answered him when he invoked Him for help.
By Jonathan Abdilla
I feel honored
to be a Muslim...
And I feel that
way for many reasons. There are many norms in the
society I live that are opposite to what it is to be
Muslim. And when I first came to this way of life, I
didn't know how well I would fair with it. To become
Muslim was essentially to join a visible minority, and
that's not something I would ordinarily be so keen to
do. However, after learning the unadulterated
teachings of Islam, I found myself compelled to
embrace Islam as an absolute truth.
Having spent a
large portion of my short life not being Muslim, I
know the darkness that God speaks of in the Quran. I
remember what it was like when Allah opened my eyes
and shined light where the darkness had once been. In
the beginning of my life, I had no definite form of
aspects of creation would boggle my mind. I was
totally oblivious to the miracles God put in nature.
One time in particular I recall learning about
evaporation in science class. I was unable to
comprehend it. Not the how, but the why it happened.
I understood the
idea of the water cycle and its importance for life,
but what would make the water essentially disappear
and float back up to the sky?
this question, without knowing God, my mind ran into a
mental block at which point I could not come up with
the answer. Boggled by the thought, I merely shrugged
my shoulders and threw it to the back of my mind.
When looking at
the human body, and how it's made largely of water, or
looking at the universe and trying to comprehend what
was beyond it. I would be faced with the mental
barricade of not being able to comprehend the reason
for its creation.
Time and time
again scientists could explain the how, but never the
why. They could explain purpose within the mechanics
of creation, but they could never explain the purpose
for the mechanics itself. What caused the mechanics?
What caused nature to have laws?
brought up in a non-practicing Christian family, I
had a general understanding of the principles of
Christianity. The reason why I never turned to it for
guidance was because it had never made sense to me.
When I heard the word "God" as a child, I recall
remembering an absolute, single, omnipotent being
somewhere out there.
My problem with
Christianity was the dogma, and more specifically the
beliefs about God. The issue of a "Triune" God that
is essentially three different individuals that all
unite to take on the role of the "One" God. I know
that is not how the Doctrine of Trinity is official
promoted, and any Bible thumping Christian would
probably accuse me of not understanding the Doctrine,
but that's the reality that I saw in it
inherent problems contained within the Doctrine of
Trinity, I used to look at the fact that the
Christians worship Jesus, and I would say, "If they
worship Jesus, where does God come in?" Especially
since Jesus is narrated as having said in the Bible
that the Father who is in the Heavens is Greater.
time, I unofficially rejected Christianity. I became a
Christian / Atheist / Agnostic. I began to live life
trying to come to terms with my surroundings and
myself. Not knowing of a greater purpose, I saw no
problem in taking part in destructive activities of
any kind; on condition I would receive some sort of
satisfaction from it.
I had little or
no regard for my own body, or anybody else's for that
matter. I began to turn to the common reality escape,
namely drugs and alcohol. At first using them as a
social tool, and eventually using them habitually as a
sedative. If people ever told me I should calm down,
I would tell them I could stop if I had a reason, but
I had no reason. And I lead my life like that for
some years, eventually going deeper into it,
experimenting with other types of drugs and at one
point I even began selling them.
But eventually I
started to feel a consciousness within me looking for
some sort of consoling. Although I was lost and in
the dark, since I never saw the light, I didn't know
the difference between the two. I began to think of
"the bigger picture."
I began to think
about death. I tried to comprehend the concept of
nothingness, and as many times before in my life, when
trying to contemplate the purpose, my mind drew
blanks. Until one night, while I lay on my bed, deep
in thought , I turned my face to the sky, and I said
"God, if you're real, and You exist, please help me!"
I went to sleep
that night never really thinking twice about it. Then
on 9/11 I watched the uncanny events unfold. I was
confused about the whole situation, why it happened,
what exactly happened, and how they knew who did it
almost immediately. For the first time there was
meaning being applied to foreign terms that I had
heard, but never new anything about, namely Islam.
I used to
literally think that Islam was an Island somewhere in
the Middle East (which surprisingly is still a common
misconception amongst a large portion of the
population today, thinking Islam is a country). I
knew of the Muslim religion, but I looked at Muslims
like Buddhist, with strange rituals. I used to think
they worshipped idols. But that night when I went out
with my friends, Islam had become a hot topic.
Some of my
friends started to bash Islam, saying that it was a
stupid religion. I was surprised that some of my
friends happened to be Muslim and they began to defend
their religion. Being curious about the whole topic
and its impending impact on the near future, I began
to investigate. And what I found surprised me. I
found out that the Muslims worshipped God.
Furthermore I found out that the Muslims believed in
Jesus as being a Muslim (one who submits to God), who
was a Prophet and Messenger of God, that God saved him
from the Crucifixion, and that he was no part divine
or any part of God, and that God alone should be
Those pieces of
information struck a chord with me, for I remembered
believing in God as One Absolute being when I was
younger, and likewise, I remember rejecting
Christianity based upon its worship of Jesus.
Thus I began an
inquest into Islam and Christianity. I became
interested in the subject of religion and began
reading constantly. I would consult my grandmother
on issues regarding Christianity, and would consult
my friend on Islam. I would bring the arguments back
and forth to one another to see whose arguments would
reading through the Quran and the Bible, observing
God's Miracles in nature and undergoing a thorough
soul searching experience. I said to myself about
Islam, "it sounds so true, but can it be real?" And
right in that instance, I remembered my previous
prayer when I said, "God, if your real, and you exist,
please help me!" I was covered in goose bumps. I
realized that this was the answer, but I still wasn't
sure if I wanted to become Muslim. I didn't know how
well I would fit in with the Muslims from an ethnic
reading and was really looking for something to give
me a conformation about my decision. Then one day
while reading the Bible, I came across verse 26:39 in
the Gospel of Matthew. The verse reads:
little farther, he fell with his face to the ground
and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this
cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you
For me, this
verse confirmed three things that I had learnt from an
Islamic view of Jesus. That he was Muslim, as he
prayed as a Muslim by falling to his face in prayer.
That he didn't want to die, because he prayed for the
cup of death to be removed from him. And that he was
not God, because he himself prayed to God for help.
This was the
conformation that I needed that really solidified my
decision to embrace Islam. And I couldn't accept the
Message, without accepting the Messenger. So on
December 28th, 2001 by the Mercy of Allah, I took the
declaration of faith (To say I bear witness none has
the right to be worshipped except Allah, and that
Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah), and embraced
Islam. And since that time, by Allah's Grace, I have
achieved things, and been places, and have done things
that I never would have imagined possible.
faith, I know the fruits it bears, and I pray that
Allah allows me to do more good, and allows me to live
the remainder of my life on His path. All praises are
for Allah, and peace and blessing be upon His
messenger, Muhammad. Ameen.