Glad Tidings! From a Revert to the World
Baffled in my routine life,
Know-where to go.
Seeker as I have always been,
How & what- don’t know.
Reflecting the reality,
Living in a make-believe world
Conscious living entails the knowledge and purpose of the life we live. Thoughts like –
Why did humans come to this earth?
Why are we being created?
Why actually death comes? What is its significance?
What is the purpose of life?
Are we only living for making good money, wearing good clothes, having high status, raising children, and whatnot?
Is this the reason why we were born?
So, from the lens of a puzzled human, these questions often keep on lurking. Furthermore, for inquisitive minds, it is imperative that they get the cause of everything, reasons for happenings.
A Brief Introduction
I am one of those inquisitive minds, who always have thought about what-s, how-s and why-s of everything happening in my life. My birthplace is a district in Uttar Pradesh, India, which happens to be the most visited-place rather than a must-visit temple-city if one pledges to be religious. From childhood to my adolescent years, I was used to visiting ISKCON temple (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness), due to in-depth interest of my mother; also the kids (kids on a spiritual journey) in ISKCON were to be taught martial arts by my father. Grown-up experiencing everything that has constituted the mythology-mysticism, never the same has engulfed me to the point of a random-belief system. My parents have always been practical, not religious to the core, entrusting their kids the life-values of respect, dignity, independence, and never to accept failures as their flaws. They always taught us to be humble but strong, to learn but to achieve, to strive for the best and to the best of our ability, above all to extend helping hand to the ones in need. They were cool enough to let me absorb and experience life. Never have they imposed their opinions and beliefs on their children. So, there I was, fearless, benevolent and of course head-strong. Having said that, I used to perform ‘pujas’, used to like ‘Krishna’ as my favourite in idol-worship, so as to be categorized as religious in my own world!
The Journey like never before
I got an opportunity to read law in the esteemed varsity named: Aligarh Muslim University. The journey away from home began. While preparing for this phase of my life, of many staggering things, I heard a lot about the university and its life therein, calling it by various names like- ‘mini-Pakistan’, the hub of terrorism and whatnot (of course an alig wouldn’t take that!). Still, my parents were broad-minded, inclusive of all, and they happily got me admitted to the BA LL.B (Hons.) course in the Law faculty. There on, I embarked on a journey of a lifetime, a journey like never before. Of course, it was in India only, not a Disney/Fairyland. But who would know that it was a mesmerizing and thought-provoking journey!
I happen to live in one of the university’s girls hostels popularly known as Begum Sultan Jahan Hall. Anxiety was all over me with all those varied commentaries and perspectives about the University in my mind.
Juxtapose, I found the girls so beautiful, empowering, strong and well- mannered. I got much inspired. Thereon I started to gel up with people around, my batch mates and a soul-mate.
With that inquisitiveness, I tend to ask questions that have always troubled me and confused me to the core. Donning that white uniform with a black coat, while returning from law faculty, on my way to my hostel, I used to think a lot of things, like calling of Adhān, who do these people pray to? etc. I remember asking one of my friends (may her soul rest in peace): Are you Quranic? She was puzzled. I even didn’t know the word ‘Muslim’! During my law course, I happened to explore books in my faculty library, also went to the famous Maulana Azad Library. It’s a world of books, books from various countries, all –genre, only needs an explorer! I delved into the ocean and swam across sections of sacred texts of all spheres. Devoted a few days there and undertook inter-religion research. A mind-boggling one indeed!
Then I came across this (glimpse of my research) –
Say: He is Allah the One and Only; Allah the Eternal Absolute; He begets not, nor is He begotten; And there is none comparable to Him. (Qur’an, chapter 112, verse 1)
Beautiful description of who actually is Our LORD. Vedas are the most sacred amongst all the Hindu Scriptures.
- “There is no image of Him” It further says, “as He is unborn, He deserves our worship” (Yajurveda 32:3)
- “He is bodiless and pure”. (Yajurveda 40:8)
- They enter darkness, those who worship natural things.”
E.g., worship of natural elements, air, water, fire, etc.
- “They sink deeper in darkness those who worship Sambhuti, i.e. created things” E.g. created things such as tables, chairs, idols, etc. (Yajurveda Samhita by Ralph T. H. Griffith pg. 538)
- “Sages (learned Priests) call one God by many names”.(Rigveda 1:164:46)
- “Do not worship anybody but Him, the Divine One, Praise Him alone (Rigveda 8:1:1)\
- Those whose intelligence has been stolen by material desires worship demigods” that is “Those who are materialistic, they worship demigods,” i.e. others as deities besides the True God. (Bhagwad Geeta 7:20)- Popular Scripture
- He who knows Me as the unborn, as the beginning-less, as the Supreme Lord of all the worlds...” (Bhagwad Geeta 10:3)
This research made me conclude that difference between Islam and Hinduism is that of ’s (Everything is ‘God’s’ – Everything is ‘God’).
I was taken by surprise by a beautiful and alarming Quran’s Verse –
Those idols you invoke besides Allah can never create so much as a fly, even if they all were to come together for that. And if a fly were to snatch anything away from them, they cannot even retrieve it from the fly. How powerless are those who invoke and those invoked! – (Qur’an 22:73)
I read the Kalima (Shahadah) - "Lā Ilāha illa Allāh Muhammadu Rasūl Allāh." (There is no god, except Allah and Muhammad ﷺ is the messenger of Allah)
Key Take-Aways of My Reversion
- There is ONE God, i.e., Allah.
- Total submission to Allah – Everything belongs to Him. So why waste time searching elsewhere. When you know already that everything has its roots in Him, get busy pleasing Him, and in this, you will find ultimate peace.
- Al-Quran for All: The best part of being Muslim, you have an author who is your Creator directly conversing with you!
- Islam means ‘peace.’
- The Judgment Day that is the day of Resurrection where all people believers and non-believers will be made to stand in front of the Supreme One our Creator and will be judged according to their actions.
- Life is a test: There will always be testing times even if a person is an agnostic. He will certainly face trials and tribulations. The litmus test is ‘Tawakkul’ (Trusting God’s Plan). This is the answer to the most common query of humans - why is this happening to me? What have I done? Why is life so unfair to me? I am struggling, etc.
- What’s Halal and Haram: Quran, the amazing guide will guide you to what is right and wrong in leading a life which pleases Allah.
- Intentions matters: After reversion, I found that Islam focuses on and rewards intentions. Be it performing Salah, giving charity, shahādah, fasting, doing worldly affairs, etc. Islam is not devoid of the earthly life. Islam is the way of life! So even if you are living a hectic schedule, make sure you have the right intention.
- Earn Good deeds and abstain from Bad ones: Engaging oneself in earning good deeds will make you peaceful while the intentions remain pure and earn great innumerable rewards from Allah!
- Repentance: Islam taught me to repent; otherwise, a human can be as dreadful as Firʿawn! Introspect and repent!
- Lastly, Give Glad tidings! Islam says wish for your brother the same best thing which you have wished for. Spread the word! We have a responsibility to spread the Word of Allah. Spread through your actions, deeds, conduct. As the Prophet ﷺsaid: The best form of daʿwah is through your behaviour.
As a revert, there are much more learnings; there will forever be till death as Islam is about living our best to seek divine pleasure in this ephemeral life. So, glad tidings of Islam.
Assalām ʿalaykum Waraḥmathullāh Wa Barakātuhu
(Vrinda Chauhan, : A Reverted Muslim, and presently working as a Legal Expert, National Commission for Women, Govt. of India, New Delhi)
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily mirror Islamonweb’s editorial stance.