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Conversion Stories New Muslims

A German Physician and His Wife Convert to Islam

Watch this interview to learn how the German physician, Kai Luehr, and his Catherine, found logic and rationality in Islam.

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Former Taliban Captive, Yvonne Ridley, Converts to Islam

British-born, award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley is well known in the Muslim world for her outspoken views and defence of Islam. She endeared herself to the Muslim community in Britain when she reverted to Islam 30 months after making international headlines when she was captured by the Taliban on an undercover assignment in Afghanistan. She was a senior reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several prestige titles including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday. Watch this video to know how former Taliban captive, Yvonne Ridley, converted to Islam.

 

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

From Atheism, to Christianity to Islam

someone making du`a'

Step by step, I learned that Islam is not a militant religion.

I once knew an atheist who claimed he had never believed in God’s existence. In his view, believers were supposed to be people of weak character who felt the necessity to find a crutch for their inability and laziness, so they attended church. He felt agitated if, when debating religion, he could not persuade the opponent with his arguments. He despised believers in an almost hysterical way. He had, however, a very good friend who believed in God. They agreed to refrain from discussing religion whenever together.

One day this man, probably in a rare moment of weakness, accepted the invitation of his friend to visit his church. To himself, he laughed at the thought of speaking out in the middle of mass and laughing and pointing his finger at the believers from the pulpit. However, as we know, God works in mysterious ways. He went to church, stood in the back benches, and stared at the people praying.

The mass service started and he gave all of them a sarcastic glance. Then the sermon began, lasting about 15 minutes. Suddenly, in the middle of the sermon, tears welled in his eyes. A strange feeling of joy and happiness washed away his animosity, a feeling that engulfed his entire body. After mass, the two friends left together. They were silent until the moment they were to part ways, when he asked his friend whether they could go to church together again. They agreed to go again the next day.

It’s possible some of you might have guessed that I was that stubborn atheist. I had felt nothing but contempt and hatred towards people of faith. But after that sermon in 1989, when the priest discussed how we should not judge others if we don’t want to be judged, my life suddenly took a dramatic turn.

I started attending church services regularly and was thirsty for any information on God and Jesus Christ. I took part in meetings with Christian youngsters where we exchanged our spiritual experiences. I felt resurrected. Suddenly I felt the need to be in the company of believers. I needed to make up for the past 18 years.

I was brought up in an atheist family, who except for having me baptized, did not exercise any attempt to guide my spiritual development. I remember being in sixth grade when a comrade was sent by the Communist Party to explain to us why God does not exist. I remember myself absorbing his every word. In my case, I needed no convincing. I believed everything he said. His arrogance, contempt, and hatred towards believers became mine. But now I had to make up for all those years.

I met with a priest and others who guided me in this new direction. I was full of so many questions, to which they responded. Later, I was to realize a big mistake: I accepted everything without contemplation or reflection. I could say that they explained things to me in a ‘take-it-as-is’ manner, but that would not be fair to them. It was, in fact, my mistake. I didn’t reflect upon their words, nor did I think critically. This would cause me a lot of complications later. In retrospect, I believe an important factor that influenced my behavior was age. I was too young to properly comprehend matters so serious and complicated as faith.

I wished to become a good Christian, and God knows I tried very hard. Yet over time, I could not reconcile the contradictions found in the Bible, such as the divine nature of Prophet Jesus and the concept of inherited sin. Priests tried to respond to my questions, but eventually, their patience began to run thin. I was told that such matters should be accepted on faith, and that these questions were a waste of time and would only serve to distance me from God. Till this day, I recall myself quarreling with a spiritual leader, an event that restarted my self-destructive tendencies. Maybe I wasn’t right after all. I was young.

How I Became Muslim

My path toward Islam wasn’t easy at all. You may think that since I was disappointed with Christianity, I would have immediately accepted Islam as my faith. This could have been very simple, but all I knew about Islam at the time were things like Muslims refer to God as Allah, they read the Qur’an instead of the Bible, and they worship somebody called Muhammad. Also, I think I was not yet ready to accept Islam.

So I withdrew from the church community and claimed to be a soloist Christian. I found out, however, that even though I didn’t miss the community of believers or church, God was ‘settled’ so deep in my heart that I couldn’t let Him go. I didn’t even try. Quite the opposite. I felt happy to have God around and hoped He was on my side.

Later I began to engage in one stupidity after another, living a life of luxury and lust. I did not realize that such a road would lead me away from God and towards hell. A friend of mine says that you need to hit rock bottom in order to feel the ground beneath your feet. This is exactly what happened to me. I fell really deep. I can just imagine how Satan must have been waiting for me with open arms, but God did not give up on me and gave me another chance.

In July 2001, I met a young man from Iraq. His name was Ibrahim. We very quickly struck up a conversation. He told me that he was Muslim, and I responded that I was Christian. I was worried that my being Christian would be a problem, but I was wrong. I was glad to be wrong. It was interesting that I did not want to become Muslim and he did not try to convert me.

Although I considered Muslims an exotic group, I had been interested to learn more about Islam. It was a good opportunity to learn more. I realized that I had in front of me a man who could teach me a lot about Islam, so I mustered the courage to ask him to do just that. That was my first meeting with Islam, indeed my first step. After some time we parted ways, and I did not see him again, but the seed had been sown.

I remember once reading an interview with Mohammad Ali Silhavy (an old Czech Muslim) and being eager to find his address and write him a letter. Then came September 11. Because of the political climate, I thought it might not be an appropriate time to contact Mr. Silhavy. So I found myself at a dead end.

About two months later, I found the courage to write a long letter to Mr. Silhavy. After a while he replied and sent a package including Islamic literature and leaflets. He told me that he had informed the Islamic Foundation in Prague about me and asked them to send me the translation of the Qur’an. So this was my beginning. Step by step, I learned that not only is Islam not a militant religion, but to the contrary, it is a religion of peace. My questions were answered.

Because of certain circumstances, it wasn’t until three years later that I decided to visit Mr. Silhavy. He showed a lot of patience while explaining to me different issues, and suggested that I visit the mosque of Brno (Czech Republic). When I went to the mosque of Brno, I was afraid that I would be seen as a stranger, an outsider. How surprised I was to find quite the opposite. I met K. and L., who were the first persons to help me. Of course, I met other brothers who welcomed me in the warmest possible way.

I began to delve into all aspects of Islam, and found how understandable and logical Islam is. I gradually started to learn how to pray, and today I master Prayer with no problem, even in Arabic. I gave up a bad habit of mine that was not compatible with Islam. I was a gambler and a very good one indeed. It was a difficult struggle with myself, but with God’s help I won that battle.

If I ever doubted my interest in Islam or whether I could live as a Muslim, I know now that my interest is permanent and I consider myself one of them. Maybe it looks very simple, but again with God’s help I won this internal struggle. I thought carefully before I definitively decided to embrace Islam. To be honest, throughout 2003 and the beginning of 2004, I was not completely sure if I could manage this. Finally I decided definitively. I am not that young man from the early ’90s anymore.

That’s why today I feel very happy that I am Muslim. I finally feel free. I still have my imperfections but I am trying to improve upon them. I believe that God will help me. Now, listen to what I want to tell you and consider this my obligation: I believe in my heart and declare by word that there is no other god but God and Muhammad is God’s Messenger.

________________

Source: Onislam.net

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Articles of Faith New Muslims

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

Brazilian Becomes Muslim in FIFA World Cup

Wold Cup

Analdino Becomes Muslim in FIFA World Cup

At the opening of the World Cup 2014, millions of football fans travelled to Brazil to watch and support their teams. Muslim da`wah groups from all over the world did not miss this global event to spread the teachings of Islam, in hope to get more people to embrace it as a religion.

The Team Mission Da`wah from the British Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) led a campaign in the Brazilian capital Sao Paolo to spread the teachings of Islam.

In a video posted by the Da`wah group on YouTube, a Brazilian young man took the Shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith and the first pillar of Islam, after a short talk with members of the Da`wah groups.

After a brief conversation with the preachers, Analdino, a Brazilian young man, “took the Shahada with John Fontain,” according to the same video.

Analdino said “Muslims are the best,” and gave a special message to other Brazilians about Islam in his own language.

Under the theme “What’s Your Goal?” the members of the Muslim group spread in the crowded streets of Sao Paolo distributing copies of the holy Quran and flyers, trying to enlighten more people about Islam.

“What’s Your Goal?” is the first question they ask people they meet in an attempt to help them believe that “worshiping God directly is the main reason of life.”

“Islam says you worship God directly. You don’t go through Jesus,” said one of the preachers.

Global Da`wah Day

The Islamic Education and Research Academy (IERA) announced in their official website that the campaign, which has already started, “will lead up to a Global Da`wah Day (#GlobalDawahDay) on Saturday 5th of July.”

The da`wah team said that there are people in Brazil who do not know about Islam and they never heard about it.

“Analdino met us in San Bento, he had visited a Mosque before in another city called Brasilia and he found it a very spiritual place, after a brief conversation and we gave him the Qur’an to read”, the team said.

“He took the Qur’an and kissed it twice. Then we said goodbye and parted. After a little while we changed the location of da`wah and went to another area.

There we met him again and this time after a brief conversation he took shahadah with John Fontain. He was so happy to come into the fold of Islam and he said Muslims are the best and he gave a special message to other Brazilians about Islam.”

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Source: moroccoworldnews.com & iera.org.

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Like It or Not, Jesus Practiced Islam

From Christianity, Brother Phil, a French Canadian Muslim, has made his way to Islam.

The journey started ten years ago. Now he has that strongly founded and deeply rooted home in Islam. Over a decade now he has been living the peace and beauty of his choice.

It’s not just a conversion story as it may seem, neither is it a recited poem or story. Rather it’s the facts, the beliefs and the creed put into words.

Listen to the deep and rhythmic words outlining Brother Phil’s spiritual and practical journey, and notice how they tell on the resolution, strength and confidence portrays his character, filling his heart and mind.

This is what he, once a Christian, is certain about and believes in:  ‘like it or not, Jesus (peace be upon him) practiced Islam’.

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

How Alexander Converted to Islam

By Editorial Staff

Alexander – a convert to Islam grew up in a communist family in former Yugoslavia and remained in Bosnia after Yugoslavia fell apart.

He is an actor who lives and works in Sarajevo, a capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and this interview was done during Eddie’s visit to Bosnia few months ago.

Alexander talks about the natural tendency that is inherent in human nature to seek and submit to God (Allah) which came very easy to him.

Eddie mentions about how Alexander appreciates Islam as a convert to Islam more than many Muslims that were born in Muslim families.

Alexander talks about his appreciation for finding out about Islam and comparing with his previous life and having a much better life experiences now as a Muslim. This may be the case with lot of converts to Islam.

He had near-death experiences during the Bosnian war 92-95 which made him think more deeply about death and salvation and he feels being on the safe side as a Muslim now.

Some traditional views on Islam in Bosnia were also mentioned and some misconceptions that mostly come from people’s ignorance and prejudice.

Alexander did his pilgrimage to Makkah as well and he was enlightened with the experience to see how Islam transcends borders, skin color, nationality, languages, etc. and unites people to line up in prayer before their Lord.

His siblings also are converts to Islam and they lead a nice and fulfilling lives.

The video includes a clip of a Serbian priest on a Serbian TV interview praising Muslim women for their chastity and the way they dress protecting themselves and their families.

The Orthodox priest mentions a Christian youth on the other side not dressing appropriately and inviting to sin and expresses his dissatisfaction with the current state of their affairs.

 

 

Source: The Deen Show

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Indian Actress Converts to Islam: I Have Done It and I Am Proud of It

Indian TV actress Dipika Kakar, has embraced Islam before marrying Indian actor Shoaib Ibrahim, changing her name to Faiza for the wedding.

On being asked about the decision of converting to Islam and changing her name, Dipika told Times of India:

“Definitely, it is true and I am not denying it. It was completely my decision. It’s something that I have willingly done, so there’s no question about it being tough”

“I am very happy and proud that I have done it for myself and my happiness. My family was with me in this decision and my intentions were to hurt anyone. This is my decision.”

Ibrahim clarified that before Karkar’s decision to convert to Islam, they had never bothered about belonging to different religions.

“I feel that when you are a celebrity you are constantly under scanner and there are people who love you, but then there are also people who try to bring you down. We have always taken decisions in life only keeping our family in mind, if they are happy and fine then rest of the world doesn’t matter to us. I don’t consider myself a celebrity, we are very simple people and we like to lead a simple life.”

Kakar is not the first Indian celebrity to revert to Islam.

In 2014, well-known young Indian actress Monica decided to be Muslim, biding adieu to her film career and leaving behind the glamorous and the bright lights of fame.

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Source: Times of India

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Conversion Stories New Muslims

Popular Irish Singer, Sinead O’Connor, Has “Proudly” Converted to Islam

By Editorial Staff

Popular Irish singer-songwriter, Sinead O’Connor, has left Catholicism and converted to Islam. The 51-year-old Dublin singer, also known as Magda Davitt, revealed she had changed her name to Shuhada Davitt. Now she has new religion and new name:

Sinead O'Connor

I am proud to have become a Muslim. This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey.

“This is to announce that I am proud to have become a Muslim. I will be given (another) new name. It will be Shuhada“, she revealed on Twitter.

“I grew up in the 80’s, and while I was never ‘into’ music, of course I knew all of the famous singers of that time frame, and when one is surrounded by people who are into music, one can’t help but know the songs and lyrics (that’s my legit excuse btw!!).”

Happy

After changing her name to “Shuhada” on her Twitter page, O’Connor also replaced her profile picture with a photo that reads “Wear a hijab just do it”.

The next day, she shared that she had been given her first hijab, writing that she wouldn’t be sharing a photo because it’s “intensely personal,” before humorously adding that there was a second reason she wouldn’t be posting a photo.

“My best friend, Elaine just gave me my 1st Hijab and she got chills all over her body when I put it on. Not gonna post a photo because is intensely personal. And I’m an ugly old hag. But I’m a very, very, very happy old hag.”

Over the next couple of days, the Irish singer went on to share a number of photos of herself wearing a head covering, simply writing that she was “happy.”

O’Connor also posted videos of her attempting the azan – the Islamic call to prayer.

She wrote that it was her first attempt at this and added, “I got some pronouncition [sic] wrong because emotions took me from my page… but there’ll be hundreds of others onstage to come.

“Sorry re all the mistakes in my Azan…. 1st attempt. When I’ve practiced it 30 times I’m Gonna make the world stop turning,” O’Connor tweeted.

Additionally, her Twitter bio now reads, “PLEASE BE AWARE THAT IF YOU POST RACIST OR ANTI MUSLIM RHETORIC ON THIS PAGE YOU WILL BE BLOCKED.”

Natural Conclusion

The musician was ordained as a priest in 1999 in a dissident Roman Catholic group.

People magazine, which had also reported on O’Connor’s conversion, said she had previously spoken out against the abuses of the Catholic Church, even ripping up a photo of Pope John Paul II during a Saturday Night Live appearance in 1992 because of the sexual abuses and cover-ups taking place under his watch.

O’Connor was born in Dublin in 1966 and rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra. She has since produced ten solo albums.

Sinead O’Connor achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a new arrangement of Prince’s song Nothing Compares 2 U.

Now her embracing of Islam is, as she herself realizes, is a natural conclusion:

“This is the natural conclusion of any intelligent theologian’s journey. All scripture study leads to Islam. Which makes all other scriptures redundant,” she wrote on Twitter.

May Allah bless our sister Shuhada and make her a role model for her people, and all of us!

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Source: Newspapers

 

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ABC's of Islam New Muslims

How Should I Declare the Shahadah?

shahadah

In order to be recognized as a member of the Islamic community one needs to do Shahadah in front of people.

What are the procedures to follow if someone wishes to convert to Islam?

Conversion to Islam is a simple procedure; it does not entail any complicated rituals or ceremonies, since Islam allows for no intermediaries in worship, and as such there are no priestly classes to administer specific rites.

Conversion therefore is mostly a person’s own choice; as long as he/she is willing to accept the basic tenets of faith, without any external coercion or pressure, and as long as one expresses it in words in front of people the conversion is acceptable.

However, because of the need for documentation, it is best that a person goes to an Islamic center which can issue a certificate of conversion. For this one needs to simply book an appointment with the imam of the local mosque; he would be more than willing to facilitate the conversion.

At the time of conversion one will be asked to repeat the following words of testimony: Ashhadu ana la ilaha illa Allah wa ashahdu anna Muhammadun rasulu Allah (I bear witness there is no god but Allah; I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God).

Besides this, it is also good to affirm faith in the following tenets of Islamic faith: I believe in Allah; in His angels; in His scriptures; His messengers; the Last Day and the fact that good and bad are decreed by God. You should request a certificate indicating the date of conversion as you may need it for purposes of pilgrimage to Makkah.

Finally, let me also suggest that you consult the following excellent work entitled, ”Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam“ by Yahya Emerick (2nd edition) as it has all of the essential information you need to know about Islam.

In Public

Is it enough to declare the Shahadah (Testimony of Faith) by oneself order to be converted into Islam or is it considered obligatory to make the declaration in front of two witnesses?

Although between you and God it surely is enough for you to say Shahadah (the Testimony of Faith) by yourself, however, in order for you to be recognized as a member of the Islamic community you need to do so in front of people.

As mentioned above, you are best advised to do so in the presence of an imam in a recognized Islamic center or mosque, for in this way you can hope to gain proper orientation in regards to your actual practice of Islam.

Islam teaches us that we should do whatever we do as professionally and efficiently as possible. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah has enjoined excellence in each and every act one performs.” (Muslim)

Therefore, I advise you to call on the nearest Islamic center and get an appointment with the imam; let him facilitate your task of reversion to Islam; in the meantime, if you haven’t already found some useful books on Islam, let me mention another important book – besides Complete Idiot’s Guide to Understanding Islam – which, I urge you to read and study well; “Islam in Focus” by Dr. Hammudah Abdul `Ati.

I pray to Allah to grant us all steadfastness in faith, and may He grace us all with His mercy and forgiveness in both worlds. Ameen.

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Source: askthescholar.com

 

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