SHAFAQNA – As Shafaqna continues to meet with new Muslim converts, trying to understand their journey to Islam and share their experiences with our readers, we met with Muhammad Daniel.
Daniel’s journey to Islam is very interesting in that it was his studies of Judaism which led him to the truth of Islam and the Quran. It was his desire to understand spirituality and God’s message which compelled him to delve into the Muslims Scriptures, where he said he found his answers.
A man on a quest for truth, Daniel’s coming to Islam was born from a profound love for the truth and respect for the divine.
Following is a letter he wrote for Shafaqna to tell the world of his Islam, his story of conversion.
The point that a Jew who truly knows his religion will see the truth of Islam is a good one. Indeed, it was my studies of Judaism that brought me to Islam! Having been brought up in a ’reform’Jewish family I rejected Judaism at an early age, hating the exclusivity and hypocrisy. I always believed in God, however, and at the age of 17 began searching for the way to worship Him.
I traveled a lot, I spent time in Palestine during the first Intifada working on a moshav (farm) near Gaza for harsh Israeli bosses who treated me like s**t with Palestinians who treated me like a brother – all of whom knew I was a jew – my eyes were opened to the truth about Zionism and the seed of Islam was planted in my heart.
But it was not until 10 years later when, having gone through phases of Bhuddism, Taoism etc I decided to study Judaism – the religion I was born into. The tradition of prophethood made perfect sense to me but why, I asked myself, did Jews not accept the prophethood of Jesus? I saw no discord in the essence of his message, merely a widening of it to all before it was corrupted. And thus to Muhammad. I was not interested in race or origin,just truth; so I decided to study this Qur’an to see if it was the pure revelation Muslims claimed it to be.
As I started to read my heart broke. Here was the Lord of Mankind making specific calls to the Children of Israel, reminding them of His favours, calling them back to Him despite all they had done, offering a chance for forgiveness, for reconciliation. And this offer was an eternal one!
Always open, even now with everything that is going on. Truly the name Al Rahman is fitting. I am not ashamed to say I cried as I read; like a child being called back to his mother after a long, long period of separation.
And still I sometimes feel that anxiety that is so common in all non-muslims, especially Jews, but then I pray or do Zikr and am comforted. For is not Islam the ultimate, the only security? Did not the Prophet, may Allah’s blessings be upon him, say that the prayer is pure solace?
I pray for all non-muslims to come to this deen but I am puzzled for the most part by ’my’people – the Jews. I have never really spent much time with them, apart from my immediate family. Maybe some of you can enlighten me – do they read the Qur’an and yet refuse to heed the call of God to them so specifically? Why? Are their hearts really so hard? Or may be they are scared, as I believe some of my family are.