I was born in the city of Mansoorah in the Arab Republic of Egypt in an ordinary Christian family in which religion had not much significance. We did not go to Church except on festive and ceremonial occasions. As far as we were concerned, religion did not mean anything more than rites which we observed, when necessary […] I found the services so tedious that I never sat through them to their conclusion. I was plagued by boredom and unease.
I felt sure that I was not meant to be one of them. I felt a total stranger in this place full of pictures, icons, and statues, like the temples of the idolaters of yore. Then I turned to read with inexhaustible greed and enthusiasm, which stimulated my faculties and sharpened my feelings.
Questions began to strike my mind like a spade striking virgin land to prepare it for the sowing of good seeds to bring forth delicious fruits. It was at this time that doubt arose within me about the religion to which I was born, violently and extensively shattering my frame of mind. […] As for the doctrine of the Trinity, it must ultimately lead to a division of the entity of God Himself, whose glory is far above such a misconception. […] Thus did I cross over the mountains of doubt of firm belief: the true religion of Allah which is Islam?
I studied the Judaism and Christianity as well other, such as Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, etc. In some, I found traces of high morals and philosophy of the sort to guide man to ideal conduct. But when it comes to formulating a definition of Allah, they go too far, either by supposing many gods, each of them entrusted with the management of one specific department of the affairs of the world or by presenting Allah in a tangible form, resembling very closely the forms and shapes of earthly creatures. […]
As for Islam, it is the religion of nature. Almighty Allah has purified it of all material and tangible forms and raised it to the highest degree of spiritualism and purity. Islam confirms that Allah possesses, will, wisdom, discretion, knowledge, and authority. […]
Thus did Islam attract me to its sublime and sacred fold—Islam the purest and most sublime of the revealed religions, unsullied by apostasy or the doctrine of the incarnation.
On the 8th of Ramadan, I entered the mosque for the first time with two companions. My soul and conscience became purified in the melting pot of magnificent faith. I underwent that sweet, pleasant experience which opened to me the door of salvation. […]His most High Spirit embraced me and asked me to resign myself to His care after the period of my prolonged loss and misfortune.
Immediately after concluding the prayer, I took the Holy Book at the gate of the Al-Husain mosque and came back home imbibing enlightenment from the seas of its sacred verses and it's eternal, clear wisdom by which I was thoroughly overwhelmed. This is the Book of God “about which there is no doubt.” “Falsehood cannot come at it from before it or behind it.” (Quran 41:32)
It shall remain preserved till the end of the world without distortion or change.
“We have, without doubt, sent down the Reminder; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).” (Quran 15:9)
In plunging into this Divine, copious and flowing bounty, I uttered the two Shahadah (testimonies) and announced my Islam to Allah. So that the firmness of my faith might flourish and its impact on me might grow strong, I began to read books and works of contemporary Muslim thinkers who command influence in the Arab and other Muslim countries.
I hope in all humbleness that Allah may accept my Islam which I have embraced heart and soul as my last refuge. I have entered the fold of Islam in love of God, and His Prophet whose status is sublime and exalted and whose personality is unique and exceptional. I have always appreciated and honored him in the past and have an unflinching belief that he is the greatest of all personalities to love an indelible mark on the annals of world history.
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It was a typical day. I woke up early before my parents and got ready to go running in the park near our house. Running without music seemed almost impossible to me; it seemed as though my body responded to physical activities better when music was playing through my ears. My iPod was full of my favorite songs and was ready to flow energy into my feet. I pressed the round button of play but... what was it playing? I have never heard such a thing! Never put it on my iPod! My finger slipped on the left arrow to skip it, but something stopped it. It was The Miracle of Words...
It wasn't a song or poem; someone was reciting some words with a very fascinating and melodious rhythm. I couldn't make out the words, never heard the language spoken in it. However, its effect was so strong that for a second, I couldn't move. It seemed as if I had been exposed to an electric shock. I replayed it a thousand times, and each time my feelings arose stronger than before.
I rushed home to find out who the writer of these words was and who was reciting them and more importantly who put it on my iPod. The latter mystery was solved quite easily; I’d downloaded it from the net instead of another song, but how I’d made such a mistake, I never found out.
To find the writer of those words, I didn't know where to search. Since I didn't understand it and didn't know the language, I couldn't search for it on the net. So I decided to play it for my father who knew some languages. He recognized it instantly...
The day after the incident, I went to the nearest bookshop and to the surprise of the shopkeeper, I bought the book-of course the English translation- that carried those enchanting words. I couldn't wait longer, so the second that he handed me the book I started reading it.
The content was deep and compelling, however, the feeling that I experienced by hearing the original words did not arise in me by reading the translation. But the book still was so absorbing that I finished it in a matter of days.
I wasn't satisfied. I had to figure out the secret of the original words. It became a matter of life and death for me; I had to pursue it, or my life would have lost its meaning. So, I decided to learn the language of the book. It was a very formidable decision since the language was not in the least like my own and it was considered to be one of the hardest languages in the world.
Nevertheless, I found a place and started learning it. It took me months to be able to read some words of the book and understand their meaning, however, the more I learned, the more voracious I became in following the path I had chosen.
Gradually, I came to realize some of the extraordinary aspects of the word choice of that book. The words were chosen based on a careful and precise symmetry as well as coordination; they were irreplaceable since they were so firmly bound together both in meaning and tone. If you had replaced a word with its close synonym, the whole sentence and even the entire part would have become inconsistent and wouldn’t have had the same effect at all.
Moreover, the careful choice of the words in each part had a direct influence over the tone of that part; sometimes cautionary and awakening, sometimes annunciatory and promising, and in both cases pierces instantly into your heart. Reading the words makes you feel like you are reciting a melodious poem written in prose style, yet no poem or prose could be considered equal to it.
In a few months, the charm of the Quran’s words changed me into a whole new person; from an aimless and disconcerted girl to one whose purpose is as clear as daylight, full of hope and positivity. This experience that marked a turning point in my life came to me as a miracle; you too can go on the same journey and find your way out; just hear these words once and feel the difference by yourself.
- Mohammad Hadi Ma'arefat. Qur’anic sciences. Qom: Al tahmid, 1381.
- new muslim
I still remember to this day my first encounter with a Muslim. One of the boys brought his friend to the youth house. […] What I do remember is the boy saying “I brought my friend ‘so and so’, he’s a Muslim and I want to help him become a Christian”. I was absolutely amazed by this 14 year old kid, he was calm and friendly! […] It blew my mind!
The Muslim kid left a copy of the Quran on the shelf, […] I started reading it. I soon became infuriated with this book when I saw that it made more sense than the Bible. […]The youth group used to go to various Churches on weekends to prayer events and Saturday nights were spent in a huge Church instead of at the bar. I remember being at one such event called ‘The Well’ and I felt so close to God and wanted to humble myself and show my Creator my love for Him. I did what felt natural, I prostrated. I prostrated like Muslims do in the daily prayers, yet I didn’t know what I was doing, all I knew was, that it felt really good… it felt right. […]
I felt myself slowly slipping away from the Church as my faith ebbed away. It was at this time that my best friend, the Christian man who had helped me come to Christ, along with another close friend of mine, raped my girlfriend who I had been with for two years. […] A couple of weeks later, it was revealed that the man who ran the youth house had molested one of the boys that I was friends with.
My world was shattered! […] I had nothing left to give, I was empty again. […] A little while after, my manager at work told me that a “Moslem” would be working with us, he was really religious and we should try to be decent around him. […]
He didn’t swear, he never got angry and was always calm, kind and respectful. I was truly impressed and decided that he would make an excellent Christian. We went back and forth asking things about each other’s religions, but after a time I felt myself getting more and more defensive. […] I felt it was he who was on the truth! […] I was convinced that if I could only pray there again, I could get the feeling back and the strong faith and then I could convert the Muslim. […]
I started to realize that I was being pushed in a certain direction, so I prayed over and over to my Creator to surrender my will to His[…] I sat up in bed and cried, ‘Jesus, God, Buddha, whoever You are, please, please guide me, I need You! […] If Christianity is the correct way then make me strong, and if it is Islam, then bring me to it!’ […] I went to work the next day and said to the Muslim brother “how do I say ‘hi’ to you?” He asked me what I meant and I said, “I wanted to become a Muslim”. He looked at me and said “Allahu Akbar!” We hugged for a good minute or so and I thanked him for everything and I began my journey into Islam.
I look back at all the events that happened in my life over time, and I realize that I was being prepared to become a new Muslim. I was shown so much mercy from God. Out of all that happened in my life, there was something to learn. I learned the beauty of the Islamic prohibition of intoxicants, the prohibition of illegal sex, and the need for the Hijab. […]
For those of us who have accepted Islam at some point in our lives, we truly are blessed and fortunate. […]Islam truly is a way of life, and even if we suffer poor treatment by fellow Muslims or non-Muslims, we must always remember to be patient and turn only to God. […]
May God increase our faith and make it in accords to that which pleases Him and grant us His Paradise, Amen!
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