My Journey to Islam - The Five Steps
My Journey: The Five Steps ..
For you to understand why I believe Islam is the truth and the way it explains our reality is the truth, you first need to understand what it is based on.
Therefore I hope that you will read the following sincerely, and contemplate it and at least try to see the matter from our point of view and not let any prejudices or media coverage affect you.
I apologise that the explanation is somewhat long, but hope that you will find the matters at hand interesting and moreover are able to read it to the end.
The aim of this booklet is to tell about Islam from the point of view of a Muslim. Just as if one wanted to know about the English he would first go to the English to hear about them, not France or Ireland let alone China. Finally, one could compare the views of the French and the Irish with the image got from the English and see how well these different points of view correspond with one another.”
We all form our worldview based on three matters which ultimately form our chosen lifestyle:
(1) The information that we have attained, (2) from what source it was attained and finally (3) how it suits our own desires and aims.
Thus we form our way of life and our understanding of the world and have primary beliefs and derivatives therefrom. I would like to explain from my point of view why my primary belief, upon which I base all my other beliefs, is Islam and I see it to be the best explanation for our existence.
I cannot speak on behalf of other Muslims, but my reason for choosing Islam is based on empirical science, logic and rationality, and I have not chosen to be a Muslim, because of blind faith or any emotional factors.
Islam in its simplicity consists of (1) belief in a creator (2) who created us for a purpose, (3) informed us of the purpose (4) and will hold us accountable for our actions, and as I said I believe in this because of empirical science, logic and rationality, not my opinion or any other subjective criterion.
Islam and science
As I mentioned I believe in Islam because of empirical science, but the scientific method in itself is limited and cannot answer many questions and thereby I don’t solely base my outlook on life on it.
To explain this point, let us use a cake on my kitchen table as an example. An empirical scientist, who did not witness the baking of the cake, nor its placing upon the table, upon examining the cake can find out its constituents parts: sugar, flour, egg etc.
However by implementing the empirical scientific method he cannot uncover (1) who baked the cake, (2) why it was baked and (3) how it came to be on my table.
Thereby we can see that science in its essence is limited to that which can be observed and cannot answer all questions contrary to the beliefs of many who have not studied the philosophy of science. Thus the scientific method in itself cannot even tell us if there was a baker involved in the formation of the cake. Based on these limitations it is neither logical nor rational that our scientist concludes that (1) no one made the cake (2) and that it has no purpose (3) and that it came from nothing by nothing.
However as no scientist would, as a rational and logical individual, conclude straight away that no one made the cake and that it has no purpose and that it came from nothing by nothing, because of the fact that his empirical method cannot answer these questions, he would at least ponder and contemplate the logical and rational possibilities for the existence of the cake on my table.
What could we realise?
Firstly, the coming of the cake from nothing by nothing does not fulfil rational nor logical criteria nor does the cake creating itself. Thereby the only logical and rational explanation for the cake being on my table would be that someone made it for some purpose and that someone put it there. Furthermore the scientist’s belief in this option is without any “scientific evidence”, but it is the only logical and rational one.
Now if we were to apply the same methodology on the cake as the atheist does to conclude there is no creator when examining the universe, we would conclude that no one made it, for no reason and that it came from nothing by nothing.
As a matter of fact, anything that we examine using this methodology would yield the same result. How so?
Because never does the baker become the cake nor is he to be found in the cake, nor does the manufacturer become that which he has manufactured, nor become part of it and is never to be found in his work. Thereby the maker and that which is made are different and one is not found in the other. If we want to find the baker of the cake we must search for him outside the cake and not within it.
If we apply the same logic on our universe we can conclude, that it’s logical and rational to believe it has a creator because it could not come from nothing by nothing, nor could it create itself. We also realise that the creator is not in his creation or part of it.
“Some pose the question “Who created the creator then?” and ..
To be continued .....
Who created the creator?
Some pose the question “Who created the creator then?” and it is a perfectly valid question to ask, but first and foremost we must understand that the question does not negate the existence of the creator nor does the inability to answer it.
Footprints in the sand testify that something must have caused them. We don’t need to know anything about the one who caused these prints to believe in their existence, because the prints did not create themselves nor did they come from nothing by nothing.
Secondly, if we ask who created the creator, is there anything preventing us from asking who created the creator of the creator and who created the creator of the creator of the creator ad infinitum.
If the creator was dependent on a creator and was not independent we would not have creation, for the result of this infinite dependency is an infinite regression.
We need something that is the source of everything, a starter of all events that is infinite and independent, for this kind of entity is the only thing that can stop an infinite regression, as the creation did not create itself nor come from nothing by nothing.
The creator precedes his creation, thereby he was in existence before the space that our universe occupies, the matter it consists of, the time that governs it and the universal laws that govern it in its entirety.
That is, the creator is not dependent on our space, matter, time or universal laws. He is independent of his creation and outside it.
Thereby we cannot draw a comparison between him and that which is created, just as we cannot expect the baker of the cake to be like the cake in his attributes.
If the baker did not have different attributes to the cake the cake would not have been baked in the first place nor be in existence.
Can something come from Nothing?
Regardless of what is mentioned above, there are still some who believe that something can come from nothing by nothing. Let us imagine we have a bank account where our capital is £0.00, an absolute zero and that we have no interest rate.
No matter what time period we wait our bank account itself will not generate any money. Even if we were to add an interest rate e.g. 10% annually, this will not generate any money. We have natural laws, such as those of arithmetic, but they do not create anything, they are descriptive and predictive but not creative.
The only way we are going to find any money in this bank account is if someone who is independent of the bank account and outside of it, and who has the ability deposits money there. The laws of arithmetic explain now why after there was £0 there is £10 when this £10 was deposited. That I do mathematics or that we have the laws of arithmetic do not create any money on this account.
This is why I see that the belief in a creator is logical, rational and moreover scientific. What do you think?”
“If we want to know more about this creator, let us examine this universe. ..........”
To be continued ...
If we want to know more about this creator, let us examine this universe. We discover that it is very fine-tuned and shows signs of extreme intelligence.
As already mentioned we have natural laws that govern us, for the existence of which there is no naturalistic explanation nor is there any explanation for the values that they have. The law of gravitation for example does not explain the existence thereof, i.e. why we have gravitation as opposed to not having it.
Furthermore the materialistic world view cannot explain how material that is lifeless could produce life, cognition, logic, rationality and or universal laws that govern the universe according to which all events take place. Furthermore what governs these laws that they do not ”evolve”, change or fluctuate theryby rendering the universe practically nonexistent, is something that naturalistically cannot be explained.
As an analogy we could say that before the car was invented traffic rules and regulations were in place, and once it was invented and manufactured by nobody from nothing it fit these traffic regulations that nobody contrived perfectly, and thus the functional nature of traffic can be explained.”
The Laws of the universe
What is particular to these universal laws and constants is that if they were to be altered even slightly, the whole universe would cease to exist as we know it. One simple example of this is the electron in the atom. Its mass is 9,…×10-31 kg.
We cannot imagine it, but if we were to make an expansion of it that it were to correspond to the mass of our planet earth, less than a micrograms change in its mass would cause all chemical reactions to be impossible.
This is one example of many how the entire universe would be destroyed. Thus the tolerance for mistakes or alteration is imaginably small.
Finally there is no naturalistic explanation why these values are constant and do not “evolve”, i.e. what maintains these constants on the levels they are.”
The characteristics of the creator
Thereby we can logically infer that firstly, the creator must be different to his creation, just as the baker and the cake are different.
Secondly, he must be independent, as otherwise we would have nothing as opposed to something.
Thirdly, he must be intelligent, wise and capable, as something that is stupid and incapable cannot create something as fine-tuned and complicated as this universe.
Fourthly, he must be great and dominant over his creation. Let us imagine we have a king who after legislating a matter cannot uphold his decision, but the people turn against him. The country would be in chaos. However the fine-tuning and the almost non-existent tolerance for error testify to the ability of the creator to uphold his decisions and that nothing can challenge him.
Finally we can conclude that there must be only one will that is implemented and that governs everything, as there is not a country that has two leaders with full authority, as their wills would clash which would again lead to chaos.”
The purpose of creation
The next logical step is to ask, would a creator with such attributes create something without a purpose?
As it is not part of wisdom and intelligence to do something without a purpose, it is only logical that there is a purpose for this universe.
We do things without a purpose, but these things do not show signs of intelligence and fine-tuning. If we saw a Samsung Galaxy S5, we would not infer that someone made it accidentally without a purpose. Thus logically we have a purpose for our existence.
It only follows that the creator in his wisdom would not leave us uninformed of this purpose. Just as Samsung provides instructions with its devices, that guide us to fully understand their purpose, the creator would provide us with instructions as well.
Let us imagine we had 10 people claiming they manufactured our Samsung S5. Is it logical to conclude that no one had manufactured the device, because more than one claims so? We know that the phone did not create itself nor it did come from nothing by nothing. The only thing this proves is that we have nine false claims and one true one
But which is the true one?
Do you even know that no one ever claimed to create the universe except ONE!
To be continued ...
"If we want to find out who the real manufacturer is, let us not stop using logic and rationality.
Firstly, if we have 10 instruction manuals and the device is a Samsung S5, all instructions manuals that have a different name on it can be discarded as false for this device.
Secondly, all instructions that do not correspond to the device at hand can be discarded e.g. those of a TV or ones that have poetry about sunshine, flowers and rivers.
Thirdly, if the power button was in the top right-hand corner and the instructions said it was in the bottom left-hand corner we can discard the manual. Flipping the phone upside down hardly remedies the problem and among others things, leads to a neck ache after continuous use.
Fourthly, if there were instructions that said on page one that the power button were in its correct i.e. top right-hand corner, but on page five it said that the very same power button was in the bottom left-hand corner, do we assume that the manufacturer after mentioning correctly the place of the button forgot this when he came to page five and furthermore forgot where he placed the button?
If we had instructions that passed all these criteria and furthermore described matters in great detail that without very thorough inspection we would not have noticed, would we not believe that these instructions are the correct ones that the manufacturer provided to go with the device?”
That’s the book
"The Quran, states that it is guidance for us from the creator, in order to live a good life in this life and the hereafter. It asks us did we create ourselves or did we come from nothing by nothing, and says that he who does not believe in him has no certainty in his beliefs.
It is recited exactly in the same way that it was revealed over 1400 year ago, because of the oral tradition that has brought it to this era. This is not only word for word preservation, but also the way every letter is pronounced and the rules of recitation e.g. where to elongate the letters and where not to and all this in a language that is still spoken.
The Arabs 1400 years ago were not a literary people and Prophet Muhammad was also illiterate. Thereby he taught the Quran orally to his companions after which he approved those who read it correctly and corrected those who did not until they read it correctly.”
An authentic book
“If we imagine a teacher teaching a number of his students e.g. 10 something so that they have to memorise it, and after he checks their memorisation, then these 10 were to teach the same thing to another 10, and these to another ten by the same method. After four generations we’d have 1111 people who know what was taught by heart.
Now if one of them were to recite differently we could ask him who taught him and compare his recitation to his teacher’s and the teacher’s other students’ and moreover the other 1000 people’s who have memorised the same thing. We would find the incorrect recitation with comparative ease.
What is noteworthy is the Quran states that it is protected, it is made easy for memorisation and that it is clear signs in the memory of those who have been given knowledge. Now it is estimated that there are 10-30 million people who have memorised the entire Quran.”
Quran and Science
“The Quran also states that the universe is expanding and that everything living is made up of water. All this in a book, that is over 1400 years old.
For the one who is still sceptical, it gives him a way to test whether or not this book truly is from the creator. If you doubt this book, just produce a chapter which is the like thereof and have anyone you wish to assist you in this, if you’re honest in your doubt.
It furthermore says that no one will be able to do it. We don’t need to know Arabic or be experts in linguistics to know that no one has done it.
There are many people who dislike Islam and by every possible means they try to prove its falseness. As opposed to wasting their efforts on other things, if they were able to produce one chapter that is like the Quran they would have succeeded in this as the Quran says it is not from the creator if someone can do it.
What is strange is that we have not heard that anyone has risen up to the task. Surely if someone had, we would have heard about it in the media. The shortest chapter in the Quran is 3 sentences which consist of 10 words......”
To be continued ...
Why i should believe in him?
“Thereby this book fulfils the criteria to be the guidance of the creator for us, and this belief is not based on blind faith but logical and rational inspection.
Just as Samsung have helpdesk personnel to explain and help with the use of the phone, the Quran says that all the prophets the last of whom is Muhammad, were sent to explain and to be an example of how to implement these instructions the way the creator has intended them to be followed.
The creator could have just sent a book of guidance, but then we’d have people implementing the instructions based on their own understanding and desires and we would possibly have as many interpretations as we have people. However we have an example in the prophets as to how to understand these instructions.
If we believe that the Quran is from the creator, this automatically necessitates the belief in Muhammad as his messenger for at least two reasons.
Firstly, he brought the Quran to us and secondly the Quran states that Muhammad is the messenger.
His message is the same as the previous prophets’ e.g. Jesus and Moses: follow the will of God by submitting to it and the guidance that he has revealed through the prophets. Moreover the prophet, amongst other things, said that there will be time when sexual promiscuity will increase and with it new diseases that did not exist before.
We know that HIV and AIDS broke out in the 1980’s. He also said that there will be a time when no one will able to avoid interest. Now the world economic system is based on the interest based system which has all nations tied to it.
If Muhammad were a false prophet it would not be intelligent of him to say other than unclear metaphorical statements that could have several interpretations.
These prophesies were fulfilled after 1400 years. Moreover a false prophet would not call to the original message of the previous prophets but would come with many reliefs to the strictness of their teachings, so that a maximum number of people would follow him.”
Why should I follow him?
“If you bought a Nissan, you would get instructions with it. They would tell you what type of fuel you should use, what kind of oil and how often you should change it, that you should pay attention to the state of the tyres and take the car to be serviced every once in a while and many other things.
The manufacturer tells you this information so that the car would function well. Everything that he instructs you to do is beneficial and everything he instructs you not to do is harmful for the car.
You might not like servicing and taking care of the car, but for it to work the way it is supposed to, you know that it is in your best interest to do so.”
“Now if you were to neglect these instructions and you broke the car, do you have any claim against the manufacturer? How about if you followed someone else’s instructions besides the manufacturer’s?
You would be told you have no claim here and that you only have yourself to blame for this. Our creator gave us instructions that are beneficial for us on an individual, family and societal level. If you don’t follow these instructions you will not live a content life and your concept of happiness is that you forget your reality and the tediousness of your daily life and you have none to blame but yourself...”
“ The conclusion is .....................”
The final day
Why will there be judgment ?
“Because the creator gave us a free will, either to follow the guidance or not, it’s only logical that we will be held accountable for our deeds.
In schools the pupils can generally be divided into three groups:
(1) who attend lessons, listen to the teacher, do their homework and revise for the exams, (2) the opposite of them who do not attend, do not do their homework, do not listen to the teacher and do not prepare for the exams and (3) those who fall in between the first two groups.
Is it fair by any stretch of the imagination to reward all these types of students the same grade regardless of their commitment, effort and results?
If this were the case, the school as an institute would be pointless. If we were not being tested in this life God could have put us straight into heaven just as the teacher could give full marks to students without any studying, but in this case our being here would be pointless.
The Quran says that we were given life and death to test us who of us is best in their deeds and that the criterion for this is following the instructions.”
“Because of the previous mentioned reasons, I believe that Islam is the way of life which our creator has instructed us to follow.
Literally Islam means submission to the will of God. As I mentioned in the beginning it is based on the belief in (1) a creator (2) who created us for a purpose (3) informed us of this purpose and (4) gives us our reward based on our deeds.
I formed my conclusion based on science, logic and rationality.
Islam is my primary belief from the point of view of which I look at the world and life.
I found that it is the truth and that it explains our existence, and the events that take place in the world the best in a logical and rational manner.
Once I found the information that I mentioned above, I concluded that sincerely I could not consider any other lifestyle than this.”
“I also found that it is the path to a happy life and it has released me from the slavery of other people’s opinions, of material possessions, competing in that which is transient, the chase of the next goal that will make me content and the tedium of daily life. It took me 26 years to discover this, but there is no comparison between my life prior and after Islam.
I and many other Muslims bear witness to this, but only those who to the best of their abilities try to follow these instructions.”
We reached the end of the Journey
“You do not have to agree with me, but is the belief in Islam not logical, rational and even scientific when you look at it from this point of view?”
Just .. Think.
About the Author:
I became a Muslim 4 years ago. Before that I'd studied a bachelor's in business studies and marketing. At the moment, I'm going through a career change and am studying in the university of Helsinki to be an English teacher. In between, I went to Egypt for a short while to try and learn some things about Islam and Arabic.
I'd tried a lot of things in the pursuit to be happy from sports to partying to traveling to making music and what goes along with these things. However, I was never content with my life because the thrill of these new things at the time wore off rather quickly. I thereby came to the point where I realised that my lifestyle hadn't make me happy nor was it making me happy. Furthermore I deduced that it would not make me happy in the future. I therefore decided to search in myself for what would make me happy. I found values like truthfulness, helping others, being just, appreciative, humble, modest and appreciating your parents among others that I found made me feel good. And on the opposite end of the scale egoism, self centredness, covetousness, greed and immorality were what I realised were making me unhappy, albeit society in general is promoting these values as the key to happiness. I also came to the conclusion that a creator is the only explanation that makes sense for our existence. Otherwise everything would be arbitrary, subjective and pointless as well as self-contradictory.
I came across Islam with the help of a friend and It seemed to have the answers that I'd been looking for in a way that was coherent and logical. The more I looked into it the more logical and beautiful it became. Christianity never came into the picture at this point because already at upper secondary school I realised that it's not from the creator as we studied e.g. the compilation of the bible and how undivine a process it was. And how contradictory the bible's message itself is.
My belief in Islam followed rationality and logic and it was very easy to accept it privately but publicly it took me three months and a kick up the back side by a friend to officially state it. After two months from becoming a Muslim I realised that my life in these two months was without any comparison happier than my previous 25 or so years as a non-Muslim although some things on a societal level had become a good deal harder. And this is the path that I've been on ever since albeit I got married and became a father along the way.