Post Ramadan Reflections: Christianity Saved Me and Islam Guided Me Aright
Christianity saved me because as a bright-eyed 18 year-old I was wandering into life with drive and ambition, but without faith or a sense of purpose. I wanted a career, a financially successful life, maybe a boyfriend/husband but that wasn’t a priority. College was the perfect new world for me and I was ready to jump in feet first but before I could take the plunge, Christianity swept into my life. The path of a party-lifestyle, clubbing, drinking and the free and often times illicit intermingling of the sexes was cut off from me, subhanaa’Allah. After reading the Bible for myself from cover to cover, I instead began to spend much of my time trying to commit the Bible to memory, praying or studying.
Then I was introduced to Islam.
Islam guided me aright because after all of the reading and praying, the studying and wrestling with different philosophies, it was as if I was swimming upstream against the current and trying to keep my head above water. Life was happening around me before I could consciously catch up to each event. Marriage, baby, family, work, co-wife, Cancer, Chemotherapy . . . I no longer had the drive or time to read the scriptures as I once had and I nearly lost myself in the whirlwind of daily life . . . then I began to read the Bible and Quran again . . .
Not because it was expected of me, to impress someone else or to be able to quote scripture, but because I needed the guidance – I needed the reminders:
Love the Lord your God will all your heart and strength
Love thy neighbor as thyself
Allah did not create the earth and all that is in it for play
Allah loves those who are righteous
Establish regular prayer and regular charity
The apostles came to give glad tidings and to warn
Verily there are signs for those who reflect
The life of this world is but glitter and play, but the Hereafter is more enduring
Allah loves those who purify themselves
And after reading the Bible and Quran regularly I was rejuvenated. Seeing the similarities between the religions with a fresh perspective was inspiring and I began to explore the hadith as well. And oh, what a beautiful way of conduct indeed! The Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, provides a clear and righteous example for man and womankind! The wisdom contained within the hadith and the sunnah was like the shade of a healthy, voluminous tree during the heat of the day.
I write this with the hope that you, the reader, may benefit from it, and that you will perhaps be inclined to do more to increase the good in this world. There are many paths to tread upon the earth, but Islam, peaceful submission to the will of Allah, is the straight path and it is the path in which I have found the most success.
The life of this world is fleeting, but that which matters most, that which remains, are our deeds and conduct. If everyone on the earth were to stop and reflect before acting, if everyone made an effort to be her or his best self with every decision and action, to do good to others, to forgive, to be humble, to be just, praiseful and grateful for the blessings of Allah, what do you think would happen? Just the thought makes me want to smile . . .
May our scales be weighed down with more good than evil on the Day when it will matter most, amin.