IBRÂHÎM VOO
(Malayan)

Before becoming a Muslim, I was a Catholic Christian. I had been Christianized by Catholic missionaries. Yet I had never warmed to that religion. For the priests asked me to believe in three gods and commanded me to worship the Eucharist, [the ceremony where Îsâ’s ‘alaihis-salâm’ flesh is represented with bread and his blood is represented with wine.]

They tried to impose a number of irrational teachings such as that the Pope was sinless and that it was necessary to obey all his commandments, and threatened that denial of those tenets would lead one to perdition. Whenever I asked the priests to explain their teachings more clearly so that I could get a clearer picture to convince my mind, none of them could explicate the tenets, but they only dismissed the matter by saying, “These things are heavenly secrets beyond the mind’s grasp.” How could a person accept something beyond his mental grasp? Gradually, I began to sense that there was something wrong, that Christianity was not a true religion, and to feel a bitter resentment against it. Any mention of other religions, such as Islam, would be enough to exasperate the priests; they would shout themselves hoarse, saying, “Muhammad is —may Allâhu ta’âlâ protect us from saying— a liar. Islam is a concoction.” When I asked why that religion was a mendacious one, they would falter, fumbling for an answer. This detestable state they caused themselves into motivated me to examine the Islamic religion more closely. I made contact with Muslims living in Malaya, and requested them to enlighten me about their religion. These people were quite dissimilar to the priests. They gave me very beautiful information about Islam. Let me add that in the beginning I had heated discussions with them.

Yet, so convincing were their answers to my questions, and so infinite was the patience and the firmness they showed to me, that I began to feel as if a curtain was being raised from before my eyes, and a great feeling of peace and satisfaction began to stir in me. In contrast with Christianity fraught with superstitions, everything in this new religion was rational, logical and reasonable. Muslims believed in one Creator. That great Creator did not say that mankind was sinful, but, on the contrary, He bestowed plenty of blessings on human beings. Among His commandments, there was not a single dot that I would not understand. Muslims’ acts of worship were intended only to pay hamd (thanks and praise) to Allâhu ta’âlâ. They did not worship a number of images or shapes. Deep in my soul I felt the flavour of each and every âyat (verse) of the Qur’ân al-kerîm, their holy book. One did not have to go to a temple for worship. A person could do his acts of worship in his home as well as in any other place. All these things were so lovely, so true, and so humanistic that I accepted the fact that Islam is the true religion of Allah, and I embraced Islam willingly.

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