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Found 12 results

  1. Introduction

    Al-salamu alaikom wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh, Myself: I am a simple man just enjoying the gifts of Allah (SWT). Alhamdulillah, I spent so many years in darkness and I now am able to live in the light and truth of Allah (SWT). I am on a journey to strengthen my deen. Fi aman Allah Sadiq
  2. Hello everyone, Assalamualaikum Oa Rahmatullah. Since last Ramadan I am researching about an issue. Coming soon to the question. Before that I need to know the difference between Wikipedia and wikiislam. Several times I thought wikiislam is an anti-Islamic site. But it is also true- no any website is ever totally reliable. I think wikiislam is a website which provides both Muslim & Non-Muslim narratives separately and cites all possible sources. But I am having confused about the source of the two sites. Anyway come to the issue. I was finding some info about the pop star Michael Jackson. Is he converted (actually revert) into Islam? I found some reliable info regarding the issue. Also wikiislam showing some of them which ignore Wikipedia. And also why the western media ignore the news when a celebrity converting their previous religion to Islam? I know some of the reverted celebrities such as Myriam Francois-Cerrah, reporter of Huffington Post US, Aishah Schwartz a famous blogger of Egypt, also Janet Jackson, sister of Michael Jackson and so on. All of they are reverted into Islam. But why this kind of news is ignore by the western media? Is it threats to the western?
  3. It was a typical hot sunny day in Florida and I thought that I would stop by the bookstore to get out of the heat. I had been there many times and always went to the section titled Religion. Having been a Christian for many years I always went to the rows of books concerning Christianity. As I perused through the various titles, I did not see anything that piqued my interest that day. Slowly, I went over to the Judaic section of books. Because the Old Testament part of the Bible was written by the Jews. And sometimes I would find a book that would help me better understand the Torah. Which was the first 5 books in the Christian Bible. But nothing in that section of books attracted my attention. Then I noticed there was a small section with a few books under the heading of Islamic literature. Quickly scanning the shelf I noticed a copy of the Quran. Admittedly I knew very little about Muslims, Islam, or the Quran. At the church that I attended there were small booklets explaining various cults. I remember reading one of the small pamphlets that said Islam was a religion that worshipped a moon god. Which made sense to me; because I had seen a Masjid once, and it had a crescent moon on the top of the building. Something urged me to stick my hand out and reach for the copy of the Quran. I looked around the store to make sure no one was observing me as I held this strange book in my hands. I noticed it had the Arabic calligraphy across the front cover. Looking down I opened up the book and turned to the first page. I saw there were just 7 verses; so I decided to read them: Al-Fatiha (The Opening) 1.* In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. 2.* Praise be to God, the Cherisher and Sustainer of the world; 3.* Most Gracious, Most Merciful; 4.* Master of the Day of Judgment. 5.* Thee do we worship, and Thine aid we seek. 6.* Show us the straight path, 7.* The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace, **** those whose (portion) is not wrath, and who go not astray. The instant I finished reading these words. It was as though the whole store was flooded with a bright light………. And time seemed to have stopped…….. I was absolutely astounded with what I had just read…….I stood there as though frozen in place………… and in a low voice I muttered to myself, “whoever wrote this knows God!!” Intuitively, somehow, I knew what I had read was going to change my life. But I had no idea that I had just been given a front row seat on an speeding roller coaster. And that every aspect of my life was going to change in a dramatic way I could never have imagined. Rapidly, I started turning the pages of this mysterious book. There were names of people whom I knew from my Bible. There was Moses and Abraham. Lot and Noah. To my astonishment there was even Mary and Jesus. How could this be?? These people belong in the Bible; not in some strange book called the Quran!! In a state of mental puzzlement I looked at the outside cover of the book I was holding in my hand. It listed the author of the text I was holding as a person named “Pickthall.” I thought well maybe this is my answer. Some crazy Englishman has put together a fraudulent book using the names of Bible characters. But now I was totally intrigued as to what was actually contained inside of a “real” Quran. So I placed the book back on the shelf and headed out of the store. I wanted a copy of a real Quran…….. and knew right where to go to purchase one. “we do not sell Quran’s, but I will give you one” In the town where I lived there was a small building with a sign that said: “Islamic Dawa Center.” I had driven by it many times in the past on my way to work. I assumed that it had something to do with Muslims and their religion because of the words Islam and Center. But I had no idea what that word “Dawa” meant? As I started up my car I was filled with a sense of excitement tempered with confusion. Although it was about a 20 min. drive. It seemed like I was there in a flash. *I parked my car in the parking lot and walked up to the front door of the Masjid. Looking through the side window next to the door I did not see anyone. So I went ahead and knocked on the front door. When no one came to answer the door I proceeded to knock several times; increasingly louder each time. I had no idea that you could actually just walk into a Masjid and enter into the main lobby. After several minutes of knocking the door started to open. And there stood a tall African-American woman wearing all black from head to toe with a black veil over her face. All I could see was her eyes. I was a little taken back, and thought to myself; “Oh no, I have stumbled into the Nation of Islam!!”* * But the woman eased my trepidation when she said in a pleasant voice, “how may I help you?” I told her that I wanted to purchase a Quran. She replied with, “we do not sell Quran’s, but I will give you one.” She then stepped away from the door and was gone for about a minute. When she returned; this enigmatic lady handed me a large beautiful blue hardcover Quran that said it was published by Dar Islam, in Saudi Arabia. Looking down at the book I could see that it was a used book with a slight wearing on the spine and cover She then informed me that it was her personal Quran; but I was more than welcome to have it as a gift from her. “Do you know that you are already a Muslim.” * Driving to my house with the Quran on the front seat. I felt a sense of wonderment. Over the next several days I would pick up the Quran and start to read it. But I was accustomed to reading the Bible which was laid out in a chronological fashion. Starting with the chapter named Genesis; the beginning of the world. And ending with the final chapter called the Book of Revelations; dealing with the End Times. Eventually, I realized that the Quran was not laid out like a typical book, but was more topical in character. So I learned go to the index and find the verses that addressed the subject I was inquiring about; marriage, inheritance, charity, etc. My bachelors degree is in sociology. So anything dealing with how a society should be set up and structured was always intriguing. The more I read, the more everything made sense. I quickly came to the realization that Islam provided a framework for a just and equitable society. Yet, fundamentally structured using a different paradigm then the one I had grown up with. Also, I was amazed at how the Quran took into account basic human nature by addressing it with logic and just plain common sense. *I had purchased a small loose leaf notebook and was continuously writing down various questions concerning what the Quran said about various topics. A week had now passed by and I needed someone to talk to about this intriguing book. Standing once again at the front door of the Masjid I began to do the door knocking routine again. Eventually a man showed up at the door wearing what appeared to be a brown robe and he had the longest beard I had ever seen. Holding up my copy of the Quran, I informed him that I had questions about this book. He graciously invited me into his office, while informing me that he was the Imam of the Masjid, and was from Morocco. I wasn’t sure what the word “Imam” met, but I assumed he was like a priest or something. As we sat down to talk he offered me a small cup of tea. *Surprisingly he spoke perfect English, and come to find out, he was a guidance counselor and taught French at the local high school. *We begin a conversation that lasted about an hour. During the conversation I told him that I had been a Christian for many years. But had grown disillusioned with Christianity because it finally dawned on me that Jesus was not God. Yes, I still went to church with my wife and children; although my heart really wasn’t into it anymore. The Imam mentioned to me during the conversation that Muslims did not eat pork or drink alcohol. I related that I never was into alcohol and believed that it did society way more harm than any temporary benefit people claimed they got out of it. As for eating pork; I told him that several years ago I had come to the conclusion that Jesus never ate pork. The Bible states that Jesus was a righteous Rabbi and followed all of the Torah laws. In the Torah it states that the eating of pork is an abomination to God. So I figured if Jesus did not eat pork; then I would follow his example and not eat pork. * Finally our conversation was over and I stood up to leave. As I was shaking the Imam’s hand he commented to me, “do you know that you are already a Muslim.” That statement did not quite process in my mind; and I could not figure out what he was talking about? *Maybe he had misunderstood me……. I was a Christian not a Muslim……. Besides, I am a white man with blue eyes of Irish heritage……….. Anyone who watches the news on television knows that there is no such thing as a caucasian Muslim. * Another week went by as I attempted to read the Quran and write down my questions. Once again, I found myself at the front of the Masjid knocking on the front door. After few minutes, yet again, a completely different person answered the door. He was a much younger man wearing a long white robe. He had what appeared to be a red and white checkered tablecloth like you would see in an Italian restaurant wrapped around his head. That seemed to be held on by a black fan belt from a car. I showed him my copy of the Quran and stated there were a few questions I would like to ask him about this book. He invited me in and I proceeded to follow him into the same office where I had gone before. He offered me a small glass of coffee in a little cup. While at the same time telling me that he was a student from Saudi Arabia and was an Imam. * For the next hour we basically the same conversation that I had with the other Imam. Telling him that I was a Christian, but I did not drink alcohol, eat pork, or believe that Jesus was the son of God. As I was getting ready to leave the office this young Imam looked at me and said, “do you know that you are already a Muslim?” Now this was getting too strange. And I wondered why these people kept saying this to me. * He mentioned that he and the other students had rented an apartment and used it for a Masjid. And that I was welcome to visit any evening. It was where they did their prayers and held social activities. I lived in a medium sized city, but as chance would have it, the apartment they used as a Masjid was just down the street from where I lived. Easily within a short walking distance. “Dad, there is a dead animal on top of the food with the head still on it !!” The next evening I went there with my Quran and notebook in hand. Over the next several hours the Muslim students took turns setting down beside me and answering my questions about Islam. All the while pouring coffee into a cup about the size of a thimble. I had a great time and started going there every day. Eventually, I grew to be friends with all of the men who attended the prayers and dinner celebrations at the Masjid and learned their names. As I began to admire their personal behavior and character. It seemed like half of them were named Mohammed; so that made it easy to remember them. But the other half had strange sounding names that I had never heard of before. So it took me a while to be able to pronounce and memorize their names.* Most of the brothers there were from Saudi Arabia with their families. And the rest were from Kuwait. It seemed like every other night they were having a dinner; to celebrate the birth of a baby; one of the brothers had just gotten married; or someone was graduating school and leaving to go back home. Basically, any excuse to get together and have a feast. Typically, there was a couple of very large trays with a cooked goat setting on top a bed of rice with vegetables. At first I was given a fork and spoon to eat with. But quickly observed that no one else was using eating utensils. So I started eating with my hands like they did; learning to squish the rice into a ball and clumsily try to stuff it in my mouth without dropping half of it on my lap.. One time, I took my 10-year-old son to the dinner with me. As it worked out he was sitting with another group of men to eat from a different tray. I had just started to eat when all at once there was a quick tapping on my shoulder. I turned around and there was my son his eyes as big around as dinner plates. In a panicked voice he said,“Dad, there is a dead animal on top of the food with the head still on it !!” I still laugh every time I think about the look on his face. And how he was about to run out the door when one of the brothers reached in and pulled out the goats tongue and offered him a piece. I was having a great time and the behavior and character of these Muslim men was impeccable. Arriving early at the Masjid one day. I went ahead and entered because the door was always unlocked. As I waited for the brothers to arrive. I noticed that there was a dime laying on the floor. When I went back the next day the dime was still laying in the exact same spot. One of the brothers would vacuum the carpet just about every day; yet the dime was still there week after week.This was a level of honor and honesty that I had never encountered before. *I had been going to the Masjid every evening for several weeks and my wife was getting concerned. She wanted to know what I was up to. She even accused me of going to clubs and bars because sometimes it was midnight before I came home. I just laughed and said, “smell my breath, there is no alcohol on it”. Previously, I had informed her that I was going to a small Masjid and trying to learn about Islam and Muslims. Reminding her that as Christians we are told in the Bible to convert people to Christianity.Yet, little did I understand. I was the one being converted; not them. “There is no God but Allah,*and Mohammed is his messenger” * I had come to the realization that conversion to Islam was in my future. In fact the word convert wasn’t exactly the correct term. A new term at entered into my vocabulary; “revert”. In essence, meaning that I would be reverting back to the original monotheistic religion of Abraham. Now I understood what the two Imam’s were saying when they told me that; “I was already a Muslim.” In the back of my mind I knew that accepting Islam would cause a big problem in my marriage. But I felt like I had no choice. Because Islam held the “Truth” that I had been seeking for most of my life. Not once had I read anything in the Quran that I disagreed with or found to be untrue. Finally, I could not remain a non-Muslim any longer. *Asking the Imam one evening to teach me the Islamic profession of faith; which in arabic is called the “Shahada”. *The next Friday I went to the Masjid. It was a beautiful day and I was determined to remember the date; 11 May, 2001 *As I entered the local downtown Masjid. Many of the brothers shook my hand with smiles on their faces. I assumed that word had gotten around I was going to accept Islam that day. Because the numbers in attendance seemed larger than normal. When the call to prayer finished. I got into one of the straight line’s with all the other brothers. During all of those weeks of going to the Masjid I had never joined in on the prayer. This would be the first time for me to join in on the salat. As I stood there waiting for the Imam to start the prayer. The brother next to me scooted his foot over and touched his little toe against mine. I then moved my foot inward an inch. Once again, the brother on my left side scooted his foot over so that our toes touched. Now the brother on the right was doing the same thing. I started to panic a little bit until I realized that the line in front of me had everybody touching toes. As I chuckled to myself; I realized that everything was going to be fine. At the end of the prayer that he Imam asked me to come up to the front of the Masjid. Facing the brothers and following his verbal prompting; I said the “Shahada” in Arabic. Ash-hadu an laa ilaaha illallah Wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan rasulullah Then I immediately repeated the words in English. “I bear witness that there is no god except God, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God.” *In no way was I prepared for what was to happen next. All of the brothers formed a greeting line and came up to me one at a time. Giving me the cultural hug and air kiss on both cheeks. As a western man this was a completely new experience that I was totally unaccustomed to performing. Several of the brothers then handed me gifts; such as a prayer rug, dates, and various articles of clothing. Afterwords, several of the brothers took me out to eat at a Middle East halal restaurant. It was a great day that I will never forget. Within the convert community some of us jokingly refer to this as a “Shahada High.” Because you feel so exhilarated by the whole experience that it’s almost like being on some sort of spiritual intoxicant and you never want the feeling to end. “so you are a Muslim now, and want to kill Christians?” The whole day’s events were like a whirlwind and flew by quickly. Now it was time to go back home. As I entered my house a sobering reality hit me. During these weeks that I had been going to the Masjid and learning about Islam. My wife had grown very distant. Once she had even taken some of the notes that I had written about Islam and threw them in the trash. Telling her that I had accepted Islam was not going to be easy. So I decided to wait a few days and slowly ease it into a conversation. But most women have something referred to as “woman’s intuition.” A couple of days later, out of nowhere, she looked at me and said, “so you are a Muslim now, and want to kill Christians?” In a stunned silence; I watched as she turned her back and walked away. That was our one and only conversation about Islam. Later that day she moved her stuff into the other bedroom and all meaningful communication between us ceased. In a way, I can understand her feelings. She and I had structured our lives around Christianity. Both of us had taught Sunday school at the church and held held many Bible studies in our home. Although I was not an ordained minister. I had done some preaching at the church. Even being involved in street ministries together and helping to organize functions at the church. My converting to Islam was an act of betrayal to her and she was deeply hurt. I had joined the enemy camp and abandoned Christianity. She and I both knew the verse in the Bible that says not to be “unevenly yoked.” An example showing that no farmer would ever yoke together two different animals to pull a plow; such as an oxen and a horse. Because the animal’s would be too different in size and temperament. And he would have great difficulty trying to plow straight lines for his crops to grow. In essence; saying that a Christian’s should not be married to a non-Christian. In my heart and mind I knew that the marriage was over. And that a divorce would soon be pending. I assumed that it wouldn’t take place for a few months. Little did I know that behind the scenes events were already in play. “you are either going to live, or you’re going to die.” A couple of weeks after reverting to Islam I had gone to the doctor about a cough and problem in my throat. A biopsy and an MRI quickly confirmed that I had a tumor. It was very advanced and I was in what they call stage 4. There is no stage 5. The oncologist was very concerned and told me that we would have to start maximum radiation treatments immediately. I then asked him what the prognosis and survival rate was after treatment for this illness. Figuring that he would give me a percentage; hopefully in my favor. Slowly, he turned to looked at me, and with no emotion, bluntly stated…… “you are either going to live, or you”re going to die.” I was to receive radiation treatments twice a day for 31 week days. For a total of 62 treatments. One in the morning; and another in the afternoon. I informed them at my place of work and they put me on temporary disability. Within a few days into the treatments. I could neither eat any food or drink water. The inside of my throat felt like a third-degree sunburn. Even trying to put one drop of water in my mouth felt like I was being stabbed with a knife. Quickly I started to lose weight. I am already a thin person. But by the end of the treatments I had lost 40 pounds. Making me look like a walking skeleton. My big event each day was walking to the mailbox. Then I would have to rest for 30 min. If you think Ramadan can be a little taxing; especially during the first few days. Try going without any food or water at all for over a month. Admittedly, I had zero appetite; but I wanted a drink of water so bad I could hardly stand it. Strangely enough, I had a complete feeling of inner peace. I had learned enough about Islam to know that Allah (swt) was in control of everything. To the amazement of the doctors, I was driving myself round trip twice a day, to get the treatments. Several times they were adamant that I start taking a powerful narcotic called OxyContin to ease my pain. I had tried it once but it just sent me off into a state of mental numbness. I told the doctors I would rather be fully aware and conscious of my surroundings no matter what the outcome. And that I could handle the pain. It was now mid summer and the hot and humid days and nights seemed to last forever…….. Each one blending into the other…………..Very slowly the weeks of treatments went by…………….. “you have 5 min. to pack your things and leave the house” It was early in the evening, and my wife unexpectedly said she was taking the kids and going shopping at the mall. This was not unusual since her and the kids loved to go shopping at the mall. About an hour later there was a knock at the door. I slowly walked over and struggled to open the door. There stood two policeman holding a piece of paper they said was a restraining order from the court. As I collapsed on the couch they read it to me. Then one policeman said, “you have 5 min. to pack your things and leave the house.” She had apparently had taken it out against me a few days earlier. Claiming that she feared for her life. Although I didn’t have the strength to squish a bug. And still had my final week of radiation treatments to finish. The court felt like she had probable cause to fear me. This was my first taste of Islamophobia; but not the last that I would experience. We had only lived in Florida for one year and I knew very few people. The policemen had graciously packed my suitcase for me when they saw my true condition. My mind racing as to what to do and where would I go. I reached in my pocket and pulled out the phone number of one of the brothers from the Masjid and called him. Later he would tell me that he always turned off his cell phone when at the Masjid. But that evening had neglected to turn it off and was surprised when it rang. “you can stay here as long as you want” After I had received my diagnosis and started treatments. I had quit going to the Masjid. In my mind I felt like I had let down all of my muslim brothers. Because in Christianity when a person is having problems with their business, marriage, finances, etc. The general view is that God is punishing them. Because obviously they are sinning in some area of their life and brought this upon themselves. It wasn’t until later that I learned in Islam that events like this are seen as a trial and even considered a blessing. A few days earlier my car had broken down and was towed to the mechanic shop for a major engine repair. Now I needed a ride to get a motel room because I had very little cash on me. And the policemen were running out of patience and needed me to vacate my house. There was a new revert at the Masjid who I had become friends with and had written down his phone number. By now my throat was so bad I can only squeeze out 2 words at a time. In broken sentences I explained to him the situation and asked for a ride. Unknown to me he was at the Masjid with all of the brothers. Within a few minutes he and the Imam had arrived to give me a ride. After they loaded up my suitcase. We drove straight to the apartment that was rented for use as a Masjid. Quite a few brothers and their families lived in the same apartment complex where the Masjid was located. By then I was so exhausted I could barely stand up as we walked towards the front door. That’s when I observed several men carrying various pieces of furniture into the Masjid. The Imam turned to me and said, “the back bedroom is yours, and you can stay here as long as you want.” As I looked into the room, I could see one brother had brought a bed; another brother had provided a lamp; there was a nightstand, chest of drawers, fresh linen for the bed and towels; and even a television. All donated to me by my new muslim brothers. As I lay down on the bed and looked up at the ceiling. I realized that I had just observed the beautiful religion of Islam in action. I was finishing up my last week of treatments. Several of the brothers had volunteered to drive me to my appointments. Also I needed to stop by the bank and draw out money to pay the mechanic’s bill to get my car. As we drove away from the bank’s drive-through window. I stared at the piece of paper with my bank balance. I had a whopping total of $1.21 in the bank. My wife had gone there the day before and had cleaned out the bank account. Arriving back at the apartment I went into my room to lay down and rest. I was flat broke and had no way to pay the bill and get my car out of the shop. I blankly stared at the ceiling in a state of numbness………. After a few minutes one of the brothers came into the room and said he had something for me. He then stuck out his hand and gave me $2,000. And said, “this should be enough to get your car fixed.” Later, I would found out that all of the brothers had chipped in to help me with my car repair bill. So when people talk about the “ummah” of Islam; I have witnessed it first hand. “they have done it again!! ” *Today was a special anniversary. It was September 11 and I had been a Muslim for exactly 4 months. I was still living at the Masjid and was learning more about Islam every day. Even though I had to undergo a serious operation on my neck that left me with a bad scar. My health was starting to return and I was able to eat and drink like a normal person. Unfortunately, the radiation had burned up my saliva glands and destroyed the enamel on my teeth. So whenever I ate any food I would have to have something to drink in order to swallow it. But that is a small inconvenience compared to the alternative of not being alive. * I had gotten up early that morning to go to the local store that provided cable service for my television. The cable at the apartment only had the very basic channels. Having a little bit of extra money now I wanted to upgrade and get more channels. Walking into the store I saw a strange sight. This store had several large screen TVs mounted on the wall. All of the customers and sales representatives were standing in front of them and watching what looked to be a live news cast. Every single TV was on the same channel showing a very tall building that was smoking and appeared to be on fire. * *Since no one was working the sales desk. I join the people and started watching this cataclysmic event. After a few minutes I was getting bored just watching a building burn and started to walk away. Figuring that I would just come back later that day or tomorrow morning. Then all at once, what looked like a jetliner, smashed into an identical looking building next to the one that was already on fire and bellowing smoke. Everyone in the crowd made a gasping sound. Then one man in a loud aggravated voice said, “they’ve done it again.” *Immediately, the seriousness of the situation hit me. This was the twin towers in New York City that had been bombed several years before; and I knew exactly “who” was going to be blamed. * *Immediately, I was speeding back to the apartment complex as fast as I could to warn the brothers about what had just happened. As I entered the Masjid several of them had already heard the news and were concerned about their families safety. I told them not to worry; and that I would be around to help them if any problems came up. All of the brothers had attended a English language course in San Antonio, Texas for 6 months before starting their 2 years of school. The Gulf Arabs look very similar to the Mexican people in South Texas. *And several of the brother’s *had told me that while they were living there. People were always trying to speak Spanish to them. I told them if anybody starts to question you as to your ethnicity. Just reply in the few Spanish words that you can remember. Also, I advised them to keep their wives and children inside of the their apartments. Because all of their wives wore the black abayas and could easily identified as Muslim. * *Within a couple of days the national media had sent several reporters to the apartment complex. With large cameras on their shoulders and a microphone in their hand. They started knocking on doors hoping to find the Saudi Masjid or interview some of the Muslims who live there about the event on 9/11 * *To the credit of the people who also lived at the apartment complex Not a single person or the management told which apartment the Masjid was located or where any of the Muslims lived to the reporters. The Muslims who lived at the apartment had been good and friendly neighbors and never caused any problems. It made my heart glad to see average American citizens protect innocent families from harassment. After 2 or 3 days the reporters went away and never returned. “driving on Interstate 10 heading West” * Within a few days of 9/11 a government official from their country came to the apartment and told me that I would have to leave. He stated they were worried about an American citizen living there in case an incident took place. And right now they did not need any more negative publicity. All of the brothers and their families had already been relocated to a undisclosed secure location. Their government had done this for their safety. Tensions and emotions were running high throughout our nation. And nobody knew what was going to happen. It was with a heavy heart that I once again packed my bags. Not knowing if I would ever see my Muslim brothers and sisters again. I would miss the evenings setting on the floor drinking tea and eating dates. While discussing Islam and the Quran; and listening to stories about life in their country. I would miss the strange and exotic food that their wives would prepare, and have their husbands deliver it to me in a covered dish to my apartment. I wasn’t much of a cook. So this was always a special treat. My car was packed with everything that I owned and I was now; “driving on Interstate 10 heading West”. The highway going there was long and straight as an arrow. Which seemed to be a metaphor for the; “Straight Path” that the Quran talks about. Surah 1:6 * “Show us the Straight Path” Both my mother and sister still lived back in Texas. The doctors would not release me to go back to work for a few more months. My younger Sister owned a large house and offered to let me stay in the guest bedroom until I could return to work. It would be a very long drive lasting all day and night. Giving me plenty of time to reflect on my life, and my journey to Islam. *I had been a Muslim for less than 6 months. My world had been turned completely turned upside down. I had gone from being an evangelical Christian with a stable family life, marriage, and a home. To a soon to be divorced, financially broke, homeless muslim convert, living in a Masjid. Yet, inexplicably, there was a complete sense of peace and calmness that seemed to surround me. Allah (swt) had been merciful and taken care of me in ways I could never have imagined. (Part 1)
  4. Gitmo Prison Guard Converts From Atheism To Islam After Seeing Detainees ‘Wake Each Day And Smile’ CNN has an amazing story out of Guantanamo Bay about an American atheist prison camp guard that converted to Islam after spending extensive time talking to with some of the English speaking prisoners there. Army Specialist Terry Holdbrooks arrived at Gitmo 2003 as “an angry, nearly atheistic 19-year-old MP and by the time he left a year later he was a practicing Muslim. Holdbrooks was amazed at how the detainees “could wake up each day and smile” even though they were locked away in a prison camp with little hope of freedom. So all of this got him thinking: “Obviously there’s something more to Islam than I had been told.” Like anybody curious about faith he started to inquire about it. Holdbrooks, a bit disenfranchised with his superiors and fellow soldiers, started speaking for hours with detainees about Islam. One even gave him a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, to study and it led him to change his way of life. When he approached one of the prisoners about converting he was met with a warning that it would forever change his life. “You understand that if you become a Muslim your unit is going to look at you differently, your family, your country…you understand…your country is going to look at you in a way that isn’t going to be good. It’s going to make things difficult for you,” he was told. Since he converted Holdbrooks has left military service and become an outspoken opponent of the camp at Guantanamo Bay. Listen to the clip below via CNN. http://www.mediaite.com/online/gitmo-prison-guard-converts-from-atheism-to-Islam-after-seeing-detainees-wake-each-day-and-smile/
  5. Friend & Priest Led Me To Islam

    By Br.Jamal Friday, 05 April 2013 00:00 While reading the Quran, I remember the first thing I wanted to know was what did it say about Jesus. I was six years old when my mother accepted her Christian faith. My father on the other hand didn't dedicate himself to any specific church, but his beliefs were based on the trinity. For approximately five years, my family would go to church every Sunday. By the time I reached eleven years old, the only two people in my family still attending the church were my mother and I. I went to church every Wednesday & Sunday, taking bible study classes, and learning scriptures. I went to a church summer camp and went to the altar and accepted Jesus into my heart. I really didn't have a concept on the whole trinity, but I had a lot of questions that couldn't be answered. I would ask my teachers: "How could Jesus be the son of God, when he was a man like me?" But there was absolutely not one person in this church who could answer my question. The only answer given to me was: "I walk by faith and not by sight." This was aggravating and not the type of answers that I was looking for. I begged my dad to let me stop attending church, and the answer was: "Church is good for you." This was funny, because if it was good for me, then why did he stop attending? I left the Church at 13 years of age although I still wanted to worship God, but where would I start? Trying Divert Ways When I turned fourteen I started getting into lots of trouble, doing everything from stealing to drugs and drinking. At this point I started thinking why try and be good if I don't even have a religion anymore. From this age until eighteen I got involved in gangs, selling drugs and even robbery. I moved out of my house and rented an apartment with two friends, this is when my life went downhill. I went to one of my friend's houses that was a non-Muslim and saw on his bookshelf a Quran. This book looked powerful and was very intimidating to me, but I had the urge to pick it up and start reading. My friend asked what I was doing and I told him I never saw a Quran before, inside of my head I was thinking this is the religion of the Arabs. I asked him if I could borrow it to read, and he replied no but if you want to buy it that's cool. I bought my first Quran for $2.00 and rushed home to read. I remember going to my room and locking the door. While reading the Quran, I remember the first thing I wanted to know was what did it say about Jesus. The verses that I read were so beautiful and I agreed with what they said in totality. Starting to Search I had been reading the Quran off and on now for two years and it was time for me to see the Masjid. I called one of my good friends and asked was I allowed to go to the Masjid. He rushed to my house that day and took me with him, what a beautiful place it was. I walked in and asked him where do we sit, and he said follow me. We sat on the floor and waited for the prayer time to come. I was so curious, I couldn't stop looking around. I asked him: "Where are all the women?" He smiled and said behind us. I was thinking: "How weird, why don't the women and men sit together?" At this point they were calling the adhan (call to prayer). I didn't understand what the words meant, but it sounded so beautiful and sent chills through my body. The adhan that I had no idea what it meant is what put in my heart a softness that I never felt before. I saw everyone praying as I sat on the side. This made me think that I could not be a Muslim. I don't speak Arabic and couldn't understand a word they were saying. My friend explained to me that I could learn Arabic and pray just as they did. After this experience, I left and was kind of confused. I was discouraged that I would have to learn Arabic in order to read the Quran in its authentic text. I started going back to my old ways and began doing drugs and drinking. But there was something different now, every time I would do something bad I would think of God. I tried to get it out of my head but it wouldn't work. Not too happy with everything I heard about Islam, I read on every one of the major religions, all of them seemed weird or contradicting. I read about Islam again and now it was different, I felt in my heart this is real. I found out that they only believed in one God, and they were very strong about this. Once again, I went to Dar Al-Hijra to a Sunday class they had. I remember not knowing where to go so I stood in the lobby and kept reading the same scripture engraved on the wall. The Imam came and asked if he could help me, I asked where the class was and he directed me there. I sat in the class and saw lots of non-Muslims asking questions. I just listened and left with my friend. My friend had actually been someone from my past whom I would hang out with frequently. He had accepted Islam two years ago. I went home and wanted to cry because I wanted this so bad, but I knew I had to stop drinking and doing drugs before I accepted the faith. Back to Church About two years went by and I was reading here and there, but nothing serious. One day my mother begged me to just go back to the church for one service. I agreed just to make my mother happy, but when I walked in the church it was as if everyone knew that I didn't believe in the trinity anymore. I had a priest who was in the church congregation whom I had known for some time ask me over and over to accept Jesus into my heart. I refused, and then he asked me why? I wasn't knowledgeable enough to back Islam up so I said I'm just not ready. The Priest said: "Son, you have to catch the fish, then you clean it, then you cook it, and after all that you eat it." What he said was so true, but not for this church. This is what inspired me to want to accept Islam. I knew that in my heart I was a Muslim, but where do I go, and who will give this to me? I didn't know what to do. So after a while, I once again went back to drugs. One night, I went out and I was so drugged up and drunk, when I came home and looked in the mirror, what I saw scared me. I couldn't even recognize my own face. It was as if I was looking at one of those people on the streets who are strung out. I fell to the ground and cried, wondering what had happened to me. I felt sick and disgusted, how could I even walk into that Masjid again? I thought I wasn't good enough to be a Muslim. I prayed all night, begging God to help me to be a better person and to help me with this situation. My Final Decision The next day, I was sitting in my living room, when I heard a knock on my door at 11:00 pm. I looked through my peephole and saw my friend who was already Muslim. This person was someone very beloved to me, and I fully trusted him. He came into my house and began to speak to me about Islam, at this moment I was crying inside and wanted to just say yes. We talked about four hours and after that my best friend and I accepted Islam. This was the best decision I would ever make... http://www.onislam.net/english/reading-Islam/my-journey-to-Islam/contemporary-stories/420038-finding-the-truth-with-the-help-of-a-priest-.html?utm_source=OnIslam+Mailing+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1b9fd457d7-OnIslam_Weekly_Picks_Apr_10_2013&utm_medium=email
  6. By Brother Alex (Dallas, TX) 1. Practice Islam as much as you can “He who loves my Sunnah has loved me, and he who loves me will be with me in Paradise.” -The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ (Tirmidhi) As a new Muslim, you will have trouble keeping up with prayers every day, fasting during Ramadan, and the many other practices in this religion. The struggle that we face, with such a radical change in lifestyle, is difficult and will take some time. Awkward moments are bound to happen, don’t fret. You are not expected to wake up at 4am every morning to pray tahajjud (extra night prayers). If you have problems with certain practices, then gradually work yourself into the mindset of worship. A counselor once told me when I was young, “How do you eat an elephant? Just One bite at a time.” Think of it as one step at a time. Pray to Allah (swt) and ask for Him to make it easy for you and the rest will come naturally. Keeping up with your devotional practices is something that will strengthen your faith immensely. Read the Qur’an whenever possible. Find a collection of hadith, such as Riyadh us-Saliheen, and read it often. You will start to feel a connection to Allah (swt) and you will become used to Islam as a religion and way of life.
  7. As-salamu alaykum, My name is Aisha, and i am a muslim. My mother is a white convert, and my father is a british indian. I have always had a mixed identity, and although both my parents are practicing muslims, having many non-muslim family members (from my mothers side), has always made it very difficult for me to be as practicing as i know i should be. My parents have always encouraged me, especially my father, to practice Islam, but i've always pushed religion to one side- always knowing the importance of religion but not fearing god enough to do anything about it. I am currently at university, and have just started my second year. Towards the end of my first year, I met a lovely muslim boy who studies on the same course as me. Although he is far from perfect, i feel that he is a good person and has Islam in his heart. He suffered a great deal of guilt and regret about the relationship we shared (and although i could fully understand why, i just couldn't bring myself to feel the same way- i was totally blinded by the euphoria of love). over the course of about 4 months we grew very close, and i know perfectly well this should never have happened- but it did. love is a powerful thing and can blind the heart and soul. Recently he told me he could never see a future with me, he's reasons being that he wanted to find a wife who was a practicing muslim, and that he believed we weren't right for each other. (although i have faith in my heart, i am not practicing at all, something i am very ashamed of). After he said this to me, i felt the strong desire to become more practicing, in the hope that he would change he's mind about me. I cant help but feel that this is entirely wrong, and i am changing for the wrong reasons. how can i purify my intentions? i'm in a constant battle with myself and its killing me. I have been praying to god to purify my intentions, to take away the heart ache- which is leading me to want to change myself to win him back, rather than for the sake of Allah. any advice would be much appreciated.
  8. It's the most logical doctrine you won't find in any other religion:: My name is Rasheed. I'm from Florida, in the United States. I’m twenty four years old. I came to Islam in December of 2004, so I was seventeen at the time. Currently I work as an optical lab technician. I want to tell my story of how I came to Islam, and maybe give some advice to people who are trying to find their path In-Shaa-Allah. Generally I was like a church kid, I was raised in the Southern Baptist church. I went to church very frequently; Bible studies and services, so I knew my Bible. I was not very knowledgeable, but knowledgeable enough for a kid of thirteen to seventeen years when I'd really gone into it. Before converting, I was a very strong believer in the Trinitarian Christian faith, as I was a Southern Baptist, and I was very firm in this faith. I didn’t know much about Islam to have an opinion. I think that was a kind of self-imposed ignorance because of how the media portrays Islam. So I didn’t want to go there, as I was afraid of what I might learn. So I thought whatever the news told me basically. I didn’t know much about Islam, but I had actually done my fair share of homework on Buddhism, Hinduism, and that was based on pure curiosity and interest in Eastern cultures. Having been brought up in the Christian faith, going to Bible studies you get a kind of cursory basic information about Judaism because the Old Testament is incorporated into the Bible. So, I knew a little bit about Judaism, basic tenents of Hinduism and Buddhism, Taoism not much, Shinto a little. So the major religions I did look a little into the basics at first. I never went on like a journey to find the truth because being raised in the church as firmly as I had been I always assumed that I was upon it already. So what actually happened was that there was another revert brother that I went to school with, we were pretty good friends at the time. But having been raised in this Christian environment, and finding out that he had left the faith that I loved so much, I was personally offended that he chose to leave it. So I took it upon myself as kind of like a crusade to bring him back to the church, witnessed to him and all this kind of thing, but without knowing anything about his religion. I tried my best, and through that what I had to do is finally research about Islam on my own, and through asking him also, as we would have various kinds of debates on doctrinal issues. So we discussed, and he would teach me this aspect of Islam and this aspect, and what do I say to that now because I did not know that before, as it made sense to me, and I had nothing to say. So as this went on, actually my mission to bring him out of Islam led me to Islam, Alhamdulillah. Yes, I didn’t go on a search for truth as some people do. But I guess Allah guided me in the way that He did, Alhamdulillah. Life After Islam I can be totally honest and say my life hasn’t really changed that much because of how I was raised, like going to church a lot. My lifestyle per se didn’t change very much. I just picked up the few extra prayers per day and stopped eating pork. I didn’t indulge in alcohol at that time anyway, so I didn’t have to really leave it. Belief in God as in the Trinitarian doctrine I always just accepted because that’s what we believed, but I didn’t understand it. So if you don't understand something how can you really say that you believe it? I can say with confidence that I never really did believe in a triune God. I believed there’s God, but what changed was my belief in Jesus, peace be upon him; in his relationship to God, his relationship to us. That’s really what did change. From the bottom of my heart I have to say just do it, because to me speaking from reason it is the only way of life that people should be following. It’s the complete way of life that you won’t find in any other religion. And it's the most logical doctrine you can say you won't find in any other religion. It makes perfect sense, and the way of life that is encouraged and commanded by God is the perfect way of life. My advice would be to just make sure that that’s what you want for yourself, and just do it. Don't worry and put your trust in God. Also, if you have any Muslim friends that you are already in contact with that may be teaching you about Islam, then ask them; and don’t be shy to ask them to bring you to the Masjid they go to, to talk to their Imam or with some of the other knowledgeable persons in their congregation. So, if you have decided to take on this path, then congratulations. You will have my prayers for continued guidance and success in this life and in the next life; the real life. My advice would be: just be wary from where you get information from. Don’t be hasty to join up with a sect with slogans and all these things. Learn your information, go slow; it is the beginning of the path. You’ve just started. You just cannot attain ultimate truth within a year or something. Take your time. Always make sure to purify your intentions, and whatever you’re doing is for the sake of Allah, and in His worship. So, brothers and sisters in Islam, and hopefully new brothers and sisters in Islam, I hope my words could benefit you in some way In-Shaa-Allah, and inspire you to embrace Islam and to progress on the path your are on. Keep me in your prayers. http://www.onislam.n...y-to-Islam.html
  9. Reverts Living with Non-Muslim Parents Managing Ramadan with Your Non-Muslim Family By Amal Stapley Founder of SuperMuslimah Project- The UK Sunday, 15 July 2012 00:00 Living with your non-Muslim family as a new Muslim poses many different challenges and in my experience, Ramadan is one of the biggest challenges. The challenges of course vary from family to family, but can be particularly challenging if they aren’t open to your new-found faith or to certain aspects of it. As in any household, there are always compromises to be made, but when the family members have different beliefs and ways of life, the balance is a very fine one that can easily be tipped one way or the other. It sometimes feels as if you are walking on a bit of a tightrope trying to please everyone, and yet keep true to Islam. New Muslims and Non-Muslim Families - How to Tell Your Parents About Your Conversion - About to Convert, Concerned About My Family - New Muslims and Family Problems - Help for New Muslims, What After Taking Shahadah? - Challenges Facing a New Muslim During most of the year, minor adjustments and compromises can be made, as a new Muslim tries to keep within the bounds set by God, but still maintaining the family ties. The timing of activities, such as praying can be adjusted to fit into the family routine, Islamic activities can happen outside the house and friends not invited round to avoid arguments and clashes. But when it comes to Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, it’s not as easy to make compromises, as the timings for fasting are strictly prescribed and the prohibitions are absolute (other than due to the lawful exceptions). And God’s commands have to take priority over family wishes: {But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness…} (Luqman 31: 15) So how can you manage to do that in Ramadan? It’s impossible to give one standard answer to that question, but the following are some ideas that I have tried while living with my family or that others have tried. Show Understanding for Their Point of View It can be very easy in the early flushes of your new faith to be so enthusiastic about it that you forget how strange some of the rituals of Islam seem to other people. They don’t have the same belief as you and therefore find it very difficult to understand why you have to fast for a whole month and be so strict about it. They can’t understand your motivation for doing it and everything about fasting may seem to clash with their own understandings of life and how it should be lived.If you are facing this type of challenge, one of the best ways to explain about Ramadan I have found is to research the health benefits of fasting. Although this is not our main motivation for fasting, explaining it from a scientific perspective may help your family to accept it better. Booklets like the “Ramadan Health Guide” produced by the National Health Service can be a great help with this, as it’s produced by a trusted scientific organization. Being Gently Firm Some of my biggest challenges with my family have been when they have tried to tell me what God does or doesn’t want from me or when they have tried to impose their interpretation on me of how I should practice my faith. Looking back, I can see how my practice of Islam may have been confusing, as over the years, when I have learned more and grown into Islam, I have gradually adopted slightly different practices. This may have made it seem as if it is possible to pick and choose what I practice and make it seem as if I could be persuaded to change what I had planned. But in the end, as I will be the one standing in front of God accounting for my life; I will be the one who has to justify my actions based on my best understanding of my faith. So I have therefore had to gently stand firm for what I have understood to be the best thing for me to do and used the "broken record" technique; simply repeating my position and not succumbing to persuasion. This hasn’t always been easy to do at the time and has resulted in some emotional conversations, but in the end, when it became clear that I was standing firm, it was accepted, even though that may have been done grudgingly. And maybe I gained some respect for holding onto my beliefs along the way, even though they weren’t necessarily agreed with. Drink Plenty and Eat a Healthy Balanced Diet My father used to find Ramadan so stressful that he once suggested that I should move out for the month One of the things that non-Muslims find most difficult to understand is the fact that not only we do not eat during the daylight hours in Ramadan, but we also don’t drink anything. Contemporary medical advice encourages people to drink water regularly to keep hydrated, so when your parents see you not drinking, they naturally get worried that you are harming yourself. So make sure that you do drink plenty during the night, and let them know that you are. Also make sure to eat a healthy balanced diet and take a short nap if you need to, to show them that you are being responsible about your fasting. Spend Quality Time with Your Family If your family normally eats together, it will be strange for them to know that you are in the house and not eating with them. It may be even more uncomfortable for you to sit with them but not eat. The ideal would of course be if they would be willing to change their mealtimes to eat with you, but if that doesn’t happen, there are several things you could do. You could try to make up for missing mealtimes by finding as much quality time to spend with them at other times during the day as you can. You could help to prepare the dinner and clear away after it or better still, cook meals for them! Look out for other ways that you could show your appreciation for this being a difficult time for them. Make It Easy for Your Parents My father used to find Ramadan so stressful that he once suggested that I should move out for the month, so they didn’t have to deal with it. It didn’t actually come to that, but instead I try to make it easier and more natural by taking as many opportunities as I can to go out and have Iftar with friends; this makes me not eating with them on those days seem more normal. When I bring back food for them, it also lets them know that I was thinking of them while I was out. If you are able to go away for some time in Ramadan, it may also help to relieve some of the stress and maybe going to I’tikaf (retreat) might benefit you all! Whatever you decide to do, you will need to do it with respect, as you are living in parents’ house and this can be a powerful tool for daw’ah. May Allah help you to find the best way to please Him and also your family! Source: http://www.onislam.n...lim-family.html
  10. BOOK A Hand Through The Door For My New Sister by Yasmine bint Ismail Link: http://www.kalamulla..._new_sister.pdf Format: PDF Size: 5.06 MB Pages: 253
  11. you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_you are not allowed to post links yetyoutube(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/watch?v=Fh609utcZgk&feature=player_embedded
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