people around the globe spend countless hours reading and studying the
principles of Islam; they pour over translations of the meanings of the Quran and are held entranced by the life and times of Prophet Muhammad,
may God praise him. Many need only a glimpse of Islam and
convert immediately. Still others recognise the truth but wait, and wait and
keep on waiting, sometimes to the point of putting their hereafter in peril. Therefore
today we continue our discussion on, the sometimes not so obvious benefits of
converting to Islam.
“And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam,
it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the
losers.” (Quran 3:85)
5. Converting to Islam is the first step in
establishing a lifelong connection to the Creator.
Every single member of the human race is
knowing that God is One. Prophet Muhammad said that every child was born in a
state of fitrah, with the correct
understanding of God. According to Islam this
is a natural state of being, instinctively knowing there is a Creator and naturally
wanting to worship and please Him. However those who do not know God or
establish a relationship with Him may find the human existence puzzling and
sometimes even distressing. For many, allowing God into their lives and
worshipping Him in a way that is pleasing to Him, gives a whole new meaning to
“Verily, in the remembrance of God do hearts
find rest.” (Quran 13:28)
Through acts of worship such as prayer and supplication,
one begins to feel that God is close at hand, through His infinite knowledge
and wisdom. A believer is secure in the knowledge that God, the Most High, is
above the heavens, and comforted by the fact that He is with them in all their
affairs. A Muslim is never alone.
“He knows what goes into the earth and what
comes forth from it, what descends from the heaven and what ascends thereto. And
He is with you (by His Knowledge) wheresoever you may be. And God is the
All-Seer of what you do.” (Quran 57:4)
Converting to Islam reveals God’s mercy and forgiveness towards His creation.
As feeble human beings we often feel lost and alone. It is
then that we turn to God and seek His Mercy and Forgiveness.
When we turn to Him in true submission His tranquillity descends upon us. We are
then able to feel the quality of His mercy and see it manifest in the world
around us. However in order to worship God, we need to know Him. Converting
to Islam opens the gateway to this knowledge, including the fact that God’s
forgiveness knows no bounds.
Many people are confused or ashamed of the many sins they
have committed over the course of their lives. Converting to Islam completely
washes those sins away; it is as if they never happened. A new Muslim is as
pure as a new born baby.
to those who have disbelieved [that] if they cease, what has previously
occurred will be forgiven for them. But if they return [to hostility] - then
the precedent of the former [rebellious] peoples has already taken place.”
If after converting to Islam a person commits more sins the
door to forgiveness is still wide open.
you who believe! Turn to God with
sincere repentance! It may be that
your Lord will expiate from you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under
which rivers flow (Paradise)…” (Quran 66:8)
Converting to Islam teaches us that trials and tests are part of the human
Once a person converts to Islam he begins to understand
that the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of this life are not random acts of
a cruel and unorganised universe. A true believer understands that our existence is part of a well-ordered world, and life is unfolding in
exactly the way God, in His infinite wisdom, has ordained.
God tells us we will be tested and He
advises us to bear our trials and tribulations patiently. This is difficult to
understand unless one embraces the Oneness of God, the religion of Islam, where
given us clear guidelines about how to behave when faced with trials and
tribulations. If we follow these guidelines, found in the Quran and the
authentic traditions of Prophet Muhammad, it is possible to bear afflictions
with ease and even be grateful.
“And certainly, We shall test you with something
of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to the
patient ones.” (Quran 2:155)
Prophet Muhammad said, “A man will be tested according to
the level of his religious
commitment, and the trials will keep affecting a believer until he is left
walking on the face of the earth with no burden of sin whatsoever”. A Muslim knows with
certainty that this world, this life, is no more than a transient place, a stop
on the journey to our eternal life in either the hell fire or the paradise. To
face the Creator with no burden of sin is a marvellous thing, certainly worth
the tests that befall us.
In the next article we will conclude this discussion by
mentioning that Islam is a way of life. It clearly defines the rights,
obligations and responsibilities we have towards other human beings, and our
care towards animals and the environment. Islam contains the answers to all of
life’s questions both big and small.