In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Here I sit

 

By: Souladvisor

 

Here I sit in front of my computer trying desperately to explain the changes that took place within me, and the changes that set the stage for me to embrace Islam.  Of course everything took place over a number of years and to mention it all would be pointless, so I will target here the basics of those changes.  Inshallah.

 

          To begin with, it would be beneficial for me to describe my personal thoughts about life, or human existence.  I see human needs as being broken down into four basic categories. Each category needs to be nurtured for growth, life, or an ability to subsist. These are the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual constructions of the human being. All are inter-related, and if one of them is missing the others cannot function properly. 

 

          To be nurtured physically is what we know best. If we are not given proper nutrition, we become malnourished, or deformed for example. Being nurtured emotionally is also very important. This includes being loved, accepted, listened to, respected and so on. Intellectual nourishment is also crucial. Learning how to read and write, in addition to acquiring common sense and problem solving skills are all basic intellectual necessities.  Lack of proper development for any one of these categories is detrimental to oneís capacity and capability to function properly or efficiently.

 

          It must be stressed that over-nurturing of any of the above categories will also have negative effects. That is, when a person goes beyond what is necessary for him, and over-satisfies himself/herself by following his/her desires.  For example, a person being over-fed is just eating to fulfill his desires. This is detrimental to his health. Or a person, who goes beyond his emotional needs and walks on the road of adultery, pornography, drugs, and drinking, is just following or slave to their desires.  Also a person can go beyond his intellectual needs and question the existence of a creator, or invent diseases, or ask questions like, Ďwho created the creator?í Crossing the border from fulfilling needs into fulfilling desires is not only devastating to the human being in this life, but also makes crossing into the eternal life of bliss virtually impossible. Of course, this is in the hands of the Creator alone.

 

          Yes I see, I didnít mention spiritual nurturing. Unfortunately this aspect of human necessity goes often ignored. If it is not ignored, it may be given the wrong type of nurturing. Very few people worry that their children may not be getting enough, or even some, of the right kind of spiritual nutrition. Most of us are indeed examples of that. This includes leaving our spirits malnourished, without morals, or evil.  Iím sure we can think of many other types of decay that can exist here.

 

          Interestingly enough, there is no over-nurturing of the soul that can lead to bad consequences. A person trying to satisfy his desire of communicating, loving, and pleasing the creator through prayers cannot harm anyone, including himself. Have you heard of anyone that gives too much charity, or is too kind and humble, or anyone that spends too much time praying? Well, I guess that nowadays we probably have. ďHeís a fanatic,Ē they say. But really, whatís wrong with that? If he is really following the Creator, and has total desire to please the Creator, he could and would not harm himself, or others. Werenít all of the prophets considered fanatics in their time? 

 

Most parents try to balance the nurturing of the four categories Iíve described above. Whichever characteristic is developed most will become the strongest. If they are not balanced, you may have for example, a malnourished boy who is very intelligent, or a fat girl who is emotionally unstable. The possible combinations are many. When we look at someone who spends time in stimulation of the soul though, you get a different effect.  An over-nurtured soul prevents a person from crossing the border, or barrier of entanglement of blindly fulfilling their desires, whether they be physical, emotional, or intellectual.  During this state the person only satisfies those needs that are necessary for them.

 

The desire nurtured within the human being that crosses this spiritual border is abstinence! This is the side effect, so to speak, of crossing the border of spirituality.  With the love and desire for oneís Creator to be pleased with him, his spirituality becomes the strongest. The desire to please the Creator becomes that which controls his/her behavior.  This prevents him from following his desire, or over-stimulating his other parts. When the human concurs his blind quest to fulfill his desires, and balances all of these necessities (i.e. physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual constructions of the human being), while leaving his spiritually the master of the human consistence, then man can live in peace and harmony with the creation and the Creator.  The human then becomes successful in this life as well as the life in the hereafter.

 

          I was very fortunate that my parents nurtured me in all four categories. But like I said earlier, itís not only enough to be given encouragement, it also must be the right kind of nurturing. Itís like filling the gas tank of a car with milk. In the end it doesnít get you where you need to go. Spiritually, I was never satisfied, and always confused: Three Gods in one, and that kind of thing.  I also had many friends that were of different religions when I was growing up. I often pondered how, with one God, there were so many religions. Thatís right, you read it correctly; I instinctively believed in the existence of only one God. I often imagined as a child if there were three gods they would fight, and one day we would wake up and all the trees would be gone. The losing god would have to remove his creation. I also used to wonder if I had been born to someone elseís mother and father, then I couldnít I have been a Jew? 

 

This type of reflection led me to the conclusion that there was only one God, and of course only one God meant only one religion. I didnít know which of these religions was correct. I knew the people had played with Godís words and broken off into different sects. I was scared that if I followed the wrong religion that I would be doomed. This is when I stopped going to church, and decided not to lie or steal and be good until I would meet my Lord. 

 

I stayed in this condition until I met a Muslim woman, Asma. At that time I hadnít heard about Islam; I thought that she had a funny name, but really didnít make much of it. We soon became friends.  To tell you the truth, she wasnít really practicing Islam, but some women who did would come and visit her often.  They would try to talk to me, but I already believed that Islam was a religion that worshipped a human being.  I thought Muhammad PBUH was their god.  I told them that I liked them, but I also told them to never discuss their beliefs with me.  I guess this is where I can conclude that I never really chose to be a Muslim. Islam chose me.  Initially, I hated Islam.

 

During that time one of my close friends had converted to Islam. I often told her she was crazy, and asked her about that thing she started to wear on head, etc. I also made fun of her buying meat that had been slaughtered Islamically? She boldly ignored me and didnít engage in any arguments. She never said one word to me in her own defense.  She just continued practicing and changing little by little.

 

A short time before this I had been told by another woman, when I asked to see the Qurían, that I couldnít touch it because I didnít believe. This angered me, which led to my purchase of the Qurían, and other Islamic books. I would work all day and read all night. Between reading the miraculous knowledge that is contained within the Qurían and the changes I saw in my friend, I began to believe that the Holy Qurían truly was revelation. Upon believing this, naturally I had to conclude that Muhammad PBUH was indeed a prophet.  After that everything fell into place like dominoes, except for one little problem: my pride!

 

I was too proud to tell my Muslim friends, especially after the way I had treated them, that I also believed in Allah. I kept it secret for many years. I kept on studying the Qurían, and my other Islamic books. I started to feel very guilty. I knew that although I wasnít doing anything bad, I wasnít doing any worship to benefit my soul either. I was in limbo, until my chance finally came when another of my close friends called and told me that some religious men had just left her house, and that she had embraced Islam. She was so happy. I told her if they came again to her, to give them my phone number. When they visited her again, she gave them my phone number, and from there they introduced me to the women in the community. I started my study of Islam and now I understand all the things that confused me as a child. I am complete, and happy.

  

Of course I could never properly explain these feelings I have now. It would be like describing snow to someone who lives in the desert. Now as far as my physical being goes, Islam instructs me how to satisfy all me needs, without crossing the border into excessive desire.  Emotional needs are also well structured and there are instructions within Islam about how to prevent oneself from crossing the barrier. All my intellectual needs are also met. All my needs are now satisfied, without indulging myself and without my desires becoming my master. Now my spirituality is the master of my desires, and that, which gives me direction.

 

I bear witness that there is no god besides Allah, and that prophet Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. May Allah guide all of mankind and put us all on the straight path.  And may Allah, The Exalted keep me as a "Souladvisor". Ameen!

 

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