Clarity from Confusion

I grew up as a Christian knowing from the media that the religion of Islam was a terrorist, barbaric, evil and dirty religion. It oppressed women by making them cover their hair and wear an outer garment and making them prisoners in their homes with no rights.

When I met a Muslim while in college I was so surprised and shocked. He was gentle, intelligent, sincere with impeccable dress and cleanliness.

These thoughts went through my mind: How could a Muslim be so polite and gentle? How could a Muslim be so clean and well dressed? He had no violent tendencies. I was totally attracted to this person. Then I thought: How can I get him to convert to Christianity so we can be married?

Family and friends were encouraging me to keep away from him telling me Islam is the religion of the devil and evil.

I bought an English Meaning of the Translation of the Qur'an so I could find out for myself what Islam was so I could explain how Christianity was the truth and Islam was false with proof from his scriptures.

When I read the Qur'an's meaning in English, I found it very familiar with similar stories of the Prophet's that I knew in the Bible.  What was shocking and scary was reading about the Day of Resurrection and being accountable for everything I do.  Heaven is not guaranteed in Islam like it was as a Christian.   I knew I was going to heaven since I accepted Jesus into my heart and he erased my sins by dying on the cross.

 "On the day when every soul will be confronted with all the good it has done, and all the evil it has done, it will wish there were a great distance between it and its evil. But Allah cautions you (to fear) Him. And Allah is full of kindness to those that serve Him."  (The Qur'an 3:30)

I could never understand how Jesus could be God incarnate.  It never made sense.  It was confusing.  How could Jesus be God when he prayed to God?  Who was he praying to?  He told us to pray to God in the Lord's prayer. (Matthew 6:9-13)  Jesus said that only the Father knows when the hour will come. (Matthew 24:36)  Jesus says, “I am returning to your God and my God.” (John 20:17)  I was confused about Jesus since I was young, may peace be upon him.

Islam showed me that Jesus was not God incarnate but the Messiah, born miraculously who performed miracles, healing the blind and the leper and raising the dead by God's permission. (The Qur'an 3:49). In the Qur'an it says, "Verily, the likeness of Jesus before Allah is the likeness of Adam. He created him from dust, then He said to him: "Be!" and he was. (The Qur'an 3:59) I found out that Allah means "The Deity" in English. Family members still think that Allah is the Muslim God and has nothing to do with the Christian God. 

I found out that Islam means "Submission to God resulting in peace" in English.  I was one who submitted to God as a Christian, who wanted to obey Him and please Him in what I did. I learned that all the Prophets/Messengers were Muslims!!!  They all came with the same message:  To worship God/Allah alone with no partners or idols. "And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad) but We revealed to him (saying): ‘None has the right to be worshipped but I, so worship Me.’" (The Quran 21:25) "We have revealed to you as We revealed to Noah and the Prophets after him, and We revealed to Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob and the offspring of Jacob, and Jesus and Job, and Jonah, and Aaron and Solomon, and We gave to David Psalms."  (The Qur'an 4:163)

I learned that Islam (Submission to God) had a clear daily program to reach my daily goal to obey and please God.  I loved the worship prayer that keeps one on track 5 times a day.  I loved the remembrance of God (Dhikr) which also doesn't exist in Christianity.  Islam provides the strategy to keep my feet firm on the straight path with specific instructions to follow from the Qur'an and the words and deeds of the Prophet Muhammad. I learned that the Prophet Muhammad was mentioned in the Bible:

Jesus said, "When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father--the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father--he will testify about me. (John 15:26)

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come." (John 16:13)

About women, I was so surprised to find out that the Prophet Muhammad's first wife of 25 years was a productive member of the society as a successful, wealthy business woman!  What an example for women to follow!

I learned that Islam gives honor and dignity to women. The West told me to show off my body shape for strange men to look at. The more attention I received meant that I was valued and worthy.  I am free of all those distractions now in my mind and free of all the wasted time and money I spent on clothes, jewelry and makeup to get men's attention.  Now I know that I was created worthy and don't need men's attention to feel valued.

This is true women's liberation!!!!!!!!!!!!! I follow the dress code of the mother of Jesus, Mary, the most honored woman in the world! I am no longer a slave to the fashion industry.  I am no longer a slave to having to imitate the dress of singers, actors/actresses and popular fashion labels.

Modesty liberates! Praise be to God, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe who led me out of my confusion and darkness into His light of "Submission to Him alone" (meaning Islam in Arabic) and has given us specific instructions to follow for a peaceful, fulfilling life in the Qur'an and Sunnah: the words and deeds (sunnah) of His last messenger, Muhammad (pbuh).

I now know that I am accountable for all I do before God/Allah. My confusion about Jesus has been replaced by clarity, knowing that he is the Messiah and not divine.  "They have certainly disbelieved who say, “Allah is the Messiah, the son of Mary”, while the Messiah has said, “O Children of Israel, worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord.”  (The Qur'an 5:72)

I know that Allah means the Deity and I follow the first commandment stated in the Old and New Testament to worship God as one. “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:5).  Jesus said, "You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only."  (Matthew 4:10)

Say: "Who is the Lord and Sustainer of the heavens and the earth?" Say: "It is Allah." Say: "Do you then take (for worship) protectors other than Him such as have no power either for good or for harm to themselves?"  (The Qur'an 13:16)

Praise be to God, I have been guided to follow the Qur'an and words and deeds of the last Prophet sent to all mankind to have a peaceful and satisfying life.  I am a truly liberated woman by wearing the head cover and modest dress.  I am free to be a productive member of my society.  I submit myself to the All-Mighty and All-Knowing, Creator of the Heavens and the Earth.  It is a daily struggle.  May God/Allah give us strength, patience and wisdom to do what is morally right in our daily affairs and guide us...‘Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire!’” (The Qur'an 2: 201) "Pardon us and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us." (The Qur'an 2:286) "All praises and thanks be to God/Allah, Who has guided us..."  (The Qur'an 7:43)