By : Ali Emami
The Clear Truth
Take a good look around you from where you sit! What do you see? Do you see the walls? The ceiling? The chair on which you sit, the screen on your computer, your desk? What you see will depend on where you are. Yes, but whoever or wherever we are, we will notice that there are things around us, all of which seem to be “made. None of them happen to exist of their own accord. They have been designed and created. The loops in your carpet, fabricated, your computer, assembled. Or in a grander perspective, your home itself has been planned and constructed. This article that you are reading now; you understand that it has been written, with an intention, and it wouldn’t even occur to you that the words therein just happen to be arranged so by chance. In the same manner, a person who sees a painting has no doubt whatsoever that it was made by a painter. And this doesn’t only pertain to works of art: even a couple of bricks placed on top of one another make one think that they have been arranged by someone with a certain plan. The shape of one brick itself will give you the same conclusion. Everything that you see has had its inception, its dawn. Look around, behold! Can you find nothingness? Everywhere you look, an object has been designated there, has its own place in the plot, like in a splendid and opulent painting. The air itself is saturated, composed of countless air particles, and where they are absent, other things exist. Where some things are absent, other things exist. Does this world seem to be a work in progress to you? Do you see any empty spots left on the canvas? Everything that is, is made of the same foundation: atoms. The ground and the walls and the sky and we are all alike in our final level of structure. It is as if we are all part of one program, in which is a single, universal code.
Let’s advance to an even broader perspective: Our marvelous globe, and the natural spectacles therein; the verdant trees, the dreamy clouds, the billions of creatures. They are things too, after all, and have had their own timeline and origin. Each has its own place in the whole picture. The mere miracle in their existence aside, let us consider their actually quality. Everything in nature follows a cycle, perfect curvatures that promise constant renewal. The cycles of life, of food, of rain, of everything we need. The absence of even one of these details might mean the end of life on the earth. Everything, every piercing detail from the atom, the smallest unit of matter, to the glorious galaxies and their billions upon billions of stars, from the enchanting moon, an indivisible appendage of the world, to our solar system, all of which function in perfect harmony and compliance with one another. This regimented system runs flawlessly, like a wrist-watch.
Would it thus be a huge in leap in reasoning to deduce that there is an order in our universe, a plan?
Therefore, everywhere where there is an order– either big or small-- such as a watch, a founder and protector, a “watchmaker,” of this order must also exist. Our universe, too, has had its inception, its birth, and this is an indisputable scientific fact. If we are aware that it has come to be from nothingness, and even unnecessarily on top of that we witness its order and perfection, can we not be certain that it, too, as with all things, has its Creator?
Yes, the matter in everything you see has been created from a single intention, from a single plan, from One God. This is the clear truth.
An Introduction to Islam
Ok, so you may now accept that God exists. What now? In fact, all that is now is quite clear. You have been created without your will and request. You did not ask God to create you, since you were not even alive to demand it from God prior to your existence. Isn’t this literally (actually quite mathematically) an infinitely kind blessing God has bestowed upon you? Wouldn’t it seem reasonable, at least courteous, to thank and submit yourself to your Lord for creating you?
Enter Islam! You have probably heard this word before, and know that it is a religion. Everyone has some knowledge and convictions about Islam. However, the majority of these convictions come from inadequate, partial or incorrect sources. Islam is not a new religion. It is the only religion that is not named after a group of people, a place, or an individual. It is the religion of all the prophets, including Noah, Abraham, David, Moses, Jesus and Mohammad (peace and blessings upon all), only to name a few. The word Islam itself has a dual, literal definition: peace, and submission to God. It requires a fully conscious effort and profound devotion to submit to the one Almighty God, which Muslims call “Allah.” This means to act on what Allah instructs all of us to do, in the Quran, which is the divine message Allah has sent down to us, and how His beloved Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) encouraged us to live. Muslims follow a religion of amity, peace, mercy, and the majority of them have nothing to do with the adverse events which have come to be correlated with their religion.
In liberating ourselves from our egotism, submitting solely to Allah, in belief and in practice, we will feel peace from within, thereby demonstrating the peace in our external conduct.
Muslims believe, as a foundation, in a Single and Incomparable God; in the prophets through Whom His revelations were sent to mankind; in Judgment Day and the individual liability for one’s actions and in Allah’s full authority over fate and in the after-life. In addition, Shi’a Muslims also believe as part of the religion foundation that the last Prophet, Muhammad (pbuh) has been succeeded by the chain of leaders (Imams) to this day to complete the mission, and also that all Allah’s acts are just and based on an intelligent purpose. Muslims believe in the series of prophets beginning with Adam and including Noah, Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Moses, Aaron, David, Solomon, Elias, Jonah, John the Baptist, and Jesus, peace be upon them. Allah's ultimate message to man, the Quran, is a reconfirmation of the timeless message and a recapitulation of everything prior to it being revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Islam reminds us that it is a religion of not only faith, but practice; it is an all-embracing lifestyle that must be practiced incessantly. Islam has a series of actions that must be practiced by a Muslim: daily prayer, fasting in the month of Ramadan, alms-tax from the left-over of wealth, the pilgrimage to Mecca for those who can afford it, caring about other Muslims’ actions by promoting good deeds and denouncing bad deeds, and finally Jihad, the constant and continuous struggle to make yourself and your society better day by day.
The Growth of Islam
Throughout the last 20 years, the number of Muslims in the world has been rising rapidly. Statistics for the year 1973 show that the world population of Muslims was 500 million; now, it has reached 1.5 billion. Today, every fourth person is a Muslim.
The cause for this continual increase is not only the growing population in Muslim nations, but as well the growing number of people who are converting to Islam, a phenomenon that has been gaining enormous momentum as of late. Westerners are talking a lot about what kind of a religion Islam is, what the Qur'an says, what duties come with being a Muslim, and how Muslims are required to conduct their affairs. This curiosity has naturally resulted in a rise in the number of people worldwide converting to Islam.
In a recent poll in the United States of America, the conversion rate among Americans is estimated to be at 135,000 per year, with African-Americans making up the largest group of converts followed by American women (For every 1 male convert to Islam, 4 females convert to Islam), as well as a significant number from the Latino community. In Great Britain, it is estimated that 50,000 people per year convert to Islam. But overall, almost every country in the world has its own share of remarkable statistics with regard to its Muslim population.
(http://www.uga.edu/islam/countries.html-Visit this site for the complete list)
A list of Famous Converts-( source: http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/islam_in_the_us/33392)
“38 Popular Muslim Converts”:
“Amazing Convert story”:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CFFGYendf-Q part 1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9yaxDn1_MQ part 2
“Nicole Queen: Converts after seeing Youtube videos on Islam”