And The Crosses Broke
How I became a Muslim
From Riyaas Peter to Abdullaah
From the Darkness to the Light
Now I had deeply engrossed myself in the research of Islam and the more I researched the more my understanding of it was that it was a religion more closer to the truth in terms of intellect and common sense. After my readings into history I became even more closer to knowing that I had immersed myself in realms of darkness for a long time. All that which I had read about Islam was mere propaganda from the Christian scholars.
Further I increased my readings into the Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) life and his teachings and I was just shocked and astonished that contrary to what the Christians scholars had written and he was in essence a mercy to mankind and a well wisher to all of the creation and especially the status women were given in Islam you would not find any example of this prior to him.
After researching Islamic books I thought about meeting a scholar to seek their opinions and thoughts about Islam.
A Spiritual Gathering
One day in search of the truth I wondered into Gulshan Iqbaal an area in Karachi and I saw a large crowd of people heading in one particular direction, these people were wearing turbans so I asked a person what was happening and he replied there was a spiritual gathering.
So in search of the truth I also accompanied them. When I entered the place of worship I saw 2 men standing one of them was standing with his hands folded, eyes closed and was swaying and saying something. When the singing finished a man with a long beard gave a speech. When the speech had finished I somehow through the people got to the speaker and shook hands with him and introduced myself saying my name is Riyaas Peter and I am Christian and I am researching Islaam. The man was very happy and said to me we will give you any information related to Islaam.
I asked what kind of religion is Islaam? He replied Islaam is a truth based religion and emphasises on humanity and brotherhood. I asked him who was Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam). He replied, Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam) was noor (ie light) disguised as a man. I asked what is this Noor? He said, Noor is Allaah ie a supreme being/ God and Muhammad is a part of that Noor. So I said according to you Muhammad is God, he replied no he is not God but a prophet of God but God used some of his Noor with Muhammad and made him superior above all mankind and other prophets and he sent his Noor in the form on man so people know the truth and be redeemed.
I asked what was the man singing, he replied he was not singing he was reciting a poem in love of the Prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam). I then requested his leave and returned home, when I got home I began to think is this what really Islaam is or are these people also misguided like we are. As there was in essence no difference between them and us because these people perform actions in their mosques what we do in our churches so I thought there was definitely something amiss here.
We also sings hymns in praise of Jesus Christ and these people also sing poems in love of their prophet Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam) and similarly a Christian sect also says Jesus was God and these Muslims also believe Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam) was Noor from the Noor of Allaah so there was really no difference at all.
This meeting confused me further and did not open any avenues for me and I continued praying for guidance. So I thought just as there are various Christian sects there must be different sects amongst the Muslims. So I decided I needed to get to those people who showed a true picture of Islaam and I also thought I must research into the different Muslims sects and groups, so my search continued.
Visiting Madrassah Daar ul-Quraan
In search of the truth one day I visited Madrassah Daar ul-Quraan and met a Maulana. I told him I was researching Islaam so he said to me would you please come back on Thursday and I will take you to a place where you will see examples of people being living examples of Islaam and you will also get to know the real Islaam and real Muslims and if you spend 3 days with them you will get to know true Islaam.
So what does a blind man need? Two eyes so I went to them on Thursday and they told me not to tell anyone I was Christian and at this time there were alot of other Scholars there. Everyone seemed to have bags and sleeping bags as if they were going on a very long journey, I could not resist and asked where are you guys going with all of these travelling things they replied we need to go very far and they replied when the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam) would go to propagate the religion they would take things they would need. So finally we left the Madrassah.
In the Tableegi Markaz
Our journey finished at a big mosque and there were many people of all ages there and there was a lot of travel packs and at a first glance it looked like a travellers lodge so I asked them what is this place and they said this is the Tableeghi Markaz and people leave in the path of Allaah some people go for 3 days and some for 40 days and some for 4 months and there are some who have dedicated their whole lives to this.
So I asked do these people go and spread Islaam to the Non Muslims he replied no as the Muslims need the dawah greatly and some of the people that come here have come to learn and we teach the people the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam).
Then it was the time for prayer so I left and waited outside and returned when they had prayed and I was told there would be a talk so please listen attentively. So I listened very carefully but I never understood anything nor did anything make sense, there was nothing concrete and everything that was said was from their elders, later on everyone ate. The Maulana said to me there is a group going out tomorrow in the way of Allaah and you should come with us so I said if I have time I will come and I returned home.
At home I kept on thinking these people were strange Muslims as they were calling their own people to Islaam where as all the other religions call people from other religions to their religion. Secondly they kept on referring to what their elders had said or they heard things from their elders so in essence everything about Islaam had been conveyed to the Muslims from the elders and this was clearly naivety because the people were just acting upon things they had heard.
So I came to the conclusion that these people were very naive as they would just adhere to things they had heard. May God give them intelligence to research and then act upon the research and if they don’t they will be continuing upon errors and an increasing their loss.
When I began my quest for the truth I realised Islaam has such a force that it pulls you towards it and the more I researched the more my quest to find the truth increased. During some missionary work I had to go to Rawalpindi and I came across an Islamic research centre and they gave me some books of Ahmad Raza Khan Bareilwi and they said they were the books of a really great scholar. So I began reading these books and researching them but they were also unable to quench my thirst for the truth and felt from the authors book that he just intended to make himself famous and well known and secondly his books contained the same stuff about Muhammad (Sallalahu Alayhee was-Sallam) being Noor and I have talked about this in the previous pages.
A Gathering of Dhikr
My next step of my journey in quest for the truth was a visit to a gathering of Dhikr. One evening I went for a walk in Rawalpindi and I happen to walk past a mosque and I heard very loud noises and so I went to have a look and I saw a large group of people had their eyes closed and were saying loudly Allaahu Allaahu so I asked a person who was there what are they doing and he said they are doing the Dhikr of Allaah.
After sometime their Dhikr had finished so I approached them and asked what were you guys doing and they replied we were doing the Dhikr of Allaah as our spiritual guide has told to do a lot of Dhikr of Allaah so much so that our heartbeat and our saying of Allaahu coincide. So I asked them the name of their spiritual guide and would it be possible to meet him. They replied his name is Gohar Shahi and resides in Sindh.
I told them I was a Christian and am researching Islaam and they leapt with joy and pushed me to meet their religious leader and go to their religious centre in Sindh as I would really learn the true Islaam there. It felt like I had heard the name of Gohar Shahi but I could not recollect exactly where I had heard it, nonetheless I promised them I would visit there centre in Kautaree Sindh.
The same day in Rawalpindi I had a lecture in the church concerning the miracles of Jesus Christ but that day my speech lacked all passion and fervour. The congregation felt the lack of passion from my speech so the Father of the church approached me and said Peter maybe you don’t feel too well today so I just said no I’m fine. The next day I had to return back and a lot of the people from the church came and the father came to depart me from the train station and they gave me a lot of flowers which I gave to the people anyway and finally the boarded the train for Karachi.
The Spiritual Centre
On my return to Karachi I got off at Kautaree in order to meet Gohar Shahi. This name kept on coming in my mind but I was still unable to recall where I remembered it from. So I asked around and got to the Spiritual centre and there were alot of people there and upon seeing me they were somewhat amazed as I was dressed as a Christians priest. So I asked them I’ve come to meet Gohar Shahi so I was led to a room and then after a further few minutes I was led to another room where there were a lot of people sitting. In the middle there was a throne and a man was sitting, upon seeing him I instantly recognised him and thought, Oh is that Gohar Shahi. I realised thee Mr Gohar shahi was my father’s very good friend and he had already been to our church 2 times before.
Upon seeing me he hugged me and asked in what capacity I had come, so I told him I was on my way to Karachi and thought I would drop by, because I was unable to ask him anything related to Islaam as I feared if I did he would tell my father about what I had discussed him and where as so far my research into Islaam was hidden from my father. So Gohar Shahi introduced me to the people who were sitting here.
I have to add here I do not consider Gohar Shahi to be a Muslim as he has said in a talk in our church in 1997 that he has seen Eesaa (Alayhis-Sallaam) in a dream and he told me to tell the people who believe in me that they were upon the correct path and to continue worshipping god and this is how they would achieve salvation.
So I stayed there for one day and then returned home I was looked after very well like as if I was a VIP. So far I had not met any scholar who had given me any information which had really convinced me and so I continued my research via the Islamic books but I was still seeking a Muslim scholar who could tell me a lot more about this religion
So far my research had led me to know that there were various Islamic sects but which sect had beliefs that were really the true beliefs of Islaam. All of the sects would say they are correct and there was the correct way but none of them convinced me with any evidences or proofs. I continued to visit different Islamic centres and institutes but all of them were associated in some way or another with personalities.
My Visit To Jamia Binnoriyyah
One day I went to Jamia Binnoriyyah where I met a mufti I learnt a lot from him and after our meeting some tea was ordered. Everyone had very nice clean cups but my cup was very old and dirty and worthy to be thrown away so I excused myself and said I don’t drink tea. I could not resist the temptation in asking the mufti a question that in Islaam is there prohibition with regards to eating with the people of the book. He replied it is not prohibited but there are rulings with regards using separate utensils.
So I said according to my research Islaam is a nice peaceful loving religion which prohibits any superiority to any background and colour and you have just given me a very dirty and old cup as if you were telling me people from other religions are humanly inferior, further more you did not even bother to shake my hand. Just upon hearing this the Mufti went haywire and all angry in a huff and puff and said have you come to learn about Islaam or debate with us would you kindly please leave.
Compared to the other incidences this one affected me the most and it upset me very much so much so I thought I might as well remain upon my religion what’s the point searching but Allaah saved me and my love for Islaam increased and my quest grew even more.
The Meditation Hall
I found out there was a meditation hall and so I went and met Maqsood Ilaahee. I saw the people sitting very quietly and they were meditating with Yoga whilst inhaling their breadths. At the front there was a man sitting and people would approach him shake and kiss his hand and he would in turn put his hand on their head and ask them to sit down and would say to them free your mind and just think of Allaah.
So I asked Maqsood Ilaahee what are these people doing and who is that man he replied that man is a very big saint/holy man and he is teaching the people how to feel Allaah in their inner selves. I said to him I want to enquire about Islaam and he replied just look at the holy man he is Islaam and whoever understands him and pledges their allegiance to him will enter into Islaam completely. I remained there for a short while and then returned home.
Yet again upon returning home I thought this was again very similar to Christianity as the people in the church also do the same. I further thought there was a great deal of similarities between the holy man and a Christian priest, with regards to both of them putting their hands on people’s heads and the people kissing their hands, there was just too many similarities.
My anxiety increased further my heart was testifying that Islaam was the true religion but I could not find anything to back this up and this contradiction worries me and nor had I to date met any good scholar who could give me the correct guidance and nothing was making sense.
I got to the stage that whenever I saw a man with a beard I would ask him about Islaam trying to increase my information and I was really getting to the stage where I said to myself that if I don’t find a good scholar who can help me and give me good information I would abandon my research on Islaam, however Allaah had other things planned from me.
TO BE CONTINUED………….