I was raised in a typical Muslim family, where we would go the Masjid on Friday, fast the month of Ramadan and celebrate Islamic occasion. When I was 8 years I completed the Arabic recitation of Quran; and in essence it was the conclusion of my duty as a Muslim. I didn’t understand anything that I read in the Quran. In fact I didn’t even think that there would be any meaning to the Quran. Over the years, I grew distant from the Quran. I went to a Catholic High school and from there, the Bible lead me to Quran. Every classroom in our school was stacked with Bibles, King James Version. One day, feeling bored and lethargic from work, I grabbed one of the many Bible copies from the back of my history class and began to read. And thus began my epic Journey to Quran. Science was my favourite subject. I especially enjoyed studying the human biology and astronomy. We learned about the human reproductive system from conception, to formation of zygote to embryo and finally birth. Much to my surprise, throughout the unit of reproduction, my teacher failed to mention God. Human creation is not possible without God. Our teacher taught us that an addiction or absence single chromosome can cause disastrous birth defects, adverse health effects and even gender complications. How can a single cell create and destroy life? How can this be a coincidence that a single cell would create or destroy life? Why didn’t my teacher ever mention God? The same thing repeated in astronomy unit. We studied about the creation and expansion of the universe, the solar system and the rotation of celestial bodies. There was no mention of GOD anywhere. It was as if my teacher was deliberately skipping GOD from her lectures. It seemed like a great betrayal, and dishonour to praise and admire the creation and purposely ignore the Creator. I gave up on science and turned my focus towards religion. I wanted to learn about the Creator. I would eagerly sit in the front of the religion class, note down everything the teacher said. Though I was happy I was happy to be in class, it was very rare that we ever talked about God. Some saint or Jesus as the highlight of every lecture. This was religion class, we were suppose to talk about Who God is? Where is God? Why He created us? Why were we discussing the lives of people? Disinterested, I spent many lunch breaks reading the Bible in our school chapel. The book was unfamiliar and mysterious but soon I had read it a great deal. The things I didn’t understand, I would ask my religion teacher. Like in the Book of Genesis, I read Jacob wrestled with God all night long and won. My teacher told me, here the word ‘god’ means, angle or a demon. So god is used interchangeably in the Bible? How will I know when god means demon, and other times means angel? Isn’t the Bible suppose to be God’s book? There shouldn’t be any confusion in this regard then. He should be the focused? In 1 Chornicles, and the Book of Psalm and Isaiah I read the earth has four corners and it is immovable. So I rushed to my geography teacher and said well this is not what we learned in geography?! She only smiled and nodded. Many times I was told that the Bible was not to be taken literally. It was symbolic, rather metaphorical. How can the truth be metaphorical? How can the truth ever be taken as a loose figurative sense? Anyway, I still used to go to mass. In grade 9 and 10 I think I didn’t miss a single school mass. I would listen very attentively to the priest and much to my surprise, in every mass, he would read the following massage from the Book of John: 16:7 and 16:13: "If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you, but if I depart I will send him unto you . . .We will guide you into all truth; for he shall not speak of himself but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak . . ." Didn’t the priest realize? This is in reference to Muhammad sallahu alyihi wa sallam. He was the only comforter and mercy to mankind that came after Jesus. He guided humanity to the truth, he spoke the revelation which was sent to him by Allah. By this time, I understood that if I wanted to learn about my Creator, I had to study Quran. But I didn’t know how? I did not speak or understand Arabic. And the English translations didn’t satisfy me. In grade 11 and 12 law was my absolute passion. I was law obsessed. The one thing I wanted the most at that time was to become a lawyer. I was fueled by the desire of establishing justice and equality. But every law that I read seemed good on paper but in reality it was no where in practice by any of the law institutes or governments. The law was good on paper, but it was impractical in real life. No matter how good of a law was passed, the criminals always found a loophole to beat and cheat the system. Law did not people just, upright, modest, generous. It merely outlined an ideal mode of behaviour which was expected from society. But what are those means through which the society could become civil? What incentive I could give them so there were be no murder, no rape, no break ins? Then a point came in my life and I didn’t want to pursue my career in law anymore. I liked the idea of sending criminals to jail but how many people could be possible lock behind bars? There are to be some way the peoples’ ‘hearts’ could change and their moral conscious could guide them, motivate to do good and be good always? It was around my high school graduation that my mom told me about this Quran course Al Huda was offering. I know in my heart I was searching for something. Whatever it was, I didn’t get it from law or science. I was still interested in religion, so I decided to take a year off from university and explore Quran. I had already studied the Bible, I had also read several parts of the Hindu Vedas. My research and study of these two scriptures constantly lead me to read Quran. I would read a passage from the Bible and automatically remember something Islamic my mother had told me as a child. But I didn’t know where to or how to even read Quran. I had read it independently in my high school years, but the English translation didn’t satisfy me. I knew I studied the Bible initially under Catholic teachers, maybe what I needed now was a Quran teacher? So I registered for the course without even considering the logistics. I didn’t know what was in the Quran. I didn’t know who the teacher would be. All I knew was I wanted to know what the Quran, so I came to class. And with the very first lesson, I felt there was a void in my heart, which has been filled, a sadness that has been removed, a emptiness that’s been filled and a happiness I found. True Quran made me a better person. It inspired me to be more patient, kind, caring and generous. But more than anything, Quran gave me answers. It was as if it knew me more than I knew it. Quran spoke of biology and astronomy. For example, of the many verses that I read are: "What is the matter with you, that you are not conscious of Allah's majesty, seeing that it is He Who has created you in diverse stages? See you not how Allah has created the seven heavens one above another, and made the moon a light in their midst, and made the sun as a (glorious) lamp? And Allah has produced you from the earth, growing (gradually)" (71:13-17). Also, “Allah created all things, and he is the agent, upon which, all things depend” (39:62) Only a few months into the course and Quran became the only way forward for me. Quran touched every aspect of our lives. It addressed each aspect of human needs. Each judgment gave insight into the complex rational and legal thinking of the Most Intelligent Creator. So if people knew their Creator and read the Creator’s message, Quran, then they will change? They will recognize their true worth and responsibility. Along with Quran, at Al Huda I studied the lives of the early Muslims who actually lived in a time when the Quran was received by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). They took the Quran first hand from the Prophet and implemented it. The first recipients of Quran were worshiping stones and vegetables, mischievous, corrupt, defiled of many vices, shameless, uncultured. But in a short span of less than 25 years, the worst country and the most civilized and well mannered people on the earth. In the less than a 100 years, the people of Quran encompassed an area ranging from Atlantic Ocean to Pacific Ocean. The world of ours cannot present any other example of this miraculous success. Quran transformed these people. Quran is the cure for the problems and diseases of the modern world. I am happy I found the Quran. I hope to convey it to others as much as possible.
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