Islam - The Religion of Peace

The Arabic word 'Islam' means 'Submission to the will of God and obedience of His law' and is derived from the root word 'Salam' meaning 'Peace'.

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

How I came to Islam - by Yusuf Islam

How I came to Islam - by Yusuf Islam
From Musician to Muslim by Allah's Will

All I have to say is all what you know already, to confirm what you already know, the message of the Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) as given by God - the Religion of Truth. As human beings we are given a consciousness and a duty that has placed us at the top of creation. Man is created to be God's deputy on earth, and it is important to realize the obligation to rid ourselves of all illusions and to make our lives a preparation for the next life. Anybody who misses this chance is not likely to be given another, to be brought back again and again, because it says in Qur'an Majeed that when man is brought to account, he will say, "O Lord, send us back and give us another chance." The Lord will say, "If I send you back you will do the same."


I was brought up in the modern world of all the luxury and the high life of show business. I was born in a Christian home, but we know that every child is born in his original nature - it is only his parents that turn him to this or that religion. I was given this religion (Christianity) and thought this way. I was taught that God exists, but there was no direct contact with God, so we had to make contact with Him through Jesus - he was in fact the door to God. This was more or less accepted by me, but I did not swallow it all.
I looked at some of the statues of Jesus; they were just stones with no life. And when they said that God is three, I was puzzled even more but could not argue. I more or less believed it, because I had to have respect for the faith of my parents.


Gradually I became alienated from this religious upbringing. I started making music. I wanted to be a big star. All those things I saw in the films and on the media took hold of me, and perhaps I thought this was my God, the goal of making money. I had an uncle who had a beautiful car. "Well," I said, "he has it made. He has a lot of money." The people around me influenced me to think that this was it; this world was their God.
I decided then that this was the life for me; to make a lot of money, have a 'great life.' Now my examples were the pop stars. I started making songs, but deep down I had a feeling for humanity, a feeling that if I became rich I would help the needy. (It says in the Qur'an, we make a promise, but when we make something, we want to hold onto it and become greedy.)
So what happened was that I became very famous. I was still a teenager, my name and photo were splashed in all the media. They made me larger than life, so I wanted to live larger than life and the only way to do that was to be intoxicated (with liquor and drugs).


After a year of financial success and 'high' living, I became very ill, contracted TB and had to be hospitalized. It was then that I started to think: What was to happen to me? Was I just a body, and my goal in life was merely to satisfy this body? I realized now that this calamity was a blessing given to me by Allah, a chance to open my eyes - "Why am I here? Why am I in bed?" - and I started looking for some of the answers. At that time there was great interest in the Eastern mysticism. I began reading, and the first thing I began to become aware of was death, and that the soul moves on; it does not stop. I felt I was taking the road to bliss and high accomplishment. I started meditating and even became a vegetarian. I now believed in 'peace and flower power,' and this was the general trend. But what I did believe in particular was that I was not just a body. This awareness came to me at the hospital.
One day when I was walking and I was caught in the rain, I began running to the shelter and then I realized, 'Wait a minute, my body is getting wet, my body is telling me I am getting wet.' This made me think of a saying that the body is like a donkey, and it has to be trained where it has to go. Otherwise, the donkey will lead you where it wants to go.
Then I realized I had a will, a God-given gift: follow the will of God. I was fascinated by the new terminology I was learning in the Eastern religion. By now I was fed up with Christianity. I started making music again and this time I started reflecting my own thoughts. I remember the lyric of one of my songs. It goes like this: "I wish I knew, I wish I knew what makes the Heaven, what makes the Hell. Do I get to know You in my bed or some dusty cell while others reach the big hotel?" and I knew I was on the Path.
I also wrote another song, "The Way to Find God Out." I became even more famous in the world of music. I really had a difficult time because I was getting rich and famous, and at the same time, I was sincerely searching for the Truth. Then I came to a stage where I decided that Buddhism is all right and noble, but I was not ready to leave the world. I was too attached to the world and was not prepared to become a monk and to isolate myself from society.
I tried Zen and Ching, numerology, tarot cards and astrology. I tried to look back into the Bible and could not find anything. At this time I did not know anything about Islam, and then, what I regarded as a miracle occurred. My brother had visited the mosque in Jerusalem and was greatly impressed that while on the one hand it throbbed with life (unlike the churches and synagogues which were empty), on the other hand, an atmosphere of peace and tranquility prevailed.


When he came to London he brought back a translation of the Qur'an, which he gave to me. He did not become a Muslim, but he felt something in this religion, and thought I might find something in it also.
And when I received the book, a guidance that would explain everything to me - who I was; what was the purpose of life; what was the reality and what would be the reality; and where I came from - I realized that this was the true religion; religion not in the sense the West understands it, not the type for only your old age. In the West, whoever wishes to embrace a religion and make it his only way of life is deemed a fanatic. I was not a fanatic, I was at first confused between the body and the soul. Then I realized that the body and soul are not apart and you don't have to go to the mountain to be religious. We must follow the will of God. Then we can rise higher than the angels. The first thing I wanted to do now was to be a Muslim.
I realized that everything belongs to God, that slumber does not overtake Him. He created everything. At this point I began to lose the pride in me, because hereto I had thought the reason I was here was because of my own greatness. But I realized that I did not create myself, and the whole purpose of my being here was to submit to the teaching that has been perfected by the religion we know as Al-Islam. At this point I started discovering my faith. I felt I was a Muslim. On reading the Qur'an, I now realized that all the Prophets sent by God brought the same message. Why then were the Jews and Christians different? I know now how the Jews did not accept Jesus as the Messiah and that they had changed His Word. Even the Christians misunderstand God's Word and called Jesus the son of God. Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur'an; it asks you to reflect and reason, and not to worship the sun or moon but the One Who has created everything. The Qur'an asks man to reflect upon the sun and moon and God's creation in general. Do you realize how different the sun is from the moon? They are at varying distances from the earth, yet appear the same size to us; at times one seems to overlap the other.
Even when many of the astronauts go to space, they see the insignificant size of the earth and vastness of space. They become very religious, because they have seen the Signs of Allah.
When I read the Qur'an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt that the only answer for me was the Qur'an, and God had sent it to me, and I kept it a secret. But the Qur'an also speaks on different levels. I began to understand it on another level, where the Qur'an says,
"Those who believe do not take disbelievers for friends and the believers are brothers."
Thus at this point I wished to meet my Muslim brothers.


Then I decided to journey to Jerusalem (as my brother had done). At Jerusalem, I went to the mosque and sat down. A man asked me what I wanted. I told him I was a Muslim. He asked what was my name. I told him, "Stevens." He was confused. I then joined the prayer, though not so successfully. Back in London, I met a sister called Nafisa. I told her I wanted to embrace Islam and she directed me to the New Regent Mosque. This was in 1977, about one and a half years after I received the Qur'an. Now I realized that I must get rid of my pride, get rid of Iblis, and face one direction. So on a Friday, after Jummah' I went to the Imam and declared my faith (the Kalimah) at this hands. You have before you someone who had achieved fame and fortune. But guidance was something that eluded me, no matter how hard I tried, until I was shown the Qur'an. Now I realize I can get in direct contact with God, unlike Christianity or any other religion. As one Hindu lady told me, "You don't understand the Hindus. We believe in one God; we use these objects (idols) to merely concentrate." What she was saying was that in order to reach God, one has to create associates, that are idols for the purpose. But Islam removes all these barriers. The only thing that moves the believers from the disbelievers is the salat. This is the process of purification.
Finally I wish to say that everything I do is for the pleasure of Allah and pray that you gain some inspirations from my experiences. Furthermore, I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur'an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) we will be successful. May Allah give us guidance to follow the path of the ummah of Muhammad (Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam). Ameen!
-- Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens)


by Dr. Zakir Naik

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the Old Testament:

The Qur’an mentions in Surah Al-Araf chapter 7 verse 157:
"Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered Prophet, whom they find mentioned in their own (scriptures) in the law and the Gospel".



Almighty God speaks to Moses in Book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verse 18:
"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and     he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
The Christians say that this prophecy refers to Jesus (pbuh) because Jesus (pbuh) was like Moses (pbuh). Moses   (pbuh) was a Jew, as well as Jesus (pbuh) was a Jew. Moses (pbuh) was a Prophet and Jesus (pbuh) was also a Prophet.
If these two are the only criteria for this prophecy to be fulfilled, then all the Prophets of the Bible who came after
Moses (pbuh) such as Solomon, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Malachi, John the Baptist, etc. (pbut) will  
fulfill this prophecy since all were Jews as well as prophets.
However, it is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who is like Moses (pbuh):


Both had a father and a mother, while Jesus (pbuh) was born miraculously without any male intervention.
[Mathew 1:18 and Luke 1:35 and also Al-Qur'an 3:42-47]


Both were married and had children. Jesus (pbuh) according to the Bible did not marry nor had children.


Both died natural deaths. Jesus (pbuh) has been raised up alive. (4:157-158)

Muhammad (pbuh) is from among the brethren of Moses (pbuh). Arabs are brethren of Jews. Abraham (pbuh) had two sons: Ishmail and Isaac (pbut). The Arabs are the descendants of Ishmail (pbuh) and the Jews are the descendants of Isaac (pbuh).
Words in the mouth:
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was unlettered and whatever revelations he received from Almighty God he repeated them verbatim.
"I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him."
[Deuteronomy 18:18]


Both besides being Prophets were also kings i.e. they could inflict capital punishment. Jesus (pbuh) said,     "My kingdom is not of this world." (John 18:36).


Both were accepted as Prophets by their people in their lifetime but Jesus (pbuh) was rejected by his
people. John chapter 1 verse 11 states, "He came unto his own, but his own received him not."


Both brought new laws and new regulations for their people. Jesus (pbuh) according to the Bible did not bring   any new laws. (Mathew 5:17-18)


It is Mentioned in the book of Deuteronomy chapter 18:19

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not harken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will     require it of him."


Muhammad (pbuh) is prophesised in the book of Isaiah:

It is mentioned in the book of Isaiah chapter 29 verse 12:
"And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned."
When Archangel Gabrail commanded Muhammad (pbuh) by saying Iqra - "Read", he replied, "I am not learned".


prophet Muhammad (pbuh) mentioned by name in the old testament:

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is mentioned by name in the Song of Solomon chapter 5 verse 16:
"Hikko Mamittakim we kullo Muhammadim Zehdoodeh wa Zehraee Bayna Jerusalem."
"His mouth is most sweet: yea, he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters
of Jerusalem."
In the Hebrew language im is added for respect. Similarely im is added after the name of Prophet Muhammad     
(pbuh) to make it Muhammadim. In English translation they have even translated the name of Prophet Muhammad     (pbuh) as "altogether lovely", but in the Old Testament in Hebrew, the name of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is yet      present.

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the New Testament:
Al-Qur'an Chapter 61 Verse 6:
"And remember, Jesus, the son of Mary, said, 'O Children of Israel! I am the messenger of Allah (sent) to you, confirming the Law (which came) before me and giving glad tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmed.' But when he came to them with clear signs, they said, 'This is evident sorcery!' "
All the prophecies mentioned in the Old Testament regarding Muhammad (pbuh) besides applying to the Jews also hold good for the Christians.


John chapter 14 verse 16:
 "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever."


Gospel of John chapter 15 verse 26:
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which 
proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."


Gospel of John chapter 16 verse 7:

"Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not
come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you".
"Ahmed" or "Muhammad" meaning "the one who praises" or "the praised one" is almost the translation of the
Greek word Periclytos. In the Gospel of John 14:16, 15:26, and 16:7. The word 'Comforter' is used in the English      translation for the Greek word Paracletos which means advocate or a kind friend rather than a comforter.  
is the warped reading for Periclytos. Jesus (pbuh) actually prophesised Ahmed by name. Even the
Greek word Paraclete refers to the Prophet (pbuh) who is a mercy for all creatures.
Some Christians say that the Comforter mentioned in these prophecies refers to the Holy Sprit. They fail to realise
that the prophecy clearly says that only if Jesus (pbuh) departs will the Comforter come. The Bible states that the
Holy Spirit was already present on earth before and during the time of Jesus (pbuh), in the womb of Elizabeth, and    again when Jesus (pbuh) was being baptised, etc. Hence this prophecy refers to none other than Prophet    
Muhammad (pbuh).


Gospel of John chapter 16 verse 12-14:
"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth is 
come, he will guide you unto all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he     speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me".

The Sprit of Truth, spoken about in this prophecy referes to none other than Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)
NOTE: All quotations of the Bible are taken from the King James Version. 

Muhammad in the Bible

By Dr. Jamal Badawi
Those who follow the Apostle, the unlettered Prophet, Whom they find mentioned in their own Scriptures, in the Torah and the Gospel... (Holy Qu'ran: VII - 157; Translation: Yusif Ali)

Abraham is widely regarded as the Patriarch of monotheism and the common father of the Jews, Christians and Muslims. Through His second son, Isaac, came all Israelite prophets including such towering figures as Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Solomon and Jesus. May peace and blessings be upon them all. The advent of these great prophets was in partial fulfillment of God's promises to bless the nations of earth through the descendents of Abraham (Genesis12:2-3).Such fulfillment is wholeheartedly accepted by Muslims whose faith considers the belief in and respect of all prophets an article of faith.
Was the first born son of Abraham (Ishmael) and his descendants included in God's covenant and promise? A few verses from the Bible may help shed some light on this question;
1) Genesis 12:2-3 speaks of God's promise to Abraham and his descendants before any child was born to him.
2) Genesis 17:4 reiterates God's promise after the birth of Ishmael and before the birth of Isaac.
3) In Genesis, ch. 21. Isaac is specifically blessed but Ishmael was also specifically blessed and promised by God to become "a great nation" especially in Genesis 21:13, 18.
4) According to Deuteronomy 21:15-17 the traditional rights and privileges of the first born son are not to be affected by the social status of his mother (being a "free" woman such as Sarah, Isaac's mother, or a "Bondwoman" such as Hagar, Ishmael's mother). This is only consistent with the moral and humanitarian principles of all revealed faiths.
5) The full legitimacy of Ishmael as Abraham's son and "seed" and the full legitimacy of his mother, Hagar, as Abraham's wife are clearly stated in Genesis 21:13 and 16:3. After Jesus, the last Israelite messenger and prophet, it was time that God's promise to bless Ishmael and his descendants be fulfilled. Less than 600years after Jesus, came the last messenger of God, Muhammad, from the progeny of Abraham through Ishmael. God's blessing of both of the main branches of Abraham's family tree was now fullfilled. But are there additional corroborating evidence that the Bible did in fact foretell the advent of prophet Muhammad?
The Prophet Like Unto Moses

Long time after Abraham, God's promise to send the long-awaited Messenger was repeated this time in Moses' words.
In Deuteronomy 18:18, Moses spoke of the prophet to be sent by God who is:

1) From among the Israelite's "brethren", a reference to their Ishmaelite cousins as Ishmael was the other son of Abraham who was explicitly promised to become a "great nation".
2) A prophet like unto Moses. There were hardly any two prophets ,who were so much alike as Moses and Muhammad. Both were given comprehensive law code of life, both encountered their enemies and were victors in miraculous ways, both were accepted as prophets/statesmen and both migrated following conspiracies to assassinate them. Analogies between Moses and Jesus overlooks not only the above similarities but other crucial ones as well (e.g. the natural birth, family life and death of Moses and Muhammad but not of Jesus, who was regarded by His followers as the Son of God and not exclusively a messenger of God, as Moses and Muhammad were and as Muslim belief Jesus was).
Deuteronomy 33:1-2 combines references to Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. It speaks of God (i.e. God's revelation) coming from Sinai, rising from Seir (probably the village of Sa'ir near Jerusalem) and shining forth from Paran. According to Genesis 21:21, the wilderness of Paran was the place where Ishmael settled (i.e. Arabia, specifically Mecca).
Indeed the King James version of the Bible mentions the pilgrims passing through the valley of Ba'ca (another name of Mecca) in Psalms 84:4-6.
Isaiah 42:1-13 speaks of the beloved of God. His elect and messenger who will bring down a law to be awaited in the isles and who "shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgement on earth." Verse 11, connects that awaited one with the descendants of Ke'dar. Who is Ke'dar? According toGenesis 25:13, Ke'dar was the second son of Ishmael, the ancestor of prophet Muhammad.

Habakkuk 3:3 speaks of God (God's help) coming from Te'man (an Oasis North of Medina according to J. Hasting's Dictionary of the Bible), and the holy one (coming) from Paran. That holy one who under persecution migrated from Paran (Mecca) to be received enthusiastically in Medina was none but prophet Muhammad.
Indeed the incident of the migration of the prophet and his persecuted followers is vividly described inIsaiah 21:13-17. That section foretold as well about the battle of Badr in which the few ill-armed faithful miraculously defeated the "mighty" men of Ke'dar, who sought to destroy Islam and intimidate their own folks who turned -to Islam.

For twenty-three years, God's words (the Qur'an) were truely put into Muhammad's mouth. He was not the "author" of the Qur'an. The Qur'an was dictated to him by Angel Gabriel who askedMuhammad to simply repeat the words of the Qur'an as he heard them. These words were then committed to memory and to writing by those who hear them during Muhammad's life time and under his supervision.
Was it a coincidence that the prophet "like unto Moses" from the "brethren" of the Israelites (i.e. from the lshmaelites) was also described as one in whose mouth God will put his words and that he will speak in the name of God, (Deuteronomy 18:18-20). Was it also a coincidence the "Paraclete" that Jesus foretold to come after Him was described as one who "shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak (John 16:13)
Was it another coincidence that Isaiah ties between the messenger connected with Ke'dar and a new song (a scripture in a new language) to be sang unto the Lord (Isaiah 42:10-11). More explicitly, prophesies Isaiah "For with stammering lips, and another tongue, will he speak to this people" (Isaiah 28:11). This latter verse correctly describes the "stammering lips" of Prophet Muhammadreflecting the state of tension and concentration he went through at the time of revelation. Another related point is that the Qur'an was revealed in piece-meals over a span of twenty three years. It is interesting to compare this with Isaiah 28:10 whichspeaks of the same thing.
Up to the time of Jesus (peace be upon him), the Israelites were still awaiting for that prophet like unto Moses prophecied in Deuteronomy 18:18. When John the Baptist came, they asked him if he was Christ and he said "no". They asked him if he was Elias and he said "no". Then, in apparent reference to Deuteronomy 18:18, they asked him "Art thou that Prophet" and he answered, "no". (John 1: 1 9-2 1).
In the Gospel according to John (Chapters 14, 15, 16) Jesus spoke of the "Paraclete" or comforter who will come after him, who will be sent by Father as another Paraclete, who will teach new things which the contemporaries of Jesus could not bear. While the Paraclete is described as the spirit of truth, (whose meaning resemble Muhammad's famous title Al-Amin, the trustworthy), he is identified in one verse as the Holy Ghost (John 14:26). Such a designation is however inconsistent with the profile of that Paraclete. In the words of the Dictionary of the Bible, (Ed. J. Mackenzie) "These items, it must be admitted do not give an entirely coherent picture."
Indeed history tells us that many early Christians understood the Paraclete to be a man and not a spirit. This might explain the followings who responded to some who claimed, without meeting the criteria stipulated by Jesus, to be the awaited "Paraciete".
It was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the Paraclete, Comforter, helper, admonisher sent by God after Jesus. He testified of Jesus, taught new things which could not be borne at Jesus' time, he spoke what he heard (revelation), he dwells with the believers (through his well-preserved teachings). Such teachings will remain forever because he was the last messenger of God, the only Universal Messenger to unite the whole of humanity under God and on the path of PRESERVED truth. He told of many things to come which "came to pass" in the minutest detail meeting, the criterion given by Moses to distinguish between the true prophet and the false prophets (Deuteronomy 18:22). He did reprove the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgement (John 16:8-11)
Following the rejection of the last Israelite prophet, Jesus, it was about time that God's promise to make Ishmael a great nation be fulfilled (Genesis 21:13, 18)
In Matthew 21:19-21, Jesus spoke of the fruitless fig tree (A Biblical symbol of prophetic heritage) to be cleared after being given a last chance of three years (the duration of Jesus' ministry) to give fruit. In a later verse in the same chapter, Jesus said: "Therefore, say I unto you, The Kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof" (Matthew 21:43). That nation of Ishmael's descendants (the rejected stone in Matthew 21:42) which was victorious against all super-powers of its time as prophecied by Jesus: "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder" (Matthew 21:44).
Is it possible that the numerous prophecies cited here are all individually and combined out of context misinterpretations? Is the opposite true, that such infrequently studied verses fit together consistently and clearly point to the advent of the man who changed the course of human history, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Is it reasonable to conclude that all these prophecies, appearing in different books of the Bible and spoken by various prophets at different times were all coincidence? If this is so here is another strange "coincidence"!
One of the signs of the prophet to come from Paran (Mecca) is that he will come with "ten thousands of saints" (Deuteronomy 33:2 KJV). That was the number of faithful who accompanied Prophet Muhammad to Paran (Mecca) in his victorious, bloodless return to his birthplace to destroy the remaining symbols of idolatry in the Ka'bah.
Says God as quoted by Moses:
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. (Deuteronomy 18:19)
Dear Readers:
May the light of truth shine in your heart and mind. May it lead you to peace and certitude in this life and eternal bliss in hereafter.

For further information please contact:
Islamic Information FoundationAttn: Dr. Jamal Badawi
8 Laurel Lane
Halifax, Nova Scotia
B3M 2P6
Tel., 902 / 445-2494

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Would you be so generous with a Servant?

Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: 

Allah's Apostle was the most generous of all the people, and he used to reach the peak in generosity in the month of Ramadan when Gabriel met him. Gabriel used to meet him every night of Ramadan to teach him the Qur'an. Allah's Apostle was the most generous person, even more generous than the strong uncontrollable wind (in readiness and haste to do charitable deeds).

Why did the Grand Daughter of Priest/Pastor Accept Islam ?

Why did the Grand Daughter of Priest/Pastor Accept Islam ?

I was born and raised in the bible belt here in America.
My great great grandparents, my great-grandparents, and my grandparents, as well as my sister’s husband were all preachers of christianity. I was raised in a strict pentecostal home. We went to church on Sundays and Wednesdays.
In the church they would speak this tongue and say it was holy ghost or holy spirit.
My sister and all I knew there had recieved this holy ghost but no matter how hard I cried, nor how hard I begged God for this gift I never recieved it. I saw them run around the church and worship at the altar, and I never felt the urge to run with the spirit.
At 14 yrs of age I became pregnant and the preacher got in front of the church and used me a example of a sinner.
He condemned me to hell and said I had no business there with the people of God. That Jesus didn’t accept me. I walked out of the church and have not gone back. I moved away from God.
I had thought if God does not forgive me for this what sense is there to pray. If my soul is destined to hell already why try anymore?
For years I believed nothing. Times got harder for me and I started crying out to God yet again. This time I didn’t pray for the gift of holy ghost, I prayed for guidance, that he would lead me to him and the truth.
As I was telling a friend one day on how lost I felt, how I wanted to love God, and how I wanted God to accept me in heaven not send me to hell, my friend says to me
” I know you are not muslim, but for your sake of sanity and peace, please read the Quran”
If only just for some peace. At that time my mind was tortured, I was emotionally a wreck. 
I wasn’t going to read the Quran, I had been told Islam was the home of Anti-christ and that Islam was evil. But it kept on my mind to read the Quran..
I thought well my friend is not evil and it could not hurt to read it. I searched all the stores in my hometown and no Quran. So I searched online.
I found on .
I started reading the Quran and saw no evil, nothing that I had been taught about the bad in Islam was in the Quran.
I was amazed to learn that Allah was the same God of Jesus(peace be upon him). I read about Muhammed (peace be upon him) and learned he was not an evil man, but a good man.
Everything I had been taught about Islam and prophet Muhammed by the church were all lies.
So I started looking up things on Islam in addition to reading the Quran.
I hid what I was doing from everyone I knew, even deleting my history on the internet. I believed the Quran where I always doubted the bible. This was amazing to me.
I thought to myself I actually love God. Allah will forgive my sins. I still have the chance for heaven. Many emotions went through me.
The day I took my shahada was the happiest day of my life. I will never be able to explain the feeling of peace and acceptance I finally felt after a life of confusion and helplessness.
For anyone who has ever thought they were meant to go to hell, they would understand this feeling. I immediately went to prayer, teaching myself the prayers, immediately took to the hijab.
The day I took my shahada, I announced to my family I was now muslim. It has been hard for me.My children’s father tried everything to get me to turn against Islam. Once he saw I would not turn from Allah, he wanted to know why.I talked to him and told him all I had learned. He converted to Islam too,
Many spit on me, call me a non-american and terrorist, I was physically attacked. Some of my family has disowned me.
My mother thinks it is a phase I’m going through but still defends me.
My sister refuses to let me speak of Islam at all, and makes a point to say ” thank you jesus and jesus loves you” in front of me and my children. In times like this I just smile, ignore, or say “sorry you feel the way you do” I realize that if I resort to anger then it will confirm people’s belief that Islam is bad.
My son took it all the hardest because of his loyalty to my mother and sister, but I am proud to say all four of my children have now took to learning the prayers.
May Allah guide me in teaching them.
I know all there is about the holy bible, I have read it, been taught it all my life. It contradicts itself.
The Quran speaks truth and I hope that many realize this before the doors of heaven close on forgiveness.
[Sister Aisha]

Parental Compulsion For Marriage

Q. My parents are trying to force me to marry a man of their choice, and they have refused the one I have chosen. May I ask whether it is forbidden for a girl to choose her husband? Please advise.
A. In Muslim communities normally the authority of the parents is recognized and respected. But also Muslim communities require parents to take good care of their children, particularly their daughters. It is the responsibility of the parents not to force any husband on their daughters, and to try to ensure that when a daughter is married, her husband is the sort of man who would make her happy.
These are basic rights, which must always be observed and respected. Parents must not treat the marriage of their daughters as something, which they know best how to handle, in which their daughters have no say. If they do, then they would not be following the Islamic way. According to Islam, a father is required to approve only a marriage which will establish a happy family and in which his daughter is satisfied with her husband. Therefore, he may not force her to marry a man whom she does not find suitable.

A woman came to the Prophet, peace be upon him, and complained that her father had married her to a cousin of his seeking to improve his own social standing by this marriage. The Prophet, peace be upon him, ordered the marriage to be nullified. She then declared: "Now I agree to what my father has done. I only wanted to make it clear to all women that men have no say in their marriage."
Islam does not object to a woman choosing her husband. What it objects to is for a relationship between a man and a woman to be carried without being legalized by marriage. So, if the man you have chosen is of good character and satisfactory prospects, he should introduce himself to your parents at the appropriate time, and make his proposal. They should then inquire about his character and background. If that goes well, then your marriage to him can go through. What is important in all this is that you should not put yourself in a position of confrontation with your parents.

Marriage in Islam: Considered from a Legal Point of View
[by Dr. Ahmad Shafaat] 

From a legal point of view Islam views marriage as an 'aqd or contract. Like any other contract the marriage contract requires full and free consent of the parties concerned. The parents or guardian of any of the parties may give advice, choose a marriage partner or use persuasion, but the final decision to enter into a marriage must be the result of a free choice on the part of each partner, even though this freely made choice may consist of nothing but accepting the choice of one's parents or guardian. This right of free choice is fairly well recognized in the case of men but (unfortunately) not in the case of women. In the Holy Qur'an we read:
"Do not inherit women against their will" (4:19)
And in Hadith we find traditions like the following:
"Khansa bint Khidhan who had a previous marriage, related that when her father married her and she disapproved of that, she went to the Messenger of God and he revoked her marriage." (Bukhari, Ibn Majah)
"A [girl who was not married] came to the Messenger of God and mentioned that her father had married her against her will, so the Prophet allowed her to exercise her choice." (Abu Da'ud, on the authority of Ibn 'Abbas)
Just as any adult can enter into any legal contract, so also any adult man or woman can arrange his or her own marriage, provided that during the process of arranging the marriage there is no dating. It is well known that Khadijah, the Prophet's first wife arranged her own marriage with the Prophet. It is true that this happened before sayyadna Muhammad received prophethood. But if an arrangement by a woman of her own marriage were so shameful in the eyes of ALLAH as it is in the eyes of some Muslims, then He would have somehow prevented His Messenger from such a marriage. Moreover, there are some ahadith which show that even after receiving prophethood sayyadna Muhammad did not disapprove of women arranging their own marriage.We quote here one such hadith:

"A woman came to the Messenger of ALLAH and offered herself to him (in marriage). When she had stood for a long time (without receiving an answer) a man got up and said: Messenger of ALLAH! Marry her to me if you have no need of her. He asked the man if he had anything to give her as dower (marriage gift), and when he replied that he had nothing but the lower garment he was wearing, the Prophet said: Look for something, even though it be an iron ring. Then when the man had searched and found nothing, ALLAH's Messenger asked him whether he knew anything of the Qur'an. When the man replied that he knew Surah so and so and Surah so and so, ALLAH's Messenger said: Go away, I give her to you in marriage. Teach her some of the Qur'an." (Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Sahl bin Sa'd)
In this hadith a woman is arranging her own marriage but the Prophet does not rebuke her or admonish her in any other way. Thus while it may not be the best thing for a woman to do, she can if she wishes, make a marriage proposal for herself without being blameworthy in the eyes of ALLAH.

However for a Muslim girl it is a requirement to have a guardian from her side for nikah. Who is either her father, adult brother or a close relative. Without a guardian her marriage is not valid.

"If a woman marries herself away without the presence of her father or guardian, then her marriage is invalid. The Prophet, peace be upon him, is quoted to have said: "A woman does not marry another woman away and a woman does not marry herself away. Only an adulteress gives herself away in marriage." Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawood relate on the authority of Ayesha that the Prophet, peace be upon him, has said; "Any woman who marries herself away without the consent of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, invalid, invalid." These Hadiths leave us in no doubt as to the invalidity of such a marriage."
(extracted from a detailed answer at  under the heading Matrimonial, and sub heading parental consent denied situation 1)

When is Polygamy allowed in Islam?

1-  The Noble Verses:
Marriage from multiple women in Islam might not be allowed for those who might result in damaging the society with their marriage by bringing more illiterate, poor, and in many cases starving children to the society.
Let us look at Noble Verse 4:3 "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them),then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice."
Notice how Allah Almighty allowed polygamy only for helping the orphans (more women are needed to take care of the Muslims' and infidels' orphans after every battle.)  Notice also how Allah Almighty ordered the men to be either fair to their wives or else to never marry more than one wife.
Let us look at Noble Verse 4:129 "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful."  Here we clearly see that Allah Almighty tells men that they will never be fair to their wives. 
Let us see why then Allah Almighty temporarily ordered polygamy but yet very highly discouraged it, and why I personally believe from the Noble Quran that polygamy should not be allowed today to most Muslim men in the Muslim world.

2-  What was the purpose of the Noble Verse 4:3?
Noble Verse 4:3 was revealed to Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him in Madina after he migrated to it from Mecca and established an Islamic state there right after the battle of Uhud in which the Muslims not only had lost badly against the Pagans, but also suffered a dramatic decrease in the number of Muslim men.  The Muslim men before that battle were approximately 700.  They became only 400 after the battle.  This loss had left so many Muslim women (1) Widows, and (2) Not able to get married if they were single.
To make matters even worse, the Muslims had faced yet another battle against the Pagans in Mecca and its neighboring tribes who wanted to attack the Muslims in Madina to finish off Islam once and for all, and by the Jews and the Christians in Madina who betrayed the Muslims in the "battle of Trench" after signing a defense treaty with Muhammad peace be upon him against the Pagans.
All praise due to Allah Almighty.  With Allah's Will and Mercy, the Muslims had miraculously won the battle against the Pagans of Mecca and drove them back to where they came from, and then attacked the Jews and the Christians who betrayed the defense treaty and kicked those hypocrites out of Madina forever!
These continuous battles against the Muslims were very costly in terms of Muslim men's lives.  The women had to be taken care of one way or another.  For this reason, Allah Almighty had revealed the Noble Verse 4:3 to Muhammad peace be upon him to solve the social problems that the Muslims were facing.  That is why at the very beginning of the Noble Verse 4:3 we see Allah Almighty setting a conditional clause for Orphans "If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans...(4:3)."  This Noble Verse came down for the purpose of protecting the Orphans and to increase the number of the Muslims by allowing the men to marry multiple wives (preferably from the grown Orphans at that time), up to four wives only.  The purpose was absolutely not for man's sexual pleasure nor privilege, nor was it to support man's personal ego.  It was revealed to solve a major social problem to prevent major sins such as illegal sex and prostitution.
Polygamy is not encouraged in the Noble Quran, nor Allah Almighty had allowed it because He really liked it.  He was clearly careful to highly discourage polygamy to men by telling them "but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one...(4:3)which clearly orders men to either be fair or to not marry at all, despite the fact that we lost many men, Allah Almighty still didn't want polygamy to really take place.  That's why He later told men "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire...(4:129)" which clearly nullifies the excuse that He gave them to practice polygamy.  Is this a contradiction then?  Absolutely not!.  It clearly proves that when Allah Almighty allowed polygamy, He only allowed it because we (the Muslims) had an emergency; we lost almost half of our men if not even more.  When Islam later became much stronger and Muslims defeated the infidels in the continues battles that were forced upon them (the Muslims), Allah Almighty nullified the excuse that he gave to men to practice polygamy, which would then lead to prohibiting polygamy altogether.

The way I read Noble Verse 4:3 is as follows:
Allah Almighty ordered us to take care of the Orphans in our Islamic society (Noble Verses 2:177, 2:215, 2:220 and much more).  He then commands us that if we fear that we will not be able to provide enough support for the too much Orphans in our society (especially after the battle of Uhud where more than half of the Muslim men were lost), then marry up to four of them to provide a social balance between men and women.  But if a person feels that he can't handle multiple women, then one is just fine.
That's really all there is to it.  Please read the Noble Verse again and compare it to my brief explanation above:
"If ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly with the orphans, marry women of your choice, Two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them), then only one, or (a captive) that your right hands possess, that will be more suitable, to prevent you from doing injustice.  (The Noble Quran, 4:3)

3-  Why didn't Allah Almighty then directly prohibit polygamy?
Because Islam is the most straight forward religion, and because Islam is truly a religion for all times and all places that doesn't need to be modified as some of the other religions in the world do (including Christianity).  Allah Almighty left the issue of polygamy open for Muslims in case Muslims face dilemmas in the future like the ones we faced during Islam's weak times by losing too many men.  In cases like this, Muslim scholars should look into allowing polygamy.  But until then, polygamy should be completely prohibited by the Muslim scholars according to the commands of Allah Almighty.
To see polygamy in the Bible where a man can marry an infinite amount of women without any limits to how many he can marry, see Exodus 21:10 in the Bible.   Please note that King David in the Bible had six wives and numerous concubines according to 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Chronicles 3:1-9, 14:3.  King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines according to1 Kings 11:3.  Also, Solomon's son Rehoboam had 18 wives and 60 concubines according to 2 Chronicles 11:21.
Please visit:  Polygamy in both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible.  Jesus himself in the New Testament allowed Polygamy.

4-  Why then did Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him practice polygamy?
Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him can be treated as an exceptional case.  The Noble Verses that I presented above clearly talked about men and women in general.   They apply to all men and all women.  Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was a Messenger of GOD (filled with sympathy and mercy to people) and a leader for all Muslims.   He didn't practice polygamy for the sake of sexual pleasure at all.  Most of his wives were either widows (older than him in age too) or divorced women (also most of them were either older or same age).  Only one of his wives was a virgin, and he only married her because her father was his best friend.  He wanted to strengthen that relationship.  And it was her father who offered her to our Prophet peace be upon him anyway.
If our beloved Prophet peace be upon him really seeked sexual pleasure, then he would've married young virgins from the Muslims.  Back then, people loved Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him so much, that they would literally do anything for him.  Certainly fathers would've given him their young virgin daughters if he wanted to.   Many people offered him their young virgin bosomed daughters anyway to raise their families' honor, but our Prophet never seeked that sexual privilege in life.
Because Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him was a smart political leader and a wonderful humble merciful true Messenger of Allah Almighty, he chose to marry the weak from his people to encourage the Muslim men to do the same; to create a balance in the Muslim society.  Again, another emergency case that existed during Islam's weak times that forced the Muslims (including Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him) to practice polygamy.

5-  Can anyone be absolutely fair?
No one on this earth including Muhammad peace be upon him can be absolutely fair.  Our Prophet peace be upon him used to pray in one of his prayers to Allah Almighty by saying in Arabic "Allah humma innaka taalamu be anni aadiloo bima astatee', wa lakinnee la aadiloo bima la astatee'," which means in English "Dear Allah, you are well aware that I try to be just with all I can, but I can't be just with what I can't."  This prayer means that our Prophet always tried to be fair as much as possible, but he couldn't always do that.
One time, Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said this prayer, because he used to love his wife Aisha (who was the youngest of his wives) the most, and he always feared that he would not be fair to the rest of his wives.  Muhammad peace be upon him recognized that he was only a human being, and he can not be fair especially in his feelings at all time.
This clearly proves that Islam highly discourages the marriage of multiple wives for (1) Because no one can be fair; (2) polygamy is only allowed when the male species is endangered in a society; and (3) The Noble Verse 4:3 orders us to marry only one wife if we feel that we will not be fair.
The Noble Verse that I presented above also clearly proves that no one can be absolutely fair; "Ye are never able to be fair and just as between women, even if it is your ardent desire: But turn not away (from a woman) altogether, so as to leave her (as it were) hanging (in the air). If ye come to a friendly understanding, and practise self-restraint, God is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.  (The Noble Quran, 4:129)"

6-  Too much illiterate and starving kids damage the society and Islam:
Today in some of the poor Muslim countries, some poor men still practice polygamy.  What benefit would it really serve the society and Islam for a person to bring more illiterate and starving kids into this world?
I honestly believe that practicing polygamy among the poor and starving is not allowed in Islam.  Allah Almighty will hold accountable every man who practices polygamy.  Poor men practicing polygamy don't provide fairness to the newly born kids and to the economically crippled society, and certainly not to their wives either.
If people practice polygamy without being thoughtful to others, then I am certain that Allah Almighty will take that negatively toward them, because Allah Almighty clearly demanded that we be fair, and think thoroughly before having multiple wives.  He clearly encouraged just having one wife.

7-  What if the person is rich and can afford polygamy?
I think it would be ok, but the man would still be taking a very high risk in displeasing GOD Almighty for anything that goes wrong in the marriages and the damages that it would cost the wives and the kids.  If his kids will not be a burden on the society, and he makes sure that his wives are all treated well and equally as much as he can, even though he will never be perfectly just, then he might be ok.
Brining well educated kids into a Muslim society definitely helps.  But if a rich guy practices polygamy the way some of the oil rich Gulf-Arab multi billionaires practice it; by marrying and divorcing on Thursdays which ensures that he never exceeds four women, and at the same time he always experiences new sexual pleasure with a new woman every week, then believe me Allah Almighty will damn him really bad in the Day of Judgment, because this is not the spiritual point from allowing polygamy in the Noble Quran!
I think practicing polygamy among those who can afford it really depends on the individual case.  If the man's wife strongly opposes to polygamy to a point that she would seek a divorce, then obviously he can never satisfy her, and most probably can never be fair enough with her because he would be always fighting and arguing with her, where it may not be the case with the other wife.  So destroying a marital life and damaging the kids for a personal reason is really not fair by itself, unless of course the wife is unbearable and the man and wife don't want the divorce, which in this case it would be a great idea for the man to have another wife.
Also, some Muslim women don't mind polygamy.  And yes, some of them even seek wives for their husbands.  If this is the case, then polygamy in this case would not be a problem, provide that the man can financially afford it and can provide a good quality life for all of his wives, and most importantly, can provide a good quality of education to his children.
As I said above, Allah Almighty clearly revealed Noble Verse 4:3 for the protection of the Orphans and to solve a major social imbalance between men and women.  The Noble Verse never really came for man's pleasure, nor did it come for general purposes like in the Bible where men can practice polygamy for just about any reason.
So men in Islam are really taking risks when they practice polygamy for personal reasons only, because they will be held accountable for everything that goes wrong in the multiple marriages, and for any martial dissolutions that will ultimately hurt the kids the most.