“…I was sat at home in front of the television, flicking from channel to channel. I accidently switched to an Arabic channel where there was a live transmission from the Ka’bah in Makkah at prayer time. The image moved me; people bending down, prostrating, standing side by side, from different parts of the world wearing the same clothes worshipping the same God, the One True God. Everything seemed so clear now. It was almost like looking into a mirror. I saw my true self.
I went to the library and picked up a translation of the Qur`an. I didn`t know quite what I was going to find, but what I read left me in wonder and exceeded all my expectations. I began to read about Jesus (‘alayhis-salaam) and his mother Mary. Prior to this I had never thought of Jesus as being a prophet of Islam, in fact I was under the impression that Muslims disliked him. Then I turned to some verses about the prophets Lot and Solomon (‘alayhis-salaam). God spoke of them as being noble prophets, unlike in the Bible. Even before this I could never understand how these people could commit such crimes as they were accused of in the Old Testament when they were the ones sent as examples for us.
This was my first encounter with the Qur`an. I had feelings not only of joy and amazement, but also of relief. I didn`t know a book like this actually existed, it seemed almost too good to be true!
I really believe that in the life of each and every person Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) makes Himself manifest to them in some way or another. In their heart everyone knows the reality of His existence, even though externally they may try to cover up the truth.
Looking back at my life when I started to think about religion, it never occurred to me to even consider Islam. Maybe this was due to the inward fear I had of Islam, or Islamaphobia as it is called. Whenever I saw a man with a beard and Islamic dress, a woman in hijaab, I felt threatened. The words fundamentalism, violence and terrorism sprang to mind. I let the media do my thinking for me instead of considering the facts for myself.
I used to think of religion as something that was not supposed to make sense, you shouldn`t think too deeply about it or ask too many questions, but just believe. In fact I was afraid that by getting an education and going on to university I`d end up becoming an atheist! But with Islam, the more I look into it the more I realise how beautiful this deen is. The laws are just and unparalleled. It is the Truth, the universal message, and the greatest blessing Allah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala) has bestowed upon Mankind. Alhamdulillah that a person like me has recognised it as such.”