ABDULLAH ARCHIBALD HAMILTON (G.B.)
(Sir Archibald Hamilton, a well-known British diplomat, served as a naval officer during the First World War. Coming from a widely known family, he possesses the title of baronet, (which means a candidate baron). He was honoured with becoming a Muslim in 1923.)
Since reaching the age of puberty, I had been allured by Islam’s simplicity and crystalline limpidity. I had been born as a Christian and I had been given a Christian education. Yet I had never believed in wrong credal tenets, and I had always preferred truth, right and reason to blind beliefs. I had been aspiring to worship one Allah sincerely and with a peaceful heart. Yet, both the
Roman Catholic Church and the English Protestant Church had been short of serving this pure intention of mine. It was for these reasons that I answered the call of my conscience and accepted Islam, which satisfied me fully, and only after that did I begin to feel myself as a true and better born slave of Allâhu ta’âlâ.
Sad to say, various Christians and ignorant people have misrepresented Islam as a religion of falsities and concoctions that are intended to induce torpor into humanity. But the fact is that it is the only true religion in the sight of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Islam is a perfect religion which brings about unity between the powerful and the weak as well as between the rich and the poor. Economically, there are two main classes of people. The first class contains people whom Allâhu ta’âlâ has blessed with worldly riches. The second class is made up of those who have to work for a living. There is yet another class. People in this class live in utter destitution because they cannot earn enough, because they have lost their jobs, or because they can no longer work, none of which cases is their fault. Islam enables all these three classes to come together in a harmonized society. It commands the rich to help the poor. It provides a social setting where humiliations and afflictions are extirpated.
The Islamic religion lays emphasis also on personal abilities, efforts and skills. According to the Islamic jurisprudence, if a poor peasant, for instance, cultivates an ownerless piece of land on his own for a certain length of time, the land becomes his personal property. The Islamic religion is not destructive, but it is restorative.
The Islamic religion prohibits gambling and all the other vicious and deleterious games. The Islamic religion prohibits also all sorts of intoxicants. Indeed, the majority of afflictions people suffer in the world are caused by gambling or alcohol.
We Muslims are not people who hold the belief that everything is a slave in the hands of destiny. Destiny in the Islamic sense does not mean to sit idly with your mouth opened in the celestial direction and to expect that Allâhu ta’âlâ will give you everything. On the contrary, Allâhu ta’âlâ enjoins work in the Qur’ân alkerîm.
Man should do his best and hold fast to all the apparent causes; only after that will he put his trust in Allâhu ta’âlâ. Not without working, but while working, should he beg Allâhu ta’âlâ to help him for success and earning. The Islamic credal tenet which says that “Good and evil come from Allâhu ta’âlâ” means, “Allâhu ta’âlâ is the Creator of all.” Islam does not contain a tenet encouraging people to idle away their time. Destiny means Allâhu ta’âlâ’s knowing in the eternal past all the events that will take place and His creating everything when the time in His knowledge comes.
Islam never accepts a credo based on the belief that human beings are originally sinful, that they are born with sins, or that they have to expiate their sins throughout their lives. Islam states that human beings are the born slaves of Allâhu ta’âlâ, men and women alike, and that with respect to mental and moral qualities the two sexes are not very different from each other. Only, because men are more powerful and stronger by creation, onerous and tiresome duties such as supporting the family have been given to them, while women have been blessed with a more comfortable, more cheerful and happier life.
I do not want to say much on how Islam establishes brotherhood among all Muslims. For the entire world knows how Muslims love and help one another. In Islam all people, the rich, the poor, the nobles, villagers, civil servants, workers, merchants, are equal in the presence of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and they are brothers.
Throughout my travels in the Muslim countries, I felt as if I had been in my own home and among my brothers, wherever I went. A final remark I would like to add is this: Islam invites people both to work honestly all day long and to carry on his acts of worship, his duties as a born slave to Allâhu ta’âlâ. Today’s Christianity, on the other hand, induces into people a life style consisting in Masses in the name of worship only on Sundays and a complete oblivion of Allâhu ta’âlâ covered with worldly occupations and sins throughout the rest of the week.
It was for these reasons that I became a Muslim, and I am proud of having become a Muslim.