To become a Muslim
Yesterday, after Magrib Prayers as I was leaving my local masgid, I bumped into a new Muslim. He is a young Englishman, and recognising him as such I asked him "Are you a new Muslim?"
To which he replied "Yes, of 3 months."
Whenever you meet someone new to the religion, your heart goes out to them. They have chosen to stand and be counted amongst those who verify the Truth of Muhammad (saw) and all that he brought.
They become your brothers and sisters in the religion. And for that (their testimony) ALLAH t'ala, God most High, blesses them abundantly and forgives them their previous sins.
But when ALLAH t'ala blesses the Muslim, He blesses them not with riches, nor with wealth, but with an abundance of good deeds. For the truly fortunate man is the one who is given the opportunity to do good. And it is Islam that opens up an abundance of these opportunities.
From giving and receiving the salutations of Peace, to removing something as innocuous as rubbish from the paths that people walk, to obeying the commands of GOD as they have been transmitted to us through the sayings of Muhammad (saw).
It is these simple things that make us blessed and bless us. However no matter how blessed a person might be (and feel) because of entering the religion, there is one inescapable truth. That entering the religion is the start of a journey, and only GOD knows the manner and end of your final destination.
For Islam teaches at one and the same time abandonment and responsibility. As Muslims we abandon our fate to GOD, and put our trust fully in Him. And as a Muslims we accept full responsibility not just for our actions, but more importantly for our capacity to choose to act in a moral way. That we are rational beings that GOD has entrusted with freedom of choice, so that we might choose to do good.
This is just one of the many paradoxes of Islam, but a better word would be balancing forces. That we live in this World and yet are not of it. That we strive to do good and yet cannot depend upon it. That we hold rationality to be the greatest of GOD-given gifts, and yet choose to believe in an invisible World.
And it is these balancing forces that lend difficulty to our mission on Earth.
It is clear when you read the Qur'an with understanding, that comes of living life, that Muhammad (saw) cared deeply for his people Qur'aish and yet God tells him constantly that it is HE who guides to a straight way and that Muhammad (saw) is but a bearer of a Message. And yet the greatness of Muhammad (saw) is that he showed us what that meant, for he(saw) did not leave off caring for them deeply. And Muhammad (saw) would never offer offence to God in no matter how small a way. And so it is because of this that Allah t'ala consoled Muhammad (saw) when he was denied by his people. And taught him the precariousness of the path that must be trod.
The path between responsibility and abandonment, that we too must try to tread.
And so becoming a Muslim is just the beginning of an upward climb. The ways of ascent belong in this World full of ambiguities, trials and tribulations. But for a Muslim God has promised that He will perfect their belief, and make good their ascent, not in this World but in the World to come.
And so we come full circle back to my new brother of 3 months. I met him only in passing because I had to pack my bags for today's trip. But I heard him say that he had become a Muslim because a friend of his had taken him to a Mosque.
I did not need to hear detail because that story also belonged to me. The angels frequent the Masgids (Mosques) and in them you will find Sakina... Peace and Tranquillity.
If you believe in ONE Transcendental GOD, above creation, but you are unsure about Islam. Then visit a Mosque and sit silently glorify God by saying repetitively "Glory be to God" and "All praise belongs to God" and God-Willing you will find Peace and Islam.
20 years ago that happened to me and my journey began and still continues to unfold.
Your friend & brother,
Blogging 11 km above the Atlantic, on my way to visit my brother-in-law in Dallas, TX.
1st posted MySpace 25th July 2008
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