This is an invitation to a whole new perception of life, death and delight. You don’t have to agree with what I have been write and share, and I don’t even begging for any tiny benefit from you. I have no intention in humiliate what your religion behold, and also not interested to debate with you in excessive language and unacceptable statement.
All I ask is please spend your few minutes in reading my article, the rest is up to you.
My First Book About Islam
I was wandering with Shiema at bookstore few years ago. She suggested me to read some book about Islam. I have no idea in reading any islamic related book as I was know nothing about Islam, also have no interest in getting in depth about any religion. Then after Shiema look around the “Green zone” where I seldom stepped in, she took out a green cover book to me.
I take a glance at the author’s name and photo, “Idris Tawfiq”. The first thought in my mind was : ” Oh well… A foreigner white man with a malay name? It’s weird or I have some misconception somewhere about Islam.” This book is not so thick and handy, but I was feeling frightened also in buying this book.
The book was kept in my secret cupboard for months and never opened, I have to hide it so my parent can’t sniff anything that may make them jump. As if “Islam” is the most sensitive ever word to be mentioned, don’t even talk about it at my family house. After that I have been encounter a lot of problem in my life including being fired myself from employment and became jobless. I was staying at home and started to rethink about life, death and a whole lot of serious thoughts. I haven’t been let myself rest and works blindly for little payment, haven’t broaden my sight into other perception.
My parent keep muttering that I should find a job and stay away from my laptop, even if I have to work as operator at factory. I was so upset and at the same time I started to ask help from God. I didn’t know who is the real God actually back in 2007, but there was a mysterious feeling tells me that God is exist, and God can be nearby me in some form of mysterious way and I wasn’t realize Him. The next thought was pretty simple :May be I should read something about Islam also.
So I was flipped through this book and looking for the brief image.
I was surprised with author’s way of explaining Islam. The first hit straight into my mind in loosen the hard knot “Islam = Terrorism “. It’s like author already know what my first thought about Islam, and his writing brings me into a whole new perception about Islam. Unlike any media strongly promoting Islam is the aggressive religion follower, Idris Tawfiq invited me into a Garden of Delight.
This was my first step approach towards Islam.
Biography Of Idris Tawfiq
I was accidentally read about Idris Tawfiq’s biography recently while I surf internet about Islamic books and article. Apparently there are important things that I was overlooked. At first I thought he would be born Islam arabian or American Muslim, at last I know he is Reverted Muslim and Former British Catholic Priest !!
From Christianity switch to Islamism seems like impossible but God to have His Mighty in arranging anyone to accept His guidance. And I would like to share his biography also in this article.
Idris Tawfiq, Catholic Priest, UK
“Strongest among men in enmity to the Believers wilt thou find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the Believers wilt thou find those who say “We are Christians”: because amongst these are men devoted to learning (priests), and men who have renounced the world (monks), and they are not arrogant. And then they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth. They pray:
‘Our Lord! We believe, write us down among the witnesses.’
(Surat Al-Maida 82-83)”
This was what happened to the former British Catholic Priest Idris Tawfiq on reciting Islam’s holy book, the Quran, to his students at a school in Britain. And this was one of the important steps in his journey of conversion to Islam.
During a recent lecture he gave at the British Council in Cairo, Tawfiq made clear that he has no regrets about his past and what he holds in regard to what Christians do and his life at the Vatican for five years.
“I enjoyed being a priest helping the people for some years. However, deep inside I was not happy and I felt that there was something not right. Fortunately, and it is God’s will, some events and coincidences in my life led me to Islam,” he told a packed hall at the British Council.
A second important coincidence for Tawfiq was his decision to quit his work at the Vatican, a step followed by making a trip to Egypt. “I used to think of Egypt as a country of Pyramids, camels, sand and palm trees. I actually took a charter flight to Hurghada. Shocked to find it similar to some European beaches, I took the first bus to Cairo where I spent the most wonderful week in my life.
This was my first introduction to Muslims and Islam. I noticed how Egyptians are such gentle, sweet people, but also very strong.
“Like all Britons, my knowledge about Muslims up to that time didn’t exceed what I heard from the TV about suicide bombers and fighters, which gave the impression that Islam is a religion of troubles. However, getting into Cairo I discovered how beautiful this religion is. Very simple people selling goods on the street would abandon their trade and direct their face to Allah and pray the moment they heard the call to prayer from the mosque. They have a strong faith in the presence and will of Allah. They pray, fast, help the needy and dream to have a trip to Mecca with the hope of living in heaven in the hereafter,” he said.
“On my return I resumed my old job of teaching religion. The only compulsory subject in British education is Religious Studies. I was teaching about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and others. So everyday I had to read about these religions to be able to teach my lessons to the students, many of whom were Arab Muslim refugees. In other words, teaching about Islam taught me many things.
“Unlike many troublesome teenagers, these students set a good example of what a Muslim could be. They were polite and kind. So a friendship developed between us and they asked if they could use my classroom for prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan.
“Luckily, my room was the only one with a carpet. So I got accustomed to sitting at the back, watching them praying for a month. I sought to encourage them by fasting during Ramadan with them, even though I wasn’t yet a Muslim.
“Once while reciting a translation of the holy Quran in class I reached the verse:
“And when they listen to the revelation received by the Messenger, thou wilt see their eyes overflowing with tears, for they recognize the truth.”
To my surprise, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I tried hard to hide it from the students.”
Yusuf Islam, AKA Cat Stevens
A turning point in his life, however, came in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001.
“The following day, I was taking the underground and noticed how terrified the people were. I was also afraid of the repetition of such acts in Britain. At the time, the Western people started fearing this religion they blamed for terrorism.
“However, my previous experience with Muslims took me to a different direction. I started wondering ‘Why Islam? Why do we blame Islam as a religion for the action of terrorists who happened to be Muslims, when no-one accused Christianity of terrorism when some Christians have acted the same way?
“One day I headed to the biggest Mosque in London, to hear more about this religion. Getting into London Central Mosque, there was Yusuf Islam, the former pop singer, sitting in a circle talking to some people about Islam. After a while, I found myself asking him” ‘What do you actually do to become a Muslim?’”
“He answered that a Muslim should believe in one God, pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan. I interrupted him saying that I believed all this and had even fasted during Ramadan. So he asked, ‘What are you waiting for? What is holding you back?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t intend to convert.’
“At that moment the call to prayer was made and everyone got ready and stood in lines to pray. “I sat at the back, and I cried and cried. Then I said to myself, ‘Who am I trying to fool?’ “After they ended their prayers, I headed to Yusuf Islam, asking him to teach me the words by which I announce my conversion.
“After explaining its meanings to me in English, I recited after him in Arabic that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah,” recounted Tawfiq, holding back his tears.
‘Gardens of Islam’
Thus his life has taken a different course. Living in Egypt, Tawfiq wrote a book about the tenets of Islam. Explaining why he penned his book Gardens of Delight: a Simple Introduction to Islam, Tawfiq noted that everyone is saying that Islam is not a religion of terrorism and isn’t a religion of hatred, but no-one tries to explain what it is.“So I decided to write this book to give non-Muslims an idea about the basic principles of Islam. I tried to tell people how beautiful Islam is and that Islam has the most extraordinary treasures, the most important being Muslims’ love for each other. The Prophet says ‘Even a smile to your brother is a charity.’
Tawfiq told the Gazette that he is working on a book about the Prophet Muhammad [may the mercy and blessings of God be upon him] which he thinks will be different from the many books already written about him.
He thinks that the “best and fastest way” of acquainting the world with the true image of Islam is to set a good example in real life.
original source : http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/586/
No Pain No Gain
If you ask me, do my life turn out to be living easily and gain money effortless after become muslim?
Definitely No. My life is being more challenging and stressed, living with chinese muslim identity do caused a lot unnecessary humiliation and prejudice. But I don’t take that as “Pain” which can beat me down, actually I do “Gain” a lot in asking forgiveness and pleasing of God. It doesn’t mean I am torturing myself to get rewarded but more to living a lifestyle that being guided by Allah SWT through His message.
As a remembrance to what I gone through, I think al-Quran already describe the different between believer and disbeliever with God.
And [Noah] said, “Embark therein; in the name of Allah is its course and its anchorage. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.”
And it sailed with them through waves like mountains, and Noah called to his son who was apart [from them], “O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.”
[But] he said, “I will take refuge on a mountain to protect me from the water.” [Noah] said, “There is no protector today from the decree of Allah , except for whom He gives mercy.” And the waves came between them, and he was among the drowned.
( Hud 11 : 41-43 )This history also recalled me the real incident which happened at Aceh, Indonesia at 2004. This is being published at Magazine National Geographic 2012 February issue with one photo and simple details.
A U.S. Marine helicopter loaded with food flies over Lampuuk in northern Sumatra on January 4, 2005, nine days after a tsunami killed most of the village’s 7,000 residents—and some 230,000 people on coastlines around the Indian Ocean.
This was a real incident that admitted by the world’s famous magazine, God have shown us His mighty in saving believers. No one can stop the natural disaster except God Himself. Rumors said there were muslim believer ran into the mosque and ask help from Allah SWT instead of running away from huge wave of sea, and the unexplained miracle was happened.
You Are Not Alone
I am not frighten you with natural’s disaster photo or whatsoever.
I am just invite you to take a look at what Islam about, and share with you what others have been gone through the journey of faith. Whenever you feel depressed and helpless, please remember God is listening to your supplication. When there were prophets who killed by ignorant person and collapsed the religions, hence fulfilled scripture of God with twisted statement to suit their lust and Nafs
, God is never leaving His scripture being twisted but sent down more and more prophets in straighten up the God’s scripture.I am inviting you back to the path that long forgotten by most people.
I can’t force you to follow the path, except your heart saying yes and following the guidance who lined out by God Himself.
The choice is in your will. You are the one who going to decide which way to go at afterlife.
Behind The Scene
Idris Tawfiq Website :
If you can’t find the book ” Gardens Of Delight, You may download e-book at :
The Calm Before the Wave – National Geographic
Video was added by Jom Islam from various youtube sources.