November - 2017, Volume 3, Issue 11 ISSN 2377 - 9624 Publisher & Editor-in-Chief : Mohamed Haroon Sait Editor : Nabeel Sait Design & Layout : Mubin M.K
4 | Why do Americans Convert to Islam?
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11 | The Path of Acceptance
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By Mohamed Haroon Sait
By Samia Mubarak
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Muslim American Magazine November 2017
Why do Americans Convert to Islam? By Mohamed Haroon Sait I am involved in the da’wah of Islam for almost three decades. Like any other Muslim I always feel happy seeing people enter in to Islam. Tears of joy rolls down my cheek watching and hearing the new convert say those magnificent words of Shahada. It is a common sight to see brothers rushing to hug the new convert brother and sisters do the same with the convert sister. If I got the chance I always asked them what brought you in to Islam? It is amazing to hear their stories. Each one has a unique story to share. I moved to the US in end of 1999. The US I came to was a different world that said good bye to us all on 9-112001. After the 11th September incident, Islam and Muslims became the “talk of the town”. I do not think there has been a day when Islam is not in the minds of people. Similar incidents in Europe added more fuel to the flame. Consequently Islam and Muslims were awarded the lowest possible ratings any faith group can get. This has emboldened many hate groups to come out of the closets and gain legitimacy for their hate speech. Their saying “Look didn’t we tell you these people are bad and should be sent back to where they 4
came from!” is a norm today. However, something amazing is also happening during these times. People are coming in to Islam in big numbers almost every day. The new converts truly add to the already universal and diversity of the Muslims. You
can see White Americans, Black Americans and Hispanics all converting to Islam on a regular basis. This makes me wonder and a question naturally shapes in the back of my mind, how in the word are these new converts attracted to Islam amidst all these bad
ratings and allegations?: Islam is evil, Muslims are terrorists, Islam oppresses women and on and on.. I have been thinking about this confusing phenomenon of people choosing a poorly rated faith. There are only three reasons I could think that could make people convert to Islam under this environment. The first two are money and muscle. If those are not the reasons, then it should be merit. I have not heard of any Muslim countries or organizations pumping money in to US for distribution to attract new converts. Muslim countries do not possess any considerable muscle power to make people subdue and submit to Islam. The only logical conclusion left is merit. One has to agree that in this century of information (and a lot of misinformation and noise) Islam has to have the merit to stand out in some ways to get noticed. People are of three kinds. First kind is of those people who see Islam and Muslims as the source of all evil. They are fed into by biased sources and lots of prejudice. They do not want to hear anything about Islam. The second kind of people is those
who do not consider Islam and Muslims as evil. They are logical in their approach. They are not prepared to paint 1.5 billion Muslims with the same brush. These people have no grudge or enmity towards Islam. A third group of people are those who want to find the facts for themselves. They cannot be fooled by what they hear or see in the media. They are on a fact finding mission. Islam and Muslims have many surprises in store for them.
should be willing to look at it as a whole. Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years. Many of the verses of the Quran are revealed in reply to a question that was asked by one of his companions or by an outsider. Likewise incidents
message of One God and a not so clear Triune God, Quran says in no ambiguous terms that there is only One God. Here is chapter from the Holy Quran. Say, “He is God, the One. God, the Absolute. He begets not, nor was He begotten. And there is nothing comparable to Him” Al Ikhlas Chapter 112
I have spoken to many Christian converts to Islam. Most of them could not accept the fact that Jesus is God. They saw a human being in Islam presents three him does every single main avenues for thing human beings anyone who wants to do. Jesus surely did learn about it. Islam’s miracles. But many holiest text i.e. The were the prophets Holy Quran, Life before Jesus also who example of Messenger showed miracles. Hence of God, Prophet miracles themselves Muhammad (peace cannot be held as a be upon him) and the proof for divinity. They Muslims who practice see Jesus praying to the faith and follow God, seeking help from the teachings of the God and prostrating Prophet Muhammad. to God. They see Jesus All these three avenues as a totally different are accessible for any individual compared to common person to read, God and found it very to study and to raise hard to come to terms questions on them. Only that God and Jesus are those who find these one. Quran on the other three avenues to be hand unequivocally supreme and clean from denies that God has three any of the allegations will consider during these 23 years have been components fused in to one. This converting to Islam. the contexts behind many of the clear message makes people feel revelations. Once we agree to that at home as it applies to the very What is in the Holy let us dive in to the Quran and see human logic of 1+1+1 is 3 and not Quran? what it offers. 1. People who grab any of the Concept of God is clear English Translation of the Who Wrote the Meaning of Holy Quran to learn Quran explains in clear term who Quran? for themselves are in for a big is God Almighty. It is very easy The sacred text of Islam are two. surprise. The only condition I to grasp the concept of oneness First one is the Holy Quran which suggest is that they should come of God. Unlike in the case of is verbatim word of God. No to the Quran with no bias and Christian Bible, which has a mixed words or sayings of the Prophet 5
Muslim American Magazine November 2017
Muhammad are included in it. The second text is the Hadith which are the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad as recorded and reported by his companions or his family members. These are in two different volumes and there is no confusion as to what is what.
is God? What is purpose of my life? It is difficult if not impossible to find the purpose of life in clear terms except in the Holy Quran. Here is what Quran has to say:
In the Holy Quran, God almighty says in clear terms that He revealed it and He will protect it. Here is the meaning of the verse.
Many people lead a reckless life and go to the boundaries of fun and enjoyments. When they hit the points where funs and enjoyments are no longer bringing joy, at that point they start thinking; Is this all? A lot of remorse and regret kicks in for the wrong and bad that was already accumulated. Quran gives them a purpose of life which is clear and unambiguous.
“Surely We revealed the Message, and We will surely preserve it.” Hijr 15:9 Many of the previous scriptures have in them texts that are interpolated alongside Gods words. It is hard for a common person to know who is talking. In the case of the new testament, the first four books Mathew, Mark, Luke and John have under their names “According to Mathew”, “According to Mark” etc.. This is a clear indication that Mathew did not write it, Mark did not write it and neither did Luke or John. Fourteen of the 27 books in the New Testament were written by Paul who did not even meet with Jesus in his life time. In the case of Quran, there is no second guessing on the author. Author himself signs it and closes any door for speculation.
What is the Purpose of Our Life? Most people have not spent any amount of time to ponder the purpose of their creation. In this day and age of life filled with enough distractions and all the amenities of luxury it provides, it makes it very hard for people to find a place and time of solace where they can even start to think on questions like who am I ? Who 6
“I did not create the jinn and the humans except to worship Me.” The Spreaders: 51:56
Quran Calls to Observe the Creations of God around Us God Almighty has created the universe in perfection and made the earth a place for us to live in peace. All that is necessary for humans was already placed in the earth before we were created and sent to the Earth. Throughout The Holy Quran God reminds us of his magnificent craftsmanship around us and see his “finger prints”. When one reads the Quran, the reader is constantly paused with questions calling attention to those things around him/her which otherwise we all take it for granted. “He who created seven heavens in layers. You see no discrepancy in the creation of the Compassionate. Look again. Can you see any cracks? Then look again, and again, and your sight will return to you dazzled and exhausted. We have adorned the lower heaven with lanterns, and made them missiles against the devils; and We have prepared for them the punishment of the Blaze.
For those who reject their Lord, there is the torment of Hell. What an evil destination!” Sovereignty 67:3-6 “Do they not look at the camels— how they are created? And at the sky—how it is raised? And at the mountains—how they are installed? And at the earth—how it is spread out? So remind. You are only a reminder.” The Overwhelming 88: 17-21 Quran Talks about individual Accountability and the Life Hereafter No other divine book gives detail depictions of the events that will unfold after our death. This is a domain outside of the books of worldly sciences. Only God Almighty who has the knowledge of the past, present and future can tell us that and He tells us that in the Quran. Apparently there are two kinds of the hour. When an individual dies, that is his hour. When the world ends that is the hour for all those who live at that time. After the final hour is established, we will be resurrected for a day of judgement. Both Quran and Hadith have extensive information about the events of that day. This is a very important and serious matter as there is no second chance for any one. The message of the Quran is divided in to three broad kinds. 1) Oneness of God 2) Message and 3) Hereafter. You can see the importance of the life hereafter as one third of the Quran deals with Hereafter. Almost all the passages of the Quran have warnings for those who are heedless and promise of gracious rewards for those who are obedient to God. “So remind, if reminding helps. The reverent will remember. But the wretched will avoid it. He who will
The message of the Quran is clear in that Prophet Jesus or any other Prophets cannot bring benefit or harm to people when they stand in front of God for judgement. We have to work hard for our own salvation.
Quran Explains Who is Satan and His Plots against the Mankind. I remember listening to Professor Jeffry Lang on his path to Islam. The subject of Satan and his rebelling against God and man, his supreme creation was very confusing for him. When he started reading Quran, the passages in the second chapter of the Quran, Baqara dealing with the conversation of Allah with the angels and the Satan removed all his confusions. Many people ask this question: why does evil exist? It is hard for anyone to understand all the tragedies man experiences due to evil acts of others. Quran explains who is behind the evil and warns mankind to be in a state of vigilant all the time.
enter the Gigantic Fire. Where he will neither die, nor live. Successful is he who purifies himself. And mentions the name of his Lord, and prays. But you prefer the present life. Though the Hereafter is better, and more lasting. This is in the former scriptures. The Scriptures of Abraham and Moses.” The Most High: 87: 9-19
our daily routines and sows the seeds here so we can reap in the hereafter. For those who care for the success in the hereafter, Quran tells them that each individual is accountable for his / her deeds and that no one will be able to remove our sins. Here is what Quran says:
From cover to cover Quran constantly reminds people of the next life so that we keep that in our minds all the while we do
“No burdened soul can carry the burden of another….” The Originator: 35:18
Muslim American Magazine November 2017
“O you who believe! Enter into submission, wholeheartedly, and do not follow the footsteps of Satan; he is to you an outright enemy.” The Cow 2:208 A lot of people distance from religion and divine books after they find out that rather than answering and simplifying the issues, it confuses and makes things complicated. When such people grab a Quran, their questions are answered and matters are presented in an easy to understand fashion. Thus Quran makes their path to spirituality easy.
Quran Consoles Sinners and Opens Doors for their Repentance Humans are not angels. We are prone to sin and we sure do sin. But sins are of different kinds. There are minor ones and major ones. In Islam disobeying parents is a major sin. So is fornication, adultery, murder etc.. Islam calls for people to stay away from sins. But in the event an individual has committed a sin, he does not have to go to an Imam and reveal all the sins. God Almighty asks that we repent and sincerely ask for his forgiveness. This gracious gift from God has brought many people to Islam. I know of an individual who committed adultery in her teenage years. She was not a Muslim. When regret enveloped her, she considered suicide. Fortunately She came in contact with the Holy Quran and the promise from Allah that all the sins will be forgiven gave her hope and a new life. Now she is a happy and practicing Muslim. Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves: do not despair of God’s mercy, for God forgives all sins. He is indeed the Forgiver, the Clement. Throngs 39:53 Quran Calls for Excellence in Conduct Prophet Muhammad was the last and final prophet for the mankind and Quran is the final word of God. There is no other book to come after Quran. Hence Quran must be appealing to both Men and Women of all colors and nationality. Only a book that is revealed by the one who created mankind can address the issues and concerns of all human beings. The text in the Quran covers matters like social etiquettes, family values, business matters 8
name. Many of those Prophets can be found in the Bible as well. But there is one difference. Quran strong rejects any criminal wrong doings on the part of Prophets. For any logical person who seeks to worship God and walk on a spiritual high path, it is incomprehensible to accept that See how Quran speaks against Prophet David would commit a ridiculing, backbiting and scandal crime. The purpose of sending mongering: prophets is to lead mankind with example. Someone who commits “O you who believe! No people crime cannot lead mankind. This shall ridicule other people, for they may be better than they. Nor has caused many of the bible readers to pause and think; how shall any women ridicule other in the world is this possible? women, for they may be better Well Quran corrects all that. The than they. Nor shall you slander one another, nor shall you insult stories of all these prophets in the Quran is inspiring and presenting one another with names. Evil is them as they are; excellent guides the return to wickedness after for people. having attained faith. Whoever does not repent—these are the “Be patient in the face of what they wrongdoers. O you who believe! say, and mention Our servant David, Avoid most suspicion—some the resourceful. He was obedient. suspicion is sinful. And do not spy We committed the mountains to on one another, nor backbite one glorify with him, in the evening and another. Would any of you like to at daybreak. And the birds, gathered eat the flesh of his dead brother? together. All obedient to him. And We You would detest it. So remain strengthened his kingdom, and gave mindful of God. God is Most him wisdom and decisive speech” Relenting, Most Merciful.” The Saad 38:17-20 Chambers 49:11-12 Quran removes any speck of In numerous verses God Almighty misgivings on the honor of those speaks of his love for people who great Prophets including David, do good and also exhorts people Lot, Abraham and others. The to repeal evil with good. natural instinct of any one who “….. God loves the doers of good” Al follows the Quran on hearing the names of any of those Prophets Imran 3:134 is to say may God’s peace and “Good and evil are not equal. Repel blessing be upon them. evil with good, and the person who Quran Encourages Activism was your enemy becomes like an intimate friend. But none will attain Anyone who reads the Quran it except those who persevere, and will certainly learn that Quran none will attain it except the very calls people to stand up for what fortunate” Detailed 41:34-35 is right and what is good. Quran Quran Removes Stains from does not support violence. At the same time Quran calls people Previous Prophets to stand up against oppression. Bottom line the message of the Quran mentions 25 Prophets by and much more that every single human being deals with on a daily basis. If a Chinese national reads these values, he will have no issues with it. Likewise if a Canadian national reads it, he will appreciate it as well. Quran talk about values that are universal.
Quran is propagate and promote that which is good, and stand up and stop that which is evil and bad. Here are a few ayats O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even if against yourselves, or your parents, or your relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God takes care of both. So do not follow your desires, lest you swerve. If you deviate, or turn away—then God is Aware of what you do. Women: 135 Quran has information on the Past, Present and Future The purpose and essence of the message in the Quran is Guidance for mankind to steer through all the hurdles in this life and be successful in the hereafter. Towards guidance, God Almighty narrates the stories of the people of the past and of the Prophets that were sent to them. It is the practice of Allah to send warners and guides to the people. Some of those people hearken to the message and many reject. The ones who submitted and followed are given success and the other is subjected to punishment. The stories of Prophet Yusuf, Lot, Abraham, Moses and Jesus are all presented with the morals behind them. Quran also captures the stories of the Pharaoh and other dictators with historical accuracy. These stories are told to us so that we can learn from them and avoid the mistakes they did. Even though these stories happened in the past, they may happen to us in the present day. We may experience situations like those experienced by those Prophets or their followers.
And We delivered the Children of Israel across the sea. Pharaoh and his troops pursued them, defiantly and aggressively. Until, when he was about to drown, he said, “I believe that there is no god except the One the Children of Israel believe in, and I am of those who submit.” Now? When you have rebelled before, and been of the mischiefmakers? Today We will preserve your body, so that you become a sign for those after you. But most people are heedless of Our signs. Jonah 10:90-92 Quran makes many predictions of the future. Some of them were relative to the time when the revelations were coming down. Those predictions have since been materialized. Victory of the Romans over the Persians was one of them. There are many other predictions that will come in time. Here is one:
O people, be conscious of your Lord. The quaking of the Hour is a tremendous thing. On the Day when you will see it: every nursing mother Here is what God told the Pharaoh will discard her infant, and every pregnant woman will abort her load, who begged for rescue while and you will see the people drunk, drowning. 9
Muslim American Magazine November 2017
even though they are not drunk—but the punishment of God is severe. Pilgrimage 22:1-2 Quran deals with Science that was discovered just yesterday Quran has message of God and the signs for both layman and for the learned one. This book of God has to attract all of mankind. Scientists who look through the googles of science also have message for them to ponder upon and see the wisdom and magnificence of God. Almost 1000 of the 6000 plus verses deal with science alone. Here are a few glimpses to those verses. “Do the disbelievers not see that the heavens and the earth were one mass,
and We tore them apart? And We made from water every living thing. Will they not believe?” The Prophets 21:30
to be apprehensive. God Almighty calls them to scan the text of the Quran for contradictions. Here is how Allah said it in the Quran.
The above verse is very much in line with the modern discovery of the Big Bang Theory.
Do they not ponder the Quran? Had it been from any other than God, they would have found in it much discrepancy. Women: 4:82
then produce a chapter like these, and call your witnesses apart from God, if you are truthful. But if you do not—and you will not—then beware the Fire whose fuel is people and stones, prepared for the disbelievers. The Cow: 2-23-24
Quran provides many doors for people to come in. People come in Quran Challenges Mankind to Islam in big numbers because to Produce another Book like they read the Quran and are it. fascinated with what Allah speaks. They are clear that this is not a After providing all the needed Man’s words. Rather it is God tools to accept the Quran as the Almighty’s words. message of God, for those who are still doubtful are challenged God willing, in the next issue, to produce a book like the Quran. I will write on the other two God makes this challenge four avenues that bring People in to times in the each. Final challenge Islam. was to produce a chapter like any chapter of the Quran. Here is how Allah said it.
Quran also details on many other topics of the modern science like Embryology, water cycle, plant kingdom, animal kingdom, Astronomy and much more. A scientist who will approach the Quran with no bias will find the finger prints of God in all the verse of science. Message of the Quran is Consistent with No Contradictions Even after providing all the needed tools to validate the message and recognize it is from God, some people are still going
And if you are in doubt about what We have revealed to Our servant,
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The Path of Acceptance By Samia Mubarak
absolutely nothing can shake our faith. There is comfort in that our affairs are in His hands, and no author could ever write the book of our lives better than Him.
Like a story, our lives are filled with varying chapters of happiness and sadness. What There’s something amazing helps us persevere when our about the human mind. A simple story is not going as we planned? mindset can alter our entire Listen to the wise words of our perception. What makes us beloved prophet Muhammad content is not necessarily the (PBUH): “Amazing is the affair physical world around us, but of the believer. Verily all of his rather a shift in our mental gear. affairs are good, and this is for the What occupies our mind can either help us overcome our agony believer. If something good befalls him, he is grateful, so that is good or cause us to fall into a deeper for him. If something harmful state of sadness. If we make this befalls him, he is patient, so that is world our goal, we are setting ourselves up for failure. However, good for him.” Note the emphasis the prophet places on how this when we keep our focus on the afterlife and on pleasing God, then applies to a believer. Why is it
essential for you to believe in order to be content with what comes your way? Because when you believe that Allah wrote this for you, you trust that His plan is truly better for you, for He is the most Merciful, most Wise, and most Loving. Without God and a higher purpose, nothing makes sense. But when you put Him in the picture, everything falls into place. How can we compare our limited perspective to God’s infinite knowledge and wisdom? Every situation we are in is good for us because Allah created each one of us and knows us better than we know ourselves. Just as Allah fashioned the universe so intricately, He also carefully planned each one of our lives with
make you content with whatever a specific, important purpose. Nothing you go through is without HE decrees, whether it be a part of your plan or not. Every day, we reason. Absolutely nothing. say “la ilaha illah Allah” (there is Allah tells us in the Quran: “Only no God but Allah), but how are we if they had been content with internalizing that and reflecting what Allah and His Messenger that in our lives? Islam means gave them and had said: “Allah submission. Just as our hearts is Sufficient for us, Allah will beat every day in submission to give us of His Bounty, and His Him, so too should our minds Messenger. We turn our hopes to submit to Him with our affairs, Allah.”” [9:59] What’s interesting our happiness, our sadness, about this verse is the structure. our eases, and our hardships. In speaking about contentment This is the essence of tawheed, in this relatively short verse, God worshipping Allah alone: to mentions Himself four times in submit your affairs to Him and four vitally distinct ways. Allah accept that because He put you in is subtly telling us that, in order this situation, it is better for you, to accept His plan for us, we so long you seek the goodness out must prioritize Him in our life. of it by acting in a way that pleases Nothing can get between us and Him. our happiness when Allah is the One fulfilling our needs, when He Simply put: when you prioritize is the One we turn to, when He is Allah in your life, you are on the the One we ask for help, and when path of acceptance and true inner happiness. Nothing can make He is our priority. you fall into The first step to contentment is despair when simply accepting His will for you. Allah is the One Rather than asking “what if” and who occupies “why me”, ask yourself: “What your heart and does God want from me in this mind. Each and situation? How does Allah want every situation me to respond?” Your response you are in is a to a hardship should be based part of Allah’s upon what pleases Allah, for intricate plan true contentment stems from for you, and accepting His decree. Allah says in when you fully the Quran: “Whoever prioritizes rely on Him, Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will provide Allah will find a way out for him, for you in and will bless him in ways he ways beyond could never imagine.” [65: 2-3] your own If we truly embodied this verse, imagination. then we would know that Allah Never doubt the will certainly find a way out for us author of your when we please Him, regardless of story, for He is how stuck we feel. With Allah, you Allah, the Most are never truly stuck. Only He can Merciful, most take you from darkness to light Wise, and most and from grief to happiness. Loving. He wants goodness We all have different wants and for you. desires, but there is no greater feeling than submitting your affairs to Allah and asking Him to 13
Muslim American Magazine November 2017
Samia Mubarak obtained her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University with a major in Communications and a minor in psychology. She memorized the Quran and often writes Quranic reflections in a personal blog. She is a strong advocate for special needs, having a daughter with a rare syndrome. She was born and raised in Panama City, FL and currently resides in Harrisburg, NC with her husband, and two children.
All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...
Published on Nov 9, 2017
All content Copyright © 2017 Muslim American, Inc. except where otherwise noted. Please contact the editor or publisher directly to obtain r...