A Proposal For You
To: an open mind and an open heart …
I do not intend to twist your mind or change your faith, my purpose and aim is to make you acquainted with the message of Islam for the sake of knowledge, and it is up to you whether to accept it or reject it. “There is no compulsion in religion; Truth stands out clearly from falsehood” [Quran 2:256]
What is Islam?
Islam is a religion and a way of life. It aims to preserve the basic rights of human beings, establishing security and peace in society and the world as a whole. Islam urges its followers to be kind, polite, decent, and good citizens in a society. “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you” [Quran 4:59]
Islam means submission, devotion, and obedience to God, the Lord of the heavens and the earth. Therefore, a Muslim is someone who submits himself to God. That is the reason why every Prophet and Messenger of God and their followers were by definition ‘Muslims’, as stated in the Quran. Muslims believe in, love, and respect all the Prophets and Messengers. “Surely those who disbelieve in Allah and His messengers and (those who) desire to make a distinction between Allah and His messengers and say: We believe in some and disbelieve in others, and desire to take a course between (this and) that. These are truly unbelievers, and We have prepared for the unbelievers a disgraceful chastisement.” [Quran 4:150-151]
Likewise in the Quran, the Bible emphatically shows that the beloved Prophet Jesus Christ submitted his will to the will of God, his Creator. For instance: “For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it” [John 12:49], also “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me” [John 5:30].
What is Islam all about?
Islam calls for, and nurtures a loving and direct relationship between “God” and humans with NO intercessors or NO intermediaries. When you pray, you pray directly to God, and when you want to repent from your sins, you ask God directly for forgiveness. “And when My servants ask you concerning Me, then surely I am very near; I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he calls on Me.” [Quran 2:186]
Islam is the religion of pure human nature and clarity. It urges and calls its followers to ask about all issues or problems they may encounter or endure, from the simple problems of their every day life to the deepest, most complex and also the most incomprehensible questions of their existence. In Islam the whole doctrine is explained clearly and there are no obscure or mysterious components to the belief. “So ask the people of knowledge if you do not know” [Quran 16:43]. ‘People of knowledge’ refers to the experts in the various fields known for their expertise.
Islam is not a religion of monasticism or separation from the worldly life. On the other hand, it does not allow the uncontrolled indulgence of worldly pleasures and desires. It teaches us to nourish and satisfy our soul and spiritual needs as much as we need food and provision for our body. It is a complete social system which promotes a lifestyle based on moderation embracing both religious and mundane affairs, and considers them complementary to one another: neither aspect should prevail at the expense of the other. “But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion of legal enjoyment in this world, and be kind as Allah has been good (kind) to you, and seek not mischief in the land.” [Quran 28:77].
Islam places men and women all equal before their Lord regardless of their race, tongue, national origin, appearance, wealth and social status. The criterion for differentiation among them arises in their compliance with the divine regulations. “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Verily, the noblest of you, in the sight of Allah, is the best in conduct. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” [Quran 49:13]
The most pivotal benefits that Islam provides for the individual are:
1. Real happiness and inner peace.
2. Practical guidance in leading a good life.
3. A correct understanding of human nature.
4. Forgiveness from all previous sins.
5. The gateway to eternal Paradise.
6. Salvation from Hell-fire.
In order to gain such benefits and much more, there is primarily ONE key-step to take, the First of what we call the Pillars of Islam (Testimony of Faith), which is to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship besides the ONE All-mighty God (Allah in Arabic) and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger.
It is important not to let our mind be framed by barriers or limitations that may discourage us, such as the use of the Arabic language. The meaning of “Allah” is in fact simply “All-mighty
God” and it is an exclusive title which no-one else besides Him has been given, in all of human history.
When I use the word Allah I mean the same God that created Adam and his wife, the same God that sent Prophets such as Abraham, Noah, Lot, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad peace be upon them. I do not mean a different God than the God that spoke to Moses, and split the sea for him. I mean the exact same God that saved Noah in the ark, Jonah in the Whale. I mean the exact same God that created Jesus in the womb of Virgin Mary.
Even Arab Christians use the word Allah when they refer the Creator of the Universe. You can verify this in Arabic translations of the Bible.
Allow me now to explain and simplify the Testimony of Faith :
The first part of the “Testimony of Faith”
It is to acknowledge Allah (as His beneficiaries) and to show praise, devotion, and obedience.
What is your dream? What would you like to have? How about if a ‘company’ fulfilled your dream free of charge with ONLY one condition: that you stick to the manual? Would you accept this offer?
Let’s say you are getting married and a company is willing to give you a four-bedroom fully-furnished house surrounded by a nice garden in any area you desire etc…Free of charge, with NO rent and NO mortgage!! All you have to do is take good care of it and do the very minimum to show gratefulness. Would you accept this offer?
If we were to reflect upon ourselves and the bounties bestowed upon us by Allah. Our eyesight, hearing, sense of smell, sense of taste, heartbeat and much more, we would easily realise how replacing them, even if it were possible, would cost billions. And we have received them as gifts, although we have done nothing to deserve them.
You will agree, once we have acknowledged Allah, the least we can do is to show Him gratefulness for these bounties that we have received since birth without paying anything for them.
The second part of the “Testimony of Faith”
Allah has sent with every Prophet and Messenger a ‘miracle’ or ‘sign’ to persuade and show the people that he is truthful and he was sent by Allah.
The people of Egypt in the time of Pharaoh were known for their powers of magic and sorcery. Hence Moses (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) was sent to them with similar yet overwhelming signs. Moses was given the power of magic, to confront the sorcerers, unlike anyone else in his time.
In the time of Jesus Christ (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), the son of Mary (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon her), the children of Israel were known for their knowledge of medicine. Consequently Jesus Christ came with medical cures (bringing back the sight and curing the leper etc) that could not be bettered by anyone in his time (indeed, up unto today).
Likewise, the Arabs being the people of the desert, they had no art, industry, or science. Yet, they were known for their exquisite poetry.
At around 570 AD, Muhammad (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him), was born in Arabia. Orphaned at an early age, he was brought up by his uncle and grandfather. Among his people he was known to have the best character and gave the finest example of being upright, merciful, compassionate, truthful, generous, and distant from all evil characters. Whoever knew him well, or read his legacy, were both fascinated and enchanted by him. Jules Masserman (US psychoanalyst) said: “Perhaps the greatest leaders of all times was Muhammad”. TIME magazine (July 15, 1974).
It is worth mentioning that Prophet Muhammad was an illiterate man (during his entire life), he was unable to read or write. So when the book we call the “Quran”, so profound with its strength, power, eloquence and beauty, was revealed to Muhammad (may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) it was by itself, and still is to our day, the greatest sign, miracle and proof that the message came from Allah, and that Muhammad is His Prophet and Messenger.
Allah challenged the Arabs to produce a whole Book of equal beauty to the Quran, but they could not fulfill this challenge. The challenge was then decreased to 10 chapters, but still they could not fulfill it. Then the challenge was decreased to ONLY 1 chapter, yet they were not able to do so. And still today this challenge has not been met. Surely this is one of many proofs that the ‘Quran’ is from a divine source.
With this great miracle, the ‘Quran’, Allah has set several rational and scientific approaches and arguments for ALL mankind to ease their path and ponder over the ‘truth’; the truth that will set you free.
Allow me to give you few examples of both:
The rational argument
Allah has said: “Were they created by nothing or were they themselves the creators? Or did they create the heavens and the earth? Rather, they have no firm belief.” [Quran 52:35-36]
This is a very strong argument mentioned in the Quran. Suppose that you travel in the countryside where nothing is in sight except the plain land. A few months later, you return to the same plot of land and find a well constructed building. Did it come to existence by chance or coincidence? Was it built without a builder?
Allah then asks the question “were they themselves the creators?” Since they are not going to acknowledge that they were created, the other choice is that they were the creators?! And that is impossible!!
If they themselves were created out of nothing, and they were not the creators, then what is the answer? Somebody must have created them. There must be a creator. Since every building has a builder, every book has a writer, and the creation has a creator.
And in order to indicate to them that humanity compared to the heavens and earth (in its majesty, vastness, and its greatness) is nothing, Allah followed with the third question: “or did they create the heavens and the earth”. Therefore humans should not be arrogant to ascribe everything to their own greatness and consider themselves the masters and the centre of the universe, as very often is the case in modern society.
These two verses which were mentioned previously are strong logical arguments for someone who denies the existence of God, and has no answer to the question of where we have all came from!
The scientific argument
It is important, first of all, to clarify that the Quran is a “book of signs” and not a “book of science”, as its revelations and message encompass all aspects of human life.
A few years ago I was reading a textbook titled ‘Cell Biology and Genetics’. It stated that every living thing was made of water (H2O). It is a well-established fact and common knowledge in biological sciences that every living thing is made of water
Interestingly in the Quran (revealed more than 1400 years ago) there is a verse which says: “We made from water every living thing, will they not then believe?” [Quran 21:30]
How many years had this scientific discovery been evident?
And before that in the same verse Allah has said: “Have not those who disbelieve known that the heavens and the earth were of one piece, then We parted them” [Quran 21:30]. Dr. Alfred Kroner (Professor of Geology) said : “Thinking where Muhammad came from . . . I think it is almost impossible that he could have known about things like the common origin of the universe, because scientists have only found out within the last few years, with very complicated and advanced technological methods”
How would an ‘illiterate’ Arab, living in the desert know such things?
I could go on and on with many scientific and rational arguments made in the Quran to prove that it is from a divine source and to prove that Muhammad is a messenger of Allah!
If you decide to accept Islam, I would like to congratulate you on your first step to true success in this life and the hereafter. Being a Muslim entails wilful submission and active obedience to Allah, and living in accordance with His message. “Does He not know, Who he created? And He is the Knower of the subtleties, the Aware.” [Quran 67:14]
It is the greatest of gifts and all praise must be due to Allah for showing us the light, where we would otherwise struggle eternally in the darkness of our confusion. “Allah is the guardian of those who believe. He brings them out of the darkness into the light” [Quran 2:257] Muslims have certain obligations towards one another one of which is giving sincere advice. Therefore I would like to advise the following:
1. Don’t expect that you will comply right away with all the regulations.
2. Take it easy, step by step, so as to make your belief pleasant to yourself.
3. Be sincere to yourself, and have sincerity towards Allah.
4. Start to learn and read the authoritative sources of Islam. (The Quran and the Teachings of Prophet Muhammad).
5. Understand that you are responsible for your actions and capable of fulfilling your duties.
The advice I have for you as a new Muslim is not only a pleasure for me to give, but is also my duty and sincere concern. Universal brotherhood is a central point and crucial element of Islam, and a beautiful and precious value rarely found in a modern society driven by empty materialism and individualism.
I encourage you to take the first steps to initiate friendship with your brothers/sisters in faith, to visit your local Mosque and ask for advice and for reading material. From now on you are not alone in this path, for every single person embracing the true religion pleases Allah immensely and is a great delight for all Muslims. “And help one another in goodness and piety, and do not help one another in sin and aggression” [Quran 5:2]
On the other hand if you don’t accept Islam now, I would like you to keep an open mind and thank you for taking the time to read this booklet.
I would finally like to remind you that we all face ‘death’ and we don’t know when! As such this is out of our hands, so we therefore need to be prepared. Isn’t the one who accepts this reality and prepares for it using his intelligence better than the one who tries to forget it and is taken by surprise?
May Allah guide us all to the right path.