...He opens their chest to Islam. And those whom He wants to leave astray, He makes their chest tight and constricted, as if they are ascending to the sky. Such is a penalty of Allah on those who refuse to believe." [6:125]
Note that this entire post is a total copy-and-paste type of work, taken from: dr azwan
Abu Bakr's Way to Islam
The following is the true account of an Australian revert taken from the honours thesis of Sister Tuba Boz. His name is Abu Bakr, and while his name, like many of his fellow-reverts, is chosen for its meaning and its nearness to some aspect of Islam, or that the life of Prophet of Arabia, Muhammad (peace be upon him), his story is truly that of an Australian young man with all his Australianism intact. And though he, himself, does not wish to be seen as other than a Muslim, it is, for fellow Australians, encouragement and living proof of the Qur'anic ayat:
"O mankind We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other, not that ye may despise (each other). Verily, the most honoured of you in the Sight of Allah, is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things)." [43:13]
If one had told Abu Bakr earlier, that he would one day become a Muslim, his reply would most probably have been, "Naah! No way!!!" for like many Australians his perception of Muslims was they were terrorist. However, there were no accounting for the Mercy and Graciousness of Allah who leads to His path those whom He wills form all people upon the earth; and Abu Bakr was to find this in due course.
When asked what has triggered his search to find the true meaning of life, for that was the primary aim of his quest, his response was this:
"There were a couple of things. It was the year my parents said they were going to separate. It was not the year they formally divorced, but it was the year dad move out of the house. I went a little of the rails. I (even) had trouble with police... I was drinking a lot."
It may be seen that this was a painful time for this young man. This was further to be compounded for it was in this year that one of his friends died. Of this event, he said:
"That let me to think, 'There's my mate. He just died, and he is only eighteen years old! Is he just worm food?'. You know what I mean. That's when I started relating it to my life, thinking, 'If I died tomorrow, what would it matter? What would it matter except for a few who know me among the billions on this Earth?' So I started thinking, 'No! There has to be more. There has to be more than just this'."
It was these questions in mind that Abu Bakr commenced his journey, looking to religion for the meaning of existence. He described his experiences in this way:
"First, I mean, logically, I'm an Aussie, so I went straight to Christianity, and I thought I'd have that fish sticker on the back of my car, and 'I love Jesus'. I was thinking I'd go buy them and see if they did something for my parking fine!".
His waggish sense of humour bubbling to the fore. Then seriously he explained:
"Honestly, I went through all the (Christian) religions; well not all the religions, but the one I had excessed to, I investigated. Christianity, including Catholicism, I investigated quite a bit. But the problem was I just couldn't find the answer. While they all were nice, I couldn't sit there and say, 'This is the religion for me' and 'This sounds beautiful!'"
His search continued:
"I look at Hinduism when I was working in a service station with some Hindu friends. We had conversation all the time. We didn't argue because we were pretty good friends. One would say, 'You have to believe in this God about this, and this God of that.' I would go, 'Come on man! What if they argue?'"
He did not know about it, but his argument was one already mentioned in the Qur'an:
"Allah has not chosen any son, nor is there any God along with Him; else would each god had assuredly championed that which he created, and some of them would assuredly have overcome others. Glorified be Allah above all that they allege." [23:91]
"Then I looked at Judaism. Again, it didn't get me to the way I thought it would!"
"However, what started to get me was Buddhism. I thought, 'This is really nice you know!' But nowhere could I read or see that Buddha was actually talking about himself. Not (other than) as a person that you follow - not as a deity! And this was a religion! So, you know what I mean, it was just a nice way to be. But it's not, 'This is the purpose of why you are here!' And while it was nice, I thought, 'This can't be either.'"
"My friend, a Christian who had earlier said, 'Vow to God' said, 'Why don't you try Islam?' I said, 'Naah man! They are terrorist! I am not going near a mosque. No way!'"
"But I found myself near a mosque, Preston Mosque. I went in and started to ask questions. And basically, every question I asked, no one would answer from their minds, everyone was pulling out a Qur'an and saying, 'Here it is.' And that really surprised me because (almost) every time I went to a priest, I did not see the Bible once. They almost never pulled out the Bible, they were just, 'Here's your answer.' This was the same with almost every religion. There were some who did read from the Bible a couple of times. But in the mosque, every single time - out came the Qur'an and that got me. This is not about these people, it's about the Book, and that's when I started reading the Qur'an. It took months and months though, six to seven months. I had a lot of questions!"
At the end of these months, how did this young man, now twenty years of age decided to become Muslim?
The crucial moment of his conversion came one night, as he explained:
"One night, I had just been speaking to a couple of Australian brothers at the mosque. They told me to take the Qur'an home and read it. I had already taken one, but they gave me this one with big letters - the other one I had was little and was harder to read. That night I sat in the bed and lit a candle. I had the window open. It was a nice summer's night. It had this atmosphere. This religious atmosphere. I was set, and was sitting there thinking, 'This is beautiful and very sacred."
"Everything was really good and I started reading Qur'an and thinking, 'This is very beautiful, it says exactly what I think it should say'. It feels like it's right you know, but I am not quite there, you know! I just need a bit of a hand. And I sat back, Qur'an in hand, and said, 'O God, give me a sign! But it has to be pretty good - like lightning' - and it was a clear summer's night. 'And if You do lightning, I'm yours - I'm your servant. And may be if you can't do lightning - something like a crack or something; or the flash light; or the candle! I would be pretty impressed if the candle just blew up to about two feet high, you know, like in the movies."
"And I am sitting there, waiting!"..........
"Nothing at all happened! Like I couldn't even say a creak in the wall was my sign! So I was sitting there pretty disappointed, and I was angry, right? And I was like, 'God, I'm asking you. You are supposed to be All-Powerful! Alright, I am going to give You a second chance.' Like that was a fair bit to ask - summer, lightning! 'Okay, maybe like, a car can just backfire that goes past - that's something that happens all the time, but at least I'll know it's for me.' So, I lowered my level, right?"
"SubhanAllah!" (Exalted is Allah) he exclaimed. Shaking his head at the very thought of it.
"And I was sitting there thinking, 'Alright!' So I looked around again - nothing! All is so silent. I could have been in space. Not even an ant made a noise, and by this time I was shattered, because this was the moment! I had thought, 'This is it!'. You know, this is my time and nothing happened!"
"So I was sitting there, pretty disappointed, and I thought, 'I may as well keep on reading Qur'an'. So I looked down and turned to the page, and the very next ayat (verse) was something to the effect: For those of you who ask for signs, have I not shown you enough already? Look around at the sky, the trees, the water, these are your signs. These are the Signs for those who know.
"Lo! In the creation of the heaven and the earth, and the difference of night and day, and the ships which run upon the sea with that which is use of to men, and the water which Allah sends from the sky, thereby reviving the earth after its death, and dispersing all kinds of beasts therein, and (in) the ordinance of the winds, and the clouds obedient between heaven and earth: are signs (of Allah's Sovereignty) for those who have sense." [2:162]
"I was sitting down; I freaked out! I closed the Qur'an and chucked the quilt over my head. I was freaking out because here it was! You know what I mean?"
"So the next morning, I went straight to the mosque and told them I wanted to become Muslim, because I had had my sign. I had it, even though it was not my sign. I shouldn't be arrogant and think I have a sign. Isn't the water my sign and all these things around me are signs, you know, that there is a Creator?"
With this in mind, one cannot help but wonder whether this young man had put aside all his previous fears of terrorism and danger which he and countless people perceive to be part of Islam and Muslim?
But let us continue:
"That evening, at the mosque, there were all these Muslims there - heaps of people! And I was thinking, 'Look at this religion. So many people! They are all so strong!' Then, I realised that it was the first night of Ramadhan, the fasting month. They were all there to do their last prayer (for the day), you know. But I really think this was amazing. So you see, my first real experience there was this. Quite honestly, there must have been a thousand people at Preston Mosque that night, maybe more!"
"While I was waiting to give the Syahadah (the declaration of faith) there at tarawih (the night prayer during Ramadhan), I was sitting there and thinking, 'If I get these words wrong, I am a dead man! They are going to kill me!'"
"So now, I am standing up there, in front of all these people, and Syeikh Fahmi says to me, 'These are the words that you are going to say', and so I started saying them. And I've got to admit, I was nervous before - but as soon as I started speaking the words, I felt like it was just me standing there by myself; like there was no one else, and I felt, honestly, the only way I can describe this feeling is, as if there is a shower on the inside of my head - a cold shower, going straight through my body. I was standing there, hair standing on end.. then all the brothers came and hugged me!"
One can only imagine the warmth and fellowship that this brother experienced; such that the fear of terrorism and its accompanying horrors melted away in the light of knowledge and the empathy of brotherhood and peculiar to Islam alone. Is it no said:
"He it is that hath strengthened thee (Muhammad) with His aid and with (the company of) the Believers. And (moreover) He hath put affection between their hearts: Not if thou hadst spent all that is in the earth, couldst thou have produced that affection, but Allah hath done it: For He is exalted in might, Wise." [8:62-63]
So, did Abu Bakr, his chosen Islamic name, finally reach his goal?
"I (now) know why I am here; what I am here to do; and what it is all about."
When asked if becoming Muslim change had changed his personality and his life, his reply was:
"I feel like I am here for a different purpose, but I don't think if you met me when I was fifteen years old and then you meet me now that you'd say, 'Man, you have changed so much! You're not the same person I knew before'. I think I have carried through most of the person I always was. I just don't do something I used to do. And I don't think in same ways about things that I used to think about. I think, I've always been positive, but Islam has given me that (extra) - like if the guy outside put his bobcat through the house, I would say, 'SubhanAllah! I'll have to fix that'. It's not like I am going to go, 'Oh, why do you always do this to me?' You know, it's just a thing that is not so important. Probably, my priorities are completely different. Like, before, it was all (about) me!"
Abu Bakr's family received news of his reversion very positively:
"My family was happy for me but concerned as to how this would change our relationship."
Of course friendship did not all stand the test:
"I lost a few friends (so-called) as I no longer wanted to drink, go out, etc."
Of reversion generally, he stated:
"I use the word revert because, I mean, everyone uses the word convert because that is just the western idea. You know (in the western context), that you have converted to something. But when you look into Islam, I guess you realise that the term Muslim comes from the word Islam, right? It is a statement of what you are. So Islam means to submit your will to God; to do what God asks you to do; whereas Muslim is someone who is doing it. So if you are not doing what God has asked you, you are not a Muslim."
"So, in fact, Muslim is not a noun, it's doing word (a verb). Therefore, my tree in the backyard is doing what God has asked it. The tree is a Muslim to me, you know. It's submitting its will to God. Everything has energy. So when you were born, you are Muslim, you know! 'I am hungry' - you cry - that's Islamic, you know." He is laughing. "You are acting in accordance with your nature, and it's only when you get a little bit older, and people teach you stuff, that you go away from Islam because you take on someone else's ideas. Then, when you want to come back, you revert, because you were already Muslim when you were born."
So, it was in 1996 in Preston Victoria a young Australian man found that for which he was searching. His life has been quite eventful and it is noted that Abu Bakr is now a Psychologist and a film maker. May it please Almighty Allah to continue to bless this young man.