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Stories - How I Became Muslim?
 IslamiCity Forum - Islamic Discussion Forum : Religion - Islam : Stories - How I Became Muslim?
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abuzuhri
 
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Quote abuzuhri Replybullet Topic: My Journey Into Islam
    Posted: 17 September 2006 at 7:20am

My Journey Into Islam

 
I am writing this article from deep inside my heart to share with you my journey in discovering islam. My search for truth begin nearly 20 years ago. As a young chinese, I am more a free thinker rather than following the usual chinese Ancestor worship. Most chinese are mistaken to be Buddhist. Those who choose to become Christian at least make some thinking and spiritual questioning. To believe in God is easy. But how we deal with   religions with its varois people and institutions. This is more difficult. Are not they are almost similar or very different from one another. It also involved race ,language and the society around us. So I define myself as seeker. I am a shy person but also brave to undertake this journey to discover Islam. I begin to read a lot about the great religions and teaching of the philosophers from east and west. I still remember in the 1970s where a magazine called Nuggets of Wisdom really illuminated my life. It contains various aphorisms and teachings from the sages and prophets of God .

 
Educational Background

 
First , because I know the malays very well due to my malay educational background, I separate the malay beliefs and culture from the spiritual truth of Islam. I read directly the Islamic teaching by scholars such as Imam Ghazali, Jalaluddin Rumi, Iqbal, Muhammad Asad, Maryam Jameelah, Pickthall, SH Nasr, Martin Lings and a lot sufic stuffs. My three years in University of Malaya was full of reflection, research and interaction with people. I also prayed secretly in my heart to God that He help me and strenghten me on the path of Islam. Please give me trusted friends. Open me to encounter with people of Allah.

 
When you are becoming mature around 18 to 20, the attraction toward women take a new dimension. You feel the need to love and to be loved by the other half. Your heart yearn  to be confided. You see the beauty and subtle care of the feminine half. You think you must prove your manhood. You are a hero without friends. As seeker, you begun turning to God. You begin to question- oh God, why I am without a true religion ? Why the ancestor chinese beliefs cannot suit me. I am educated. I am enlightened by the modern literatures. I must roam free and be brave to find my own destiny.

 Intimate Matters

 
The hardest thing now is who we can communicate and relate our feelings about God. It is so intimate and precious. Of course, only a respectful and understanding woman can share your concerns. Why , because a woman when she trust you, she really think you are a great guy. She know you can become a hero and challenge the world. She do not want a weakling or a coward dealing with life and death. There are no free love today. You must pay with genuine cares, tricks or worldly attachments. That why your diplomas or degree really help. It ensure you get a good job and ways to find money to support your own life.

 To Be Strong

 
In the beginning, I keep my interest on islam secret from other friends while I am in the campus. I wanted to build the solid knowledge and confidence before becoming a muslim. At that time, I know the inward certainty about islam but not the muslims around me which still not trusty or helpful enough. Who is this chinese guy ? Why should I speak or befriend him ? It is very impolite for a muslim woman to communicate with a chinese student ? What about the muslim guys outside there ?

 
 
In 1979, there are only Perkim which deal with new muslims or potential seekers. There are no Abim Outreach, JIM, Darul Fitrah or Macma. I don’t believe in Perkim. So I prefer my own way of learning Islam mainly through books. And a lot reflection, meditation and inner musings. I kept a personal diary on important spiritual encounters. I feels that many of the Quranic messages and Hadiths were addressing to my special needs.

 
What about my family, how will they react if I became a muslim ? This fear have to be addressed properly. If you know they love and trust you, they will sympathise with your choice of Islam. They need some assurances. How will you cope with your muslims friends, your job and your surrounding. Who will help you when in trouble ? A steady job will almost assure them that you can survive on your own.  Answer that you will continue to respect and help your father or mother. Islam teaches all the good ethics as the chinese tradition requires. If you read about Confucius, this is a strong point.

 Feeling Safe

With so many chinese muslims today who openly doing dakwah and speak on Islam, you will feel happy and very safe to be among them. Macma as a jemaah give a big boosters. They are many knowledgable and committed chinese muslims leaders ready to guide, teach, counsel and support us whenever necessary. To find and win a new chinese muslim friends is a bonus. They are so few of us around. Brotherhood is blessing of Allah. We need to be united by the hearts and by our collective ibadah.

 
In those 20 years, I had been learning and interacting with the jemaah of Abim, Tabligh, Arqam and many ulama or ustazs. Until today, I still urge myself to attend kelas pengajian kitab / hadis and tasawwuf or the sufic gatherings. Yes , almost three times per week. Fisabilillah. Travelling for seeking the pleasure Allah. Sitting and remembering Allah together with those blessed by Allah with greater taqwa and adab. Today , the muslims have lost or abandoned this sufic way. They created new organization or modernized islam which stressed on information rather than transformation of the inward. The chinese classics gave emphasis on taking the Way of the Sage/ Sheng Ren or the Superior Man / Chun Tzi. They are the people blessed and guided by Heaven because they followed the principle of Tao. For the muslims, this is the path of sufic masters who purify and elevate the seekers. And make them free and firm on the Deen of Allah.

 Embrace The Tiger

 
 I quoted the saying of I Ching : Embrace the tiger and return to the mountain. Embrace Islam- the gift of Allah for us to recover to our adamic being / nature. Hui jiao – the Way of Return to the ancient primodial teaching of Fitra and Tawhid.

 
Thanks and praise to Allah, now I am able to teach and guide others to Islam after went through all the process of fear, rejection, humility, learning, travel and meeting with all kind of muslims and ulamak. I must thanks many of my teachers who taught me how to respect and love Allah and His Rasul. Taqwa is nothing but adab-proper behaviour toward the inward and outward Reality. Remember, we also have enemy the Shaytan who always ready to whisper and suggest the sweet and wrong things for us to pursue. The weapon against shaytan and nafs is zikrullah and to be a jemaah/ company of mu’minin. Knowledge is a light / nur that will protect us from danger.

 
 
Knowledge and Remembrance of Allah

 
Those who can read, please read a lot about the various teachings of islam . surely you will find that vast literature exist. Only a little scrunity at book shops will show you the right stuffs. But don’t stop with books. You need real teachers or fellow seekers to make your journey safe. Until now, I still spend 3 nights per week to attend class and gathering of knowledge and also special night of zikir where we recite many wirid, doa, Quran, salawat, qasidah/songs of praise and the sufic practices. I cannot bring you to this unless you are ready and brave. Unless your 5 salat/prayers are being fulfilled/performed then we can go further. Many people are afraid being labelled as deviant/sesat/ tak betul when actually they do not have knowledge about the vast tradition of Islam.

 
So like today, who can tell me what is the teaching of tasawwsuf or sufism ? What are its aims and methods ? Who are the past greater Masters and Guru / Shaykh in these matters ? Any standard reference books on this sufic way ? Alhamdulillah, in
Malaysia, I had been into these various sufi groups . Some with pleasant encounter, some with sour results. Not all people are aware of their own weaknesses. Without himma nothing will benefit this people who is clouded by their own limited intellects.

 
Now I want to give you a few precious doa or ayat Quran that I had memorized for your amalan. This zikir/doa are my companion which I recite whenever free to polish my heart, uplifting my awareness and asking Allah Taala for His vast gifts upon this poor little seeker. I would to end with this beautiful doa’of Prophet Yusuf alaihi salam  from the Quran:

 

Inna Rabbi latifun li-man yasyaa’.

Innahu huwal Alimul Hakim.

Rabbi qad atai-tani minal mulki

Wa allamtani min ta’wili li-ahadis

Fatiiras samawati wal-ardh

Anta Waliyyi fid Dunya wa fil-Akhirah

Tawaffani musliman

Wa alhiqni bis-solihin.

(Verily my Lord is merciful-caring

to whom He choose,

 

abuzuhri shin
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abuzuhri
 
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Quote abuzuhri Replybullet Posted: 25 September 2006 at 4:26pm
Dear readers,

Please see my other reply at Who Am I - Forum  for the newly created personal blog.
Thanks for your patience and extra surfings.

wassalam, cai jian.

abuzuhri shn


abuzuhri shin
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peacemaker
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Quote peacemaker Replybullet Posted: 26 September 2006 at 9:33am

Assalamu Alaikum,

Jazak Allah Khair for sharing your wonderful story of your journey into Islam.

May Allah guide us all.

Peace

Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?
Qur'an 55:13
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abuzuhri
 
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Quote abuzuhri Replybullet Posted: 26 February 2007 at 2:25pm
Dear seekers and travellers,
Alhamdulillah, thanks to Allah that had bestow us iman and let our islam grow stronger as we journey forward. To share more with my fellow readers especially those interested in understanding the comparative chinese islamic philosophy of tao, zen and i ching and doing da'wa to the chinese, japanese, korean etc, please visit my humble teahut blogs of New Chinese Muslim Homepage at http://abuzuhri.multiply.com and http://abuzuhri.blogspot.com.

Happy reading and put your little comments there. It is difficult today to find new birds of Maulana Rumi flying East and West, singing songs to calm the yearning hearts and find the sparks of love to understand life and our short sojourn here. Cai jian, warmest parting peace.
abuzuhri shin
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Quote harrdnut Replybullet Posted: 18 March 2007 at 7:13pm

Sorry to burst your balloon, but as I study the Quran deeply , even though I am a Born again Christian, I see rthat the god of Islam will not allow any NON-Muslim to embrace Islam.

Number one reason is that Allah has CURSED all non-Muslims in th fisrt place.  It means that unless the curse is LIFTED from the DIS believer , he or she will not be blessed by Allah .

Who on earth can lift a curse that Allah has put on anybody?

Surely Allah is not gooing to lift it because if he does, then it means he changed his mind.  It means that he did NOT KNOW that the person would one day become a Muslim.

Is that the kind of god Allah is?  A god who is ignorant of a few things in the universe?

Once born twice dead, twice born once dead
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Quote harrdnut Replybullet Posted: 18 March 2007 at 7:19pm

Let us say that Allah knew that a certain DISbeliever will become a Muislim one day.  Then the logical thing for Allah is to NOT PUT A CURSE on that person.  But that is not what I am learning from the Quran.

Here it is:

  1. [2.88] And they say: Our hearts are covered. Nay, Allah has cursed them on account of their unbelief; so little it is that they believe.
  2. [2.89] And when there came to them a Book from Allah verifying that which they have, and aforetime they used to pray for victory against those who disbelieve, but when there came to them (Prophet) that which they did not recognize, they disbelieved in him; so Allah's curse is on the nbelievers.
  3. [2.161] Surely those who disbelieve and die while they are disbelievers, these it is on whom is the curse of Allah and the angels and men all;
Once born twice dead, twice born once dead
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Quote number41 Replybullet Posted: 19 March 2007 at 6:44am

Abuzhuri,

Interesting,,,I have been to your website as suggested. I must share with you that I enjoy reading I-Ching too. Great wisdom's which shed the same core values as ISLAM. Beautiful and very lovely indeed. I am sure it will melt some 'harrdnut' shells into bits and pieces.

If it is possible for you to post and share with us about I-Ching wisdom's as I am sure many of us will enjoy it.  Thanking you in advance....Cai jian

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abuzuhri
 
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Quote abuzuhri Replybullet Posted: 22 March 2007 at 7:49pm

ARE YOU A SEEKER OR JUST TREPASSERS

 

Read in the name of your Creator

You will never know your fate

Then set out to discover life

The school cannot teach the seeker

They are programming achievers

 

Do you want a piercing advice ?

From the sage of a hundred generation /Sheng Ren

How can forgot about Mencius or Lao Tzu

Oh Chinese seeker, here here not in China

You will find the aswer

Al-Hujwiri says in Kashful Mahjub

A reality without a name in beginning

Now too many fighting over a sufi name

Ming bu fu shi-goes the saying

 

The Heaven and earth cannot contain

My precious secret, only the true one can bear it

All men within four seas are brothers

China is not the central kingdom anymore

The Tao of Heaven appear everywhere

The Tao of men slowly disappeared

Follow what  the Heaven Decrees

Call it- Ming, call it Revelation or Wahyu

Gnosis or Illumination sounds better.

Master Pai Chang say: quick quick grasp it

or your wild ducks fly away from Zen Blue Cliff Mountains !

 

Try comprehend Tao and Islam

In beautiful calligraphic strokes

Why not learn the movements of Qigong Taiji

Stand still inwardly in harmony

Embrace the Tiger and return to the Mountain

This is your original nature. Consult your Oracle.

 

The Reality had declared itself

At the History highest altars

Beyond forms and matters

Ask yourself why Marx and Mao rise up

To sweep away decadent beliefs of atheist China

 

The masses cannot think

‘Old wisdom only in books’

help me oh my seeker friend !

you speak a very different language

like a Sufic-Wu Li dancing Masters(read Gary Zukav

he still on nine beclouded guy unless get re-Rumized) 

 

Openly witness the One Reality

and affirm the Noble Messenger-Glorious Sage

Who honored you before your Ancestors

His wisdom light already in your chest

An Illuminated path neither East or West

Nurun alan-nur, yahdiLlahu li-nurihi man yasyaau.

Wa Allahu bi-kulli syain alim

Translate it for me. Be brave.

The Straight Path is in front of you.

 

The men of Tao delights in flowing water

The superior men delight in mountains

Why, the wise sages alway in the move, never still

Master Kung says: Set your heart upon the Way.

Support yourself by its power.

 

The Messenger of Peace says:

Seek knowledge even unto China

A few seconds of reflection is better than a thousand prayers

Your life is a testing journey

To the Garden or the Fire

 

Do not be cheated by pretenders

All the Gurus self appointed leaders

Shaykh Ibnu Athaillah indicated in Hikam:

Idfin wujuka fil-ardhi khumuli

Enrich yourself in the earth of obscurity

In order to bloom perfectly later

Nuh Ha Mim Keeler from America unexpected got it right in Jordan.

 

The I Ching Hexagram says:

When the Sage is in a lowly position

Is like a dragon concealed in depths.

One the should nurture/cultivate inner virtues

In obscurity while awaiting the proper time to act.

The rest is your choice.

Yin and Yang, don’t let the Shadow of fears and doubts

Cover your future destiny

 

Uncover the Light of iman within that will

Lead you to the Garden of Bliss Eternally

Ya ayyatuhan nafsul-muthmainna irji ila Rabbiki

Radhiyyatan mardhiya. Fadhkhuli fi ibadi

Wa adhkhuli Jannati.

Otherwise you get only the sunburns (Yang) or

Remains in the shades (Yin) of cover up forever.

 

abuzuhri shin
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