By Lingswaran Singh
In the Name of Allah, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.
Dear friends i am not a Muslim, however i feel compelled to write my experience in understanding Islam due to the recent backlash in regards to Nga Kor Ming’s action for reciting verses from the Al-Quran and the decision to ban the usage of Allah in non Muslim publications.
My journey in understanding Islam begun a long time ago, as I was a kid I had always been curious as to why the Malay kids keep insulting the Hindu’s in school, accusing them of being demon worshipers. I was angry that the kids ridiculed the Hindu’s and Buddhist by accusing their religions as the work of the devil, that only Muslims deserve heaven, and that all non Muslims were condemned to hell for eternity. This is what I first came to learn about Islam, that it is the only true religion, and all those that do not profess it are condemned to hell.
Years later i came to know that the Christians were pretty much the same, especially the protestants. The Catholics however had much love to share, and in 1998 the declaration by the Pope that heavens grace is not just limited to Christians but all those who do good drew me closer to Christianity (however that is for another day). The connection between Islam and Christianity were the first pillars of my personal iman. As time passed by i comprehended the concept of the Only One God.
By this time i was beyond yakin that there was only one Al-Khaliq (The Creator), and i could see the works of Al-Musawwir (The Shaper of Beauty) in every thing. I learned to appreciate Al-Mumin’s (The Inspirer of Faith) greatness, to the extent that I am able to see the beauty of HIS destruction.
My fascination of Al-Azim (The Magnificent) grew immensely. Be mindful that at this point I have never read the Quran yet, and every time I speak to a Muslim in regards to Islam, they only managed to push me away from Islam. Every claim they made about Islam had to put the non Muslims down. It made me feel dirty being a non Muslim. Made me feel that I do not deserve the love of Al-Wadud (The Loving One) just because I am not a Muslim. It made me feel as if Ar-Razzaq (The Provider) only cared for Muslims.
Somehow Al-Alim (The Knower of All) had much planned for me. I entered Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, and Arabic and Islamic studies became apart of the subjects that I had to pursue. From there onwards, understanding Islam has liberated me from my narrow mind, i realized that there is so much more to life then the dogmatic acceptance of things. Islam has taught me to think, to read, to cherish, to appreciate, to respect, to guide, to be free. Islam has taught me compassion, love, humility, justice, but beyond all Islam has liberated me…
During my second year in UKM, I had the chance to meet Ant, a convert who was previously a Christian. By Al-Majid (The Majestic One) I swear that this was the first person who spoke to me about Islam and made my heart feel peace and love, every word that came out of Ant assured me the majestic beauty of Islam. The description of Islam that came from Ant was nothing like those that came from all the other Muslims in my life. Ant drew to me the greatness of Islam under 15 minutes. It was flawless in every way, it was perfect in every way, he didn’t put anybody down, he drew the perfect Islam… Not one moment was his intention to convert or even call me to embrace Islam, but he just wanted to explain the words of Al-Khabir (The All-Aware). Just like The Phrophet’s sabdha (Peace Be Unto Him) ballighu ‘anni walau ayah.
It was since then, that I realized how beautiful the commandments of Al-Muta’ali (The Supreme One) was, and how badly many Muslims have portrayed it, it hit me then how could hatred come in my heart when I heard all those people preaching the words of Al-Barr (The Benign, The Source of All-Goodness)… then I realized they were not preaching Islam, for they don’t even know Islam. They were preaching arrogance, pride, and blind faith.
This I can say with out one moment of fear, that Al-Muhsi (The Reckoner) is beyond religion, that the Quran belongs not to Muslims but to all of Mankind, it is for the benefit for all Muslims and non Muslims alike. Its high time Muslims realize that Al-Hay (The Ever Lasting) is beyond Islam, that HE is present in the lives of every being, for HE is the lord of the Universe and beyond. Al-Wahid (The One) is as intimate with each and every being, Muslims and non Muslims alike. Al-Sammad (The Eternally Besought) regulates the life of all.
For this, no one will stop me from knowing Al-Khaliq (The Creator), no one will stop me from preaching the words of Al-Haqq (The Truth), and no one will stop me from uttering, writing, or declaring الله أَكْبَر , and no government will ban me from publishing the names of Al-Warrith (The Ultimate Inheritor). For those who ban the usage of “Allah” and recital of Al-Quran by non Muslims, I pray to Al-Tawwab ( The Granter & Acceptor of Repentence) that your sins are forgiven and that your mind and soul is enlightened, that you will soon see that the magnitude of Dhul Jalal Wal Ikqram (Possessor of Majesty and Honour) is beyond Islam. May Ash-Shakur (The Appreciative) bless upon you the grace and strength to appreciate Al-Wassi (The All-Encompassing, The All-Embracing).
Peace be upon you.
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