Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert (Europe)
Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert (EUROPE)
Guidance from God, searching for God, an analytical mind and an open heart are the prerequisites for finding truth. Despite facing adversity from their surroundings, these individuals persevere for their faith.
Why did I embrace Islam?
Why did I embrace Islam? My only convincing answer to this question is that Almighty God in His Glory helped me in admitting the Greatest Truth and testifying to the biggest reality to the world. I, however, know fully well that human nature and its disposition refuse to be convinced of certain facts and realities without satisfactory proofs and cogent arguments. Keeping in view man's nature, I feel that this reply of mine would not satisfy those who are not inclined towards, nor do they feel any interest in, searching for the Truth, nor those on whom the light of truth has not dawned. I am, therefore, left with no alternative but to reduce to writing some of the reasons and causes that induced me to embrace Islam and to stick to it.
While staying in a European society, I express my joy and jubiliation, that the people living in these societies do not change their religion nor do they deviate from their faith for the sake of economic, political or social temptations nor do they rush to embrace any religion, unless it works as a strong incentive and an effective factor to open up their hearts and generate spiritual tranquillity. Otherwise, they remain contented with infidelity and apostasy.
Here then, if one pauses to consider, one will come to the conclusion that my own act, or for that matter, the act of any individual in the European society, of embracing Islam does not imply earning economic profits or attaining social advantages. The matter is rather the other way round. Firstly, we, the peoples of the European society, attach no importance to religious matters. However, if there is anyone from among the European society who cares for religion, the aim of such a one is nothing but to find God. As such, my own interest in Islam meant nothing but search for the Truth and the direction of right thinking.
A desire of search for the Truth arose in my heart. A longing to find the Truth crept into my self. This was when I saw that many doubts and misgivings had been growing and rising in my imagination and memory about the Christian beliefs and its fundamentals. At the same time, the capacity of Christianity fell short of providing resistance and protection against those doubts and misgivings. Christianity used to press that all its tenets be admitted without proof and argument.
To cite an example, my heart is not inclined to accept the Christian belief that Glorious Almighty God sent Prophet Jesus Christ for the whole world as an expiator of the sins of all the slaves of God. It also did not appeal to me that the entire humanity was sullied with various colours of sins including disobedience, and all the sins of the slaves of God were forgiven, following the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I also felt that God Himself inevitably possesses full power to save His slaves and to keep them away from committing sins and crimes. I also felt that He has all the might to forgive, on His own, the sins of His slaves without any explanation being necessary. Thus, Glorious God does not need any explanation to forgive the sins of His slaves.
Even so, I felt that the belief of making the Prophets a ransom for the sins of the entire humanity is tantamount and similar (God forbid) to imputing motives of wrong-doing and injustice to All-mighty God. On the other hand, man may commit sins and crimes without any hesitation and hitch. Whenever I expressed these doubts to any Christian scholar or priest, he advised me to banish from my mind these doubts and instigated me to accept those beliefs of Christianity, without any reservation. They strongly pressed me to give up the idea that they are not convincing, so that these doubts and views may not grow nor flourish in my mind. The desire to search for the Truth had been constantly growing till I arrived at a very critical juncture which denies all faith and (revealed) laws.
In those days I had the opportunity to come across a religious and capable Muslim who, inspite of being charmed by the glamour of European culture and civilization, used to take pride in stating that he was a Muslim. He affirmed that, through the blessings of Islam, he enjoyed contentment of the heart and mental tranquillity. On the other hand, a feeling of weirdness and disgust against the name of religion had got hold of my heart. This assertion of his filled my heart with a sense of astonishment and I was drowned in a sea of thought: Is there a religion which provides heart's contentment and mental peace to those who profess and follow it? This idea induced me to acquire knowledge about Islam and its disciplines. Now I claim by dint of my studies that Islam is the immortal religion of Allah which has the ability to elate the hearts of those who submit to it. It helps them in all their affairs and difficulties. It removes all doubts and suspicions arising in the hearts of the people from the teachings and beliefs of other religions.
One of the most important teachings of Islam that influenced my heart is that it does not call man to submit to it without thinking and reflection. On the other hand, man has been invited to think and reflect deeply and clearly and weigh every Islamic belief on the scale of understanding and wisdom before accepting it. In Islam, Allah the All-Mighty is the source and fountainhead of justice. It is, therefore, not possible that Allah should make any man a ransom for the sins of all mankind. According to the Islamic belief, Allah the All-Mighty possesses all eternal, exalted attributes and is free from all shortcomings and defects. For this reason, Islam maintains that this notion is against wisdom and beyond conception, that Allah the All-Mighty has bestowed on man the liberty to commit sins and has given him free rein to indulge in offences under the theory of expiation.
These are, thus, the eternal teachings of Islam which cleared up from my mind the tendency of hate against religion and religious regulations. They led me to the conclusion that religion is a permanent, independent code of law which ensures for man everlasting prosperity, eternal honour and endless victory and triumph.
At this critical stage, on the one hand, I made an extensive, intensive and analytical study of Islam, from the standpoint of abiding law of life. On the other hand, I focussed my keen attention on the question: how Islam provides man with peace of mind and tranquillity of the self in the present age in which new problems and contemporary issues crop up from day to day. So, when my heart came at rest and my self calmed down from both the directions, I embraced Islam. For lack of space it is not possible for me to express all the impressions and the emotions that my mind received. It is, however, necessary to clarify the lessons with which I was inspired in Islam: It is that Islam directs the entire humanity towards the real goal of its creation and guides it to achieve those lofty aims. It conveys the message of peace and security to the human society; establishes bonds of fraternity and equality among them and obliterates all differences and disputes including those of colour, race and nationality. It rescues them from social and economic exploitation and from all other shapes of racial discrimination. It leads them to a vast expanse of right guidance and a path that is uniform and straight.
Not only does Islam oppose stagnation and deterioration in life, but it also calls all mankind to achieve advancement and development. It allows the individual to earn money and wealth and attain industrial and commercial development. It gives him the right to wages and awards as long as these activities are lawful and are not ill-gotten. So Islam is a complete and comprehensive evolution. It embraces all aspects of revolution and excellence. It is a belief that advances, along with the entire humanity, in the right and straight direction, where man feels that he is a member of an international community, understands his duties and is solicitious about the demands of life.
When about ten years ago I embraced Islam, peace and tranquillity returned to my distracted, troubled and defiant nature.
Praise, gratitude and thanks to Allah that I am enjoying a life full of contentment and satisfaction.
Dr. Abdul Karim Herbert