My name is Idris Tawfiq. I’m British. I live in Egypt and I teach at Al-Azhar University. I travel all over the world to speak about Islam.
How I Embraced Islam
It didn’t happen with one particular thing really. But It happened for events and people and places.
The simplest thing, you know, I tell people that I first didn’t understand Allah and Islam, not through reading a book, not through watching a TV program on Islamic channel, not by listening to a sheikh giving a talk, not even by reading the Quran…
But my introduction to Islam came from a little boy in the street in Egypt while I was on holiday. He greeted me with the words “Assalamu Alaykum”.
Allah does send us messages, but He doesn’t have a fax machine. So He doesn’t send us fax messages that we get each morning that we read what He says. He is a little bit more subtle than that.
You know, He speaks to us in so many ways, through the creation, He speaks to us through the beautiful sunshine, through trees, grass, the birds singing… He speaks to us everyday. He speaks to us in the Quran. And He speaks to us in the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as Sunnah of love.
But in all the messages He sends us, we’re not listening. We pay more attention to the messages we get in our mobile phone, or letters we might receive. They’re all fun! But the messages the creator of the Heavens and the earth is sending are sent to me and to you personally.
So in the past, I haven’t listened to Allah, and in fact, I didn’t understand Allah as I understand Him now. I understood Him in a different way.
But, understanding Him or not, as human beings, we turn away from Him. And Islam, I find, gives us everything we need to be closer to Him because in the Quran we read:
Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.
What we must do is hold fast even when we can’t see the road ahead. Clinging to Allah and Allah will surely speak to us, He will surely give us a message and help us along the way.
Will any of us ever be ready to meet Allah tomorrow?
The answer is: “No, I’m not ready! I could be a much better person, I could be a much better Muslim. But, I will, Inshallah, be ready when time comes!”
Allah Loves Me
I know that Allah loves me very much. I know that because He called me to be Muslim. And I know it with absolute certainty.
And I know that all my life, He’s been calling me towards Him. So I would hope to say to Him on Judgment Day: “O Allah! You know I haven’t been the best Muslim I might be, but I have tried to be a Muslim. Please forgive all the time I turned away from You. Please forgive all my bad deeds.”
All roads lead to Allah. Listen to Allah Almighty as you journey along that road.