Colonel DONALD ROCKWELL (American)
Why did I accept Islam? For a long time I had been greatly impressed by Islam’s clear logic and formal simplicity, by the magnatizing attraction felt towards its mosques, by the great solemnity and deep affection with which the adherents of that religion had devoted themselves to their faith, by the profound respect and pure sincerity in which Muslims all over the world had been prostrating themselves simultaneously five times daily.
However, all these things were short of causing me to become a Muslim. Only after a thoroughgoing analysis of the Islamic religion, which resulted in my exploring a myriad of beautiful and useful aspects in it, did I become a Muslim. A solemn and, at the same time, sentimental, attachment to life, [which was Muhammad’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ personal approach]; a mutually consultative method in doing daily chores; a habitually soft behaviour flavoured with mercy and compassion in social lives, indiscriminately; charity for the poor; property rights, which women had been given for the first time; all these things, which were only a few of the many other revolutions that could only be evaluated as ‘the most tremendous’, and how aphoristical and concise a language it is through which Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ expresses these concepts! By cautioning, “Place your trust in Allâhu ta’âlâ; yet do not forget to tie your camel!”, Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ conveys also that Allâhu ta’âlâ commands His born slaves to put their trust in Him only after taking all sorts of necessary precautions. Then, contrary to Europeans’ assertions, the Islamic religion is not a religion for those idlers who expect everything from Allâhu ta’âlâ without doing anything for their part. The Islamic religion commands everybody first to do their best and only then to put their trust in Allâhu ta’âlâ. The justice which Islam rendered to people of other religions was one of its aspects which had had a great impact on me.
Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’ commands Muslims to be benign towards Christians and Jews. Qur’ân al-kerîm acknowledges the prophethoods of the other prophets as well, beginning with Âdam ‘alaihis-salâm’ and including Mûsâ and Îsâ ‘alaihim-as-salâm’. This is an exalted sense of faith and a great model of justice, which other religions do not possess. While the believers of other
religions are casting inconceivable aspersions on Islam, Muslims are answering them favourably.
One of the most beautiful aspects of Islam is that it has completely purified itself of idols. Whereas pictures, icons and signs are still being worshipped in Christianity, things of this nature do not exist in Islam. This is an indication of how pure and unstained a religion Islam is.
The facts stated and taught by Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, the Messenger of Allâhu ta’âlâ, have reached our time without any interpolation. And the Qur’ân al-kerîm, which is the Word of Allah, has been preserved in its pristine purity, exactly as it was revealed, without losing anything from the limpidity it had in the time of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’. The fabricated superstitions
and legends with which Christians have defiled the religion of Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ are not the case with Islam.
Of the determinants that motivated me to become a Muslim, the last one was the fortitude and the will power that I observed in Islam. Islam induced an overall cleanliness, not only spiritually, but also physically. Examples of the features that make up this superior nature are not to overload the stomach when eating, to fast for one month every year, to be moderate in every respect, to
be neither extravagant nor parsimonious in spending money, etc.
In an exquisite style, facts that would guide humanity not only temporarily but also ever after were being inculcated into individuals. I visited almost all of the Muslim countries. I saw in person how all the Muslims in Istanbul, in Damascus, in Cairo, in Algeria, in Morocco, and in the other Muslim cities observed all these rules and thereby led a peaceful life. They did not need
ornaments, pictures, icons, candles, music, or other trivialities of the same sort to initiate themselves into the life-style leading to the sympathy of Allâhu ta’âlâ. The sense of awareness of the fact that they were the born slaves of Allâhu ta’âlâ and their acts of supplication before Him afforded them the greatest source of spiritual peace, happiness and flavour.
The qualities of freedom and equity inherent in the Islamic religion have always magnatized me towards it. Among Muslims, a person occupying the highest rank position and the poorest member of the society are equal before Allâhu ta’âlâ, and they are merely two individuals in the general recognition of fraternity.
Muslims perform their acts of worship side by side in mosques. There are not any special places allotted for the leadership. Muslims hold the belief that there is not a third person to act as an intermediary between Allâhu ta’âlâ and His born slave. The Islamic acts of worship are performed between Allâhu ta’âlâ and the slave. They do not appeal to men of religion for the forgiveness
of their wrongdoings. Every Muslim is the only person responsible for his personal behaviour.
The mutual fraternity among Muslims has always been helpful in my personal life. This fraternity was one of the factors whereby I was charmed towards Islam. I know that, wherever I go, a Muslim brother of mine will help me and sympathize with me. All Muslims the world over, of different races, colours and political views as they may be, are brothers and they look on it as an
obligation to help one another.
These are the causes for my becoming a Muslim. I wonder if it could be possible to conceive of causes more beautiful or more exalted than these?