With a clear conscience and with none of the mental torment on this issue that I had to face when I first started studying Islam, I can now state that I believe Jesus to have been an entirely human prophet of God, one of the greatest prophets of God and worthy of the utmost respect, but that he was neither an incarnation of God nor the Son of God.† I believe that Jesus, a pious, monotheistic Jew, would be absolutely horrified by what Trinitarian Christians have made him out to be.† Previously I feared that I would be betraying Jesus if I became a Muslim.† Now I realised that I had been, in effect, inadvertently blaspheming and saying what I had no right to say about him.
I believe Mohammed to have been a later (the last) prophet of God. And just as the true Christianity of Jesusí genuine apostles in Jerusalem is the successor to Judaism, so is Islam, the final revelation of Godís word, the legitimate successor to and fulfilment of original Jerusalem-Jewish Christianity.
I would like to make absolutely clear that I did not convert to Islam because of a romantic relationship.† The possibility of marriage to a Muslim woman was the spur, the catalyst, which sparked my initial investigation of Islam.† For the record, the relationship in question later broke down in 2001, but I still remain a Muslim.
My conversion to Islam, when it came, was a sincere one, not one of convenience.† It had to be sincere.† I could not in good conscience have undergone a fraudulent one.† Religion, God, is too important to be trifled with.† Oneís soul is at stake.
I rejected Christianity as it is known to us today because I no longer believed in the doctrine of Trinity and the claim that Jesus is God.† I came to believe wholeheartedly in the oneness of God.† And I judge this belief to have found its best expression in the religion of Islam.† Whatever the future may hold in terms of personal relationships, I will continue to hold these beliefs.
At times I canít help but seriously wonder whether vast swathes of the religious community I have joined have forgotten the theological core of Islam and buried it with cranky behavioural regulations which they seek to impose on others, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, although God clearly states in the Quran that there is ďno compulsionĒ.† I admit at times to feeling rather disillusioned at certain interpretations I have encountered among Muslims of what constitutes legitimate Islamic practice and behaviour.† I assure you that people with a Taliban mindset are not confined to Afghanistan.
And I am sickened by the politicized hate-filled philosophy, which passes itself off as Islam when in fact not only does it violate the† most basic Islamic rules of warfare, it is often indicative of a complete lack of trust in Godís promise that no one will have to suffer more than they can endure. These extremists have set the cause of the spread of Islam back decades.† At times I canít help but echo the lament of British convert, Michael A. Malik:† ďIslam is wonderful, but I canít stand the Muslims!Ē
But in spite of my frequent disillusionment with the behaviour and attitudes of many of those who call themselves Muslim, in terms of beliefs about the nature of God, I will remain a believer in the oneness of God - for life.
Some time ago an American Protestant friend brought a wonderful quotation of Martin Lutherís to my attention:
Everyone must do his own believing, as he will have to do his own dying.
I am completely at peace with myself about my new, pure monotheistic theological beliefs exemplified by Islam.† And this is my statement of belief:
He is God,
the only One,
Qul Huwa Allāhu ĎAĥad
He did not
beget and is not begotten,
Lam Yalid Wa Lam Yūlad
is His equal. (Quran - Surah 112)
Walam Yakun Lahu Kufūan ĎAĥad.
witness that there is no god but the God
Ashadu an la illaha ill allah
and I bear
witness that Mohammed is a prophet of God.
Wa ashadu anna Mohammadan rasool Ullah.
Finally, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to my parents - devout, practicing Catholics - who, although strongly disapproving of my conversion to Islam on theological grounds, have accepted my decision and have continued to show me great love, understanding, sensitivity and practical support.† I have been most blessed in this regard.
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