By Raya Shokatfard
7 March 2014
After searching nearly all religions of the world, Islam appeared to be the only pure and pristine religion that pointed humans directly to God.
One would wonder if all the questions of a sceptic were answered, the road paved to come steps closer to the Creator, logical issues were addressed and doubts were removed, would there be any reason for one not to surrender to his/her Creator and see religion as a positive step to achieve this goal?
We discuss various elements about religion that the sceptic used as a barrier to surrender to God. We also assume that he/she is a believer in the existence of God and that atheism was not an issue.
The most prominent point of emphasis is urging the skeptic to try to understand that God provided guidance to mankind through a succession of messengers, some of whom had scriptures. The last messenger was Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the last scripture — The Qur’an.
We also urged everyone to investigate the authenticity of the Qur’an.
This is a manual for every believer to use in order to flush out man-made ideas and falsehood from Divine.
Once this is established, the skeptic is transformed into a diligent seeker of divine guidance.
One may realize with gladness that they pulled themselves out of the flock of people who have inappropriate and suspicious thoughts about Allah, and realize those who did not make an effort to understand the truth, brought destruction upon themselves. Allah explains: “And that thought of yours (suspicion) which you thought about your Lord, has brought you to destruction (in the Day of Judgment), and you have become (this Day) of those utterly lost!” (Qur’an, 41:23)
Unless there is certainty in the heart about the Qur’an, all other efforts will fail. One will strive to reach to this point by diligent study of this Scripture. Allah assures us here about the Qur’an: “A revelation from (Allah) the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. A Book whereof the Verses are explained in detail — a Qur’an in Arabic for people who know” (Qur’an, 41:2-3)
Of course translations are available in nearly all languages. But what is the merit of understanding the Quran?
Here, Allah gives us hope and encourages us to also have the right kind of fear as to avoid falling into corruption and denial of the Divine commandments.
Some sceptics demand miracles in order to believe and think that the Revelation of Allah given of Prophet Muhammad was not enough.
Perhaps it is not surprising to know that even when the Prophet lived among his own people, the same demands were put upon him. Allah responds on his behalf: “Say (O Muhammad): “I am only a human being like you. It is revealed to me that your Ilah (God) is One Ilah (God - Allah), therefore take Straight Path to Him (with true Faith — Islamic Monotheism) and obedience to Him, and seek forgiveness of Him. And woe to Al-Mushrikun (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah).” (Qur’an, 41:6)
Can a sincere seeker find any commandments and laws brought forth by Muhammad (peace be upon him) that was different than the main message of the Prophets of the past? Here, we are not talking about rituals, but the essence of the message! Allah confirms this by the following verse: “Nothing is said to you (O Muhammad) except what was said to the Messengers before you. Verily, your Lord is the Possessor of forgiveness, and (also) the Possessor of painful punishment.” (Qur’an, 41:43)
If, by now, the hearts and minds are calm and the seeker finds the urge to move forward, then he begins to study and put to practice the manual for happiness, spiritual fulfillment and conflict-free life.
It is very common that those who come to Islam, for my own case, return to Islam, would have a strong zest to reach out and make Islam known to others. They fully believe Allah’s word when He says: “And who is better in speech than he who says: ‘My Lord is Allah (believes in His Oneness),’ and then stands firm (acts upon His Order), and invites (men) to Allah’s (Islamic Monotheism), and does righteous deeds, and says: ‘I am one of the Muslims’.” (Qur’an, 41:33)
There are no words that can explain my awe when I held the Qur’an in my hands.
After searching nearly all religions of the world and finding various shades of polytheism in most, Islam appeared to be the only pure and pristine religion that pointed humans directly to God and not any humans no matter how elevated their status was.
After thorough research about compilation of the Quran and comparing with other scriptures, it became evident that what I was looking at were God’s own words right in front of me.
There are no words that can explain my awe when I held the Quran in my hands. This feeling has not changed for 25 years and is only getting stronger.
I was a sceptic like many, but I did not live with my scepticism. I made diligent effort to know the truth. I went from one religion to another till I finally found what I was looking for.
Living in Los Angeles with all its good and not so good merits and being a single mother, I felt that I had to handle all the burdens of life upon my own shoulders. This put me right with most other over-stressed mothers who were afflicted with many health issues.
Embracing Islam and understanding human inclinations as well as understanding how to funnel these inclinations, desires and life selection processes in a healthy and divinely guided avenues, rid me of feeling of desperation and hopelessness and into a completely new realm and way of thinking and approach in life.
I moved from relying upon myself, to rely upon Allah who says: “So rely upon Allah; indeed, you are upon the clear truth.” (Qur’an, 27:79)
Year after year, I found more inner peace, emotional stability and serenity. Twenty five years have passed and now reflecting on my life before Islam and wondered how I survived without active relationship with Allah and practicing Islam.
At the very moment that I returned to Islam with full submission, my life changed totally and it has been better each year. In return, I have been reaching out to show others how to achieve the inner peace they so badly want.
What about you? Are you ready to give faith a sincere chance?
Your life will never be the same! “And why should we not rely upon Allah while He has guided us to our [good] ways.” (Qur’an, 14:12)