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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Geert Wilders Party Member, Arnoud van Doorn, Accepts Islam

 

“I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger”

By this phrase the ex-member of Geert Wilders’s right-wing anti-Islam Freedom Party, Arnoud van Doorn, surprisingly declared his conversion to Islam.

Via his account on the famous social networking site,Twitter, Arnoud announced in Dutch his ‘Nieuwe start’ (New start) as a Muslim. The news was confirmed in Dutch news as well.

The news is one of the latest breaking in the Netherlands.

Till the end of 2011, Arnoud van Doorn was a member of the fiery, far-right, anti-Islam, anti-immigration Partij voor de Vrijheid (PVV) Dutch party.

On February 27, 2013, Arnoud posted a tweet in Arabic declaring hisShahadah (Testimony of Faith): Ashhadu an-la ilaha illallah, wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuluhu (I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger).

The phrase is known as the First Pillar of Islam that in order for a person to be a Muslim this conviction is firstly needed.

Given his previous explicit views on Islam, Arnoud’s story was a shock to many who doubted and harshly criticized the announcement, which is still a subject of debate on twitter. In another tweet, he expressed his grief and discomfort with ‘the many hateful comments on social media’.

Arnoud account was deluged with hundreds of followers and positive comments backing and congratulating his choice. To them he posted a late tweet in both English and Arabic expressing his gratitude: ‘Thanks for all the support!’

In face of strong attacks on Twitter, Arnoud declined to comment on the reasons or circumstances behind his conversion, confirming that the choice is his own and that his religion was ‘a matter of privacy’.

We all welcome Arnoud to Islam and ask God to guide him to His right path.

We all welcome Arnoud to Islam and ask God to guide him to His right path.

He just stated that more details about his conversion will be released soon.

And it is…

In an interview with Al-Jazeera.net, Doorn made it quite certain confirming the truth of his conversion, and thus removing  the spreading doubts about it.

‘Anyone who knows me closely can just predict the decision. For more than a year now I have been learning deeply about Islam through books and talks.

‘No doubt, other than those close, many are shocked by the decision, particularly those who know of my anti-Islam stands. And this is why they are questioning it.’

On the grounds for his decision Arnoud explained: ‘I’m a person who is looking beneath the surface of things, so I judge them not according to the appearance or just what’s said and heard.

‘After communicating with a Muslim colleague at The Hague’s city council- and after long discussions in fact- he directed me to the Sunni mosque where I was embraced with all kindness and affection. My decision came later as I freely embraced Islam. And it is one of my own, out of the question.”

And on quitting a party known with its open enmity against Islam, and being at time one of its voices, Doorn said: ‘We all make mistakes. But, regardless of that, I see for every life experience there’s a meaning. And my own experience has its relevance to my new choice.’

‘ I’ve learned so much from such experience. And I believe it is the reason why I am a Muslim now. It is a new beginning of my life I ask God to guide me through’, He concluded.

Certainly, guidance is from Allah (Exalted is He), and Arnoud is the very example.

We all welcome Arnoud to Islam and ask God to guide him to His right path.

Ameen.

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Converting to Islam and the Real Meaning of Life

Every single member of the human race is born innately knowing that God is one.

Every single member of the human race is born innately knowing that God is one.

 

Many people around the globe spend countless hours reading and studying the principles of Islam; they pour over translations of the meanings of the Qur’an and are held entranced by the life and times of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Many need only a glimpse of Islam and convert immediately. Still others recognize the truth but wait, and wait and keep on waiting, sometimes to the point of putting their hereafter in peril. Therefore today we discuss the sometimes not so obvious benefits of converting to Islam.

And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Aal `Imran 3:85)

Converting to Islam is the first step in establishing a lifelong connection to the Creator

Every single member of the human race is born innately knowing that God is one.   Prophet Muhammad said that every child was born in a state of fitrah (pure nature), with the correct understanding of God. (Muslim)

According to Islam this is a natural state of being, instinctively knowing there is a Creator and naturally wanting to worship and please Him. However those who do not know God or establish a relationship with Him may find the human existence puzzling and sometimes even distressing. For many, allowing God into their lives and worshipping Him in a way that is pleasing to Him gives a whole new meaning to life.

Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest. (Ar-Ra`d 13:28)

Through acts of worship such as prayer and supplication, one begins to feel that God is close at hand, through His infinite knowledge and wisdom. A believer is secure in the knowledge that God, the Most High, is above the heavens, and comforted by the fact that He is with them in all their affairs. A Muslim is never alone.

He knows what goes into the earth and what comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And God is the All-Seer of what you do. (Al-Hadid 57:4)

Converting to Islam reveals God’s mercy and forgiveness towards His creation

As feeble human beings we often feel lost and alone. It is then that we turn to God and seek His Mercy and Forgiveness. When we turn to Him in true submission His tranquility descends upon us. We are then able to feel the quality of His mercy and see it manifest in the world around us. However in order to worship God, we need to know Him. Converting to Islam opens the gateway to this knowledge, including the fact that God’s forgiveness knows no bounds.

Many people are confused or ashamed of the many sins they have committed over the course of their lives. Converting to Islam completely washes those sins away; it is as if they never happened. A new Muslim is as pure as a new born baby.

Say to those who have disbelieved (that) if they cease, what has previously occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return (to hostility), then the precedent of the former (rebellious) peoples has already taken place. (Al-Anfal 8:38)

If after converting to Islam a person commits more sins the door to forgiveness is still wide open.

O you who believe! Turn to God with sincere repentance! It may be that your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise)… (At-Tahrim 66:8)

Converting to Islam teaches us that trials and tests are part of the human condition

Once a person converts to Islam he begins to understand that the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of this life are not random acts of a cruel and unorganized universe. A true believer understands that our existence is part of a well-ordered world, and life is unfolding in exactly the way God, in His infinite wisdom, has ordained.

God tells us we will be tested and He advises us to bear our trials and tribulations patiently. This is difficult to understand unless one embraces the Oneness of God, the religion of Islam, where God has given us clear guidelines about how to behave when faced with trials and tribulations. If we follow these guidelines, found in the Qur’an and the authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad, it is possible to bear afflictions with ease and even be grateful.

And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient ones (Al-Baqarah 2:155)

Prophet Muhammad said:”A man will be tested according to the level of his religious commitment, and the trials will keep affecting a believer until he is left walking on the face of the earth with no burden of sin whatsoever”. (Ibn Majah)

A Muslim knows with certainty that this world, this life, is no more than a transient place, a stop on the journey to our eternal life in either the hell fire or the paradise.  To face the Creator with no burden of sin is a marvellous thing, certainly worth the tests that befall us.

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Source: islamreligion.com.

 

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Son of Former Anti-Islam Advocate Accepts Islam

By Muaz Shabandri

Son of Arnoud van Doorn

Iskander with his father Arnoud. (KT photo Muaz Shabandri)

Arnoud van Doorn’s son, Iskander Amien De Vrie, was one of the 37 people who converted to Islam during the Dubai International Peace Convention.

The son of Arnoud van Doorn, the famous Dutch policy maker and distributor of an anti-Islam film Fitna (Sedition), that caused unrest in 2008, surprised the audiences at the three-day Dubai International Peace Convention by 
embracing Islam.

“I bear witness that there is no God to be worshipped but Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is His worshipper and last messenger,” said Iskander in his Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) to become a Muslim.

In the Father’s Footsteps

Arnoud van Doorn shot to fame in 2008 as one of the names associated with the anti-Muslim film Fitna, which was released in 2008. The film promoted misconceptions about Islam and Arnoud was one of the film’s distributors.

Five years later, Arnoud was a changed man having learned more about Islam, which he today calls as ‘a religion of peace’. He converted to Islam after learning more about the religion and his decision shocked the world.

“I saw my father become more peaceful after converting to Islam. That’s when I realized there is something good in this religion and it made me change my perception of Muslims. I started studying the Qur’an and going through lectures of important scholars,” said Iskander in an interview with Khaleej Times.

Iskander, 22, credited his college friend Younis for setting a good example of what Muslims really are and how they live their life.

“My friend Younis is a good practicing Muslim who taught me something new every day. He was patient with me and there was no way I could be rude to him,” said Iskander.

Iskander also drew inspiration from his father’s life and how he underwent a transformation to become a more peaceful person.

Correct the Mistake

Talking about the anti-Islamic movie Fitna, Arnoud called it a “mistake”, which he deeply regretted.

“There is a misconception among people that I produced the movie Fitna, but I wasn’t involved in it. I was only responsible for distributing the movie. Today, it is something that I deeply regret.”

Arnoud hopes to produce a movie about the righteousness preached in Islam and correct his earlier “mistakes”.

“I feel an urge and a responsibility to correct the mistakes I have done in the past. I want to use my talents and skills in a positive way by spreading the truth about Islam. I am trying to make a new movie about Islam and the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

It would show people what examples the Prophet set in his life and the 
movie would invite younger 
people to Islam.”

With both the father and son now leading life as Muslims, the astonishing story was talked about by speakers and scholars even after the convention was over.

Arnoud is now calling on people to support his Islamic Foundation, which is fighting Islamophobia in Europe. Having started the European Da`wah Foundation, Arnoud has come a full circle from his earlier days as a member of the right-wing anti-Islam Freedom Party.

His team of volunteers works towards bridging the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims and helping people clear their misconceptions about Islam.

Iskander now plans to take a trip to Saudi Arabia to perform `Umrah and hopes his mother would also embrace Islam soon.

Watch such an overwhelming, incredibly touching moment here…

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Source: khaleejtimes.com

Read Also:

Former Anti-Islam Advocate, Arnoud van Doorn, in Hajj

Geert Wilders Party Member, Arnoud van Doorn, Accepts Islam

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

The Deeds Most Beloved to God: The Gates to Goodness

First of all, the Muslim must commit to perfecting all the mandatory acts of worship. Thereafter, each one may find certain acts of worship which He likes most and make them His way to getting closer to the pleasure of Allah.

The Companions were keen to draw closer to Allah so; they used to ask the Prophet about the means for accomplishing that goal.

Here are some of the Prophet’s answers: (Note: The answers will vary according to the person and the situation)

Dhikr

Narrated Mu`adh ibn Jabal, I asked the Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is more beloved to Allah, He said: “To die while your tongue is wet with the remembrance of Allah.” (Ibn Hibban and At-Tabarani)

Praying on Time, Being Good to Parents, and Jihad

Narrated `Abdullah ibn Mas`ud, ”I asked the Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds are most beloved to Allah? He said: ‘Praying on time” then I asked and which is next?

He said: ‘Kindness to parents’, then I asked, and which is next? He said: ‘Jihad in thecause of Allah’ and, if I asked him for more, he would have given me more.” (Al-Bukhari)

Devote all of your worship to Allah,

Be good to your Kin,

Ordain good and forbid bad

Itis reported from a man from Khath`am, who said, “I came to the Prophet and, he wasamongst his Companions and, I said, ‘you are the one who claims to be the messenger ofGod?’ He said: ‘Yes’. I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which of the deeds is morebeloved to Allah?’ He said: ‘Faith in Allah’. I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which isnext?’ He said: ‘Kindness to the kin’. I said, ‘Oh Messenger of Allah, which is next?’ Hesaid, ‘Ordaining good and forbidding bad’.” (Abu Ya`la)

Be good to your Muslim brother,

Help him with his needs,

Pay off his debt, and bringhappiness to his heart

Control Your Anger and Rage

Narrated Ibn `Umar that a man came to the Prophet and said: Oh Messenger of Allah,which of the people is more beloved to Allah and which of the deeds is so? The Messenger of Allah said: “The most beloved of people to Allah are those who are mostbeneficial to the people, and the most beloved deeds to Allah, the most High, is to bring happiness to a Muslim, or ease his hardship, or to pay off his debt for him, or to end his hunger. And it is more beloved to me to walk with a brother of mine (in Islam), to run an errand for him than to make I`tikaf (seclusion) in this Masjid (in reference to the Masjid of Al-Madinah) for a month. And he who controls his anger, Allah will cover his shortcomings, and he who suppresses his rage despite being capable of taking it out(against his opponent), Allah will fill his heart with hope on the Day of Judgment, and he who walks with his brother to run an errand for him until it is done Allah will make his feet stable on the Day when feet will be paralyzed.“ (At-Tabarani)

Prayers, Zakat, Fasting, Hajj, Mustahab Fasting and Charity, Night Prayers, Jihad,Control Your Tongue.

Narrated by Mu’adhibnJabal: “I was traveling with the Prophet and, I was close to himwhile we are walking then, I asked him, ‘Oh Prophet of Allah, tell me of a deed that willenter me Paradise and keep me away from the Hell?’ He said, ‘You have asked about agreat matter, but it is easy for those whom Allah will make it easy for; worship Allah anddo not associate partners with him, perfectly perform the prayers, give Zakat (obligatory donations), fast the month of Ramadan and make pilgrimage to the House (Al-Ka`bah).’

And then he said, ‘Should I tell you about the gates of goodness! Fasting is a protection(from Allah’s punishment), Charity puts off the sins, and a man’s Prayer in the middle of the night’ and, then He recited the saying of Allah the Most High:

“Their sides forsake their beds…” until he reached”…that which they do.”, and,then he said, ‘Should I tell you of the head of the matter (meaning the religion), its pillar,and its peak?’ I said, ‘Yes, oh Messenger of Allah.’ He said, ‘The head of the matter andits pillar is the prayers and, its peak is Jihad,’ and, then he said, ‘should I tell you of themalak(the string that holds all the beads together) of the matter?’ I said, ‘Yes, Oh Messenger of God.’ So, he held his tongue and said, ‘Control that.’ Then I said, ‘OhMessenger of Allah, shall we be accounted for what we say?’ He said, ‘May your mother lose you Mu`adh! (Note: the phrase is not interpreted literally), and would anything befall the people in the Hell but the earnings of their tongues.’” (Ahmad and others)

Control Your Tongue and Be Good to Your Neighbors

On the authority of Anas, the Prophet said: “The faith of a servant is not put right until his heart is put right and, his heart is not put right until his tongue is put right and, the man whose neighbor does not feel safe from his harm, shall not enter Paradise.”(Ahmad)

Reciting the Book of Allah with Contemplation

Almighty Allah says,

And those who disbelieve say, ‘Why is not the Qur’an revealed to him all at once?’ Thus (it is sent down in parts), that We may strengthen your heart thereby. And We haverevealed it to you gradually, in stages.(Al-Furqan 25:32)

Know that it is only Allah who guides and misguides and-as He said- all peoples’ hearts are between two of his fingers so, ask Him with humbleness, and humility, and, with certainty that without his help and favor you will perish.

Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us…(Aal `Imran 3:8)

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Source: The article is an excerpt from the paper “Acts of Worship as a Means to Strengthen the Attachment between the Servant and his Lord” by Dr. Hatem Al-Haj whichwas prepared for a conference in Austin, Texas, 2002. It first appeared at drhatemalhaj.com.

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New Muslims Pilgrimage

Former Anti-Islam Advocate, Arnoud van Doorn, in Hajj

Arnoud van Doorn

“I found myself among these faithful hearts”.

A new Muslim now, the once strident Islamophobe, who produced an offensive film about Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), was among the great Muslim gathering of Hajj this year.

Since his spectacle conversion to Islam a year ago, Arnoud van Doorn, former leader of the far-right Dutch Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) and a former anti-Islam activist, has become a dedicated follower of the very religion and the Prophet he harshly antagonized before, even becoming an inspiring example of a devoted Muslim.

Van Doorn bitterly regrets having taken part in the production and creation of the derogatory film Fitna (Sedition), declaring that his visit to the holy sites is just a little atonement for his sins.

“I hope that my tears of regret will wash out all my sins after my repentance”, Van Doorn told Saudi Gazette.

About the peace and tranquility he found during the soul-searching journey he articulated: “I found myself among these faithful hearts”.

A Thing of the Past

Van Doorn was among party leaders who helped produce the offensive film that linked Islam and the Qur’an to terrorism and violence.

But after worldwide Muslim outrage the movie provoked, and with the intention of producing another anti-Islam film, Doorn took to read and learn more about the Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him), before becoming spiritually inspired by divine religion and later embracing it.

As a token of atonement, Von said he will produce a new film that will unfold the truth about essence of Islam and the correct noble personality of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

Now he described Fitna as a blind hostility and totally wrong image which contained a lot of misleading and incorrect information that had nothing to do with the great divine and peaceful religion or its great Prophet.

“I felt ashamed standing in front of the Prophet’s grave. I thought of the grave mistake which I had made by producing that sacrilegious film”, he said.

“I hope that Allah will forgive me and accept my repentance.”

Unmatchable Joy in a Whole New Life

Doorn said that since his arrival in this holy land, he has been living the best days of his life, planning to spend more time in Madinah.

Doorn’s visit to the holy lands in Makkah and Madinah is not the first as, after his conversion, he had come to Saudi Arabia in February to perform `Umrah, where he met the two imams of the Prophet’s Mosque, Sheikh `Ali Al-Hudhaifi and Sheikh Salah Al-Badar, and where he acquainted himself more closely with the basics and rites of Islam.

“I find tranquillity inside my heart when I am near the Prophet Mohamed’s tomb,” he then said.

He was given sermons by the two imams on how to lead the life of a good Muslim and confront challenges facing Islam in the West.

“I will spare no efforts to protect the rights of Muslims in all European countries as well as to serve Islam and its followers throughout the world. I will try my best to repair the damage that I caused to Islam and its Prophet (peace be upon him) through the film ‘Fitna’,” he said then.

“I will use all my experience in producing an alternative film, which will speak about the true image of Islam and all aspects of the personality of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as well as his great qualities.”

About his Hajj experience the joy he felt for being in the holy city of Madinah, Doorn posted different tweets reflecting his feelings during Hajj.

“Prayer in the Sacred Rawda #Madinah,” Doorn said in a tweet.

“I’m not complaining about crowds at the Market on Saturday #Jamarat”

“Inspiring meeting with the Imam of The Prophets Masjid His Excellency Ali Al-Hudayfee,” he said in another tweet.

Expressing how Islam impacted his entire life Van said:

“Islam has filled the emotional void I have long desperately felt. I missed many things before embracing Islam,” Arnoud was quoted by Okaz.

“My previous life was futile and aimless.”

But, ”now with Islam, many things have changed” in his life, he added.

That’s why he decided to perform the Hajj; “to seek repentance and forgiveness from Allah.”

_________________________

Source: Saudi Gazette and Agencies

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God Has Chosen You to Be Muslim

As a new Muslim, what has led you to Islam? How did you respond to the call of God?

First, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to you on your wonderful choice of Islam as your religion and I ask God to give you steadfastness on the truth, elevate your status, increase your faith, and strengthen your conviction.

God

Be joyful and pleased and thank Allah, the Exalted, as He has chosen you to be His servant.

A Gift From God

Dear truthful Muslim, Allah, your Lord, has sealed all previous divine laws with those of Islam and has sealed the coming of prophets with the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and called humankind to accept these two things.

Those that accepted the call of Allah have become true believers, they are required to fulfill all religious obligations for which they are entitled to all rights afforded to Muslims.

Be joyful and pleased and thank God, the Exalted, as He has chosen you to be a servant of His amongst many who have been misguided. Your response to the call of Allah and His Messenger is the sole guarantor for a good life as He said in the Qur’an:

O you who have believed, respond to Allah and to the Messenger when he calls you to that which gives you life. (Al-Anfal 9:25)

And He also said:

Whoever does righteousness, whether male or female, while he is a believer – We will surely cause him to live a good life. (An-Nahl 16:97)

Why Islam?

Glad tidings to you and do not despair by what you see in regards to the condition of the Muslims as you have caught on to the mount of those who are making their way to Allah the Exalted and you have become one of them. Do you not know that this religion has spread throughout the four corners of the world and there is no city worldwide except that there are Muslims who worship Allah alone?

This religion has astonished thousands of educated and uneducated people alike who every year come into the fold of Islam convinced by its dominance over all other religions.

Don’t look back, that which has passed in your life has passed and Islam has guaranteed for you a new life free from impurities and sins as if you have been born in to this world again.

You are now unsoiled and pure as our Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) said to one of his companions who wanted to enter Islam, but was afraid for the sins he had committed:

“Do you not know that Islam wipes out the actions that came before it?” (Muslim)

There is no religion that exists that is similar to the religion of Islam -which you have decided to enter- for your Lord is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy, your Prophet is a ‘Mercy to the Worlds’ and the divine laws were revealed through mercy and kindness.

In Islam there are no extreme hardships or impossible regulations, but all commands have come in harmony with your natural disposition and take into consideration your normal and urgent situations.

Be convinced that you will not find an Islamic rule that contradicts your natural disposition or contravenes your life from all angles; rather you will find that Islamic laws have combined between the complete obedience of God (Exalted be He) and your need to have a gracious, sophisticated and pure life.

Be Guided by the Qur’an

Read in the Book of your Lord –the Qur’an– and peruse in it and you will find what you had lost, for indeed it is a complete book that covers all spheres of your life including Tawheed (The Oneness of Allah), worship, anecdotes, history, morals and knowledge through which you will know your Lord as He wants you to know Him with His perfect attributes, His glorified description and His excellent, wise and fair injunctions.

Whatever your education and irrespective of your background, the Book of Allah, will amaze you by its style and words as it has come directly from Allah the Exalted. From Him it has come, to Him it will return, and no falsehood can be found within it.

In fact, there is not a single book in existence that challenges its readers to find a single, even minute mistake or contradiction as Allah the Exalted had challenged the people of eloquence and rhetoric (The tribe of Quraish- the most noble Arab tribe at the time of the Prophet Mohammed).

Then do they not reflect upon the Qur’an? If it had been from (any) other than Allah, they would have found within it much contradiction. (An-Nisaa’ 4:82)

True Belief/Full Submission

Reason, think, perceive, contemplate, traverse through the world and increase yourself in knowledge and understanding are the things that are wanted of you by your Lord in Islam as we find in the Qur’an in numerous places:

Perhaps they will give thought. (Al-Hashr 59:21)

Then will you not reason?  (Al-Baqarah 2:44)

So have they not traveled through the earth and observed… (Yusuf 12:109)

For everything in existence guides you to God and He has given you these senses then sought from you to use them to come to know and believe in Him.

Moreover, with this, our religion is one of acknowledgement and submission and it is Islam that you have chosen to follow to the end of your days until you meet your Lord.

Those things that your intellect and the combined intellect of humankind are unable to comprehend should be entrusted to Allah the Exalted.

You should have full faith in Him and completely submit to him in order to be a true believer.

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

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All Humans Are Inclined to Be Muslims

Allah (the Exalted) sent His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) with a religion to complete all religions and He made it a judge over them and a nullifier of their commandments. Allah has guaranteed that He would preserve this religion from all corruption and alteration and he described it as the ‘Straight Path’ all humans naturally incline to it.

humans

As long as the heart remains capable of accepting truth, it will perceive and be guided to it.

Whoever walks on it will be safeguarded in this world and the Hereafter and whoever turns away from it and walks on another path will be misguided and in ruin because opposing it means that a human being contradicts the natural disposition which Allah has created him upon.

Allah the Exalted said:

So direct your face towards the religion, inclining to truth and turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. That is the correct religion, but most people do not know. (Ar-Rum 30:30)

All Humans Are Naturally Muslims

Allah created the human self in a way that it is naturally inclined to everything that is good, practical and beneficial and to dislike everything that contains evil, corruption and harm.

Therefore, you see humankind incline naturally to good food and drink which is tasty and wholesome and stay away from food that is filthy and harmful.

In the same way, humans incline towards keeping the company of those who have high morals and upright character and keep away from those who are immoral and ill mannered. They love and respect those who have faultless qualities treating such people with decency and respect and at the same time, they do not treat those who have many faults with the same decency and respect.

This is the natural disposition that Allah has created in the human heart and self and He has made the heart capable of accepting the truth as he has created the eyes capable of seeing and the ears capable of hearing.

As long as the heart remains capable of accepting truth it will perceive and be guided to it; but if the heart changes because of following whims and desires, then it becomes misguided and follows falsehood. As we find in the words of the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) who said:

“Allah said: ‘I created my servants as monotheists, but the devils came to them and deviated them from their religion, prohibiting what I allowed and commanding them to ascribe partners to me for which I gave no authority’.” (Sahih Muslim)

“Verily, the Religion with Allah is Islam”

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) has informed us that there is no human born into this world except that he is upon the nature that Allah has created him upon. Then external influences come along that affect and change this nature.

As we find on the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him):

“No child is born except on Al-Fitrah (Islam) but his parents make him Jewish, Christian or Magian, as an animal delivers a perfect young animal: do you see any part of its body mutilated?”

Then Abu Hurairah said: “Read if you will the following verse: “..the natural disposition which God has instilled into man. No change should there be in the creation of Allah. (Ar-Rum 30:30) (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

Subsequently, the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) informed us that it is human nature to follow Islam and to not follow any other erroneous religion or misguided sect that was not revealed by Allah.

Notice how, in the previous narration the Prophet Mohammed did not say “or make them Muslim” as this shows that Islam is the religion of human nature and this is supported by another narration which clearly states this:

“There is no newborn baby, except that he is born on this religion until his tongue allows him to express himself otherwise.” (Muslim)

Why Islam?

Those that get to know the teachings of Islam recognize clearly that it is the truth that must be followed because its teachings nurture the healthy nature of humankind and promote it, and they do not revolt against it as it is made up of the following:

1- It commands us to worship Allah alone ascribing no partners to Him; He is the Creator of the whole universe and for him alone is sovereignty and He alone has power over all things. The healthy human nature requires that he who is described with perfection deserves respect and esteem, so how about He whose perfection is absolute and has no end or limits?

2- Islamic teachings have permitted all things of goodness and have forbidden all things that contain impurity because the healthy nature inclines towards all goodness and keeps away from impurity.

3- The teachings of Islam emphasize the adornment of oneself with good morals and an upright character and has forbidden obscenity and indecency because virtuous individuals prefer everything that is from goodness and reject everything that is indecent.

On the authority of Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet said: “Then I was brought two cups in one of them was milk and in the other one there was wine and it was said to me: Select any one you like. So I selected the cup containing milk and drank it. Then I was told: You have attained what is natural (i.e. Islam) had you selected the wine your nation would have gone astray.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

 

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

Between Heart & Limbs: How to Achieve Reality of Faith

If you contemplate the pillars of faith and Islam, you will see that they have combined between the actions of the heart and limbs.

faith

Based on your nearness to Allah, your knowledge of Him & His religion you will achieve the reality of faith.

“Whosoever testifies that None has the right to be worshiped but Allah Alone who has no partners, and that Mohammed is His slave and apostle, and that Jesus is Allah’s slave and apostle and His word which He bestowed on Mary and a spirit from Him, and that Paradise is true, and Hell is true, Allah will admit him into Paradise through any of its eight gates that he likes.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Faith.. Heart.. Body

Faith addresses the heart with Tawheed (Oneness of God) and conviction; and the pillars of Islam address the body with subservience and subjugation each of them complements the other.

Therefore, based on your nearness to Allah and your knowledge of Him and His religion you will achieve the reality of faith and the soul of Islam.

Look at the divine laws and rulings of Islam and you will see that it contains both ritual worship and daily transactions. The ritual worship is how we deal with our Lord and our daily transactions are how we deal with His creation.

Islam has not neglected any of these aspects at the cost of the other, rather as we are commanded to strive for excellence in our ritual worship we are also commanded to strive for excellence in the way we deal with people. Allah has said:

And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. (Al-Israa’ 17:23)

“Make things easy for people and do not make things difficult. Spread good news and bring them joy do not be harsh and turn them away.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

With these words our Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoined his companions to deal with people as our religion does not have any place for extremism or harshness. Seek closeness to Allah by performing voluntary actions when you have energy and a content heart and you will enjoy your worship and achieve your goals.

Ask Allah the Exalted to bless you with beneficial knowledge and virtuous deeds and sit in the gatherings of knowledge in your mosque and ask any questions that you have. Do not neglect yourself as questioning in Islam for those who want to practice and worship is obligatory as you find in the Qur’an that Allah (the Exalted) has said:

 So ask the people of the message if you do not know. (An-Nahl 16:43)

Path to Success

Your dedication to learning Islam is your path to success and the main cause for your stability so if you want to increase yourself in the strength of your faith then be steadfast in your obedience to Allah as a person’s faith increases and decreases.

It increases with obedience and decreases with sin, so be steadfast as you have been commanded to be by Allah and be punctual in your prayers with your brothers at the mosque.

Attend the religious celebrations and do not be lax in any of the pillars of Islam such as the five daily prayers, obligatory almsgiving, and Hajj as Allah has guaranteed that if you do this, your faith will become stronger, rather you will taste the sweetness of this faith.

The best friend that you have is the one that shows you goodness and helps you to remain upon it and who you can trust in your religious affairs. Find out where the Islamic presentation committees are and follow the way of the good people that work there and attend their educational gatherings and Islamic lectures as these contain many benefits.

Despair Not

Beware of feeling estranged on your path to Allah (Exalted be He). If Allah is with you does it harm you that no one else is with you? It is stated in the Qur’an:

And when the two companies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, “Indeed, we are to be overtaken!” (Moses) said, “No! Indeed, with me is my Lord; He will guide me”. (Ash-Shu`araa’ 26:61-62)

You are always close to Allah wherever you may be; do not despair in the mercy of Allah even if you have shortcomings. Turn to him and ask him for forgiveness for your sins as Allah the Exalted loves those who seek repentance and the door to repentance is open and your Lord is Oft-forgiving.

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The article is excerpted from the book “A Beneficial Summary of Rulings for New Muslim”, published by The Ministry of Endowments & Islamic Affairs, Kuwait- 2nd Edition 1436/2015.

 

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New Muslims Pillars of Islam

Worship in Islam: Its Meaning and Necessity

By Dr. Hatem Al-Haj

Quran_prayer mat

`Ibadah can also be defined as a comprehensive name for all the sayings, actions, and abstinences that Allah loves.

It is the greatest loss for any one of us humans to have lived our entire lives without knowing what we were created for, and that is the worship of God (Allah).

Here I will attempt to address the different issues pertaining to `ibadah (worship) and will rely on the revelation (Quran & Sunnah) for guidance.

The Meaning of `Ibadah in Islam

It is a comprehensive word that means a state of complete subservience, humility, submission, and subjugation, combined with absolute love, and adoration. Such a combination of feelings should only be directed to One Being (God); and would be contradictory with regards to anyone other than Him.

`Ibadah can also be defined as a comprehensive name for all the sayings, actions, and abstinences that Allah loves.

`Ibadah: The Purpose of Our Creation

Allah says:

And We have not created the Jinn and Mankind except to worship Me. (Adh-Dhariyat 51:56)

He who does not fulfill the mission he was created for has wasted his life! It is quite sad to see people work hard for a future about which they have no assurance they will live to have, while neglecting to work for the certain future of all human beings, which starts from the day we depart from this world.

Types of `Ibadah

There are four types of `ibadah:

1- The sayings of the heart

2- The actions of the heart

3- The sayings of the body (tongue)

4- The actions of the body

Now, to have the baseline of faith below which you are not considered a believer, you have to have the baseline of each one of the aforementioned types and, the more you have the higher you transcend in the ranks of faith.

Here we will focus on the sayings and actions of the body including the tongue as a means for strengthening the attachment between the servant and his Lord.

First let us refute a blasphemous argument concerning the acts of worship.

Some deviant people claimed that the ritual acts of worship are not very important and, they can be dispensed with and, the purity of the heart, goodness of intention, and soundness of conduct are the basis of true faith.

This argument is incorrect in many ways:

• If what they say is true, then all these commands by Allah in the Qur’an are vain, and void of meaning, and, if they claim some were exempted, they need to point out to us where the exceptions are.

• The history of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his Companions testifies to the opposite of this argument for, they are the best of all generations and, had it been true that someone is not in need for the ritual acts, they would have been the most deserving of such a “station” however, they were the most observant of all the acts of Islam.

• Rationally, that argument lets those who are the most deviant claim to be the most devout of all, and there will be no parameter with which people are judged. (Knowing that we only judge the exterior and, use it as an indication of the interior; and absolute knowledge only belongs to Allah.)

• What will filter through a pot is that which is inside; Hudhayfah (one of the Companions) said: “If his heart was humble and tranquil his limbs would have been.”

• Those prayers, fasting, and all other actions are the chief means for strengthening man’s attachment to Allah.

O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you that, you may attain piety. (Al-Baqarah 2:183)

• The Prophet said:

“The difference between us and them (non-Muslims) is the prayer; he who abandons it had become a disbeliever” (Muslim)

And he didn’t make any exceptions of that rule.

• To say ‘I am pious enough and, I don’t need to do any of these ritual acts to get closer to Allah’ entails praising oneself and, Allah says:

Have you not seen those who claim sanctity for themselves? Nay, but, Allah sanctifies whom He wills; and they will not be treated with injustice even equal to a thread in the long slit of a date-stone. (An-Nisaa’ 4:49)

• The Christians who claim their religion is faith-based (and not action-based) have opened all gates of evil for the followers of the religion. You only need to believe that Jesus died for you, and you are granted salvation. Your past and future sins have been paid for by someone else.

With this open invitation to evil, it is not surprising to see their communities drowning in sin, such as illegal sexual behavior, drinking, family breakdown, and yes excessive use of violence within and without their communities. After all, no followers of any religion killed more people than the followers of Christianity.

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Source: drhatemalhaj.

Dr. Hatem Al-Haj is the Dean of College of Islamic Studies – Mishkah University .

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Believers and Best Types of Worship

pink flower

The absolute worshiper keeps on moving from one station of servitude to the next.

Types of Worshippers

The people of “Only You do we worship. And only You do we seek help from” (Al-Fatihah 1:5) are four types with regards to the best `ibadah (worship) and most worthy:

The first type, for them, the best `ibadah is the hardest.

The second type, for them, the best `ibadah is asceticism and having disregard for the enjoyments of this life.

The third type, for them, the best `ibadah is that most beneficial for others; they felt helping the poor and taking care of people’s needs and supporting them with money and status is better than the deeds of benefit only to the doer. They said, that is why the superiority of the scholar over the devout worshiper is like the superiority of the (light of) the moon over the other stars.

The fourth type, for them, the best `ibadah is working to attain the pleasure of the Lord at each time by that which is the requirement of that particular time, and its most suitable function.

So, the best `ibadah during the time of Jihad is jihad, even if it leads to foregoing some of one’s routine night prayers or fasting, even if it leads to shortening the mandatory prayers.

And the best `ibadah upon the arrival of a guest is to host them, and doing that even at the expense of some routine preferable works. And the best `ibadah during the latter part of the night is keeping occupied with prayers, reading of the Qur’an, supplication.

And the best `ibadah when approached by a student of knowledge who inquires about the sacred knowledge is to teach him, and the best `ibadah during the sickness of your Muslim brother is to visit him, and if he died to attend his funeral.

Devotion

And those are the true people of the worship that is absolute (in devotion), and the types before them are the people of restricted worship, whenever one of them gets out of his selected acts of worship he feels that he is incomplete. So they worship Allah in one way.

However, the people of absolute worship do not have any biased interest in a particular type of worship that they favor over others, but all they seek is the pleasure of Allah wherever it is.

So, they keep on moving from one station of servitude to the next, whenever a station is presented to them they walk to it, and stay busy with it until another function appears, and so on throughout their journey until they reach their destination.

So, if you search for the scholars you will find them with them; and if you look for the mujahedeen, they will be with them, and with those who remember Allah often; and with those who give charity; and those who devote themselves and hearts for Allah.

And that is the absolute worshiper who was not bound by people’s expectations of his status or restricted by any restraints. And their work was not for the pleasure or interest of their souls in certain worships where they find comfort; they are in the company of Allah without any regard for people, and when they are in the company of people they will have no regard for the self.

Whenever they are with Allah they eliminate the people from being between them and Him, and whenever they are with His creations they eliminate their ‘selves‘ from being in the middle and forsake them.

How great are they; and how strange amongst the people are they, and how isolated they feel with them, and how great is their comfort in the company of Allah, and rejoice in it.

And how great is their serenity and security with him. Allah is the one sought for help and upon him is the reliance.

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The article is an excerpt from the paper “Acts of Worship as a Means to Strengthen the Attachment between the Servant and his Lord” by Dr. Hatem Al-Haj which was prepared for a conference in Austin, Texas, 2002. It first appeared at drhatemalhaj.com.

 

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