My name is Darrick Abdul-hakim. I am a 20-year-old Muslim brother living in the United States. […]
I grew up as a Christian who had a good deal of information. I was very excited to express my Christian belief to my friends, co-workers and colleagues. However, at the age of 17, life became a bit more complicated than before. I began to observe my fellow Christians in more depth. I was shocked how most didn’t practice the Christian faith to 100% expectation.
To make matters worse, I became increasingly dissatisfied with the Biblical scriptures. For example, the belief that Jesus claimed to be God was a church addition. Jesus certainly never asserted that he was the God of the world.
[…] I wondered what would happen if I were to become more religious, but that never happened and instead I left the Christian life and bid it farewell. Not only that, but also my faith and belief in God, slipped quietly out the door. I was now an agnostic, not knowing what faith to follow, or knowing if we are surrounded by God or not, I was just lost in a chaotic world. I wasn’t an atheist, I was just confused about who, or what God really was.
[…] I began to have thoughts about the Universe whether we are really humans at all. I began to ask why I should remain moral (I refused to drink because I felt it was a sin, interesting for someone who didn’t have a faith or believed in a God!). I began to question my own existence. I began to contemplate whether I should be here or not and on account of this, I had seriously considered suicide. I wanted to quit my job because I was coming under stress, by this time I was 18 years old.
Alhamdulilah, I had the comfort of friends to keep me from committing such a catastrophe. But, I was still without a faith, life couldn’t get much better from my end, and I still didn’t know how to cope with my grandmother’s death.
Eventually, I began to read for myself. I ran across a book, which was discussing the world’s faiths, and I came across Islam. I simply never had given Islam any thought at all. On the following day, when I was on my way to work I saw a man with a copy of the Quran in his hand so I asked him if I could see it, Alhamduliah (all praise is due to Allah) he not only let me see it, he gave it to me! I was stunned, excited, and compelled. I went to read it and was amazed by its literature; the things I didn’t notice before struck me. It was comprehensible, and lucid for a layperson like myself.
On September 11th, I saw the world trade centers go crashing down. I wondered to myself, could the teachings of Islam have provoked such an act? Could Islam be this bad?
But, the more I read, the more I found out that Islam was a faith that denounced all forms of extremism. Islam by all means is peace. We certainly wouldn’t judge Christianity by the barbaric abortion clinic bombings, or we wouldn’t describe Judaism as an ethnic faith that just wants a Jewish world from the Israeli who assassinated the Israeli prime minister in 1995 because he felt the Prime minister was an apostate of God. Why must we do the same to Islam? 9/11 compelled me to learn more about Islam. I bought and read a total of 10 biographies on Prophet Muhammad, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him. I was amazed by his life. I didn’t look at Muhammad from a Christian perspective, but from a Historical, Political and cultural perspective. After my readings into Islam, I decided to convert. I was on a quest for the faith, and I found it. Alhamdulilah.
Now, after my conversion, I have read a large number of books on Islam. I still am currently reading the Biographies of Prophet Muhammad. I can truly say that life now is much better!
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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.
First of all, I would like to start by saying that this true story is not for my own fame or admiration, but for the sake of my Lord and your Lord God. All praises due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the Beneficent, the Merciful Owner of the Day of Judgment. I would like to repeat to you something I heard: the journey of a thousand miles has to start with the first step, and this is the first part of my journey and conversion to Islam.
My name is Malik Mohammed Hassan, and I have recently converted to Islam. When I was in junior high school, I was first introduced to Islam by reading the book Roots by Alex Haley. It taught me a little bit about the strong will that most Muslims possess, myself included. It also introduced me to Allah. I had never heard of Allah in his real form until I read that book, and I was very curious. I then started reading about The Nation of Islam (specifically Malcolm X), and it fascinated me how devoted he was to God, especially after he left the self-serving Nation of Islam. Reading about Malcolm made me think about a God who (for a change) did not have any physical … limitations and, being a totally blind person, it made me relate to these people: the people who Malcolm and Haley referred to as Muslims. I continued reading what I could about Islam, which wasn’t as much as it should have been. My reading material was very limited, because like I said above, I am a totally blind person, and the material available about Islam in Braille or on tape was not only very little but also very general. I believe the reason was that the material that I had access to wasn’t written by Muslims, and it kind of painted a dark picture of Islam. I think most of the literature written by Christians or non-Muslims about Islam tends to do that most of the time. And I didn’t know that there were even Muslims in Halifax, so I obviously didn’t know any. I didn’t even know about the local Islamic association until I was already a Muslim.
So I read what I could until my first year out of high school, around the month of May 1996, when I received a phone call asking me if I wanted to participate in a camp for blind and visually impaired people, known throughout Canada as Score. I agreed and sent them a resume, and praise be to God, I was accepted for work.
At first, I really didn’t want to go, but something kept telling me it would be a good idea if I went. So, on June 30th, 1996 I boarded a plane from Nova Scotia to Toronto and took my last trip as a non-Muslim; I just didn’t know it yet.
I got to Toronto, and everything at first was pretty normal... It was on the second day I was there when the journey of a thousand miles first started.
I arrived on a Sunday, and on the next day, I met the person who God would use with His divine power to help guide me to the beautiful Religion of Islam. I met a sister named [...], and if she reads this, I hope she doesn’t get mad at me for using her name.
When I met her, I immediately wanted to talk to her because I liked her name. I asked her what origin her name was and she told me that it was Arabic; so I asked her if she was Muslim and she replied with the answer of yes. I immediately started telling her what I already knew about Islam, which lasted about ten seconds. I started asking her questions and also asking her to talk to me about Islam.
One particular incident that comes to my mind is when all of the workers at the camp went to a baseball game, and the sister and I started talking about Islam and missed pretty much the whole game.
Well, anyway, we talked for about three, maybe four days on and off about Islam, and on July the fifth, if my memory doesn’t fail me, I became a Muslim. My life has been totally different ever since. I look at things very differently than I used to and I finally feel like I belong to a family. All Muslims are brothers and sisters in Islam so I could say that I have approximately 1.2 billion brothers and sisters all of whom I’m proud to be related to. I finally know what it feels like to be humble and to worship a God that I don’t have to see.
For any non-Muslim reading this, just look at it this way. It’s good to learn, but you never know when you will be tested, and if you’re not in the class at the time of the final exam, no matter how much you know, you’ll never get any credit. So like I said, it’s good to learn, but if you want to get credit, sign up for the class. In other words, declare shahada (testimony to faith) and let God teach you everything you need to know. Believe me, the reward is worth it. You could say the reward is literally heaven.
If any good comes out of this story all the credit is due to God; only the mistakes are my own. I would like to mention a part of a hadith that has had a great effect on me and that is:
“Worship God as if you see him and if you don’t see him, know that he sees you.” (Saheeh Muslim)
By Malik Mohammed Hassan