Archive | February, 2013

Why is it that Christians don’t understand Muslims?

28 Feb

As Salamu ’Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

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There is a fine line between respect and sharing a belief. You can respect a certain belief, but not share this belief at all. In this diverse world we are living in, it is quite necessary to respect all beliefs out there, without strictly having to accept the religion or philosophical point of view.

A year ago I was a Catholic and I currently live in a community where everyone is mainly Catholic. Catholics, like any other Christian branch believe in a few points that blind them from the truth of Islam. This creates a shield between them and the religion.

Where I’m from you are simply a Catholic and that’s it. If you dare venture out of the religion you are automatically tagged as a betrayer and mocked upon. I saw this with some family members that have left the roman Catholic church and decided to follow other Christian churches. They were laughed at and even called fanatics.

When you are raised into a community where everyone follows their father’s religion without questioning it’s rather difficult for people not to judge you if you convert to another branch of Christianity, like my brother did. It’s even worse when you revert to Islam.

In the Qur’an it tells us:

And when it is said to them, “Follow what Allah has revealed,” they say, “Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing.” Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided? (2: 170)

Allah (subhana wa’ tala) mentions those that follow their generation’s religion and ignore the truth.

I believe this happens in every country you’re in; people will follow a religion and never question why. Even in Muslim countries there are those that follow the religion without truly believing and being a devote Muslim.

Having this cleared out, you can now see why Catholics in my country don’t like others from different religions. They are intimidated by them, felt betrayed on if they revert and as a shield they will mock these people in order to get them to give up on their new religion.

It is mentioned in the Qur’an:

And when you call to prayer they make it a mockery and a joke; this is because they are a people who do not understand. (5: 58)

Allah (swt) has mentioned these people and how they react out of their own ignorance. In fact, most of the time when people insult you because you are Muslim it’s usually out of their own ignorance.

Allah (swt) mentions in sura Al-Kahf the consequence of these people:

Thus it is that their recompense is hell, because they disbelieved and held My communications and My apostles in mockery. (18:106)

Those who disbelieve, this is their outcome. So when someone laughs at you for being Muslim or says something insulting, warn them about the consequence of their actions. But, if they persist then I advice to let them be and to simply ignore their comments. This is because Allah (swt) also mentions those that will just not understand the message of Islam. It says in the Qur’an:

Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. (2:6)

There are some points I’d like to comment about that would make everyone out there – Christian or Muslim – understand why Christians don’t really get the message of Islam. These are barriers that Christians must overcome if they truly believe in the Oneness of God.

The first point of interest is that Christians believe in a trinity. They are raised up to believe that God is not one – all Supreme, all Knowing – but in fact that He is composed of three “sections” that form Him as one.

In fact, when you enter a church, after praying or before any act throughout the day you are encouraged to put that sign of the “trinity” on your body; in other words you “bless” yourself with 1. the Father, 2. the Son, and 3. the Holy Spirit. That is, you touch your forehead when saying the Father, then your chest when saying the Son and finally both shoulders while repeating the Holy Spirit thus creating a cross on yourself.

You can see this represented in the image below, where Jesus (peace be upon him) and God are shown as equals, partners in the dominion of the Earth underneath their feet and with the Holy Spirit being represented by the dove almost “enlightening” them to control the universe.

Trinity

This trinity is truly the endpoint of a Christians’ acceptance of the unity of God and believing that God is One (tawheed). Although Christians state that they believe in one God only, they are actually denying this since they have the belief in the trinity and associating  another with Allah (swt).

This falsehood of worshiping or believing in others besides Allah (swt) is a form of shirk. According to The Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, shirk means partnership, sharing or associating (p. 468) others with Allah.

Muslims believe that God is One; there is no one or nothing like Him. He (swt) has no partners in His dominion and He is infinite and nothing like we can ever imagine Him to be. The study of this is called tawheed, which means maintaining the unity of Allah (swt). If you do not believe in this – that God is One – then you are not a Muslim.

There are three basic forms that tawheed breaks up into in order to comprehend the unity of Allah (swt) better, and later on I will mention how Christians commit shirk in all of these three forms.

The trinity is actually not true. This ideology was a man made factor that later on throughout the years became a basic principle in Christianity. This so-called trinity was actually obtained by Greek philosophers (Plato’s theories) and Jewish Gnosticism; none of it is pure Christianity.

To make this point even clearer, there is proof in the Bible that the trinity cannot and does not actually exist. Below are some phrases obtained from the Bible:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.(Exo 20:3)

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. (Isa 45:22)

As you can see, clearly the true Christian belief is that God is one. So why then, do Christians ignore these statements and the Bible and continue to have a crucified Jesus statue in front of every church?

The reason behind this is that Christians also believe in that Jesus (peace be upon him) was God incarnate on this Earth. Christians believe that Allah (swt) came down on Earth in the form of a man, as well as Jews, Persians and Hindus believe in that God has taken Himself into some human or animal form here on Earth. This happens when you lose the transcendency of Allah and the importance of his highness and start to believe that Allah (swt) is everywhere, when He is in fact above and beyond his creation.

Now if you look at this statement slowly and detailed enough, you can realize how silly and absurd this actually is. Stating that Allah (swt) is everywhere would mean that you also believe that Allah (swt) is in excrement or in dirty and filthy places, which obviously He’s not. If you as a Christian respect, cherish and fear your Lord, then explain to me how on Earth you will ever learn to fear a God that made himself into a man, or is in these filthy places?

I’d love to just jump right into the fact that this is a clear sign of shirk in tawheed al-Asmaa’ was-Sifaat: the belief that Allah (swt) is One without similitude in his Names and Attributes. You cannot give Allah the attributes of his creation! And what was Jesus(peace be upon him)? He was a man: a finite, living, breathing man. A creation from the creator! If you say that Jesus was Allah (swt), then you are also accepting that Allah (swt) is finite, that He had a beginning and that He had an end.

You are assimilating the creator Allah (swt) to a creation of his. In other words, “God” for Christians was born a defenseless infant, to then be slaughtered and beat and hung like an animal onto a cross and died under the hands of his creation: humans.

May Allah (swt) forgive you if you believe this. When you take your Shahada you state Lā ‘ilāha ‘illā-llāhu: There is NO God but Allah.

Even before becoming a Muslim I found nonsense in this way of thinking. Why would Allah (swt), if hypothetically speaking He did have an only son (which is incorrect, since it’s mentioned in the Qur’an that He begetteth not, nor is He begotten 112:3), would want to kill his son as a way to save you from your sins? It’s downright masochistic and violent, attributes that we as Muslims do not associate with Allah (swt).

Now besides this point in Tawheed al-Asmaa’ was-Sifaat, there is also the affirmation that we cannot give Allah’s attributes to his creation; in other words Christians – whom elevate Jesus to the status of Allah (swt) – are committing shirk. Also shown in the Bible is this clear proof:

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. (Isa 46:9)

If this is in the Bible, then I really don’t know why Christians continue believing this so-called trinity.

But let me just leave you with a few more affirmations that will let us see just how Christians have been brainwashed into believing all these falsehoods.

What hurts me the most is that my mother once told me out of her anger to me that I was being brainwashed by the Qur’an. Of course she has no idea of what she was stating right there, but I knew that her affirmation was just out of her anger as she has never read the Qur’an. It’s hard to believe that one’s own mother can be against this beauty that is Islam and seeing how close I’ve come to Allah over these past months I continue to fight for the truth that is Islam.

A month ago I took my shahada alhamdulillah. Despite the fact that it’s been only a month, I’ve felt Muslim longer than that. I had the belief of Islam in me more than I had realized it.

As a Catholic, I had this thinking that every other Christian has: God is a one-time a week thing. Christians go to church on Sundays and they never really go after that. In fact, most Christians don’t even go every Sunday, whether it’s for the reason that they put other priorities over God or that they just don’t feel like sitting for an hour long listening to some boring priest comment on politics and how wrong you are and how much sin you are committing in your life.

Even when you go, you would never go without getting ready to leave for church. I remember I would spend more time on my hair and what I was going to wear, than thinking to myself that I was going for the purpose of God. And when you arrived, most of the time it was rather uncomfortable as you were sitting near both men and women, couples and screaming children and friends that would look at you to see what you had decided to put on that certain Sunday.

Not to mention the women that would go in tight, short dresses with big pumps and the poofy hair that made the men in the church think about anything other than what the priest was talking about. Most of the times the priest would have his own opinions about certain topics and not really affirm it with what the Bible had to say about it. Let me remind you that these are Catholics that form the trinity on themselves; I really don’t think they care what the Bible has to say, as they have already created their own form of thinking and have set their own obligations to fit into their busy lives in which there is no room for Allah (swt).

Despite the fact that the Bible says very clearly: don’t worship others besides me (God), Christians ignore this and worship Jesus as God.

Despite the fact that the Bible says: women, cover your heads for if you don’t then you should shave your hair off, Christians ignore this and go into their churches dressing like they were going into a nightclub.

Despite the fact that the Bible says: do not have a pope! Christians (Catholics to be more specific) ignore this and have a pope that “controls” the Catholic church and acts as God on Earth.

I could go on and on, but I know now that the Bible is corrupt, as well as that every translation differs and that there is no original text to support the translation. But I didn’t find out about these things until after I started looking into Islam. As a Catholic, you’re not really supposed to question anything and if you mention a topic that questions the religion, then everyone in the room would most likely cut your tongue off.

Here in Costa Rica religion is somewhat “important”. I don’t truly believe it’s as important as I once thought it was, since now I see that it’s more of a routine than something that people have well put into their hearts.

As a Muslim you must pray 5 obligatory prayers, not counting the amount of du’aas you make and the voluntary prayers. Now if a Christian comes up to me and tells me that Muslims don’t have this commitment to God as they do, I would definitely laugh in their face. Muslims remember Allah (swt) every single day and pray directly towards our Lord without any intermediates like Christians need.

If you are a devote Muslim, your prayers come first. Then the rest of the world can come after.

Christians don’t believe this. Christians believe: first the world, then myself, then my friends, then my family, and if I have some time after that I might be able to squeeze God into the final number on my list. In fact, most Christians only pray to God when they need Him. Like to win the lottery, to pass an exam, to get a higher salary. And when it’s not for something they need, then it’s for something they don’t have. Like why their family member has a sickness or illness, or why they got fired from their job or why they don’t have all the things the neighbors have.

Sure Christians will say, hey we  believe in God and think about him every day. But when will you see someone praying in the middle of the day at work or during university? When have I seen a women cover herself using hijab after realizing that the Bible says women should cover? When will you see people voting off the pope and changing their religion according to the Bible? I would be astonished if someone ever did here in Costa Rica.

I think most of the good things that come from Christians/Catholics is from the education and the upbringing they got in their homes, not from their religion. My parents raised me well Subhanallah, but never really based on the Bible or God’s word, but instead on their own opinions towards things.

I started reading this book that I absolutely recommend to everyone. It’s called The Bible, the Quran and Science by Dr. Maurice Bucaille. It helped me realize how truly corrupt the Bible is and how unbelievably true the Qur’an is. This is the link to the book (it’s rather big so do take time to read it for the long run) so that you can read it as well: The Bible, the Quran and Science I highly recommend it, for all of us to stop being of the ignorant.

He supports his research with quotes from the Bible, that are contradicted in other segments of the same transliteration. Also, he mentions how it was written by humans and how they all differ in their point of views towards God and things that happened that are just plain absurd. He mentions people that have said how the Bible is a great history book, but that you can’t really take it as valid word for word. Finally, he starts his investigation on the Qur’an and all it’s proof.

I truly recommend it if you’re a fan of good research books and it’s a book that I would personally buy inshallah in the future and truly sit down to study.

Christians, alongside with committing shirk in al-Asmaa’ was Sifaat also commit shirk in the other two forms of tawheed. This stops them from believing that God is one.

In tawheed ar-Roboobeeyah (the belief that Allah is One without partner in His dominion) Christians state that Jesus was either the son of God (shirk in the sense that God said in the Qur’an: He begetteth not, nor is He begotten 112:3 as I mentioned earlier)  or that Jesus was God on Earth. Therefore, they assimilate Jesus (pbuh) as an equal to Allah (swt). 

And finally, Christians commit shirk in tawheed al’ Eebaadah, which means Allah (swt) is the only one worthy of worship. Christians instead call others in their prayers instead of directing their prayers to Allah (swt) only. They call to their saints, their prophet (pbuh) and even the mother of their prophet.

I’ve witnessed how they do this during their praying and even as a Catholic I believed this to be wrong. I remember sitting in church and asking my mother, to whom should I pray to, to Jesus or to God? Even her answer was more Muslim than Christian.

“Pray to God, ” she would say to me, and as a child I found this to be the most logical way of praying.

To conclude things, I want to summarize how Christians have this false belief that automatically makes them not understand Muslims. If they were to understand how Allah (swt) is not everywhere, but in fact above his creation, then they would stop assimilating our Creator with idols and worship his creation.

Just like the Hindus that worship their god Shiva as they believe this God was God incarnate on the earth, Christians worship Jesus the prophet (pbuh) since they believe him to have been God incarnate. If they both were God incarnate on earth, then I ask you Christians, they really don’t have much differences now do they?

In the Qur’an Allah (swt) mentions a numerous amount of times Him being above us, and not “everywhere” as Christians have come to believe. As it is said in the Qur’an:

Those, who fear their Lord who is above them. (16:50)

Insha’Allah this will help you realize just how true the message of Islam is. In Islam, you worship God and God alone. You don’t worship idols or human-like “saints” or prophets to get closer to God. You don’t need a specific “saint” for your prayers to be heard. Allah (swt) will always hear you if you worship and pray to Him only, for He is al-Mujîb: the only One capable of answering your prayers. You have a direct relationship with Allah (swt) that you wouldn’t have in any other religion. And as Allah says in the Qur’an:

“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him, and in the life to come he shall be among the losers.” (3:85)

Islam is the only path Allah will accept. There is a lot of other proof about this, but I merely have given my own opinion as to why Christians don’t accept Islam. Unfortunately, they are in error and may Allah (swt) guide those whom He wishes.

I hope Allah (swt) guides you on the straight path that is Islam. Allah (swt) wants you to be a part of Heaven, which is why He sent down the Qur’an as a revelation to mankind to guide them towards Paradise.

Thanks for reading and please leave comments if you desire. God bless you.

Chao.
References:

(s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de Intolerance in the Quran: http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/quran/int/long.html

Islam Web. (13 de Noviembre de 2010). Recuperado el 27 de Febrero de 2013, de The Chosen Religion: http://www.islamweb.net/emainpage/index.php?id=119792&page=articles

Holy Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://quran.com/2/170

Rahman, M. A. (s.f.). Parents related verses in the Quran. Recuperado el 27 de Febrero de 2013, de Progressive Muslim: http://www.progressive-muslim.org/parents-and-quran.htm

Search Truth. (s.f.). Recuperado el 25 de Febrero de 2013, de http://www.searchtruth.com/search.php?keyword=mockery&translator=3&search=1

My Secret Life as a Muslim

25 Feb

arenal_volcano

Okay this title might be a bit confusing. It’s almost as if I’m confessing some terrible sin I’ve committed by claiming that this is a “secret” life. Technically secret does mean something which no one knows about.

But quite sadly it is somewhat true. Despite the fact that there are people that know the path I have chosen over every other path out there,which is Islam, there are others that don’t know that and I almost feel obligated to hide it from them.

It’s not that I don’t like to say I’m a Muslim. I’m actually quite proud I have reverted to Islam and have never felt so close with Allah in my entire life. But the reactions you get from people by telling them you’re a Muslim is saddening and always leaves me with a bad taste in my soul.

It should all resume to the reaction I got from my mother. It was shortly after I had taken my shahada that I sat down with her one night to watch tv. I quite frankly don’t like television, but that certain day I went and watched tv with her. I felt her tense near me, so as a way to ooze down the silence between us I tried starting up a conversation. It was then that she started questioning whether or not I was reading that “book” (the Qur’an, but she avoided calling it by it’s sacred name).

I’ve never thought it could hurt so much having someone offend you with words. It was bomb after bomb of false accusations, of forbidding me to read this book again, of threatening me with not ever talking to me again. I tried to keep my calm, but the weakness in my voice was inevitable to hear. I was in shock. I kept thinking to myself, okay Dio you can wake up now. This nightmare is starting to get a bit painful.

But it wasn’t a nightmare, but in fact actual words coming from my own mother.

She accused me of dressing stupidly and admitted thinking how absurd it was for her. She yelled at me that she found impossible to understand these women that cover their head, and when I told her that covering your head was also stated in the Bible, she flipped and started attacking me in other ways. She would scream, “Don’t you remember the 911 incident? All those innocent people that died because of those terrorists?” My God! My mother actually believed Muslims to be terrorists!

I felt my world falling apart. I knew after this one-way argument our relationship would never be the same. I had always trusted my mom with so many things in my life, but now her true colors were showing. I would close my eyes and think to myself, just make her stop Allah.

A part of me wanted to go running into my room or out of the house, but it was almost 10 p.m. and I knew I couldn’t chicken out. I would defend my religion for as much as I could. How dare she insult me this way? Even worse, how dare she insult God? She doesn’t know that in Islam you worship the same God in which Christians believe in. So this helped me be more calm and not feel defeated at certain times during her accusations.

It was mind-numbing to hear her talk that way about the Qur’an. I would continuously tell her to quit her insults to the word of God, but she had no belief in that it was the word of God.

She hurt me bad.

I know you shouldn’t let people bring you down like this, especially when it’s in reference to Allah. But she is my mother. How can you not feel bad when it’s the person that raised you and gave you care and food and protection? She’s supposed to support me in the things I do, not turn me down like this. It almost felt as if I had come out to her with something ridiculous like I was a lesbian or that I had killed someone. I felt like she was accusing me of a crime this bad. And reverting to Islam isn’t even a bad thing!

After this happened, I feel like I’m now living a double life. I tend to pray in my room, with the door closed and muttering almost whispering my prayers to myself. I don’t want her to see me when I pray, especially since I know she will say something rude and interrupt me in my prayer.

I don’t say anything when someone prays in the name of Jesus as Christians tend to do. Nor do I correct someone when they bless themselves under the name of Jesus. These are Christians things that I now find incorrect and know they are committing shirk (associating others with Allah), but despite my knowledge I maintain myself quiet.

And after I got this reaction from my mother, I know others will have an even worse reaction than she did. I wish I had enough courage in me to not care about other’s opinions, but since I live with Christians in my home and in my community, it’s rather hard not to say something that would insult them, or have them all against me afterwards.

If it were up to me, I would have probably begun using the hijab once I took my shahada. I mean, why go against what Allah tells us is best for us? And I happen to like the way women represent Islam this way.

I’ve spoken with another Muslimah here in Costa Rica that has told me how people treated her after her reversion to Islam. Her mother had also reacted negatively towards her when she told her that she was a Muslim. Also, when she wore hijab people would give her nasty looks, as well as those even more ignorant that would yell at her things like “terrorist” or those that considered her to be oppressed.

I think that because of the amount of Catholics that live here, Islam is not welcome. To top this all off, the media has made people have false belief towards Muslims, tagging them as terrorists, old-fashioned and that the women are subjugated to men.

I mean go onto Google and search the word Islam under Images. You get all these terrible images that make me sick to my stomach. You don’t see this happening to Christianity. And why’s that? Because the media is controlled by Christians. These Christians beliefs are the ones that tell you what you need to see, what you don’t need to see and what you should be thinking.

I wish every Christian or Jew or whatever other religion could go out and read the Qur’an, even if it were just a segment or a small fraction of the Qur’an. Where does it talk about terrorism, oppression, neglecting certain people? Where? You would find yourself empty handed with this type of proof in our religion.

So this is the reason of why I prefer not to tell people I am Muslim. I know this is probably an excuse, as there should be no reason to feel ashamed of Islam. In fact, given the circumstances I live in I should be informing people about Islam and not keeping it all to myself.

So what can we do about this?

First, education. We as ticos must learn to educate our children in a way that teaches them to respect other religions. Since ticos live in a one-religion country, everyone here is Christian or the majority of their family is Christian. Therefore, I’ve witnessed that a lot of people, adults and children,will laugh at people from other cultures or religions. This is because they aren’t exposed to different ethnic groups and when they do see someone that is different, this is their form of isolating them from the rest.

This is the real answer to the problem. If I were to live in a place where diversity was more sparse, I wouldn’t feel like such a sore thumb, sticking out in the crowd. But unfortunately, this is not the case.

rel_islam_0313

Even an uncle came this afternoon, who happens to be a devote Christian and I didn’t feel like having to give him any explanations of my religion. If I knew someone were to come to me inquiring the religion with an open mind and wanting to know more of it’s beauty, I would love to help. But, I see these people and know why they want to ask me about Islam: to find the errors in it (something I believe they will never have any validity in their answers).

Insha’Allah He will give me the strength to ignore these comments, take them as a test of my patience and answer them with pride and respect. I feel it’s not necessary to argue and make people feel bad of their religion when trying to defend Islam, but it is very important to defend it at all costs (even if that person happens to be your mother).

I found peace in Islam. So much, that when today my poor dog died (may he rest in peace) I did not feel the need to break down in tears like my mother and sister did. I understand that Allah (saw) does everything for a reason and that He is the best of planners mashallah! 🙂

I trust my entire life to the will of Allah. He knows what is best for me, as I do not. And for those that state, “then why is their evil?” I answer: Allah does not create evil, but in fact He does these things for the good that will come from that evil, even if we as mere humans – finite and just the creation – may not be able to understand that good in it’s entirety. Subhanallah for that.

Well I hope you all have a glorious day/evening wherever you are in the world. 🙂 Please keep in tune for a new article I have on why Christians don’t understand Muslims. Thanks for reading, and before I go do let me know how your experience was at the beginning of being a Muslim and also what we can do in our society, this beautiful country that is Costa Rica, to improve our acceptance to Islam.

Chao.

Why Islam in Costa Rica?

21 Feb

As Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh

Bismillah hirRahman nirRaheem

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful

Image

As I write down the words of this article, the birds are chirping endlessly outside and I can hear the wind blow between the plantain trees near my home. The weather is beautiful, as it should be on a peaceful February afternoon in Costa Rica. The sun is scorching down at this hour and I can hear my neighbors complaining about the humid weather.

Meanwhile, I get ready to go outside and decide on whether I should choose the long sleeved burgundy shirt I bought a few days ago, or the long pull over cardigan for this evening’s stroll around town? It would definitely contrast to what the rest of my country says I should be wearing right now: shorts, a light colored, spaghetti strapped tank top and some sandals to go along with it. Me in shorts in broad daylight, exposed to all those ticos at this hour? Now talk about absurdity!

This probably would have been some garments I would have managed to pull off on a hot, breezy afternoon like today’s a year ago. Besides, this is what women in my country tend to wear on a daily basis, isn’t it? If the weather is hot, then what’s wrong in showing off your legs and belly to keep cool?

I live in a country where summer is almost every day and the weather is always quite pleasing. It’s only 1 hour to the nearest beach, and only 4 hours to the more beautiful ones up in Guanacaste where tourists tend to visit the most. Or if I want to go enjoy the Atlantic Ocean I can drive to Limón which is also 4 hours away as well. So why do I prefer to preserve my natural beauties to the eyes of men in this tropical country?

The reason to all this is my submission to God; Islam. It’s not my decision to go with the flow and put on whatever the fashion industry here decides to sell us, nor what the weather forces me to take off, but instead my decision to dress in a modest way for the sake of Allah (subhana wa’tala). So why become Muslim in this country? Why didn’t I just be Catholic like the rest of my family and close that chapter of my life? Why not forget about religious views and enjoy the hot weather in my rather tight and sexy outfits like every girl does here?

Here in Latin America, Islam is viewed with the wrong perception. Thanks to what the US media has to publish on about what they consider to be true “Muslims”, we’ve agreed to their ideologies on what Muslims are in our perspective and I need not to name a few of those wrong ideas. There are between three to four million Muslims living in Latin America, 50 000 of them being Hispanic (in other words, reverts to the religion) according to Dr. Mozammel Haque. The mayority of these Muslim communities are located in Argentina with over 1 500 000 Muslims and in Colombia, nowhere near Costa Rica. So why here, in Costa Rica?

There is an estimate of around 500 to 4 000 Muslims that live in Costa Rica. Given the fact that there are 76.3% Catholics and 13.7% Evangelical Christians, we’re talking about an approximate 90% of the population that is in a branch of Christianity. According to the statistics here, there are only 0.01% Muslims! Not even near the 1% scale.

To top that all off, the nearest mosque is located in Guadalupe Montelimar, San José, the capitol. That’s almost 2 hours away from my home!

So this brings us down to my original question: why Islam? If I’ve just provided you with the facts, with valuable reasoning as to why I shouldn’t be a Muslim, then why on Earth have I become a Muslim?

The Qur’an gives us all the answers. Not just to this one in specific, but to any questions you may have in life. As the Qur’an states (from an English translation taken from quran.com):

…and Allah sends astray [thereby] whom He wills and guides whom He wills. And He is the Exalted in Might, the Wise. (14:4)

He (subhana w’tala) guides whom he wishes. That is, we are all not Muslims because He (saw) has decided that you and me are Muslim for a reason, and chose not the rest. We can proudly say that we have been blessed of being Muslims over anyone else.

Now you do have to take in mind that the first time I read the Qur’an and saw this statement, my mind was confused. I didn’t know weather or not my God had chosen the wrong people, falsely thinking to myself that I was in those rightly guided, and not of those that go astray.

It wasn’t until I read the following ayat that I started believing otherwise:

For indeed, Allah sends astray whom He wills and guides whom He wills. So do not let yourself perish over them in regret. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what they do. (35:8)

What was I doing with my life? Was I letting myself go astray, perishing over those who regret? I tried denying the obvious truth for so long, until finally, over much thinking done, I stopped putting this sensation of shame aside and faced my Lord.

I started investigating in books, articles and anything I could find on the internet (which are many) and on the Hadeeths that showed me my faults . I began listening to audio books I would download and hear them at night when all chaos was at silence and I was alone with my own thoughts. I remember hearing in a book about how the Prophet’s companions were even threatened with death if they were not to leave the religion. I also remember reading about the Pharaoh and how he would force people to take him as their Lord and not Allah, and how the people were oppressed to these beliefs.

And here I was, having free will over anything in my mind, especially what lay in my heart. And despite this free will, I hadn’t submitted myself to Allah, even though I wanted to?

Even more, the Qur’an spoke to me in a manner I had never been spoken to! I could feel my Lord telling me to open my eyes to the truth,  to realize the reality I was living in and to open my heart to Islam. Especially when Allah (saw) referred to the Jews and Christians:

They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah , and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him. (9:31)

These are the beliefs Christians indulge in. They take their saints, their prophets, even earthly beings that haven’t been blessed with prophet hood (awliyaa) as their leaders. It (the Qur’an) spoke to me with such truth, that I could not ignore this word of Allah.

For those that are reading this and living in countries where Islam is not the main religion and where your family is probably Christian or not Muslim, I can relate to how difficult it can be to openly say to everyone that you are Muslim or considering the faith of Islam. But fear your Lord! Strengthen your taqwaa (fear of God, piety, God-conscious) to Him (saw), as HE should be the only one that you truly submit down to.

Don’t submit to what the fashion industry says. Don’t submit to what your mother or father tells you to do if it means leaving aside Islam. Don’t submit to what your friends will say, or anyone else. Do not submit yourself to these mortal people, as Allah is the Creator and we are all simply his creation. Submit yourself to your Lord. To Allah. To our God, who says in the Qur’an:

What excuse do I have if I do not worship the One who has created me and to whom you will be returned? (36:22)

As you can clearly read, He (saw) has created us, and has dominion over all things. We will return to him, as Allah (saw) says to us. Then why, haven’t you submitted to his will? If Allah (saw) is telling us in these clear words, what is your noble excuse as to why you haven’t submitted yet?

Take my example as to enlighten you to the truth. You are not reading this article as a coincidence that you just happen to stumble upon. Allah has sent you here, for obvious reasons. And even if you decide to ignore them, He (saw) has well enough spoken to you.

I was raised Catholic, grew up in a Catholic community and had this religion set on me for so long, till I came upon Islam. It doesn’t matter where you come from, what country you’re in or what circumstance you are in, but there is never an excuse for God (saw). It’s never too late for Allah, and he is the Most Merciful, the most understanding of all.

Despite my religious differences, I slowly started to understand the message of Islam. Don’t think I became Muslim in the blink of an eye, nor do I consider myself to be a well enough Muslim or better than anyone else. The one thing that Islam teaches us that makes it so different from the rest and that you can’t truly find in any other religions (given my experience) is that it shows you how to be humble. It washes away your ego. When was I ever like this as a Catholic? Yes, I was humble and had very little ego towards myself, but I consider this to be more because of my upbringing than of the religion. Yes, I was pious to God, but only when I truly needed a favor from Him or when I felt guilty enough of my negligence to Him that I would pray. I was more conscious of my needs than of what Allah wanted from me as his creation.

Anyways, that’s another completely different subject I’ll talk about in the future. For now, I wanted to get across the message of Islam and how it came to me through the Sacred Qur’an. It didn’t come to me through something I saw, or through a comment, or even through a person. But Allah spoke to me through the Qur’an. And I’m sure he has spoken to you through it, or will insha’allah.

Thank you for reading this, I hope it left you with an urge to learn more about Islam. We truly never stop our quest towards Allah until death comes upon us. So I encourage every sister and brother in Islam out there to continue their seeking of knowledge in Allah.

I mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again. There is no excuse for Allah, no matter where you live, what economical difficulties you are facing or ethnic background you may have. As in the Qur’an it says that Muhammed (salalahu alayhi wa’salam) has been sent down to every nation. Not like Jesus (peace be upon him) whom was sent down for the children of Israel, nor any other prophet who was sent down for a specific nation; but instead he was sent down for all mankind as the commmentator Sami Zaatari mentions in one of his articles:

(I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah,) This Ayah mentions the Prophet’s honor and greatness, for he is the Final Prophet who was sent to all mankind [and the Jinns].

So as you can see, Islam is not a religion for a certain population. It is the religion for each and every one of us, despite our cultural differences.

I hope this article was useful to you. If any mistakes were made, please apologize as I am simply a human and Allah (saw) is knower of all things, and it was therefore an error of my own knowledge.

Peace and blessings be on each and every one of us.

Chao.

References:

Haque, D. M. (s.f.). Saudi Gazette. Recuperado el February19, 2013, de Growth of Islam in Latin America: http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009033033636

Muttaqun. (s.f.). Recuperado el February 19, 2013, de Reverts Those who embrace Islam According to Quran and Sunnah: http://muttaqun.com/reverts.html

The Noble Qur’an. (s.f.). Recuperado el February 20, 2013, de http://quran.com/74

Zaatari, S. (s.f.). Answering Christianity. Recuperado el February 21, 2013, de Was the Prophet Muhammed send for the pagan Arabs only? Or all of Mankind?: http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/prophet_muhammad_sent_to_mankind.htm

Greetings!

19 Feb

As-salamu alaykum! May the peace and blessings of Allah be on each and every one of us, inshallah.

I’m proud to start a new, fresh blog about my journey into Islam. I welcome you to be a frequent knower of what happens in my life as a new revert mashallah, as well as my personal views and opinions on topics concerning the religion. Now to make things right, of course the content will be supported with the Qur’an and Hadeeths as to verify and give all of us a clear understanding that won’t be just me blabbing on about something I want, and not taking into account the word of God first.

So I hope you join me in this exciting adventure if you already haven’t!

So what can you expect from this blog? Of course, like every great task in our lives, we must commit to objectives that will keep us motivated as well as being realistic. So therefore, do except a new entry on subjects like women in Islam, how to improve our emaan and other important topics most of us would avoid talking about so openly, as well as experiences that happen in my side of the world in the eyes of a muslimah inshallah.

 

Before I go, please feel free to contact  me at TheTicaMuslimah@gmail.com

I hope you all have a glorious day/evening, and welcome again to my blog!

Chao