Alright, let me get start with this – I grew up as an atheist that with no religion (not a single family member has religion). I didn’t believe in God. I had no idea of how the universe was created, why I come to this world, where will I go after death and, frankly, didn’t care. Later when I grow up older and went to abroad for study, due to the environment, I think religion was ridiculous and I think they are brainwash people into something.Honestly, before embrace to Islam, life treat me pretty good, beside study in the university, I also got lots of work to do, a comfortable place to stay, nice food to eat and beautiful friends to hanging out with. Everyday was busy and days passed fast. But don’t know why, I always feel there are something missing, something lacking in the life. It is not about person, or material stuff, it is about the spiritual side, unseen things.
Then I started to search and research, search for that ‘lacking and missing part’ in my life.
Because every company that I work for, majority of my colleagues are Buddhism, some are Christian, but no Muslim at all. Thus from time to time, from occasion to occasion, I got invitation to go with them to the temples, to the churches and join their ceremony. Many times I have no choice of not to go, I ‘must’ go because it was company’s activities.
Every time when I saw the ceremony they conduct, I want to laugh, feel funny of the things they are doing, I couldn’t understand the way and stuff they worship etc. I was wondering – are those stones and images really God? Are they really be able to answer their prayers etc?
All those just not make sense to me, and there are so many questions in my mind, so I went to bookstore bought bunch of books to read and thought that I may can find out answers from those books!
I read books about Buddhism, about Christian, I read the entire Bible (in that time, I got 3 different version of bible), I went to church with my Christian friends every Sunday for almost 7 months, I went to temples with my Chinese and Thai friends for over years. But the more time I went with them, the more confusing I become, the more stress I got and there no joyful feeling. I find religion thing is very complicated stuff, after all those years (about 4 years), I still couldn’t figure out what is that ‘lacking and missing piece” and where is it?
Until one day, a friend who I barely know well told me to read Quran, I was like “Quran, What is that?” She told me it is the holy book for the religion of Islam. Suddenly I said “what, Islam?? Do you mean the religion those terrorists who blow up themselves kill the innocent people, those women who wear long black dress, cover themselves up from head to toe and walk behind the men’s religion?” She just smile, didn’t say much, only said “don’t judge it too fast, just go read and find out the truth by yourself.”
It took me many days to think about whether buy the book or not, because of curious, finally I made decision, went to bookstore bought an English version of Quran start to read.
You won’t believe how fast I falling love with it and I couldn’t put it down. I feel very strongly that there is a voice calling me to read, read and read, there are something that very powerful holding me. I had no idea of where I got the energy, I didn’t feel tired of reading it at all, instead I feel very peaceful and enjoy of reading it.
And the amazing thing is all those years those questions that spinning inside my mind now all become very clear, I find out all the answer in the Quran – such as, all of us are not punished for Adam’s original sin. Adam asked God for forgiveness and for merciful, loving God forgave him. God doesn’t require a blood sacrifice in payment for sin. We must sincerely ask for forgiveness and amend our ways. Jesus wasn’t God, he was a prophet like all of the other prophets (peace be upon them).
Finally, after almost two years of reading Quran and research, I decided to took the “Shahada” – the testimony of faith, without further delay. Since then no go back.
Islam, is the only religion in the world that follows a book directly revealed from God. It is an amazing blend of simplicity and rationality: a very simple religion yet very rational at the same time. It is the religion of the Truth. The Quran is the book of the Truth.
“We sent down the Qur’an in Truth and in Truth has it descended.” (17:105)
“Put your trust in Allah for you are on the path of the manifest Truth.”(27:79)
Islam also offers an impressive set of rituals which has gained the admiration and, subsequently, the conversion of many non-Muslims. It is the religion that is so strong and so self-assured that it does not need to use force to attract others to it. The moral and intellectual superiority of Islam over all other religions has manifested itself so clearly throughout the history of Islam.
And the Holy Quran is still in the same format and style as it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) from Almighty Allah.
Embracing Islam has caused me to see life in a new way.
Below this audio interview (Part 1) I want to share with you was conducted on 11 February 2012, I was interviewed by Thailand AM999 radio station’s Journey to Islam program, the recording is a section in the program, but it was in Thai language, hope you can understand what I said, if not, you can just read above article (I have summarized what I said in the audio).
Going from not believing in God to believing in God is an amazing journey for me. Islam opened my eyes to so many things I had taken for granted, mostly that life is a gift.