Monday 11 Thu al-Hijjah 1445 - 17 June 2024
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An Orthodox Christian wants to become Muslim, but he does not know where to start

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Publication : 26-05-2024

Views : 1149

Question

Some time ago, I felt that I did not believe in God, and that Orthodox Christianity does not exist as a religion as far as I am concerned. But after that, I began to examine some other religions and sects, such as Babism, Buddhism and Islam. I would like someone to educate me about Islam, because I do not know where to start before accepting Islam. Can I, as an Orthodox Christian, go to the mosque and speak to the imam after the prayer ends? I am worried in case my relatives become suspicious of me, because my father criticised Islam and he is an atheist, and my father’s relatives are Korean Orthodox, but they respect Buddhist traditions. It will be very embarrassing for me to say that I am going to move to South Korea and at the same time tell them that I have embraced Islam.

Answer

Praise be to Allah.

Firstly:

We praise Allah, may He be exalted, for having enabled you to take an interest in Islam, and we ask Him to complete the blessing He has bestowed upon you by enabling you to accept Islam, feel at ease with it and enter the faith. This is an immense blessing from Allah, may He be exalted, to a person; in fact it is the greatest of His blessings, because it leads to happiness in this world and the hereafter.

We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to guide you to the straight path, increase you in guidance and steadfastness, and complete the blessing that He has bestowed upon you. We Muslims would welcome you as an honoured guest in any of our mosques, anywhere in the world, and you can sit with the imam, ask him whatever you want to ask him and listen to him. You will see how you will be welcomed and honoured in a way that you never expected, because we Muslims love goodness and guidance for all people, and we would love all people to believe in Allah and have sound faith in Him so that they may attain His pleasure, and Allah will reward them with paradise in the hereafter.

Secondly:

To sum up Islam in a few words, it means obeying Allah, may He be exalted, and worshipping Him alone, with no partner or associate.

Allah, may He be exalted, is the only Creator and Provider and He alone is in control of all things.

Allah, may He be exalted, is the only one Whom people should worship, so no one is to be worshipped except Allah; no prophet, no angel, no jinni, no human, no rock, no tree, nothing is to be worshipped except Him.

Just as Allah alone is the Creator Who is in control of all things, He alone is to be worshipped.

If you would like us to quote a brief verse which sums up all of Islam for you, it is the verse in which the Lord of the Worlds says in His holy Book (interpretation of the meaning):

{Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds

No partner has He. And this I have been commanded, and I am the first [among you] of the Muslims.”} [al-An‘am 6:162-163].

It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam is built on five (pillars): testimony that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger, establishing regular prayer, paying zakah, pilgrimage to the House and fasting Ramadan.” Narrated by al-Bukhari (8) and Muslim (16).

According to another report narrated by Muslim: “Islam is built on five (pillars): affirming the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid)…” What is meant by affirming the oneness of Allah is testifying that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone, with no partner or associate, and that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger.

According to another report also narrated by Muslim: “Islam is built on five (pillars): worshipping Allah and rejecting all false gods…” Affirming the oneness of Allah also means that we worship Him alone, with no partner or associate. That requires disbelieving in and rejecting all false gods that worshipped besides Allah, otherwise we are not affirming His oneness.

Thirdly:

People cannot know the laws and rulings in accordance with which Allah wants them to worship Him, because they do not receive them from Him directly. Therefore Allah chose the best of humanity, namely the prophets and messengers, and made them intermediaries between Him and His creation in conveying His laws and rulings.

The prophets began with the father of humanity, Adam (peace be upon him) and ended with our Prophet Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). In between there came a large number of prophets, such as Noah (Nuh), Abraham (Ibrahim), Moses (Moosa), Jesus (‘Isa) and others, blessings and peace of Allah be upon them all.

All of them were human, and they only came to call people to worship Allah alone. None of them said that he was divine or the son of God, for such notions are associating others with Allah, and that is contrary to the message with which Allah sent them.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{ It is not for a human [prophet] that Allah should give him the Scripture and authority and prophethood and then he would say to the people, “Be servants to me rather than Allah,” but [instead, he would say], “Be pious scholars of the Lord because of what you have taught of the Scripture and because of what you have studied.”

Nor could he order you to take the angels and prophets as lords. Would he order you to disbelief after you had been Muslims? } [Al ‘Imran 3:79-80].

As affirming the oneness of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and worshipping Him alone, with no partner or associate, is the essential message of all the prophets, Allah, may He be exalted, explained that to His slaves in their scriptures, and He drew their attention to sound evidence which confirms that in what they see around them. There are also significant verses in the Book of Allah which draw people’s attention to what they see in the universe around them; these verses remind them that Allah is the only Bestower of these blessings, the only Creator thereof, therefore they must believe that He alone is God of this universe. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{ Say, [O Muhammad], “To whom belongs the earth and whoever is in it, if you should know?”

They will say, “To Allah.” Say, “Then will you not remember?”

Say, “Who is Lord of the seven heavens and Lord of the Great Throne?”

 They will say, “[They belong] to Allah.” Say, “Then will you not fear Him?”

Say, “In whose hand is the realm of all things - and He protects while none can protect against Him - if you should know?”

They will say, “[All belongs] to Allah.” Say, “Then how are you deluded?”"

Rather, We have brought them the truth, and indeed they are liars.

Allah has not taken any son, nor has there ever been with Him any deity. [If there had been], then each deity would have taken what it created, and some of them would have sought to overcome others. Exalted is Allah above what they describe [concerning Him].

 [He is] Knower of the unseen and the seen, so exalted be He above what they associate [with Him] } [al-Mu’minun 23:84-92].

There are other marvellous verses in the Book of the Lord of the Worlds which say that worshipping Allah alone, with no partner or associate, is the essential message of all the prophets, then after that, Allah mentions the misguidance of the polytheist Arabs and others who ascribe partners in divinity to Allah, such as the angels, the messengers or other created beings. These verses proved that to be false, and told them that the angels are honourable slaves who obey and submit to the Lord of the Worlds, and that the prophets (blessings and peace of Allah be upon them) were all human, created beings who die, and they are not divine at all. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{ And We sent not before you any messenger except that We revealed to him that, “There is no deity except Me, so worship Me.”

And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken a son.” Exalted is He! Rather, they are [but] honored servants.

They do not speak until He has spoken, and they act by His command.

He knows what is [presently] before them and what will be after them, and they cannot intercede except on behalf of one whom He approves. And they, from fear of Him, are apprehensive.

And whoever of them should say, “Indeed, I am a god besides Him”- that one We would recompense with Hell. Thus do We recompense the wrongdoers.

Have those who disbelieved not considered that the heavens and the earth were a joined entity, and We separated them and made from water every living thing? Then will they not believe?

And We placed within the earth firmly set mountains, lest it should shift with them, and We made therein [mountain] passes [as] roads that they might be guided.

And We made the sky a protected ceiling, but they, from its signs, are turning away.

And it is He who created the night and the day and the sun and the moon; all [heavenly bodies] in an orbit are swimming.

And We did not grant to any man before you eternity [on earth]; so if you die - would they be eternal?

Every soul will taste death. And We test you with evil and with good as trial; and to Us you will be returned} [al-Anbiya’ 21:25-25].

For more information, please see the answer to question no. 12628 .

Fourthly:

As for what the Orthodox Christians and others say, that Jesus is the son of God or that Jesus is God, this is one of the most grievous fabrications against Allah. Allah, may He be exalted, says in His holy Book (interpretation of the meaning):

{And they say, “The Most Merciful has taken [for Himself] a son.”

Indeed, you have uttered something atrocious.

The heavens almost rupture therefrom and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation,

That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son.

And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.

There is no one in the heavens and earth but he comes to the Most Merciful as a servant

He has enumerated them and counted them a [full] counting,

And all of them will come to Him on the Day of Resurrection alone}[Maryam 19:88-95].

It is invalid according to rational thinking, just as it is invalid because Allah, may He be exalted, has told us that He is one. How can Jesus be a son of God, when God has no wife? Exalted be Allah far above such a thing.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{[He is] Originator of the heavens and the earth. How could He have a son when He does not have a companion and He created all things? And He has full knowledge of all things}[al-An‘am 6:101].

Moreover, how could Jesus be God or the son of God when he and his mother ate food as all people eat; they needed that and then they would have to deal with the consequences thereof, like any other people? Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{The Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded}[al-Ma’idah 5:75].

Look at what Allah, may He be exalted, says: {They both used to eat food}. These words rule out any notion of divinity for the Messiah and his mother.

To explain further:

The one who eats food needs that food, and if he did not eat he would feel the pain of hunger, and if his hunger intensified, he could die.

Does it make sense that God could need to eat, and if He did not eat, He would feel pain or die?

Moreover, there is another meaning to this verse, which is that the one who eats food will be carrying impurity and the waste matter from that food in his body, and he will need to go to the bathroom and excrete it. Does it make sense to think that God, Who is Most Holy – meaning that He is far above all defects and shortcomings – could be carrying impurity and need to go to the bathroom?!

Furthermore, the Christians believe that the Messiah came down and his enemies were able to capture him, beat him, spit in his face, torture him, crucify him and kill him. Can any rational mind accept that God would be helpless before His enemies and that they would be able to mistreat Him in such a way?

For more information, please see the answers to questions no. 82361 and 224199 .

We cannot discuss everything that has to do with Islam and Christianity in this brief answer – you can read what is available on this website about these topics – but it is sufficient that we have opened the way for you, and we encourage you to go to the mosque or Islamic centre that is closest to your house, where you will find answers to all your questions, if Allah wills.

You should note that entering Islam is not difficult. All that is needed is for you to say, “Ashhadu an la ilaha illa Allah wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan rasool Allah (I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah).” By doing so, you will be cleansed of all your previous sins, and you will start a new, blank page in your record of deeds, with no bad deeds; it will be as if you were born today.

Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

{Say to those who disbelieve that if they desist, what is past will be forgiven; but if they persist, then the precedent of the earlier peoples is already established} [al-Anfal 8:38].

The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Islam erases that which came before it.”

In other words, it waives the punishment and removes the traces of previous sins.

So hasten to become Muslim, for this life may end suddenly; no one knows when death will come upon him.

Fifthly:

As for your fears regarding your relatives, you do not have to announce your Islam to them; rather you may conceal from them the fact that you have become Muslim. The companions of our Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) in Makkah concealed their Islam from the polytheists of Makkah for fear that they might harm them and mistreat them.

Then when you have the opportunity to tell them about your being Muslim later on, you can tell them and call your family to Islam, and strive to save them from the fire of hell.

This is a great favour that you can do for them. We ask Allah, may He be exalted, to guide you, support you and make you steadfast in faith.

And Allah knows best.

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Source: Islam Q&A