Islam my Choice

by Dean Hussain Wilson

The Light (UK), August 2001 Issue (pp. 1–2)

My father is unsure of what he believes. My mother on the other hand is a deeply religious person with many varied beliefs. My sister confesses to be a ‘True Christian’ and my brother is a Zen Buddhist, when pressed upon the matter of religion. I have always been searching.

I grew up in Italy, where I was branded a ‘heathen’ by all, due to the nature we were not Catholic. My father worked for the British Navy when I was born, and fancied a change, so he enrolled for a job doing the same (telecommunications) but with an American company (ITT) under contract to the U.S. Army (NATO) in Italy. We lived there for 11 years.

I knew Islam existed then, but the picture I received of it was not of a peaceable, benevolent force, but a bunch of fanatics who wanted to hijack planes and die in the name of Allah. This was the main, exported view of Islam from the U.S. propaganda machine. They were bombing Tripoli at the time and helping Israel invade Lebanon.

I have always been interested in religion. When I left school I went straight into a job, deciding not to further my education.

I first encountered the Holy Quran in, around, 1988. I discovered the Yusuf Ali translation in my local library. I read it all and thought how much like Christianity it was. I thought no more of it. In 1990–1992 I was a Buddhist, but could not get with the idea of no ultimately responsible God, or the fact you cannot act to change a situation. I soon fell out of Buddhism and picked up Christianity. I was disillusioned with the fact that there is no correct Christian doctrine. One book, one million churches, divisions and sects. I purchased, at this time, a set of World Religion Books: the Torah, Apocrypha, Rig Veda, Pali Canon, Analects of Confucius and the Holy Quran (translation by Yusuf Ali), and started to privately cross-reference the religions. I soon discovered that most of the World’s religions have a book, a guide, as well as a set of laws. I formed the opinion that God has sent prophets to all of the nations so as they could teach about Him in that nation’s language. I also thought that it would be nice to study religion and get some qualifications at the end of it.

At this point the Jehovah’s Witnesses called at my door. They listened rather intently about my views on this and the fact that Christianity has one book and one million churches, ideals, doctrines, disciplines and sects. I said wouldn’t it be nice if they could all agree on one thing? They replied that they, as Jehovah Witnesses did agree on one thing, and that they had revised the Bible and ‘ironed out’ all the hypocrisies of the other sects and paths of Christianity. Their clear path doctrine, though, was the closest any Christian has ever come to putting across how Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) would have wanted it. I followed their teachings for a while, doing regular study with them, from their own publications and also from the Christian Bible. But all of the time I had questions, and more questions. Christianity gave me a headache.

At this time, I finally was accepted on the Open University to study for a B.A. or B.Sc. In Religious Studies. On year 2, I started to study the Quran seriously, as it formed part of the Religious Studies unit. Just before the start of year 2, I contacted the AAIIL(UK) for a Holy Quran and also for help on doing a home study on Islam, the books and so on, I would need.

The Quran, when you open it and read its passages, its writing; there is no confusion, no misguiding language; it is open and sings. It affects your heart as you read. It is a beautiful book.

I started to attend meetings with the Jehovah’s Witnesses but when I pressed them on the issues I did not understand, for instance

“How can God have a son?”,

they gave me an answer, but when I compared it with the Holy Quran it did not make any sense to me. I have never accepted that Christ (peace be upon him) is God (Trinity) or that Jesus is the Son of God. To me this is impossible, because the purpose of having a son is so that he can replace the father. The need for a son is as a replacement or successor, due to the fact the father is old, or about to die. How can God need replacing? How can God become old? Or about to die? Why the need for a son? I think then I started to read more of the Quran, Islam and the Hadith. I think I understood that all of the fundamental principles of Islam I had, or have already believed. I think then I made a fundamental discovery:

“For you, your religion, for me, my religion.”

They were Christians, I was not. I was a Muslim. It is then I decided I would make the effort to study Islam, to take it to heart, to learn as much about it as possible.

I stopped comparing Christianity. I started to see that the only way to explain Christianity was not to explain it as a Christian, as that shows the fundamental differences of Christianity as well as showing all of the flaws of the doctrine, but to explain Christianity as a Muslim. As a Muslim, all of the problems of being a Christian evaporate, as what remains of Christianity is not the falsified accounts of the ‘eyewitnesses’ but the truth of the Quran.

It is then that I contacted Selim Ahmed for assistance in being put in contact with someone who could help me with Quranic recitation. I was put in contact with Shahid Aziz. We communicated via e-mail on this matter and it was then decided to get in touch with Imam Shaukat for further instruction. I contacted him and arranged to stay with him at 15 Stanley Avenue, Wembley, for study. This was arranged for the end of May 2001, for one week.

Within one day of being in Wembley, I accepted the truth of Islam and accepted my new Muslim name Hussain. I chose this, the martyred son of Muhammad (peace be upon him and blessings of Allah) and not Muhammad because I feel Muhammad is a great name with a lot of responsibility attached to it.

I have spent a lot of time searching for a religion. It has taken me a long while to know and understand (and accept?) that I have always been a Muslim. I now shall endeavour to be the best Muslim I can possibly be. I intend to continue my studies of Islam, and hopefully be able to obtain a doctorate in Islamic studies.

I have joined the Lahore Ahmadiyya Movement and fully support the idea of propagating Islam’s message of compassion, mercy and world unity. For me, the long search, I think, is finally over. I have found the light of Islam and will do my best to fuel that light and keep it bright.

Surah 12:108 sums up my feelings at this time:

قُلۡ ہٰذِہٖ سَبِیۡلِیۡۤ اَدۡعُوۡۤا اِلَی اللّٰہِ ۟ؔ عَلٰی بَصِیۡرَۃٍ اَنَا وَ مَنِ اتَّبَعَنِیۡ ؕ وَ سُبۡحٰنَ اللّٰہِ وَ مَاۤ اَنَا مِنَ الۡمُشۡرِکِیۡنَ ﴿۱۰۸﴾

“Say: this is my way. I call to Allah with certain knowledge — I and those who follow me. And glory be to Allah! And I am not of the polytheists.” [The Holy Quran, 12:108]

I truly understand that Islam is the way forward for all of us. It is a beautiful and simple religion that only asks of us to serve and remember God. It is not a difficult thing to do. I have tried a few religions, but this is the only one that brings tears of joy to my eyes and makes me feel happy. I thank Allah for this, and all of those that have helped me.