I was raised as a Christian and went to a fundamentalist Bible believing church. I made a profession of faith to Jesus in 1969. In all of my years as a growing up Christian, I read and studied the Bible regularly. Later on, I enlisted in the US Marines and led Bible studies with my troops. In 1988, I started my own church reaching out with a special Spanish ministry to the Hispanics. In 1990, I got out of the Marines and joined the US Navy reserves.
In 1991, I was ordered to active duty for Operation Desert Storm. I remember being impressed with the Arabs worshipping 5 times a day and I never forgot about hearing the Adhan (call to prayer) 5 times a day over the many loudspeakers in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. […]
As I continued in my Christian faith, when I got home, I started to become unsettled regarding it. I went to several different churches and faiths over the years and studied their doctrines. I studied and read the book of Mormon quite a bit and became fascinated with the Mormons. However, I eventually found many conflicts between the Bible and the book of Mormon.
I later joined a 7th Adventist Church and thought this was the true path. I studied and read several of Ellen G. White’s books concerning the 4th commandment of keeping the Saturday Sabbath. However, I eventually saw some conflicts between the Bible and one of Ellen G. White’s visions of heaven.
I stayed home from all churches after that and got a job working for the Kansas City Star newspaper. I came across a couple of Muslims at work and observed them daily, becoming impressed with their humble and pious character. One day, I went to my favorite used book store and saw an English translation of the Noble Quran in Jan of 2008. I took it home and began reading it. I started to feel a drawing to the Islamic faith after about 4 weeks of reading it daily.
One January early morning, I was looking up on the internet on how to convert to Islam. I found and repeated the Shahada very prayerfully and did this 2 or 3 times while meditating on it and with a prayerful attitude. I suddenly felt a great weight lifted from my shoulders as I discovered that God had forgiven me of all my past sins. […] Since saying the Shahada, I immediately began performing Wudu (ablution) and Salat (prayer) 5 times daily. It has now been 9 weeks since I converted to Islam and I am reading the Quran and studying the Islamic books daily.
On a side note, my wife has become upset with me over my conversion and has been trying to get me to renounce Islam. I tell her I can never turn my back on God and continue to lead a humble Muslim life before her and being patient with her in the hopes of her one day embracing Islam. I am now mentally, spiritually and physically feeling my best since converting to 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.
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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