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My First Doubt In Quran

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The trouble is there is another verse - S3:85 And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

 

This looks like a clear contradiction.

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i read a few verses of quran today using english quran online. i am a christian in faith. i just want to ask some doubts here. i think it is
permisisible to post quran doubts. i just read 100 verses. slowly i will read all of it and i may post my doubts here.


 


al baqarah verse 62. what does it mean?


62. Those who believe,and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans-any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously-will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.


does it mean christains have nothing to fear and grieve as long as we continue believe in god, last day and act righteously?


 

this is a doubt arised reading today.

 

i wrongly put this same question in another section of forum. i hope this is right section.

 


thanks for helping me understand this.


 


vipin

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You might like to consider the following verse that appears to contradict the one you quoted above. S3:85 ever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

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Interesting - lets go to arch atheists like Stalin or pot Pol and count up the millions they murdered.

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Huh!?

What does that have to do with the perfect word of the creator?

 

Regarding your question, Vipin:

There are Muslims that will say 'Yes' and Muslims that will say 'No'.

The contradictory nature of these verses (in both books) is directly to blame.

 

Who is to blame for the ease at which these books can be misunderstood?

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Huh!?

What does that have to do with the perfect word of the creator?

 

Regarding your question, Vipin:

There are Muslims that will say 'Yes' and Muslims that will say 'No'.

The contradictory nature of these verses (in both books) is directly to blame.

 

Who is to blame for the ease at which these books can be misunderstood?

Jesus is the perfect word of the creator :)

 

Everything else (interpretations) is from the minds of men because mans minds have limited capacity for spiritual knowledge the Word of God can only be understood within the limits of our own human understanding. A time will come when we gain spiritual enlightenment to know and understand such, until then mankind bimble along doing the best we can.

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i read a few verses of quran today using english quran online. i am a

christian in faith. i just want to ask some doubts here. i think it is

permisisible to post quran doubts.

 

al baqarah verse 62. what does it mean?

 

 

62. Those who believe,and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and

the Sabeans-any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act

righteously-will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to

fear, nor will they grieve.

 

 

does it mean christains have nothing to fear and grieve as long as we continue believe in god, last day and act righteously?

 

this is a doubt arised reading today.

 

thanks for helping me understand this.

 

vipin

 

It's referring to those people of the book (Jews and Christians) that have not ascribed partners to Allah (Shirk). Those who do not say Allah has a son or any other partners. It is also considered shirk to legalize that which Allah has made illegal and make illegal that which Allah has made legal.

A good example of this is gay marriage. Allah has ordained marriage to be between a man and a woman, not between a man and a man nor a woman and a woman. Those who have supported this will be in hell.

 

 

 S3:85 And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the hereafter he shall be one of the losers.

 

This can be best explained by the verse after it: [03:86] How shall Allah Guide those who reject Faith after they accepted it and bore witness that the Messenger was true and that Clear Signs had come unto them? but Allah guides not a people unjust.

 

(It's referring to Muslims that have accepted Islam then turned away, desiring another religion other than it.)

 

---This section is to introduce yourself please create another thread in the relevant section.---

Edited by A-H

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Everything else (interpretations) is from the minds of men because mans
minds have limited capacity for spiritual knowledge the Word of God can
only be understood within the limits of our own human understanding. A
time will come when we gain spiritual enlightenment to know and
understand such, until then mankind bimble along doing the best we can.

 

That's what everyone else says about their book.

 

A good example of this is gay marriage. Allah has ordained marriage to
be between a man and a woman, not between a man and a man nor a woman
and a woman. Those who have supported this will be in hell.

 

Sexual identity is predominantly mediated by fluctuating levels of hormones within the womb.

And approximately 9% of all mammals have homosexual relationships.

 

It's referring to Muslims that have accepted Islam then turned away, desiring another religion other than it.

 

What does the word 'accepted' mean in this sentence. Are children afforded the chance to accept or decline?

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i read a few verses of quran today using english quran online. i am a christian in faith. i just want to ask some doubts here. i think it is permisisible to post quran doubts.

 

al baqarah verse 62. what does it mean?

 

62. Those who believe,and those who are Jewish, and the Christians, and the Sabeans-any who believe in God and the Last Day, and act righteously-will have their reward with their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve.

 

does it mean christains have nothing to fear and grieve as long as we continue believe in god, last day and act righteously?

 

this is a doubt arised reading today.

 

thanks for helping me understand this.

 

vipin

 

as you see in the this verse, it is conditional statement. I can three conditions there:

1- believe in god (one without a wife nor a son, since he is in no need to any others)

2- believe in the last day

3- do righteous acts.

 

Each one of the previous conditions needs  details and criteria which we have to find out in the same book, explained by the same one god not any other. I mean you can't isolate one verse from Quran, so i'm asking you to complete reading the book and write down  the criteria of each of the three conditions as you go in the book. then you can apply it to whomever you like.

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The following is an exegesis of the verse in question.

 

It is by Mufti Muhammad Shafi. For a brief biography, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Shafi_Deobandi

 

Ma’ariful Quran pp. 227 – 229. See http://www.maarifulquran.net/index.php/maarifulquran-english-pdf/210-maariful-quran-english-pdf-vol-1

 

 

“Surely, those who believed in Allah, and those who became Jewish, and Christians, and the Sabeans -- whosoever believes in Allah and in the Last Day, and does good deeds -- for them, with their Lord, is their reward, and there is no fear for them, nor shall they grieve.” (Surah 2, Verse 62)

 

The previous verse spoke of how the israelites drew upon themselves the wrath of Allah through their habitual insolence and disobedience. Now, this account may lead the listeners, or the Jews themselves, to suppose that, in view of such transgression, their Taubah (repentance), if they agree to offer it, would not be acceptable to Allah. In order to dispel such a misgiving, the present verse lays down a general principle: no matter how a man has been behaving earlier, so long as he submits himself fully to the commandments of Allah in his beliefs and in his deeds both, he is acceptable to Allah, and will get his reward. It is obvious enough that after the revelation of the Holy Qur'an, which is the last message of Allah, perfect obedience to Allah can only mean accepting Islam and following the Last Prophet Muhammad. The verse, in effect, assures everyone that once a man has accepted Islam, all his former transgressions, whether in the matter of beliefs or in that of deeds, will be forgiven, and he will become worthy of receiving the rewards of the other world.

 

Let us note, in passing, that nothing is definitely known as to the beliefs and the practices of the Sabeans, and different opinions have been expressed on the subject. (Most probably they used to worship the stars).

 

One might also ask why the verse mentions the Muslims, for if it is an invitation to Islam, there is no need to extend the invitation to those who have already accepted Islam. But if we keep in mind the richly concentrated style of the Holy Qur'an, and try to look beyond the literal sense of the words into the implications and suggestions contained in the verse, we would find that the inclusion of the Muslim factor has added a new dimension to the meaning. It is as if a king should, in a similar situation, say that his laws are impartially applicable to all his subjects, and that whosoever obeys them shall receive his reward for obedience irrespective of whether he has earlier been a friend or a foe. Obviously, the friend has always been loyal and obedient, and the warning and the promise have really been addressed to the foe. But the suggestion contained in such a formulation is that the favours of the king do not proceed from any personal attachment to the friends, but depend on the quality of obedience and loyalty, and hence the foes too will become worthy of his favours if they acquire the necessary quality. This is the raison d'etre of mentioning the Muslims along with the non-Muslims in this verse, which should never be taken to imply that salvation can be attained without accepting Islam.

 

We had better dispel another misunderstanding which is likely to arise from the wordings of the present verse -- and, which is actually being promoted by certain 'modernizers'. The verse mentions only two articles of faith of the Islamic creed -- faith in Allah and faith in the Day of Judgment. This should not be taken to mean that in order to attain salvation it is enough to have faith only in Allah and in the Day of Judgment. For, the Holy Qur’an repeatedly declares that he who does not believe in the prophets, in angels and in the Books of Allah is not a Muslim. Faith in Allah is the first article in the Islamic creed, while faith in the Day of Judgment is the last. By mentioning only these two, the verse intends to say in a succinct manner that it is necessary to have faith in all the articles of the creed, from the first to the last. Moreover, it is through the prophets and the Books of Allah alone that man can acquire any knowledge of the essence and the attributes of Allah and of what is to happen on the Day of Judgment, while the Books of Allah are revealed to the prophets through an angel. So, it is not possible to have faith in Allah and the Day of Judgment until and unless one has faith in the angels, in the Books of Allah and in the prophets.

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Sexual identity is predominantly mediated by fluctuating levels of hormones within the womb.

 

Hi Donald,

 

The following was obtained from the website of the American Psychological Association [at] http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspxSexual Orientation & Homosexuality: Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding

 

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

 

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."

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That's what everyone else says about their book.

 

Well, of course it is! We are all humans are we not? We all have the same level of reasoning, we can only interpret Gods Word in ways that our limitations as humanity place upon us.

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as you see in the this verse, it is conditional statement. I can three conditions there:

1- believe in god (one without a wife nor a son, since he is in no need to any others)

2- believe in the last day

3- do righteous acts.

 

Each one of the previous conditions needs  details and criteria which we have to find out in the same book, explained by the same one god not any other. I mean you can't isolate one verse from Quran, so i'm asking you to complete reading the book and write down  the criteria of each of the three conditions as you go in the book. then you can apply it to whomever you like.

Bit in bold... What do you mean by that !

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as you see in the this verse, it is conditional statement. I can three conditions there:

1- believe in god (one without a wife nor a son, since he is in no need to any others)

2- believe in the last day

3- do righteous acts.

 

Each one of the previous conditions needs  details and criteria which we have to find out in the same book, explained by the same one god not any other. I mean you can't isolate one verse from Quran, so i'm asking you to complete reading the book and write down  the criteria of each of the three conditions as you go in the book. then you can apply it to whomever you like.

 

i liked your answer. my limited rights do not permit to vote like for your reply in this forum.

 

We christians believe in son of god. salvation is only for those who believe in son of god. but i read more verses in quran today. i found out that quran specifically mentions against the faith of christains. specifically it attacks bible belief. i was shocked to see such strange things. so arguing more on that topic is of no good.

 

christians dont believe that god has wives and then born a child. but believe god had son in the begining that is even before creation of heaven and earth.

 

quran specifically threatens a person to be tormented if not believed in quran. i just read today few portions. i was surprised to see such cruel explanation. where god directly threatening a man to be tormented in hell for not accepting the quran. bible does not speak like that at all. bible view is so different.

 

God loves unbelievers too according to bible.

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i liked your answer. my limited rights do not permit to vote like for your reply in this forum.

 

We christians believe in son of god. salvation is only for those who believe in son of god. but i read more verses in quran today. i found out that quran specifically mentions against the faith of christains. specifically it attacks bible belief. i was shocked to see such strange things. so arguing more on that topic is of no good.

 

christians dont believe that god has wives and then born a child. but believe god had son in the begining that is even before creation of heaven and earth.

 

quran specifically threatens a person to be tormented if not believed in quran. i just read today few portions. i was surprised to see such cruel explanation. where god directly threatening a man to be tormented in hell for not accepting the quran. bible does not speak like that at all. bible view is so different.

 

God loves unbelievers too according to bible.

I never quite understood why muslims believe that Jesus as Gods Son has some kind of biological connection, but when I read the Quran it does kind of give that impression that God "needed" a wife to have a "son". Or even the idea that God actually needs anything at all like "partners or associates". What confused me is that view has nothing to do with Christianity then or now, but it is an accusation used by many muslims against christians quite often. I deliberated on this and decided that it must have be meant to refer to maybe an early christian sect possibly around in Arabia at that time. I know the Collyridians had strange ideas in regards to Mary, even worshipping her, and the Quran (as I understood it... I could be wrong ) also puts forward the idea that the trinity consisted of God, Mary and Jesus. Which obviously is not the case and was never mainstream christian belief then or now.

 

You are right, God in the Bible shows an unconditional love towards mankind. The hate of the sin but Love of the sinner is shown through all the prophets. No created soul is beyond redemption.

 

Sorry butting in your thread, I expect you were wanting the views of muslims on this matter :) I hope you get some satisfactory answers to your queries.

 

Blessings. :)

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does quran say trinity is God, mary and jesus?

 

can you quote that verse?

 

if yes, how can Quran make such a blunder?

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does quran say trinity is God, mary and jesus?

 

can you quote that verse?

 

if yes, how can Quran make such a blunder?

It's in Surah Al-Maidah - the table spread.

 

Surah 5:116 And [beware the Day] when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah ?'" He will say, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen.

 

As I said it seems to me that Jesus is being asked by God if He claimed deity for Himself and His mother Mary alongside God. It looks like three gods to me, but as I said I could be misunderstanding it. I'm not sure who is speaking here? "he will say" ... I don't know who that refers to, because obviously God Himself would know exactly what Jesus claimed for Himself so why the question at all?

 

In the previous scriptures (Bible) God claims Jesus as the Son with which He's well pleased and we should listen to Him... And Jesus says the Father will restore Him to the glory He shared with God before creation.. So I come to the conclusion that this account in the Quran was meant to infer to certain sects at that time and place. Which then raises the question of how is the Qur'an a message for all time and all peoples?

 

Of the trinity it says...

 

“O People of the Book! Commit no excesses in your religion: Nor say of God aught but the truth. Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) an apostle of God, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a spirit proceeding from Him: so believe in God and His apostles. Say not “Trinity” : desist: it will be better for you: for God is one God: Glory be to Him: (far exalted is He) above having a son. To Him belong all things in the heavens and on earth. And enough is God as a Disposer of affairs.” – Quran 4:171

 

The word trinity is not found anywhere in the Bible and it isn't Biblical teaching. So why is it mentioned in the Quran. Yet, it says Jesus is Gods word and a spirit proceeding from God, which does tie in with christian doctrine. But confuses the issue by implying Jesus is a biological son of God... And was no more than an apostle, when the previous scriptures and even the Quran itself points to Jesus being far more than just an apostle. I think prophet and apostle are seen as the same in the Quran, but they are different roles in the Bible. I find it confusing.

 

I expect a muslim member could clarify things. :)

 

Have you read Surah Maryam yet?

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Greetings to you, Tunisia.

 

 

 

This conversation, revealed in Surah Al-Maidah, will take place between God, and the Prophets on the Day of Judgement. "He will say'', refer to what Jesus (peace be upon him) will reply to God, on the day of Judgement. 

 

God poses questions and these are addressed to the prophets, believers and disbelievers at different points in the Quran. In the earlier conversation, it is true that God himself knows the answer to the question. But we Muslims believe this revelation of what will happen on the day of Judgement, serves as a point to reflect on for Christians who believe in Jesus as more than a Prophet. And indeed, God is the best of planners.

 

As to the Quran only addressing certain things in the Prophet Muhammad's %5Burl= time, yes it's true, but that does not mean it cannot be applied to today. The verse was a warning to those Christians at the time who had turned Mary (may God be pleased with her) as an idol of worship. But it is in line with one of the central themes in the Quran, that is not to prescribe partners to God. And this message of the Quran is universal and applies to all time.

The reason why we learn historical lessons from Prophet Muhammad's time, is similar to why we learn history in schools, so that we may learn from them.

 

As to the other verse you have quoted from Chapter 4 (Surah An-Nisaa) of the Quran, it is not addressing the Bible. It is addressing the religious dogma of the Trinity, as practised in the physical sense by the Christians, at that time and even till today.

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Of course on can learn from history, any history. However, Muslims seem only interested obsessively in what Mohammed said or did and even his silent approvals. But one can say that all these things had a context and one should not follow them blindly for it is very very unlikely today's context matches that of 1400 years ago. You can extract principles from actions but in general Muslims don't seem to do that.

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Hi Donald,

 

The following was obtained from the website of the American Psychological Association [at] http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspxSexual Orientation & Homosexuality: Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding

 

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

 

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."

 

Hi Najimuddin,

 

The following was obtained from the website of the American Psychological Association [at] http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/12/believe.aspx: A Reason to Believe.

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There was a time homosexuality was defined as a disease but those days in the West at least those days are gone. If I remember correctly the incidence is about 4% in any society. From the Orthodox Church perspective there is nothing sinful about sexual orientation since as far as we know there is nothing we can do about it. However, the church forbids practice.

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Hi Donald,

 

The following was obtained from the website of the American Psychological Association [at] http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx: Sexual Orientation & Homosexuality: Answers to Your Questions For a Better Understanding

 

What causes a person to have a particular sexual orientation?

 

"There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles; most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation."

Hi Najimuddin,

 

The following was obtained from the website of the American Psychological Association [at] http://www.apa.org/monitor/2010/12/believe.aspx: A Reason to Believe.

Hello again,

 

Yes, as a Teacher Affiliate of the APA, I am aware of the research in this field. A complete reading of the article indicates that this understanding of religious belief is no different than the inferences made on the homosexuality-related research.

 

It is a philosophical discussion based on a combination of perceptually-based theoretical interpretations of research and conjecture.

 

I am aware of the argument you put forth in a previous post to the thread Belief And The Limits of Human Intelligence In Islam. From an Islamic perspective, your if-then statement is an opinion. It is no different than the if-then research statements of neuroscientists, who study the brain and suggest that their findings support a conclusion.

 

It is assumed that you are equating your if-then statement - regarding time and change - with the laws of physics. With the understanding that these laws are static - and not dynamic - the video, provided again below, is the Islamic answer to your query. The intent is to answer your query, not satisfy it. As stated in a previous post of mine, in Islam the Lord is beyond human intellect. Intellect itself, as with time and space, is a creation of the Lord. I understand that may be hard to accept.

 

Edited by najimuddin

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To say the word "Trinity " is in fact religious dogma . However the notion of God manifesting in flesh {Jesus ] and in his Will / Spirit [ Holy Ghost ]   and finally The Father as one and the same God , is not to be considered "three persons " but rather God manifesting Himself as three aspects of Himself .

  There are verses that allude to this very notion John 1 :1 is an example , Jesus is refered to as "The Word " , - read the verse . An earnest survey of the N.T. will bring the Triune nature in which God has manifested Himself to his creations . If Jesus is to be considered anything less than God , then it is easy to understand how such a consideration would lead one to believe that the Christian verses are referring to "three separate " persons . They are not , which John 1 :1 clearly states .

  Putting the meta-physical aside and approaching such a notion through science will reveal some interesting aspects of the Universe which allude to such a possibility , namely Quantum entanglement , The Light -Slit experiment ,and the violation of the Arrow of Time when it comes to Quantum Theory and photons and/or Quantum Particles . You have a physical example of being in more than one place at the same time and particles that can traverse future ,present and past . Science itself is beginning to realize yet will never admit, that observations in particle physics and quantum mechanics are actually alluding to qualities of a Superior force that is Omnipresent  . New experiments at the LHC which is colliding particles at 99.9999% of the speed of light , are revealing observations that are contradicting all known laws of physics , and that is because they are just scratching at the surface of the nature of the Superior Force at work in the Universe .  Thus qualities expressed as a " trinity " is infact  different manifestations of the same One God .

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      “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)
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