Many people have asked me, to tell them how I became a Muslim, and the truth is, I really didn't know. I know now that Allah gave me mercy and let me become a Muslim.
About three years after I became Muslim, I received a phone call from my father telling me my mother was dying from cancer. I was told that if I wanted to see her before she dies, I should hurry. Unfortunately, she died before I got there.
I made a decision not to tell my family that I have become Muslim until I learn enough about Islam to explain it to them. I have regretted ever since that my mother died before I could talk to her. My father however is a different story.
When my father picked me up, I told him I had become Muslim. He had a look on his face like he wasn’t happy; then, he asked me: "Why?" I don’t know why I said what I said then; I told him it was his fault. He looked at me and said: “My fault?!” I said: 'Yes, it’s your fault', and he asked: 'How is it my fault?'
I began to explain: 'When I was a child, you use to tell me not to listen to other people, and to make my own choices; not to look at the color of peoples' skin; not to care how much money they have, to judge people for what they do, not for what they say. So, that’s what I did. Nobody asked me to become a Muslim; nobody gave me any books, I studied the religion on my own, and I found it to be the Truth, and it’s your fault!' He said: 'Yes it’s my fault'.
Although my father has chosen not to become a Muslim, he still respects my decision. He also made the comment that I have improved; I’m not as shy and afraid to talk to people anymore. I know since I have become a Muslim, I feel happier than I ever did before. There were some really good examples of Muslims that I met in my life before embracing Islam.
I have a Saudi friend who is paralyzed from the neck down. This man is confined to an electric wheelchair. At the time I met him, his wheelchair was broken and there was no one who knew how to fix it. I tried and got it fixed, and fixed it many times afterwards. He tried to pay me but I refused. One day, he gave me a gift of a pen set. The next time I went on vacation, I brought him back a gift which was a knife. We became good friends and he always called me his brother and treated me as one of his family members. He invited me to all of his daughters' weddings and I always sat in the most honored spot.
One day while I was fixing his wheelchair, he told me he was going to Pilgrimage. He was going to use the wheelchair I was fixing. I was very amazed that a man in his condition would even try to make Pilgrimage but he did and came back in a good condition. I always noticed this man prayed even though he was confined to his wheelchair. He never missed a prayer that I saw. Whenever he went to prayer, he left me alone in his house and this showed me that he trusted me. The attitude and kindness that this man showed towards me, though non-Muslim, was one of the reasons why I became a Muslim; may Allah reward him.
So you see all of us, Muslims, are preaching Islam, even if they don't mean to, or want to. Muslims should think about what they are doing at all times, because the non-Muslims are watching and listening.
I arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1986. In 1991, I moved to Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia. Before I became a Muslim, no one ever asked me to become a Muslim, or told me something about Islam, or even gave me a book.
One day, a Saudi, who worked with me, owed me a favor and asked me if I needed anything, I asked him to buy me a Qur'an in English and he did. It laid on my desk at work all the time.
I used it to teach English to my trainees. I made them read the English translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur'an and when they didn’t understand, I made them read the Arabic Holy Qur'an, next to it. I also read it alone in my spare time. I actually waited for a long time for someone to ask me if I wanted to become a Muslim.
Eventually, I decided to leave Saudi Arabia for another job. I went to my Supervisor and said: "I want to go to Makkah before I leave." He was surprised but he said: “You have to be a Muslim to go to Makkah.” I told him I was a Muslim, I believe in only One God and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the Messenger of God.
He took me to the Da’wa Center to announce the Two Testimonies (Shahada) formally on April 16, 2000. I tell people I am a Y2K Muslim. When People ask me: 'How old are you?' My immediate answer in 2007 was: 'Seven years.' I changed my mind and stayed in Saudi Arabia. I wanted to learn more about Islam.
The following pages relates about the experiences that led me to start making Da’wa or asking people to become Muslims. It is my hope and reason for writing this book, to inspire others to do the same.
One day when I first became Muslim, there was a young man - with whom I worked - who came to my office and asked me to read from the Hadeeth i.e. Prophetic Sayings for him. I thought this was strange because he had never talked to me about Islam before. He was not an active Muslim. It was about the mercy a mother will show to her child and how Allah has more mercy than this. I remember it really meant a lot to him. He asked me to explain it to him in English.
After I read and explained it to him, he said: “Yahya, please talk to them.” I asked: "Whom?" He said: “The other Americans.” I asked that man what he wanted me to say? He said: “Talk to them about Islam.” He went on: “I wish I could speak English as well as you; I would talk to all of them. Please talk to them.”
The next day I came to work and I didn’t see that man. An hour later, another man came in and told me the young man had just died in a car crash. I was very upset, even though that man was not one of my close friends.
His friends told me the night before, one of his Supervisors had become angry with him and asked him to leave the area, because he wasn’t allowed there. He said: “I swear by Allah, I will never come back here again.” He was right he died the next day. I will never forget the words he told me: “Yahya, please talk to them.” May Allah reward him for that.
There was a man who was very sick; his family thought he was going to die. He was not Muslim nor was his family; they were Catholic, except for one of his daughters. She had reverted to Islam while working as a dressmaker in Saudi Arabia.
She was home on vacation with her husband. When she first saw her father, he was bed-ridden; there was no color in his eyes, and he appeared to be close to death. Her family asked her what she and her husband wanted them to do with their father when he dies.
The question bothered her because her father was in the room, and listening to every word. He was not dead yet. She asked her husband, and he told the family: “I want him buried the same way they claim they buried Jesus: wash him, perfume him, wrap him in clean white cloth, pray for him, and bury him right away."
Her husband explained that this is the way every Muslim is buried. The family was confused but they said it's alright. Before she left, her father asked: "Why are you wearing a scarf over your head?" She told him: “I have become a Muslim.” She promised her father she would come back the next day and talk to him about Islam. She only hoped he would still be alive.
The next day she went back to see her father and he had improved. He was sitting up in bed. It looked as if he was waiting for her. She asked her father if he wanted to become a Muslim. He said we all used to be Muslims before. He said that he would like to become a Muslim but he didn’t think he could get down on the floor to pray because of his sickness. She explained that in Islam he didn’t have to; he could pray in a chair, Allah would understand.
She gave the Two Testimonial (Shahada) to her father, who was 77 years old. He asked her if she could give him some books to read about Islam. She was very surprised, because his eyes were very bad and he hadn’t been able to read for a while. She gave him a can of milk and asked him if he could read the label on it. He read it with no mistakes even without glasses. All of his children have reverted to Islam. All praise be to Allah!
There was a Filipino who reverted to Islam. On one of my visits, his friends came to me. They told me that he was not praying. I went to see him and he was very sad. I asked him what his problem was. It felt like he wanted to say he was going back to his old religion (Mormon). I said to him: "Don't say what you are thinking; it is very bad. Just tell me what the problem is."
He began to explain that he called his father, in the Philippines, to tell him that he became Muslim. His father, who was a devout Mormon, became very angry and said to him: "You are not my son", and then hung up. I reminded him that I told him not to call his family until he had become strong in his faith and had the knowledge to explain Islam to his family. I told him not to worry. Allah will make the path clear if he will only have faith in his heart.
I advised him to go to his room, pray, and ask Allah to help his father; to give him understanding because no father will quit loving his son, if he loved him to start with. I left and went back the next Thursday. He was waiting to see me, and he had a big smile on his face. He did what I told him and then called his father, he said: "It was like two different people; he didn’t yell or get angry. He just listened to me while I talked." His father told him it was alright for him to be a Muslim; it was his choice. I told him to keep praying and someday, his whole family would become Muslims God willing.
There was an American, to whom I had been talking about Islam for about a year. I went to his office one day, and we began to talk about Islam. I heard the call for prayer. It looked as though he wanted me to say something.
I told him: "You are old enough to know the difference between right and wrong. I have given you books, many people have talked to you, and you need to make a decision."
I started to go to the Masjid (Mosque). I noticed he was walking with me but I didn’t say anything. I did my ablution. He was beside me. I went into the Masjid. He stopped at the door. I turned around and asked if he wanted to pray with us, he said: 'I’m not allowed to'. I said: 'Yes you can'.
He looked at me strangely and said: 'They said I can’t come in the Masjid.' I asked: 'Who said this?' He said: 'All of them'. I told him: 'They are wrong. Do you want to pray with us?' He said: 'Yes.' I told him: 'Say there is only one God, and Muhammad is His Messenger.'
He said Shahada, I told the brothers to take him and show him how to do ablution. He became a Muslim, prayed with us, and that is how easy it is some times. (Somebody is waiting for you to ask them).
I can remember many times, myself thinking I wished somebody would ask me to pray with them or to become a Muslim. I would have done it. To my surprise for almost three years, nobody ever did. I finally did it by myself.
He became a Muslim in 1993, in Saudi Arabia. He went to Saudi Arabia, under false pretenses as a waiter, his real mission was to reunite the scattered members of the Pentecostal church, who were also working in Saudi Arabia. His secondary mission was his impossible dream to Christianize the (Godless) Muslims there!
Immediately upon arrival he was confronted with a dilemma; how to convert them to Christianity since according to him they don’t believe in the Bible or Jesus (so he thought). As a fully trained and licensed minister, this was a different situation from what he was used to. In his past, he had built his own church and was ministering to more than a thousand people, but this was definitely different and would take a good plan.
He started reading the English translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur’an, hoping to find a loophole or contradictions to use against the Muslims. He was described as a sincere mistake-seeker or as I like to say searching for the truth.
As he continued reading the English translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur’an, he found no contradictions. This started to shake his belief, but he still wasn’t satisfied. He bought a book called Sahih Al-Bukhari containing the most authentic sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). As he read, he found what he was sure was a mistake that he could use against the Muslims.
Out of the vast amount of knowledge Al-Bukhari contains, he spotted one hadith which he mistook to be the loophole he could use against the Muslims. Although his faith had been shaken by Allah, with the English translation of the meaning of the Holy Qur’an, the Devil was still pushing him in the wrong direction. Here is the Hadith he thought had to be a mistake.
Thumama said: “We were with Anas and a fly fell into a vessel. Anas motioned with his hand and immersed it three times then said: Bismilläh and he said that truly, thus did the Messenger of Allah order us to do.”
He thought to himself; what kind of man, would tell somebody to immerse in a vessel a fly and then tell people to eat from it, and furthermore what kind of people would follow him.
A few days later he came across an article written by a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) scientist on research about the fly. The article states that it has been discovered that the common housefly carries parasitic pathogens for many diseases including malaria, typhoid fever, cholera, and many others. It was also discovered that the fly carries parasitic bacteriophagic fungi capable of fighting the germs of all of these diseases.
So when the Prophet Muhammad said; If a fly falls into one of your containers (of food or drink), immerse it completely before removing it, for under one of its wings there is venom and under the other is antidote. He was not insane!
This convinced the man that Islam was a true religion of Allah and Muhammad was indeed His prophet. He said his Shahada in his room in private.
The stories I have related are some of the true experiences of my life before and after I became a Muslim. These experiences are only a few of the more than three hundred people I have seen come to Islam.
I heard a non-Muslim Filipino say something that made a lot of sense. He said: "When we were children, we were afraid of the dark. When we become adults, we are afraid of the light." In this case, light is Truth.
Telling the truth to a person who is seeking the truth is the greatest reward you will ever receive. You are bringing them into the light and helping them to get over their fear of the unknown.
When you witness somebody become Muslim, there is no greater feeling. You feel part of their happiness. Give it a try; you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. There are many people out there like me who are just waiting to be asked.
Give them a simple explanation of Islam such as 'What do Muslims Believe?' Muslims believe in One God, with no equals or partners; in the Angels created by Him; in the Prophets; in the Previous Scriptures; in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions; in God's complete authority over human destiny and in life after death. Muslims believe in a chain of Prophets starting with Adam and ending with God's final Message to mankind revealed to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) through the Angel Gabriel.
Together Islam, Christianity and Judaism, go back to the Prophet Abraham, and the three Prophets directly descended from his sons - Muhammad from Ishmael, Moses and Jesus from Isaac (Peace be upon all of them).
1) Shahada, (Testimony of Faith, from the heart)
La ilaha illallah, Muhammad-ur-Rasul-Allah.
Which translates: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”
2) Five compulsory daily prayers.
3) Fasting during Ramadan,
4) Zakat (poor-due),
5) Hajj (pilgrimage) to Makkah once in one's life, if able
physically and financially.
This should be basic enough to get anybody started on the Right Path to the Truth, if they really want to know the Truth. May Allah bless all of you and help you on your chosen path.
If you know someone who is interested to know about Islam, ask him/her to seek more information from an Islamic education center or visit us