Why I Chose Islam
As Presented at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia
on 12th April 2003
And behold! God will say:
“O Jesus the son of Mary! Didst thou say unto men, worship me and my mother
as gods in derogation of God’?” He will say: “Glory to Thee!
Never could I say what I had no right (to say). Had I said such a thing,
Thou wouldst indeed have known it. Thou knowest what is in my heart,
Though I know not what is in Thine.
For Thou knowest in full all that is hidden.
To explain to you why I chose Islam, I have to go back before my knowledge and acceptance of Islam to when I was born into a Catholic/Protestant family. My Father was Catholic my Mother was Protestant, but as my Father ruled the house it was a Catholic family. Now, I rejected the Catholic belief at a young age and then from this time I basically rebelled against this strict lifestyle in which I was brought up. From there I ended up on the streets, doing drugs, all messed up, drinking alcohol – totally shot.
I was dragged out of the gutter by a man who trained me to be a weight lifter, gave me back pride in myself and told me that while I was training my body, I had to seek a spiritual path as well, because physically it’s not enough there must also be a spiritual part to one’s life. So from there I went on a journey searching all the different faiths and I ended up being a born-again Protestant Pentecostal Christian, preaching Jesus to everyone and anyone who would listen and to those who wouldn’t listen. Basically I became a Bible basher.
From there I travelled overseas, preaching Jesus, and telling people how Jesus could change their lives; save their souls, and the whole thing. I used to debate scripture with people. One brother, a Christian brother, who I led to Jesus came up against me in a debate at work. He was going on about the Trinity and he pointed out to me a simple thing that the Trinity didn’t come about until 325 years after the death of Christ. Ok that’s 325 years after the death of Jesus and the resurrection to some people! It was a political move by emperor Constantine at the first council of Nicea (325 AD) to unite the Romans and the Christians together to give him a power base. He basically decreed that Jesus was God and the Roman Sun God, because Greek and Roman mythology had taken over Christianity; Christianity did not take over Greek and Roman mythology. The Roman Sun God’s birthday, which was the 25th December became Jesus’ birthday. The Roman’s Sunday became the holy Sabbath. Also the counsel decreed that Jesus was the Son of God, the only begotten of the Father, the very God of the very God. It also declared the Trinitarian concept, the official doctrine of the Pauline Church, which is now, basically, the Roman Catholic Church. Therefore, you must understand that whether it be the Roman Catholic Church, or the Protestant church, all the scriptures came from the one source – that which became the Catholic Church. So all the canonical Gospels were in the hands of the Catholics originally. Through them came the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, the only four Gospels. After that they went about destroying all the Hebrew Scriptures, over three hundred of them written in the original Hebrew text and many of them were eyewitnesses’ accounts. So from there in 380 emperor Constantinople of Rome made the Trinitarian base of belief, the Catholic faith obligatory to all his subjects, and it’s been that way since. That’s why Rome is the head of the faith. In 381 the counsel of Constantinople attended by 186 Bishops they completed the three present head of the Trinity, and they added to the Godhead the person of the Holy Spirit. In 381 Emperor Theodosius threatened to punish all that did not believe in the doctrine of the Trinity. That’s why we have the basic Trinitarian doctrine of all Christian faiths today, except for a few who believe that Jesus was not God, Jesus was a Prophet of God, a messenger of God, similar to Islam.
Now the implications of the Trinitarian doctrine are truly obvious, they have nothing to do with the original teachings of Jesus, so for me that was a major, major turning point in my Christian faith, because if Jesus didn’t become God until 325 years after his death, what can I say? Simple! You know this is a man made thing!
However, while I was preaching Christianity – and I was going to preach Christianity to the Muslims – that was my intention – I started learning about Islam. You go to any Christian bookshop and you will find a whole shelf on Islam. You go to any Islamic bookshop or centre you won’t find anything about Christianity. Well the Christians are too busy worrying about the Muslims, and the Muslims are too busy getting on with their business. They’re not worried about Christians, honestly the Christians think that the Muslims want to take over the world and that they want to invade this country, and that they want to do all these crazy things; they think that they’re storing guns underneath their Mosques! I assure you, I’ve been to every Mosque in Perth and there are no guns! They are not terrorists! I don’t know a single terrorist – I have never met one. Further, I don’t know any one with those views.
So as I went on studying about Islam, yet still a Christian, I could see the similarities between Islam and the Bible. Many of the teachings in the Bible were not necessarily the words that were originally said – but the actions. Like Moses, being told to take off his shoes when he entered Holy ground, now never once did I take off my shoes when going into a Church. No one did. Yet you go to a Mosque and everyone takes off their shoes, for it is Holy ground. Moses went down on his knees and prostrated before God. Now Brothers and Sisters of Islam forgive me if I do not say Allah, but I’m talking to the Christians, and I’ll just use the word God because Christians have a tendency to believe that they have their God, and that Allah is a totally separate God. Of course we know He is not – He is God. Allah means, The One True God -being the Creator of the heavens and the earth; the Creator of all things; the Creator of you and of me. Anyway, Moses prostrated before God; Daniel prostrated before God; Abraham prostrated before God, Jesus (peace be upon Him) also fell on his face and prostrated before God.
You go to any Mosque, they are all kneeling and prostrating before God, Brothers and Sisters. I go to a Church, we’re all dancing around in front of a band, like a rock and roll concert, waving our hands about in the air! This is not worship. This is rock and roll. Job and all the prophets accepted the will of God, hard or easy; good or bad. Read your scriptures, understand them, look at them.
The Qur’an says (2:43) “And be steadfast in prayer; practise regular charity; and bow down your heads with those who bow down (in worship).” My advice to you is to pray morning, noon and night. The only time we prayed was going to Church on Sunday. You walk around talking. If you’re talking to God, you should have a true fear of God; an understanding of He, who is the Creator. Get down upon your knees, have your face on the ground.
To me these were all the things that I could see which were not happening in the Church, but which were happening in the Mosques; happening in Islam. In I Thessalonians 5:17 it says, “Pray without ceasing”. Now, I prayed in tongues, a gift from the Holy Spirit. This is babble, nothing more than babble! In Islam there is a prayer when you walk in through the door; a prayer when you walk out through the door; there is a prayer when you walk into the toilet; a prayer when you walk out; a prayer when you hop in your car; a prayer when you hop out; a prayer for everything. In Islam you pray without ceasing. Every action in your life is dedicated to Allah (God). The reverence and the respect of God is not a circus act, hyped up by music and rock and roll bands playing; and being told that the presence of God was in the place because we were all hyped up on this great music. An anointing of God simply meant that the band was playing well, because when the band wasn’t playing, the anointing wasn’t going too well!
Now last time I spoke, I asked, “What was Ishmael’s crime?” I didn’t get to go into detail then, so now I’ll go into detail. What was Ishmael’s crime? As a Christian I was told it didn’t matter if my Mother was a prostitute, a drug addict; if my father was a derelict or what ever, I accept that God accepts me. I bow down to God, I believe in God that if I totally accept him he will accept me, that it doesn’t matter where I’ve been or what I’ve done. Yet in the Old Testament Ishmael was rejected because he was the son of a slave woman, according to the Old Testament.
As the son of a slave woman, the promises of God were not attributed to him, simply because he was the son of a slave woman! What a contradiction in teachings! So what was his crime? None, he was born to a slave woman, yet he still loved God, revered God, worshipped God.
I found the Quran to be the most beautiful thing I’d ever heard in the world. I didn’t understand it at first, but it was beautiful. Then when I actually read the English text… I can’t put it into words. It has no contradictions, yet the Bible is full of contradictions. Now I’m not beating up on Christianity here, I’m just telling the things that changed my life, and the direction in which I was heading.
Islam is a solution to racism A little story for you folks, Jesus was not White, blonde-haired and blue eyed. He was not necessarily black; but he wasn’t white. He was somewhere in between.
And what of equality of the sexes? I love the fact that Islam 1400 years ago made women equal to men. It’s only 50-60 years that women in Western countries actually received equal rights, and yet in Islam they always have had equal rights.
Islam preaches tolerance of Christians and Jews. Now, as a Christian I was told to love, but yet in our actions – and that was how we were – the only time we entertained a Muslim, a Jew, a Buddhist, a Hindu was when we were trying to convert them. Now, a Muslim will not Bible bash you or should I say Quran bash you, this statement does not exist in Islam, Quran bashing, because they don’t. If you wish to talk about it, they will talk about it, if you ask questions; they will answer you about it. We as Muslims believe that you will come into the realization yourself, by the guidance of Allah (God).
Ephesians 6:12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” All who are not Born again Christians are deceived by the devil and possessed by evil spirits, this is what I was taught. In Islam we believe that not all Muslims are going to go to heaven, also that not all Christians and not all Jews will go to heaven; some Muslims, some Christians and some Jews will go to heaven: “Those who believe (in the Qur’an), those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Sabians and the Christians,- any who believe in God and the Last Day, and work righteousness,- on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” Qur’an 5:69
Those who have a love for God and follow his ways and are righteous! But as a Born again Christian all I had to do was accept Jesus, and all my sins were washed away, and I was going to heaven – free ticket! Didn’t matter what I did wrong as long as I pleaded the blood of Jesus over myself, prayed, was repentant I was still going to heaven, and everybody else wasn’t going there. Now who am I to make that choice? What is this doctrine that it says this choice is to be made? The only choice is by God. He decides who goes to heaven and who doesn’t go to heaven. . . no one else! And only God can forgive your sins . . . not a man that became God 325 years after he walked the Earth. God in all of His infinite wisdom and power and glory can forgive your sins, just like that! You don’t need to accept anything; you just need to be repentant. In the Quran it says:
“Who could be better in religion than one who submits his whole self to God, does good and follows the way of Abraham, the true in faith for God did take Abraham for a friend” [4:125] It explains itself right there.
What has happened to me since I have become a Muslim? I’ve come out of the darkness and into the light; I’m a slave only to Allah. I have complete internal peace beyond all description, that I never found as a Christian.
Now it doesn’t matter if I am going through hassles in my job; doesn’t matter if I am going through hassles everywhere else. It doesn’t matter if I am being discriminated against, because I am a Muslim, which has happened in this free democratic society in which we live, for I never experienced these things until I became a Muslim. Let me tell you something about discrimination people, you have no idea about discrimination unless you are being discriminated against. You can say “oh no he’s not being discriminated against” or, “she’s not being discriminated against,” because you’re from the outside looking in. But when you are being discriminated against, when you are being harassed, you know it – not necessarily everybody else.
Why did I choose Islam? Because I simply cannot deny the truth. Islam is the truth and the truth has set me free. Ash-hadu anlaa ilaha illa allah wa ash hadu anna Muhammadan abduhu wa rasuulalah (I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the servant and