Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert-from Christianity to atheist to ISLAM……

Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert  (EUROPE)

Guidance from God, searching for God, an analytical mind and an open heart are the prerequisites for finding truth. Despite facing adversity from their surroundings, these individuals persevere for their faith.

Why did I embrace Islam?

Why did I embrace Islam? My only convincing answer to this question is that Almighty God in His Glory helped me in admitting the Greatest Truth and testifying to the biggest reality to the world. I, however, know fully well that human nature and its disposition refuse to be convinced of certain facts and realities without satisfactory proofs and cogent arguments. Keeping in view man’s nature, I feel that this reply of mine would not satisfy those who are not inclined towards, nor do they feel any interest in, searching for the Truth, nor those on whom the light of truth has not dawned. I am, therefore, left with no alternative but to reduce to writing some of the reasons and causes that induced me to embrace Islam and to stick to it.

While staying in a European society, I express my joy and jubiliation, that the people living in these societies do not change their religion nor do they deviate from their faith for the sake of economic, political or social temptations nor do they rush to embrace any religion, unless it works as a strong incentive and an effective factor to open up their hearts and generate spiritual tranquillity. Otherwise, they remain contented with infidelity and apostasy.

Here then, if one pauses to consider, one will come to the conclusion that my own act, or for that matter, the act of any individual in the European society, of embracing Islam does not imply earning economic profits or attaining social advantages. The matter is rather the other way round. Firstly, we, the peoples of the European society, attach no importance to religious matters. However, if there is anyone from among the European society who cares for religion, the aim of such a one is nothing but to find God. As such, my own interest in Islam meant nothing but search for the Truth and the direction of right thinking.

A desire of search for the Truth arose in my heart. A longing to find the Truth crept into my self. This was when I saw that many doubts and misgivings had been growing and rising in my imagination and memory about the Christian beliefs and its fundamentals. At the same time, the capacity of Christianity fell short of providing resistance and protection against those doubts and misgivings. Christianity used to press that all its tenets be admitted without proof and argument.

To cite an example, my heart is not inclined to accept the Christian belief that Glorious Almighty God sent Prophet Jesus Christ for the whole world as an expiator of the sins of all the slaves of God. It also did not appeal to me that the entire humanity was sullied with various colours of sins including disobedience, and all the sins of the slaves of God were forgiven, following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I also felt that God Himself inevitably possesses full power to save His slaves and to keep them away from committing sins and crimes. I also felt that He has all the might to forgive, on His own, the sins of His slaves without any explanation being necessary. Thus, Glorious God does not need any explanation to forgive the sins of His slaves.

Even so, I felt that the belief of making the Prophets a ransom for the sins of the entire humanity is tantamount and similar (God forbid) to imputing motives of wrong-doing and injustice to All-mighty God. On the other hand, man may commit sins and crimes without any hesitation and hitch. Whenever I expressed these doubts to any Christian scholar or priest, he advised me to banish from my mind these doubts and instigated me to accept those beliefs of Christianity, without any reservation. They strongly pressed me to give up the idea that they are not convincing, so that these doubts and views may not grow nor flourish in my mind. The desire to search for the Truth had been constantly growing till I arrived at a very critical juncture which denies all faith and (revealed) laws.

In those days I had the opportunity to come across a religious and capable Muslim who, inspite of being charmed by the glamour of European culture and civilization, used to take pride in stating that he was a Muslim. He affirmed that, through the blessings of Islam, he enjoyed contentment of the heart and mental tranquillity. On the other hand, a feeling of weirdness and disgust against the name of religion had got hold of my heart. This assertion of his filled my heart with a sense of astonishment and I was drowned in a sea of thought: Is there a religion which provides heart’s contentment and mental peace to those who profess and follow it? This idea induced me to acquire knowledge about Islam and its disciplines. Now I claim by dint of my studies that Islam is the immortal religion of Allah which has the ability to elate the hearts of those who submit to it. It helps them in all their affairs and difficulties. It removes all doubts and suspicions arising in the hearts of the people from the teachings and beliefs of other religions.

One of the most important teachings of Islam that influenced my heart is that it does not call man to submit to it without thinking and reflection. On the other hand, man has been invited to think and reflect deeply and clearly and weigh every Islamic belief on the scale of understanding and wisdom before accepting it. In Islam, Allah the All-Mighty is the source and fountainhead of justice. It is, therefore, not possible that Allah should make any man a ransom for the sins of all mankind. According to the Islamic belief, Allah the All-Mighty possesses all eternal, exalted attributes and is free from all shortcomings and defects. For this reason, Islam maintains that this notion is against wisdom and beyond conception, that Allah the All-Mighty has bestowed on man the liberty to commit sins and has given him free rein to indulge in offences under the theory of expiation.

These are, thus, the eternal teachings of Islam which cleared up from my mind the tendency of hate against religion and religious regulations. They led me to the conclusion that religion is a permanent, independent code of law which ensures for man everlasting prosperity, eternal honour and endless victory and triumph.

At this critical stage, on the one hand, I made an extensive, intensive and analytical study of Islam, from the standpoint of abiding law of life. On the other hand, I focussed my keen attention on the question: how Islam provides man with peace of mind and tranquillity of the self in the present age in which new problems and contemporary issues crop up from day to day. So, when my heart came at rest and my self calmed down from both the directions, I embraced Islam. For lack of space it is not possible for me to express all the impressions and the emotions that my mind received. It is, however, necessary to clarify the lessons with which I was inspired in Islam: It is that Islam directs the entire humanity towards the real goal of its creation and guides it to achieve those lofty aims. It conveys the message of peace and security to the human society; establishes bonds of fraternity and equality among them and obliterates all differences and disputes including those of colour, race and nationality. It rescues them from social and economic exploitation and from all other shapes of racial discrimination. It leads them to a vast expanse of right guidance and a path that is uniform and straight.

Not only does Islam oppose stagnation and deterioration in life, but it also calls all mankind to achieve advancement and development. It allows the individual to earn money and wealth and attain industrial and commercial development. It gives him the right to wages and awards as long as these activities are lawful and are not ill-gotten. So Islam is a complete and comprehensive evolution. It embraces all aspects of revolution and excellence. It is a belief that advances, along with the entire humanity, in the right and straight direction, where man feels that he is a member of an international community, understands his duties and is solicitious about the demands of life.

When about ten years ago I embraced Islam, peace and tranquillity returned to my distracted, troubled and defiant nature.

Praise, gratitude and thanks to Allah that I am enjoying a life full of contentment and satisfaction.

Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert

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Mujahid Egan – Irish and Su’ad Egan – Caribbean

Mujahid Egan – Irish and Su’ad Egan – Caribbean Print E-mail
Were a Christian family from Church Of Christ
Became Muslims in Jan 1995

“We had been Christians for several years prior to becoming Muslims and the only thing we knew about Islaam was basically what the West had taught us and the only thing we read was by other Christians and it was written just to refute Islam. Eventually we left the church because we became disillusioned by the Bible, because it contained so many contradictions and lies. We stripped it of its, traditionalism and culturalism and paganism to go back to the raw religion. Because my husband had taken a course in Church history it exposed the bible as an unreliable document. Simultaneously, my husband had questioned whether Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was a real Prophet. We just continued to study. He read the life of the Prophet, which helped to convince us more. For me, having taught Muslim children in school, they taught me the proper reverence due to Allaah. Eventually, after more study we accepted Islaam as the true religion.

Aaron (Haroon) Eugene Nichols (Monterey, California, USA)- POST 9/11 CONVERT

Convert finds peace in Islam
Aaron Nichols looked into religion after Sept. 11
By ANDRE BRISCOE
Herald Staff Writer

In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, Aaron Eugene Nichols, then 17, did what many in the United States couldn’t think of doing: He embraced Islam. “I wanted to know both sides of the story. I wasn’t just going to believe what I heard on TV,” said Nichols, now 21, who has changed his name to Haron, Arabic for Aaron.

“Everybody was saying how Islam and Muslims were terrorists, so I wanted to find out for myself. I was taught to think for myself, not to believe what others tell me. And I found out it was the complete opposite,” said the Monterey man. Just as the events of Sept. 11 changed America, they also changed Haron and many other Americans who have accepted Islam and become Muslims, said a local imam.

Abdellah Khidar, who heads the Islamic Society of Monterey County’s mosque in Seaside, said that in the years since the attack he has seen a greater interest by Americans in Islam. “It’s true, after 9/11 there was a big change,” said Khidar, a native of Morocco. “Before 9/11 there wasn’t that much interest from Americans about Islam. But since then I have been asked to give speeches at universities, schools, even synagogs. Many who have wanted answers to questions about Islam have converted. Not just Haron.” Khidar took over as imam at the Seaside mosque last year and has seen at least 20 Americans of different ethnic backgrounds convert to Islam, including one man who works at the Defense Language Institute. “The most important thing is that Americans have opened up,” he said. “They are eager to learn the truth about Islam.”

To Haron’s friends and family, initially, the words Muslim or Islam were considered synonymous with terrorism. Haron was brought up Christian, though he never seriously practiced the faith. “I never felt comfortable in a church. But I felt very comfortable in a mosque,” he said, clutching a large blue Quran written in Arabic, which he is teaching himself so he can read the Muslim holy book in its original form.
Nichols, who is of Irish and American Indian heritage, was born and raised in Monterey. He wears a kufi, a white knit hat, traditional for Muslim men. His 29-year-old-wife, Cynthia, covers her head with an hajib, traditional for Muslim women to preserve their modesty. She also converted after seeing the positive change becoming Muslim made in Haron. Haron was living in Fresno when he began studying Islam. He regularly attended a mosque across the street from California State University at Fresno, and studied under the mosque’s imam, a Sudanese man named Omar. “We would have talks and I would ask questions. He always gave me straight answers but if he didn’t know, he would ask somebody who had the knowledge he didn’t have. That really showed me something about the integrity of Islam. That you don’t just try to come up with some answer so you can get members.”

Two years later he moved back to Monterey, but continued studying at a Castroville mosque. He finally converted late last year during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Now, as a Muslim, he feels it is his obligation to speak out against many misconceptions and misrepresentation about Islam. “Allah does not love aggressors. You’re only supposed to fight a war if (someone) is attacking your home or your family,” he said. “There are so many things in the Quran that says not to be a terrorist. Very blunt, very specific, about not being a man of bloodshed.”

Nichols also defends the religion in terms of its treatment of women. Islam “says woman are more special than men because they are the mothers of our children,” he said. “They are a blessing to men.” Women are more likely to be treated poorly in the United States, he said, where their physical beauty is valued more than their intelligence. Instances where woman have been subjugated to men, not allowed to drive or vote in certain Islamic nations, are rules applied by particular countries, he said.

Nichols’ family is supportive of his and Cynthia’s acceptance of Islam. They see the positive changes he has made in his life. “My mom sees the peace it has created in me,” he said. Nichols used to fret about money and his job as a car salesman, said Cynthia Nichols. “Now he has peace in mind and heart that he never had before,” she said. Nichols continues to express enthusiasm and support for his new-found faith. People, he says, should “read the Bible, then Hadith, the Quran and figure it out for themselves… at least they will know that Islam is not a bad religion. Believing in a certain religion is not a crime.” The only way for the public educate themselves about Islam is the do what he did — “find out for themselves.”

Kenneth L. Jenkins, Former Minister and Elder of the Pentecostal Church (USA)

Foreword

As a former minister and elder of the Christian church, it has become incumbent upon me to enlighten those that continue to walk in darkness. After embracing Islam I felt a dire need to help those who have not yet been blessed to experience the light of Islam.

I thank Almighty God, Allah, for having mercy upon me, causing me to come to know the beauty of Islam as taught by Prophet Muhammad and his rightly guided followers. It is only by the mercy of Allah that we receive true guidance and the ability to follow the straight path, which leads to success in this life and the Hereafter.

Praise be to Allah for the kindness shown to me by Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baz upon my embracing Islam. I cherish and will pass on the knowledge gained from each meeting with him. There are many others who have helped me by means of encouragement and knowledge, but for fear of missing anyone, I will refrain from attempting to list them. Sufficient it is to say that I thank Almighty God, Allah, for each and every brother and sister that He has allowed to play a role in my growth and development as a Muslim.

I pray that this short work will be of benefit to all. I hope that Christians will find that there is yet i hope for the wayward conditions that prevail over the bulk of Christendom. The answers to Christian problems are not to be found with the Christians themselves, for they are, in most instances, the root of their own problems. Rather, Islam is the solution to the problems plaguing the world of Christianity,as well as the problems facing the so-called worldof religion as a whole. May Allah guide us all and reward us according to the very best of our deeds and intentions.

Abdullah Muhammad al-Faruque at-Ta’if, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

 
Beginnings

As a young boy I was raised with a deep fear of God. Having been partially raised by a grandmother who was a Pentecostal fundamentalist, the church became an integral part of my life at a very early age. By the time I had reached the age of six, I knew all too well the benefits awaiting me in Heaven for being a good little boy and the punishment awaiting in Hell for little boys who are naughty. I was taught by my grandmother that all liars were doomed to go to the Hellfire, where they would burn forever and ever.

My mother worked two full-time jobs and continued to remind me of the teachings given to me by her mother. My younger brother and older sister did not seem to take our grandmother’s warnings of the Hereafter as seriously as I did. I recall seeing the full moon when it would take on a deep reddish hue, and I would begin to weep because I was taught that one of the signs of the end of the world would be that the moon would become red like blood. As an eight year old child I began to develop such a fear at what I thought were signs in the heavens and on earth of Doomsday that I actually had nightmares of what the Day of Judgement would be like. Our house was close to a set of railroad tracks, and trains passed by on a frequent basis. I can remember being awakened out of sleep by the horrendous sound of the locomotive’s horn and thinking that I had died and was being resurrected after hearing the sound of the trumpet. These teachings were ingrained in my young mind through a combination of oral teachings and the reading of a set of children’s books known as the Bible Story.

Every Sunday we would go to church dressed in all of our finery. My grandfather was our means of transportation. Church would last for what seemed to me like hours. We would arrive at around eleven in the morning and not leave until sometimes three in the afternoon. I remember falling asleep in my grandmother’s lap on many occasions. For a time my brother and I were permitted to leave church in between the conclusion of Sunday school and morning worship service to sit with our grandfather at the railway yard and watch the trains pass. He was not a churchgoer, but he saw to it that my Eamily made it there every Sunday. Sometime later he suffered a stroke, which left him partiallyparalyzed, and as a result, we were unable to attend church on a regular basis. This period of time would be one of the most crucial stages of my development.

Rededication

I was relieved, in a sense, at no longer being able to attend church, but I would feel the urge to go on my own every now and then. At age sixteen I began attending the church of a friend whose father was the pastor. It was a small storefront building with only my friend’s family, myself, and another schoolmate as members. This went on for only several months before the church closed down. After graduating from high school and entering the university I rediscovered my religious commitment and became fully immersed in Pentecostal teachings. I was baptized and “filled with the Holy Ghost,” as the experience was then called. As a college student, I quickly became the pride of the church. Everyone had high hopes for me, and I was happy to once again be “on the road to salvation”.

I attended church every time its doors would open. I studied the Bible for days and weeks at a time. I attended lectures given by the Christian scholars of my day, and I acknowledged my call to the ministry at the age of 20. I began preaching and became well known very quickly. I was extremely dogmatic and believed that no one could receive salvation unless they were of my church group. I categorically condemned everyone who had not come to know God the way I had cometo knowHim. I was taught that Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) and God Almighty were one and the samething. I was taught that our church did not believe in the trinity but that Jesus (peace be upon him) was indeed the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I tried to make myself understand it even though I had to admit that I really did not fully understand it. As far as I was concerned, it was the only doctrine that made sense to me. I admired the holy dress of the women and the pious behavior of the men. I enjoyed practicing a doctrine where women were required to dress in garments covering themselves completely, not painting their faces with makeup, and carrying themselves as true ambassadors of Christ. I was convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had finally found the true path to eternal bliss. I would debate with anyone from a different church with different beliefs and would totally silence them with my knowledge of the Bible. I memorized hundreds of Biblical passages, and this became a trademark of my preaching. Yet, even though I felt assured of being on the right path, a part of me was still searching. I felt that there was an even higher truth to be attained.

I would meditate while alone and pray to God to lead me to the correct religion and to forgive me if what I was doing was wrong. I had never had any contact with Muslims. The only people I knew that claimed Islam as their religion were the followers of Elijah Muhammad, who were referred to by many as the “Black Muslims” or the “Lost-Found Nation.” It was during this period in the late seventies that Minister Louis Farrakhan was well into rebuilding what was called “The Nation of Islam.” Iwentto hear Minister Farrakhan speak at the invitation of a coworker and found it to be an experience that would change my life dramatically. I had never in my life heard another black man speak the way that he spoke. I immediately wanted to arrange a meeting with him to try to convert him to my religion. I enjoyed evangelizing, hoping to find lost souls to save from the Hellfire – no matter who they were. 

After graduating from college I began to work on a full-time basis. As I was reaching the pinnacle of my ministry, the followers of Elijah Muhammad became more visible, and I appreciated their efforts in attempting to rid the black community of the evils that were destroying it from within. I began to support them, in a sense, by buying their literature and even meeting with them for dialogue. I attended their study circles to find out exactly what they believed. As sincere as I knew many of them were, I could not buy the idea of God being a black man. I disagreed with their use of the Bible to support their position on certain issues. Here was a book that I knew very well, and I was deeply disturbed at what I deemed was their misinterpretation of it. I had attended locally supported Bible schools and had become quite knowledgeable in various fields of Bible study.

After about six years I moved to Texas and became affiliated with two churches. The first church was led by a young pastor who was inexperienced and not very learned. My knowledge of the Christian scriptures had by this time developed into something abnormal. I was obsessed with Biblical teachings. I began to look deeper into the scriptures and realized that I knew more than the present leader. As a show of respect, I left and joined another church in a different city where I felt that I could learn more. The pastor of this particular church was very scholarly. He was an excellent teacher but had some ideas that were not the norm in our church organization. He held somewhat liberal views, but I still enjoyed his indoctrination. I was soon to learn the most valuable lesson of my Christian life, which was “all that glitters is not gold.” Despite its outward appearance,there were evils taking place that I never thought were possible in the Church. These evils caused me to reflect deeply, and I began questioning the teaching to which I was so dedicated.

Welcome to the Real Church World

I soon discovered that there was a great deal of jealousy prevalent in the ministerial hierarchy. Things had changed from that to which I was accustomed. Women wore clothing that I thought was shameful. People dressed in order to attract attention, usually from the opposite sex. I discovered just how great a part money and greed play in the operation of church activities. There were many small churches struggling, and they called upon us to hold meetings to help raise money for them. I was told that if a church did not have a certain number of members, then I was not to waste my time preaching there because I would not receive ample financial compensation. I then explained that I was not in it for the money and that I would preach even if there was only one member present… and I’d do it for free! This caused a disturbance. I started questioning those whom I thought had wisdom, only to find that they had been putting on a show. I learned that money, power and position were more important than teaching the truth about the Bible. As a Bible student, I knew full well that there were mistakes, contradictions and fabrications. I thought that people should be exposed to the truth about the Bible. The idea of exposing the people to such aspects of the Bible was a thought supposedly attributable to Satan. But I began to publicly ask my teachers questions during Bible classes, which none of them could answer. Not a single one could explain how Jesus was supposedly God, and how, at the same time, he was supposedly the Father, Son and Holy Ghost wrapped up into one and yet was not a part of the trinity. Several preachers finally had to concede that they did not understand it but that we were simply required to believe it.

Cases of adultery and fornication went unpunished. Some preachers were hooked on drugs and had destroyed their lives and the lives of their families. Leaders of some churches were found to be homosexuals. There were pastors even guilty of committing adultery with the young daughters of other church members. All of this coupled with a failure to receive answers to what I thought were valid questions was enough to make me seek a change. That change came when I accepted a job in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

A New Beginning

It was not long after arriving in Saudi Arabia that I saw an immediate difference in the lifestyle of the Muslim people. They were different from the followers of Elijah Muhammad and Minister Louis Farrakhan in that they were of all nationalities, colors and languages. I immediately expressed a desire to learn more about this peculiar brand of religion. I was amazed with the life of Prophet Muhammad and wanted to know more. I requested books from one of the brothers who was active in calling people to Islam. I was supplied with all of the books that I could possibly want. I read each and every one. I was then given the Noble Qur’an and read it completely several times within four months. I asked question after question and received satisfactory answers. What appealed to me was that the brothers were not keen on impressing me with their knowledge. If a brother did not know how to answer a question, he would tell me that he simply did not know and would have to check with someone who did. The next day he would always bring the answer. I noticed how humility played such a great role in the lives of these mysterious people of the Middle East.

I was amazed to see the women covering themselves from face to foot. I did not see any religious hierarchy. No one was competing for any religious position. All of this was wonderful, but how could I entertain the thought of abandoning a teaching that had followed me since childhood? What about the Bible? I knew that there is some truth in it even though it had been changed and revised countless numbers of times. I was then given a video cassette of a debate between Shaykh Ahmed Deedat and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart. After seeing the debate I immediately became a Muslim.

I was taken to the office of Shaykh ‘Abdullah bin ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baz to officially declare my acceptance of Islam. It was there that I was given sound advice on how to prepare myself for the long journey ahead. It was truly a birth from darkness into light. I wondered what my peers from the Church would think when they heard that I had embraced Islam. It was not long before I found out. I went back to the United States for vacation and was severely criticized for my “lack of faith.” I was stamped with many labels – from renegade to reprobate. People were told by so-called church leaders not to even remember me in prayer. As strange as it may seem, I was not bothered in the least. I was so happy that Almighty God, Allah, had chosen to guide me aright that nothing else mattered.

Now I only wanted to become as dedicated a Muslim as I was a Christian. This, of course, meant study. I realized that a person could grow as much as they wanted to in Islam. There is no monopoly of knowledge – it is free to all who wish to avail themselves of the opportunities to learn. I was given a set of Saheeh Muslim as a gift from my Qur’an teacher. It was then that I realized the need to learn about the life, sayings and practices of Prophet Muhammad . I read and studied as many of the hadlth collections available in English as possible. I realized that my knowledge of the Bible was an asset that is now quite useful in dealing with those of Christian backgrounds. Life for me has taken on an entirely new meaning. One of the most profound attitude changes is a result of knowing that this life must actually be spent in preparation for life in the Hereafter. It was also a new experience to know that we are rewarded even for our intentions. If you intend to do good, then you are rewarded. Itwas quite different in the Church. The attitude was that “the path to Hell is paved with good intentions.” There was no way to win. If you sinned,then you had to confess to the pastor, especially if the sin was a great sin, such as adultery. You were judged strictly by your actions.

The Present and Future

After an interview by the Al-Madinah newspaper I was asked about my present-day activities and plans for the future. At present, my goal is to learn Arabic and continue studying to gain greater knowledge about Islam. I am presently engaged in the field of da’wah and am called upon to lecture to non-Muslims who come from Christian backgrounds. If Allah, Almighty, spares my life, I hope to write more on the subject of comparative religion.

It is the duty of Muslims throughout the world to work to spread the knowledge of Islam. As one who has spent such a long time as a Bible teacher, I feel a special sense of duty in educating people about the errors, contradictions and fabricated tales of a book believed in by millions of people. One of the greatest joys is knowing that I do not have to engage in a great deal of dispute with Christians, because I was a teacher who taught most of the dispute techniques used by them. I also learned how to argue using the Bible to defend Christianity. And at the same time I know the counter arguments for each argument which we, as ministers, were forbidden by our leaders to discuss or divulge.

It is my prayer that Allah will forgive us all of our ignorance and guide us to the path leading to Paradise. All praise is due to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His last messenger, Prophet Muhammad, his family, companions, and those following true guidance.