My name is Mariano Ricardo Calle. I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina. […] Since my childhood, I was connected with religion through my mom and my grandmother […]. I read the Bible since seven years old. I began reading the Bible for kids in Spanish. My heroes were David, Nuh and Job. " My first desire was to learn Arabic, but my soul awakened when I began to read the Quran "
[…] I fell into drugs until a crisis at twenty one years of age. I have always been searching for the truth. […] This I did for a whole year. But that didn't help me too much, but God knows better.
[…]I began to study the Arabic language on my own, with the help of a book from the internet. […] In the book fair, my mom took two little books for free about Islam. I read them, and the subjects of science mentioned in the Quran, seemed very interesting to me. And, I read about Muhammad (PBUH) and I felt that person was a model for me.
So, one day I left smoking and drinking. I never was a drunkard, but I left completely whatever was related to alcohol. That was my own decision, and I never thought of being a Muslim until the day I said my Shahadah.
I thought of buying a Quran to read something in Arabic and that way, learn faster. My teacher told me that I could get one for free, in the mosque of Palermo (Buenos Aires).
On the same day, I went to the mosque, just to ask for a Quran and I wondered how such a great place could be so empty. I understood that Argentina is not an Islamic country but that this mosque was the greatest in Latin America.
That day in the mosque a man […] gave me a link to the Quran that I could download from the internet, I later printed it. It was just an hour, and I had the Quran. […] The Quran I got was in Arabic and Spanish, that way I could read it in Arabic directly.
Since my childhood I have read the whole Bible twice, and the Gita from India also twice, and now I had the Quran to read, and much better, in Arabic. My first desire was to learn Arabic, but my soul awakened when I began to read the Quran. […]
Alhamdulillah, I could realize that what the Quran says was the parts that were missing in the Bible. And I remember well, I understood as well when I read it that all that the Quran says could perfectly be the truth I was looking for. […]
Since then, I began to go to the mosque and in two weeks I said the Shahadah […] because, I was sure that Muhammad was a messenger of God, like Jesus or Moses. So, I began to read everything I found about Islam and began to study Arabic in the mosque. […]
In the two weeks before I said the Shahadah, I was going to the mosque to learn, and I felt that the place was full of peace. I prayed with the Muslims there while I wasn’t a Muslim yet, but I wanted to know how it feels to prostrate in front of God, because I knew that intention was important for God. So, in two weeks, I learned the whole salat (Prayer). […] I continued going to the mosque and then came Ramadan, which was a beautiful experience. […] Since I said the Shahadah, I haven't missed a salat.
What was difficult to me was to leave girls, because I had a girlfriend, but I knew that it wouldn't have worked. So, I left her and asked God to grant me a good wife. I remember that was the first thing I asked God for. And I got to know a woman, the same week I said the Shahadah! […]
I told my mother and father that I now was a Muslim. My mother was a little afraid, but I began to treat my parents better. […] I got a job and in my first day I asked my boss for a place to pray, which was not a problem […]. So, my life changed to the better, because I began to smile more, and try to act good with everybody.[…]
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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.
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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