Sunday, 24 July 2016

Forced to accept Islam


_A Revert Story_
*By Danielle LoDuca*

I never aspired to be Muslim.
I didn’t even want to be Christian.

The whole concept of ‘organized religion’ was distasteful. I sought to use my mind, not resort to some ancient book for assistance in living my life.

If u had offered me millions of dollars to join one faith or another, I would have declined.....I wanted to systematically prove religions were no more than a hoax. I purposefully set out to do just that.

*Yet, here I am. Muslim*

My paperback translation of the Qur'an had been acquired for free. I didn’t even stop to chat with the MSA students standing at the table stacked with books. I curtly asked, “Is it free?” When they replied in the affirmative, I grabbed one & continued on my way. I had no interest in them, only the free book to assist me in accomplishing my goal of debasing religions once & for all.

But, as I read that Qur'an; as its cover became worn & its pages tattered, I became more & more subdued. It was distinct from the other religious books I had also collected. I could understand it easily. It was clear.

A friend of mine once began ranting about how God in Islam is angry & vengeful. I came to its defense without even realizing it, opening it up & easily flipping to one of the many pages that said, “Surely, ﷲ is Forgiving, Merciful.”

It was if the Qur'an was speaking to me directly – responding to my life. It was an “old book” but somehow, it was entirely relevant. Something about its cadence & imagery & the way it communicated to me intimately; It was exquisite beauty I hadn’t really felt before.. I found it exhilarating..

The Qur'an was appealing to my intellect. Offering me signs & then telling me to think, to ponder & consider. It rejected the notion of blind faith, but encouraged reason & intelligence. It directed humanity towards goodness, recognition of the Creator, plus moderation, kindness, & humility.

After some time, & life-changing experiences my interest intensified. I began reading other books about Islam.

I found that the Qur'an contained prophecies, as did many of the hadiths.

I had begun walking down a new path. Led by the amazing Qur'an, paired with the beautiful paradigm of devotion; the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ This man showed no signs of being a liar.Praying through the nights, asking forgiveness of his oppressors, encouraging kindness. Refusing wealth & power & persevering with the pure message of devotion to ﷲ alone, he endured unfathomable hardship. ( peace be upon him)

It was all so uncomplicated, easy to understand. We’ve been created; all this intricacy & diversity could not pop out of nothing. So follow the One who created us – Simple.

I remember the warm artificial lighting in my apartment & the weight of the air on the night I read this verse:
   Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens & the earth were a joined entity, & We split them asunder & made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe? (Quran 21:30)

My mind was split asunder when I read this. It was the Big Bang – suddenly not just a theory… aиϑ every living thing from water… wasn’t that what scientists had just discovered? I was astonished. It was the most exciting & yet frightening time of my life.

I read & studied & double-checked book after book until one night I sat in my library at Pratt Institute, staring wide-eyed at the piles of open books. My mouth must have been dropped open slightly. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I realized I had in front of me, the truth. The truth I had been so sure did not exist.

There were only two choices & one was no choice at all. I could not deny what I had discovered, ignoring it & going on with my life as before..That left only one option.

I knew I had to accept it, because the only alternative was denying truth.

*Edited :The deen show*


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