A US soldier tells us how he
embraced Islam through a site on the internet.
By Jim Cate
I was raised as
a Christian and went to a fundamentalist Bible
believing church. I made a profession of faith to
Jesus in 1969. In all of my years as growing up
Christian, I read and studied the Bible regularly.
Later on, I enlisted in the US Marines and led Bible
studies with my troops. In 1988, I started my own
church reaching out with a special Spanish ministry to
the Hispanics. In 1990, I got out of the Marines and
joined the US Navy reserves.
In 1991, I was
ordered to active duty for operation Desert Storm. I
remember being impressed with the Arabs worshipping 5
times a day and I never forgot about hearing the Athan
(call to prayer) 5 times a day over the many loud
speakers in the deserts of Saudi Arabia. I purchased
several prayer rugs while I was there.
As I continued
in my Christian faith, when I got home, I started to
become unsettled regarding it. I went to several
different churches and faiths over the years and
studied their doctrines. I studied and read the book
of Mormon quite a bit and became fascinated with the
Mormons. However, I eventually found many conflicts
between the Bible and the book of Mormon.
I later joined a
7th Adventist Church and thought this was the true
path. I studied and read several of Ellen G. White's
books concerning the 4th commandment of keeping the
Saturday Sabbath. However, I eventually saw some
conflicts between the Bible and one of Ellen G.
White's vision of heaven.
I stayed home
from all churches after that and got a job working for
the Kansas City Star newspaper. I came across a
couple of Muslims at work and observed them daily,
becoming impressed with their humble and pious
character. One day, I went to my favorite used book
store and saw an English translation of the Noble
Quran in Jan of 2008. I took it home and began
reading it. I started to feel a drawing to the
Islamic faith after about 4 weeks of reading it daily.
early morning, I was looking up on the internet on how
to convert to Islam. I found and repeated the Shahada
very prayerfully and did this 2 or 3 times while
meditating on it and with a prayerful attitude. I
suddenly felt a great weight lifted from my shoulders
as I discovered that God had forgiven me of all my
past sins. This website (www.IslamReligion.com) then
sent me several books on Islam from Saudi Arabia.
Since saying the Shahada, I immediately began
performing wudu (ablution) and salah
(prayer) 5 times daily. It has now been 9 weeks since
I converted to Islam and I am reading the Quran and
studying the Islamic books daily.
On a side note,
my wife has become upset with me over my conversion
and has been trying to get me to renounce Islam. I
tell her I can never turn my back on God and continue
to lead a humble Muslim life before her and being
patient with her in the hopes of her one day embracing
Islam. I am now mentally, spiritually and physically
feeling my best since converting to Islam.