Thirty years ago, at a very young age, I became a Christian under the influence of a Mission School. I have spent most of my life in the Church of England as an Anglican Priest since 1939 to 1963. Islam came to me as the spring. Thus I came back to the fold of the religion of my forefathers i.e. Islam.
The cause of my coming back to the fold of Islam was the inspiration given to me through a dream wherein I seemed to have been blessed with the personal blessings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Now I praise God and his holy Prophet and I am overjoyed to have found the Prophet, peace be upon him, the savior of the sinners.
A change of heart comes from Almighty God. In fact, without His guidance all our learning, all our searching and all our efforts to find the truth may even lead us astray.
We need conviction without which no argument howsoever skillful, neither any eloquence howsoever impassioned, nor learning howsoever deep will ever make a man satisfied unless he has the proof within his own soul. The only way to have it is to receive it as a gift of God.
Now the point that I had especially to emphasize is that each one of us has a guiding vision; if we follow it faithfully, it will bring us satisfaction. At one time or other, whether it be during youth-in the prime of our life or in old age, even one has a dream, a vision and inspiration, an ideal, a sense of a finger pointing at him, of a voice calling upward to higher life. This is the way, walk ye in it.
We may not be able to explain it but God fulfills Himself in many ways. He sends to each a vision which each one can understand...
There is a light that shines into a man's soul when he realizes for the first time the high and solemn purposes of life. Can't you remember such an experience, when in some moment of depression and disillusionment your whole soul cried out in revolt against the futility, the emptiness, the dreary monotony of your existence? God has God created me, you said to yourself, for nothing better than this; to get up in the morning; and go to work, to serve the Bully ragging employer who gets the best work out of his men or to slave at a desk or in a shop, to face the endless fret and worry of how to make both ends meet? Surely life has something more satisfying to offer than this. I have an intellect, a soul, a personality, some independence of character, some capacity for high achievement, but it is all being crushed out of one by the cruel tyranny of petty circumstances. And then, amidst the dark night of your depression, there shone out suddenly, a gleaming star of hope. You caught a vision of what your life was meant to be and might be.
Through some word of scripture, through the voice of some preacher, through the haunting cadence of some remembered poem God spike to your soul. He opened your eyes to see the inner meaning and purpose of your work. He showed you that the routine, the drudgery, the hardship, which seemed to be slowly pressing life out of you, were in reality this instruments for the formation of your character, his opportunities for the unselfish service of your fellowmen. What a wonderful difference it makes to a man's whole outlook when he grabs the great truth that life is a vacation, a call to make his little corner of the world a better, brighter, sweeter, happier place. What a power there is in simple goodness, to draw men heavenward: words may be interpreted, but the light that radiates from a soul trying to live up to the highest, touches and blesses all who come near him.
That is the debt we owe to the Holy Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him.
I venture to say there is not single convert who does not owe his gratitude to Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, help, guidance, inspiration and as the example of a good person whom God in his great love has sent to us to follow.
Again we may have all experienced not once but many times the same world, same example, same deep inward inspiration, arousing us out of our lethargy and indifference awaking within us the spirit of divine discontent, bidding us to gird our loins to journey forth on the road that leads to God. Thank God, I was not disobedient unto the Heavenly Vision.
Homeward we are often led along the strange ways, unexpected turnings take us back to by-gone days suddenly, we go astray, though straight the track appears, and we find we have struck the road of the forgotten years.
I have eventually taken up the study of the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). I realized that it is a great sin to condemn that holy man of God who established the kingdom of God among the people who were unruly wayfarers, idol worshippers and doers of all kinds of disgraceful things. He not only changed their modes of thought, their habits and their morals, but also brought them under one banner, one law, one religion, one culture, one civilization and one form of government. That nation, which had not produced a single great man worth the name for centuries, gave birth under his influence and guidance to thousands of noble souls, who went forth to far off corners of the world, to preach and teach the principles of Islam, morality and codes of living.
He fulfilled his mission not through any worldly lure, oppression or tyranny, but by his captivating manners, his endearing moral personality and his convincing teachings. With his noble and gentle behavior he befriended even his enemies. He won the hearts of the people by his love.
When he began preaching, the ignorant nation turned against him. Abuses and stones were showered at his august person. Every conceivable torture and cruelty was perpetrated on him. This continued not for a day or two but uninterruptedly for thirteen long troublesome years. At last he is exiled, but he is not given respite even there. He is tormented in various ways in his abode of refuge. The whole of Arabia is incited against him. He is harassed and thwarted continuously for full eight years there. He suffered it all, but he did not budge an inch from the stand he had taken. He was resolute, firm and inflexible in his purpose and stand. His nation had offered to accept him as its kind and to lay all the riches of the land at his feet if only he would leave preaching his religion and spreading his message. But he chose to refuse the tempting offers and to suffer for his cause instead.
Why? Why was it that he carted not a jot for riches and luxury, kingship and glory and ease and plenty? One has to ponder over it deeply to find an answer.
Can any one imagine a higher example of self-sacrifice, fellow-feeling and kind heartedness towards his fellow beings than that a man ruin his own happiness for the good of others, while those for whose betterment he is striving his utmost should stone him, abuse him, banish him and gave him no quarter even in his exile, and that inspire of it all he should refuse to abstain from striving for their well being?
Can any sincere person undergo so much suffering for a false cause? Can any dishonest speculator and visionary exhibit such firmness and determination for his ideal as to stick to his guns to the very last and remain insufflate and unperturbed in the face of dangers and tortures of every conceivable description when a whole country rises up in arms against him?
This faith, this perseverance and this resolution with which he led his movement to ultimate success, therefore, an eloquent proof of the supreme truth of his cause. Had there been the slightest touch of doubt and uncertainty in his mind, he could have never been able to brave the storm which continued in all its fury for twenty three long years.
What more proof of perfect honesty of purpose, up-rightness of character and sublimity of soul can there be? Who else can be a more truthful person than he who received such unique gifts and embellishments through a secret channel and still be outrightly pointed out, the source of all his enlightenment and inspiration?
All these factors lead to the irresistible conclusion that such a man was the true Messenger of God. Such was our Holy Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. He was a prodigy of extraordinary merits, a paragon of virtue and goodness, a symbol of truth and veracity, a great apostle of God.
The Islamic Bulletin
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