When I was around 7 or 8 years old, I had this dream.
This dream was a reoccurring dream because I had it many times over and over and over.
Scientists have done a study on people who have reoccurring dreams and found that many people have reoccurring dreams.
They say that people who wake up just before REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or after REM sleep, when you are going to a next sleep cycle, these are people who are most likely to have reoccurring dreams.
Whatever the scientific purpose might be or the scientific reason might be for reoccurring dreams, I’m not sure.
But in this dream that I had, the reoccurring dream that I had many many times as a young boy, I used to have this dream that I was floating.
And many people have dreams of flying or floating and have that experience- you know what it feels like, very strange feelings- but in this dream I dreamt that I was floating up through different layers of heavens, and to me I knew they were heavens because they were beautiful and they was nothing like it I have ever seen in my life.
Some people say these are different levels or different layers of clouds. But to me I knew very clearly from a young age that they were seven heavens. And as I went through those seven heavens, I could hear people singing, and they were singing in a language or chanting in a language I had never heard before. And they are all dressed in white robes and everyone looked so happy and so serene.
And they were chanting the same thing over and over and over again, and I didn’t know what it meant. So I went to my priest the next day, and I said to the priest of my church, what is this dream about 7 heavens and the chant in it? And of course the reaction was boof! on the back of the head “We don’t believe in seven heavens. There is only one heaven.”
And so the whole way through life, I had this idea that there were 7 heavens. I had this idea that the chanting that I heard had some type of meaning. So I asked a couple of other people from other denominations, and of course they said the same thing “In Christianity there is only one heaven.”
I tried to find out what the meaning was as, so I spoke to a woman who knew Latin in my church. I said to her “What does this lalalala mean?” And she said she had no idea but it might be Latin or it might be Aramaic or it might be Greek. She didn’t know what it is. But I must not worry too much about that. It is just a dream and I should leave it as a dream. So I continued to live through my life and not worry about it.
In a way, I wanted to find what this meant but I didn’t worry too much about it. I left it. So this chanting and the story and these layers of heaven, it really bothered me. I really wanted to have an answer for it. But not to the extent where I gave up everything else to search for the answer to it. So it remained at the back of my mind.
Debating a Muslim 27 years later
And so I continued arguing, and started asking questions like what about all the wives and all these things. And as I was in the middle of my topic, my brother tapped me on my shoulder and said: “Listen, stop talking and start listening.”
So I looked at him and I looked back at him and said what does he know and he said “No stop talking and start listening”.
And when my brother said stop talking and start listening guess what happened: The very next words out of the mouth of Ford Hendrix was “And there are seven heavens, and in these seven heavens…” And I stopped and thought “Wow”, here is this man out of the blue telling me “Keep quiet and listen to what this man has to say.
Stop talking and listen what he says”, the very next words out of his mouth “There are seven heavens.” And he carried on talking about these seven heavens, and I said “Wait, wait, just go back. You said there are seven heavens?” And he said “Yes, there are seven heavens, didn’t you know?” And I said “No” And he told me about the layers of Heaven and Hell, how they are different rewards and punishments for people.
And suddenly I realized “This makes sense.” Not only had I dreamt about it but they make sense. How can Hitler if five minutes before he killed himself had to suddenly say “I believe in Jesus Christ my Lord,” and suddenly be exactly in the same heaven as somebody who sacrificed his entire life who struggled and did everything he could 24 hours a day to live a good righteous, pure and pious life, and suddenly he would exactly get the same reward and be exactly in the same heaven?
This is impossible. How could somebody who lived a pious life and made only one mistake at the end of his life suddenly go to the same Hell like anybody else?
So it didn’t make any sense to me. But here this man is telling me about these seven heavens. I said “You know, I had a dream about this, a dream that I had over and over again and all the people who know me, all the people in my family, all my friends know about this because I used to tell them about it. And they all think I’m crazy because of this dream that I used to tell them about.”
Then I said to Hendrix the other thing that happened in this dream, and in this dream this guy sounded like this there were these people chanting and all wearing white robes and they were saying “lalalla” and he said “Oh, you mean la illaha illa Allah, Muhammadan rasul Allah?”
I’m coming to be a Muslim right now!
And I was really shocked, and I was pale, and I couldn’t believe it, and I said “That is exactly what they said.” And I see my brother came to me and said he took the Shahadah and he said “There is no other God but God and that Prophet Muhammad is the final messenger of God,” but he told it to me in English.
I haven’t heard it in Arabic yet. And when I heard this, I said this is exactly what I heard. When I was a child I had this dream over and over and over again of these people going through different layers of heaven and they were chanting the same thing la illaha illa Allah Muhammad rasoulollah.
Now I know you are going to think straight away that this is a person who goes to mosques and spin in circles. No I’m not! I don’t believe in dreams and vision as being the answer to everything because they must be backed up with the Quran. If you have a dream or a vision or whatever it is, the authentic hadith and the Quran must back it up. You can’t just go up and overwrite everything and say you got to listen to my dreams.
Now when I explained this dream that I had, remember that I said that scientists have now proved that after people go into deep REM, or rapid eye movement sleep, they have repetition dreams and scientists could not explain it.
But there is another type of dream where you have when you are outside of REM when you are outside of your rapid eye movement dream. When people have dreams and they are normally repetitive dreams, they are placed during these cycles and this time when it happens they are usually around 1, 2, or 3 o’clock in the morning.
Now this is coincidental because this is the time that Muslims are told they are to wake up to pray and extra pray, and not one of the 5-times prayers but an extra prayer. And this is when we pray when we want Allah to show us something, when we want Him to explain something that we need to understand, maybe something that is important, maybe wanting to get married or whatever.
And I, as a child, used to wake up many times around these hours, just wake up for no reason and I used to pray, I used to say “God, if You are there, show me how I can find You, show me how I can find the right path because I don’t want to walk in the way I’m walking, I want to find the truth, I want to find the way where I can find how to be a proper Christian.”
Because I saw what was going in the church as a Catholic, I saw what was going on as this can’t be the way. This can’t be all the strange things that we are doing, all the strange sacrifices. So I used to wake up in the middle of the night saying God if You are there show me the truth.
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 had no idea, I had no philosophy of Islam, I had no theology of Islam. I knew nothing about Islam.
So when this man, Hendrix, told me the shahadah words were la illaha illa Allah Muhmmad rasoulullah and there were seven layers of heavens, this was confirmation to me. I had no doubt whatsoever. I knew nothing about the five pillars of Islam. I did not know anything about the Quran and I didn’t know anything about the teachings of Quran or who was expected to be a Muslim, what I needed to sacrifice, what I needed to give.
When he said to me there are seven heavens and explained the words la illaha illa Allah Muhammad rasulollah in Arabic not even in English I said “That’s it. I’m coming to be a Muslim right now!” And the guy looked at me and my brother looked at me and said “But don’t you want to know more?” I said “No. That’s enough. That’s the confirmation I need.”
Because if it confirms what is put in my mind from a child right through today. It took 27 years from 7 years old, the words that I heard when I was 7 years old were repeated to me and they were repeated to me by humans, there was no way I could argue.
There was no way I could say no.
And so that day I accepted that there is no other God but God, and that the Prophet Muhammad was a prophet sent by God.