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The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11

Page 11

The Islamic Bulletin

Issue 11

Q: How did you discover the Holy Quran?

A: The first time I came across the Quran was through the

French translation of its meanings in Andrea de Riyar edition

published in 1647.(That was actually the first translation of

the meanings of the Holy Quran in French; there are now

more than 30 translations done mostly by French scholars not

without misunderstanding either intentionally or otherwise).

I discovered the said French translation in Saint Sir School,

which is a military school near Paris whose graduates become

officers in the army. I was one of its students between 1934-

1936. Every week I used to copy a few chosen verses from

the Quran.

Q: What is your response to the Christian’s theory of Jesus

Christ being the son of God?

A: I could have a son. The only attitude that seemed logical and

acceptable to me was that of the Quran which says:

“Christ Jesus the son of Mary was (no more than) a Messenger

of Allah, and His Word, which He bestowed on Mary, and a

Spirit proceeding from Him: So believe in Allah and His Mes-

senger. (Quran 4:171)

They disbelieve who say: “Allah is one of three (in a trinity:)

for there is no god except One God.” (Quran 5:73)

Again in Sura Ikhlas we read:

“Say: He is Allah, The One: Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He

begetteth not, nor is He begotten; and there is none like unto

Him.” (Quran 112:1-4)

The first Christians were not far from this belief; it was only in

320 A.D. that Jesus was officially declared as God and the Son

of God. What is more strange, however, is that at the fourth

Rome Convention in 1215 which was held to define the na-

ture of God the said convention declared that God the One

neither begetteth nor was He begotten, which is identical to

the Islamic creed.

I could not accept three major beliefs on Christ especially trinity

and crucifixion, on which the Holy Quran says:

“That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus’ the Son of

Mary, the Messenger of Allah;-” but they killed him not, nor

crucified him, only a likeness of that was shown to them, and

those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain)

knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they

killed him not.” (Quran 4:157)

Notice that Muslims believe in the Holy Quran as the word of

God while the Bible is not so for Christians. Christ for them is the

word of God. I don’t have the slightest doubt that the message

of Muhammad is true. I believe that Muhammad is the seal of

all prophets and messengers of God and that he was sent to all

humanity; his message was revealed to complete the revelation

in the Old and the New Testament. My best proof for this is the

Holy Quran: the Great miracle. I reject all Pascal’s impressions

on the apostle of Islam except one of them which reads: That the

Quran is not authored by Muhammad and that the Bible was not

written by Matthew.

Q: What was your attitude of your friends after you became


A: I received lately a letter from Beirut sent by a Lebanese Christian

friend of mine wherein he requests me to avoid all provoking and

inimical expression which usually come forth from a new convert

to Islam, he says, “I shall pay much attention to this claim for the

following factors:

- Because Muslims regard Christians with respect and call them

People of the Book.

- The Holy Quran calls for benevolence saying:

“Let there be no compulsion in religion.” (Quran 2:256)

- The Holy Quran also describes the Christians in very friendly

words saying:

“And nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt

thou find those who say; “We are Christians”; because

amongst these are men devoted to learning, and men who

have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant”.

(Quran 5:82)

Q: What were the factors that led you to Islam?

A: There were many social and ethical factors that led me to the

house of Islam. As regards the ethical factors I found out that Islam

did not accept the principle of original sin. The Holy Quran says

in this respect:

Thus did Adam disobey his Lord, and fell into error. But his

Lord chose him (For His Grace): He turned to him, and gave

him guidance. (Quran 20:121-122)

Thus we do not find in Islam any sin complex as it is know in

the Anglo-Saxon precept. Chastity and hermitry are not beyond

the reach of human beings. Here are some verses from the Holy

Quran to this effect:

“Thus have We made of you an Ummat justly balanced.”

(Quran 2:143)

“And has imposed no difficulties on you in religion.” (Quran


Q: What are some of the misconceptions against Islam?

A: I have found there to be five major misconceptions al-

ways raised against Islam, however, I do not see them logical

at all. These misconceptions are predestination, prejudice,

cruelty, serfdom and polygamy. Predestination for instance

is nothing but depending upon God and complete submis-

sion to Him. Divine will is represented in orders which

have nothing to do with predestination. Human freewill

can best be illustrated in the Holy Quran in the following

verses among many others:

“This is an admonition: whosoever will, let him take a

(straight) Path to His Lord. But ye will not, except as God


The second misconception is one of prejudice. They claim that

Islam teaches prejudice. As a matter of fact Islam does not order

its people to use force except in self-defense or in justified war


The third accusation is that legal punishments in Islam are said

to be cruel. Islam does not order the application of those pun-

ishments except in exceptional cases and according to certain

conditions. Thus very few hands were cut during the first three

decades of Islamic era, but the fruit was very great. People’s

properties were secure. There were also very few instances

of stoning the adulteress, but the cost was chastity and legal

children. Islam also regards the crime against a man’s life to

be a crime on life itself. Thus it takes the life of the criminal

to secure life itself.

Regarding the fourth misconception, namely that of serfdom, as

a matter of fact serfdom or slavery was an established law in the

world when Islam was revealed. Islam in fact restricted it and put

a gradual solution for serfdom. Thus the Holy Quran encourages

the liberation of slaves, so much so that slave liberation is regarded

in Islam as an act of worship. It is made the atonement for many

major sins. Among the closest companions to the Prophet Mu-

hammad peace be upon him were former slaves like Bilal, Suhaib

and Salman the Persian. Islam in point of truth came to liberate

slaves and not otherwise.

The question of polygamy which is misunderstood by many

non-Muslims. Polygamy is thought to be one of the weak points in

Islam while in truth it is an advantage as well as an achievement.

First of all Islam did not establish polygamy, it restricted it to a

limited number instead of too many wives. Polygamy in Islam is ac-

tually the exception in a law that is meant to encompass all human

cases. Is not polygamy better than the numerous prostitutes who

are secretly resorted to beside the legal wives in the west? Justice

is a very important condition to apply polygamy. Do not widows

and unmarried old girls prefer to be second wives instead of their

solitary lives of hardship? How just, then, is the religion of Islam!

I find great peace in Islam which I do not find anywhere else;

this is due to the fact that Islam does not divide between body

and soul. Islam appreciates the mind and the body. It respects

the guest and keeping one’s word, which are essential elements

in a just war like the one going on in Palestine.

Moving then to the social factors that convinced me to embrace

Islam is that my belief in Islam means that I have become member

in a 600 million nation of Islam. This did not lead to cutting off

my national origin. I have lived more than thirty years in North

Africa, Iran, Lebanon, Senegal and Indonesia, and have wandered

around the world like a new Ibn Battuta, the famous Arab tourist,

everywhere I went I found the same way of life, the same faith

and the same human sentiments. I found Islamic society to be

one of courage, simplicity and hermitry. I liked to live merely on

dates and milk and to have nothing to do with oil dollars which

I am afraid would be a curse and not a blessing.

As regards the forbidden foods they do not disturb me because

I have never had wine, and can go without pork and I do not

smoke. The five pillars of faith represent personal steadfastness.

The cultural factors that convinced him of the truth of Islam.

Europeans still speak proudly of what they have to given Arabs

and to the world at large. They count the schools, means of

transport, telephones... etc. They forget however what they

owe to Arabs which is not a small thing. The Arabs have kept

the Greek legacy. It was thanks to them that we now read for

Aristotle, Socrates, Plato and others. The greatest capitals of

learning in the world were at one time Cairo, Baghdad, Tulaytula

and Palermo to mention only a few.

Arabic language is first of all the Language of Divine revelation.

One cannot have real access to Arabian culture unless he reads

the Quran which is the source of inspiration for Arab writers

both modern and old. Quranic verses are often quoted in gram-

matical illustrations. The Holy Quran is in fact the mainstay of

Arabic thinking. Read the great genius Ibn Khaldoun, or the

famous poet Al Mutanabbi, or the well- known philosopher

Ibn Rushd, and all others, and you will see the influence of

the Quran on them all.

The fifth factor that incited him to enter the fold of Islam. He

says: By embracing Islam I find myself joining a new camp, a

camp different from the two struggling camps namely that of

neo-colonialism and the Zionist aggressive camp. I have joined

a new world extending from Senegal to Indonesia, a world

of real sentiment; I have not joined this world because of its

richness; but because I liked the Palestinians who are victims of

their own brethren as they are victims of their staunch enemy.

I have joined the world of emigrant workers who have taken

the place of slaves in our age, and who are about two million

people in France, thus representing the second largest com-

munity in my country bigger even than the Protestants and

the Jews. I have received two congratulations for embracing

Islam, one from a Muslim brother in Indonesia; and the other

from an Arab priest. My first Friday prayer was in Noukshott in

the Rimaal mosque. That great event took place on the 22nd

of July 1977. From henceforward I was called Al Mansour

Al Shafii. Al Mansour in Arabic is equivalent to my Christian

name Vincent, though I believe that there is no supporter

except God. I took Al Shafii School of Jurisprudence for the

sake of my Muslim brothers in Indonesia, the biggest Islamic

community the world over.















Despite constant research on and analysis of the language of the

Qur’an by both scholars and philologists to find the underlying

element which gives the Qur’an its unsurpassed meaning, it

continues to elude them. This is because man’s unconscious

faculties seem to respond to Allah alone, regardless of any ex-

ternal factors, be they social, cultural, or psychological.

Because of the Qur’an’s impact on such deep levels of con-

sciousness, Muhammad’s adversaries dreaded people listening

to it, particularly the non-believers. Its influence on those

who listened to it was so powerful that Walid ibn Mughirah,

a staunch opponent of Muhammad (SAW), after listening to

its recitation said: “It indeed overflows with sweet clarity; it is

fruitful at its lowest and prodigious at its highest, and towers

over all human diction.”

This same soothing and overwhelming power of the Qur’an

was experienced by ‘Umar ibn al- Khattab before embracing

Islam. Having learned that his father-in-law and sister had

denounced their old religions and declared their allegiance to

Muhammad (SAW) and the new faith, ‘Umar rushed to their

house filled with rage. However, arriving to hear the Qur’an

being recited, his anger soon vanished and shortly afterwards

he himself became a Muslim.

The spontaneous emotional change in Umar happened be-

cause the words of the Qur’an stirred deep within, bringing

him calm. In the same way, the verses which cause the hearts

of believers everywhere to throb with elation are equally able

to produce the same effect in the heart of someone who has

yet to believe in Allah.

There are within man inborn talents and faculties know only

to Allah. He alone can reach them and cause them to respond

to His words without the soul detecting their true nature. This

divine ability of the Qur’an to remain appropriate to an infinite

number of situations confounded Arabs and non- believing

scholars alike. They tried to justify their failure to comprehend

this miracle by accusing Muhammad (SAW) of sorcery. They

claimed he had cast a spell on those tempted to listen to him,

admitting that no human could produce diction appropriate

to so many situations or could influence people’s thoughts

unhampered by their different aptitudes. If Muhammad (SAW)

was a sorcerer and could cast a spell on those who listened to

him recite the Qur’an, how as it that some listeners were in-

fluenced by the spell but not others? If the Qur’an was indeed

Muhammad’s own composition, why weren’t Arab scholars

and linguists able to rival the fields and the arts of diction, such

scholars were in a superior position to Muhammad (SAW) who

was know to be illiterate. What prevented them from exposing

him if he was an impostor as they claimed? The answer is that

the Qur’an is Allah’s speech, and no man can compete with

Him. To those opponents Allah says:

“It is not poet’s speech- little is it that ye believe! Nor di-

viner’s speech- little is it that ye remember!” (Al- Haqqah


Even the answer is not without challenge, for poetry is governed

by metre and other literary devices. The assumption that the

language of the Qur’an was metrical verse in which the rules

of poetry are observed was utterly false. The Arabs, more than

any other people, knew this because of their superior skill in

poetry. Their hypocrisy and denial of Allah were affirmed by

Allah’s saying to them, “Little is it that ye believe!”


iracles of