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What I found in Islam? (My target readers are non Muslims)
Author/Source:   Posted by: Mahfooz ur Rahman
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What I found in Islam? (My target readers are non Muslims)

By the Grace of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful, I was born in a Muslim home. My parents were God fearing, kind, simple and honest Muslims .My mother taught the basics of Islam.. These basic things were so ingrained in my mind that I couldn’t move forward without them. My father taught me hard work and simple and honest living.

2. , I was a normal young man addicted to listening music and watching movies .My late father used to wake me up to say my prayers. However , my attitude towards Islam was a non serious one till I suffered a setback .I was greatly depressed .In my despair , I met an holy man He was in his mid 70s . He was an ordinary rustic . He became my guide . But he turned my life . His message was a simple one that if I left a single prayer , the connection between him and me would be snapped because the connection was made by the Blessings of Allah . From this day onwards I did not miss a single prayer. After his death in September 1980 , I have yet to meet such a man . I had many ups and downs since then ; many moments of despondency and anxiety . But in these moments I felt that I am never alone . Some Supreme Being is shielding me.

3. I did not care to seek knowledge of other religions for most in my life . I joined the Presentation Convent High School, Rawalpindi in 1949 and left it in January 1954 because I had to go a high school. From 1949 till 1953, I had plenty of opportunities each year to observe to rites of the Roman Catholic Church because the school was owned by a Catholic mission. At the age of four, one is at an impressionable age .In the school, there was a small chapel where the mothers and sisters of the school used to pray .I often saw their prayers with fascination .I used to think that their prayers were quite unlike our prayers. They used to sing hymns and participate in singing choirs .In front of the chapel, three figures were placed on the ground. Gradually I came to know that those figures represent God, Christ and Mary or God the father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. . At that age, I did not know that this was idol worship The nuns, who were teachers in the school, used to dressed in their habits. All things, the dresses, the chapel, the procession, the singing astonished me.

4. From January 1954 to March 1957 , I attended the Saint Mary’s Cambridge ,Rawalpindi and from April 1957 till June 1961 the Cadet College , Hasan Abdal and from 1962 to 1966 the Gordon College , Rawalpindi from where I did my Masters in English Literature .In the first two schools , an obnoxious smell pervaded the whole atmosphere .This smell disappeared when General Zia ul Haq became the President . One can smell that when one happens to travel next to a non Muslim.

5 In the Cadet College , the atmosphere was entirely different . First of all , Islamiat was taught as a subject .There the cadets used to observe a boycott against those who did not fast . Resultantly the defaulting ones were perforce made to fast for fear of the boycott. One of the books included in the syllabus was ‘Muhammad the Holy Prophet(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ). I read it numerous times. Subsequently , I read many books on him but this book remains one of my favourite books written on him .

6. However, I had an opportunity to listen to a debate between Ahmed Deedat and Reverend Shanker of the USA in 1986 when I attended a course in Lahore. After that I brought home many cassettes of Ahmed Deedat. When cable TV was introduced in Pakistan and in to my home, we enjoy listening to lectures by Dr. Israr, Dr. Zakar Naik and Ahmed Deedat and many more. I became fascinated by Dr. Zakir and Deedat when they spoke about Christianity. After I read about the History of Christianity and the History of Papacy and my study of Christianity has led me to believe that Christianity is mere fiction.

7. I went to a course in Geneva, Switzerland in 1978. However . before going there, I performed Umra. In Europe, we went visited churches and cathedrals in different cities either individually or as a group. In each church or a big cathedral I encountered a strange feeling of hollowness . The cathedrals or churches appeared empty of God . In Mecca, I felt the presence of the Almighty .He was in His Full Glory as Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient : The Creator of the heavens and earth .In Mecca and particularly in the Holy Kaaba, Muslims feel as if they are being governed by a Superior and a Supreme Power. Nothing moves without His Will. There was a feeling of Greatness. It was breath taking.

8. This is a brief introduction to my evolution . I cannot write about God .No one can because of the vastness of the subject. Later on I had an opportunity to learn other religions . Unlike Islam , every religion has symbols of God . However , when one thinks about the enormous dome over our heads which does not end , the sun , the moon , the stars , the whole solar system one appreciates the Majesty of Allah ..Muslims believe in one unseen Allah .
Surah 112 - Al Ikhlas THE PURITY OF FAITH
112.001 Say: He is God, the One and Only;
112.002 God, the Eternal, Absolute;
112.003 He begetteth not, nor is He begotten;
112.004 And there is none like unto Him.

9. I did observe His Majesty with the growth of my children . And now I am observing it with the growth my grandchildren. I was born without a blemish on my person . Throughout my life , I feel I have had an easy sailing . My faculties of sight , hearing , speaking ,smell and touching are intact. Besides , I found love at home , in school and work . God’s love is all encompassing . Even a ferocious lioness loves her cubs. I once learnt a lesson of love from my schooldays friend , Arshad Nasar . He told me that even the ruthless of the ruthless holds someone very precious to his heart . He gave the examples of Stalin’s love for his daughter , Svetlena and Hitler’s love for Eva Braun .

10. Air is everywhere . It cannot be rationed like food and water . Air is a necessity of life . Every time I go to my garden , I feel a soulful bliss seeing the lush grass and myriad coloured flowers . I thank Allah for the difference of colour and sweet smell . Each flower has a distinct colour and smell . Allah’s marvels are numerous . I once went to the garden to see the rose bushes . I saw to my great surprise that one of the stems of one rose bush had two flowers of different colours : yellow and red . I thanked Allah for this magnificence . On an another occasion one of my friends pointed out to me a shisham tree near his house on the Mall which had mulberry branches .

11. Indeed I have much to thank Allah for . My late parents were enlightened enough to educate me in the finest possible educational institutions . The career chosen by Allah was such that it offered me the least temptation otherwise chances were that I am may be tempted, weak as I was . Hence the commitment that I gave to my late father that I would work honestly and to the best ability to serve the people of Pakistan had been dishonoured. I thank Allah for enabling me to differ my bosses even at any cost . I was blessed with a wonderful wife and children. My wife and children were not demanding . I thank Allah that they and I were able to distinguish between good and evil : right and wrong . We are blessed that we are givers and not borrowers .

12. Islam is a simple religion . It is free from intricate customs that are found other religions . Its tenets are given in Islamic books . Many prophets of Allah were sent through the ages . All Prophets were noble by birth . Islam teaches the Muslims to venerate all the prophet . None can be a Muslim unless one honours them. Thus we honour Abraham , Moses , David , Solomon , Joseph , Isaac , Jacob ,Job, Jonas ,Jesus . Islam also taught us to honour Mary (Hazrat Bibi Maryam ). Islam bestows a great honour on her that she will be one of the four venerated ladies in heaven : the other three will be Hazrat Aasiya , the wife of the pharaoh , Hazrat Khadija and Hazrat Fatima ( the wife and daughter of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him).

13. The Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) was born an orphan in Mecca . His father died before his birth . His mother also left him when he was six years old . He lived in Mecca uptil the age of fifty three before his migration to Medina. The inhabitants of the city saw him in different phases of his life . They saw him as a boy ; in his youth ; as a husband ; as a father ; as a teacher and guide of people . Four times in his life , others vouchsafed for his nobility of character . Twice his by his inveterate foes : once when the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) asked the people of Quraish if he were to tell them that an army was about to attack Mecca would they believe him . Abu Jahl told him that he was Amin and Siddiq meaning thereby that his was truthful . On another occasion , Abu Safyan went to the court of King Heraclius of Rome . In an interview with the King , Abu Safyan praised his noble soul .

14. And twice he was praised by his friends . When the Quraish asked Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq whether it was correct what the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) told them he ascended to the heavens , Hazrat Abu Bakr says Muhammad( Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) that that would be correct. On another occasion when the Quraish sent a delegation to the court of the King of Abbasynia to hand over the Muslims to them , Hazrat Jafar bin Abu Talib made a speech which impressed the King and his court ..

15. His nobility , his kindness and his goodness are proved by two incidents .The first was the Treaty of Huddibiyya ( a place near Mecca) between the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) and the Muslims on the one side and the disbelievers on the other side which put the former to a disadvantage in the short term . However , in the long run , the Muslims were victorious and they conquered Mecca . And what were the terms of the conquest . No drop of blood was shed on this occasion .

16. Second was the Conquest of Mecca. Those writers who say that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) was intolerant must carefully read the events leading to the Conquest of Mecca to understand his noble nature . Abu Sufyan , his inveterate foe whose wife had lost her father and many more kinsmen at the Battle of Badr and who engaged a negro slave , Weshi to slay Hazrat Hamza , the uncle and foster brother of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) , went out in search of the Muslim army . He met Hazrat Abbas , another uncle of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) . Hazrat took Abu Sufyan to the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) . What transpired there at the meeting has been recorded by Hafiz Ghulam Sarwar in his book ‘ Muhammad , the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him )(Page 302-303). After that meeting, the Holy Prophet announced ‘ He who enters the house of Abu Sufyan shall be safe . He who shuts himself up in his own house and locks his door shall be safe and he who the Mosque at Mecca shall be safe ‘. There was no blood bath which often happens in the annals of history .

17. Any number of UN Resolutions cannot match the kindness and generosity of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) when it comes to the treatment of the prisoners of war. There was no blood bath which happens in battles by the Huns , the Mongols and particularly by the Christians . Examples are rife of the inhuman treatment meted by the followers of the Cross when the Crusaders invaded any Muslim territory during the crusades . Examples can be found of the inhuman treatment of the German prisoners of was during the two great wars . In Iraq , ten million have been killed by the American forces . A similar number have been killed in Afghanistan by the Americans . In both countries , the Americans were trying to win over the hearts and minds of the natives . Earlier , the Americans tried to win over the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese during 1957 to 1975 i.e. 18 years . Earlier the French were fighting the Vietnamese in their country from 1954 till 1957 . Those who claim that the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) was intolerant should look at themselves , their leaders and the Popes and the Christian clergy

The Charter of Madina.

18. After the Battle of Badr in 2 Hegira, the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) signed a Charter with the Jews of Madina to protect the small Muslims community and to protect the Jews against the rest of pagan Arabia.

19. It is a hallmark of a great leader he was ,that Islam has emerged as the fastest growing religion in the west . 20000 people are becoming Muslims annually in the USA alone according to a post in the Huffington Post . Again according to the same source the favourite name for male infants in the UK is Muhammad. In the East the might of Russia and seventy years of Soviet rule could not subjugate the will and fierce determination of the Muslims of Russia and territories occupied by the Soviet Bloc. Indeed Imam Shamael is still recognized as a courageous man and thorn in Russain’s side in those territories .

20. Two years after his migration in 2 Hegira, the pagan Arabs of Mecca attacked the Muslims of Madina . In the Battle of Badr, seventy pagan warriors were captured as prisoners of war . The Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) , on the advice of his companions , released them all on the conditions that if any prisoner or his kin was able to pay for his release . If any prisoner was unable to obtain his release on payment of a fixed amount , he would educate ten Muslims.

21. When the world dark in Arabia and everywhere he promoted education. Several of his traditions have been saved by his companions . The Prophet of Islam (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him) said that it is obligatory on each Muslim , male or female, to seek knowledge. He also said, “ Seek knowledge even if you have go to China”. This emphasis on education was such in the days of the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) that the savages and barbarians of Pre-Islamic days became humane and kind hearted and became envoys to the courts of Persian and Byzantine Empires . When the Muslims were victorious in the Battle of Badr , the Holy Prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him ) agreed to release captives who knew to read and write in exchange to teach the Muslims to read and write. And within a few years of his death , Islam produced men who excelled in every field viz, science, mathematics, anatomy, medicine , astronomy , astrology etc when Europe was in the dark ages. Ibn Haitham , Al Khwarzimi, ,Jabir ibn Hayyan, Omar al Khayam, al Kindi,al Razi, al Farabi, ibn Sina ,al Masudi to name a few. Some of these names have been inscribed in various educational institutions of repute throughout the western world .For eg. At the entrance of Inner Temple the name of the Holy Prophet(Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) as the greatest law giver has been written down.. Similarly , at the entrance of the IBM headquarters in Chicago , the names of the famous mathematicians have been written down. The first five names are of Muslims.

In another tradition , he said that the pen of a scholar is better than the blood of a martyr. In yet another of his traditions , he said that a scholar who leaves his home to seek knowledge is shielded by Allah to the moment e reaches home.

22. He , the Righteous Caliphs and saints, who followed him were symbols of love ,kindness ,benevolence, nobility of thoughts and deeds . Islam spread by their efforts. For eg. India was invaded by Muslims warriors led by Sultan Mahmud (17 times) and Muhammad Ghori twice .They went back .But the Muslims saints like Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh , Hazrat Batktiar Kaki , Hazrat Moeen uddin Chisti remained where they preached Islam not by sword but through love . No wonder even today thousands of people irrespective of religion , sect , caste creed and sex go to their mausoleums to seek their blessings ..

23. Similarly ,Islam teaches us to honour all the revealed books .The Holy Quran is the source of wisdom . It is not only a religious book .But it touches all the sphere of human activity . From conception of an infant to the old age for eg. I compare this with cycle to the seasons : January represents the birth and December represents death . The Quranic symbols were taken from everyday life , the cow ,an ant , a spider , the moon , the fig , the market .The Quran told the miracle of the splitting of the moon in two parts . Reading the Quran , one is absorbed in its marvels . For instance , for a long time , it is thought that the earth and everything in it were made of something solid . It was the Quran which belied those thoughts and declared that everything was made of water. The Holy Quran also told that the smallest particle is an atom centuries before modern scientists discovered an atom.

24. Islam teaches us sacrifice for the sake of others . An illustration can be found in an incident after the Battle of Uhud where three Muslims were mortally wounded.. After the Battle when search was being conducted of the dead and wounded . The search team noticed them when they were moaning for water . Each the wounded sacrificed their turn for the others . In this incident the three died but left a supreme example for others to follow. .

25 Charity in Islam involves Zakat , Ushr Sadaqat and Khairat . Each of have been explained in Islamic books . However , I am writing from experience . Once I was watching the TV in a late night show . A prominent Karachi doctor was delivering his address . He said to my great surprise that Pakistanis pay charity much more than many other nations in the world . But their charity remains unrecorded .Daily thousands of people feed at the mazars of saints spread over the entire country . This is but one example .

26. Once I was discussing my experiences with the brother of my grandfather in Lahore . I said that it was my experience that at any time I pray I feel that Allah was concentrating on what I had to say Similarly I feel that others would be having the same experience . Such is Allah’s love for us Each person who prays remains to Him in Allah’s focus.

27. I feel that I am beginning my journey in search of Allah . Though I am pretty late and age has overtaken me, my journey goes on and on till die.

Mahfooz ur Rahman
September 13 2011


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