Friday, March 25, 2011

From Baha'i to Islam

My sister kak asma fwd me a story of her friend, Adam Fong. you should read it. it's long, but trust me, it's worth while :)

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Insyallah, here I’ll share my conversion story with you. I was born a Baha'i, and Baha’ism rotten roots lies in Iran, the centre point of Shia Islam.

While i was growing up as a Baha’i, we were taught that there's a prophet after Muhammad (saw) has come to reveal scriptures after the Quran, and that we as Baha’is are the chosen ones of God. How cliché? Chosen ones... There's no prophet after Muhammad (saw) and Allah doesn't make mistakes.

In any case, we were always taught from a Shia perspective towards Islam, that Islam had degraded and hence the down fall of the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Since there's degradation of Islam, hence there need to be a new religion, which was Baha'ism, my ex-religion.
Not too much on its way ward religion, but that's my history. We believed in a man, who posses’s Godly powers and that accepting him is our salvation. Very similar to Christianity, however ironically, this man, whose name is Hussain Ali claims to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. That's totally false and absurd, hence its being a way ward religion. Little did I know about this when i was a Baha'i, going on my life on my life oblivious to Islam.

During my time as a Bahai, i never really took religion seriously. It was more of a part time thing, as i grew up, studied in college and got myself into business when I was in my teens. So “God” was always put a side, like a lucky coin, needing it "as and when" i like. Ao zubillah, Ya Allah forgive me.

In the midst of all this, my brother, now Farihin was about to get married to his girlfriend who is now my sister in law, from Kelantan. This was very saddening towards my mom and dad as their son is about to accept Islam. The Islam we've been learning, that it has degraded, and that we "bahais" are having a better religion. So my brother converting to Islam is going against my family's beliefs. However my mom and dad did eventually gave in as my Farihin was the eldest in the family. At the same time my brother was also of the opinion that he's acceptance to Islam is only surface level and his intention is just to get married with my sister in law.

My father advised him to be honest in his religion and be faithful to Islam and that if he converted, he must adhere to Islam 100%, and do not be a half pass six Muslim. This was the advice of my late father to my brother. My mother was still reluctant to accept my brother had converted.

Eventually my brother got married and they moved out of the house. However my brother start to realize that Islam is not just a ticket to get married, he studied further and start to realize that Islam is true religion from Allah, the Creator.

So he started to come by the house and talk to us about Islam, showing us videos of Dr.Zakir Naik, "Science in the Quran", "Miracles of the Quran", "Muhammad in the Holy Scriptures". I was reluctant at first but i started to watch and learn slow, with my mother. My dad at the time was not bothered about my brother talking about Islam to us.

I always had this issue with Islam and Muslims being terrorist and cold blooded murderers. However my brother started to share with me the other side of Islam that no one talks about, that is about the prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him, and started to show me ahadith and how was our prophet really was as a man, a person whom we'd learn how to live our lives. Then he showed me how his companions (sahabas), lived along side our prophet, protecting him, loving him, and obeying him as a prophet from Allah. Allah say’s that Muhammad is the best of creation and is a mercy to all the worlds. So its must be that Allah has sent him as a guide to us, and we should look to him for reference.

Because in our previous religion, the bahais took most of its teaching from Islam, then I discovered that what was taught to us as bahais, was infact taken from Islam and its way of life. A total rip off I’d say. And I was deeply angered at this fact, because 23 years of my life was just gone without knowing this fact.
I started to learn and read books from Dr.Zakir Naik, Ahmad Deedat, Gary Millar (Omar, his Muslim name), and many scholars of comparative religion. However I was still skeptical about Islam because I was also in a relationship with my girlfriend, who is now my wife. So didn’t want to convert because it was cause a dent in my relationship with my girlfriend who's a Christian, a Sunday church going Christian and Catholic I might add.

Allah in His absolute mercy and compassion, showed me the way into accepting Islam no matter what. I was driving to fetch Melissa to catch a movie, and i got myself into an accident. I smashed the front of my car into the rear of a Renault. I wasn't hurt however, wallahi, when i slam the breaks of my Wira, and felt the front of the car hit the other car, and it was as though I woke up from a dream. I didn't realize what had happen and i was so awe struck at what just happened. I couldn't believe it, because I’ve never been a in a wreck such as that, maybe minor dents and knocks, but not to the extend that my car would be totally damaged. I was of the impression before i was a Muslim that what happens to me is due to my own actions and there's no one that can do anything about it, even God. Astaghfirallah.

Farihin helped me and manage to settle my insurance claims and drove me back home. In the journey back, while I was pondering and just starring at the window of his car, my brother just blurted out "Didn't it felt like a dream?" I was stunned because i didn't mention to anyone. Then he started to tell me, that it was ignorant to think that everything was under my control, and that it was Allah who protected me from a worse accident. And that I was an ungrateful human being, because Allah has given me everything I needed, a house, a car, a girlfriend, loving parents, a good paying job and a good physical body, with no defects. Alhamdulilah, I wish I had said that when he told me this. I was at the lowest of low, when he said that, because i always had my ego with me. Ego didn't do me any good.

I felt very bad the next day and had walked to his house, which was a couple of blocks away and told him, "Ko (brother), can you teach me how to be grateful to Allah?". He said come in and take a shower, we'll pray together. That’s when I started to pray to Allah and the first time I placed my forehead on the ground in humility is when i started to realize what was my position in this life and it just brought me to tears that I’ve been so lost without guidance. Because of you realize, only a slave would place his forehead on the ground in humiliation towards his master. I started to pray 5 times a day, in secrecy. At work, at home. I didn't want to voice out my beliefs, because I was still learning and studying about Islam.

Melissa was with me all the way from the time of the accident and until i started to pray, however she didn't know I was praying as a Muslim. I didn't want to tell her about my beliefs. I was scared that she would dump me because of Islam. I started to learn about Islam from English speaking scholars, from PeaceTv, from videos which i downloaded from Youtube, from books translated into English, and i started to learn how to read Quran. I read a lot about Islam, and I started to learn about Christianity and its similarities with Islam. Because I wanted Melissa also to know about this “gold” I just found.

One fine day I broke the news to Melissa that I was a Muslim, that I’ve accepted Islam as my way of life. She was devastated, because she didn't anticipate my accepting Islam. Because she was a Christian she knew about Islam only from the tv, the newspaper, the community, and how many families broke up due to Islam. She was scared. And her mother had a lot to do with her belief. And her mother was a person with little tolerance towards Islam and she had a bad misconception of Islam by looking at our community and its black sheeps.

I started to share with her about Islam, its beauty, its way of life, it’s always having Allah in the mind, and not only on Sundays. Shared with her many things in the bible that shows that Islam is not the religion of Arabs, it was the way of life since Adam alaihisalam. That they were only sent as prophets to give the message of Islam, which is to submit to Allah with sincerity and peace. That is to worship Allah without any partners. Worship Allah alone, not a stick, a stone, money, a man, or a concept. I told her that Jesus in the bible never said to his follower "I am God, worship me". I questioned her, however she wasn't able to answer as I think she was a very obedient Christian not learned, in a sense that the knowledge is left to the preachers and the fathers in the church.

I was still with Melissa even though i was already a Muslim. Many people had told me to leave her and find for someone else who is a Muslim and that really angered me. I told me self, that if I ever go fishing I would catch the most difficult fish, easy fishes are not my cup of tea. I was being metaphoric as to tell them that I'm trying to share Islam with Melissa and I’ll wait for her until she is ready to learn and accept Islam. I showed her videos like "Who wrote the bible" by Dr.Robert Bedfort. I showed her videos from Dr.Zakir Naik, "Crucifiction or Crucifixted", Ahmad Deedat's talk about Islam and Christianity, and Yusuf Estes story about his conversion to Islam. Brother Yusus is a Christian minister, converted to Islam and now has his own Da'wah channel called GuideUS TV.

After seeing all these videos and she started to realize that Islam was the truth, and that her parents hold no status in telling her that she cannot convert to Islam and to accept the truth. I showed her how to pray, I taught her Al-Fatiha, and other short surah, all with Allah permission. I see a change in her, and Alhamdulilah she converted to Islam. Her parents never knew about her conversion as she was staying outside her house for a year before we got married. Allah had given her an avenue of accepting Islam without any problems, because she wasn't staying at home. No resistance from her parents because it wasn't to their knowledge.

Her parents soon got to know when we wanted to get married and we've made arrangement for them to come for our wedding. It was her mother who was against our marriage, however her father was not bothered if she was a Muslim or not, for him it was a matter of telling him our plans earlier.

We've been married for 2 years now and Allah has given us a gift, a daughter, Sofia. After we got married we never seize to visit her parents every weekend, to show that even being Muslims, Allah has commanded us to be dutiful to our parents, and that we cannot even say a word "ouff" to them. So as Muslims we strive to show silaturrahim towards our non muslims parents the best we can.

Maybe if you like, you can ask for her story, I think she'd be more than willing to share this story with you, and how she accepted Islam.
I'm ever grateful to Allah that my family including my mother has accepted Islam. My father unfortunately passed away 2 years ago. That in a way, made the way for my mother to accept Islam, as my mother was married to my father, even though she had accepted Islam in her heart and she was already a practicing Muslim.

Allah's promise is the truth indeed, and we should never be afraid when Allah is by our side. When Allah is our Rab, and our sustainer, who other than Allah can provide for everything in this world? Indeed Allah alone is the Provisioner. Accepting Islam from a non Muslim background is definitely challenging. Because of obstacles in our path, such as our parents, friends, and love ones. Some times its difficult to please everyone. However, if we please our Creator, Allah, He will make our difficulty easy and manageable. I thank Allah that he showed me the way into a way of life, that is more reserved and more easily understandable. Yes, we there are things which we cannot do after accepting Islam, however these are the things that keep us reserved and check at all times.

Do ask me if you’ve any question, and I do hope that my story is worth the read . Assalamualaikum.


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Makes you rethink about yourself right?