A LESSON FROM THE CONVERTS
I’ve decided to write in English again, mainly because I need to re-sharpen my English. The second reason is because I miss the old days when my readers who’d left comments had at least read ALL my articles before leaving comments. The last few articles in Malay received huge response but it was apparent that some comments came from people who clearly had never read my other articles in English. They are quick to make judgment based just a few articles in wrote in Malay and reading their comments almost made me question why I’m spending my energy doing all these.
So from now on it’s back to my broken English. Of course an article like this will only be viewed by several hundreds people instead of thousands.. and definitely will plunge my blog’s rating into the abyss of unpopularity.. But I don’t give a crap about that
This article was actually inspired by an earlier idea I posted in my Facebook. After PRU13 I posted a Facebook status stating my opinion (sort of a joke) that the best way to solve the so called “Chinese political tsunami” in this country is by converting the Chinese in this country into Islam. Let’s face it, the DAP (with PKR support) has been doing their best to convert our youths into Christianity since the 90s, so it would be fair if we (with full government support) unleash thousands upon thousands of tabligh, ustaz & ustazah to go knocking their door to start preaching about Islam..
But such a thought reminds me one thing about the Malay. The Malays in particular are very ‘shy’ when it come to performing dakwah. We Malays are so ‘nice’ to others that most of us think it is somehow ‘inappropriate’ to promote Islam to our non-Muslim friends. There this unreasonable reluctance we have fearing it would cause ‘uneasiness’ to our non-Muslims friends if we began to speak about our religion during casual conversation with them.
Timing is of course still important. We can’t just preach all the time. Preaching to a guy who had experienced a very bad day might not be a good timing (even though still possible). But we have to admit though that there were times when an opportunity had presented itself and yet we still hesitate.
Take me for example, there were a lot of times when a non-Muslim lady came to me to ask my advise about how to divorce their husbands. It would be normal for these ladies to tell me about the rough marriage they’ve endured and there were times when I should have said things like “Hmm.. unfortunately you’re a non-Muslim.. if you’re Muslim your chances of getting custody of your child in the even of divorce would be 9 out of 10…”
I guess the other reason why some of us avoid the topic of Islam during conversation with the non-Muslims is because of the feeling of inferiority amongst us namely because most of us feels that we’re not knowledgeable enough in shariah. We then decided that performing dakwah is best left only to the ‘alim’ and ‘ulama’ or ‘ustaz’ or ‘syeikh’ those with extensive knowledge on shariah. Such reasoning is of course correct, but then again I believe each of us should at least contribute a little bit.
So my Facebook status inspired me to do some quick research about people who had converted into Islam and a friend of mine suggested that I watch Youtube videos of the white people (the Europeans and Americans) and some colored people (the African American and the Latinos) who had embraced Islam is the United States, Australia, Britain, and European Countries.
After carefully listening to their stories and researching some good data about the rise of Islam is Europe and United States – I began to doubt if the upcoming glory days of Islam will be fueled by us Muslims South East Asia or East Asia. I began to suspect that maybe.. just maybe.. thee glory days of Islam will actually be brought by these converts.
Now, we all have heard the following hadith :-
“It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger. “ – (The Book of Faith (Kitab Al-Iman)’ of Sahih Muslim.
(Malay Translation : Daripada Abu Hurairah r.a. berkata: Bersabda Rasulullah Salawatu Alai Wasalam, “Islam mula tersebar dalam keadaan dagang (asing). Dan ia akan kembali asing pula. Maka beruntunglah orang orang yang asing”.)
The majority of Muslims I speaks to, think that this hadith refers to our situation today where most born Muslims had abandon the true teaching of Islam. This refers to the ‘typical urban Malay’ with a corrupt morale up to the point where they’re only a Muslim on paper. Yes they are born Muslim but they don’t pray, they don’t fast, they don’t conceal their aurat, they behave badly and immorally.. etcetera etcetera.. Well, you know what I mean. There is a lot of them around us.
If we profiled this hadith to suit the deviation of born Muslims today, it sounded correct metaphorically and it suits our wishful thinking very well. There are perhaps hundreds of thousands born Muslims in Muslim countries that have been hoping that this hadith refers to them and their respective countries or regions. But if you think about it carefully from a literal (technical) point view the puzzle won’t fit so well. The moral problem faced by us as born-Muslims today is different from the sociopolitical adversities faced by the earliest generation of people who embraced Islam during prophet Muhammad (of which the first leg of this hadith refers to).
What we have in our hands today are Muslims whom willingly deviates from the path of Islam. This is a complete opposite of what they faced in the 15th century namely people who had fought to stay on the path of Islam. It’s not the same. I will elaborate later.
Now, it is a facts that Islam is the fastest growing religion in United Kingdom, United States and all European nations put together. From New York to Spain and even all the way to Russia, these white people are converting to Islam at the rate of thousands per day. In America alone Islam is growing at a stunning rate of 66% per year. In some area such as Florida, the growth explode by a whopping 473%! Even in UK between 2001 and 2010, the number of British converts rose from 60,000 to 100,000 and is predicted to reach a staggering 5.5 million by 2020.
When I think about this very carefully from a literal point of view, I began to realize that the hadith is more relevant with the situation faced by the Muslims converts in the West rather than the situation with the born Muslims is the East.
In Europe and United States, the growth of Islam in the west is heavily fueled by these converts. These are the people who once in their life were either atheists, or pagan or worshiper of statue (statue of Jesus Christ). To make is simpler, they were not privileged to be born Muslim like us. They have to seek the light, learn about it from scratch, later having to endure hardship to stay in Islam and then survived in the path of righteousness.
Now if we study the history of Islam, we would know that the first generation of Muslims that were responsible for the rise of Islam in Mecca and Medina were actually converts too. All friends of our prophets including all five great Rashidun Caliphate were not born as Muslim. Khalifah Umar Al-Khattab once told his friends a funny story about how he used to worship a statue made from bread only to be eaten whenever he feel hungry.
So we see here that the earliest generation that struggled and fought for the rise of Islam during the days of the prophet were technically ‘converts’ who also either worship statute, practice paganism or practice no specific religion before becoming a Muslim.
Similar to what the ‘Arabs converts’ had to endure in the early days of Islam, these converts in the West are now living in a rather hostile environment ( and I predict it is going to be more hostile in near future ). In the US, UK and Europe, they have to stick together and look one after another in order to survive and they received absolutely no financial aid from their government. It’s the opposite situation from us in Muslim countries where our government spent million of ringgit building mosques, religious school, shariah court etcetera. One might argue though that at least there is no war in US, UK and European countries unlike in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon but I suspect that will also change in near future. The post 911 anti-Islam propaganda has been renewed with the recent beheading of the British soldier Lee Rigby and the recent Boston bombing are just a tip of the iceberg. I reckon it will won’t be easy for these converts very soon.
Now, I’m still hoping that the hadith will eventually refers to Muslims like us whom were born in this Muslim region. I wish to explain here that I am still sticking to my theory that south east Asia shall become a spark of the black banners (read my previous article ‘Malaysia In The Eye of Dajjal’ published on January 2011). I’m also sticking to the general idea that the United States and the entire Europe is being ruled by the Illuminati and thus deserve to be called as a region controlled by Lucifer. For some people, its doesn’t sound logical that the glory days of Islam might include these nations which today are the lands of the Luciferians.
But then again from a historical point of view, the arab world (middle east) was once the motherland of Luciferians too. We must not forget that Harut and Marut (Arabic: هاروت وماروت) were sent down to Babylon (Iraq) to perform deeds of magic. The Qur’an indicates that although they warned the Babylonians not to imitate them or do as they were doing, some members of their audience failed to obey and became sorcerers. This is the origin of black magic which later become a life religion of the Luciferians.
Let us not forget also that the emblem “The All Seeing Eye” actually represents the eye of Ra which is the Egyptian solar deity, not to mention the appearance or Moloch the bull god to the Israelite and the writing of the the Necronomicon (Book of the Dead) by the mad Arab. In fact, the first generation of Luciferian were the Sumerian (Iraqis) whereas the most prominent Luciferian monument until today is still the pyramid in Egypt.
The sociopolitical adversities faced by the first generation of Muslims during prophet Muhammad no longer exists in the Middle East. Whereas it is true that the Middle East do faces its own turbulence with wars now raging like fire there, these adversities faced by a born Muslim in Muslim countries are not similar to what the first generation of Muslims had to endure.
Now, as I understand it the glory days of Islam actually a separate period which will occurs after Imam Mahdi finally defeats the Luciferians and bring back order to this world. This is called the period of Caliphate. The rise of the black banners and period of the great ‘fitnah’ and war is a separate period before that (according to a different hadith this is called the period of tyranny). So yes, the war will be waged and fought in the middle east. But it is also possible that the Europeans and American Muslims will contribute greatly to the period of Caliphate (after the war) perhaps in the form of knowledge and technological advancement.
I will leave my theory at that. Whether you agree or not is not an issue. The future belong to Allah. This discussion is simply as a food of thought only.
Let’s go back on track. What had I learn from the YouTube videos of these converts?
The converts in US and the rest of European countries actually prefer using the word ‘reverts’ rather than `converts’. So in the West they didn’t call themselves as ‘a convert’, instead they refer themselves as ‘a revert’. I am still unable to find why they use the word ‘revert’ there and it seems to be more as a ‘slang’ rather than based on academic or technical reason. I find it interesting however that the widely adopted slang coincidentally the same with the word used in the hadith (in English translation).
“It is narrated on the authority of Abu Huraira that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: Islam initiated as something strange, and it would revert to its (old position) of being strange. so good tidings for the stranger. “
Now, as I told you before, as part of my research I spent a couple of days watching as much YouTube videos about the American and European who had converted to Islam. My friend who suggested me to write this article was right, all these converts had ‘nur’ on their faces. Even better ‘nur’ than Malay Muslims I’ve seen on daily basis. MasyaAllah, this is amazing and whenever I hear their stories and their conviction of their faith I somehow feel ashamed of myself.
During my research I manage to listen to stories of other reverts. I listen to all of them but I have several favorites such as the story of Dr Jerald Dirks (former Christian Minister), Professor Jeffrey Lang (former atheist who work as professor in Mathematics), Mr. Solayman Buzbi (former atheist who works as financial consultant) and that very very funny Australian guy Mr. Reuben Abu Bakr (former atheist). I like their stories because these four guys are highly intelligence and were willing to tell their specific reason for reverting to Islam. The reason why they were able to explain their very good reasons is because each and every one of them had to endure an uphill task of reading the Qur’an, studying Islam in depth before eventually experienced the miracle that most of Muslims could only envy. In fact there’s a lot amongst them telling stories on how they meticulously studied and even embraced other religions such as Catholicism, Protestantism, Buddhism, Judaism, and even Paganism before finally opening the Qur’an and realized this the words that came from the one true God. That moment when they realized that God had ‘spoken’ to them through the Qur’an, that is the kind of miracle that most born Muslims has yet to experience.
Their stories also made me realized that when performing dakwah, we must try to attract the non-Muslims interest by presenting Islam to them in the point of view they can easily relate to.
Dr. Jerald Dirks for example, told his story from his point of view as a certified expert in Christianity and biblical study. This guy is amazing, he knows everything there is about Christianity, the bible and the Vatican cover up. One day he started reading the Qur’an and suddenly all his suspicion about who Jesus really is was answered by the Qur’an.
Professor Jeffrey Lang on the other hand pronounced his atheistism at the age of 16 after watching his abusive dad beating his mom every single night. Since then he began to question why God would let bad people exist in this world. Then one day, out of boredom he opened up the Qur’an which was given to him by a friend and he came face to face with that the question posed by angels in surah Al-Baqarah 2:30 which reads
“.. when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a viceroy (khalifah).” and the angels questioned, “Will You place upon the earth one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood? while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?”…”.
He was surprised and becoming emotional. He simply couldn’t believe that the same question that he had been asking since childhood is right there in the Qur’an. It was from that moment on he began to ‘analyze’ the Qur’an words by words and sentence by sentence which finally led him to the answer he has been looking for all his life. That’s what started his journey toward Islam.
One of the similarities I noticed about the journey of these converts to Islam is the fact that most of them had taken their journey to Islam on their own. This is in complete opposite of the strategy adopted by most christian preachers because the they usually uses ‘bait’ to lure someone to embraced Christianity be it financial assistance or even offering love and affection. But most converts I saw in YouTube performed their spiritual journey without the assistance of Muslim preacher.
It is rather embarrassing when you think about it because this indicates our own shortcomings at performing dakwah. The thing out us is that we tend to let the dakwah to be performed only by the religious cleric amongst us. For example we tend to rely to preachers the like of Yusuf Islam, Anjem Choudary (UK), Yussef Estates (US), Zakir Naik (India) and other well known figures to preach and perform dakwah to non-Muslims. However, we should not just let them carry out the duty because because the duty to perform dakwah to the non-Muslims should be shared and performed by every Muslims. Furthermore, there were times when the best individual to perform dakwah might not even be a religious scholar. If you listens to the stories of these converts especially the professionals with higher intellect, they have to perform the journey alone because there was no Muslims around them who can explained to them about Islam from a perspective familiar for them to begin with – be it from a medical point of view, or a scientific point of view or even something as simple as a layman point of view.
Another convert, Mr. Solayman Buzbi explained a bit about this:-
“The example I’ve given is the analogy of a man who is standing by the river. If you’re born in one country on one side of the river and that river is wide, and its fast flowing and the water is deep, you’re not inclined to jump into that river and cross it no matter what the other country look on the other side.
And what I found after studying more and more about Islam, I was looking from across this river to that another country (metaphorically the world of Islam). And I was attracted to it. It was beautiful. It looks interesting and look to be full of nice people.
But they are on the other side of this river and when I shouted across to them saying how to get there, they can only say “we don’t know! We were born here. We were always here. So how come we tell you?.”
And it went on like this.
I know many people who managed to embrace Islam through the help of born Muslim and it was wonderful, but it didn’t work for me. I have a stupid questioning logical mind which demands lots and lots of question and lots of answers and if you’re born Muslim.. you can’t answer it.
So to follow my analogy, I had to wait until I shouted across the river saying “how did you get there?” and a man shouted back “Oh, I crossed over a bridge just down the stream. I can show you where it is. Follow me.”
Based on my research, the search for ‘logic’ is the main motivation that eventually droves the non-Muslims into Islam. When telling their stories on their journey to Islam, I noticed that the NUMBER ONE REASON why they embraced Islam is because what was told in the Qur’an MAKE SENSE (i.e logical) to them. So in the case of Solayman Buzbi he needed to know the logic behind some concept in the Islam but he only got his answers from another reverts who happens to be in the same field of work as him. Similarly Professor Jeffrey Lang found his version of the miracle of Qur’an based on the logic of why an fallible creature such as man was put to earth.
This is the task of which we as Muslims should seize the opportunity to explain. If you’re a doctor then you should learn the miracles of Islam or what is Islam’s perspective about medicine. If you’re a teacher then you should tell your non-Muslims friends on how important education is in Islam. I guess for me, I need to learn more about the shariah laws especially its criminal laws. But at least I have performed a ‘mini’ dakwah countless of time to inmates in prison. Have you read my article “Tiada Musibah Dalam Islam“? I always explain to them there’s a divine reason why they have to stay in jail for many years to come
Regarding faith and ‘reason’ (intellect), Dr. Jerald Dirks has pointed this out as the reason why he embraced Islam. He said..
“faith is a wonderful thing but reason and rationality are also a wonderful thing and the two should go hand in hand. The Qur’an always tells us ‘reason’.. reason about this.. reason about this.. use your observation etc. So yes, one would preferred that reason and faith co-exist and point to the same thing.. “
In order to explain our religion in a way sensible to the non-Muslim, I believe we have to do two things which are:-
- Read the Qur’an and understand it..
- Read more books and gains more knowledge which interest us in order to broaden our mind..
These are the things that I learned from listening to the stories of the newly converts.
READ THE QUR’AN AND UNDERSTAND IT
All of these newly converts doesn’t know how to read the Qur’an in Arabic.
Yet almost all of them embraced Islam after reading the Qur’an in the only way they know how.. by reading its translation..
Professor Jeffrey Lang was so obsessed with the word ‘to slip’ in Al-Baqarah 2:36 that he bought several copies of Al-Qur’an translated to English by different authors just to see whether all of it use the same word – “to slip“. French Rapper Mélanie Georgiades AKA Diams finally found peace in her heart after reading the Qur’an translated into french. Reuben Abu Bakr from Australia was going through rough time in his life and needed ‘someone’ to just tell him flat what to do with his life without the benefit of all the bullshits and politically correct mambo jumbo he read in the bible. So he read the Qur’an and he found all the much needed directives from God with absolute authority and certainty.
Most of these converts now reads the Qur’an on daily basis – the translated version that is – while at the same time in the process of learning alif ba ta. But as you can see, they have ‘nur’ on their faces and their faith is much stronger that most born Muslims. Their conviction are so strong that some of them promoting Islam (dakwah) to other non-Muslims around them. That is amazing, considering that they already have the guts to do things that most born Muslim are still hesitating to do.
I believe this level of “iman” (faith) they now have is because through the readings of Qur’an they were able to understand the purpose of their existence and what God want them to do with their life. It is just like Allah has spoken to them through the Qur’an, answering their questions, guiding them to stay on the path and telling not to be afraid. This make sense when you think about it because the Qur’an is indeed the words of Allah and it is a miracle for which intended to all his servants. When Professor Jeffrey Lang reads the Al-Baqarah, it is like God had spoken to him in English. When the rapper DIAM reads the Qur’an, she also thought God has spoken to her in French. Almost all the reverts who reads the Qur’an experienced the similar feeling, as though the Qur’an were authored specifically for them and yet each and every one of them came from a different background and has different personal issues within them.
I wish that each and everyone of us has had that experience – you know, the experience of our hearts being touched by Allah through His words as inscribed in the Holy Book of Qur’an. But unfortunately most born Muslims in Malaysia had never bother to read the translated version of Qur’an. Oh yes most Muslims here can recite it in Arabic because we have been thought muqaddam since childhood, but as beautiful as it is we can recite the Qur’an in Arabic, has any of us bothered to understand what it actually means?
I don’t think so..
I am quite ashamed to say that I am one of you. In my previous article “PRAYING WHILE GOING THETA” (August 2011) I have shared my knowledge (what was taught to me by the Watcher Group) on how to “khusyuk” (state of mediation) during praying and dzikir, and in the follow up article “Q & A = PRAYING WHILE GOING THETA” (August 2011)” I answered my reader’s question on 3 steps into khusyuk, one of it is the need to understand in Malay what we are reciting in Arab.
Now, I do know the meaning (in general) of several surahs mufashshal (the short surahs) I regularly recite during prayer but the only one I memorize in details (word by word) are the surahs and dzikir I used to pray for personal protection against black magic. So I can say that when I perform solat, my state of theta probably around 50-60% (I admit, that’s not good enough and I pray Allah forgive me) but while praying to reinforce my daily “fences” (to block black magic) my theta level is somewhere around 80% (still not good enough but it work so far. I don’t think I’ll ever achieved the theta state the like of Saidina Ali though who feel no pain even when an arrow penetrated him during prayer).
But before watching the YouTube videos of these converts, I have never yet try to READ THE ENTIRE QURAN translated into English (I prefer English) in order to understand what was commanded there by God.
So now, I have started to do so and even as I read the translated version of Al-Baqarah, it struck me (as a profiler and researcher of the Illuminati) to realize that a lot of things stated there can also relate to members of the Luciferians themselves. Now, when Jeffrey Lang read Al-Baqarah he had a feeling as though this surah was talking about him because he had issue on why God send corrupt being to earth. But now that I read the translated version of Al-Baqarah and understand its meaning, I have this different yet weird idea that the Al-Baqarah was speaking about members and servants of the Illuminati. I even believe that in several paragraphs there, God was speaking about the evil “Contract” to sell one’s soul to the devil.
Lets see some example:
“How wretched is that for which they SOLD THEMSELVES – that they would disbelieve in what Allah has revealed through their outrage that Allah would send down His favor upon whom He will amongst His servants. So they returned having earned wrath. And for the disbelievers is a humiliating punishment” (Al Baqarah 2:91)
Another one of good example are 2:97. Now, it is widely believed that the patriarch and monarch of the 13 Illuminati bloodline had been promised ‘immortality’ by Lucifer for serving him. It is already a matter of general knowledge that the thing they fear most is ‘death’, which is why they spent perhaps trillion of dollars on finding a way to stay young and prevent death. If you already read my previous article “Mecca, Medina and The Bermuda Triangle” (May 2011), I have explain there about their quest for the “fountain of youth” since the day of Christopher Columbus. In fact, the cryogenic facilities such as ALCOR in Arizona was established to cater the Illuminist who wish to preserve their body in cryostat stage until the emergence of the anti-Christ (Dajjal) who they believe will bring the ‘cure’ against aging.
So let’s see what Al-Baqarah 2:97 has to say:-
“And you will surely find them the most greedy of people for life – even more than those who associate others with Allah. One of them wishes that he could be granted life a thousand years, but it would not remove him the least from the coming punishment that he should be granted life. And Allah is Seeing of what they do“
I guess the thing about the Qur’an is that it speaks about everything, everytime, and to everyone. That what I learned from listening to these converts stories. It is an amazing story that had been repeated again and again amongst the converts, the story of how they’ve opened up the Qur’an for different reason, casually peruse it, read a surah here and there and suddenly its like “wait a minute! is this book telling a story about me?“. So at the end of the day, they’re deeply faithful to God who had been merciful to guide them through His words.
I’m sure there’s something in Qur’an “about me” too. It won’t be that long for me to discover it and I’ll be even a super duper Muslims than I’ll ever be when I find it.
How about you, wouldn’t you like to find “yourself” in Qur’an?
(If you wish to listen to some amazing stories of these converts/reverts in Youtube, just search using the keywords such as “convert to islam” , “reverts to Islam” , “journey to Islam” , “why I chose Islam” , “Muslim in America” , “Islam in UK” , “All American Muslim” etc )
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-flJ60k-uis (French Rap Star converted to Islam)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVtZq-Yhhn0 (in this video she explained why it’s a ‘revert’ rather than ‘convert’)