I met my neighbors who were Muslims. I thought I would do some missionary work. I always like to remind people about the Creator, goodness, and the existence of truth. What little I knew about Muslims and Islam was colored by the Christian-Judaic doctrine in which I’d been raised.
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"It just so happened that close to that time, was my son's birthday," said Hofmann. "So I told him that I would be giving him something not monetary, but of great value. I began writing all that I thought was important about my discovery of Islam. It ended up being 14 pages."
My family asked me when I converted “So, are you going to wear Hijab now?” And I said “No way, I’m not going to do that”. I didn’t feel that was necessary at the time, but the more I was getting in love with Islam, the more I wanted to wear the Hijab also. That just felt right inside of me.
I changed quite a bit when I first moved to Dubai. When I came from England I came with stereotypes of what Muslims are like and what Islamic countries are going to be like, and then it is completely not what I expected. My impression of Muslims and my impression of Islam...
“What causes a person like this to turn around?” Well, as a result of that film, he naturally was approached by many Muslims who tried to show him the light and at first he resisted this, but he went along just to see eventually how maybe he can talk some sense into the Muslims.
Well, ironically this masjid was in a building that was used originally as a teenage nightclub! And my own sister previously was arrested for being drunk. Subhan Allah (glory be to Allah)! So I went to the dinner at the masjid and that feeling all came back to me.
For a minute I finally recognized myself and suddenly I could pinpoint that emptiness inside me. Then, I realized what I wanted to do. I wanted to become a Muslim! Just by saying it I scared myself and I had to blush. It was as if I was speaking of things that are forbidden...
I went into a city of anarchy, death, and chaos. The echoes of its destruction I believe were a harbinger of the downfall of our civilization. But also the song of love amongst the believers is a new song of hope and revival. This love and sincerity I did not find in the richest and most powerful empire in the world.
My reading material was very limited because I am a totally blind person and the material available about Islam in braille or on tape was not only very little, but also very general. I believe the reason was that the material that I had access to wasn't written by Muslims and it kind of painted a dark picture of Islam.
There was faith in my heart for God, but I did not know how to understand Him. Inspired by a famous historical figure who at 18 planned to be on the road to stardom by 23, I made a promise to myself to be on the correct religious path...
I wanted to study Islam. I wanted to leave home for a country where Islam was alive and present in its daily form. My aim was to go to Egypt and study at the famous and respected Al-Azhar University. But the events took a different turn so I could write this story today.
Hundreds of miles away from us in our sleepy little southern corner of the world, distance suddenly seemed to vanish into inches as we saw and heard and felt the devastation in front of our eyes. Nothing in our wildest imagination or our most cynical thinking could prepare us for this kind of cruel intent.