My name is Abdullah Al-Kanadi. I was born in Canada. My family, who were Roman Catholics, raised me as a Roman Catholic until I was 12 years old. I have been Muslim for approximately six years, and I would like to share the story as a new muslim with you.
During my childhood I attended a Catholic religious school. […] The more I learned about my religion, the more I questioned it!
At the tender age of twelve, I decided I would be an atheist in order to punish God. […] My teenage years were filled with misery and loneliness. I was accepted in a local technical school and decided that I should further my education and maybe make some good money, so that I would be happy. […]
I would forget my family and be with my friends all the time. One night, I told my parents I was going to move out. They told me, I couldn’t, and that I wasn’t ready for it and that they wouldn’t allow it! I was 17 years old and very headstrong; I swore at my parents and said to them all sorts of evil things, which I still regret to this day. I felt emboldened by my new freedom. […] I was working and going to school when my roommates introduced me to marijuana. […]Soon though, I started to smoke more and more, until during one weekend I had smoked so much, that it was Monday morning and before I knew it, it was time for school. I thought, well, I’ll take one day of school off, and go the next day. […] I never returned to school after that. I finally realized how good I had it. […] Who needed school anyways?
I was living a great life, or so I thought; I became the ‘resident’ bad boy at work. […]I felt worthless and completely valueless. I was stealing from work and from friends to help maintain the ‘chemical haze’. […] I was beginning to crack and I needed a solution, and I figured that religion would help me.
[…] I bought a couple of books on Wicca and Nature Worship, and found that they encouraged the use of natural drugs, so I continued. People would ask me if I believed in God, and we would have the strangest conversations while under the ‘influence’, but I distinctly remember saying that no, in fact I don’t believe in God at all, I believe in many gods as imperfect as me.
Through all this, there was one friend who stuck by me. He was a ‘Born Again’ Christian and was always preaching to me, even though I would mock his faith at every opportunity. He was the only friend I had at the time who didn’t judge me, so when he invited me along to go to a youth weekend camp I decided to go along. I had no expectations. I thought I would have a huge laugh making fun of all the “Bible Thumpers”. […]They played all sorts of music which praised God. I watched as the young and old, male and female cried out for forgiveness and shed tears over everything. I was really moved and I said a silent prayer along the lines of “God, I know I have been a horrible person, please help me, and forgive me and let me start fresh.” I felt a surge of emotion come over me, and I felt tears roll down my cheek. […]
I returned to my party home and eschewed all drugs, intoxicants, and girls. I promptly told my friends how they needed to be Christians so they could be saved. I was shocked that they rejected me. […]
I started to hang out at a Christian “youth house” which was basically a house where teens could go. […] In spite of this, I felt like a fraud, for I started drinking and dating again. […] Through all this, my one Christian friend would try to council me and keep me on the right track.
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I feel honored to be a Muslim... And I feel that way for many reasons. There are many norms in the society I live that are opposite to what it is to be a Muslim. And when I first came to this way of life, I didn’t know how well I would fair with it. […]
Having spent a large portion of my short life not being a Muslim, I know the darkness that God speaks of in the Quran. I remember what it was like when Allah opened my eyes and shined a light where the darkness had once been. At the beginning of my life, I had no definite form of absolute guidance.
The simplest aspects of creation would boggle my mind. I was totally oblivious to the miracles God put in nature. One time, in particular, I recall learning about evaporation in science class. I was unable to comprehend it. Not the how, but the reason it happened.
I understood the idea of the water cycle and its importance for life, but what would make the water essentially disappear and float back up to the sky?
When viewing this question, without knowing God, my mind ran into a mental block at which point I could not come up with the answer. Boggled by the thought, I merely shrugged my shoulders and threw it to the back of my mind.
When looking at the human body, and how it’s made largely of water, or looking at the universe and trying to comprehend what was beyond it. I would be faced with the mental barricade of not being able to comprehend the reason for its creation.
Time and time again scientists could explain the how, but never the why. They could explain purpose within the mechanics of creation, but they could never explain the purpose of the mechanics itself. What caused the mechanics? What caused nature to have laws?
Having been brought up in a non-practicing Christian family, I had a general understanding of the principles of Christianity. […] My problem with Christianity was the dogma, and more specifically the beliefs about God. The issue of a “Triune” God that is essentially three different individuals that all unite to take on the role of the “One” God. I know that is not how the Doctrine of Trinity is officially promoted, and any Bible-thumping Christian would probably accuse me of not understanding the Doctrine, but that’s the reality that I saw in it
[…] Around that time, I unofficially rejected Christianity. I became a Christian / Atheist / Agnostic. I began to live life trying to come to terms with my surroundings and myself. Not knowing of a greater purpose, I saw no problem in taking part in destructive activities of any kind; on the condition, I would receive some sort of satisfaction from it.
[…] I began to turn to the common reality escape, namely drugs and alcohol. At first, using them as a social tool, and eventually using them habitually as a sedative. If people ever told me I should calm down, I would tell them I could stop if I had a reason, but I had no reason. […] But eventually, I started to feel a consciousness within me looking for some sort of console. Although I was lost and in the dark, since I never saw the light, I didn’t know the difference between the two. I began to think of “the bigger picture.”
I began to think about death. I tried to comprehend the concept of nothingness, and as many times before in my life, when trying to contemplate the purpose, my mind drew blanks. Until one night, while I lay on my bed, deep in thought, I turned my face to the sky, and I said: “God, if you’re real, and You exist, please help me!”
I went to sleep that night never really thinking twice about it. Then on 9/11, I watched the uncanny events unfold. I was confused about the whole situation, why it happened, what exactly happened, and how they knew who did it almost immediately. For the first time there was meaning being applied to foreign terms that I had heard, but never knew anything about, namely Islam.
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“You don’t look happy, why? You just had a great performance in the gig!”
This was a question Lon had been asking himself for a long time but he wasn’t able to come up with a reason for his unhappiness. Whatever he wanted was there in a minute or so but still, this was not what he had in mind. He knew that most people would kill for such popularity and this way of life but he was also aware that something is missing. Something that no one could say what it was. The missing thing was the answer to his restless nights, it was the answer to his unanswerable questions, and it was the peace he couldn’t get, no matter how much money he spent. The worst part was the fact that he did not know what it was and how he could find it.
“This city looks gorgeous!” he thought, during one of his visits to another country.
“What are the people doing?” he asked the driver. “They seem to be in a hurry!”
This was the moment Muslims were off to the mosques for their prayers. They wanted to get there before “congregational prayer” started.
This answer was interesting to Lon since he had never seen such a thing before. He had never seen people running to make it to a religious ceremony. He paid attention to the behaviors of the Muslims afterward. He liked them. They cared about each other and they seemed very careful about their actions. He saw himself calmer whenever he was paying attention to them. “Just looking at them makes me feel much better. Maybe this is where I have to look for the answers to my questions”
Since then, he started to search for it. The more he read, the more he got interested. It was interesting that this religion had followers in a wide variety of countries with people of very different ethnic backgrounds.
He made his decision. This was what he was looking for. This was what could answer all of his questions. This was an answer to the question which neither popularity nor wealth could bring. He left the job he was doing for 17 years. He felt calm afterward. It was like his soul found a way that could guide it when it was in the middle of nowhere. This was an end to all his confusing feelings.
Before becoming rich and famous, he always thought that these two can answer all his questions and can bring him everything he wants but later he was proved to be wrong. He understood that PEACE is what he wants and this is not what wealth and popularity are going to offer. It was ISLAM that could bring him what he was actually seeking.