Last year my husband and I made our beautiful trip to Hajj. This was something I was looking forward to experiencing since I converted to Islam, and it finally came to me. In previous years, I saw the news coverage of the pilgrims and I got goosebumps hoping to go there one day. Allah invited me and my husband to His holy house and we accepted the invitation wholeheartedly. This was an overwhelming experience, the people, the holy atmosphere, stepping where the Prophet (PBUH&HP) and Imams (AS) have stepped, being able to see with my own eyes what the Holy Kaaba looked like. Previously, when I used to pray I wondered about the direction I was facing, what I was really praying towards. Now in my prayers, I often try to picture as though I am still standing in front of the Kaaba. Before I left for Hajj, I did some readings about why Muslims perform the pilgrimage and what the significance of some of the rituals was. To my surprise, I discovered that a lot of the rituals were about re-enacting the steps of Prophet Abraham. I mean, Allah has made this obligatory for every Muslim, as long as they could afford the trip. Why is this so important? This trip tried to make us united as Muslims, to make us realize that even though there are many sects today, we worship only one God. We prostrate to one God. That is the reason why we are living or even attending the trip, because of one God.
Another reason for this trip is that we try to leave this material world behind; we try to elevate our spirituality. We leave the comfort of our homes, our families and friends, our lovely dinners, our comfort zone. There are so many things we take for granted. I saw all types of people there, poor, old, young, disabled, different nationalities, etc. Some people couldn’t even afford accommodation so they stayed in the streets; eat on the streets, just to perform this wonderful pilgrimage. It makes you feel like you take nearly all things in life for granted.
There is a lot more to this trip and I pray that every Muslim be able to make it and make the most of it Inshallah. I pray that Allah gives us another invitation to His holy land again. We are created by Him, cared for by Him, and Inshallah we return to Him once we pass away. We are in this world to build our next life, the eternal one.
My name is Abdullah DeLancey. I am Canadian and I am employed as a Patient Service Worker at the local hospital. […] I was a Protestant Christian for all of my life.
My family brought me up in the Pentecostal Church until I was an adult at which time I moved to a fundamental Independent Baptist Church.
As a faithful Christian I was very involved at Church, giving lectures for the Adult Sunday School and other duties. I was eventually elected as the Deacon of the Church. I really wanted to further my dedication to God and decided to pursue a career as a Minister.
I was awarded a scholarship to help me start taking a degree in Divinity. My goal was to be a Pastor of a Church or a Missionary. […]
I thought it best to look at Christianity critically and ask some very serious questions about my faith. I questioned the Trinity, why God would need a son, and why the human sacrifice of Jesus, as stated in the Bible, was needed to provide me with forgiveness.
I questioned the Christian belief of how all the righteous people in the Old Testament were “saved” and in heaven if Jesus wasn’t even born yet. […]
Realizing that I had always accepted Christianity, with blind faith for my entire life and never had questioned it, was perplexing to me. How could I have not realized this before?
I could not find the answers in the Bible. Once I realized that the Trinity was a myth and that God is powerful enough to “save” someone without the need for help from a son or anyone or anything else. Things changed. […]
I left the Church for good and my wife dutifully left with me, as she was having trouble accepting Christianity too. This was the start of my spiritual journey. I was now without a religion but believed in a God.
This was a very hard time for me and my family as Christianity was all we had ever known. I had to search for the truth. I began studying various religions and found them as false one after another. Until, I heard about Islam.
Islam!!! What was that? As far as I could remember, I had never known a Muslim and Islam was not heard or spoken of “as a faith” in my part of Canada. Unless, of course, it was news stories talking bad about Islam. […]
But then I started to read a little about Islam. Then, I kept reading a little more. Then, I read the Quran. This wonderful revelation of truth changed my life forever. […]
I discovered the nearest mosque was about 100 miles away from my city. So I promptly loaded the family van and drove my family to this mosque. […] I asked myself, was I even allowed in the mosque because I wasn’t an Arab or a Muslim?
However, after arriving at the mosque, I quickly realized I had nothing to fear. I was greeted by the Imam and the Muslims with a most warm greeting. I found them very nice. Nothing like the bad things the news always said about Muslims.
[…] After studying I was in shock. How could I have been a Christian for so long and never heard the truth? I now believed in Islam. I knew it and I wanted to convert.
I was put in contact with the small Muslim community in my city. […] Just before Friday prayer started and with most of the local Muslim Community present as witness; I testified that “La illaha ill Allah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah” (There is no God but Allah, Muhammad (PBUH&HP) is the Messenger of Allah). I was now a Muslim. It was the best day of my life. I love Islam and have peace now.
Difficult times have come since I became a Muslim. When people started realizing I was now a Muslim they would shun me or laugh at me, most of our old Christian friends have never talked to us again. My parents have all but disowned me.
I love being a Muslim and it doesn’t matter if some of my fellow Canadians think of me as odd for becoming a Muslim. Why? The reason is that I alone, am the one that will have to answer to God after my death. […]
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As far back as I can remember as a child, I was always astounded by this universe in which we live […]. And from that early time, I always in some way knew, there just had to be a Creator responsible for all this.
But then as I segued into my teens, it was much easier to succumb to peer pressure, and I lost interest in the Divine and instead devoted my time to alcohol, sex and the immature games of a young male growing up in America. Growing into young adulthood, my obsessions became money, power, a better house, a faster car, and a prettier woman--all shallow pursuits.
I lived this way for many years, slowly losing control of my life, thinking I was pursuing happiness when all I was getting was more depressed, more confused, and making more and more of a mess of my life.
[…] My immediate response was to turn to God, and, having been raised Catholic, it was to that church that I turned. At the time, I had been divorced and remarried and came to find out that the Catholic Church didn't want me. Hurt and angry, but also realizing a need for a spiritual order in my life, I turned to Buddhism.
The Buddhist sect I became involved with followed a Tibetan tradition, where importance is placed on gaining empowerments, which are basically blessings from various Buddhas. At some point I realized I was not really bettering myself […]. All of a sudden, I realized that one of the last things the Buddha said before passing away was not to worship him. I realized this whole practice was BASED on worshipping not only "the" Buddha, but also all these other Buddhas. I became very discouraged and reverted to my old ways of indulgence in alcohol and other forbidden pleasures. And once again, I became very depressed […].
When I was a young man, I was very much "into" the music of Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam). When I heard he had embraced Islam, I was in the U.S. Navy at the time and this was during the "hostage crisis" in Iran. So, I immediately drew the conclusion that Cat Stevens has become a terrorist, and I kept that belief for many years.
A couple months or so ago, I heard he was going to be interviewed on TV, and I wanted to hear about this crazy man who had left a great life to become a terrorist. Well, needless to say, I was just floored by the interview, because he was certainly no terrorist, but a soft-spoken, articulate, peaceful man who radiated love, and patience, and intelligence. The very next day, I began researching Islam on the Internet. [...] It all made so much SENSE, the existence of God was so SIMPLE to understand! […]
Well, the more I learned the more I was convinced that this was truly the path I had been searching for. It contained the discipline--physical, mental, and spiritual--that leads to true peace and happiness. […]. Pronouncing my Shahadatainwas such a CLEANSING experience, and since this time, I have often just … cried and cried and cried. How wonderful!
I have received such a warm and embracing welcome from all Muslim brothers and sisters from around the world; I take great comfort in this, knowing that, despite any adversity or setback, I am literally surrounded by my Muslim family that will never abandon me as long as I remain Muslim. No other group of people has ever treated me in this way.
[…] Accepting the reality of Islam is the easy part, walking the Straight Path is the hard part, especially once one had firmly implanted himself in a society of unbelievers. But I pray to God every day for strength and guidance, and I just take it one day at a time, trying to improve in Islam little by little each day.
By Dawood Kinney
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