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CHAPTER 1: Introduction

Why I Wrote this Book

For a long time, I have felt that immigrant Muslims should present their understanding of Islam to the West.  The average individual in the western hemisphere has a tremendous interest in reading and learning about other cultures.   As a result of Muslims settling in the West (both Europe and the Americas), their traditions and culture have been compared to life in non-Muslim countries – questioned by some, misrepresented by others, but also followed by many who opted to become Muslim after examining the religion of Islam.  These complex interactions of suspicion, curiosity and acceptance have encouraged Muslims born into the faith to re-examine their beliefs.

In doing this myself, I have become overwhelmed by the reason and logic of the Qur’an, the divine scripture of Islam, in convincing humankind of its authenticity.  I am often amazed by the dichotomy between devout Muslims and others who seek pragmatic reasoning for every minute detail of religion.  In my experience, Muslims have very little interest in such detailed reasoning.  They are entranced by the beauty and perfection of language in the Qur’an, which simply inspires submission to God. Trained as a scientist, I have always thought one needs only to observe the incredible physiological systems of the human body to believe that we were, in fact, created by God for a certain mission.  Yet the wonders of divinely-inspired science are obviously not enough for some.

When I immigrated to Canada, I met many non-Muslims from varied backgrounds who had quite different experiences of life.   Through this diversity, I began to understand why the Qur’an uses such a variety of logical approaches to reach all people.  I decided then to search within the Glorious Qur’an for other mechanisms and concepts through which I could reach out to others.

I have humbly tried through this book to present the logic, need, and relevance of religions in general, and Islam in particular, while at the same time unraveling some common misconceptions. The main aim of this effort is to sensitize readers to the pivotal importance of learning about religions, allowing their teachings to determine their choices in life and to illustrate how one alternative has been presented in the form of a contract with God, through the religion of Islam.

Thus I write for all Muslims, in the hope that it may be helpful for them to share with others.  More specifically, I present this book to my children, who were born in Canada, in a sincere attempt to help them  discern  the  difference  between  transient  and ephemeral worldly  enticements,  and to realize the impact of our actions in the hereafter. While worldly pleasures may be deceptive, the lasting things in life are guided by the light of God. I hope all readers will be drawn to an independent and informed perception of their spiritual and physical environment and then feel better prepared to decide on the path toward their goals in life.

Obviously, there is an inherent bias in these pages in favor of the religion of Islam, but I hope that non-Muslims will not be deterred from reading and benefiting from my book on that basis alone.  Biases and preconceptions often prevent us from listening, thinking deeply, and evaluating others objectively – even more so when the writer is motivated by self-serving interests, such as financial or political gain.  However, I wrote this book motivated only by the reward that comes from God alone. Therefore, my bias toward a particular religion is meant to spark genuine interest in readers to examine why this religion is so deeply interesting to me and to others to the extent of writing and preaching about it for no apparent gain.  In this context, the word “bias” is really a misnomer. A better way to describe my position would be as “striving to share what I believe in,” to invite and establish honorable relationships among new people, not through coercion or conquest, but for the spreading of the light of God.

I would like to thank all members of the Muslim community who helped me in writing this book, especially Dr. Arafat El-Ashi, past President of the Muslim League of Canada.  I ask Allah to bless you all and reward you for your efforts.  Like all Muslim writers, I attribute what is good here to the mercy of God and seek His forgiveness for that which is not.

 

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The Quba Mosque or Masjid Quba in Medina,Saudi Arabia, is the oldest mosque in the world. Its first stones were positioned by the Islamic prophet Muhammad as soon as he arrived on his emigration from the city of Mecca to Medina and the mosque was completed by his companions. According to Islamic tradition, offering two rakaʿāt of nafl prayers in the Quba Mosque is equal to performing one Umrah.

Click here to download a copy of the book Why Islam

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