided to go to the church one more time to publicly announce in the monthly “testimony meeting” the following Sunday that my life had taken a new direction and I wouldn’t be seeing them again, but that I was glad to have known them and wished them all well.

My leaving the church caused something of an uproar in my family and community. Deep down I knew I was alone in life. Family and friends could come close to us but no one really knows us or ca help us except Allah. Indeed, we are born alone, will die alone and will stand for judgment alone. I had always felt alone. I was right.

The loud and often hostile reaction of people is easy to confront when one remains in a state of reliance upon Allah, the Almighty. I considered myself a Muslim but had a long way to go, much to change and much to understand. I felt like a young child who had just taken her first steps. I knew with conviction that Allah was the One to whom I’d always prayed but it wasn’t until that time that knew His name and reality. I spent the next five years rediscovering my life.

*This story is based upon excerpts from “The Miracles of My Life” by Selma A. Cook. It has been reproduced with the permission and assistance of the author. 40 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: DR. PROMOD KESWANI (QASIM RASOOL), GAUHATI, INDIA

A. Family Background: 01. I was born on 17th Jan 1974 in a KAYASTH family of Gauhati. My father; name is HANS RAJ KESWANI, he was a lecturer of Science.

I did my education in English medium school in Gauhati, I did my B. Sc in Computer Science. Then did my M .Sc from Delhi and P. HD from New York. Now I am employed in an American Software Company as its Head in GURGAON near Delhi. 02. My elder Brother Dr. VINOD KESWANI is a very good surgeon and he is settled in NY.

In our family Urdu is given a high regard, We were a religious family while we lived in Gauhati, bu after coming to Delhi and then In NY, the society was least interested in Islam.

03. I was living in NY when 9/11 incident happened and after that every Muslim living in USA was viewed with suspicion. I took my nephew to a park and he saw a Muslim with beard, He came runni to me and said “That Uncle is Osama”! B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I went to USA for company Job and on returning back came via Dubai. I boarded Dubai Delhi flight. The seat next to me was vacant, just before plane was to move, One bearded Muslim (who wa no other than Maulana Kalim) came and sat next to me.

05. When the plane took off, we introduced each other, and I said to Maulana that my name was Osama.. He asked me if Osama was my real name. Then I told him the incident with my nephew the other day (later Maulana told me, that I decided that after three hours, my name will become Osama)

I told Maulana that I was very interest to meet some religious scholar, so we can discuss religion wit him. 06. Maulana told me about the Creator and how He created every thing in this universe .. I said that this is Computer age and now every argument has to be verified thru logic and reason.

Maulana told me, that I am a Doctor in Computer Science, but my knowledge is less than that of a ol women who used to run spin wheel and make cotton.

07. When some one asked her, how she knew that there is a Creator in the Universe, she told that her spinning wheel gave her the answer. The wheel stays motion less until I move it, it moves fast or slow, as I wish it and if any one interferes while I am spinning the wheel the thread will break. So when a small wheel cannot run unless it is in full control of ONE person, how come this whole Universe is running without a Single Supreme Power. 08. I got convinced with his logic… but I told that there are so many religions and so many books,

which one I should accept… He told me that God has given us intelligence and using that intelligenc one would be able to recognize which is the true path and which is the true religion.

09. We kept on talking…untill Maulana asked me to read the Islamic Creed as this is the only way to save me from hell fire…. I asked him to give me some time…but he said, one does not know when o will die. So I should not delay.

So I accepted Islam in the Plane on the hands of Maulana and he gave me name Mohd. Qasim, sayin that Qasim was one of the names of Our prophet.

10. After a few days, Maulana phoned me and asked that I said in the plane that my name was Osam and he had also decided to name me Osama… Will I change my name to Osama now. I said that I am happy with my new name as it was a title of our prophet… he hung up the phone. E. My Missionary activities: 3. On Family members / Others.

11. I could not do much DAWAH activity. I wanted to talk to my brother about Islam. But he told m that he was much impressed by the actions of one of Muslim Nurse working under him.

He accepted Islam and married her as a second Wife. His first wife got very angry and wanted to come back to India, but when she met that Muslim Nurse, she was also impressed and she also becam Muslim F. Present Situation: I live in GURGAON and I am trying to read Quran and do my prayers correctly. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 12. They should realize that Islam is the truth and they should spread the truth to every one,. If Maulana Kalim had not spoken about Islam to me, I would still be wandering here and there.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2005

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Why be became Muslims? Hadji LORD AL-FÂRÛQ HEADLEY (G.B.)

Lord Headley possessed the title of Excellency. Sir George Allanson was born in 1855 and descended from the oldest British family. He occupied very important Political positions in Britain, and at the same time made fame as an editor. He graduated from Cambridge Universi In 1877 he won the title of Lord. He served as a lieutenant colonel in the British army. He was an engineer by vocation, but a powerful writer by avocation.

Lord Headley became a Muslim in 1913, performed Haj (the Islamic pilgrimage), and adopted the name Shaikh Rahmatullah Fârûq.

Why did I become a Muslim? Perhaps, some of my friends and acquaintances are of the opinion that became a Muslim as a result of persuasion on the part of my friends and acquaintances. But it is not the fact. My accepting Islam was the result of long-time research and contemplation…. The Qur'an commands that a person should accept Islam after his heart’s full confirmation, and rejects a conversion under coercion….

During my former life-time, I had seen many bigoted Protestants. They would go to Catholic student hostels and try to force the Catholic students. These unwanted efforts and coercive attempts would cause various fights, offenses and controversies and would sow discord among people.

The same meaningless methods Christian missionaries used with Muslims. They ran all sorts of risks for the purpose of Christianizing Muslims. …

Christianity has been defiled, to the extent that the real Nazarene religion communicated by Jesus ha been lost completely, and the tenets of humanity he preached have been forgotten. These things exis in Islam today.

Then, by becoming a Muslim, I have also attained the Nazarene religion in its pristine purity. Principles commanded by Jesus, such as brotherhood, solidarity, good will, generosity and others, ar observed not by Christians, but by Muslims today. …

Today, nothing could be as logical as a sane person believes in the existence of one Allah. By becoming a Muslim, I believe in one real Allah and reject all the fibs that were inserted into the pure religion of Jesus afterwards. … Day by day Christians are abandoning their religion and becoming atheists. For today’s Christianity is no longer satisfactory for a normal and cultured person.

People refuse a blind belief in superstitions and entertain doubts about the Christian creeds. On the other hand, all through my life-time so far, I have never heard of a Muslim feeling doubts about his faith. For the Islamic religion satisfies all the spiritual and physical needs of human beings in the mo perfect and rational manner….

After giving this brief account of why I chose Islam, let me add that by becoming a Muslim I manag also to become a more true and pure follower of Jesus. I wish to be an example for other Christians. Choosing Islam will not make them enemies of Christianity, but, on the contrary, it will teach them t true Christian religion, and it will raise them to a higher level. 42 Why I became Muslim? DR. SWAMI SHIVSHAKTI SWAROOP, INDIA

Dr. SWAROOP was a well known Hindu Guru, who accepted Islam on 10th May 1986 with his wife and daughter. He was educated in Ashram, then graduated and obtained Master Degree from University of Allahabad, the did his DD from Oxford University. Pope Paul –VI awarded him the honor of O.F.M. C. AP. He is fluent in more than 12 languages of the world. Vonoba Bhave, the we known Gandhian leader of India, invited him for lectures in his Ashram in 1981. Here he gives his reasons of accepting Islam.

I have studied all major religions in the world from their own scriptures, so I know about basic teachings of these major world religion. While I was in the Ashram of Vinoba Bhave, Baba DHRAM ADHIKARI posed me a question after my lecture “You have studied most religions, which one of these you find best?” I replied without any Hesitation “Islam”. “But it binds you very tightly” was his observation.

“The one who binds tightly, is really the one which sets you free and the one which apparently sets y free, really binds you.” I told “On this earth humanity needs a religion, which binds him tightly not only on this earth, but also in the hereafter and that religion is only Islam” That was in 1981.

As to why I accepted Islam, I saw a dream in 1984, that a large crowd is trying to lay hand on me an am running to save my life. I stumbled and fell on the ground, some unknown hands picked me up. looked at my savior, his face was very brilliant and I could not look at it. Them some one said, He is Mohammad, the messenger of Allah (PBUH). H eembraced me. In the morning I found out that my wife also had seen a similar dread. We decided not to delay our decision any further and I went to Main Mosque in Bhopal and accepted Islam at the hands of local Imam. Now me, my wife and my daughter arer putting all our efforts in spreading the truth of Islam those who are in doubt. 43 Why I became Muslim? CASIUS (MOHAMMAD ALI) CLAY. USA

The Case of Cassias Clay, the World Heavyweight boxing champion, who became Muslim and chose Mohammad Ali as his new name, is very well known to every one. He became a most recognizable face on globe and world of boxing lost some of its glamour when he retired. The way he was stripped off of his title because he refused to go to Vietnam is also known to most people. US Govt. and many sporting bodies behaved in most partisan manner on this issue. If he would not have become Muslim, most probably he would have been exempted from the Military Duty, but his Islamic name and open refusal to go to Vietnam on religious grounds turned whole media against him. We present below some insights into his life.

Cassias Marcellus Clay was born in 1942 in Louse-vile Kentucky. His father was a sign board paint His family belonged to Catholic faith and were respected for their manners. Cassias was interested in Boxing since very early age. By the age of 14, he was champions in the High School Boxing.

In 1958, at the age of 16, he won Golden Glove title in his state and next year he won Golden Glove Title in heavy weight division of Chicago and on that basis he was selected to represent USA in 1960 Olympics at Rome. He won Gold Medal for USA in Heavy Weight Division.

High from his Olympic Old, he happened to enter a Restaurant reserved for Whites only, when the proprietor objected to this, he informed that he just won Olympic Gold Medal for USA in Rome. Bu he was turned out from that restaurant. This made a lasting impression of his mind and he threw his Olympic medal in river (He was awarded a special medal in 2000 Olympics to replace the one he ha dropped into river).

He turned professional boxer and started his climb towards the World Champion. His quick repartee and his manners soon attracted whole world’s attention. He would predict the fall of his opponents i particular rounds, which would be accomplished.

He was billed to fight for World Title with Sony Listen on 25th Feb. 1964. By that time he was alrea accepted Islam at the hands of Malcom-X, but the conversion was kept secret. It was thought that otherwise he would be denied the title shot.

He won the World Boxing Championship by defeating Listen and same night shocked the whole wo by Declaring that he is a Muslim and his name is Mohammad Ali.

The media turned against him on the basis of his conversion and would always root for his opponent than for him. But he was always on the winning track. He won the return fight with Listen on 25 Ma 1965 in mere 1 minute 42 seconds of the First Round!!! That was amazing by any standards. He then defeated Floyd Peterson, Earney Terrel, Henry Cooper, C. Williams and others but he was always the winner.

Mohammad Ali refused to go to join US army and go to Vietnam, because his religion does not allow killing unarmed innocent people. He was stripped off his title and was even sent to prison which showed the biased attitude of agencies and media.

He was released from prison on 20 the June 1970 and on March 71, was to fight with Joe Frazier to win back his title. But Ali lost that bout first time in his career. He later won back his World Title when he beat George Foreman in 1974. He lost his title to Leon Sinx but later defeated him to win t World title for unprecedented third time. He announced his retirement.

His dedication to Islam and Islamic cause is very strong. He is a devout practicing Muslim. He is loved by millions and millions of Muslims world over. They all treat him as his brother, and wherev he goes, he is awarded grand welcome. But he is suffering from Alzheimer’ syndrome for many years, which has blurred his speech and reactions. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim?

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Dr. Yahya A.R. Lehmann, Doctor of Theology, (Former Roman Catholic Priest Germany)

ALLAHU AKBAR, there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger. I hear this cal to worship the one God alone for the first time in my life from the minaret of the Al-Aqsa Mosque standing in the ancient temple square of Jerusalem. I had arrived in this city, sacred to Jews, Christia and Muslims alike, for the Easter pilgrimage, as a research fellow for special studies in the then recently discovered and deciphered Dead Sea Scrolls. I had spent most of the night hours after the Christian Good Friday celebrations praying and meditating in the Church of the Holy Sepulcre, and had witnessed the busy bickering of priests and clergymen of differing Christian Churchdenominations about precedence into the somber grave-chamber of Christ and about entrance-fees there payable by their respective flocks. Surprising Encounter

After passing the gloomy Wailing Wall, old darkened stones, last relics of the former Herodean Temple, dear to the Jews during the long centuries of their dispersion under alien suppression, I slow climbed up to the Holy Temple-Rock and its sacred precincts just before dawn. There I could observ groups of Palestinian Arabs freely responding to this early Adzan-call for morning worship, and I so heard the solemn Arabic prayer-recitations of this devout congregation. The surprising encounter wi this praying community of the greatest monotheistic world religion surrendering themselves to the o God and Creator in faithful worship was a deeply stirring experience. A Deep Spiritual Experience.

Of a sudden the morning-sun rose over the Mount of Olives casting a radiant glow of brightness ove the magnificent golden Dome of the Rock. It struck a new chord in my heart; it was like a symbol of new light and insight ahead, and of still undiscovered realms of religious truth and spiritual experien The deep impression of this moment has never since left me; it did encourage me during the difficult research-task for my doctorate thesis on the Essenic influences in early Christianity and the canonica New Testamental Writings; it guided me throughout my later work as priest and educationist here in Malaysia. Allah the Greatest

Allahu Akbar, God alone is the greatest, even greater than the triune deity as professed by Christian dogma, in which I had been raised from childhood and which in later years of ecclesiastical studies I have been specially trained to proclaim, as a priestly member of a Roman Catholic Missionary Order (Contd.) A New Religious Message

The public declaration of the monotheistic faith of Islam from the minaret above the Jerusalem Temp sounded to me like a new religious message of great challenging force. Several years of post-graduat studies in the field of Comparative Religion and special research of the Essenic Movement during th time of Jesus and its impact on the development of early Christianity, have led me convincingly into

the radiant light and truth of Islam, bringing me closer to the original message of Jesus, the god sent man and prophet of Nazareth who called his followers back onto the right religious way of the Jewis prophets and patriarchs of old, like Abraham, surrendering themselves to the one and only God, Alla Creator of all, and striving to establish in word and action real human brotherhood among their peop The Living Islamic Truth I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been sent later by my religious superiors to Malaysia, where I could study and experience more thoroughly the all-comprehensive living truth of Islam as revealed to the last and greatest of Allah's messengers, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.)

By officially embracing Islam as the best fulfillment of the genuine Christian faith in the original Go Message (Gospel) of Jesus, foretelling Allah's last universal Revelation through His greatest Messenger Muhammad in the divine Word of the Holy Quran, I had to repay my heavy spiritual deb to the many Muslim friends of mine in this country, who encouraged me by their word and example choose for myself the Islamic Truth as the most positive directive force to a fuller individual life in submission to Allah's guidance as well as towards the unification of mankind in fraternal fellowship and peace. 45 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SHALINI DEVI (KHAIR UL NISAA) THANA BHAWAN, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in THANA BHAWAN which is a village in SHARANPUR. My father’s name is BALI SINGH. I was married to KIRPAL SINGH of PANIPAT HARYANA. I had five children with my marriage. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. Since my childhood, I did not like the idol worship. I used to look at the beauties of Flowers, fruits, sun and moon and used to wonder, How beautiful would be the one who created such beautifu things. Muslim traders used to come to our village to sell their merchandise. They would talk about worshipping one True God and the life history of Prophet Mohammad (Peace be on him).

03. Myself and my children used to listen to these stories and they would impress so. So much so th my children started asking me, how good it would have been if we were Muslims. After some months I decided to accept Islam and went to GANGOAH with my children and we accepted Islam there. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 04. My husband and there household were powerful landlords in the village. First they tried to convince me to leave Islam and come back to them, but when I refused, they started beating me.. I suffered a lot at their hands…and one day I said to them, I will die but I will never leave Islam. Then they took away my children and started beating them, one of my husband’s brother took out a knife to kill my children, but my elder son tried to take the knife away from his hand, in altercation, the knife cut the stomach of my brother in law and he died…

05. Police came and arrested my boy, he said that he was innocent….and the knife hurt him by mistake… but they took him and lodged him in the Jail…. Every one in the village started taunting m saying I will never see my boy again.

I used to pray to Allah whole nights and ask for the safety and release of my son.. after a few days, m son got bail and I sent him out along with a Muslim missionary group.

06. I used to weep for my other four children also and used to pray to Allah. My in-laws and my husband tried many times to kill my children but Allah saved them every time… I prayed to Allah to send my children back to me as He had done for Mother of Moses… Allah heard my prayer and all my children came back to me one day E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

07. All my children are Muslims, my two daughters got married. They wear full Muslim Hijab and a very happy in their new houses.

In fact seeing them doing full Islamic Hijab, many women in their in-laws have also started wearing Islam.

08. I think that Islamic Hijab is a protection for Muslim women, when I was not wearing it, I used to be the target of hungry gazes of every one and I used to KNOW what is the hidden intention of those looking at me. F. Present Situation:

09. I have full faith in My Allah and I feel confident that He will grant me, whatever I will ask from Him. I have seen His help and grace at too many points in my life already. I want to memorize whole Quran…and I want both of my boys to become the Missionary for Islam. That is the best course for them. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. I want every one to pray for me that I am able to fulfill my goals.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of June 2003

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Why be became Muslims? ABDULLAH ARCHIBALD HAMILTON (G.B.)

Sir Archibald Hamilton, a well-known British diplomat, served as a naval officer during the First World War. Coming from a widely known family, he possesses the title of baronet, (which means a candidate baron). He was honoured with becoming a Muslim in 1923.

Since reaching the age of puberty, I had been allured by Islam’s simplicity and crystalline limpidity. had been born as a Christian and I had been given a Christian education. Yet I had never believed in wrong creedal tenets, and I had always preferred truth, right and reason to blind beliefs. I had been aspiring to worship one Allah sincerely and with a peaceful heart. Yet, both the Roman Catholic Church and the English Protestant Church had been short of serving this pure intention of mine.

It was for these reasons that I answered the call of my conscience and accepted Islam, which satisfie me fully, and only after that did I begin to feel myself as a true and better born slave of Allah.

Sad to say, various Christians and ignorant people have misrepresented Islam as a religion of falsitie and concoctions that are intended to induce torpor into humanity. But the fact is that it is the only tru religion in the sight of God. Islam is a perfect religion which brings about unity between the powerful and the weak as well as between the rich and the poor….. It commands the rich to help the poor. It provides a social setting where humiliations and afflictions are extirpated….

The Islamic religion is not destructive, but it is restorative. The Islamic religion prohibits gambling a all the other vicious and deleterious games. The Islamic religion prohibits also all sorts of intoxicants Indeed, the majority of afflictions people suffer in the world are caused by gambling or alcohol.

We Muslims are not people who hold the belief that everything is a slave in the hands of destiny. Destiny in the Islamic sense does not mean to sit idly with your mouth opened in the celestial directi and to expect that Allah will give you everything. On the contrary, Allah enjoins work in the Qur'an. Man should do his best and hold fast to all the apparent causes; only after that will he put his trust in Allah. Not without working, but while working, should he beg Allah to help him for success and earning. .. Islam never accepts a credo based on the belief that human beings are originally sinful, that they are born with sins, or that they have to expiate their sins throughout their lives.

Islam states that human beings are the born slaves of God, men and women alike, and that with respe to mental and moral qualities the two sexes are not very different from each other. Only, because me are more powerful and stronger by creation, onerous and tiresome duties such as supporting the fami have been given to them, while women have been blessed with a more comfortable, more cheerful an happier life…

A final remark I would like to add is this: Islam invites people both to work honestly all day long and to carry on his acts of worship, his duties as a born slave to Allah. Today’s Christianity, on the other hand, induces into people a life style consisting in Masses in the name of worship only on Sundays a a complete oblivion of God covered with worldly occupations and sins throughout the rest of the we It was for these reasons that I became a Muslim, and I am proud of having become a Muslim. (Abridged) 47 Why I became Muslim? DAVID IMRAN, EGYPT Mr. David is a Jewish Scholar based in Egypt. He did not accept Islam, but nevertheless, he has expressed his gratitude to Islam in following words.

Even though I am still a Jews, I respect Islam with all my heart, because I have seen in Islam qualitie which can hardly be found in any other religion.

First of this is that it has always been the protector of weak and oppressed people since its inception. directs its followers to help those in need irrespective of their religious backgrounds.

Every one knows that before Islam, a large portion of world population was living as slaves. Power was concentrated in the hands of a few powerful people, who used to treat others worse than animals It was Islam, which help these downtrodden people and raised them to the level of humanity.

Every one knows how Christians used to treat Jews in their countries. Jews had no civil rights, their lives, property and honor were not safe. It was Islam which changed the status of Jews.

Islam based its teaching on Unity of Godhood, but it was more than that, it meant the unity of human brotherhood. All humans came from Adam and Eve, so there was no superiority per see of any natio

over other. All religions before Islam distinguished between humans based on their religious background. They used to persecute followers of other religions. It was Islam which united all hum based on concept of human unity….

Islam grew very fast in the world. The people who benefited most from Islamic conquests were Jew who were freed from the persecution of Christians. We think 20th century as the century when Democratic values were supreme, but even in this 20th Century, Jews were persecuted in Russia, Germany, France and almost all European nations. It was only in Islamic countries that Jews lived with peace and tranquility…

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It pains me to see that same Jews are treating Muslims so badly in Palestine, they have forgotten fav which they received from Muslims over the centuries…(abridged) Why I Became Muslim? CLARA WILLAIMS, MUSWELL HILL , LONDON, U.K.

As Christians we are taught to believe that we are born in sin and can only be saved by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. It is for this reason tat we are Baptised and later of confirmed. I tried hard to believe all this but my commonsense refused. It was all childish and seemed an excuse to do as one liked and wiggle out of the consequences, the coward’s way in fact.

I could not believe that the babies I saw were sinful and again I found that most of so called sins wer just a breaking of community laws and nor God’s laws at all.

It was a great relief to find that under the teachings of Quran nothing in itself is right or wrong but on the use and abuse of it.

Secondly although the muslim prayers puzzled me at first, yet when I began to study them I realized they were all praise or very nearly so. They sing nothing but God’s mercy and greatness and I am su that their constant recitation must foster a desire to be more godlike in our daily lives.

This contrasts with the Christian prayers, which is constant whine to be saved from the results of one misdeeds or for things we think we need.

Christians are taught God is a ‘kind father’ who is always listening to our prayers, ready to grant all wish, if only we ask long and loud enough. I for one, always asked for all I wanted and I have had m prayers answered only to find I would have been happier had I left myself in God’s hands. For my vision was short..

Every day I am learning to love the simplicity and justice of Islam and the wisdom of Holy Quran. I therefore accepted Islam on 21 June 1940 and declared “I hereby solemnly declare of my own free w that I worship one and only Allah alone, that I believe Mohammad to be His Messenger and servant. That I equally respect all prophets, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others and that I will live a Muslim l

with the help of Allah” 49 (Abridged) Source:: The Islamic Review Vol. 28, Nov. 1940 p401 Why I Became Muslim? Hamza Yusuf (Mark Hanson) Hamza Yusuf started life as Mark Hanson in Walla Walla, Washington, USA. The son of two US academics of a Catholic and Greek Orthodox background, he seemed destined not for Islamic scholarship, but for Greek Orthodox priesthood until a near-death experience in a car accident, and reading the Quran, diverted his attentions towards Islam.

It was this sudden confrontation with his own mortality that Yusuf has described as being the definin moment that gave " someone who was introspective, perspective." Although, numerous factors interplay in any individual's conversion, it was this vista in particular, that opened up a path of enqui and reflection that ultimately led to his conversion to Islam in 1977, a few months before his 18th birthday. His brush with death had sparked an intrigue into the afterlife, causing him to study various traditions' views on death. Islam, he found, offered the most detailed account of all.

Furthermore, he found that many of his own values only served to harmonise with Islamic belief. Hi father, a Humanities Professor and his mother a Berkeley graduate, were fairly active in the civil righ movements enabling a strong awareness of social struggle and justice in the young Mark. "As a westerner, the child of civil rights and anti-war activists, I embraced Islam not in abandonment of my core values, drawn almost entirely from the progressive tradition, but as an affirmation of them."

Simultaneously, the arguments put forward in the Quran drew parallels with many of his own musin From a young age, he was very much aware of being a product of his environment. The Quran prompted reflection on his perception of life, reality, and religion. Just as his parents were Christian, had been raised as one, yet the Quran offers many parables of those following the religion of their forefathers without question. The Quran prompted him to look beyond what many take for granted.

After his conversion he left for England where he embarked on private study which was to instill a desire to learn the tradition from its source. It was during this time, in which he was beginning to lea Arabic, that he met Sheikh Abdullah Ali Mahmood of Sharjah who was in England at the time. This meeting was to prove pivotal in Yusuf's life providing him the opportunity to further his studies in th United Arab Emirates.

Yusuf spent some four years in the UAE, where he became a Muadhin (caller to Prayer) and Imam a local mosque. It was also during this time that he met various West African scholars who kindled an interest in studying traditional Islam as is still being taught in West Africa today. These scholars did much in the way of his personal tuition before his aspirations of studying in West Africa were finally realised.

His journey of reflection, prompted by a fateful car accident, took him to many parts of the Middle East over a ten-year period where he received numerous teaching licenses, or ijazas, from the some o

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the greatest remaining scholars of traditional Islam. Having travelled to the UAE, Madinah, Algeria, Morocco, and West Africa he eventually returned to the US where he took degrees in nursing and religious studies from Imperial Valley College and San Jose State University, respectively. Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAMESH SAIN (MOHSIN) GWALIOR, MP , INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I belong to a trading family from GWALIOR. I was born on 19 April 1962. My father ran a Whole sale business, he saw ,many ups and downs in his business, but he was a very strong and resolute man and surmounted these difficulties.

02. I have two younger brothers and one sister. After Intermediate I did B. Pharma and I opened my own medical store. I married to well educated girl from Jhansi, who war working as a lecturer. Afte some time, my wife got transfer to GWALIOR and that was very good for me. I have two sons and o daughter. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. I had a neighbor named SAEED Ahmad, who was doing the business of Spare Parts. He was a very religious and very good man. We developed a friendship so much so that we usually exchanged gifts with each other.

His wife was from Bhopal, once there was a marriage in Bhopal and my friend insisted on my going there. When I reached Bhopal, my friend took me to meet Maulana Kalim Uddin, who was present i Bhopal for his other works. 04. He asked me that we are children of one parents, so are like a brother unto each other. And as a brother it is my duty to save you from any danger that comes to you.

Then he told me that there is only one Creator of this universe and only He should be worshipped…. Those who worship other than Him are like rebels in any country. No Govt. gives any regards to the good deeds and they are punished whenever they are caught…. The same is the case with Creator an His Creation on the hereafter.

05. He went on explaining principles of Islam to me and in the end asked me to say Islamic creed an save myself from the hell fire.

I decided to accept Islam then and there and after I had said my faith, he congratulated me and said that now I have to read about Islam and learn the regular prayers etc.

He did not ask me to change my name,, but after I had studied Islam properly, I picked up this name C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. When I reached Gwalior and told my wife and asker her to become Muslim…. She got very angr contrary to my expectations. I was forced to apologize to my family members and said that I renoun my conversion to Islam.

But when I was alone, my conscience started pricking me, for my cowardice. After few days, I got firm and told my wife and family members that I have become muslim and now nothing can turn me back. They tried to harass me by every means including implicating me in false cases. I left my town and moved to Delhi and later Rajasthan. D. How I saved my Islam: 07. It was help and support from Maulana Sahib and other Muslim friends which kept me firm and surmount so many hurdles that were before me. This and Mercy and Grace of Allah, helped me preserve my faith. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 08. Later my wife also got convinced of truth of Islam and she and all three of my children accepted Islam. We are living once more as a happy family and I am very thankful to Allah for that. 3. On Family members / Others. 09. I have started working on one of my cousin, who is employed at some high position in Delhi. I have given some books to him about Islam and praying Allah to give him guidance.

I am hopeful that if he becomes Muslim, doors will open for other members of my family, Inshallah. F. Present Situation:

10. I have learned to recite Quran as well as Urdu language. I like to read Quran as much as possible myself and all members of my family are very much attached to Quran. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. Islam is the true religion which is tuned to the human nature. Muslims should convey their message to other people. There are lots and lots of thirsty people outside, who are in need of truth of Islam.

Muslims should not be over concerned with Anti Islamic propaganda and should work full time in th work
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of July 2009

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Why be became Muslims? THOMAS IRVING (Canadian) To tell you why I became a Muslim, I have to explain what I felt before and after embracing Islam, my first contact with Islam and the faith that it inspired into me.

First of all, let me tell you that thousands of Canadians and Americans think exactly as I used to thin before becoming a Muslim; they have the same feeling of dissatisfaction; and they are awaiting the Muslims who will teach them the essence of Islam.

As I was a child, I held fast to my faith, Christianity, with both hands. For I needed a religion to feed my soul. However, as I grew older, I began to see a number of faults in Christianity. The stories told about the life of Jesus and his being the son of God, –may Allah protect us against saying so,– sound like superstitious tales to me. My personal logic would never accept them.

I began to ask myself questions, such as, “If Christianity is the true religion, why are there so many non-Christians in the World?” “Why do Jews and Christians share the same basic religious book and differ in other respects?” …

It was in those days when I met a missionary who had been serving in India. He complained to me, “Muslims are very obstinate. They insist that the true religion is Islam, and not Christianity. So all m efforts to Christianize them end up in failure.” These statements were at the same time the first definition I had heard of Islam. A sensation of curiosity towards Islam, seasoned with a high degree of admiration for Muslims who had been so staunchly attached to their religion, began to blossom in my heart. I felt that I should observe Islam more closely, and began to attend lectures on ‘Oriental Literature’ in the university. I saw that what the oriental people had been rejecting in our belief was the doctrine of ‘trinity’, and that they accepted the belief of ‘One God’, which was perfectly agreeable with common sense.

It was certain that Jesus had announced his religion as one based on belief in One God, and himself a a mere born slave and Messenger of that One God… One Merciful, Compassionate God had been adulterated into a tripartite godhood, which was accessible only to priests and which, so to speak,

created mankind with a share from the original sin.

Then, a new religion with a new prophet was necessary to restore the humanity with that pure and intact belief in One God. Europe, on the other hand, was awash in semi-barbaric cruelty in those day As savage tribes were invading countries, on the one hand, a small minority was perpetrating all sort of vices under the mask of religion, on the other.

The human race was moaning desperately under the talons of idolatry and irreligiousness, when, [according to historians], seven centuries after Jesus, in the oriental horizons, there rose Muhammad the final Prophet of Allah, and he began to communicate to people the true religion of the true God, which was based on belief in One God.

When I read and learned all these facts, I believed in the fact that Muhammad was the final true Messenger of Allah .. You can be sure that, as I have already said, thousands of Americans and Canadians sense the same deficiencies and errors in Christianity. Sad to say, though, they have not had the same chance I did to do a thorough research into the Islamic religion; they need a guide. (Abridged) 52 Why I became Muslim? JONATHAN BERT, UK

Jonathan is the son of John Bert, former Director General of BBC. H accepted Islam in 1996 and too the Islamic name of YAHYA which is Arabic Translation of his Original Name Jonathan. His story accepting Islam in his own words is reconstructed here from statement of his friend. It all happened when I had a Muslim room mate during my university yeas. I found his manners, life style and his putlook so different from ours that I got interested in his religion. After studying books about Islam, I started working in the Local Islamic center so as to know Islam still better. During this I studied Arabic language and read original books of Islam in its own language. My Arabic skills are so advanced that I can give lectures to my country men in Arabic. My studies convinced me of the truth of Islam and I accepted islam. I alter married an Indian Muslim girl FAUZIA and we are happily married now and spend our spare times in missionary works(abridged). Why I became Muslim? IQBAL SINGH (MOHAMMAD IQBAL) PUNJAB, INDIA

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I now believe that Sikh religion was an attempt to join Hindu and Muslim during Mogul period. Sik religion is a combination of Hinduism and Islam. Its First Guru Nanak even performed many Hajj. Teachings of earlier Gurus are very near to Islam. Sikh’s holy book mentions unity of God, angels a even the angels which record deeds of every human. Initially I knew very little about Sikh religion, but as I grew up, I studied many religions, like Buddhism, Christianity. I read many books on these religion.

Somehow by this time, no Muslim approached me to study Islam and I do not know why. I feel the Muslims in India lack this Missionary spirit and they do not know as to how to propagate their religion.

I met a Muslim medical practioner, who told me about Quran and its nature. He gave me translation Quran, which I read for the first time. Then I met some Pakistani Muslims who spoke my language and they told me many things about Islam. When I was 21 years, I accepted Islam. My Muslims colleagues gave a banquet in my honor. I had not yet disclosed my new religion to my parents. I used to prey in locations so that they will not be able to see it. But slowly they found that I was preying like a Muslim. They thought I might be interested in Islam and nothing else.

Finally I told my parents that I had indeed accepted Islam and I told my parents that if they are able t convince me that Islam is a false religion, I will leave it, but if they cannot do it, then let them leave me to it. (abridged) 54 Why I Became Muslim? Becoming Muslim,

Note: 1.The story of American former Catholic, Nuh Ha Mim Keller, who in the 25 years since his conversion has gone on to become one of the leading contemporary scholars of Islam.

2. It is with a sad hand that I had to abridge this story. I would request people to read full story on th link cited for better understanding of this moving story. Source: http://masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/bmuslim.htm

"I studied philosophy at the university and it taught me to ask two things of whoever claimed t have the truth: What do you mean, and how do you know? When I asked these questions of my own religious tradition, I found no answers, and realized that Christianity had slipped from m hands."

Born in 1954 in the farm country of the northwestern United States, I was raised in a religious family as a Roman Catholic. … but as I grew older, and especially after I entered a Catholic univers and read more, my relation to the religion became increasingly called into question, in belief and practice. One reason was the frequent changes in Catholic liturgy and ritual that occurred in the wake of the Second Vatican Council of 1963, suggesting to laymen that the Church had no firm standards. …

A second reason was a number of doctrinal difficulties, such as the doctrine of the Trinity, which no one in the history of the world, neither priest nor layman, had been able to explain in a convincing way, and which resolved itself, to the common mind at least, in a sort of godhead-by-committee,

shared between God the Father, who ruled the world from heaven; His son Jesus Christ, who saved humanity on earth; and the Holy Ghost, who was pictured as a white dove and appeared to have a considerably minor role. …

Another point of incredulity was the trading of the Church in stocks and bonds in the hereafter it call indulgences. Do such and such and so-and-so many years will be remitted from your sentence in purgatory that had seemed so false to Martin Luther at the outset of the Reformation.

I also remember a desire for a sacred scripture, something on the order of a book that could furnish guidance. A Bible was given to me one Christmas, a handsome edition, but on attempting to read it, found it so rambling and devoid of a coherent thread that it was difficult to think of a way to base on life upon it. Only later did I learn how Christians solve the difficulty in practice, Protestants by creating sectarian theologies, each emphasizing the texts of their sect and downplaying the rest; Catholics by downplaying it all, except the snippets mentioned in their liturgy. Something seemed lacking in a sacred book that could not be read as an integral whole.

Moreover, when I went to the university, I found that the authenticity of the book, especially the New Testament, had come into considerable doubt as a result of modern hermeneutical studies by Christia themselves. In a course on contemporary theology, I read the Norman Perrin translation of The Problem of the Historical Jesus by Joachim Jeremias, one of the principal New Testament scholars o this century. A textual critic who was a master of the original languages and had spent long years wi the texts, he had finally agreed with the German theologian Rudolph Bultmann that without a doubt is true to say that the dream of ever writing a biography of Jesus is over, meaning that the life of Chr as he actually lived it could not be reconstructed from the New Testament with any degree of confidence... (Contd.)

It was during this time that I read an early translation of the Qur'an which I grudgingly admired, between agnostic reservations, for the purity with which it presented these fundamental concepts. Ev if false, I thought, there could not be a more essential expression of religion. As a literary work, the translation, perhaps it was Sales, was uninspired and openly hostile to its subject matter, whereas I knew the Arabic original was widely acknowledged for its beauty and eloquence among the religiou books of mankind. I felt a desire to learn Arabic to read the original. …

At this juncture, I read a number of works on Islam, among them the books of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, who believed that many of the problems of western man, especially those of the environment, were from his having left the divine wisdom of revealed religion, which taught him his true place as a creature of God in the natural world and to understand and respect it. Without it, he burned up and consumed nature with ever more effective technological styles of commercial exploitation that ruine his world from without while leaving him increasingly empty within, because he did not know why h existed or to what end he should act. …

I read other books on Islam, and came across some passages translated by W. Montgomery Watt from "That Which Delivers from Error" by the theologian and mystic Ghazali, who, after a mid-life crises questioning and doubt, realized that beyond the light of prophetic revelation there is no other light on the face of the earth from which illumination may be received, the very point to which my

philosophical inquiries had led. Here was, in Hegel's terms, the Wise Man, in the person of a divinel inspired messenger who alone had the authority to answer questions of good and evil. ..

I began to learn Arabic at Chicago, and after studying the grammar for a year with a fair degree of success, decided to take a leave of absence to try to advance in the language in a year of private stud in Cairo. Too, a desire for new horizons drew me, and after a third season of fishing, I went to the Middle East. (Contd.)

In Egypt, I found something I believe brings many to Islam, namely, the mark of pure monotheism upon its followers, which struck me as more profound than anything I had previously encountered. I met many Muslims in Egypt, good and bad, but all influenced by the teachings of their Book to a greater extent than I had ever seen elsewhere. ..

Many other things passed through my mind during the months I stayed in Egypt to learn Arabic. I found myself thinking that a man must have some sort of religion, and I was more impressed by the effect of Islam on the lives of Muslims, a certain nobility of purpose and largesse of soul, than I had ever been by any other religions or even atheisms effect on its followers. The Muslims seemed to ha more than we did.

As for the inglorious political fortunes of the Muslims today, I did not feel these to be a reproach against Islam, or to relegate it to an inferior position in a natural order of world ideologies, but rather saw them as a low phase in a larger cycle of history. Foreign hegemony over Muslim lands had been witnessed before in the thorough going destruction of Islamic civilization in the thirteenth century by the Mongol horde, who razed cities and built pyramids of human heads from the steppes of Central Asia to the Muslim heartlands, after which the fullness of destiny brought forth the Ottoman Empire raise the Word of Allah and make it a vibrant political reality that endured for centuries. It was now, reflected, merely the turn of contemporary Muslims to strive for a new historic crystallization of Isla something one might well aspire to share in.

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When a friend in Cairo one day asked me, Why don't you become a Muslim?, I found that Allah had created within me a desire to belong to this religion, which so enriches its followers, from the simple hearts to the most magisterial intellects. It is not through an act of the mind or will that anyone becomes a Muslim, but rather through the mercy of Allah, and this, in the final analysis, was what brought me to Islam in Cairo in 1977. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SUNIL KUMAR (MAULANA USMAN QASMI), PALWAL INDIA A. Family Background:

01.I belong to a poor Rajput family of PALWAL, FARIDABAD. My father was a small former.

I left my studies after 8th standard and then started looking for job. I had a friend named Abdul Hami and we both were learning to be car mechanic.

02. Our friend ship grew and once I visited his small village of NOOH in MEWAT region. There w a small mosque there, where local Imam used to lead prayers and meet day to day religious needs of Muslim community there.

There was a small earthen mound there and when I reached people were working to shift the earth from there to another location. Suddenly there was a commotion in the workers and when we reache there, we found a body clad in white burial clothes. No body knows how old it was, but it was looki as if the man had died only now. 03. Local Imam explained that, good servants of Allah, are protected from earth eating their bodies. was very impressed with this and used to visit him, whenever I went to my friend’ village. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. When Imam saw our close friendship, he said to my friend, why did you not invite him to becom Muslim. What sorts of friend are you, that does not bother about him burnt in hell fire for an eternity Then he told me that son, you should become Muslim, if you want to save yourself. I decided to become Muslim and he named me as Mohd. OSMAN. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

05. Imam Sahib sent me third day to complete my official papers for registering me as New Muslim. When my case came before District Judge, he was biased against Islam, he said that I was a minor an handed me to local police to verify my conversion with my family.

06. Police Incharge of our village was a very cruel and biased man. He asked me to renounce Islam and when I refused, he beat me mercilessly. When I stood firm, he asked two of his constables to go and heat an iron rod by the nearby smith’ shop and then burn me with it (see again the attitude of Secular Indian Police, there are thousands of cases, where these police men have behaved like extremist Hindus - MUQ ). They brought the rod and placed it on my back, I did not feel anything (My Allah saved me from harm).

Incharge cursed his constables and said that the rod was not properly heated, when he touched it, his whole hand was burnt!

07. He asked constable to make me run and when I run then shoot me as an absconder (standard Indi Police Fake Encounter Practice, showing the “Human face” of police – MUQ)… I refused to run.

D. How I saved my Islam:

08. We are in this condition when a higher officer of Police came to Police station. He was very ang with Police man and Incharge saying that they have exceeded their limits and unless they desisted, h will get all of them dismissed.

Then he asked me about the iron rod incident, when I told him, he said that this was certainly a mirac of Islam, He told me in secret that he was very impressed with Islam.

09. He released me and asked me to not to declare my Islam openly. Later I joined a Islamic semina and passed out from there as an Islamic scholar, Alhamdolillah. F. Present Situation: I am presently working with an Islamic missionary society in ALWAR district of Rajasthan. I am constantly in touch with Maulana Kalim Uddin, who is my guide in these matters. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

10. They should pray for me and other members of my family and we do our bits for the mission of o prophet.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of July 2003.

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Why be became Muslims? Dr. BENOIST [ALÎ SALMÂN] (French) I am a doctor and I come from a fanatically Catholic family. Yet my vocational choice, medicine, provided me a career in positive, experimental, and natural sciences, which in turn caused me to develop a growing hatred against Christianity. With respect to religion, I was at complete loggerheads with the other members of my family. Yes, there was a great Creator, and I believed in Him, i.e. God. Yet the absurdities concocted by Christians, especially by Catholics, various mysterious gods, sons, holy ghosts, the preposterous fibs fabricated for the purpose of proving that Jesus is the son of God, myriad of other superstitions, ceremonies and rites pushed me away from Christianity, instead of attracting me towards it.

Because I held the belief in one God, I would never accept trinity, nor would I by any means recogni Jesus as the son of God. That means to say that, long before knowing of Islam, I had already accepte the initial half of the Kalima-i- Shahâdat, i.e. the part that says, “Lâ ilâha il’l’Allah... (There is no God but Allah...)” When I began to study the Islamic religion and read the Ch 112 of Qur’an , which purported,

“Lo; Allah is One. He is not begotten, nor does He beget. There is no being bearing any likenes to Him,” I said, “O my Allah. My belief is exactly the same.” I felt immense relief. I realized that it was of paramount importance to study Islam more deeply. And as I studied Islam I saw with admiration that this religion was completely agreeable with my ideas. Islam looked on religious men, and even on prophets as ordinary people like us; it did not divinize them.

Giving a priest authority to forgive people’s sins was something which Islam would never accept. Th Islamic religion did not contain any superstitions, any irrational rules, or any unintelligible subjects. The Islamic religion was a logical one, exactly as I wanted. Contrary to the Catholics, it did not smudge human beings with the consequences of the so-called original sin. It enjoined physical and spiritual cleanliness on human beings. Cleanliness, which is an essential principle in medicine, was in Islam a commandment of Allah. Islam commanded to clean oneself before acts of worship, and that was a quality which I had never seen in any other religion.

In some Christian rites, such as Baptism and the Eucharist, people consume the bread and wine offer by the priest in the name of the flesh and blood of Jesus, which is intended, so to speak, as a simulate unity with Jesus, i.e. with God, I saw the resemblance between these rites and those of the most primitive heathens, and hated them. My mind, which had improved under the guidance of positive science, vehemently rejected these puerile rites which did not suit to a true religion. Islam, on the other hand, did not accommodate any of those things. There was only truth, love, and cleanliness in Islam.

Eventually, I made up my mind. I visited my Muslim friends and asked them what I should do to become a Muslim. They taught me the (statement called) Kalima-i Shahâdat, how to say it and wha it meant.

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As I have mentioned earlier, before becoming a Muslim, I had accepted its first half, i.e. the part that meant, “There is no God but Allah,...” It was not difficult, therefore, to accept the remaining part, which said: “... and Muhammad is His (born slave and) Messenger.”(Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? CHI MEI-FONG, (HAWRA KHADEEJAH) HONG KONG

Note: This story is converted from a third person to first person, to match with the style of pos II was born and raised as a Christian. I studied in a Christian school and never heard about Islam during my studies. During summer vacations, I took up a job in a fast food restaurant. There I met Pakistani co worker and thru him I came to know about Islam and its teachings.

I soon realized that Islam answers my spiritual needs, and despite the stringent doctrines required by Quran, I decided to accept this religion.

I was fortunate that my family posed no problem and accepted my decision, but they have shown no

interest to follow it. My parents gave me freedom in choosing my religion as long as it was not a cu My mother did worry about my health and asked why Muslims always ask their believers to fast. Sh was finally persuaded when I explained that it was a way to experience the sadness and hunger suffered by poor people. Initially I was not allowed to pray at home…but as times went by, they got used to my religious rituals. I realized how different I was from other people in the community when I discovered all the bewildered gazes came from local rather than westerners. May be Hong Kong people are simply unfamiliar with Islamic culture.

To some a religious law which urges women to hide their bodies to avoid being a temptation to men oppressive…however this dress code serves as a symbol of spiritual life and it is more of a protectio to women

On Polygamy “ I think there is a delusion in many people’s mind and they tend to take the words of Quran at face value. Although Polygamy was allowed due to social needs, it was not encouraged yo mind you, it is very difficult to treat all your wives with equal justice as prescribed in Quran” I found work in the Islamic center of Hong King and my new duties fit very well with my living life a practicing Muslim. There are more than 65, 000 Muslims in Hong Kong now. 58 (Abridged) Source:: Saudi Gazette 28 July 2000, p7 Why I Became Muslim? The Introduction and Decision (Testimony of Aminah Assilmi) "I couldn't be a Muslim! I was American and white!"

I was completing a degree in Recreation, when I met my first Muslims. It was the first year that we h been able to pre-register by computer. I pre-registered and went to Oklahoma to take care of some family business. .

Now, you need to understand that while I was attending college and excelling, ran my own business, and had many close friends, I was extremely shy. My transcripts actually had me listed as severely reticent. I was very slow to get to know people and rarely spoke to anyone unless was forced to, or already knew them.

Well, back to the story. The computer printout held one enormous surprise for me. I was registered f a Theatre class...

When I entered the classroom, I received my second shock. The class was full of 'Arabs' and 'camel jockeys'. Well, I had never seen one but I had heard of them…There was no way I was going to sit in room full of dirty heathens! After all, you could catch some dreadful disease from those people. Everyone knew they were dirty, not to be trusted either.

When I told my husband about the Arabs in the class and that there was no way I was going back, he responded in his usual calm way. He reminded that I was always claiming that God had a reason for everything and maybe I should spend some time thinking about it before I made my final decision… For the next two days, I prayed for guidance. On Thursday I went back to the class convinced that G had put me there to save those poor ignorant heathens from the fires of hell.

I proceeded to explain to them how they would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity, if they did no accept Jesus as their personal savior. They were very polite, but did not convert. Then, I explained h Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins. All they had to do was acce him into their hearts. They were very polite, but still did not convert. So, I decided to read their own book to show them that Islam was a false religion and Mohammed was a false God.

One of the students gave me a copy of the Quran and another book about Islam, and I proceeded wit my research. I was sure I would find the evidence I needed very quickly. Well, I read the Quran and the other book. Then I read another 15 books, Sahih Muslim and returned to the Quran. I was determined I would convert them! My studies continued for the next one and half years.

During that time, I started having a few problems with my husband. I was changing, just in little way but enough to bother him. We used to go to the bar every Friday and Saturday, or to a party, and I no longer wanted to go. I was quieter and more distant. He was sure I was having an affair, so he kicked me out. I moved into an apartment with my children and continued my determined efforts to convert the Muslims to Christianity.

The, one day, there was a knock on my door. I opened the door and saw a man in a long white night gown with a red and white checkered table cloth on his head. He was accompanied by three men in pajamas. ….His name was Abdul-Aziz Al-Shiek and he made the time. He was very patient and discussed every question with me. He never made me feel silly or that a question was stupid. He ask me if I believed there was only one God and I said yes. Then he asked if I believed Mohammed was His Messenger. Again I said yes. He told me that I was already a Muslim….

We continued talking. Later, he explained that attaining knowledge and understanding of spirituality was a little like climbing a ladder. If you climb a ladder and try to skip a few rungs, there was dange of falling. The Shahadah was just the first step on the ladder. Still we had to talk some more.

Later that afternoon, May 21, 1977 at Asr', I took Shahadah. However, there were still some things I could not accept and it was my nature to be completely truthful so I added a disclaimer. I said: "I bea witness that there is no god but God and Mohammed is His Messenger" 'but, I will never cover my hair and if my husband takes another wife, I will castrate him.'

I heard gasps from the other men in the room, but Abdul Aziz silenced them. Later I learned that he told the brothers never to discuss those two subjects with me. He was sure I would come to the corre understanding.

When I first started to study Islam, I did not expect to find anything that I needed or wanted in my personal life. Little did I know that Islam would change my life. No human could have ever convinc

me that I would finally be at peace and overflowing with love and joy because of Islam. (Contd.) How Islam changed my Life

When I first embraced Islam, I really did not think it was going to affect my life very much. Islam d not just affect my life. It totally changed it.

Family life: My husband and I loved each other very deeply. That love for each other still exists. Sti when I started studying Islam, we started having some difficulties. He saw me changing and did not understand what was happening. Neither did I. But then, I did not even realize I was changing. He decided that the only thing that could make me change was another man. There was no way to make him understand what was changing me because I did not know.

After I realized that I was a Muslim, it did not help matters. After all...the only reason a woman changes something as fundamental as her religion is another man. He could not find evidence of this other man...but he had to exist. We ended up in a very ugly divorce. The courts determined that the unorthodox religion would be detrimental to the development of my children. So they were removed from my custody.

Friends: Most of my friends drifted away during that first year. I was no fun anymore. I did not wan to go to parties or bars. I was not interested in finding a boyfriend. All I ever did was read that 'stupid book (the Qur'an) and talk about Islam. What a bore. I still did not have enough knowledge to help them understand why Islam was so beautiful.

Employment: My job was next to go. While I had won just about every award there was in my field and was recognized as a serious trend setter and money maker, the day I put on Hijab, was the end o my job. Now I was without a family, without friends and without a job.

In all this, the first light was my grandmother. She approved of my choice and joined me. What a surprise! I always knew she had a lot of wisdom, but this! She died soon after that. When I stop to think about it, I almost get jealous. The day she pronounced Shahadah, all her misdeeds had been erased, while her good deeds were preserved. She died so soon after accepting Islam that I knew her 'BOOK' was bound to be heavy on the good side. It fills me with such joy!

Rather than try to tell you about how each person came to accept Islam, let me simply say that more members of my family continue to find Islam every year. I was especially happy when a dear friends Brother Qaiser Imam, told me that my ex-husband took Shahdah. When Brother Qaiser asked him why, he said it was because he had been watching me for 16 years and he wanted his daughter to hav what I had. He came and asked me to forgive him for all he had done. I had forgiven him long before that.

Now my oldest son, Whittney, has called, as I am writing this book, and announced that he also wan to become Muslim. He plans on taking the Shahadah as the ISNA Convention in a couple of weeks. For now, he is learning as much as he can. Allah is The Most Merciful.

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True, Allah has tested me, as was promised, and rewarded me far beyond what I could ever have hoped for. A few years ago, the doctors told me I had cancer and it was terminal. They explained tha there was no cure, it was too far advanced, and proceeded to help prepare me for my death by explaining how the disease would progress. I had maybe one year left to live. I was concerned about my children, especially my youngest. Who would take care of him? Still I was not depressed. We mu all die. I was confident that the pain I was experiencing contained Blessings. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM KISHAN (ADIL) LAKRA, DELHI , INDIA A. Family Background:

01. My first birth was on 27th Sept 1959 and my second birth came after 45 years when I was born to Islam. Our family lived in NAJAFGARH village, which was earlier in HARYANA but later merged Delhi state.

My family members were the leaders of my village, my father expired when I was very young. I wo these days as Property dealer in Delhi.

02. I left school after 10th standard. One of my uncle was an officer in Army. He got me enrolled as soldier in the army. I did not like military at all. I wanted then to declare me unfit, I tried many thin but I was not successful.

Once when a high office was inspecting Parade, I started to mix Chewing Tobacco with lime (a loca Indian composition) on my palm. When the office reached me, I saluted him with closed palm. He said what I was hiding in my palm…when I showed it, he got very angry and wrote UNFIT on my military file… that was my end in Indian Army.

03. After that I returned to Delhi and started property dealing business. Soon I got some rowdy frien and we use every wrong mean to cheat people out of their properties… The end of such endeavours is known to every body…soon I was a haunted man and I had many criminal caser registered against me with Police and courts. 04. From my childhood I was against the idol worship. Not only that, no one could do idol worship the house when I was around. My mother diagnosed root cause of my problem as my opposition to these idols. So when the date for an important case came, she gave my some book of hymn and ask me to go and worship Lord HANUMAN.

I did all that, but I lost the case … I returned to home and started hitting idol of Lord HANUMAN w

my shoe.. I was very much frustrated and at my wit’s end as to what to do with these legal cases against me. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 05. There was a small fruit merchant in my locality. He was a Muslim, I went to her and asked him about a Charm to save me from these cases. He asked me to recite DROOD (Salutation) to Prophet Islam at least 100 times every day.

06. I started doing that and very soon the cases were being decided in my favor. I started meting him more often….he then gave me some books about Islam and after I had read them…. I saw the mistak and injustices that I have done to others. How I will be saved in the hereafter. 07. When I told him this, he advised me to become Muslim. I went to JAMA MASJID of Delhi, but they asked certificates from my village. Then I went to Imam of FATEHPURI mosque in Delhi, he told me I have to leave my wife, if I became Muslim… I tried many people but no one was bold enough to make me Muslim (that is a shame for Muslim Leaders in India- MUQ)…

08. Some how I reached PHULAT and met Maulana Kalim Sahib, he was very glad to see me and h immediately asked me to read Islamic creed and made me Muslim.

Then I asked Maulana, will I have to leave my wife….he was astonished and asked me how this idea came to my mind. I must start working on my wife and save her from hell fire. Otherwise I would n be the real husband I wanted to be. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

09. When I reached home, my wife, who was a devout Hindu like my mother, became very angry. S started shouting at me and whatever I said made no effect on her so to say. It went on late past midnight, then I used my last trick (told to me by Maulana).

10. I asked if she was a real Hindu wife or a fake one. She said that I am a Real Hindu Wife. I said then you should be where your husband is. I am burnt on the pyre of Islam and she should also burn with me….otherwise she is not a Hindu wife but a prostitute… This asked her to think and finally she agreed to become Muslim. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 11. Three of my children accepted Islam when my wife became Muslim. One of my daughter got married before I became Muslim.

I am working on her and my son in law. I have given them some books on Islam like “Your Trust…

“What happens after death”… “Islam and introduction” etc. And I pray to Allah to open their hearts Islam. F. Present Situation:

12. I still have some cases pending against me. I am called to court every now and then. But when I am free, I try to study Islamic literature and work along with Islamic Missionaries. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. They should distribute these small books like “Your trust returned to you” and other simple Islamic literature to every one in India.

This is not only a help for other people, but they must do it, if they want to answer about their duties the hereafter.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Nov. 2004

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Why be became Muslims? CAPTAIN (JACQUES) COUSTEAU (French)

In France Islam has been spreading at a high velocity …. People who have preferred Islam are not on from among workers and civil servants but also from among people renowned in every respect. Among people who have chosen Islam is Captain Cousteau, whom the entire world closely knows f his explorations about life under water.

Captain Cousteau, who has revealed the secrets of oceans one by one with the films that he made and which are being televised world over in a program sub-headed The Living Sea, said that what actua prompted him to choose the Islamic religion was, after observing that the waters of the Atlantic Ocea and the Mediterranean did not mix with each other, his seeing that the same phenomenon was writte in the Qur'an which had been revealed fourteen hundred years before.

Captain Cousteau told of the event that had caused him to become a Muslim, as follows: “In 1962 German scientists said that the waters of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean did not mix wit each other in the Strait of Bâb-ul-Mandab where the Aden Bay and the Red Sea join. So we began to examine whether the waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean mixed with each other. Fir we analyzed the water in the Mediterranean to find out its natural salinity and density, and the life it contained.

We repeated the same procedure in the Atlantic Ocean. The two masses of water had been meeting each other in the Gibraltar for thousands of years. Accordingly, the two masses of water must have been mixing with each other and they must have been sharing identical, or, at least, similar propertie in salinity and density. On the contrary, even at places where the two seas were closest to each other

each mass of water preserved its properties. In other words, at the point where the two seas met, a curtain of water prevented the waters belonging to the two seas from mixing.

When I told Professor Maurice Bucaille about this phenomenon, he said that it was no surprise and t it was written clearly in Islam’s Holy Book, the Qur'an Indeed, this fact was defined in a plain language in the Qur'an.

When I knew this, I believed in the fact that the Qur'an was the ‘Word of Allah’. I chose Islam, the true religion The spiritual potency inherent in the Islamic religion gave me the strength to endure the pain I had been suffering for the loss of my son.” 61 Why I Became Muslim? UKHT KALEEM ULLAH , PAKISTAN

After hearing so many stories from newly converts to Islam, here is one story by a Muslim Women, who re-discovered Islam. This could be the tale of many Muslims who are living in western countrie and even in so called Muslim countries. We present this story for benefits of both Muslim and Non Muslim readers.

I was a Muslim Girl brought up in USA. My parents knew nothing about Islam and we all were Muslims only in name. My parents never used to prey and even did not knew how to prey. There were no fasts observed in our house. We did not know how to read Quran. My parents would leave for job in the morning and would return late in the evening. They had no time for their children to teach them any thing. In the same way, our brothers and sisters also did not have much interaction.

Every one was busy living in his or her individual lives. We grew up in this atmosphere and some o my sisters even got married. I also grew up and after completing my college education joined University.

All this changed when our Grandma came to visit us from Pakistan. She was a very pious and religious lady and she literally wept when she saw the atmosphere of our house. She used to remind about out duties and lives as a Muslim, but none of us had any time or inclination for such talks.

She objected on the matter of my dress and clothes in which I used to go to university…..so much so that one day I got really angry and slapped her on her face before I left the house… That day I felt distraught about my behavior and injustice I had done to her….that night I could not sleep. I went to her room late in the night to apologize to her. She was just free from late night prayer….she hugged me and forgave me.

Then slowly and slowly I got attracted towards her and her talks. I learned as to how to prey and how to recite Quran. I started preying regularly. I still went to University in Western clothes, but soon I decided to go in full Islamic dress.

Well, my first day was not that good. All my friends started making fun of me…they would taunt us

and call me names….I was branded as a terrorist….when I entered any room, some one would remar that she should be searched….may be she has a bomb underneath these clothes!!

My parents became very angry on me and my Grandma. Then one day we had a party in our home. My parents told me to dress in Western Clothes, otherwise their friend would make fun of him. Whe I entered in full Islamic dress…then my father got very angry and beat me and drove me and my Grandma out of the house for good. I borrowed some money from one of my friend and me and my Grandma returned back to Pakistan. is more than three years since that incident and my parents have never even phoned once to know about our welfare.

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But I thank Allah that He saved me from that evil environment and I have found true path. I prey to Allah to show right path to my parents and my brother and sisters also. May be my story would be a eye opener to those who are dazzled by the glamour and outside beauty of Modern Western Society. Why I became Muslim? A SEARCHER OF TRUTH

Why I became a Muslim is often asked from me, let it suffice that it Was Allah who guided me to it. was born in a Christian family and had that as a background. My mother used to take us to church every Sunday and would read to us Biblical stories in the night.

However that grip loosened when I grew up and decided to study different religion. First book whic read was The Religion of Man. Its first chapter was on Islam. I was astonished to read about the bas teachings of Islam, of the life story of its prophet. What close links it had with Abraham and how close it was to Christianity. All this was new to me. Then I also read about Buddhism, Hindu religion, Judaism and many smaller religions of Americas and other places. Judaism seemed to me a true religion, but was racial in out look. Buddhism takes you away from the world and there is no clear concept of God and life after death. Hinduism deals with countless gods and goddesses. Old religions of America are mostly tribal in nature.

Islam seemed to be the only religion which was Universal in outlook and its beliefs and practices we not bound to any region or nation. Then I met a Muslim women, who asked me to join Islamic classes conducted by her father for peop who want to learn about Islam. When I went there I found Muslims from all parts of world on one platform and sharing the same beliefs. I was very much impressed and she gave me Arabic Quran along with its English Translation.

I would have closed Quran if it said any bad thing about Jesus or any other prophet of God. But whe I saw that Quran always mentions Jesus, Moses and other Jewish prophets with equal respect, I knew must be from God and not any human, because no human can be that broad minded. When I was reading old Semitic languages, I came to know that Son was often used in the sense of Nearness. Son of God might mean one who is very near to God. Jesus is also referred to as Son of

Man. How this got changed into Only Begotten Son of God was the question which puzzled me.

Then I pondered on the subject of Crucifixion and why it meant what Christians want it to mean. W an innocent soul has to die to expiate sins of mankind was beyond my understanding. I preyed to God to guide me to true path and when my mind got satisfied that what Islam says is indeed truth and logical, only then I decided to become a Muslim.

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Islam is not the religion of terrorists and violence, it is religion of all those who want peace and want to worship their own creator with full devotion of their hearts and minds (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Asiya Abd al-Zahir

I have always, since developing an ability to think deeply, believed in the existence of a single Creat on whom everything that exists is dependent. Though my parents are Buddhist, from the age of 13, t this Creator, I have steadfastly prayed and yielded guidance from every day that I can remember. Ye being schooled within a Christian environment, I naturally identified myself as a Christian.

Sadly, my knowledge of Islam was minimal. I perceived it as a bizarre religion, limited to only a few underdeveloped nations, most of which were in the Middle East, and which endorsed an astoundingl suppressive lifestyle, particularly for women. Muslim women, I presumed, were considered inferior passive domestic slave, bashed often and forced to compete among four for her husband's affections, which he could withhold from them all if he wanted to. The majority of these ideas I developed from hearsay, interactions with others I assumed knew what they were talking about and a few documentaries on Iran and Saudi Arabia I watched on television.

As I entered university nearly three years ago, I came into contact with quite a number of Muslim students from various backgrounds. Strangely enough, even to myself, I was drawn to them and developed a curious inclination to learn and understand more about their religion. I observed how content they seemed and was very impressed by their openness and warmth towards myself and each other, but more importantly with their pride in belonging to a religion which holds many negative connotations.

I gradually became fascinated with Islam, and through a process of education, developed a greater respect for it than even my beloved Christianity. I was stunned at how wrong my previous conceptio had been and became particularly overwhelmed at the tremendous entitlements, equality and acknowledgment Islam provided for women. I realised the reality of the Islamic lifestyle and the trut concerning that feeble American innovation termed "Islamic fundamentalism".

Is it said that any person who possesses the faulty of reason and an open mind should recognise logic and truth when he/she encounters it, and so it was in my case.

More and more, literature, signs and evidence were revealed to me, and more and more, my intellect was stimulated and my heart, warmed. I wanted to know everything about Islam and felt already a

sense of brotherhood with and belonging among its followers.

What impressed me the most was how practical Islam is - how it encompasses a rule and a lesson for almost every facet of living. And by the sheer grace of God, I at last understood the faults of Christia theology and of the concepts I had previously accepted unquestioningly. At midday, on August 4th, 1994, before over 20 witnesses, I recited the shahadah and became an official Muslim.

I shall never forget the bliss of that day and how much my life has turned around in only a year's tim

I have often been asked what it is like to be a revert and of the difficulties I must endure. Though I d not wish to dwell on this topic, as pity is not my priority, I shall give some examples of what I have been through.

The period up till the end of Ramadhan was, by far, the hardest to get through. Family disputes took place almost daily; I was showered with verbal abuse, ridicule and threats. On many occasions, my room was physically torn apart, books mysteriously disappeared and slanderous phone messages we sent to my friends and their parents.

There have been times I have been locked out of home and forced to abstain from dinner as pork wa deliberately served. Even to this day, all my mail is opened before I have the chance to do so myself Apart from my housing and meals, I must provide for myself financially. My readings, as my conversations over the phone are done in privacy. My writings and my visits to mosques or other Islamic venues must always be concealed. I am similarly not able to visit friends very often as I may be "brain-washed" even more. (Contd.)

I cannot perform my prayers until I am sure no one is around. Nor can I express my excitement and celebration during Ramadan. I cannot share the joy at knowing yet another sister has put on Hijab, n can I discuss the lesson I have learned this day or the speech given by an Islamic scholar/scientist. Moreover, I must continually defend the Muslims and the Islam portrayed on the media, and fight against the stereotypes my parents stubbornly maintain.

To see their expressions of disgust at myself is almost unbearable. I am now insecure as to my paren affections and constantly worry of how much I am hurting them. Through the entire month of Ramadan, my mother spoke to me not once. I had to hear her say time and time again at how I had betrayed the family. My pleading with her otherwise was to no avail. I am told over and over again that what I have done is unforgivable and if any of our relations or already few friends knew, my parents would surely be outcasts.

However, I do not claim to have a miserable life. I am more content and at peace now than I ever hav been. My purpose in relating all of this is to try to display the opportunities that many of you have which are so often taken for granted, so little taken advantage of, but so precious to many reverts like myself.

To reflect on these hardships alone would imply I have gained nothing by becoming a Muslim other than pain. On the contrary, Islam has given me already so many vast rewards, I shiver to think of how much more wonderful the gifts of Paradise would be.

At the time of my reversion, although I had accepted Islam as being true, I had no idea of the vast internal changes it would incur upon me. Even I am astounded at how much I devour knowledge, ho Islam is in my thoughts every waking moment, how compelling I feel my responsibility is to the Ummah and how much more of a Muslim I became every month. …

Over the past year, I have developed quite an extensive breadth of Islamic knowledge and have studied ayats of the Holy Qur'an in much finer detail. Not once have I come across anything which would make me doubt the authenticity of the Qur'an and the relevance of Islam for contemporary society, for even one minute. This has been the only religion I have ever been completely sure of and am more sure of each day that I serve. Furthermore, I have established my identity, I am more confident of myself; a stronger woman and person of colour, I am more aware of my existence and more secure in my battles. (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

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(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: PROMOD KUMAR (MOHD. ASLAM) A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a religious JAT family and we lived near DEOBAND UP. We are three brothers an one sister. When I was six years old, My father renounced the world and devoted himself to running Hindu ASHRAM near the river Ganges. He is a very much learned scholar of Hinduism. I have studied upto 12th Standard. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 02. Since I was a child, I was interested as to how to reach to the Creator of this Universe. I asked many Hindu scholars, but their answers did not satisfy me.

Once I asked this question to a Muslim scholar and he explained to me about Islam and its concept o Allah. It appealed to me and specially the concept of cleanliness in Islam. How can a man be clean i his clothes have a drop of urine on it.. 03. Then he introduced me to Maulana Kalim Sahib in PHULAT, he also explained to me about the concept of Islam and I accepted Islam on his hands almost seven years ago.

After I became Muslim, I was under the wrong impression that it is now the duty of Muslims. When did not get much support…. I got myself registered with a Christian Mission.

04. When I saw the atmosphere there, I realised the value of true love and respected which I got from the Muslims. I phone to Maulana and left the mission and met him. He was very happy top receive me back and told that every one accepts Islam for the sake of Allah and for his own self. 05. There is burden on the Muslim community, it is like if some one saves a drowning man, will he become responsible for his boarding and lodgings for his whole life? I realized my mistake and repented to Allah. Then I spent four months with an Islamic missionary group and learned Quran , prayers and other items needed for Muslims.

E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

06. As I told earlier, my father was head of a Hindu ASHRAM and he was a great scholar… Maulan asked me to go back to him and invite him to Islam.

Initially I was very hesitant , but I took courage and gave him the book “Your Trust…” My father w very much impressed with reading this small booklet and he asked me to take him to Maulana. 07. When he met Maulana and talked to him, he was very much impressed with him and his talks… and after a few days, he also accepted Islam , Alhamdolillah. Some of his disciples also accepted Islam on the hands of my father. 3. On Family members / Others. 08. I am working on him. Initially they were hesitant to mix with me, but slowly they started to respect me. I gave them the same book “Your Trust..”. I pray to Allah to guide them to the right path. F. Present Situation: G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. I just want to remind my Muslim brothers that it is their duty to spread the message of Islam. Th was entrusted to them by their prophet, when on the occasion of Last Pilgrimage he said “Let those

who are present, tell this to those who are not present” This is the only way for our recovery and gaining our position in this world

And they should be sympathetic towards New Muslims and should try to look after them and help them so they can start their new life in Muslim. Because changing one’ religion in this country, cuts him off totally with his family and friends.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Feb. 2003

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Why be became Muslims? MUHAMMAD EMÎN HOBOHN (German)

(Muhammad Emîn Hobohn is both a diplomat and a missionary. He is a man of knowledge an religion with a social career.)

Why are Europeans abandoning their religion and becoming Muslims? It has various reasons. Amon them is the ‘Haqq=Truth; Right; Reality’.

The principles that Islam is based on are so logical, so true and honest that it is out of the question fo wise and educated person seeking for truth and reality in a religion not to accept them.

For instance, the Islamic religion professes the existence of one god. It appeals to the human commo sense, and never descends to inculcating people with superstitions.

The Islamic religion states that people all over the world, regardless of their races, are the born slave of God, equal and similar. …. An awareness of the fact that Allah will subject human beings to an equitable interrogation in the Hereafter on what they have done in the world, will urge them that they should abide by justice and integrity in the world. For this reason, true Muslims never attempt to do something before thinking well and being firmly convinced that what they are going to do is really something useful. Thereby this great religion establishes control over human beings in such a degree as could be managed by no worldly police organization, and permanently keeps them on the right way.

Another aspect that makes Islam an attractive choice in the eyes of Europeans is its norms of worshi The namâz (the five daily ritual prayers) teaches punctuality to people, and fasting drills a strong sen of will power into them. What other factor could be as essential to success in life as punctuality and determination? Great men owe their accomplishments only to these two determinants. Now I come to a most beautiful aspect of the Islamic religion: While educating people in the ethical

and humanistic areas in the most logical styles, the Islamic religion never compels them beyond thei capacities. On the contrary, it offers them many opportunities to lead a prosperous and comfortable life. Allah wishes people to live in comfort and happiness. To this end, He commands people not to commit sins….

I have been to many places and districts of the world on diplomatic and religious missions. I have studied other religions and social systems minutely. I have seen neither a religion nor a social system as faultless or as immaculate as Islam. …. Islam is a practical religion, not a theoretical one. Islam means submission to Allah who is compassionate and forgiving and who always shows the right way. What on earth could be more beautiful? (Abridged) 66 Why I Became Muslim? PROF. DAN (YAHYA) FLOOD, USA

Here is an interesting and somewhat detailed description of a sincere and unbiased person, as to how gradually, he became learnt and accepted truth about Islam. There might not be many who can have varied experience as him.

I was born in Trenton, NJ. My father was an Engineer by profession, and as is usual in USA, we use to travel a lot. We belonged to protestant faith, but we only went to church as a social obligation. M parents never forced any belief on me, and I knew very little about Jesus and Christianity and may b that was the reason, I was not biased towards any religion. My mother was a very pious and generou women and would help any one in need and send gifts to relatives and friend. That could be the reason, which helped her in the ending portion of her life.

After completing my college education in Indiana and then enrolled for Business Administration course in Texas University. Later I changed it to Latin America when I noticed that this was a far more interesting topic than Buss. Admin. I then studied about Latin America and also studied books on many religion. I took a room on rent, where many students were living together. We had a stude from Saudi Arabia, Iran and Indian Hindu as my fellow roommates. I used to enjoy foods from different parts of the world.

Still undecided about my future career, I toured USA and Canada, so to think about it. I saw many beautiful natural scenes… by seeing these natural beauties, I used to think that there must be one Go who created it all, but I still did not knew His name or as to how to prey to Him…. Meanwhile my Saudi friend invited me for a two week stay in his ancestral village near Riyadh. When I reached the village, I was given much honor. They killed many sheep and invited whole village for a banquet. I saw camels being milked for the first time. After spending two wonderful weeks in KSA, I returned back to USA.

My first job was to teach English to those whose mother tongue is not English. It was a joint progra

between Abu Dhabi and Texas University. I would spent one month in Abu Dhabi and then six months in USA with the trainees. This gave me experience and aptitude to teach English which I lat decided as my future career. …

After many ups and downs in my professional career, I phoned my Saudi Friend to find a job for me Saudi Arabia. I got a job as English teacher in Jubail in one of the Professional Training Center.

Once my Saudi Friend took me to a mosque, I did not know anything about a mosque or as to what t do there. They advised me to wash my hands and feet and do as other Muslims do. I did it a couple times and felt much peace and tranquility in my heart. I attended a picnic that was arranged especial for Non Muslims , there we took part in many activity and even listened to some public talks about Islam.

In Jubail I met a fellow American (named Ali Basheer) who had become Muslim. I told him that I a very close to Islam, what I need is a little push by some one and I will fall into it. He gave me a CD look at. Topic of the CD was “What is your purpose of life and what you know about Islam?” This talk was delivered by a Newly converted American Muslim named Khalid Yaseen in 1990 in Jeddah. After watching this Video, I got convinced of 3 basic facts. 1. The purpose of life should be Islam, i.e. submission to the will of our Creator. Islam is the best word for it. 2. The word Islam is mentioned in Quran. No other religion is named as such in their scriptures.

3. He gave a very beautiful example for one who is Christian and wants to convert to Islam. It was a if one has a precious old suit, which has become loose and not fitting the body properly. No one wil throw it out, but make a fix and it will fit on the body. One does not have to discard every thing whe he becomes a Muslim after being a Christian.

After this I got convinced of the truth of Islam and became a Muslim and chose YAHYA (John the Baptist) as my new name. Every one in the mosque came forward to greet me, when I became a Muslim and that was very wonderful for me. I later married an Arab Woman and our children speak very good Arabic.

When I went back to USA, my friends made fun of me and my wife. They asked me how can you marry a women, whom you do not know fully. I told them about Islamic concept of marriage and restriction on free mixing of sexes. I told them that in Western System…it is like taking a car for tes drive before one buys it!!! They became silent as they knew what I meant. My parents did not react favorably or unfavorably and accepted my choice as is the case with most American Parents. But my mother was much impressed by sincerity of my wife and the way she helped her.

Later I got a phone call from USA, that my mother is very sick and I and my wife should reach there ASAP. We found my mother very sick and started to take care of her. My mother was much impressed by sincerity of my wife and the way she served her. Once I asked my mother, do you

believe in One God and that we should only worship her. She said yes. I asked her to repeat that thr times in English and once in Arabic.

Then I asked her, do you believe in all prophets of God, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad (May peace be on All the Messengers of Allah), she said yes. I asked her to repeat it thr times in English and once in Arabic. After accepting Islam on my hand, my mother expired after five days. May be her good nature and good deeds helper her in the last.

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I am still teaching English, I have written a small booklet on comparative religion “The Best way to live and Die” which was published by WAMY. If any one wants to know about Islam, he can conta me at dflood58_2000@yahoo.com Why I Became Muslim? CAROL L. ANWAY, USA Note: This is from parents of an American lady, who converted to Islam many years ago. It shows broadmindedness and openness to Islam from those who are Christians.

When our daughter married a young man from Iran, we had no idea what it meant to be muslim. It was comforting to us that he was Muslim, because we were a religious family and assumed that befo long he would convert to Christianity. They enrolled in a college several hours away from us. Thru telephone calls and occasional short visits we began to notice a change taking place in our daughter. During one weekend about one and half years, she broke the news to us that she had become Muslim.

She made it clear that it was not because her husband asked her to do it, she had chosen to be Muslim herself. She assured us hat she was not rejecting us. Our world fell apart, and we reacted with deep grief and loss. It has been 12 years since that day.

We have healed from the grief, rebuilt our relationship with our daughter and her husband, and have come to have deep respect for that what she has chosen. I have been impressed with all of her friend both American converts and those from other countries who are Muslim. A little over two years ago, I started a project to survey American women in the US and Canada who had become Muslim. I distributed Questionnaires at Muslim conferences, advertised in Islamic magazines….and this is our findings: A. Approx. 40 % of women work outside the home either part time or full time. B. 12 % are working toward college degrees. C. 25 % choose to home school, their children of school age. All but two women in the survey were wearing full time Hijab. 90 % of the women in the study are married and reflect successful marriage, …From this survey, I

have written a book Daughters of another path: Experiences of American women choosing Islam…. As parents of an American Muslim convert, my husband and me now feel that the two paths are not different…It has broadened our world to see it thru the eyes of a daughter who has chosen another path. 68 (Abridged) Source:: Islamic Horizons , Sept-Oct 1995, p26-27 Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Chahida Zanabi

I have always believed in God, since I was very small. My family was not religious, but for a period my mother prayed for us children, by the bedside every night. Since then I have seen Gods existence a fact of life, and for me the question was how to live according to Gods will so that I could be admitted into Paradise.

When I was about 12 years old, I started to study the Bible, to seek guidance. But I was disappointed could not sense Gods nearness in these words attributed to him. The more I read about the Christiani the more confused I felt. My concept of a religion did not support important teachings of the Church God was in my eyes someone raised above all, I could not accept the idea of God having to let his 'so die for humans to be saved. God, who says "be", and it is, whatever He would please? Certainly He could forgive the humans without such arrangements? Jesus could be no more than a wise man with guidance and knowledge from God, for God does not take a human shape. And why are all humans born sinful because of what Eve did? What is the meaning of the trinity? How can one say the Bible Gods word, when it is clearly written by humans?

When I was seventeen, I moved away from home to attend a Christian school. I thought perhaps staying with Christians would help me understand the religion better. And I did enjoy their company very much, the non-alcoholic parties, their concern for each other and their tolerance. I told them of my doubts, and they told me that it was a part of the wonderful mystery which I just had to accept. They said it was all a matter of faith, I just had to keep believing Jesus gave his life for me, and I would be saved. But i found it illogical and unjust. What about all the righteous believers around world who never heard of the crucifixion, would their faith and work be in vain? Would God deny M faith and deeds, in spite of the fact that I believed in him with all my heart? This could not be the Truth!

A year later I was married with a Muslim by origin. Religiously I was at a point of zero, my only knowledge was that I believed in God, I knew nothing else. Some of my husbands friends had Norwegian wives who had converted, and I was provoked by the thought of a Western woman embracing Islam. We discussed religion until early morning hours, but I remained skeptic towards Islam. So they challenged me: Why wouldn't I join them in the mosque to learn some Arabic and fin out more? I wanted to learn Arabic, and I had never been in a mosque, so I came. It became an emotional and very surprising experience! I remember watching myself in the mirror in the mosque, wearing the Hijab, and it felt so right. I

remember watching the Muslims pray, and I wished so much I could join them in their prostrating fo God. I had an overwhelming feeling of submission to God. I did not know how to pray, and I cried inside of not being able to do so. I bought the English translation of the Qur'an, and when I read it, I could sense Gods voice, the words hit my heart.

Though, everyone warned me from embracing Islam. I knew too that this was just too emotional, and needed more knowledge, so I spent the next seven months reading and studying Islam. But only to fi out that Islam matched my concept of a religion and my concept of God.

Then, in May-1988, I went for a holiday in Greece. It was a perfect holiday, a lot of sunbathing, swimming, good food and drink, lots of nice people, and so on. I enjoyed it all, at least the first week But then I became more and more annoyed with the same things. It seemed meaningless and empty. Why did one have to drink to have fun, something must is missing in peoples lives! Why did not the men respect me, though I was married and probably they were too? I found myself by the swimming pool when I made the decision. This was enough! I wanted to go home to embrace Islam! I started to pray three weeks after, and I have never regretted since. Today I am happy to be reminded again of the favor and mercy God has given me. Wa alaikum salaam! Chahida Elisabeth Zanabi) 69 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAGHUBEER SINGH (ABDUL RAHMAN) HARIDWAR, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a poor family of KHATAULI in 1950. I studied only upto 8th standard and then left education. I did many odd jobs and now I have a general merchant shop in my village. My mother died the year I got married, I have three brothers and two sisters living. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. I got married to a well to do family in a neighboring village. My wife was very beautiful and I loved her. She was more educated than me. Due to the difference in our standard of living, she wen

to her house and refused to come back. I went to her house, even I send my father, but she did not come. I was very much in love and I wanted to get her back at any cost. First I tried prayers in Temples, and met many Hindu TANTRICKS, but nothing helped.

03. Some one told me to go to Muslim mosque and get some charm from them. They have a program on Friday night and by Saturday morning,, I will find some Muslim Scholar who would give me charm.

When my father and I reached there Saturday morning, we found a young man of about 13 years (Maulana Kalim in his younger age) giving lecture. When he came out, we told him of our problem. He said that he has nothing on him now, but if we could after two weeks, he will have some thing fo us.

04. We reached there after two weeks, he asked me to take bath and he wrote on a piece of paper Islamic creed in Arabia and told us to keep on repeating it. I did not know its meaning, but nevertheless I recited it for next three or four days. It gave me some peace of mind. On fourth day, m father in law came to our house with my wife. I was very happy.

I got used to the wording, that I would recite is most of the time. Once a Muslim friend heard me reciting it and asked did I know what it meant? I told this was the thing which brought back my wife he said It was Islamic creed and if I read it, I become a Muslim. 05. Then he told me about Islam and gave me some books on Islam. I got impressed and then I decided to become Muslim. I learned from him how to pray. Then I told my wife that I had become Muslim, first she was very angry, but when I told her that as Hindu wife, she must do what I did, she also decided to become Muslim. Then I went to Delhi for some days. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 06. My father got alarmed and he complained to local police that Maulana had abducted me. He of course knew nothing about him. I reached the village on the same day when the dead line given by police to Maulana expired. It saved a lot of unpleasantness. D. How I saved my Islam:

07. Afterwards I spent some time with Islamic mission and learned more about Islam and its teachin I moved to POONA and worked in a bakery, I brought my wife also and now we are living happily.

E. My Missionary activities:

1. On Spouse / Children 08. My wife accepted Islam soon after I accepted Islam, we have five children, three sons and two daughters and they all are trying to live like a good Muslim. 3. On Family members / Others. I thank Allah that many persons in my in-laws have accepted Islam on my advice. I am busy is Missionary activities, whenever I get time. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 09. I want them to pray for me that I die as a sincere Muslim and this gift which Allah bestowed on us , is not taken back. I also pray to Allah for the same.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of

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Why be became Muslims? Dr. ’UMAR ROLF FREIHERR VON EHRENFELS Austrian

Rolf Freiherr (baron) von Ehrenfels is the only son of Prof. Dr. Baron Christian Ehrenfels, wh is known as the founder of Gestalt psychology all over the world. He belongs to a well-known family. He was only a small child when he felt a growing concern for the orient and began to study the Islamic religion.

You ask me why I became a Muslim. In the following lines I shall give an account of the factors that formed the cause of my becoming a Muslim and realizing that Islam is a true religion:

1) Islam contains the good aspects of all the world’s religions known to us. All religions are intended for men’s living in peace and tranquility. Yet no other religion has managed to teach it to people as explicitly as Islam does. No other religion has been successful in imbuing with such deep love towar our Creator and towards brothers of the same faith. 2) Islam enjoins a perfect submission to Allah in a mood of peace and tranquility. 3) A retrospective look into history will automatically expose the fact that the Islamic religion is the final true, heavenly religion and that no other religion will appear.

4) Muhammad who communicated the Qur'an is the final prophet. 5) It is doubtless that a person who enters the Islamic religion will automatically have separated himself from his former religion. Yet this separation is not so big as it may be anticipated. The tenets of belief are the same in all the heavenly religions. Qur'an acknowledges the heavenly religions before itself. Yet it rectifies the wrong beliefs inserted into these religions afterwards, exposes the religion of Jesus in its essential form, and declares that Muhammad is the final prophet and that no prophet will come after him.

6) In other words, Islam is the true and perfect form of other religions. Various clashes of interests an contrasting ambitions have made men inimical towards one another. And this animosity, in its turn, h been exploited by other people, who have tried to change religions into rival camps and thus to build their worldly advantages on religions, which, in actual fact, are essentially paths guiding to knowing Allah 7) In fact, it takes a little alertness to see that the Islamic religion acknowledges the other heavenly religions and that it purifies them of the human interpolations that they had been subjected to in the course of time. To accept Islam, therefore, means to render a spiritual and material service which is needed by all people, men and women alike.

8) In no other religion has the concept of brotherhood among people been stated so expressly as it ha been in Islam. All Muslims, regardless of their race, nation, colour and language, are brothers of one another. Whatever their political views are, they are brothers of one another. No other religion possesses this beauty. 9) Islam is a religion which gives women great rights. The Islamic religion has allotted women the most proper place. Muhammad stated, “Paradise is beneath mothers’ feet.” 10) Muslims have displayed greatest justice and mercy towards people of other religions. 71 For reasons such as these, I chose Islam for my faith. Why I Became Muslim? KARIMA BRINNS , USA I belonged to a Christian family living in IOWA in the Mid West. If you know, Church is very powerful in Mid West and no can live in peace by ignoring Church there. I had a religious bent of mind and used to go regularly to the Church and listen to the sermons.

But I had a belief that God is only one, He alone is present everywhere and is Most Powerful. While in Church we practically worshipped Jesus and we could reach God only thru the personality of Jesu Secretly I believed in only one God. Then I used to listen to all sweet talks in Church, but when I us to come out of Church, I would find a totally different world.

How come Church has no influence in personal life of people, why we have to go to Church only on Sunday, that too for a short period and have the rest of week to ourselves? There were many such questions, which would come into my mind and did not get any reply. If I asked priests, they would

tell me that religion and intellect are not related. Just believe what is written. Then I was troubled b so many contradictions in various versions of the Bible. When I asked our local priest, he replied “How does it matter, any way?”

It was in this state of mind that I graduated from high school and before joining college, I took a tour of Europe. May be I could find some answers to these questions during my tour of different Europea countries. I was in Spain, visiting ALHAMRA Mosque in Granada, when my I suddenly felt fascinated by the most beautiful calligraphy I ever saw. Pillars and walls were decorated with it. I watched for much time and asked the local guide, what language is this? Arabic he replied. I collected every tourist information in Arabic thru out my tour of Spain and other European countries.

In University, I took Arabic as a special subject (I had only two more students in the class), the teachers felt troubled my showing this much attention to this language. I used to do my home work with the Calligraphic pen and even visited Muslim locality in Chicago to get more samples of Arabic righting. In my second year I took Mid eastern studies and attended many lectures where this was discussed. I even attended special lectures on Quran.

Once I took the English Translation of Quran to my home for homework, I was so fascinated by it, th I went on reading like a Novel. It answered many of my doubts which I had from my earlier days. I told me as to how to live for other six days of the week.

I went to my teacher, to get more books by the same author. He told me that I was reading the Engli Translation of Quran, and as per Muslims the author is God Himself and there are no sequels to it!! Muslims believe that this book is preserved as it was revealed and no changes have been done to it. This was a new thing for me. I decided to learn more about Islam and see a Muslim country by my own eyes. I visited Egypt and spent most of my time seeing mosques, Arabic Calligraphy and listening to Quran being recited in most beautiful of all tones.

So much so that one day…one Muslim asked me “If you are so much interested in Islam and Arabic why did not I become Muslim?”. “But I am already a Muslim!!” I told him. He then told me that to be officially recognized as a Muslim, I have to declare my faith in front of two witnesses…I did so and they gave me a certificate…. I kept is along with all other Arabic literature I had with me…..I was Muslim long back….Arabic and Quran had converted me long back (abridged). Why I became Muslim? ABRAHAM (IBRAHIM) KWAN, MALAYSIA I was born in 1907 in a Buddhist family. I was placed in a Chinese Scholl when I was 6, and read basic books of Confucius. From there I got the basic idea of one God. Later I joined a Christian missionary school and read Bible thoroughly. I accepted Christianity at the age of 16.

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In 1923 I was posted as a priest to KULALAPIS and was to go on my new assignment, one of my Muslim fried presented me with an English translation of Quran. I liked it very much but not to degree to leave Christianity.

When I reached KUALALAPIS, I was shocked to see that Protestant Church was divided into so ma sects and denominations, each arguing and denouncing each other. Then differences between Protestant and Catholic Church are also very severe. I got so much confused that I looked back to Quran for guidance. +-. Why I Became Muslim? Convert Find Women's Rights in Islam By Elizabeth Clarke, Palm Beach Post Religion Writer. Wednesday, November 6, 2002 Fourteen years ago, Mimi Ma became an American religious pioneer of sorts: At age 18, the former Indiana boarding school student converted to Islam.

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Now a West Palm Beach resident, Ma says the decision wasn't difficult, but her life since has not bee easy.

For starters, her faith cost her, her family. Born in Vietnam to Buddhist parents and raised as a Christian in Africa by her eldest sister and American brother-in-law, she has had no contact with her relatives since her conversion.

She also lost a part of her identity. When she swapped blue jeans and T-shirts for head scarves and long skirts, some people suddenly couldn't see past the clothes. And since Sept. 11, few people see h as Asian anymore; they think she's Arab. It is an experience more and more young American women can relate to, as growing numbers join Islam, the faith's leaders say, although they don't have statistics available.

"In the past there were more African-Americans coming into Islam," says Altaf Ali, director of the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "Now I'm seeing an influx of white, Caucasian females. This is a very strange phenomenon. It's not anything negative, but it's something that's very unusual, something that's new to our religion." Today, many of those converts will begin their first Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that calls on believers to fast from sunrise to sunset every day in an attempt to learn discipline, self-restraint and generosity. Ma and Ali know it will be a tough test for new believers, but they also think they know why many of them have converted: women's rights.

Despite stereotypes that portray Muslim women as subservient and silent, many women convert because of the freedom they find in Islam. For years, women converted only for marriage and for the

husbands, Ali says. But today many single and married women convert based on their own convictions, especially those teachings about equality.

"It's common across the board," Ali says. "They always say they enjoy the respect that is given to the by members of the opposite sex." Comfort in the Quran

Islamic teachings don't dictate subservience for women, Ma says, although some Islamic societies do Ma found more in the Quran to ease her concerns about equality than she ever found in the Bible. Sh likes being able to challenge Muslim men, including her husband, whom she married after convertin when they tell her something about women's rights. "I can say, 'Open it up. Prove it to me,' " she says of the Quran. And if they're trying to show that women shouldn't own property, be educated, take leadership in government, vote, control their own finances or do anything else that men do, they won't find the proof in the Quran, she says.

The Quran does speak about dress for women, but Ali hasn't found many converts who balk at weari a scarf to cover their hair and long clothes to cover their arms and legs. Many embrace the idea, he says. "It's easier to undress in our society than to dress," Ali says, laughing. Ma agrees that many find relief in covering themselves.

"Women wear the scarves out of modesty, so people see us for who we are and what we do, not as se objects," she says. "You can have an Islamic society where women are covered and have rights. And you can have a society where women who are very scantily clad don't have those rights."(Contd.) Women's rights was the primary reason Ma herself converted to Islam. Born during the Vietnam War, Mimi left the country at age 4 with her oldest sister and her sister's American husband, who worked for the Foreign Service.

Her brother-in-law was sent to Africa to work, moving over the years from Chad to Cameroon to Ma to Mauritania. The family practiced Christianity in the primarily Muslim countries and, according to Ma, held a low opinion of non-Christians.

An observant Presbyterian, Ma started studying the Quran and other Islamic teachings at the Midwestern boarding school. She thought it would be simply an intellectual experience, but almost immediately she found something in the faith of the Prophet Mohammed that filled her spiritual need As a devout teenager, the Bible's teachings on women and their roles had started to disturb her. She found nothing but equality for women in the Quran. Family rejected her

After just a month of study, as an undergraduate at George Mason University in Virginia, she made t short profession of faith required to convert, immersed herself in Islam -- and was immediately rejected by her family.

"That's one of the most difficult aspects of converting," Ma says. "That didn't stop me. My concept o God can't be dictated by them."

After Sept. 11, she feared for her life and did not leave her Washington, D.C., apartment alone for months. Since she and her husband, Mohammad, moved to West Palm Beach in March, they have encountered a broader range of reactions, Ma says. More intolerance and yet more kindness, too. Th considered returning to the nation's capital but have decided to build a home in St. Lucie County instead. They work together as project management consultants.

Until the house is finished, they're living at CityPlace, where Ma loves being so close to the booksto And as Ramadan begins, they look forward to getting to know the Muslim community here. Ma expects to break the fast on some nights at a local mosque. She also plans to start a Quran study this month.

"It's like a self-reformation time, like a boot camp," she says. "It's very rewarding and comforting feeling to know that Muslims all over the world are doing this together: abstaining from these things during the day and then breaking the fast at night."

Muslims also try to read the entire Quran during Ramadan -- Ma didn't make it her first year -- and to be kinder to each other. They become more focused on the important things in life. They often give money to the poor. Concentrating at work is the hardest thing to do during Ramadan. But she insists fasting isn't so difficult. It's really just skipping lunch after a pre-dawn breakfast. The reason makes it worth every midday craving, she says.

"It's different when you're doing it for God," Ma says. "You're not thinking about food as much. Of course, you do. I fantasize about a chocolate mousse or a bag of chips. But thoughts of a Snickers ba that leads to God and why you're doing this." 74 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ADVOCATE SATYENDRA MALIK (MOHD. SADIQ)

A. Family Background: 01. I was born on 15 August 1952, in DORALA in Jat family. My father was a renowned freedom fighter and he was head master in the Govt. School. Gandhi Ji had adopted him as his son and he visited many countries with him. My grand father was also a freedom fighter and he was killed in 1857 fighting with British. He was half Muslim and was nick named as Maulvi Prem Chand by Islamic schoar of his time.

02. My father knew very good Urdu and he was educated in the Muslim Seminary of famed DEOBAND. My father did not have any son for a long time, a Muslim learned man prayed for him, and I was born when my mother was aged almost 50 years.

My father was very close to Gandhi Ji and he used to say that Gandhi was half Muslim. He died wh I was very young and my uncle brought me up.

03. I passed High School, Inter , BA and then passed LLB exam from Meerut college. I started doin practice in Meerut, but I left it, when my conscience told me that I cannot carry out that profession a involved telling too much lies. I am now doing farming in my village. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I think that I was a born Muslim. My father wanted me to be educated in a Muslim Seminary. I used to watch Muslims at prayer and I wanted to join them. Once I went to the Jama Masjid of Delh to watch Eid prayer and I could not control myself and joined the congregation!

It so happened I received a wrong mobile call, it was some one (Maulana Kalim Sahib in fact) asking for his friend Rashid. I said it was wrong number and hung up.

05. After a week or so, I received the same wrong call, and I said forcefully that I am not Rashid, bu my name is so and so.

After two weeks I again got the call from same person, and This time I lost my temper and said, why he bent upon annoying me. He laughed and told that he wanted to talk to his brother. I told I am no his brother. He said, yes we are sons of the same father.

06. This brought down my anger and after some talks, he asked me to come to PHULAT and meet h younger brother.

When I reached there, he met me with lot of emotion and took good care of me. After some time, he explained Islam to me and gave me some books. I was impressed and I accepted Islam on his hand. He gave me my new Islamic name. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

07. When the news reached to my family, they became very angry and became my enemy. They called a meeting of all village elders. I was also a lawyer so I knew my rights. I gave applications to High police officials and due to that they could not harm us. D. How I saved my Islam: 08. Later on Maulana s advice, I shifted to Delhi, where I had a house and we moved there. My children are studying in Delhi and I plan to stay away from my other family members for a while. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

09. Maulana had given me some books like “Your trust…” and “What happens after death”…..when told my wife about my conversion to Islam, she started weeping. I told her to read these books and if she still thinks that I had done a wrong thing, I will turn back. After reading those books, she got convinced and she also accepted Islam. My Children also became Muslim once my wife accepted Islam. F. Present Situation:

10. Whenever I think about my father and grandfather, how close they had come to Islam, but yet, th died as Non Muslims, I become very sad.

I think it was the fault of local Muslims there who did not even once asked them to become Muslim. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. There are many like me, my father and my grandfather, who are already half Muslims. They onl need some encouragement and missionary works from Muslims to save them from hell fire.

Muslims should remember what is their real mission as a Muslims and they should be more serious i spreading their faith. If these half Muslims accept Islam, condition of our own country, nay whole world would change significantly.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged)

Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Nov 2008.

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Why be became Muslims? MUHAMMAD AS’AD LEOPOLD WEISS Austrian

(Weiss was born in 1318 [A.D. 1900] in the Lvov city of Austria [in Poland today], visited Arab countries as a newspaper correspondent when he was twenty-two years old, admired and professed the Islamic religion, then visited all the Islamic countries, including India and Afghanistan, and published his impressions in ‘Frankfurter Zeitung’, one of the greatest newspapers worldover. Weiss worked as the publication director for Frankfurter Zeitung for some time, then, after Pakistan’s winning its struggle for liberation, he went to Pakistan with a view to cooperating with that country’s government in the establishment of a system of a religious education, and later he was sent to the United States Center to represent Pakistan. He has two books, one entitled ‘Islam at Cross- Roads’, and the other ‘The Way Leading to Mecca ..I was from a fanatical Catholic family. Throughout my childhood I had been inculcated with the belief that Muslims were irreligious people worshipping the devil. When I came into contact with Muslims I realized that they had been lying to me and I decided to study the Islamic religion. I acquired a number of books written on this subject. When I began to read these books with close attention, I saw in amazement how pure and how valuable a religion it was. Yet the manners and behaviors of some Muslims I had been in contact with did not conform to the Islamic principles that was reading about.

First of all, Islam dictated cleanliness, open heartedness, brotherhood, compassion, faithfulness, peac and salvation and, rejecting the Christian doctrine that “men are ever sinful,” it substituted it with qu an opposite belief which tolerated “all sorts of worldly pleasures with the proviso that they should no cost someone else’s harm and that they should not overflow the free area defined by Islam.” …As long as Muslims preserved their perfection as true Muslims, they always made progress; and a downfall began the very moment they relaxed their grips of Islam. In actual fact, Islam possesses all the qualifications required for a country’s or a nation’s progress. It contains all the essentials of civilization. The Islamic religion is both extremely scientific and very practical. The principles it lays down are completely logical, intelligible to everybody, and do not contain one single element that would run counter to knowledge, to science, or to human nature.

…Eventually, in 1344 [A.D. 1926], as I was discussing these matters with a governor in Afghanistan he said to me, “You have already become a Muslim without you yourself noticing it. Only a true Muslim would defend Islam as earnestly as you are doing now.” Upon these words of the governor’s lightning flashed in my brain. When I was back home I plunged into deep thoughts, finally saying to myself, “Yes, I am a Muslim now.” Presently I pronounced the statement called Kalima-i-sahâdat. have been a Muslim ever since.

You ask me, “What aspect of Islam attracted you most?” I cannot answer this question, for Islam has penetrated and invaded my entire heart.… It is impossible to separate any of its parts from its entiret All its parts are pivoted, clenched on one another in a certain order. There is a tremendous harmony

among the parts. There is not a single part missing. Each and every one of its parts is in its proper place.

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Perhaps it was this extremely admirable order which attached me to the Islamic religion. … So I embraced Islam with all my heart and love, and it settled in my heart so as to never leave there again (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? DR. SAROJ (SAFIA) SHALINI, INDIA.

Dr. SAROJ belonged to a devout and educated Hindu Family residing near Lucknow, UP India. Her father was MD in Cardiology. One of her brother is Reader in BHU Baranasi and another Engineer i BHEL. She competed and cleared PMT (Renowned Pre Medical Entrance Exam) and Completed MBBS from KGMC Lucknow and MD from MA College Delhi. She later did MD in cardiology fro AIIMS Delhi and was working there. We pick up the story in one hot summer June day in 2003.

I was posted in ICCU Children ward of AIIMS, we had all 8 beds occupied, each child fighting between life and death. As a doctor, I knew that less than 50 % of these would survive. Only one attendant is allowed to stay with each child. I saw one bearded Muslim coming to one of these beds, the attendant left and he read some thing and blew on the child. Then he repeated same thing for all other children.

I would have nothing of these…I went to him straight and told “Don’t you know it is ICCU, there ar so many chances of Infection…who is your patient…why are you just roaming around the ward… going to each bed?” To my surprise, he remained very calm. He told that I have blood relation which each of these children, They all have been created by one who created me also. What I was reading was nothing other than Words from the Same Creator…” Then he continued “ Don’t you see that sometimes, despite your best efforts, the child dies. Who is one giving life and death? They are not you nor your medicines”

I got interested in his talks and invited him to my cabin, so I could listen to some more. He agreed o one condition, that I would consider each child as my child and world deal kindly with him and his parents or attendants. He told me that my Creator has blessed me to be in a position to help His othe creations and I should be thankful to him.

He left and I was much impressed by his talks. When I asked from the child’s parents, he told me th he is a very good Muslim and so many Non Muslims have accepted Islam on his hands. I remember for some time his words but soon got engaged in my own life.

I became room partner with another Girl Doctor and moved there. I found that her maid was a Musli Girl. I asked my friend as to how could she allow a Muslim girl to cook food and take care of house But she is a very good girl, on so many occasions she had returned my purse intact, without taking a thing from it, my friend replied.

Our talks then drifted towards Islam and Muslim. My room mate told be “The more world media is turning against Islam, the faster it is growing. You see Michel Jackson became Muslim, one Dr. BALBIR Singh in our own Cardiology department accepted Islam and he wants every one to becom Muslim. When I called him for consultation about a patient, he told me if you want to avoid going t Hell, become a Muslim”

This reminded me of the words which I had heard from the lips of that Muslim gentleman, so I fixed appointment with Dr. BALBIR and met him in his cabin on a Sunday morning. I asked him “When you became Muslim”? He told “Eight or None Years Back” I wanted to know the reason. He told that “Islam is the only true religion which was sent by God to this world. It is the first and it is the last. All prophets preached the same message. If you want to avoid Hell after you die, there is no other way than to accept Islam” I asked him to give me some literature about Islam. He sent me the English Translation of Sermon which Last Prophet delivered on his Farewell Pilgrimage. I was very impressed by the message and specially that women were specifically mentioned there.

I wanted to get in touch with MAULANA KALIM UDDIN (the gentleman who visited the ward in 2003), I was told that he would deliver a lecture in Green Park Mosque. I reached there on Auto Rickshaw and when I saw that he was the same gentleman, I bent to touch his feet (as is our local custom amongst Hindus), but he cautioned me against it. I told that I have learned many of your boo and I want to become Muslims. He made me Muslim, changed my name from SAROJ to SAFIA, bu told me to keep my Islam secret for a while, till the situation changes.

But how could I keep my Islam secret? How could I deny the same privilege to others? So I told my close friends about my becoming Muslim. My room partner became Muslim. Her husband also became very close to Islam.

I informed my father of my decision. He accepted it but was not very enthusiastic about it. But slow and slowly, he is accepting it with grace.

Now regarding my marriage, my father was trying it for past 6 or 7 years, Many good matches came but I excused on pretext of my completing my MD. Now this my accepting Islam became a new factor. Then one day Maulana Kalim talked to me about one Dr. Asad Faridi, who was working in PGI, Chandigarh and was perhaps the only Muslim Doctor in Sherwani (a local Muslim dress) and f beard. After some time, we got married and when our parents saw my choice (and the fact that the marriage took place without any dowry and not any financial burden on them, a custom in India), the congratulated me.

Now was the tricky issue as to how to announce our marriage to my orthodox Hindu Family, Maulan Kalim solved this problem , by getting both of us jobs in KAA Hospital Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. My marriage and conversion was announced to my family as Post Jeddah affair and “bad effect of living and working in a Muslim country”!!!

When I think all of it, I feel that Allah was indeed very kind to me. Otherwise how could I have fou truth in those darkness of idol worship and associating others with God.

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I feel what this modern and technical world needs is Islam and nothing but Islam. It is Islam which can solve the problems of the world. How come we Muslims who hold the solution and salvation fo this world, should have inferiority complex? (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? BUSHRA FINCH

I was brought up as a Christian, much as most people in this country are. I was christened, studied scripture at school and never went to church, except for the occasional wedding and even less for the midnight mass service on Christmas Eve. Whilst I believed much of what I was taught, there were many aspects I found unacceptable, particularly the idea of the Trinity and deification of Jesus. I did however believed in a ‘supreme being’ and that Universe had a Creator…

I knew next to nothing about Islam and most of what I had picked up came from media reports of a stern and unforgiving God, Fanatical followers, Terrorists, subjugated women and all the usual negative and untrue images. How wrong and ignorant I was, a few months later I met a Muslim friend. I was very much impress by him as a person, his attitude towards life and other people. I also remember the way his face woul light up from deep within, whenever he spoke about islam.

While visiting local library, a borrowed a copy of Holy Quran and two other texts on Islam, much to my surprise, I found myself agreeing with what Iw as reading rather than arguing against it. By the time I had finished reading the Quran, I was convinced that I had found something important and ver meaningful. I was embarrassed for my earlier prejudice.

I found myself Isolated, as my friends became unsupportive or could not understand. I had no Musli where I was now living. However I borrowed more books from the library and learned myself how do ablution and how to perform prayers, I fasted during the month of Ramadan…

Where did I go from here? I really could not carry on alone and still I had not made declaration of m faith. As I was worrying about my next step, Allah provided me with the answer. I met a Muslim lad When I told her what I was going thru, she was wonderful and arranged every thing. Within a week met Imam, made declaration of faith and adopted my new Muslim name. by Grace of Allah, I was now officially a Muslim. (Abridged) Source:: Islamic Voice, May 1999, p 22 Why I Became Muslim?

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Haji Maryam Mohammed Ahmed, American Muslima, She lives only to talk about Islam Note: : Sister Haji Maryam, responded to my call for Volunteers in the main page of www.usislam.org , now we work together in answering many Christians inquiring about Islam and Christianity in a civilized way. If you are a Christian, and want to talk about Islam and Christianity, please contact me or sister Haji Maryam.

My name is Maryam and I am an American Revert to Islam from Christianity. I also brought my Mother to Islam. I study only the Quran and Sahih Hadith (authentic books of the doings and sayings of the holy Prophet of Islam) I don't study Muslims because they don't represent Islam. If you would like to know the truth about Islam or have questions about things in Islam feel free to e-mail me anytime. I also have the holy Bible in memory as well being I studied Christianity most of my life, s can relate to Christians who would like to ask questions. I don't try to push Islam on anyone and I would not make you feel bad for being who you are, Just God knows best! My door is always open, Islam is not for me but all humanity. I live only to talk about Islam, I am available to talk to Christians about Bible and Quran, Email: im_hear_786@yahoo.com Video Haji Maryam Mohammed Ahmed, American Muslima, Yahoo User Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Sahih_Bukhari/ 360 link: http://360.yahoo.com/profile-zWgi2pwwaKeKia99.p3wXLXs.udm Thank you and God Bless, Sister Haji Maryam (Contd.)

Growing up I was an only child and had plenty of time to reflect. I saw my Mothers struggles trying be "a good Christian" funny thing is when ever she asked meaningful questions she was always turne away. We pounced around from church to church. Never finding what she was looking for. I always new My God and he were very kind to me but I was very lonely growing up I didn’t consider myself Christian. I just couldn’t believe that the Bible was completely the word of God. I always knew something was missing, something just wasn’t right. I knew the Prophets were real. It was the stories felt had been corrupted over time.

I only had my God, and I always new in my heart I would someday make God (Allah Subhanna Watallah) proud of me. I was visited by what I believe to be was Angels, they didn’t show themselve I think they felt sorry for me because I was so sad. I was told one day you will be a big part of something that comes from God (Allah Subhanna Watallah). I was only about seven years old, but it made me cry. I felt safe happy calm. I always used that day as strength when I felt at the end of my rope.

Then in October 1998 I was traveling around Europe and on one occasion I was asked if I knew wh Mohammed (saw) was. I replied Mohammed Ali the boxer? The questioner laughed at me. I didn’t find it amusing, so I asked him who was this Mohammed then. The man told me he was a messenger said messenger of what he said Islam. I had never heard this word before “Islam” I asked what is Isla he said “it’s a religion” (the amazing thing was I had never heard about Islam the entire 25 years of m life). I said like Hinduism or Buddhism?

He said NO Mohammed (saw) was the last messenger. I said Jesus (as) is the last messenger. He we on to tell me not only was Mohammed (saw) the last messenger who came after Jesus (as) but he als had a book, the Quran and it is unchangeable unlike the Bible that was rewritten by King James. At this point I was very interested in knowing more but had no time to listen further, but that day was th day a seed was planted in my heart, it grew and grew and even today it continues to grow. I carried o learning and asking questions. For example I saw things in my travels like one morning the people (full of Muslim people) I was staying with all got up for breakfast and my friend was arguing with o of them. He said to him come on and eat with us the man happily said, “No thank you, I’m ok”.

I looked at this man and wondered why he is happy not to eat with us. What is this book he is holdin in his hands so respectfully? I later learned and realized that morning was the first day of Ramadan a he was reading the Quran. He was the only Muslim that was observing Ramadan. On another occasio I was walking with a friend and there was a group of people walking in the other direction and they called out to my friend and said to him come on come with us. My friend said no thank you I’m fine

I later learned and realized that those people were calling him to pray (my friend of course being a Muslim) couldn’t be bothered. That friend of mine was like a brother, actually he is my brother in Islam, but his faith is weak. Even today he will tell me don’t be a Muslim it’s not a good life. What h doesn’t realize it was because of him I became a Muslim. It was him that asked me if I knew Mohammed (saw). For all he knows Islam might just have saved him from the hell fire. If you bring someone to Islam, then you’re granted Heaven God willing.

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I had to learn Islam not from Muslim but direct from the Quran and the Sunnet (sahih hadith). After year had passed I went to the United Kingdom and Asked for a Quran with an English translation. I had not made the choice to convert/revert to Islam yet. But three Imams came to tell me how to respe the Quran. They taught me about “Intention” and “Purification firstly and then talk a lot of respectin the Quran. They said it was unlike any other book. By time I finished listening to them and had a bat with my intentions. They then handed me the Quran. As the Quran was laid in my hands and everyon left the room, I just sat there crying. From that time on I have been alone. And I have never been happier in all my life. I converted to Islam on July 7.1999 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: AIYESHA , PANIPAT, HARYANA , INDIA

A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a Brahmin Family in Panipat, which is known to whole India. I have four brothers and three sisters all elder to me. In my village, there are a few houses of Muslims, but they are very weak economically and also religiously. I doubt if they even know what is Islam. 02. I was educated in my village upto primary level and then my brothers tool me to Ludhiana for further study. I passed High school and then Intermediate from there. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 03. From my childhood I did not like religious rituals of my family. To me they just seemed like dramas, something without any real emotions behind it.

I was studying in a Christian Missionary School. They gave us Bible to study, but I was not impresse by it.

04. Once I passed by a mosque, where some religious function was in progress. There were a few book stalls there. I bought some small booklets, that included small biography of prophet Mohamma

That impressed me much and then I read many books on Islam, unless I decided to become Muslim. left my house and I did not know where to go and how to become Muslim. After asking so many Muslims…. I was finally brought to PHULAT, where I accepted Islam and he gave me my Islamic name.

05. I stayed there for few days and they took good care of me and treated me like one of their family members.

I learned about Islam and how to recite Quran. After I had done that Maulana married me to a Musl from Delhi.

06. He does the business of Import and Export….there were many ups and downs in his business and seemed that it is the end. But Allah had mercy on us and his business survived. Now it is quite stab and we are happy. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 07. My family members searched for me. They even reported my loss to police. I had written them letter that I am not running away from house, due to any love affair or things of that kind. I am in search of truth and want to find it.

They searched for me and after some time gave up hope. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents. 08. My father had died, when I was young. News reached to me that my mother is very sick, I was very worried that she should not die as a Non Muslim.

I told my husband that I want to visit my dieing mother. I went there in full Islamic Hijab. My moth saw me and started weeping…. After some time I told her about my Islam and how good is my husband and his whole family. 09. After much pursuance she accepted them and what more…she read Islamic creed in the dead of night in front of me … she died after a Month as a Muslim. 3. On Family members / Others. 10. I am working on my brothers and sisters. Two of them like us and want to continue our relationship. The truth is , our family members are not so much against us, but it is the local people. F. Present Situation: 11. My husband is very active in the field of Islamic propagation and many people have accepted Islam on his hand. I have two sons and two daughters and they are undergoing Islamic education. I hope that they will memorize whole Quran and be active in the Islamic Missionary works. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. I left my home for the search of truth and Allah guided me to the truth. That is my message to all Muslims / Non Muslims.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of August 2009.

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Why be became Muslims? Mrs. CECILLA CANNOLY [Rashîda] Austrian

Why did I become a Muslim? Let me tell you sincerely that I became a Muslim without even noticing it myself. For, at a very youn age I had already completely lost my confidence in Christianity and had begun to feel apathy toward

the Christian religion.

I was curious about many religious facts. I was disinclined to believe blindly the creed they were trying to teach me. Why were there three gods? Why had we all come to this world sinful, and why d we have to expiate it? Why could we invoke God only through a priest? And what were the meaning of all these various signs that we were being shown and the miracles that we were being told?

Whenever I asked these questions to the teaching priests, they would become angry and answer, “Yo cannot inquire about the inner natures of the church’s teachings. They are secret. All you have to do to believe them.”

And this was another thing that I would never understand. How could one believe something whose essence one did not know? However, in those days I did not dare divulge these thoughts of mine. I a sure that many of today’s so-called Christians are of the same opinion as I was; they do not believe most of the religious teachings imposed on them, yet they are afraid to disclose it.

The older I became the farther away did I feel from Christianity, finally breaking away from the church once and for all and beginning to wonder whether there was a religion that taught “to worship one single God.” My entire conscience and heart told me that there was only one God.

Then, when I looked around, the events showed me how meaningless the unintelligible miracles that priests had been trying to teach us, and the absurd stories of saints they had been telling us, were. Didn’t everything on the earth, human beings, beasts, forests, mountains, seas, trees, flowers indicate that a great Creator had created them? Wasn’t a newly born baby a miracle in itself? On the other hand, the church was striving to indoctrinate the people with the preposterous belief tha every newly born baby was a wretched, sinful creature. No, this was impossible, a lie. Every newly born child was an innocent slave, a creature of Allah. It was a miracle, and I believed only in Allah a in the miracles He created. Nothing in the world was inherently sinful, dirty, or ugly. I was of this opinion, when one day my daughter came home with a book written about Islam. My daughter and I sat together and read the book with great attention. O my God, the book said exactly as I had been thinking. Islam announced that there is one God and informed that people are born as innocent creatures. Until that time I had been entirely ignorant of Islam.

In schools Islam was an object of derision. We had been taught that that religion was false and absur and infused one with sloth, and that Muslims would go to Hell. Upon reading the book, I was plunge into thoughts.

To acquire more detailed information about Islam, I visited Muslims living in my town. …My daughter and I read many other books written about Islam, were fully convinced as to its sublime nes and veracity, and eventually embraced Islam, both of us. I adopted the name ‘Rashîda’, and my daughter chose ‘Mahmûda’ as her new name.

As for the second question that you ask me: “What aspects of Islam do you like best?” Here is my answer: What I like best about Islam is the nature of its prayers. In Christianity prayers are said in order to as for worldly blessings such as wealth, position and honour from Allah through Jesus.

Muslims, in contrast, express their gratitude to Allah and they know that as long as they abide by the religion and obey the commandments of Allah, He will give them whatever they need without them asking for it. 81 Why I Became Muslim? PROF. DR. SUFIA , SWEDEN

I was brought up in a devout Christian family, my mother used to us to Church every Sunday. Duri my studies, I used to get many doubts about Christianity and its teachings, which Church was not ab to answer.

I joined Oslo University and enrolled in Department of Religious studies. I studied History and Comparative religions. After these studies, I did not have any favorable opinion about Islam. The reason was that most of these books were written by Non Muslims, who had a grudge against Islam.

Then some one gave me “DENIYAT” Written by MAULANA MAUDOODI & some books of SYE QUTUB of Egypt. These books answered many of my questions. Then I studied Islam thru the boo written by Muslims and studied English translation of Quran written by Muslims. When I was fully satisfied with Islam and its teachings, I went to Local Islamic Center and accepted Islam.

After that me and my husband joined and gave our support in the Missionary works of Local Islamic center. We established societies and circles where Muslim women could study and understand Islam teachings. I also plan to translate Quran in Swedish language.

We have in Sweden Muslims from many parts of the world. They speak different languages and hav different ethnic backgrounds. Despite all these, they all are united in belief and practices of Islam. Many of them have no proper understanding of Islam and do not present a good example of a Muslim to attract others. Then I visited many Islamic countries and took part in many Islamic Conferences and represented Swedish Muslims there. I performed UMRAH and felt very satisfied. All I can say after visiting so many Muslim countries, that I praise God that I became Muslim before visiting these Muslim countries. If I had known already the real teachings of Islam, before hand, I would have been detracted from accepting Islam by seeing the life style of many of these Muslim Countries.

Very few Muslim countries and societies present a good example of what Real Islam is…. I do not want to condemn any one….I definitely saw and met many good Muslim men and women…they are striving to practice Islam and present a good picture of Islam. But the majority is trying to just imita western style and western thinking in their lives…(abridged)

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Why I became Muslim? BENJAMIN (BASHIR) LARATE, GHANA

I praise Allah that He guided me to the true path of Islam after I was in search of truth for many year I am a Plant Engineer and in 1987 I accepted Islam. I was born a Christian, but it puzzled me, that to run any Organization, we only need one head, how come this whole Universe is running so smoothly with three heads? Then I studied Buddhism, but I decided that to renounce world and live in jungles and caves cannot be the cure for humanity. Then started studying Hinduism to know the position of self and humans in it, but I soon gave up after so much confusing theories.

It was at that time that my Brother (who had become Muslim many years back) ‘ wife gave me some books on Islam to study. There was a book by Ahmed Deedat on “Is Bible God’s Word?”. I got into sort of mental turmoil after reading that book. Upon then my Sister in law introduced me to other Muslims, who told and explained to me about Islam. I got convinced about the truth of Islam and joined the faith in 1987. I think it is a very big achievement for any human to know his Creator. Islam showed me the path to my creator.

Then I found Islamic prayer as very forceful means to establish direct contact between man and his Creator. It is a thing about which should really feel proud of. No other religion has such gatherings, which five times a day removes all distinctions between men and brings them in one row, praying to their common Creator. When I accepted Islam, my friend told me “You want top join HOUZZ” In Ghana most Muslims belong to this tribe. I explained to them that Islam is a universal religion for mankind and it is not linked to any ethnic or racial group.

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I would request all my Muslim brethren to remove all these distinction of race and color which have got into them. Muslims should be united and preach their common sense religion to those who are s uneducated about it (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Karen's Testimony

I was born whole and healthy on July 8, 1960. I was second eldest of what would be seven siblings, which naturally placed me into a life of observation and responsibility, as I began to help my mother with the younger children. My mother, who was herself very spiritual, had converted to the Roman Catholic religion after a miraculous experience early in her adult life, and my father had always been a devout catholic. The churches we attended (every Sunday) seemed always to have been unique and not quite the normal traditional teachings of the Catholic church so that I got a very "universal" teaching of the messages

Jesus with the emphasis being on God and His kingdom in heaven (not on Jesus as God). It was a requirement back in my early days for young girls and women to wear a scarf or some type of head covering when we attended church services. At Catholic School, we girls also were required to wear specific type of head cover at all times.

I went to a Baptist affiliated college where studying the Bible was a requirement. Much to my surpri (and delight), however, "The Bible" was taught as an historical artifact, an archeological piece of literature. The class was taught by an ordained Methodist minister who also happened to be a very learned and well-respected archaeologist. He taught us all about the many modifications and literary styles of the bible, how you could tell that the various books and sections of the Bible had actually been written at different periods over very long stretches of time, and how it has so many different versions now. He told us about how the monks used to edit the texts according to political requirements of the time (and that those original and edited versions have now been uncovered), or how often times words were simply mistakenly translated incorrectly, etc. Needless to say, the class material was a shocking, but enlightening experience.

In 1983 I graduated college and received a degree in Special Education. …I spent 2 years teaching before I met my future husband, a seemingly pious, devout Catholic who was not only gentle, kind a giving, but highly intelligent and insightful. Everything seemed perfect, in fact, he seemed to have been "heaven sent". We met in the church where he had been assigned to work for the summer and w came to have many long philosophical conversations about life and family. …

Six years after we had been married, and having had to quit work because of the pregnancy, my husband and I agreed that I should stay home to raise the twins. After this the domestic violence and abuse would escalate, despite my constant pleas to God for help, and despite many varied attempts to make the marriage work. ..After several years of this abuse in my marriage and especially after one particular nightmarish event (my 9 month old babies and I almost lost our lives in a car accident the cause of which would have been the drunken and drugged out hands of my husband), I lost my connection to God and fell into a state of numbness. … Four more years of the worst abuse in my marriage passed before I finally broke free from my husband. Finally, ..

I happened to meet a fellow on the internet who I began to have long philosophical discussions with. He was from another country originally and I found it comforting to find that in his country children are raised as I was. After a month of chatting with him and finding that his beliefs were extremely similar to mine, he told me that he is a Muslim.

Here I was, 35 years old, and this was my first ever meeting an actual Muslim. All I knew was that cursory coverage of the subject of Islam in the World Religions classes and that the word Muslim wa synonymous with "terrorist". Now I was certainly stuck with a mix of emotions! Fear mixed with tha famous curiosity, plus admiration for what he was telling me he practices in his life. I had spoken to him just long enough to crave more knowledge. He gave me my first book of Islam, .. That book lea to another, to another, to another and another until finally I found myself trembling from a mixture o emotions. I wanted to say that this was my religion. (Contd.)

I decided, too, that before I get into this any further, it was incumbent upon me to see just exactly ho

this religion was put into practice… The scarves saved me from the painful earaches and so I was wearing one when I entered the mosque for the first time. .. A sister came through the door. I looked her, she looked at me and immediately I just KNEW it was the woman I had spoken to on the phone they were so happy to meet me, see me there, and invited me to stay and observe the prayers.

On Friday nights and Saturday mornings, I began attending classes. …One night I arrived early and found inside the cabinets of the study room a library FULL of books of all sizes and in various languages. My attention was drawn to one particularly FAT book and as I pulled it from the shelf, I realized it was an English translation of the Qur'an! WOW! Great!

It was reading the Qur'an that finally gave me the final -- what should I call it? -- that final percentag of doubt removed. Here in the pages of the Qur'an were explanations of dreams I had had, the vision on rosary meditations, life events, thoughts, scientific things, miraculous things, etc. Once I had begu reading the Qur'an (I didn't have to read it all to know this), I was certain that it was an authentic Ho Book, divinely revealed. It was too complete, too sublime, too eloquent, too beautiful to have been from the hand or mind of man without having come first from the only One who could know all this

The next time I went to the mosque, I asked one of the sisters what was involved in converting to Islam. Were there special classes for a specified amount of time I would have to complete? (This is s for Catholicism...I automatically thought it would be so for Islam, or any other religion for that matter). Was there some special ceremony?

I was told that all I needed to do was have it sincerely in my heart and say in front of at least two oth practicing and sincere Muslims that "I believe there is no God but God and Muhammad was his messenger". I could even say it in English if I wanted to.

The following night, much to my surprise, the mosque was literally filled to the brim with people. It was the eve of Ashura and maybe 1500 or 2000 Muslims had come in from all over California to commemorate that day, that battle, which was so important for the revival of Islam in the world. Wh a perfect night to take shehadah! I stood there and read in Arabic from a tiny piece of paper I held between my fingers "Ashadu an la illaha Ilallah; ashahdu an Muhammadun Rasululah." I had not hea the actual pronunciation of it, so I was unsure if I had recited it correctly. When I looked up, I saw th everyone was crying. The moderator for the evening was choking back tears as well, and asked that the sisters come to the front, to the stage where I stood, and welcome me to the family of Islam.

All I remember at that point was a sea of women, crying, smiling, kissing me, hugging me, rocking m back and forth, telling me things in their language that I couldn't understand. I was overwhelmed and was 45 minutes or more before the last sister came up to express her joy and extend the warmth of he heart. I remember the feeling this way: Imagine being in a room with 2000 of your favorite grandmother. One old woman took my face in her hands, kissed my cheeks and through tears of joy and broken English said, "You will be so happy!" And I am... Karen

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SAMEER (QADHI MOHD, SHAREEH), ROHTAK, HARYANA, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a Jat family in Rohtak on 23 May 1962. My father was a Judge. I did my Intermediate and BSC from my city. Then my father asked me to study for law. I did my LLB and was selected in the Judicial Exam. I am an additional Judge and waiting for promotion to become District Judge. One of my sister is a Deputy Superintendent of Police and her husband is Additional District Magistrate. 02. We are an educated family and Urdu is very popular in our family. My grandfather was a very good Urdu poet and he used surname MAKHDOOM. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. I was working in the court of Additional District Judge. In our family there is great emphasis on human values. Since our childhood we were told stories from great personalities of past.

My father was a very honest person, and I also had great sense of responsibility when I used to sit on the chair of Judge. I used to try my best to reach the correct decision and was always impartial in my decisions.

04. Due to that I had a great respect from every one in my court and whom I knew. Once when I wa having a morning walk, an educated Muslim came to me and said that every one loves me for my honesty as judge…but have I considered what will happen when I have to face a judge and he will decide on my case.

I was surprised and asked , who will come and judge me, then he told me about hereafter and the co of Almighty there. He then told me that his teacher, Maulana Kalim is coming to a near by place and should meet him to know more.

05. I got interested and then we went to nearby town of SONIPAT. Maulana arrived after a delay of some time. I said immediately that I want to become Muslim. He said that Islam means the faith fro inside and that is it. So when you decided to become Muslim, you became Muslim. He then asked me to recite Islamic creed and asked what I knew about Islam. I said that I have read

only about Muslim Personal Law in my LLB exam. 06. He then asked me to read some books about Islam. I read those and my faith in Islam increase. named me after a great Islamic judge of First Islamic century. And I am hopeful that Allah will give me something from his qualities. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

I wanted to declare my faith, but Maulana asked me to wait a little. That is why I have not declared m faith to my family. D. How I saved my Islam:

07. Some Muslims know about my conversion to Islam. On Fridays I go to Muslim mosque in remo villages and offer prayer there. Other prayers I offer when no one is looking. E. My Missionary activities: 3. On Family members / Others. 08. Some persons from my family have accosted Islam. One of my aunts and her husband have become Muslim and one of my cousin has become Muslim. Six of my servants have declared their faith to Islam and some of them have married muslim girls, Alhamdolillah. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 09. Islam is a religion which is most suited to human nature. It is like water to a thirsty man. Our Hindu society gets very impressed with love and acts and words of kindness. If Muslims use these techniques to inform them about Islam, many will come over to their side.

10. But most Muslims have no thought about that and their responsibilities in this regard. They shou remember how their prophet was eager and anxious and worried about his city folks going to hell an how he tried every thing to save them from it.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2009.

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Why be became Muslims? DEVIS WARRINGTON Austria

As the Spring’s mellow, warm hand thaws out the earth after an awfully frigid winter, likewise Islam had a similar effect on me. It warmed my heart and clothed me with a new and lovely dress of knowledge. How beautiful, how true, and how logical Islam’s teachings are! How clear, how genuin

and how charming a word it is to say that “Allah is one, and Muhammad is His Messenger.” How could one ever compare it with the unbelievable, unintelligible Christian credo which imposes the absurdity of “Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit”? In contrast with these formidable, fearful and never satisfactory tenets of Christianity, this simple and logical belief draws you towards itself. Islam is an undefiled heavenly religion. Despite the centuries that have elapsed since its advent, it answers all the material and immaterial needs of humanity, not only today, but also forever.

For instance, Islam clearly states that men are equal and that before Allah there is no difference of ra and position among men, and it enforces this equality in actual life.

The Christian churches profess the same equality, yet there are various echelons among them, such a priests of different ranks, archdeacons, deacons, bishops, and many other ecclesiastics. These people intervene between Allah and the slave and use the name of Allah for their personal advantages. In Islam, on the other hand, no one can intervene between Allah and the slave. Allah communicates His commandments through the Qur'an to His slaves.

In the following lines, I will quote a commandment of Allah. It is only an example. This example shows very explicitly how simple and clear the commandments are. “O ye who believe! Give of the good things which ye have (honorably) earned, and of the fruit of the earth which We have produced for you, and do not even aim at getting anything which i bad, in order that out of it ye may give away something, when ye yourselves would not receive except with closed eyes. And know that Allah is free of all wants, and worthy of all praise.” (2267) As I read and learned these profound and beautiful commandments of the Qur'an , my soul attained peace and I embraced Islam willingly. Why I Became Muslim? Dr. ALI BOSIN , RUSSIA

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Dr. Bosin was the Professors of Communism Philosophy during Soviet days. Then he became Christian and was fielded by Church when elections were held first time in Russia. He was head of “Religious affairs” in the newly elected parliament and served for four years. He made laws that allowed freedom of religion and worship in Russia. He had a very close relationship with Russian Church in those days. His conversion to Islam was a shock to every one in Russian Church. Here he describes his conversion to Islam and aftermath.

I was teaching Communism t others, but deep down I was not satisfied with its reasoning. I used to think that there must be some Creator of this Universe. This drove me to study of religion, I studied Christianity and accepted it and became its priests. I was fielded by Church as one of its candidates, was made head of Religious Affairs department in the new Parliament and made laws that deal with freedom of religion and worship. After four years of Parliament duty I came back and rejoined Church.

Now I studied Christianity and Bible in great detail and I started feeling some discomfort on its man dogmas and teachings. I found many contradictions in it. The personality of Jesus, his Divinity, Trinity and others. I found these things against reason and against Unity of God. After 16 years of dedicated service to Church, I finally decided to cut my links from it.

After leaving Christianity, I did not know that there is any other religion in world, who teaches Unity of God. I knew nothing about Islam and its teachings in those days. One day I watched a Special Program on Russian TV about Islam and Muslims. That was on the eve of EID Al AZHA festival of Muslims. The program mentioned basic teachings of Islam and that it teaches Unity of God and worship of One God and no one but God. I was very impressed by that program and wrote an article about it in a local magazine. What is more I declared myself Muslim in it!! Even though I had very little knowledge about Islam except what I saw in that TV program!!!

My article raised a storm in Russian Church, I was after all a recognized priest, had represented it in Parliament for four years. Every paper or magazine wrote for or against me. I was asked to appear o many TV shows to answer questions about my new beliefs. Mean while Russian Church passed a resolution “Damning me and my next seven generations” and advised my relations to stop all dealing with me!!!

After this I started study of Islam in true sense. I read many books about Islam, met and discussed with local Muslims many issues and all this increased my faith (which I had declared based on one T program). I wrote some books on Islam, First was “Straight way to reach Allah”, next was “ MUQADDAMAT SHIRK” (i.e. Means of Associating others with God). The third was “Gospel fro the eyes of New Muslims”. I can say that many thousands of Russians have accepted Islam or have come closer to Islam after reading my books. I thank Allah for that.

We have established a Muslim society in Moscow and we are dealing with issues of rehabilitating N Muslims, which number now in thousands in Moscow alone.

Majority of Russians have no religion at all, they do not believe in any thing. They have superficial knowledge about Christianity thru TV, Films and other programs. There is very bright prospects of Islam growing there, but the work has to be done carefully and with planning. First we should remo the hate and bias against Islam by showing that how we respect Jesus and other Biblical prophets. W have to highlight commonality between Islam and Christians and Jews….

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Then there are some special points with Russia, due to its dealings with Central Asian Muslims state There are people from many races that live in Russia. Then we have to help in New Muslims settlin in their lives. Their marriages, jobs and livelihood all have to be take care of. (abridged). Why I Became Muslim? TALASEA (BARRAH ISLAM), NEW BRITAIN USA

I can thank none but God that now I am a Muslim. I am fully aware that it is difficult for my Christi friends to comprehend my decision. Why I reject the fiction that Jesus was Almighty God is the resu of my long search for the truth about One God.

There is no time and space to prove from the text of the gospels that the words of Jesus concerning th oneness of God are a far cry from the language of the Trinitarians. I tried to find the truth about the Oneness of God in Christianity but failed. However I tried to heed words of Jesus :knock and the door will open, seek and you will find..(Mat. 7:7).

Islam reveals to me the correct concept of Monotheism- that the Oneness of God is absolute and ther is no mystery about this truth.

Jesus confirmed that when asked of the greatest thing in faith is “Hear O Israel, Lord our God is one God” (Mk. 12:29). I have not the slightest doubt that Jesus and Mohammad (May peace of God be o both of them) are servants of the same true God.

The true conception of the Oneness of Allah the Most high is to me light from darkness and confusio At an early age the incredible Trinity was a bitter pill to swallow with the logical 1+1+1 = 3.

During my high school.. anew manner of worship became known to me. My teachers persuaded me join Christian cultists but my heart said no! Noise, temporal joys and emotional swerves were not my kind of bait. The cultists brag as God will not test their faith, not to speak of Satan. If Satan could test faith of Jesus, who are these cultists compared to Jesus.

During my undergraduate years the long accepted ‘pagan’ world opened to me with availability of books on major world religions. Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam attracted me. During my readings occurred to me that I was searching for a religion that defines the absolute Oneness of God. Hinduis and Buddhism lost my favor because of their ambiguous definition of Supreme Deity. Islam’s bold definition of the Supreme deity attracted me strongly; There is none worthy of worship save Allah and Mohammad is the messenger of Allah. A Muslim means one who submits completely to Allah the Most High. Christians submit that jesus submitted totally to the will of Allah, so Jesus was a perfect Muslim. Jesus’ gospel was a forward to the Holy Quran the permanent revelation. Know this truth and you shall be free. Thus I have come to know and accept Islam the straight path. 88 (Abridged) Source:: YAQEEN INT. PAK. SEPT 1987, P119-120 Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Dr. Kari Ann Owen Source: http://pwp.value.net/~penomee/penomee.html

These are the words of the Shahadah oath, I believe. The Creator is known by many names. His wisdom is always recognizable, and his presence made manifest in the love, tolerance and compassion present in our community.

My road to Shahadah began when an admired director, Tony Richardson, died of AIDS. Mr. Richardson was already a brilliant and internationally recognized professional when I almost met him backstage at the play Luther at age 14.

Play righting for me has always been a way of finding degrees of spiritual and emotional reconciliati both within myself and between myself and a world I found rather brutal due to childhood circumstances. Instead of fighting with the world, I let my conflicts fight it out in my plays. Amazingly, some of us have even grown up together! I began to look outside American and Western society to Islamic culture for moral guidance. Why Islam and not somewhere else?

My birthmother's ancestors were Spanish Jews who lived among Muslims until the Inquisition expelled the Jewish community in 1492. In my historical memory, which I feel at a deep level, the ca of the muezzin is as deep as the lull of the ocean and the swaying of ships, the pounding of horses' hooves across the desert, the assertion of love in the face of oppression.

I felt the birth of a story within me, and the drama took form as I began to learn of an Ottoman caliph humanity toward Jewish refugees at the time of my ancestors' expulsions. Allah guided my learning, and I was taught about Islam by figures as diverse as Imam Siddiqi of the South Bay Islamic Association; Sister Hussein of Rahima; and my beloved adopted Sister, Maria Abdin, … Her brilliance, coupled with her amazing (to me) freedom from arrogance, had a profound effect on beginnings of my knowledge of how Islam can affect human behavior.

The course of my research introduced me to much more about Islam than a set of facts, for Islam is a living religion. I learned how Muslims conduct themselves with a dignity and kindness which lifts them above the American slave market of sexual competition and violence. Why did this seem so astonishing, and so astonishingly new?

Like most American females, I grew up in a slave market, comprised not only of the sexual sickness of my family, but the constant negative judging of my appearance by peers beginning at ages younge than seven. I was taught from a very early age by American society that my human worth consisted solely of my attractiveness (or, in my case, lack of it) to others. Needless to say, in this atmosphere, boys and girls, men and women, often grew to resent each other very deeply, given the desperate desire for peer acceptance, which seemed almost if not totally dependent not on one's kindness or compassion or even intelligence, but on looks and the perception of those looks by others.

While I do not expect or look for human perfection among Muslims, the social differences are profound, and almost unbelievable to someone like myself. (Contd.)

I do not pretend to have any answers to the conflicts of the Middle East, except what the prophets, beloved in Islam, have already expressed. My disabilities prevent me from fasting, and from praying the same prayer postures as most of you.

But I love and respect the Islam I have come to know through the behavior and words of the men and women I have come to know in AMILA (American Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism) and elsewhere, where I find a freedom from cruel emotional conflicts and a sense of imminent spiritualit What else do I feel and believe about Islam?

I support and deeply admire Islam's respect for same sex education; for the rights of women as well a men in society; for modest dress; and above all for sobriety and marriage, the two most profound foundations of my life, for I am 21 1/2 years sober and happily married. How wonderful to feel that one and half billion Muslims share my faith in the character development marriage allows us, and al in my decision to remain drug- and alcohol-free. What, then, is Islam's greatest gift in a larger sense?

In a society which presents us with constant pressure to immolate ourselves on the altars of unbridled instinct without respect for consequences, Islam asks us to regard ourselves as human persons create by Allah with the capacity for responsibility in our relations with others. Through prayer and charity and a commitment to sobriety and education, if we follow the path of Islam, we stand a good chance raising children who will be free from the violence and exploitation which is robbing parents and children of safe schools and neighborhoods, and often of their lives.

The support of the AMILA community and other friends, particularly at a time of some strife on the AMILA Net, causes me to affirm my original responses to Islam and declare that this is a marvelous community, for in its affirmation of Allah's gifts of marriage, sobriety and other forms of responsibility, Islam shows us the way out of hell.

My husband, Silas, and I are grateful for your presence and your friendship. And as we prepare to la the groundwork for adoption, we hope that we will continue to be blessed with your warm acceptanc for we want our child to feel the spiritual presence of Allah in the behavior of surrounding adults and children. We hope that as other AMILA'ers consider becoming new parents, and become new parent a progressive Islamic school might emerge... progressive meaning supportive and loving as well as superior in academics, arts and sports.

Maybe our computer whizzes will teach science and math while I teach creative writing and horseba riding! Please consider us companions on the journey toward heaven, and please continue to look for us at

your gatherings, on the AMILA net and in the colors and dreams of the sunset. For there is no god but Allah, the Creator, and Muhammad, whose caring for the victims of war and violence still brings tears from me, is his Prophet. A salaam aleikum. Sister Penomee (Dr. Kari Ann Owen) 89 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ADESH (MOHD. OMAR) SAHARANPUR INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in village SAHJI of Dist Saharanpur, UP. I did my intermediate from my village scho and then shifted to city and started working in a shop to learn the business.

Since my childhood, I used to like many things of Islam. I was very much against idol worship and whenever any one of my family worshipped any idol, I used to say, that why you worship them, who cannot save themselves even. 02. Once I tore all the posters of Hindu gods that were in my house and then burned them and threw the dust into river. When my mother asked, I told that what type of gods are these who cannot even defend themselves.

My mother got very angry and said that I had become Muslim…. I told, no I have not become Musli but I want to know who speaks the truth, Hindus or Muslims and I will find the truth. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. In the shop where I was working belonged to a Muslim. He was very nice and kind to me and seeing my interest in Islam, he used to tell me about Islam and its teachings. Hearing these I was qu certain that Islam and Muslims speak the truth.

One day when the Son in-law of my master came and was told of my interest in Islam…he took me t a Muslim scholar in DEOBAND. I accepted Islam and he named me Mohd. Omar and then sent me PHULAT to learn about Islam and its teachings.

C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

04. My family members became suspicious of my prolonged absence and not contacting them. I told them that I was working in Delhi, they asked my address and Mobile number etc.

When again I did not contact them , they reported to police that one Muslim Scholar in my village ha abducted me. Police arrested him and put him in jail. He was released on bail but the case was registered against him.

05. I decided to go and appear as a witness, I went to local MP and he instructed Police to take me an treat me well and see to it that no harm comes to me.

06. When our jeep was entering the village, a large mob of Militant Hindus attacked it, the police people seemed helpless, I was about to be lynched, when another Police vehicle passed us. Seeing th those people ran away.

I went to court and told that I had accepted Islam of my own free will. No one put any pressure on m after my statement, the Muslim scholar was released. D. How I saved my Islam: 07. After that I got admission in an Islamic MADARSA and now I am about to finish my education and I will be active in the Missionary work. F. Present Situation:

08. Due to tension in my family, I have not contacted them and they have also not made any effort to contact me.

I do not know when I will meet them and convey to them the message of Islam. I am hopeful and pr to Allah for it.

I got circumcised recently because it was the practice of our prophet, and it is helpful in maintaining purity. And I was also afraid, that if I were to die any accidental death, may be they will cremate me as Hindu. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 10. My advice to my Muslim brothers us is that they should value the gift of Islam which Allah has given them. They should take care to propagate this message to as many people as they can.

To my Non Muslim brothers I would like to say that , irrespective of whatever trials come in one’s li

if one has a true faith, Allah will help him and save him from harm.

11. Hindus tried to harm the Muslim scholar of my village, but they could not harm him. They once burned his field, but the yield became double!
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of May 2007.

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Why be became Muslims? THOMAS MUHAMMAD CLAYTON USA It was almost noon time. Dazed with the sweltering heat of the day, we were trudging along a dusty road, when, from afar, a singularly mellifluous voice began to caress our auditory senses. So rich a voice it was that the entire space seemed to be sated with it. As we walked past a cluster of trees, a bewildering scene came into sight. It was such a scene that we hardly believed what we saw.

Mounted on a small, wooden tower, an elderly Arab in an extremely clean long robe and wearing a white turban was performing (calling) the azans. As he performed the azans, he was in a trance, almo completely isolated from the world, and in the presence of his Creator, Owner. As if hypnotized by t noble sight, we halted, and then, slowly, sat down on the ground. We did not know what the sounds and words reaching our ears meant, yet they somehow moved us and instilled a mood of elation, reli into our souls. Afterwards, we learned that the sweet words uttered by the Arab meant, “Allah is the greatest. There is no god to be worshipped other than Allah.”

All of a sudden, many people appeared around us. Till hardly a moment before, however, we had see no one around us. We did not know whence these people came, and there was an expression of great deference and love on their faces. There were people of all age-groups and classes among them. The were different in their clothing, in their manners of walking, and in their appearances. Yet they all ha the same expression of earnestness, great dignity and, at the same time, geniality on their faces. The number of comers increased incessantly, so that we felt as if the process of their increasing would never come to an end. At last the comers assembled.

They all took off their shoes and clogs and stood in rows. To our great amazement, no segregation of any sort was observed in the formation of the lines. White people, yellow people, black people, rich people, poor people, tradesmen, civil servants, workers stood side by side without any discrimination between their races or ranks, and performed their worship together.

I admired so many different people’s brotherly coming together. It is three years now since I saw tha sublime scene for the first time. In the meantime, I began to gather information about that lofty religion which brought people so closely together.

The information that I collected about Islam brought me all the closer to this religion. Muslims believed in one Allah and professed that men were not sinful by birth, which was quite contrary to th Christian inculcation. They looked on them only as born slaves of Allah, displayed profound compassion towards them, and wished them to abide by the right path and thus lead a comfortable, peaceful and happy life.

Whereas in Christianity even an evil thought was deemed as a sin, Muslims defined sin only as a res of disobeying Allah or violating the rights of born slaves, and acknowledged man free as to his thoughts. According to the Islamic religion, man was responsible “only for what he has done.”

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For the reasons I have cited above, I accepted Islam willingly. Despite the three years’ time since, I sometimes dream of the Arab muazzin’s touching and effective voice and multifarious people’s running from all directions and standing in lines. It is a doubtless fact that these people, who prostrat themselves altogether and indiscriminately, are doing so sincerely to worship Allah Why I Became Muslim? WARIS MASIH GUL (ABDUL WARIS) LAHORE PAKISTAN.

WARIS MASIH was born in Pakistan in 1979, his family belonged to a poor Christian gardener fam in Pakistan. He had many brothers and sisters and could not pursue higher education. His family wa devout Christian, here he tells the story of his conversion to Islam, we reproduce it with some what more details, because it holds many lesions for us and trace the mental travels of a simple minded person.

My father used to gather all of us after dinner every night and we used to say many prayers like “Lord’s Prayer”, Ten Commandments, Apostles Creed, Seven Sacraments, Blessed Mary …etc. As small child I never understood any thing, but when I grew older, I started to muse on these wordings

In Lord’s prayer…we say “O Our father in heaven…” Why we call God as father? I asked a Christi He told me that when Disciples asked Jesus as how to prey, Jesus asked him to say “O Our Father… So we also say the same. I was not satisfied with the answer….so I continued in my study of Bible.

Apostle’s Creed was the next “I believe in God Almighty the Father and Lord Jesus Christ, who is H only Begotten Son and our Lord…” This was a thing which was not against reason but also against Biblical teachings.

For Example Jesus asked every one to say “O our Father…” Then how come Jesus became His only Son?

Jesus says “Those who spread peace will be called sons of God” then in Bible God says about Jacob “You are my son, and the First Born”…so the use of Father for God is only allegorical and not litera How come we call Jesus Only Begotten Son of God? This opened the door for more critical studies of Bible. I found many more contradictions in Bible, some of these I mention here

1. Jesus says “Hear O Israel, Lord our the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart… (Mark 12: 29) and Jesus says 2. “This is life eternal, that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (John 17:3) Then in the Book of Isaiah we read 3. “I am God and there is none beside me”

But despite these Paul calls Jesus as God, Image of God and even Greater God. How it could be wh Jesus never himself used that word for him?

Then Jesus says “Think that I have come destroy the law or prophets, I have not come to destroy the but to fulfill them…” (Mat. 5:17-19) But Paul has his own logic “All those that depend on Law are under a curse…” Gal. 3:10-13

Then look at the Dogma of Trinity, this is also against reason and logic. How come Three Persons b themselves are Complete God and their combined also is One God? Moreover nothing is mentioned by Jesus regarding this.

When I posed these doubts during my Sunday Church meetings, the priest told me “You study Bible and understand it to the best of your understanding. Leave those parts which you cannot understand leave them, if you ponder on these you will go astray”

These things convinced me that Christianity is not what it claims to be, there are lot of serious contradictions in it. I decided to study other religions. Since I was living in Pakistan, so Islam was m natural choice. I asked some one to give me a translation of Quran, He hesitated because he did not want to give Quran to a Non Muslim, but I asked some one else and he presented me with a copy of Quran.

When I started reading Quran for the first time, I did not understand much, that happens to most peo who take a cursory look at Quran, however I took the serious study of Quran and tried to understand meaning and message, I also started learning meanings of what Muslim read in regular prayers.

Then I read some books about the life history of prophet and then I realized the deceit which Christia preachers do when discussing any prophet that would come after Jesus. The often quoted verse is “Beware of false prophets, they come to you in sheep clothing but are wolfs really” (Mat. 2:24). Bu this verse refers to false prophets and not true prophet.

Then I met Dr. Asrar Ahmed, well know Islamic scholar, whose lectures on Quran are very popular. listed to his talks and his lectures. Then one of my friend gave me money and Visa to come and wor in Dubai. After lots of study and investigation I finally decided to accept Islam and become a Musli

Here I want to comment on the conditions and problems which New Muslims face in Pakistan. I wa first asked to join one of the many sects and sub sects. They were surprised when I said I am only a Muslim and I do not want to be a member of your sect. So much so that some one remarked that “It was better for you to be a Christian rather than not be a member of our sect”!! It is my humble reque to such persons that if they cannot propagate Islam themselves, then they should not block or put hindrance in the path of others.

Our enemies treat them as Muslims and not member of this or that sect or sub sect. If Muslims put a their efforts on things that do not benefit Islam, they their efforts are in vain.

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To my Christian friends I would like to request to verify that the beliefs which they hold are truly fro Jesus or from some one else (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? SHIRIN, LONDON UK.

I was working in a car garage. Since childhood I had bent of mind to engage in comparative religio I used to read about different religions.

I used to go to church, but some how the teachings and atmosphere there would not impress or satisf me. So much so that I decided to leave Christianity and join another faith.

I was in a dilemma as to what new religion I should join, which should be close to human nature and be true. I discussed this matter with a Jewish customer who was a regular visitor to our Workshop. H was well educated and very serious in his talks. He told me that if I am looking for a true religion, then I should accept Islam. Because Islam is the only True religion. But take care that you should never ask me to became Muslim!! I then started to study Islam with care and slowly the truth of Islam became manifest to me. I met some Muslims who helped me in knowing about Islam and answer my queries. When I was fully satisfied about the truth of Islam, I decided to join it. Now I strive to put into my life teachings of Islam to the best of my abilities. (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? A Revert Story by KIMM HENRY

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I have been asked by many people to tell my personal story about coming to Islam. .. I have attempted to write my story many times and had become thwarted in my efforts many times over. As professional writer and editor it seemed to me that the task should have come easy but because of my background I expect stories to read with a certain beauty that evaded each attempt.

Growing up religion wasn’t a large part of our family’s priorities. Although I vaguely knew that Christmas was a celebration of the birth of Jesus, PBUH. I never earnestly associated the rituals with religion. My earliest memories involve church. Intermittently between the ages of three and four my mother’ s third husband, Tony, made a big show of Sunday morning services. …

In my fifth year my mother along with myself and my brother and two baby sisters moved in with m grandmother after her husband had beaten her senseless in our presence. .. In my eighth year, I wa selected along with six other top students from my third grade class, to spend the day at my teacher’s house. The main portion of the day was to be spent bar-be-queuing and swimming but since it was Sunday the morning would start at church were my beloved teacher, who would later die of sickle ce anemia, was the choir director. Incidentally, it was in that same period that I heard the word Muslim. There was a very beautiful

exotic lady on the television news. She was wearing a lacy square of fabric on hair of which such luster I had never seen before. My grandmother began railing to no one in particular that they claim be so liberated yet she’s the queen but can’t even appear on television without that thing on her head….

It was at this time that I also heard the word Jew. I had to research a guy named Hitler because apparently these Muslims wanted to do to me what that guy did to those people. I also thought that J was a nationality. Which I learned later was the general consensus of all good white Christians.

That same year my mother married a man who apparently married her for her four young daughters was just coming into my womanly body and was often the subject of his attention, which resulted in severe beatings that for whatever reasons my mother turned a blind eye to. …

It was in college that I first saw a Muslim person in flesh. The word Islam would come many years later. There were no Muslimas in the school that I knew of but it seemed the tables at the rear of the commissary were reserved strictly for these beautiful exotic young men and their occasional bombsh American consorts…(Contd.)

At age sixteen I had become sort of the campus mascot often toting my little daughter to various stu groups and commitments. Nick and I became friends with a young man, who I thought was a Muslim that had bumped into me in the hall one afternoon when I had my little girl in tow and made sweet with her offering her ice cream and such. Eventually I agreed to go out with him. Omar was tall, handsome, and kind. Soon we became a regular couple. ..

Just after my nineteenth year, near Christmas time, I was engaged in a discussion with a colleague w was Catholic from Columbia, South America and used the term Holy Days instead of holidays. I beg questioning her about this wanting to know what her views and doctrines were. I learned that althoug Catholic the people from South America have a slightly different version. …

On a rainy morning in March in my twenty-seventh year, I read the Quran again and resolved to fin out what I was missing. I spent three days tracking down a Masjid was denied entrance into two of them; the first I believe was Nation of Islam, the second I don’t know. I was told that a meeting was taking place within and that if I would go to this place the sisters would help me. Uneasy I didn’t follow the door guards advise. Finally, I found the Islamic Society. I didn’t need to be asked if I wanted to say shahada, I was there to be told what I needed to do. And took the shahada that very da

I returned home feeling light and uplifted. I told my husband what I had done but by now he was as disinterested in my pursuits as I was of his opinions. In reality I suppose one could say that I was weekend Muslim. I lived a secular life at home and attended Masjid on the weekend sometimes totin the children along.

One day my little daughter said to me, “Mommy, it’s hard to be nice when everyone is always yellin around you.” She was four years old. I knew that I had to get out. I was divorced in my thirty-seco year. Initially I stayed away from the Masjid after my divorce because of the misinformation that I

received, renewed and expanded my study of Islam. The summer directly after my divorce was final I visited Pakistan to work on a research project concerning the orphans of Kashmir as well as orphans throughout Pakistan and also spent time in Dubai.

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Over these years I have come to know that every experience that I have is a part of something so much bigger than me and I feel the strength of Allah’s care not only for me but his entire creation an yet I also feel grave pain from recognizing how difficult it is for the Muslims to come together and fulfill their destinies as the khalifa’s of this earth due to the many and deep divisions in our commun as Muslims disenfranchise their brothers and sisters by having the audacity to claim to be the one group that is righteous. . Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAJKUMAR (MOHD, ASAD) BAGHPAT, UP, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in village SAROOR PUR, BAGHPAT in a Hindu Jat family. I did my primary education in the village school. Then High School and Intermediate from BAROT and BAMS in Aurvedic from Allahabad. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. My conversion to Islam has a somewhat unusual story, After my medical degree, I did house job then I started doing my private practice, but It did not go very well. Some one advised me to shift to ELAM Village in KANDHLA, I went there and opened my clinic there. Despite my sincerity, it did not go very well.

During that time, the whole area was under the terror of a Dacoit SENSER PAL, alias FAUJI. Desp handsome reward on his head, there was no respite. Every day news reached that he killed this one and that one. So many rumors came that he was killed in police encounter, but they all proved to be false. 03. I had distant family relationship with him, so I decided to join his gang. When I went there, I found in him a better example of a true human being. In his youth he was a very handsome and very powerful man and a man of principle. He got job in army and when he saw that one of his officer had spied on the country and handed over some secret

papers, he could not control himself. He killed the officer and left army and started living in Jungle.

04. He came to know that some Hindus were trying to demolish a village mosque in the aftermath of BABRI Mosque demolition in 1992. He told villagers not to worry, then he went and killed the leaders of those who were doing it. They retaliated by killing many men and women of his family. seeing this he vowed to take revenge on those who killed his family member. He vowed that he will kill every day at least one family member of those people.

Thus started his terror in the region. But he used to distribute the money to poor people and take car of their problem. So these people protected him from Police. Most of these people were Muslims.

05. When news of his good deeds to Muslims reached Maulana Kalim, he started praying for his guidance. He met him once and told him about the next life when he had to give all accounts of his killings. This impressed FAUJI and he decided to accept Islam at the hands of Maulana. Shortly afterwards he was arrested and news of his arrest was published in most news papers. They took him to TIHAR jail in Delhi, where he is reported to have committed suicide. (Maulana told me that he w murdered as a man like him cannot commit suicide).

I went to meet him in Jail and he gave me a letter to give to Maulana. When I reached PHUALT and gave Maulana the letter, he told me about Islam and how I will save myself in the hereafter. He explained Islam to me and I became Muslim on his hands on April 3 1993. 06. Then he sent me with a Muslim Missionary group for four months to learn Quran, Prayers and other Islamic teachings.

Now many members of FAUJI gang have accepted Islam and have dedicated their lives on the servic of Islam and poor people.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 07. When I told my wife about my conversion, she did not oppose me at all, She said that as a true Hindu wife, she was linked to me forever, I was very happy to hear it. She accepted Islam. I have three children two boys and one girl. They are named Abu Bakr, Omar and Fatima. I have decided to give them a good religious education and make them Islamic missionary. 2. On Parents. 08. Initially they were angry with me, but I used to deal with them kindly and used to visit them and bring present to them.

Now they are changing their attitude towards me and Islam. I think it is sincere service which chang the heart. Before Islam, I did not care for them much, but now me and my wife both care for them

more. F. Present Situation: I have opened clinic in a new village and it is doing quite well, Alhamdolillah. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. To Muslims I say that we do not have any outer enemy. We muslims are our own worst enemies By neglecting to act on Islam and propagate it to others who are in dire need of it, we are doing a gre injustice. Non Muslims when they look at Muslims are not impressed, because they do not see any effect of Islam on their day to day lives. 10. When a dacoit and killer can so easily come to Islam, what about simple law abiding people?
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Oct. 2004.

PS: FAUJI ‘s letter to Maulana Kalim Sahib Dear Maulana Sahib. ASSALAM ALAYIKUM WA SRAHMATULLAH

You would have come to know that I am in TIHAR Jail and waiting for my death. I am really enjoying kingdom in the restrictions of Jail life. My last desire is that all members who joined my gang, become Muslim. I wish that they meet you once. I cannot repay my debt to you, which you d by making me a Muslim. WASALAM Your Servant 95 SANSOR PAL, FAUJI Why be became Muslims? SALHADDIN BOART USA

In 1338 [1920 C.E.], I was in the waiting-room of a doctor’s office where I had gone for a medical examination, when I saw two magazines printed in London, namely ‘Orient Review’ and ‘African Times’. As I was skimming through them I read a statement that said, “There is only one God,” whic impressed me deeply. Christianity dictated three gods, which we were compelled to believe although we could never explain it to our own minds. From that time on, that

statement, “There is only one God,” never left my mind. This holy and sublime belief, which Muslim bear in their hearts, is an invaluable treasure.

Now I grew more and more deeply interested in Islam. By and by, I decided to become a Muslim. After embracing Islam I assumed the name Salâhaddin. I believed in the truth that Islam is the truest religion. For Islam is based on the fact that Allah does not have a partner and that Allah, alone, has t authority to forgive sins. How compatible this law is with the laws of nature! In a field, on a farm, in a village, in a city, in a school, in a government, in a state and, in short, everywhere, there is one single ruler. Dualism has always brought about separatism.

The second proof that showed me the fact that Islam is the truest religion was that the Arabs, who ha been leading a completely barbarous life before Islam, had developed into the world’s most civilized and the most powerful state in a very short time and carried the most ideal concepts of love of manki from the Arabian deserts all the way up to Spain, and all this was owing to Islam. The Muslim Arabs had found Arabia as a wilderness. And they cultivated it into a rose-garden. John W. Draper (1226 [1811 C.E.]-1299 [1882 C.E.]), an honest historian, in his book ‘The Intellectual Development of Europe’, enlarges on the extremely great and important part that Islam played in the development of contemporary civilization, and adds, “Christian historians, on account the grudge they have been nursing against Islam, try to cloak this truth and cannot seem to get themselves to acknowledge how indebted Europeans are to Muslims.”

The following passage is (the paraphrase of) an excerpt from Draper’s writings on how Muslims found Spain: “Europeans of that time were completely barbarians. Christianity had proved short of delivering them from barbarism. They would still be looked on as wild people. They lived in filth. Their heads were full with superstitions. They did not even have the ability to think properly. They lived in roughlymade huts. A rush mat laid on the floor or hanging on the wall was the sign of great wealth. Their fo consisted of vegetables like wild beans and carrots, some oats and, sometimes, even barks. In the nam of garments, they wore un-tanned animal hides because they lasted longer, and therefore they stank awfully.”

“Cleanliness was the very first thing that Muslims taught them. Muslims washed five times daily, which caused these people to wash at least once a day. Later on, they took the stinking, tattered, liceinfested animal hides off their backs, dumped them, and gave them their own garments, which had been made from textures woven with coloured threads. They taught them how to cook, and how to e They built houses, mansions and palaces in Spain. They established schools and hospitals. They instituted universities, which in the course of time became sources of light illuminating the entire world. They improved horticulture everywhere. The country was soon awash with rose and flower gardens. Gaping in astonishment and admiration, the uncivilized Europeans watched all these developments, and gradually began to keep pace with the new civilization.” Educating so wild a nation; imbuing them with sentiments of civilization; rescuing them from the depths of darkness, nescience and superstitions; all these inconceivably tremendous tasks were

accomplished by the Arabs owing only and only to the Islamic religion. For the Islamic religion is th most genuine religion. Allah helped them for their success.

The Islamic religion, commanded by Allah and taught and publicized by Muhammad , and the Qur'an , which is the Word of Allah changed the course of the world’s history and freed it from the fetters of darkness.

Had it not been for the Islamic religion, humanity would not have attained the present heights of civilization, nor would knowledge and science be in such advanced levels today. This is the Islamic religion which I accepted willingly. 96 Why I Became Muslim? SAIDA PAULA , COLUMBIA (SPAIN)

I was born in Columbia, after completing my degree from Columbian University, I moved to Spain. am a doctor by profession. I was a Roman Catholic, but only for name sake and I never practiced it. Somehow, I got interested in Arabian Culture, their music and their language. I had a special fascination about Arabic Script. The way it was written and the shapes which Arabic Calligraphy took. The same interest prompted me to learn about Islam.

Sometimes in 2004, I left a message on Internet that I want to learn about Islam in Spanish, could some one out there help me. I got a reply signed by one Mustafa Mohi Deen asking me if I am interested to read free Islamic literature in Spanish, then please write your Postal address. I was hesitating to reveal my postal address to a total stranger, but after a couple of e-mails….I received a parcel containing some Islamic books. I was very happy to read them. I maintained my connection with the brother and got many books on Islam. I learnt that this man would sent Islamic books in different languages depending upon who asked what. Soon we established a site to help those who wanted to learn about Islam in different languages.

I was engrossed in Islamic propagation, without accepting Islam myself. This intrigued many Non Muslims. I told I am still learning about Islam and the time for me to say SHAHADA has still not arrived. But slowly I got convinced that Islam is the only true path and there is so other way for me. preyed Allah to show me right path and make my faith firm.

In 2007, I went to Libya in connection with one sister becoming Muslim. There Allah opened my hearts for Islam and I said my SHAHADA (Declaration of faith) on Internet. Mustafa Mohi Deen an another gentleman being witness to this.

When I revealed this to my family, my father congratulated me on taking a right decision, my mothe was shocked initially but after some time accepted my decision.

Now I am busy in propagating Islam on Internet and by lectures. We tell them that Islam is not wha shown on TV channels. No doubt there are some Muslims out there who do horrible things, but the

acts are not as per teachings of Islam. We must get the true picture of Islam.

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In the end I thank Allah for showing me the correct path. It was His mercy that today I am a Muslim (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Madonna Johnson

Source: http://www.thetruereligion.com/madonna. Looking back on my past, I say that the turnin point in my life was without a doubt the birth of my daughter. Before she was born, I spent my life o a day to day basis, concentrating my time and attention to whatever crisis I could get my hands on. I there wasn't one, then I made one.

When I became pregnant, I knew I would be raising my child alone. If it weren't for the love, devotio and determination of my mother, things would have been different. When my daughter was 5 month old, she died of "Sudden Infant Death Syndrome" (SIDS), which is a medical term for "No known cause".

I had never experienced such pain, panic, and complete emptiness. However, throughout the funeral, was consoling other people, telling them I believed with all my heart that God would not cause me such pain if He didn't have something incredible waiting for me in the future; all I had to do was stay on the right road, and God would show me when I was ready.

Friends would say, "You'll see her again someday." I would question them openly; how does anyone know that I'll be going to heaven? Just because I was a Christian was no guarantee, since I couldn't bring myself to swallow all of Christianity. There were too many unanswered questions. So my quest for the "One True Religion" began out of a desire to insure that I would indeed see my daughter again. I went through all the Christian religions diligently. Having been a Christian all my life, I found it very hard to look outside the church, even though my heart wasn't totally Christian.

People would say things to me like, "Jesus spoke to me today," or "Jesus is with you, all you have to do is invite him into your heart and you will see your daughter in heaven." I was beginning to think I was doomed. I looked at Tarot cards, crystals, and even entertained the thought that all religions wou take you to heaven, if you followed their beliefs.

Eventually I put my search on hold for awhile and got a job at a bar in Indianapolis. It was there that met a girl, who later turned out to be a good friend for a while. She had three or four businesses running out of her home, none of them doing very well, and some of them questionable.

One day, she asked me if I wanted to go to Malaysia. She said she wanted me to buy some Malaysia style clothes, get pictures taken of them, and find an importer-exporter to handle the business. Witho thinking I said "I'm there!"

I arrived in Kuala Lumpur during the middle of Ramadan. I'd never heard of Islam before, and had n

idea that Malaysia was an Islamic country. Almost every woman I saw had a scarf on her head in 95 degree heat! I also noticed that people went out of their way to be nice to me. It took a very special friend (plus, he was one of the few who could speak English fairly well) to explain that Malaysia wa an Islamic country, and Muslims believe that whenever we do something nice for someone for the pleasure of Allah (SWT), then we will be rewarded for that deed on Judgment Day, Insha Allah. (Contd.)

However, all I could see where the negative aspects of Islam, the same things others see, who are ignorant about Islam; so I bought some Islamic books (including a Quran) and began studying Islam

I asked many questions, such as why do women cover their whole body, except for the face and hand Why is everyone so happy and willing to fast throughout the day? How could anyone be happy abou starving themselves? It seemed suddenly that no one could speak English well enough to satisfy me, I turned to the Quran.

Ever since I can remember, I have felt out of place in Christianity , like I was the only one in the who church who didn't know the joke was on me. The more I studied about Islam, the more I began to wonder if this was the road to my daughter; would this religion get me into Heaven? Although my biggest obstacle was the Islamic concept of Jesus (PBUH), and how would I explain this to everyone home, I found the answers to some of my questions and realized that Islam was what I had been looking for.

But I had a problem, should I take the challenge…become a Muslim and walk the straight path to heaven? Or deny the Truth I knew in my heart out of fear of disapproval and persecution from family and friends…only to abide in the hellfire forever? I constantly carried with me a feeling of doom and anxiety. This was my state of mind everyday while I was deciding whether I should revert to Islam o not.

For me, this decision was not as easy. Islam is not a part time religion; a true Muslim doesn't practice Islam one day a week. Islam is a full-time challenge with enormous struggles, as well as benefits. Th more you learn and understand, the more you realize you have only just begun to scratch the surface which makes you strive even harder to learn more.

One day I woke up with the words, "OK, I believe, I will go and revert to Islam", and from that moment on, all of my turmoil and anxiety was gone Alhamdulillah. All of the pain I had felt from m past experiences, including my daughter's death, were gone. The nightmares stopped, and I felt the most incredible peace. I went to PERKIM, the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organization, and took m Shahadah, filling my life with the peace and love of Allah (SWT) , Alhamdulillah.

Looking back, I can say all of the things I experienced on my path to Islam were well worth the effo and pain, because now, Insha'Allah, I will be able to see and hold my daughter again, if I can stay on the right path. Sure, I still have challenges, being Muslim doesn't mean I won't have problems. But being a Muslim does mean that for every challenge I came across, the solution lies in following the path of Truth. And at the end of that path lies Heaven, my daughter and numerous other pleasures th

the human mind can't begin to comprehend. All praises are due to Allah for bringing me to the Truth and for His grace in making me a Muslim. 98 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ANJU DEVI (AMINA) RISHI KESH, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born the most idolatrous country of the world (India) in its most idolatrous center (RISHI KESH). My father was running one of the four biggest ashrams in that place. He is well known to Hindus thru out India. I was born on 20 April 1985. I have one elder brother and sister.

I got my education in English medium school (run by my father’s trust) and then I did by BSC and th year I shall finish my MSC. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. It seems unthinkable that a girl in my situation would ever come or know about Islam, but Allah works in miraculous way. It so happened that one Hindu women with her young daughter came to o Ashram, they were lured to a secluded spot and both mother and daughter were raped by employees our Ashram. This incident shocked me to the core, I told my father that our Ashram should be burned along with for allowing this to happen. I stopped going to prayers in the Ashram.

03. One night I dreamt that I am being chased by two SADHUS and I am running for my life and honor. I saw a mosque with doors opened, I entered there and one Muslim Scholar said to me, not to worry as now I am safe.

When I wake up, I decided that my honor is a t risk in the Ashram and I must look for Muslims to sa me. I decided to phone someone at random, if it was picked by a Hindu, I shall remain Hindu, if it w picked by a Muslim, I shall become Muslim.

04. I prayed to God sincerely to guide me which is truth and best for me. The random number that I dialed was picked up by a Muslim. He said that he lived in a village in MUZAFAFRNAGAR. I told that I want to become Muslim. He asked about my whereabouts and said how a girl with my positio

could live with them.

I told I will live with every one if they take me out of here….he then introduced me to Maulana Kali and he told me to recite Islamic creed on phone itself. Then he asked me to come to PHULAT, so I could be taken care of.

05. I was married to the son of that Muslim man whom I phoned than I went to Meerut and complete all official formalities needed for change of religion in India. I was very happy with the family of Maulana and my in-laws. They were poor but they treated me more than their own daughter. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. My father reported my absence to the local police and some one informed them of my presence i My new place. Police came and arrested my father in law. I asked him to jump from the vehicle as have to face lone what came next. 07. I was tortured by my family members and even by ladies police to come back to Hinduism. I had read the incidents of early Muslims how they were tortured for their faith and how they stood firm.

My own mother tried to strangle me , my brother beat me, I was also poisoned, but Allah gave me strength and I told that I accepted Islam by own free will. You can kill me, but you cannot take away Islam from me and now I am married to a Muslim and I will never marry to another man. D. How I saved my Islam:

08. In the end, they could not turn me away from my faith. My father consulted the members of his Ashram and they told that such a girl cannot live in the Ashram. It is best if she be quietly sent away to her in-laws and to forget the whole episode.

Accordingly my father asked my father in law to take me away. They came to a mid way place and was handed over to them. The whole village came out to receive me and I was given much honor th day. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

09. I am in contact with my father and he phones and some times come to meet me. I have not yet presented Islam to him, but I am praying Allah to open their hearts for Islam. It all depends on Allah will 3. On Family members / Others.

10. When I was being tortured one of my aunt took pity on my situation. She told me to stay firm an said that surely my religion is truth.

I was much impressed by that and while I was coming, I asked her to become Muslim too to save he from the hell fire. She recited Islamic creed in front of me, Alhamdolillah. F. Present Situation: 11. I am living in village and very busy in teaching Islam to women there. It has made a lot of difference and many women have started to pray regularly and work their lives in Islamic way. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

12. I heard Maulana to say that Allah has decided to enter Islam in every house, hut or skyscraper. I Muslims do not fulfill their trust, then Allah is not handicapped because of these Muslims. He will get His work done one way or another. By people who are not in the fold of Islam now.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of June 2008

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Why be became Muslims? Colonel DONALD ROCKWELL USA Why did I accept Islam? For a long time I had been greatly impressed by Islam’s clear logic and formal simplicity, by the magnetizing attraction felt towards its mosques, ….

…Only after a thoroughgoing analysis of the Islamic religion, which resulted in my exploring a myri of beautiful and useful aspects in it, did I become a Muslim.

A solemn and, at the same time, sentimental, attachment to life, mutually consultative method in doi daily chores; a habitually soft behaviour flavoured with mercy and compassion in social lives, indiscriminately; charity for the poor; property rights, which women had been given for the first time …

Then, contrary to Europeans’ assertions, the Islamic religion is not a religion for those idlers who expect everything from Allah without doing anything for their part. The Islamic religion commands everybody first to do their best and only then to put their trust in Allah . The justice which Islam rendered to people of other religions was one of its aspects which had had a great impact on me. Muhammad commands Muslims to be benign towards Christians and Jews. Qur acknowledges the Prophethood of the other prophets as well, beginning with Adam and including Moses and Jesus. . This is an exalted sense of faith and a great model of justice, which other religions do not possess. While the believers of other religions are casting inconceivable aspersions on Islam, Muslims are answering them favourably

. One of the most beautiful aspects of Islam is that it has completely purified itself of idols. Whereas pictures, icons and signs are still being worshipped in Christianity, things of this nature do not exist i Islam. This is an indication of how pure and unstained a religion Islam is.

The facts stated and taught by Muhammad the Messenger of Allah, have reached our time without an interpolation. And the Qur'an, which is the Word of Allah, has been preserved in its pristine purity, exactly as it was revealed, without losing anything from the limpidity it had in the time of Muhammad…

…The qualities of freedom and equity inherent in the Islamic religion have always magnatized me towards it. Among Muslims, a person occupying the highest rank position and the poorest member o the society are equal before Allah and they are merely two individuals in the general recognition of fraternity. Muslims perform their acts of worship side by side in mosques. There are not any special places allotted for the leadership.

Muslims hold the belief that there is not a third person to act as an intermediary between Allah and H born slave. The Islamic acts of worship are performed between Allah and the slave.

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They do not appeal to men of religion for the forgiveness of their wrongdoings. Every Muslim is the only person responsible for his personal behaviour. (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? SUNEETA (SAMREEN) MUMBAI INDIA.

I was born on 9th Dec 1984. I had three brothers and no sister. My parents belong to KANAUJIA caste from DEORIA district of UP. My parents had shifted many years back to Mumbai and my fath had a general store shop in Thane District. We had a Muslim family as neighbors, and we had very good relations with them. We would share and borrow things from each other, the difference in our religion would not stand in our way. Some times these people would talk about Islam. I used to listen their talks with interest. Many questions would arise in my mind, but I did not know to whom or to how to get answers for them. Once I asked my Sister in Law, why do we worship all these idols? She did not answer anything. I was following lifestyle of my ancestors, but I was not satisfied, I was in search of truth.

It is my belief that whatever the situation be, if you are sincere in your efforts, you will find the truth The same happened to me, after long study and thinking, I got convinced that Islam is a true religion asked my neighbors that I want to become Muslim, they told me that for that I have to change my lif style totally and might have to leave my parents.

After some time, I met a Muslim boy and wanted to marry him. He told that in order to marry him, I have to leave my religion and become a Muslim. I also wanted that, so I became Muslim on 10th Ma

2006, and changed my name and we got married soon. The Islamic teachings about hereafter have changed my concept of life….I am still getting more knowledge about Islam to practice it fully in my life (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? BAHRIA AMANULLAH, USA Allah in His infinite mercy and wisdom created me to be a Muslim of eastern Europe descent living the US. It might seem strange for a white girl from a small Midwestern town to be Muslim. The toe seem world’s apart. Unfortunately Islam is the most misunderstood religion. Muslims are unjustly associated with terrorism, radicalism and senseless violence.

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As a Roman Catholic, I was baptized, took my first communion, performed my first confession, attended mass and catechism classes. Early in life I wondered why there were different religions, I h questions no one could answer…I did not understand Jesus, was he a man or God?

One summer evening, just before turning fourteen , I climbed on top of the roof of our house, I marveled at the glorious beauty of an animated moon. I wondered how any one could look at such a sight and nor believe in God… At 17 I moved on my own into the city, for several years my life was a nightmare of instability, directionless searching and un-fulfillment.

Finally I read the autobiography of Malcolm X, in his life I found the direction I had so desperately searched for. I had caught a serious glimpse of the straight path. By the mercy of Allah it was now i my heart. Malcolm’s letters written from Makkah touched me deeply. The only reason I did not embrace Islam was the interference of my own choice views and adherenc to misconceptions of women’s status in Islam. It seemed like a plunge into darkness. I thought it wa too strict for me and my arrogantly self righteous liberal views.

I came into contact with the Islamic community thru a Radio station called KUCB. I listened to several Muslim personalities on air and became deeply impressed by their strength, courage, commitment and knowledge. I went to station to offer my services…there I met Imam Ako Abdul Samad, the station’s vice president. He selflessly gave time, advice encouragement and offered a cle direction.

At last I started asking questions and Imam answered them….my confusion regarding Jesus was now made clear. He was not son of God, God is far above the base reality of human reproduction. Jesus was a prophet a messenger of God. The miracles were performed by God thru him.

Now I understood my own inner self regarding abortion. Like many young women, I had been misle into thinking anti abortion stands were a threat to my rights as a women. Islam put all elements in th proper perspective. The issue is much greater than Roe Vs Wade… My life was forever changed by the simple truth of submission to one Creator. Simple truths are the

most powerful. It was all practical. There is only one God. The truth can cut thru the façade of intellectual unreasoning, selfishly motivated denials and lies that I had clinged to….

Islam is not a terrorist society, but a broad community striving for peace, justice and human rights fo all in the name of Allah. (Abridged) Source:: Riyadh Daily Nov 6 1998 p8 Why I Became Muslim? Reverting to Islam: A Journey back to God by Maryam al-Mahdayah (USA/Egypt) http://www.thetruereligion.com/maryamegypt.htm

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My name is Maryam al-Mahdayah - I was not born with this name, but chose it when I converted to Islam (in 1992). My Christian birth name is Maria (Mary in English, Maryam in Arabic). I would lik to share with you my personal story of converting to Islam, with the hope that this story might bring with it a better understanding of Islam. My story is organized into different life-periods: Growing up Christian (early years) ..Turning away (teen years) ..Searching for Truth (the twenties) ..The Opening (the thirties) ..Coming Home (the forties and forever)

GROWING UP CHRISTIAN -- EARLY YEARS I was raised in the Catholic tradition. I went to Catholic elementary school, learned my Catechism, received my First Communion, received my Catholic name (after a saint), went to confession, all the important steps to growing up Catholic. I tried my best to be good, and I was (I was too afraid of som terrible retribution from God if I wasn't) and throughout these years I developed a substantial feeling guilt (for what, I wasn't sure, but I knew I was guilty of something). The nuns who taught me seemed harsh, and I couldn't understand why these 'brides of Christ' were so tense and angry. …

TURNING AWAY -- TEEN YEARS I didn't have an easy childhood, and the family problems grew in severity to the point where one day came to the conclusion that there is no God (or, at the very least, if there was a God, He wasn't there for me). I remember that day, laying in my bed at night, waking up to that reality. I suddenly felt a great vacuum within myself, but, I told myself, if that's reality, then I have to accept it. At my level o understanding, that was my reality. As my teen years progressed, I started searching. By this time, I was no longer required to go to church …

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH -- TWENTIES As I entered my twenties, I felt a tremendous need to find the truth, to still the restlessness in my hea and soul. I was introduced to Buddhism, and since it seemed to come close to what I was looking for

(at least there was a clear logic to it), I joined. In many ways it did help me feel better, but to me it seemed to be missing something (what, I didn't know at that time). Over the years, I drifted away fro Buddhism as well. It was becoming more of a burden than a comfort in my life. During this time I traveled to Egypt for business, where I met my husband, who was raised in the Muslim tradition. Sti involved in Buddhism, I tried to convert him. He patiently listened, and I believed I was succeeding, but I know now that he would never have converted. (Contd.)

THE OPENING -- THIRTIES So I continued, became more uncomfortable with Buddhist practice, went back to Egypt to get married, came back to the USA alone and eventually returned to Egypt to live with my husband. We were there together for a year, a wondrous, healing and unforgettable year. By now I was in my early thirties. I had just arrived in Egypt to really start married life, stressed out to my limit, feeling very much that I had arrived with my last breath. ..

My husband asked a friend to bring me some books about Islam. I was surprised he would do so, because I was still "not interested in hearing about God" - sometimes emphatically so. So he left me with the books: an English translation of the Qur'an, a book about all facets of Islam and a book from the Sufi perspective. My interest was slightly piqued, but I dismissed it. I put the books aside, and la went to bed.

COMING HOME -- FORTIES AND FOREVER I read about the principles of Islam. They made sense to me, with no contradiction. The descriptions the Islamic way of life, the roles of men and women in society as complimentary rather than competitive were so logical. After reading this I understood that what I felt instinctively about mysel as a woman was, in fact, true to my real nature. Rather than feeling demeaned, I felt uplifted, not onl as a woman, but as a member of the human race. I started to feel my true self, for the first time in my life. I began to have the sense that I was coming home. I read the Qur'an. Although not in the Arabic original, I found that just reading the verses in English filled me with a tremendous sense of peace an quiet, in a most gentle way. The verses themselves answered many questions I had throughout my lif but could never get a clear answer to. Reading the Qur'an, I began to realize that this book must be th work and the word of God, because of its impeccable logic and its effect on me. I learned that this is one of the qualities of the Qur'an, a certain "barakah" or grace that has a very calming effect on the human soul…

We moved to the USA and our daughter was born in the autumn, 4 months after our arrival. The following year we went back to Egypt so my husband's family could meet this wonderful addition to our family. Before we left, I decided it was time to officially become Muslim - God had shown me s many signs, that I knew this was the clear path for me. And so, back in Egypt, I went to Al-Azhar to declare, "There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Messenger." Now I'm in my forties and looking back through my life, particularly the last 10 years, (Abridged) Maryam 103 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ITER PAL SINGH (MOHD. NAEEM) BAHRAICH UP INDIA A. Family Background:

01.I was born in a Rajput Family in BHARAICH UP about 50 years ago. My father was head Maste in the Govt. School. I did my Intermediate from my city then I did Engineering Degree in Civil Engineering from JAMIA MILLIA Delhi.

I got a job with DDA. But as my father had told me that taking bribe in the worst thing in this life an due to my hot temper, I soon resigned from DDA and opened my own construction Company in partnership with some people.

02. Soon we started getting big orders. We took the construction of a shopping mall in Delhi and expected a big profit, but as happens, our partners started having their own interests and the company went into loss. Not only that our creditors sued us. I had to sell every real state I had in my name, bu it was not enough and I was dragged into courts for a number of cases.

I had to sell my car and I bought a used old car and was at my wits end as to how to come out of this mess. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 03. While I was in that state, I was going in my car, when I saw a gentleman walking the street. He seemed a respectable fellow, so I offered him lift…after some hesitation he sat in my car. I did not know that he was Maulana Kalim Sahib.

He asked how I was and I told him about my difficulties and the harassment from court cases. He tol me to recite daily after my regular bath, YA HADI, YA RAHIM at least 100 times. He told these ar the names of Creator of Universe.

04. Next day, I did as he told me, and I got a lot of peace of mind. I wanted to recite more but I did a I was told….after a few days, one court case came in my favor and I was to get 500,000 Rupees in o month. I was very happy as it enabled me to pay most of my creditors.

I went many times in that direction to meet that gentleman once more….after many tries, some one i Green Park told me to go to OKHLA and meet Maulana Kalim Sahib.

05. When I reached there, I was told that he has gone to Madras and will return after one week. The was a book shop selling Islamic books. I purchased two books in Hindi “Recommended

supplications” and “Supplications of Prophet” and “What is Islam” …and “Your trust…”

06. When I read those books, my eyes were opened. I became very anxious to meet Maulana Kalim and when I met him , I was overjoyed to see that he was the same gentleman who had recommended me that supplication. I accepted Islam at his hands and then he put some on to teach me Quran and Islamic prayers

07. After that I won three more case and I purchased a new house and called back my family and our life came back on track, Alhamdolillah. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

08. My family was very religious and they were biased against Islam. One of our family member wh was a DIG in Police had accepted Islam some times back that had increased their hatred of Islam.

In my old days , I had contributed to militants and extremist Hindu organizations. Now I had a totall different opinions about Islam and Muslim and I decided to do expiations for all that. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

09. When I told my wife my experience about Islam and how it had changed my condition….there w but little hesitation from her to accept Islam. My two daughters and my son also became Muslim. Maulana named my wife as Khadija. My daughters as Amina and Fatima and my son as Mohd. Omar. F. Present Situation: 10. I have decided to buy a house and dedicate it for Muslim missionary activities and help newly converted Muslims. I want to do for Islam at least what I did against it in my old days. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. To Muslims I want to say that whole world is thirsty about Islam. It is their duty to quench their thirst. And we should be persistent and should not reply evil with evil but with kind words and patience.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Feb. 2009

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Why be became Muslims?

MUHAMMAD ALEXANDER RUSSEL WEBB USA

(Muhammad Alexander Russel Webb was born in 1262 [1846 C.E.], in Hudson, United States o America. He studied in the university of New York. In a short time he was a very much loved and admired writer and columnist. He published magazines named ‘St. Joseph Gazette’ and ‘Missouri Republican’. In 1887 he wa posted as the American consul in the Philippines. After embracing Islam, he thoroughly dedicated himself to the promulgation of Islam and presided over the organization in the United States. He passed away in 1335 [1916 C.E.].)

I was asked by quite a number of people why I, as a person who was born in the United States, a country with an overwhelmingly numerous Christian population, and who listened to the preaches, or, rather, foolish talks, made by Christian priests throughout his growing years, changed my religion and became a Muslim. The brief account I gave them on why I had chose Islam as my guide in life: I became a Muslim because the studies and observations I carried on indicated that men’s spiritual needs could be filled only with the sound principles established by Islam.

Even as a child I had never had a disposition to completely dedicate myself to Christianity. By the ti I reached the adult age of twenty, I was completely defiant towards the mystical and annoying churc culture which interdicted everything in the name of sin.

Gradually I disengaged myself from the church, and finally abandoned it for good. I had an inquisitiv and curious character. I would always search for causes and purposes for everything. I would anticipate logical explanations for them.

On the other hand, the explanations provided by priests and other Christian men of religion did not satisfy me. Most of the time, instead of giving satisfactory answers to my questions, they would dismiss the matter with evasive prevarications such as, “We cannot understand these things. They ar divine secrets,” and “They are beyond the grasp of human mind.”

Upon this I decided to study, on the one hand, oriental religions, and on the other hand, books writte by famous philosophers. I read various works on philosophy, such as those written by Mill, by Locke, by Kant, by Hegel, by Fichte, by Huxley, and others.

The books written by these philosophers always dealt with such subjects as protoplasms, atoms, molecules, and particles, and did not even touch on reflections such as “What becomes of the human soul?” “Where does the soul go after death?” “How should we discipline our souls in this world?”

The Islamic religion, on the other hand, treated the human subject not only within the corporeal area but also along the spiritual extensions.

Therefore, I chose Islam not because I had lost my way, or only because Christianity had incurred m displeasure, or as a result of sudden decision, but, on the contrary, after very minutely studying it and becoming thoroughly convinced about its greatness, singularity, solemnity and perfection.

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Islam is based on belief in the existence and the unity of God, entire submission to Him, which spontaneously entails worshipping Him and thanking Him for His blessings. Islam enjoins fraternity goodness, and friendliness upon all the human race, and advises them to be leanly, spiritually, physically, verbally, and practically. Definitely, the Islamic conclusive of all the religions known to humanity so far. Why I Became Muslim? MRS. ARCHANA AMIT (MOMINA TABASSUM), LUCKNOW INDIA.

It happened on 29 Nov. 2003. I was on a bus going from Kanpur to Lucknow. In hurry, I did not ke enough money in my purse. I had my little daughter in my lap. When the conductor came and asked for money, it fell short by 6 Rupees. I was at loss to say anything. The conductor was shouting at m to pay up or get down immediately. Every one else was silent and watching me intently. Suddenly a gentleman from the front seat asked the conductor, what was reason for all this shouting, he produce a 10 Rupee note and gave a it to conductor to settle the amount.

When the bust stopped at Lucknow, I proceeded to thank the gentleman, he was of the age of my father, he consoled me and said that these things do happen and then he even paid me for Cycle Rickshaw fare to reach to my home (which I intended to walk initially). When I reached home, I tol my Husband AMIT, what transpired in the bus. He asked me why I had not taken the name or Tel. number of the gentleman, so we could repay him and express our gratitude.

I was always on the lookout, whenever I went to market, so as to see the gentleman somewhere. On day I found him out and pointed to my husband. We met him and expressed our thanks for his kind acts…

When I asked him to accept the money which he spent on me, he initially refused, but accepted on o insistence on the condition that we must visit him at the earliest. We went to his house and for the fi time I felt that I had come to my brother’s house (I had no real brother or sister). His wife welcomed me and we had lots of talk and a wonderful meal. When we parted, his wife gave me a packet to be opened after reaching our home. It contained a dress from me and one for my daughter too, Well after that AMIT was always looking forward to meet him…whenever he returned he would rel to me some act of kindness which the gentle man or his wife did to poor (irrespective of his being Muslim or Non Muslim.

A strange change was coming on us. We removed all the photos and Idols from our house and stopp going to temples altogether. AMIT was getting some books from the gentleman which both of us we reading with interest. Finally one day, we asked him, how long will we continue like that? He asked us to wait for some more time. What if our time of death came? Asked AMIT and the gentleman became very quite.

So after four months, we were transferred from Lucknow to Ghaziabad and we decided to start a new life in a new city. We became Muslim, I took the name, AMINA TABASSUM, AMIT became ABDUL KARIM & our daughter SAMTA AZIM.

We still have very good relationship with the gentleman (who was indeed a Doctor from Azamgarh) and we visit each other and exchange gifts.

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Some times I think…what would have happened to me if I had enough money to pay for my ticket o that fateful Nov month of 2003? Was it coincidence or was Allah making provisions for me? (abridged) Why I became Muslim? ABDUL RASHID (FORMERLY NATION OF ISLAM), USA I was born in a Christian family and was very obedient to my parents. However in 1973, thru the Nation of Islam of Elijah Mohammad. That was based on racism and later when Malcom X introduced true teachings of Islam, we became true Muslims. We joined the group led by son of Elijah Mohammad, W Deen Mohammad which is different from Nation of Islam of Luis Farrakhan.

I did my undergraduate in Anthropology from NY and joined San Diego University for further studi There I met my future wife Saleema, who was Lutheran and later became Muslim.

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I then joined US army and was posted as Muslim Imam to lead Muslim soldiers in prayers and for religious education. This gave me ample opportunity to engage in social works, which suited me bes I am happy to repost that we are going to built a new mosque in Fort Brigg Cant. Which will have a capacity to accommodate upto 300 worshippers. I [raise Allah that He got that work done thru me. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Life is good for Muslim women By Maureen McCormick (Canada)

When I was a non-Muslim, I, too, believed that Islam was misogynistic, male-dominated and backwards. Imagine my surprise after I read the Qur'an and learned Islam is diametrically opposed to misogyny and male dominance, and, in fact, is a very progressive and gentle faith which protects women.

I have seen a lot of controversy over the last few weeks about the application of Sharia law to resolving family disputes between willing individuals in Canada. The subject has led to a discussion the status of women in Islam. As a Canadian Caucasian woman who recently accepted the Islamic faith, I would like to share my thoughts. There is good and bad everywhere and it is important to stress that not every Muslim follows true

Sharia. Humans are not infallible.

First and foremost, Islam gives a woman more legal rights than she is afforded using Canadian law the right to keep all of her property, even in a divorce; the right to keep her own money; even the rig to be sexually satisfied, among many other things. Non-Muslim women don't have those rights; they are just expected to suck it up.

The concept of a dowry might seem odd in Canada, but it has its merits. Many divorced women in Canada live below the poverty line because their ex-husbands are unwilling to support them. They p the least amount of alimony possible and transfer their assets to their new wives so that the ex-wife gets nothing.

There are not many divorced women who live at the same standard they had while married unless th are professional women. To me, a dowry is like an insurance policy -- the just-in-case part of marria

Islam gives women more respect than any other faith. My experiences have shown me (for the most part) that Muslim men really respect women and like them for who they are. In my opinion, nothing sexier than a woman who is covered up. No woman with any amount of self-respect would walk around looking like she is soliciting sex. Too many people have no respect for each other at all. It's very sad to see.

Refraining from sex before marriage affords the woman the right to know a man first and give the m her mind, heart and soul before she decides to give her body (which is completely backwards to the thinking here, where a woman has to "put out" in order to get another date).

The woman is never compromised or coerced in any way in Islam. She is always in control of her bo and is always provided a safe environment. What a concept.

Women are protected in Islam. Men are responsible for the safety, protection, financial suppor and well-being of their wives and families. Perhaps an old-fashioned concept, but it works. Rea women want to be with real men. Moreover, Islam allows for women to be emancipated and independent. Islam is easy and fair for both sexes. It is a faith between an individual and God. In its story about Adam and Eve, Islam did not mention that Eve encouraged Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The original sin concept led to the downgrading of women in the early Christian culture. Islam actually treats love-making with ease and Muslims expect to be rewarded for making love to their lawful spouses.

Muslim women can do anything that any other woman in the world can do, cultural limitations notwithstanding. The only difference is good Muslim women still have their honour and respect thei husbands. Generally speaking, my experience has been that Muslim women have more self-respect and confidence than non-Muslim women because Muslim women know what really counts. Why We Became Muslims:

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(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAJAN (MOHD. RIZWAN) BENARAS , UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 3rd Jan 1959 in BENARAS , UP in a Hindu Brahmin family. My father was a graduate and retired as NAIB TAHSILDAR. He was a very honest person, that is why he had to fac lot of difficulties in his service life.

02. I did my college education and then did B. Com and started my own business of garments. After changing many trades I went to Goa and was engaged in clothes business. This time it was successfu I was married in a Good family of Allahabad. My wife is a Post Graduate. We have three children, one son and two daughters and we are well set in Goa. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 03. I think that it was mercy from Allah , who picked me from gutter and chose me to be a Muslim. so happened that I lost a lost of money in my business. I decided to do trading and was going to Ludhiana to find suitable avenues. Our family was an orthodox Hindu family and we used to worship many gods and we had idols of many gods in our house. I used to think , how these lifeless idols can help us and do they even hear our prayers. I thought that my present misfortunes are due to ill effects of these idols, so before I started my journey for new business, I removed all these idols and pictures from my house and drowned them into a river.

04. I reached Delhi and I got to know many good opening. I boarded the train from Delhi to Ludhian A very good smell was coming from my seat and when I opened the birth of my 3 tier seat, I saw a small booklet Titled “Your trust, returned to you” in the small pocket.

It was a small booklet in Hindi, I read it once, twice and thrice. I think that I had already accepted th First part of Islamic creed “There is no deity except Allah” and the book “guided me to the second p “And Mohammad is His messenger”

05. I was very eager to know and meet the author of booklet. I tried to ask many about him during journey…. But I could not know much. When I returned to my place , I went to a Mosque and aske scholars there about my intention. They knew Maulana Kalim Sahib, very well, they gave me his address. I learned Quran and regular prayers and many things needed for our Islamic life.

06. I reached PHULAT and met Maulana and reminded him as to how his book had reached me. He said that he had placed that book in the compartment and remembered only after he had left the train C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: I called my Father in Law to our place in Goa and told him about our conversion to islam.

07. He is a man with a very cool temper. He said that religion is our personal affair , but we should take that decision after thinking all implications. I gave him some books on Islam and he said that he will read them. We are very hopeful that he will become Muslim, Inshallah. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

08. I told my wife about what happened to me and how this small booklet changed me. I gave her th book, she said, she will read it.

I said it is best, is she read it from me. I read to her that book slowly and with lot of love and sinceri I told her that now I have become a Muslim and only way she can live with me is to become Muslim or else I will leave her to her parents. 09. She started weeping and said, how we will fight with the family and society. You know how orthodox are our families. I said that this is a lesser fight than to fight against Allah and what will happen to us on the Last day.

After some persuasion, she accepted Islam on my hand and after that it was simple matter to convert our other children to islam. Alhamdolillah. 3. On Family members / Others. 10. On my journey to PHULAT on train, I gave the booklet “your trust…” to two of my fellow passengers. One of them was from Trader family and another was lecturer in Govt. college. They were much impressed by the book and we had lots of discussions about Islam in the train.

11. Both of them accepted Islam when we were passing MATHURA Junction and they came with m to PHULAT to see and meet Maulana Kalim Sahib. F. Present Situation:

I and my newly converted Hindu friends have decided to spend our life in Islamic missionary activit and spread this message to as many people as we can.

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. According to Maulana the whole world is thirsty and standing in line to quench their thirst.

It is for Muslims to meet their requirement and save thee people from hell fire. It is their duty and th will be asked about it in the hereafter, if they did not do it
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Feb. 2008

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Why I Became Muslim? AN ENGLISH TRADER (NAME WITHELD) UK

Muslims in Woking Mosques were much impressed by the zeal and sincerity by which an Englishma was preying in the mosque. He used to prostrate for many minutes at a time and would supplicate w much sincerity and humility. One day the Imam of Mosque asked him as to what brought him to Islam, here is the reply.

It was the Magic of Prayer which brought me closer to Islam. I was living in Kenya since 1912. I w a big trader there. I was a very devout Protestant Christian and had very firm beliefs. Despite my bu schedules I used to read Gospel regularly and join religious activities.

Once I visited Egypt and saw many of the Islamic sites there. I went to Al Azhar Mosque, Ali Kabe Mosque, Husain Mosque and Sayyidah Mosque. I was much impressed by these mosque and the inside atmosphere. It became my practice that whenever I would get free time, I would visit these mosques. The scenes were such which would keep me mesmerized. I man would climb on a Minaret and give call for prayer in a most beautiful and mesmerizing voice. Soon people from all walks of life would start coming. Old and Young, Black and White, Rich and Poor, Manager and Messenger. They would take off their headgears, wash those portions, which could get dust…

Then they would stand in neat rows and would complete the prayers in a most orderly manner. Thes are scenes which would impress any one who has some observing power. One could see God’s hand in all of this.

These prayers scenes took me in, I was languishing to join them, when they are washing their hand a feet, when they were standing in rows when they were putting their faces on ground. I would enter Mosque happily but would return with a sad heart as to why I did not join with these people.

So I decided to study about Islam and its prophet. It took me many years, but my deep studies convinced me of the truth of Islam. I learned Arabic to understand Quran and sayings of prophet directly….. Then with open heart I got my desire….I was now with those who were preying and not only an observer!!!

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I think Islam is the most perfect of all religions. If you only look at prayer…it includes cleanliness a hygiene , It is a sort of exercise….It is a unity and community gathering…it is a meditation…then above all it is Worship of Our Creator and Sustainer …!! (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? JACQUALINE RUTH (AIYESHA HASSAN) PUGH, BRITAIN Note: Ruth has worked as a civil servant, in London. Now she works a s a Muslim missionary Regent Park Mosque London

As a child, I used to enjoy going to Sunday School and I can remember once promising myself that I would read the Bible from cover to cover. Several years later and after marrying and becoming the mother of two children, I decided to go to Church one day and I noticed that I did not feel the same warmth that I had known as a child.

There was so much happening in terms of women priests, Homosexuality and various other alarming stories. As a child wherever I did anything wrong or felt in need of God’s help, I would go down to nearest Church and ask God to help me and forgive me.

One night, I knelt down beside my bed and recited the Lord’s prayer. I asked God to guide me along the right way, to forgive me and my sins, and that I had lost my faith and strayed far away from the beliefs that I once had. The next day, I decided to go out and buy a copy of Bible and read it from cover to cover. As I was about to buy a Bible, I saw another religious book called the Quran. I put the Bible in place and picked up Quran…I just looked thru it and was surprised to find the Jesus was mentioned there as we as other prophets like Noah, Moses, Abraham and Joseph.

I was amazed to learn that Muslims believed in the same prophets as we did, so I bought the Quran a took it home with me. I started to read it and began to realize that the guidance I had asked God the night before was right in my hands.

As times passed on, I came to realize that the message in the Holy Quran is for all of mankind and so became a Muslim straight away.

As many of us know, the Gospels were written many years after Jesus, furthermore these gospels hav been rewritten many times over the years and consequently it is significantly distorted today.

It is now my opinion that if anyone requires true guidance, then they should pray and ask sincerely f His guidance, salvation and forgiveness and in return He will Guide you towards Islam, God Willing (Abridged) Source:: Riyadh Daily, Aug 1998, p9 Why I Became Muslim?

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http://www.jews-for-allah.org/Jewish-Converts-to-Islam/michelle.htm Becoming Muslim Michelle - Jew As-salaamu-alaikum,

I come from a Jewish family in New York. My mother was from S. A. but also Jewish. She never wa comfortable with anyone knowing that. When my father died, she remarried a Catholic and became one herself. And that is how she brought us up. From the age of 5 I was told that Jesus was also God...? I never felt comfortable with it.

We moved to the Philippines - that is where my stepfather was from. And life there was unbearable. My stepfather, to put it mildly, was abusive to me and my 2 brothers. The effect of that hard life: my spelling is poor, one of my brothers is now a drinker, and the other has a low self-worth.

When I grew up and we returned to the USA, I left home. I took care of myself by working hard. I never had time for God, whoever He was. I did not feel that God helped me in any way, so why bother? I did try to get back to my roots but Judaism made no sense, so I let that go. I did come acros Muslims from time to time but the effect was, how do they dress that way, and why do they seem different? Over time, the idea of Islam kept coming back to me, so I tried to find out more. I read the history and life of Mohammed (saas). That is what got to me: such kindness and sabr (patience) in th face of hardships.

It seemed to me that my life had no direction, so I went to learn more. After reading Surah Al-Fatiha I knew I had come home - this is where I wanted to be! I became a Muslim and have never regretted I always knew there was only ONE God - ALLAH - and things have not been always easy for me. M mother died of cancer soon after I became a Muslim. But the faith I have helped me make it. Just bei able to go to ALLAH with all my pain was such a relief. It is the only true lifestyle known to man, an it is the truth and the last chance for us. I wish all mankind could come to know the truth (haqq) of Islam, and its peace and beauty! 112 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM KRISHNA SHARMA (MOHD. AHMAD) HARIDWAR, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in 1965 in HARIDWAR in a Learned Brahmin Family. My father KESHAV RAM

SHARMA was a big Hindu Scholar. My Grandfather SRI RAM SHARMA was the founder of GAYATRI SAMAJ. Every learned Hindu knows about him. I was told that in his last time, he had become Muslim, but that fact is hidden from Hindus. My whole family belonged to ARYA SAMAJ. I was educated in Ashrams in a strict Hindu way of teaching. I learned Sanskrit and Vedas and was top in my whole University. I was appointed teacher in a Sanskrit University near Delhi. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 1. While I was teaching, two Apostate Muslims came to my university. I met them, one of them of very vocal against Islam and he used to say were dirty things about Prophet Mohammad. I did not like such talks against a very renowned founder of one of the major religion of the world (I later learned that this man used to deal harshly with his mother and even beat her). 2. One of them was even educated from NADWA College of Lucknow. I heard that one Islamic Scholar (Maulana Kalim from PHULAT) came to talk to these people. It came to my mind that if I could convince this Maulana to become Hindu, it would be a very good thing.

3. I met Maulana and told him that Hindu and Vedic Dharma is the oldest and he should accept it. H gave me a small booklet “Prophet of Islam” by Prof. KS RAMARAO, and told me to study it. When studied it, it warmed my hearts towards him. 4. When I spoke to my apostate Muslims, they advised me to read books by Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen. I read those books and I got much biased against Islam and I threw the book of RAMARAO on roof.

5. One night I saw in dream my grandfather and he told me, why I have gotten on the wrong track. H told me that Prophet Mohammad is the same whom we know as KALIKI Avatar. There is no MUK for me unless I believed in him.

6. I woke up and I was alarmed. I realised that listening to these Apostates has mislead me, I went to roof and retrieved the book by Prof. RAO and read it with interest….. Then I fixed an appointment with Maulana Kalim in PHULAT and he gave me some books on Islam and I accepted Islam on his hand. He gave me name which is same as of my Prophet.

7. He then sent me with a Muslim missionary group for 40 days and I learned Prayer and other Islam teachings needed for day to day life. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 08. Maulana told me to go back to my institute and work there. I started working on those two apostates… but it seemed to me that they had gone too far. The one who used to speak bad things about prophet, he died after some time and Ashram people

refused to cremate him according to Hindu rites. His body was thrown away from Ashram and Polic threw it into come gutter. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

09. I was not inclined to marriage and wanted to dedicate my life in Islamic missionary activities, bu Maulana told me that I should get married. It is a recommendation from our prophet. I have given him the authority and he is looking for a suitable wife for me. F. Present Situation:

10. I am presently living in Benaras, and I go on missionary activities to well known Hindu religious places.

It is making a very good impression and I am very hopeful from the Mercy of Allah. I have learned how to read Quran and I have read many books on Islam. I am very interested in books written on th biography of our prophet. I am busy in memorization of whole Quran, I have finished more than half of it in three months. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. Muslims should get close to Quran, because our prophet propagated Islam mostly by recitation o Quran. There is no better way to propagate Quran than thru Quran.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2008

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Why I Became Muslim? Sarah Joseph, UK Sarah Joseph accepted Islam at a very early age, when she was only 16. She was brought up in a typical British Christian family, where there is no special place for religion. Her mother was proprietor of a modeling agency.

I have a religious bent since very beginning as was constantly remembering God. I never missed my daily prayers or Sunday Church. My parents were sort of indifferent towards religion and would watch me with interest. By the time I was 10, I realized the dangers that Atomic weapons posed for humanity. I wrote personal letters to Ronald Reagan, Yuri Andropov, and Margaret Thatcher to

reduce their atomic stockpiles. I also took part in many Anti Atomic demonstrations.

In our house people of all religions were coming and working. So we did not have any religious bias so to say. My elder brother got in love with an Indian Muslim girl and became Muslim to marry her No one in family objected to it. Well I knew nothing about Islam and Muslims then.

But slowly I noticed that I was also getting a bias against Muslims and since “Most Biases are a resu of ignorance”, so I decided to read about Islam and get first hand knowledge. The more I studied about Islam, the more I found that it answered most of my questions and doubts which I had about Christianity.

The Idea of Original Sin as told by Catholic Church was most repugnant to me, It was a big relief to me when I found that in Islam there is so concept of Original Sin. When I got convinced of the truth of Islam, I decided to join it when I was only 16. My parents opposed this, but when they saw my determination, they gave in and I became a Muslim.

Then I met Mahmood, a fellow worker and we soon married. After the events of 9/11 we took a lecture tour explaining the position of Islam against terrorism. My child was only three weeks old at that time and I used to carry him on my lecture tours. Then we started a magazine name “Hope” tha was intended to remove the doubts and prejudices that are prevalent against Islam in UK and Wester countries. It became quite popular and many Non Muslims read it to know about Islam.

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I think Islam and Christianity should have a serious dialog between them, only then there can be any hope for peace in the world. I know about both religions, so persons like us can play a big role in su dialogs. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? ASIYA ABD, AUSTRALIA

I have always, since developing an ability to think deeply, believed in the existence of a single Creat on whom every thing that exists is dependent. Though my parents are Buddhist, from the age of 13, have steadfastly prayed to the creator and asked for guidance every day that I can remember.. Being schooled within a Christian environment, I naturally identified myself as a Christian.

Sadly my knowledge of Islam was minimal. I perceived it as a bizarre religion, limited only to a few underdeveloped nations, most of which were in ME. It endorsed a suppressive life-style, particularly for women. Muslim women I presumed were inferior, a passive domestic slave, bashed often and forced to compete among four or more of her husband’s affection. I got all these ideas from hearsay and TV documentaries shown in our country.

As I entered University, I came into contact with quite a number of Muslim students from various backgrounds. I was drawn to them and developed a curious inclination to learn and understand more about their religion. I observed how content they seemed and their openness and warmth towards myself and each other.

gradually became fascinated with Islam and thru a process of education, developed a greater respect for it than by beloved Christianity.

I was stunned at how wrong my previous conceptions had been and became particularly overwhelme at various entitlements, equality and acknowledgement Islam provided for women.

I wanted to know everything about Islam and …by sheer grace of God, I at last understood the faults of Christian theology and of the concepts which I previously accepted. At Midday on August 1994, before over 20 witnesses, I recited the SHAHADA and became a Muslim.

I shall never forget the bliss of that day and how much my life is turned around in only a year’s time I have been often asked what it is like to be a revert and of the difficulties I must endure… I do not want pity, but I give few examples.

The initial period was by far the hardest. Family disputes took place almost daily, I was showered with verbal abuse, ridicule and threats…On many occasions my room was torn apart…there have be times when I was locked out of home and forced to abstain from dinner as pork was deliberately served…Even to this day all my mail is opened.

I cannot perform my prayers until I am sure no one is around… I must defend the Muslims and Islam portrayed on the media and fight against the stereotypes.

However I do not claim to have a miserable life. I am more content and at peace now than I ever hav been….From this religion, I have gained a profound insight into the operations of human behavior an sociology. 115 (Abridged) Source:: Islamic review (Quoted in DAWAH INT. PAK. NOV 1996) Why I Became Muslim? Nakata Khaula A Japanese Woman's Experience of Hijab

When I returned to Islam, the religion of our inborn nature, a fierce debate raged about girls observin the Hijab at schools in France. It still does. The majority, it seemed, thought that wearing the headscarf was contrary to the principle that public -that is state-funded - schools should be neutral with regard to religion. Even as a non-Muslim, I could not understand why there was such a fuss over suc a small thing as a scarf on a Muslim student's head.

Muslims contributed a proportionate amount of tax to the state funds. In my opinion, schools could respect religious beliefs and practices of students as long as they did not disrupt the school routine, n pose a threat to discipline… The feeling still persists amongst non-Muslims that Muslim women wear the Hijab simply because

they are slaves to tradition, so much so that it is seen as a symbol of oppression. Women' s liberation and independence is, so they believe, impossible unless they first remove the Hijab.

Such naiveté is shared by "Muslims" with little or no knowledge of Islam. Being so used to secularis and religious eclecticism, pick and mix, they are unable to comprehend that Islam is universal and eternal. This apart, women all over the world, non-Arabs, are embracing Islam and wearing the Hijab as a religious requirement, not a misdirected sense of "tradition." I am but one example of such women. My Hijab is not a part of my racial or traditional identity; it has no social or political significance; it is, purely and simply, my religious identity.

For non-Muslims, the Hijab not only covers a woman' s hair, but also hides something, leaving them no access. They are being excluded from something which they have taken for granted in secular society.

I have worn the Hijab since embracing Islam in Paris. The exact form of the Hijab varies according t the country one is in, or the degree of the individual's religious awareness. In France I wore a simple scarf which matched my dress and perched lightly on my head so that it was almost fashionable! No in Saudi Arabia, I wear an all-covering black cape; not even my eyes are visible. Thus, I have experienced the Hijab from its simplest to its most complete form.

What does the Hijab mean to me? Although there have been many books and articles about the Hijab they always tend to be written from an outsider's point of view; I hope this will allow me to explain what I can observe from the inside, so to speak.

When I decided to declare my Islam, I did not think whether I could pray five times a day or wear th Hijab. Maybe I was scared that if I had given it serious thought I would have reached a negative conclusion, and that would affect my decision to become a Muslim. Until I visited the main mosque Paris I had nothing to do with Islam; neither the prayers nor the Hijab were familiar to me. In fact, bo were unimaginable but my desire to be a Muslim was too strong (Alhamdulilah) for me to be overly concerned with what awaited me on the "other side" of my conversion.

The benefits of observing Hijab became clear to me following a lecture at the mosque when I kept m scarf on even after leaving the building. The lecture had filled me with such a previously unknown spiritual satisfaction that I simply did not want to remove it. Because of the cold weather, I did not attract too much attention but I did feel different, somehow purified and protected; I felt as if I was in Allah' s company. As a foreigner in Paris, I sometimes felt uneasy about being stared at by men. In m Hijab I went unnoticed, protected from impolite stares. (Contd.)

My Hijab made me happy; it was both a sign of my obedience to Allah and a manifestation of my faith. I did not need to utter beliefs, the Hijab stated them clearly for all to see, especially fellow Muslims, and thus it helped to strengthen the bonds of sisterhood in Islam. Wearing the Hijab soon became spontaneous, albeit purely voluntary. No human being could force me to wear it; if they had perhaps I would have rebelled and rejected it. However, the first Islamic book I read used very moderate language in this respect, saying that "Allah recommends it (the Hijab) strongly" and since Islam (as the word itself indicates) means we are to obey Allah' s will I accomplished my Islamic

duties willingly and without difficulty, Alhamdolillah.

Two weeks after my return to Islam, I went back to Japan for a family wedding and took the decision not to return to my studies in France; ..After six months in Japan, my desire to study Arabic grew so much that I decided to go to Cairo, where I knew someone. None of my host family there spoke English (or Japanese!) and the lady who took my hand to lead me into the house was covered from head to toe in black. Even her face was covered. Although this is now familiar to me here in Riyadh, remember being surprised at the time, recalling an incident in France when I had seen such dress and thought, "there is a woman enslaved by Arabic tradition, unaware of real Islam," (which, I believed, taught that covering the face was not a necessity, but an ethnic tradition).

Nevertheless, I balked at the suggestion that I should wear my khimar back in Japan. I was angry at the sister's lack of understanding: Islam commands us to cover our bodies, and as long as this is done one may dress as desired. Every society has its own fashions and such long black clothes in Japan could make people think I am crazy, and reject Islam even before I could explain its teachings. Our argument revolved around this aspect.

After another six months in Cairo, however, I was so accustomed to my long dress that I started to think that I would wear it on my return to Japan. My concession was that I had some dresses made in light colors, and some white khimars, in the belief that they would be less shocking in Japan than the black variety.

I was right. The Japanese reacted rather well to my white khimars, and they seemed to be able to gue that I was of a religious persuasion. I heard one girl telling her friend that I was a Buddhist nun; how similar a Muslimah, a Buddhist nun and a Christian nun are! (Contd.)

My father was worried when I went out in long sleeves and a head-cover even in the hottest weather but I found that my Hijab protected me from the sun. Indeed, it was I who also felt uneasy looking at my younger sister's legs while she wore short pants. …

It is clear that what is acceptable to be bared in society varies according to societal or individual understanding. For example, in Japan fifty years ago it was considered vulgar to swim in a swimmin suit but now bikinis are the norm. If, however, a woman swam topless she would be regarded as shameless. To go topless on the south coast of France, however, is the norm.

Muslims are accused of being over-sensitive about the human body but the degree of sexual harassment which occurs these days justifies modest dress. Just as a short skirt can send the signal th the wearer is available to men, so the Hijab signals, loud and clear: "I am forbidden for you."

Having married, I left Japan for Saudi Arabia, where it is customary for the women to cover their fa outdoors. I was impatient to try the niqab (face cover), and curious to know how it felt. ..Once accustomed to, the niqab is certainly not inconvenient. In fact I felt like the owner of a secret masterpiece, a treasure which you can neither know about, nor see. Whereas non-Muslims may think they are life imitating caricatures when they see Muslim couples walk in the streets, the oppressed, a the oppressor, the possessed, and the possessor, the reality is that the women feel like queens being l

by servants.

It is an error of judgment to think that a Muslim woman covers herself because she is a private possession of her husband. In fact, she preserves her dignity and refuses to be possessed by strangers It is non-Muslim (and "liberated" Muslim) women who are to be pitied for displaying their private se for all to see.

Observing the Hijab from outside, it is impossible to see what it hides. The gap, between being outsi and looking in, and being inside and looking out, explains in part the void in the understanding of Islam. An outsider may see Islam as restricting Muslims. In side, however, there is peace, freedom, and joy, which those who experience it have never known before. …

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A person blinded by prejudice may not see it, but a woman in Hijab is as brightly beautiful as an ang full of self-confidence, serenity, and dignity. No signs of oppression scar her face. "For indeed it is n the eyes that grow blind, but it is the hearts within the bosoms, that grow blind," says the Qur'an (AlHajj 22:46). How else can we explain the great gap in understanding between us and such people? (abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: AMIT KUMAR (ABDUL RAHMAN), KHATAULI, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a small village BHAINSI near KHATAULI. My father was Dr. Mohan Kumar, we are three brothers and one sister.

I was usually late in finishing my school Homework…..once I went to take notes from my Muslim friend, I was told that he had gone to mosque. I went there, he told me I could not enter mosque as I was unclean. I told I am cleaner than you and my clothes are cleaner than you, how come I cannot enter mosque?

02. Then I went for higher study to a near by city. There on Fridays, teacher would ask, who wants t go for Friday prayer, raise your hand, I also used to raise my hand and went out and played. Once some one remonstrated me and took me to a mosque and told me to pray. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. Then I went to MUZAFFAR NAGAR to study in an Inter college and there one Muslim told me am very good looking but I will burn in hell… when I asked further, he told me to become Muslim.

accepted Islam without knowing much about Islam or what it means. Then after many years I met Maulana Kalim Sahib, and then I learned what Islam really is, and then reaccepted Islam and started following its teachings carefully.

04. On his advice, I learned UNANI Medicine from a HAKIM and I have opened my own practice a I hope to earn my living as well as serve humanity thru it. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 05. I went to my parent, and they asked me to come back to my religion. My stepmother was very much against my becoming Muslim. When I refused they tried to persecute me. I remained firm, so much so that one night they plotted to kill me. My sister informed me and I left house D. How I saved my Islam:

06. I had to struggle for my survival and I had to do many odd jobs and even menial jobs. But Allah gave me strength and saved my faith. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents. I am working on my father and meet him occasionally. His earlier anguish has subsided and he is ready to listen to me now.

Same is the case with my mother also. Once she had agreed to become Muslim, but then she change her idea. I pray to Allah to guide them to the true path G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

07. I advise Muslims to become real Muslim. I see the people who brought me to the door of Islam, there is no change in them.

They should become true Muslim and invite others also to islam….this is their real job….other thing are just to earn living and not their main job.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of April 2008.

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Why I Became Muslim? JENNEFER FYOD , USA

Jennifer was born in Dominion Republic. She was 21 and was married with three children… She wa

just reflecting on what is he purpose of life. Was she born to just live and reproduce and establish some relation ships….The things were such when events of 9/11 happened and we pick up the story from there…

My mother in law screamed…”Another plane crashed!!” I moved to TV screen and saw WTC Towers crashing down. I was shocked to the core,! Is it real or am I dreaming, who could do such acts…It was only yesterday that I was shopping in WTC!!! If it were today! May be my time to die h not yet come…but what iis the purpose of my life.

After a few days, I heard news about another plane crash, this time AI flight 587, the same flight I to only a week before. This was second incident which reminded me that some how I am being saved….but for what.

Then I witnessed that Muslims in US were subject to witch hunt and insults every where. They were taunted, labeled as Taliban and asked to go back. What is the fault of these innocent people, why the should be subjected to these insults? These thoughts created a sort of sympathy towards Muslims in my heart. I entered into a college for some course, which also had a number of Muslim girls. I aske them about why they have to wear scarf and other things about Islam and Muslims, I found that they knew very little about Islam and could not answer my queries satisfactorily. Then I tried Internet….there I got lot of information about Islam. First I wanted to make sure that whether Prophet Mohammad did exist or he was an imaginary personality. I learned that indeed he existed and his life history is preserved in great details.

I was surprised to learn that God had sent another prophet after Jesus. That this prophet was last prophet and he had brought message for whole humanity. Islam gave questions to all my doubts wh I had about what is purpose of life and why we are here.

I decided to join prayers with Muslims in Ramadan of year 2002. The mosque was full of people of every race color and country. It was so different from Church. Every body was greeting each other with “SALAM ALAIKUM (May peace be with you)” At that time I did not know what it meant. I also did not know what they do in prayer. Some one advised me to stand quite and do what others d I was much impressed to know that all Muslims irrespective of where they live, face towards Kaaba when they prey. This unites all Muslims to a common cause, that also was so different from Christianity.

I decided to wear Muslim scarf as a trial, I found that it gave me a sense of protection, I was safe fro hungry grazes. Many people told me why you wear scarf when you are not Muslim? I told it gives m a sense of protection.

I was getting closer to Islam, but I was not sure what will be reaction of my family. I tries first on m younger sister that I want to become a Muslim. She told that she would continue to love me, but my parents would be very angry. My father accepted my decision (because he liked my ides on covering up my body), my mother also agreed with my decision after few months.

I decided to become Muslim in Jan 2003. I took a bath, wore new dress with Muslim scarf and took train to local Mosque. I told Imam my decision to accept Islam. Every one in the Mosque became very happy, they all greeted me warmly and asked if I needed any help. I had become a member of Islamic brotherhood!!!

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That night I slept first time as a Muslim, Id dreamt, as if I was in a beautiful garden, and a very handsome man, with unclear facial features, was greeting me. When I woke up, I thought that perso was Prophet Mohammad, but I was told that it could be an angel, because angel of God appear as me with unclear facial features. Allah knows Best (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? ANN ROCKFELLER, BRITAIN

Note: Ann , A British physician, worked at the Institute of Clinical Blood Research of London, prior to her marriage to an Egyptian. She shifted from London to Cairo 18 years ago. Althoug her Egyptian husband was indifferent towards Islam, she found the faith and accepted it.

“Prior to my coming to Egypt I knew nothing about Islam, but I was impressed by the good nature o the Egyptian people and their tolerance.

When I came to Egypt, I realized the difference in the values that exist in the west and the values tha prevail in Egypt and I jumped to the conclusion that Islam was the cause of this difference. Although my husband is a Muslim, I heard no word from him about Islam and I never saw him performing Islamic rituals. My husband did not know that I was performing Muslim, even five year after I had become a Muslim (that is a average Broad Minded Modern Muslim for you – Ed.). When he came to know that I had become a Muslim, he remained indifferent. But gradually and slowly, I was able to influence both my daughter and my husband to become practicing Muslims, and I thank God for that.

I regret that Westerners have a totally wrong concept about Islam and Muslims and that is due to wh information they receive from the Western Media. I believe that most westerners have no antagonist attitude towards Islam and they would be ready to accept Islam, if they are provided with correct knowledge about it.

I have been trying to clarify Islamic principles to my relatives in England , the best way to preach Islam is to behave well and to implant its values in the hearts of the new generations. The responsibilities of Housewife is therefore very great, my own example with my husband and my son and daughters is an example. 119 (Abridged) Source:: Riyadh Daily May 15,1998 p9 Why I Became Muslim?

Noor's Testimony Insights into Women in Islam vs. Women in Hinduism

I came from a purely Hindu family where we were always taught to regard ourselves (i.e. women) as beings who were eventually to be married off and have children and serve the husband - whether he was kind or not. Other than this I found that there were a lot of things which really oppressed women such as:

* If a woman was widowed, she would always have to wear a white sari (costume), eat vegetarian meals, cut her hair short, and never re-marry. The bride always had to pay the dowry (bridal money) the husband's family. And the husband could ask for anything, irrespective of whether the bride wou have difficulty giving it.

* Not only that, if after marriage she was not able to pay the full dowry she would be both emotional and physically tortured, and could end up being a victim of "kitchen death" where the husband, or bo the mother-in-law and the husband try to set fire to the wife while she is cooking or is in the kitchen, and try to make it look like an accidental death. More and more of these instances are taking place. The daughter of a friend of my own father's had the same fate last year!

* In addition to all this, men in Hinduism are treated literally as among the gods. In one of the religio Hindu celebrations, unmarried girls pray for and worship an idol representing a particular god (Shiva so that they may have husbands like him. Even my own mother had asked me to do this. This made m see that the Hindu religion which is based on superstitions and things that have no manifest proof , b were merely traditions which oppressed women could not be right.

Subsequently, when I came to England to study, I thought that at least this is a country which gives equal rights to men and women, and does not oppress them. We all have the freedom to do as we lik I thought. Well, as I started to meet people and make new friends, learn about this new society, and g to all the places my friends went to in order to "socialize" (bars, dance halls, etc.). I realized that this "equality" was not so true in practice as it was in theory.

Outwardly, women were seen to be given equal rights in education, work, and so forth, but in reality women were still oppressed in a different, more subtle way. When I went with my friends to those places they hung out at, I found everybody interested to talk to me and I thought that was normal. Bu it was only later that I realized how naïve I was, and recognized what these people were really lookin for. I soon began to feel uncomfortable, as if I was not myself: I had to dress in a certain way so that people would like me, and had to talk in a certain way to please them. I soon found that I was feeling more and more uncomfortable, less and less myself, yet I could not get out. Everybody was saying they were enjoying themselves, but I don't call this enjoying.

I think women in this way of life are oppressed; they have to dress in a certain way in order to please and appear more appealing, and also talk in a certain way so people like them. During this time I had not thought about Islam, even though I had some Muslim acquaintances. .. (Contd.)

In these days of so called "society of equal rights", you are expected to have a boyfriend (or you're weird!) and to not be a virgin. So this is a form of oppression even though some women do not realiz it. When I came to Islam, it was obvious that I had finally found permanent security. A religion, a belief that was so complete and clear in every aspect of life. Many people have a misconception that Islam is an oppressive religion, where women are covered from head to toe, and are not allowed any freedom or rights. In fact, women in Islam are given more rights, and have been for the past 1400 years, compared to the only-recently rights given to non-Muslim women in some western and some other societies. But there are, even now, societies where women are still oppressed, as I mentioned earlier in relation to Hindu women.

Muslim women have the right to inheritance. They have the right to run their own trade and business They have the full right to ownership, property, disposal over their wealth to which the husband has right. They have the right to education, a right to refuse marriage as long as this refusal is according reasonable and justifiable grounds. The Qur'an itself, which is the Word of God, contains many vers commanding men to be kind to their wives and stressing the rights of women. Islam gives the right s of rules, because they are NOT made by men, but made by God; hence it is a perfect religion.

Quite often Muslim women are asked why they are covered from head to toe, and are told that this is oppression - it is not. In Islam, marriage is an important part of life, the making of the society. Therefore, a woman should not go around showing herself to everybody, only for her husband. Even the man is not allowed to show certain parts of his body to none but his wife. In addition, God has commanded Muslim women to cover themselves for their modesty:

If we look around at any other society, we find that in the majority of cases women are attacked and molested because of how they are dressed. Another point I'd like to comment on is that the rules and regulation laid down in Islam by God do not apply just to women but to men also. There is no intermingling and free-running between men and women for the benefit of both. Whatever God commands is right, wholesome, pure and beneficial to mankind; there is no doubt about that.

When I put on my Hijab (veil), I was really happy to do it. In fact, I really want to do it. When I put the Hijab, I felt a great sense of satisfaction and happiness. Satisfied that I had obeyed God's command. And happy with the good and blessings that come with it. I have felt secure and protected In fact people respect me more for it. I could really see the difference in behaviour towards me.

Finally, I'd like to say that I had accepted Islam not blindly, or under any compulsion. In the Qur'an itself there is a verse which says "Let there be no compulsion in religion". I accepted Islam with conviction. I have seen, been there, done that, and seen both sides of the story. I know and have experienced what the other side is like, and I know that I have done the right thing. Islam does not oppress women, but rather Islam liberates them and gives them the respect they deserve. Islam is the religion God has chosen for the whole of mankind. Those who accept it are truly liberated from the chains and shackles of mankind whose ruling and legislating necessitates nothing but the oppression one group by another and the exploitation and oppression of one sex by the other. This is not the cas of Islam which truly liberated women and gave them an individuality not given by any other authorit (Abridged)

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM VEER SINGH (MOHD. SALMAN) DELHI, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. We belong to Delhi, where I was born. We live in WAZIRABAD locality of Delhi. I did my MA in English and specialization in Martial arts. I have been state champion of Delhi for three years. I r a Martial arts coaching institute in Delhi.

I was in search of truth from very beginning. A Buddhist scholar was living in my neighborhood. H asked me to accept Buddhism and told that we will sent me to some foreign country. I accepted Buddhism, but once I saw Pork meat in his Fridge, that turned me away from his, as he was a hypocrite.

02. My mother used to go to Church regularly, I also used to go with her. The priest was very happy to meet me. He also told me that if I become Christian, they will send me to some foreign country. But when I looked closely, I found the same type of idol worship there also. Then I met a Muslim Sufi, who asked me to become Muslim, and he told me to recite some incantation. I got some peace, but when I saw that my teacher was being “worshipped” like Hindu Brahmin, I said they all are same from the inside. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. It so happened that I met one Muslim gentleman during reconstruction of my house. He told me something about Islam and when he told him about that Muslim Sufi, he laughed and asked me to m Maulana Kalim Sahib in PHULAT.

I reached PHULAT and Maulana told me in detail about Monotheism and how it is different from al those who make partners with True God. His talks impressed me. He gave me some books about Islam, I read them and came to know what real Islam is all about. 04. I accepted Islam at the hands of Maulana. He gave me my new Islamic name and asked me to learn about Prayer and other Islamic teachings. C. How I saved My Islam:

05. I also had to face many difficulties, which every new Muslim faces in the society. Many student

left my coaching Institute when I became Muslim. Allah sent many more students. My in-laws tried to put hindrances in our path. Then some of my creditors from whom I had taken loan for re-building my house behaved badly and harshly with me…but these were minor tests and Allah gave me strength and solved my problems..

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

I presented Islam to my wife and Allah opened her hearts to Islam. She and all my children accepted Islam, Alhamdolillah. 2. On Parents. After my wife, I presented Islam to my father and by grace of Allah, he also accepted Islam. 3. On Family members / Others. 06. I came to know that one Muslim Girl from a good family of MP had done court marriage with a Hindu boy and was living with him as Hindu.

Maulana asked me to go and meet her, I went to their house and talked to the boy. When I presented Islam to him, he accepted islam, then I asked the girl to re-enter Islam and then their marriage was redone as per Islam.

07. Then I came to know that a Muslim Lawyer had married a Muslim girl to a Hindu boy after mak her Hindu. I got very angry and went to that lawyer and told what type of Muslim is he.. Then I went the same night to the couples home in Delhi and talked to them about Islam….Alhamdolillah the boy, who was a computer engineer accepted Islam. The girl (who was a Muslim) did not know how to recite the KALIMA (Basic creed of Islam)… I told her and then they were married according to Islamic rites Alhamdolillah. F. Present Situation: I am active in DAWAH activity and now I want to memorize the whole Quran. I ask my Muslim friends to pray for me. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 08. The whole world is thirsty about truth. They go tot his door and that door in search of truth. So many god-men are misleading the people.

It is Islam which will quench their thirst. It is duty of Muslims to bring the message of Islam to them It is their duty as a Muslim.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of May 2008

121

Why I Became Muslim? JERMAINE (MOHD. ABDUL AZIZ) JACKSON, USA. JERMAINE JACKSON is brother to the well known Pop Singer Michel Jackson. He was born in Grey Indiana in 1954. His mother’s name is Katherine Jackson and Father’s name Joseph Jackson. He is also a very good singer, but not as famous as his brother. The story of his conversion to Islam a commentary of prophetic saying “When Allah wants to do favor to some one, He opens his hearts Islam”.

It was in 1989, when me and my sister took a tour of some ME countries. We were very well receive and a large crowd used to gather wherever we went. It was in Bahrain, when we were surrounded by large group of small children. They asked me many questions…..some one asked me about my religion….when I asked what was their religion….they answered in one voice Islam!!

This answer and their confidence was the one thing which changed my outlook about Islam. I was forced to learn about Islam and when I knew the truth, it was almost impossible for me to hold back. Therefore I declared my conversion to Islam. I did not care the way Western Media was doing propaganda against me,

When I recited the Islamic KALIMA of faith, I felt that it was a sort of re-birth of me. Islam gave m answers to all Question, which as a Christian I was not getting. In Islam I got the answer about the birth of Jesus Christ and many such issues.

I knew that US media was presenting a very bad image of Islam and Muslims. They did the same thing to me and against my brother Michel. My brother has no grudge against Islam and Muslims an is very close to Islam himself. But the media sensationalized trivial issues concerning me and my family. They threatened that they would make USA too hot for us to stay therein.

We tried our best to help Bosnian Muslims as well as poor Muslims in many African countries. Ou family is very serious in helping poor because we ourselves were very poor not long ago.

122

My sister was also very much surprised about me accepting Islam, she had reservations about Polygamy in Islam. When I told the circumstances and conditions under which Islam allows limited polygamy, and the downfall in sexual morality which free western society was bringing, she got convinced (abridged) Why I Became Muslim?

Young, Female and Muslim by Jocelyn Wiener, Times Staff Writer. © St. Petersburg Times. Published October 7, 2002

The first time 21-year-old Rose Munoz deflates the Whoopee cushion; everyone jumps, and then begins to giggle. Rolling her eyes at her vice president's antics, 19-year-old Amal Kurdi, the presiden calls the members of the Sisters United Muslim Association back to attention.

It is just before noon on Friday, and the young women, most of whom wear Hijab, the traditional Muslim head covering, are simultaneously making their way through an extensive agenda (studentteacher dinner, poetry reading, highway cleanup, beauty tips) and a veritable feast of college student food (strawberries and Cool Whip, Keebler Chips Deluxe, carrots and ranch dressing). One young woman, a recent convert, suggests that SUMA host a dinner for the parents of converts. Rose, who also is a convert, embraces any opportunity to spread awareness about Islam. "We can have different people get up and talk about why we converted, and how we faced hardship with our parents," Rose says.

Every year, about 20,000 people in the United States convert to Islam, in addition to those who conv in prison, according to a study conducted last year by the Council on American-Islamic Relations. O these converts, there are more women than men, the majority of them young and unmarried, says Hodan Hassan, spokeswoman for CAIR. They come to Islam because they have Muslim co-workers and friends, because they have Muslim boyfriends, or because they start studying and find they agree with the tenets of a religion that emphasizes modesty and community.

In the past year, Muslim women have frequently been called upon to defend their role in their faith. But young women who convert to Islam often face an additional challenge: persuading their families to accept their decisions. Islam insists that people maintain close family ties and show respect for the parents. For those who are going against their parents' wishes merely by practicing Islam, negotiating balance can prove difficult… Rose did not intend to wear the scarf. But slowly, she started covering her hair with baseball caps. Then she moved on to bandanas. Her Muslim friends assured her that when she was ready to wear Hijab, she would know. The day she put it on, Rose felt liberated. "I used to dress very provocatively," she says. "People say, "Don't you miss it?' What do I miss? I gained something. I don't get gawked at by random men anymore." Rose says her parents, however, were horrified by her decision to wear Hijab.

"You chose your religion over us," she says they told her. "People will discriminate against you. You're making yourself a third-rate citizen." She says her father calls her every time he hears about a attack on a Muslim. By wearing Hijab, he tells her, "You've basically painted a bull's-eye on you

saying "shoot me.'" Her younger sister, a 15-year-old high school sophomore who wants to be a movie star, asked her, "How are you going to heaven?"

Rose Munoz moves so naturally in her elegant peach-colored Hijab and her matching loose-fitting julbab that it seems surprising her first exposure to Islam took place only three years ago. A friend le her a copy of the Koran. Rose flipped through it a bit, read maybe five pages, then put it away. Although she had been baptized twice -- by Roman Catholics in New York and Baptists in St. Petersburg -- Rose hadn't felt comfortable in either faith. She was scolded for asking too many questions and gossiped about for wearing tight clothes and partying.

By the time she started studying at USF, Rose had long since stopped attending church. She began seeing groups of young women, their hair covered with Hijab, walking together around campus. She started looking for them at the library every Friday. On one of these Fridays, Sept. 3, 1999, a month into her freshman year, Rose approached them.

"I really want a "head thing' and to come to the mosque if you guys will take me," she blurted out. Amal, who remains one of Rose's best friends, was in that group. The girls brought Rose home, gave her appropriate clothing, and invited her to join them for Friday prayers at the mosque.

"It was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen," Rose remembers. "It was so calming and so peaceful. Everybody was bowing down and praying. I'd always been at churches where the front pews were reserved for the people who gave the most money."

When the prayers were over, Rose looked at Amal. "I want to convert right now," she said. "Are you sure?" Amal asked. "This is it," Rose answered. She could feel it. Rose's struggle to defend her faith to her family was intensified by the climate of fear that many Muslims experienced in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Despite such difficulties, in the 13 months since Sept. 11, many Muslim groups have noticed an increase in new converts.

"We've seen a surge of interest in Islam," says Altaf Ali, director of CAIR Florida, "and as that surge increases, so does the conversion ratio." Britney Johnson, a 17-year-old senior at Durant High Schoo is one of the new converts. Raised in a Baptist family, the fourth of seven children, she had the same initial reaction as many of her peers in the aftermath of Sept. 11. "I thought we should turn the Middle East into a parking lot," she remembers. But at that time, Britney's family lived next door to a Muslim family, and Britney was friendly with many of the neighbors' children. So she bought The Idiot's Guide to Islam, and started studying. That was in November 2001. After a few months, a friend gave her Amal's phone number. Britney started attending Sunday classes at the mosque. She converted this past August. "I was nervous, dizzy," she

says. "This has been the most incredible month of my life." [Times photo: Ken Helle. Converts take classes and study books such as the Sahih Muslim, a collection of sayings and deeds by the Muslim prophet Mohammad.]

Britney says that if she could choose to clarify one misconception about Islam, she would explain th women are not oppressed. She says her family has accepted her conversion "pretty well." "It's so opposite from what we hear on the news," she says. "In my world religions class, people say, "Wow, never knew Islam was so close to Judaism and Christianity.'"

Muslim leaders are also quick to dispel many of the myths surrounding the role women play in Islam Hassan of CAIR says many of these stereotypes arise from the incorrect understanding "that we're voiceless, that it is mandated in Islam that we have no rights, that we're chattel." Sofian Abdelaziz, director of the American Muslim Association of North America, says that Islam emphasizes the importance of women's education.

"In the mosque, women are supposed to be active, to teach," he says. "The daughter of the prophet used to teach Islam, even to men." Hassan says actions taken by specific governments, especially Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia, have led many people in the West to believe Islam is a misogynistic faith, when in fact those governments are breaking Islamic law. Hassan notes that Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, has a female president, Egypt and Jordan have a higher percentage of femal engineers and doctors than the United States, and a larger percentage of women sit in the Iranian parliament than in the U.S. Congress.

"There is no compulsion -- and this is in the Koran -- in faith," she says. "You give people the option to cover. If you force them, it goes against Islam."

For many young women, the emphasis on modesty is a crucial reason for their attraction to Islam. Ju three weeks ago, Arrica Clark's life was, by her own estimation, a mess. "I used to be real boy crazy, wearing those little shorts," says the 27-year-old single mother, as she sits in McDonald's watching three of her four small children play with Happy Meal figurines. The father of 6-year-old Kashayla a 5-year-old Lonnie sends Arrica some child support. The father of 3-year-old Jamellah and 14-month old Fatima does not. To make ends meet, Arrica works as a cashier at a local U-Save, leaving the children in government-subsidized day care.

Stressed from what she calls "living in the world," she says she used to "cuss like a sailor" at work an scream at her children at home. As a high school student, Arrica had known some Muslim girls and had once tried wearing Hijab. She had taken it off after three days because she was confused. The father of Jamellah and Fatima is Muslim, and had encouraged Arrica to consider Islam. Arrica had only been with her most recent boyfriend for two months when she became pregnant with a fifth chi due in April. Her boyfriend hit her. She kicked him out. A few days later, she went to an open house the mosque, and said shahada, the prayer for accepting Islam.

"I felt like a whole new person," she says. "I felt clean. Men can't holler at me," she adds. "I don't mi

that part." Her father, who is Christian, doesn't know she converted. She doesn't think he'd approve. [Times photo: Ken Helle. Amal Kurdi, center, in discussion with Taqwa Aquil, left, and Anna Harbaoui at the end of their Islamic conversion class.]

Rose still plays soccer with other SUMA members, still rides horseback, still visits Busch Gardens, still eats pizza and watches movies and dances when she is alone with her friends. What she misses most, she says, is a normal relationship with her family. She believes that, with time, such a relationship is possible. "My mom loves me so much she'll buy me scarves sometimes," Rose smiles "My grandmother gave me a beautiful, velvet embroidered scarf. They'll respect my prayer, but at th same time ask, "Why are you so fanatical?"

In the shadowy side room of the al-Qassam mosque in north Tampa, 10 young women sit in a semicircle on the beige and brown-striped carpet. A fan whirs overhead, gently stirring the flowing scarv -- ivory, violet, cobalt, sage -- that conceal heads of blond, brown and black hair. Loose dresses, wor for modesty, drape gracefully over bodies thick and thin.

It is Sunday, just after noon, and Amal and her friend Taqwa Aquil are leading a weekly class, with support from Rose and Jennifer Valko, a quiet 20-year-old who converted two years ago and is co-vi president of SUMA. The more recent converts, including Arrica and Britney, mostly listen and ask questions. "What if you haven't prayed and it's time to go to sleep?" asks Britney. "I've heard it's bett not to pray tired," Rose says. "That's true, but you should take the necessary steps, set an alarm," Am replies. They talk about the prayer for guidance. "This might sound silly, but I'm a dorky student and do it before I take a test," Amal confesses. "If I'm all stressed out, I tell myself, I studied, I did what can, and now I'm just leaving it to him to help me through."

"You know what's cool?" Rose says, looking up. "In the Koran, Allah's mercy is greater than his wra All these prayers are really long, but the one for forgiveness is really simple."

At 2 p.m., the imam chants the call to prayer. The young women stand in a row, their eyes closed, th heads bowed. Slowly, quiet sounds penetrate the silence of the mosque -- the whirring of the fan, the cries of children outside, the rustle of dresses as the young women kneel, bow, kneel, stand, and the sound of the imam's voice, calling the name of Allah. 123 Why I Became Muslim? Somayyah From a Bathing Suit to Hijab By Christian Hauser, Islamic Voice

Note: SOMAYYAH was educated in a convent and as a teenager worked as a model and in cocktail lounges. Growing up in Ireland and Britain, she tried drugs and liquor land supported alcoholic and sometimes abusive parents. Years later the 25 year old Irish woman moved to the Gulf Arab Emirate

of Dubai where, through books loaned by friends, she learned about Islam. “I would go to the beach in my bathing suit and listen to Qur’an on my Walkman,” she said.

“One day I was going to the beach in a taxi driven by a Pakistani who had Qur’an on the radio. I got there and put one foot on the ground to get out. “Then I looked at the taxi driver and said: ‘No, take me back home.’ I couldn’t go to the beach and take my clothes off.”

Now Somayyah, a school teacher who adopted the name of Islam’s first female martyr, will not leav her flat without covering herself from head to toe in Hijab. Since she converted her family has refuse to see her. In interviews, some said they converted because they were disillusioned by changes in their own religious traditions.

Others said they were influenced by husbands or relatives or that they liked the sense of community.

“I had seen so many changes in the church that unsettled me,” said Kathy Grigg, an American in her mid-thirties whose family supported her conversion to Islam.

“Latin was dropped from the mass, women were not only no longer required to cover their heads in church but were permitted to wear pantsuits. Abstinence from eating meat on Fridays was dropped.” “There was no more reverence. But to me, seeing a Muslim pray, to bow down on the ground..” Bilal Philips, 49, a Canadian who had worked for the Saudi air force religious affairs department in Riyadh and who was well-known as a TV religious presenter, said he belonged to the communist movement in Canada and the United States.

“I became fed up. Basically I was searching for something meaningful,” he said of his conversion 24 years ago. Some US military personnel were exposed to Islam when they served in the Gulf war.

Philips manned an Islamic information centre in a tent at an air force base in Dhahran. In the six months after the war 3,000 Westerners converted at the centre, 98 percent of them US servicemen or women, he said. They gave up alcohol but wearing Muslim attire and praying five times a day clashed with military duties. “You got out of uniform as quickly as you could land put Hijab back on,” said one convert, Asma

Markusson, a former US army reservist who grew up in Illinois wanting to be a nun. 124 As for prayers “I had to catch my prayers when I could.” (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: CHOUWDHARY ABDULLAH, PHULAT, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a JAT Family in PHULAT. My father was headmaster of Primary school in which LAL BAHADUR SHASTRI, the second Prime Minister of India was teaching. 02. I did my primary education in that school and then High School and Intermediate from city schools. I was very much interested in body building and wresting and I won many competitions in my village and city level.

My father used to take care of poor people and those in need. I also inherited the same attitude of helping poor and down trodden. Then I fell into the society of bad people and made a sort of gang. The people were afraid of us, but even in those days, I used to help the poor people and those in need

03. My temper was very high and that led to high blood pressure and other complications. I used to take FORTE-1 injection, at least four to eight per day. If one injection is given to normal person, he would go to sleep for 8 to 10 hours. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. Once I went to a clinic for FORTE-1 injection, Maulana Kalim Sahib was also sitting there, whe he saw the injection, he asked me why I was injecting all this poison in my body. I told that it is my only cure. He said that if I accept his advice, I would never need these injections. I only need one month from you and you have to come to PHULAT for that.

05. Next morning when I was still thinking about last evenings happening, when someone brought m a small letter from Maulana. In which he told me about hell fire and what will happen to me if I continue my present case. This impressed me very much and I decided to go to PHULAT at the first instance. I went but Maulana was busy in his outside visits, He came back after two days and was very happy

see me. I told him to make me a Muslim. He said that I had become Muslim the day I had decided t accept Islam. But this is needed fro confirmation.

06. I accepted Islam and he named me Abdullah, saying that this is one of the best names for anyone

Then Ramadan came and Maulana asked me to stay away from those injections for one month…. I fasted for the whole month and did not need those injections, after the end of month , I did not get th urge and have got rid of that evil habit, Alhamdolillah. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 07. Earlier I was incharge of the Local Hindu Extremist party SHIV SENA and had participated actively during Babri Mosque movement. Now when I became Muslim, it was strange news to my people. They opposed me and implicated me into many false cases. But with the encouragement I received from Maulana and my faith, Allah made things easy for me. D. How I saved my Islam:

I went along with a Muslim missionary party for some time and learned Quran and Prayers and othe day to day teachings of Islam. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children I had two wives, one of them and her two children accepted Islam with me.

My other wife did not accept Islam, after lot of persuation, I left her and gave her my house in Delhi 3. On Family members / Others.

08. My brother along with his family accepted Islam and many members from my family also accep Islam. When I remember how much I worked against Islam and Muslims in my earlier days, it affects me very much. It is Maulana who advices me to forget the past and look for present and future. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 09. I was thirsty for the true love and when I got it from Maulana, I became his slave. This is my advice to all Muslims also. They should treat their Non Muslim brothers with love and consideration.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2008

125

Why I Became Muslim? JOBAL (SALEH) EICHAN , PHILLIPINES

I was born into a Catholic Family. We had our own saint whom we used to worship and we were no allowed to read Bible. Once I went to a Protestant Church and was surprised that every one was free to read Bible there. So I joined that Church and soon got enough knowledge to act as priest. I completed my degree in Computer Engineering and was looking for job.

In those days I knew nothing about Islam and had very negative opinion about Muslims. In our loca media Muslims were always refereed to as Terrorists and killers and very bad people.

It so happened that I got job in a bank in Saudi Arabia and moved to the city of Dammam. I used to live with my Pilipino friends in a rented house. I had no desire to learn Arabic, because I considered a very inferior language and in the bank every one talked in English.

Things were going on like that, when one day, we hired a Taxi from Dammam, the fair we agreed w Saudi Riyal 15, but the driver at the end of journey demanded 20 Riyals. I got very angry and Told t driver, how can you behave like that when you believe in God and prey five times!!! Immediately th driver became ashamed and asked to be paid 15 Riyals.

This event showed me that the driver was good at heart and cared about his religion. My attitudes towards Muslims started changing and I wanted to know more about Islam. I always thought that th do some worship of sun, because they prey according to sun cycles.

Then one day my Supervisor mentioned Jesus, I asked him “what have you to do with Jesus, he is fo us for Christians”. He told me smiling that Muslims also believe in Jesus and all other Biblical prophets!! I was much surprised.

I decided to know more about Islam and went in a local book store to buy books about Islam. I boug three or four books including one titles “Jesus not God but son of Mary”. The book gave many quotations from Bible, I took out my Bible and checked the quotations, they were all true. I then started going to local Islamic Guidance center and started listening to talks and lectures there. There were many sub groups there, I used to Join Pilipino group.

After some time, it became cleat to me that 1) Jesus is not God 2) Bible is not preserved in its origina condition 3) Islam is right when it says that only God should be worshipped and no one else.

When I got convinced of these facts, I decided to become Muslim. But I did not know how or what. One day I decided to go to local Mosque for the FAJR prayer. I was standing outside the Mosque an was not knowing what to do. One Sudanese knew my dilemma and he told me to just go inside Mosque and do what I see others doing. I cannot express the peace and tranquility I felt when I put m head for the first time on ground.

I did not declare my Islam to my fellow Pilipino, but was praying in secret. But it soon leaked out an my friend started arguing with me and tries to turn me back. I told clearly that I have accepted Islam after lot of consideration and after knowing that it is true. I had to leave that house and shift elsewhere. When my Saudi Supervisor know that I had accepted Islam, he became very happy and gave a great banquet in my honor.

When I went to Philippine on vacation, I told my parents that I have become Muslim, They were shocked at first , but soon adjusted to my wishes. I soon met another Pilipino friend who had becom Muslim and was soon married to his daughter. I have two daughters whom I have named SAFA and MARWAH. I try t spend my spare time with the Islamic Guidance Center in Al Khobar. (abridged) 126 Why I Became Muslim? Ms Tasha http://www.newmuslims.tk/ Assalaamu 'Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

My name is Tasha, and I recently converted (formally) to Islam on July 7,2004.I had been studying Islam ever since I was in 7th grade. My interest in Islam began when I was invited to iftar for Ramadan by my Seventh grade teacher. And ever since then I was hooked!!!

I was raised a Baptist, but like so many former Christians I never really practiced Christianity. I rare if ever attended Church or Sunday school because I just felt so uncomfortable there. My immediate family was the type where we just went to church on major holidays. So I studied Islam and fasted fo the Ramadan while I was not Muslim (I knew that my fasts wouldn't count, but it was my situation, perhaps that was Allah subhana wa ta'ala's will). Then finally my sophomore year in high school I go back in contact with my 7th grade teacher and I learned even more. I learned how to pray, I learned (and I am still learning) how to read Arabic, and I had started reading the Qumran (Alhamdolillah what a glorious Al Khitab it is. My favorite Surah thus far is Sura Yusuff). Then I began going to a dars in February (shortly after Ramadan) that she (my old teacher) spoke at for girls 12-18 (which I still attend). Then I slowly increased and I started going to a Lecture or Khutbah on Thursday nights. The finally on that fateful Tuesday I converted/reverted (what ever people want to call it)!!! It was one of the best days of my life!!! Subhanallah!!! The only problem is that I haven't told any one because I a truly afraid they'll either disown me or try to Deprogram me!!!

I had mentioned to my Mother that I wanted to convert when I was a freshman in High School, but I had told her I'd wait until I was 18. And then My grandfather suspects something because even befor I converted I spread the "good news" if you will, about Islam and how it cancels out the divinity of 'I (aleyhi salaam) and original sin, so he believes that I am brainwashed or what not. But the kuffar are truth rejecters!!! Then to make it even worse I have a twin sister, she knows that I pray five times da and that I go to the Masjid frequently and all that, but she doesn't know if I converted or not!!! The only one that knows besides the other Muslims at the Masjid is the Board of Directors at the library a which I work. I just pray that Allah (SWT) gives me guidance and soften their (My families and my

friends and my co-workers) hearts, Ameen. Insha'allah , I will survive and increase in my iman. By the way I am 16 and I live in IL.

Also I will be attending the ISNA conference/convention this labor day weekend and I hope that tho of you on this mailing list will be attending. And isn't it ironic that when Muslimahs wear Hijab, or when for that matter whatever Muslims people see (no matter what ethnicity you are or whether or n u have been a citizen of the country where in you reside) people don't classify you as an American o as a Mexican or as a German, etc. they classify you as a Muslim (subhanallah). But sometimes, in an Americans case they look at you as if you don't know how to speak English properly and as if you ar a terrorists and as if you are an Arab, ironic huh!!! But never the less I am proud of my Muslim identity and insha'allah I will be able to be a good image of a Muslim to the American people and insha'allah I will be able to wear Hijab proudly (once I tell my family) not only when I pray but whe go outdoors too. Wa salaam, 127 Tasha Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ZAINAB CHAUHAN, CHURU RAJASTHAN, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in CHURU in a Rajput family on 20th April 1968. My father was principal in a local high school. I did BA from the city and was married on 6th June 1990 in a good family of MP.

My husband was NAIB TAHSILDAR and he had been a very good hockey player. In fact he got his job due to his hockey game. We lived in RATLAM and MANDSORE due to my husband’ transfers Then he was promoted as TAHSILDAR in Bhopal and went there. 02. My husband used to love me very much and everything was fine in our family and we had two children. But all that changed in 2000 when my husband went to live in Bhopal. There was a very handsome Brahmin girl working in his office. She was very hard working and efficient. My husband fell in love with her, even though there was no sexual relationship between them, but he always was lost in her thought.

03. He decided to leave me an marry her….so he left me with my parents and invited her to Delhi to marry her. Since he was already married, so lawyers told them the only way out was them to becom

Muslim and then get married..

They went to many places in Delhi, but no one helped them. Some one told them the address of Maulana Kalim in Phulat. He reached there but Maulana was not there. But there was Muslim schol there who asked them to recite Kalima and then married them as per Islamic rites.

04. He also told them that they have to complete official formalities by giving affidavit before a DM

The girl told my husband that when we have become Muslim, we should also read about Islam. She got some book on Islam and read them. The study of Islam opened their heart to Islam and they became Muslims from their heart.

05. Later when they met Maulana and told about their story….Maulana told that it was very unfair to your first wife, you should start working on her and start praying for her right with.. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 06. Slowly the news of his marriage reached to me, I was very angry and sad. My father initiated a case against my husband, he was arrested and spend some days in jail. He got bail but he was suspended from the office duty.

My family members made life more and more difficult for him….but his new wife became a staunch Muslim and even started participating in Missionary activities.

07. They consulted Maulana and his wife told him, that now that she has become a True Muslim, she feels that his first wife was a victim. I have no objection, if he goes back to her and divorces me. 08. She phoned me a number of times and begged me repeatedly to come to Bhopal, so we could sol the issue ourselves. Firstly I refused, but after some time, when Is aw no way out, I decided to go there.

When I reached there, she told me about Islam and went on asking me to save me from the hell fire… She kept on working on me, till Allah also opened my heart to Islam. 09. I accepted Islam and I was remarried to my husband according to Islamic rites. She was very happy for me and kept on congratulating me again and again.

Soon she told me one Friday that I have seen a dream that I am going to heaven….shortly afterwards she fell sick…and died after a brief sickness. It was strange that second wife is presented in a bad light, but in my case, she became a real boon.

E. My Missionary activities:

1. On Spouse / Children

10. My husband was very much affected by the death of his second wife. In fact he told me that he h now no more attraction left in life. I am consoling hem and send him to Maulana when he feels very depressed. I have brought my children back to Bhopal and then are studying in Islamic schools now. I hope that they become Islamic missionary. F. Present Situation:

We have taken Maulana as our religious teacher and consult him on our situation and religious queri G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. It is said in Quran that “If one believes and does good deeds, Allah will make his earthly life pleasant..” We have seen the truth of this Quranic verse in the life of my husband, his second wife a now in my own case!!
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2009

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Why I Became Muslim? YOUSUF ESTES TEXAS, USA

Note: The Name of YOUSUF ESTES is very familiar to those who watch Peace TV. He is a regular member on this channel. His imposing personality and his inimitable style of telling stories keeps on spellbound. He was a Christian Missionary to start with, but now is an Islamic Missionary. Due to h efforts, many persons belonging to various walks of life have entered into folds of Islam. As per him they were all searching for the truth. He has many times told the story of his conversion to Islam of Peace TV, an abridged version of which is presented below.

It all started in 1991, when my father announced that he is going to do a business with an Egyptian guy, I thought it was OK to bring an International Flavor to our business. Land of Egypt always had fascination for me. But when he announced that this man is a Muslim, I was very much Surprised:

A Muslim!!! Are we going to deal with a Muslim? Don’t you know that 1) they do not believe in Go 2) They worship a black cell in a desert 3) They kiss earth five times daily, I don’t want to do nothin with any Muslim!!

But my father told me that he is a very good man and I should behave properly with him. An Idea struck into my mind, may be we can make him a Christian!! Accordingly I decided to meet him on a Sunday, when I was fresh from Church meetings, with My Bible under my arm and a Cap with a bol Caption “Jesus is God”. Me with my wife and our two daughters were ready for our “First Encounte

with this Muslim.

I had imagined him to be dressed in a long robe and overflowing beard, hiding some gun or Bomb in his garments, but to my disappointment he was a small man with a smiling face and pleasing manner He met me with a sincere smile, I was bent upon to give my “Treatment” to him “Do you believe in God”, I asked. Yes he replied and I was slightly taken aback.

“Do you believe in Adam and Eve”? , Yes he replied “Abraham…Moses”? Yes he replied. Then I went for Kill “Do you believe in Jesus that he was Christ”? I asked, his answer surprised me “Yes” Then I though he only needs to be Baptized. I took him to a café and we discussed (mainly I spoke) for a long time. I found him to be somewhat shy and of silent disposition.

I told my father that it is OK to do business with me, then we traveled together many times and I too care to turn on Christian Radio Channel, so he should listen about our beliefs, then it so happened th he had to move into our house for a few days. Then it so happened that we had to take in a Catholic priest also into our house. When I talked to the Catholic priest about Islam, I found that he knew mu more about Islam than any of us. (Contd.)

We used to discuss religion every day after dinner, my father had his KJV, I with RSV, The priest w Catholic Bible and my wife with Jehovah’s Witness Good News. We used to argue amongst ourselves, which is the better and more authentic. Mohd. Would just sit silently listening to our talks I asked him “How many versions he had of Quran”

He told us “Quran has no versions, every Muslim reads and memorizes the same Quran”. I was very much surprised. One day the Priest asked Mohd. That he wants to visit the Muslim Mosque. When returned, we were very eager to know what he saw in Mosque? “Nothing much, people came, they prayed and dispersed” I was much surprised, no Music, no singing and no rituals?

After some time, the Priest again went to see the Mosque, when he came back after much time; we were surprised that he was dressed in Muslim attire. “I have become Muslim”, he declared, we were taken aback.

I thought about this, and I discussed with my wife. She told me that she also wanted to become Muslim. Myself and my wife accepted Islam the next day… my father took a few months before he also became Muslim. Both our daughters also became Muslim.

During my ministerial services I have met many Christian priests who told me that Islam is the true religion. When I asked them why they did not accept it, they told that they do not want to loose thei jobs and positions in the Church. This is short story of my conversion to Islam, those who want more details can go to my site www.islamtomorrow.com (Abridged)

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Why I Became Muslim? AMNAH, USA

Note: This story is converted from a third person narrative to first person to match with other posts. The events are correct however. I belong to a comfortable middle class family in Southern California. After graduation, I married a Syrian Muslim student and moved to Syria. There I desperately tried to understand Islam and its tenets. I asked those around her about Islam, surprisingly my husband did not like my interest in Islam and even rebuked me. Growing up in America had ingrained upon me that various religions are in fact different paths to reach to the same goal, a person chooses one that suits him, or he does not choose at all. I found the literature on Islam in English insufficient and the translations of Quran seemed baffling, the only way to comprehend was to simply learn the language.

The faith came slowly to me, I prayed to God that if He was true, He would make Himself known to me. I realized that Quran indeed was an inspired book and a guidance for whole humankind.

The next logical step was for me to accept Islam, but when I realized the responsibilities of a true Muslim, I hesitated. I was torn between the desire to live according to God’s law and the fear that I would not be able to do so. I prayed, fasted and even gave ZAKAT, but I felt that if I did not declare my faith, I will not be held accountable.

After two years of Arabic course and another thru private tutors, I could struggle thru reading the Quran with the assistance of dictionaries and commentaries. Gradually I began to understand that w are just as much responsible for what we neglect to do.

At that moment, I was ready to declare my faith. I did not knew what would the ceremony would be like, what the Imam would ask me, I tried to prepare myself for many questions… It was so surprisin to me that the ceremony was so simple and was over in a few minutes. I had become Muslim after 1 years.

Since that time I have done much more study on Islam and have even written some books in Arabic help Arabic speaking Non Muslims appreciate and make use of guidance that God placed within the easy reach…. 130 (Abridged) Source:: The Islamic Voice, Bangalore, Nov 1996, p18 Why I Became Muslim?

Testimony of Um Luqman http://www.thetruereligion.com/umluqman.htm Um Luqman, "Jesus(AS) made sense to me as being a Prophet"

Bismillah ir Rahman nir Raheem ( In the Name of ALLAH, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

As Salamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu ( May the Peace and Blessings from ALLAH be upon you) all in Islam, Greetings, This is my story of how I reverted back to Islam. Revert is One who comes back to Islam. We are all Born Muslim, so those who stray and find there way back, ( by ALLAH's will) has reverted. By the time I was born, Islam had already been introduced to my family.

My Uncles, (maternal), had both accepted Islam, by the end of the Vietnam war. Masha'ALLAH. An had given both of their sisters, my mother and aunt, dawah -- needless to say both of them rejected th dawah at this time. They were not too keen on the idea of telling their parents, (my grandparents-maternal). You see, I came from a very strict Catholic background, and for anyone to convert to any other religion was frowned upon terribly.

During my childhood, I always had the questions; Who was God, and Where did he come from. Min you those two questions permeated my thoughts throughout my spiritual journey.

Well, in the cathedrals my family attended, there were these Big, and Massive statues. Oh my, I thought these were the most scary statues I had ever seen. The music was creepy and the combinatio of candles and stained glass made shadows look ghastly. Then, I remember having to light candles a go to confession, eat bread and drink fake wine (grape juice)........... ........All of this was very exhausting to me.

The Frilly dresses and meticulous and strategically placed bows in my hair, I felt like a porcelain dol and if anyone touched me or if I moved the wrong way , I could break. Did I forget to mention that went to 2 different masses, Spanish and English. The Spanish I could barely understand ( parents wanted me to be western-so they only spoke English to me). And the English was to difficult to follo and after all of that, and after many years ; I still did not know the answer to my 2 questions. As I got older, things changed quickly, here I was about 8 years old or so and my aunt took her

shahadah (Masha'ALLAH), and I still didn't know what that meant at that time, only heard the word few times, here and there. And my mother and father grew apart, and we ( my mom and I) grew apar I lived with my grandmother , who was still a Devout Catholic, and I still had the dresses and bows. <smile>

My mother moved to Georgia, and I was still in New York, going to 2 masses and going to confessio the whole bit. I got a little older and at about age 12, (almost a teenager!!, <smile> ) I moved to Georgia with my mom, and guess what!........ She also took her shahadah, ( Masha'ALLAH) and still I didn't know what this meant. I was devastated. My mother, a beautiful career women, a Muslim. Now, I know that she was the most beautiful women that I knew back then, and even now.

I didn't know what to do. I knew One thing , I was not going to wear that head rag, as I called it at th pre teen stage. My mother tried to force me to wear the Khimar (head covering) and the long dress a the long shirts at first, then she realized the more she tried , the more I rebelled. I even ran away from home to my cousins house, (across the street from my school) to get away from my new Muslim mo

As time went on, I develop my curiosity of, Who God was and Where did He come from ,again. So, here I am at age 15 searching for God. I was away from my Muslim mom (living with relatives again back and forth to New York, visiting my grandma), and I went to a penacostle church. I took the inv from a school friend. I could not connect, so I kept on searching.

Now I was 17, had already been to a holiness church (all the "got the Spirit dancing" scared the heck out of me), a Baptist church (to much singing and yelling, not enough preaching), and a non Denominational church (finally found my niche) . I was "baptised" and saved!! At last, I was no longer a sinner and was a spiritual person, who loved God and His son................... But, Who was He again? and Where did He come from? And now He had a son, did I just realize this?........

Back to square one. I decided to just say no to all the invites and not do anything, as far as religion w concerned.

I had graduated from highschool and was in the beginning of my 2nd year of college ,when I met a preacher, a very young one. Just 3 years older than me. He was at the "Other" University, one for all males and it had a Theology program. Well, he gave me a bible, and told me to read certain chapters to renew my faith in God. But Which God, hmmmmmmmmm.

I had been fed so much from so many different people, phew! I needed some renewal of faith, but ho

did I know this was the way. He made sure that he was there to guide me, if I had a question he alwa had the answer, if I needed clarification, he did it, if I needed some upliftment, he was there. It came time I accepted his invite to this little church he practiced preaching at. I thought I knew it all, I had my Bible in hand , read it from cover to cover. I was prepared for it all. Or so I thought..........

....I froze, something would not let me enjoy the service, I couldn't get up and say thank you Jesus (AS) anymore, I could not say Hallaleuah anymore. I got up and walked out, and never returned to th church again. Let me explain, I saw something in that church, I dont know what it was, but it was looking at me as I was looking at it. A few months after that, I had 2 dreams. 2 dreams I will never forget, Insha'ALLAH. To make it short, I dreamt that something was chasing me, and I turned aroun and said something in a different language. it stopped and ran away. The next dream I had was of my grandmother, (who had died, and taken her shahadah before her death, Masha'ALLAH). I was in her house with a Jewish family, mother and son. My grandmother was in the kitchen cooking, and I was speaking to this Jewish man, all of a sudden, my grandmother left and this Jewish mother was cookin (I was in a spot where I could not see her), Well, this Jewish guy started speaking, what I think was Yiddish or Hebrew, and he jumped up and disappeared, I was drawn to the kitchen and saw that sam thing again, I started to say something in that same language as before , in my other dream. And this time it didn't run, but grew. I said it over and over again, until I woke up screaming. I had to tell this it is very significant in my reverting, (I think so anyway). Allahualim.

I decided once again, not to do anything about religion. I was going to pray directly to God and see what would happen. So I did, and waited, and waited, and waited. I was now 23 years old, had two children and still did not know the answer to those 2 questions. One day my uncle called me , just to see how I was. I told him about the dreams, and to my surprise, what I had been saying in my dream was Arabic! I was seeking refuge. And I didn't even know. Masha'ALLAH! All my Uncle said to m was seek ALLAH, go to him and ask Him to guide you. He said this with such earnest, and he is an uncles I love so dearly, one that has never steered my wrong, Should I believe him? Should I pray to ALLAH? ALLAH.? Who was ALLAH? When my uncle gave me the answer, I broke down and crie This was it, this was the answer I had been looking for , practically my whole life.!! That night I prayed, to ALLAH.

About 2 years later, my aunt came to visit me, I was pregnant with my third child, and she asked me you believe in God, the One God, who created all mankind., ALLAH. I said, Yes. She asked me wha do u believe about Jesus (AS), by this time I knew the Muslims believed him to be a prophet of God, so I said what I thought she wanted me to hear and said, He is a prophet. She asked me did I know about the Prophet Muhammad, I told her not much, and she told me all about him. And that is when Jesus (AS) made sense to me as being a Prophet. I was intrigued. But still wasn't ready to make that move. I had too much pride, I could not cover my hair. I couldn't go into a perfect religion, being so imperfect. And what would my friends say? What about my job, what would they say if I covered my hair? Well, during this same week, my aunt and her husband visited me and my family again, we ate , we

talked, and then My husband, (who knew a little about Islam) started to ask questions, before I knew He took his shahadah! Masha'ALLAH.

I was still stubborn, and he never pushed Islam on me. Two months later, the day before my son was born (3 out of 4) <smile> I visited my mother. She had company and of course, she was Muslim. I spoke to the sister ,that I was fond of,. And she said to me, What is stopping you from accepting Islam. Your family, almost the entire family, is Muslim. Do you even know about Islam. I said somewhat, so she grabbed my hand, and I followed her to another room. We sat, and talked, I found out that I did not have to be perfect or never mess up, or free from sin. I still had some misconceptio And By the Grace of ALLAH, this sister had put them to rest, with just one conversation. She even told me if I could not cover right away, then not to worry, that all I had to do was pray to ALLAH. And cover for Salah, and Insha'ALLAH, eventually I would cover. I could not believe it , to accept Islam, ALL my previous sins forgiveen, wipe clean, a new start?!!, Now THAT is born again.

At that moment, I wanted to accept Islam, I wanted to take MY shahadah. It wasn't anything fancy, a was used to in my previous ventures. My little brother, (a man then but still my little brother) gave m my shahadah, Ashahdu illa ilaiha illallah, wa ashadu anna muhammadan rasoolu Allah,(I attest that there is only One God, and His Name is ALLAH ,none is worthy of worship but He, and I did all thi in front of my mom, my aunt , and the friend. The next day my son was born, and I had a peace that came over me, I still cannot describe today. I have since then grown in my deen, and the knowledge Islam, and can affirm, that Islam is the TRUE WAY OF LIFE,. AL - Hamdulillah!! Sorry this took sooo long, I became absorbed.

I thank ALLAH, the Most Merciful, for allowing me to be Muslim, and Insha'ALLAH he will allow all In Islam, to live , worship, and die as Believers, and Submitting Muslims, Ameen. May ALLAH guide us all to His Straight Path, Ameen

Oh, I forgot to say, that I did wear my Khimar, shortly after that, Masha'ALLAH. And have since qu that job, and now run my own business. I have progressed from just wearing the khimar, to full Hijab Masha'ALLAH. Wa Alaikumu As Salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu UmLuqman 131 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SEEMA GUPTA (KHADIJA), UP INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a trading community in western UP on 3 Sept 1984. My father has a grocery shop and is a very nice man. My mother also is a very nice woman. I have two brothers and one sister. I was educated in my city upto BA and then I did MA in sociology as a private candidate. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. There are many Muslims living in my locality and we have close relations with them. One of my neighbors were Mr. Khan who had a daughter who was my class fellow. I used to go to her house regularly.

She had one elder brother, who was very shy when talking to me. He would never look at my face a when I would talk to him, he would leave the house. I used to comment on his behavior to my friend

03. Once I said that this is Kaliyug, and that is why there is so much indecency in India and world, a our Kaliki Avatar will come and set the things right. My friend told me, but he has already come and she gave me a small booklet titled “Prophet Mohammad and Kaliki Avatar” written by V.P. Upadha a learned Hindu Scholar.

I read that book in the night and was very much impressed by it. In the end there was a list of books recommended for further studies. I told my friend that I need all these books to study. She gave me small booklet “Your trust returned to you” by Maulana Kalim Uddin.

04. I read that book and I read it to my mother also. She was also very much impressed by that book and asked me to get all the books. After reading these books, I started having visions about heavens and hell and what will happen to me if I died at that moment.

Meanwhile, the brother of my friend, who had gone abroad for job, send me message thru her sister, that if I become Muslim, he will marry me. 05. I got Hindi Translation of Quran, I used to read and my mother also used to read it. Till it convinced me that Islam is the true path and I must accept Islam if I want to save myself. I left my house for Phulat and I stayed there for one week. During that week I accepted Islam and completed all official formalities to register myself at Muslim. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. My absence from the house created an uproar and my family accused my neighbor Khan Sahib f kidnapping me. Things took a very nasty turn and a riot was about to happen.

07. Somehow the elders intervened and asked every one to maintain peace. The news reached Phula and Maulana told me to go back and tell every one the truth. I was afraid as to what will happen to me, but he told me to stay firm and remember what had been done to earliest Muslims.

I came back and told every one that I had gone on my own and have become Muslim on my own. T got Mr. Khan and his family to be released from Police station. 08. My family members tried every thing to turn me back from islam. From threats to physical beatings to attempts to poison me … But Allah gave me strength to bear all that and I stayed firm. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

09. My mother told my father that one Dr. from Vijayvada , who has recently converted to Islam fro Hinduism is ready to marry me. If we could marry them without any rituals…..no one in the family will know it. So the marriage was arranged accordingly and we came out from my family and the first place we visited was Phulat! 10. Maulana was very happy to see me and told that he was always praying for my safe return. He even said that he was guilty of violating a Quranic verse which prohibited Muslims to return newly converted Muslim women back to Non Muslims. He asked me to pray for his forgiveness!! 2. On Parents. 11. My mother was half converted to Islam when I was there, but seeing my trials and my firmness convinced her to truth of Islam. Later she convinced my father also and both of them accepted Islam, Alhamdolillah. F. Present Situation:

My husband has shifted to Delhi and is working in a hospital. He has also qualified for MD and hop to start his study for it.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of April 2009

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Why I Became Muslim? ABDUL RAHIM GREEN , UK

Note: Name of Abdul Rahim Green is familiar to the viewers of Peace TV. He is a regular visitor there. He is a regular speaker about Islam on Hyde Park corner in London. He described his conversion to Islam in following words.

I was a Christian, but I was totally dissatisfied with Christianity. In order to achieve peace of Mind I started study of other world religions. After reading about major world religions, I found that it is on Islam, which provides real peace of mind. When I started reading Quran, I felt as if the verses are directly reaching to my heart. I got what I was searching for, and I decided to accept Islam.

That portion of Quran which deals with the events of hereafter affected me most, when you read abo the description of Last day, Heaven and Hell, then you realize the value of this life, and you know what is the purpose of your life in this world. These things you will not find in OT or NT books. Quranic verses shake your heart and you start looking to do some thing about next life.

Regarding the present condition of Muslims, I think that Muslims are now coming closer to Islam an Quran. They want to adhere to Islamic teachings. I accept that there are some amongst them who ar inclined towards extreme and do actions which are against teachings of Islam. But it is not correct t generalize all Muslims. It is like wise not correct to say that there is no good in present day world, we do have large number Islamic thinkers, who have to find a solution to the present day problems. Not only that we have to continue improving our condition and do not sit idle thinking about our past.

I would like to give an example for this, when Japan made the first car, it was very expensive and wa not reliable, It did not sell much in the world. But Japan did not leave it on that, but kept on improving the performance and reduce the price. The result being now Japan produces the Best Pric and Most reliable cars in the world.

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In the same way if we have to show our position in the world, we should be ready to do hard work a keep pace with the times. Why I Became Muslim? HANNAN ABDUL LATEEF, USA

At the age of 23, I was a divorced mother of two and a college student. Because I had my children a rather young age. I was just then beginning to enjoy a social life (so to speak)…

One night I met these men who clamed they were Hebrews…part of Black Hebrews…they talked about Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac and that the Black Hebrews and not the Jews that we knew were the true inheritors of Yahweh’s promise… As I listened to them I knew there was something ou of place in their story, but I could not identify what it was exactly, because of my own poor knowled of religion at that time…

In order to contradict them, I went for looking for Torah in our college library… I could not get a co of Torah but many other books on topics of religion.. I scanned thru Apocalypse and Bhagwat Gita… I had heard that Quran also would say something about that topic, but there was no Quran in college

library other.

Thru some friends of my sister, I was able to get a copy of English translation of Quran and started reading it. I read as much of Quran as I could. I was immersed in it….This is what I always though and believed…what sort of book was this? I read and I cried…I read more and I cried more… That Saturday night I found those Rastafarian people and told them what was missing in their story was Ishmael…the first born son of Abraham…they argued that it was Isaac and not Ishmael who wa to be sacrificed. I did not have enough knowledge to argue with them, so I left them on their believe

I had heard about a Black Muslim sect of Nation of Islam….but my study of Quran had convinced m that Islam is not a racial religion at all.

One day, I had a knock at my door, and I saw a Muslim man standing and asking me if I wanted to b some cakes they were selling. I ran and picked up my Quran and I asked if he was following religio preached in that book? He looked surprised but said after a few second “Yes”.

Then I asked if he belonged to Nation of Islam…he said once, but now he was following true Islam a Malcolm X did. I went with him to attend their meetings and finally in July 1979, I declared my SHAHADAH in New York city Mosque.

I still have the same Quran with me and I still enjoy reading it regularly. I enjoy giving Quran as gif to anyone who expresses any interest in Islam… 134 (Abridged) Source:: Saudi Gazette 12 Oct. 1998 p12 Why I Became Muslim? Zainab's Testimony My Spiritual Life:

I have been enamored with God since I was young. Like many children, I would stare into the clouds or stars and wonder who, what, where, why, and how was God. Trying to verify His presence, I wou set up quasi-experiments to find proof. For instance, setting a glass on a table, and ask God to move to prove His existence. …

I was raised as a Christian, and as I grew up, I would go to different church denominations, and ask t ministers (Imam), how they knew, for sure, that God existed. Now, I would think, that, this would be the question, they are asked most often, but as it turns out, they are almost never asked this question, and even more surprisingly, for the most part, they do not appear to like being asked this question…

I had other difficulties with Christianity. The concept that heaven can only be obtained through havi Jesus as your Savior, with good and bad deeds having no relevance in the scheme of things, was an idea that always defied common sense to me. Theoretically in Christianity, a person who sins all day every day of his life, will go to heaven if he accepts Jesus as his Savior, one second before he dies. T man that does all good, every day of his life, who does not accept Jesus as his Savior in his lifetime,

sentenced to eternal hell.

One day, I met several Muslim sisters, and I felt an instant kinship, unlike any I had previously held Like myself, they did not date, swear, drink, and the long list of other common vices. It was such a great feeling to meet others, with whom, I held so much agreement about so many matters. I was surprised to learn that there was any other person on the planet so similar to myself. I had no idea su a creature existed. Since this was the second time Muslims had been brought to my attention, I decided that I should at least investigate Islam, so I called a Mosque and went to it for direction. I was given a copy of the Quran and so I started to read. Slowly my focus began to shift from Christianity to Islam. At first I stopped teaching the "Christ as Savior" part in my Sunday School lessons, and opted for morality lessons each week.

I did not discuss Islam with anybody because I felt I was betraying all my Christian family and friends, and I did not even discuss it with my Muslim girlfriends because I did not want my decision have any pressure applied. Slowly, without my actually realizing it, I began to shift my beliefs from Christianity and towards Islam. I

In the following month, I was overwhelmed with the sense that I was home. I felt that what I had bee looking for all my life had been found, and for the first time I was home where I belonged. Often, I feel as though I was always a Muslim, My familial response to my conversion:

The rude response however was difficult to understand, and very troubling for my family. Their impression of Muslims had been the same as 95% of Americans, that they are crazy terrorists. However, when my family met my girlfriends, they changed their opinion to a positive one. Then, when mean-spirited brothers did their best to make my life difficult, they reversed their opinion. The did this rightly so. I have not written here some of the bizarre behavior that occurred because I do no think it will serve any benefit to Islam. Suffice to say, if anyone else had been in their shoes, they would agree with them. (Contd.) Looking to God for Guidance:

Some religious people get angry when I say that God guides me, and claim it is impossible. First of a the Quran begins by stating that we should go to God for guidance. Secondly, just because they (the angry person) have never had this experience, does not mean it does not exist. It does happen, and I will be happy to try to explain how to get started, as far as I understand it.

1. First of all, remember, that God knows every iota of our intentions. So, we must begin with utterly pure intentions. You cannot want God's guidance for some reason or power, ego, etc. It must be for wholly unselfish reasons. God recognizes the impure heart, no matter how successfully someone mig try to disguise it among the general public.

2. You must let go of all the things that you try and control in your life and recognize that God is in control. I think so often God is trying to guide us towards what he wants us to do, however, we are to busy, trying to make things go the way that we want, that we are not able to hear Him. A good way t let go of our control, so that we can hear God, is to visualize a barge floating down a river in front of you. Imagine placing everything you have in your life on that barge as it floats away from you, to Go Image you have no say or input as to what happens to these things, situations, people, etc., and honestly saying to God that you fully accept and embrace whatever it is He decides to do with all of the things in our life. Even if it is the opposite of what you desire - that is a very hard part. Imagine i He decides that everything is best for you, if it is the opposite, of what you are trying to achieve. Thi is where you have to truly trust God one hundred percent. 3. Next, you must be still and recognize God and all of His attributes. 4. Next, you must be silent and still and just "be" with God.

5. You must not expect anything to happen, because it is the grace of God when He guides you. However, if you do this daily, my experience is eventually something happens. Sometimes it happen during the prayer, but other times it occurs while you are in the ordinary situations.

6. The thing that happens is that you will sense a strong direction of guidance. You have to learn to distinguish between your own ideas and Gods. The way that I usually know that it is God, is that His guidance is usually the opposite of what I want to do. For instance, since I am not a good person, the are certain people that I do not like, and would not mind if they disappeared from this earth. Sometimes, I will sense God telling me to go to them and comfort them. It is a struggle because sometimes my only desire is to go up and kick them. I remember once I sensed God asking me to pra blessings for my least favorite person on the planet. I could not believe it. I was arguing with God saying, "come on God? Blessings? Can I just pray that he gets in a car accident and suffers pain and becomes very sorry for being so evil." (I told you that I am bad, didn't I?) Anyway, needless to say, H did not find that acceptable, so I pray the way He requested. When I have a strong sense that I need t do something good that I do not want to do, and this action falls in line with all the teachings of Alla it is usually God's guidance.

7. The way that I confirm that it was God's guidance is that something significant and Godly happen as a result. For instance, the day I prayed blessings for my least favorite person, he made a dramatic turn around in his behavior toward me from that time forward.

8. Again, the key, is all in the honesty of intention. Your intention must be to behave in a pious way, serve Allah and His purposes with no desire for personal gain. Again, I have many interesting stories about this, but I want to limit the length of this.

Finally, I would like to ask for prayers from my brothers and sisters in Islam. I have found the transition to Islam difficult and I have encountered a world of problems trying to do Islamic work in the community. I would sincerely prefer a prayer more than a gift of $1,000,000. So to anyone that sacrifices their valuable time and remembers me in their prayers, I will be eternally grateful and

appreciate. 135 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM DHAN (MOHD. SHAHID) ALLAHABAD, UP , INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born on 4 Nov. 1957 in a Brahmin family in Allahabad UP. My father was head master in school there. I have two sisters and one brother, and I am he eldest.

I did my High School and Intermediate in Science from my father’s school. I did not get good mark so I did B. Com. I started working in POONA and after three or four jobs, I am working as Productio Manager in a company. I am married to a girl from Benaras and we have three children. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. In June 2003, I was going on picnic with my whole family. We had five seats and the sixth was Maulana Kalim Sahib. My wife and my children treated Maulana with respect and spread his beddin for him and place his shoes properly and asked if he needed any help etc.

The train reached Delhi at around 8 AM and we had to change there for going to Simla. While departing, Maulana thanked my wife and my children for their courtesies and said that he wanted to give some thing in return. He gave me a small booklet “Your Trust returned to You” and said that th is his visiting card. 03. Later when returning from Simla, we started talking about Maulana and how nice he was. My children told me that what happened to the small book which he had given. I took out the small booklet and my whole family started reading it. I got so impressed by the book that I got 20 copied of it made from station and distributed it to my fellow travellers.

04. Then I got some other books on Islam and my whole family read these books. We got convinced of the truth of Islam and wanted to accept Islam. But no one amongst the local people was ready to make us Muslims. We wrote to Maulana and he told me to come to Phulat.

We reached there on the day of Eid, Maulana was overjoyed to see us and told that he had prayed to Allah many times to guide us to the true path and pay back for what we had done for him in that journey.

Me, my wife and my three children accepted Islam at the hands of Maulana and he gave us our Islam names.

E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

Both my parents accepted Islam, Alhamdolillah. My father has died and he was buried in Allahabad a Muslim graveyard. 3. On Family members / Others.

My brothers and both my sisters have accepted Islam. And Maulana told me that two of the persons whom I had given the booklet “Your Trust…” also became Muslim, Alhamdolillah F. Present Situation:

I am very happy with our new life. Last year I performed Hajj also with my whole family and my father. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

06. Most Hindus in India are very simple and they respect love and kindness. Once you can show to them that you are kind to them, they will become your servant.

It is now upto Muslims in India to rise up to the task and show Hindus that they have their own welf in bringing Islam to them.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Oct 2007.

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Why I Became Muslim? Father ABDUL HAQ , USA

You would be surprised to now that this was the name which my Christian parents gave to me!!! I never found any other Christian who had name like me. I used to discuss Christianity with my Musl friends… one of them remarked that I must be a Muslim, because this is a common Muslim name.

When I asked my parents, they told me that they had selected this name for me, so I could mingle wi Muslims and do secret preaching!!!

I joined Christian Mission and started work amongst Muslims, because of my Muslim name I could join and go anywhere and could listen to their talks. Then I thought that since I have a Muslim name why should I learn something about Islam also, so I would not be ignorant when any Islamic questio is directed to me. So I took up study of Islamic books. I was struck with amazement, when I learned that all Muslims, irrespective of their language, or nationality read Quran in exactly the same way. This was unheard about Bible. Then I was amazed the way all Muslims conduct daily prayers in the same manner, irrespective of where they live or belong to. Slowly and slowly I got convinced about the truth and uniformity in Islam, which is so different from Christian belief and practices.

Then the concept of individual accountability in Quran prevent Muslims from doing any thing wrong whereas the Christian concept of Vicarious Atonement is a sort of encouragement for Christians to d whatever they think fit.

So finally I declared my faith and Christian Abdul Haq became a Muslim Abdul Haq!!! I wish if the be any Abdul Haq s like me in Christian World they should really become real Abdul Haq !!! 137 S Why I Became Muslim? SISTER Zainab Oñez Discovered Islam while training to be a nun. Assalamu alaikum waramatullahi wa barakatuhu!

I am Zainab Oñez, 24 years old, single never been married, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Commerce major in Marketing at Holy Cross of Davao College Inc, Philippines. I was a former Roman Catholic and I am one of the working Scholars in SVD or society Verbini Divini, a religious congregation in the Catholic religion for 6 years. Previously, my plan was to become a nun. When I was at the young age of 14, I used to ask myself why many people would have debates about the Christian religion. I had realized maybe God has given one religion to all mankind. When I reached age of 20, I started to research on the internet and I read about how ISLAM IS A WAY OF LIFE. An I was getting shocked, why was Catholicism not a way of life? I started to research more about Islam because it was my first time to hear about Islam.

I printed all the Islamic research that I had found from the internet and showed them to our professor He was getting angry with me; why I was studying about Islam; Muslims are terrorists; Muslims are bad people; Muslims worship another God. I considered this as a challenge and was encouraged to study more about Islam. After two years of studying about Islam I decided to embrace Islam last February 21, 2006.

Alhamdolillah, I am only one Muslim among with our family and I am now working as a volunteer i Dawah Islamic propagation in Davao city. My entire Christian friends were against me in my new

Islamic way of life. I don’t care what other people say. The most important thing is that this is my decision and I know that this is the true religion of Allah SWT given to all mankind.

That is why I spend my life in Dawah for Muslim and non-Muslim area because this is the true religion of Allah that has given to all mankind. The first big jihad for me is wearing of Hijab and aba but Alhamdolillah with the help of Allah I got my self-confidence of wearing in proper attire.

Most of Christian friends say, what happened to you Zainab, you look like a ghost but I smile at them and say you do not understand what you are talking about and it is better for you to study your Bible because even the Bible is very strict for the woman: If Christians read their Bible carefully and understand their Bible, all of them will become Muslims.

I am now enjoying making my comparative study of religion and inshaAllah I am hoping to be like Ahmad Deedat a good daeyah or preacher in our Islamic religion. Now, I am always hoping to focus on study in Arabic education inshaAllah if Allah given me an opportunity to study in Saudi Arabia inshaAllah. Please try to correct my English grammar. I hope that you can understand because I am not really good in English grammar.

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SHYAM SUNDAR (SHAMIM), MUZAFFAR NAGAR, UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a village in MUZZAFFAR NAGAR in GUJJAR family on 19 April 1984. My father was a teacher and we belonged to an educated family. My uncle was a Govt. officer and one o my brother was in army.

I studied upto High school and then left school and got into bad society. Soon we formed a gang and did many petty and serious crimes.

02. Last year our gang fired on a vehicle in which Maulana Kalim Sahib was traveling. One bullet h the driver’ hand and another just missed the Maulana. My gang consisted of 8 people and seven of them were Muslims and I was alone Non Muslim

member. I had gotten sick two weeks before the firing, so I did not take part in the firing myself. 03. The news of firing on Maulana spread like wild fire and Police Officers vowed to catch all the miscreants speedily. Soon all seven members of the gang were arrested and I went underground for fear that I might be arrested any time. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 04. After three or four weeks, when Police did not came to arrest me, I went to jail to visit my gang members. They were very sorry for what they had done, they asked me to go to Phulat and talk to Maulana and ask him to forgive them so that they could get bail.

As first I was very reluctant to go, both for fear and shame as to what we had done to this learned an respectable Islamic scholar. But I had to agree when they insisted too much.

05. I started for Phulat, and there was rain on the way, by the time I reached there it was almost suns time and I was fully drenched. Maulana brought new pant and shirt for me and asked for hot tea to b served to me. Then he went for his evening prayers.

06. After the prayer, he came and I told him about my friends and the bail they wanted. He said that you worry about jail of your friends and forget yourself, about the jail you will have to go, if you die without being a Muslim.

He then explained to me about Islam and gave me the book “Your trust…” The more I read the book the more I cried inside….so much so that I was eager to accept Islam at the first Instant.

07. I went to Phulat but was told that Maulana has gone on Hajj and will come back after one month waited and when he returned, I went to him and accepted Islam.

He sent me with a Muslim missionary party for forty days and during that time I learned how to pray and other day to day teachings of Islam.

08. Maulana was very happy to learn about my progress…..when I asked him about my friends, he to that he will agree on one condition that each of them shall spend 40 days with a Missionary party. When I told my friends, they agreed and soon they will be freed on bail. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 09. I asked Maulana’ permission to go back to my house. My family had thought that I have joined another gang, but when they saw me in this garb they were surprised.

My father was initially very angry at my change of religion, but when I told him what had happened Phulat, he kept quite. I gave him the book “Your trust…” and talked to him about Islam. 10. After some days, he also went to Phulat and accepted Islam , Alhamdolillah. There are very few

Muslims in my village, so Maulana has asked us not to declare our faith openly.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of June 2007.

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Why I Became Muslim? JOHNSON (MOHAMMAD AHMED) , USA

I was born in New York in a poor family. My parents admitted me to a Christian Missionary school which was in a village far away from New York. They wanted me to become a Christian priest, because they thought that a Christian priest earn a descent living, is well respected and does not have to pay Income Tax. They thought that thru me, my family will be able to get away from property.

The seminary which I joined was having all facility and we had nothing to worry. We had to study about Christianity almost 10 hours every day. During this study, I started having some doubt about t concept of God as taught to us. That was regarding the role of Mary, I started thinking, why Mary is so much elevated in Christianity? Does God Almighty has some feminine qualities? Then we heard that Father Michael from Austria is going to visit our seminary. He was well known and well respected in Christian Circles. There was hardly any one more learned than him in these affairs. I felt very confident that he would be able to satisfy my query. When the question time cam at the end of his lecture, I raised my doubt about the feminine nature of God.

He just ridiculed my question and tried to avoid answering it directly. When I persisted in my question, he told that God has many qualities, in some of which there is a sort of feminism. This we reply took away all respect which I had for Father Michael and I started having doubt about Christianity as what sort of religion is this which could not answer this simple question.

I had same doubt about Christian concept of God when I graduated ten years later from that seminar When I went to New York, I discussed this point with Muslims and they directed me to Islamic Cent in New York. They gave me some books which cleared my doubts about the nature of God. In a few months I learned about God which I could not during my ten long years in Christian Seminary.

I accepted Islam and by Grace of God is busy in missionary work for Islamic Center. I think that Ne Muslims like me have better faith and zeal than those who are simply born n Islam. 140 Why I Became Muslim? AMIRAH , USA

The first time I seen a Muslim was while I was in college at the University of Arkansas. I will admit that at first I stared at the women in their different clothing and the men with the towels wrapped around their heads and wearing night gowns. But the first time I had the opportunity to know a Muslim lady that I felt comfortable in asking questions, it started a thirst in my heart and soul that w never be quenched.

I was born in Arkansas to Christian parents…I was raised here all my life on a farm, where you get u in the morning, milk cows, feed the chickens and do the rest of chores. My father was a Baptist minister…the town that I lived in was completely white raced and all Christians. So I had never been exposed to any other culture or religion. But I had been always taught that we were all created equal in the eyes of God, and that there was no difference in race, color, culture or religious practices. Later I discovered that this was easy for them to preach as long as they stayed closed minded.

I will never forget her, she was from Palestine and I could sit for hours listening to stories about her country and the culture. But what intrigued me most was her religion, Islam. This lady had an inner peace around her, like no one I had ever seen… My friend did every thing she could to convince me that Islam was the only true religion that would take me to heaven and that it was not just another religion. It was a way of life.

My friend graduated six months later and returned to Palestine. She was killed two weeks later outsi her home. I was devastated, it was like a part of me had died with her.. After I left college and returned to my country, I did not have the honor to be around Muslims any longer. But the thirst had never left nor had my love and desire for Arabic language… Then in the spring of 1995, Allah brought someone into my life. This person was such a wonderful example of what a Muslim should be and what Islam was about that once again I started to ask questions. I was even taken to my first visit to Mosque.

For 8 months I studied everything he could possibly find me and read and listened to tapes. Then on Feb. 15, 1996 I officially embraced Islam….

When I embraced Islam, my family first tried to have me committed to a mental hospital, when that did not work, they completely disowned me. They did make calls to me to tell me that they hoped I rotted in hell…Yes this hurts, even though my family and I have many differences, I love them deep The last time I spoke to my family was two days after the bombing in Saudi Arabia. My uncle and cousin were killed in the bombing….my family called be to tell me that their blood was on my head and all my terrorist friends…I cried for days, but my faith stood strong…

Then some one painted my car side with Slogan TERRORIST LOVER…during the night I heard gunshots and they broke all my windows and killed all my pets…Police told that unless I give positi identification, they are helpless…

Then I was once attacked in a Parking lot, I was beaten, my writs was broken and some ribs fracture The town I live in is a very small and there is no other Muslim even close. The nearest mosque is 12 Miles away…

I am not writing this story in the hope of gaining pity. I do ask that every one continue to pray for m and every one reading this story be rest assured that Allah will never let you down. But the injustice and prejudices that we Muslims face in United states has got to come to an end… 141 (Abridged) Source:: Islamic Voice Feb. 1998, p22 Why I Became Muslim? How I Came to Islam Abdul Malik Hamidullah , Operations Manager, Dallas Central Mosque, Texas

My father was a Jew and my mother a not very religious Christian. With this mix I started and end up taking first communion in the Catholic Church. I do not remember attending church regularly a child. However, I do remember that once when I was very young (perhaps seven or eight years o having a powerful experience in a Catholic church, a feeling that I was suddenly very light; a feeli that I was being lifted. Although I was too young to have burdens, it was a feeling that the "burden the world" was being lifted from me. This was my first profoundly spiritual experience. As one of earliest memories it remains with me to this day.

As a teenager, I was really into the psychedelic sixties and all that came with it. I looked for a deep meaning in the lyrics of the Beatles, Cat Stevens, and the Moody Blues. I read metaphysical boo some philosophy, Carlos Castaneda, and more. I attended a Baptist church, and was even baptized o afternoon when I felt that powerful feeling again. I started reading the Bible in earnest and fou myself reading only the 'red-ink-words' of Christ (as). Still, the people and the religion seemed to lacking something that I knew was out there somewhere.

I continued to read and search. I practiced yoga, joined an ashram of Sikhs, read the Guru Gran Sahib; I married a Muslim woman that wasn't practicing Islam and began living in an ashram. Ev though her father prayed five times a day, her parents did not teach her. [Hence, she too was alwa searching for the straight path.] This was a good thing for me. Otherwise, we would not have marr and I would not have been placed in the life situations that I have found myself in that eventually me to Islam. At any rate, we soon left the ashram. Soon I went to India, practiced Krya yoga, a joined SRF (Self Realization Fellowship). Still I always had this feeling that something was missing continued to study Taoism, and Buddhism and other religious teachings.

During much of this period, I was a Field Artillery Officer in the U.S. Army. After Desert Storm, an few days in Iraq fighting the ground war, I attended a military school in Pakistan for a year. Of cour most of my classmates were Pakistani Muslims, and several were from other countries: Malays Brunei, Syria, and Bangladesh, to name but a few. I became a close friend with two officers that w not what we would consider very good examples of Muslims [they smoked and drank on occasio However, despite their shortcomings, I was very impressed with them. And there were seve Pakistani Muslims that impressed me even more. They were devoted; they had strength and digni humility and kindness, and many more traits that I had rarely seen in others in my travels. A certainly I had never seen so many people at one time with so many fine qualities. I decided tha must be their religion that had made them this way. (Contd.)

I read some about Islam and discovered the logic and simplicity that I had looked for in other dogm I was really struck by the fact that al-Qur'an was still in the original unchanged form [If there is a Ki James Version, then I'd like to see the version published before that?!] And that ANYONE could re Hadith and learn what the Holy Prophet [PBUH] would have we Muslims do. One does not have have a Pope, a priest, or a monk tells you what to do; there is no guesswork; it's all right there! Hen towards the end of my year in Pakistan, I told two of my close friends that I would like to becom Muslim. They were astounded. Nonetheless, they met with two more of our friends that w following the Sunnah a bit more closely than they had been, and we arranged for me to say Assha anlaa ilaaha ilAllah... Four of us met, I became a Muslim, and was taught how make salah. I tha Allah for that glorious day and the days that led up to it.

There is a lot more to this, but the bottom-line is that: It was the kindness, humility, and excelle manners of Muslims, coupled with the system of straightforward Islamic ideals and way of life, wh appealed most to my reason and my heart. This is why I am a Muslim now.

And yes, now my wife also practices Islam, as does our grown daughter. Even my mother has beco a Muslimah! Al hamdu lilLah 142 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: VINOD KUMAR (MOHD. ASJAD) NEPAL A. Family Background:

01. I was born in Nepal in a Brahmin family on 21 May 1980. I studied upto High School in Nepal, b when my father died, I discontinued my studies. One of my relatives brought me to Delhi, and I started working as a sales man in JAMIA NAGAR OKHLA, Delhi. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. I was working in the General Merchant shop and a small boy (younger son of Maulana Kalim Sahib) also went that route for his daily prayers. He used to ask every one to go to mosque for praye

He also used to ask me to go to prayer (I was called GUDDU, which is a common name used by bot Hindus and Muslims in India). I used to say, yes I will come. There was one Muslim watchman in a near by building. The boy would ask him to go for prayers, but he would not go. One day I asked th man, as to why he does not go to prayer, when this small boy asks him daily? He then decided to go prayer.

03. After some days, the boy asked me, why I never went to prayer. I told that I am Hindu and not Muslim. Then they boy told me that I was in deeper trouble than I think. How will I save myself fro hell fire?... he went on pressing me till I said jokingly, OK I will become Muslim. He then recited KALIMA and I also recited it. Then he asked me, that now I have to change my name also.

I asked jokingly, what is your name, he said MOHD. ASJAD, I said I will also chose the same name He said there is no harm in that!!

04. Then he gave that small booklet “Your trust returned to you” and when I read it, I realized what i the purpose and importance of becoming Muslim. That night I dreamed that I am going to hellfire … when I woke up, I felt scared and I started regular prayers. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

05. Master of the shop was like common Muslims in India, when I started to go to mosque regularly, he asked me why I leave the shop. I told I have to got o prayer? When I told him that I had become Muslim….he got scared and told me that I should remain Hindu and I would create big problem for him and his shop.

He then abused me, he even beat me, removed me from his service and threw my things from the sh !! (That is a typical Muslim in India for you- MUQ). 06. I took shelter in a shed, I had resolved not to ask any one for help but Allah. I had accepted Islam fro His sake. I was in the shade, when a car stopped and some one asked me, why I was sitting in th shed. At first I was reluctant, but then I told him about my Islam and what had happened.

07. He asked me to come with me and live in his house as his son. He was a trader in pearls and oth precious stones, I went with him and I completed my B. Com also. I came to know that my old master, fell to very bad times after he chucked me out. His shop was closed and then some bad elements took possession of his house… I prayed to Allah to forgive him.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children I got married to an educated girl from old Delhi. I am very happy with my wife. Both of us regularly spend times with Missionary parties. 2. On Parents. I have decided to go to Nepal and work on my relatives there. Pray to Allah that He helps me in this task.

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

08. I would like to remind My Muslim friends in India, that there was a time, when Non Muslims us to beat newly converted Muslims…..how come now Muslims beat some one just because he has become Muslim.. How can we hope to be successful in this world and reach the peak, when we are so afraid of facing consequences if some one near us accepts islam?
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of April 2007

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Why I Became Muslim? ANNA THOMAS (AMINA THOMAS) KERALA , INDIA

I was born in a Pentecostal Christian family in South India. My father was a Roman Catholic, but when he saw so many statues and figures in Church,, and the way they are worshipped, then the way priests and saints are treated, he changed from RC to Protestant Church. He is now a full time missionary of the Church.

I was also an active member of Church and was a devout Christian. I was a missionary and member Health Care Fellowship for Christians. It consisted of those medical people who would work in remote places for propagation of Christianity.

During my study of Bible, I was puzzled a bout some of its teachings, Like Divinity of Christ, His Resurrection after death, Contradictions in Bible, what is Word f God OT or NT. If both are world o God, then why Christians do not act on OT teachings? The church teaches to have simple belief and do not think too much.

Then the fact that Christianity is being decided in Councils and not on the teachings of Jesus also puzzled me. When God did not allow Abraham to sacrifice his Only Son…then why God sacrificed His Only Son Jesus Christ?

I was in this state of mind and knew nothing about Islam, when one of my friend gave me Two Book “Muslim Christian Dialog” by M.A. Nabi and “Choice between Islam and Christianity” by Ahmed Deedat. These two books caused revolution in my way of thinking. I learned that Islam itself means peace and Muslims are not such as described in media.

In this condition, I got a job offer from Saudi Arabia and I went there. There I could see a Muslim society in existence and I went on comparative study of Islam and Christianity in a serious way. Despite books, audio video cassettes, talks with Newly converted Muslims helped me a lot. One of them was Khadija Watson from USA who was working in theology department in one of the Americ Universities.

After a long and careful study I got convinced that Islam is true religion. Its scripture is preserved i

its original condition and not like Bible which had suffered over the years.

I did not know how to prey or fast according o Islamic way, so I preyed to God to help me find the tr path. I thought that I will not be able to do one month of fasting as Muslims do, so I tried a few fasts in year 1421 AH. I found that fasting is not so difficult as it seems and I would be able to do it.

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Then finally I accepted Islam in Saudi Arabia and Allah has given me strength to overcome all problems that I faced from my family and friend circles. I am thankful to Allah that I am a practicing Muslim today (abridged) Why I became Muslim? PROF. BENIAL (ABDULLAH HASAN) HEWITT, USA

I think if you visit any Church, you will find nothing but statues and figure. If you look at the dresse of clergy and procession of priests, nuns and deacons….you would not see any spiritual dimension there. If will be as you have entered into a temple filled with idols and idol worship is in progress.

On the other hand if you visit any mosque, what you see will be rows upon rows of devotees, clad in normal clothes. There would be no idols, statues or music and every one would be busy in worshippi One Lord of Universe.

I don’t know if any reasonable man would not be able to notice the contrast in the two scenes. I always had an attraction towards Islam, but it was not enough for me to declare my allegiance to it. But the more I started to read about Islam from the books written by Muslim scholars, its truth dawn on me. I could see the service done on humanity by the Great Prophet of Islam.

What attracted me towards Islam was its absolute Monotheism. Then I saw that Islam does not only deal with spiritual matters, but it gives instructions for every walk of life.

Then Islam is free from narrow mindedness and treats with respect those who are non Muslims. It w Islam which first taught to the world meaning of tolerance and live peacefully with people of other faiths.

Islam is a religion of action…it does not encourage people sitting idle or renounce the world. On the other hand, if you want to become a good Christian, you have to renounce the world. Not so in Islam According to Islam, the purpose of human life on this earth is to enjoy everything what God has created for him…but he should remember God and lead life as per His guidance. (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of AbdusSalam Sipes A former member of the KKK (Ku Klux Klan)

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The Beginning: Early Life Trials of Clinton Sipes

I grew up in a dysfunctional family setting in the atmosphere of alcoholism, physical and emotional abuse that came from my father. ..I began to imitate what I was being exposed to, this process of imitation began unconsciously, it affected my interaction with my older brother, classmates, teachers and animals also. Nothing was exempt from the sadistic outpouring of pent up anger and rage! At the age of 13 I fell into association with similar children but because they weren't as driven as I was, I quickly became bored with them and I began to hang out with the young adult type who welcomed my willingness to participate with no reservations in anything under the title of alcohol, drugs, crime, violence and racism. … I began correspondence with the KKK and upon my release on parole, I was a full fledged card carrying hate-monger. For the next 3 to 4 years my activities were heavily involved in Klan crossburnings, media appearances, night raids of beatings, property desecrations, etc. My parole was violated for possession of weapons and suspicion of robberies. Search for Peace: Young Adult

This last violation of parole, at the age of 20, the search for peace began. I had so much rage and hatred inside me for so many years, it was beginning to consume me from the inside out. I lashed ou at the prison staff in hatred. I had anger and hate literature, graffiti, drawings covering my cell walls and tattoos covering half my upper body. I was not exploding, but imploding! In a haze of anger and rage I found myself stripped naked in solitary confinement with not even a mattress. Only me and a Styrofoam cup. I began to review my past and the negatives which brought me to this point of reduction to the lowest terms.

While I was there my daughter was born. I began to assess my future. I began thinking of the many victims' lives I had affected. I could see myself in prison for life if this past were to continue into the future. I said to myself, "Clint, you must make a choice between this evil or a future good." It was clear to me there was no future (of longevity) in this evil… The Search for Truth

It began upon my arrival to federal prison. An African American offered to assist me in my cosmetic needs. He said he was a Muslim and Muslims are commanded to help those in need. It struck my interest to check this Islamic thing out. However, I was under the impression that this was a religion exclusively for African Americans. I was thinking, no way I can become a Muslim, I'm white!

Still I asked this brother for some literature on Islam. I found out about the universality of it, how it transcends color, ethnic and race. It sounded real, pure. It began to appeal to me. This brother invited me to Jumu'ah service, I was given a Quran, and as I read the translation I felt the purity of it, and th truth of it. There was no hocus-pocus, no spookism, no mysticism, just plain, simple understanding "Truth." When I heard the Adhan (the call to prayer) I felt a closeness to God that penetrated my hea

and soul.

After some research and study of the Quran, I discovered its total infallibility, no contradictions in it There are religions based on believing in certain sciences, multiple deities, the religion of 3 gods in one. I was a thinking man and none of them made any logical sense to me.

Here was Islam, based on the belief in One God, who created the creation itself out of nothing and th fact that this book I was reading (Quran) had not one vowel or language changed in over 1400 years was a miracle in itself. Thus, I was sold on the oneness of God and the unity of Islam.

Christianity has and is still undergoing changes, in the Bible and in the Christian doctrines, and cann even begin to claim originality of the Bible which is read and taught out of today. There is only one God and one Religion and religion is "Submission" to the one God. This is the meaning of Islam. (Contd) Note: : Clinton Sipes into Abdus Salam (Servant of Peace) As you have read, the life of Clinton Sipes was one of hate, crime and violence, the very things that bring about the total destruction of a human being.

After years of falsehood, half-truths, following others on the road, and then, from within a place (prison) where more than one million people are cast away, the same environment that once honed m anger and hate to a razor sharpness, was now the place where Islam greeted me and proceeded to change me into a "Servant of Peace." Islam filled the spiritual void by teaching me my beginning and end, has given contentment, a peace, a serenity to me these words cannot adequately describe. My purpose is clear, my direction is straight.

Islam has through its truth taught me humility and the true worship of Allah (God). I had learned tha from Allah (God) we came and to Allah (God) we must return. Allah (God) created all things animat and inanimate, microscopic and macroscopic, the finite and infinite. Nothing creates itself but is created by Allah (God).

On the last day, it will not matter if I was black or white, rich or poor, powerful or weak in power, no will it matter about all mankind. Rather it will be about one's deeds good and bad that an individual i personally responsible for and will be punished and rewarded accordingly. No one can die or be punished for my sins or be rewarded for the good I may do but me. I am responsible, I must answer when asked. I became aware of this truth and I declared openly, "There is no god but God and his las messenger was Prophet Muhammad-Ibn-Abdullah-Al-Mustafa. Thus, in essence, my life has returne to infancy where truth and purity begin Al-hamdu-lillah!

In closing, the metamorphosis has now come full circle. I have found "Truth" in Allah (God) (all praises to Him, creator of mankind, angel and jinn, all that exists in the heavens and earth. Allah (Go

(Whom all praise is due) has 99 names or attributes, one attribute is Salam (peace).

The creator, originator of the very existence of peace. There is no peace but the Peace of Allah (God (Whom all praise is due). I have found this Peace, I am now "Abdus Salam," the slave and servant of The Originator of the one and only source of Peace...Allah, The Most High, Whom all praise is due. (Abridged) 146 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: NIRMAL KUMAR (ABDUL HALEEM), BIHAR, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in BEGUSARAI, Bihar 23 years ago. My father was a Pharmacist and my mother als was a Health Worker. I have six sisters and three brothers. I studied upto BA and then I worked for some time in PANIPAT, now I am working as Drawing Operator in SARASWATI SPINNING MILL, H.P. 02. My father was by nature a Muslim, he was very much against idol worship. I also used to like Islam from my childhood. I was also against worship of idols and used to stop people from worshipping something whom they made with their own hands.

I had seen on many occasions that dogs would enter a Temple and eat from what is placed before the idol and then sometime they will urinate on the idols. I used to say, an idol who cannot save itself from dogs, how can it fulfill the wishes of these people. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. I used to like the Muslim system of regular prayers, whenever there was call for prayers, I used t listen to it very attentively and I longed to go to mosque and pray with other Muslims.

In my factory there was a Muslim worker, who used to have full beard and he was very punctual in h prayers. Once I asked him that I want to dress like him and grow full beard. He said what will happ with only outward change of clothes, when from inside I am not a Muslim.

04. I told , how can I change from inside, I am born in a Hindu family and I must remain Hindu. He said it is not so and he told me how he was once a Hindu and active member of Extremist SHIV SEN

and then Allah had mercy on him and he became a Muslim. 05. He took me to Maulana Kalim Sahib and I accepted Islam on his hand. He gave me my new Muslim name. Then I went with a Muslim Missionary party and I learned about prayer and how to recite Quran. Then Maulana asked me to teach in the Junior High School in Phulat and I am enjoying my job for past many years.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 2. On Parents. 07. My father was very close to Islam, he used to like Islam and Muslims…he had more Muslim friends than Hindus.

Unfortunately he died even before I could talk to him about Islam. Whenever I think, what would happen to my father, I start weeping. Why no Muslim told him to accept Islam and save himself fro hell fire? When I told my mother about my Islam, he encouraged me and told me that I did fine to correct my relationship with my Creator. I am hopeful that she will also accept islam formally. 3. On Family members / Others. 08. I spoke to my younger brother who is Electrical Engineer. After three or four attempts, he also accepted Islam Alhamdolillah. I am working on other members of my family.

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. My request to Muslims is that now no new prophet will come and it is now their duty to spread a propagate the message of Islam to every one. There might be hundreds and thousands of people in India like my father, who are Muslims from inside. They only need a formal push to come to Islam.

10. How sad it is to know that Muslims do not even got o such persons and tell them to join Islam. This is their religious duty….
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2007.

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Why I Became Muslim? CATHY USA

My story of conversion to Islam is very interesting. It so happened that I went on a sale of surplus books at our local library and got hold of one book for a few coins that I had in my pocket. I brough the book home, without even looking at it, displayed it carefully on my table and never even bothere to read it or even go thru it!!!

I graduated from High School, in College I selected Arts instead of science and selected a course tha dealt with comparative religions. I was taught about major world religions, like Christianity, Judaism Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. None of my teachers were Muslims. I graduated from school and went to job market. It was not easy to find a job for female arts gradate in a my country so easily.

After a few months of trial I felt frustrated from my job search and kept to my room. While in such state, I looked again at the book which I had purchased with my own pocket money many years back I cleaned the dirt and I started reading it, It was about Islam and what more, it was totally different from what my teachers were teaching me in my college.

This book was nothing but English Translation of Holy Quran. The teachings of Quran convinced m that it was a true religion and must enter into its fold, I went to local Islamic center and I became a Muslim, which was such an easy thing to do. I joined the missionary activity and soon met an Afgha Boy, we got married and I gave my services to the local Islamic Center.

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Islam we think is a revolutionary and full of activity. It does not makes it followers idle or take shel from the world’s problems. I only hope that Allah accept our small services and make us serve Muslims more and more (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? AN AMERICAN MUSLIMAH (NAME WITHELD), USA I am a 17 year old Caucasian American girl who happens to be a Muslim, not by birth, but my own choice. I converted from Catholicism to Islam 2 years ago I am mainly writing this because many Muslims in America feel that many of our fellow Americans associate our peaceful religion with hatred and slavery of the women!

I can say that after intense research for a couple of years on all religions, I felt closest to Allah (God) when I read the Quran and read about Islam, a feeling that Christianity could not give me. That is w I converted.

I must admit that it is very hard going from ‘free wheeling’ typical American life style to one of praying, modesty and spiritual freedom. Islam is a fairly simple religion, with a few rules, but the rules you must follow as best you can…. As Muslims we respect and we believe in Moses, Abraham, Jesus, the Virgin Mary and also the last prophet that God sent to the earth… Sadly there are many false rumors about Islam, for some reason or other people tend to prefer these false rumors to the truth..

In fact Islam is one of the first religions to give women equality…You may be wondering why Musl women wear the scarves to cover their hairs and dress in loose clothing. In the Quran, Allah tells tha girls past puberty should cover their beauty and body from men who are not their close relatives….

Did you know that majority of Muslims are not Arab! It is a common belief that Muslims are all Ara In reality majority of Arabs are Muslims, but many are Jewish and also Christians. Indonesians and South East Asians make up the majority of Muslims, and Islam is one of the fastest growing religion America… Islam is not the religion of terror, blood or hatred of its women, but a thoughtful. Peaceful, modest religion that gets us closer to our Creator, Allah 149 (Abridged) Source:: The Islamic Voice May 1998 p 22 bailyverous17@hotmail.com Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Adam Wilson IN THE BEGINNING

Before learning about Islam, my only real exposure to any religion occurred during a hot summer da I was outside working in the yard when two shady looking characters pulled up in a 1970's style blac Cadillac. I only remember parts of their fast talking rhetorical nonsense. "The Lord wants this . . . Th lord loves you . . . The lord needs you to be saved right now. So what is your name son?" "Adam," I replied. "Okay Adam, all you need to do is put your hand on this bible and follow along with me" they continued.

I thought the situation seemed a little strange, but I agreed to the ‘saving ceremony’ to get them out o my yard. It worked. These men were far too busy to explain what had just happened and they were o searching for more desolate souls to save. What they didn't realize and what I am thankful for now is that their actions actually prevented me from going to church. At that point in my life I was searchin for truth and was contemplating the idea of attending church to find some answers. Instead the churc came to me and I still needed some answers. A couple of years went by and I eventually fooled myse

into thinking that I was happy being agnostic. I DISCOVER THE MOST IMPORTANT TRUTH OF ALL

About three years after the above incident I was delivering Pizzas in a small town located in Norther Michigan. It was 1:00 a.m. in the morning and there was about two and a half feet of snow on the ground. The sky was clear and the stars were glowing with a magnificent splendor. Delivering pizza is a lonely process and the loneliness often directed my thoughts to spiritual realms. On this particula delivery I was trying to decide whether or not I believed in God. I drove over a small hill and at the peak of it I could see the night sky in what seemed like its entirety. At that very moment, I witnessed falling star (meteor). It gave me the shivers one-second and an amazing feeling of calmness the next second. The very first thing that I thought was, ‘there really is a God.’ I had resolved the most important issue of all issues. However, the transition from knowing that a God exists to knowing abo the One and only God was still in progress. THE ONE AND ONLY GOD

My discovery and eventual acceptance of Islam happened over a ten-month period. I met an America convert to Islam in February of 1997. We worked together and often discussed issues about religious and non-religious topics. I was impressed with this particular brother because he had a wonderful ability to apply logic to many different situations. In addition to this he was young, married and had child on the way. These are responsibilities that I had not seriously considered and I respected him a great deal for his actions. After about nine months, I became more and more interested in Islam. I knew that I had to take action but I was not sure which action to take. My thought process was changing and my desire to learn more increased.

In November of 1997 I was invited to the Mosque for an open house. I did not attend the open house because of a family obligation, however the brother was compassionate and patient enough to invite me again that very same week. After going to the Mosque and speaking to several other brothers, I w to the point that I knew accepting Islam was my destiny. The next day I used my newly acquired prayer book and began praying five time a day. Taking the shahadah (bearing testimony) that God alone deserves to be worshipped and Muhammad is His Messenger, is the not the final step, it is only the first step. Today, my path to God continues. (Contd.) IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN READ THIS

Does it really make any sense to say that God is a man or has a son made of human flesh? The answe is no. And no dogma can convince you or myself that this is true. The ultimate truth is Universal. It applies to everyone at any point in time. Remember there is no compulsion in religion as the Quran states, "Let there be no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clear from error; whoever rejects ev and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah heareth and knoweth all things". Quran 2-256 Consider Islam with an open heart and an open mind. you consider Islam to be true than accept and practice it, if not at least respect it.

The only way that you can justify rejecting Islam is to say that it is a false religion. Know one thing:

Islam is a false religion, then so is the religion of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joseph, Joh Mary, and yes, Jesus. Why? Simple: they all taught the same concepts, namely the Oneness of God, and they all worshipped God alone without making any association between Him and others. They knew that their Creator stood high above all of His creations. That concept alone is the first step to correct guidance. There is God alone, the Creator, then there are creations, which no matter how numerous or powerful they may seem to us, have no power at all, because all power is with God. IF YOU ARE A MUSLIM READ THIS

Remember it is our obligation to show as many people as possible that Islam is a possibility for them The only way this can be done properly is to practice Islam with no exceptions the way Prophet Muhammad (SAS) taught it to us. Do as much as possible to establish this religion and to perfect the faith that is within your own heart. Allah (SWT) will hold you accountable for all that you could hav done, even if you fall short. May Allah reward all of you for your good deeds and honest efforts. Adam Wilson 150 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAJBEER THAKUR, (MOHD. OMAR) BENARAS , UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 30th October 1939, in a RAJPUT family in well known city of BENARAS UP. My father was a big Land Lord. I finished my studies in my village, and did B. Com from BENARAS. My uncle was Professor in Benaras Hindu University (BHU), he advised me to go to England and do MBA there.

02. I was already to go to England, but suddenly my father expired due to heart attack. I wanted to abandon my UK program, but my mother told me that my father wished me to finish my MBA from England. I went to England and finished my MBA and then I also did Doctorate also in Business Management.

In those days, there were very few MBA ‘s in the country and that too from England and then also Doctorate! I was soon picked up to be a GM in a Tata firm… but I was more interested in Teaching line.

03. So after five years I got a job in BHU and I taught in the University fro many years. My students have risen to highest positions in trade and industry. I retired from BHU as Dean in year 1999.

I married a lady who had done PHD from BHU and belonged to a very rich family of UP. Our’ was love marriage and took place after many years of courtship..

04. After my retirement, I got many offers from good companies, I joined as Advisor with BAJAJ group. They wanted to construct Sugar Mill in MATHURA. In Jan 2003 I went to Bombay to attend meeting and on return I had to see the factory site.

Instead of flying from Bombay to Delhi and then take a car ride to MATHURA, I decided to board a direct train from Bombay to MATHURA. I was booked in AC 1st Class (Highest class of travel in Indian railway, costing same as Air travel- MUQ) in August KRANTI express…..when new phase o my life started. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

01. I reached platform when the train had just started moving, when I reached my cabin, I found that one Muslim Gentleman was my fellow passenger. After some time, we introduced each other, He to me that his name was Maulana Kalim Uddin from Phulat. He told me that his teacher was famed Maulana Ali MIAN of Lucknow.

02. I had met Maulana Ali MIAN many times earlier, so that made a bond between us. After taking some breakfast, I told Maulana that I wanted to take some rest after my hectic schedule, but now sinc he is with me, why not we should discuss about religion.

03. I told that I am very much interested in religion and I have met and heard most of religious group active in India. I have been to most of religious places of Hindus, Muslims and Buddhists and I have talked with almost every big scholars of these religions.

04. But no one has been able to convince me and I did not get peace of mind anywhere. I told him th whenever I went to mosques, I felt some peace and same sort of peace I observed when I was in the company of Ali MIAN. 05. Then I went on relating to him my various experiences with Pundits and Scholars of other faiths… I went on talking and Maulana kept on listening , it went on past midnight, finally when I was finish Maulana told me that he also wanted to say something, but since it was already very late, he will say in the morning. 06. I realised my mistake, that I should have spoken less and listened from this scholar more, but it w already late. So I went to my birth and during night whenever I woke up, I saw Maulana paying and busy in supplication.

07. When I woke up and finished my breakfast, it was only 90 minutes left to my destination. Maula started talking to me about Islam and what it stands for. He told me that I was already Muslim by nature…what I needed was only a formal declaration. He went on pressing me, but I said that I cann take such an important decision on such short notice.

08. The train reached MATHURA and I was ready to get down. Maulana came to door to see me off and when I was getting down, he gave me a small booklet to read at my leisure.

09. I got down, but some one inside me was saying that I should have accepted the advice of Maulan …. When I read the booklet “Your trust…” my condition changed and I was eager to reach to Maula at shortest notice and ask him to make me Muslim.

10. I traced him and when I met him, I asked him to make me Muslim. He recited the KALIMA to m and I became Muslim and he gave me my new Islamic name. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

When I told my wife about my Islam, she was very angry. She left me and stayed away from me for one year. But then she came back and accepted Islam. During that one year period she had studied Islam very carefully.

My son and his wife and both their children who are residing in America accepted Islam without mu persuation. My daughter who is in France also accepted Islam and married an Arab Muslim there. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

As Maulana used to say, that every child is born a Muslim, it is later that parents turn them into Hind Christian or Buddhist. I testify to this fact and I ask Muslims to present Islam to Non Muslims in Ind and elsewhere.

Islam is the need of humanity and Islam is the solution of all the problems which humanity is facing.

PS: There is a small twist in the story. Maulana Kalim told that he always use to travel in 2nd Class 3Tier. He had asked his friends to book ticket for him. When he learned that the ticket was of 1st AC he refused to go.

But his friends convinced him that it is a travel time of 16 hours and there will be 3 VIP s in that AC Cabin. If we could convey message of Islam to 3 VIP s by spending a few thousand rupees, it is still bargain. This convinced Maulana. Later it turned out that it was Allah’ destiny to grant guidance to such a luminary during that travel. Allah chooses His own ways!! - MUQ
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Feb. 2007

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Why I Became Muslim?

TANIDTHEA (UMM AMINA) AUSTRALIA

I was born in Australia, once I went to the Muslim Mosque in small town of Armindale and borrowe English translation of Quran for study. While just scanning thru the book, The following verse of Quran caught my eye, that dealt with planetary movements:

“And the sun runs the course for a period determined for him: that is the decree of (Him) the Exalted Might, the All Knowing. And the Moon- We have measured for her mansions (to traverse) till she returns like the old (and wretched) lower part of a date stalk. It is not permitted to the sun to catch u the Moon, nor can the Night outstrip the day, each (just) swims along in (its own) orbit (according to Law) 36: 38-40

This made me think, how can Prophet Mohammad, an unlettered man could describe the movements of sun and man in so scientific way? He must be getting these info from God Almighty….so Quran must be the divine book. Now I started studying Quran with much care and attention taking care to implement in my life what read. Soon I decided to enter into faith of Islam.

I tried to convince my husband also about Islam, but despite my best efforts, he continued in his faith So much so that I gave him choice between me and his religion. He divorced me and I got the custo of my daughter, whom I named AMINA and therefore I am known as UMM AMINA.

Soon I met a Muslim from Pakistan on Internet Chat club and I migrated to Pakistan and married him

Australia is a Christian majority country, but Islam is spreading fast there. Many women are attracte to Islam for protection, because it is Islam which gives them real protection and real respect.

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I am sorry to say that most Muslims living in Australia do not give a good picture of Islam. They do not live according to Islam and are divided amongst themselves. To Muslim women also I request to think about hereafter, The present life will end in a few decades, and then they will have to account for that in the eternal life. Islamic teachings are best suited for all situations in life. They should practice them into their daily life. (abridged) Why I became Muslim? AN ANGLICAN CHRISTIAN (NAME WITHELD), Birmingham UK

Even though I had a vague believe in God, I really I had no knowledge about any religion or try to know about God or felt his need in my life. Then around 8 years ago my mother became seriously i and according to doctors she had only one more week to live. It was then that I prayed to God and asked from Him to extend her life. Surprisingly she recovered and lived one more year and I was ab to serve her. After that personal experience, myself and my wife visited a Baptist Church which was near to our University and one of Mathematics teacher was a member there. Soon he persuade me and my wife be formally baptized and we started to join Sunday classes in the Church regularly.

Soon I started to read Christian books and acquire some knowledge about it. I stumbled on the Doctrine of Trinity, which I could not understand, how so much I tried it. I asked my church fellows their answers did not satisfy me and I asked more doubts. Finally they advised me to accept Trinity taught by the Church and stop trying to understand it.

It was at that time, that one of Muslim Student told me about Quran and its clear teachings. He gave me an audio cassette of Mr. Jamal Badawi (Well known Muslim missionary from Canada) about concept of God in Islam. I could see that it was a straight forward concept and lacked any mysteries which Trinity tried to introduce.

I got busied in cultural activities and I noticed that black people were not encouraged or welcomed in our Church. On many occasions when my wife brought some of her black friends to the Church, no one spoke to them. When we tried to join in the movement to restore Walter Helms (first Black Superintendent of School in Birmingham, who allowed non union teachers in Black schools), our Church openly condemned us.

It was at that time that I got an offer to teach mathematics in KFUPM University Dhahran. There I g an opportunity to learn about Islam from those who were Muslims. Those people gave me English translation of Quran and other Islamic literature. I got audio and video tapes of Jamal Badawi, whic helped me a lot to know what Islam really is.

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I started Muslim prayers even before I declared my faith…..but soon I decided to join brotherhood o Islam (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? Testimony of Ahmed Corpus (Formerly Marco Corpus)

All praise is due to Allah, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His last Messenger, Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those following true guidance. This is my story why I embrace Islam. During my childhood, I was brought up in the Catholic faith particularly within the Aglipayan sect. My grandfather and aunt are faith healers….

When I reached the age of seventeen, I noticed that there are many religions having different types o doctrine, however, using one common source, which is the Bible. Everyone claims to be the true religion. Then, I ask my self; “Shall I remain with my family’s faith or shall I try to attend and listen other religion?”

One day my cousin invited me to attend the Pentecost Church. My motive was only to observe what they are doing inside their Church. I witnessed that they employ singing, clapping, dancing, crying a raising of hands in worship to Jesus (peace be upon him). The pastor preached about the bible. He mentioned the most common verses quoted by all preachers pertaining to the divinity of Christ such John 1:12, John 3:16, John 8:31-32. That time, I became a Born Again Christian. I accepted Jesus Christ as my lord and personal savior. …

I began teaching people about the bible and its doctrines. I read the bible twice from cover to cover. committed myself to memorize chapters and verses of the bible for the purpose of protecting the fait am uphold to defend. With the position I have attained, I became proud of myself. .. However, looking into the lives of my co-pastors, you cannot find among them as good examples to the flocks they pastorate. Thus, my faith began to decline. Still, I strive hard to work to serve my congregation (Contd.)

One day, I thought of going abroad not only to work but also with the intention to proselytize the nam of Jesus as Lord, astagfirullah. My plan was to go either Taiwan or Korea. However, by Divine Will got a visa for Saudi Arabia. Immediately, I signed a three-year contract to work in Jeddah. A week after I arrived in Jeddah, I observed the diverse lifestyle of different people such as the language, customs, and even the food they eat. I was totally ignorant of other’s culture.

Alhamdulillah, I have a Filipino co-worker in the factory that happens to be a Muslim and who can speak Arabic. Though, there was little apprehension, I tried to ask him about the Muslims, their faith and beliefs. I thought Muslims were hard-killers who worship Satan, Pharaohs, and Muhammad (pbu as lords. I shared to him my faith in Christ. As response, he told me that his religion it totally differe from my religion. He quoted two verses from the Holy Qur'an. One in surah al-maidah 5: verse 3 which says;

“…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” Another in surah Yousuf 12: verse 40 which says; “You do not worship besides Him but only names which you have named (forged), you and your fathers, for which Allah has sent down no authority. The command is for none but Allah. He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the straight religion, but most men know not.” (Contd.)

The verses he quoted struck me. After that I began to observe his life. Everyday we shared each othe belief and eventually became close friends. In one occasion, we went to Balad (the commercial distr of Jeddah) to post some letters. There, I happened to notice many people watching video of a debate my favorite “preacher”. My Muslim friend told me that the favorite “preacher” I was telling him happens to be Ahmad Deedat and apparently a famous propagator of Islam. I told him that, our pasto back home had made us to believe that he is just a “great preacher”. They kept to us his real identity that he is a Muslim propagator! Whatever their intention was, definitely, it was to keep us away from knowing the truth. Nevertheless, I bought the videotape as well as some books to read about Islam.

In our residence, my Muslim friend told to me about the stories of the prophets. I was really convinc but pride kept me away from Islam. Seven months later, another Muslim friend from India went to my room and gave me an English

translation of the Qur’aan. Later on, he brought me to Balad and accompanied me to an Islamic Cent nearby. There, I met one Filipino Brother. We had some religious discussions and related to me his l before when he was a Christian. Then he lectured to me the teachings of Islam.

That blessed night, on the 18th of April 1998, without compulsion, I finally entered Islam. I announc my declaration of faith called the shahadatain, Allahu Akbar!

Before I was following a blind faith. But now, I see the ultimate truth that Islam is the best and complete way of life designed for the whole of mankind, alhamdulillahi rabbil ‘alamin. My prayer is that Allah will forgive us all our Ignorance regarding Islam and Guide us to the siratal mustaqeem (straight path) leading to Paradise. Ameen. 154 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: MAHESH CHANDRA SHARMA (MOHD. AKBAR) KARNAL, HARYANA, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 7th July 1977. My father was a Hindu Pundit. He was engaged in performing religious rites, make Birth sketches and other Hindu rites. He died one year before I became Muslim

I have one sister. When I was in school, I did not like all these rituals which my father performed. I even talked to him about it, but he used to say that at least it earns living for him and the family.

02. I used to get up early in the morning and take bath. Once when I was in high School and my exams were due. My mother asked me to pray to their gods before I went for exam. When I reached temple, I saw (rather Allah made me see) that one dog entered the temple. It ate what sweets were placed before the idol and then urinated on the head of Idol. This took my faith away from these ido and I went to my exams without prayer.

03. When my results came, I got First Division. Next year when I was in 11th standard, my father fel suddenly sick and his condition became very serious. My mother insisted that I go to temple and pra for his recovery. Forced I went to temple and prayed whole night…. But when I returned , my fathe had died. That was the second stroke that alienated me from these idols and their worship. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I then went to a Church to become Christian, but when I saw the statue of jesus there, I came bac Then some one told me that I should meet Maulana Kalim Sahib, who visits this place on such and such time. I waited and when Maulana came, I told him my story. He consoled me on my father’s death and then explained me about Islam. 05. He told me that there is no time for death, it could come any time and my end would be same as my father’s. He also gave me his small booklet “Your Trust…” and asked me to read it.

After some hesitation, I got convinced and told Maulana that I am ready to become Muslim. He was very happy to know it. I recited KALIMA in front of him and he gave me my new Islamic name. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. I was very confident that my mother will be very happy to see that I have found the true path….b when I went home and told her, she became very angry. She told me that I have dishonored family name. She pressed me to come back to my old religion, I said that now this is impossible. I was so much against idol worship that I broke the idol in the temple which was near my house….this caused a lot mayhem in the community. 07. Police arrested me and started beating me mercilessly…some one told my mother, she came running to Police station. When she saw me being beaten like that, she could not control herself. She fell in between me and sticks of Police and screamed, if you beat him because he has converted Islam so am I!! Beat me if you want.

This took me away all my feeling of pain and I thanked Allah for giving guidance to my mother in th way. : Later my sister also accepted Islam. D. How I saved my Islam: 08. There were very few muslims in my area. After consulting with Maulana , I brought my mother and sister to Delhi.

I had to face many difficulties to make both the ends meet….there were many trials but Allah helped me at every juncture and I got a good job to run a darning factory in Delhi. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. My advice to muslims is that they should feel pity on people like us, we who are unhappy with o religion and are in need of truth and correct path.

They should bring to us the message of Islam and they should present themselves as true reps of Isla
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2003

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Why I Became Muslim? ROSY CARLOS (SHARIFA CARLOS), USA

I was born in a poor Christian family. My parents could not afford higher education for me, so they were advised to enter me into a Christian Mission and they would take care of my higher studies. So went to California to study in a Christian Mission.

All my hopes of higher studies were shattered when I went to that mission, because all they taught w Christianity and Anti Islamic courses. Arabic language was part of the curriculum but the teachers were Christians. It was told to me that purpose of all this Islamic knowledge and Arabic language is that soon I would be placed in one of Muslim countries and work amongst their women for Christianity. If I did my work diligently and achieved some thing remarkable, I would be fixed for life in some well know organization like UNO or its affiliates.

I was destined to work in Egypt. Before going there I was shown many films about poor conditions Egyptian Muslim women and how much they were suffering under Islam. I was full of confidence a my abilities when I landed in a remote Egyptian town and started my mission activities.

When I started talking to these poor Muslim women, I found that it was me who was lacking something. Whenever I used to tell them about beauties of Christianity they would counter with som quality of Islam which was lacking in Christianity. Soon I realized that their faith is based on much solid grounds than it was told to us in the mission school.

When these Egyptian girls used to recite Quran, I was almost mesmerized…. I visited Al Azhar Mosque in Cairo and talked with scholars there. They told me that there would be a seminar shortly which many renowned scholars would take place.

I was very eager to attend this seminar and ask my doubts about Islam from them. I was much impressed by the simplicity of the event and down to earth approach of renowned Muslim Scholars, different from pomp and show which Christian Church luminaries display when they visit any where I talked to these scholars who gave questions to all my doubts.

We discussed about the Unity of Islam which is cornerstone of Islam. They gave me very convincin answers to all my doubts. One more thing I noticed that whenever I asked any doubt, they would giv answer immediately and without much going round the bush. However whenever they asked me any question, I had no answer or a very far fetched answer.

This convinced me that Islam is the true path and it is preserved in its pristine beauty. While no one can make the same claim about Christianity which was changing with time and is still changing. I then decided to accept Islam on the hands of these scholars and I thank Allah that He guided me to

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the right path. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? BEGUM AMINA LAKAHANI, OHIO, USA

When a western women like myself turns towards Islam, the road is long and sometimes difficult… The western culture uses its women towards its own goal. TV Commercials are indented with lesson that teach everyone what they must desire. A slim figure seems essential because the clothing advertised exposes everything on a western woman.

There are books by millions, about how to be a sex symbol, how to make friends….the system feeds upon itself. Such was my thinking before coming to Islam. When I approached Islam, first by reading the Quran and then by studying Islam, I wondered at its simplicity. Life in the western culture is so endlessly complicated by false needs and desires.

At first Islam seems to be unintelligible to a westerner simply because we are always taught that the life must befilled with self gratification and self seeking pleasure… Islam is more logical yet it contradicts every thing that I was ever taught. When one spends an entire lifetime demanding self-abuse in the name of freedom, the prospect of a life dedicated to Allah, inste of selfish desires, becomes frightening as well as exciting.

The mere notion that there is a better way, is difficult to accept, because we are always taught that th western way is the only way….Therefore the first step towards Islam requires courage and convictio

Islam is a total life system that enjoins respect for the purity of life. It insures purity of family life as well as purity of the individual. A woman is a special individual in the eyes of Allah and not just a produce for commercialization….A Muslim woman is a respected member of the Muslim communit contributing in a positive way to family and community life… Muslim woman must be stronger and more confident than other woman. To be a Muslim living in western world today is a great responsibility, but the rewards may be blessing for all mankind. I am proud of being a Muslim woman because only in Islam are Allah’s blessings so bountiful… 157 (Abridged) Source:: Yaqeen International Pakistan July 7-22, 1991 Page 47 Why I Became Muslim? Christopher Patrick Nelson , Islam Saved My Mental Health and Returned My Soul http://news.pacificnews.org/news/ Note: Nelson writes for Silicon Valley De-Bug, a PNS publication by young workers, writers and artists in Silicon Valley.

I am a 26-year-old Irish American who converted from Christianity to Islam in order to save myself.

Although I never had a problem taking the Prophet Jesus as a role model for a way of life, I needed more specific guidance with day-to-day behavior – my own was out of control. After studying Jainis Buddhism and Hinduism, I concluded that the example of the Prophet Muhammad served as a blueprint for a comprehensive spiritual life. And that saves me. Literally.

Let me explain. When I turned 14 I was put in a psychiatric ward for my out-of-control behavior. I fe high and acted on any impulse as though it were a fabulous idea. I would try to kiss girls I just met, a if we had been going out for a long time. Not a good idea.

Then the pendulum would swing from high and energetic to low and depressed. I found no pleasure anything. I wanted to sleep all the time, and, far worse, I wanted to die. I slit my wrists several times

If that sounds funny or even romantic, that's not how it feels. Mania might be fun, but the ensuing depression is pure hell. It sneaks up on you like the devil, insidiously. I remember staring at somethi innocuous, like a coffee table, and suddenly being overwhelmed by the conviction that life is meaningless.

Western medicine may help, but it does not cure me. Medication was mandatory at the adolescent psychiatric ward in San Jose. We had seven group therapy sessions a day, chores, wretched meals, an then medication time. As the shrinks mixed and matched my meds I felt as if I were wading through thick oatmeal.

Eventually, outside the mental institution I found something that finally helped me with being bipola Islam.

I'd always felt, deep down, that my illness had something to do with my soul. Western medicine – drugs and therapy – could, therefore, never cure me. How could it when it does not even recognize th I have a soul? Islam, on the other hand, taught me how to purify my soul from disease …

I found the emphasis on reciting certain invocations to God most helpful. In order to protect themselves from demonic elements that can do harm, followers of Islam recite prayers. The disciplin and the act of praying helped me deal with my mania directly.

Reciting prayers, though, may not be for people who just want to deal with mental distress. And I'm not at all suggesting that people go off their medications just yet. There are prerequisites to the effectiveness of the practice, such as the belief in what one recites. And it's about more than just prayer: a strict life is a must. Avoidance of pork and intoxicants, as well as a supportive, mosque-bas community are crucial parts of being Muslim. Dealing with mental illness is a lifelong struggle, but now I feel that I am finally in control. I have a

soul. And Islam teaches me how to purify it. (Abridged)

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SUNIT KUMAR SURYAVANSHI (ABDUL RASHID) HARIDWAR, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a village near HARIDWAR in a religious Hindu family. I have three brothers and one sister. I was educated in Hindu GURUKUL type school. These are schools sun by very orthodox Hindus. was very active and used to take part in every function.

02. I was very much interested in dancing and had learned to do very good Break dancing. My body was especially suited for breaking dancing and I was very much in demand due tot this specialty. However there was a Muslim religious man, who used to prevent me from dancing and such type of things, saying that men have not been made to do such things. Slowly and slowly he told me about Islam and its teachings. He took me to mosques and showed me some Muslim schools. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 03. I got interested in islam, I accepted Islam on his hand and then he sent me to Phulat to meet Maulana Kalim Sahib.

He helped me in understanding Islam and its teachings. Very soon I learned about prayer and how to recite Quran. I even grew full beard and was dressed like any Muslim. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

04. For some months I stayed in Phulat and did not contact my family. Then Maulana Sahib asked m to contact my family and work on them.

I phoned my parents and told them about my accepting Islam. They did not react at that time and tol me that my sister’s marriage is to take place on such and such date and I should be present there. Ev

if I am renegade from my ancestor’s religion I am still her brother.

05. I reached there and brought some presents for my sister….they did not say any thing…but after end of marriage…they took me to a room and locked it from inside, then they asked a barber to shav off my beard. I requested them to leave my beard alone….but they did not listen. I was very ashamed to meet Maulana in this condition…but he told me not to worry. Allah will reward me for this. D. How I saved my Islam: 06. I lived in Phulat and did course in Computers and now I am busy in DTP works in MAWANA.

I go with Maulana in his missionary missions and try to educate people about Islam and its basic teachings. Alhamdolillah more than twenty people have accepted Islam on my hand. Earlier I used t wait for Maulana to make them Muslims and recite KALIMA, but Maulana told me not to wait for a one, because no one knows when the end will come. E. My Missionary activities: F. Present Situation: I try my best to live my life according to Islam as far as I can.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2003.

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Why I Became Muslim? MARCILIA ANGELLO (FATIMA ABDULLAH), ITALY

I was born in Geneva in a very devout Christian Family. After completing my primary education I moved to Rome to complete my further study. I joined Arts academy, I was very beautiful to look a so I got offers for modeling, which I did in my spare time. After completing my graduation, my nex target was Film Industry. Because of my looks, my modeling background and my talents, I soon become a famous star in Italian Cinema. I was living with my “Live-in” husband and both of us were very happy and had every thing in the world so to say. But something happened in that period which changed our lives for ever.

We had to shoot one of the film on WW-2 in MERCI MATROUH city of Egypt. I was once waiting there when I found a few people going towards a small building in the town. They took off their shoes, washed their hands, faces and feet and then appeared to do some sort of exercise. I watched with interest this act and then it became a sort of habit to me to watch these people performing this a

When I asked someone about it, they told me that these are Muslims and performing their five regula daily prayers. This kept me thinking about the purpose of my own life….I went to Islamic center in Rome and they gave me some booklets about Islam. When I went for more they gave me more fina I got convinced about message of Islam and asked them to join it. I had thought that the ceremony would be long and elaborate and it would take at least couple of weeks, I was surprised when the ceremony was over in a few seconds and I became a Muslim. I had left the film line already, soon I became a volunteer of the local Islamic Center. My Live-in Husband left me even though we loved each other very much. He asked me to see hi from time to time.

I soon started visiting him and talking Islam to him….slowly and slowly he also got convinced of th truth and decided to accept Islam. The ceremony was soon over and we became husband and wife once again, this time according to rites of Islam.

My husband jokingly recalls that “I never thought becoming Muslim would be so easy, I thought the would demand a few hundred heads of Non Muslims to prove my faith!!!” So in the end it was that scene in a small Egyptian Mosque, which became my reason to come into Islam (abridged). Why I Became Muslim? IRENE (AIYESHA) WENTWORTH FITZ WILLIAM U.K.

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Note: She was a noble British lady born in 1914. She went to Egypt to make a study of Comparative religions. She got so much impressed by teachings of Islam that she became Muslim in 1931. Following her example her younger sister also accepted Islam. She performe Hajj in 1935. Here she writes in one of the magazines.

I am going to address more particularly to the Non Muslims who are not as well acquainted with the noble character and life of the holy prophet. The prophet Mohammad’s character and qualities were those which appeal especially to my own countrymen and women, namely courage, loyalty, kindness and greatest generosity to a fallen foe.

His courage was exceptional, at the commencement of his great work, he stood entirely alone. His clansman and people of his own tribe were against him, and he fought for his cause against apparent overwhelming odds. It was his courage and faith in Allah that brought him victory.

Previous to the days of prophet, the Arabians had sunk to the lowest degree- drunkenness, immoralit and idolatry were at their heights. The Kaaba which since the days of Abraham had been used as the House of God was filled with idols of stone and wood…It was a most courageous acts of Prophet to cleanse Makkah of those idols.

Mentioning Makkah, I should like to say here that it seems to me a grand thing that the holy cities of

Makkah and Medina are again visited by Occidentals as well as Orientals. This is as was in the days of prophet.

Every one desires World peace, well, there is nothing which will better accomplish that than the festival at the end of the pilgrimage at Arafat, where all nationalities, Black, White, brown Yellow, a dressed alike, Kings, Beggars, Poor and Rich side by side, offer up one universal hymn of praise to Allah…

The prophet banned all intoxicants. He was the first prophet to raise the status of women. Up to tha time women had no real status, in fact, the Arabs used to bury their female babies alive. All this the prophet stopped and instituted laws, 1356 years ago, establishing women’s rights, that alas do not ex even today in some European countries.. To this day, In Islamic laws which the prophet introduced, a woman’s possessions, whether money, land or anything else are her own, even her husband cannot lay a hand on them.

There is a great misconception amongst Christians as regards to women in Islam. For example many Europeans have said to me “As per your prophet, you have no souls”. How this fallacy has crept int the Christian imagination is incomprehensible. 161 (Abridged) Source:: The Islamic Review Sept. 1938 Vol. 26 Why I Became Muslim? FAUZUDDIN AHMAD OVERING, Preacher and Social Worker, Holland http://www.islam4all.com/newpage61.htm

It is difficult to say how my first interest in the Eastern world was aroused. It was purely linguistic first. I started learning Arabic when still at the primary school, when I was about twelve or thirte some thirty years ago. But as I had no one to help me, I did not make much headway at first.

It goes without saying that by the study of Arabic I came into contact with Islam. I bought seve books about; though all were written by Western authors and, therefore, not always unbiased. I beca convinced of the truth of the Prophet's mission (the peace and the blessings of God be on him). But m knowledge about Islam was rather restricted, and I had no one to guide me.

The book that influenced me most was E.G. Browne's History of Persian Literature in Modern Tim This brilliant work contains parts of two poems that were decisive for my conversion: the Tarj-Ba by Hatif of Isfahan, and the Haft-Band by Mohtashim Kashan.

At first Hatif's poem appealed to me most. It gives a beautiful visionary picture of a soul in turmoil, a struggle for a higher conception of life, in which I discovered - on a lower level, of course - my o struggle for Truth. although I cannot agree with some to its couplets, it taught me at least one gr Truth:

There He is One, and there is naught but He, That there is no god save Him alone.

According to the wish of my mother, and in accordance with my own inclination, I went to a spec school for religious instruction, not because I adhered to its religious principles (which admit broadmindedness) but some knowledge of Christianity was thought necessary for a general educatio I think the Principal of the School was rather surprised when at the end of the curriculum handed in a composition in which I confessed my adherence to the Islamic faith.

My faith in those early days was, however, irrational. It was a conviction, which, though genuine, w not yet armed by reason against the first onslaught of the rational materialism of the West.

It is then that the question arises: Why should one choose Islam! And why not maintain the religion which one happens to be born (if any)! The answer is contained in the question itself; Islam mea being at peace with oneself, the world and the god that is, it consists in submission to the will of Go Though the beauty and majestic terseness of the Qur'an is lost in translation, I will quote God's o words:

"O soul that art at rest. Return to thy Lord, well-pleased with Him, well-pleasing Him. So enter amo my servants. Enter my Garden-the Paradise." (Al-Qur'an LXXXIX: 27-30)

Islam, therefore, is the only pure religion not a religion marred by mythology, like Christianity a other religions.

Compare the Christian doctrine that an infant is responsible for the sins of its forebears, with Go consoling words:

"And no soul earns evil but against itself, and no bearer of a burden shall bear the burden of anothe (Al-Qur'an VI:165). "We do not impose on any soul a duty except to the extent of its ability." (Al-Qur'an VII:42). 162 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: VIKRAM SINGH (MOHD. AKRAM) MEERUT, UP. INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a village (which is now within the city) of Meerut, UP. My father was a farmer. I have four brothers and three sisters. I did my MA in History. I started LLB course, but did not continue after first year.

My family were very religious minded. When I grew up, I used to think about God and how He wou be. I used to ask, who will be the Creator of this universe and what will be His powers.

02. When I went to temples and I saw people worshipping the idols made by their own hands, I used wonder as to how illogical these people are. I used to say, you made these idols, you clothe them yo put food before them, you make the place cool….how will they help you, when they cannot even hel themselves. People had no answers but said that I was a madman. I used to read in papers that this statue was stolen from this ancient temple and these ornaments stolen from this temple….these incident confirmed my thinkings that these idols cannot do anything.

03. Then I started going to these Gurus who are so abundant in India. I saw that these people ask oth to shun pleasure of this life and lead simple life….but their own life style is full of luxury and they indulge in every pleasure of life.

Then I studied life styles of SADHUS and find many of them living naked and young girls and wom worshipping them…that is enough to disgust any right thinking men from them. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. Then I decided to know about Islam. There were many Muslims in my village. They told me abo Islam and its teachings. To me they seemed very reasonable.

The thing which impressed me most was their concept of Last day and individual accountability. I once went to Muslim graveyard to witness burial of Muslims. I found it was much better and dignifi than our Hindu concept of burning the dead body. 05. I was slowly and slowly getting attracted to Islam….when my grace of Allah, Maulana Kalim Sahib visited our village on 12th October 2002. I was very much impressed with his speech and his personality. I accepted Islam on his hands the same day.

C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 06. When news of my conversion reached to my family, they became very angry and tried every thin to turn me back. What more Muslims of my village were also afraid from my conversion to Islam.

When I feared for my life, I complained to Police about my safety. Local Police inspector also told m to come back to my old religion (typical Hindu Police in Secular India – MUQ).

07. They asked me where I will be safe, I named Phulat. So they left me there and I was very happy be near Maulana and learn about Islam and take part in missionary activities.

E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

08. My father used to come and meet me in Phulat. He used to ask me to come back to my old religi and I used to reply to him very harshly. Maulana told me to talk to them with respect, irrespective of what he says. I tried that and now his anger has reduced. He comes and listens to me about Islam. I am hopeful and I also pray to Allah to open his heart to Islam. 3. On Family members / Others. I also present Islam to members of my family who come to meet me. Some of them have got convinced and accepted Islam. Some are thinking of accepting it/ G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 09. We all are children of one parent and one Creator. There are more than 300 Millions of Dalit people in India who are broken from inside. If we Muslims bring Islam to them, they will be happy to accept it and get their honor back.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of October 2003.

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Why I Became Muslim? KISHAN LAL (GHAZI AHMED) INDIA / PAKISTAN

Note: This story is set during the period when British were ruling India and duration partition of Indi and Pakistan in 1947.

I was born in District of Jhelum in 1924 and we belonged to a well to do Hindu family. My father w working in the Jammu and Kashmir state. Our family was Santan Dharmi (Old Orthodox Hindus).

By the time I reached 8th standard I felt attracted towards Islam and started to know more about Islam from Maulana Abdul Rauf, a local Muslim Scholar, so much so, I asked him to make me Muslim. B he said that you are still young and I fear for your life.

One night I dreamt that I am standing in Kaaba Mosque, the Prophet of Allah is present and I am bei introduced to him. When he asked my purpose, I told I want to become Muslim….he hugs me and

reads some thing in Arabic and makes me Muslim…..when I told this dream to Rauf Sb. He made m Muslim but asked me to hide it from my parents.

Things were like that when I dreamt one night as if I am in a jungle with some kids and a huge black man is standing before us. He is asking every one, who is his God, those who say any other thing, h leaves them alone, those who say Allah, he kills him. When my Turn came and I told Allah is my God, he hit me with much force…I started weeping…then again I saw the Prophet of Allah….he consoled me and told not to fear from this demon, he cannot harm you anymore now. When I went back and repeated my answer, the demon was powerless to harm me.

When I got up, I realized that Now I should declare my faith openly. I did so and soon every one turned against me. My father came back from his job and they all started beating me. They made m prisoner in one room….somehow I got free and run to Maulana Rauf, who took me under his protection.

My father appealed in local court that I have been kidnapped by Muslims and being kept a prisoner. The judge was a Sikh who called me, Maulana and my parents in the court. I told in court that I hav become Muslim by my own free consent and do not want to go back with my people who torture me turn back from Islam. The judge ordered in my favor….my father then appealed against this judgment….the judge this time was an Englishman, who after hearing my story from my lips kept up the judgment.

My father appealed again and the Judge this time was a Muslim. He ruled that since I was a minor, m parents have more right for my custody. He ordered me to be handed over to my family. In the car m father told me that I paid this much some as bribe to judge. He ridiculed me by saying that you want to join with such people!!! I told that I became Muslim at the hand of Prophet and such actions wou not deter me from the path.

Next period of my life was full of tortures and beatings. My father tried to use force, coercion, coaxing, and every thing in his power to turn me back from Islam. He even brought Hindu Pandits t answer my doubts…nothing could turn me back. I was kept permanently chained in a small room. When news of my tortures reached some Muslims….some of them planned to get me free even at th cost of risks to their life. Somehow I got free and run back to Maulana, who sent me away to a remo place away from the reach of my family. (Contd.) There I studied Islam properly in a Madarsa and got real knowledge about Islam.

By that time I had reached adulthood and had no fear from my family. The partition events of 1947 brought me back to my family, in order to save them from any harm. I was always with my family t they left for India. One of my Aunt had kept a large sum of money to take care of and hand it to her when she was finally on the way to India. When I handed it over to her on the train going to India… some of Hindu passengers observed that I did it because I have Hindu blood in me.

I told, I did it because I am Muslim now, if I was Hindu, I would have already taken that money!!! Thereupon some observed that if all Muslims were like you, we would have no need to flee to India!

After partition I got a job in the education department, I got married and then retired from Govt. Service in 1980. My job is now relating my own story to my fellow Muslims in Pakistan and tell the what it means to be a Muslim.

When I see present conditions of Muslims in Pakistan, I fell saddened. These breaking into sects and each arguing with others are not what Islam and Quran and prophet taught us. Quran asks all Muslim to jointly hold the “Rope of Allah (Quran) and be not stand divided” 3:103. I feel that my story would remind some Muslims and Non Muslims as to how precious is their faith and how some people have given everything to enter into it. (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? 'Allah came knocking at my heart' By Giles Whittell, The Times UK, 7 January 2000 http://www.themodernreligion.com/convert/convert-british-knocking.html Anecdotal evidence suggests that there has been a surge in conversions to Islam since September 11, especially among affluent young white Britons

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Six months ago Elizabeth L. — a graduate in political science, the daughter of affluent white British parents, an opponent of terrorism in all its forms — climbed Mount Sinai at night to watch the deser sunrise from its summit. “It was the stillest, most peaceful place I’ve ever been,” she says. “I could hear my feelings come up from within me, and in one surreal moment it all seemed to come together.”

Last Friday, at 4.45pm, Elizabeth went to Regent’s Park Mosque in Central London and converted to Islam.

It wasn’t hard. She didn’t even have to wear a scarf. Witnessed by two Muslim men and nine other friends squeezed into the imam’s office, she pronounced, in Arabic learnt from a tape the night befor the words she will repeat like a mantra five times a day for the rest of her life: “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” Afterwards there was a modest celebration at Al-Dar on th Edgware Road. Elizabeth and her well-wishers sipped mint tea and smoked apple-flavoured tobacco from a hookah. There was no booze, but she never drank much anyway.

Why has she done this? “I know it sounds clichéd, but Allah came knocking at my heart. That’s reall how it feels. In many ways it is beyond articulating, rather like falling in love.”

It was, in other words, intensely personal. As she read the Koran and prepared for her conversion, th September attacks came and went and failed to derail her spiritual journey, despite their proven link a fundamentalist Islamist terror network. In as far as they featured in her thinking, they even elicited some sympathy. All terrorism is cowardly, she says. “But I can see why people get fed up with the West. Capitalism is enormously oppressive.”.. They are people like Elizabeth (who asked for her name to be changed because she has not told her parents yet); like Lucy Bushill-Matthews, a 30-year-old graduate of Newnham College, Cambridge,

who flirted with Islam as a student in order to dismiss it, but found it “so simple and logical I couldn push it away”; like “Yahya”, whose father is a pillar of the Anglo Establishment and who feels that Islam “fits right into British tradition”; and like Joe Ahmed-Dobson, a son of the former Labor Minister Frank Dobson who believes that Islam transformed his spiritual life — and helped him to g a first at university. (Contd.)

If there is something familiar about these people’s startling choices, there should be. We have been here before, or at least Imperial Britain’s adventuring classes and their moneyed gap-year successors have.

T. E. Lawrence fell hard for the romance and otherness of Islam and came to embody them for succeeding generations even though he never converted. Gai Eaton, a former British diplomat now in his seventies, did convert. His influential work Islam and the Destiny of Man has become required reading for bright young Anglo-Saxons turning to his adopted faith, often as an expression of dissatisfaction with a Western culture that appeared to have offered them everything.

Matthew Wilkinson made headlines when he converted and changed his name to Tariq in 1993; he w a former Eton head boy. He and Nicholas Brandt, another Etonian and the son of an investment banker, swapped their destinies as scions of the Establishment for a Slough semi shared with four oth Muslims. Lord Birt’s son, Jonathan, forsook a fast track into the ranks of the great and the good by converting 1997 and starting a PhD on British Islam. So did a son and a daughter of Lord Justice Scott, the scourge of Tory sleaze and the chairman of the Arms to Iraq inquiry.

And so did Jemima Khan. “My decision . . . was entirely my own choice and in no way hurried,” the 21-year-old daughter of the billionaire James Goldsmith declared angrily after suggestions that she h converted to marry Imran Khan, the former Pakistan cricket captain. ..Her plea seemed hard to credi in the circumstances, but it is a common one from educated British women trying to persuade baffled non-Muslims that conversion did not mean surrendering their independence or their critical faculties

For Lucy Bushill-Matthews, it meant the reverse. “When I went to Cambridge I joined the Christian and Islamic societies and all three political parties,” she says. “I wanted to explore all the possibilitie in order to dismiss them.”

Yahya, too, chose Islam from the broadest possible religious gamut. He was raised in a high-profile London family that, because of his father’s position, could not be seen to favour one faith over anoth He then took a degree in comparative religion — the theological equivalent of a blind wine tasting — and Islam, quite simply, won.

“It’s pure monotheism,” he says. “It has a clear moral system and an intact tradition of religious scholarship. No scripture expresses its message of the oneness of God as clearly as the Koran. It also has a remarkably rich mysticism, which may be what appeals to middle-class white Brits like me.” Yahya converted five years ago. Now 33, he is at Oxford writing a PhD on British Islam and is

dismayed not just by last September’s attacks, but also by the mauling he says his religion has suffer since in the media, even — or especially — at the hands of would-be sympathisers. “It’s very painfu for all of us to be associated with such sickening barbarism (of the attacks),” he says. “That’s not wh we signed up for. And now we can’t portray our religion in undiluted form. It’s always mediated by someone else. It’s incredibly frustrating to have Polly Toynbee trying to save you from yourself.” All those I spoke to agreed that Christianity claims to answer the same yearnings for meaning and guidance. All had rejected it on intellectual grounds. Why grapple with mental puzzles such as the Holy Trinity and Original Sin, they asked, when the alternative, asserting neither, proved to them so much more satisfying? (Abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

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(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SATISH CHANDRA GOEL (MOHD. USMAN), BULANDSHAHAR, UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01I was born in the city of BULANDSHAHAR, UP which has historical importance. My father was having a big Grocery shop. I have one younger brother. My father died when I was in Intermediate, so I could continue my education further and started sitting on the Shop. My business grew and I opened a whole sale shop for my brother also. We were quite successful in our business.

02 I was married to a wealthy trading family of Muzaffarnagar. My wife is a very gentle lady, she is Post Graduate. We have two sons and one daughter. My father was very generous in spending on religious causes. I also inherited this habit from me. I used to give lavish money for any religious cause, including building and renovation of Muslim mosques.

03. My father had constructed an old market and the shops were rented to many people, two of them were Muslims. We decided to reconstruct the market and sent notice to all the shopkeepers to vacate the shops. We were also ready to pay them some money to compensate for their inconvenience. Now one of the Muslim shopkeeper went to the Imam of local Mosque and told him the situation. After learning details, Maulana told him to vacate the shop immediately as Islam does not allow for any Muslim to violate his trust or contract or agreements.

04. Next day when I went to market, I saw the shop keeper vacating the shop. I officered him 100,00

rupees, but he refused to take it saying that Islam does not allow it. I was amazed and I asked that if his religion has rules for renting shops also. He told me , yes my religion gives instruction for all spheres of life. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. I went to Imam Sahib of the mosque and asked him did Islam has rules for such small matters als He told me not only this but even smaller matters than that are also covered in islam.

He said that it is mistake of Muslims that have not spread the real islam to Non Muslims of this country. I was very impressed by his talk and then I used to visit him regularly and he gave me som books on islam.

06. I got interested in Islam and he told me to go to Phulat and meet Maulana Kalim Sahib there. I m Maulana and accepted Islam on his hand.

He named me USMAN and told that this was the name of one of the companions of our prophet, wh was very rich and used to spent lots of money on religious causes. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 07. Maulana asked me to deal kindly with my family and spend more an more money on them. He asked me to deal with them kindly and with patience and ask them to read his small booklet “Your Trust…”

I purchased lots of new clothes for my children and special dress for my wife and mother. Then I us to bring gifts very frequently for all of them. This continued for many days.

08. One day I told my wife not to cook any dinner as I will bring I from the famous restaurant of my city. After dinner when every one was happy, I took out that small booklet and asked my wife to rea it loudly to the family.

She started reading, but after a page or two, she could not control herself and started weeping. I took the booklet and I read it to them.

09. Then I asked my mother, Is she ready to burn in hell fire. She said that I cannot bear a small bur how can I bear the hellfire. After some thought, My mother, and my wife decided to accept Islam. Then all our children also became Muslim. I took all of them to Phulat and Maulana gave them new Islamic names. D. How I saved my Islam:

10. Maulana had told us not to declare our Islam not for the time being. But the news spread and my family members were very unhappy. My in-laws took my wife and children away.

But my wife had read the stories of early Muslims and what they had to undergo to save their faith, s

she stood firm. Son they gave up and we were united and free to practice our faith, Alhamdolillah. F. Present Situation:

11. I gave back the key of Shop to my Muslim tenant , saying that this shop is his now for ever. I ha got much more than shop in lieu of it. The other Muslim shopkeeper, went to court, he lost the case and also had to pay all the cost. I also had pity on him and I also gave them the key to the shop.

I am busy in Missionary activities and many people have accepted Islam on my hand, Alhamdolillah G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 12. We should tell people about real Islam. There are so many Islamic teachings, which are so reasonable and logical that every one will be attracted to it. Muslims have kept their religion to themselves and have not propagated it to their brothers living in their neighborhood.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Dec. 2008

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Why I Became Muslim? Dr. R.K MALHOTRA (DR. AHMED SAEED) DELHI, INDIA

Dr. RK MALHOTRA is the elder brother of Mr. V K MALHOTRA, the well known leader of Delhi BJP, who served as Chief Minister of Delhi and also as Minister in Indian Cabinet. His family migrated from Pakistan during partition. His family is well educated and very influential. RK completed his studies from St. Stephen college Delhi, did his B. Sc and M. Sc in Chemistry and then went to Oxford for doctoral studies. He served in London for six years and then came back to India hearing about his parent’s illness…let us pick up the thread from that point onwards.

I attended to my father during his long illness and was deeply shocked when he died in 1989. Within days my mother also died and this was a dual blow to me. At least I felt contended that I was able to attend to my parents in their old age, which is so different from what I saw in West.

In that state of mind, I decided to renounce the world after this dual blow, I visited all well known pilgrimage centers in India…I was surprised to see that what is going on in the name of religion is really the business deals. Each so called Guru has his own party and they are in race with each other collect maximum number of disciples and wealth and position. Disgusted I came back to Delhi and there met Swami Kalyan Deo, who was engaged in social work and in educating poor. I agreed to join his trust and help him in education field. There also I smelt same type of worldly atmosphere. I was not feeling happy and whenever I used to discuss religion

with Swami Ji, he would give not give me clear answers. I felt that he was also in search of truth.

I left the trust and joined Delhi Public School and was soon made Principal of one of its branch, later rose to the position of Administrator and member of committee to establish more branches of DPS in other parts of India.

Now I come to the curious part of my story, while I was retuning from Ahmedabad (where I had gon in connection of establishing DPS branch), the train was late and I was waiting on the platform. It w noon time…suddenly I saw a group of twenty or so porters moving in a group in one direction…I thought that they want to demonstrate for some cause and I should find out and help them if I could. I was surprised when I saw that these people picked up water pots (LOTAS in Hindi) and washed the faces, hands and feet. Some of them cleaned their teeth with a stick and then they arranged themselv into rows….one of them went forward and lead them into prayer. All members followed the leader. After end of prayer, they put back every thing in its place and went back to their work. (Contd.)

This was my first encounters with Muslim prayers. I started thinking what religion would instill so much discipline in such poor and uneducated people? I must study about this religion. Back in Delh I went to Jama Masjid area where they sell Islamic books. When I told them that I want to learn abo Islam, they gave me two books, “What is Islam?” by MAULAN MANZOOR NOMANI and “Ideal Prophet” by MAULANA SULAIMAN NADWI (English translations of two very good books on Islam and prophet’s life in Urdu-Ed.). When I read those books, I immediately realized that Islam must be the true path. Later I read Hindi Translation of Quran and my conviction was confirmed.

Now I decided to become Muslim, but it was not that easy. My name and family connections were known to every one and no one in Delhi was ready to convert me (for want of repercussion and back lash-Ed.). I went to more than twenty Muslims Imams and Scholars, but no one found enough coura to come forward. I was desperate and in the mean time my sister died and I was present at her cremation. I saw her burning in flames and thought that this could be my end too. Some one advised me to go to PHULAT Village in MUZZAFARNAGAAR and meet MAULANA KALIM SIDDIQUI. I went there and accepted Islam on his hands. . He told that he understood position in Delhi.

When I announced my conversion to my family… they all were taken back. I was offered all sorts o rewards and positions to turn back….but how could I? I was not in this for money or position. My wife joined me in Islam and on advice from Maulana I went to Oman to work in an International School.

During my stay in Oman I continued in my Islamic work…I am glad to report that many of my students and teachers (from west) got convinced of truth of Islam. Many of them accepted Islam and some even established Islamic schools in their countries.

My advice to Muslims in India is that if they do not wish to introduce Islam to Non Muslims, then at least they should not become a hindrance. In the end I feel fortunate that Islam invited me itself…what would have happened to me if the train

167

was on time on that fateful day in Ahmedabad! !!! (Abridged) Why I Became Muslim? AIYESHA ONG, BUDDHIST MALAYSIA

I was born as a Buddhist but I was not taught any thing about Buddhism, its teaching or its principals All I know about Buddhism was following my parents to the temples during festive seasons…We us Joss sticks to prey to the idols, or even colored disks with inscriptions on them. When we prayed, we prayed for our own good, making up a very long ‘shopping list’. In Malaysia, Chinese think they are superior. Most Chinese are either Buddhists or Christians and there is very small minority who are Muslims. These Chinese Muslims are looked down upon.

All the Malays are Muslims and Chinese consider them as stupid and lazy. Therefore to associate w any Malays was a terrible ‘sin’.

To the older generation of Chinese, Islam is only for Malays, and since all Malays are Muslims, Islam is a stupid religion… Because I was brought up in that society, I also accepted their ignorant way of thought. Because of racial tension in my country, I did not trust any Malays and so my knowledge of Islam was practical nil. I was never a religious person at home, so when I came to England, I became an Atheist. All of my friends were not religious either. All we were interested in was amusement and entertainment,

It was after two years in England and one broken marriage that I met a Muslim Malay. He gave me few books on Islam and in order to please him I read them. I was very suspicious of Islam but I was willing to learn and soon my interest grew.

Then one day I came across a copy of the book “Islam our Choice”, I read that book carefully and th feelings of those brothers and sisters expressed in that book made a great impression on me..

What really impressed me most about Islam was its moral teachings. One must dress decently and cover up one’s body. Another aspect of Islam that attracted me was cleanliness, which in Islam is ve important. Cleaning after call of nature, and performing WUDU before going to prayer was natural and very wise.

Against my parent's wishes, I became a Muslim after six month of studying the religion…I became a Muslim because I believe in Allah as the only God and Mohammad is His prophet…. 168 (Abridged) Source:: The Muslim (London) Oct-Nov 1974 Vol. 12 p 10-11 Why I Became Muslim?

Testimony of Ihsan Chua Gim Sam

Ihsan Chua Gim Sam, 23, born a Taoist, who when he was 9 years old believed in Christianity because of a threat and later in his young teens followed the teachings of Buddha, shares with Sister Muneera Al-Adros, his path toward embracing Islam. Ihsan's story was published in the "Muslim Reader", Oct-Dec 1994. This is a publication of the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore.

According to a Hadith, when a child is born, he or she is like a white cloth, it is the parents that will colour the white cloth to be red, blue, green or yellow. My parents are Taoists, therefore I was broug up as a Taoist since my birth. During my childhood years, I believed and accepted Taoism even thou I did not know anything about it. ..

When I was about 9 years old, a school teacher told me and some of my school mates that we should all become Christians. We were told if we do not become Christians, we will have to die as a punishment for being a non-Christian. I was very afraid of that threat. Thereupon I became a believe of two religions - Taoism (because of my family) and Christianity (because of the threat). As I grew older, I could not decide which religion I should be practicing.

During my third and fourth year in Secondary School, I opted to study Buddhism as a subject in Religious Knowledge because it was known to be the easiest paper to study for. I was influenced by the Buddhism doctrine because it is very logical and practical. The concept of benevolence in Buddhism struck a chord in my heart. I followed the teaching of Buddhism as closely as possible but did not become Buddhist I found that even though Buddhism is based on good principles and practices, however, it lacks the presence of a supreme being - God.

When I joined St. Andrew's Junior College, a missionary aided school, it was compulsory for all students (except Muslim students) to attend the school's weekly chapel service. During the service, w sang songs and listened to sermons. At the end of some of the services, we were asked if any of us would like the become Christians. …

However I could not settled down with one one-denomination of the Christian faith. I kept changing from one church to another. I was still searching for inner peace and could not make up my mind as which church I should be attending….

While I was still active with the church, I got to know a Muslim whom I tried to talk to about Christianity. She was very sure about the truth of her religion but she did not know how to explain it truth to me. There was no way I could convince her about Christianity. It made me wonder because many Muslims even those who are drug addicts, they are all "dead sure" that Islam is the true religio I decided to ask my Muslim friend what is so true about her religion that its followers will not renounce it. She did not know how to explain to me but instead told me to get information on Islam from Darul Arqam, the Muslim Converts' Association of Singapore. I agreed to her suggestion even though I regarded Islam as a religion of terrorism and a religion that does not make sense. My

reasoning was that if the religion is good, the people will be good. …

My family has been against Islam because of what always happened in the Middle East as well as th Malay workers that my father hired, all of whom happened to be lazy and always misbehaved.

Since I had agreed to visit Darul Arqam, I went on ahead to the Association. On my first visit I attended the orientation class and was introduced to Brother Remy. I was shocked and impressed ove two things that he told me. First, he pointed out that Islam is not based on emotion unlike Christianit I contemplated these words and was surprised at my reaction to those words. Secondly, he said, "Do convert first, until you ask questions as much as you want and when you have no more questions to ask, then only convert." In Christianity, you 41cannot ask questions because the more questions you ask the more confused you become. (Contd.)

After highlighting those two points, Brother Remy recommended to the Orientation class the book, "Islam in Focus". I was shocked at what I found in the book. Some issues which I felt was not logica in Christianity but had no way to resolve them, I found the answers in this book. I was also shocked find in the book what I believed and like about Buddhism are actually Islamic beliefs. There are man similarities in the principles in the principles of Buddhism with that of Islam.

Since I got a lot more information from Islamic sources on Christianity, I was not satisfied. What I found out about Christianity from the Islamic sources, I checked with various encyclopedias and oth different sources. I found that all the information I got from the Islamic sources were genuine facts.

When I took a closer look (closer than I ever did before) at the prophecy, "the spirit of the truth will come and lead people to all truth," I could clearly see that this prophecy was referring to Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) and his message. This prophecy did not point out to Jesus (a.s.) because the earl Christians could not decide on the identity of Christ. To this date they are still arguing regarding the identity of Christ.

During my study on Islam, I also tried to learn about Islam from Christian books and I found them to be malicious. With the knowledge I have on Islam, I could refute all the false claims made by Christians. One example is the claim that they made about God in Islam - "that of being seen as so fa away and cannot be reconciled with His creations." I know this is not true because in Islam, God is close to His creation, as close as to a person's jugular vein. "It was We who created man, and We kno that dark suggestions his soul makes to him: for We are nearer to him than (his) jugular vein." (The Holy Quran, [50:16])

Later on, when my family found out that I was a practicing Muslim, there was chaos. It became mor chaotic when I observed fasting during the month of Ramadan. I was almost driven out of my house. The situation at home continued to be strained for several months thereafter. I did not eat at home. I was accused of not loving my family anymore. There were constant quarrels between my family and I tried to explain Islam to them but they just did not understand.

I grew afraid to go home. I stayed out late at night. One day, my mother approached me and told me not to be out so late at night. She said my father had expressed concern about my late nights. She suggested that I buy my own food and she would cook separately for me. Now, most of the time my family and I eat halal food at home. It is more convenient for my mum to cook dishes where not only my family members can eat but also her Muslim son. Situation at home has improved for the better except for the occasional harmless nagging that I get from my family. Alhamdulillah. 169 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAJESHWAR (ALAUDDIN) PANIPAT, HARYANA, INDIA A. Family Background: 01.I was born in a small village in PANIPAT, HARYANA. My father had a small piece of land, in which he used to grow vegetables. I had two sisters older than me. We were a poor family.

My father first married my two elder sisters and then I also got married. Three years after my marriage, my father died and next year my mother also died. These deaths affected me very much an I took to drinks.

02. My wife was a very good women, she opened a shop in the village and took care of me and my children. I had five sons and three daughters, Some how my wife worked very hard to make both en meet, I do not know how. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 03. Once I was lying in a field, totally intoxicated, my wife took me to Imam of local; mosque and asked him to do anything, so I can get over my drinking habit. He told that I have one Maulana in Phulat, who can do this thing, but he would ask you to become Muslim. My wife told him that she is ready to do anything, if I could be cured me of this bad habit.

04. When I reached Phulat and told Maulana about the condition imposed by the Imam, he told that i is not conditional to become Muslim. A man should accept Islam for the sake of Allah and to save himself or herself from the hell fire. He then asked me to go to a doctor, who used to give medicine for curing people from this habit. I

went to him and he gave me medicine to be taken every day….in ten days or so, I stopped drinking.

05. When I got cured, my wife took me back to Phulat and thanked Maulana and told that she was ready to become Muslim. Maulana sahib then explained Islam to us and what it means for our future life…. Myself and my wife accepted Islam with open hearts and we got new Islamic names.

Then all our children also accepted Islam and got new Islamic names. Then Maulana sahib told my wife that I should go with a Muslim Missionary party for forty days, to cement my condition of stayi away from Alcohol. I went for forty days and in that period I learned about prayer and other things of daily needs. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. People of my village first very happy that I got cured of my sickness and bad habits, but slowly a slowly they started opposing me and my family. I discussed with Maulana and we left that village and went to a nearby town and opened a small grocery shop. My children are now studying in an Islamic MADARSA and learning Quran and other things. My wife is also active in missionary activities. D. How I saved my Islam:

07. Once my eldest son ran away from house and my wife was very much concerned by his absence. Some one rumored that my family people killed him. This made her condition worse….we contacte Maulana and he told us to pray special prayer and pray to Allah.

Me and my wife spent who night in supplicating to Allah to bring our child back and in the morning we got the news that our son was back. This strengthened our faith on Allah and His Mercy on us. F. Present Situation: 08. Maulana sent me to work with a Contractor in Calcutta. After working for some time, he was impressed by my work and made me the storekeeper of his factory.

He then sent me to NANDIGRAM for a new site and I started my missionary activities there. Many labours accepted Islam on my hand Alhamdolillah. Every one was worried when the trouble started there, (Village agitation re. NANO project thereMUQ). But Allah kept me safe. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. It is Muslim’s duty to preach and tell Islam to every one. If they do not do it, then they are not doing the duty imposed on them by their Prophet, PBUH. We should try our best to save every one from hell fire.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Jan. 2008.

170

Why I Became Muslim? HERA LAL (BILAL AHMED) AZAMGARH UP INDIA.

I was born in a Hindu family and my father and brothers came to Delhi in search of work. My father had a small shop in Delhi and I used to help him occasionally. We were poor and in Delhi, it is not easy to get a house for poor people. There was a small embroidery workshop nearby which was owned by a pious Muslims. It was arranged that during night, I would sleep with other workers of th workshop in a small room. Now it was the practice of the owner to read every night FAZAIL A’MAL (a popular book dealing with rewards for actions). I used to listen to these words every night and soon got attracted to these words. So much so that I requested to be taken into the faith of Islam. The owner cautioned me to take care that my fathers and brothers do not know about it, otherwise I would be tortured and even lose my life.

Accordingly I took care to hide my prayers and fasting from them, but soon they found out. I told them boldly that I have become Muslim and no persuasion or torture would now turn me back from the true path. Well I was beaten mercilessly…was taken back to my ancestral village and tortured there. I was sent to another village, where my mother was from (to change the environment so to say but all proved fruitless. They showed me to many soothsayers and village quacks to heal me from m sickness. But all proved fruitless.

So much so that one day, I told my father, even if you cut me into pieces, I will not turn away from worship of true God. When all their efforts failed…they left me alone and I got enrolled in a Muslim Madarsa to learn and study about Islam, and Quran.

Later my father told me that village priest had told him to kill me, otherwise I will turn all of them away from their ancestral religion. I tried to explain Islam to my father and other members…..in the end they got convinced of the truth of Islam. But my father told “What you say is true, Islam is the correct religion….but I cannot leave religion of my forefathers ..what other people will say and feel”

I remembered the story of Uncle of our prophet, who gave similar reply to our prophet from his deat bed. In the end I realized that it is Allah which grants guidance to those who ask for it and strive for 171

I have one uncle who works in Saudi Arabia….I know he is very close to accepting Islam (abridged) Why I Became Muslim? An African Missionary (Name Withheld), Burundi

Note: God guides sincere souls to His true path, irrespective of the circumstances.

The nuns looked so clean and smart in their starched white habits. They looked like the saints in the pictures…I dreamt that I could be one of them. I got excellent grades in exams every year and I was asked if we would like to study religion, they thought we were pious for our ages…I could not wait to tell my father, who surprisingly said “absolutely not”! He would not like that kind of life without husband and children for his girl. He enrolled me in another school. Years spent as Roman Catholic Mission School at Burundi made me tough as we competed against boys.. I was interested in religion and excelled in languages…I accepted a full scholarship to a University in Cameroon. I later got admission in Faculty of Theology in Belgium..

My language ability and my mastery of some African dialects attracted them as a good candidate for missionary work.

As the years went by, I began to see thru the layers of theology and found the superficiality of their teachings. I was not alone in seeing so many contradiction in Old and New testaments. To learn tha Trinity is only once mentioned in New Testament was a surprise.. After graduation from the University, I took a position in Nairobi Kenya. The Church was very anxious to have an African in a position such as this. They had many programs for women…I was sent to regional office in Togo… I had been facing much mediocrity from the Church and at the same time I had Muslim friends who were very comfortable in their knowledge of God, who prayed five times daily and who had many virtues. They believed in what they said, in contrast to the Church.

I had never been taught any thing about Islam except a superficial introduction, so I did a lot of readi about the religion.

I cannot say that to convert to Islam was easy; it was very difficult. But when one is searching for th truth there is no way to deny it. The decision was also difficult for economic reasons as I had one of the highest paying jobs with many perks. I resigned from my position citing my conversion as my reason and immediately lost my job and salary, housing and medical benefits. I became destitute in one day!

My family does not like my Hijab but they admire the moral aspects of Islam…The spiritual climate West Africa is ripe for Islam and there are many projects that need to be done. This is what I have been trained to do and so my path is straight and narrow. 172 (Abridged) Source:: Islamic Voice , Feb 1997, p 18 Why I Became Muslim?

"The Best Speech is the Speech of Allah, And the Best Guidance is the Guidance of Muhamma by Jameel William Aalim-Johnson http://www.pbs.org/muhammad/essays/johnson.html

Note: Jameel Aalim–Johnson , is Chief of Staff for Congressman Gregory Meeks of New York. Rais as a Christian, he converted to Islam in his early 20s. He now organizes the weekly Muslim congregational Friday prayer on Capitol Hill.

Raised in a church-going Christian household, I was always a believer in God and organized religion Even after watching "Roots," I still believed that the religion of God was Christianity and I fully expected that one day I would be baptized and join the Church.

However, television had opened my mind to the realization that other people believed as strongly in their religion as my family believed in its own. I also had to consider the circumstances that resulted my Afro-American family residing in America in the first place: the transcontinental slave trade of Africans. On my mother's side of the family we can trace my great grandparents to their time as Virginia slaves. As we are well aware, Africans brought here to become chattel slaves were not allowed to speak their native tongue, maintain their family names, engage in their native customs, or practice their native religions. They were forcibly converted to Christianity, although the converted d not achieve an improved status of spiritual brotherhood with his converter.

That summer, perhaps because I missed being in school, I went on a reading frenzy. Two works I rea that summer were The New Testament and The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Malcolm's autobiography was completely captivating. I found myself reading it when I woke up in the morning on the train going back and forth to the city, when I came home in the evening, and before going to bed at night. I, like many others, was intrigued by Malcolm's transformations from street criminal to Black Muslim minister to orthodox Muslim and international figure.

The more I began to study the Christian doctrine, the more I began to see a divergence between it an the Bible. On the other hand, the more I began to study the way of the prophets, from Adam to Jesus (peace be upon them all), I found it coincided with the doctrine and the way of life espoused by Islam

More and more, my conversations turned toward religion, particularly among my friends and colleagues. I was not, however, ready to discuss my Islamic leanings with family members. All that changed on February 15, 1988 with what has so far been the saddest day of my life: the day my fathe died… I said goodbye to my father William, from whom I derived my middle name and nickname, and I promised him, (or promised me, or promised Allah, I am not sure who, perhaps all), that I wou stop wasting time, I would soon accept Islam as my way of life, and I would pray for my father's sou

Over the next three month's I began to take what I thought of as additional steps toward accepting A Islam. Some of these 'steps' were more superficial than others, such as wearing a kufi (prayer cap) fro

time to time along with certain buttons that were symbolic of various Muslim and cultural groups. I began to identify more with Muslims that I saw in the street, in stores, or on the subway, including those from questionable, unorthodox organizations. Even before taking shahada, the public declarati of one's belief in Allah and Muhammad as his prophet, I fasted for the first time during the month of Ramadan.

That first year of fasting had to be one of the most difficult disciplines I had ever undertaken. It wouldn't realize until later years that refraining from eating and drinking was actually the easy part. My two closest friends, then known as Curtis and David, were also making this transformation with me. David we saw only rarely that year as he was then busy repaying a debt that had come due from his pre-Islamic business activities- if you get my meaning. Shortly after Ramadan ended, Curtis came by the house and told me that he had visited a masjid (mosque) called Masjid At-Taqwa in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with a Muslim that he worked with. While he was there he chose to take shahada. I told him that at some point I would like to go visit with him to see what the mosque was like.

One Saturday, we went by Masjid At-Taqwa for Curtis (now Saifudiyn) to take care of some busines with the assistant imam. Because the assistant imam was not there when we arrived, we spent some time at a restaurant next door eating and chatting with some brothers from the mosque. I always remember them making jokes whose punch lines had Islamic references. Saifudiyn and I both laughe not because we understood the joke, but because of our mutual confusion. An African American brother named Abdul Kariem seemed to give particular attention to us. Just as we were about to leav someone started to call the adhan, the call to prayer, at the mosque. Abdul Kariem informed us that this late noon prayer was very important and that we should stay and perform it with them. After demonstrating how to wash before prayer, he turned to me and said that it seemed like I was ready to take shahada. I agreed that I was. After the prayer Imam Siraj Wahaj conducted my shahada. Just afterwards, a brother in the mosque asked me what my name was and when I said James, he began to call me Jameel. Leaving the house that day I'd had no intention of taking shahada yet; I only intende to visit a mosque for the first time in my life. By the time I left that mosque, however, I had entered fold of Islam and all my previous sins had been washed away. As the Prophet Muhammad taught us from the Qur'an, "Men plan, but Allah is the best of planners."

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As I look back on those early days just before and just after taking shahada, and when I consider my most significant shortcomings at that time, I am reminded again of my arrogant attitude toward nonMuslims. As I began to change and see the world through different eyes, focusing more on the spirit and less on the material, I had difficulty understanding why others didn't see what I saw. …(Abridge Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: JEETENDRA KUMAR (MOHD. AKBAR) HARDOI, UP, INDIA

A. Family Background:

01. I was born in the city of HARDOI, which is near Lucknow. My father was a small farmer. I hav one brother and one sister. And my age at present is 22 years. I stopped my education after High School.

In my city, there are many mosques. When I used to pass by the mosques when the prayers were going on, I used to listen to the recitation of Quran. The sound attracted me very much and every of tears would come to my ears, even if I did not understand a word of it. In early morning prayers whe the recitation is longer, the effect was stronger. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

02. Once I asked the local Imam, why you people do not tell Islam to non Muslims. I have read that during the time of prophet, there were very few Muslims and they used to invite other people to Islam Why you Muslims have stopped that work and what answer will you give to your prophet?

I had a Muslim friend named Saddam and I used to ask him about Islam. He was able to answer som question and many questions, he was not able to answer.

03. Once I saw him in the company of a Islamic Missionary party that had come from Lucknow, I went to them and asked their leader, why you only tell your message to only Muslims and do not tell to Non Muslims?

He told me that we work mainly amongst Muslims, but we have another group who work mainly on Non Muslims. You go to Phulat and meet Maulana Kalim Sahib or Maulana WASI Sahib there, the would be able to help you.

04. I reached Phulat and met both these people. They first gave me small booklet “Your Trust….” And afterwards I accepted Islam on their hands. I stayed there 15 days and I learned prayer and how to read Basic Arabic language. I used to see that many people used to come to Maulana, every one with different problem and situations, but when he met Maulana, his problem was solved and every one used to think that Maulana loves him most. 05. He sent me to a lawyer to complete the official formalities. He asked about my Islamic name, I asked if it is a must, he said it is not a must, but it helps in the long run. I said that I like the Word AKBAR when it is called in prayers….he then named me Mohd. AKBAR. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. I have a feeling that my family will not oppose my decision to become Muslim. My mother love

me very much and I am very hopeful that she will become Muslim.

But first I will spend forty days along with the Missionary party, when I come back, I will start work on my mother and other family members.

F. Present Situation: 07. I feel that many Hindus are very simple, no one told them what Islam is really. They have misconceptions and wrong opinion about Islam and Muslims.

Recently one LALA JI accepted Islam, he had spent 2, 500,000 Rupees on the Demolition of Babri Mosque….he thought that he spent that money in the cause of God…. But his young son was killed accident and that opened his eyes. Now he has spent the same amount of money to build a mosque i his city… Allah gave him guidance in this way.

There are many cases like that, when one is active in this field, he sees and hears many cases like thi G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 08. I would like to warn my Muslim brothers, that they should remember their responsibility of conveying this message of Islam to every one.

If they do not do that, Allah will question them on the last day…. I do not know what answer will th give there.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of May 2009.

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Why I Became Muslim? Dr. KAMLA SURAYYA DAS , Kerala India Dr. Das was a well respected poet and writer in Malayalam language. She was born in 1934. Her conversion to Islam in 1999 caused a furor in Indian and World Media. Before her conversion to Islam, she was well respected at all levels, but after her conversion all sorts of accusations were leveled at her. Here she provides her own response to these accusations. Yes, let the world know that I have become a Muslim. Islam which is a religion of peace and love. Islam which is a perfect code of life. Moreover, I have not reached this decision emotionally or suddenly, I have studied Islam with lot of care and consideration for a long time.

After my careful studies, I reached to the conclusion that it is Islam which gives maximum protectio and rights to women. One of the best part of Islam is that instead of worshipping innumerable gods Hinduism, I am worshipping only One God, the True God, who is my Creator and Sustainer.

I was very much attracted by the Muslim women dress code especially the BURQA (a type of Hijab popular in Indian subcontinent). It saves women from hungry grazes of men. It gives them protectio I was using this dress occasionally for past 34 years while going for shopping, going out and even on some foreign tours. I found that every one respects a women clad in BURQA and no one teases her.

Islam has given maximum freedom and rights to women and thru out history, there was no system w gave more rights to women than Islam. She has been given rights as a daughter, sister, wife and as a mother.

I do not think that it is slavery for women to reside inside in her house and take care of her husband and children and contribute in making a happy family life. No system can work unless there be som sort of restriction and bounds on one’s action and Islamic system also provides that. It is not Islam b social inequalities which has usurped rights of women. The blame should be placed on these inequalities rather than on Islam.

I want to introduce Islam in this new millennium as a living and true religion, a religion which is bas on science, reason and logic. I wish o dedicate my talents of poetry in the praise of Allah and His religion. I am now in advance age, but I say that in my experience I never felt the peace and tranquility in my entire life, like what I felt after accepting Islam (abridged and based on many interviews). 175 Why I Became Muslim? My Conversion from Christianity to Islam, Hussein Amin http://www.islamfortoday.com/webmaster.htm Note: Mr. Hussein Amin is an Irish, he accepted Islam in 1998. He was having a Catholic Background Introduction I have submitted my story of conversion to Islam mainly for the benefit of other (would-be) western converts, especially those who, like myself, come from a genuinely religious Christian background. Whilst Christianity and Islam have much in common, there remain fundamental differences about which no compromise is possible, principally concerning the Christian doctrine of Trinity and the belief that Jesus is divine.

I converted to Islam before I became Internet-aware and had to do all the research for myself. It wa essential to me that my investigation of Islam result in intellectual and theological satisfaction. I trus that others from a similar background to mine will find that some of my experiences along the path from Christianity to Islam serve as useful pointers and starting points for investigation in their own spiritual quest.

Jesus - Son of God?

Where I did have a real problem, though, was with the role of Jesus. I had been brought up a Catholi Christian, believing in the Holy Trinity of God the Father, Jesus the Son plus the Holy Spirit - three persons in one god. Islam rejects this and teaches the absolute oneness of God (Tawheed) and specifically that Jesus, though a great prophet, was only human and not divine. (There are many Quranic verses which are very specific, omitted for space-Ed.) Islam preaches pure monotheism…. Chapter 112 of the Quran is quite explicit about this: He is God, the only One, God the Everlasting. He did not beget and is not begotten, And none is His equal. Saint Paul and the early Christian Church:

..As my knowledge increased, I came to reject what I now regarded as the doctrinal innovations of th foremost evangelist of the early church, Paul of Tarsus, usually referred to as Saint Paul the Apostle.

Paul was not an Apostle at all. In fact, he personally never even met Jesus, yet claimed to receive visions of Jesus which overrode the first-hand historical and theological knowledge of those who had known and followed Jesus during his actual ministry. .. For the original Jewish disciples of Jesus the notion of a literal and physical Son of God would have been blasphemous and in direct contravention of the First Commandment….

Saint Paul's missionary work was overwhelmingly directed at polytheist pagans in the northern Mediterranean. In Corinth he gave up in exasperation on the Jews who stayed faithful to the worship of God alone and to the oneness of God. (Contd.) The Questionable Validity of the New Testament

As for the four Gospels…. these were compiled from unreliable third and fourth-hand accounts long after Jesus' lifetime. Mark, 65-75 AD, Luke: 80-85 AD, Matthew, 85-90 AD, John: 95-140 AD..

In addition, it seems silly to have to point it out but Jesus, his apostles and disciples were Jews whos scriptures were in Hebrew. However, the new testament was written in Greek. …

It is not credible that the Jesus and his followers would be quoting from a foreign language translatio containing significant differences rather than from the Hebrew original of their Jewish scriptures. Th

casts further doubt on the accuracy of the New Testament and again undermines its validity as a bas for doctrine….

Jesus was regarded by his disciples and other contemporaries as a prophet. They do not acclaim him as an incarnation of God or the Son of God.

My Journey from Catholic Christian to Arian Unitarian to Muslim: As a result of my studies and after much soul-searching, I came to reject Pauline church doctrinal innovations such as the Trinity, a concept unknown to Jesus' disciples and not definitively establishe as official church doctrine until as late as 381A.D.

I found myself in sympathy with the more purely monotheist beliefs of the late third and early fourth century priest Arius of Alexandria and others such as Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia (later Patriarch Constantinople), their teacher, the respected priest and martyr Lucian of Antioch and, in later decade Roman Emperor Constantius II. The Catholic Encyclopedia defines Arianism as a heresy:

What the encyclopedia fails to mention is that what they are describing as heresy was, in fact, officia church doctrine in the middle of the fourth century. For example, after the Council of Ariminum in 359A.D. St. Jerome wrote, "the whole world groaned and marveled to find itself Arian". This prevai until after the death of Constantius and his fellow Arian successor when a changing political climate within the Roman Empire resulted in the persecution of Arian Christians and the conclusive impositi of Trinitarianism as official church doctrine at the Second General Council in 381A.D.

When I too came to the conclusion that Jesus was not divine, I had crossed an essential hurdle in terms of mindset and beliefs. Whether or not Jesus is divine is the absolute crux of the matter as far any believing, theologically aware Christian is concerned. Once I had come to this new understanding of Jesus, it was but a small step for me to be able to accept a later prophet and embrac Islam … it made sense to me that God should send a new prophet, Mohammed, to call mankind bac to the correct worship of himself, the one true god.

There are 25 prophets recognized by name in the Quran. All but three of them are also mentioned in Jewish or Christian scripture: I had now reached the point where I genuinely wanted to be a Muslim in my own right, .. For I see my conversion to Islam not as a rejection of what I regard as true Christianity, simply as a rejection of the tangent or erroneous path along which Paul and his followers led astray the new, gentile, former polytheistic Christians of the Greco-Roman world. Sadly, all major forms of modern Christianity - Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism - stem from Paul.

The Catholic Encyclopedia states that Arianism has never been revived (although it concedes that su eminent figures as Sir Isaac Newton and Milton displayed Arian sympathies). What it fails to acknowledge is that Arianism has, for the last fourteen hundred years, been incorporated within Islam

There is no one left within Catholicism, Protestantism or Orthodoxy to espouse the oneness of God. (Contd.) Statement of Theological Beliefs

With a clear conscience and with none of the mental torment on this issue that I had to face when I first started studying Islam, I can now state that I believe Jesus to have been an entirely human proph of God, one of the greatest prophets of God and worthy of the utmost respect, but that he was neither an incarnation of God nor the Son of God. I believe Mohammed to have been a later (the last) prophet of God. And just as the true Christianity Jesus' genuine apostles in Jerusalem is the successor to Judaism, so is Islam, the final revelation of God's word, the legitimate successor to and fulfillment of original Jerusalem-Jewish Christianity…

I rejected Christianity as it is known to us today because I no longer believed in the doctrine of Trini and the claim that Jesus is God. I came to believe wholeheartedly in the oneness of God. And I judg this belief to have found its best expression in the religion of Islam. Whatever the future may hold in terms of personal relationships, I will continue to hold these beliefs.

And I am sickened by the politicized hate-filled philosophy, which passes itself off as Islam when in fact not only does it violate the most basic Islamic rules of warfare, it is often indicative of a comple lack of trust in God's promise that no one will have to suffer more than they can endure. What a long list of recent examples - September 11, Palestine suicide bombings, the mid-Atlantic shoe bomber, th Tunisian synagogue massacre, the ongoing slaughter of thousands of innocent Muslims by Muslims Algeria, the Bali bombing, the Moscow theatre massacre, and now apparently even the Washington serial sniper. These extremists have set the cause of the spread of Islam back decades. At times I ca help but echo the lament of British convert, Michael A. Malik: "Islam is wonderful, but I can't stand the Muslims!"

Thanks to Parents Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my parents - devout, practicing Catholics who, although strongly disapproving of my conversion to Islam on theological grounds, have accept my decision and have continued to show me great love, understanding, sensitivity and practical support. I have been most blessed in this regard. 176 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM JI LAL GUPTA (MOHD. OMAR), LUCKNOW, UP. INDIA

A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a trading family near Lucknow. My date of birth is 6 Dec. 1939. My father had a b shop. For past six generations, we have only one son in the family. I was the only son of my father and he was the only son of my grandfather and I had only one son.

After ninth standard I started helping my father in his shop and discontinued my study. My father w member of Hindu Extremist Political Party, JAN SANGH which was forerunner of present BJP. Hatred of Islam and Muslims was in our blood.

02. I was married to a very good lady. Her family had very good relations with Muslims…. During marriage ceremony many Muslims were invited and one Muslim was incharge of food arrangements refused to eat in this condition but people asked me to cool down. Our marriage took place in 1952 and for nine years we had no issue. Then in 1961 my only son YOGESH was born. I educated him in good colleges and he was always a topper in his class an school. I had decided him to further the cause of Hindu Extremism… 03. But he inherited his mother’s love an closeness to Muslims. He was very much opposed of my communal bias and hatred of Islam and Muslims. He used to discuss this issue many times with me….but I was in a different world then.

I considered Muslims to be outsiders and invaders, who made India and Hindu slaves and destroyed their temples and idols. My son used to argue against this hypothesis, and he said that there were thr kinds of invaders in India:

04. First came the Aryans, they established their government here and made millions of local residen as their slaves for eternity. They exploited these poor people in every way imaginable.

Then came Muslims, who united India to be one country for the first time in its history. They taught people of this country how to dress, how to talk and how to dress. They showed us how to build houses and palaces. Red fort, Taj Mahal and thousands of such buildings show their good taste and advancement in architecture.

05. Then came British, who enslaved people of India and took its gold and silver out of this country. They killed and hanged people by thousands. But I never used to listen to these talks of YOGESH and was living in my own world of hate and bigotry.

06. Babri mosque agitation gave a new meaning to Hindu Extremism. I was part and parcel of that agitation. I spent my every energy for that movement and I was present in Ayodhya on 6 Dec 1992, when the mosque was being demolished. In fact I was commanding one unit of people engaged in demolition.

When I returned, I gave a big party to celebrate the demolition… disgusted my son left the house … must have spent close to 2,500,000 Rupees on this cause. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

07. We had demolished the mosque… but I had a fear from inside. The date of 6 December was a d of bad omens for us. On 6 Dec. 1993, there was a fire and short circuit is one of my warehouse and good worth close to a Million rupees were lost. We used to suffer some or the other misfortune on 6 Dec….the worst was yet to come.

On 6 Dec 2005, my only son YOGESH had gone to Lucknow in his car. A truck hit his vehicle and h and driver died on the spot. He left a son aged 9 and a daughter aged 6. 08. This made me almost insane and I was not in my senses. My wife took me to many physicians, temples and every where else, but every thing was useless.

Then she took me to HARDOI in the famous Islamic Madarsa…. I got some peace. One scholar the gave me a small booklet “Your Trust returned to you” by Maulana Kalim from Phulat. I read that book and then he gave me some more books on islam

09. These books convinced me of truth of Islam and the follies which I was following. The month o December was close and I wanted to become Muslim before 6 Dec. On 5 Dec I asked many Muslim to make me Muslims, but no one came forward.

Some one told Maulana about my case and he sent one man, who was himself the one who participa in the Babri mosque demolition, to me. He met me on 22nd Jan and I recited KALIMA on his hands and I became Muslim.

10. I them thanked Maulana on phone and told him that I had spent so much money to demolish one house of Allah (during the period for my ignorance) now I will spend the same and more for construction of House of Allah.

What affects me most is the condition of my son YOGESH, he was so close to islam, but he went fro this world without reciting KALIMA, what will happen to him? Maulana consoles me by saying tha in such cases, the angels of Allah help the person in reciting KALIMA before their death. I am sure that this must have happened with my son YOGESH. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse

11. My wife became Muslim without much effort… I am sure she was half a Muslim already and it was a trail for her to live with so much Anti Islamic and Anti Muslim man like me for all these years

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of June 2009.

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Why I Became Muslim? SARAH BOOKER, USA

I was born in New York and had a very beautiful body. My only aim in life was to look as beautiful possible. I was constantly busy in buying best clothing, shoes, perfumes and jewelry. I used to exercise regularly to keep by body is best shape and form…but somehow I used to feel unhappy.

I tried to solve this “illness” by drugs, dancing and even joining spiritual clubs….but the illness kept on getting more serious.

I was in that state, when the events of 9/11 occurred and I discovered that every one in America was turned against Muslims and a “New Crusade” was started. This caused me to get interested in Muslims.

Then I joined a social group that was engaged in Women Rights and I became a social worker. Duri this work I met a senior member who was engaged in providing right and justice to all humans irrespective of their color, religion or background. I was impressed with this attitude and also started helping him in his works. During this work I studied English Translation of Quran. I found it to be totally different from what Western Media had projected it to be. Found that in Quran Allah speaks to humans directly without any other entity between Him and His Servants

I got convinced of the truth of Islam and I accepted this faith and bought Islamic dress and Hijab. When I first wore Hijab, I felt that now I am free for the first time.!!! I who felt “freedom” in Mini Skirts, Bikinis and Shirts….found that Islamic Hijab protects me from the hungry gazers who would feast on exposed portion of my body. Those “Admirers” of my beauty were nothing but hunters looking at their prey!!!

While I was in this state, it paned me to learn that certain priests and Church groups, so called wome rights groups and civil rights groups have started a movement against Islamic Hijab. Some call it backwardness, others call it restriction of female movement and others that it is against National Integration!!! I marvel at the dual standards of these people. They would give the right to women to expose her body….but when she wants to voluntarily cover it, they want to stop it!!!

I am still an activist of Women Rights but now as a Muslim woman. I advise Muslim women to kno their rights and duties which Islam gives them. They should help their husbands to better

understanding and upbringing of their Children as a good Muslim. They should fight for their rights Hijab. What I had taken as “My Right of Freedom” to expose my body for others was nothing but a form of “Slavery” to Satan and his followers. By going against my own Creator, I could never becom free. That is the advice which I wish to give all my Muslim Sisters who are living in west or Islami countries. They should not accept that “freedom” at any cost. 178 Why I Became Muslim? KARIMA BRINNS , USA I belonged to a Christian family living in IOWA in the Mid West. If you know, Church is very powerful in Mid West and no can live in peace by ignoring Church there. I had a religious bent of mind and used to go regularly to the Church and listen to the sermons.

But I had a belief that God is only one, He alone is present everywhere and is Most Powerful. While in Church we practically worshipped Jesus and we could reach God only thru the personality of Jesu Secretly I believed in only one God. Then I used to listen to all sweet talks in Church, but when I us to come out of Church, I would find a totally different world.

How come Church has no influence in personal life of people, why we have to go to Church only on Sunday, that too for a short period and have the rest of week to ourselves? There were many such questions, which would come into my mind and did not get any reply. If I asked priests, they would tell me that religion and intellect are not related. Just believe what is written. Then I was troubled b so many contradictions in various versions of the Bible. When I asked our local priest, he replied “How does it matter, any way?”

It was in this state of mind that I graduated from high school and before joining college, I took a tour of Europe. May be I could find some answers to these questions during my tour of different Europea countries. I was in Spain, visiting ALHAMRA Mosque in Granada, when my I suddenly felt fascinated by the most beautiful calligraphy I ever saw. Pillars and walls were decorated with it. I watched for much time and asked the local guide, what language is this? Arabic he replied. I collected every tourist information in Arabic thru out my tour of Spain and other European countries.

In University, I took Arabic as a special subject (I had only two more students in the class), the teachers felt troubled my showing this much attention to this language. I used to do my home work with the Calligraphic pen and even visited Muslim locality in Chicago to get more samples of Arabic righting. In my second year I took Mid eastern studies and attended many lectures where this was discussed. I even attended special lectures on Quran.

Once I took the English Translation of Quran to my home for homework, I was so fascinated by it, th I went on reading like a Novel. It answered many of my doubts which I had from my earlier days. I told me as to how to live for other six days of the week.

I went to my teacher, to get more books by the same author. He told me that I was reading the Engli

Translation of Quran, and as per Muslims the author is God Himself and there are no sequels to it!! Muslims believe that this book is preserved as it was revealed and no changes have been done to it. This was a new thing for me. I decided to learn more about Islam and see a Muslim country by my own eyes. I visited Egypt and spent most of my time seeing mosques, Arabic Calligraphy and listening to Quran being recited in most beautiful of all tones.

So much so that one day…one Muslim asked me “If you are so much interested in Islam and Arabic why did not I become Muslim?”. “But I am already a Muslim!!” I told him. He then told me that to be officially recognized as a Muslim, I have to declare my faith in front of two witnesses…I did so and they gave me a certificate…. I kept is along with all other Arabic literature I had with me…..I was Muslim long back….Arabic and Quran had converted me long back (abridged). Why I Became Muslim? TIM WEIS Globe and Mail Update Note: Tim Weis is an Edmonton-based environmental consultant and advisory board member the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada.

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I was born and raised in Ontario. I have European lineage. I am a Muslim. I am a Westerner. I feel th sorrow and the confusion of both caught within the so-called war on terror. With a foot in both world I can see how both are looking and talking past one another, without a great deal of introspection.

Let me start by saying I condemn the horror in Beslan. I felt sick to my stomach watching the news and cried when I saw mothers burying their children. Yet I remember the same feeling in my stomac the day Russian tanks rolled into Groznyy and flattened a city of more than a million people. I condemn that, too.

I condemned the attack on New York City, and I condemned the thousands of children killed in Iraq I've condemned the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and I've condemned the brutal occupatio of East Timor. After each subsequent atrocity, one community looks to the other to condemn it unconditionally. In one form or another, someone from the "guilty by association” community speak out against what happened.

But those asked to do the condemning most likely had nothing to do with the atrocity and don't appreciate the insinuation that they support the slaughter unless they explicitly deny it. While this game of condemnations will unfortunately continue, it is likely to do little to prevent the next atrocit Rather, an inward examination on both sides needs to begin. Civilian attacks, hostage beheadings, and the murder of schoolchildren are so far removed from Islamic principles that we in the Muslim community have a difficult time believing that it could be "one of us.” As such, we force ourselves to view the news at best as intentionally un-contextualized

media coverage and at worst as conspiracy theories.

Rare is it that we reflect on how we got to a point where the perpetrators of these crimes don't see themselves as the radicals and extremists that the rest of the community does. The Muslim world nee to recognize that, somewhere in the legitimate struggle for emancipation and self-determination, a lin has been crossed.

At the same time, occupations, collateral damage and prison torture are equally far removed from democratic principles, such that we in the West have a tough time believing the extent to which they are happening. As a result, we have a tendency to assume that "the other side” must be exaggerating even fabricating their grievances, leaving us susceptible to the simplistic rationale that they ”just hat us,” and this blind rage can only be dealt with a sweeping yet blunt sword. (Contd.)

The ”West” needs to acknowledge that, somewhere in the legitimate desire for human and economic security, a line has also been crossed. And crossing the proverbial lines has led us collectively down slippery slopes in opposite directions, from where we are now able to dismiss unthinkable horrors without losing too much sleep by saying: ”Yes, it is terrible. But don't forget about [insert appropriat atrocity here].”

Although it shouldn't, it needs to be said that the vast majority of Muslims are appalled by what is being justified in the name of their religion. The vast majority of Westerners, meanwhile, deplore the civilian death toll we have racked up in the name of freedom. I know it needs to be said because I have heard people say the exact opposite.

Clearly, the vast majority of humanity does not think butchering others is a good idea, and yet we are somehow caught in this whirlwind of simplistic rationalizations for murder as the body count climbs The only way I see out is to painfully examine our own complicity in the problem. How did it come this? How did we not stop it?

In today's globalize world, no one can claim complete immunity from the events on the planet. I understand the paradox within which I live - condemning the occupation of Palestine while living on land that was taken from the First Nations. Yet I, we, Muslims and Westerners, cannot allow ourselv to be paralyzed by such contradictions. Rather, let them spur us into action to rectify what we can within ourselves and our own lives. It is too easy to cast blame on someone else and believe that the roots of the problem lie elsewhere.

”Be the change you want to see in the world,” Mahatma Gandhi, a great Eastern thinker, once said. Voltaire, a great Western thinker, warned: ”As long as people believe in absurdities, they will contin to commit atrocities.” 180 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: BALWINDER KAUR (AIYESHA), FIROZEPUR, PUNJAB, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 3 June 1965 in a Sikh family in FIROZEPUR, Punjab. My father was Mr. Fateh Singh who was an educated landlord in the area. I graduated from Sri Gobindsingh College. I was married to a Police Officer. He is now a Deputy Superintendent, we have two sons and one daughter and all of them are studying.

I had a younger sister who was very beautiful, she was also married to a police officer. Her husband loved her very much. But after marriage, she was always sick. Despite every effort, her health did n improve. When all medical options were exhausted, her husband took her to many temples and plac of worship, but she was not cured.

02. She went to a Muslim lady, who used to practice Islamic system of supplication cure. She got so relief , but that lady told her , that she will become fully OK, but she will have to accept Islam. She consulted her husband, who told her, that he only wanted her health, Muslim or Non Muslim, it did n matter with him. The lady referred her to contact Maulana Kalim Uddin Sahib of Phulat. She talked to him on phone and told that she wanted to come to Phulat to accept Islam. Maulana told her, that she need not have come to Phulat for that and she could recite KALIMA over phone itself. In fact Maulana almost forced her to recite KALIMA on phone and gave her Islamic name Aiyesha,

03. I was with her that night when she recited KALIMA and her condition immediately improved. H face was radiant as with inside pleasure. She was very happy and prepared food and fed her husband

After some time she started saying that, I am seeing heaven and all good people are surrounding me… she went on saying that untill she became silent and when we touched her, she had died.

B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I was very close to my sister and her face and the ease with which she died affected me very muc I saw her in dreams and she was sitting on a throne and wearing very good clothes.

I told my husband that I also wanted to become Muslim for one or two weeks to feel what Aiyesha felt…. When I asked him repeatedly, he agreed for me to become Muslim for a week or two. 05. I spoke to Maulana in Phulat and arranged for my trip there when he will be present there. When

told Maulana my intention to become Muslim for a week or two, he told that Islam is not like a dress that you change every now and then. It is entering the faith for full life.

I was perplexed, because I was not prepared for becoming Muslim for life. Maulana then explained fundamentals of Islam to me and what it means to be a Muslim. He also gave me a small booklet “Your trust returned to you” and asked me to study it and then decide..

06. After some thoughts and discussions, I decided to become Muslim and recited KALIMA in front him. He congratulated me and gave me the same name as that of my sister. All family members of Maulana treated me like a member of that household. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

07. I came back very happy and told my husband that I have decided to become Muslim for life. Fir he seemed to ignore me, but when I remained firm on islam and asked him also to become a Muslim he got annoyed.

We had arguments every day, Maulana told me, that I should not have sexual relationship with my husband, but I can live with him in the hope of converting him. I prayed to Allah to open hearts of m husband for Islam whole night.

08. Next day when I asked him to become Muslim, he agreed and accepted Islam on my hand. I was very happy and all my children also became Muslim. Then after some time, my husband was killed in an accident in course of his police duty. This was a very strong trial, but Allah gave me strength to stay firm on my faith.

09. I was yearning to perform Hajj, but I could not go alone. I started working on my brother and asked him to become Muslim. I told him that Baba Guru Nanak had also gone to Makkah to perform Hajj. After some persuation, he accepted Islam and we went to Makkah top perform Hajj.

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. I would like Muslims to be grateful for the gift of faith which they have. A day with faith is better than one century of life without faith.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2006

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Why I Became Muslim? AMINA JENIAT, USA

I was born in LA state of USA in 1956. My parents were devout Catholics, we later moved to Florid where I completed my education and joined modeling profession. I got married and had three children. Our financial position was very good and apparently I had no worry in the world so to say.

But I was not feeling happy, I was missing something. In my childhood days I was attracted to religion and had memorized many passages of the Bible. I left modeling and joined University to do further studies, I was 30 years at that time.

In my class there were many African American and many Muslims also. I had very bad opinion abo Muslims, and used to equate Muslims with hate, violence and terrorism. I thought may be God has commissioned me to save these wretched Muslims.

But I used to observe that these Muslim students were different from other students. They did not m freely with girls and would shun any party where alcohol was to be served. Whenever I used to explain to them beauties of Christianity, they would smile and keep quite. I was frustrated in my efforts to convert any of them.

Then I thought, let me study about Islam, then I would present to them the mistakes of Islam. On the outset, I did not notice any of the qualities with which Christian writers and priests associate Muslim with. I started reading English translation of Quran. I was surprised that it provided answers to all question which rise in the mind. On the other hand Bible leaves many doubts and questions unanswered.

I studied more about Islam and discussed it with Muslims students, I discovered that Islam really is totally different from what is projected in Western Press and Media. When the truth was manifest to me, I declared my new faith on 22 May 1977.

Now my trial period started.. My husband who loved me left me and I had left to parent the two children….I lost my job because my firm did not like my conversion to new faith….then US family court decided that if I want to parent my children I have to leave Islam and come back to Christianity I had to surrender custody of my children.

I had only one support in this period of trial….My Allah ….My God….I used to prey him all the tim to help me overcome all these trails and give me a way out. I busied myself in the missionary work Islam and soon married a Moroccan Muslim, who was Imam in a local Mosque and used to recite Quran in a most beautiful voice and manner. Well I gave birth to a son from this new marriage, who is now 10 years old and very handsome….

I have established many Women study circles where we discuss the rights and duties which Islam gives to women. Many US women are wonderstruck when they discover how much honor, right and protection Islam provides to them. I praise Allah that he has blessed me with converting many Wom and men to Islam.

One last word….My old family is coming closer to Islam….the eldest son accepted Islam and took t name Farook. (abridged)

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Why I Became Muslim? LORENZ (AIYESHA) AL SAEED, USA One day when I was six years old, my parents gave me a shiny quarter, and told me to put it in the collection plate for Church “to give it to Jesus for his work” When I returned the quarter was still in my pocket, because I frankly told my parents that Jesus was not there!! My parents were more amused than concerned… I had descended in a family that had three Christian ministers as my grandparents….I attended al Episcopal Private School, where we studied world religions during our last term. Trinity was a point which I never understood, I felt it was not logical. How could one Father (the Great Spirit), plus His Son (Jesus) and one Holy Ghost all be together as one, inside one being?

It was logically impossible, and I had been raised to use rational thoughts to make decision in my life…I continued reading Bible every night with my father after dinner, looking for answers and enjoying stories of historical prophets. In high school I met some more students from the Middle East, who sensing my inner dissatisfaction asked me if I had ever learned about Islam. I found some books on Islam in school library, including English Translation of Quran.

My grandfather encouraged me to read these books as according to him, Islam contained a good mor code of living.. The more I read, the more my understanding and excitement grew. I found the answers to all my questions and more! At the age of 17 I began regular Prayers (SALAT) and even completed my first month of fasting… That summer I took the train to Bloomington Indiana to attend Muslim students lectures and seminars…I stayed in campus with other Muslims for a week….

I moved to Houston to seek employment….one evening at an international costume party I met a pol gentleman whom I later found to be an intelligent Saudi Student. We married shortly and thru him God has let my dreams come true. We have three children and he has taken me to perform hajj. I am content and satisfied and greatly thankful to the Almighty God for accepting my paryers… 183 (Abridged) Source:: Saudi Gazette 13 April 2001, p9 Why I Became Muslim? Walter 'Abdul-Walee' Gomez

Source: http://www.islamfortoday.com/waltergomez.htm

My conversion to Islam has alarmed many friends and family members. It seems to them strange an odd for a Latino like me to become a Muslim. Catholic and Protestantism are the leading religions in Latin America so these are reasonable religions for any Latin American to convert to, but when my family follows either Catholic or Protestant domination's, why Islam?...

My story begins at my birthplace, El Salvador, a beautiful tropical country located in Central Americ …I was born in 1975, from middle class of the poor, yes we were poor but we had the blessing of food.

My father came to America in 1978, to make some quick money and he kept coming and going back for a period of 4 years .. In 1983, he left El Salvador again but with intentions to bring the family an stay for good. So after my father left, I spent a lot of time with my grandfather who was a Protestant, and I used to listen to the Biblical readings and I used to love looking at the pictures in the Bible. I used to ask, "does anyone still dress like the people drawn in the bible, with long robes, turban and beards" and they replied "No" it was long-time ago. In 1984 my father sent a letter to my mother telling her come to America, ..We left El Salvador in August, . We arrive in National Airport of Washington D.C. three weeks after we left El Salvador.

After spending time here in America I found out that religions are thrown away by society and are considered private, and not a way of life to many. ..in 1990, my first year in High School, what a joy!!! I was so happy the first day, and my cousin Ana warned me to be careful because seniors threw freshmen in lockers, but I didn't care I was happy…

We started going to clubs, drinking, using drugs, and of course women were not excluded. This perio of time was the most dangerous of my life. We used to fight for stupid things. I almost got shot on th metro (train) in Washington D.C. for a stupid argument between my friend and some young kids.. .

My friend at that time was confused what the true Islam was, his Islam looked weird to me. He believed that Nation of Islam was the true Islam; he did not know the differences, that the real Islam was not racist like Nation of Islam was. .. He pushed on about Islam, telling me to read his Koran, s did. I was amazed to see Jesus, Moses, Abraham, and many more Prophets of the Bible in this Koran He told me "We believe Jesus is a Prophet of God, not the son of God nor God himself" and immediately responded that I believe in the same. (Contd.)

In 1995, I went to work at a cafeteria at a University a year after I graduated from High school. At work, I saw so many cultures and different religious people. I still had hate towards non-Latinos, yet my first week at work a group of students came to buy some stuff at the store I worked, and they wer fighting amongst each other, that everyone wanted to pay. This incident was very touching to me because I was a very giving person yet my friends took

advantage of that quality. All the people in that group who came into the store wanted to pay for the others…

I replied to him that I used to study Islam for political reasons. He asked, "Why did you stop?" I told him that I didn't know where to get more information about Islam. He looks at me with joy and he sa I have an American Muslim friend that converted six month ago.

The next day they came to visit me, and I saw this white male dressed like the people in the Bible an looked like Jesus. My heart felt this peaceful calm feeling that I still feel. .. For two months, Muslim were coming to me with books, pamphlets, and just to talk.

In September, I went to a party with my friend and I really got drunk that night and almost got into a fight, but my friend reminded me that I was studying Islam, so I stopped and asked him if we can go home. The next day, at 9:00 in the morning I woke up with this disgusting feeling and the phone ran It was my friend from the University.

I told him to please pick me up and take me to the Mosque. He came like a lighting flash to my hous I was nervous and happy at same time. We arrived at this beautiful Mosque Darul-Al-Hijra in northe Virginia ten minutes away from my house.

At 10:00 a.m. the teacher came, very calm, and not pushing and asked me if I believed that God is One, I said, "Yes." He asked if I believed that Jesus is a Prophet and the son Mary? I said, "Yes." Do you believe that Muhammad is the Last Prophet of God, in doubts, I replied "Yes." At that moment i doubts of Muhammad, I said to myself, “If I believe in the teachings of Islam, I must be a fool not to accept in the one who brought it, I told the teacher that I was ready to became a Muslim (in submissi to God); He told me to repeat: "I testify that there is nothing worthy of worship than Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the Prophet of Allah"

At this point, I could smell the mercy and the sweetness of heaven, felt the presence of God in my torn, sick heart. I felt clean brightness in my new way of life. My life was ready for the next journey earth, the journey to Paradise.

All Praises are due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds that He has invited me to Islam, from among billion of people in the earth to be a Muslim. My thanks are due to Allah the Almighty, for inviting me to H House Makkah in 1997 for Um-rah. (Abridged) 184 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: PUSHPA BHAGAT (JAMILA), PATIALA, PUNJAB, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a poor family in RAJPURA, PATIALA, in a Bhagat family. My father’ name was Shiv Ram Bhagat, and my Mother’ Somi Bai. We were three sisters.

At the age of 20, I was married to a rich family. My aunt thought that by marrying into a rich family would be very happy. But my husband was a very cruel man and man of many vices. I was treated more like a made servant in their house.

02. I some how pulled on and I had two boys and one daughter. I started to open my own workshop for tailoring and darning. Most boys working in my workshop were Muslims. I was impressed by their sense of dress and specially their women as they covered their bodies. So much so that I wanted to accept their faith. They were poor Muslims and told that our Baba will come on such and such day and will make me Muslim.

03. He was of the group that visit graves and do many rites there, I was not knowing much and I also started doing as he was doing. I started facing difficulties from local Muslims and they started objecting to my life style…. My business also suffered and I did not know what to do. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. At that stage, I met some serious Muslim brothers and Sisters, who educated me about real Islam and the error into which I had fallen.

Then I accepted Islam all of a new and learned prayer and fasting and started to live as a true Muslim should live. I educated my sons and daughters in the Islamic way and one of my son memorized who Quran, Alhamdolillah. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

05. My husband had forgotten about me and my children for close to 25 years. When he got retired, invested his retirement fund into buying a house and shared it with his son from another wife. 06. Soon his condition deteriorated and I saw his daughter in law treating him like a dog and give he food like a dog.

I had pity on him and on the advice of my eldest child, started working on him. He had many vices; drinking alcohol was one of them.

07. I prayed to Allah for his guidance… It so happened that he heard about Islam in a lecture and his heart was opened for Islam. He accepted islam and we were re-married according to Islamic rites.

And he has not touched alcohol since that day.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 08. My children were grown up and married when I became Real Muslim. I talked to them about Islam and after some discussions my sons decided to become Muslim.

But it was different working on their wives and they were very form in their beliefs. I asked a Musli sister who was active in missionary activities to come to our house and talk about Islam. 09. My daughter in law was hearing the talk….the sister presented Islam and its teachings is such a manner that Allah opened her heart for Islam. At the end of talk, she decided to become Muslim, Alhamdolillah. 3. On Family members / Others. 10. I take part in Islamic missionary activities and speak to both Muslim and Non Muslim sisters.

It is having effect and many sisters have decided to become Muslim after my interactions with them, Alhamdolillah. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

11. My advice to Muslims is that they should share their faith with Non Muslims. There are thousan of Non Muslims who are very much interested in islam.

Many Hindus spend their money in building mosques, and other things for Muslims. If Muslims sha their religion with them, things will change in India.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of July 2008.

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Why I Became Muslim? S. P. Singh Gautam (Mohd. Omar Gautam) India

Note: Mr. Gautam was born in Fatehpur UP is a well to do High Caste Hindu Family. He got his B. S and M. Sc. Degrees in Agriculture from Pant Nagar University in 1980 and 1984. He accepted Islam in 1984 and due to opposition from local Hindu groups had to discontinue his studies and take shelte elsewhere. When I was 15 years old, I used to mediate on the rites and ceremonies that we used to conduct as

Hindus. Are they true and what is the logic behind that. Before that we were never told as to why w were Hindus and why do we worship these idols and do all these elaborate rites. Who created us all, what is the purpose of our life. What will happen to us when we die? Why there are so many gods and goddesses in Hindu religion? Why a large number of people have been made untouchable? Etc etc.

When I used to ask our elders these sorst of questions, they really had no answers. They only advise me to follow the religion of my forefathers were. After all how they could be all wrong? But these replies did not satisfy quest for knowledge.

When I reached Pant Nagar University, I devoted most of my spare time in reading books by noted Hindu Scholars and Philosophers. I read Vedas, Puranans, Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata…..I read biographies of Gautam Buddha, Vivekananda, Param Hans, Gandhi, Nehru etc. ….so as to know the secret of their success. I got very much confused and decided to renounce this world and spend rest my life as hermit, in search of God and truth…. Then it came to mind as to not ask my own creator for guidance and ask Him to show me the right path…I did and the path opened for me in a strange way!!!

I made a scooter accident and was hospitalized for a few days. One of my fellow student, one named Nasir Khan used to visit me daily in hospital and console me. He helped me during my stay in hospi and during my rehabilitation period. Once I asked him, as to why he was taking so much pains for me….He answered that it was his duty as a Muslim to help others in distress….I got impressed by th reply and wanted to know more about Islam, which gives such good advice.

He gave me some books about Islam and I started studying them. I read Hindi translation of Quran, life history of prophet of Islam, life histories of early Muslim Caliphs and Islamic history in general. In six months and after reading 50 odd books, I got answers to all my questions as to who my Creato is, Why I am on Earth and what will happen to me when I die… I got convinced the truth mentioned Quran that Allah will show guidance to those who seek it

My declaration of Islam met with much resistance at my University…I was ridiculed…threatened an physically abused. The news was published in local Hindi Newspaper…so much so that I had to run away from University and could not complete my studies. I joined Jamia Millia University in Delhi complete MA in Islamic studies.

186

After much opposition from my family…soon the things changed and many of my family members accepted Islam and the number is increasing. My own analysis is that most Hindus did not get true message of Islam and this is the fault of Muslims in general. If they propagate truth, then the situatio could be quite different from what it is these days in India. Why I Became Muslim? CASSANA (AIYESHA) MADDOZ NABLISI, USA

Note: Sister Aiyesha was one of the exchange students, who was sent to Saudi Arabia to attend Shar College. She had close contacts with many prominent Saudi citizens of Jeddah. She accepted Islam

late 1970 s. Here she tells story of her conversion to Islam

My formal education goes slightly beyond the norm, after high school, a got a Bachelor’s degree in International studies, with 2 of 7 years I studied Arabic. I also studied Arabic with private paid tutor

I am a graduate of Naval school and have worked in US navy. I was sent as exchange student to atte Shariah college at Jeddah University….I later earned master’s degree in International Education Development. I came to Islam, taking my SHAHADAH in Northern Nigeria, where I was visiting In-laws of my second marriage, who was a diplomat in Northern Nigeria.

Local people in Nigeria introduced me to Islam, and informed me that it was the most important face of the historical pasts of people who were taken out of Africa. I was not entirely ignorant of Arabic Quran as during my studies I had gone thru English translation Quran by Abdullah Yousuf Ali.

Some credit to my conversion should go to Elijah Mohammad , thru whom many black people in US learned about true Islamic teaching as a non racial Universal faith for all mankind…

I have visited many Islamic countries and have attended many conference on Islamic and other topic I have also written many books to teach English language to people whose mother tongue is not English… (Abridged) Source:: Why woman are accepting Islam? Pages 20-25 187 Why I Became Muslim? The Story of a Jewish Boy - Finding Islam in Cyberspace By Musa Caplan Prior to my conversion to Islam, I lived my life as a Jew. Although my family was not traditional, I learned Judaism from traditional Jews. I went to an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, and an Orthodox Jewish school. I lived, and continue to live, in a Jewish community in the United States where there little diversity…

I developed a strong interest for studying other religions as well as my own. I paid special attention t Islam, for I knew it was a religion not much different than Judaism. We share many similar prophets (peace be upon them all), morals, values, and most importantly, we worship the same God … I was lucky because I knew many Muslims online, Regardless, when I heard of a terrorist attack, similar to many others, I figured the cause of it was Islamic extremists. Many times I was not wrong. But then you must ask yourself, what makes these people go to the extreme? Does their religion really teach to kill innocent people? The reality is that does not. ..

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Another astonishing factor that led me to Islam is the scientific truth written in the Qur'an. The Qur' mentions the human embryonic development long before it was discovered by science. The Qur'an also mentions how mountains are formed and talks about the layers of the atmosphere! These are just a few of so many scientific discoveries mentioned in the Qur'an 1400 years before discovered by science. Here is one of the key factors that led me to explore my heart to find the truth of life. In Arabic, the word Islam comes from salama which means "to submit"; "purity" and "peace" come from the same root. The person submits to the One, the Merciful, and the Most Beneficent Allah; whereas other religions are named after people: Judaism comes from the tribe of Judea, Christianity from Jesus Christ, etc. Islam is a word derived from a verb; anyone who submits to Allah and believes in all the prophets is a true Muslim. Many of the great prophets mentioned in the Old Testament lived prior to Judaism and Judea; they submitted to God, and therefore they were all Muslims. And we shall live a the prophets lived, for they were great human beings. Considering my situation of being very young and living in an all-Jewish area, it would be difficult t have my beliefs accepted. My parents and relatives are very respectful, but I am unsure how they would react if it is their own son who reverts to Islam. So for now, I am unable to live out an Islamic life to the fullest, but thanks to Allah, I am able to pra five times a day, I am able to study Islam online, and at least I am openly able to believe in one God and express those feelings. In some ways it can be very difficult. …When studying Qur'an, my advi to you is to read it for yourself. Looking at biased websites, you are not able to see the full content o verse. "Go forth to war" will be a phrase you can find on prejudiced sites in order to make you think Islam is a religion of war. But if you read on, you will see the Qur'an specifically says only with thos who first wage war with Islam. (abridged) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM VEER (MOHD. TAYYEB), MUZAFFAR NAGAR, UP. INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a farmer family in a small village in MUZAFFARNAGAR District. My father was very good person and he was a small farmer. We had seven brothers and sisters, two have died and now we are only three brothers and two sisters.

I studied upto high school and then left studies. I was married to a good wife, but I fell into bad habi and divorced my wife. After that I fell into society of bad people and we formed a sort of Gang.

02. I decided to make a Tube well and do farming in my ancestral land. We dig the tube well, but no water came out. Some one told me to give some sacrificial things to the well in the name of Hindu gods. I offered the sacrifice but still no water came out.

I had a Muslim friend, who said that he will offer two units of prayer of water came out. I also said same thing and this time water came out with full force. Now my friend said that I must offer the prayers. We went to a mosque and I offered the prayer.

03. Then the question came about light for the tube well, village people refused to help me in this. B the same Muslim friend said that if you become Muslim, he will help me in getting light. I said that Muslims will not keep me seeing my habits and past record. He said that once I became Muslim, all those bad habits will go away. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. We were in search of some one who will make me Muslim and teach Islam to me. I was refereed to go to Phulat and meet Maulana Kalim Sahib there. I went there and met Maulana and told his sto of my life. After hearing that, he said that Islam is religion of peace and it wants it members to be peaceful and not cause mischief on the land. He said that I have to repent from all my bad habits and specially drinking.

05. I was not sure that I will be able to leave my habit of drinking. But he said me that I belong to a fighting race, If I decide something, I will be able to do it. This encouraged me and I stopped drinki from that day.

This gave me so much confidence that I am able to cure many persons from this bad habit… He sent me with a Missionary party for 40 days and during that time I learned prayer and other day to day maters of Islamic life.

06. Them Maulana arranged for my marriage with a very good Muslim girl of near by village. He di not wanted any trouble from my family members, so he planned marriage to be performed silently. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

07. My father came to know about my marriage and he came to attend it. He was very happy to see me transformed so much and able to shun all my bad habits. He congratulated Maulana and express his gratitude for all he did for correcting me.

He said that he supports my decision to become Muslim. There was some resistance from villagers , but my father stood firm and the villagers had to keep quite. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents.

08. My father is very impressed with Maulana and he meets him often. I am sure that he has accepte

Islam on the hands of Maulana. Myself and my wife presented Islam to my mother, she got convinced but is afraid from her family members. But we asked her to recite KALIMA to us and do not declare her faith openly. 3. On Family members / Others. 09. My two brothers have become Muslim. I am working on other members of my family and pray Allah to open their hearts for islam. Many of my friends are also interested in islam, seeing how it has changed me. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 10. Islam is a religion of peace, it is irony that because of actions of some misguided people (and Media’ propaganda)… it is being linked with Terrorism. Muslims are more in jails as compared to their population in the country. It is because these people not practice Islam in their daily lives.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of March 2006.

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Why I Became Muslim? Balbir Singh (Mohd. Amir) Panipat, Haryana, India

Note: I heard this story myself from Mr. Balbir Singh, so I am a witness to what I am writing. Since is translated from vernacular, so I cannot guarantee its accuracy word by word.

I was born in a village of Haryana. State of India. We belong to the Rajput family. My father was a very good and pious person and he was headmaster in the local school. He was a true humanist and used to tell us about the atrocities committed against humanity during pre and post partition riots of 1947. I on the other hand was influenced by the extreme right wing attitudes of RSS and Bajrangdal one of its militant affiliates.

My father used to caution me against violent policies of these outfits and used to tell me that no good would come out of it, as violence is not the solution of any problem.

But in my youth, I was brainwashed by the stories of past atrocities committed by Muslims against Hindus during Mogul and other past dynastis. Haryana unit of Bajrangdal was most powerful unit in India. I took active part in Babri Mosque Demolition drive and I was the main organization (for my district) when Mr. LK Advani (BJP Leader) came to our town during his famous Rath Yatra in 1990 I along with many people of my village took pledge to destroy Babri Mosque and re-built Ram Temp at its site. Me and my friend Yoginder were present at Ayodhya when Babri Mosque was demolished in broad

day light on 6th December 1992. In fact when Mr. Advani and Ms Uma Bharti exhorted us to “Give one push and remove the mosque”, myself and Yoginder were amongst the first lot who climbed on the dome of Mosque and started demolition work. We were present when the Mosque was finally raised to the ground and a make shift temple was erected at the site. We were very happy on the return journey and carried some of Mosque bricks as “trophies” for our village. There was lot of jubilation and felicitation when we reached our village. At the advice of Yoginder, every one was asked to come forward and urinate on the “cursed bricks”!!!

My father however was very sad at our actions and forbade me to enter the house. You have demolished a place of worship, a place of prayer and want me to appreciate it? was what he said. In my youth I could not understand my father. I was perplexed that I am being honored by every one in village on my “Heroic deed” and my own father is ashamed of me!!! (Contd.)

Soon a strange change started to come on me and my friend Yoginder. We felt as if we were being watched and something bad is going to happen to us. Every Muslim face felt as some one who is going to kill us. Yoginder slowly lost his senses and became violent against his own family members On many occasions he tried to molest sexually his own mother. Despite every treatment his conditio worsened and he was kept in chains all the time.

Then some one advised his father to take him to a Muslim Scholar and let him find the cure. The Muslim Scholar told Yoginder to repent sincerely for his crime and become Muslim. When Yoginde did as he was advised, he became normal after a few days. He told me what happened to him and advised me to take the same path.

The story of my friend and my own condition also made me realize my folly. I also went to the sam Muslim scholar and he gave me books about Islam to read. When I read those books, I got convince of the truth of Islam and became Muslim and took the name of Mohd. Amir. Yoginder took the Islamic name of Mohd. Omar. Mohd. Omar took an oath to built 100 new mosques to undo (if it can ever be undone) the mistake of demolishing Babri Mosque. I pledged to free and populate 100 mosques which are under control of Non Muslims. Since that day, we are both are busy in our tasks

Now one advice which I want to give to my Muslim friends in India. The present situation and Anti Islamic feelings which they experience in India is mostly due to their own doing. They never took their message of Islam to Non Muslims living in India. Most of Hindus are peaceful and peace lovin people. Muslims have nothing to fear from bulk of Hindus. That is the only way for Muslims if they want to survive in India, otherwise they will always be target of Media and these hate monger group 190 Why we became Muslim?

From Times Online, May 29, 2010 (Sheila Rock)

1. It’s a controversial time for British women to be wearing the hijab, the basic Muslim headscarf. L month, Belgium became the first European country to pass legislation to ban the burka (the most concealing of Islamic veils), calling it a “threat” to female dignity, while France looks poised to follo suit. In Italy earlier this month, a Muslim woman was fined €500 (£430) for wearing the Islamic veil outside a post office.

2. And yet, while less than 2 per cent of the population now attends a Church of England service eve week, the number of female converts to Islam is on the rise. At the London Central Mosque in Regent’s Park, women account for roughly two thirds of the “New Muslims” who make their officia declarations of faith there – and most of them are under the age of 30.

3. Conversion statistics are frustratingly patchy, but at the time of the 2001 Census, there were at lea 30,000 British Muslim converts in the UK. According to Kevin Brice, of the Centre for Migration Policy Research, Swansea University, this number may now be closer to 50,000 – and the majority a women. “Basic analysis shows that increasing numbers of young, university-educated women in thei twenties and thirties are converting to Islam,” confirms Brice.

4. “Our liberal, pluralistic 21st-century society means we can choose our careers, our politics – and w can pick and choose who we want to be spiritually,” explains Dr Mohammad S. Seddon, lecturer in Islamic Studies at the University of Chester. We’re in an era of the “religious supermarket”, he says. Dr Benil Hafeeq K.P Consultant Nephrologist MIMS and IQRAA Hospital Calicut Why We Became Muslims:

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(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM KUMAR (MOHD. HUDHAIFAH) BASTI, UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a landlord family of Eastern UP on 13 August 1957. I have one brother who is Engineer and one daughter who is married to a lecturer.

I did my Intermediate in 1977, one of my uncle was working in UP Police. On his advise I also join Police and during service did B. Com. 02. While on Training in Flora Academy, its Director A. A. Siddiqui advised me to do PH. D is Criminology. I took leave from my service and completed my Ph. D. Based on my performance I was promoted to the level of Dy. SP. I was posted in the CID (Secret Investigation).

Our family was known for its Anti Muslim bias. One of the reason could be that many decades ago, one of our branch accepted Islam and got settled in FATEHPUR, HASWA. Then some families of Backward caste in our village accepted Islam to save themselves from insults and discrimination from High caste Hindus.

In fact I had all the ingredients which can make it difficult for anyone to become a Muslim. But Alla had different plans for me. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

03. Nine members of one family from Ghaziabad accepted Islam in Phulat on the hands of Maulana Kalim Sahib. Father, Mother, four sons and three daughters. Eight people became Muslim on that occasion, but since one boy was married, they told that he will accept Islam later after convincing hi wife. Maulana gave them Islamic names and asked them to complete official formalities. This news was leaked to Media and caused a big commotion. Many Hindu organizations came to oppose this decision and alleged that these people were bribed to changed this religion. 04. I was asked to investigate the matter, I reached Phulat with two inspectors and asked Maulana about this allegation.

He welcomed us with a smiling face, asked to bring tea and breakfast for us , and then asked how ca he help us. His confidence and ease convinced us that he was innocent and sincere.

05. When I asked about this bribery allegation, he told us that this is totally wrong. These people cam of their own free will to accept Islam and I made them Muslim and then I asked them to go to Govt. offices and complete all official formalities. We are living in Secular country and our constitution gives us right to practice and propagate our religion peacefully. What is wrong in that? I had no answer for that. He then told me, what benefit would any religion have by bribing people to come to their religion. What good will they do to the religion?

06. He then told me that there is a common misunderstanding amongst Non Muslims that our prophe came only for Muslims. He came for all people and not only to Muslims.

He then told me that all humans are brothers unto each other and they are sons of same father and mother. He then told me that as a brother it is my duty to save your from any harm. And the bigges harm is that I see you burning in hell on the last day.

07. He then asked me to become Muslim and save me from hell fire. I had no answer for these thing He told me that I am asking you to become Muslim, because I know I am right. If you think that you are right, you should have asked me to become Hindu.

08. He went on asking me to become Muslim…again and again and when we were leaving he gave u a small booklet in Hindi “Your trust returned to you”. Myself and both my fellow Police Inspectors were very much impressed by this bold stand of Maulana.

When I reached home and read that booklet… this impressed me very much. Then I got Hindi Translation of Quran and studied it. This convinced me about truth of Islam. I went to Phulat and accepted Islam on the hands of Maulana. He named me Mohd, HUDHIFA saying that one companio of prophet of that name, did secret jobs for our prophet.

09. Maulana sent me along with an Islamic missionary party for forty days. I learnt Prayer and other things of daily needs during that period. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

10. When I came back from that travels, I was posted at Allahabad. I told my wife every thing , she was a very simple lady, she did not oppose me in the least and accepted Islam without much argume

It so happened that we had no issue during our ten years of marriage. I prayed Allah to give us a issu to strengthen the faith of my wife and we were blessed with a son in the 11th year of marriage, after three years we were blessed with a daughter also, Alhamdolillah . 3. On Family members / Others. 11. During my Allahabad stay, I declared my change of faith officially and got the necessary papers from the court.

Some officers in my dept. got very angry and they suspended me from the job. During investigation when they came to know of real facts, they restored me back to my job.

12. My two inspectors who went to Phulat… one of them accepted Islam, He faced many problems from his family and his wife left him, but he remained firm. The other one is Muslim from inside bu is afraid to declare it after seeing the condition of other man. I am working on members of my family, the results are mixed

G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 13. Islam is the truth and they should not shy or afraid to spread the truth. Falsehood can never overcome the truth, whatever may be the condition. A light from lamp, can overcome whatever may be the level of darkness.

14. Most of Hindus in India are simple and loving people. When Islam can convince some one so ha and biased as myself, it would be very easy to convince simple people.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Oct. 2006

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Why I Became Muslim? Yvonne Riddley, UK

Note: Yvonne Riddley was BBC reporter, captured by Taliban in Afghanistan before the start of hostilities in Dec 2001. She spent ten days as captive and was released by Taliban just before the sta of war. Her later conversion to Islam brought her into lime light once again. Many “theories” for th conversion were put forward, here the lady presents her own story in her own words (This is translat from vernacular, so absolute accuracy as to wordings cannot be guaranteed).

Being a reporter made me objective in my thoughts and means. When the UK newspaper and BBC decided to sent me to Afghanistan, I immediately agreed. I tried for Afghanistan visa thru Pakistan, but could not get one. So I decided to enter Afghanistan without proper visa. The mule on which I was riding suddenly changed the route and I found myself alone in a strange neighborhood. The mu was stopped by a young Taliban.

My dress and camera gave me away, the camera was taken away and I was made to wait. I was full apprehension as to what this “Barbaric and Uncivilized” people would do to me, a western and Christian woman, who has entered illegally into their territory. After some delay, a woman came an searched me for hidden weapons etc. This was my first surprise!!! These “Barbaric and Uncivilized people did not touch me until a woman came to search, while in my “Civilized and Cultured” countr I would be “pawed” immediately without waiting for any woman!!

After my “arrest” I demanded use of Satellite phone, when my request was denied (might be for fear pinpointing their location-Ed.), I resorted to hunger strike. I thought that this “Cruel and Evil” band would care least whether I consumed food or not. It was surprise for me when I started receiving strings of people, of all ages, old and young, male and female, all requesting me to start eating!!! They even offered to bring bear for me if I required that. When I got a temperature, they even called doctor for me. All this surprised me. Once I was told that Commander of Taliban is coming to meet me, they requested me to behave properly with him. There was a knock on my door, I opened it (I had key to my room!!! Another

surprise), the Commander appeared before me. He was dressed in a long gown and had a beautiful face and a full beard. He asked me what I think about Islam. I was diplomatic in my answer and highlighted many good qualities of Islam. “Then why don’t you accept it? “ was the next question. I could not answer this question…so he told me that soon you will be released, but promise me that you will take up study of Islam when you go back. I gave my promise.

Next day, I was taken to another place and I found that many Western Women were prisoners and th were reading Bible. I later learned that these missionaries also entered Afghanistan illegally and wer preaching Christianity to Afghanis. What was peculiar, was that Taliban did not do any thing to the Bible and gave it all due respect. That was another surprise for me that these “Barbaric and Uncivilized” people give this much respect to other people’s scriptures (What American Soldiers did with Quran at GITMO and ABU GHARIB is known to every body –Ed.). (Contd.)

Many days passed and each new day brought more and more surprises to me. I was able to watch th respect and regard which they showed to women. They never mistreated us or subjected us to any hardship. I was the most outspoken and complaining of the lot. I tried to break as many rules as I could do….the maximum “Punishment” I received was that I was denied use of Satellite Phone whic was given to other inmates!!!

One thing which I never forgot was the uproar that which open drying of my washed clothes caused. had also washed my undergarments and put them out in the sun to dry. Soon I was requested to take them inside…I refused….they asked again me to remove them as they could tempt people …I again refused and they gave me Title of “Evil Women”!!! Finally just one day before American Bombardment started, they told me that they would soon take away from harm’s way and release me near Pakistan Border.

I could hardly believe my ears. They are worried about my safety, when their own lives are in extrem danger. …..Soon I was back in “Civilized and Cultured land” and was swarmed by media person, each asking about what happened to me when I was “in Dark and Medieval” age Afghanistan!!! The did not seem to believe me, when I told that I was treated with respect and was not harmed in any wa

193

Well after my release I remembered my promise to the Taliban commander. My studies about Islam opened my eyes and I decided to join the “Biggest Brotherhood” on the face of this earth and accepte Islam in June 2002!!! (abridged) Why we became Muslim? Joanne Bailey Solicitor, 30, Bradford

1. “The first time I wore my hijab into the office, I was so nervous, I stood outside on the phone to m friend for ages going, ‘What on earth is everyone going to say?’ When I walked in, a couple of peop asked, ‘Why are you wearing that scarf? I didn’t know you were a Muslim.’

“I’m the last person you’d expect to convert to Islam: I had a very sheltered, working-class upbringin in South Yorkshire. I’d hardly even seen a Muslim before I went to university.

2. “In my first job at a solicitor’s firm in Barnsley, I remember desperately trying to play the role of young, single, career woman: obsessively dieting, shopping and going to bars – but I never felt truly comfortable.

“Then one afternoon in 2004 everything changed: I was chatting to a Muslim friend over coffee, whe he noticed the little gold crucifix around my neck. He said, ‘Do you believe in God, then?’ I wore it more for fashion than religion and said, ‘No, I don’t think so,’ and he started talking about his faith.

“I brushed him off at first, but his words stuck in my mind. A few days later, I found myself ordering copy of the Koran on the internet.

3. “It took me a while to work up the courage to go to a women’s social event run by the Leeds New Muslims group. I remember hovering outside the door thinking, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I imagined they would be dressed head-to-toe in black robes: what could I, a 25-year-old, blonde English girl, possibly have in common with them?

4. “But when I walked in, none of them fitted the stereotype of the oppressed Muslim housewife; the were all doctors, teachers and psychiatrists. I was struck by how content and secure they seemed. It was meeting these women, more than any of the books I read, that convinced me that I wanted to become a Muslim. “After four years, in March 2008, I made the declaration of faith at a friend’s house. At first, I was anxious that I hadn’t done the right thing, but I soon relaxed into it – a bit like starting a new job.

5. “A few months later, I sat my parents down and said, ‘I’ve got something to tell you.’ There was a silence and my mum said, ‘You’re going to become Muslim, aren’t you?’ She burst into tears and ke asking things like, ‘What happens when you get married? Do you have to cover up? What about you job?’ I tried to reassure her that I’d still be me, but she was concerned for my welfare.

6. “Contrary to what most people think, Islam doesn’t oppress me; it lets me be the person that I was all along. Now I’m so much more content and grateful for the things I’ve got. A few months ago, I g engaged to a Muslim solicitor I met on a training course. He has absolutely no problem with my career, but I do agree with the Islamic perspective on the traditional roles for men and women. I wan to look after my husband and children, but I also want my independence. I’m proud to be British and I’m proud to be Muslim – and I don’t see them as conflicting in any way.” 194 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ANIL RAO (ABDUL RAHMAN) WARRANGAL, AP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 13th August 1944 in Warrangal, AP. My father was a big trader in the city. I did my High School in 1959, Intermediate in 1961, B.Sc. in 1964 and M. Sc. In Physics in 1966 and register myself in Ph. D.

My father wanted to get married, but I wanted not to be fettered with these matters, so much so that I ran away from Home and went to Haridwar, the well known Hindu holy city. I vowed to lead a life celibacy. There were many Ashrams in that place, I went to them one by one, but they did not impre me.

02. One of my friend who was working in BHEL there, advised me to go to Rishikesh, another Hind holy city and join Ashram there. I went and after searching , I joined an Ashram run by Swami Nityananad. He himself was a Physics Professor in the University of Allahabad, but left it and starte this Ashram. Many educated persons were living in that Ashram. I studied there for six years and th Swami JI tested me and awarded me the degree of Shastri.

My father was searching for me every where, he and my brother located me and came to meet me af seven years, They wanted me to come back, but I told them to leave me alone in the study of religio and spend my life in religious cause. They left me, but said that I will not eat from the charity. They paid all charges for my six years of stay there and also left a large sum of many to take care of my future expenses. 03. I was in the search of truth, but after close study and lots of discussions my inner self was not satisfied. That Ashram was run by people of Arya Samaj. Every one knows that founder of this

movement was very much influenced by Islamic concept of Monotheism. He borrowed many concep from Islam, but in the end, criticised Islam in his book.

It was said that Arya Samaj is based on reason and logic. During my stay and study, I got many doubts, I used to tell them to Swami JI, and his answers did not satisfy me. In fact I found that Swam JI himself was not convinced of his answers, but he did not want to admit it.

04. After 13 years of leaving my dears and nears and after every type of hard rituals and people calli me Shastri JI, I did not find any improvement in my inside. Then in 1992, It so happened that SONI PAT, HARYANA branch wanted to celebrate their 50th anniversary.

Swami JI deputed me to go and supervise the function and act on his behalf. This was a great honor for anyone and people in Ashram congratulated me for getting this recognition.

05. That night, I prayed to God, that I have left everything in the world to find you, but I am still not found the way to you. Help me and get me a true teacher who can answer my doubts and lead me to correct path. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 06. I took roadways bus from Rishikesh to Baraut, and then took another bus that was going to Sonipat. My fellow passenger was Maulana Kalim Uddin Sahib of Phulat. I was dressed in my traditional Hindi SADHU dress.

Maulana welcomed me and asked about my destination. and when I said about my purpose. He aske me about my faith, when I told that I was Arya Samaji, he said that he had read that book of ours, Satyarth Prakash and wanted to ask some questions from a learned man. It is very fortunate that he found me. 07. Then he posed some questions to me and I was surprised that they were more or less the same which I my self asked from Swami JI. I did not have any convincing answers to these questions. After some time, Maulana told me that he was a Muslim, and though he does not know every thing about Islam. He will answer my questions about Islam.

08. He started by saying that most Non Muslims are under false impression that Prophet Mohammad PBUH was only sent for Muslims. In fact he was sent for all people and all nations. Then he told m about some incidents from the life of prophet and how much he and his early followers had to suffer the cause of faith. His talks and his explanation of Islam convinced me that Islam is the true path and that was what I was searching for and what I prayed to God the night before. I asked him, what they do to make any one Muslim, he said nothing, you just declare your faith.

09. I was dressed in the same Swami cloth and he named me Abdul Rahman, saying that this is one o the best liked name by Allah. After reciting KALIMA I found that I have entered into daylight from

the dark night I was under. 10. It transpired that Maulana was on the way to a small village, where many ignorant Muslims had left islam and accepted Hinduism.

He asked me to go with them in the same clothes. When we reached that village, and gathered these new Hindus and I told that I was a Hindu Scholar and today I have accepted islam, they were very much impressed. It had a positive effect on them, and we are very hopeful that they will come back Islam, Inshallah.

11. Then Maulana sent me along with a Muslim Missionary party for forty days to learn about praye and Quran and other day to day matters. I wanted to go back to Rishikesh and work in the Ashrams there. How many learned people like me were searching for truth there and unable to find any answer.

I told Maulana this thing, but he told me to go to my home town of Warrangal for one year and work on my family members. E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents. 12. When I reached Warrangal after all these years, I found that both my parents were dead. They were always remembering and waiting that I will return one day.

I was filled with sorrow and remorse, that my parents left the world without Islam. My father was very close to islam. He liked Muslim, his driver was Muslim. House hold help was Muslim… he ha many Muslim friends…. But no one came and asked him to become a Muslim. 13. This saddened me so much that I wrote a letter to Maulana Ali Mian, the well known Islamic Scholar of Lucknow as to who will be responsible for these people dying without Islam. What answer these Muslims will give to Allah and their prophet on the last day? 3. On Family members / Others.

14. My brother, his wife and their children accepted Islam. There was some problem with their business in Warrangal… so they sold every thing and started a new in Gulbarga and now they are we off

I did not want to marry to start with and that was the reason of my leaving home, But Maulana told m that our prophet did not like Muslims to remain unmarried, I got convinced and married a poor girl. have one son and one daughter, Alhamdolillah.

F. Present Situation:

15. Then I went back to Rishikesh and met swami JI and told him about Islam. He got convinced an recited KALIMA but he was afraid to declare it in open. But before his death, he got courage and to his disciple that he has become a Muslim and should be buried and not cremated.

They made a SMADHI for him and buried him, instead of cremating him. Many people in his Ashra are now studying Islam and I am very hopeful. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 16. My appeal to Muslims is that they should have a feeling for people like us…. Who find that our parents and other elders went from this world without accepting Islam…because no one even asked them to become a Muslim.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2005

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Why I Became Muslim? Cynthia (Amina) USA

Cynthia gained much Media attention during days of President Ford, when she influenced Roberdo, Mafia don, to shun the criminal activities and join Islam. Her feat considering that she was a physically challenged person was all the more remarkable. She was affected from Polio in the early childhood and confined to a wheel chair. But her zeal and determination never caused this disability stand in the way, what she wanted to get or do. Let us hear from her own lips her story.

People consider me as Handicapped, but I never consider myself as one….How come any Muslim b handicapped? With the Powers of Allah behind him, he can never be handicapped. My own story is proof of it!!!

I was born in American Black Christian family. We were Christians only in name and the religion d not mean any thing to us in the real world. Since I was confined to wheel chair, I used to read a lot i my spare job. I was amazed to read as to how Malcolm-X and his friends were able to convince so many drug addicts to shun that habit and come to Islam. I also decided to know about Islam and got some books on Islam and read it. This caused a very positive change in my attitude towards Islam.

I decided to visit the local Islamic Mosque. Now this mosque was built and was looked after by another New Muslim from black community. His name was Mohammad Yousuf. I was much impressed by his story and his talks and his zeal in propagating Islam. I read a lot and then convince myself as to the truth of Islam and decided to join the faith.

My announcement of new faith at home was initially ridiculed by my parents and friends. They thought that it would a passing whim. But when I took to Islamic dress code and shunned Alcoholic parties….then they realized my sincerity. I did face many hardships at their hands, but Allah gave m strength to bear it all. I remained firm to my faith despite so much opposition.

Then I decided to work in prison and preach Islam to the inmates there. I got much success there an many convicts decided to embrace Islam. While conversing with one of the inmates he told me “Wh I do not work on Roberdo”? Who is Roberdo, I asked? "He is the Mafia Don and drug lord for this area" was the reply.

So I decided to meet this Roberdo. I reached his palatial villa one evening. The security guard woul not let me in….The noise brought Roberto out of the Villa. When he saw me (on wheel chair) he let me in and asked me what I wanted. I told him to leave the evil path and do not spoil the society. He denied everything but on my persistence agreed to give me five minutes every day to hear me out…

Well the five minutes extended to tens and then to hours. In the end Roberdo got convinced and decided to shun the evil way and gave himself up to authorities. This brought lots of fame to me and many media persons interviewed me. I also had visits from many renowned persons including Mohammad Ali. I was really sorry when Roberdo was shot down in prison by one inmate (for fear o exposure to others thru Roberdo)…. So I am not handicapped at all!!! How can be I when Allah is on my side!! This is my advice to all others (abridged) Why we became Muslim?

196

Aqeela Lindsay Wheeler Housewife and mother, 26, Leicester

1. “As a teenager I thought all religion was pathetic. I used to spend every weekend getting drunk outside the leisure centre, in high-heeled sandals and miniskirts. My view was: what’s the point in putting restrictions on yourself? You only live once.

“At university, I lived the typical student existence, drinking and going clubbing, but I’d always wak up the next morning with a hangover and think, what’s the point?

2. “It wasn’t until my second year that I met Hussein. I knew he was a Muslim, but we were falling i love, so I brushed the whole issue of religion under the carpet. But six months into our relationship, told me that being with me was ‘against his faith’.

“I was so confused. That night I sat up all night reading two books on Islam that Hussein had given me. I remember bursting into tears because I was so overwhelmed. I thought, ‘This could be the who meaning of life.’ But I had a lot of questions: why should I cover my head? Why can’t I eat what I

like?

3. “I started talking to Muslim women at university and they completely changed my view. They we educated, successful – and actually found the headscarf liberating. I was convinced, and three weeks later officially converted to Islam.

“When I told my mum a few weeks later, I don’t think she took it seriously. She made a few comme like, ‘Why would you wear that scarf? You’ve got lovely hair,’ but she didn’t seem to understand wh it meant.

4. “My best friend at university completely turned on me: she couldn’t understand how one week I w out clubbing, and the next I’d given everything up and converted to Islam. She was too close to my o life, so I don’t regret losing her as a friend.

“I chose the name Aqeela because it means ‘sensible and intelligent’ – and that’s what I was aspiring to become when I converted to Islam six years ago. I became a whole new person: everything to do with Lindsay, I’ve erased from my memory.

5. “The most difficult thing was changing the way I dressed, because I was always so fashionconscious. The first time I tried on the hijab, I remember sitting in front of the mirror, thinking, ‘Wh am I doing putting a piece of cloth over my head? I look crazy!’ Now I’d feel naked without it and only occasionally daydream about feeling the wind blow through my hair. Once or twice, I’ve come home and burst into tears because of how frumpy I feel – but that’s just vanity. “It’s a relief not to feel that pressure any more. Wearing the hijab reminds me that all I need to do is serve God and be humble. I’ve even gone through phases of wearing the niqab [face veil] because I felt it was more appropriate – but it can cause problems, too.

6. “When people see a white girl wearing a niqab they assume I’ve stuck my fingers up at my own culture to ‘follow a bunch of Asians’. I’ve even had teenage boys shout at me in the street, ‘Get that s*** off your head, you white bastard.’ After the London bombings, I was scared to walk about in th streets for fear of retaliation.

“For the most part, I have a very happy life. I married Hussein and now we have a one-year-old son, Zakir. We try to follow the traditional Muslim roles: I’m foremost a housewife and mother, while he

goes out to work. I used to dream of having a successful career as a psychologist, but now it’s not something I desire.

7. “Becoming a Muslim certainly wasn’t an easy way out. This life can sometimes feel like a prison, with so many rules and restrictions, but we believe that we will be rewarded in the afterlife.” 197 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: RAM PHAL (NOOR MOHD.) DADRI, UP, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in the village of Dadri, Meerut. My father was a small father and he died 25 years ago

I had one elder brother who was a very good person. He was very emotional and merciful in nature. He was always helping anyone in need. He was working in the small town of KHATAULI. 02. Near by there was in a furniture shop where Maulana Kalim Sahib of Phulat was sometime visiting. Maulana used to talk about Islam and my brother was listening to his talks with interest.

One day my brother saw a dream, that there is a golden chariot which is going to a golden palace. Some people are sitting in the chariot and many people are trying to get into it. When my brother tri to board it, Maulana asked him to get down as he was not a Muslim

03. When my brother woke up, he was very much alarmed and he went to Maulana and asked him w he prevented him to go to paradise. Maulana told that he did not know about this dream and only Creator of this universe can stop anyone from going there.

He then asked him to accept Islam if he wants to go into paradise. My brother told that he has his mother living, and he will make some arrangement for her and then come back and become Muslim.

04. My brother had a small piece of land, he asked my son to take it but promise that he will take car of his mother. Then he went to Phulat and accepted Islam. Two days later it was found that he died the night while he was praying and was in the act of prostration. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. Death of my brother affected me very much, one night I saw him in dream and he was dressed in full Islamic dress with full beard etc…he asked me to go to Phulat and accept Islam if I want to save me from hell fire.

06. I usually do not have dreams, but this was very special. I went to Phulat and told Maulana about He told me that my brother wanted to help me and then he asked me also to become Muslim.

I decided to became Muslim and recited KALIMA on his hand, he gave me the same name which he gave to my brother. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

07. I came back very happy and told my wife. She became very angry and told every one in the village about it. There was gathering of village elders to decide about my case. Some said that let u blacken his face and parade him sitting on a donkey. Some said that he should be killed.

There was a retired principal living in the village, he said that this is age of reason, you should convince him that your religion is better than Islam. This stunned them as they did not have argume to prove that their religion is better than Islam.

08. Of all people my uncle who was chief of village was very much so against me, so much so that h even tried to poison me, but Allah saved me and he himself got poisoned.

When my mother came to know about his treachery, she accepted Islam. Then my son also accepted Islam. But village people were our enemies, so I left my village and started living in Phulat.

09. Then I started a small business in Meerut and my mother and my son are also living with me ther

I am active is Islamic missionary activities with the Adivasees in India.. Specially In MP. I hope and pray to Allah to give guidance to these people.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of July-Aug. 2005.

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Why I Became Muslim? Heera : Budhana, Muzzaffarnagar, UP, India

Note: The scenes described in this story might seem improbable to many western readers, but these a not so unheard of in third world countries.

If I say that I was the cruelest, worst and at the same time the most fortunate person, then I would no be wrong. I was born in a rabid Anti Muslim village in Muzaffarnagar District of UP India. I had an elder brother who was as Anti Muslim as I was, and both of us participated in Anti Muslim riots that took place in Meerut in 1987 and in 1992 in wake of Babri Mosque demolition. We took lives of many Muslims with our own hands.

My brother had two sons and two daughters, while I had no issue. One of these daughters (Named Heera), once eloped with a Hindu boy, who belonged to a robber clan, she was rescued from there by Muslim boy. Once she returned back, she started having a soft corner for Muslims and then even brought some Islamic Books in the house. We threatened her of dire consequences if we saw such books in our house.

However none of our words and actions had any effect on her and she came closer and closer to Islam and then she became Muslim. She chose Hira as her Islamic name. We turned her out of our house and she went to live in Delhi with the family of Muslim scholars who converted her. While living in Delhi, she had a dream that her mother was engulfed in fire and was screaming for help….This convinced Hira that her mother needed to be saved from hell fire. In spite of warnings given to her by Islamic preacher, she returned back to village and started her missionary activities in our own house!!! We were outraged when we saw that she was able to convince many of our own family members about Islam!!!

Her mother (the wife of my elder brother), who died shortly afterward, told us before dying that she has become Muslim and should be buried and not burned (as per Hindu custom). We could not agre to this in view of our family pride and that we would become laughing stock in the village.

Then we saw Hira’s brother and sister also having soft corner towards Islam. I and my brother decided that only way to stop this Islamic influence in our family was to strike at th source itself. So we decided to take the extreme step and invited Hira to visit with us to a neighborin village.

I feel that Hira did had some intuition of what was to come…because she took an early bath….wore new clothes and said her last prayer (Namaz or Salat) before she left with us. We had already dug a five or six feet ditch in a secluded spot and had five liter of Petrol can with us. When we reached the spot, we threw her in the ditch and pore petrol on her….and what more (I still shudder to think about it) lit a match to it. She was immediately engulfed in the fire.

But her reaction was not what we expected….instead of crying for help….she said loudly…O Allah you are watching this!!!....O Allah are you satisfied with your Hira…O my father…O my uncle do n die until you are Muslim….then she started saying something in Arabic and her voice downed down

From that time on…a strange change came over my brother…he stopped talking to any one and was lost in thoughts…soon he became ill and we lost all hopes of his recovery….He called me before dieing and told me that he wanted to become Muslim and wanted to be buried as a Muslim. I was at Dilemma as how to do this in our village.

I decided to take my brother to Delhi (not far away from our village) and put him in a small hospital. He accepted Islam and died shortly afterwards…I gave his body to local Muslims to be buried in Muslim graveyard as a Muslim. (Contd.)

After death of my brother, I was totally shattered. Islam which I hated so much…had taken deep roo in my own family and I was powerless to do any thing about it. I was in the same mood and was returning to my village in a private omnibus. This omnibus belonged to a Muslim, who had turned o an Islamic cassette played over the bus PA System. This cassette explained about the concept of Un of God and Man’s accountability for his deeds after this life. I kept on listening, my stop came, but I bought extra ticket so that I should listen to this tape completely.

This cassette changed my outlook and I decided to know more about Islam. I went to Delhi and ther discussed with the Islamic preacher who had converted Hira and told the whole story and what I had done to that poor girl. I was not sure that will my sins be forgiven once I became Muslim. He said th once you enter Islam all your past sins are forgiven and you start a new life!!! Soon I got converted to Islam and now most of my family is Muslim. When I see my past and my presence I feel that indeed I am the most fortunate man on this earth.

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Whenever I recollect, what I did to my beloved Hira, the following passage from Quran seems to become alive before my eyes: “Woe to the maker of the pit (for fire). Fire supplied (abundantly) with fuel; Behold! They sat over against the (fire). And they witnessed (all) that they were doing against the believers. And they ill treated them for no other reason than they believed in Allah, Exalted in Power- Worthy of All Praise” (85:4-8) I feel that this passage of Quran was revealed for persons lik us. (abridged) Why we became Muslim?

Catherine Heseltine Nursery school teacher, 31, North London

1. “If you’d asked me at the age of 16 if I’d like to become a Muslim, I would have said, ‘No thanks was quite happy drinking, partying and fitting in with my friends.

“Growing up in North London, we never practised religion at home; I always thought it was slightly old-fashioned and irrelevant. But when I met my future husband, Syed, in the sixth form, he challenged all my preconceptions. He was young, Muslim, believed in God – and yet he was normal The only difference was that, unlike most teenage boys, he never drank. “A year later, we were head over heels in love, but we quickly realised: how could we be together if

was a Muslim and I wasn’t?

2. “Before meeting Syed, I’d never actually questioned what I believed in; I’d just picked up my cas agnosticism through osmosis. So I started reading a few books on Islam out of curiosity.

“In the beginning, the Koran appealed to me on an intellectual level; the emotional and spiritual side didn’t come until later. I loved its explanations of the natural world and discovered that 1,500 years ago, Islam gave women rights that they didn’t have here in the West until relatively recently. It was a revelation.

3. “Religion wasn’t exactly a ‘cool’ thing to talk about, so for three years I kept my interest in Islam myself. But in my first year at university, Syed and I decided to get married – and I knew it was time to tell my parents. My mum’s initial reaction was, ‘Couldn’t you just live together first?’ She had concerns about me rushing into marriage and the role of women in Muslim households – but no one realised how seriously I was taking my religious conversion. I remember going out for dinner with m dad and him saying, ‘Go on, have a glass of wine. I won’t tell Syed!’ A lot of people assumed I was only converting to Islam to keep his family happy, not because I believed in it.

4. “Later that year, we had an enormous Bengali wedding, and moved into a flat together – but I certainly wasn’t chained to the kitchen sink. I didn’t even wear the hijab at all to start with, and wore bandana or a hat instead.

“I was used to getting a certain amount of attention from guys when I went out to clubs and bars, but had to let that go. I gradually adopted the Islamic way of thinking: I wanted people to judge me for m intelligence and my character – not for the way I looked. It was empowering.

5. “I’d never been part of a religious minority before, so that was a big adjustment, but my friends were very accepting. Some of them were a bit shocked: ‘What, no drink, no drugs, no men? I couldn do that!’ And it took a while for my male friends at university to remember things like not kissing m hello on the cheek any more. I’d have to say, ‘Sorry, it’s a Muslim thing.’

“Over time, I actually became more religious than my husband. We started growing apart in other ways, too. In the end, I think the responsibility of marriage was too much for him; he became distant

and disengaged. After seven years together, I decided to get a divorce.

6. “When I moved back in with my parents, people were surprised I was still wandering around in a headscarf. But if anything, being on my own strengthened my faith: I began to gain a sense of mysel as a Muslim, independent of him.

7. “Islam has given me a sense of direction and purpose. I’m involved with the Muslim Public Affair Committee, and lead campaigns against Islamophobia, discrimination against women in mosques, poverty and the situation in Palestine. When people call us ‘extremists’ or ‘the dark underbelly of British politics’, I just think it’s ridiculous. There are a lot of problems in the Muslim community, bu when people feel under siege it makes progress even more difficult.

8. “I still feel very much part of white British society, but I am also a Muslim. It has taken a while to fit those two identities together, but now I feel very confident being who I am. I’m part of both world and no one can take that away from me.” 200 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: VINOD KUMAR KHANNA (MOHD. KHALID) JULLUNDHAR, PUNJAB, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in the famous city of Jullundhar in August 1956. Our ancestral home was in Patiala. My father was a Mech. Engineer and he was working in the Hydel Dept and has recently retired from the post of Executive Engineer.

I am also an electrical engineer and I also got a job in the same department. I was posted in Jullundh for 15 years and have been transferred on promotion for past 3 years.

02. Almost 13 years back on 19 April 1992, I was returning from Delhi by the Super Fast train. The train stopped in Muzaffar Nagar and a bearded gentleman from Muslim Community entered my

compartment and took their seats apposite me.

When the train started to move and gathered speed, a villager sitting in a s eat opposite, asked when the station of Muzzaffar Nagar will come. The Maulana told that Muzaffar Nagar station had just passed…. The villager immediately took his belonging and went to door and wanted to jump from th train. 03. But Maulana held him by hand and said that if he jumped from the fast moving train, he would certainly die. He should get down at the next station and then take another train. This went on for some time, ultimately Maulana brought him back to his seat.

When the train stopped at next station, Maulana took his luggage and helped him get down in proper man and came back and took his seat 04. I was watching this episode with interest and shame. That Time Babri Mosque agitation was in full swing and here was a Muslim scholar saving the life of a Hindu and me a Hindu did not do any thing.

I left my seat and took the seat apposite Maulana and asked him, why did he save the life of a Hindu man in such a way. I am feeling very much ashamed and I wish to die with shame. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. Maulana kissed my hand and said that I have human feeling left in me. He then told me that In Islam there are right for every one. Our traveling companions also have a right and our prophet told to treat every one with respect and help them. I asked him who he was, he told me that his name is Kalim Uddin and he is resident of a small but historical village called Phulat. I told him that I am an Engineer in Jullundhar.

06. He then told me about Islam and gave me a small booklet called “Your trust returned to you”. H then gave me the name and telephone numbers of two people in my city, whom I can contact if I wanted to learn more about Islam.

I read that small booklet and after what I had seen the “working example of Islam” from my eyes, I g convinced that Islam is the true path. I therefore decided to accept Islam. I was told not to declare m Islam for one year. 07. But after one year, I said I am an educated man and I have accepted Islam based on its truth, why should I hide and I be afraid. Therefore I went to court and declared that I have accepted Islam C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 08. I went home and I told my wife and my father about my Islam. Everyone except my father criticised me. My father said that I was a learned person, if I have become Muslim after studying it, have right to do so. But I should make such decision after thinking of every thing.

Later a Muslim scholar told me that I cannot live with my wife, since I am a Muslim and she is a Hindu. I consulted Maulana Kalim Sahib about it, he advised me not to treat this matter so hastily. 09. I should try to understand feelings of my wife and I should continue to live with her and explain Islam to her slowly and with love and patience and I should also pray to Allah to open her heart for Islam.

I took his advise and went on working on my wife, after four years, Allah opened her heart for Islam and she decided to accept Islam and my children also became Muslim.

10. Then I went to Hajj with my wife and five children in year 2000. After my Hajj and visit to Mad Allah opened my heart fully for Islam and now I find that every teaching of Islam is as per reason an logic.

I started calling people to islam in my city, I targeted poor people and many of them accepted Islam. Even priests of three Sikh Gurudwaras also accepted Islam. Alhamdolillah.

E. My Missionary activities: 2. On Parents. 11. During my Hajj, I prayed to Allah for guidance of my parents and my sisters and other members my family. After returning from Hajj, I went to my father and he was ready to become muslim. He was very much impressed with one Sufi Saint and when I described about Hajj rituals to him, he became Muslim. After three days , My mother also became Muslim, My widowed sister also accepted Islam without much difficulty. Alhamdolillah. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

12. Muslims should present themselves as working models of Islam. See how a small incident in my life, lead to so many hundreds of people accepting Islam.

Unless Muslims recognise their responsibility, they cannot do Missionary activity in India and in the world.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of May 2005.

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Why I Became Muslim?

Finding my faith: By Patricia Dunn

I'm not the same woman I was at 27 when I told my mother, "Ma, I can't eat the pasta fagioli." (She'd made it with bacon.) I'm not the same woman who lied when she said, "I didn't become Muslim because of Ahmed." ….

But today, at 42, and secure in my faith, I can admit that if it weren't for Ahmed -- though he is now my ex-husband -- the word "Islam" would probably still conjure up images of black-cloaked women and melodramatic Sally Field movies in my head. After all, I am my mother's daughter.

The day I left my Italian-Bronx neighborhood to go to college, I knew my communion and confessio days were over. I was never going to let Jesus stick to the roof of my mouth again. There were too many contradictions for me in Catholicism. …By the time I transferred from Barnard to UCLA, I w a lapsed Catholic who wanted nothing to do with organized religion. But I needed to believe in something. …

In the summer of 1988, I interned at the Nation magazine's Washington office. While researching a story about Mubarak Awad, a Palestinian-American psychologist and founder of the Palestinian Cen for Non-Violence, the president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee invited me to go on a student delegation to the Occupied Territories. . The man waited until I gathered my notes and walked off the stage before approaching me. "Brillian speech," he said. I thanked him, trying not to blush. Extending his hand, he said, "My name is Ahmed." But I already knew who he was. He was president of the Muslim Students Association and like me, he wrote a column for the school paper, where we were both slotted "on the left." I was a fa

This was a guy who knocked on every door in Islam Vista, in Santa Barbara, Calif., to campaign for Jesse Jackson. But that day, when he smiled a win-me-over smile, I thought the same thing I'd wondered whenever I read his column, "How could a smart, socially conscientious guy be a Muslim Be a part of any organized religion?" He was a feminist. A feminist Muslim -- wasn't that an oxymoron? As Ahmed and I spent the next several years deepening our friendship -- and eventually marrying -returned again and again to those questions. He mostly stood out of my way. I studied Islam in order to debate Ahmed and his belief system, but the more I learned, the more I found how greatly I had underestimated my own ignorance. Mine wasn't a hit-you-over-the-head epiphany, but rather a slow and steady stream of aha's.

The feminist in me aha'd when she realized that in the Qur’an God is neither male nor female. The scholar in me aha'd at the various interpretations and schools of thought within Islam, most of which depict the religion as a social and constantly changing belief system, rather than the fixed, dogmatic one the government of Saudi Arabia would have the world believe. The Christian still left in me aha'd when she read in the Quran how those who do good deeds are in God's grace. And the scared Bronx girl in me aha'd at the Quran 's refrain that God is "merciful and compassionate" -- until, eventually, the scared Bronx girl was no more.

But it was the social activist in me who aha'd the loudest when she got a deeper understanding of "jihad" (a term that has been grossly misinterpreted in the media). "Jihad" is a word with many meanings, but foremost it describes one's personal and inner struggle to live a just life, a life in which one is obligated to defend those who cannot defend themselves. Wasn't that what I had always tried t commit my life to -- fighting, or, more accurately, struggling, for justice? (Contd.)

Who knows? Maybe I would have remained a Catholic if I had discovered the Catholic Worker movement or Catholics for a Free Choice earlier in life -- organizations whose missions emphasize economic and social justice. Maybe I would have remained a Catholic if the one priest who talked an listened to me when I was 13 had done so face to face and not in some dark box (and if he had, along with hearing me confess and granting me absolution, counseled me about surviving adolescence). Then there was the question of Jesus. It had always been hard for me to believe God took human for But it was as a Muslim that I learned what an incredible prophet he was -- the epitome of the social activist.

After years of questioning Ahmed about everything, I found my answers in Islam. But as a convert I had to work for everything I believed. I was constantly translating, not only the language of the Qura but the rituals too. It was hard to trust that one could have a one-to-one relationship with God, and I still believed I needed an intermediary, some authority, someone more worthy to intervene on my behalf. So I turned to the "real" Muslim, the one born into faith, for all my answers. I made Ahmed m teacher, my priest.

While equality was the rule in every other aspect of our lives, when it came to matters of faith, I wanted Ahmed to call the shots. When we prayed, though he encouraged, often insisted, that I lead t prayer, I refused. Ahmed was the authority. Besides, he sounded so beautiful when he recited the Quran in Arabic. I wanted him to give me all the answers, and when he refused, my questions turned into childish badgering: "Are you sure if you swallow accidentally while you brush your tooth that doesn’t break my fast?"

It wasn't until my son was born that I truly grew up into Islam. Ali was seven weeks premature, and small enough to fit in the palms of his father's hands. The doctors told us Ali couldn't go home until was able to regulate his own body temperature. I could hardly swallow as I watched my son in his plastic incubator, trailing tubes and wires to help him breathe. It had taken years of trying and fertilit testing for Ahmed and me to get pregnant: I couldn't believe God would take our son from us now. I felt like a kid again -- swept back in time to age 12, when I'd been convinced God had killed my frie Barbara by giving her leukemia for no reason at all.

Desperate for hope, I saw breast-feeding as the one way I could help Ali heal -- but he was too weak latch on. So on the first day of his life, instead of a newborn suckling at my breast, I nursed an electr pump (on loan from the hospital) to increase my milk supply. Then -- somehow -- the loud methodic chugging of the pump's motor helped to drown out my fear. "In the name of God, the Benevolent, th merciful..." I began reciting the first Sura in the Quran. "...It is You we serve, to You we turn for help..." There, alone in the hospital, I spoke to God for the first time, one to one, with no intermediar And I understood that the God I was talking to was compassionate and merciful.

Two weeks later, Ali began to nurse. The day I took him home in his oversize blue-striped onesie, I knew God had heard me.

I'm not the same Muslim I was 15 years ago, but I am still a Muslim. And last week, after all these years, when I told my mother that Ali couldn't eat her baked beans because they were made with por her response was the same as ever. "That's ridiculous," she said. Then she mumbled, "Well, let's see what you believe when the next guy comes around." ..

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I didn't respond. My conversion may have started with a man, but it continues with me, and it's neve ending. (Abridged) Why we became Muslim? Sukina Douglas Spoken-word poet, 28, London

1. “Before I found Islam, my gaze was firmly fixed on Africa. I was raised a Rastafarian and used to have crazy-long dreadlocks: one half blonde and the other half black.

“Then, in 2005, my ex-boyfriend came back from a trip to Africa and announced that he’d converted to Islam. I was furious and told him he was ‘losing his African roots’. Why was he trying to be an Arab? It was so foreign to how I lived my life. Every time I saw a Muslim woman in the street I thought, ‘Why do they have to cover up like that? Aren’t they hot?’ It looked oppressive to me.

2. “Islam was already in my consciousness, but when I started reading the autobiography of Malcolm X at university, something opened up inside me. One day I said to my best friend, Muneera, ‘I’m falling in love with Islam.’ She laughed and said, ‘Be quiet, Sukina!’ She only started exploring Islam to prove me wrong, but soon enough she started believing it, too.

“I was always passionate about women’s rights; there was no way I would have entered a religion th sought to degrade me. So when I came across a book by a Moroccan feminist, it unravelled all my negative opinions: Islam didn’t oppress women; people did.

3. “Before I converted, I conducted an experiment. I covered up in a long gypsy skirt and headscarf and went out. But I didn’t feel frumpy; I felt beautiful. I realised, I’m not a sexual commodity for me

to lust after; I want to be judged for what I contribute mentally.

“Muneera and I took our shahada [declaration of faith] together a few months later, and I cut my dreadlocks off to represent renewal: it was the beginning of a new life.

4. “Just three weeks after our conversion, the 7/7 bombings happened; suddenly we were public enem No 1. I’d never experienced racism in London before, but in the weeks after the bombs, people woul throw eggs at me and say, ‘Go back to your own country,’ even though this was my country.

“I’m not trying to shy away from any aspect of who I am. Some people dress in Arabian or Pakistani styles, but I’m British and Caribbean, so my national dress is Primark and Topshop, layered with colourful charity-shop scarves.

5. “Six months after I converted, I got back together with my ex-boyfriend, and now we’re married. Our roles in the home are different, because we are different people, but he would never try to order me around; that’s not how I was raised.

“Before I found Islam, I was a rebel without a cause, but now I have a purpose in life: I can identify my flaws and work towards becoming a better person. To me, being a Muslim means contributing to your society, no matter where you come from.” 203 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: DHARMINDER VERMA (TAUHID), SEOHORE, MR. INDIA A. Family Background: 01.I was born on the City of SEOHORE around 22 years ago. My father and other members of my

family are a very strict Hindus. Many of my family members belong to Extremist Hindu outfits like SHIV SENA, BAJRANG DAL, VHP Etc. I have three brothers and sisters. After finishing my education, I started working in a factory in MANDIDEEP, near Bhopal. From childhood I was interested in body building and exercises. I got enrolled in the local branch of SHIV SENA. 02. I was a very active member of that organization and in that capacity I took parts in many Anti Muslim acts and also harmed many of them.

When I was studying in my village school, I had two Muslim friends, I used to visit their houses and we used to eat from the same plate. I even ate meat in their houses which was taboo in our homes.

03. Once there was an argument between my father and father of my friends, while their voices bein raised, the mother of my friends came out and said to our fathers “You are fighting while your sons a friends of each other and eat from the same plate”.

My father came back to house and beat me very hard that I was eating in their house and even eating meat. I said that “If you beat me like that, I will run away and become Muslim” I think Allah heard my voice and later guided me to Islam. 04. Then my father started to read me every night about past history of Muslim kings and what they did to Hindus of India. Slowly and slowly he inserted hatred of Muslims in my heart….and I joined extremist Hindu groups. But I had some soft corners towards Muslims because of my earlier friendship.

B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 05. In factory I also had a Muslim friend. I used to visit his house and during Ramadan is used to go his house and take part in breaking fast.

Muslim missionary used to come to his house and talk about Islam, they mostly spoke about death an what will happen after death. I also used to listen these talks and this made me like Islam.

06. I left that factory and joined another factory, there also I found a Muslim friend and started going to his house. After some time, he asked me to became Muslim, if I want to serve myself from hell fi

I went to local mosque and told them that I want to become Muslim, they did not give me encouragi response. Then I went to Delhi and asked where most Muslims live, they told me in OKHLA, A muslim missionary party was going to OKHLA, so I joined that group.

07. During that trip, I used to spend much time on talking on mobile phone, some members of the party got suspicious and thought that I was a member of CID. They phoned Maulana Kalim of Phul and asked for his advise. He told them to treat me like his son and after 40 days, bring me to Phulat.

I met Maulana after lot of wait and he was very happy to see me. I accepted Islam again on his hand

Then I asked him that I want to get circumcised also as it is a practice of our prophet. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 08. I came to know that my family members are very angry to hear about my conversion and they might kill me if I went back to the village. I consulted Maulana and he advised me to stay away from my village and stay in Bhopal. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. My advice to Muslims is that if a Person of my Hindu Extremist background can become Muslim what will be the result, if they present Islam to simple Hindus, who are unbiased, what will be the result.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Dec. 2006.

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Why I Became Muslim? ANTHONY (TALIB) , USA Anthony accepted Islam on September 19, 2003. He adds, "Right now I'm learning Arabic and studying Tafseer [Qur'anic exegesis]. Since I took Shahada, my life went in a different direction, a positive direction, and I can only thank God for it." About two years before this point, when I was sixteen, I had a religious yearning. It was like a thirst that I could not quench.

As I studied, I noticed how Christ taught only to the Jews. He would not preach to anyone except the children of Israel. Studying his life closely, I noticed that this man did not follow any religion that actually exists today. He was a follower of God's law as it was sent to the Jews in the past. Right the my religion was questionable … Studying it even closer, I saw that all Christian churches relied upon the teachings of Paul, whose letters actually contradicted many of the words of Jesus (peace be upon him). Now I knew that my religion was definitely in question.

I believed in one God, I believed in Jesus, I believed in Moses, I believed in Noah, and I believed in of the other prophets who preached the worship of one God. But what other Books existed to replace the Bible? I believed that there were none.

Then I remembered what an old Muslim friend told me. He said that Muslims believe in the Qur'an, only one God, and in all the messengers of God, which includes all of the Christian and Jewish prophets. At that time, I had a book that explained Islam at a very basic level. It was a great source fo

me. I began to understand Islam much more, and found it somewhat interesting.

After this, I went on the Internet to look up things about Islam. I found some sites with arguments against Christian beliefs, and I studied their arguments closely. They explained how most Christians not follow their Scriptures as closely as they should. In truth, the Muslim sites were confirming what already knew.

My interest in Islam was soaring. I decided to ask my neighbor to borrow his Qur'an. I read it in a fe weeks. I loved it – I believed every word it said. However, I could not believe that the crucifixion wa a false story. I was so brainwashed by the Bible that I could not accept the truth at the time. .

Thus, we began a dialogue online. He gave me a lot of information about Islam. I asked him a deep question: How do Muslims actually prove to Christians that the crucifixion did not happen? He want to meet up with me to discuss it, and I agreed. We met up in a neighborhood pizza parlor. Our discussion left me in awe….

All my studies led me to the same conclusion: Islam was the path of God. Still, I was afraid to conve Converting is a life decision…

In the car on our way to the mosque, I told the brother that I was thinking about changing my mind about taking Shahada. He told me that the choice was mine, but to beware of the doubts that Satan puts into one's head. For a while, we talked in the car about Satan whispering into people's hearts, an how Satan tries to drag someone from the Light….

During the service, the Imam amazingly gave his speech about Satan's whisperings into the hearts o men in the attempt to lead them away from the Light. It left me in utter shock. The brother was talkin to me about this in the car, and by an amazing coincidence,..

After publicly declaring my Islam, I think that every Muslim brother present that day came and hugg me. There were at least a few hundred brothers present, so you can imagine how many hugs I receive They congratulated me and said, "God bless you, you made the right choice… I pray that my story helps those who go through the same mental struggle that I had with Satan. My experience is so amazing to me that I cannot truly describe it in words. ..(Abridged) Why we became Muslim? Catherine Huntley Retail assistant, 21, Bournemouth

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1. “My parents always thought I was abnormal, even before I became a Muslim. In my early teens, they’d find me watching TV on a Friday night and say, ‘What are you doing at home? Haven’t you g any friends to go out with?’

“The truth was: I didn’t like alcohol, I’ve never tried smoking and I wasn’t interested in boys. You’d think they’d have been pleased.

2. “I’ve always been quite a spiritual person, so when I started studying Islam in my first year of GCSEs, something just clicked. I would spend every lunchtime reading about Islam on the computer had peace in my heart and nothing else mattered any more. It was a weird experience – I’d found myself, but the person I found wasn’t like anyone else I knew.

“I’d hardly ever seen a Muslim before, so I didn’t have any preconceptions, but my parents weren’t s open-minded. I hid all my Muslim books and headscarves in a drawer, because I was so scared they’ find out.

3. “When I told my parents, they were horrified and said, ‘We’ll talk about it when you’re 18.’ But m passion for Islam just grew stronger. I started dressing more modestly and would secretly fast during Ramadan. I got very good at leading a double life until one day, when I was 17, I couldn’t wait any longer.

“I sneaked out of the house, put my hijab in a carrier bag and got on the train to Bournemouth. I mus have looked completely crazy putting it on in the train carriage, using a wastebin lid as a mirror. Wh a couple of old people gave me dirty looks, I didn’t care. For the first time in my life, I felt like myse

4. “A week after my conversion, my mum came marching into my room and said, ‘Have you got something to tell me?’ She pulled my certificate of conversion out of her pocket. I think they’d rathe have found anything else at that point – drugs, cigarettes, condoms – because at least they could hav put it down to teenage rebellion.

“I could see the fear in her eyes. She couldn’t comprehend why I’d want to give up my freedom for t sake of a foreign religion. Why would I want to join all those terrorists and suicide bombers?

5. “It was hard being a Muslim in my parents’ house. I’ll never forget one evening, there were two women in burkas on the front page of the newspaper, and they started joking, ‘That’ll be Catherine soon.’

“They didn’t like me praying five times a day either; they thought it was ‘obsessive’. I’d pray right i front of my bedroom door so my mum couldn’t walk in, but she would always call upstairs, ‘Catherine, do you want a cup of tea?’ just so I’d have to stop.

6. “Four years on, my grandad still says things like, ‘Muslim women have to walk three steps behind their husbands.’ It gets me really angry, because that’s the culture, not the religion. My fiancé, whom met eight months ago, is from Afghanistan and he believes that a Muslim woman is a pearl and her husband is the shell that protects her. I value that old-fashioned way of life: I’m glad that when we g married he’ll take care of paying the bills. I always wanted to be a housewife anyway.

7. “Marrying an Afghan man was the cherry on the cake for my parents. They think I’m completely crazy now. He’s an accountant and actually speaks better English than I do, but they don’t care. The wedding will be in a mosque, so I don’t think they’ll come. It hurts to think I’ll never have that fairytale wedding, surrounded by my family. But I hope my new life with my husband will be a lot happier. I’ll create the home I’ve always wanted, without having to feel the pain of people judging me.” 206 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SANJIV PATNAIK (ABDULLAH) CUTTACK, ORISSA, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in an educated family in Cuttack, Orissa on 9th Jan 1967. My father was a lecturer in Intermediate college. He died suddenly of a heart attack and so I could not complete my B. Sc.

After death of my father, I was to take care of my mother and sister. My sister was already engaged, some how I married her off. I started teaching in the junior section of same school in which my fath was lecturer.

02. By nature I am outspoken and have lot of anger, so I always had arguments with the principal. I had to leave school, I tried some jobs here and there, but could not get permanent job. I accumulated some loans and I was at a loss as to how to repay it. I decided to commit suicide by throwing myself from the bridge into the river. While I was in the

process, one Muslim gentleman held me by hand asked what I was doing. I told him of my intention he pulled me off from the bridge and explained that it was not certain that I will die, what if I was saved and remained paralysed for rest of my life.

03. Then he told me about life after death and what will happen there to people who commit suicide. was very much impressed, he asked me to go to Phulat, UP and accept Islam at the hands of Maulan Kalim Uddin.

He gave me some money for ticket and to take care of myself. I told my mother that I have got a job in Delhi and going there to join it. She was happy to se me off. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I reached Delhi and after changing train and bus, I reached Phulat and met Maulana Kalim sahib Maulana came after two days and he was very happy to learn of my decision to accept Islam. I recit KALIMA on his hands and he named me Abdullah.

I only knew English and my native language and very little Hindi or Urdu. I asked Maulana in Engl that I wanted to live here and I am looking for a job. He sent me with one gentleman and told that I should learn about islam and prayer from him and he is going on some tour and he will make permanent arrangement for me when he returned.

05. I learned about prayer, WUDU, how ot take bath and other day to day matters of Islamic life. Th question came of my circumcision, when I learned of its benefits, I decided to undergo circumcision

My mentor had to go to Orissa because of his mother’ sickness, he asked me to go to Phulat and live and teach in the school there. I reached Phulat and was taken care by another Newly convert to Islam

06. I knew very little Hindi and I was of extreme temper and Maulana did not return from his travels for very months… I used to have daily fights with people in Phulat, and one day they asked me to go away.

I was very angry and frustrated, I went to local police and told that Maulana Kalim has forcefully converted me to islam and even done circumcision on me. The local police did not believe in my sto and said that they know that Maulana is not such sort of person. 07. When I insisted and threatened to go to higher ups, they wrote FIR and sent two constables to Phulat to bring the Maulana. Since he was not there, so his elder brother who was a lawyer and a doctor sahib came to polices station.

It so happened that there the area was already tense due to some friction between Hindus and Muslim so these people did not want to start another case. Police personnel asked 9000 rupees to close this matter. They paid this amount, Police incharge gave me 500 and asked me to go back to my village. When I protested he threatened to put me behind the bars.

08. When I returned my place, I found that my mother had died. I also came to know that the Muslim

gentleman had tried his best to take care of his treatment and well being during the period of my absence. So here I was, penniless and renegade from Islam and my mother dead… Lost in the real sense of the world!! (but there was more to come)

C: How I crawled back to Islam

09. I had turned my back on Islam, but from inside I was having a feeling of shame and how I had implicated Maulana in a false case. I knew from inside that some misfortune must befall on me. Af seeing Islam, I did not want to go back to Hindu way of life. I discussed this one Hindu Pundit who was incharge of an Ashram in Benaras. He asked me to go there and live with him. I went there and lived for one year in his ashram, but it did not help.

10. In those days, some bombs were found in some Ashrams of Benaras including my Ashram. Poli came for investigation and interrogated priests and those living there. They came to my ashram also and during investigation felt suspicious at my answers. When they found that I was circumcised, the thought me to be an agent of Muslim Extremist groups. They arrested and tortured me to tell the names of my superiors and colleagues, whatever answers I gave increased their suspicions. I got injuries in my both legs and could not move. From inside I knew that this is punishment for what I had done. 11. I was presented before a DIG of Police and he knew about Maulana Kalim sahib. He listened to my story and told that he had also accepted Islam on his hand but it is still a secret. He admonished me for what I had done and told that only way is that Maulana should confirm my story.

Lot of money was spent on treatment of my legs, but I still could walk only on stilts. I was referred AIAMS Delhi, but because of my poor connections, they refused to treat me. I was admitted to loca hospital and I was despair of my life.

12. It so happened that one day I saw Maulana in my hospital, he had come to see some one else. I jumped from my bed and fell on his feet. At first he did not recognized me, but when I told who was he embraced me. I wept and told my whole story. He told me that he was sorry that he had to leave for such a long journey and had to leave me alone. He told that he prayed to Allah many times for me. He took pity on me and phoned some doctor in AIAMS, and I was admitted there and after few months I got cured. D. What about those 9000 rupees of Bribe.

13. Maulana said that 9000 Rupees are nothing to save a Muslim life, but he was against this idea an it could become a precedent. He went to the SP City…who was known to Maulana. SP was also familiar with Maulana Ali Mian Sahib of Lucknow and taken part in his public sermons to promote

Humanity and co-existence. He immediately called those two police officers and gave them three days to pay back the money to Maulana or they would be dismissed from the police force. 14. I was witness, when perhaps for the first time in Indian history police men returned the bribe money they had taken! F. Present Situation: I am cured of my illness to a large extent and I am teaching English in a Primary school in Delhi.

15. I am thankful to Allah that He made me re-enter islam. My story is really strange and when I thi to what had happened to me, I thank Allah for His blessings. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

16. To Muslims who are born in Muslim families, I want to say that they should really value the gift which Allah has bestowed on them.

They should also have some thoughts fro people like us, who need that some one should tell them th true path of Islam.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of June 2006

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Do Not Enter My Home!

Note: This episode is a personal narrative from Dr. NASEEM GHAZI, a convert to Islam from Hinduism.

He is from a very reputed Hindu Family residing in GHAZIABAD city of UP state in India. Hi conversion to Islam in 1970 s caused a surprise in some circles, as to why an educated and well off Hindu has to change his religion.

After Conversion, Dr. NASEEM studied Islam properly from an Islamic Madarsa. He is currently incharge of MADHUR SANDESH SANGAM, an Islamic propagation organization based in Delhi, which caters mostly to Hindi speaking people of North India.

He has written many books explaining Islam to Non Muslims. This interesting episode from hi

pen appeared in DAWAT Newspaper New Delhi, dated 19th October 2010. It was in Urdu and have freely translated it into English for help of our readers on this thread.

1. “I have a married sister living in Delhi, we love each other and despite my conversion to Islam, w are close to each other. She was residing in a rental house and I used to visit her from time to time.

2. She recently moved to a bigger and more comfortable house, in a posh locality of Delhi, Owner of the house is a lawyer. He lives across the street to my sister’ house? 3. I visited my sister in her new residence, when the time for Noon Prayer came, I prayed in my sister’s house (as I used to do regularly, when such occasions come). The land lady watched me praying and when I left, she came to my sister and asked about who was this Muslim visitor.

4. My sister told her, that he is my brother who converted to Islam some years back. The land lady g very upset and told her lawyer husband about it.

5. The Land Lord came to see my sister, he was very angry and he told her “I do not want to see any Muslim in my house. Had I known that your brother converted to Islam from Hinduism, I would nev have rented you this house. Ask you brother never again to come to this house, or else you have to vacate my house immediately”.

6. My sister told me this, she was very worried and very anxious. I told her not to worry, things will improve with time. I also got worried, I loved my sister and this type of attitude did not seem good t me.

7. I prayed to Allah to help me find some solution to this problem….after a few days I made a plan. I phoned my sister that I would come to her house next day at 12PM, when the land lord would not be home. My sister was worried that if the land lady saw me in her house, she would tell it to her husband and complications shall arise. I told her not to worry and leave things to Allah.

(Contd.)

8. Next day I went to my sister’ house, she was very anxious, I told her to be calm. I then asked her t call the Land Lady to her house! She was all the more worried, but went to bring her.

9. When the land lady came, she greeted me, I said “Yesterday was our Prophet’ birthday and I have brought some sweets for my sister living in this house. I have also brought some sweets for my ANOTHER sister living next door”. Then I gave her the packet of sweets.

10. When she hesitated to take it, I said “Do not worry, this sweet is from a Hindu Shop and not from any Muslim shop”. She took the box and left for her house.

11. In the evening I received a phone call from land Lord himself, asking me to visit his house next day at evening time. When I went, the Lawyer SB. greeted me with folded hands, he apologized for his earlier behaviour. Said he never thought Muslims could be like that.

12. He thanked me for my consideration to bring the sweet from a Hindu shop and not from a Muslim shop. He told me to visit my sister’ any time I wanted and stay as long as I wished. Said he would fe honored if I visited regularly. We got on very well and I also gave him some books about Islam whic he took with reverence…

13. Now coming to the mystery as to how the tides changed …. I did not do any thing miraculous, I just remembered one saying on Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) where he said “You should exchange gifts with each other, it multiplies love amongst you”. I only acted on this prophetic advice!!

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Note: The lesson for all of us in this episode is that, if we act on ALL prophetic advices, our relation with people of other faith would improve. Our image before people would improve and many misunderstandings would be removed. (MUQ) Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT

MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: YUVRAJ SINGH (SUHAIL SIDDIQI) MEHSANA, GUJRAT, INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in Mehsana in a Thakur Family. My date of birth is 13 August 1983. We have our ow college called A.J. JASPAL Thakur college. I left my education during B. Com. I have one brother and one sister. I have one uncle who is a politician. He was in BJP, but in this election, he fought on Congress ticket and won election (there is hardly any difference between the two Major parties in In any more- MUQ).

During the Gujarat riots of 2002, I along with a group of 8 others took active part. Near our village 6 or 70 Muslims were burned alive. We thought that these were acts of breviary.

02. There was a small historical mosque in our village. It was very old, built by some saint on whos hands many local hindus had accepted Islam. We decided to demolish this mosque. Despite out bes efforts, we could not demolish it. We decided to burn it down. We threw petrol and put a match to i but some how the fire got to the man who had lit the match and he burned to death in front of our ey

Then after two weeks, one by one, members of my groups started dying. They would get pain in the head and would be dead after a few hours. This filled me with fear and I repented to God and said “ did mistake by making effort to demolish Mosque, I now ask for forgiveness”. 03. Then I dreamt that I am in hell fire… I am being punished and every type of hardship is on me. am crying but no one is hearing my cries….I used to see heaven also is my dreams. From that time on, I decided that this violence against Muslim is wrong and I should do some thing some about it. B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 04. I went to a Local Maulana in my city and told him about my dreams. He said that these are warnings from Allah to me and I should become Muslim if I want to save myself from hell fire.

He then told me about the man who had first struck Babri Mosque becoming Muslim at the hands of Maulana Kalim Uddin Sahib of Phulat. I decided to become Muslim, but he told me to hide my Isla for the time being. 05. He gave me some books and asked me to go with a Missionary party for forty days to learn Muslim way of prayer and living.

C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

06. I came back from that mission and I used to pray in secret … but one day servant of the house sa me praying. He went and told every one about me becoming a Muslim.

My father told me to select between the two, if I want to live like a Muslim, I have to leave his home I decide to leave home. He took my mobile and ATM card and turned me out. 07. I went to local Islamic center , but when they came to know that I am related to BJP leaders of Gujarat, they felt afraid and excused to keep me with them.

I went from one place to another…till some one told Maulana Kalim about my case and he asked them to send me to Phulat. When I met Maulana, he was very happy to see me. In very short time I got very fond of him and when he named me SUHAIL, I said that I want to add Siddiqi to it, so as to have a link with Maulana’ family. He smiled and agreed to it. D. How I saved my Islam:

08. After becoming Muslim, I realised, what was my previous condition. How I was living like a reb on the Kingdom of Allah. I had seem by eyes, ants eating the offerings made to idols and dogs eatin and urinating on these idols, yet I was fool enough to worship these! Earlier Islam was the most hatred word to me and now it is my best beloved. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

09. I would like to remind my Non Muslim brothers that this life is like a train journey. You have to have proper ticket before boarding the ticket. This ticket could be checked during journey, but at the end of journey, we have to show it to the authorities to get out.

Same way Islam is the proper ticket for the journey of life. It will be checked when we will be raised up on the last day. Those who have this ticket would enter paradise, those who do not have this ticke will be denied entry.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Apr.-May 2006.

209

Why we became Muslim? Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam TOI, October 25, 2010

LONDON: Former British prime minister Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth revealed over the

weekend that she has converted to Islam. Booth, who is half-sister to Cherie Blair and a Catholic by birth, switched faith after a recent visit to Iran. A human rights campaigner and journalist, she works for Press TV, Iran's 24-hour English language international news channel. News of Booth's conversion surfaced after she was showcased at a rally here under the banner of Global Peace and Unity 2010, attended by several Islamic hardliners. It was a propaganda coup for those who militantly propagate Islam.

Booth (43), who has once figured in a reality television contest, told a section of British media, ``I ha a delightful experience at a Muslim shrine in Iran six weeks ago. I now pray five times a day and occasionally go to a mosque. And I haven't had an alcoholic drink for 45 days.''

Booth now covers her head and neck with hijab when outside her home (and doesn't rule out wearing burqa in future), no longer eats pork and reads the Quran every day. She conceded that her decision t convert might create a controversy. ``Every action sparks a reaction,'' she said.

Cherie Blair, a practicing Catholic, and her husband Tony, who converted from the Church of Engla to Roman Catholicism in 2007, were unavailable for comment.

Last month, Booth accused Blair of lacking impartiality in his current role as Middle East envoy. Having earlier protested against Britain's involvement in the 2003 United Stated-led invasion of Iraq she said her brother-in-law could not be a balanced negotiator between Palestinians and Israelis because he was prejudiced against Muslims.

In a letter published in the Morning Star, a communist daily, she described participating in a rally in Iran where mothers reportedly wept over deaths in Palestinian cities like Rafah and Nablus. "Do you recognise these place names, Tony?'' she asked. `` Israel has massacred children in all these cities in recent years,'' she reminded him. Convert: Lauren Booth, who is Cherie Blair's half sister, decided to convert to Islam after what she described as a holy experience in Iran

According to Kevin Brice from Swansea University, who has specialised in studying white conversio to Islam, these women are part of an intriguing trend.

He explains: ‘They seek spirituality, a higher meaning, and tend to be deep thinkers. The other type o women who turn to Islam are what I call “converts of convenience”. They’ll assume the trappings of the religion to please their Muslim husband and his family, but won’t necessarily attend mosque, pra or fast.’ I spoke to a diverse selection of white Western converts in a bid to re-examine the faith I had rejecte Women like Kristiane Backer, 43, a London-based former MTV presenter who had led the kind of liberal Western-style life that I yearned for as a teenager, yet who turned her back on it and embraced Islam instead. Her reason? The ‘anything goes’ permissive society that I coveted had proved to be a superficial void.

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Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: SANJIV ASTHANA (ABDUL WAHID), GUAHATI, ASSAM, INDIA A. Family Background: 01. We are living in Assam for generations. My grandfather was Officer in British times. My father was a sales tax officer in Gauhati. He was posted in various districts of Bengal. He was posted in Calcutta and he made his house there and he died there.

I was born on 11 Sept 1959. I did my B. Sc and M. Sc. And B. Ed from Calcutta. I got a Job in Go High school and later became lecturer. 02. I was married 14 years ago to a girl in an educated family and my father in Law is principal in a Govt. college and she is teaching in ca convent school.

In 1998 me and my family went on a tour of South India under the Leave Travel program of Govt. W got down in Bhopal on the way to see the city. We took a taxi from Bhopal station to drop us to a hotel. I had got some fever during my train journey to the Bhopal.

03. When the Taxi reached Hotel, the driver told me that since I was sick, I should proceed to my roo and he will bring the luggage. He told the same thing to my wife. When she went inside the hotel, h went away with all our luggage and our money and train ticket….only small money in my purse and my wife’ hand bag was left.

I was having heavy fever, we went to Police station and lodged our complaint. We waited till evenin but there was no progress. My fever was getting worse, I took some medicine from drug store, but it did not help.

04. We tried to contact our home town, but due to heavy rains the lines were down. We did not have enough money to pay for our return ticket. We boarded a train without ticket, when the Ticket Check came, we told him all what has happened to us. He got soft corner on us and told that he will take us upto Jhansi and from there He will board me to a train going to Katihar.

But when we reached Jhansi, my condition got very worse, so we decided to go to a Govt. Hospital and get some cure. The doctors told me that I have brain fever and unless I was admitted in hospital will get worse. I stayed some days in Hospital and doctors allowed me to travel.

05. At Jhansi Railway station, I located that Ticket Checker and he got me boarded into the Katihar bound train. But once in Katihar, no TC was ready to take us to Calcutta.

I had only 13 Rupees left and my children were hungry and had not eaten since night before… I aske my wife to bring simple food for us and they started eating… when I saw my children eating like beggars on a railway platform with their dirty clothes of all these days…tears came to my eyes and started weeping like I had never wept before… B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 06. It so happened that Maulana Kalim Sahib was going to Delhi and he had to catch the train from Katihar. The train was late, so he asked the people who had come to see him off to go back and he would wait at the platform.

He saw my sick condition and me crying and weeping, he came to me and asked if I was OK and if I was in need of some help. I was in no position to speak, but my wife told hem what had happened to us in the last 15 days.

07. He went to a drug store and brought medicine for me, he asked his friend to bring tea and milk an gave me the medicine with tea and milk. He gave me medicine for five more days. He then offered m to loan me a sum of 2000 rupees, he told that he is calling it a loan, because I am a gentleman, otherwise he will give this as a gift to his brother. 08. I was stunned that to how many people I had told my story, but no one came forward to help and this man from a different religion is helping me in this fashion. Then he asked his companion to brin some fruits and Ice cream for my children, when they were hesitating, I told them to take it, because was his real uncle.

When we asked for his telephone number and address, he will parry the question, when we pressed, gave me a small booklet called “Your Trust returned to you” and said that his address is in the book. 09. Our train came and I boarded the train. In the train I read that small booklet and I gave my wife read it. These were the words, but we had seen Islam in action, so there was no need to convince us that Islam is the true path.

The medicine which Maulana had given me, had a magic effect and by the time we reached Calcutta was almost cured.

10. Once I was OK, I told my wife that I want to go and meet Maulana in person…there was no dire train from my place to Phulat. I changed train from Delhi and reached Phulat. Maulana was very happy to see me. I told that now I am in his hands, and ready to do what he wants from us.

He then explained Islam to me and I accepted Islam and then I went with a Missionary party to learn prayer and other day to day matters of Islamic life. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

11. When I came back from Phulat and told my wife, she was very happy and she also accepted islam without any problem. My children also became Muslim and I brought them all to Phulat and he gav them their Islamic names.

So in a way I am thankful to that Taxi driver, if he would not have acted in that fashion, I don’t know what would have happened to me. Allah has strange ways to work E. My Missionary activities: 3. On Family members / Others.

12. When my uncle came to know about my Islam at first he was very angry, but when I told him my whole story and gave him the book, his anger subsided. Then I talked to him about Islam and after some argument, he got convinced and accepted Islam, Alhamdolillah. Now around fifty members of my family are Muslim, and I thank Allah for that. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 13. Unselfish love, combined with truth and sincerity is a weapon which very few people can resist. This is my advice to every Muslim.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Nov. 2006

211

Why I Became Muslim? Rejecting her faith: Writer Eve Ahmed was raised a Muslim Much of my childhood was spent trying to escape Islam. Born in London to an English mother and a Pakistani Muslim father, I was brought up to follow my father’s faith without question. But, privately, I hated it. The minute I left home for university at the age of 18, I abandoned it altogether. As far as I was concerned, being a Muslim meant hearing the word ‘No’ over and over again. Girls from my background were barred from so many of the things my English friends took for granted. Indeed, it seemed to me that almost anything fun was haram, or forbidden, to girls like me. There were so many random, petty rules. No whistling. No chewing of gum. No riding bikes. No

watching Top Of The Pops. No wearing make-up or clothes which revealed the shape of the body.

No eating in the street or putting my hands in my pockets. No cutting my hair or painting my nails. N asking questions or answering back. No keeping dogs as pets, (they were unclean). And, of course, no sitting next to men, shaking their hands or even making eye contact with them.

These ground rules were imposed by my father and I, therefore, assumed they must be an integral pa of being a good Muslim.

Small wonder, then, that as soon as I was old enough to exert my independence, I rejected the whole package and turned my back on Islam. After all, what modern, liberated British woman would choos to live such a life?

Well, quite a lot, it turns out, including Islam’s latest surprise convert, Tony Blair’s sister-in-law Lauren Booth. And after my own break with my past, I’ve followed with fascination the growing tre of Western women choosing to convert to Islam.

Broadcaster and journalist Booth, 43, says she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’.

She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in th city of Qom, and says: ‘It was a Tuesday evening, and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy.’ Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she says. How, I wondered, could women be drawn to a religion which I felt had kept me in such a lowly, submissive place? How could their experiences of Islam be so very different to mine? Why We Became Muslims:

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(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: ASHOK KUMAR (MOHD. ISHAQ) RAMPUR, UP , INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 7th Dec 1967, in the city of TANDA BADLI, which is in District Rampur of UP. M father Sri Puran Singh was a small farmer. I studied upto Junior High School in my village school, then went to Rampur to study upto Intermediate. I did my Diploma Engineering in Civil from

Lucknow and got a job in Private Construction Company.

I was a man with high temper and anger, so I could not hold my job, I resigned and came back to my village. I had two friends named Yogesh and Yoginder Singh since my early education. 02. Those were the days when Babri agitation was in full swing. Me and my friends joined BAJRANG DAL, the extremist Hindu organization. We joined Rath Yatra of Mr. Advani from Gwalior and were four days with that group.

Our family were very happy with our activities, so much so that one day our father of my friend, call our parents and told that we three are “free in the name of Ram”. Even if we perish in this movemen there will be no blame on us.

03. We were part of group which went to Ayodhya in 1989 and we were arrested then by police and released later. We were also present when Babri Mosque was demolished on 6 Dec 1992. We staye in different Ashrams there. It was strange that most of SADHUS there tried to prevent us from mosque demolition.

When BJP leader Uma Bharti charged us to go forward and demolish the mosque. We went with the mob, one of my friend was trampled under the feet and he suffered injuries in his ribs.

04. We came back carrying one brick each from the mosque a souvenir. People congratulated us on t way on our “heroics” and our parents held a big party in our village and we were weighed in flowers

But once the deed was done, we started having a strange fear into us. Every year on 6th Dec. the fear used to increase many fold. As if some one was watching us and some thing would happen to us. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. One day on 6th December, some one showed me a news item in local news paper that first person who had attacked Babri Masque has become Muslim. I could not believe this news and I wanted to catch the man who has published this false news.

We were told that this man had accepted Islam in the village of Phulat. We took the bus to Phulat an asked who was responsible for this news item. They pointed to the house of Maulana Kalim Sahib.

06. We went there and asked Maulana in a harsh voice, what was his purpose to publish this false ne and why was he bent upon destroying religious beliefs of Hindus. Maulana stayed very calm and sai that the news was true, and the gentleman is very close to Phulat and he can arrange a meeting betwe us.

Then he said that we are tired from the journey, so we should take breakfast and take some rest. Wh we were resting, Mohd. Amir (the gentleman who had accepted Islam) came, Maulana said some thi in his ear (to stay calm and do not get agitated irrespective of provocation – MUQ) and left us togeth

07. He then told us his story, how he did participated in that agitation and how he came to know that Islam was true religion and accepted Islam. He then told us also to accept Islam and save us from he fire.

08. He then gave us some time and said that he will go and pray Allah for our guidance. We discuss amongst ourselves and decided that the best course for us is to accept Islam. When we recited Islam KALIMA we felt as if we have thrown away a lot of weight which was on our conscience.

He then sent us with Islamic Missionary party for 15 days to learn Prayer and other day to day teachings needed from every Muslim. We completed 40 days instead of 15 days and came back and Maulana was very happy to se us. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society: 09. When we reached our village, the atmosphere was very tense. Some one had rumored that we were murdered by Muslims at Phulat. We denied the rumor and told them about our being Muslim.

This caused much trouble in the village and our families. Every one tried to turn us back from islam But we stayed firm. We left the village and stayed in different cities and did odd jobs to pull us thru Then we reached Calcutta and we got a good job and now we are set. E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children

10. Our family members took my wife and children with them and prevented me from talking to her. had no news from her or my children for a long time.

Then once I was set in Calcutta, I contacted her thru a Muslim lady. She said that she is agree to live with me as my wife, because she is being mistreated my the wife of her brother. I am very hopeful that she will come to me and will become Muslim , Inshallah. 3. On Family members / Others. 11. In present situation, Maulana has told me to concentrate on those Kar Sevaks who took part in Babri agitation and I should pray fro guidance for my parents and other family members. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims. 12. Islam is the need of every one. W should not despair of guidance of any one, howsoever Anti Islam he or she might be at present.

At one time, Muslims were our bitterest enemies, but now I want to die as a Muslim. The same coul be the case of many hundreds, or thousands or hundreds of thousands.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Dec 2007.

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Why I Became Muslim?

Changing values: Camill Leyland, 32, pictured in Western and Muslim dress, converted to Islam in h mid-20s for 'intellectual and feminist reasons'

The turning point for Kristiane came when she met and briefly dated the former Pakistani cricketer a Muslim Imran Khan in 1992 during the height of her career. He took her to Pakistan where she says she was immediately touched by spirituality and the warmth of the people. Kristiane says: ‘Though our relationship didn’t last, I began to study the Muslim faith and eventually converted.

Because of the nature of my job, I’d been out interviewing rock stars, traveling all over the world an following every trend, yet I’d felt empty inside. Now, at last, I had contentment because Islam had given me a purpose in life.’ ‘In the West, we are stressed for superficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God. It was a completely different value system. 'In the West, we are stressed for superficial reasons, like what clothes to wear. In Islam, everyone looks to a higher goal. Everything is done to please God'

'Despite my lifestyle, I felt empty inside and realised how liberating it was to be a Muslim. To follow only one god makes life purer. You are not chasing every fad. ‘I grew up in Germany in a not very religious Protestant family. I drank and I partied, but I realised that we need to behave well now so we have a good after-life. We are responsible for our own action

For a significant amount of women, their first contact with Islam comes from dating a Muslim boyfriend. Lynne Ali, 31, from Dagenham in Essex, freely admits to having been ‘a typical white ha partying teenager’.

She says: ‘I would go out and get drunk with friends, wear tight and revealing clothing and date boy ‘I also worked part-time as a DJ, so I was really into the club scene. I used to pray a bit as a Christian but I used God as a sort of doctor, to fix things in my life. If anyone asked, I would’ve said that, generally, I was happy living life in the fast lane.’ But when she met her boyfriend, Zahid, at university, something dramatic happened.

She says: ‘His sister started talking to me about Islam, and it was as if everything in my life fitted int

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place. I think, underneath it all, I must have been searching for something, and I wasn’t feeling fulfilled by my hard-drinking party lifestyle.’ Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: BANWARI LAL (MOHD. SALMAN), MUZAFFARNAGAR, UP. INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born on 6 August 1958 in a Dalit Cobbler family in MALHUPURA Locality of Muzzaffarnagar. My father’s name was Uttar Singh, we was a labourer and then opened a small vegetable shop. There was no tradition of education in our society, but one of my maternal uncle wa peon in a bank. On his I started my study and passed Intermediate.

Headmaster of my school was a High Caste Pundit, he would leave no chance to insult me, I used to get frustrated, sometimes to contemplate suicide. I learned typing and somehow I got a job in Police department. In police department also I had to face discrimination and I got transfer to more than 15 Police stations.

02. It so happened that daughter of a Doctor was studying in Meerut, she had a love affair with a Muslim boy named Bilal. One day the girl ran away from her house and went to the house of boy an said that she wanted to marry him. She told that she is ready to become Muslim, some one told them to go to Phulat and meet Maulana Kalim sahib.

Maulana Kalim sahib asked the girl about her decision to became Muslim and what will be her family’s reaction to it. She said that her father is half Muslim already and daily reads Quran and the will be no problem. So he asked her to recite KALIMA and made her Muslim and then they got married.

03. Now the boy was not so strong and he was afraid to face his parents and family member , So Maulana made arrangement for them to live in Delhi and asked his sister to educate the girl about Islam. In a very short time, the girl understood Islam much better than the boy and her faith was mo than love for her husband. The family of the girl lodged a complaint against the boy and also put the name of Maulana Kalim sahib as co accused who had helped her kidnapping and her conversion to Islam.

04. Maulana was in Bombay, so he could not reach in time….so the Police party reached their Delhi house and arrested Bilal and the girl. They took Maulana to local Police station and then took him in Police car to Meerut where the case originated.

05. In car Maulana started his talk and asked the Police office, Mr. Motla if he was a Policeman first a human first. He answered that he is a human first and Policeman afterwards. Maulana asked him what is this humanity to arrest a law abiding citizen in the dead of night and not giving him any answ to explain his position. The officer told he was under extreme pressure form his top officers. On the way, time came for regular prayer, and Maulana asked the vehicle to be stopped in front of a mosque so he can say his prayers.

Police officer said that he cannot allow that, but he can pray on the way at any place. Then Maulana told the Police officer that he should also be praying, because he is also made by the same creator. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

06. Maulana sahib was brought to Meerut police station where I was on duty. The officer asked us t take care of him and brink him tea and biscuits while he went to freshen himself.

I was having argument with my sergeant about condition of lower caste Hindus. I said that we lower caste people build the temple and when it is finished we are denied entry into it, what is this type of justice.

07. Maulana heard my talk and said that in Mosques there is no such distinction, no one will deny yo entry or discriminate with you in mosques. He then asked me to became Muslim and recite KALIM with full commitment. The moment I recited the KALIMA I felt as if I was free from all bonds that were restraining me. He also gave me his address. 08. At the same time, Mr. Motla came and apologized to Maulana saying that he was free to go as there was some mistakes in the report lodged with the Police.

I decide to test Maulana’ saying about Mosques. I went next day to Main Mosque in Delhi in full Hindu garb, the prayer was just about to start, I told some one that I am from the Lowest Hindu caste and I want to pray with Muslim. They shook my hand and placed me in the first row just behind the Imam. I could not believe my eyes, when the prayer was over, every one came and embraced me an shook my hand (That much Islam is still left in Indian Muslims- MUQ) C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

09. Now that girl, her case was referred to the court. The boy was weak hearted and he lacked the courage and upbringing to stand upto the challenge. But the girl remained firm and told boldly befor the judge that she was adult and of her own free will had accepted Islam and she had every right to choose her religion and marry any one she liked.

The judge could do nothing but to release her. Then she scolded her father that earlier he was so clos to islam and talking about islam, what happened to him overnight. He asked him to became Muslim

This impressed her father and he is now very close to Islam and ready to accept Islam on the hands o Maulana.

E. My Missionary activities: 1. On Spouse / Children 10. My wife was very happy to hear my story of becoming Muslim. She was also fed up to live the life of daily insults while living as a low caste Hindu. I took and my four children to Phulat and they accepted islam on the hands of Maulana.

3. On Family members / Others.

11. Maulana asked me to work on members of my family and on low caste Hindus. I am preparing myself for this task. I am still a very new Muslim and I should learn something about islam to talk to my people. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

12. There are billions of Dalit people in the world and hundreds of Millions in India alone. If they come to know about the equality and justice which they receive in islam and which they can never g in their own religion, many of them would come to Islam.

And they would not only get respect and equality…. They will earn the pleasure of their Creator and will be saved from everlasting punishment on the last day.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Sept. 2007.

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Why I Became Muslim? Liberating: Kristiane Backer says being a Muslim makes her life purer

Lynne converted aged 19. ‘From that day, I started wearing the hijab,’ she explains, ‘and I now neve show my hair in public. At home, I’ll dress in normal Western clothes in front of my husband, but never out of the house.’

With a recent YouGov survey concluding that more than half the British public believe Islam to be a negative influence that encourages extremism, the repression of women and inequality, one might as why any of them would choose such a direction for themselves.

Yet statistics suggest Islamic conversion is not a mere flash in the pan but a significant development Islam is, after all, the world’s fastest growing religion, and white adopters are an important part of th story.

‘Evidence suggests that the ratio of Western women converts to male could be as high as 2:1,’ says Kevin Brice.

Moreover, he says, often these female converts are eager to display the visible signs of their faith — particular the hijab — whereas many Muslim girls brought up in the faith choose not to.

‘Perhaps as a result of these actions, which tend to draw attention, white Muslims often report greate amounts of discrimination against them than do born Muslims,’ adds Brice, which is what happened Kristiane Backer. She says: ‘In Germany, there is Islamophobia. I lost my job when I converted. There was a Press campaign against me with insinuations about all Muslims supporting terrorists — I was vilified. Now I am a presenter on NBC Europe.

‘I call myself a European Muslim, which is different to the ‘born’ Muslim. I was married to one, a Moroccan, but it didn’t work because he placed restrictions on me because of how he’d been brough up. As a European Muslim, I question everything — I don’t accept blindly.

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‘But what I love is the hospitality and the warmth of the Muslim community. London is the best plac in Europe for Muslims, there is wonderful Islamic culture here and I am very happy.’ For some converts, Islam represents a celebration of old-fashioned family values. Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: JAI WARDHAN (HASAN ABDAL), GHAZIABAD, UP. INDIA A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a village of Ghaziabad, UP in a Brahmin family on 9 Sept 1975. My father was Principal in school. I studied upto 8th standard in the local village school. Then I went to Ghaziabad and did my Intermediate and B. Com from colleges there.

I wanted to appear for IAS (Administrative Services), I cleared Prelim exam two times, but could no clear the Second part. This discouraged me so much that I decided to renounce the world and becom SADHU. I roamed all famous Hindu religious places like Haridwar, Rishikesh, Uttarkashi, Benaras etc. I went to many ashrams, but when I saw the hypocrisy there, I got discouraged.

02. I also visited with some friends, the Muslim place of KALIAR, I got some peace there, but it wa not very much different from Hindu ashrams. While I was returning one Muslim MALANG ( a man with half mind- MUQ) caught my had and said that “You are a ABDAL, give me 10 rupees” I told that I was a Hindu SADHU, he did not release me, until I paid him 10 rupees.

I asked local people, who is this man, they told me that this man just wanders here and there and nev asks any money from anyone, it is a strange thing that happened to me today..

03. I kept on wandering from place to place as I was searching for some thing and I am unable to fin it or even define it. Three passed like that, then I decided that I will take KAWAR (Ganges water, taken from the river and poured on the Idol on Shiva on the eve of SHIV RATRI, a Hindu festival – MUQ, the person has to cover that distance on foot- MUQ).

I passed thru the town of Muzzafar Nagar , and that night I dreamt that I am in front of a mosque, the call for prayer was made and people went to offer prayer, and I was standing outside. Some one aske me, why I was not praying, I told , I am a Hindu and I cannot pray, he took my hand and placed me alongside the people who was praying. I felt immediate peace in my heart.

04.When I woke up and resumed my journey, on the way, I saw a Mosque where the prayer was abo to start. I told my colleagues to wait for a while, and I went to mosque. I was standing outside, not knowing what to do. One old man asked me why I was outside, I told that I want to pray but I do no know how. He took my hand and said to me that I do as others are doing. When I put my head on th ground, I felt immense peace.. I told my experience to my fellow travellers, some of them admonished me but one of my friend praised me and said he also wanted to come.

B. How and Why I accepted Islam: 05. We reached our destination close to afternoon. The time for water offering was after midnight an there was a big crowd of people who had come to offer the Water. We took a nap and when I woke u I saw some muslim youths with books in their hands, who were talking to people.

They told that they are Muslims and they have a religious Muslim scholars as their teacher and he ha send them to take care of us travellers, who are hungry and in need of rest. He told us that we are brothers unto each other and one brother should take care of another, whenever he is in need. 06. Then they told me about islam and concept of One God and why it is important to worship Him only and no one else. They went on talking Islam to us for close to half hour, at the end of it, they gave us some booklets on Islam and asked us to recite KALIMA. Myself and my friend recited KALIMA then and there.

Then they asked me that once we are free from our task, we should go to Phulat and meet their teach Maulana Kalim Uddin. We said that how can we offer water to any idol, once we have recited KALIMA. So we abandoned that mission and took a bus to reach Phulat.

07. Maulana was very happy to see us, he gave us our Islamic names and asked us to complete offici formalities for change of religion and then he will send me along with a Muslim missionary party.

Then I told Maulana as to what happened to me in the last four years and How much I tried to find a

locate the True God, he told me, may be it was because of my sincerity that Allah gave me guidance

08. I completed around 8 months with missionary parties and learned prayer, and how to recite Qura I also learnt Urdu to read simple books on religion. I want to devote my time to Missionary activities amongst people of our nation. I told Maulana about it and he is making a plan for me.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of Oct. 2008

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Why I Became Muslim? Ex-MTV Presenter Kristiane Backer with Mick Jagger in the late Eighties ‘Some are drawn to the sense of belonging and of community — values which have eroded in the West,’ says Haifaa Jawad, a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, who has studied the white conversion phenomenon. ‘Many people, from all walks of life, mourn the loss in today’s society of traditional respect for the elderly and for women, for example. These are values which are enshrined in the Koran, which Muslims have to live by,’ adds Brice.

It is values like these which drew Camilla Leyland, 32, a yoga teacher who lives in Cornwall, to Isla A single mother to daughter, Inaya, two, she converted in her mid-20s for ‘intellectual and feminist reasons’.

She explains: ‘I know people will be surprised to hear the words “feminism” and “Islam” in the sam breath, but in fact, the teachings of the Koran give equality to women, and at the time the religion wa born, the teachings went against the grain of a misogynistic society. 218 Why We Became Muslims:

(Stories of New Entrants to Islam, thru Missionary Activities of MAULANA KALIM UDDIN of Village PHULAT MUZAFFARNAGAR, India)

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: NADEEM AHMAD SAHIB, KARNATAKA, INDIA

A. Family Background:

01. I was born in a Maratha family of South Indian state of India. My father was manager in a bank. was educated in a good school, after B. Com and MBA, I got a job in England. My father suddenly expired of a heart attack on 4th Jan 2000, so I had to return back.

I got a good job in a local company as a Manager, and now I have become Director in the same company. I have no shortage of money and my father also left lot of money, I am his only son, so m grace of Allah, I am well off in worldly matters.

02. There was a Muslim girl in my company, from the day I came back from England and joined the company, I used to like her. I wanted to marry her, breaking all barriers of religion and wealth. But she did not give me any lift and only used to talk about business and company matters. It seems she wanted to marry some one from her family. I gave her gifts and presents on occasions of festivals an dates but she did not change her stance towards me.

Then the owner of my company died, he was a very good old man and very active in charity activitie When he died, these works stopped. People wanted to talk to his eldest son to re-start and continue these works. They invited Maulana Kalim Uddin sahib from Phulat (who knew my company owner to have a talk with him.

03. He came on the appointed time and talked to him, scheduled time was for 30 minutes, but it continued for more than 90 minutes. At the end of talk, he asked me to escort Maulana back to his c as part of Islamic etiquette. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

04. I boarded the lift on 7th floor and on 5th floor the same girl entered the lift. Maulana was wearing very good perfume. All of a sudden the girl said to me “What a good perfume you are wearing” and smiled.

When I reached ground floor, I asked Maulana for the name of perfume, he said that it was given to him as a gift by his friend in Dubai. Then he gave me the bottle of perfume. Whenever I had that perfume on my person, the girl would praise it, so I gave her that bottle of perfume. This broke the i between us. 05. Then I went to her father and told that I wanted to marry her daughter, even if I have to accept Islam. Her father agreed with my idea and convinced her daughter also. He told me that I should become Muslim and spend 40 days with a Muslim missionary party and then he will marry her to me

I went to Imam of main mosque and accepted islam and completed all formalities and went for 40 da to Bangalore with a Muslim missionary party, and at the end we got married.

06. But our marriage was not a happy one, because the girl did not want to marry me with her free w Her father almost forced her to marry me. So much so that our marriage ended in divorce after 8 or

months. But my 40 days with Muslim missionary party had aroused my curiosity about Islam and I started reading about Islam and purchased many books. I was fortunate that Maulana Kalim Sahib again visited my city, I met him and had a long talk with him.

07. He told me that Allah had made the love of that girl as a stair for my coming to Islam. Now I ha seen what love of a girl can affect a strong willed man like me, what if I start loving my Creator and my Cherisher. I was very impressed him and took him as my religious guide…afterwards he took m to his religious guide (Maulana Ali Mian of Lucknow) and I also made at oath on his hands also.

Then I told Maulana that I have sufficient wealth to last me for my years of life, I want to spare some time to learn about islam and love of Allah. He sent me for one year with a group of persons, lead b very learned Islamic scholar.

08. I spent my time in Bangalore, Mysore and other cities of Maharashtra, Andhra etc. I am working on the advise of my religious guide and I am seeing the benefits of it.

I was thinking that I was thru with marriage, but Maulana convinced me that Islam does not like a m or woman to live without marriage, so I have surrendered my affairs to him and he is looking for a suitable wife for me. 09. I am not very active in Missionary activities amongst Non Muslims at present, but during my travels and at different interactions, I have talked to them about Islam and some of them have also entered into Islam, Alhamdolillah.

(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Monthly ARMAGHAN of August 2008.

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Why I Became Muslim? Escape route: Former DJ Lynne Ali is happy to pray five times a day

‘The big mistake people make is by confusing culture with religion. Yes, there are Muslim cultures which do not allow women individual freedom, yet when I was growing up, I felt more oppressed by Western society.’

She talks of the pressure on women to act like men by drinking and having casual sex. ‘There was no real meaning to it all. In Islam, if you begin a relationship, that is a commitment of intent.’

Growing up in Southampton — her father was the director of Southampton Institute of Education an her mother a home economics teacher — Camilla’s interest in Islam began at school.

She went to university and later took a Masters degree in Middle East Studies. But it was while livin and working in Syria that she had a spiritual epiphany. Reflecting on what she’d read in the Koran, s

realised she wanted to convert. Her decision was met with bemusement by friends and family. ‘People found it so hard to believe that an educated, middle-class white woman would choose to become Muslim,’ she says. While Camilla’s faith remains strong, she no longer wears the hijab in public. But several of the women I spoke to said strict Islamic dress was something they found empowering and liberating.

Lynne Ali remembers the night this hit home for her. ‘I went to an old friend’s 21st birthday party in bar,’ she reveals. ‘I walked in, wearing my hijab and modest clothing, and saw how everyone else ha so much flesh on display. They were drunk, slurring their words and dancing provocatively.

‘For the first time, I could see my former life with an outsider’s eyes, and I knew I could never go ba to that.

‘I am so grateful I found my escape route. This is the real me — I am happy to pray five times a day and take classes at the mosque. I am no longer a slave to a broken society and its expectations.’

Kristiane Backer, who has written a book on her own spiritual journey, called From MTV To Mecca believes the new breed of modern, independent Muslims can band together to show the world that Islam is not the faith I grew up in — one that stamps on the rights of women.

She says: ‘I know women born Muslims who became disillusioned an d rebelled against it. When yo dig deeper, it’s not the faith they turned against, but the culture.

'Rules like marrying within the same sect or caste and education being less important for girls, as the should get married anyway —– where does it say that in the Koran? It doesn’t.

‘Many young Muslims have abandoned the “fire and brimstone” version they were born into have re discovered a more spiritual and intellectual approach, that’s free from the cultural dogmas of the old generation. That’s how I intend to spend my life, showing the world the beauty of the true Islam.’

While I don’t agree with their sentiments, I admire and respect the women I interviewed for this piec

They were all bright and educated, and have thought long and hard before choosing to convert to Isla — and now feel passionately about their adopted religion. Good luck to them. And good luck to Lauren Booth. But it’s that word that sums up the difference between their experience and mine — choice.

Perhaps if I’d felt in control rather than controlled, if I’d felt empowered rather than stifled, I would still be practising the religion I was born into, and would not carry the burden of guilt that I do about rejecting my father’s faith. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1324039/Like-Lauren-Booth-ARE-modern-

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British-career-women-converting-Islam.html#ixzz13ZqKdE7B Why We Became Muslims:

Note: These are stories from India, the local color is predominant, some points may seem strange to those who are not familiar with Indian social life.

The Case of: JANARDAN PRASAD VERMA (MOHD. SUHAIL), KHALILABAD, BASTI, U INDIA A. Family Background: 01. I was born in a Hindu family in the Dist. Of Khaleelabad (Basti) of UP. We were four brothers and sisters. Due to poor economic conditions, I started working at the age of eight. I continued my study with my job.

Later I shifted to Bombay and did my jobs along with my study. While I was in Bombay, I saw som sermons going on at a place. I asked what it is, the people told me, this is a camp of Nirankari peopl

02. I did not know any thing about it, so I asked them what it is and they told me that we people do n worship any idol or anything else in the Universe.. We think that God is in every humans, but we cannot see him. And whom we cannot see, he is god.

So we respect each and every individual and every one touches the feet of every one else in respect. Father touches the feet of his sons and daughters and they touch his feet. I liked this idea very much and I also became a Nirankari. When I went to my place, I told every one in my family to become Nirankari and they accepted my idea.

03.While I was in Bombay, I went to some Muslims lectures also. There they told me that they also worship one God who is Creator of everything in the universe. They told me that they have one book called Quran, which came from God Himself.

I asked them to give me Quran so I can study it, but they said that “You are Hindu and we cannot giv our holy book to you”.

04. Then I got a driving job in Saudi Arabia. After a few days, I made an accident and they sent me prison. After a few days, the month of Ramadan started, when I saw every one fasting, I also started fasting. I fasted fro 27 days or so, people used to ask me, why you fast but do not pray, I had no answer for that. B. How and Why I accepted Islam:

05. When I came out of prison, I started study of Islam. Study of Islam took me away from my earli faith of Nirankari, because of separation of men and women. In my faith, young boys and girls were touching each others feet, which was not OK. I had seen from my own eyes boys misusing this practice.

06. I got Hindi translation of Quran, and got some cassettes on islam. But when I used to question m Muslim colleagues, they would say, You are Hindu, do not ask about Islam (beautiful muslims these people – MUQ). The they started persecuting me, both Indian and Pakistani Muslims. They used to taunt me for being a Hindu (what examples of Muslims these people were- MUQ).

It so happened that they put me on a route which passed by the Holy city of Madina. Entry of Non Muslims is not allowed in Madina city, but from the Non Muslim bypass, there is a high parking, th minarets of Prophet’s mosque are visible. I used to park there and watch the minarets. Some times used to go to sleep and in dreams I will see that I am standing at the door of mosque. Some one in white beard will ask me what are you doing outside, he will catch me by hand and bring me inside t mosque.

7. I used to pick up the route, which passes thru Madina and my love to the city increased with each passing day. My study of Islam also continued and after 8 years, I got convinced that Islam is the right way. I went to Islamic propagation center in Riyadh and declared my Islam.

08. What impressed me most was its concept of Unity of God. In Hindu religion we have so many gods that we cannot count them. There are gods for each and every thing and we have to please every one. Nirankari system believes in one god, but it does not has a full system for life and ho to conduct our day to day affairs. 09. Then the Islamic concept of Hijab for women also attracted me most, because this separation is good for a good and civilized society. C: What was reaction of spouse , parents, family and society:

10. When I spoke to my people India, about my Islam, they told that they will do as I had done (as th had followed my advice on Nirankari), but when I went there, they went back from their words. The tried to deviate me from islam and started putting hindrances before and during my prayer.

11. My wife had earlier promised to become Muslim, but she kept on postponing this decision. And then started opposing me and trying to harass me. My eldest son had become Muslim and was studying in Medical, but they tried to force him to leave Islam and even to kill him, if he did not change his faith. I had to leave my house and all my property in my village and fled empty handed to save my life. D. How I saved my Islam:

12. I came back to Saudi Arabia as I had a job there and I left every thing in India. Then my muslim friends in Saudi Arabia helped me in new marriage and settled me in another city. G. My advice to Muslims / Non Muslims.

Islam teaches brotherhood and dealing kindly with people of other faith, which no other religion doe But seeing the present day Muslims, and in light with what happened to me, I doubt that any Non Muslim will think of becoming Muslim.

I request my Muslim brothers to see, what example of islam and Muslims are they setting for non Muslims and how they expect people of other faith to enter Islam. Unless they improve their attitude and present themselves as models of Islam, they cannot expect other people to become Muslim so easily.
(Translated from Vernacular Urdu and abridged) Source: Bi Weekly News paper DAWAT, 16 Jan 2011, Page 5

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Why I became Muslim? TIMUS (AHMED) TEKLES, BRAZIL

I was born in a devout Roman Catholic Church going family. Our parents used to take us to church regularly and I used to listen the sermon there. From the early childhood, I had this habit of thinking and questioning illogical things. When the priest would say that Father, Son and Holy Ghost are Go and then will say that they are one God, I used to think, how it can be true? The priest would recgoni my perplexity and would try to convince me, but my doubts remained.

Then I used to think about the unreasonableness of priest acting as intermediate between us and God and forgive our sins. Why cant we directly approach God for forgiveness? Then this worship of Cross was another thing which was beyond my understanding. Why should w worship an object which we made by our own hands.

These doubts made me to study about Islam. I got books in Portuguese language and started studyin them. From the very beginning I was pleased that Islam talks only about one God and there is no complications like Trinity. Then there is no one to intercede between human and God and then there absolutely no worship of any object, except one true God. So all the three important issues which perplexed me about Christianity were answered so easily in Islam.

Then another thing, which impressed me about Islam, is that Muslims respect all prophets equally an never say any bad things about it. Jews and Christianity have totally different standards about prophets. Some they raise beyond the pedestal of humanity and others they accuse of heinous crime and sins.

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There are many people in Brazil who think like me and are looking for true path, but they find that there is no Muslim missionary organization to guide them and educate them about the true path, whi is Islam. If Muslims would have done their jobs, how many thousands would have been saved from hell fire? Why I became Muslim? JOHN D’CLAY (MUSTAFA AL AMMEN) LIBERIA I was born in a Muslim family, our tribe in Liberia is 100 % Muslim. But my parents put me into a

Christian Missionary School and stayed with them till graduation. This is a ploy to mold young Muslim minds into Christianity, so they never learn about Islam and seldom come back to the religio of their parents. When I came back to my tribe after graduation,. I found them being persecuted and attacked just because they were Muslims. So much so that I had to hide my Tribe’s name just to save my life. This got me thinking as to why these people are afraid of Islam and want to eradicate it. I used to watch my parents preying in secret as open prayers might mean death. This opened my eyes to the stories of Christian Tolerance. In those days I got hold of one book Christian Muslim Dialog, published by African Muslim society.

This book opened my eyes and could see the weakness of Christians in defending Trinity and Divini of Jesus Christ. Then I took up the study of Quran and found that it is the real truth. I started my journey back to my original faith and started going to mosque and learn prayer with congregation.

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I found that link of Islamic brotherhood are stronger than any other ties one could think. So I decide to become Muslim and chose Mustafa Amin as my new name. (abridged) Why I became Muslim? ABRAHAM (IBRAHIM) CARLSON, SWEDEN

I started my life in an atheist family, for first 25 years of my life, I never recognized that there is a G or has any thing to do with our lives. I knew Muslims as some weird people who wore long shirts an their women wear scarves, I did not know from where they came. Once in High school, I had read some verse from Quran, which made perfect sense and was very beautiful, but at that time, I had no position for God in my life, so I did not give it much attention. Newton’s mechanical model of Universe was more than sufficient for me.

I graduated and took photography as my career, I earned lot of money and moved into my own apartment. Once when I was taking a documentary in a market place, a Muslim man approached me and told me to not take photograph of his family. This puzzled me once again about the nature of these Muslims.

In those days, I came in contact with Swedish Muslim society and got hold of English translation by ABDULLAH YOUSUF ALI. I read the translation with lot of interest and this time, I was stunned t learn that there is indeed a God in this Universe and that every thing is regulated by Him. Now whe look thru the photographic lens, the nature seemed different to me, as if a Current was flowing thru each item.

In those days Windows 95 was just released and there was Internet explosion. I got connected to Internet, and was surfing Islamic sites. I soon contacted a newly converted Muslim lady and soon w started exchanging e-mails on God and His attributes mentioned in Quran.

She was very patient with me and used to answer many of my stupid questions with lots of patience.

Slowly and surely, the message reached my heart and I got convinced about the truth of Islam and Quran.

I recognized that I am not a robot, but a responsible being who will be questioned for his actions. Th sense of responsibility changed my attitude towards life. I went to Islamic Mosque in Sweden and saw with my eyes, hundreds of people preying together. They welcomed me into the mosque and gave me many books on Islam to study.

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On Internet I read the story of a newly converted women to Islam and her experiences. This was the decisive moment of my life and I decided to become a Muslim. Accordingly I drove my car to Mosque and accepted Islam after noon prayers (Abriged). Why I became Muslim? ISRAEL (ISMAIL), SAO PALO, BRAZIL

Israel was a catholic Bishop in Sao Paulo and now he is a Muslim missionary. Here he explains strange events that pulled him from one denouncing Islam to one propagating it. God’s ways a really strange.

I was busy in my usual Church activities, when one of my whom I loved much, came and said to me “my son has become a Muslim, could you argue with him and bring him back to Christianity, I have tried my best, but I cannot do it”.

I assured the man, that I will handle it in my way. Since the boy respected me and we liked each oth I thought the best way was to be with him and watch his activities and circles in which he moves.

I was with him for most of next few days, he took me to Muslim gatherings and their lectures in Sao Paulo. Initially they did not appeal to me, but slowly I became interested in them, they were so frank and so reasonable and so different from the way, we use language in our Church.

The boy gave me some books in Portuguese language, that dealt mainly with comparison between Islam, Judaism and Christianity. They were very well written and once I took them into my hand, I could not put them down until I have finished them completely. Sometime it took me whole night to stay awake. When I had finished the book, I realized that Islam is the true religion and I should not wait any longer, and I declared my faith.

My Church colleagues were astonished, they initially though that I have lost my mind, but when they realized that I had really become Muslim, they cut all ties with me, stopped my Church pay and put every effort to turn me back. My mother and other relatives, broke their ties and I was desperate to find any job to live. I went to Islamic center in Sao Paulo, who welcomed me and allowed me to work in the center. My present salary is much less than what Iw as getting in Church, but I am happy and contended.

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I now see the difference in the way we teach in Church and the way we do it in Islam. What I used to preach in Church about baseless stories and tales, my heart was not satisfied with that. In Islam we speak plainly and do not make false promise to any one, the way it is done in Catholic Church. Why I became Muslim? DOCTOR GRAINIAH, FRANCE

I was used to traveling by sea, and large part of my life was spent on traveling between seas and ope skies. During one of these travels, I got a copy of French Translation of Quran by Moseo Savory. O particular verse of Quran caught my attention, it was referring to sea travels and therefore was most appropriate for my present situation, it stated:

“Or (the unbelievers state) is like the depth of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with billow, topped by Billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depth of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches out his hand, he can hardly see it! For any to whom God does not give light, there is no ligh (24:40)

I read the translation many times, the exactness and aptitudes of similes, indicated that writer must have been very experiences in sea travels. How else can he describe the condition at open sea so apt I think that not many sea goers can express the dangers of sea is no few and so moving way.

I mentioned this to my friends that writer of Quran must be a very experienced man in sea travels, bu when I came to know that Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) had never traveled by sea, this opened my eyes. And I realized that only way he could have got this information must be from God Almighty, creator of this universe. That was the reason why I decided to became Muslim and leave France and settle in this small Egyptian village to live a simple life pleasing to my Creator (abridged) Why I became Muslim? TWO AMERICAN SCHOLARS (NAME WITHHELD), USA

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We met these two American Students at Al AZHAR University in Cairo. They told their journ to Islam in following words.

When Columbus discovered America, he was using maps made by Muslim navigators. But when Europeans entered Americas, they massacred the local population there and claimed the land for them Later when they needed manpower for agriculture and industry, they imported black people from Africa.

Most of Black people who came to America were Muslims, these white people changed their names and changed their religion. It is now that many black people have discovered this and are going back to their roots. However there is a tint of black racism in their manners, which does not matches well with Islam, which is free from all sorts of racism.

As for us, we became interested in Islam, when we head Malcolm-X speeches and when we saw he being assassinated in broad day light. We studied Islam and found solutions to questions which wer perplexing our minds. Then Islam promotes every good virtues and restricts every thing that is harm to the society.

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We decided to come to Egypt and get proper Islamic education in the oldest University on this earth. We are taking classes in Islamic Jurisprudence and wish to progress to higher courses. (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? VOWEL WOOLER WILSON , DENMARK

V. W. Wilson was Denmark’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia when he announced his conversion Islam. A well learned and well educated career diplomat’s conversion to Islam set the world media buzzing. Here he gives his reasons of conversion to an Islamic journal during interview I was gathering information about Islam for a long time, My father had translated many Islamic teachings into Danish language and they helped me much.

In 1963, when I was young, I visited many countries in the Middle East like Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, and Far east countries. I met many Muslims during these days and came to know many thing about Islam which I did not know. Slowly and Slowly, it became clear to me that Islam is indeed a true religion and is the only one acceptable to Allah. I declared my faith to Islam in 1967, and serve in many Muslim countries as Diplomat. I was posted in Riyadh as Danish Ambassador in 1987.

What attracted me most towards Islam was the love and brotherhood between Muslims. Then it is fr from Contradictions. It is not like Judaism and Christianity where each contradicts the other in many things.

I must say that principles of Islam and its teachings have not changed, but the attitude and commitme of many Muslims have changed, that is why we see that at many times, Muslims do not present a tru picture of Islam.

I think Islam has very bright future in Islam. When Europeans will live and interact with more and more Muslims, they would come to know about the truth of Islam and would be attracted to it, as it i happening these days.

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Both Islam and Christianity give Human Rights to their followers. But in Christianity they were firs regulated by Church and these days by Secular Governments. In Islam these rights are given by Sha and were available irrespective of the government. (abridged) Why I became Muslim? DAVID (AMIR ALI DAUD), UK

I was born a Christian, but it was my Grandfather, a Brahmin Hindu, who accepted Christianity duri the time when British were ruling India. I was very much interested in religion and I also loved to read. Christianity was my favorite subject.

But the more I studied about Christianity, I used to get lot of Questions. How come Unity in Trinity and Trinity in Unity, this was beyond me. The more I studied, the more complicated it used to become. I learned to many lectures on Christianity by Christian preachers of world renowned, but th could not satisfy my doubts.

On one side we used to hear about Love, Love and more Love and on the other hand I saw the action of these European nations in Asia, and Africa. Is that what Love really means, I used to think.

Another question which used to bother me was, what is the purpose of human’s creation. I read thousands of pages, and listened to hundred of lectures, but despite burning many of midnight oils, th answer was beyond my reach.

I did not know either Arabic or Urdu so as to read books of Islam. But I got hold of English translation of Quran and started reading it. From the very beginning, I started to get answers of my doubts. When God created Adam, He asked all angles to bow down to him. Therefore God loved Adam more than angels and that He loved peop bow down. So the best worship for any one is so bow down before God.

Studying Quran gave me answer to my problems of Trinity, it became clear to me that Jewish and Christian books have been corrupted over the ages and are not the same when they were revealed for the first time.

After Quran I read many more books on Islam, until I got convinced that Islam is the only true religi and no other religion can stand in front of it logically or based on reason.

I talked to many priests about Islam and Christianity and told them why don’t they declare to the wo that Islam is the only true religion. They used to get very angry, but they lacked any logic to answer my questions. When I read about the life history of Prophet and his companions, the remaining doubts about Islam vanished and I thought what a wasteful person will be I, if I did not join this faith.

The way it happened was beyond my imaginations. My daughter used to go to a Christian Scholl, which had a period of religious study. One day the teacher asked all Christian students to go to Church, my daughter remained seated, when the teacher asked, why are you not going to Church, my daughter replied I am a Muslim!!!

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The teacher informed us about this incident and I was amazed to learn it. That was the signal for me and soon myself, my wife and our daughter all became Muslim at the same time. I thank Allah for H Mercy and Grace on us (abridged) Why I became Muslim? DAVID (DAUD), UK. I was born in West Indies and was Christian. Many missionaries used to visit our country and

encourage people to accept Christianity. They used to behave very properly with us, with the result that we wished to go to England and see the lands of these good people. It so happened that when I grew up, I found a job offer in England. I had many friends who were working there and I was very excited to come and work in this wonderful land. I settled in Wimbledon, South Field and lived in a flat with my friends.

I was very much interested in religion, so I found that a Church was very near to my residence and I went there on the First Sunday. They welcomed me, but some how I felt that their greetings lacked t warmth which I used to see in West Indies.

When I went to the same Church on next Sunday, after the end of service, the priest told me, Mr. Bla Church is at another place. I thought that he is giving additional information to me since I am new in this locality. I thanked him and said that this Church is nearest to my place and suits me well. Well, on the third Sunday, the priest and some other persons told me plainly that I as a black was not welcome in this Whites Only Church. I could only say, Thank You Sir, and I came out of that Churc This experience disheartened me and I stopped going to any Church.

One day, I was just window shopping, when one person said to me, you seem to be from West Indies you must be Muslim, do read Quran regularly. He was gone before I could say, No, I am a Christian

I thought of going to a mosque and ask for Quran. But when I told this to my friends, they told me, They Will Kill you. Muslims are very violent people. Finally they gave me address of the nearest Mosque and I decided to visit them on a Friday. I told my friends, to watch for me and if I do not come back by 6 PM, they should inform the police.

I was full of apprehension when I entered that mosque, I saw that some people were taking meals jointly on floor at one place. They welcomed me and asked me to join with them. I washed my han and joined them, but I was watchful if the meal was not poisoned!! After the meal, they asked my purpose of visit and when I told them, they provided all information about Islam. I got so convinced that same day I accepted Islam before leaving the mosque.

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Later I took time off to learn and pronounce Quran properly and learn other teachings of Islam. I go married to a Muslim lady and now I am leading a very happy and contended life. (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? MALCHOLM-X (MALIK SHAHBAZ), MICHIGAN, USA

The name of MALCHOLM-X is well known as the Black American, who accepted Islam and found a rival faction to the Nation of Islam of Elijah Mohammad. He was born in 1925 in the Mauston City of Michigan. His father was a devout Christian and lived the life of a true Christian. But White racist in USA in those days would not leave him alone. He was persecute and his house was looted and burned down. He was ultimately killed by the White Supremacis and Malcolm became orphan in his early childhood. We pick up the story when he was of scho going age.

Even though I was amongst the top three students in my class, my teachers were always discouragin me. When I told that I wanted to be a lawyer, they told me, how could you be a lawyer, why don’t y learn carpentry, so you could survive.

When I was 15 years old, I shifted to Boston where my sister was living. The society there was exactly opposite to what I saw in Michigan. I became a waiter in a night club, but gave up that job a started boot polish in front of a night club. Thus I was able to see the American Culture from very near. I found that it was immersed in Alcohol, Gambling, drugs and all sorts of crimes.

I could not keep my self away and was soon immersed in the criminal activities. During those days, believed that ends justified the means. I was arrested soon and was sent to prison for ten years for a crime which I did not commit. I found that American Jails are the real training grounds for all sorts crimes. Once you are in there, it is very difficult that you will veer be away from criminal life. Fortunately for me, some one gave me literature about Nation of Islam movement, before that I had not even heard the name of Islam. I studied the literature as well as books about Islam and the life o prophet Mohammad (PBUH). I accepted Islam in Jail itself and took the Islamic name of MALIK SHAHBAZ.

But soon I found out that Nation of Islam movement was based of Black Racism, and that was not th Islam which I had studied in prison. I met one Diplomat of Saudi Arabian Embassy, who supplied me with true literature and guidance about Islam.

I was fortunate enough to be invited for Hajj as a guest of Saudi Government and experienced with m own eyes the greatest international gathering on the plains of Arafat. I visited Makkah and Medina and knew about the real Islam, the one which is free from any kind of racism.

I came back and started to spread the true teachings of Islam to my fellow Nation of Islam brothers a others in USA. We had to break away from Elijah Mohammad’s group and started a real Islam movement. Despite opposition from Elijah’s group, out movement became stronger with each passi day. Mohammad Ali the Boxing Champion was also the one who accepted Islam at my hands.

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Editor’s Note: Malcolm-X was assassinated by a racist during a public meeting on 21st Feb. 1965. H killer is still not known. But his innocent blood was not wasted, very soon Elijah’s racial Movement became weak and today followers of true Islam in USA number around 4.5 Millions. Mike Tyson, ex Boxing Champion was the recent addition to this group, who also took Islamic name of MALIK SHAHBAZ like Malcolm-X. Why I became Muslim? EDWIN M. (ABDUL LATEEF) ARSIO, PHILLIPINES.

I got the Chartered Accountant degree from Manila University and was selected to serve in Saudi Arabia. The position was inferior to my qualifications but the money was more than I could get in m country. The reaction of my parents were mixed on the eve of my departure to Saudi Arabia, a

conservative Muslim country.

I was posted in Riyadh HO of Irish Mestok company that runs dairy farms in the Kingdom. I was to my duties and introduced to my colleagues many of whom were from my country and some from oth countries also. I had to share my office with a Pakistani Accountant who was quite aged and had a f beard.

After some initial hesitancy, we became quite talkative and discussed many topic amongst them Isla and Christianity. One day I had a severe headache, my friend read some verses and blew on my hea and I felt better. I asked him to give me English translation of these verses.

My Pakistani friend gave me some books on Islam, like Islam in Focus, Towards Understanding Isla Myth of the Cross etc. After reading these books, I thought that I must make thorough study of Islam and Christianity. I asked my friend to give me English Translation of Quran and what they read in prayers. When I read the Quran, I found its teachings very reasonable and I was much impressed by them. I tried to emulate my Muslim friends in prayer. I used to prey in an empty room, so that my fellow Pilipino Worker would not know about it. But one day, one Pilipino saw me preying and he informe all other Pilipino that I had become Muslim. When things came to that level, I consulted my Pakistani friend and we decided that it is best, if I declare my faith officially, so that I will not be persecuted. We went to the office of Sheikh Bin BAAZ, head of Saudi Religious organization and I declared my faith in front of him.

I wrote to my parents explaining to them good points of Islam. They did not respond well, when I went on vacation, my father told me, that if you are able to convince our local priest, we will become Muslim. I went to the priest and I gave him English translation of Quran and took time from him to come next week. But when we reached he was not there. My vacation time was over, but the priest did not find time to argue with me.

I started my missionary activity in Philippine with the help of some friends, with the grace of Allah this is now some what established. I married a Christian girl and she also accepted Islam after seeing its benefits. I was in Kuwait the day Iraq invaded it. I had gone there to open the new branch of my company there. I had to reach Amman by road which took almost 26 days. I think my practice of fasting and Hajj helped me survive that ordeal. Now I am a senior member of that MNC and my employers are happy with my work. Some times I think back on the day, I was taking my first flight to Riyadh, Allah was preparing for best provisions for me on this earth and INLSHALLAH in the hereafter too (Abridged). 232 Why I became Muslim? BENJAMIN (BASHIR) LARATE, GHANA

I praise Allah that He guided me to the true path of Islam after I was in search of truth for many year I am a Plant Engineer and in 1987 I accepted Islam. I was born a Christian, but it puzzled me, that to run any Organization, we only need one head, how come this whole Universe is running so smoothly with three heads? Then I studied Buddhism, but I decided that to renounce world and live in jungles and caves cannot be the cure for humanity. Then started studying Hinduism to know the position of self and humans in it, but I soon gave up after so much confusing theories.

It was at that time that my Brother (who had become Muslim many years back) ‘ wife gave me some books on Islam to study. There was a book by Ahmed Deedat on “Is Bible God’s Word?”. I got into sort of mental turmoil after reading that book. Upon then my Sister in law introduced me to other Muslims, who told and explained to me about Islam. I got convinced about the truth of Islam and joined the faith in 1987. I think it is a very big achievement for any human to know his Creator. Islam showed me the path to my creator.

Then I found Islamic prayer as very forceful means to establish direct contact between man and his Creator. It is a thing about which should really feel proud of. No other religion has such gatherings, which five times a day removes all distinctions between men and brings them in one row, praying to their common Creator. When I accepted Islam, my friend told me “You want top join HOUZZ” In Ghana most Muslims belong to this tribe. I explained to them that Islam is a universal religion for mankind and it is not linked to any ethnic or racial group.

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I would request all my Muslim brethren to remove all these distinction of race and color which have got into them. Muslims should be united and preach their common sense religion to those who are s uneducated about it (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? ABAN LEN SPAN (MOHD. YOUSUF), UK

I knew nothing about Islam. I was brought up in a society that was hostile to Islam. Before I knew about Islam, I was not happy with the way I was living. The life seemed to have no purpose, I knew that free mixing of sexes and Modern Fashion are not allowed by my ancient religion, but I was powerless to do any thing about it.

When I used to see Muslims praying together, their women properly covering their bodies, the way they helped each other, even though they had no relations, all these things prompted me to enter into their faith.

Therefore I decided to study about Islam. I read many books, I attended their talk shows and lecture and after convincing myself of the truth, I decided to become Muslim.

Initially I faced a lot of resistance from my family, I was ex-communicated, I was turned out from m

home. But these things helped me, because I was drawn closer and closer towards Muslims and spen my time in studying more and more about Islam.

But slowly their attitude changed and I also gave them books about Islam and was ready to answer a query they had about Islam.

People in Europe are aware that Islam is growing there, without any great missionary activities on th part of Muslims. More and more people want to know about Islam and they ask many questions abo Islam. Women come to us and want a solution for their domestic problems. They do not get any directions from Christianity for these problems. When they find out Islamic teachings on these issue they are drawn towards it.

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Europe is a very beautiful and fertile land. The people are reasonable and listen to reason. What the need is proper missionaries who can present Islam to them in a reasonable and logical way. (abridge Why I became Muslim? TRAVALIS (ADEEB EL DEEN),USA

“ I was amazed to see that even though Christianity did ban Gambling and Sex outside Marriage, Christians have made them lawful. Even my parents never stopped me, on the othe hand, these things are prohibited in Islam also and there is no dearth of Muslims living to these I was borne in Indianapolis, My mother belonged to Methodist Church and used to take us regularly the Church. My father had no religious bent and seldom went there. As a child I never understood why we went to Church…by the time I was in 5th Grade, I attended Church only on Christmas and Easter and on Mother’s Day. I liked Christmas most, because on that day we got lots of presents. We were told that Santa brings those presents. It was a disappointment when I was told that Santa does not exist. I learned about Islam when I was eleven years old. I knew Islam thru well known Muslims like Mohammad Ali and A.K. Jabbar, the well known Basketball player.

I noticed the feeling of hate between black and whites. Jesus was always portrayed as a white man. Churches also, there was an unknown barrier between blacks and whites. How could I as a black lov a white God?

This drove me towards racism and later to the criminal world. I was around 15 when I first encountered a Muslim who was black like me. He told me many things about Islam which I did not know. In our TV and media Muslims were referred to as terrorist and fanatics, whereas most Muslim I met, were very reasonable and polite. I could feel that White Christians and White Jews were more racial than White and Black Muslims.

So I started learning about Islam. I bought English translation of Quran from local book store, and w surprised to see that it presented Jesus as a Great Prophet of God.

I had learned about the truth of Islam, but was hesitating to accept it as to how it would affect my mother. I decided to show her Islamic literature and know about Islam on Internet…..Finally I got in touch with the local Islamic center, which was run by a New Muslim like me, who had accepted Isla 20 years back. We discussed a lot and finally I decided to become a Muslim. My parents knew about my journey and my plans. My mother accepted my decision happily. So in the end I feel myself fortunate that instead of wandering in doubts and a purposeless life, Allah has guided me to a life that has a purpose (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? NEWS EDITOR WASHINGTON POST, (NAME WITHHELD) TEXAS, USA I was born in Greg Naoks, Forth Worth , Texas in a Protestant Christian family. Church was the source of my learning of morals and spirituality. Our Church was broadminded, but soon I realized that whatever we learned on Sunday had really no relevance in other six days of the week.

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I initially enrolled in Design and Architecture department of University of Virginia. They had many side courses on history and foreign languages. I was always interested in history, so I joined in these courses in my spare time….slowly I got so much interested in history of Middle East that It overshadowed my main course of D&A. I started learning Arabic language and was focused on the history of Arab world that stretched from Arabia to North Africa. After graduation, I started writing in Washington Post on Arabia matters.

The professors who taught these courses, encouraged me to study books on Islam. Initially it was limited to the syllabus of curriculum, but soon my interest in Islam prompted me to expand my field. During these studies , truth of Islam dawned on me and in 1989 I decided to become a Muslim.

I have been asked many times, what prompted me to become a Muslim, usually my response is some what mechanical to list out Islam’s beauty and its good ness. The fact is there are many things in Islam which attracts one towards it.

In my case it was the Islamic concept of Day of Judgment which touched the strings of my soul. Every human, irrespective of whether he is man or woman, rich or poor, has to give account of his o her deed in front of an Merciful and Just authority. This mixture of Justice and Mercy in my view is the most precious thing of this Universe. Then even though moral values are mostly similar between Islam and Christianity, there are no confusing issues like Trinity in Islam.

Then every Muslim approaches to God directly without any intermediate authority. Then the fact th Quran is free from any corruptions and one reads it in the same language and in the same form as it was revealed to Prophet is athing which cannot be said about Christianity.

The fact is only after becoming Muslim, I knew the importance of faith and the position it holds in a human’s life on this earth …(Abridged)

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Why I became Muslim? OWING (MOHAMMAD RAUF) BROWN, CANADA

Owing was a pop singer of Canada who used to conduct music shows with Jimmy Jackson, the brother of Michel Jackson. When Jimmy Jackson accepted Islam., Owing came to know abou Islam for the first time. He read many books which Jimmy had brought from Jeddah. We pic up the story from here. These books changed my whole life. I saw the amazing change which had come in the life of Jimmy after he became Muslim. Before I used to think Islam as an Extremist and Terrorist religion. But these books gave me a totally different picture of Islam.

I wanted to know more about Islam, I went to New York with my mother and lived in a place which had a Mosque near by. The sound of ADHAN which was delivered five times every day, used to dra me as a magnet draws iron towards it. I traveled to Egypt and later Saudi Arabia and declared to accept Islam after convincing myself that is the true path for mankind. Why I became Muslim? GILES (ANDULLAH) GILBERT, FRANCE

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This story was told by Dr. HAMEEDULLAH, the well known Islamic Scholar, based in Paris t an Islamic Journal.

During my stay in Paris, I came to know about a French young man, who wall well educated and ha music as his habit. Once he listened to a Muslim QARI reciting Quran and it so impressed him, that took that as his new hobby. He would request renounced Muslim QARIS to read Quran and would marvel at the beauty and musical content in Quran. When he was told that Quran is not poetry but prose, then he was astonished. According to him the poetry of every country could be molded into music and can be sung. But prose does not has that criterion. How come Quran is exempt from that?

To answer that question, he started to learn Arabic and in short time was able to read Quran with eas He was always busy in reciting Quran in beautiful voice. Once when I met him, he told me that he h accepted Islam and taken the Muslim name of Abdullah. That was twenty years ago, I met him once in Istanbul, where he told me that he has written a monograph on this special musical element of Quran.

There is an interesting incident in this regard, once he came to my room in Istanbul and he was very much agitated. He told me, I am certain that our ancestors have lost some parts of Quran, otherwise can not be true. When I asked the reason, he told me that Surah 110 of Quran, people recite it in a w which is against musical principles. When I saw the part in question, I told him that it can be recited

this way and that way also. The stops can be shifted from one place to another. He felt very much relived and became happy.

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Abdullah Gilbert loved Turkey and Turks, he was a good man. I felt sorry when he dies a dew years back. Why I became Muslim? DR. ROGER JAROODI, FRANCE

Dr. JAROODI was given King Faisal Award for services to Islam. He was an atheist earlier an then came closer to Islam and then served Islam with such a dedication, that it won for him th highest recognition in Muslim world. Here he explains his views in an interview conducted in French language.

I was born in 1913, by the time I was 20 years old, my country was still not out of the Economic Recession that had gripped USA and other countries from 1929. More than 700 Million people were out of Job in Industrial world, their was shortage of milk and other food items and food riots were se in many places.

1933 was the year when Hitler rose to power in Germany and Mussolini with his Fascism in Italy an Later Gen. Franco in Spain. I became a member of French Communist party. Communist in those days were very much opposed to Nazism and against the Capitalist Economy and also totally against any religious teachings. I had joined Marxism not as a philosophy, but as an economic theory to solve the problems of mankind. For many years I tried to reconcile Christianity with Marxism, but I was not successful. When France surrendered to Germany in 1940, I took part in underground resistance movement and was even jailed for 23 months.

After the end of WW-2 and after seeing the incidents of Budapest and Prague, I saw a different pictu of Communism, than what was viewed in 1917 and which I had joined in 1933.

From 1968, the whole western world took a separate philosophy that progress only means generation of more products and economic well being is the real goal of mankind. It was in those days that religion was the laughing stock in the scientific circle and every kind of insults were being hurled at religion.

I found that Christianity has given in to this onslaught and was not able to defend itself and its belief That was the duplicity of Christianity since the First Counsel on Nicea.

It was then that I became interested in Islam and its ideology. I realized that Islam has maintained purity of its teachings since its inception and has never compromised with the situations. It was free from all absurdities and contradictions that we see in Christianity..

My prolonged researches convinced me about the truth of Islam and I decided to accept it. Then I go engaged in propagating the Islamic teachings to other people of my country. (abridged).

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Why I became Muslim? HILMI (MOHAMMAD) FAHMI ABDOUH, EGYPT I was born in 1960 in KOUM Village of Egypt. Our parents belonged to Coptic Christian Church since generation. We had a Church in our village, but neither me nor my parents visited it. I was educated in a Missionary School, where we were told the formula In the Name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Village priest used to explain to un Trinity by giving examples of Fire and Sun. He would say Fire consist of Flames, Light and Heat, these three become one in fire. In the same way look at Sun, it consists of Sun’s body, rays and heat and these all are one. In the same way Father, Son and Holy Spirit though separate make one God.

I used to ask these priests, but the fire also has smoke and ash, what about them? They would look at me in amazement and would not answer me anything. Then I saw them worshipping cross at every important event of their life. I could never understand this practice. How was it separate from idol worship?

We also had Muslim students in my class, there views and practices were totally different from ours. One day I learned Surah IKHLAS Ch. 112 of Quran. This impressed me most. God is absolute unity He does not has a Son or Father and He alone is to be worshipped. It was so logical and clear.

After completing my primary education, I went for secondary education in a school situated 13 Km from our village which had a hostel for students. I stayed in Hostel and had lots of discussions with Muslim students about Islam. I also used to discuss with Christian students about Christianity and Gospel. I realized that these Gospels are not complete and many actions and teachings of Jesus have been lef out. There are many practices of Jesus, which present day church does not follow. There are seven prayers at fixed times , I asked from priests as to who fixed them and what is difference between one who does them and who does not? The priests could not answer that.

In Islam, it is clear than one who prays and one who does not prey are not in same category. They ha separate places in the eyes of God. These and other facts opened my heart for Islam and I became Muslim in 1977, when Iw as 17 years old.

The news reached to my family and they brought me back from hostel to live with them, so they can keep a close watch on me. I was presented to Bishop of my area, I did not greet him the way Christians do, but just shook hand with him, all present there gave me suspicious look.

Bishop asked me, What money or other things you required that you left your religion. I told that I d not need any money to become Muslim. It was my free choice. They told me that I would only live with Christian Students and not with any Muslim student. I continued my Islamic prayers, in secret, till I completed my education in 1981 and joined Egyptian Armed forces. My attachment to Islam was not hidden with my parents. One day my father told me that if I was a

girl and was raped, that was acceptable to them than my conversion to Islam. I was astounded by the hate they have towards Islam.

I was married to my cousin in 1984 and had two children by her. I was asked to get them Baptized b I did not do it. I asked the priest, if any one non Baptized will not go to heaven, then what you say about Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph? None of them were Baptized in your formula!! They cou not answer me. So in 1990, I went to Islamic Center in my village and officially declared my faith. My wife refused live with me, but I got custody of children thru court and married a Muslim lady and now living a happy life (Abridged) Why I became Muslim? SUJEET (NOOR UDDIN) CHAKERBORTHY, INDIA

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I was born in a Hindu Brahmin family of Calcutta in West Bengal. I was the best student in my English Medium School. I was also interested in religion and since Brahmin are the highest caste in Hinduism, and protectors of religion, it was also natural.

I was told by my elders that Muslims are our greatest enemies and I should do every thing in my pow to harm them. I was always thinking as to how to harm Muslims and Islam. I decided that first I should know about Islam, only then I can devise a scheme to harm it. So I started reading English translation of Quran and spent much of my spare time and countless nights in its study.

It is said that company does has its effect. When people get influenced by filthy and dirty books, ho come when one is spending so much time with Quran would not have any effect. Slowly and slowly started liking Quran and its way of argument. It was one day in spring and I opened Quran for studying, the topic was Abraham ‘s preaching to his father and his people about one ness of God. It is mentioned in Quran Ch.6 Verse 74-81 “Behold Abraham said to his father ADHAR: Do you take idols as gods, surely you and your people are in manifest error…” and goes on to reject the worship of stars, moon and sun. This was a direct attack Hinduism, but it left me thinking.

I thought that we Hindus worship countless idols without much. We worship what our own hands make and then we drown and demolish our own hand made items. How illogical is this? Finally I s to myself what Abraham has told to his father “For me, I have set my face firmly and truly, towards Him, who created heavens and earth, and never shall I give partners to God” Verse 79.

I had decided to become Islam, but it was not easy under the circumstances. I had to leave my paren my family, my school and even the city of my birth to flee from the persecution. I fled to Delhi and declared my faith in the JAMA MASJID of Delhi on 4th May 1982. And started living in Muslim are with Muslim friends.

I went back to Calcutta, to appear in the final exam. But my family got me arrested and even declare me mad and I was sent to a mental hospital. They gave me lots and lots of torture, but I adhered to Islam and no amount of abuse or torture would turn me back.

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Local Muslims of Calcutta watched all this, but they were too weak and helpless to fight all this. On I was discharged from mental hospital, I decide to go to Islamic seminary at DEOBAND and learn Islam properly and then spread its message to others, who are in need like me (Abridged). Why I became Muslim? LEE COOPER, UK

I was posted to Morocco to service computers installed there by our company. Why I was selected f that job, because I did not know French or Arabic, I cannot say, except that it was God’s plan to pav the way for me. It was my habit to move around the city and look at the local culture as much as possible. During these excursions, I met many people and learned about the local habits. I visited many historical places including beautiful and magnificent mosques there. I used to watch with interest Islamic programs on Moroccan TV.

I was perplexed that why Muslims go for prayers five times every day and that what they mean when they say Allah Akbar? Before I could find the answer, I came back to England.

In 1993, I joined evening classes in Southampton University, one of the subject was Islamic History. also took Arabic language as a subject. During these classes I got answer to my questions, but I am sorry that I could not complete my courses and had to leave it in the middle. In 1994, I got a job in Kuwait. I continued my habit of walking around the city and watching local culture. I watched Islamic programs on Kuwait TV and also visited offices of Islamic Guidance Centre (IPC) in Kuwait. I sent my first letter to IPC and wanted them to have discussion with me.

At that time, I did not believe in God or Jesus, so I asked them to prove that God does exist. In answ to that they sent me Quran and Modern Science written by Dr. Maurice Buccaile. This book opened my eyes, that some one could write such things 1400 years back. I was of the opinion that this Universe was created as the result of Big Bang , but the question, who caused the Big Bang was nev answered by any one. So deep down in my heart I started believing in existence of God.

Now who was that God? Was it Jesus, from my childhood I could never believe that Jesus could be God. The following verse of Matthew 19: 16-17 helped me a lot “Why you call me good, there is on one good, who is God”. I used to have discussion with IPC three nights a week, during which they used to educate me about Islam and answer my doubts. They never forced me or asked me to accept Islam, because they said that the choice should be from me by my own free will. So in 1996, almost 5 years after I first came in contact with Islam and Muslims I decided to accept Islam and that I ddi on 29th Ramadan 1416 H in front of IPC officials and by Grace of Allah, I am a Muslim now (abridged). Why I became Muslim?

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Moshe

I am Jewish and converting to Islam, not because Judaism is similar to Judaism but because Islam the Rational choice. I wanted to believe the Torah is true and like most Jews i tried to block out reali thinking if i ignore the Quranic revelation it would go away and the fact the Quran mentions facts li the expansion of the universe occurs, the universe was formed with a big bang and the planets by contraction of early gases.

I pretended it didn’t matter that my religion was, to be honest little more than a collage of fragments cooked up false albeit well meaning ideas, Adam you objectively look at Judaism and Islam, not a Jew but as am intellectual, because Islam is the Rational and intellectual choice. I still hold prejudic that Muslims are uncultured compared to sophisticated Jews and that it would be great to live in Isra But Islam is the truth, Ha Emet.

The reason most From or orthodox Jews don’t become Muslim is because of ignorance, prejudice a an active desire to disbelieve in Islam, if it wasn’t for the scientific proof in the Quran and hadith would have quite happily dismissed it as a pale imitation of Judaism, i gain a great satisfacti thinking i am from HaShems 1 chosen nation and that i am better than the rest of the world a especially the Ishmaelite but the truth is Our God set up his final prophet as an Arab. now it took m long time to accept that God gave the final prophet hood to an Ishamelite but as i am objective i had swallow my pride and accept it.

I miss Judaism sooooo much, wearing my Tzit Tzit and my Yarmulka, spending countless ho studying the amazing and fascinating parables, stories and teachings of the Talmud, maimonides, B haturim, Kli yaakov, Rashi and the other insightfull torah commentators, but on outside evaluatio know that although i truly loved these books there foundation was not on Gods true word. Je everywhere need an objective re-evaluation of the Tanakh and the Quran forgeting racism a prejudice and i think the results will be pleasing.

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Why I became Muslim? Rabbi Morocco: Abdul Haqq Al-Islami

God, with His wisdom in what He destines and plans, has shown to me since 16 years the truth that sane person would doubt, the only ones doubting it are those associated with falsehood, which is: believe in our lord and Prophet Muhammad pbuh- and to follow him with regards to all of the la And it was of His wisdom that he destined that I would hide it and keep it and not announce it a show it until God guided me and inspired me: that this amount is not sufficient and it would not sa me, rather what is incumbent on me is: to announce His oneness, and to utter my glorifying of H and exalting Him, and to announce (my) belief in His Messenger Muhammad pbuh-.

So I hurried to that which would save me from the painful punishment, that which would get me clo to the gardens of delight. Thus announcing the words of monotheism and uttering my glorifying a exalting I said: I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship save Allah alone with no partn and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

Then, thanks to God, all of my family and children have become Muslims because of me and all those who were close to me whom God destined to be pleased. All of that is but a Mercy from G that has reached us, and a blessing that is general and conclusive, and a kindness that led his serva to His path of guidance, we could not truly have been led aright if Allah had not guided us to th Praise is to His, so is the creation and orders, in His hand is the good and bad, the beneficial and harmful, He sends who He will astray and guides whom He will, He will not be questioned as to t which He does, but they will be questioned.

And when God, the Most High, destined that which he bestowed on me of Islam, and to enter religion of the best of His creation pbuh-, some of the students in the city of Sabta (a coastal city northern Morocco, named for the obligation of keeping the Sabbath (Arabic: Sabt) by the Jews) m God honour them and protect her-, suggested that I write a treatise showing the situation of the Jew may Allah curse them- with regards to misguidance and awful disbelief, and the horrible ascribing partners), and that which they believe in which are pure lies: to deny the prophet-hood of our lord a master Muhammad pbuh-, and it will be, God willing, an effacer of their creed, a quencher of th principles.

I have sought assistance from God, the Most High none is worthy of worship but He, with regards that which (they) suggested to me. I am also seeking to get closer to God, the most High, using brig proofs and sharp judgments that proves the corruption of their brains, and announces how daring th are, and how rude they are in what they say. I have limited myself to that which is mentioned in th books, of which they cannot deny, nor dispute in any way, so that it would be overcoming to them, a greater in being a proof against them, and that which is more relevant in use as a proof.

I have made the Hebrew texts from the Torah “ according to them “ or from other books of theirs a authorships written in red, and the explanation is in black ink according the exegesis of their decre scholars. I seek refuge in God for reporting their disbelief and the ugliness of their thoughts. I ha made it short and simple without prolonging. I named it my book “ Al-Husam Al-mamdood fee A rad Ala Al-Yahood. 244 Why I became Muslim? Reform Jew convert to Islam I was raised in a reformed home.

I attended Hebrew school for 4 years. It was tough. Four days a week after school then the final y before bar mitzvah, on Sundays as well, in order to learn the Haftorah [a section of the Torah. For

first three years, Me and my friend Steve would get off the bus and head to Rosen drug store. There would eat chips and read comic books until about 6 PM, then head back to the Hebrew school to ca the bus home. The school did not say anything as my parents kept paying and in the end I made my b mitzvah. That was the extent of religion in my house. We, [my sibs] all went through it basically our grandfather’ sake. He was a sweet grandfather and I am sorry he did not live long enough to h about Islam.

A year before my bar mitzvah, my father remarried. My mother died 3 years before. My stepmoth was catholic, so now I made a killing during the holidays. Seriously though, as a reformed Jew home, (secular for the most part) with a single parent for four years, I was raised with less than stel morals. I compare that to what I now have as a Muslim. Actually, I was no different than my clo friends, who were all Christians. Frankly, I don’t know why, but I did not really seek nor want to ha out with Jewish kids. I spent most of my weekends before my father remarried with my aunts w were quite Jewish, down to the salami and lox sandwiches, and wise potato chips that would smell the whole [indoor seating area] of the drive-in we attended nearly every week. We had quite reputation. But even though they lived in the Jewish section of the city, I still did not really have clo relations with Jewish kids. Maybe this was the divine plan so I would enter Islam easily. God kno best. Actually, I did not enter Islam so easily and I had my share of struggles with my deep rooted lu and desires.

My sister, who is three years older than me [an we are in the baby boomer age group became Musl when she was about 19 years old. She moved to New York City and there met a Muslim and over ti embraced Islam. That was about 27 years ago and she is a very seriously committed Muslima to t day, Al Hamdulillah. She discussed Islam with me whenever I would visit. Finally, they asked me would like to embrace Islam.

This was during a visit to New York. I was in nursing school at the time. I took the Shahada t weekend, which means to declare one’s belief and acceptance of Islam verbally by saying; “Asha ala illaha ill allaah, washadu anna muhammadur wa rasulullah: I bear witness that there is no g worthy of worship except for the One True God Allah [Who is Alone and without any partners] an bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger and slave of Allah.

After that, I returned to my city and the next day, life went on as usual. That was not good. But those days late 70’s] there was little Islamic information and in my situation at school I was not rea looking for any religion. I was so deep into fulfilling my self centered desires that I could not let and let God so to speak. The importance of Islam did not enter my heart nor mind, and nearly 20 ye later in repeating this [embarrassing] story so many times, I finally realized why it took me seve years too actually embrace Islam. I accepted Islam not for the pleasure and sole purpose worshipping Allah. I accepted Islam for the pleasure of my sister and her husband.

I love my sister dearly and I have always trusted her completely. When I saw her devotion to Isla especially after she tried so many other things, I believed what she was telling me, yet, not searchin

struggling or questioning life, I did not feel the need nor understand the importance of Islam in on life. The important point here is that one embraces Islam out of sincere conviction and certainty t Allah is One and Muhammad is the Final Messenger. One should never embrace Islam for any oth reason. And Allah says in His Book [Quran], There is no compulsion in Religion. Indeed the Rig path has become distinct from the false path. Those who disbelief in ˜taghut [anything else worshipp and called upon other than Allah] and believe in Allah [Islamic Monotheism] have grasped the m trustworthy handhold that will never break. Q2:256

Some years later and after some serious foolishness, I found myself rejected by a woman. My se centered, womanizing, arrogant self could not at all handle it and I suffered terribly for two years. retrospect the situation did not call for such punishment, yet, I understand that this mercy is wha needed to turn to Allah and finally embrace what I only uttered several years before. In addicti treatment parlance, this was the beginning of my recovery, and as anyone who works in addiction has an addiction disorder knows, recovery is a slow and at times, painful process. [I work addiction.] Today, I am fully committed to living and dying in Islam.

I am certain of it based on evidences and proofs and not emotional conviction alone. The only thin can say is that anything that could take me out of my world and away from what I loved so much th make what I loved so much the things now hated my me, then it must be only from God, becaus cannot think of anything material that could do that to me. Allah says; “We will show them our sig in the furthest regions [of the earth] and in their own souls, until it becomes clear to them that this the truth. Q41: 53 I have learned my purpose through Islam and it is as Allah says in His Book; “I ha only created jinn’s and men, that they may worship Me. [Q51: 56] It puts things into perspective me. 245 Why I became Muslim? I Had Not Gone Shopping for a New Religion by Michael Wolfe

After twenty-five years a writer in America, I wanted something to soften my cynicism. I w searching for new terms by which to see. The way one is raised establishes certain needs in t department. From a pluralist background, I naturally placed great stress on the matters of racism a freedom. Then, in my early twenties, I had gone to live in Africa for three years. During this tim which was formative for me, I did rubbed shoulders with blacks of many different tribes, with Ara Berbers, and even Europeans, who were Muslims. By and large these people did not share the Weste obsession with race as a social category. In our encounters being oddly coloured rarely mattered.

I was welcomed first and judged on merit later. By contrast, Europeans and Americans, includi many who are free of racist notions, automatically class people racially. Muslims classified people their faith and their actions. I found this transcendent and refreshing. Malcolm X saw his natio salvation in it.

America needs to understand Islam, he wrote, because this is the one religion that erases from society the race problem. I was looking for an escape route, too, from the isolating terms of materialistic culture. I wanted access to a spiritual dimension, but the conventional paths I had kno as a boy were closed. My father had been a Jew; my mother Christian. Because of my mong background, I had a foot in two religious camps. Both faiths were undoubtedly profound. Yet the o that emphasizes a chosen people I found insupportable; while the other, based in a mystery, repel me. A century before, my maternal great-great-grandmother’s name had been set in stained glass at high street Church of Christ in Hamilton, Ohio. By the time I was twenty, this meant nothing to me.

These were the terms my early life provided. The more I thought about it now, the more I returned my experiences in Muslim Africa. After two return trips to Morocco, in 1981 and 1985, I came to f that Africa, the continent, had little to do with the balanced life I found there. It was not, that is continent I was after, nor an institution, either. I was looking for a framework I could live with vocabulary of spiritual concepts applicable to the life I was living now. I did not want to trade in m culture. I wanted access to new meanings. After a mid-Atlantic dinner I went to wash up in bathroom. During my absence a quorum of Hasidim lined up to pray outside the door. By the tim had finished, they were too immersed to notice me. Emerging from the bathroom, I could barely wo the handle. Stepping into the aisle was out of the question. I could only stand with my head thrust in the hallway, staring at the congregation’s backs. Holding palm-size prayer books, they cut impressive figure, tapping the texts on their breastbones as they divined. Little by little the moveme grew erratic, like a mild, bobbing form of rock and roll.

I watched from the bathroom door until they were finished, then slipped back down the aisle to m seat. We landed together later that night in Brussels. Reboarding, I found a discarded Yidd newspaper on a food tray. When the plane took off for Morocco, they were gone. I do not mean imply here that my life during this period conformed to any grand design. In the beginning, arou 1981, I was driven by curiosity and an appetite for travel. My favourite place to go, when I had money, was Morocco. When I could not travel, there were books. This fascination brought me in contact with a handful of writers driven to the exotic, authors capable of sentences like this, by Fre Stark: The perpetual charm of Arabia is that the traveller finds his level there simply as a human bein the people’s directness, deadly to the sentimental or the pedantic, like the less complicated virtues; a the pleasantness of being liked for oneself might, I think, be added to the five reasons for travel giv me by Sayyid Abdulla, the watchmaker; to leave one’s troubles behind one; to earn a living; to acqu learning; to practise good manners; and to meet honourable men”. I could not have drawn up a of demands, but I had a fair idea of what I was after.

The religion I wanted should be to metaphysics as metaphysics is to science. It would not be confin by a narrow rationalism or traffic in mystery to please its priests. There would be no priests, separation between nature and things sacred. There would be no war with the flesh, if I could help Sex would be natural, not the seat of a curse upon the species. Finally, I did want a ritual compone daily routine to sharpen the senses and discipline my mind. Above all, I wanted clarity and freedom did not want to trade away reason simply to be saddled with a dogma. The more I learned about Isla the more it appeared to conform to what I was after. Most of the educated Westerners I knew arou

this time regarded any strong religious climate with suspicion.

They classified religion as political manipulation, or they dismissed it as a medieval conce projecting upon it notions from their European past. It was not hard to find a source for their opinio A thousand years of Western history had left us plenty of fine reasons to regret a path that led throu so much ignorance and slaughter. From the Children’s Crusade and the Inquisition to transmogrified faiths of nazism and communism during our century, whole countries have be exhausted by belief. Nietzsche’s fear, that the modern nation-state would become a substitute religio have proved tragically accurate. Our century, it seemed to me, was ending in an age beyond beli which believers inhabited as much as agnostics. Regardless of church affiliation, secular humanism the air westerners breathe, the lens we gaze through. Like any world view, this outlook is pervas and transparent.

It forms the basis of our broad identification with democracy and with the pursuit of freedom in all countless and beguiling forms. Immersed in our shared preoccupations, one may easily forget t other ways of life exist on the same planet. At the time of my trip, for instance, 650 million Musli with a majority representation in forty-four countries adhered to the formal teachings of Islam. addition, about 400 million more were living as minorities in Europe, Asia and the Americas. Assis by postcolonial economics, Islam has become in a matter of thirty years a major faith in Weste Europe. Of the world’s great religions, Islam alone was adding to its fold. My politicized friends w dismayed by my new interest. They all but universally confused Islam with the machinations of hal dozen middle eastern tyrants.

The books they read, the new broadcasts they viewed depicted the faith as a set of political functio Almost nothing was said of its spiritual practice. I liked to quote Mae West to them: Anytime you ta religion for a joke, the laugh’s on you. Historically a Muslim sees Islam as the final, matur expression of an original religion reaching back to Adam. It is as resolutely monotheistic as Judais whose major Prophets Islam reveres as links in a progressive chain, culminating in Jesus a Muhammad. Essentially a message of renewal, Islam has done its part on the world stage to return forgotten taste of life’s lost sweetness to millions of people. Its book, the Quran, caused Goethe remark, You see, this teaching never fails; with all our systems, we cannot go, and generally speaki no man can go, further.

Traditional Islam is expressed through the practice of five pillars. Declaring one’ faith, prayer, chari and fasting are activities pursued repeatedly throughout one’s life. Conditions permitting, each Musl is additionally charged with undertaking a pilgrimage to Mecca once in a lifetime. The Arabic term this fifth rite is Hadj. Scholars relate the word to the concept of kasd, œaspiration, and to the notion men and women as travellers on earth. In Western religions pilgrimage is a vestigial tradition, a quai folkloric concept commonly reduced to metaphor. Among Muslims, on the other hand, the h embodies a vital experience for millions of new pilgrims every year. In spite of the modern content their lives, it remains an act of obedience, a profession of belief, and the visible expression o spiritual community. For a majority of Muslims the hadj is an ultimate goal, the trip of a lifetime. A

convert I felt obliged to go to Makkah. As an addict to travel I could not imagine a more compelli goal.

The annual, month-long fast of Ramadan precedes the hadj by about one hundred days. These two ri form a period of intensified awareness in Muslim society. I wanted to put this period to use. I had re about Islam; I had joined a Mosque near my home in California; I had started a practice. Now I hop to deepen what I was learning by submerging myself in a religion where Islam infuses every aspect existence. I planned to begin in Morocco, because I knew that country well and because it follow traditional Islam and was fairly stable. The last place I wanted to start was in a backwater full uproarious sectarians. I wanted to paddle the mainstream, the broad, calm water.

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Why I became Muslim? Emad-ud-Deen Richard Leiman’s Testimony My Childhood:

As a child I always had access to a short-wave radio I used to listen to the BBC World Service and Middle East. I also loved the music from that part of the world and I probably was listening to Quran being recited, but did not know it at the time. As I grew older: As I grew older I still listened the BBC World Service mostly. Back then, they had a programme called "Words of Faith" where th had a 5 to 8 minute talk given by a different religious speaker each day of the week representing all major religions in the UK. Out of all the speakers, I loved it when the Muslim spoke.

Every time he spoke, I wanted to find out more about Islam. My impression of the Islam was one which the person who practices Islam was a happy person, not like the mean people portrayed by American media. I just refused to believe people that loved Allah so much could be like the peo portrayed by the media. Since I come from a Jewish background, the thing that united me with Isla was the belief that Allah had no partners. Working in the UK: Then came an important time in my l where I was about to meet a real Muslim, but did not know it yet. I was doing contracting compu programming work in New York state when the urge to visit the UK was very strong. I took a visit London and loved it.

During my visit I went to several employment agencies without luck. One of the agencies gave several trade magazines. When I arrived back in the states I started to send more CV’s (resumes) companies and other agencies in the magazines. Again I came to the UK because one of the compan wanted to interview me. Then I started to visit more companies and agencies when I landed a positi even though I was on a visitors visa. The company applied for a work permit and the Department Employment told us that I had to leave the country in order to process the paperwork. Again I w back to the states. Another Agency obtained a temporary work permit and hired me to the compa

called LogoTech, at that time was in Egham, Surrey.

Meeting a real Muslim for the first time: Some time after I was working at LogoTech, I found out t my supervisor Anis Karim was Muslim. I asked him if he knew how I could get a copy of the Ho Quran. To my surprise, I had a copy of the Quran within a few days. He also asked me to make pledge. I pledged to make sure that I would have a bath before I read from the Quran and that I wou never show it to anyone who may make blasphemous remarks about it. The next day, I took m morning bath and made breakfast. Then whilst eating breakfast I started to read.

Later I found out that READ is what Allah had the angel Gabriel instruct our beloved prophet (pea and blessings be upon him) to do, even though HE COULD NOT READ OR WRITE! Well, wo can'describe how I felt when I read just that small portion of t the worlds most holy book. It took on 10 pages when I told myself that this religion was for me. This was around 1990. The more I read, more I wanted to know and loved what I was reading. Also at the time I did not know anything abo how to pray or any of the details of Islam. If Anis had invited me to go the Masjid in London, I wou have gone with him. The only thing I knew about praying to Allah was the Shazute position.

At the time I knew that Muslims prayed several times a day and I started to do so at night before I w to bed and in the morning when I woke up. Back to the states again: When the work permit ran ou had to come back to the states and was unemployed for several years. I visited my father in Huntsvi Alabama and created a database application for him. I saw that Huntsville was a high te cosmopolitan city and decided to try and land a programming position there. My father told me that did not get a position, I would have to go back to New Jersey to my mother. They moved from N York to New Jersey. About a fortnight before I was going to go back to New Jersey, I landed programming position at a company in Huntsville. Planning a trip to a Muslim country: My sister an were planning a trip to Indonesia because we had a pen-pal on the internet. My sister asked me i could help her find Islamic Jewelry as a gift. At that time I had no idea that there were Muslims Huntsville.

My first trip to a Masjid (Mosque): Then Allah put things into place. I remembered that there wa shop called Crescent Imports which I thought was run by Muslims. It was not. It was run by the gro called Nation Of Islam. Now here is the strange part in which only Allah could be put in place. W spoke to the owner of the shop and told him that we wanted to find Islamic jewelry. He directed us the Huntsville Islamic Center. I do thank Allah for having them direct me to the Masjid. We went the building, but there was only one car parked there. I spoke to a man in the car, and he told us t we should speak to the Imam about where to find the Jewelry.

I was still afraid to go into the building because to me it is such a holy place. Invitation to pray w other Muslims: I saw a lady at work wearing a Hijaab. I told her about my accepting Islam persona and she said "why don’t you visit the Masjid in Huntsville?" We eventually went back to the Mas after I summed up enough courage to go into that a holy place. We spoke to the Imam and he invi

me to make Salat with the Brothers. This was a turning point in my life. I loved it and started to co to the Masjid once a week at night. Then I started to come several times a week at night. The urge come more times was stronger and now I make all 5 prayers each day mostly at the Masjid, except A and Margrib when at work. I officially accepted Islam!!!!!!!!!! In November of 1996 I publicly ma Shahada.

At work I pray Duhur and Asr by myself or with other brothers in a small Mosque right in the wo place! I proudly carry my prayer mats in the work hallways in an attempt to get people to ask me wh they are (a form of Dawah). When this happens I tell them that I am Muslim and the mats are wha use for prayers Also, my work area has Islamic decorations all over the place, and that includes m computer where the graphic on the screen is that of the Kaabah or our Masjid. Conclusion:

I am also a member of the Dawah Committee at the Masjid and am also trying to make Dawah providing this very web page. Now that I am a Muslim, (One who submits to Allah) there is no turni back to unbelief!!!!! 247 Why I became Muslim?

Why I Reverted From Judaism To Islam from brother Fouad’s site here: http://www.JewstoIslam.com MARHABA WELCOME TO MY WEBSITE :)

I would like to take a few moments out to describe my journey to the one true faith Islam. Due to fact that I live in the Zionist Entity names and small details must be changed as to protect me from deviant monkeys that occupy this land at present. About 3 years ago I was in a jewish chat roo joking with my fellow co-religionists talking non sense and just kind a hanging out. Some guy k coming into the room and really ranking on about "israel". Even though I was a Jew at the time I did like "israel" and always felt what was going on was against Judaism and humanity.

One day I decided I would talk to this anti "israel" guy. As Allah willed it we spoke the entire eve ends up he is a devout Muslim! He kept posing questions to me over a 2 year period and had MAN strong points. Being that I was an orthodox Jew who did learn in Yeshiva, I confronted many Rab with these arguments he gave me. I have not to this day received a good or true answer. As per problem of "israel" and its blatant contradiction to Judaism and the Talmud in Tractate Ketub 111á , they were all weak on that point as well.

I think what really pushed me towards the truth was that Jews don’t believe God is the Greater EVREY aspect than man. In fact jews believe that Rabbis are even smarter than God Himself! here the case in point this is a Talmud that every religious Jew believes........Baba Mezia 59b. A rab debates God and defeats Him. God admits the rabbi won the debate.......Now to Islam this is Shirq o form of disbelief. In Yeshiva the meaning of this Talmud or "Peshat" as they refer to it is l

this..."God is happy that the Rabbi beat Him with his God given ability of thought!"

The Jews go on to say "Judgement in this world is in the Rabbis hands, but in the next world its God's. Alhamdolillah Thank God today I have left the Jewish cesspool and excepted Islam as the o Truth and Word of Allah. My family and I live in a nice Muslim area in Palestine, and thanks to Al and my wonderful Palestinian Muslim brothers and sisters continue to grow in Quran and Sunnah.My kids today are the happiest subhan Allah, now they are free from the restrictive man ma laws of present day Judaism, and are free to learn knowledge from others besides the Rabbis. I rea have alot more to say so if you email me I would be glad to reply insh Allah. My email
muslimnotzionist@hotmail.com

I would like to end this webpage with a few other statements from Judaisms Holy Book the Talmu Gittin 69a . To heal his flesh a Jew should take dust that lies within the shadow of an outdoor toi mix with honey and eat it. Yebamoth 63a. States that Adam had sexual intercourse with all the animals in the Garden of Eden.

Yebamoth 63a. Declares that agriculture is the lowest of occupations. Sanhedrin 55b. A Jew m marry a three year old girl (specifically, three years "and a day" old). Sanhedrin 54b. A Jew may ha sex with a child as long as the child is less than nine years old.

Kethuboth 11b. "When a grown-up man has intercourse with a little girl it is nothing." Yebamoth 59 A woman who had intercourse with a beast is eligible to marry a Jewish priest. A woman who has s with a demon is also eligible to marry a Jewish priest.

Abodah Zarah 17a. States that there is not a whore in the world that the Talmudic sage Rabbi Elea has not had sex with. Hagigah 27a. States that no rabbi can ever go to hell. Baba Mezia 59b. A rab debates God and defeats Him. God admits the rabbi won the debate. Gittin 70a. The Rabbis taug "On coming from a privy (outdoor toilet) a man should not have sexual intercourse till he has wai long enough to walk half a mile, because the demon of the privy is with him for that time; if he do his children will be epileptic."

Gittin 69b. To heal the disease of pleurisy ("catarrh") a Jew should "take the excrement of a white d and knead it with balsam, but if he can possibly avoid it he should not eat the dog’s excrement a loosens the limbs." Pesahim 111a. It is forbidden for dogs, women or palm trees to pass between t men, nor may others walk between dogs, women or palm trees. Special dangers are involved if women are menstruating or sitting at a crossroads.

Menahoth 43b-44a. A Jewish man is obligated to say the following prayer every day: Thank you G for not making me a gentile, a woman or a slave.

248

Why I became Muslim? Interview with Maryam Jameelah -1 Q: Would you kindly tell us how your interest in Islam began?

A: I was Margaret (Peggy) Marcus. As a small child I possessed a keen interest in music and w particularly fond of the classical operas and symphonies considered high culture in the West. Mu was my favorite subject in school in which I always earned the highest grades. By sheer chance happened to hear Arabic music over the radio which so much pleased me that I was determined to h more. I would not leave my parents in peace until my father finally took me to the Syrian section New York City where I bought a stack of Arabic recordings.

My parents, relatives and neighbors thought Arabic and its music dreadfully weird and so distress to their ears that whenever I put on my recordings, they demanded that I close all the doors a windows in my room lest they be disturbed! After I embraced Islam in 1961, I used to sit enthralled the hour at the mosque in New York, listening to tape recordings of Tilawat chanted by the celebra Egyptian Qari, Abdul Basit. But on Jumha Salat (Friday Prayers), the Imam did not play the tapes.

We had a special guest that day. A short, very thin and poorly-dressed black youth, who introduc himself to us as a student from Zanzibar, recited Surah ar-Rahman. I never heard such glorious Tilaw even from Abdul Basit! He possessed such a voice of gold; surely Hazrat Bilal must have sound much like him! I traced the beginning of my interest in Islam to the age of ten. While attending reformed Jewish Sunday school, I became fascinated with the historical relationship between the Je and the Arabs.

From my Jewish textbooks, I learned that Abraham was the father of the Arabs as well as the Jews read how centuries later when, in medieval Europe, Christian persecution made their lives intolerab the Jews were welcomed in Muslim Spain and that it was the magnanimity of this same Arabic Islam civilization which stimulated Hebrew culture to reach its highest peak of achievement. Tota unaware of the true nature of Zionism, I naively thought that the Jews were returning to Palestine strengthen their close ties of kinship in religion and culture with their Semitic cousins. Togethe believed that the Jews and the Arabs would cooperate to attain another Golden Age of culture in Middle East.

Despite my fascination with the study of Jewish history, I was extremely unhappy at the Sund school. At this time I identified myself strongly with the Jewish people in Europe, then suffering horrible fate under the Nazis and I was shocked that none of my fellow classmates nor their pare took their religion seriously During the services at the synagogue, the children used to read com strips hidden in their prayer books and laugh to scorn at the rituals. The children were so noisy a disorderly that the teachers could not discipline them and found it very difficult to conduct the classe

At home the atmosphere for religious observance was scarcely more congenial. My elder sis

detested the Sunday school so much that my mother literally had to drag her out of bed in the mornin and it never went without the struggle of tears and hot words. Finally my parents were exhausted a let her quit. On the Jewish High Holy Days instead of attending synagogue and fasting on Yo Kippur, my sister and I were taken out of school to attend family picnics and parties in fine restauran When my sister and I convinced our parents how miserable we both were at the Sunday school th joined an agnostic, humanist organization known as the Ethical Culture Movement.

The Ethical Culture Movement was founded late in the 19th century by Felix Alder. While studyi for rabbinate, Felix Alder grew convinced that devotion to ethical values as relative and man-ma regarding any supernaturalism or theology as irrelevant, constituted the only religion fit for the mode world. I attended the Ethical Culture Sunday School each week from the age of eleven unti graduated at fifteen. Here I grew into complete accord with the ideas of the movement and regarded traditional, organized religions with scorn. When I was eighteen years old I became a member of local Zionist youth movement known as the Mizrachi Hatzair. But when I found out what the nature Zionism was, which made the hostility between Jews and Arabs irreconcilable, I left several mon later in disgust.

When I was twenty and a student at New York University, one of my elective courses was entitl Judaism in Islam. My professor, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Katsh, the head of the department of Hebr Studies there, spared no efforts to convince his students--all Jews, many of whom aspired to beco rabbis--that Islam was derived from Judaism. Our textbook, written by him, took each verse from Quran, painstakingly tracing it to its allegedly Jewish source. Although his real aim was to prove to students the superiority of Judaism over Islam, he convinced me diametrically of the opposite.

I soon discovered that Zionism was merely a combination of the racist, tribalistic aspects of Judais Modern secular nationalistic Zionism was further discredited in my eyes when I learned that few any, of the leaders of Zionism were observant Jews and that perhaps nowhere is Orthodox, traditio Judaism regarded with such intense contempt as in Israel. When I found nearly all important Jew leaders in America supporters for Zionism, who felt not the slightest twinge of conscience because the terrible injustice inflicted upon the Palestinian Arabs, I could no longer consider myself a Jew heart.

One morning in November 1954, Professor Katsh, during his lecture, argued with irrefutable logic t the monotheism taught by Moses (peace be upon him) and the Divine Laws reveled to him w indispensable as the basis for all higher ethical values. If morals were purely man-made, as the Ethi Culture and other agnostic and atheistic philosophies taught, then they could be changed at w according to mere whim, convenience or circumstance. The result would be utter chaos leading individual and collective ruin. Belief in the Hereafter, as the Rabbis in the Talmud taught, argu Professor Katsh, was not mere wishful thinking but a moral necessity. Only those, he said, who firm believed that each of us will be summoned by God on Judgement Day to render a complete account our life on earth and rewarded or punished accordingly, will possess the self-discipline to sacrif transitory pleasure and endure hardships and sacrifice to attain lasting good.

It was in Professor Katshâ’s class that I met Zenita, the most unusual and fascinating girl I have ev met. The first time I entered Professor Katsh’s class, as I looked around the room for an emp desk in which to sit, I spied two empty seats, on the arm of one, three big beautifully bound volumes Yusuf Ali’s English translation and commentary of the Holy Quran. I sat down right there, burni with curiosity to find out to whom these volumes belonged. Just before Rabbi Katsh’s lecture was begin, a tall, very slim girl with pale complexion framed by thick auburn hair, sat next to me. H appearance was so distinctive, I thought she must be a foreign student from Turkey, Syria or so other Near Eastern country.

Most of the other students were young men wearing the black cap of Orthodox Jewry, who wanted become rabbis. We two were the only girls in the class. As we were leaving the library late t afternoon, she introduced herself to me. Born into an Orthodox Jewish family, her parents had migr d to America from Russia only a few years prior to the October Revolution in 1917 to esca persecution. I noted that my new friend spoke English with the precise care of a foreigner. S confirmed these speculations, telling me that since her family and their friends speak only Yidd among themselves, she did not learn any English until after attending public school. She told me t her name was Zenita Liebermann but recently, in an attempt to Americanize themselves, her pare had changed their name from "Liebermann" to "Lane." Besides being thoroughly instructed in Hebr by her father while growing up and also in school, she said she was now spending all her spare tim studying Arabic.

However, with no previous warning, Zenita dropped out of class and although I continued to attend of his lectures to the conclusion of the course, Zenita never returned. Months passed and I had alm forgotten about Zenita when suddenly she called and begged me to meet her at the Metropoli Museum and go with he r to look at the special exhibition of exquisite Arabic calligraphy and ancie illuminated manuscripts of the Quran. During our tour of the museum, Zenita told me how she h embraced Islam with two of her Palestinian friends as witnesses. I inquired, "Why did you decide become a Muslim?" She then told me that she had left Professor Katsh’ s class when she fell ill wit severe kidney infection Her condition was so critical, she told me, her mother and father had expected her to survive. "One afternoon while burning with fever,

I reached for my Holy Quran on the table beside by bed and began to read and while I recited verses, it touched me so deeply that I began to weep and then I knew I would recover. As soon as I w strong enough to leave my bed, I summoned two of my Muslim friends and took the oath of "Shahadah" or Confession of Faith" Zenita and I would eat our meals in Syrian restaurants wher acquired a keen taste for this tasty cooking. When we had money to spend, we would order Cousco roast lamb with rice or a whole soup plate of delicious little meatballs swimming in gravy scooped with loaves of unleavened Arabic bread. And when we had little to spend, we would eat lentils a rice, Arabic style, or the Egyptian national dish of black broad beans with plenty of garlic and onio called "Ful" While Professor Katsh was lecturing thus, I was comparing in my mind what I had read the Old Testament and the Talmud with what was taught in the Quran and Hadith and finding Judai so defective, I was converted to Islam.

249

Why I became Muslim? Interview with Maryam Jameelah -2

Q: Were you scared that you might not be accepted by the Muslims?

A: My increasing sympathy for Islam and Islamic ideals enraged the other Jews I knew, who regard me as having betrayed them in the worst possible way. They used to tell me that such a reputati could only result from shame of my ancestral heritage and an intense hatred for my people. Th warned me that even if I tried to become a Muslim, I would never be accepted. These fears prov totally unfounded as I have never been stigmatized by any Muslim because of my Jewish origin. soon as I became a Muslim myself, I was welcomed most enthusiastically by all the Muslims as one them.

I did not embrace Islam out of hatred for my ancestral heritage or my people. It was not a desire much to reject as to fulfill. To me, it meant a transition from parochial to a dynamic and revolutiona faith. Q: Did your family object to your studying Islam? A: Although I wanted to become a Muslim far back as 1954, my family managed to argue me out of it. I was warned that Islam would complic my life because it is not, like Judaism and Christianity, part of the American scene. I was told th Islam would alienate me from my family and isolate me from the community. At that time my fa was not sufficiently strong to withstand these pressures.

Partly as the result of this inner turmoil, I became so ill that I had to discontinue college long before was time for me to graduate. For the next two years I remained at home under private medical ca steadily growing worse. In desperation from 1957 - 1959 my parents confined me both to private a public hospitals where I vowed that if ever I recovered sufficiently to be discharged, I would embra Islam. After I was allowed to return home, I investigated all the opportunities for meeting Muslims New York City. It was my good fortune to meet some of the finest men and women anyone could ev hope to meet. I also began to write articles for Muslim magazines. Q: What was the attitude of your parents and friends after you became Muslim?

A: When I embraced Islam, my parents, relatives and their friends regarded me almost as a fanat because I could think and talk of nothing else. To them, religion is a purely private concern which the most perhaps could be cultivated like an amateur hobby among other hobbies. But as soon as I re the Holy Quran, I knew that Islam was no hobby but life itself! Q: In what ways did the Holy Quran have an impact on your life?

A: One evening I was feeling particularly exhausted and sleepless, Mother came into my room a said she was about to go to the Larchmont Public Library and asked me if there was any book tha

wanted? I asked her to look and see if the library had a copy of an English translation of the Ho Quran. Just think, years of passionate interest in the Arabs and reading every book in the library abo them I could lay my hands on but until now, I never thought to see what was in the Holy Qura Mother returned with a copy for me. I was so eager, I literally grabbed it from her hands and read it whole night. There I also found all the familiar Bible stories of my childhood. In my eight years primary school, four years of secondary school and one year of college, I learned about Engl grammar and composition, French, Spanish, Latin and Greek in current use, Arithmetic, Geomet Algebra, European and American history, elementary science, Biology, music and art-but I had nev learned anything about God!

250

Why I became Muslim? Interview with Maryam Jameelah-3

Can you imagine I was so ignorant of God that I wrote to my pen-friend, a Pakistani lawyer, a confessed to him the reason why I was an atheist was because I couldn’t believe that God was really old man with a long white beard who sat up on His throne in Heaven. When he asked me where I h learned this outrageous thing, I told him of the reproductions from the Sistine Chapel I had seen "Life" Magazine of Michelangelo’s "Creation" and "Original Sin."

I described all the representations of God as an old man with a long white beard and the numero crucifixions of Christ I had seen with Paula at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But in the Ho Quran, I read: "Allah! There is no god but He,-the Living, The Self-subsisting, Supporter of all. slumber can seize Him nor sleep. His are all things in the heavens and on earth. Who is thee c intercede in His presence except as He permiteth?

He knoweth what (appeareth to His creatures as) before or after or behind them. Nor shall th compass aught of His knowledge except as He willeth. His Throne doth extend over the heavens a the earth, and He feeleth no fatigue in guarding and preserving them for He is the Most High, Supreme (in glory)." (Quran S.2:255) "But the Unbelievers,-their deeds are like a mirage in san deserts, which the man parched with thirst mistakes for water; until when he comes up to it, he fin Allah there, and Allah will pay him his account: and Allah is swift in taking account. Or ( unbelievers’ state) is like the depths of darkness in a vast deep ocean, overwhelmed with bill topped by billow, topped by (dark) clouds: depth of darkness, one above another: if a man stretches o his hand, he can hardly see it! for any to whom Allah giveth not light, there is no light!" (Quran S.2 39-40)

My first thought when reading the Holy Quran - this is the only true religion - absolutely since honest, not allowing cheap compromises or hypocrisy. In 1959, I spent much of my leisure ti reading books about Islam in the New York Public Library. It was there I discovered four bul

volumes of an English translation of Mishkat ul- Masabih. It was then that I learned that a proper a detailed understanding of the Holy Quran is not possible without some knowledge of the relev Hadith. For how can the holy text correctly be interpreted except by the Prophet to whom it w revealed? Once I had studied the Mishkat, I began to accept the Holy Quran as Divine revelati What persuaded me that the Quran must be from God and not composed by Muhammad (PBUH) w its satisfying and convincing answers to all the most important questions of life which I could not fi elsewhere.

As a child, I was so mortally afraid of death, particularly the thought of my own death, that af nightmares about it, sometimes I would awaken my parents crying in the middle of the night. Whe asked them why I had to die and what would happen to me after death, all they could say was tha had to accept the inevitable; but that was a long way off and because medical science was constan advancing, perhaps I would live to be a hundred years old! My parents, family, and all our frien rejected as superstition any thought of the Hereafter, regarding Judgment Day, reward in Paradise punishment in Hell as outmoded concepts of by-gone ages. In vain I searched all the chapters of Old Testament for any clear and unambiguous concept of the Hereafter.

The prophets, patriarchs and sages of the Bible all receive their rewards or punishments in this wor Typical is the story of Job (Hazrat Ayub). God destroyed all his loved-ones, his possessions, a afflicted him with a loathsome disease in order to test his faith. Job plaintively laments to God why should make a righteous man suffer. At the end of the story, God restores all his earthly losses b nothing is even mentioned about any possible consequences in the Hereafter. Although I did find Hereafter mentioned in the New Testament, compared with that of the Holy Quran, it is vague a ambiguous. I found no answer to the question of death in Orthodox Judaism, for the Talmud preach that even the worst life is better than death. My parents’ philosophy was that one must avo contemplating the thought of death and just enjoy as best one can, the pleasures life has to offer at moment. According to them, the purpose of life is enjoyment and pleasure achieved through se expression of one’s talents, the love of family, the congenial company of friends combined with comfortable living and indulgence in the variety of amusements that affluent America makes availa in such abundance.

They deliberately cultivated this superficial approach to life as if it were the guarantee for th continued happiness and good-fortune. Through bitter experience I discovered that self-indulgen leads only to misery and that nothing great or even worthwhile is ever accomplished without strug through adversity and self-sacrifice. From my earliest childhood, I have always wanted to accompl important and significant things. Above all else, before my death I wanted the assurance that I have n wasted life in sinful deeds or worthless pursuits. All my life I have been intensely serious-minded have always detested the frivolity which is the dominant characteristic of contemporary culture. M father once disturbed me with his unsettling conviction that there is nothing of permanent value a because everything in this modern age accept the present trends inevitable and adjust ourselves them. I, however, was thirsty to attain something that would endure forever. It was from the Holy Quran where I learned that this aspiration was possible. No good deed for

sake of seeking the pleasure of God is ever wasted or lost. Even if the person concerned never achiev any worldly recognition, his reward is certain in the Hereafter. Conversely, the Quran tells us t those who are guided by no moral considerations other than expediency or social conformity and cra the freedom to do as they please, no matter how much worldly success and prosperity they attain how keenly they are able to relish the short span of their earthly life, will be doomed as the losers Judgment Day. Islam teaches us that in order to devote our exclusive attention to fulfilling our dut to God and to our fellow-beings, we must abandon all vain and useless activities which distract from this end. These teachings of the Holy Quran, made even more explicit by Hadith, w thoroughly compatible with my temperament. Q: What is your opinion of the Arabs after you became a Muslim?

A: As the years passed, the realization gradually dawned upon me that it was not the Arabs who ma Islam great but rather Islam had made the Arabs great. Were it not for the Holy Prophet Muhamm (PBUH), the Arabs would be an obscure people today. And were it not for the Holy Quran, the Arab language would be equally insignificant, if not extinct. Q: Did you see any similarities between Judaism and Islam?

A: The kinship between Judaism and Islam is even stronger than Islam and Christianity. Both Judai and Islam share in common the same uncompromising monotheism, the crucial importance of str obedience to Divine Law as proof of our submission to and love of the Creator, the rejection of priesthood, celibacy and monasticism and the striking similarity of the Hebrew and Arabic langua In Judaism, religion is so confused with nationalism, one can scarcely distinguish between the tw The name "Judaism" is derived from Judah-a tribe. A Jew is a member of the tribe of Judah. Even name of this religion connotes no universal spiritual message. A Jew is not a Jew by virtue of his bel in the unity of God, but merely because he happened to be born of Jewish parentage.

Should he become an outspoken atheist, he is no less "Jewish" in the eyes of his fellow Jews. Such thorough corruption with nationalism has spiritually impoverished this religion in all its aspects. G is not the God of all mankind but the God of Israel The scriptures are not God’s revelation to the ent human race but primarily a Jewish history book. David and Solomon (peace be upon them) are n full-fledged prophets of God but merely Jewish kings. With the single exception of Yom Kippur ( Jewish Day of Atonement), the holidays and festivals celebrated by Jews, such as Hanukkah, Pur and Pesach, are of far greater national than religious significance.

251

Why I became Muslim?

Interview with Maryam Jameelah-4

Q: Have you ever had the opportunity to talk about Islam to the other Jews?

A: There is one particular incident which really stands out in my mind when I had the opportunity discuss Islam with a Jewish gentleman. Dr. Shoreibah, of the Islamic Center in New York, introduc me to a very special guest. After one Jumha Salat, I went into his office to ask him some questio about Islam but before I could even greet him with "Assalamu Alaikum", I was completely astonish and surprised to see seated before him an ultra-orthodox Chassidic Jew, complete with ear-loc broad-brimmed black hat, long black silken caftan and a full flowing beard. Under his arm was a co of the Yiddish newspaper, "The Daily Forward".

He told us that his name was Samuel Kostelwitz and that he worked in New York City as a diamo cutter. Most of his family, he said, lived in the Chassidic community of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, b he also had many relatives and friends in Israel. Born in a small Rumanian town, he had fled from Nazi terror with his parents to America just prior to the outbreak of the second world-war. I asked h what had brought him to the mosque? He told us that he had been stricken with intolerable grief ev since his mother died 5 years ago. He had tried to find solace and consolation for his grief in synagogue but could not when he discovered that many of the Jews, even in the ultra orthod community of Williamsburg, were shameless hypocrites.

His recent trip to Israel had left him more bitterly disillusioned than ever. He was shocked by irreligiousness he found in Israel and he told us that nearly all the young sabras or native-born Israe are militant atheists. When he saw large herds of swine on one of the kibbutzim (collective farms) visited, he could only exclaim in horror: "Pigs in a Jewish state! I never thought that was possible un I came here! Then when I witnessed the brutal treatment meted out to innocent Arabs in Israel, I kn then that there is no difference between the Israelis and the Nazis. Never, never in the name of Go could I justify such terrible crimes!"

Then he turned to Dr. Shoreibah and told him that he wanted to become a Muslim but before he to the irrevocable steps to formal conversion, he needed to have more knowledge about Islam. He s that he had purchased from Orientalia Bookshop, some books on Arabic grammar and was trying teach himself Arabic He apologized to us for his broken English: Yiddish was his native tongue a Hebrew, his second language. Among themselves, his family and friends spoke only Yiddish. Since reading knowledge of English was extremely poor, he had no access to good Islamic literatu However, with the aid of an English dictionary, he painfully read "Introduction to Islam" Muhammad Hamidullah of Paris and praised this as the best book he had ever read. In the presence Dr. Shoreibah, I spent another hour with Mr. Kostelwitz, comparing the Bible stories of the patriarc and prophets with their counterparts in the Holy Quran.

I pointed out the inconsistencies and interpolations of the Bible, illustrating my point with Noah alleged drunkenness, accusing David of adultery and Solomon of idolatry (Allah Forbid) and how Holy Quran raises all these patriarchs to the status of genuine prophets of God and absolves them fro all these crimes. I also pointed out why it was Ismail and not Isaac who God commanded Abraham offer as sacrifice. In the Bible, God tells Abraham: "Take thine son, thine only son whom thou lov and offer him up to Me as burnt offering." Now Ismail was born 13 years before Isaac but the Jew biblical commentators explain that away be belittling Ishmael’s mother, Hagar, as only a concub and not Abraham’s real wife so they say Isaac was the only legitimate son.

Islamic traditions, however, raise Hagar to the status of a full-fledged wife equal in every respect Sarah. Mr. Kostelwitz expressed his deepest gratitude to me for spending so much time, explaini those truths to him. To express this gratitude, he insisted on inviting Dr. Shoreibah and me to lunch the Kosher Jewish delicatessen where he always goes to eat his lunch. Mr. Kostelwitz told us that wished more than anything else to embrace Islam but he feared he could not withstand the persecuti he would have to face from his family and friends. I told him to pray to God for help and strength a he promised that he would. When he left us, I felt privileged to have spoken with such a gentle a kind person. Q: What Impact did Islam have on your life ?

A: In Islam, my quest for absolute values was satisfied. In Islam I found all that was true, good a beautiful and that which gives meaning and direction to human life (and death); while in oth religions, the Truth is deformed, distorted, restricted and fragmentary. If any one chooses to ask how I came to know this, I can only reply my personal life experience was sufficient to convince m My adherence to the Islamic faith is thus a calm, cool but very intense conviction. I have, I belie always been a Muslim at heart by temperament, even before I knew there was such a thing as Isla My conversion was mainly a formality, involving no radical change in my heart at all but rather on making official what I had been thinking and yearning for many years.

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Why I became Muslim? Finding solace in the Garden of Peace by Suleyman Ahmad

I am an American journalist and author. In 1997, aged 49, after more than 30 years of research stu and life experience, I came into Islam. This decision reflected many issues in my life.

I grew up in an environment that would be extremely strange for most Americans. My father w Jewish; my mother was the daughter of a famous Protestant fundamental minister. My father wa religious student, or Yeshiva-bocher, as a youth. My mother was raised in an atmosphere of intens Bible reading, and she knew the Old and New Testaments very well. In Sarajevo, I did not find mys to be a tourist. I had direct encounters with Muslim believers and scholars Both my parents faith w

tested by the events of the 1930s.

My mother abandoned Christianity in protest against the Nazi attacks on the Jews, who she had be raised to view as the original People of God. Later, she converted to Judaism. Both my parents spen long period under the influence of the Communist Party, even as they continued to believe in t Jewish faith. That was the tragic paradox of their lives; disappointed by the failures of their bo religions. However, while they wavered between liberal-radicalism and God, they were never extre about Zionism. Indeed, I always felt pain at the conflict in the Middle East, and always yearned justice and friendship between Israelis and Arabs. I was an extreme radical leftist as a youth.

However, I also wrote poetry, and even though discouraged from it by my parents confusion a bitterness about religion, I believed in God. I tried to sort these matters out. I believe the m important contributions that will be made by Islam in America involve racial justice and pub morality My first search for the truth led me to the Catholic church. Although I did not convert, I w deeply impressed by Catholic mystical literature. Very early on, I learned that behind the glorio works of the Spanish Catholic mystics there was the history of Islam in Spain, and that a beauti Islamic inspiration had survived in that tradition. I eventually travelled to Spain repeatedly, searchi out the traces of the long Islamic residence in the Iberian peninsula. As a writer, I researched t phenomenon over many years. I studied the troubadour poets, who showed a deep Islamic influence.

Beginning in 1979, I studied Kabbalah, the tradition of Jewish mysticism. There too, I found immense Islamic reflection, filtered through Judaism. However, the decisive event in my journey Islam came in 1990 when I began travelling to the Balkans as a journalist. I visited Sarajevo, a reported on the Bosnian war. In Sarajevo, I discovered some amazing things. I found an outpost Islam in Europe, in an environment where I did not feel I was a tourist, where I could have simple a direct encounters with Muslim believers and scholars. I found beautiful poetry and music t expressed the values of Islamic grace and love.

I had discovered the garden of the old Imam; to quote a line from a famous Bosnian song- the remna of the great period of Ottoman rule in the Balkans, and its tremendous contributions to Islam civilization. I read passages from the Quran and visited Islamic monuments on my trips to the Balka I kept coming back to the garden, and finally I entered it. Since accepting Islam, I have proceed carefully in informing my friends, neighbors, co-workers, and others. I do not want to provoke confl or controversy, and I do not want this experience to be seen as something superficial or faddish. It is about me, it’s about Allah. I want to proceed in a way that will do the most for the welfare of Ummah and for better relations between all believers in la ilaha illallah.

So far, I have had no problems aside from occasional crude remarks. If anything, people in m newsroom seem pleased to have someone around who can report with greater accuracy about issu Others are surprised but respectful; they seem to understand this is not about politics publicityseeking, but reflects a long personal quest. I think also, to be totally honest, that non-Musli see me as someone deeply affected by my experience in the Balkans, so that this choice makes so sense in that context. However, I am quick to make clear that I am not a Muslim for political

humanitarian reasons, but because the message of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is the clearest eviden of the wishes of Allah.

As I stated at the beginning, I see much of what is positive in Judaism and Christianity today a reflection of Islamic influence. I mentioned Spanish Catholicism. There is a reason Spanish Cathol feel their faith more intensely than other Catholics, and that is because of the Islamic legacy in th culture. The Crusades and the Inquisition did not extinguish this light, however dimmed it may seem some. I truly believe that without the tolerance of the Arab rulers in Spain, and, particularly, generous protection extended by the Ottoman caliphs, Judaism might have disappeared from world. Certainly, Jewish religious historians today admit that Judaism today would be very differ without the positive input derived from living in a Muslim environment.

The aspect of Islam that most impressed me is the emphasis on inner peace afforded by submission the will of Allah. I saw this in the politeness, the courtesy, the simplicity and sincerity (ikhlas) Bosnian Muslims who had been through the worst torments, yet never gave up their basic sereni That serenity has made my life easier. Whenever I feel troubled and tested by daily life, or anxious a fearful about the future, or frustrated in my literary ambitions, my mind goes automatically, now, remembrance of the Muslims I know in Bosnia, to the calm and unity of congregational prayers, a above all, to the clean and soothing words of the Quran. My only problem has been in overcoming m fears about conflict with Jews and Christians.

I seek conciliation-though not concessions to secularism. I believe the most important contributio that will be made by Islam in America involve racial justice and public morality. We all recognize truth of Brother Malcolm’s declaration that the solution to America’s racial problem is Islam. I thi that Islam also offers the solution to America’s moral problem. Before I became a Muslim, I w impressed by the values of Muslims I knew in America and the moral strength of the Balkan Musli in the face of their ordeal. Today, I am, I must say, somewhat sad to find that the Ummah is profoundly divided, and to see how Muslims quarrel with each other.

I am also concerned by the failure of Muslims to do more for the victims of Orthodox Christ imperialism in the Balkans. Islam has brought great peace and beauty to my life. As I have told othe the remainder of my years will be dedicated to service of Allah. I have personally pledged to do a can to help rebuild the mosque of Bosnia and Kosova. 253 Why I became Muslim? Why I chose Islam, by Jemima Goldsmith When Jemima Goldsmith, the 21-year-old daughter of billionaire Sir James, married Imran Khan she embraced not only the world’s most handsome sportsman but also the Muslim faith, taking the name Haiqa. Here, in an exclusive account, she tells how she journeyed from the glamorous society of London to the austere religion of Lahore By Jemima Goldsmith

THE media present me as a naive, besotted 21-year-old who has made a hasty decision without reall considering the consequences - thus effectively condemning herself to a life of interminable subservience, misery and isolation. Although I must confess I have rather enjoyed the various depictions of a veiled and miserable "Haiqa Khan" incarcerated in chains, the reality is somewhat different. Contrary to current opinion, my decision to convert to Islam was entirely my own choice a in no way hurried. Whilst the act of conversion itself is surprisingly quick - entailing the simple assertion that "there is only one God and Mohammed is His Prophet" - the preparation is not necessarily so speedy a process.

In my case, this began last July, whilst the actual conversion took place in early February - three months before the Nikkah in Paris. During that time, I studied in depth both the Quran and the works of various Islamic scholars (Gai Eaton, the Bosnian president Alia Izetbegovic, Muhammad Asad) , thus giving me ample time to reflect before making my decision. What began as intellectual curiosity slowly ripened into a dawning realisation of the universal and eternal truth that is Islam. In the statement given out a week ago, I particularly stressed that I had converted to Islam entirely "through my own convictions".

The significance of this has been largely ignored by the press. The point is that my conversion was n as so many have assumed, a pre-requisite to my marriage. It was entirely my own choice. Religiousl speaking, there was absolutely no compulsion for me to convert prior to my marriage. As it explicitly states in the Quran, a Muslim is permitted to marry from "the People of the Book" - in other words, either a Christian or a Jew. Indeed, the Sunnah - which describes the life of the Prophet - shows that the messenger of Islam hi mself married both a Christian and a Jew during his lifetime.

I believe that much of this hostility towards my marriage and conversion stems from widespread misconceptions about an alien culture and religion. Not only is there a huge gulf between the Wester view of Islam and the reality, but there is in some cases also a significant distinction between Islam based directly on the Quran and the Sunnah and that practised by some Islamic societies. During the last year I have had the opportunity to visit Pakistan on three separate occasions and have observed Islamic family life in practice. Thus, to some extent I now feel qualified to judge for myself the true role and position of women in the religion. At the risk of sounding defensive, I would like to point o that Islam is not a religion which subjugates women whilst elevating men to the status of minidictators in their own homes.

I was able to see this first-hand when I met Imran’s sisters in Lahore: they are all highly educated professional women. His oldest sister, Robina, is an alumnus of the LSE and holds a senior position the United Nations in New York. Another sister, Aleema, has a master’s degree in business administration and runs a successful business; Uzma is a highly qualified surgeon working in a Laho hospital, whilst Rani is a university graduate who co-ordinates charity work. They can hardly be seen as "women in chains" dominated by tyrannical husbands. On the contrary, they are strong-minded independent women - yet at the same time they remain deeply committed both to their families and their religion.

Thus, I was able to see - in theory and in practice - how Islam promotes the essential notion of the family unit without subjugating its female members. I am nevertheless fully aware that women are sometimes exploited and oppressed in Islamic societies, as in other parts of the world. Judging by some of the articles which have appeared in the press, it would seem that a Western woman’s happiness hinges largely upon her access to nightclubs, alcohol and revealing clothes; and the absenc of such apparent freedom and luxuries in Islamic societies is seen as an infringement of her basic rights.

However, as we all know, such superficialities have very little to do with true happiness. Besides, without in any way wishing to disparage the culture of the Western world, into which I was born, I a more than willing to forego the transient pleasures derived from alcohol and nightclubs; and as for th clothes I will be wearing, I find the traditional shalwar kameez (tunic and trousers) worn by most Pakistani women far more elegant and feminine than anything in my wardrobe. Finally, it seems futi to speculate on my chances of marital success. Marriage, as Imran’s father has been quoted as saying, is indeed "a gamble".

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However, when I see that in a society based on family life the divorce rate is just a fraction of that in European or American society, I cannot see that my chances of success are any less than if I had chosen to marry a Westerner. I am all too aware of the enormous task of adapting to a new and radically different culture. But with the love of my husband and the support of his family I look forward to the challenge wholeheartedly, and would like to feel that people wish me well. Whilst I d appreciate the genuine concerns of many, I must confess to feeling somewhat bewildered by all of th commotion. ( Why I became Muslim? Hajj Mustafa Ali (David Sterling)

American Muslim, born of Jewish heritage, who has been devoted to the discovery of unity for ov three decades. He was born in New York and raised from the age of 10 in Los Angeles, Californ From the early age of 13, he was caught by yearning for divine realization and spent time with ma spiritual teachers of different paths such as the Fourth Way, Zen Buddhism and the esoteric aspects both Christianity and Judaism.

He was taught by illustrious personalities from the Vajrayanna and Tibetan schools of Buddhism su as Kalu Rinpoche, and Lama Kunga. He also had instruction from the late Swami Muktananda. In late 70s he met Murshid Hassan al-Moumani a Sufi Shaykh from the West Bank in Palestine. Mursh Hassan conferred spiritual permission upon him in the Sufi path of the Rafai order which led H Mustafa Ali to embrace Islam.

In the following few years, he became a student (Mureed) of Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri and has sin

remained under his guidance and instruction. Hajj Mustafa Ali has traveled throughout the world search of truth and lived abroad, teaching and heading communities of seekers in Canada, Ameri Pakistan, and South Africa. His experiences with realized beings of the age are truly remarkable. addition to apprenticing under several Sufi shaykhs, he has taken instruction and blessings (barak from over a dozen other realized masters. Currently residing in Houston, Texas, USA,

Hajj Mustafa Ali is the designated representative (Wakeel) of Shaykh Fadhlalla Haeri in the Uni States. His primary mission is to call people to Original Islam, the way of reality. At present he holding regular gatherings of dhikr and instruction in the art of the Way. He is also engaged in writi and publishing books regarding the Sufi way of realization. Here is brother Mustaf’s websi http://www.nuradeen.com 255 Why I became Muslim? Rabbi of Makhachkala Synagogue embraced Islam

Every person has a different way of coming to the Truth. For Moisha Krivitsky this way led throug 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. Tod Musa (this is the name he has adopted when he became a Muslim) lives in a small mosque in A Burikent, a mountain area of Makhachkala, and works as a watchman in the Central Juma mosque Musa, before we began talking, you asked what we were going to talk about.

I said: About you. What’s so interesting about me? you wondered. ˜I live in the mosque. How did y come to live in the mosque? - Well, I just dropped in... and stayed. - Did you find the way easily With great difficulty. It was hard then, and it isn’t much easier now. When you go deeply into Isla inner meaning, you understand that this religion is very simple, but the way that leads to it may extremely difficult. Often, people don’t understand how a person could be converted into Islam ˜fro the other side, as it were. But there are no ˜sides here:

Islam is everything there is, both what we imagine and what we don’t imagine. - Musa, as a mat of fact, we were given this fact as a certain sensation: a Rabbi has turned Muslim. - Well, it has be no sensation for quite a long while already – it’s more than a year that I did this. It was strange for at first, too. But it wasn’t an off-the-cuff decision. When I came into Islam, I had read books about i had been interested. - Did you finish any high school before coming to the synagogue? - Yes finished a clerical high school. After graduation, I came to Makhachkala, and became the local Rab - And where did you come from? - Oh, from far away. But I’ve already become a true Daghestani, I got a lot of friends here - both among Muslims and people who are far from Islam. – Let’s return your work in the synagogue.

- It was quite a paradoxical situation: there was a mosque near my synagogue, the town mosq Sometimes my fiends who were its parishioners would come to me - just to chat. I sometimes wou come to the mosque myself, to see how the services were carried out. I was very interested. So lived like good neighbours. And once, during Ramadan, a woman came to me - as I now understan she belonged to a people that was historically Muslim - and she asked me to comment the Russi translation of the Quran made by Krachkovsky. - She brought the Quran to you - a Rabbi?! - Yes, a 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 understan and to get a basic notion of Islam. (Here, Musa looked at my friend’s son, the six-year old Ahm 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 read and understand it, because religious literature requires extreme concentration and attention Musa, and when you were reading the translation, you must have begun to compare it with the Tora –

I had found answers to many questions in the Quran. Not to all of them, of course, because it was the Arabic original, but the translation. But I had begun to understand things. - Does it mean that y couldn’t find some answers in Judaism? - I don’t know, there’s Allah’s will in everything. Apparent those Jews who became Muslims in the times of the Prophet (let Allah bless and greet him), could find some answers in Judaism, but found them in Islam. Perhaps, they were attracted by the personal of the Prophet (let Allah bless him!), his behaviour, his way of communicating with people.

It’s an important topic. - And what exactly were the questions that you couldn’t find answers to Judaism? - Before I came into contact with Islam, there were questions which I had never even tried find answers to. Probably, an important part here had been played by a book written by Ahmad Did 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: Follow the Prop who is yet to come. And when I studied Islam, I understood that the Prophet Muhammad (let Al bless him!) is the very Prophet to be followed. Both the Bible and the Torah tell us to do it. I have invented anything here. - And what does the Torah say about the Prophet (let Allah bless him!)? - W won’t 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. T formula describing the last Prophet (let Allah bless and greet him) is that he would worship One Go the Sole Creator of the world. The Prophet Muhammad (let Allah bless him!) matches this descripti exactly. When I read this, I got very interested. I hadn’t known anything about Islam before that. Th I decided to look deeper into the matter and see whether there were any miracles and signs connec with the name of the Prophet (let Allah bless him!). The Bible tells us that the Lord sends miracles the prophets to confirm their special mission in people’s eyes. I asked the alims about this, and th said: Here’s a collection of true hadiths which describe the miracles connected with the Prophet (

Allah bless him!).

Then I read that the Prophet (let Allah bless him) had always said that there had been prophets a messengers before him (let Allah be content with them). We can find their names both in the To and in the Bible. When I was only starting to get interested, it sounded somewhat strange for me. A then... Well, my own actions led to what happened to me. Sometimes I get to thinking: why did I re all this? Perhaps, I should say the tauba (a prayer of repenting) right now for having thoughts like th - Should I understand you, Musa, that you now feel a great responsibility for becoming a Muslim, do you have some other feelings? - Yes, responsibility, but something else as well. I can’t put finger on it now. When a person knows Islam well, he’s got both his feet firmly on the ground. Isl helps a person understand who he is, where he comes from, what he is there for.

I would be insincere if I said that the all the Daghestani