My name is Frank Estrada. I was raised a Roman Catholic. I was so devout; I even hoped to one day serve in the priesthood. I accepted the church’s teachings even when I didn't agree with them. I even took every chance I got to convert people in the hopes of bringing them to Allah.
While serving in the US Marines, I did two tours in the Middle East. In a short time, I developed a hatred for Arabs and Islam. After I left active duty, I took a job with a company as a network administrator in Iraq. I worked with a man named Ahmed. In the beginning, I didn't trust him simply because of his background. I'm lucky that he was patient with me.
Slowly, due to my ignorance, he taught me about the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him, and the Quran. He didn't teach me in words; rather, he showed me that Muslims are not evil through his actions. More than that, he taught me the truth of Allah's Message.
After I came home, I began to study Islam seriously. I took a world religions course at Mesa Community College. Though I found the course prejudicial to Islam, it seemed to push me closer to it. I met a young woman named Amal in the class. We would spend hours talking and debating about Islam and Catholicism. I found her arguments both logical and reasonable.
I started taking Arabic courses, so I could learn to read and understand the Quran properly. I still have a long way to go. I spoke to everyone I knew that was Muslim but, more than that, I watched them to see if their actions matched their words. I never saw any hypocrisy. I even went to the Masjid in Tempe, Arizona to talk to other Muslims and the Imam.
What finally brought me to my conversion though, was the Shahadah. I read it and tried to see how it fit with my beliefs. I compared it to the First Commandment and found them to be identical. It was at that point that I had an epiphany.
Catholicism, whatever else it was, was polytheistic. The realization was shattering to me. I knew at that point that I could not obey the laws of Allah and continue to praise the Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him, as his son.
I talked it over with my wife. She was concerned, to say the least. We spent hours discussing what it would do to our family. She went with me to the Masjid where we spoke with a man named Muhammed. Not only was he able to sway her fears, she decided to convert as well!
Becoming Muslim was no doubt the right decision. My friends and family, save my parents, were very supportive. My father would not speak to me for the next three months. My wife's family, to this day, is still unsupportive. I do not doubt that Allah will soften their hearts in the future.
I thank Allah for all the people he has brought into my life to show me the truth. I thank Him for giving me a mind to understand the truth. More than that, I thank Allah for my loving and understanding wife who has come to the truth with me.
I shall end this paper as I began the day. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad is His prophet.
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Despite the considerable amount of anti-Islamic movements and propaganda in the world, the number of those who convert to Islam and accept it as a way of life is increasing. The question is, therefore, why would people want to become Muslims, while they know that they might go through some difficulties and challenges? In what follows, we will try to mention some of the main reasons that make people accept Islam as the best available lifestyle.
In a world that media and politics are standing against a specific religion, many people may blindly accept what the media says. But seeing the amount of budget, human and natural resources that are being spent to conceal a specific religion from the world will give thoughtful people more reason to study and learn about this religion. As soon as they read the Quran in full, not only some chosen parts of it, they will understand the divine spirit of the Quran and its efficacy for human beings.
Muslims are living all around the world, and a Hijabi girl can be “the girl next door” to any non-Muslim. Seeing the routine life of Muslim families proves that what the media says about Islam and Muslims is far from the truth. When the true reality of Islam is uncovered to a person, a religion that leads its followers toward a better and more prosperous life, one surely finds enough reason to convert to Islam and follow its path.
Many people who were looking for the most applicable methods in handling social, cultural, or economic issues, found out that the strategies Islam provides for every aspect of human life are so complete that it leaves no room for further questions and ambiguities.
For example, the rulings of Islam regarding business, economy, management, charity, national or international communication, etc. can answer all the needs of anyone who expects growth and perfection.
Another essential aspect of Islam that can attract people and lead them to convert to Islam is the ethical orders that Islam provides in the individual, social, environmental, and cultural life of human beings. No one can morally or ethically deny these recommendations and descriptions of the righteous servants of Allah Almighty. Every sane person understands the beauty of a good character defined by Allah (SWT) and realizes how practical is this description for the One who is willing to take it as a model:
“The servants of the All-beneficent are those who walk humbly on the earth, and when the ignorant address them, say, ‘Peace!’ Those who spend the night for their Lord, prostrating and standing [in worship]... Those who are neither wasteful nor tightfisted when spending, but balanced between these [two extremes]. Those who do not invoke another deity besides Allah, and do not kill a soul [whose life] Allah has made inviolable, except with due cause, and do not commit fornication. (Whoever does that shall encounter its retribution … Those who do not give false testimony, and when they come upon frivolity, pass by with dignity.” (25: 63 -72)
Another significant aspect that motivates many people to convert to Islam is the miracle of the Quran. The Quran, as a book revealed about 1400 years ago, presents many incredible scientific facts. These include facts about human beings, the universe, galaxies, and black holes, animals, psychology, and all the other aspects of knowledge and wisdom, some of which have not yet been discovered, that makes its readers prostrate for the One who revealed this miraculous book. 
According to many of its rules and regulations, Islam has proven to be a dynamic religion. Although the pillars of Islam are not to be changed, rulings of Islam are designed in a way to help humanity reach perfection by dominating and controlling all the newly invented technologies and sciences.
Islam does not allow a person to become the slave of changes and improvements in the society but provides him/her with guidelines to help the perfection of humanity using both faith and tools.
Clear examples of the dynamic jurisprudence in Islam can be seen in the way Muslims avoid corrupt music, games, movies, etc. While at the same time, they use these tools in the right way to help human growth and perfection.
In the age of technology, life is so fast, and human beings are busy with making money, surviving, and getting by their life that they hardly find some time for self-development. However, Islam puts the individual experience of human and his/her peace of mind in priority. The relationship that Islam describes between the servant and Allah Almighty is the One that influences all the dimensions of human life.
Allah Almighty teaches man to rely on Him in every single step that we take. He wants His servants to stay by His side as “Whoever takes for his guardians Allah, His Apostle and the faithful [should know that] the confederates of Allah are indeed the victorious.” (5:56)
The fact that staying on Allah Almighty’s side can bring absolute success and victory for the human being is so empowering that will make them not to accept any oppression. Staying by His side and relying on Him can enrich human beings and making them a self-built, confident, humble, and powerful individual.
“… Whoever is wary of Allah, He shall make for him a way out [of the adversities of the world and the Hereafter] and provide for him from whence he does not count upon. And whoever puts his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. Indeed Allah carries through His commands. Certainly, Allah has ordained a measure [and extent] for everything.” (65: 2-3)
In sum, the lifestyle provided by Allah Almighty is multi-dimensional and, therefore, can answer all the needs of human beings. The ways of Allah in ruling the world are very different from those of Imperialist and capitalist powers. That is why people who start to learn about Islam and study various aspects of the Islamic lifestyle become motivated to convert to Islam and choose it as their lifestyle.
A real believer can find ways that are unknown to others only by obeying Allah (SWT); ways that no other “ism” can provide its followers: “As for those who strive in Us, We shall surely guide them in Our ways, and Allah is indeed with the virtuous.” (29: 69)
My name is Tarik Preston. I embraced the religion of Islam in 1988 at the age of 19.
The story of how I came to embrace Islam is not a very long story, and in many respects, I think that the story of how Allah (God) continued to guide me after I entered Islam is more of an inspiring story.
Nevertheless, this story begins with my name. I was given the name Tarik at birth. In the 60s, the 70s, and even the 80s, it wasn’t all that unusual for some Americans to give their children African names. Many times, the names they chose from Africa were actually Islamic names, which is what happened with my name.
[…] Someone who knew the significance of my name […] would ask me, “Do you know what your name means?” I would reply proudly as I had been taught: “It means ‘star of piercing brightness.’“
[…] I started college at the age of 16 majoring in pre-med/biology with the intent, at that time, of becoming a doctor. […] During my freshman year, I attempted to read the Bible, but Christianity had begun not to make sense to me.
While studying the marvelous complexity of cell biology that year, several of my classmates and I reaffirmed our belief in the Creator and that creation was not an accident as some scientists speculated.
During spring break, I had a theological discussion with my grandmother, with whom I was very close. And she, despite being a Christian, made a remarkable statement that I paid close attention to.
She said: “I worship God and I don’t worship Jesus, because I feel safer worshipping God!” She advised me not to pray in the name of Jesus anymore and to just pray to God!
When I returned to college after that conversation, I continued to pray every night before sleeping as I had been taught. But I decided that I would no longer pray in the name of Jesus, and to direct my prayers only to God. […]
Still searching for something that would guide me safely through life, one day I asked God to guide me while walking across campus.
During my junior year in college, a fellow student who I knew embraced Islam saw me walking across campus, and he greeted me. […] He then asked me if I was a Muslim, to which I replied (at that time), “No. I am a United Methodist.” He replied: “Oh! I thought you were a Muslim because your name is Tarik!”
Not long after that encounter, he came to a study session that a few classmates and I were having, and he attempted to inform us about Islam. He was very young and very new to Islam himself, so he didn’t know very much. […]
[…] When I returned home that summer, I took a summer job as a telemarketer where I met a Muslim named Ahmed. Despite being a Puerto Rican convert to Islam, he had the same distinct look and demeanor as my friend from college. […]
He began talking to me about Tawheed (the oneness of God). I was impressed with the concept of Islamic monotheism.
Eventually, he invited me over to his house and showed me a copy of the English translation of the Quran. I was very impressed by the respect that he had for this Book, and I asked him if I could borrow it in order to read it. He reluctantly agreed, saying that it was his only copy of the Quran, and he sternly advised me to respect the Book and keep it clean and in a place of respect in my home. I couldn’t wait to read it!
Two weeks later, I invited Ahmed to my house, and we sat and talked again about Islam. I informed him that I believed the Quran was the truth and that I wanted to convert to Islam.
The very next day we went together to the Islamic Center in Washington D.C., and I embraced Islam.
A few years after my conversion, Allah blessed me to be able to study Islam at the Islamic University of Medina where I earned an Associate’s degree in Arabic language and a Bachelor’s degree in Hadith Sciences.
I hope the story of how I came to Islam encourages others to convert to Islam. I also hope that my story encourages my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to share the true message of Islam with those around them in word and deed.
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