Showing posts with label Lauren Booth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lauren Booth. Show all posts

Saturday 30 June 2018

Spirit of Ramadan inadvertently led me to become Muslim

I have been sharing personal accounts of non-Muslims who have embraced Islam in my previous number of posts. And each personal account has a different motivation that has led a person to embrace Islam. Today I am sharing the personal account of Lauren Booth, who is a broadcaster, a journalist and also sister-in-law of Britain's ex-prime minister Tony Blair.

In her account which has been published in the Islamic Bulletin, she says that she visited a family in Rafa refugee camp and met a family of sixteen cramped inside a tent. She was greeted by the woman of the house and when she ushered her in, she asked her what it had been to live in a refugee camp during the month of Ramadan with almost little or no food? And the woman replied, "Allhamdulillah!! with such joy I couldn't help but smile. And as I sat there on the floor of this home eating what little leaves that they had; a bit of hummus, a pita bread that was our Iftar. 

She says she felt angry as to why God made hungry people go even more hungrier in the month of fasting. And the answer she received is worth reading:
"So, I turned to this sister and I said: " With all due respect I want to ask you, why does your God starve you in Ramadan? Why do you fast in Ramadan...sister, just explain to me? This lady who never owned a hand bag, whose children didn't have, never had shoes. Whose children I was sitting with didn't have pen or paper to do any drawings, she said to me: "Sister we fast in Ramadan to remember the poor" and a key went to my heart and unlocked it."
Later she visited Iran and visited the Fatima Mosque, named after the beloved daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the prophet of Islam. There she says she made a simple prayer: "Allah don't give me anything. I have everything. Thank you for this journey, but Allah don't forget the people of Palestine."

There she saw families with their children moving about in the courtyard of the mosque who were busy in their religious chores. She slept the night there and woke when the call for the pre dawn prayers was called. She said that just to be with everyone around, she offered prayer like everyone did. But she was still not for Islam in any way so far.

But a candle of truth had been alight in her heart and when she returned to London, a few days thereafter, she embrace Islam. Then she says she opened Qur'an for the first time and opened the first surah of Qur'an Surah Al Fatiha and said: "Hello Sarah where have you been, welcome to the religion of peace, joy and tranquility and I couldn't put it down. Someone once told me and I feel much like that before Islam I had given up on God but God never gave up on me. Allhamdulillah."

Her daughters reacted to her new faith and asked three very simple yet very intelligent questions:

1-Mummy when you're a Muslim will you still be mummy?
I said: When I am a Muslim you know what, I will be a better mummy, they said: "Horrayyy!!"

2-Mummy will you drink alcohol? 
When I am a Muslim, I will never drink alcohol again and they said "Horrayyy!!"

3-And this is an interesting and thought-provoking question from girls as small as 8 and 10: When you're a Muslim will you show your chest? 
I said why would you ask such a question? They said when you come to the school and your chest shows we are embarrassed and we hate it and we want you to stop it.  When I am a Muslim, I will cover all this area and to which they said: "we love Islam." 

She says reading Qur'an everyday strengthens one's Imaan (Faith), better than yesterday everyday.She says: "If you live in a non-Muslim country those of us who do it can go very low very quickly, you must read the Quran. Most of all your just not on the path of Islam if you come to Islam like me, if you're a Muslim you are on the path as well so make sure that you don't miss those signs in everyday life. All praise is to Allah (swt)."
May Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى‎) help us understand Qur'ān and follow the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad ﷺ, which is embodiment of commandments of Allah contained in the Qur'ān. May Allah help us to be like the ones He loves and let our lives be lived helping others and not making others' lives miserable or unlivable. May all our wrong doings, whether intentional or unintentional, be forgiven before the angel of death knocks on our door. 
وَمَا عَلَيۡنَاۤ اِلَّا الۡبَلٰغُ الۡمُبِيۡنُ‏ 
(36:17) and our duty is no more than to clearly convey the Message.”
That is Our duty is only to convey to you the message that Allah has entrusted us with. Then it is for you to accept it or reject it. We have not been made responsible for making you accept it forcibly, and if you do not accept it, we shall not be seized in consequence of your disbelief, you will yourselves be answerable for your actions on Day of Resurrection.

May Allah forgive me if my posts ever imply a piety far greater than I possess. I am most in need of guidance.

Reading the Qur'ān should be a daily obligation of a Muslim - Reading it with translation will make it meaningful. But reading its Exegesis / Tafsir will make you understand it fully. It will also help the Muslims to have grasp over social issues and their answers discussed in the Qur'an and other matter related to inter faith so that they are able to discuss issues with non-Muslims with authority based on refences from Qur'an.

Note: When we mention God in our posts, we mean One True God, we call Allah in Islam, with no associates. Allah is the Sole Creator of all things, and that Allah is all-powerful and all-knowing. Allah has no offspring, no race, no gender, no body, and is unaffected by the characteristics of human life.

Disclaimer: The material for this post has been collected from the references as given below. If anyone differs with the material contained in this post, one may consult the references and their authors.  If someone has more material about the subject, he/she is most welcome to share in the comments box to make the post all encompassing.

To know more about fasting and importance of month of Ramadan, please consult our reference page: Ramadan - A month of fasting and Blessings. You may also refer to our Reference Pages for knowing more about Islam and Qur'ān and our special page on Embracing Islam: The Revert Experiences

Source | Do listen to the interview on which this post had been based HERE

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