Friday, June 8, 2018

Interaction with a German who had Embraced Islam

It is always very educative to interact with someone who has left his earlier faith and embraced Islam on his free will. In fact such Muslims prove to be better Muslims than those who are born Muslims as they understand Islam before embracing it.

Many years ago I came across a German who had embraced Islam after being a born Christian. It so happened that I was posted on a foreign assignment in Saudis Arabia and our working place was in the field with desert on three side and Arabian Gulf on the fourth side. Our equipment was moistly placed in the open with no shelter and shade. It was month of Ramadan and the sun had shown no inclination to spare us of its intense sun rays and we were almost roasted and dehydrated as we were fasting.

One day it so happened that one of our vital equipment which was supposed to be operational round the clock developed a major fault and went out of action. We sent a SOS call to the maintenance company to send their technician ASAP. While sitting under my shelter, I saw a jeep coming towards us with a trail of dust rising behind it. No sooner did the jeep came to a halt near our equipment, two technicians disembarked, one Saudi and other a seemingly foreign national. 

The foreign national straightaway jumped over the equipment and straightaway went into action while the Saudi sat beside the equipment under its shade. I kept watching as the foreigner who was rather bulky and sweating profusely was continuously busy in his inspection and repair work. Seeing his plight, I asked my staff to take some cold drinks to the duo but he came back saying that both said that they were fasting. Well this really puzzled him about the foreigner and I decided to talk to him on this.

It was almost the time for the mid day prayers and I left for the masjid. When I finished offering my prayer and was going out, I found the foreigner also offering his prayers in a corner in the last row. I waited outside till the foreigner also came out. I introduced myself as the man in charge of the facility and asked him if he could come to my office. He said he sure would but after doing his job.

It took a while for him to fix the equipment and then stills sweating as if he had come from under a shower he came to my office. And then he introduced me as Muhammad hailing from Germany. I obviously asked him if he was a born Muslim, to which he smiled and said that every Muslim who met him always asked him the same question. Well he said that all along his teen age life, he was a Christian born to a devout Christian family. Then his company sent him to a course in Turkey where he had a Muslim female colleague with who he befriended. And this meeting changed his course of life.

As they both were working together, he felt after sometime that she was the person he should marry and one day proposed to her. To his surprise, his friend declined the offer saying that though she liked him, she could not marry as her religion did not allow marrying a Christian or a person from other faith than Islam. This was both a set back to him and surprise too. So he decided to read about Islam and see how he could find a loophole to marry his Muslim friend. Although, he could not find such a concession, it provided him the God sent opportunity to study the new faith in detail, interact with Muslims around and discuss many issues which Islam and his faith were tangent at.


By and by the truth contained in the Qur'an started to dawn on him and many a questions that sometime crept into his mind with regard to his birth faith started to getting answered. He said he had a more clearer vision of God's oneness as compared to a vague term of God in three and matters like original sin that always confused him. He was surprised to find so much on Christ, addressed as Prophet Eesa (peace be upon him) and his part in the overall plan of the God Almighty, his lifting alive and saving him from the crucification and the day when he would be sent back to earth to pave way for spreading the final word of God before the Day of Judgment.

Something that impressed him the most was that there was no priesthood in Islam. Any Muslim could lead a prayer and didn't need to go to a priest to pray for him or ask Allah to forgive his sins on his behalf since the daily prayers are in fact a link between him and Allah to ask forgiveness of sins and showing of the path of the blessed and not of those that went astray and suffered from the wrath of Allah.

Thus long sessions of understanding Islam with friends and religious scholars made him take his ultimate decision to change his faith from Christianity to Islam. Did you ever felt remorse or falling back to Christianity, I asked. He smile and said, "I became Muslim after lot of research and took the decision until I was very much convinced that I was doing the right thing and obviously there was then no turning back.

What about your family and friends - how did they react to your decision? Well, he said, such decisions are hard to accept, specially when it entails change of faith. "Obviously there was lot of resistance and even long spells of break-up like silence, but by and by they settled down as they thought that whatever decision has been taken has not been in haste and that I knew exactly what I have decided for myself after lot of deliberation and research."

And my last question was what about his Muslim friend who declined to marry him? He smiled and said that he was happily married with her and had their first child a year before.

This was my interaction with a newly converted Muslim and I found him more knowledgeable than I as I was a born Muslim, never challenging myself, but he read, interacted and understood what Islam was and what challenges he would face after his change of faith and how as a Muslim his whole life-scape would change forever. Stay blessed my friend wherever you are - Allah's blessing on you and your family.

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