Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why Muslims are Attracted to Christianity

I don't know if this can be verified, but I heard that more Muslims have converted to the Way of Jesus Christ in the last ten years than in all the other years since the advent of Islam in the 7th Century. I'm not sure it's an accurate figure, but I will say that something is certainly happening among Muslims and that there is an openness in their society that was not there before. I also want to point out that large numbers of nominal Christians, especially in Europe, are converting to Islam--a main reason being so they can marry Muslim women. Who has more converts? I have no idea. I will say that Muslims converting to Christianity often pay a heavy price in terms of persecution, and that Westerners converting to Islam are afforded generous protection by their governments.

But here is the question: why are Muslims attracted to the way of Jesus Christ? Here are some of the main reasons:

1) The Bible. We forget how compelling and convincing Jesus' teachings and parables are. He was certainly, among other things, a highly talented teacher, and his parables and sayings have the ability to lodge themselves into a person's mind, even after only one hearing. His insights into human nature, society, kindness, forgiveness, and God's power--not too mention the many miracles he worked--are convincing to a good number of Muslims. Of course Islam teaches that the Christian and Jewish Scriptures are muharraf--corrupted. But after a fair reading of the Gospels, sometimes the integrity and wisdom found therein can break through this Islamic doctrine. Incidentally, Muslim background believers from my experience tend to center their thought on the Gospels much more than Paul's epistles--very different than the evangelical tradition which has, in practice at least, tended to give primacy to the Pauline epistles.

2) Dreams, Miracles: What can I say? They are happening, and folks here don't have the initial inclination that Westerners do to "disprove" or "figure out how it was done." A miracle is from God--it's that simple. Often times in dreams people see Jesus, though at times it is one of the saints. This may not result in conversion, but it opens a path of inquiry that sometimes leads to conversion.

3) Charity: "They will know that we are Christians by our love." One refugee from a neighboring country received some help from some Christians, and he said, "We come here and we receive nothing form the Muslims--the Christians are the only ones who take care of us. I know nothing of your religion, but I will become a Christian." We think of the things like the Inquisition and the Crusades, but we forget the quiet, persistent witness of kind, caring Christians from all traditions, including Catholics and Orthodox. Which brings to mind something that Saint Francis, another apostle to the Muslims, said, "Let us not seek to be loved, so much as to love others." If you need to be reminded of the quiet work of the Church around you, just look at how many schools and hospitals are run by Christians or where founded by the various churches.

4) Christian Community: Islam teaches that a man should not speak to a woman unless they are married or of the same family. It is a witness to the beauty of the Christian community, and thus its faith, when Muslims see genuine respect and friendship between men and women who are neither related or married to each other. The assumption among Muslims is that this sort of thing must lead to fornication or adultery; on the other hand, young men and women sincerely yearn for fellowship with members of the opposite sex. When they see this among Christians it reveals that we are a peculiar people, that there is something different about us: fellowship, conversation, and friendship but without all the adultery and fornication they are told must result.

There are other reasons as well, but my experience is that these are the main ones. The challenge is getting people to think. Islam teaches that it alone is the reasonable and logical religion. Since people in the Middle East have extremely weak critical skills due to various reasons, this assertion is simply accepted. These are four things which I know have been important in challenging that assumption, which have led people to ask new questions and venture down new paths.

Peace be with all of you.
Abu Daoud

17 comments:

Jason said...

You have a very interesting blog and fascinating to read. I'm going to place you on my favorite blog list so I can easily find you so I can read more.

The Lounsbury said...

I find your, ahem, analysis amusing. A well, missionaries and their self serving logic. BTW, re conversions, something called la Reconquista saw six digit conversions from Islam to Xianity. Albeit forced.

But I'd suggest to you that as not being a partisan of either of the Abrahmic religions in question, that your criticisms of Islam, I can easily from me view put on your religion. For the outsider, same-same mate, same-same. And each one whinging on about the other like sad little cousins.

translator said...

Hi Abu Daud,

On the web I have discovered the writings of one Thomas Gibson who, as I have been led to believe of the LORD, is a true modern prophet. You can see his webpage here, http://www.telusplanet.net/public/tsgibson/propheticword.html, and the main book is here http://www.telusplanet.net/public/tsgibson/book1web.htm . His prophecies spend a great deal of time on the necessity of a Christian's complete dedication to the LORD, and he also notes certain great approaching divine judgments.

Well, the LORD called me to translate Gibson's writings into other languages, so I translated it into Russian and am now translating into Spanish. He also has now directed me to look for people who would translate it into other languages, particularly Arabic and Japanese.

From what you write, I understand that you are bilingual in English and Arabic. So I was wondering if you would read his writings and prayerfully consider if the LORD calls you to work on such a project. If so, please consider contacting me at lyubomirskiy^^AT^^gmail.com, and I would see how I could help you with technique, software tools and other stuff I have learned about while doing this kind of work for a long time.

yours in Christ,

Michael

Anonymous said...

I am a very liberal Muslim in Washington Sate, but honestly I feel as if everything you've written is not fact based, its merely your interpretation or your perspective on the Muslim world.
Don't get me wrong, I go to a Lutheran University, and I was born and raised in America, but even my interpretation of the Islamic tradition and religion are not as harsh and ridiculously dumb as yours.

If you really think about it, people convert for multiple reasons, but unless we have proven statistics that back us up when we say such things, maybe we shouldn't even talk.
I think you should take a census of people, and learn about them.
Don't assume, it just makes you look dumb. Not only to me, but to my Christian professors as well.
Your narrow minded, and definitely have not a clue what your talking about.
Shehla

akhter said...

“Why Do Priests & Preachers Enter ISLAM?”



Many people ask me how a preacher or priest in Christianity can ever go to Islam, especially considering all the negative things that we hear about Islam and Muslims everyday. Some people are simply curious, while others take a profound exception to my “conversion” to Islam. Some have asked how I could have turned my back on Jesus, or if I truly understood the Holy Ghost and some even questioned whether or not I considered myself as “born again” or had ever really been saved at all. These are good questions to which I will offer answers to at the end of this writing. I would like to thank everyone for their interest and offer my humble story, God Willing.

One very nice Christian gentleman asked me in email why and how I left Christianity for Islam. This is more or less a copy of the letter I sent to him.

Introduction
My name is Yusuf Estes now, but in years past my friends used to call me Skip. I have preached Christianity and worked in the entertainment and music industry since I was a boy in the 1950’s. My father and I have established music stores, TV and radio programs and outdoor entertainment for fun (and profit). I was a music minister and even used a pony ride and entertained the children as “Skippy the Clown.”

Once, I have served as Delegate to the United Nations Peace Conference for Religious Leaders. Now I am a retired former Muslim Chaplain for United States Bureau of Prisons, Washington, DC. and I join alongside many American Muslims, working with Muslim student and youth organizations as well as schools for Muslim children. As such, I travel around the entire world lecturing and sharing the message of the Christ of the Quran in Islam. We hold dialogs and discussion groups with all faiths and enjoy the opportunity to work alongside rabbis, ministers, preachers and priests everywhere. Some of our work is in the institutional area, military, universities and prisons. Primarily our goal is to educate and communicate the correct message of Islam and who the Muslims really are. Although Islam has grown now to nearly tie Christianity as the largest of religions on earth, we see many of those who claim Islam as Muslims, that do not correctly understand nor properly represent the message of “Peace, Surrender and Obedience to God” [Arabic = 'Islam']

Dear me, I am afraid that I got a bit ahead of myself. I was trying to give a bit of background of our work perhaps to see if it would in anyway benefit those who may being going through what I experienced while trying to resolve some of the issues of Christianity.

How It Happened
This may seem quite strange, while we perhaps may share a few different perspectives and concepts of God, Jesus, prophethood, sin and salvation. But you see, at one time I was in the same boat as many folks are today. Really, I was. Let me explain.

Born A Strong Christian
I was born into a very strong Christian family in the Midwest. Our family and their ancestors not only built the churches and schools across this land, but actually were the same ones who came here in the first place. While I was still in elementary we relocated in Houston, Texas in 1949 (I’m old). We attended church regularly and I was baptized at the age of 12 in Pasadena, Texas. As a teenager, I wanted to visit other churches to learn more of their teachings and beliefs. The Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, Charismatic movements, Nazarene, Church of Christ, Church of God, Church of God in Christ, Full Gospel, Agape, Catholic, Presbyterian and many more. I developed quite a thirst for the “Gospel” or as we say; “Good News.” My research into religion did not stop with Christianity. Not at all. Hinduism, Judaism, Buddhism, Metaphysics, native American beliefs were all a part of my studies. Just about the only one that I did not look into seriously was “Islam”. Why? Good question.

Music Minister
Anyway, I became very interested in different types of music, especially Gospel and Classical. Because my whole family was religious and musical it followed that I too would begin my studies in both areas. All this set me for the logical position of Music Minister in many of the churches that I became affiliated with over the years. I started teaching keyboard instruments in 1960 and by 1963 owned my own studios in Laurel, Maryland, called “Estes Music Studios.”

Business Projects In Texas, Oklahoma and Florida
Over the next 30 years my father and I worked together in many business projects. We had entertainment programs, shows and attractions. We opened piano and organ stores all the way from Texas and Oklahoma to Florida. We had earned millions of dollars during those years, but could not find the peace of mind that can only come through knowing the truth and finding the real plan of salvation. I’m sure you have asked yourself the question; “Why did God create me?” or “What is it that God wants me to do?” or “Exactly who is God, anyway?” “Why do we believe in ‘original sin?” and “Why would the sons of Adam be forced to accept his ’sins’ and then as a result be punished forever.” But if you asked anyone these questions, they would probably tell you that you have to believe without asking, or that it is a ‘mystery’ and you shouldn’t ask - “Just have faith, brother.”

Trinity Concept
Strangely enough, the word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. And it has been a concern for religious scholars as early as 200 years after Jesus was raised up by Almighty God. I would ask preachers or ministers to give me some sort of an idea how ‘one’ could figure out to become ‘three’ or how God Himself, Who can do anything He Wills to do, cannot just forgive people’s sins, but rather and had to become a man, come down on earth, be a human, and then take on the sins of all people; keeping in mind that all along He is still God of the whole universe and does as He Wills to do, both in and outside of the universe as we know it. They never seemed to be able to come up with anything other than opinions or strange analogies.

Father - Ordained Non-Denominational Minister
My father was very active in supporting church work, especially church school programs. He became and ordained minister in the 1970s. He and his wife (my stepmother) knew many of the TV evangelists and preachers and even visited Oral Roberts and helped in the building of the “Prayer Tower” in Tulsa, OK. They also were strong supporters of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim and Tammy Fae Bakker, Jerry Fallwell, John Haggi and the biggest enemy to Islam in America, Pat Robertson.

Distributing “Praise” Tapes for Jesus
During the early 1980’s my Dad and his wife worked together and were most active in recording “Praise” tapes and distributing them for free to people in retirement homes, hospitals and homes for the elderly. We were really “winning souls to the Lord - for Jesus” day after day.

Met A Man From Egypt
It was early in 1991 when my father began doing business with a man from Egypt and told me that he wanted me to meet him. This idea appealed to me when I thought about the idea of having an international flavor. You know, the pyramids, sphinx, Nile River and all that.

He Was A “Mozlem”

Hijackers; Kidnappers; Bombers, Terrorists - and who knows what else?
Then my father mentioned that this man was a ‘Moslem.’ First, I hated the idea of meeting an “infidel, hijacker, kidnapper, bomber, terrorist, non-believer.” Any normal person would be repulsed at the idea. I couldn’t believe my ears. A ‘Moslem?’ No way! I reminded my dad of the various different things that we had heard about these people.

Lies Against Muslims & Islam - They Told Us, Muslims:

* They don’t even believe in God
* They worship a black box in the desert.
* And They kiss the ground five times a day.

No Way! I Did Not Want to Meet Him!
I did not want to meet this ‘Moslem’ man. No way! My father insisted that I meet him and reassured me that he was a very nice person. This was too much for me. Especially since the evangelists that we used to travel around with all hated Muslims and Islam very much. They even said things that were not true to make people afraid of Islam. So, why would I want anything to do with these people?

Idea - “Change Him To Christian”
Then an idea came to me, “We can change this man to Christian.” So, I gave in and agreed to the meeting. But on my terms.

Met Him With A Bible, Cross and Cap with “Jesus Is Lord!” on it.
I agreed to meet him on a Sunday after church so we would be all prayed up and in good standing with the Lord. I would be carrying my Bible under my arm as usual. I would have my big shiny cross dangling and I would have on my cap which says: “Jesus is Lord” right across the front. My wife and two young daughters came along and we were ready for our first encounter with the ‘Moslems.’

Where Is He?
When I came into the shop and asked my father where the ‘Moslem’ was, he pointed and said: “He’s right over there.”
I was confused. That couldn’t be the Moslem. No way.

Turban & Beard?
I’m looking for a huge man with flowing robes, a big turban on his head, a beard half way down his shirt and eyebrows that go all the way across his forehead with a sword or a bomb under his coat.

No Turban - No Beard - [No Hair at All!]
This man had no beard. In fact, he didn’t even have any hair on his head at all. He was nearly bald. Best of all, he was very pleasant with a warm welcome and handshake. This didn’t make sense. I thought they are terrorists and bombers. What is this all about?

He Needs Jesus
Never mind. I’ll get right to work on this guy. He needs to be ’saved’ in the ‘Name of Jesus’ and me and the Lord are going to do it.

Introduction & Interrogation
After a quick introduction, I asked him:

“Do you believe in God?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Good!)

Then I said:
“Do you believe in Adam and Eve?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Very Good!)

I said: “What about Abraham? You believe in him and how he tried to sacrifice his son for God?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Even better!)

Then I asked:
“What about Moses?”
“Ten Commandments?”
“Parting the Red Sea?”
Again he said:
“Yes.” - (Better still!)

Then:
“What about the other prophets, David, Solomon and John the Baptist?”
He said:
“Yes.” - (Great!)

I asked:
“Do you believe in the Bible?”
Again, he said:
“Yes.” - (OK!)

So, now it was time for the big question:
“Do you believe in Jesus? That he was the Messiah (Christ) of God?”
Again the said:
“Yes.” - (Fantastic!)

Well now - “This was going to be easier than I had thought.”
He was just about ready to be baptized only he didn’t know it.
And I was just the one to do it, too.

Shocking Knowledge - Muslims Believe in the Bible?
One day in the Spring of 1991, I came to know that the Muslims believed in the Bible. I was shocked. How could this be? But that’s not all, they believe in Jesus as:

* A true messenger of God;
* Prophet of God;
* Miracle birth without human intervention;
* He was the ‘Christ’ or Messiah as predicted in the Bible;
* He is with God now and most important;
* He will be coming back in the Last Days to lead the believers against the ‘Antichrist.’

After “winning souls to the Lord for Jesus” day after day, this would be a big achievement for me, to catch one of these ‘Moslems’ and ‘convert’ him to Christianity.

Cup of Tea - Discuss Beliefs
I asked him if he liked tea and he said he did. So off we went to a little shop in the mall to sit and talk about my favorite subject: Beliefs. While we sat in that little coffee shop for hours talking (I did most of the talking) I came to know that he was very nice, quiet and even a bit shy. He listened attentively to every word that I had to say and did not interrupt even one time. I liked this man’s way and thought that he had definite potential to become a good Christian. - Little did I know the course of events about to unravel in front of my eyes.

Agreed to Do Business
First of all, I agreed with my father that we should do business with this man and even encouraged the idea of him traveling along with me on my business trips across the northern part of Texas. Day after day we would ride together and discuss various issues pertaining to different beliefs that people have. And along the way, I could of course interject some of my favorite radio programs of worship and praise to help bring the message to this poor individual. We talked about the concept of God; the meaning of life; the purpose of creation; the prophets and their mission and how God reveals His Will to mankind. We also shared a lot of personal experiences and ideas as well.

Moved to Our Home
One day I came to know that my friend Mohamed was going to move out of the home he have been sharing with a friend of his and was going to be living in the mosque for a time. I went to my dad and asked him if we could invite Mohamed to come out to our big home in the country and stay there with us. After all, he could share some of the work and some expenses and he would be right there when we were ready to go to out traveling around. My father agreed and Mohamed moved in.

Continued Ministry & Preaching
Of course I still would find time to visit my fellow preachers and evangelists around the state of Texas. One of them lived on the Texas — Mexico border and another lived near lived Oklahoma border. One preacher liked to a huge wooden cross that was bigger than a car. He would carry it over his shoulder and drag the bottom on the ground and go down the road or freeway hauling these two beams formed in the shape of a cross. People would stop their cars and come over to him and ask him what was going on and he would give them pamphlets and booklets on Christianity.

Preacher Has Heart Attack
One day my friend with the cross had a heart attack and had to go to the Veterans Hospital where he stayed for quite a long while. I used to visit him in the hospital several times a week and I would take Mohamed with me with the hopes that we could all share together in the subject of beliefs and religions. My friend was not very impressed and it was obvious that he did not want to know anything about Islam. Then one day a man who was sharing the room with my friend came rolling into the room in his wheelchair. I went to him and asked him his name and he said that it didn’t matter and when I asked him where he was from he said he was from the planet Jupiter. I thought about what he said and then began to wonder if I was in the cardiac ward or the mental ward.

Man in Wheelchair - Needed the Lord
I knew the man was lonely and depressed and needed someone in his life. So, I began to ‘witness’ to him about the Lord. I read to him out of the book of Jonah in the Old Testament. I shared the story of the prophet Jonah who had been sent by the Lord to call his people to the correct way. Jonah had left his people and escaped by boat to leave his city and head out to sea. A storm came up and the ship almost capsized and the people on board threw Jonah over the side of the ship. A whale came up to the surface and grabbed Jonah, swallowed him and then went down to the bottom of the sea, where he stayed for 3 days and 3 nights. Yet because of God’s Mercy, He caused the whale to rise to the surface and then spit Jonah out to return back home safely to his city of Nineveh. And the idea was that we can’t really run away from our problems because we always know what we have done. And what is more, God also always knows what we have done.

Catholic Priest
After sharing this story with the man in the wheel chair, he looked up and me and apologized. He told me he was sorry for his rude behavior and that he had experienced some real serious problems recently. Then he said that he wanted to confess something to me. And I said that I was not a Catholic priest and I don’t handle confessions. He replied back to me that he knew that. In fact, he said: “I am a Catholic priest.”
I was shocked. Here I had been trying to preach Christianity to a priest. What in the world was happening here?

Priest in Latin America
The priest began to share his story of being a missionary for the church for over 12 years to south and Central America and Mexico and even in New York’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ When he was released from the hospital he needed a place to go to recover and rather than let him go to stay with a Catholic family, I told my dad that we should invite him to come out and live with us in the country along with our families and Mohamed. It was agreed by all that he would so, he moved out right away.

Priests Must Study ISLAM? - YES!
During the trip out to our home, I talked with the priest about some of the concepts of beliefs in Islam and to my surprise he agreed and then shared even more about this with me. I was shocked when he told me that Catholic priests actually study Islam and some even carry doctors degrees in this subject. This was all very enlightening to me. But there was still a lot more to come.

Different Versions of the Bible
After settling in, we all began to gather around the kitchen table after dinner every night to discuss religion. My father would bring his King James Version of the Bible, I would bring out my Revised Standard Version of the Bible, my wife had another version of the Bible (maybe something like Jimmy Swaggart’s ‘Good News For Modern Man.” The priest of course, had the Catholic Bible which has 7 more books in it that the Protestant Bible. So we spent more time talking about which Bible was the right one or the most correct one, than we did trying to convince Mohamed about becoming a Christian.

Quran Has Only ONE Version - In Arabic - And Still Exists
At one point I recall asking him about the Quran and how many versions of it there were in the last 1,400 years. He told me that there was only ONE QURAN. And that it had never been changed. Yet he let me know that the Quran had been memorized by hundreds of thousands of people, in it’s entirety and were scattered about the earth in many different countries. Over the centuries since the Quran was revealed millions have memorized it completely and have taught it to others who have memorized it completely, from cover to cover, letter perfect without mistakes. Today, over 9 million Muslims have memorized the entire Quran from cover to cover.

How Could This Be?
This did not seem possible to me. After all, the original languages of the Bible have all been dead languages for centuries and the documents themselves have been lost in their originals for hundreds and thousands of years. So, how could it be that something like this could be so easy to preserve and to recite from cover to cover.

Priest Goes to the Mosque
Anyway, one day the priest asked the Mohamed if he might accompany him to the mosque to see what it was like there. They came back talking about their experience there and we could not wait to ask the priest what it was like and what all types of ceremonies they performed. He said they didn’t really ‘do’ anything. They just came and prayed and left. I said: “They left? Without any speeches or singing?” He said that was right.

Priest Enters Islam!
A few more days went by and the Catholic priest asked Mohamed if he might join him again for a trip to the mosque which they did. But this time it was different. They did not come back for a very long time. It became dark and we worried that something might have happened to them. Finally they arrived and when they came in the door I immediately recognized Mohamed, but who was this alongside of him? Someone wearing a white robe and a white cap. Hold on a minute! It was the priest. I said to him: “Pete? — Did you become a ‘Moslem?’
He said that he had entered into Islam that very day. THE PRIEST BECAME A MUSLIM!! What next? (You’ll see).

My Wife Announces Her Islam!
So, I went upstairs to think things over a bit and began to talk to my wife about the whole subject. She then told me that she too was going to enter into Islam, because she knew it was the truth.

Shocked!
I was really shocked now. I went downstairs and woke up Mohamed and asked him to come outside with me for a discussion. We walked and talked that whole night through.

Truth Had Come!
By the time he was ready to pray Fajr (the morning prayer of the Muslims) I knew that the truth had come at last and now it was up to me to do my part. I went out back behind my father’s house and found an old piece of plywood lying under an overhang and right there I put my head down on the ground facing the direction that the Muslims pray five times a day.

Guide Me! O God! Guide Me!
Now then in that position, with my body stretched out on the plywood and my head on the ground, I asked: “O God. If you are there, guide me, guide me.”

Sign Inside of Me
And then after a while I raised up my head and I noticed something. No, I didn’t see birds or angels coming out of the sky nor did I hear voices or music, nor did I see bright lights and flashes. What I did notice was a change inside of me. I was aware now more than ever before that it was time for me to stop any lying and doing anything sneaky. It was time that I really work at being an honest and upright man. I knew now what I had to do.

Wash Away the “OLD”
So I went upstairs and took a shower with the distinct idea that I was ‘washing’ away the sinful old person that I had become over the years. And I was now coming into a new, fresh life. A life based on truth and proof.

- And Become New!
Around 11:00 A.M. that morning, I stood before two witnesses, one the ex-priest, formerly known as Father Peter Jacob’s, and the other Mohamed Abel Rehman and announced my ’shahadah’ (open testimony to the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad, peace be upon him).

“I bear witness, there is no deity to worship, except Almighty Allah, alone and He has no partners and I bear witness that Mohammad is His messenger and servant.”

My Wife Was Next
A few minutes later, my wife follow along and gave the same testimony. But hers was in front of 3 witnesses (me being the third).

Then My Father
My father was a bit more reserved on the subject and waited a few more months before he made his shahadah (public testimony). But he did finally commit to Islam and began offering prayers right along with me and the other Muslims in the local masjid (mosque).

Children Too!
The children were taken out of the Christian school and placed in Muslim schools. And now ten years later, they are memorizing much of the Quran and the teachings of Islam.

Father’s Wife (Stepmother) Next
My father’s wife finally acknowledged, before she died, that Jesus could not be a son of God and that he must have been a mighty prophet of God, but not God. She passed away within a few months of this statement at age 86. May Allah accept her statement of faith, ameen.

Houseful of New Muslims - What’s Next?
Now stop and think. A whole entire household of people from varying backgrounds and ethnic groups coming together in truth to learn how to know and worship the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe. Think. A Catholic priest; a minister of music and preacher of the Gospel; an ordained minister and builder of Christian schools; and the children, even a great-grandmother - they all come into Islam!

His Mercy and Guidance
Only by His Mercy were we all guided to see the real truth of Islam, by removing the coverings over our ears and the blinders on our eyes, no longer having seals over our hearts - He was Guiding us now.

Amazing Story - Family and Friends Entering Islam - From One Man
If I were to stop right here, I’m sure that you would have to admit that at least, this is an amazing story, right? After all, three religious leaders of three separate denominations all going into one very opposite belief at the same time and then soon after the rest of the household.

More? - Yes! Baptist Seminary Student Reads Quran - Accepts Islam
But that is not all. There is more! The same year, while I was in Grand Prairie, Texas (near Dallas) I met a Baptist seminary student from Tennessee named Joe, who also came to Islam after reading the Holy Quran while in BAPTIST SEMINARY COLLEGE!
More? Yes. Catholic Priest Loves Islam - But Needs His Job!
There are others as well. I recall the case of the Catholic priest in a college town who talked about the good things in Islam so much that I was forced to ask him why he didn’t enter Islam. He replied: “What? And loose my job?” - His name is Father John and we still pray for Allah to Guide Him.

Another Catholic Priest Makes Shahadah
The very next year I met a former Catholic priest who had been a missionary for 8 years in Africa. He learned about Islam while he was there and entered into Islam. He then changed his name to Omar and moved to Dallas Texas.

Any more? Again - Yes! Orthodox Arch Bishop leaves church for Islam
Two years later, while in San Antonio, Texas I was introduced to a former Arch Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Russia who learned about Islam and gave up his position to enter Islam.

Daughter of Hindu Pundit (Religious Leader) - Accepts Islam - Helping thousands to Islam
I met a woman in New York who wanted to make our CDs about “What Is Islam?” After giving her permission several years ago, I have learned she has produced and distributed over 600 thousand of these to the non-Muslims in America. May Allah reward her and keep her strong in her efforts, ameen.

Hundreds - Thousands - Still Coming
And since my own entrance into Islam and becoming a chaplain to the Muslims throughout the country and around the world, I have encountered many more individuals who were leaders, teachers and scholars in other religions who learned about Islam and entered into it. They came from Hindus, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Coptic Christians from Egypt, non-denominational churches and even scientists who had been atheists.

Why? Good question.
The combination always seems to be the same; people are sincerely seeking the truth and are willing to put their different prejudices and biases out of their minds and begin to ask God for His Guidance in their lives.

So, now you have the introduction to the story of my coming into Islam and becoming Muslim. There is more on the Internet about this story and there are more pictures there as well. Please take the time to visit it and then please take the time to email me and let us come together to share in all truths based on proofs for understanding our origins and our purpose and goals in this life and the Next Life.

9 Steps to Purify the Heart
May I suggest to the seeker of truth do the following NINE STEPS to purification of the heart?

1. Clean - your mind, your heart & soul - remove all prejudices & biases.
2. Thank God - for what you have - every moment of every day.
3. Read - a good translation of the meaning of the Holy Quran in a language that they can understand best. (http://islamtomorrow.com/downloads/)
4. Reflect on the meanings & consider the bounties of your Lord.
5. Seek - Forgiveness From God & Learn to Forgive others.
6. Ask - in your heart for Guidance from Above.
7. Open - your heart and mind.
8. Continue - to do this up for a few months. And be regular in it.
9. Avoid - the poison of evil while your heart is opening for the “rebirth of your soul.”

Remember: Clean; Thank; Read; Reflect - then:

“Seek, and ye shall find. Ask, and it shall be given thee. Knock, and it shall be opened.”
Then: Continue & Avoid

The rest is between you and the Almighty Lord of the Universe. If you truly love Him, then He already Knows it and He will deal with each of us according to our hearts.

ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS

Now as I promised here are the answers to the questions many have asked me connected with my choice of Islam:

1. “How could you have turned your back on the perfect plan of salvation of Jesus Christ on the cross for you sins?”

Answer: Your question implies you have not considered the similarities and teachings of the Bible and the Quran.

“ISLAM” means - “Surrender, submit and obey your Lord in sincerity and peace.” Whoever is trying to do this, is a “MUSLIM.” If someone believes in Almighty God as One God and One Lord and wants to commit their life to serving Him and obeying His Commandments, then that person will be in the right way and they will be “saved” according to God’s Mercy. No one can take the sins of another and the guilty must stand accused for what they have done. It will be up to Almighty God to Forgive or Punish according to His Judgment on that Day.

According to the remains of the translations of the Bible [see: "Bible, A Closer Look"] Jesus, peace be upon him, did not preach a message of salvation by worshipping him. This was something added later by Saul (who later became Paul). We find clear statements indicating salvation would come only through acknowledging Almighty God as One God and worshipping Him with all the heart, mind and strength. Jesus, peace be upon him, taught his followers to worship “My God and your God, My Lord and your Lord.”

Again, according to the remains of the English translation of the Bible, we see the one on the cross crying out a very blasphemous statement, “Eli! Eli! Lama sabachthani?” (Which being translated means, “My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?”) This statement on the cross clearly indicates the one on the cross is not pleased with the situation nor does he consider it right or just. Therefore, one would have to conclude this was not something Jesus approved of nor did he accept, or else someone else was on the cross in his place. Either way you look at it, the one on the cross did not accept this as a plan of salvation.

The Quran is absolutely in agreement with these teachings and Muslims do worship the same God and Lord of Jesus, Moses, Abraham and Adam, peace be upon them all. The Quran states in many places, no one will be taken to task for the sins of another, nor can anyone carry the burden of another. We will all be on our own on that Day. And I ask Allah to have Mercy and Forgiveness for all those who believe in Him, ameen.

I consider that I have not left the teachings of Jesus Christ, peace be upon him. On the contrary, I feel much closer to Jesus, peace be upon him, and I look forward to His return on earth more than ever before. Now I am worshipping the same God he worships and I serve the same Lord he serves, in the very same way he does. Jesus prayed to Almighty God and taught his followers to do the same. I am simply doing what he commanded to the best of my ability and ask Almighty God to accept it.

2. “Do you consider you were really “saved” and that you had in fact, been “born again?”

Answer: The Baptists have a statement, “Once saved, always saved.” I asked one of them about this and he agreed it was true. Then I mentioned at one time I had become a Baptist (in my teen years) but now I was a Muslim. I had also been “saved” and baptized at the age of 12. I had accepted the very statement of Jesus being the way, the light and the truth and no man coming on to the Father except by him. I understood these statements to mean I must follow Jesus and his teachings. Therefore, I read the Bible for myself and did not let others tell me what to think about what I was reading.

The Bible states that Jesus prayed for salvation for himself in the garden of Gethsemane in this way, “Let this cup pass from me, even so, Thy Will be done.” This prayer was repeated by Jesus, peace be upon him, a number of times and it is mentioned in more than one Gospel. Yet, according to Biblical accounts, the cup did not pass from him and his prayers were NOT ANSWERED. Islam teaches us his prayers were answered and he did not have to endure the cruel treatment and death on the cross, but rather he was taken up while still alive and is with Almighty God even now and ready to return in the Last Days to bring victory to the believers.

Additionally, we find Jesus, peace be upon him, teaching his disciples to pray like this, “Our Father in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil. For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and Glory, forever and ever, ameen.” Every Muslim I have met accepts every single word of this pray with the exception of calling “Allah” our “Father.” Muslims consider it better to call on Almighty God by His Names, which we do consider to be “Hallowed.”

3. “How did your family respond to your conversion?”

Answer: This is always difficult for families to adjust to and it usually takes time. My family was no exception. Although my wife, children entered into Islam and eventually my father came to declare Islam to be the way of salvation for himself, still my own mother and many others in my family resented our going to Islam at first. Eventually, things became more normalized and we do stay in touch, although they are all still very much involved in Christianity.

Allah promises to test those who declare their faith in Him with many types of difficulties and family is one of those mentioned as a test in the Quran. I do pray for them and ask Allah to guide them to the very best in this life and the very best in the Next Life. But it is up to Allah if He wants them to be in Submission to Him (Islam means, submission to Allah) or not.

4. “How about your congregation? What did they say?”

Answer: I never had my own church. I was a music minister in the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana branch) in Texas and did my preaching to businessmen and informal gatherings. Those who knew me for the most part did not object and some even came to Islam, but there were a few who felt very upset and accused me of “Turing my back on Jesus, peace be upon him.” No matter what I tried to say or do, these particular individuals would not listen nor did they want to learn anything about Islam.

5. “Did you experience a lot of difficulties in changing religions?”

Answer: Certainly anyone who wants to consider Islam in these times, just as in times gone by, will have to recognize there will be certain difficulties and tests along the way. The followers of Jesus, peace be upon him, were highly criticized and persecuted even until death (read what Paul said he used to do to them in the Bible; Book of Acts of the Apostles). Those who followed Muhammad, peace be upon him, suffered at the hands of their very own tribes, yet they were determined to continue to worship Almighty God Alone, without partners and submit to His Will.

The biggest problem with non-Muslims, is their lack of understanding and lack of knowledge as to what Islam is really all about and who the Muslims are supposed to be. I pray for them all and ask Allah to forgive the Muslims for not showing a better picture to everyone.

6. “Who was responsible for converting you?”

Answer: As Muslims we believe that it is only Allah who guides the people and whoever He guides will not be misguided and whomever He lets go astray none will be able to guide them. As such, it means we don’t believe anyone really can “convert” someone else.

Also, we accept that all children are born in the natural state of submission to Almighty God and as such that means they are Muslims. Should a child die he or she would go to Heaven as they are not responsible for what they do not understand.

7. “Don’t you ever think about coming back to being a Christian?”

Answer: “Christian” indicates a follower of Christ. When Jesus, peace be upon him, returns to earth in the Last Days, all the Muslims will be obliged to follow him. But we would not call ourselves “Christians” anymore than he would. He never called himself or his companions “Christians.” The Bible tells us they were never even called “Christians” until Paul was preaching his message in Antioch.

8. “Doesn’t it bother you to have left the way of peace, justice and love for a religion of hatred, violence and oppression toward women and others?”

Answer: All the prophets, peace be upon them all, called the people to worship Almighty God as One God and One Lord. As such, those who did not want to submit to Almighty God would combat them and treat them with hostilities, even unto death, as Paul had done while still being a Pharisee. The prophets, peace be upon them all, did encourage their followers to live in peace and deal with people in justice and certainly love is the highest form of emotion a human can have for another human being.

Yet at the same time, believers have to defend themselves, their families and the religion itself, lest those who are not believers should remove belief from the very face of the earth. Islam, like Christianity preaches a message of peace and tolerance - to a point. But when this is no longer possible without totally compromising and loosing one’s way of life and belief system, then there is no alternative except to engage in open combat against those who are combating against the believers.

Jesus called upon his followers to sell their coats and buy swords. He explained that he did not come with peace, but rather a sword. He and his companions were engaged in mortal combat with their enemies, the Pharisees when one of the priests slaves had his ear cut by the sword. Jesus then told them to put down their swords. This is mentioned in the Bible.

The word “sword” appears over 200 times in the Bible - but even though the Arabic language has more than a dozen words for sword, there is not a single occurrence of any of these words anywhere in the Quran.

Combat is ordered in the Quran, only under very specific and limited conditions and it is nothing more than what we would today call “The War on Terrorism.” Fighting against all acts of organized aggression, oppression, persecution and terrorism is an obligation on all believers. But it certainly has limits and women, children, elderly and any innocents are not to killed or injured during such occasions. Treatment of prisoners is not to be humiliating or torture of any kind. Even the dead of the enemy are to be buried with dignity and respect.

Now since writing my story and publishing here on the internet many other websites have picked up this story and it had become a famous example of how “Priest and Preachers Are Coming to Islam.”

Again, I thank you for visiting. And I thank our Christian friend for his email. If he hadn’t sent it, I probably would still not have completed this task of putting down the story once and for all of how my family, friends and myself all came to Islam.

Please feel free to share this story with others. You should print it out and make copies for everyone. Give them our links, add our story to your website or blog page, and send out emails to everyone you know. Maybe it could make a difference for others like us, God Willing.

May Allah guide you on your journey to all truth. Ameen. And May He open your heart and your mind to the reality of this world and the purpose of this life, ameen.

Peace to you and Guidance from Allah the One Almighty God, Creator and Sustainer of all that exists.
Your friend,

Yusuf Estes
Chaplain Yusuf Estes

BeholdJesus said...

I have enjoyed looking at your site and would like to add you to my blogroll if you do not mind?

akhter said...

Yo Christians ! God does not come out of a vagina !

I do not mean to be rude to Christians. But desparate times needs desparate measures.Religious people need a heavy dose of the philosophy of Truth not just from their point of view but through other sources too.We cannot improve ourself without listening to our critics.Others are a mirror unto us.Religion has been called the opium of the people before and would be called the same nowadays. That is because religion cannot solve the economic problems of this world, never mind not solving the war problems that it created.The truth is religions of the world fall short of our expectations in an incredulous way.So bear with me as I take thee to reaffirm the real Truth.
You Christians say that God is "one and three".You say that Jesus and the Holy Spirit is God too besides God.This "Christian Truth" leaves a lot of questions unanswered
The following are the questions :-

1)how can Jesus be God if he is born out of the womb and vigina of his Mother???
Are you saying a mortal woman gave birth to God ,who is Jesus ,who is the Holy Spirit all at once??? And yet she is not God but a mortal woman. By Allah that is certainly mind boglingly illogical!!!Have you been conned by your priest ???

2)The bible says he was tempted by the Devil/Satan.How can God who owns all of the Kingdoms and Cosmos be tempted by Satan??? This again is mind boglingly illogical.
Is the Bible really Gods words???

I would agree to Christians using the word Allah if you can answer all the questions above. Otherwise you definitely don't deserve to use the word Allah,which means one God. Your God is Three God so it is more appropiate to call your God Trillah instead of Allah.

My appologies to all my Christian brothers and sisters. This is just an intellectual debate and a constructive criticism. We differ in our defination of God but that does not mean we cannot agree to a resolution to solve the economic and war problems in our own backyard and all over the world.

The way foward is as Allah says in the Quran 39:19 "Listen to all views.Choose the best.These are the guided,the intelligent."
Listen to all views means the views of Muslims,Hindu,Bhuddist,Christians,Jews,Communist,Socialist etc,etc. If the views are good it is Godly and Divine.

Yeah,yeah! We must have love for each other too. As the Malay proverb say "Sayang isteri tinggal2kan,Sayang anak pukul2kan"(Love your wife withdraw sometimes,Love your kid beat them sometimes) and as Pakyeh proverb goes "Sayang orang Christian,Muslim,Hindu,Bhuddist,kritik2kan"(Love the Christians,Muslims,Hindu,Bhuddist,criticise them).

Have a nice day. Peace.

steven said...

I think you guys should do your Bible reading more carefully.

First of all, Jesus clearly said he was the Son of God therefore Islam can not simply preach that we believe Jesus to be a truthful prophet if he claimed to be so much more.

Jesus was fully man and fully God. That is why he was born from Mary, and that is why he could have been tempted.

The trinity is not an easy concept to grasp, but it does make sense. Should the concept of our creator be simple in the first place? God, the author of creation created a character, Jesus (Immanuel: God with us) in his creation. His Character, Jesus is God, but also uniquely Jesus.

Another point I want to point out is how one of the bloggers (converted from Xianity to Islam) said that Jesus' prayer was not answered when he was praying that the cup might pass from him. Except that he clearly said Luke 22: 42 : "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

yet not my will, but yours be done...

so Jesus, because he was Man and God knew the deep pain it would be, and was asking his Father 'please if any possible make this not possible' - Obviously the Lord deemed it necessary for the redemption of our souls! Praise to Jesus.

Not 2 mention, Jesus predicted his death numerous times before this time, and it was predicted by prophets hundreds of years prior to Jesus' life.


I think that the majority of converts are from Islam to Xianity because Xianity is Truth and Islam is not.

I have spent much of my life talking with Muslims, and I love them dearly. My life goal is to show Muslims who Jesus is!

Satan has manufactured a good lie, and that lie is Islam

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a nice site until I read the a line in the last paragraph - "Since people in the Middle East have extremely weak critical skills due to various reasons, this assertion is simply accepted. "

You lost all your creditability. I'm never coming back to this site again.

You think its hard for people to understand each other...its because of people like you. This one line negates all the positive you ever hope to achieve. Best of luck in trying to sort yourself out mate.

akhter said...

Embracing Islam

Why do they choose Islam ?

Islam , in spite of the shaky and precarious picture that the blind –hearted media propagates all over the world , is most acceptable religion all over the world now .In the time of the prophet , people were persecuted , tortured and even killed to leave it but never did they leave ....Now people from all different cultures , different mentalities have been guided by God to Islam , they have found their way , at last they have rested their doubts , they have found the doctrine that sit well with their logic . Islam is the only religion that answers the innate nature in the Human being . Islam is the only religion that contains over one thousand scientific Hadiths and verses that are in complete agreement with the recently discovered scientific facts . The Holy Quran is the only Book that remained unchanged , every letter , every word , every sentence are the same as were first revealed to the prophet . There are hundreds of glad tidings and prophecies in the Holy Book that speak about the coming of Islam , Islam is the only religion that first puts Human rights and supervised putting them into effect long ago before the magna carta , Islam is the only religion that gave woman her rights . Islam is the only religion that was fought and still is ,yet it remained unshaken , and remained and will remain deap seated in the hearts of its adherents .Islam is the only religion that will redress and rectify humanity way to God .

Prophet Mohummed says "This religion will go as far as the night and the day go , No place , be it in the desert or the city , but will be converted into Islam , so wonderfully is that Islam will be aided by different people , be it noble or humble …………..

God says "When Allah's succor and the triumph cometh in the Holy Quran what means And thou seest mankind entering the religion of Allah in troops. Then hymn the praises of thy Lord, and seek forgiveness of Him. Lo! He is ever ready to show mercy." Surah 110. An-Nasr.

Vete_Testaduro said...

Oh great...I see "akhtar" has decided to clutter up the comments section of this post by copy-and-pasting the life story of Yusuf Estes.

I have seen many of his lectures. He understands exactly jack-squat about Biblical theology. If he had anything important to say, he would respond to the open debate challenges that have been issued him by Sam Shamoun and Dr. James White. Instead, Estes chooses to only give "lectures", where there is no chance of any of his errors or absurd claims ever being challenged.

So much for akhtar's hero.....

akhter said...

Check how your hero is blitzed!!


http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/shamoun_debate_review_2.htm

malek said...

a word lie then lie then you will find whom belive
so you start but realy it is so hard to proof your lies

malek said...

a word says lie and keep lie and you may find a fullish to believe so you started but i think it is so hard to keep

malek said...

here i suggest to check links like
http://www.ahmed-deedat.net/wps/

MARIO said...

One being, one person. That's the nature of man and angel, and probably of the rest of God's intelligent creatures. God's nature, as revealed in the Bible, is unique - One Being, Three Persons. The Bible reveals that the Father is God, the Son (Jesus) is God and the Holy Spirit is God and that there is but One God - Three Persons in One God! If the human mind is incapable of understanding this revelation, it only shows that God's nature is beyond our understanding. If finite human reason can fully explain the nature of God, then He ceases to be the infinite God.
Salvation was accomplished when God, in the Person of Jesus Christ, became man's Substitute to render to God what man was required to do but could not do for himself - obey God perfectly to obtain eternal life and die as punishment for sin. What happened to Jesus from Gethsemane to the cross was exactly how man would react under divine judgment. He suffered as man was supposed to suffer for his sin. God is righteous and just. This means He cannot deny Himself. What He said He must do. The wages of sin is death - this is the divine verdict that must be carried out. A god who does not honor his own verdict is not a just and righteous god. The stability of God's government, as in any human government, lies in justice and righteousness. A law without a penal code is useless. Both Christianity and Islam believe man has sinned. Both believe the divine verdict for sin is death. In Christianity, the divine verdict is taken seriously in the matter of man's salvation. Salvation is granted without setting aside divine justice. In Islam, divine justice is set aside by easy-going benevolence of divine forgiveness. Here lies the unbridgeable gap between Christianity and Islam. Jesus Christ is no "third party" who was punished for man's sin. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself. God did not molest a third party, an angel or just another man, for sin's punishment because that would be immoral. Because Jesus was God, God endured the punishment in Himself. When one willingly suffers for another, this is a noble act. Because of God's love for man, He Himself suffered for our sins. Through Jesus Christ, God is both just and merciful at the same time.

john glister said...

@Vete_Testaduro
Why would Yusuf Estes start a debate with Shamoun?See this link where he lost a debate and then starting insulting Islam, the prophet Muhammed pbuh and his parents. http://www.answering-christianity.com/sami_zaatri/shamoun_debate_review_2.htm

Would you even start a debate?I don't think so. There is a big difference between Yustuf Estes and Shamoun. Shamoun only tries to get the Islam in a bad view. While Yustuf Estes is a good man who lectures about his conversion to Islam and what Islam is all about.


As to others who think Jesus is Divine.
First of all Trinity is not even mentioned in the Bible, this was added by Paul later on. Jesus never told his followers to be called Christians.This was all added by Paul.

I urge all Christians to read the yusuf ali translation of the Quran. You will find many resemblance with the Bible. There are events mentioned like stages of the embryology, universe creation and many more things that could not be explained at that time. Many christians only here bad things about the Islam.

We muslims believe in the same jesus as christians do. The only difference is that muslims see jesus as a messengers instead of a god.

Why jesus is not god?
Job 25:4-6
How then can man be in the right before God?
How can he who is born of woman be pure?
5 Behold, even the moon is not bright,
and the stars are not pure in his eyes;
6 how much less man, who is a maggot,
and the son of man, who is a worm!”

If god does not even see the moon and the stars as pure who could he see MAN, US (people) as pure or even Son of god (=JEsus) as pure.In his eyes we are just MAGGOTS and JEsus is just a WORM.

Who controlled the world when JEsus was dead for 3 days and 3 nights?Christians say he is god.

John 14: 28 my Father is greater then i
John 20:29 my Father is greater then all
John 5:30 (jesus says)I can do nothing, god can do everything
Matthew 28:18 all power is given unto me in heaven and earth.This states that all power jesus got was not his but he received them through god.Power is not his…
Mark 13:32 jesus did not have the power and not the knowledge like God(end of time etc).
John 24:14 I can do myself nothing


Only read the parts where Jesus talks. These are the most important parts of the bible.Did jesus pbuh ever say: I am god, worship me. You can't find one single verse in the bible that states this.
You also won't find one single verse about the resurrection of jesus.
Trinity is fabricated and thrown out of revised bible.

Jesus cries out on the cross:
"Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" that is, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" If Jesus is God, why would He say this?He was put there unwillingly

Luke 24:39 Jesus said the following to the disciples in the upperroom when they "thought"they had seen a SPIRIT!! See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” See luke 24:37 But they were startled and frightened and THOUGHT they saw a spirit.

I have many more references from your OWN bible that contradicts the trinity and divinity of jesus pbuh.As mentioned we muslims do believe in parts of the bible, we acknowledge all prophets included jesus pbuh. BUT we don't believe that JESUS is god.
Please read the TRUTH in the Quran. If you find some contradictions or errors don't hesitate to place them here.
thank you