Aron’s Journey to Islam


Why did I accept Islam?

This is a question that I have been asked many times by others, and a question that I have asked myself many times.

Firstly, it was the will of God because it is He who changes hearts and guides someone to a way that is straight!

Secondly, because I was looking for the truth, the real truth and nothing but the truth!

Thirdly, because there were doctrinal elements in my previous religion of Christianity that at first hearing seemed acceptable but when reflected, analyzed, and prayed upon, proved to be not only unacceptable but also contradictory, inconsistent, and even blasphemous!

When I was looking for the real and whole truth why did God guide me to Islam and not to one of many religions available to man or just another branch of Christianity?

The answer to this important question was to unfold as I took my first steps towards my spiritual quest.

The basic seed of God-consciousness was implanted in me from birth, but my soul was molded to the teachings of the Christian church. My religious upbringing was never something that was forced, nor was it just occasional or just habitual. It seemed to be a natural and essential part of the fiber of my family.

One of my fondest childhood memories till this day is of my mother reading me Bible stories every Sunday. But when I reached my teens and especially when I entered college, that spiritual nurturing became tainted more and more.

The college scene is where most people of religious background either completely abandon that upbringing or like in my case, just put it on pause. It’s really hard not to when you are surrounded by co-ed dorms, open promiscuity, easy access to alcohol, 24 hour parties, and curfew-free nights.

There weren’t any churches around campus that I was interested in so my Sundays began to feel like any other day of the week. While in college I experienced many things and learned many lessons of life, but one particular experience had brought me right to the edge of cliff of death! The situation was so unexpected so shocking, so overwhelming, that I honestly felt that the only solution was suicide.

It took someone whom I had known for just a little while, breaking down and crying when he realized what I was about to do, for me to just pause and think. I thought that something was truly wrong if this guy had a higher value for my life than I did.

As I stood there, I never felt so empty in my life. There was the big void where my soul was supposed to be and I felt like Moses and his followers being chased by the enemy from all sides only to be confronted by the impassable Red Sea! I realized that it was time to make the call they had made. The call of faith-the call of God!

Back to Church

I decided to return to the church of my youth, a Baptist church in Washington D.C. I heard that there was a new pastor preaching there that was thorough and I decided to try him out.

Praise God, the preacher was young, dynamic, and effective. He really made the Bible come to life in his sermons and made living for God seem real and worthwhile. Coming from the position of a person who was ready to kill himself, these messages were beginning to fill my emptiness and make me want to live and give life another chance.

I remember the nervous excitement of accepting the call to new membership at church and the newness and freshness of being dipped into the water at my baptismal ceremony. I felt reborn! Clean! With the lips I accepted Jesus as my “lord and savior,” but deep down in my heart, I was just reaccepting the reality of God in my life!

As I went deeper in my walk of faith the problem that had almost caused me to slay myself vanished like an illusion! Life was only there to make me turn to my Creator!

This gave me a new drive, motivation, and a sense of purpose. I became very active to the extent of encouraging a few of my friends to join the church. I would watch and listen to the pastor in awe, daydreaming of becoming one myself.

I honestly felt that the best thing to do for a living would be to help people turn to God. Something that had proven to be so successful in my life. But at the same time I was always very open-minded, especially when it came to spiritual truth, I think this is what made me a vessel to receive the full truth, in Islam.

Discovering Islam

After a while I began a private hobby of studying world religions. The first book I read, “The Religion of Man”, was actually one that I had borrowed from a friend. The first chapter I read was the chapter on Islam and it was a tremendous surprise!

It began with a little Arabian history and a biography of Prophet Muhammad followed by an explanation of the basic tenants and doctrines of Islam. I could not believe the similarity and relationship that it had with Christianity.

It wasn’t some foreign religion made up by some foreign man who worshiped some foreign God. It was the true Abrahamic religion, revealed through a man whose very lineage traced back to Abraham’s first son Ishmael who worshipped the same one true God.

This further fed my curiosity and interest in Islam. I had decided to keep myself open so I also read the history and doctrines of Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Native American spirituality, and other smaller religious sects, cults, and movements. Buddhism seemed to renounce the world too much yet was not clear on the afterlife.

In Hinduism the worship seemed too loose and unfocused with its great deity residing in many reforms, Judaism seemed basically true but had had too much of a racial bias, and Native American to vary by the tribe.

Islam was the only one whose theology and practices seemed truly universal. The information that I had gathered so far was not enough to make me want to change my religion, but that was soon to change when I came into contact with the Quran!

I was working at a music store where a young woman used to come to the store with whom I used to have general conversations and on one occasion happened to bring up the topic of Islam.

I then found that she was a Muslim and she told me that I could get more information on Islam at a little session that her father helped teach with some other Muslim. I was both nervous and excited at my first visit, but it was my first time being around real Muslims!

I was initially impressed by the racial variety, the simple environment, and the warm humbleness of the attendants. They answered a few basic questions of mine, but I was there mostly to listen.

When it was prayer time, I quietly watched from a distance with a smile. Seeing all the men, women, and children bow in unison and put their faces flat against the ground in prayer seemed a little strange and funny, yet so humble, so unified, and so natural. It seemed like this was the ultimate way that we as God’s creations were supposed to pray.

I recalled in my mind accounts in Bible of other prophets like Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, throwing themselves to the ground in humility and pray to God yet this is not the way we prayed in church as “Christians,” but the Muslims did!

Jesus told us to greet each other by saying “Peace be with you,” yet we Christians didn’t do this. It was the Muslims who greeted each other saying “As-Salaamu Alaikum” which means “Peace be with you”.

In Christianity only “Orthodox” nuns covered their heads and bodies, but this was a standard practice of modesty, chastity and humbleness for millions of practicing Muslim women who were interactive members of the society. It wasn’t something reserved for the “Orthodox”. I left that little session engulfed in a maze of thoughts.

When I saw my Muslim friend at the music store again I thanked her and told her how wonderful it was and that I was sure to return. She then asked me if I had a Quran yet. I said “No.” I thought that the Quran was only in a foreign language and that I couldn’t read it, but she said that she would give me an English translation from the original Arabic.

I gladly accepted the offer and was even more excited when I received it! “WOW! My first real Quran.”

Reading the Quran

I couldn’t wait to start reading it. The first thing I did was to look up Jesus in the index and look up every verse it listed under his name. This was the prophet that I was raised on and was dear to me. So, I had to know what God had revealed in this book about him. If it degraded, ridiculed, or rejected him in any way I was going to close the book and leave Islam alone.

I agreed when I read that God was not three in one, but one in an exclusive and unique sense. I agreed even when I read that Jesus was born of a virgin, but was not God’s “Son.”

When I was studying idioms in ancient Hebrew and other Semitic languages “Son” meant nearness and was used in the Old Testament in reference to other people and prophets, the term “son of God” meant one who was near and closely attached to God, as the term “son of man” meant one near and close to man. Incidentally, the use of the term “son of man” outnumbers the use of the term “son of God” in reference to Jesus.

Even though in the Quran Jesus was always referred to as the “son of Mary” God revealed that the birth of Jesus was like that of Adam -He merely said “BE” and “he was”, and Adam had neither a physical father or mother, and no one worshipped him as the “only begotten son of God”!

I agreed when I read that Jesus was not God in human form, but a human prophet that was created by God, sent by God and who himself needed, depended on, feared, and prayed to God.

I agreed when I read that the Jews had no victory in killing him, and that God raised him to himself. But when I read that they also did not crucify him I was in shock!

The impact of the 157th verse in the 4th chapter of the Quran (An-Nisaa) was to dramatically change my life from that point on!

{And their saying: Surely we have killed the Messiah, Isa son of Mariam, the messenger of Allah; and they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but it appeared to them so (like Isa) and most surely those who differ therein are only in a doubt about it; they have no knowledge respecting it, but only follow a conjecture, and they killed him not for sure.} (4:157)

I’m not one to just accept something right away, or to just reject something right away. I investigate. In the day I would reflect on that one verse, and at night I would pray over it.

I would beg God in tears to show me in a dream what actually happened in detail to Jesus if he was not crucified. What was real? What was false? I wanted to know badly.

I was looking hard. Examining, searching, debating. The soul was the most important thing in the world to me, and mine was on a quest. I always wanted to know my Creator and serve my Creator, but I wanted to make sure that I knew Him the right way, and I wasn’t going to let up until I found what I felt was the right path.

When I finally stopped waiting for that big dream and asked myself “Well, what does this word crucifixion mean for the Christian”? For the Christian this word meant salvation! Salvation, meaning the deliverance from the penalty of sin which was spiritual death in Hell.

It also meant success in this life and the next. To me this is the vital thing that religion must give man, or else it is useless. To say that if Jesus was not crucified, there’s no way that God Almighty could forgive His beloved mankind did not sound right.

Jesus in Islam

Jesus was very dear to my heart and to think that the Loving, Forgiving sent him on earth only to be murdered for an innumerable mass of sins that he himself never committed did not seem fair or even sensible.

If God could create the whole universe by saying “be” and “it was” then why couldn’t He do the same for the tiny little sinner who is admitting his guilt and asking Him for forgiveness? Why couldn’t He say to the person “be forgiven” and he or she is forgiven?

Why was the murder and blood of an innocent man a necessity for this forgiveness? I said to myself, “If this book can map out a plan of salvation that has nothing to do with murder or blood then I will submit to God and His plan.”

This made me deeply review my Bible and try to find what was essential necessity for salvation. The Jews and the Muslims never put anything in between them and their prayer to God so why did the Christians?

There was nothing in between Adam and God, or Abraham and God, or Moses and God, or David and God, or Jesus and God! God had taught through the Bible that a person was individually responsible for his sins, and that no one else could pay for or be penalized for them.

Jesus was preaching repentance and telling people that their sins were forgiven before this supposed crucifixion! So, why all of a sudden was the blood of one martyr necessary for humanity to be forgiven? This issue of sacrifice, blood, and forgiveness seemed to be summed up in just a few verses in the Quran.

Concerning sacrifice there is a verse in the Quran what means:

{Neither their flesh nor their blood shall reach God, rather it is your piety that shall reach Him. Thus has He disposed them for you, that you may magnify God for His guiding you. And give good tidings to the virtuous.}(22:37)

Concerning sin and forgiveness God revealed in the verse that gives the meaning of

{O my sons, go and enquire about Joseph and his brother, and do not despair of God’s [gracious] Spirit. Indeed none despairs of the [gracious] Spirit of God save the disbelieving folk’.} (12:87)

Also, in the verse:

{Say [that God declares]: ‘O My servants who have been prodigal against their own souls, do not despair of God’s mercy. Truly God forgives all sins. Truly He is the Forgiving, the Merciful.} (39:53)

I found exacting parallels in the Bible in Psalms 30:5, 32:5, 62:1-2, 1st Samuel 15″22-23, Luke 15:7-10, Ezechiel 18:20-35, Isaiah 12:2-3, and Luke 7:47-50, 10:25, 18:24, and many others if you just look them up and reflect.

When I read in the Quran what means

{O people! There has come to you an admonition from your Lord, and a healing for what is in the breasts, and a guidance, and a mercy for those who believe.} (10:57)

My Muslim Friend from the music store had shown me a mosque that to my surprise was ten minutes away from my home! On my second visit to the mosque, I declared my faith in 1994, and stated that “There is no God worthy to be worshipped except the One, Most High God or Allah. That Muhammad is His Last Messenger to mankind. That the Quran is the last revealed and written will, and testament of Allah to and for mankind to follow until the Day of Judgment.”

I had finally come home and found peace! As I gradually built my faith and practice in Islam, I found that Islam was not the religion of killers and terrorists! It is the true religion of humankind, nature and all creatures seen and unseen.

Islam is by name the religion of those who seek peace and success through obedience and submission to the will of Allah! I had found the path to success, the path to true salvation!

Allah in the revelation of the Quran has refocused all forms of worship, prayer, fear and thanks to Him and Him alone!

You are High, Lord of all creations, and has reminded mankind and all creations of their true place-dependent and subservient to Allah and Allah alone!


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