MOST WESTERN CONVERTS
The writer below has mastered the English language. Though he is a Muslim, and we cannot agree with one shred of his theology, we admire his abilities humanly.
21 June, 1995 Copyleft c Waqf Ikhlas, Istanbul, 1995.
Permission to reprint & distribute is granted only if this heading included, and the text is not modified in any way, shape or form to alter the intended meaning.
Ihlas Holding A.S., Cagaloglu-ISTANBUL, Tel: (90.212) 513 99 00
SELECTIONS FROM THE EXPLANATIONS MADE BY CELEBRITIES WHO WERE FORMERLY NON-MUSLIMS AND WHOSE ADMIRATION FOR ISLAM EVENTUALLY LED THEM TO BELIEVING IN Allahu TA'ALA
The following chapter contains a few paraphrased selections from the statements made by some of the many non-Muslim celebrities who believed in Allahu ta'ala and admired Islam; these statements reflect their views of Islam. So many are the people who share the same opinions that we have had to pick out only the famous ones. Among our selections are great commanders, statesmen and scientists whom you all know very well. Now let us read with attention to what they said:
Napoleon I (1769-1821 [1237 A.H.]), who went into history as a military genius and statesman, when he entered Egypt in 1212 [C.E. 1798], admired Islam's greatness and genuineness, and even considered whether he should become a Muslim. The following excerpt was paraphrased from Cherfils's book (Bonapart et Islam):
The existence and unity of Allahu ta'ala, which Musa 'alaihis-salam', had announced to his own people and Isa 'alaihis-salam' to his own ummat, was announced by Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' to the entire world. Arabia had become totally a country of idolaters. Six centuries after Isa 'alaihis-salam', Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' initiated the Arabs into an awareness of Allahu ta'ala, whose existence prophets previous to him, such as Ibrahim (Abraham), Ismail, Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) alaihim-us-salam', had announced. Peace in the east had been disturbed by the Arians, [i.e. Christians who followed Arius], who had somehow developed a degree of friendship with the Arabs, and by heretics, who had defiled the true religion of Isa 'alaihis-salam' and were striving to spread in the name of religion a totally unintelligible credo which is based on trinity, i.e. God, Son of God, and the Holy Ghost. Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' guided the Arabs to the right way, taught them that Allahu ta'ala is one, that He does not have a father or a son, and that worshiping several gods is an absurd custom which is the continuation of idolatry."
At another place in his book he quotes Napoleon as having said, "I hope that in the near future I will have the chance to gather together the wise and cultured people of the world and establish a government that I will operate [in accordance with the principles written in Qur'an al-karim.]"
Prof. (THOMAS) CARLYLE:
Thomas Carlyle of Scotland (1210 [C.E. 1795]-1298 [C.E. 1881]), one of the greatest men of knowledge known world over, entered the university when he was only fourteen years old, studied jurisprudence, literature and history, learned German and oriental languages, exchanged letters with, and even visited, the well-known German writer (Johann Wolf-gang von) Goethe (1749-1832), was awarded by the King of Prussia with the medal of honor called 'powr le merite', and was elected president by the University of Edinburgh. Among Carlyle's works are Sartur Resartus, The French Revolution, On Heroes, Hero Worship And the Heroic in History, Past and Present, Latter-Day Pamphlets, The Life of Friedrich Schiller, and Critical and Miscellaneous Essays.
The following passage was selected from one of his works:
"The Arabs, Muhammad 'alaihis-salam', and his age: Before the advent of Muhammad 'alaihis-salam', (the Arabs were in such a state that) if a big piece of fire spurted out at the place where the Arabs lived, it would have disappeared on the dry sand without leaving any traces behind itself. But after the advent of Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' that desert of dry sand turned into, as it were, a barrel of gunpowder. From Delhi to Granada, everywhere became rapidly rising flames. This great person was, so to speak, lightning, and all the people around him became explosives catching fire from him."
From his conference:
"As you read the Qur'an al-karim, you will presently realize that it is not an ordinary tome of literature. The Qur'an al-karim is a work of art that springs from a heart and instantly penetrates all the other hearts. All the other works of art are quite dull when compared with this tremendous masterpiece. The most striking characteristic of the Qur'an al-karim is that it is a truthful and excellent guide. To me, this is the greatest merit of Qur'an al-karim. And it is this merit that begets other merits."
From his memoirs of a trip:
"In Germany I told my friend Goethe about the facts I had gathered concerning Islam and added my personal reflections on the subject. After listening to me with attention, he said, 'If that is Islam, we are all Muslims.' "
MAHATMA GANDHI (Mohandas Karam-chand):
Gandhi (1285 [C.E. 1869]-1367 [C.E. 1948]) descends from a West Indian Christian family. His father was the chief ecclesiastic of the city of Porbtandar, and he was very rich. Gandhi was born in the city of Porbtandar. He went to Britain for his high school education. After completing his education he went back to India. In 1893 he was sent to South Africa by an Indian firm. Upon seeing the heavy conditions under which the Indians working there were and the utterly inhumane treatment they were being subjected to, he decided to put up a struggle for the betterment of their political rights. He dedicated himself to the Indian people. As he was conducting a vigorous campaign against the South African government for the protection of the Indians' rights, he was arrested and imprisoned. Yet he was too undaunted to give up struggle. He stayed in Africa till 1914. Then, quitting his perfectly lucrative job there, he returned to India to carry on his struggle. He waged a struggle in cooperation with the Indian Muslims Unity, which Muslims had established in 1906 for the liberation of India. All his personal property and his father's property he spent for the promotion of this cause.
When he heard that the British were going to launch a second operation of violence and cruelty similar to the one they had perpetrated in the state of Pencap in 1274 [A.D. 1858], he cooperated with the Muslims, induced his friends to withdraw from the civil service, and waged a silent protest and a passive resistance. By wrapping a white piece of cloth around his naked body and contenting himself with the milk of a goat which he continuously kept with him, he carried over his passive resistance. The first reaction on the part of the British was to laugh at him. It did not take them long, however, to see with astonishment and dismay that this man, who believed his own ideals with all his heart and who was ready to sacrifice all his existence with alacrity for the sake of his country, was with the entire India in tow and resounding with his speechless struggle. Imprisoning him proved to no avail. Gandhi's efforts resulted in India's attaining its independence. The Hindus gave him the name 'Mahatma', which lexically means 'blessed'.
Gandhi studied the Islamic religion and Qur'an al-karim with meticulous attention and finally found himself a sincere admirer of Islam. The following is his observation concerning this subject:
"Muslims have never indulged themselves in bigotry even in times of greatest grandeur and victory. Islam enjoins an admiration for the Creator of the World and His works. As the West was in a dreadful darkness, the dazzling star of Islam shining in the East brought light, peace and relief to the suffering world. The Islamic religion is not a mendacious religion. When the Hindus study this religion with due respect, they, too, will feel the same sympathy as I do for Islam. I have read the books telling about the life-style of the Prophet of Islam and of those who were close to him. These books generated profound interest in me, so much so that when I finished reading them I regretted there being no more of them. I have arrived at the conclusion that Islam's spreading rapidly was not by the sword. On the contrary, it was primarily owing to its simplicity, logicality, its Prophet's great modesty, his trueness to his promises and his unlimited faithfulness towards every Muslim that many people willingly accepted Islam.
"Islam has abrogated monastic life. In Islam there is no one to intervene between Allahu ta'ala and His born slave. Islam is a religion that commands social justice from the outset. There is not an institution between the Creator and the created. Anyone who reads Qur'an al-karim, [i.e. its explanations and books written by Islamic scholars], will learn the commandments of Allahu ta'ala and will obey Him. There is no obstruction between Allahu ta'ala and him in this respect. Whereas many ineluctable changes were made in Christianity on account of its shortcomings, Islam has not undergone any alterations, and it preserves its pristine purity. Christianity lacks democratic spirit. The need to equip that religion with a democratic aspect has necessitated an increase in the Christians' national zeal and the concomitant reforms."
Prof. ERNEST RENAN:
Now let us make mention of a French man of ideas: Ernest Renan was born in 1239 [C.E. 1923] in the Treguier city of France. His father was a captain. He was five years old when he lost his father. He was raised by his mother and by his elder sister. Because his mother wanted him to be a man of religion, he was sent to the church college in his hometown. Here he was given an efficient religious education. His strong interest in the oriental languages won him a full command of the Arabic, Hebrew and Syrian languages. Later he entered the university, where he studied philosophy. As he made progress in educational areas and carried on very minute comparative studies on the German philosophy and the oriental literature, he observed some flaws in Christianity. By the time he was graduated from the university in 1848, at the age of twenty-five, he was entirely defiant towards the Christian religion, and he compiled his thoughts in his book titled 'The Future of Knowledge'. Yet, because the book was of a rebellious nature, no printhouse dared to print it, and it was only forty years later, in 1890, that the book was printed.
Renan's primary objection was against the belief that Isa 'alaihis-salam' was the 'Son of God'. When he was appointed as a professor of philosophy in the university of Versailles, he began to gradually explain his thoughts on this subject. However, it was not till after he was appointed as a professor of the Hebrew language for the university of College de France that he voiced his most vigorous protest. By the time he finished his first class he had had the courage to say, "Isa 'alaihis-salam' was a respectable human being superior to the other human beings. Yet he was never the son of Allahu ta'ala." This statement had the effect of a bomb. All the Catholics, and especially the Pope, rose up. The Pope officially excommunicated Renan before the entire world. The French government had to dismiss him from office. Yet the world was already resounding with Renan's statements. Great numbers of people sided with him. He wrote books, such as 'Essays on the History of Religions', 'Studies on Criticism and Morals', 'Discourses on Philosophy' and 'Life of Jesus', and his books sold like hot cakes. Upon this the French Academy accepted him as a member (in 1878). Also, the French government invited him back to office and appointed him as the director of college de France.
Renan observed Isa 'alaihis-salam' as a human being in his work 'Life of Jesus'. According to Renan, "Isa 'alaihis-salam' is a human being like us. His mother Meryem (Mary) was betrothed to a carpenter named Yusuf (Joseph). Isa 'alaihis-salam' was a superior human being, so much so that, the statements that he made when he was only a small child were a source of astonishment for many a scholar. Allahu ta'ala deemed him as worthy of prophethood and gave him this duty. Isa 'alaihis-salam' never said that he was the 'Son of God'. This is a slander fabricated by priests."
The contention between Catholic priests and Renan continued for a long time. While the Catholics accused him of blasphemy, he in his turn indicted them for their mendacity and hypocrisy. Renan was saying, "The real Nazarani religion is based on the belief that Allahu ta'ala is one and that Isa 'alaihis-salam' is only a human being and a prophet." Before Renan had died, he had prepared a written will enjoining from a religious ceremony in the church and prohibiting priests from attending his funeral procession. So, when he died in 1892, a crowded congregation containing only friends who loved him and people who admired him attended his funeral procession.
LAMARTINE (Alphonso Marie Louis de):
One of France's universally known poets and statesmen, Lamartine (1204 [C.E. 1790]-1285 [C.E. 1869]) made official journeys through Europe and America, which gave him the opportunity to have been to Turkey, in the time of Sultan Abd-ul-majid Khan. He was admitted in an utterly friendly manner by the Padishah (Ottoman Emperor), and was also presented with a farm within the state of Aydin, (which is in the western part of Turkey). See what he says about Muhammad 'alaihis-salam' in his book Histoire de Turquie (History of Turkey):
"Was Muhammad 'sall-Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa sallam' a false prophet? We cannot think so after studying his works and history. For false prophethood means hypocrisy. As falsehood does not have the power of trueness, likewise hypocrisy does not have convincing capacity.
"In mechanics the range of something thrown depends on the power of the thrust. By the same token, the power of a certain source of spiritual inspiration is assessed with the work it accomplishes. A religion, (i.e. Islam), which has carried so heavy a burden, which has spread to such distances, and which has maintained its full power for such a long time, cannot be a lie. It has to be genuine and convincing. Muhammad's 'alaihis-salam' life; his efforts; his courage in attacking and destroying the superstitions and idols in his country; his bravery and valor in standing against the fury of a fire-worshiping nation; his thirteen year endurance to the various attacks, insults and persecutions inflicted on him in Mecca, among his own citizens; his migration to Medina; his incessant encouragements, preaches and admonitions; the holy wars he fought against overwhelmingly superior enemy forces; his spirit for victory; the superhuman confidence he felt at times of greatest afflictions; the patience and trust he displayed even in victory; the determination he showed in convincing others; his endless devotion in worships; his sacred communings with Allahu ta'ala; his death, and the continuation of his fame, honor and victories after his death; all these factual events (and many others untold) indicate that he was by no means a liar, but, on the contrary, an owner of great belief 'sall-Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa sallam'.
"It was this belief and this trust in his Creator that made him put forward a two-staged credo: The first stage consisted of the belief that 'there is one eternal being, who is Allah;' and the second stage inculcated that 'idols are not gods.' In the first stage he informed the Arabs about the existence of Allahu ta'ala, who is one and whom they had not known until that time; and in the second stage he shook from their hands the idols which they had looked on as gods until that time. In short, at a single stroke with the sword he broke the false gods and idols and replaced them with the belief in 'One Allah'.
"This is Muhammad 'alaihis-salam', the philosopher, the orator, the Prophet, the law-giver, the warrior, the enchanter of human thoughts, the maker of new principles of belief, the great man who established twenty gigantic world empires and one great Islamic empire and civilization 'sall-Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa sallam'.
"Let all the criteria used by humanity for the judgement and evaluation of greatness be applied. Will anyone be found superior to him? Impossible." 'sall-Allahu ta'ala alaihi wa sallam'.
I wish to free myself from fancies and whims;
My eccentric nafs will not leave me alone.
I wish to free what is good from the bad;
My eccentric nafs  will not leave me alone.
I wish to discipline my essence;
I wish to know what's good for me, 'n what's bad;
I wish to come to my senses;
My eccentric nafs will not leave me alone.
1. Nafs is a malignant force in human nature. It is recalcitrant, stupid, and evil. It always urges man to behave against the commandments of Allahu ta'ala. It is the only creature whose all wishes are against itself.