ﻡﻼﺳﻹﺍ ﺕﱰﺧﺍ ﺍﺫﺎﳌ
Why I Chose Islam
(Based on a True Story)
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O seeker of truth, if you really seek the truth put aside all preconceived notions, and open your heart…do not let others judge or make a decision for you. This being said, I would like to share with you this beautiful account of a man’s journey to the truth…I believe it be best if he narrates his account to us himself, so I will leave you with Mr. Thomas…
ﻢﻴﺣﺮﻟﺍ ﻦﲪﺮﻟﺍ ﷲﺍ ﻢﺴﺑ
I begin with the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Gracious
I was born to staunch Catholic Christian parents. Even from my youngest days, my father sometimes took me along with him when he went to preach, it was quite ob‐vious that he wanted me to succeed him in his profes‐sion. By the time I reached grade twelve, I could preach the Gospels in my own way. In college, I often met my Protestant classmates and discussed the differences in our faiths and the performance of rituals.
By the time I completed the first year in college, I was sufficiently grounded in the knowledge of the Christian Faith as held by the Catholic Church. I was given a schol‐arship from the Church funds and in return for the help I received, I was required to receive special coaching in understanding parts of the Holy Book, under the Chief Priest of the Church who loved to teach me very much and was very intimately attached to me.
Having appeared in the first group for my intermediate course I used to sit working at his subjects till late at night. One night when all were asleep and I was ab‐sorbed in my studies an idea suddenly struck my mind to examine the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, the basic formula of the Christian Faith. The question how god ex‐ists in three persons, and yet has a single divine nature, a single will and be of one substance arose in my mind.
My failure to reconcile my belief in the Trinity with the reasoning of the science of logic, created a mental rest‐lessness in me. Days passed on and many a time, I thought of asking my father to help me in solving the problem which puzzled my mind but I knew that my fa‐ther would never appreciate the least doubt in the dog‐matic belief of the Catholic School. However, one day when I found my father in a happy mood and asked him to explain the Holy Trinity…he finally said:
“In matters of faith one has to stop reasoning…this doctrine is beyond the grasp of human reason. One should believe in the doctrine only by one’s heart and mind!”
This reply from my father upset me to a great ex‐tent…all my thinking got centered in the question which had become a definite problem to puzzle my mind fur‐ther and I wondered saying: “Is this the foundation upon which the huge edifice of the Christian faith is built? Is the basis of my faith only a matter of blind following of some dictated belief which can never stand reasoning or the independent scrutiny by the dispassionate and im‐partial arguments from the clean conscience?”
I became extremely worried and made up my mind to blindly believe in the Trinity.
One day one of our senior lecturers was sitting alone in his room and I entered with his permission and asked him if he could help me to solve something which to me was a perplexing problem. He very kindly asked me what it was. I asked him to explain to me how God, a single being, can exist simultaneously as three distinct persons: the Father, the Son (Jesus), and the Holy Spirit?!
The senior lecturer smiled and said: “Is it that you do not like my stay in this college?” I asked him: “Why sir?” He said: “What do you think the college authorities who are staunch Catholics will do with me, if someone in‐forms them that I discuss in my private room things op‐posed to the Christian faith in general? Will they keep me on the staff of the College any longer? If you want to dis‐cuss anything here, you must confine your discussion to the subject of your studies in the College!”
Thereafter, I made an appointment with him to see him in his house.
On Sunday when I met the senior lecturer he first asked me as to what made me inquire into the Doctrine of Trin‐ity. I said that I wanted to know how far the doctrine stood to reasoning.
He smiled and said, “Why don’t you ask any one of our priests?”
I said: “I have asked them but they say it is a matter of belief or faith and it should not be subjected to any logic or philosophy. This has upset me. This has raised the question in me, if what I believe in is unreasonable and illogical, why should I subject myself to any blind follow‐ing? Is God so unjust to expect man to believe in a doc‐trine about Himself which no human brain can ever rea‐sonably conceive? I request you, Sir, to somehow give me some method of arguing out the possibility of such exis‐tence as the doctrine of Trinity wants us to believe in!”
The senior lecturer smiled and said: ‘Dear Thomas, suppose you want me to prove by some mathematical formula how water can remain water and the same time be fire, or how a stone can be a stone and at the same time be water too, how can I do it? I do not think any sensible man on earth can ever conceive such a possibil‐ity…how the Ever living God who being the Ever living, can also at the same time be a mortal! (i.e. be a man to suffer death at the hands of the other mortals?) And how the same mortal being at the same time be the Absolute Immortal God? It is a problem which our priests want us to believe and we have to merely believe in it and none has any choice of even questioning the practicability of this inconceivable dogma.’
He went on saying: “The fact is when God, Whom we believe as One, is absolutely One, it means that God is singularly One in natural essence of His existence, free from any different or variant factors having anything to do with His pure or Absolute Unity to justify His being the Absolute One, owing an indivisible existence, by Himself. Division suggests that the One is not an Abso‐lute One but a compound of some variants and that which is a composed being can never really be One in the true meaning of Oneness. And certainly the one depend‐ent in its existence upon its different components can never be independent in its action, whereas God is the Absolute One, independently Omnipotent in His Will and His action.
Besides how can any three which are three separate be‐ings, with three variations justify being three separate en‐tities, remain three separately individual native proper‐ties differentiating them from each other, and become conceivably the absolute indivisible one, without the least variation in the essential oneness?
An absolute one must be totally independent in its exis‐tence, Mr. Thomas…it is impossible to reason out the doctrine of the Holy Trinity for it is an inconceivable human riddle!”
He continued: ‘The only thing is that we Christians are shut out of the vast sources of knowledge about the truth and of the higher factor in matters of religion which are available outside our own fold, by damning every non‐Christian as the Devil’s work. We Christians, Mr. Tho‐mas, in our madness to swell up our ranks have played such a disgraceful role that a scholar like Sir Dennison Ross had to helplessly disclose truth about this in his foreword to the translation of the Quran by George Sale.”
I was amazed to hear the arguments of the senior lec‐turer who was himself known as a Catholic, and at the same time I was very much encouraged to know that my doubt about the unreasonableness of the doctrine of Trin‐ity was something which had made a highly educated and enlightened mind like the senior lecturer of Mathe‐matics to enquire into it. I was much benefited by the dis‐cussion with the senior lecturer for I came to know ar‐guments justifying the doubt created in my mind.
My study of the matter in the ‘Islamic Literature’ and the translation of the Quran opened my eyes to many great and very important factors that effect human life on earth. Once I visited the senior lecturer in his house and to my amazement I found him possessing a great amount of literature on Islam!
I further asked him: “May I know sir, if you have em‐braced the faith of the Muslims?”
He replied: “Do not worry yourself about my personal choice!”
I took the copy of the translation of the Quran by George Sale and read the introduction by Sir E. Dennison Ross. The introduction needs to be read with special at‐tention. Sir Ross said:
“For many centuries the acquaintance which the major‐ity of Europeans possessed of Mohammedanism was based almost entirely on the distorted reports of fanati‐cal Christians which led to the discrimination of a mul‐titude of gross calumnies. What was good in Moham‐medanism was entirely ignored and what was not good in the eyes of Europe was exaggerated or misinterpreted. The unity of God and the simplicity of his creed was probably a more potent factor in the spread of Islam than the sword of the ghaziz.” (G. Sale’s translation of the Koran – Introduction)
This statement of the great Christian scholar of interna‐tional repute, created in me the thirst to know the origi‐nal teachings of Islam especially about the Islamic con‐cept of God.
About four years passed away and by this time I knew the contents of the Quran. Many things had aroused my attention. I had discussed many doubtful points with the senior lecturer whom I found to have read the Quran several times with a better and more critical view. I was now longing to meet some Muslim scholar to cross exam‐ine him about certain doubts about the Islamic Faith.
Once I thought of Hinduism but what I saw daily with my own eyes, curses of untouchability and the reserva‐tions of the caste system prevalent before us and besides everything else, the idol worship and the observance of innumerable rituals did not prompt me to take up any enquiry into its tenets. I could never understand the su‐periority exclusively and arbitrarily claimed for the members of certain castes, simply because they had acci‐dentally been born in those folds. I had seen with my own eyes how the people belonging to certain castes are imagined as lower in the society and are treated as the untouchables, not allowed even to enter into the Hindu Temples. I had seen these poor souls being prohibited even to take drinking water from the wells reserved for the superior classes.
The havoc in the social life played by Hinduism divid‐ing humanity into castes and sub‐castes and the unrea‐sonable superiority of one caste over the other is itself so repulsive that no one would like to take any trouble of executing any studies about the doctrines of that faith.
While resenting the caste system and the sectarian seg‐regation in the Hindu folds, I was automatically re‐minded of the similar restrictions amongst Christians. I asked myself:
“Why criticize other people and their beliefs when the religion which I myself belong to, has in it the sectarian segregation as well? Are not Churches in Christendom owned exclusively for the members of the particular sects? Are there not churches belonging to a particular sect which cannot be used by the people of the other sect? Has not Christianity failed to unite mankind into one human society? Did Jesus preach all these differences and dissensions which we the Christians have innovated? Is it not then that we are far away from the original objects of the Mission of Jesus Christ?”
Against the irreconcilable differences and the innumer‐able dissensions of the social order in the very folds of Hinduism and Christianity, I was very much impressed by the genuine and real brotherhood practiced day and night among the Muslims. I found that a Muslim Mosque is a Mosque belonging to everyone who calls himself a Muslim and that there is no reservation of seats in the Mosque. I saw with my own eyes, Muslims of all ranks, all social and economical status of different complexions of various nationalities all standing in one row, turning towards one direction, praying to one God in one lan‐guage, and after the prayer shaking hands with one an‐other. Brotherhood or social equality claimed more in theory by other schools of thought in the world; I found it to be an ever experienced and a living reality in the daily life of the Islamic folds.
One day I was informed by the senior lecturer who by this time had become a close friend of mine that a Mus‐lim scholar was going to deliver some talks in English on the life of the Prophet of Islam in a hall near the big Mosque of my town. My senior lecturer and I both at‐tended the talks and met the lecturer who was an old friend of my senior lecturer. We talked with the lecturer about several important topics.
During my meeting with the Muslim lecturer I asked him if he would kindly answer some questions for my own information. He said: “I will most willingly answer your questions.”
I put forward the following questions which he very cheerfully answered: “What proof have you besides the Quran to establish that Muhammad was truly a Prophet of God?”
He answered: “Have you your Bible with you?” I said: “Yes.”
He took the following verses and read them to me one after the other:
The Acts 3, Verses 22: “For Moses truly said unto the fathers, a prophet shall the Lord your god raise unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you.” 23: “And it shall come to pass that every soul which will not hear the Prophet shall be destroyed from among the people.” 24: “Yea! And all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.”
The Acts 7: Verses 37: “This is that Moses, who said unto the children of Israel, a Prophet shall the Lord raise up unto you your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear.”
John 14: “Jesus says: 16: ‘I will pray the Father, and he shall give another comforter – that he may abide with you forever.’”
26: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is expedient for you that I go away, for if I go not away, the comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you.”
16: “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye can not bear them now.”
16: “Howbeit, when he the Spirit of Truth, is come, he will guide you unto all truth for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; he will show you things to come.”
I read the passages which I had already gone through several times before, but this time the perfect confidence with which the lecturer asked me to read the verse from my own sacred scriptures in support of his claim, threw a new light upon them for me to understand the matter dispassionately. Yet I replied: “But the prophecy is about the advent of Jesus!” He smiled and said: “Read the verse again! Does not the verse say that God will raise a Prophet like unto Moses i.e. he will be a man born of a father and a mother as was born Moses; whereas Jesus was born only of a mother. Besides the Prophet promised by God must be a man like Moses but you yourself call Jesus as the son of God! Moses was a lawgiving Prophet and the one like him must be a law‐giver, whereas Jesus was only a law‐abider, following the law of the Ten Commandments already introduced through Moses. Be‐sides one must betray his common sense as well as his learning to say that I and He the two different persons, i.e. the First and the Third person mean the same, or the one who departs prophesying about the advent of some one else, to be one and the same.”
The argument was quite reasonable. Then I asked the lecturer: “Do you not believe in Jesus as the son of God? Cannot Jesus be God himself in the form of a man?” The lecturer smiled and very cheerfully replied: “Can there be a son to anyone without a wife, my friend? Can anyone who believes in the sonship of Jesus, at the same time sensibly imagine Virgin Mary to have been used by God as a wife? Let us seek protection of God against any such devilish straying of our minds. Sonship if used in the Bi‐ble can be only to mean a creature or the one who has re‐ceived life from God. Otherwise, what do you say about Jesus addressing himself as a son of man… “The son of man is come eating and drinking and ye say, behold a gluttonous man, and a wine bibber a friend of publicans and sinners.” (St. Luke 7:34)
“The son of man be ashamed.” (Luke 9:26)
“Saying the son of the man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men.” (Luke 24)
“The son of man shall give unto you.” (John 6:27)
Jesus addressed God as his father and also as our father which means that God is taken as the father of Jesus as much as He is the father (or the creator) of any of us, and hence Jesus’ sonship can mean in the sense of creature of god, the term ‘son of god’ used by Jesus can be only in sense of ‘servant of god’ – as Jesus refers to himself as god’s servant. This fact is testified by the verses by which every prophet of God from Adam has been termed as the son of God in Luke 3rd chapter in verses from 23 to 30. Jesus is called as the son of Joseph and the genealogy of Jospeh is traced to Adam and Adam is called the son of God. Read the 30th verse of the same chapter: “Which was the son of Enos, which was the son of Seth, which was the son of Adam, which was the son of God.” (Luke 3:30)
These ready answers from the Bible created a very deep impression upon my mind about the amount of compara‐tive study the Muslims do and how strong and reason‐able they are in their faith about the Oneness of God.
I asked the lecturer: “Do you believe in the Holy Bible as a Heavenly Book or not?” In reply to my question the lecturer requested me to answer the following questions:
Is the Bible which is in your hands, the book which Jesus wrote as a scripture revealed by God?
Did Jesus order or desire at any time in his life to write anything on his be‐half?
Was the Bible which is in your hands, written during the life time of Jesus?
Was the Bible which is in your hands today written immediately after the de‐parture of Jesus?
Then he said: “Please read p. 17 in the “Founder of Christianity and his Religion” published by the Chris‐tian Literature Society, Madras. It is said in the book: “The whole Bible contains sixty six books written by forty different authors over a space of about fifteen cen‐turies.” It is clearly said in the book that: JESUS CHRIST HIMSELF WROTE NOTHING. Oral teaching was for several years, the only means employed in the spread of Christianity. It was for the guidance of those young converts that the earliest writings of the new Tes‐tament were composed.”
The same book further discloses that: “They were probably written about Twenty years after the death of Christ.”
On pg. 18 it is stated: “The Gospels do not give a com‐plete history of the life of Christ. They are rather mem‐oirs.”
I said: “But the Bible is the word of god inspired and written by the disciples of Jesus!” He again smiled and said: “Mr. Thomas, if the Bible is the Book of the Disci‐ples and of Jesus, how would you account for the differ‐ences in the Book, if it is an inspired word of God…does not the Catholic Bible contain some books which the Protestant version does not?”
Have you read what Mr. Wilson says about the Bible, in the introduction to the ‘Diaglot’ – published by the Watch Tower Society? “If it has not been published by kingly authority it would not now be venerated by Eng‐lish and American Protestants, although it had come di‐rect from God. It has been convicted of containing over 20,000 errors! Nearly 700 Greek Mss are not known and some of them are very ancient whereas the translator of the common version had only the advantage of some 8 Mss none of which was earlier than the tenth century.”
Is not the Bible based upon 8 manuscripts…whereas there are 700 manuscripts now available? If what is con‐tained in all such manuscripts is also the inspired word of god, why were these manuscripts left away? In view of all these facts brought to your light, if you still believe in the Bible as the inspired word of God, you may do so but you can’t expect the whole world to do it. If you make a serious and an impartial study of the Old and the New Testaments you will find in them the amount of blas‐phemies which the Jewish mind has fabricated against Lot, David, Noah, and Abraham who were the Holy Apostles of God, viz:
“And Noah began to be a husbandman and he planted a vineyard.”
“And he drank of the vine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within this tent.”
“And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and told his two brethren about it.”
“And Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it upon their father, and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” (Gen: 10:123)
Lot committing adultery with his own two daughters (Gen: 19:30‐38)
David taking possession of his neighbor’s wife (II Sam 11:4)
I asked, “What? Do you Muslims believe in the prophet’s of god other than Muhammad to be totally sinless and holy?”
He answered me by reciting to me the following verses from the Quran:
Say (O Muslims), We believe in Allah, and that which has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Tribes and that which has been given to Moses and Jesus, and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them. And we submit to Allah. (2:136)
The Messenger of God believed in what had been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the be‐lievers (i.e. Muslims) they all believe in Allah and His Angels, His Books (the different holy scrip‐tures) and His Messengers; we make no difference between any of His Messengers. (2:285)
The above verses of the Holy Quran bear clear testi‐mony to the fact that, as one of the fundamentals of his faith, every Muslim has to believe not only in the Holy Prophet Muhammad, but in all the other Prophets and Messengers as truthful and holy and should not make any distinction between them. The following verse of the Holy Quran informs us of the fact that Prophets were raised by God, among all nations in all parts of the earth.
There is not a nation but a warner has gone among them. (35:24)
It convinced me that Islam, alone, is an all comprehen‐sive faith which recognizes all other religions and which contains in it a perfectly harmonious integration of all the good, found partly in the other religious orders of the world. The sacred book of Islam i.e. the Holy Quran is the final exposition of the Divine Truth. The limitation of the human mind of the different ages, did not allow even Prophet like Jesus to speak out the whole truth. Jesus had to depart with many things yet to be told to his people. (John 16:14). Jesus had to tell his people to wait until the advent of the spirit of truth to disclose the whole of the truth. (John 16:13)
I was further impressed by the universal aspect of the religion of Islam. Every answer from the lecturer was with an unchallengeable authority and with an unbreak‐able argument. I was awakened to differentiate between genuine truth and the fabrications of falsehood and to know many new factors to which I was blind all those years. But I did not know how to reconcile the dawn of true knowledge of truth with my original blind dogmatic belief and my belonging to the Christian faith any longer. I wanted to find out some failure on the part of the lec‐turer to answer satisfactorily some question or the other, so that I may have some excuse, be that even a false one, to maintain my position in the Christian faith.
The lecturer continued after some time with the ques‐tion: “Shall I ask you something if you do not mind an‐swering it for my information?” I said: “Yes.” He asked: “Do you think Jesus to be a son of God or God himself?” I said: “Jesus is God himself in the form of His son.”
He said: “Can you ever conceive anyone to be the im‐mortal god and at the same time be a mortal (man) to be caught in the hands of other mortals to suffer death? Can anything be high and at the same time low, black, and at the same time white? Can there be darkness and the same time light? What philosophy is this?”
The lecturer continued saying: “Do you ever consider that there is one other question confronting the doctrine of the Trinity which needs to be answered by every Trini‐tarian that if any three different beings which are three different entities, are also at the same time One, with ab‐solute unity in all the perfect sense or meaning of One‐ness, what is the common control which makes them re‐main three and also be one at one and the same time? If there be any factor of such a wonderful and inconceiv‐able phenomena causing this amazing effect, then that supreme causative power, which controls the number and the unity, will alone be the Omnipotent God and not any one of the three which are only the controlled com‐ponents. Besides there arises another problematic ques‐tion which a believer in the Trinity will have to answer i.e. as to who is it that controls or determines the splitting of one into three different others, to be neither more nor less in number? There must be some