Monthly Archives: January 2013

Seeking the help of righteous Jinn


All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad ,  is His slave and Messenger.

jinnThere is a difference of opinion among the scholars regarding the issue of seeking the help of jinn in what is Islamically permissible and it is reported that Ibn Taymiyyah (may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them)   permitted it in one opinion and forbade it in another.

However, the view that we consider to be the preponderant opinion is that it is forbidden (haram), even if the help is sought from righteous jinn; this is for many reasons, among them are the following:

  • Jinn belong to the realm of the unseen, so it is difficult to make sure whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims, or whether they are truth-tellers or liars, righteous or wicked. In general, the jinn are liars. Allaah Says (what means): {They pass on what is heard, and most of them are liars.} [Quran 26:223]
  • Due to the spread of ignorance and the lack of religious knowledge, a Muslim may practice divination on the pretext of seeking help from the jinn in doing righteous deeds, and he may fall into their plot and deceit unknowingly (waseela-ti-i’la-shirk). So, he will make mischief while intending to reform; indeed, it is an obligation to block the means to evil.

Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Ibraaheem ‘Aal Ash-Shaykh and Shaykh ‘Abdul ‘Azeez Ibn Baaz  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them   are among the scholars who issued Fataawa stating that it is not permissible to seek help from the jinn in what is permissible.

And Allah knows best.

Students of Religion: Don’t Relish Controversy


student-of-religionStudents of religious knowledge, especially those who focus on Islamic Law, soon become aware of the great variety of opinions and the vast amount of disagreement that exists on most Islamic legal issues. Students react in different ways. Some try to explain away the differences as being due to a lack of knowledge, believing that with access to the right information, all of these disagreements will just go away. Others becomes suspicious of the scholars and blame disagreements on the vested interests impiety, and insincerity of those who hold certain opinions.

Alas, this is not true.

You will find the most knowledgeable of people, the greatest religious scholars, and the most sincere, unbiased individuals, disagreeing among themselves.

Consider the disagreements that Prophet Muhammad’s Companions had with each other. Even during the Prophet’s lifetime, there were disputes. On one occasion, a feud erupted between the inhabitants of two adjacent neighbourhoods in Madinah inhabited by the clan of Banū `Amr b. `Awf.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) spent so much time brokering a reconciliation between them that he was delayed in going to the the congregational prayer and Abū Bakr led the prayer instead. [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (684) and Sahīh Muslim (421)]

At the time of the Prophet’s death, the Muslims experienced their first great controversy, disagreeing about who should lead them. The native inhabitants of Madinah nominated Sa`d b.`Ubādah after conferring together in the assembly room of Banū Sā`īdah. Afterwards, the Companions all agreed to appoint Abū Bakr as the leader of the Muslims, afyer they learned that the prophet (peace be upon him) had instructed that the person to lead them should be from the tribe of Quraysh.

When the wars of apostasy broke out in Arabia during Abū Bakr’s reign, there was considerable disagreement regarding whether it was permissible to fight against all of the breakaway rebel tribes or only those tribes which openly denounced Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Abū Bakr was resolved to fight against all the rebellious tribes, and was ultimately able to persuade the other leading Companions, including `Umar, that he was correct in this policy . He thereby succeeded in uniting the Muslims in the cause against the apostate rebels.

This was the case with a number of crises and challenges that the Muslim community faced during the era of the Companions. At first, they disagreed and then usually in the major issues they were ultimately able to arrive at a consensus. As for disagreements on legal matters and the finer points of religious knowledge where there is no clear or decisive evidence, those disagreements persisted.. If disagreement was normal for the best generation of Muslims, how can it not be the case for those who came after them?

Even if we concede — purely for argument’s sake — that sincerity coupled with greater religious knowledge will lead to the resolution of all disagreements, this only assures us that disagreements will be on the rise! People, taken as a whole, will always be subject to incomplete knowledge and to outright ignorance. There will always be those who are weak of understanding, or insincere, or biased.

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) told us: “Each generation will be better than the one that comes after it, until the day you return to your Lord.” [Sahīh al-Bukhārī (7068)]

At the same time, there are some students who have a predilection for controversy, relishing disagreement for its own sake, regardless of whether or not there is a legitimate basis for it. This is also not the right attitude to have. Disagreements cause tension and should not be sought after or capitalised upon for trivial reasons. When someone has a disagreement with a classmate, co-worker, relative, or neighbour on some matter, consider how often it leads to a lawsuit, or to estrangement between them.

People can become part of a controversy simply by quoting the opinion of this person and the disagreement of that person. They can become preoccupied with some minor point of debate at the expense of more serious and relevant matters that deserve their attention.

There is a story about the great jurist and legal scholar Ahmad b. Hanbal which illustrates this point nicely:

A young man named Abū Ja`far Ahmad b. Habbān al-Qatī`ī approached Ahmad b. Hanbal and asked him: “Can I perform ritual ablutions with limestone-saturated water?”

Ahmad replied: “I dislike this practice.”

The young man then asked: “Can I perform my ritual ablutions with the runoff water from soaking beans?

Again, Ahmad replied: “I dislike this practice.”

The young man then asked: “Can I perform my ritual ablutions with water infused with safflower?

Yet again, Ahmad replied: “I dislike this practice.”

At this point, the student got up to leave. Ahmad, gently tugged on his shirt to bid him to stay. Then he asked the young man: “Do you know the supplication you should say when you enter the mosque?” The man remained silent. Then Ahmad asked: “Do you know the supplication you should say when you leave the mosque?” Again, the young man could not answer.

Then Ahmad said: “Go and learn these things.”

Ahmad showed his understanding of interpersonal dealings by politely answering all of the young man’s questions before doing anything else. These questions were all about uncertain matters where no one’s opinion was sure to be correct. They were not essential, inviolable religious teachings.

The way Ahmad answer is quite telling. He chose his words carefully, saying: “I dislike this practice.” This humility is reminiscent of another great jurists way of answering, Abū Hanīfah, who used to say: “This is my opinion. It is the best I can come up with, if anyone comes with something better, I will give up this opinion for that better one.”

Finally, Ahmad used a very tactful and indirect approach to explain to the young man that it is wrong for a novice student of religion to be preoccupied with controversial trivialities. This is why Ahmad waited for the young man to finish with all of his questions, and then gently tug his shirt when he showed his readiness to leave. He asked the young man relevant questions about the supplications he needed to be aware of. When the young man could not answer, Ahmad did not scold him. He just told the man that needed to go and learn these things. In this gentlest of ways, Ahmad was actually telling the young man saying: “Do not pursue controversial and contentious issues. You are not qualified for that. Busy yourself for the time being with practical matters that will help you practice your faith, until you reach the level of a serious student of religion.

One of the indispensable skills a student of knowledge must have is to be able to gauge the proper value of things, to know what is important and what is trivial.

As the Qur’an says: “And for all things Allah has appointed a due proportion.” [Sūrah al-Talāq: 3]

‘O My Uncle, say Laa ilaaha illa Allaah…’


ifhBy: Shaykh Saalim at-Taweel – (Translator: Abul Abbaas)

Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib has reported from his father:

‘When death approached Abu Taalib,[1] the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) came to him and found Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah in his company. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ((O uncle, proclaim there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah, a statement which will enable me to plead for you with Allaah.))

Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayyah said [to Abu Taalib], “Will you forsake the religion of Abdul Muttalib?”[2] The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) repeatedly said this to him, and the two of them also repeated their statement.

The final statement of Abu Taalib was about being on the religion of Abdul-Muttalib and he refused to say: La ilaaha ilIa Allah. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ((By Allaah, I shall continue to pray for your forgiveness as long as I am not prohibited from doing so.)) [3]

It was then that Allah revealed the verse:

{It is not correct for the Prophet and those who believe, to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikeen even though they are of kin} [9:113]

Allaah also said about Abu Taalib:

{Indeed [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills} [28:56]

This authentic hadeeth contains many benefits that a student of knowledge is in need of, therefore I wanted to mention some of what I am able to, maybe Allaah will benefit the one who is writing this as well as the reader.

So I say, and I seek Allaah’s aid, relying and returning to Him:

Benefits

1. Guidance is a virtue from Allaah the Most High, He bestows it upon whomever He wishes from His slaves. He is the most knowledgeable of those who have been guided and He guides out of His mercy whoever is deserving of it;

2. This hadeeth shows the favour of Allaah upon you O Muslim. You have proclaimed that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah; you did this out of your own will without anybody compelling you to do so. Abu Taalib, the uncle of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) refused to say it. He died upon the path of AbdulMutallib, upon the way of the people who worship idols. However, you said this statement being content with it. All praise is for Allaah, due to His blessings all good come into existence;

3. Any lineage, even if it is connected to the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), does not benefit with Allaah as long as that servant does not perform righteous actions. The Messenger of Allaah said, ((whoever is slowed down by his actions, will not be hastened forward by his lineage.)) [4]

Abu Taalib did not enter Paradise despite being the uncle of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), and he was a full brother to his father Abdullah; he was the one who took care of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) after the death of his grandfather AbdulMutallib;

4. Abu Taalib died a disbeliever and he refused to say ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah.’ When Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam):

‘O Messenger of Allaah, did anything benefit Abu Taalib? He used to defend you and become angry for your sake. He replied, ((Yes, he is in the shallowest part of the Fire, and had it not been for me he would have been in the deepest depths of the Fire.))

From the strange matters – and many things are strange – that the people of desires affirm the Islaam of Abu Taalib and say he is in Paradise; whilst at the same time they proclaim that Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) is a disbeliever, that he apostated after the death of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) and he is in the Fire!

{How severe is the word that comes out of their mouths; they speak not except a lie} [18:05]

I cannot comment on those people except with the saying of Allaah:

{And he to whom Allaah has not granted light – for him there is no light} [24:40]

5. The belief of Abu Taalib in the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), and his defence of him did not save him from disbelief neither did it cause him to enter Islaam. This is because he did not proclaim (upon his tongue): ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’ – even though he accepted it in his heart.

From that which has been narrated regarding Abu Taalib in the books of Prophetic history is that he said:

Indeed I have come to know that the religion of my Muhammed
Is the best of religions in all of creation.
Had it not been for blame, or the fear of insult
You would have found me willing in that, making it known clearly
By Allaah, they will never reach you (O Muhammed) in all their numbers
Until I am laid down, buried in the dust
So continue (O Muhammed) declaring you affair, there is no fault upon you,
Rejoice, and let your eyes delight with that.

6. This hadeeth illustrates that guidance is success from Allaah, nobody possesses it accept Allaah alone. He did not even grant it to His Prophet Muhammad (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). He, the most High, said:

{Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowledgeable regarding those who have been guided} [28:56]

As for guiding others through evidences and directing them to goodness, this has been given to the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). As He said:

{…and indeed, [O Muhammad], you guide to a straight path} [47:52]

7. An example of the striving that the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) did in calling to Allaah, and his desire in calling his uncle up until the last moments of his life;

8. The leniency of the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) in calling to Allaah, and choosing kind words and names. He would say to Abu Taalib: ‘O my uncle, O my uncle’ and he informed him if he had said the ‘statement of Tawheed’, he will plead with Allaah for him;

9. The virtue of the ‘statement of Tawheed’ – Laa ilaaha illa Allaah. If Abu Taalib had said it during the last moments of his life, it would have benefitted him with Allaah;

10. The danger of keeping bad company, Abu Jahl prevented Abu Taalib from saying ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’, this lead to Abu Taalib destroying his life in the Hereafter. Also, consider the hadeeth, ((A man is upon the religion of the person who is beloved to him, so let each one of you at the one who he befriends.))[5]

Benefit: Abdullah Ibn Abi Umayyah Ibn Al-Mugheerah is the brother in law of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) and also his cousin. He is the brother of Umm Salamah and is mentioned in the hadeeth. He accepted Islaam in the year of the conquest (of Makkah), he was martyred in the same year in the battle of Hunain. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr mentioned in Al-Isaabah that he accompanied the Prophet (hence he is from the companions);

11. This hadeeth explains the meaning of the other hadeeth narrated by Abu Sa’eed, ((Dictate to your deceased: ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’)) [6]

The word, ‘your deceased,’ refers to the person who death has approached and not the one who is actually dead and his soul has exited the body. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) did not say to his uncle, Abu Taalib, after he had died: Say ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah.’ Rather he would present this statement to him before he died. After he died, the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘Surely I shall seek forgiveness him.’

This is in contradiction to the people of innovation, they say to the deceased: ‘Say Laa ilaaha illa Allaah, and if the two angels ask you then say to them: my Lord is Allaah, my religion is Islaam and my messenger is Muhammad!

It is known that the deceased do not hear. Allaah, the most High, said:

{…but you cannot make hear those in the graves} [35:22]

He, the Most High also said:

{Indeed, you will not make the dead hear…} [27:80]

12. The hadeeth shows the reason as to why the following saying of Allaah was revealed:

{Indeed [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allaah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided} [28:56]

The scholars of Tafseer unanimously agreed that this verse was revealed due to Abu Taalib, the uncle of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam)

Sa’eed Ibn Al-Musayyib has reported from his father:

‘When death approached Abu Taalib, the Messenger of Allaah (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) came to him and found Abu Jahl and Abdullah bin Abi Umayyah in his company. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ((O uncle, proclaim there is nothing worthy of worship except Allaah, a statement which will enable me to plead for you with Allaah.))

Abu Jahl and Abdullah Ibn Abu Umayyah said, “Will you forsake the religion of Abdul Muttalib?” The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) repeatedly said this to him, and the two of them also repeated their statement.

The final statement of Abu Taalib was about being on the religion of Abdul-Muttalib and he refused to say: La ilaaha ilIa Allah. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, ((By Allaah, I shall continue to pray for your forgiveness as long as I am not prohibited to do so.)) [7]

It was then that Allah revealed the verse:

{It is not correct for the Prophet and those who believe, to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikeen even though they are of kin} [9:113]

Benefits (Continued):

13. This hadeeth explains the reason behind the misguidance and disbelief of many people; it is due to them holding on to the way of their fathers and grandfathers. Just as Allaah said:

{And similarly, We did not send before you any warner into a city except that its affluent said, “Indeed, we found our fathers upon a religion, and we are following in their footsteps} [43:23]

14. It is not always necessary that the one being called (the one who is being preached) will answer the caller (the one who admonishes and preaches). Consider the example of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam), he had all the attributes of human perfection such as knowledge, tolerance, patience, a strong desire, being steadfast, eloquence, a good manner in explaining, cheerful, takes care to be perfumed and maintain a good appearance, he cares for the one he is preaching, honesty and a desire to advise and so on…he came to face to face with Abu Taalib and yet despite all this he did not respond to him.

15. Patience in calling to Allaah the most High, and to bear the harms in the path of Allaah. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) continued to preach to his uncle for approximately 10 years, beginning from the time when he was sent as a prophet, to the last moments of his life. Abu Taalib died in the 10th year of Prophethood, and the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) continued to admonish him until this time, until death came to him; in fact even at this time, he would repeat: ‘O my uncle, proclaim there is not deity worthy of worship so I am able to plead for you with Allaah.’

16. The hadeeth contains an example of the obedience that the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) showed towards his uncle, who was like a father to him. He did not stop preaching and advising his uncle until the last moments of his life.

17. Had Abu Taalib proclaimed that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah, he would have benefitted from it despite not having prayed, fasted nor performed any righteous actions due to his situation not allowing him to do so.

18. The Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) only encouraged his uncle to say ‘Laa ilaaha illa Allaah’ before his final moments of life [8]

19. This authentic hadeeth contradicts all the other fabricated ahadeeth which are bought to try and prove that Abu Taalib died as a Muslim; such ahadeeth are not authentic at all.

20. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar mentions in Fath Al-Baaree that the following verse:

{It is not correct for the Prophet and those who believe, to ask Allah’s forgiveness for the Mushrikeen even though they are of kin} [9:113]

This verse was actually revealed a while after the death of Abu Taalib; it is a general verse relating to him as well as other Mushrikeen.

21. Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr also mentions: “from the strange coincidences is that the message of Islaam reached four uncles of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) however only two of them accepted Islaam whilst two rejected it. As for the two that did not accept Islaam, their names are contrary to Islaam. Abu Taalib’s real name was actually Abd Munaaf[3] and Abu Lahab was named AbdulUzza. This is contrary to the ones who accepted Islaam – they are Hamza and Al-Abbaas.

22. An-Nawawee explained the hadeeth and said: “as for the saying of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) ‘’By Allaah, I will seek forgiveness for you…” it shows the permissibility of taking an oath even when one is not asked to do so. The oath of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) was to show his strong desire to seek forgiveness for his uncle, and to make Abu Taalib content.

23. An-Nawawee also said: “Abu Taalib died when the Prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) was 49 years, 8 months and 11 days old. Khadeejah (may Allaah be pleased with her) passed away after Abu Taalib by three days.

Source: madeenah.com

Footnotes:
[1] Abu Taalib, was the beloved uncle of the prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam). He looked after him from a young age, and defended him for 10 years whilst he was calling the people to Islaam. He shielded him when most of his tribe had rejected him. This hadeeth shows the story of his death; he chose to remain as a disbeliever over accepting Islaam;
[2] The religion of polytheism; idol worship;
[3] Compiled by Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim;
[4] Narrated by Abu Huraira; Collected by Muslim;
[5] Narrated by Abu Huraira; Collected by Abu Dawood, At-Tirmidhee. Albaani mentioned that this hadeeth is Hassan;
[6] Narrated by Abu Sa’eed; Collected by Muslim.
[7] Compiled by Al-Bukhaaree & Muslim
[8] The prophet (sal Allaahu alayhi wa sallam) admonished his uncle towards the end of his life, when he was on his death bed and the signs of his demise were clear. The last actual moment of life is when the soul reaches the throat of the living person whereby he finally realises that death has come to him; at this stage the repentance is not accepted. Allaah said:
{But repentance is not accepted of those who continue to] do evil deeds up until, when death comes to one of them, he says, “Indeed, I have repented now…”} [04:18]
[9] Lit. the slave of Munaaf and the slave of Uzzah – both were idols worshipped at the period in time.

A Shahada Story


new-muslim-story

I’m not sure when the desire began to quicken inside of me, but I can tell you when it did was unmistakable that I had caught a hold of something that was so consuming that I could not turn away.

Everything I knew about Islam which wasn’t much was all a lie. This journey for me is a personal one, one that only I can do liken to being born or dying, that is a journey no one else can walk for me, no matter how they love or need me only I can walk this one out.

In 1999, I left a place that I hated to leave a place that had provide me security, love, friends for the first time in my life and an anointing of God I had never seen or experienced before. Surviving a divorce in every sense of the word I was on the good side leaving a horrible existence with a man I never knew and on the other I was leaving a place that had provided such a comfort that quenched every dry place in my life and I wondered if I would ever survive the transition, I felt my very life was being ripped from my hands. I needed to face down my reality and pray the God would soon bring into focus through my current lens at the time looking both through my tears or the fog of the unknown both looked the same, blurry. I walk the only way I knew how, one foot in front of the other, good thing he spent so much time away mentally and physically (the ex), that is the tool God used to show me I was stronger than I thought I was.

Coming from a family where I was pampered being the only child, I thought everyone would love me like my family but soon after saying “I do”  I got the rudest awakening of my life, but what can one do when suddenly faced with a life they never subscribed to but rather rebelliously feel into, they either allow it to explode or implode, so while the bombs are going off inside of me destroying my internal organs I live on the life support of God’s hands. So after ten years of crying, fighting and praying he wouldn’t kill me in my sleep I was finally free, but freedom only feels free when you have peace and at that point I had none. The only real security I had was that of a church that only existed in Hawaii, a circle of friends that surrounded me on all sides that promised to keep the vigil, I was now seeing in the rear view mirror of the 747 that carried me away.

Coming back to a family a shell of my former self was devastating to them, but if they only knew what I had lived through they would understand to even hold my bones would be gift enough.  I asked God every day to show me my new way, to help me be a good mommy for my boys and find my smile again.

He did all of that but it came in time and not because He with held it from me but because I had to learn all over again that I was worthy of that smile, like a baby learning to walk for the first time. I reached my mile marker of 12 years divorced and a friend said to me that she was celebrating Ramadan. I had heard this word before but not really knowing the meaning and customs I asked more questions. I wanted to learn, so asking what the best time to go was, and he suggested during Ramadan on a Friday.

I got on the internet to find the mosque closes to me and asked my local friends to go with me but no one’s schedule permitted and time was sipping by so I had to get out in the deep once again and go it alone, I purposed in my heart that I would so I went to bed the night before with the mindset that when the sun shined on a new day it would find me walking into the mosque. I woke, dressed, drove and finally walked into the mosque asking for the Imam (Priest), the building was an unassuming building that quietly held majesty behind its doors. The parking lot was empty less for about three or four cars but one marked with a sign “Imam”.

Entering the building the first thing I noticed was the scent, it was like nothing I had every smelled, and it wasn’t like a sort of perfume but on the contrary a breath of new life had entered my nostrils and instantly I felt at ease. I met a man dressed in a long white robe, salt and pepper beard and glasses a very pleasant face and asked for the Imam he said yes come this way. I saw the Imam for the first time and he stood to greet me sitting behind his desk, he also wore a long white robe and beard but he also had on a hat, I reached out for his hand to shake it and he reciprocated with an extension.

He was watching the foreign news on the computer and asked for an excuse to me while he lowered the volume. While he did that I looked all around his office and everywhere. I looked it all looked very normal except for the things written in Arabic that I could not read but it was not unlike any office I had been in before, such as family pictures, books , awards posters reading “SUCCESS”  “LOYALTY” etc. But in Arabic I was pleasantly surprised I had no idea what I would encounter but I was willing to just get out there.

I started with saying that I was here to learn about Islam and he looked happy but not overly anxious to get another member on the team but instead a fatherly caution to me as if “yes dear I understand your curiosity but instead of looking to move from your religion to another just come and be our guest” we had a very engaging and warm visit that lasted for about one half hour. He told me there would be a pot luck on the next day and suggested I come to that and meet some people from the community and just enjoy the experience, upon leaving he stated that no matter what religion you are and what you claim in life there should be evidence of such, if you say you are a Christian, Muslim, Hindu etc. there should be evidence that you are who you say you are.

That was my biggest take away. I rose to leave and he handed me a calendar that had listing of all the times so I would be aware when to arrive the next day. I went away feeling so light on my feet I think I even skipped back to my car.

The next day could not come fast enough, but finally did. I wore a long summer skirt and knit top hair down and arrived back at the mosque, sitting in my car I saw many people arrive all of the ladies had their heads covered, I recalled the Imam say I did not need to be covered not even as a Muslim did I need to be covered but to come as I was I was welcome.

I might have sat in my car for about twenty minutes, then finally I saw a lady, her hair uncovered, I jumped from my car and went in behind her, once inside a large open space filled with families placing food on tables and children running all about, I stood near the door  in case  I needed to make a run for it as the butterflies churned in my stomach, but I got the nerve and walked toward a lady that had a really nice face and said to her I was new and if she could help me. She was very nice and gave me a hug and invited me to sit with her, soon all the room was wondering who this big haired women was and they all gathered around me asking me where I was from and why I was there, I told them about my meeting with the Imam and they were all so happy to help me feel welcome. Sitting among them they spoke Arabic and then leaned to me to explain what they were saying. It was so amazing and over whelming all at the same time, I was so happy to be there.

From that day I went back every single day enjoying the last ten days of Ramadan which is believed to be the most blessed, in between was invited to my new friend’s homes and was taken under their wings, they would say to me may ALLAH guide you to the right path.

The things that we as Americans hear on the news is that of terrorism, hate, division and all around mayhem and what I have seen with my one eyes is Peace, Caring People, Love and Humility I have never seen but only read about in the Bible, the people that followed Christ that lived for him and would die for him.

The kind of love and reverence for God that requires you to stand before Him clean, humble and allowing nothing else to come before Him is what I saw.

Islam is beautiful, the same anointing but greater I had not experience since I left my church in Hawaii, I was finally back Home, and as I continue to walk out this journey learning every day, I know this for sure that God is God and there is no other but Him. I love Allah (God). He is my all, I am nothing without Him.

I thank God for obedient and willing servants. It’s a conviction I have always had, but through the years it was junked up by the trapping of the world, what you wore, drove, lived in, how much money you had, this is how the world measures you and even in the church, it’s the same it has become a money making machine, toting authors and speakers and mega churches of 10,000 plus people and that is all fine and good. But what about the relationship with God the time you give only to Him where you get down on your knees and pray to Him and wait for Him when making a decision and when was the last time you cared for someone other than your family members but a stranger a homeless person and expected nothing in return.

I encourage all that read this to also take a closer look at Islam for yourself and stop allowing the media or popular literature to define your ideals of a people based upon a few , but instead sit down with them and have a conversation one on one and then make up your mind.

The decision to open a book I never thought I would want to read has yielded me such a beautiful experience and I will never be the same having done so.

When I think of equating the task of helping my entire Christian family to understand my decision to become Muslim I will share this story with them, people are typically afraid of what is not  like them, that thing or person that speaks a different language or dresses in a different type of garment but underneath we are all the same, we live we will die and we ALL with stand before God and give an account of what we did in this  life, so whatever you believe is your choice just pray you are right.

On Saturday September 17, 2011 I took my Shahada, I am now a Muslimah.
[A New Muslim Sister]

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