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…



Read Also:

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

Geert Wilders Party Member, Arnoud van Doorn, Accepts Islam


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


Ethics & Values New Muslims

The Muslim and Truthfulness

Hypocrisy, in the form of untruthfulness, pretense, telling lies, dishonesty, etc. is no way a trait of a Muslim or Islam.

In a popular hadith the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) describes the attributes of a hypocrite saying:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he lies; whenever he promises, he breaks it; and if he is entrusted with something, he betrays the trust (Al-Bukhari)

And this is how God defines them, the hypocrite, and their hated characteristics in the Qur’an:

The hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: They enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. They have forgotten Allah; so He has forgotten them. Verily the hypocrites are rebellious and perverse. (At-Tawbah 9:67)

Learn how Prophet Muhammad described, condemned and warned against such hated characteristic as brother AbdelRahman Murphy reflects on the aforementioned hadith


Ethics & Values New Muslims

Forgiveness and Tolerance in Islam

By Hanaa Hamad

Islam also teaches us that the best kind of forgiveness is answering the oppression of others with kindness

This is where the battle with our inner self can take a positive turn and allow us to elevate our iman.

It never ceases to amaze me that Allah can inspire so much fear in our hearts when we reflect on His supremacy, yet his mercy is equally as vast as His dominion. Allah tells us in a hadith qudsi (sacred narration of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him): “O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you”. (At-Tirmidhi)

Subhan Allah (Glory be to Allah) there is no limit to Allah’s forgiveness, even though our mistakes are numerous.

But what’s disheartening is how seldom we are able to forgive each other and how often we are impetuously intolerant toward one another. Islam teaches us that the strongest of servants are those who not only have the strength to suppress their anger when they are tested but also possess an immeasurable capacity to forgive.

The Prophet said that: “Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), God will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins”. (At-Tirmidhi) If we can sincerely forgive those who anger us, inwardly and outwardly, then that cleanses our souls from the Satan and his negative energy. It is important to disregard vain criticisms and this is the first step toward being tolerant.

Of course, this is not done without difficulty because it is hard to understand why those who have caused us grievances wanted to do so in the first place. But this is where the battle with our inner self can take a positive turn and allow us to elevate our iman (faith). This inner struggle is what the Prophet called “the Greater Jihad” because it involves tolerance and fighting the evil within ourselves in order to purify our hearts. This is always done for the sake of Allah and to purify our spiritual conditions.

Against Oppression

Islam also teaches us that the best kind of forgiveness is answering the oppression of others with kindness. The Prophet inspired us with this practice when he said to his followers: “God had ordered me to maintain ties with those who sever ties with me, and to give to those who deprive me, and to forgive those who oppress me.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet and his Companions were so merciful in their conduct that instead of becoming angry with their offenders, they defended them and gave them gifts. What immeasurable acts of compassion! They went beyond human altruism and practiced unmatched generosity. They demonstrated that when we open our hearts and pardon others, we are granting ourselves an inner peace.

This is how we can prevent spite from suffocating our hearts, which is crucial because hatred has the ability to make us internally ill. We think that hatred is a means of revenge against those who have harmed us, but by begrudging them we are only harming ourselves. This is because our enemies will never feel our anger, and they live contently as we suffer. When we forgive others, it brings relief to our souls because it is a kind of liberating release. This is because when someone has upset us, they have a power over us because we allowed them to do so.

Life is short. Let us not waste our energy on being angry at our enemies and seeking revenge against them. If we can progressively minimize our spite every day, then soon we will bear no hatred or malice in our hearts, in sha’ Allah (God willing). This is how we can end conflict amongst ourselves, since it is a day to day issue we face.

After all, sometimes our own actions can provoke another person’s wrong doings and we may not be aware of how we contributed to the conflict. We tend to judge the faults of others, while being blind to our own. We forget how we have wronged others, and we only remember how others have wronged us. In the same manner, we forget the good things that others have done for us, and remember only the good that we have done for them. It is an innate human error. But let us try to remember our own shortcomings before we reflect on the shortcomings of others.

Let us stop victimizing ourselves and think about how we have victimized others, and then seek their forgiveness. And if they ask our forgiveness, let us always grant it to them. Because the Prophet taught us that: “Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy”. (Al-Bukhari) And we must keep in mind that however we treat others is how Allah will treat us.

So in sha’ Allah when someone hurts us, let us try to meet their oppression with kindness and forgive them, even if they are not sorry.




New Muslims Reflections

Discovering One’s Flaws: The Tenth Stop of Your Spiritual Journey to God

By Dr. Jasser Auda

Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.

One may start his journey to God the right way. But unfortunately, he might feel self-conceit or feel that he is doing God a favor and forget that he has many flaws. After setting the rules of how to perfect the beginning of the journey, Ibn `Ata’illah says: “Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.”

“Human” Flaws

A servant, who does extra rituals, might think that is able to know the Unseen or that he has the piercing sight about which the Prophet said; “Beware of the piercing sight of the believer, for he sees with the light of God.” (At-Tirmidhi) Therefore, Ibn `Ata’illah is warning us saying: “Trying to discover the flaws within you is better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from you.”

If one thinks that he is free from flaws, surely he is mistaken, because this is the nature of human beings. God enjoys the perfect attributes, while humans suffer from flaws.

God is the Generous, but man is miser: “Say: “If you were to own all the treasure-houses of my Sustainer’s bounty, lo! you would still try to hold on (to them) tightly for fear of spending (too much): for man has always been avaricious (whereas God is limitless in His bounty).” (Al-Israa’ 17:100) God is the Mighty, but man is very weak: “God wants to lighten your burdens: for man has been created weak.” (An-Nisaa’ 4:28) God is Merciful, but man is cruel. God is much-forbearing, but man is angry. God is forgiving, but man does not forgive easily. God is patient, but man is prone to be hasty in his judgments. God is the Knower, but man is ignorant. God is the Just, but man does injustice to others.


One should do his best to discover the flaws within himself. This is much better than trying to discover the worlds hidden from him because one can not discover hidden worlds before purifying himself from flaws. Man will never purify himself completely, but he should do as much as he can to purify it. Purifying the inner self eventually helps one realize his nature and attain the quality of humbleness. Self-purification and humbleness make one spiritually elevated and bring about divinely bestowed knowledge and spiritual lofty status.

Scholars have identified several ways through which one discovers his flaws. This includes:

First, being criticized by people: if someone criticizes you, you have to think deeply about this criticism. Is it a constructive criticism that will help you discover your flaws? You have to take into consideration every criticism that comes from everybody even if it comes from those who are not in good terms with you. You have to ask yourself: does this criticism show me my flaws?

Second, a good friend; a good friend helps you discover your flaws when he offers you a sincere advice. `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may God be pleased with him) said: “May God have mercy on the one who shows me my flaws.”
A sincere friend comes to you directly telling you about your flaws. From your part, you should listen to him and look within yourself for those flaws and try to amend them.

Third, God’s tests; when you are put to a test, this test will reveal your flaws and shortcomings. God says; “Are they, then, not aware that they are being tested year-in, year-out? And yet, they do not repent and do not bethink themselves (of God).” (At-Tawbah 9:126)

The verse here is talking about the hypocrites. God always puts them to tests, but they never repent to Him and they do not bethink themselves of God. If you are under pressure or put to test, you have to discover your flaws so that you will pass this test easily.

We pray to God to conceal our flaws and to help us amend them. We pray to God to grant us forgiveness in this world and the world to come.


The article is excerpted from “Some of Al-Hikam Al-Ataiyyah” (The Path to God: A Journey with Ibn `Ata’illah’s Words of Wisdom In the Light of the Quran, the Prophetic Tradition, and Universal Laws of God- By Dr. Jasser Auda


Ethics & Values New Muslims

Tolerance and Mercy in the Prophetic Sunnah

By Editorial Staff

The principles of mercy and tolerance are stressed in the traditions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as key features of the Muslim character and behavior.

Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said to Ashajj `Abdul-Qais (May Allah be pleased with him), “You possess two qualities that Allah loves. These are clemency and tolerance.” (Muslim)

Kindness and gentleness are good Muslim character traits that have great impact on the Muslim:

The Prophet said: “The believing servant) finds relief from the troubles of the world and its hardships and (gets into) the Mercy of Allah.” (Muslim)

Also the Prophet said that: “Whoever suffers an injury and forgives (the person responsible), God will raise his status to a higher degree and remove one of his sins”. (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah says:

Those who spend (of that which Allah has given them) in ease and in adversity, those who control their anger and are forgiving toward mankind; Allah loves the good. (Aal `Imran 3:134)

Tolerance in Selling & Buying

Narrated Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Indeed Allah loves tolerance in selling, tolerance in buying, and tolerance in repaying.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Narrated Jabir (May Allah be pleased with them) that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Allah forgave a man who was before you: He was tolerant when selling, tolerant when purchasing, and tolerant when repaying.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah: The Tolerant

Ibn ‘Abbas reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to supplicate during the time of trouble (in these words):

” There is no god but Allah, the Great, the Tolerant, there is no god but Allah, the Lord of the Magnificent Throne There is no god but Allah, the Lord of the Heaven and the earth, the Lord of the Edifying Throne.” (Muslim)

It was narrated that Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Shikhkhir said:

“I heard ‘Uthman ibn Abul-‘As say: “The last thing that the Prophet (peace be upon him) enjoined on me when he appointed me governor of Ta’if was that he said: “O ‘Uthman! Be tolerable in prayer and estimate the people based upon the weakest among them, for among them are the elderly, the young, the sick, those who live far from the mosque, and those who have pressing needs.” (Ibn Majah)

Mercy on The Young

Narrated `Aisha:

A bedouin came to the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said, “You (people) kiss the boys! We don’t kiss them.” The Prophet said, “I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allah has taken it away from it.” (Al-Bukhari)

Ibn `Abbas narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“He is not one of us who does not have mercy upon our young, respect our elders, and command good and forbid evil.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Being Merciful to Each Other

Allah says:

And worship Allah. Ascribe no thing as partner unto Him. (Show) kindness unto parents, and unto near kindred, and orphans, and the needy, and unto the neighbor who is of kin (unto you) and the neighbor who is not of kin, and the fellow-traveller and the wayfarer and (the slaves) whom your right hands possess. Lo! Allah loves not such as are proud and boastful. (An-Nisaa’ 4:36)

Abu Hurairah narrated that Abul-Qasim said: “Mercy is not removed (from anyone) except from a wicked one.” (At-Tirmidhi)

Allah will treat us the way we treat others. So we should treat others the way we expect to be treated and the way we hope God will treat us –with compassion and mercy.

Jarir ibn ‘Abdullah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “He who is not merciful to people Allah will not be merciful to him.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Jarir ibn Abdullah also narrated that the Messenger of Allah said: “Whoever does not show mercy to the people, Allah will not show mercy to him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Abdullah ibn `Amr narrated that the Messenger of Allah said:

“The merciful are shown mercy by Ar-Rahman. Be merciful on the earth, and you will be shown mercy from Who is above the heavens. The womb is named after Ar-Rahman, so whoever connects it, Allah connects him, and whoever severs it, Allah severs him.” (At-Tirmidhi)

`Umar was heard to say, “Anyone who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Anyone who does not forgive will not be forgiven. Anyone who does not pardon will not be pardoned or protected.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

Abu Umamah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said, “Anyone who shows mercy, even to an animal meant for slaughtering, will be shown mercy by Allah on the Day of Rising.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad)

God’s Mercy

Despite our sins and mistakes, there’s no limit to God’s mercy and forgiveness. He is the Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

Salman Al-Farisi (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Verily, Allah created, on the same very day when He created the heavens and the earth, one hundred parts of mercy. Every part of mercy is coextensive with the space between the heavens. and the earth and He out of this mercy endowed one part to the earth and it is because of this that the mother shows affection to her child and even the beasts and birds show kindness to one another and when there would be the Day of Resurrection, Allah would make full (use of Mercy).” (Muslim)

“Say, in the bounty of Allah, and in His mercy- in that let you rejoice.” (Abu Dawud)

Salman Al-Farisi reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying:

“Verily, there are one hundred (parts of) mercy for Allah, and it is one part of this mercy by virtue of which there is mutual love between the people and ninety-nine reserved for the Day of Resurrection. (Muslim)

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying, “When Allah created the creatures, He wrote in the Book, which is with Him over His Throne: ‘Verily, My Mercy prevailed over My Wrath.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Ask for God’s Mercy

`A’ishah said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying at his death: ‘O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me, and join me with the Highest Company’.” (At-Tirmidhi)