Friday, February 17, 2012

Journey from Hinduism to Islam

It was the night of 26th Ramadan 1415 H corresponding to March 27, 1995 when one of my friends called me and told me about a Hindu priest, Ravi Shankar. He wanted to learn more about Islam, but was afraid of getting involved with unsuitable.
 
We visited him the next day to find out this gentleman’s concern. Shankar asked us to explain the different Muslim groups/sects in Islam as largely seen in India. He wanted to know the truth before accepting Islam. He told us that they worshipped idols which were senseless because if they broke or got old people simply threw them in the dustbin.
 
However, according to his perception, Muslims also do something similar – they circumambulate the Ka’ba, bow in front of it and worship the dead. He also wanted to know how people from all walks of life come together to pray in the Mosque and stand close to each other. A scene like this in a temple is next to impossible as Hindu temples do not allow low caste Hindus to even enter it, let alone stand close to one another. Shankar wanted to know the difference between Hinduism and Islam.
 
He also told us that people from different groups approached him and told him about their ideologies, but none in particular satisfied him. He asked us which group we belonged to. After patiently listening to his questions we tried to clarify his doubts to the best of our abilities. I told him that we were inviting him to the group of Abu Bakr and Omar, (May Allah be pleased with them) the companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and that we only follow his teachings. I also clarified his doubt about worshiping the dead i.e. visiting graves and worshiping the dead even if it is Prophet Muhammad’s (peace be upon him) is not acceptable in Islam. We cannot benefit from the dead in any way. For more go here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Revert Stories - Yusuf Estes

Yusuf Estes (born in 1944) is an American Muslim preacher and teacher who converted to Islam in 1991. He was the National Muslim Chaplain for the United States Bureau of Prisons through the 1990s. He became the Muslim Delegate to the United Nations World Peace Conference for Religious Leaders held at the U.N. in September 2000. Active in Islamic missionary work in the United States, he is often featured as guest presenter and keynote speaker at various Islamic events as well as frequently appearing on various Islamic satellite TV channels. More here.

Please listen to his story in his own words.



Sunday, June 20, 2010

IDOL USED FOR CONCENTRATION

Question:
The Hindu Pundits and Scholars agree that the Vedas and other Hindu religious scriptures prohibit idol worship, but initially because the mind may not be matured, an idol is required for concentration while worshipping. After the mind reaches higher consciousness, the idol is not required for concentration.

Answer :
Muslims have reached the higher level of consciousness
Muslims have reached the higher level of consciousness. If an idol is required for concentration only in the initial stages and not later on when the mind reaches higher consciousness then I would like to say the Muslims have already reached the state of higher consciousness because when we worship Allah (swt) we do not require any idol or statue.

Child asks why does it thunder?
When I was discussing with a Swami in IRF. He said that when our child asks us, "Why does the sky thunder?", we reply that "aaee ma chakki pees rahi hai", the grandmother is grinding flour in the heaven; because he is too young to understand. Similarly in the initial stages people require an idol for concentration.

In Islam we don’t believe in telling a lie, even if it’s a white lie. I will never give such a wrong answer to my child because later on when he goes to school and learns that the thundering sound after lightning is due to the expansion of rapidly heated air, he will either think that the teacher is lying or later on when he understands the fact he will conclude that the father is a liar. If you feel that the child may not understand certain difficult things you should simplify the answer rather than give a wrong fictitious reply. If you, yourself do not know the answer, you should have the guts to be truthful and say ‘I don’t know’. But many children nowadays will not be satisfied with this answer. If this answer was given to my son, he would say "Abba (father), why don’t you know?’ This will compel you to do your homework and thus educate yourself as well as your child.

Those in standard one require idol for concentration – (2 + 2 = 4 will remain same in standard one and ten)
Some pundits while trying to convince me regarding idol worship said that in standard one the student is initially taught to worship God by concentrating with the help of an idol but later on when he graduates he no longer requires the idol to concentrate while worshipping the God.

A very important fact to be noted is that only if the fundamentals of any particular subject is strong, then only will he be able to excel in future for e.g. A teacher of mathematics in standard one teaches the students that 2 + 2 = 4 irrespective whether the student passes school or does graduation or does a Ph. D. in mathematics, the basics of 2 + 2 = 4 will yet remain the same, it will not change to 5 or 6. In higher standards the student, besides addition may learn about Algebra, Trigonometry, Logarithm, etc. but the fundamental of addition will yet remain the same. If the teacher in standard one itself teaches the fundamentals wrong, how can you expect the student to excel in future?

It is the fundamental principal of the Vedas regarding the concept of God that He has got no image, so how can the Scholars even after knowing this fact keep silent at the wrong practice being done by people.

Will you tell your son who is in standard one that 2 plus 2 is not equal to 4 but 5 or 6 and only confirm the truth after he passes school? Never. In fact if he makes a mistake you will correct him and say it is 4 and not wait till he graduates; and if you don’t correct him initially you will ruin his future.