It is ironic that God has guided me to Islam (the truth) in the United States, where unbelief ideology dominates the society. Especially more so, when I have spent 5 years of my childhood in Muslim dominated societies (countries).
My parents are from Korea, they were raised atheist but in their youth they found Christianity to be the Truth. They hold positions/titles in their church (they were Deacons, but now they have been raised to higher ranking). They had me baptized when I was born, and raised my brothers and I as Christians.
Father was in charge of the construction division of Hyundai Corporation. He lived in many countries overseeing the building and construction projects for Hyundai Corporation.
When my father was stationed in Indonesia, our family moved there for two and a half years. Being an infant at the time, I do not remember much of Indonesia. However, I remember my two and a half year stay in Saudi Arabia very clearly.
Our father had stayed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for nine years building and constructing for the Saudi Royal family. We (our family) joined him on his last two and a half years in the Kingdom.
My experience in Saudi had been a memorable one, I got to experience and see many things. We had a very luxurious life in Saudi, however our experience with the people there in general had been a bad one.
To this day, my father hates Arabs (Saudis, but to my father they are all the same) for his ill treatment by the Saudis during his stay. I remember him complaining how arrogant the Saudis were, and how they looked down upon him with bad manners, how backward they were, how risky it was doing business with them, etc…
As for me, I had my own problems. I remember getting into fights with the Saudi kids every other day, my brothers and I could not play in the playground because the kids would start throwing rocks at us if we got close to the playground. With these memorable experiences, we moved to the United States.
I was 10 years old when we came to the Unites States, my brothers and I pretty much grew up in the States; I was Americanized as can be, and even though I befriended many ethnic groups, I did not get along with the Asians, Koreans especially. Needless to say, I did not care much for the Arab kids; I tried to pick on them every chance I got.
My Best Friend: A Muslim?
I had a very close friend in High School (we will call him A.C. for anonymity), we played football together, and we tried to pull as many pranks as possible when the opportunities presented themselves. A pair of knuckleheads who could not avoid trouble to save their own lives. But through this friendship, Allah guided a lost soul to Islam (the Truth).
After High School, I moved out of town and went to college. My parents had gone back to Korea when I was in High School, so I was used to being independent (except financially). I reached my peak in terms of misguidance (being lost) while I was in college.
The environment I was in was such that it only led me deeper and deeper into misguidance and self-destruction. But I was oblivious to this fact, and even if I did know I probably would not have cared.
I was in this state when I received a phone call from A.C., my close friend from High School. He had called to tell me that he had become a Muslim. I did not take it seriously at first, because I knew that he was going through some personal problems at the time. I thought that he was going through a phase, and he would snap out of it once he cleared his problems.
But as time passed, it became obvious that my friend had become a fanatic (so I thought at the time). I started to avoid talking to him, all he would talk about was Islam and we would end up having a religious argument, him for Islam and I for Christianity. It came to a point that whenever he called, I would find an excuse not to talk to him.
Because my parents were in Korea, I did not have a place to stay when I came back to my hometown. I used to stay with A.C. Whenever I was in town; his family treated me like a second son.
But after A.C. had become a Muslim, I started to avoid staying with him. It happened so that I came back in town for a break from college. I stayed with another friend of mine from high school instead of A.C. One night, my friends and I went out to a party hosted by another friend from high school, but somehow A.C. found out.
A.C. called the place where the party was going on and asked to speak with me. When I picked up the phone, A.C. told me to stand and wait for him outside.
I felt a little guilty because I had been trying to avoid him all break, so I decided to wait for him outside. Some of the people at the party asked me where I was going, so I told them that I was going outside to meet A.C. They decided to come outside with me they were also friends with A.C. when we were in High School.
When A.C. pulled up in his car, he did not even get out of the car he rolled down his window and told me to get in the car. I could sense a bit of urgency in his voice, so I got into the car.
Light of Guidance
A.C. and I spent the rest of the night talking about religion. He pulled out a book by Ahmed Deedat, and started to ask me things that I could not answer. It was still very early in the morning and we were still discussing religion, when A.C. asked me if I would like to accompany him to the Mosque for morning Prayer. I consented and we went to the Mosque.