My classmates changed from making jokes to asking serious question about Islam and they noticed that Islam is not a religion like the other religions. They noticed Islam is cool! They see that we Muslims have manners in dealing with each other.
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There is so much hatred in the world and a lot of people have the wrong concept of Islam, which is in many ways our own (we Muslims) mistakes in showing Islam in a wrong way. We need to show Islam in a peaceful way and with patience.
I began to read about Islam among some other religions. I was very suspicious at first. I was raised thinking that Muslims were all terrorists seeking to oppress women and cause violence.
What happened as time went on is that I read the Quran and it was not what I was expecting. For one thing, the very first things I read were “In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful” and I was not expecting that!
When I became a Muslim, when I re-found the fitrah (my origin - natural disposition), I discovered that my depression disappeared. I discovered that my reliance on alcohol at that time completely disappeared, that I didn’t need anything or anyone because I found that ultimate truth from within and externally.
I was heavily addicted to drugs, including hallucinating narcotics and was admitted in mental asylum to recover, but this was in vain until I heard one of my Muslim friends saying ‘I am going to pray for a while and will come back,’ so I told her that I want to pray as well.
In New York, I think it’s fairly easy to find what you are looking most of time. I’m sure in other states and cities it’s probably a lot more difficult, but we have halal stores on every corner basically. So it’s very easy.
To my surprise, I met Muslims who loved Jesus as much as Christians (we who wait for his coming), and that Allah means God in the Arabic language. After a lot of thinking, I wanted to be Muslim.
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.
I realized as a young child that I needed to understand what God was. I used to wake up at the early hours of the morning. And I used to pray that God would reveal Himself to me and I was a very young person and I wanted this idea and I used to have these reoccurring dreams and I never understood that these reoccurring dreams were actually answers.
I realized that I had in front of me a man who could teach me a lot about Islam, so I mustered the courage to ask him to do just that. That was my first meeting with Islam, indeed my first step.
My uncle died in front of my eyes taking his last breath and that was the thing that changed a lot inside me. I just started feeling that this life isn’t exactly what I thought it is. We’re investing too much time and energy on things that could be gone in a second.