JALÂLEDDÎN LAUDER BRUNTON (G.B.)
(Sir Brunton, who comes from an eminent family and who possesses the title of Baronet, graduated from the Oxford University and made fame with his publications.)
I am grateful to you for giving me the chance to explain why I became a Muslim. I grew up under the influence of Christian parents. Theology was one of the subjects that I was interested in when I was young. I met some missionaries and closely concerned myself with the activities they had been carrying on in foreign countries. My heart felt like helping them. Without being officially appointed, I joined them in their journeys. To say the truth, although I had taken religious lessons, the Christian theory that “People come to this world in a sinful state and they therefore must be sure to expiate,” sounded bizarre to me. For this reason, I was gradually developing hatred against Christianity. I could not tolerate the idea that Allâhu ta’âlâ, with all His infinite power to create anything He wished, would have to create only sinful creatures, which would run counter to His almightiness and compassion, and I therefore harboured doubts as to the genuineness of a religion that described Allâhu ta’âlâ as such.
These doubts developed into curiosity about the instructions that the other religions gave in this respect, and consequently I decided to examine the other religions as well. My heart was innerly craving for a just, merciful and compassionate god, and I was looking for such a creator, i.e. Allah. I was wondering whether that was the real Nazarene religion that Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’ had brought. Or had the pure religion preached by him been polluted in the process of time? The more I thought about these, the stronger did the doubts in my heart grow, so much so that more often than not I would pick up today’s current Holy Bible, delve into the book, and at each time find more deficiencies and unintelligible discourses. Eventually, I reached the conclusion that that book was not the genuine Holy Book revealed to Îsâ ‘alaihis-salâm’.
People had made a myriad of wrong accessions into the Bible, thus turning the pure heavenly book into an irreparable mixture of facts and fictions.
Having reached an absolute conviction as to this fact, I substituted Bible-reading with other sorts of preaching to the people that I met during the journeys I was making with the missionaries. Instead of mentioning their fictitious theory of ‘God, the Son of God, and the Holy Ghost’, for instance, I would inculcate the facts such as that when man died his soul would not die, that human beings were created by a great creator, that this great creator would punish men both in this world and in the next on account of their sins, and that this great creator, being extremely compassionate, would forgive men their sins in case they repented for their wrongdoings.
As days went by, my belief in the unity of Allah developed into an absolute conviction. In order to penetrate into the inner nature of truth, I tried to dive deeper and deeper into the subject. It was sometime during these efforts that I began to study the Islamic religion. This religion magnatized me so strongly that I dedicated my entire day to studying it. I happened to domicile myself in a
forlorn Indian village, called Ichra, which was rather far from the urban areas and whose name almost no one knew. The inhabitants of this village belonged to a very poor and destitute caste. Only for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ, I was trying to teach them the existence of a single and compassionate creator and the right way they ought to follow in this worldly life. I was also striving to inculcate into them such notions as religious brotherhood and cleanliness. So strange to say, all these notions I was doing my best to teach them existed in Islam, not in Christianity, and I was preaching them not as a Christian missionary, but like a Muslim religious man.
I am not going to enlarge on the details of the great efforts I made, the degree of self-sacrifice I achieved, or the severe difficulties I faced in that lonely and desolate village, among those unenlightened people. My only concern was to guide them to spiritual and physical cleanliness and to teach them the existence of a great creator.
Whenever I was on my own, I would study the life of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’. Very few books had been written in English to reflect the facts about his life, yet no effort had been spared on the part of Christians to criticise and vilify that great Prophet and to incriminate him with lying. However, I was now able to study Islam fairly, without being influenced by those books that had been written under inimical motives. During the course of my studies, I came to the full realization that it was a definite fact that Islam was a true religion in which the concept of Allah and reality became manifest in its clearest identity.
Once you had been informed on the services which the great Prophet Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ had rendered for the good of humanity, it would be impossible for you to deny his prophethood. Definitely, he was the Messenger of Allâhu ta’âlâ. As a blessing of Allâhu ta’âlâ, he, alone, and in a very short time, transformed the Arabs from a mass of heathens who had been living in utter savagery and nescience, worshipping many idols, believing in superstitions, leading a bestial, seminaked, and overwhelmingly polygamous life, into a civilized, morally upright and clean nation whose members were now believing in Allâhu ta’âlâ, observing women’s rights, and always trying to be good-natured and genial. A person never could have managed such a job without the blessing or help of Allâhu ta’âlâ.
As I thought about the strenuous efforts I put forth in that tiny village whose population was only one or two hundred, and how I still could not bring those wretched people to the right course, my admiration for the work accomplished by Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’alaihi wa sallam’ grew all the greater. No. Something as great as that could be accomplished only by the Messenger of
Allâhu ta’âlâ. One ought to believe in his prophethood with all one’s heart.
I do not want to make mention of all the other so many even much more beautiful facts about the Islamic religion. For, by acknowledging the existence of Allâhu ta’âlâ and the prophethood of Muhammad ‘alaihis-salâm’, a person has already become a Muslim. One of those days an Indian Muslim visited me. That polite person’s name was Mian Amiruddîn. We had a long conversation on the Islamic religion. That conversation was the decisive encouragement, and I accepted Islam.
I believe in the fact that Islam is the true religion of Allah, in its simplicity, forgivingness, compassionateness and sincerity, in that it establishes brotherhood among people, and in that one day it will unite the entire world. I have reached the last stage of my life, and from now on I have dedicated myself to the service of Islam.