Why did they become Muslim?
H.F. FELLOW (G.B.)
I am a naval officer. I spent a major part of my life on the sea.
I served the British navy in the First World War in 1914 and in
the Second World War in 1939.
Even the most perfect tools and machines of the twentieth century
are far below the capacity to resist the terrific forces of nature.
Let me give you a small example: we have no means as yet to defend
ourselves against fog or storms. A warlike situation adds a lot
more to these dangers. A naval officer has to be always very careful.
The British navy holds a book that contains the Queen's Directions
and the Directions put by the Admiralty. The book embodies not
only records such as the duties of a naval officer and the procedures
to be followed at times of danger, but also a list of awards,
citations and rewards that are to be bestowed in recognition of
good behaviour and distinguished services, salaries and pays,
and even when an officer will retire. In addition, it contains
the penalties imposed for offenses and acts of disobedience. If
this book is observed with due diligence, life on the sea will
be easy and orderly, danger will be minimized, and naval officers
will lead a peaceful and happy life.
May Allahu ta'ala forgive me my fault and sin! Never oblivious
to the great difference and always observant of the due respect,
I have compared the Qur'an al-karim to that book. Allahu ta'ala
is the authority who has laid down these principles in the Qur'an
al-karim. He teaches in extremely explicit and exquisite expressions
and in a language intelligible to everybody how all men, women
and children over the world should act, from what directions danger
will be coming and what should be done against it, and how the
good and bad behaviours will be rewarded. For the recent eleven
years, since I retired, that is, I have been growing flowers in
my garden. It is in this period when I have seen once again the
greatness of Allahu ta'ala. Plants and flowers grow only with
the command of Allahu ta'ala. Nothing you plant will grow without
His command. However hard you may try, and whatsoever you may
do, your endeavour will yield results only with His support. Without
this support all your effort will come to naught. It is in no
one else's capacity to predetermine the weather conditions required
for the growing of plants. With one command of Allahu ta'ala,
bad weather will set in and ruin everything you have planted.
Men have devised various systems in order to pre-estimate the
weather conditions. Weather conditions are forecast today. It
makes me smile to myself. For only one per cent of these forecasts
turn out to be correct. The only determinant in this matter is
the decree of Allahu ta'ala. Beautiful flowers do not grow in
the gardens belonging to those who do not obey the commandments
of Allahu ta'ala. This is only a retribution which Allahu ta'ala
visits on them.
I believe with all my heart that the Qur'an al-karim is the Word
of Allahu ta'ala and that Allahu ta'ala chose Muhammad s.a.s.
as His Messenger to communicate that sacred book to the entire
world. The Qur'an al-karim is in full concordance with man's worldly
life, and it contains rules unsullied with the insertion of exaggerations
and superstitions and which are perfectly logical, so that people
with common sense will find them entirely true and right. Rather
than bringing pressure to bear on the sense of fear inherent in
man's nature, the tenets of worship in the Qur'an al-karim appeal
to love and respect.
Having lived for long years in a Christian society and under Christian
influence, a Christian needs convincing preliminary persuasion
to abandon his religion and become a Muslim. However, after examining
Islam, I did not need any external persuasion. For I had spontaneously
believed in the fact that this religion is a true one. No one
compelled me to become a Muslim. Nor was I under anyone's influence.
Muslims answered most of my doubts whose solutions I had not found
in Christianity, and they satisfied all my mental expectations.
I therefore became a Muslim by myself and willingly.
I have realized that the pure religion brought by Issa a.s. and
Islam are essentially the same. Yet the pure Nazarani religion
was completely defiled with the superstitions, rites and credal
tenets borrowed from idolatrous cults afterwards and turned into
what has now been called Christianity. It was so repulsively fraught
with the polytheistic accessions that Martin Luther, for the purpose
of purifying his religion, had to reform it and to establish the
Protestant sect, whereby he, let alone repairing the religion,
impaired it all the more badly. As the Queen of England, Elizabeth
I, struggled against the Catholic Spaniards who posed a threat
against her country, the Ottoman Turks carried on their holy war
against the Catholics in Europe. As Protestants and Muslims, these
two empires fought against the idolatrous Catholics. The one thing
that escaped Martin Luther's attention was that nine hundred years
before him Muhammad a.s. had cleansed and purified the defiled
Christianity and all the other religions.
Today's Christianity is infested with idolatrous elements and
superstitions. For a long period of time Christianity has remained
as a religion where injustice, cruelty and savagery are all but
legalized, and it still maintains this horrendous identity in
its exactitude. I would like you to recollect the unjust verdicts
that the Spanish Christians gave at the tribunals called the Inquisition
and the savageries that they perpetrated in the name of inquisition.
The Sephardis who escaped from their cruelties were provided sanctuary
only by the Muslim Turks, who treated them as human beings.
Issa a.s. asked his umma to obey the Ten Commandments which Allahu
ta'ala had given to Musa a.s. on Mount Sinai. The first of these
commandments is this: "I am the Lord thy God, ..." "Thou
shalt have no other gods before me."[Old Testament, Exodus:
20-2,3.] On the other hand, Christians have disobeyed this commandments
by increasing the number of gods to three. I did not believe in
three gods before converting to a Muslim, either. I always accepted
Allahu ta'ala as only one compassionate, forgiving and guiding
being. That was the only reason which led me to Islam. For Muslims'
belief in Allahu ta'ala was identical with my thoughts.
The manner of life you are to lead is totally in your own hands.
If you are, say, an accountant and embezzle money from the employer's
safe, one day you will be caught and wind up in prison. If you
drive carelessly on a slippery road, your car will topple over
and you will end up in a hospital with one or two broken bones.
If you drive too fast and have an accident for this reason, you,
again, will be responsible for it. It would be a grave act of
immorality to lay the blame for all these faults on someone else.
I do not believe in the hypothesis that people are bad tempered
by birth. It is a definite fact that human beings are born with
a good moral quality. A group of theorists assume that some people
are evil-spirited by creation, which I reject. In my opinion,
what makes a person's soul evil is, first of all, his parents,
next his environment, next the subversive publications, and next
evil company. Another factor that should be added is harmful tutorship.
Children are inclined to idealize the behaviours and thoughts
of their parents, school teachers and writers and try to follow
their examples. Sometimes, without any apparent reason, children
exhibit rebellious and mischievous behaviour. At such times they
must be toned down with gentle, but at the same time serious,
exhortation. But if we ourselves exhibit inconsiderate behaviour
and thereby set a bad example for them, we cannot convince them
of their wrong behaviour. How could we dissuade our children from
doing the vices that have become our daily practices? That means
to say that first of all we have to exhibit a perfect example
for our children. We should be able to chastise them when necessary.
You know that Britons are fond of sports. Sports is something
that is almost sacred to us. If a person does something disingenuous
or acts in a crooked way in a sports activity, he will be punished
immediately and lose most of his honour. The Islamic religion
has laid exquisite and very beautiful behavioural maxims and ideal
life-styles, which could be, as it were, compared to our sports
rules. During my research in the Islamic religion, these rules
won my admiration. It was this logic and order that led me to
the true religion of Islam.
Here is the second one of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shalt
not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing
that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that
is in the water under the earth:" (Old Testament, Exodus:
20-4.) On the other hand, today's Christian churches are full
of images and icons, and Christians prostrate themselves before
One thing I had always mused with consternation about was that
all those tremendous events, such as the miracles of Issa a.s.,
his crucifixion, [which is a Christian belief], his resurrection
and ascension to heaven after having been interred, had had very
little impact on that time's Jewish, Roman and other Palestinian
community, and their life-styles had not changed at all. The Jews
had been quite indifferent towards Issa a.s., so that it was only
centuries later when Christianity began to spread. Contrariwise,
the Islamic religion communicated by Muhammad a.s. spread far
and near in a very short time, immediately changed the life-styles
there, and civilized the semi-barbarous people. I think the only
reason was that the original Issawi religion deteriorated in a
short time and changed into a perplexing, semi-idolatrous new
Christian religion, while Islam, on the other hand, was a logical
religion intelligible to everybody. Between 1919 and 1923 I was
appointed to a naval duty on the Turkish waters. That mellifluous
voice that called daily from the minarets and said, "There
is only one Allahu ta'ala. Muhammad a.s. is His Messenger."
How lovely it sounded to my ears! Most of the books about the
Islamic religion that I had been reading contained contumelies
against Islam. Their discourse followed the rules of a certain
textual stratagem wherein the first step was to cast aspersions
on the last three hundred years' Turkish Sultans, who were Khalifas
at the same time, the second step was to associate the acts of
atrocity and injustice already ascribed to them and reinforced
with the slanders that Turks were mendacious, deceitful and venal
people and that they had been oppressing the minorities, with
the Islamic culture, which was their source of education, and
the final step was to conclude that a Muslim could never be as
honest as a Christian. Did the Islamic religion really deserve
the blame? I could never believe it. Eventually, I decided to
resort to a Muslim man of religion to acquire true information.
In the meantime, I looked for Islamic books written by Muslims.
Some Muslim religious men living in Britain found the books I
needed and sent them to me. When I read these books, I saw what
a pure religion Islam was, how brilliantly it shone throughout
the Middle Ages, how brightly it illuminated the dark Christian
world, how, unfortunately, in the wake of a general inattention
to religious principles growing in the process of time, the Islamic
world gradually lost its vigour, and the recent efforts to restore
it to its former state. Today's scientific improvements could
find no place in the Christian religion. Conversely, they are
in perfect concordance with Islam. Consequently, the blame for
the decline that the Islamic world has been suffering falls not
on the Islamic religion, but on today's Muslims, who have fallen
short of fulfilling the requirements of this pulchritudinous religion
with due strictness. I no longer had any doubts as to the merits
of the Islamic religion now. So I embraced Islam willingly.
Today, some European philosophers and writers argue that religions
are unnecessary. You must be sure that arguments of this sort
ensue from the preposterous tenets of Christianity and from its
superstitions which would never receive a welcome in the twentieth
century. The Islamic religion, on the other hand, does not contain
any of such toxins.
Christians can never understand why Islam should meet with such
universal acceptance, and they call Muslims 'eccentric people'.
This is an entirely wrong accusation.
My final remarks are these: I chose Islam because it is a religion
which is both theoretical and practical, easy to understand and
logical, perfect in every respect, and an exemplary guide for
humanity. The Islamic religion is, and eternally will be, the
best way that will lead man to the love of Allahu ta'ala and to
happiness in this world and the next.