ISMÂ’ÎL WIESLEW ZEJILERSKY
I was born in the Krokov city of Poland in 1900. I am from a famous family recorded in Polish history. My father was a compulsive atheist. Yet he allowed his children to be given Catholic education. There were many Catholics in Poland. Being a devoted Catholic, my mother wished that we be raised with a Catholic education. I had very deep respect for religion. I believed in the fact that religion was the most important guide both in individual life and in social life.
My family had frequent foreign relations. My father had made many journeys in his youth, and therefore he had numerous foreign friends. Consequently, we had respect for other races, civilizations and religions. Without discriminating one person from another, we respected every nation, every race and, in short, every individual. I considered myself not as a Polish citizen, but also as a citizen of the entire world. My family held moderate views concerning temporal matters.
Although my father was a born aristocrat and therefore must have been a person without any practical skills, he hated laziness and inactivity, and recommended that everybody should have a job.
He was totally against dictatorship. Yet he would never approve a social revolution that would demolish the world’s order. He had deep respect for traditions coming from earlier times. He was against their being degenerated. In short, my father was a modernized and moderate prototype of the knights of the Middle Ages. The liberal education that my father had given me had made me a researcher and I had embarked on a research into social matters. The world had quite a number of social, political and economical problems that awaited solution. What had to be done to solve them and to find the right path? I saw that humanity had been parted into two polar opposites in those matters.
Capitalism on the one side, and communism on the other. In other words oppression and terror on the one side, and a thoroughly uncontrolled society on the other. These two opposites would have to be brought together and integrated into a moderate system so that the entire humanity could attain peace and happiness. In my opinion, the human society would have to be based on essentials that were liberal, but at the same time disciplined, in conformity with today’s conditions, but at the same time respectful of the old customs. As a person who had been educated with the principles of ‘walking exactly on the intermediate path’, it was natural for me to think so. We were nicknamed ‘Progressive Traditionalists’.
By the time I became sixteen years old, I had already begun to wonder whether the Catholic religion could establish those essentials. Subsequently I examined the Catholic religion more closely. Then I realized that my mind could never accept some of the credal tenets with which they had tried to indoctrinate me in the church. Ahead of all those tenets was trinity. Then came the Eucharist [where bread and wine are supposed to have changed into Îsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ flesh and blood, respectively]; the compulsory intermediation of a priest between Allâhu ta’âlâ and the born slave, which had been made a stipulation for the acceptance of one’s prayers; attributing innocence and divinity to the Pope, who was a mere human being like us; worshipping some shapes, images and icons; making some strange signs; all these absurdities gradually made me take an aversion to Christianity. I began to think that that religion was, let alone a saviour to rescue humanity from disasters, a groundless and worthless heretical belief. I was now completely indifferent about religion.
After the Second World War, I began to feel a need for a religious belief again. I realized that humanity could never be without a religion. The human soul needs religion. Religion is the greatest guide and the most profound source of consolation. An irreligious person is doomed to perdition. The worst evils come to humanity from irreligiousness. Leading a perfect social life requires people’s being attached to one another, which in turn is dependent upon religion. I realized that today’s progressive man could not accept a religion that could not cope with today’s living conditions or scientific improvements, which consisted of some grotesque ideas, and which ran counter to common sense. Such was the Christian religion. To know how the other religions were, I decided to examine all the world’s religions. I studied the American Quakers, the Unitarians, and even the Bahâîs. But none of them seemed satisfactory to me.
Eventually, I somehow found a book entitled ‘Islamo Esperantiste Regardata’, written in the Esperanto language. The book had been published by a British Muslim named Ismâ’îl Collin Evans. That book was the guide that led me to Islam, in 1949. I read it. I consulted the Islamic organization called ‘Dâr-ultablîgh-
ul-Islâm’ in Cairo, and requested them to give me information about Islam. They sent me a book entitled ‘Islâmo Chies Religio’, which, again, was in the Esperanto language. That book completed my îmân, and I became a Muslim.
 A group of Christians called Society of Friends. They are known for their opposition to violence and war. They perform their religious services in silence, and call them Meetings.
 A Christian religious group, who believe in the unity of Allah.
 One of the heretical sects founded for the purpose of demolishing Islam from within. For further information, please see Endless Bliss, Second Fascicle, 36th chapter.
Islam fully answers all my thoughts, aspirations and wishes that I have had since my childhood. Islam comprehends both freedom and discipline. Islam, while listing our duties towards Allâhu ta’âlâ on the one hand, prescribes the ways of leading a comfortable and peaceful worldly life on the other. Islam recognizes rights not only for the entire humanity, but also for each and every living creature. Islam has brought the most correct solutions to the most critical problems. As a sociologist, I have admired the greatness and the perfection inherent in the Islamic precepts ‘Zakât’ and ‘Hajj’. [Zakât], which means for a person who has been given a larger share from worldly goods to mete out a certain percentage of his property to the poor, and [Namâz in jamâ’at (congregational prayer) and Hajj], which mean all Muslims’ coming together, worshipping Allâhu ta’âlâ and knowing one another, the rich and the poor, the seniors and the juniors, the old and the young, merchants, artisans and, in short, the rank and file, indicate that Islam attained long ago the elevations that today’s social sciences have not reached so far despite all the painstaking endeavours. Owing to this accomplished character, Islam has shown the most perfect medium way between capitalism and communism and provided the conveniences coveted by all people. Islam is a tremendous religion which brings together all the people in the world regardless of their race, nation, social status, colour and language, which gives them equal rights, which balances their economical discrepancies by means of a well-calculated social-aid system, and which provides a material and spiritual discipline by infusing the fear of Allah. Even the Islamic polygamy, Islam’s most criticized aspect, bears some biological considerations and is a principle more honest than the hypocritical monogamy of the Catholics, who never live with one woman.
In conclusion, I pay hamd-u-thenâ to Allâhu ta’âlâ, who has guided me to the right path and blessed me with the path that will lead me to His approval.