This is a story of a seeker of Truth, the story of Salman the Persian, gleaned, to begin with, from his own words:


I grew up in the town of Isfahan in Persia in the village of Jayyan. My father was the Dihqan or chief of the village. He was the richest person there and had the biggest house.

 

Since I was a child my father loved me, more than he loved any other. As time went by his love for me became so strong and overpowering that he feared to lose me or have anything happen to me. So he kept me at home, a veritable prisoner, in the same way that young girls were kept.

 

I became devoted to the Magian religion so much so that I attained the position of custodian of the fire which we worshipped. My duty was to see that the flames of the fire remained burning and that it did not go out for a single hour, day or night.

 

My father had a vast estate which yielded an abundant supply of crops. He himself looked after the estate and the harvest. One day he was very busy with his duties as dihqan in the village and he said to me:

 

"My son, as you see, I am too busy to go out to the estate now. Go and look after matters there for me today."

 

On my way to the estate, I passed a Christian church and the voices at prayer attracted my attention. I did not know anything about Christianity or about the followers of any other religion throughout the time my father kept me in the house away from people. When I heard the voices of the Christians I entered the church to see what they were doing.

 

I was impressed by their manner of praying and felt drawn to their religion. "By God," I said, "this is better than ours. I shall not leave them until the sun sets."

 

I asked and was told that the Christian religion originated in AshSham (Greater Syria). I did not go to my father's estate that day and at night, I returned home. My father met me and asked what I had done. I told him about my meeting with the Christians and how I was impressed by their religion. He was dismayed and said:

 

"My son, there is nothing good in that religion. Your religion and the religion of your forefathers is better."

 

"No, their religion is better than ours," I insisted.

 

My father became upset and afraid that I would leave our religion. So he kept me locked up in the house and put a chain on my feet. I managed however to send a message to the Christians asking them to inform me of any caravan going to Syria. Before long they got in touch with me and told me that a caravan was headed for Syria. I managed to unfetter myself and in disguise accompanied the caravan to Syria. There, I asked who was the leading person in the Christian religion and was directed to the bishop of the church. I went up to him and said:

 

"I want to become a Christian and would like to attach myself to your service, learn from you and pray with you."

 

The bishop agreed and I entered the church in his service. I soon found out, however, that the man was corrupt. He would order his followers to give money in chanty while holding out the promise of blessings to them. When they gave anything to spend in the way oRGod however, he would hoard it for himself and not give anything to the poor or needy. In this way he amassed a vast quantity of gold. When the bishop died and the Christians gathered to bury him, I told them of his corrupt practices and, at their request, showed them where he kept their donations. When they saw the large jars filled with gold and silver they said.

 

"By God, we shall not bury him." They nailed him on a cross and threw stones at him.

 

I continued in the service of the person who replaced him. The new bishop was an ascetic who longed for the Hereafter and engaged in worship day and night. I was greatly devoted to him and spent a long time in his company.

 

(After his death, Salman attached himself to various Christian religious figures, in Mosul, Nisibis and elsewhere. The last one had told him about the appearance of a Prophet in the land of the Arabs who would have a reputation for strict honesty, one who would accept a gift but would never consume charity (sadaqah) for himself. Salman continues his story.)

 

A group of Arab leaders from the Kalb tribe passed through Ammuriyah and I asked them to take me with them to the land of the Arabs in return for whatever money I had. They agreed and I paid them. When we reached Wadi al-Qura (a place between Madinah and Syria), they broke their agreement and sold me to a Jew. I worked as a servant for him but eventually he sold me to a nephew of his belonging to the tribe of Banu Qurayzah. This nephew took me with him to Yathrib, the city of palm groves, which is how th e Christian at Ammuriyah had described it.

 

At that time the Prophet was inviting his people in Makkah to Islam but I did not hear anything about him then because of the harsh duties which slavery imposed upon me.

 

When the Prophet reached Yathrib after his hijrah from Makkah, I was in fact at the top of a palm tree belonging to my master doing some work. My master was sitting under the tree. A nephew of his came up and said:

 

"May God declare war on the Aws and the Khazraj (the two main Arab tribes of Yathrib). By God, they are now gathering at Quba to meet a man who has today come from Makkah and who claims he is a Prophet." I felt hot flushes as soon as I heard these words and I began to shiver so violently that I was afraid that I might fall on my master. I quickly got down from the tree and spoke to my master's nephew. "What did you say? Repeat the news for me."

 

My mastcr was very angry and gave me a terrible blow. "What does this matter to you? Go back to what you were doing," he shouted.

 

That evening, I took some dates that I had gathered and went to the place where the Prophet had alighted. I went up to him and said:

 

"I have heard that you are a righteous man and that you have companions with you who are strangers and are in need. Here is something from me as sadaqah. I see that you are more deserving of it than others."

 

The Prophet ordered his companions to eat but he himself did not eat of it.

 

I gathered some more dates and when the Prophet left Quba for Madinah I went to him and said: "I noticed that you did not eat of the sadaqah I gave. This however is a gift for you." Of this gift of dates, both he and his companions ate.

 

The strict honesty of the Prophet was one of the characteristics that led Salman to believe in him and accept Islam.

 

Salman was released from slavery by the Prophet who paid his Jewish slave-owner a stipulated price and who himself planted an agreed number of date palms to secure his manumission. After accepting Islam, Salman would say when asked whose son he was:

 

"I am Salman, the son of Islam from the children of Adam."

 

Salman was to play an important role in the struggles of the growing Muslim state. At the battle of Khandaq, he proved to be an innovator in military strategy. He suggested digging a ditch or khandaq around Madinah to keep the Quraysh army at bay. When Abu Sufyan, the leader of the Makkans, saw the ditch, he said, "This strategem has not been employed by the Arabs before."

 

Salman became known as "Salman the Good". He was a scholar who lived a rough and ascetic life. He had one cloak which he wore and on which he slept. He would not seek the shelter of a roof but stayed under a tree or against a wall. A man once said to him: "Shall I not build you a house in which to live?" "I have no need of a house," he replied.

 

The man persisted and said, "I know the type of house that would suit you." "Describe it to me," said Salman.

 

"I shall build you a house which if you stand up in it, its roof will hurt your head and if you stretch your legs the wall will hurt them."

 

Later, as a govenor of al-Mada'in (Ctesiphon) near Baghdad, Salman received a stipend of five thousand dirhams. This he would distribute as sadaqah. He lived from the work of his own hands. When some people came to Mada'in and saw him working in the palm groves, they said, "You are the amir here and your sustenance is guaranteed and you do this work!"

 

"I like to eat from the work of my own hands," he replied. Salman however was not extreme in his asceticism. It is related that he once visited Abu ad-Dardaa with whom the Prophet had joined him in brotherhood. He found Abu adDardaa's wife in a miserable state and he asked, "What is the matter with you."

 

"Your brother has no need of anything in this world*" she replied.

 

When Abu ad-Dardaa came, he welcomed Salman and gave him food. Salman told him to eat but Abu adDardaa said, "I am fasting."

 

"I swear to you that I shall not eat until you eat also."

 

Salman spent the night there as well. During the night, Abu ad-Dardaa got up but Salman got hold of him and said:

 

"O Abu ad-Dardaa, your Lord has a right over you. Your family have a right over you and your body has a right over you. Give to each its due."

 

In the morning, they prayed together and then went out to meet the Prophet, peace be upon him. The Prophet supported Salman in what he had said.

 

As a scholar, Salman was noted for his vast knowledge and wisdom. Ali said of him that he was like Luqman the Wise. And Ka'b al-Ahbar said: "Salman is stuffed with knowledge and wisdomÑan ocean that does not dry up." Salman had a knowledge of both the Christian scriptures and the Qur'an in addition to his earlier knowledge of the Zoroastrian religion. Salman in fact translated parts of the Qur'an into Persian during the life-time of the Prophet. He was thus the first person to translate the Qur'an into a foreign language.

 

Salman, because of the influential household in which he grew up, might easily have been a major figure in the sprawling Persian Empire of his time. His search for truth however led him, even before the Prophet had appeared, to renounce a comfortable and affluent life and even to suffer the indignities of slavery. According to the most reliable account, he died in the year thirty five after the hijrah, during the caliphate of Uthman, at Ctesiphon.

Murad Wilfried HofmannPh.D (Law) Harvard. German Social Scientist and Diplomat. Embraced Islam in 1980.

Dr. Hofmann, who accepted Islam in 1980, was born as a Catholic in Germany in 1931. He graduated from Union College in New York and completed his legal studies at Munich University where he received a doctorate in jurisprudence in 1957.

He became a research assistant for the reform of federal civil procedure, and in 1960 received an LL.M. degree from Harvard Law School. He was Director of Information for NATO in Brussels from 1983 to 1987. He was posted as German ambassador to Algeria in 1987 and then to Morocco in 1990 where he served for four years. He performed umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage) in 1982 and Hajj (Pilgrimage) in 1992.

Several key experiences led Dr. Hofmann to Islam. The first of these began in 1961 when he was posted to Algeria as Attaché in the German Embassy and found himself in the middle of the bloody guerilla warfare between French troops and the Algerian National Front who had been fighting for Algerian independence for the past eight years. There he witnessed the cruelty and massacre that the Algerian population endured. Every day, nearly a dozen people were killed – “close range, execution style” – only for being an Arab or for speaking for the independence. “I witnessed the patience and resilience of the Algerian people in the face of extreme suffering, their overwhelming discipline during Ramadan, their confidence of victory, as well as their humanity amidst misery.” He felt it was their religion that made them so, and therefore, he started studying their religious book – the Qur’an. “I have never stopped reading it, to this very day.”

 

Islamic art was the second experience for Dr. Hofmann in his journey to Islam. From his early life he has been fond of art and beauty and ballet dancing. All of these were overshadowed when he came to know Islamic art which made an intimate appeal to him. Referring to Islamic art, he says: “Its secret seems to lie in the intimate and universal presence of Islam as a religion in all of its artistic manifestations, calligraphy, space filling arabesque ornaments, carpet patterns, mosque and housing architecture, as well as urban planning. I am thinking of the brightness of the mosques which banishes any mysticism, of the democratic spirit of their architectural layout.”

“I am also thinking of the introspective quality of the Muslim palaces, their anticipation of paradise in gardens full of shade, fountains, and rivulet; of the intricate socially functional structure of old Islamic urban centers (madinahs), which fosters community spirits and transparency of the market, tempers heat and wind, and assures the integration of the mosque and adjacent welfare center for the poor, schools and hostels into the market and living quarters. What I experienced is so blissfully Islamic in so many places … is the tangible effect which Islamic harmony, the Islamic way of life, and the Islamic treatment of space leave on both heart and mind.”

Perhaps more than all of these, what made a significant impact on his quest for the truth, was his thorough knowledge of Christian history and doctrines. He realized that there was a significant difference between what a faithful Christian believes and what a professor of history teaches at the university. He was particularly troubled by the Church’s adoption of the doctrines established by St. Paul in preference to that of historical Jesus. “He, who never met Jesus, with his extreme Christology replaced the original and correct Judeo-Christian view of Jesus!”

He found it difficult to accept that mankind is burdened with the “original sin” and that God had to have his own son tortured and murdered on the cross in order to save his own creations. “I began to realize how monstrous, even blasphemous it is to imagine that God could have been fallen short in his creation; that he could have been unable to do anything about the disaster supposedly caused by Adam and Eve without begetting a son, only to have him sacrificed in such a bloody fashion; that God might suffer for mankind, His creation.”

He went back to the very basic question of the existence of God. After analyzing works of philosophers, such as Wittgenstein, Pascal, Swinburn, and Kant, he came to an intellectual conviction of the existence of God. The next logical question he faced was how God communicates to human beings so that they can be guided. This led him to acknowledge the need for revelations. But what contains the truth – Judeo-Christian scriptures or Islam?

He found the answer to this question in his third crucial experience when he came across the following verse of the Qur’an: “… no bearer of burdens shall bear the burdens of another.” (Qur’an 53:38). This verse opened up his eyes and provided the answer to his dilemma. Clearly and unambiguously for him, it rejected the ideas of the burden of "original sin” and the expectation of “intercession” by the saints. “A Muslim lives in a world without clergy and without religious hierarchy; when he prays he does not pray via Jesus, Mary, or other interceding saints, but directly to God – as a fully emancipated believer – and this is a religion free of mysteries.” According to Hofmann, “A Muslim is the emancipated believer par excellence".

"I began to see Islam with its own eyes, as the unadulterated, pristine belief in the one and only, the true God, Who does not beget, and was not begotten, Whom nothing and nobody resembles … In place of the qualified deism of a tribal God and the constructions of a divine Trinity, the Qur’an showed me the most lucid, most straightforward, the most abstract - thus historically most advanced – and least anthropomorphic concept of God.”

“The Qur’an’s ontological statements, as well as its ethical teachings, impressed me as profoundly plausible, “as good as gold,” so there was no room for even the slightest doubt about the authenticity of Muhammad’s prophetic mission. People who understand human nature cannot fail to appreciate the infinite wisdom of the “Dos and Don’ts” handed down from God to man in the form of the Qur’an."

For his son’s upcoming 18th birthday in 1980, he prepared a 12-page manuscript containing the things that he considered unquestionably true from a philosophical perspective. He asked a Muslim Imam of Cologne named Muhammad Ahmad Rassoul to take a look at the work. After reading it Rassoul remarked that if Dr. Hofmann believed in what he had written, then he was a Muslim! That indeed became the case a few days later when he declared “I bear witness that there is no divinity besides Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.” That was September 25, 1980.

Dr. Hofmann continued his professional career as a German diplomat and NATO officer for fifteen years after he became Muslim. “I did not experience any discrimination in my professional life”, he said. In 1984, three and half years after his conversion, then German President Dr. Carl Carstens awarded him the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German government distributed his book “Diary of a German Muslim” to all German foreign missions in the Muslim countries as an analytical tool. Professional duties did not prevent him from practicing his religion.

Once very artistic about red wine, he would now politely refuse offers of alcohol. As a Foreign Service officer, he occasionally had to arrange working lunch for foreign guests. He would be participating in those luncheons with an empty plate in front of him during Ramadan. In 1995, he voluntarily resigned from the Foreign Service to dedicate himself to Islamic causes.

While discussing the evils caused by alcohol in individual and social life, Dr. Hofmann mentioned an incident in his own life caused by alcohol. During his college years in New York in 1951, he was once traveling from Atlanta to Mississippi. When he was in Holy Spring, Mississippi all on a sudden a vehicle, apparently driven by a drunken driver, appeared in front of his car. A serious accident followed, taking away nineteen of his teeth and disfiguring his mouth.

After undergoing surgery on his chin and lower hip, the hospital surgeon comforted him saying: “Under normal circumstances, no one survives an accident like that. God has something special in mind for you, my friend!”. As he limped in Holy Spring after release from the hospital with his “arm in a sling, a bandaged knee, an iodine-discolored, stitched-up lower face”, he wondered what could be the meaning of the surgeon’s remark.

He came to know it one day, but much later. “Finally, thirty years later, on the very day I professed my faith in Islam, the true meaning of my survival became clear to me!”

A statement on his conversion:

"For some time now, striving for more and more precision and brevity, I have tried to put on paper in a systematic way, all philosophical truths, which, in my view, can be ascertained beyond reasonable doubt. In the course of this effort it dawned upon me that the typical attitue of an agnostic is not an intelligent one; that man simply cannot escape a decision to believe; that the createdness of what exists around us is obvious; that Islaam undoubtedly finds itself in the greatest harmony with overall reality. Thus I realize, not without shock, that step by step, in spite of myself and almost unconsciously, in feeling and thinking I have grown into a Muslim. Only one last step remained to be taken : to formalize my conversion.

As of today I am a Muslim. I have arrived. "

By : Murad Wilfried Hofmann

Marmaduke PickthallHe was born William Pickthall in 1875 in London, to an Anglican clergyman, and spent his formative years in rural Suffolk. He was contemporary of Winston Churchill at Harrow, the famous private school. During intervals from living a sedentary life in Suffolk, Pickthall travelled extensively in the Arab world and Turkey. In 1917, Pickthall reverted to Islam and soon became a leader among the emerging group of British Muslims.

In 1919, Pickthall worked for the London-based Islamic Information Bureau that among other things published the weekly Muslim Outlook. After completing his last novel The Early Hours in 1920, he departed for his new assignment in India to serve as the editor of the Bombay Chronicle. Pickthall devoted considerable interest in the independent Islamic empire of India that was gradually eroded through a string of British conspiracies. In 1927, Pickthall took over as the editor of Islamic Culture, a new quarterly journal published under the patronage of the Nizam of Hydrabad. He gave eight lectures on several aspects of Islamic civilization at the invitation of The Committee of "Madras Lectures on Islam" in Madras, India. His lectures were published under the title "The Cultural Side of Islam" in 1961 by S.M. Ashraf Publishers, Lahore. For an abridged version of his fifth lecture, point your browser to Tolerance in Islam.

 

The mission of 'translating' the Qur'an had preoccupied Pickthall's mind since he reverted to Islam. He saw that there was an obligation for all Muslims to know the Qur'an intimately. In 1930, Pickthall published The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (A. A. Knopf, New York). Pickthall maintained that the Qur'an being the word of Allah (SWT) could not be translated.

Pickthall returned to England in early 1935, and died a year later on May 19 at St. Ives. He is buried in the Muslim cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey, near Woking. Sixteen years later another distinguished translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali joined him in this earthly domain.

The hundreds of thousands of Muslims that benefit from Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall's monumental work The Meaning of the Glorious Qur'an seldom realize that this work was produced in the Nizamate of Hyderabad, the Muslim ruled state in Southern India.

Pickthall, says Peter Clark in his book Marmaduke Pickthall: British Muslim (London: Quartet, 1986), reverted to Islam at a time when Turkey had been defeated at the end of the First World War, and the collapse of the caliphate in Turkey.

In 1919, Pickthall worked for the London-based Islamic Information Bureau that among other things published the weekly Muslim Outlook that regularly reported on the Turkish defense of Anatolia.

When Muhammad Ali, the pan-Islamist educator, editor of the Comrade and the leader of the Khilafat Movement came to London in 1920, Pickthall warmly welcomed him. By that time, Pickthall had already acquired a following in India, and in 1920 he was invited to serve as editor of the Bombay Chronicle. India became his home for the fifteen years.

Pickthall was also a novelist and had dispatched the manuscript of his last novel, The Early Hours to his publisher, before departing on his new assignment. Upon arrival in Bombay, Muslims especially the supporters of the Khilafat warmly received the Pickthalls. It was his love for the Khilafat Movement that led Pickthall to appreciate Mohandas Karamchand (M.K) Gandhi, the Hindu leader who in order to broaden the anti-British front had started lobbying for Hindu support to the Movement.

Muslim communities throughout India invited Pickthall to deliver Friday khutbas as well as lectures. Two years after his arrival in India, Pickthall took up the study of Urdu, the contemporary language of the Muslims of South Asia.

He was born William Pickthall in 1875 in London, to an Anglican clergyman, and spent his formative years in rural Suffolk. He was contemporary of Winston Churchill at Harrow, the famous private school, and had ambitions to join the army and the foreign service. During intervals from living a sedentary life in Suffolk, Pickthall travelled extensively in the Arab world and Turkey. In 1917, Pickthall announced his conversion to Islam and soon became a leader among the emerging band of British Muslims.

LOVE FOR A MUSLIM STATE

Pickthall devoted considerable interest in the independent Islamic empire of India that was gradually eroded through a string of British conspiracies [Muslims in India - An Overview]. Many Indian states that had been allies and off-shoots of this empire had evaded absorption into the British Indian empire and preserved a nominal independence in contrast to 'British India.' The largest of these states was the Nizamate of Hyderabad.

Naturally, Pickthall wanted to work for the Nizam of Hyderabad and when in 1925, he was offered the job of a school principal there, he gladly accepted. Hyderabad was then a city of 400,000 inhabitants, located on the southern bank of the Musi River, and capital of the eponymous state that had a population of some twelve million. Although the ruling family was Muslims, the majority of the subjects were not.

The Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, who had been a ruler since 1911, was a patron of Islamic scholarships and of Arabs, especially those from the Yemeni province of Hadramaut. A benevolent despot, he enjoyed the loyalty of all his subjects and recruited civil servants, not only from all over India but even overseas. In the words of Pickthall, Hyderabad "is a sort of capital for all Muslims." The Nizam, himself a poet in Persian and Urdu, made Hyderabad the chief cultural center of India.
In the Nizam's Hyderabad, Pickthall saw the practical application of Islam's tolerant polity. Over the period Pickthall gained greater access to the Nizam and was assigned more important functions of state.
SERVICE TO ISLAM

The most important work that Pickthall did during his stay in Hyderabad consisted of the tasks he undertook in the service of Islam. In 1925, Pickthall was invited by the Committee of Muslims in Madras to deliver a series of lectures on the cultural aspects of Islam. The collection of these lectures published in 1927, present Islam in a manner that could be understood by non-Muslims.
The same year, Pickthall was appointed editor of Islamic Culture, a new quarterly journal published under the patronage of the Nizam. Among the many authors whose works were published included younger scholars like Dr. Muhammad Hamidullah and Muhammad Asad (formerly Leopold Weiss). Interestingly both these writers eventually blossomed into accomplished authors and are now respected for their translations of the Qur'an into French and English.

TRANSLATING THE QUR'AN

In 1928, Pickthall took a two-year sabbatical to complete his translation of the meaning of the Qur'an, a work that he considered as the summit of his achievement.
Like any other Muslim scholar, Pickthall too maintained that the Qur'an being the word of Allah (SWT) could not be translated. He wrote in his foreword: "The Qur'an cannot be translated." Understandably he titled his work that he finally published in 1930 as The Meaning of the Glorious Koran (A. A. Knopf, New York 1930), declaring that it is a simply a meaning of the Message and not a presentation in English of the Arabic text. It was first by a Muslim whose native language was English, and remains among the two most popular translations, the other being the work of Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

The mission of 'translating' the Qur'an had preoccupied Pickthall's mind since he reverted to Islam. He saw that there was an obligation for all Muslims to know the Qur'an intimately. Even while serving as an imam in London in 1919, he often put aside the then available translations and offered his own in the course of his khutba.
His devotion to the Book - a "wonder of the world" - was profound and he noted that while he had great difficulty in remembering a passage in his native English, he could easily memorize "page after page of the Qur'an in Arabic with perfect accuracy." Pickthall warned against the danger of adoring the book rather than its content. He chided the Muslims to "keep the message always in your hearts, and live by it." In his introduction to the surahs, Pickthall has powerfully focused on the universality of Islam.

During the course of his translation, Pickthall consulted scholars in Europe, and as a conscientious Muslim he wanted to secure the approval of the most learned authority, the ulema of Al-Azhar in Egypt. Towards this end, he travelled to Egypt in 1929 and stayed in Cairo for three months where he had the support of Rashid Rida. Some scholars suggested that the king reportedly believed that translating the Qur'an was a grave sin and any one aiding Pickthall could be dismissed from Al-Azhar. Pickthall brushed aside their various suggestions and continued consulting the Al-Azhar scholars.

C. E. Bosworth in his Encyclopaedia of Islam says that Pickthall was "familiar with European Kur'an criticism", which he accepted and applied selectively.

Allen and Unwin published Pickthall's work under license from Knopf in England in 1939. Later, Pickthall completed an edition of his translation with corresponding Arabic text (mushaf) within days of his final departure from India. This bilingual edition was first published in two volumes by the Government Press in Hyderabad. Allen and Unwin also took over this edition in 1976. In 1953, the English text was issued in New York as a paperback in the New American Library.
Pickthall's translation itself has been translated. In 1958 extracts were put into Turkish by (inasi Siber) in Ankara. Other extracts were published by M. Cevki Alay and Ali Kitabo in Istanbul the same year. In 1964 it was rendered into Portuguese in Mozambique and in 1960 a trilingual edition - English, Arabic and Urdu - appeared in Delhi. It has also appeared in Tagalog, the language of the Moro Muslims in the Philippines.

In 1982, in response to criticism by a Pakistani scholar, Pickthall's translation was scrutinized by the Islamic Ideological Council of Pakistan and found to be a satisfactory translation. Earlier, his successor as editor of Islamic Culture, Muhammad Asad produced a new translation of the Qur'an after expressing dissatisfaction over Pickthall's knowledge of Arabic. Similarly, Professor Ahmed Ali of Pakistan prefaced his translation that he had undertaken the work to correct Pickthall's "errors.

In early 1935, Pickthall, just shy of sixty, retired from the Nizam's service and returned to England. In 1936 he moved to St. Ives where he died on May 19, 1936 and was buried in the Muslim cemetery at Brookwood, Surrey, near Woking on May 23. Later another illustrious translator Abdullah Yusuf Ali was to join him in this earthly domain.

Perhaps the eulogy published in Islamic Culture summed up this illustrious life that Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthall was a "Soldier of faith! True servant of Islam!"

By: Abu Ali Hadhrami


Reference: Peter Clark, Marmaduke Pickthall: British Muslim; London: Quartet, 1986.

Maurice Bucaille was born to a French parent and, like his family, he grew up a Christian. When he ended his secondary education, he joined Faculty of Medicine, France University. He excelled at medicine until he obtained a BSc degree and worked hard until he rose to fame, becoming the most renowned and cleverest surgeon ever in modern France, but a story happened to change his life completely.

Story of his conversion to Islam:

France is known for its unique interest in archeology and heritage. When  French Socialist President François Mitterrand assumed power in 1981, France asked Egypt, late in the eighties, for the mummy of Egypt's pharaoh so that it would conduct a string of monumental and processing experiments. Actually the body of Egypt's most notorious tyrant was transferred to France, and, strangely, the French president and his ministers as well as senior officials in the country lined up near the plane carrying the pharaoh's body and bowed down to him as if he were still alive! After the ceremonies of the royal –like reception to Egypt's pharaoh were over, the tyrant's mummy was carried nearly in the same red carpet reception way he received. Then the mummy was transferred to a special wing at the French Monuments Center, and renowned archeologists, surgeons and anatomists started to conduct a study on this mummy in an attempt to delve into its mysteries. The senior surgeon and the scientist in charge of the study on this mummy of the pharaoh was Professor Maurice Bucaille. While the processors were busy making restoration to the mummy, their head (Maurice Bucaille) was thinking otherwise. He was trying to discover how this pharaoh died when, late at night, he concluded his final analyses. The remains of the salt stuck in his body was a shining evidence that he had drowned and that his body was retrived from the sea swiftly after he drowned; it was also obvious that they rushed to mummify his body so that his body would remain intact!! But he (i.e. Maurice Bucaille) puzzled over a question: How did this body- to the exclusion of other mummified bodies of other ancient Egyptians- remain that intact although it was recovered from the sea?" He asked himself. Maurice Bucaille was busy conducting a final report while thinking as to whether the pharaoh's body was recovered from the sea and mummified immediately after he drowned. But one of his company whispered in his ear, saying" There is no need to rush about this issue, since the Muslims say that this pharaoh did drown". At first, he vehemently rejected this say and did not believe it, citing that such a discovery would be reached only through sophisticated, modern and accurate computers. Another one accompanying him surprised him more when he told him that the Muslims' Qu'ran in which they believe narrates the story that says he drowned and that his body remained intact even after he drowned. He got more surprised and kept on asking" Where did the Muslims' Qu'ran quote these data from while the mummy was not discovered until 1898 AD, i.e. about 200 years only, given that the Qu'ran has been recited by Muslims for over 1400 years, and given also that until a few decades ago the entire mankind including Muslims did not know that the ancient Egyptians had mummified their pharaohs?!.

 

Maurice Bucaille stayed up all this night gazing at Pharaoh's body, thinking deeply of what his fellow researcher told him about the Muslims' Qu'ran explicitly establishing that this body was recovered after drowning, while the Christians' Gospel (Matthew and Luca ) narrated only the story of pharaoh when he was chasing Messenger Musa( SAWS) without mentioning the fate of his body at all.

"Is it believable that Mohammed ( SAWS) knew about this over one thousand years ago while I have only just known it ?!" he said to himself .

Maurice spent a sleepless night, and asked for a version of the Torah. He devoted part of his time to reading the Exodus in the Torah which read, "And the water turned to drown the military tools and horses of Pharaoh's army, chasing all of them until it left nobody".

But this text only furthered Bukaille's astonishment; since even Torah did not narrate that the body was recovered and remained intact due to the processing and restoration which it did undergo.

France sent back the mummy to Egypt in a splendid glass coffin. But , since he knew about the story circulated by Muslims on the intactness of this body, he decided to pack his baggage and travel to Saudi Arabia where a medical conference happened to be held with a galaxy of Muslim anatomists attending.
There, told them about his discovery, i.e. that Pharaoh's body was kept intact even after he drowned. One of the conferees opened the Mos'haf and read out the ayah in which Allah, SWT, said, " So today We will (safely) deliver you with your body that you may be a sign to the ones succeeding you; and surely many among mankind are indeed heedless of Our signs.” (Yunus, ayah 92).
In his excitement, he stood before the attendants and loudly said, "I have converted to Islam and believed in this Qu'ran"

Bucaille's Achievements:

Back to France, Maurice Bucaille completely changed and spent ten years only busy conducting a study as to how far the recently scientific facts match that mentioned in the Holy Qu'ran, trying to reassure himself that the Qu'ran has never contradicted with any single scientific fact, so that he eventually came up with the conclusion that Allah, SWT, said of the Qu'ran, "Untruth does not come up to it before (Literally: between its two hands) it nor from behind it; a successive sending down from (One) Ever-Wise, Ever-Praiseworthy.

These years which French Maurice spent conducting this study did bear fruit, after which he came up with a earth shaking book on the Holy Qu'ran which jolted the entire Western states, with the title of the book reading ," The Bible, The Qu'ran and Science, The Holy Scriptures Examined In The Light Of Modern Knowledge"

All of a sudden, the book sold out , and even hundreds of thousands of it were translated from French to Arabic, English, Indonesian, Persian, Turkish and German, extending to include nearly all East and West bookstores; one has come to see it with any Egyptian, Moroccan or Gulf person in the US.

Mad Reactions:

Some of the Jewish and Christian Clergy, out of malicious hatred, have come to counter the facts which the book established. However, what they wrote was nothing but a futile debate and desperate attempts through devilish suggestions. One of them, by name of Dr. William Campbell, authored a book titled, "Qu'ran and Holy Scripture, in the Light of History and Science" . In this book of his, he wandered and wandered but in the end he failed to achieve anything. More surprisingly, a Western scholar kept on reading the book authored by Bucaille in an attempt to counter it, and by the time he ended it, he had converted to Islam and openly uttered the two parts of the Sahabah!

In the preface of his book, Maurice Bucaille said," These scientific areas which Qu'ran established to the exclusion of other Scriptures filled me with deep surprise early on, since it never struck my mind to see such a large amount of scientific issues in such a variable and accurate way that they are a mirror image of what has recently been discovered in a book which has existed for more than 13 centuries.!!

He also said," First, I studied the Holy Qu'ran in a subjective and unbiased way, in an attempt to find by myself that the Qu'ran texts and the givens of the modern science match and do not conflict. Before this study, I earlier knew, through the translated versions of the Qu'ran, that the Qu'ran stated so many natural phenomena. Thanks to the in -depth study of the Arabic text , I managed to gather a list of scientific signs in the Qu'ran, after which I realized that the Qu'ran contains no refutable ayahs, nor did I see scientific ayahs in the Qu'ran which contradict with the recently discovered facts. In the same subjective and unbiased way of research, I scrutinized the Old Testament and Holy Scriptures. Concerning the Old Testament, I needed not go further after I read the Exodus and found no harmony between its texts and the decided scientific givens in our age. Concerning the Holy Scriptures, one can easily read a text in Matthew Gospel which is in stark contrast with that in Luca, and that the latter presents us with matters which does not absolutely go with the modern science as to Man's life on earth"
Dr. Maurice Bucaille also said, "Anyone who reads the Qu'ran for the first time sees a book which abounds with accurate and easy –to- understand scientific subjects. While one fails to find any contradiction or errors in the Qu'ran, the current Torah abounds with fatal scientist errors. This prompts us to say that if the author of this Qu'ran was a human, then how did he write about facts which never belonged to his age!?"

His book The Bible, The Qu'ran and Science, The Holy Scriptures Examined In The Light Of Modern Knowledge was such a marvelous piece of writing that, in the year 1988, the French Academy awarded him its prize in history.

Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing.

Actually, a very nice Christian gentleman asked me through email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. So this is more or less a copy of the letter that I sent back to him.

How It Happened

My name is Yusuf Estes and I am the National Muslim Chaplain for American Muslims, sponsored by a number of organizations here in Washington, DC. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Quran in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside of rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Most of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons. Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of "Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God" (Arabic = 'Islam').

Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself, I was trying to give a bit of background on my own personal experience to see if it would in anyway benefit you in your ministry. This may seem quite strange that I would offer to help you, while we perhaps share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as you. Really, I was. Let me explain.

I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated in Houston, Texas in 1949 (I'm old). We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the "Gospel" or as we say; "Good News." My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was "Islam". Why? Good question.

Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called "Estes Music Studios."

Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. I made millions of dollars in those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I'm sure you have asked yourself the question; "Why did God create me?" or "What is it that God wants me to do?" or "Exactly who is God, anyway?" "Why do we believe in 'original sin?" and "Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his 'sins' and then as a result be punished forever. But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a 'mystery' and you shouldn't ask.

And then there is the concept of the 'Trinity.' If I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how 'one' could figure out to become 'three' or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people's sins, but rather and had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people. Keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it.

Then one day in 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible.
I was shocked. How could this be? But that's not all, they believe in Jesus as:

·          a true messenger of God;

·         prophet of God;

·          miracle birth without human intervention;

·          he was the 'Christ' or Messiah as predicted in the Bible;

·          he is with God now and most important;

·          He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the 'Antichrist.'

This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people?

My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became and ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the "Prayer Tower" in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.

Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording "Praise" tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly. And then in 1991 he began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that. Then my father mentioned that this man was a 'Moslem.'

I couldn't believe my ears.

A 'Moslem?'

No way!

I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people, how they are

Terrorists; hijackers; kidnappers; bombers and who knows what else?

  • Not only that but:
  • They don't believe in God
  • They kiss the ground five times a day and
  • They worship a black box in the desert.

No!
I did not want to meet this 'Moslem' man. No way!

My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting.

But on my terms.

I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: "Jesus is Lord" right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the 'Moslems.'

When I came into the shop and asked my father where the 'Moslem' was, he pointed and said: "He's right over there."

I was confused. That couldn't be the Moslem. No way.

I'm looking for a huge man with flowing robes and big turban on his head, a beard half way down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead.

This man had no beard. In fact, he didn't even have any hair on his head at all. He was very close to bald. And he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn't make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?

Never mind. I'll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be 'saved' and me and the Lord are going to do it.

So, after a quick introduction, I asked him:

"Do you believe in God?"

He said:

"Yes."

(Good!)
Then I said:

"Do you believe in Adam and Eve?"

He said:

"Yes."

I said: "What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?"

He said:

"Yes."

Then I asked:

"What about Moses?"

"Ten Commandments?"

"Parting the Red Sea?"

Again he said:

"Yes."

Then:
"What about the other prophets, David, Solomon and John the Baptist?"

He said:

"Yes."

I asked:

"Do you believe in the Bible?"

Again, he said:

"Yes."

So, now it was time for the big question:
"Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?"

Again the said:

"Yes."

Well now:

"This was going to be easier than I had thought."
He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn't know it.

And I was just the one to do it, too.

I was winning souls to the Lord day after day and this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these 'Moslems' and 'convert' him to Christianity.

I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs.

While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man's way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian.

Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.

First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could of course interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.

One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he have been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.

Of course I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas -- Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.

One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn't matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.

I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to 'witness' to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God's Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can't really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.

After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don't handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: "I am a Catholic priest."

I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?

The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York's 'Hell's Kitchen.' When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.

During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.

After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart's 'Good News For Modern Man." The priest of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one, than we did trying to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.

At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in it's entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes.

This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.

Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn't really 'do' anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: "They left? Without any speeches or singing?" He said that was right.

A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: "Pete? -- Did you become a 'Moslem?'
He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A MUSLIM!! What next? (You'll see).

So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth. I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through. By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims) I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father's house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.

Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: "O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me." And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn't see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop lying and cheating and doing sneaky business deals. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do. So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was 'washing' away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof.

Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacobs, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my 'shahadah' (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him).

A few minutes later, my wife follow along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third).

My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).

The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.

My father's wife was the last of all to acknowledge that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God.


Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest. A minister of music and preacher. An ordained minister and builder of Christian schools. And they all come into Islam! Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam without any blinders on their eyes any longer.

If I were to stop right here, I'm sure that you would have to admit that at least, this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.

But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in BAPTIST SEMINARY COLLEGE!

There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn't enter Islam. He replied: "What? And loose my job?" - His name is Father John and there is still hope for him yet.

More? Yes. The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.

Any more? Again, yes. Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.

And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.

Why? Good question.
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the mind:

1.) Clean their mind, their heart and their soul real good.
2.) Clear away all the prejudices and biases
3.) Read a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language       that they can understand best.
4.) Take some time.
5.) Read and reflect.
6.) Think and pray.
7.) And keep on asking the One who created you in the first place, to guide       you to the truth.
8.) Keep this up for a few months. And be regular in it.
9.) Above all, do not let others who are poisoned in their thinking influence       you while your are in this state of "rebirth of the soul."

The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.

So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.

And once again I thank you for your email today. If you hadn't sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how "Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam."

May Allah guide you on your journey to all truth. Ameen. And May He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life, ameen.

Peace to you and Guidance from Allah the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.

Yusuf Estes
Chaplain Yusuf Estes


 

 

 

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