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A Turning Point in My Life (Repentance Story)

Life is pregnant with experiences and lessons, and during my education stages, I have had a fluctuating and confused soul. I also commenced reading about Islamic education when I was 18 years old.

As I graduated lacking religiosity, I started to turn right and left wondering:

Where is the right path?

Have I been created in this life for no purpose?

I sensed void, darkness and dejection, and started escaping to the wilderness; alone in the dark, hoping that I may find solace there. Yet, I would return sad and depressed.

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I graduated in the Institute of Teachers, in 1969. A year before, I started to witness a strange experience in my life, with darkness and anxiety sweeping me. Then, the Communist Party embraced me. They began to publish my poems in their journals and magazines, elaborately illustrating my poems and boost me till I thought I would be the Expected Mahdi.

They would elaborate on every word in my poems and overpraise it, knowing that such was one of their guiles. When they sought to prey on or attract an individual, they would consider his identity and hobbies and approach him through the things he desires.

So, when they felt that I had an inclination towards poetry and literature, they took it upon themselves to print and publish my poetic volumes and held literary gatherings and sessions for me. Then, they started to instill poison in honey.They would take me to specific bookshops and ask me to choose whatever I like of books for free; refined and elegantly printed books, like Basic Principles of Marxism and The Principles of Communism.

Then, they gradually started to take me to old public cafes and when a US-made car passed by, they would point to it and say to me, “look at that man who rides a car purchased at the expense of the blood of your parents and ancestors. One day, you are going to take it back from him through the great revolution that has started and that shall prevail. We are now preparing for it (in Zhofar) and in Kuwait, and you shall be one of its leaders.”

Hearing these words, I felt that the void in my heart was being filled with something, knowing that if your heart is not preoccupied with love of God, it will be preoccupied with love of Satan. For, the heart is like a spinning mill. So, if you put wheat in it, it will produce flour, and if you put gravel in it, it will produce dust.

By the Will of the Almighty (Glorified and Exalted is He), I was predestined – three months later – to meet the chief of the cell, who had just returned from a one-month trip to Egypt. On that night, they kept mocking the Adhan for Fajr Prayer, knowing that their meetings would extend from evening to dawn and that they would spend it talking on subjects ineligible to me (like materialist interpretation of history, or socialism and communism in sex and wealth). Then, they would say things that contradict my sound instinct, but – however – I timidly refrain from arguing with them, seeing among them geniuses, intellectuals, men of letters, poets, and writers, and saying to myself, “how can I dare argue with them, and thus I would remain silent.”

Then, they went as far as mocking the words of the Adhan, and when the Muezzin said “Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasul-ul-lah [I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah]“, that started to gibe at the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him). Thereupon, I was swept by torrential zeal for instinctive faith, knowing that when Almighty Allah wills good for a person, He facilitates the means to that good for him.

Then, the chief of the cell said, “I witnessed genuine Communism upon meeting a poet in Egypt, who alone practiced it to the core.” I thus wondered, “How strange! … So, what is the sign of that!”

He said, “Upon getting out in the morning, his wife would kiss me good-bye, just as she kisses him, and when going to bed, she would sleep between me and him.”

That is exactly what he said… Indeed, Almighty Allah would call him to account on the Judgment Day for that.

Hearing what he said, I felt darkness clouding my eyes and depression infiltrating into my heart. Therefore, I wondered, “Is that a (worthy) thought! Is such freedom! Is it a revolution! No, by the Lord of the World, such is a devilish talk!”

Hence, one of the attendants dared to say, “O Mr., as long as you consider such practice acceptable, why then don’t you let your wife come to us so that we can all share the pleasure of her company?” The man then replied, “I still suffer the junk of Bourgeoisie and the remains of backwardness; but the day shall come, when we can all dispose of it.”

Because of such an incident, the major shift in my life commenced, as I started to go out in quest of a different company, until Almighty Allah guided me to meet fellow brothers in the Dewaniya. Those fellow brothers would keep up daily Prayers and would go to the beach after `Asr Prayer. The worst sinful thing they would do was playing cards.

Almighty Allah willed that one of them once say to me, “O brother Ahmad, people mention the name of a sheikh who had come from Egypt to Kuwait (Hassan Ayyub) and praise his daring eloquence. Shall you come with me to attend his lessons?” He curiously asked me that question, and then I said, “Well, let’s go.”

I went with him to the mosque, performed ablution and offered the Maghrib Prayer (that was then due).” After the Prayer, the sheikh stood up and started to speak to us (he refused to speak while sitting on a chair). The Sheikh, with his grey hair and beard, emphatically spoke, and an inspiring faith-cementing force gushed out of his mouth, and his words were like cannonballs. Then, as he finished the sermon, I felt that I got out of one world to another, leaving the world of darkness into the world of light.

It was the first time I perceive the right path and realize my goal in life; why I was created, what I was required to do, and what is my destination.

Later on, I could not leave before hugging and shaking hands with the Sheikh. Then, my companion asked me about my impression, and I said to him, “Just keep silent, and you shall see my impression in a few days.”

On that very night, and upon returning home, I bought all the recorded lectures for that Sheikh and continued to listen to it all the night long, and until the sun rose. Then, whenever my mother brought me food, I would refrain from eating it, for I was busy listening to the tapes and warmly crying. For, I then felt as if I were born anew and entered a new world. I also loved the Prophet (peace be on him) and he became my role model and ideal. I thus began to read his biography and listen to recordings about it until I memorized it, from his (peace be on him) birth to his death.

So, I felt like I became a man for the first time in my life, and started to recite the Qur’an once again, feeling as if I were the one addressed in every verse. Almighty Allah  says, {And is one who was dead and We gave him life and made for him light by which to walk among the people like one who is in darkness, never to emerge therefrom?} (Al-An`am 6: 122). Sure, I was dead and Almighty Allah gave me life; thanks to Allah for that.

So, I approached such an aberrant company once again, and started to preach to them one by one. However, Almighty Allah says, {Indeed, [O Muhammad], you do not guide whom you like, but Allah guides whom He wills. And He is most knowing of the [rightly] guided.} (Al-Qasas 28: 56).

Only one of them repented, by the Will and Favor of Almighty Allah, and went to perform `Umrah. Yet, on his way Makkah, his car turned over and he died in the accident; indeed, his reward shall be counted by the Almighty.

As for the chief of the cell, he once met me with a yellow smile while I was arguing with him. I asked him, “Do you deny the existence of Allah? And do you want to convince me that Allah does not exist!”

He gave me that yellow smile and said, “Mr. Ahmad, I surely envy you because you have now known that path. So, leave me alone, for I have my own path, while you have yours.” He then shook hands with me, and I left. He has thus maintained his thought until now.

Regarding the rest of the cell, one of them became an actor, and another became a poet who used to write songs. There are videos for him delivering poems while he is drunk … All praise is due to the Lord , who He brings the living out of the dead …  From that moment onward, I started to call people to the Way of Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

This story, recounted by Sheikh Ahmad al-Qattan, has been first published in the book series, al-`a’idun ila Allah (The Returners to Allah) by Sheikh `Abdul-`aziz Al-Misnid. It is translated into English by