By Absolute truth
An Irishwoman on converting to Islam: 'It excited me. It wasn't anything I thought it was'
By Gráinne Ní Aodha
I believed there was a God, but I couldn’t find God in the Catholic religion, it didn’t make sense for me.
I wasn’t a practising Catholic but I still believed in God, and life was fine but I needed an element of purpose. I started reading the Bible, and felt like their was a total lack of clarity.
BRIGID AYLWARD, A paediatric nurse at University Hospital Waterford, grew up as a Christian, but wouldn’t have given much consideration to what that meant.
It was after she left home that she started thinking more about where she was was going and for what purpose she was here.
She decided that she would travel to a Muslim country where she would work as a nurse in the hope that in isolation, she could reconnect with God, confirming her belief.
“When I got to Saudi Arabia, I realised that I had a very western mindset, a western culture. I had so many questions: ‘What the heck is with these women who covered head; I thought it was sad to look at, and that women had no place in society.”
‘Mothers behind the veil’
Brigid says that working as a paediatric nurse in a Muslim country she got to know the “mothers behind the veil”, and disspelled myths she had about the veil.
“They don’t have to cover – it’s their choice, they prefer to. They’re human, they’re normal. I started to read about Islam purely to do my job better and to understand these women better.
It started to make sense to me – it excited to me. It wasn’t anything I thought it was before.
In November 2008 Brigid accepted Islam. There were some fears she had that were associated with it, about what her mum would say and what her family would say.
Her husband, who she met while working in hospital in Saudi helped her deal with her fears and she says her family have seen the sense of purpose the religion has given her.
“I’ve only ever had positive reactions. I knew people would be surprised at a big change. I’ve only experienced niceness, that’s the great spirit of Ireland.”
Brigid says that the news of Donald Trump’s travel ban saddened her, but that she’d be sad no matter what religion they were.
“What Trump has done is put a mark on Muslims that says ‘We’ve a reason to be afraid of these people’. This is what we’ve been working against, it’s putting fuel on a fire.”
Muslim Holiday NYC Muslim worshippers attend a service for the Eid al-Adha holiday, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, in the Queens borough of New York. Source: Mark Lennihan
Misconceptions about Muslims
Dr Rachel Woodlock is an Australian Muslim academic who lives in Clonmel, Co Tipperary. She’s been studying attitudes about Muslims and opinions of Muslims themselves, and says that there are many misconceptions around Islam – one of which is not all Muslims are really religious.
“In Christianity, you’re meant to fast during Lent, but not all Catholics fast, not all Catholics go to church, and it’s the same with Islam. Muslims are a lot more heterogeneous – there’s no Vatican equivalent that prescribes what you do.”
Woodlock says that a survey was done of a population in Victoria, Australia that showed rates of ‘religiousness’ was the same in the general population as it was with Muslims.
“[some Muslims] go to Masjids the same way some Christians go to church at Christmas time.
After the Lindt café siege, Woodlock said that different states reacted differently – states like New South Wales started a multicultural-crime force, while Brisbane set-up a multicultural centre.
“The thing about the attacker though, the Muslim community had been saying this guy is crazy, we’re worried about him, he doesn’t represent us. At the Quebec shooting this week, the attacker was called a ‘lone wolf’. Well Man Haron Monis was our lone wolf.”
She says that in Australia, Muslims make up 2% of the population but take up 30-40% of the media coverage, while in Ireland, about 1% of the population is Muslim and half a percent is covered in the media.
“I think the history of terrorism in the north means Ireland can contextualise a national crisis a bit better than most.”
Hijabs used as political props
In traditional Muslim cultures, both men and women covered their bodies. It later evolved so that it was reserved only for upper class women. This then eventually spread out to all families as a symbol of culture and identity in the 18th century.
“Europeans argued that the veil, of the hijab emancipated women,” Woodlock says. “But ironically, people like Lord Cromer who were arguing that these women needed to be set free, were also opposing the suffragette movement in America.”
In the Ottoman empire, women were a representation of the Muslim world; the Hijab was seen as the last barrier of defence. “So the veil took on a political current that it wouldn’t have had in previous eras.”
Even more so now – with burkini bans in France causing a debate over how to deal with the fear of terrorism and a recent ruling by a Swedish High Court that means Muslim girls must learn to swim with boys as part of their education, the issue of how to make room for tradition in a modern setting is becoming more and more tricky.
“Most Muslim women in the west chose to wear a hijab as part of their identity – it’s not a fundamentalist act,” says Woodlock.
It’s a part of the religion and there are a lot of different meanings to it, but it all gets collapsed into one symbol of religion.
Muslim mother teach her daughter reading koran inside the Masjid. Source: Shutterstock/leolintang
“It’s the woman who wants to wear this,” says Brigid. “When you actually wear it then you realise the benefits.
“As well as fulfilling the religious requirements, for me I’ve gained more confidence when I speak, they’re not looking at me at what my hair is like, what my body is like, I have an inner confidence.”
Woodlock recalls donning a veil when she was visiting a Muslim country, and she says it gave her an deeper understanding of why women wear it.
“I really got a sense of the privacy of it – I feel I’m able to look out at the world and operate in the world without the world intruding on me.
“But I wouldn’t wear it in the West, as it can create a fear and apprehension.”
Aylward and Woodlock took part in the only registered event in Ireland to mark World Hijab Day last Wednesday at Waterford Institute of Technology. The an annual global event was set up by New Yorker Nazma Khan in 2013 in order to fight prejudice and discrimination against Muslim women.
By Guest FireyWitness
I am told by Muslims the Bible is corrupted book, I am asked "so how can you trust something in that book if you dont have reference, like we muslims have reference the Quran?"
The Bible tells us why Jesus had to have been born of a virgin. The Quran doesn't tell why it just states He was born of a virgin. The only place and book in all history that information could be found before the Quran was written was in the NT Bible. The Bible has problems but no where near the amount Muslims think! The central message of the gospel is consistent and in tack fully.
Now, I would have a problem with the Bible if there were a Christian version of Uthman (non prophet) who burned all our original manuscripts and recompiled them into a single book, but that never happened. So why shouldn't I continue trusting it?
As Salamu Alaikum
I wish to share this free eBook (which is mostly in response to the constant attacks in Islam).
Summary: One of Allah's beautiful names is Al-Wadud - the Most-Loving God who is
Kind, Compassionate, and Gentle, the Source of Peace and Safety. The
first words of creation were: "My Mercy prevails over My Wrath". This
short book is fit for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike who wish to
understand the Islamic perspective of Allah's Love. Provided here is an
answer to the constant attacks against Islam in the modern age.
Supports Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, Kindle, Palm and other formats such as PDF, LRF, Adobe Digital Editions, Stanza and more.
By Absolute truth
In the name of God, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
Was Jesus God, a son of god , a man, a servant,or a prophet ?
This post will answer those important questions from the bible itself.
1) Was Jesus a servant ?
Yes, the Bible says that :
1 ) "Behold my servant, whom I have chosen." (Matthew 12:18)
2) "The God of Abraham, and of Isaac,.... hath glorified his servant Jesus." (Acts 3:13(RSV)
3) "For of a truth against thy holy servant Jesus, whom thou hast anointed...." ( Acts 4:27(RSV)
The exact same word "pias" is attributed to Jacob (israel) in Luke 1:54 and translated as "servant "(( Can any father call his son "servant " . Can a servant equal his master ? .Who is supreme in rank ? Who orders who and who obeys who ? ))
2) Was Jesus a man or a son of man?
Yes, the Bible says that :
1)ye men of israel , hear these word; Jesus of Nazareth, was a MAN approved of God among you by miracles, wonders, and signs.(Acts 2:22)
2) the son of MAN came eating and drinking. (Matthew 11:19)
3) this MAN is really the prophet. (John 7:40)
3) Now ye seek to kill me, a MAN that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God .(John 8:40 KJV)
4) “…so will the son of man be…” Matthew 12:40
5) “For the son of man is going to come…” Matthew 16:27
6) “…until they see the son of man coming in His kingdom.” Matthew 28
7) “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority…” Mark 2:10
“…because He is the son of man.” John 5:27
9) “Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know.” (Acts 2:22)
10) “He will judge the world in righteousness through a man whom He has appointed” Acts 17:31
(( Jesus testified himself that he is " a man" why didn`t he clearly and openly say: "Now you seek to kill me, God incarnate, who has told you the truth." Is it possible that he was hiding the truth? He denied any divinity to himself .Can a man be god ? The bible says strongly : “God is not a man...nor a son of man…” Numbers 23:19 . ))
3) Was Jesus a prophet or a messenger ?
Yes, the Bible says that :
These are just some of the many Biblical verses which point out that Jesus was a prophet and a messenger of the one true God :
1) this is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth. (Matthew 21:11)
2) Jesus said, "A prophet is never accepted in his home town." (Luke 4:24)
3) I tell you the truth, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than
the one who sent him. (John 13:16)
4) Surely this is the prophet who is to come into the word. (John 24:19)
5) "'What things?' he asked. 'About Jesus of Nazareth,' they replied. 'He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people.'" (Luke 24:19)
4) Was Jesus a god or a son of god ?
Jesus never said he is a god or a son of god Let us see what Jesus himself said :
1) "For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak." (John 12:49)
2) I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.(John 5:30)
3) Hear, O israel: The Lord our God is one Lord" ((and this was the message of all prophets sent by Allah from Adam to Muhammad (peace be upon them all ) "There is no God but God" and if Jesus (peace be upon him) was a god or a son of god he would declare that strongly ))
4) My father is greater than I (Jesus) (John 14:28)
5) My father, who gave them to me, is greater than all. (John 10:29)
6) What I teach is not my own teaching, but it comes from God,who sent me. (John 5:30) ((In these verses Jesus (peace be upon him) declares his complete submission and surrender to the will of our unique God and didn't impute any power or any strength to himself and that was the matter of all prophets before him ))
7) "And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God." (Mark 10:18) ((Jesus refused to be called "good" although we humanbeings describe ourselves "good" and this was the top of humbleness of Juses. Jesus emphatically corrects any notion that he was God; he does not like to be called even good, as genuine goodness is a quality of God alone. If Jesus were God, his words do not make sense; because, it does not befit God to humble Himself before His creatures.Then we don't believe that he claimed or accepted to be god or a son of god ))
8) No one knows, however, when that day or hour will come neither the angels in heaven, nor the son; only the Father Knows. (mark 13:32) (( If he was god he should have known the time of that day but he said the truth and that does not belittle of his rank as one of the greatest prophets that God sent to the human beings . In fact a sincere seeker of the truth should accept what Jesus says about himself and not make Him God or the equal of God!))
9) *Anyone who says something against the son of man can be forgiven, but whoever says something against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven-now or ever.(Matthew 12:32)
10) I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17) (( Then The father is the father of Jesus and all people ))
11) Jesus said to him, "Away from me, Satan! For it is written: 'Worship the Lord your God, and him only.'" (Matthew 4:10)
12) "Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him." (Mark 12:32)
13) "The Lord our God is Lord alone! Therefore, you shall adore the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, Mark 12:29-30)
5) Was Jesus the only one who was called the son of God in the Bible ?
No,the Bible doesn't say that :
1) Adam is the son of God. (Luke 3:38)
2) israel is my first-born son.(Exodus 4:22)
3) The Lord has said unto me, thou art my son; this day have I begotten thee." (Psalms 2:7,KJM).
,4) David is another begotten Son
*Blessed are the peacemaker, for they will be called sons of God. (Matthew 5:9)
((Tracing this title : son of God" in the Bible, we can find many "sons of God" and that Jesus is not the only son.It can be concluded that the Bible uses this title" son of God" figuratively to mean Righteous, pious, selected, or God-conscious.))
6) Can God be a man ?
((Can God be a man,eat as man,feel hungry ,go to toilet ,is crucified,tortured and be seen and be heard ,cry on the cross and be spit on his face and doesn't have the power to destroy his enemies and pray to his god.What god is that ?))
1) “God is not a man...nor a son of man…” (Numbers 23:19)
2) “...For I am God, and not man...” (Hosea 11:9)
3) Matthew 26:39: "And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt."
4) in John 5:32 Jesus told his followers that they have never seen GOD at anytime nor ever heard his voice?
5) "Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape." (John 5:37)
6) "Eli, Eli, lama sabachtani (My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?)
(( Finally after discussing evidence from the Bible . In fact that God is one, NOT THREE, that
Jesus is not God or part of God, that he is not equal with God, and that He is not the son of God in the literal sense .The son of god is common in the Bible and it is not underage on Jesus only (peace be upon him )) Please be logical and be rational and don't say what Jesus (peace be upon him) didn't say about himself .He was a model in his faith and in his submission to the will of the only unique God (praise be to him ) . Saying Jesus is a god or a son of god is the biggest sin which God never forgive and Jesus himself prophesied that people would worship him uselessly and believe in doctrines made by men (Matthew 15:9). "But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Jesus (peace be upon him) in this verse warns his followers from being worshippers to him .He ordered his people not to exaggerate in their love to him .
And All praise is due to God, Lord of the worlds.