Men Who Embraced Islam [S]


My conversion to Islam has been intellectual and emotional. My parents have both been educated at the university-level. My mother is a Christian convert (she was atheist), and my father has personal beliefs. My family is rather rich.

Ever since I was very young, I've been interested by political questions. I enjoyed reading history books, although I was confused a little bit between military history and politics. I called myself a communist, but today I wouldn't say I knew what it means. Over time, I learned real politics and sociology, but when the communist bloc fell, I admitted my error and was no longer a fan of the communist states. I became agnostic, and thought that all human beings are condemned to egotism and to ignorance of some questions, like the existence of God. I learned philosophy. I wanted to avoid doing the same mistakes as in the past, and so I refused all dogmas. At this time occured the separation of my parents, and also other personal problems. To forget all this, I spent a lot of time in laughing with (fake) friends, drinking, and then smoking cigarettes, then hash. I sometimes took hard drugs (heroin, LSD, and some other poisons). Despite this, I passed my baccalaureat (this is an exam that ends four years of college and gives the right to continue graduate level study at the university). By chance, I had to go at the army (we do not have the choice in the country I live in). The strict rules I could not avoid there were a very good thing for me; also, I was tired enough to enjoy simple things as eating and sleeping. Alhamdulillah (praise be to God), my mentality changed.

Back in civil society, I spent one more dark year: I always had the temptation of my bad habits, and I felt that life was very superficial after the big efforts and the friendship of the army. I began feeling the necessity of something else in my life. Then one of my sisters, back from a journey to Syria, gave me a book. This book, written in my language, is a gift she received there. Its author, who had titled it "The Bible, Quran and Science", wanted to show that there are in the Quran some things that were simply impossible for a human being to know at the time the Quran was revealed. Conclusion: the authenticity of the Quran is proved, scientifically proved. The first thing I thought after having read the book was: "Oh! It would be super!" -- I was ready for a change in my way of life.

I bought a translation of the Quran to compare. Before having entirely read it, I had become a Muslim, alhamdulillah. As you can see, a psychologist wouldn't have any problem to explain what he would call my choice. For me, all things come from God and He had written this for me, He had chosen these means to make me accept Islam. Alhamdulillah! What no psychologist can see is what happens in my heart when I read the Quran: faith has little to do with what one feels in front of a scientific demonstration!

Sir Abdullah Archibald Hamilton (England)
Statesman and Baronet

About the author:

Sir Abdullah Archibald Hamilton Bart, formerly Sir Charles Edward Archibald Watkins Hamilton, embraced Islam on 20th December 1923. A well-known English statesman, fifth baronet of the first (1770) and third baronet of the second creation (1819) Sir Abdullah was born on 10th December 1876. He was a Lieutinent in the Royal Defence Corp. and was also the President of the Selsy Conservative Association.

Since arriving at an age of discretion, the beauty and the simple purity of Islam have always appealed to me. I could never, though born and brought up as a Christian, believe in the dogmatic aspect of the Church, and have always placed reason and commonsense above blind faith.

As the time progressed, I wished to be at peace with my Creator, and I found that both the Church of Rome and the Church of England were of no real use to me.

In becoming a Muslim I have merely obeyed the dictates of my conscience, and have since felt a better and a truer man.

There is no religion that is so maligned by the ignorant and the biased as is Islam; yet if people only knew, it is the religion of strong for the weak, the rich for the poor. Humanity is divided into three classes. First, those on whom God has, out of His bounty, bestowed possessions and wealth; secondly, those who have to work to earn their living; and lastly, the great army of the unemployed, or those who have fallen by the wayside through no fault of their own.

Again Islam recognizes genius and individuality. It is constructive and not destructive. For example, if a landowner who is rich and is not in need of cultivating his land refrains from doing so for some time, his property ipso facto becomes public property, and according to Islam Law, passes into the hands of the first person who cultivates it.

Islam strictly forbids its adherents to gamble or to indulge in any games of chance. It prohibits all alcoholic drinks and interdicts usury, which alone has caused enough sorrow and suffering to mankind. Thus, in Islam, none can take a mean advantage of another who is less fortunate.

We neither believe in fatalism nor in predestination, but only in pre-measurement; that is to say the fixity of the laws and the intelligence to follow them.

To us, Faith without Action is a dead-letter; for in itself it is insufficient unless we live up to it. We believe in our own personal accountability for our actions in this life and the Hereafter. We must carry our own cross and none can atone for another's sin.

Islam teaches the inherent sinlessness of man. It teaches that man and woman come from the same essence, possess the same soul, and have been equipped with equal capabilities for intellectual, spiritual and moral attainment.

I do not think I need say much about the Universal Brotherhood of man in Islam. It is a recognized fact. Lord and vassal, rich and poor, are all like. I have always found that my brother Muslims have been the soul of honour and that I could believe their word. They have always treated me justly, as a man and a brother, and have extended to me the greatest hospitality, and I have always felt at home with them.

In conclusion, I would like to say that whereas Islam guides humanity in the daily workaday life, the present-day so-called Christianity, indirectly in theory and invariably in practice, teaches its followers, it would seem, to pray to God on Sundays and to prey on His creatures for the rest of the week.
From "Islam, Our Choice"

Sir Jalaluddin Lauder Brunton (England)
Statesman and Baronet

About the Author:

Sir Jalaludding Lauder Brunton was educated at Oxford University. He was an English Baronet and a public man of wide repute.

I am deeply grateful for this opportunity of saying a few words as to why I embraced Islam. I was reared under the influence of Christian parents. At an early age I became interested in theology. I associated myself with the Church of England, and took an interest in Mission work without an actual active part in it. Some years ago I gave my attention to the doctrine of "Eternal Torment" of all mankind except a few elect. It became so abhorrent to me that I almost became a sceptic. I reasoned that, a God that would use His power to create human beings whom he foreknew and predestinated should be Eternally Tormented, could be neither wise, just, nor loving. His standard would be lower than that of many men. I continued, however, to believe in the existence of God, but was not willing to accept the commonly understood teachings of God's revelation of Himself to men. I then turned my attention to the investigation of other religions, only to feel myself baffled.

An earnest desire to worship and serve the True God grew in me. The creeds of Christianity claim to be founded on the Bible, but I found these to be conflicting. Is it possible that Bible and teaching of Jesus Christ had been misrepresented? So, I turned my attention again to the Bible and determined to make a careful study, and I felt that there was something wanting.

I determined to strike out for myself ignoring the creeds of men. I began to teach that men possessed a "Soul", and an "Unseen Force" which was immortal, that sins were punished both in this world and in the next, that God in His Goodness and Mercy was ever ready to forgive our sins if we only were truly repentant.

Realising the necessity of living up to the Truth and digging deep, so that I may find the "pearl of great price", I again devoted my time to the study of Islam. There was something in Islam which appealed to me at this time. In an obscure and almost unknown corner of the village Ichhra I was devoting my time and service to God's glory amongst the lowest classes of society with the earnest desire to uplift them to the knowledge of the True and only god, and to instil a feeling of brotherhood and cleanliness.

It is not my intention to tell you as to how I laboured amongst these people, nor what were the sacrifices I had under-taken nor the extreme hardships I had undergone. I was simply going on with a singleness of purpose to benefit these classes both physically and morally.

I eventually took up the study of the life of Prophet Muhammad. I knew very little of what he did, but I knew and felt that the Christians with one voice condemned the celebrated Prophet of Arabia. I was now determined to look into the matter without the spectacles of bigotry and malice. After a little time I found that it was impossible to doubt the earnestness of his search after Truth and God.

I felt that it is wrong, in the extreme, to condemn this Holy Man after reading his great achievements for humanity. People who were wild idol-worshippers, living on crime, filth and nakedness, he taught them how to dress, filth was replaced by cleanliness, and they acquired personal dignity and self-respect, hospitality became a religious duty, their idols were destroyed and they worship the True and only one God. Islam became the most powerful Total Abstinence Association in the world. And many other good works were accomplished which are too numerous to be mentioned. In the face of all this and his own purity of mind, how sad to think that such a Holy Messenger of God should be run down by the Christians. I became deeply thoughtful, and during my moments of meditation an Indian gentleman named Mian Amiruddin came on a visit, and strangely enough it was he who fanned the fire of my life into a flame. I pondered over the matter a great deal; brought one argument after the other bearing upon the Christians' present day religion and I concluded in favour of Islam, feeling convinced of its truth, simplicity, toleration, sincerity and brotherhood.

I have now but a little time to live upon this earth and I mean to devote my all to Islam.
From "Islam, Our Choice"

S.S. Lai
My Journey to Islam

The day I write this, I have lived my life knowing what Islam means for approximately 5 years and 11 months. I reverted to Islam on the 5th October 1991. I believed that every child is born in a pure state and that only their parents brought them up to the way they think best and the only way they probably know how.May Allah guides their hearts to Islam.

I came from a Chinese background. My whole families believed in worshipping the idols and the dead ancestors. Throughout my childhood I was made to believe that there were many gods, god of mercy, wealth etc., Every year, I would had high hope and enthusiasm that my grandfather would bring me to the temple to worship 'our' gods. What drew me to them as a child was that there were many foods ( I thought the foods would taste nicer because they had been worship to the great and mighty ones ) and the 'gods' look very mystique. Some of the idols projects a sense of fear, some beauty and this lists go on and on. On that day, we would burnt paper money and worship our 'gods' using some incense sticks.We would observe all these in silence and these brings more impact to my young mind. I used to hope that one day I would know how to say the words that my grandfather said to the idols and the little secrets and tricks he used with the 'magic stones'.

At home we have pictures of dead ancestors . Every fullmoon , I would eagerly ask my grandmother if she would honor me by throwing the two coins. If the coins both shows the head or tails then they ( the dead ancestors ) have not finished eating.

I also came from a 'Muslim' country called Brunei and by the blessings of Allah, I came to a school with the majority of the students being Muslims. I remembered once a friend brought a comic book with pictures of the punishment of hell fire. I didn't fully comprehend them at that time. The only lesson I had at that time was never to 'tear any packages of sweets or crisps, otherwise we would be punished equally in the hereafter ).

A lesson in geography on why we could all stand and walk on the surface of the earth and not thrown out into the dark space started my journey to Islam. I came home feeling confused and asked my uncle why this is so. My uncle advised me to always asked WHY for everything. Since that day I had never started asking WHY .

In the year 1988, I won a scholarship to come to UK to study . This had been my lifelong ambition and I had worked long and hard for this. My main aim in life up to that point was to become rich and useful and to make my parents very proud of me. The only way I know how then was to become a doctor. The helpless feeling I had when I was forced to sit next to my great grand mother's death bed till her last breath had never escaped my memory.

I studied A level in girls only school. All I know about Islam although I had many Muslims friends and live in a Muslim country then, Muslims do not eat pork, they fast in Ramadan and they were the losers. All my experience with Muslims had made me not attracted me to them although I had a strange feeling at age seven I will become a Muslim just like my uncle. I had never asked anybody about Islam for fear they will go very excited and this always frightened me and made me very shy.

In that college, one night I dreamt I heard a loud Adhan. I walked towards it and stood infant of a big gate with Arabic writing on it. I didn't know what it meant for I knew not Arabic writings then. I felt an immense sense of peace and security. The room was illuminated with light and I saw white figures praying ( wallahu'alam ). The feeling I had was greater than I could write or expressed. The next day I forced myself to asked one of my malaysian Muslim friend. She told me it is 'Hadassah' from Allah. This first conversation helped me to asked many more questionsthat had been on my mind for all these years about Islam. I had always been thought the Muslims are bad people and they always oppressed the non-Muslims etc..,That year I went back to Brunei, I told my families I want to have a year out for my mind cannot concentrate on my previous aim. I felt there was something more important than everything I had worked for all those years.Not surprisingly, I was not allowed and had to continue in this state of mind. Days and nights I cried because I can only hear the Adhan echo in my mind up to the point my best friend thought I was crazy ( I even believed I was ).

My first contact with real practicing Muslim was my childhood friend. At that point in life she was also renewing her faith. I learnt a lot from her mostly from her actions. That was the first time Isaw Islam in action ( people praying etc., ). I tried fasting then and also attempted to eat only halal food for 2-3 years before my conversion.

The turning point in my life was when I was rejected from all the universities to study medicine . I pondered about the attributes of Allah and promised Allah that should I be accepted to a medical college, I would believe all that my friends had told me . Allah is ever listening and everpresence. Miraculously, the next day I was told that despite their initial rejection, I was accepted. What can I say after that but 'There is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the the last prophet of Allah'

Sufyan Gent
It was as if ' The Scales had lifted from my Eyes'

Courtesy of Saudi Gazette

Now, as a Muslim, I cannot understand the attractions of pubs, discos, nightclubs, expensive holidays and so on. If you are amongst a community of believers you derive your pleasure from sitting with them, discussing the wonders of our creator, or by enjoying with your family and doing things together, living in a closely knit environment of mutual love and respect. Non-Muslim households miss these benefits with everyone in the family looking for their own personal enjoyment. - Sufyan Gent

SUFYAN Gent was born Maurice Alexander Gent; incidentally, the name "comes from the word Moorish and the moors", who were Arab Muslims. Prior to embracing Islam, he tried various Christian sects but nothing ever seemed quite right. Whilst working as a civil servant in London, he met a Muslim lady who later became his wife. She had been brought up as a Muslim, but was sadly not practising her religion. Nevertheless, she had enough faith to insist that her future husband embraced Islam before marrying him. After living several years as a notional Muslim, not having the slightest idea about praying, fasting or Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), he attended a Muslim study circle with an idea of getting an academic knowledge of Islam to impart to his son. On listening to the obvious, plain and simple truth of Islamic teachings he became fascinated with the religion. He started to practise and from there took the religion to his wife. Their life was transformed from weak belief to a life dedicated to worshipping God alone.

Sufyan has organised several weekend conferences and Islamic exhibitions and is currently involved with the Islamic Society of Britain.

"Before I became aware of Islam I had a strong belief in God, but I could not find an exact expression of that belief in any of the churches I attended. There always seemed to me to be a hypocrisy about church-goers, a  sanctimonious ‘holier than thou’ attitude which contradicted the kind loving nature that I saw in Jesus. I could never understand why you needed to go through Jesus or a priest or vicar to get to God. It seemed like taking
insurance through a broker; providing work for someone but not getting anything extra in return.

I tried to live as I felt a Christian should live; caring for my family, working hard, trying to be honest, and not interfering with others. Then, in 1977, I met my future wife who was a student in London, where I lived at
that time.

She explained to me the Islamic belief that there is none worthy of worship but Allah and that all old and new testament Prophets were simply telling the same simple truth, that there was only one God and that mankind was born to worship Him. She explained that there was no difference between working and praying, as everything was an act of worship to be carried out according to God’s will.

Consequently, I gladly accepted Islam in 1977 and we were married. However, my lifestyle did not change, I just went on living as I had before the Shahadah, and this state of affairs continued until 1987. It was then that I started reading about Islam with a view to trying to teach my son about his religion before he started school. He was about three years old at the time.

When I began to read I realised how I had not been fulfilling my obligations to my creator. I thought that by declaring "There is none worthy of worship but Allah" I had done enough. Very soon I started to realize that I had to pray, fast, pay Zakat, go on pilgrimage when I could afford it, and become part of the Muslim community.

So, Alhamdulillah, ("thanks to God"), I started to do these things. It was, as stated in the holy Qur’an, as if the "Scales were lifted from my eyes." Now, I long for the time for prayer, I love the month of Ramadhan, I gladly
pay Zakat, and I completed my Haj in 1992, all thanks to God.

It is difficult not to get bloated with your own importance as a new Muslim. You get used to being given special treatment by your Muslim brothers, and this is something we should try and avoid, as there is no difference between the believers. The devil will try to exploit human weakness and make you think you are special, and so we must pray to avoid this trap.

I look froward to the time when the Muslim take the message of Islam to the non-Muslims here. We must lead by example, as we are the best of nations so we must behave as such.

Through honesty, truthfulness, polite behaviour and caring for all mankind is how Islam spread in the beginning. We must get out of a getto mentality and we must also avoid the other extreme of becoming so anglicized that we lose Islam altogether.

Islamic teachings show us that everything is in balance; we must make our presence felt by helping to provide a moral lead to society, but at the same time keep an Islamic identity as opposed to a nationalistic one.

Now, as a Muslim, I cannot understand the attractions of pubs, discos, nightclubs, expensive holidays and so on. If you are amongst a community of believers you derive your pleasure from sitting with them, discussing the wonders of our creator, or by enjoying with your family and doing things together, living in a closely knit environment of mutual love and respect. Non-Muslim households miss these benefits with everyone in the family looking for their own personal enjoyment.

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