Channel: Ashraf Schneider
In this episode I briefly share my journey from Christianity to Islam and the reasons for Islam as being the path to God.
1 Christian background
2 More similarities between Islam and Christianity than differences.
- “… He is God – One. God, the Sustainer. He has no offspring and nor was He born. And there is none comparable to Him.” [Quran 112:1-4]
- “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God – the Lord is one.” [Bible 6:4]
- Jesus said, “The most important (commandment) is this, ‘Hear O Israel. The Lord our God – the Lord is One’.” [Mark 12:29]
- “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above; or on the earth beneath; or in the waters below…” [Exodus 20:4-5]
- “And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form,…” [John 5:37]
3 Rational explanation for God’s existence answered.
- Something can’t come from nothing -. “Were they created by nothing …” [Quran 52:35]
- Creation creating itself is paradoxical – “.. or were they themselves the creators?” [Quran 52:35]
- Infinite regress – “Did they create the heavens and the earth?” [Quran 52:36]
- The universes’ existence is necessitated by a being that is all-powerful, all-knowing, sustaining and self-sustaining.
4 Does the Biblical Jesus fit the necessary criteria as all-powerful, all-knowing and a self-sustaining sustainer?
- Is Jesus all-powerful – “By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgement is just, for I seek not to please myself but Him who sent me.” [John 5:30]
- Is Jesus all-knowing? – “But about that (final) day or hour, no one knows – not even the angels in heaven, but only the Father.” [Matthew 24:36]
- Was Jesus self-sustaining? – He ate, slept, prayed, etc.
5 Comparatively, why the Quran is then from God
- Does it represent God correctly – attesting to all-powerful, all-knowing, self-sustaining.
- Internal validity – no contradictions.
- External validation – consistent with creation, scientific proofs, etc.
- Scientific proof: “Do the disbelievers not realise that the heavens and the earth were joined together, then We separated them and created from water every living thing? Will they not then believe?” [Quran21:30]
- Scientific proof: Female bees – “And your Lord inspired the bees: “Make homes in the mountains, the trees, and in what people constuct.” [Quran 16:68]
- Scientific proof: “Have we not smoothed out the earth and made the mountains as stakes?” [Quran 78:6-7]
- Divinity: Quran as a miracle.
- Prophet Muhammad: consistency in the prophetic narrative.
- Oneness of God
- Worshiping God – submitting to His will: accountability, obedience, sincere deeds, praise/glorification, seeking His pleasure.
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Peace, blessings and mercy be upon your Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh. Before we begin this broadcast, I would like us to take a moment to praise the Almighty Creator and to glorify Him above all else and all things. And to thank him for opportunities like this to speak about in his mind and his glory. We think the Almighty Creator for our spiritual well being and upliftment and for guiding us protecting us and for blessing us upon this path. What I would like to share with you guys today is how I was first introduced to Islam, and what my journey looked like, and why I eventually decided to embrace this way of life as my religion, to follow upon the path to glorify
the Almighty Creator. Now, my journey begins at my childhood, because I was born and I was raised in a Christian family. My father was the pastor of our church, my mother was a beautiful singer within the choir. And from a very young age, I've been nurtured by the names of the great prophets, from Abraham and his sons to Noah upon his ship, Moses with his remarkable courage to guide his people to safety. And it was from this very young age that I was met with a burning desire to follow in my father's footsteps, and to become a religious leader myself. And so I dedicated myself to this cause, and I soon found a platform upon which I could share my love and my passion for God. And what
I then believed is untainted revelation.
And as I was growing within the church, my independence grew, and religious freedom to cold, I started asking questions to my religious leaders, which will often left unanswered.
It was during this time as well that my mom started learning more about Islam. Now what happened with her was, she wanted to write an article about Hajj for her local magazine. And so she approached the Muslim man to write this article for, but he was going to hedge with his family. And so she took it upon herself to study more about Islam, to study more about Hajj to be able to compose this article.
And as she was studying more about Islam, she fell in love with this religion. Now, for me, during that time, I completely contested request for additional knowledge. And I could not comprehend or understand why she would go to Islam, to look for more knowledge about the Creator.
And I remember that there was even a time at which we would have youth group at my house, and we would have praise and worship music. And I would turn the music just a little bit louder, to try and call it back to Christianity. Now was at this time when I realized that my quest of following in my father's footsteps was starting to wither apart, and that I had to reevaluate who I am and who I want to be in life. And thus, I decided to go work abroad for Royal Caribbean cruises as a photographer.
And just before I left my flight, at the airport, my mom helped me in a close, embracing hug. And she prayed a prayer over me to this new God named Allah who I did not know back then. But she prayed to Allah, to send a very big angel with me to guide and to protect me upon my journey.
And as I left for my flights, and I landed in Australia, and I boarded my ship, opened up my bag, and I realized that my mom had left me with more than just the breath, she put a copy of the Holy Quran within my bag. And on the first page of this beautiful book, she left a little note which said that if I ever wanted to bait against Muslims one day, I need to understand their religion, I need to understand their foundation and where they come from, and why they believe what they believe. And this made rational sense to me. And so I dedicated myself with the love that I have my mom to read at least one page every night. And soon one page turned into two two into three. And I found myself
completing the Quran from cover to cover. Now, brothers and sisters, this is truly where my spiritual battle began. A battle which left my heart, my mind, and my soul completely torn. Because I was separated countries between myself and everything that I held there. And I felt lost. But I knew it was exactly where I had to be. I felt betrayed by my religious leaders for not educating me as to what Islam truly teaches. But yet I knew there was still something that was guiding me. I felt as if I did not really know God, but I knew he was right there beside me. Now having completed the Quran from cover to cover, I saw a comparative study between the biblical text and the Quran. And
what I found is that there's more cohesion between these revelations and what there is separation from the very core principle of the Almighty Creator within the Quran in chapter 112, was one to four where it says that say that he is a lot, the one and the only is the absolute and he's the eternal, he gets not nosy be gotten, and there's nothing like him within this universe. echoed within the book of Deuteronomy, chapter six, verse four, where Moses peace and blessings be upon him says that Uriah is
Well, the Lord our God, the Lord is one confirmed by Jesus Christ in the book of Mark the 12 is 29. Where it says that here is, the most important commandment is this, the Lord our God, the Lord is one, to the very concept that this God is completely unseen, that there is nothing like onto him within the universe, confirmed in the book of Exodus chapter 20, verse three to five, where God says that nothing in the heavens above the earth beneath or the water and the earth, whatever resembling, we're not allowed to make any image of this, confirmed by Jesus Christ in the book of john chapter five is 37, where stands in front of his followers, the Pharisees and disciples, and he says that
you've never heard the voice of God, neither Have you ever seen his shape or his form? I was astonished by these comparators that I do. But this is not where my journey ended.
There were so many questions that I had. And this is truly where my love and passion for Islam fell into place. Because all these questions that I had was answered within the Quran. For instance, the rational explanation for the existence of God can be found within the Quran in chapter 52, verse 35, to 36, where this creator speaks to us, and he says, do they believe they were created out of nothing? Do you believe the other creators have been songs have they constructed the heavens and the earth, the only but uncertain, and this uncertainty is regarding his existence? Now in the first verse, God is saying that you they believe that were created out of nothing. Now, both you and I can
think about this, that is completely illogical, because our void, something cannot come into existence within this physical realm. So fundamentally, there has to be energy or power prior to in order to bring something into creation. The second possibility is that we created ourselves, but this in itself is illogical, because something cannot create itself without existing right? The third possibility is that we were created by something that came prior to us, for instance, another universe if there was a big bang book. And then before that was another universe that was a big bang that then imploded to create our universe, then the question is, but what created that universe? The
answer would be in that mindset, another universe. And so that cycle will continue at infinitum, until there is a beginning, a creation out of void. So what this revelation is telling us that we were created by something that is itself all powerful, to produce the energy and power to create the universe, we were created by something that is itself all knowledgeable, to create a universe for the coexistence of planetary bodies, and to ensure that our existence upon this earth is possible. And we were created by something that is self sufficient, was not created, and is not in need of anything that is itself created. For instance, this something this creator does not eat, it does not
sleep, it does not go to the restroom, it doesn't need to pray on to itself or fast, because it's absolute in eternal.
Now, what I discovered is that through these names and attributes of God, it is what makes him unique. And if we were to apply these three criteria, to any other concept of God out there in this world, there's only one that would stand and that is the Almighty. Let me give you an example. In Islam, I've learned to love and respect Jesus Christ, and to follow in his footsteps and to listen to his major tenants that he had propagated. And he's written within the Quran is one of the greatest prophets. But fundamentally, he could not have been God. Because if we look at the biblical text, he was never all powerful. In the book of john, chapter five, verse 30, he says that out of my
own self, I can do nothing. As I hear I judge in my judgment is just because I seek not to please myself, but only the creator had sent me. So out of his own self, he could do nothing. It was not all powerful. He was also not all knowing, because in the book of Matthew chapter 24, verse 36, he says that of the final day in our nobody knows, not the angels in heaven, all myself, but only the Creator who had sent me. So he was not all knowing. And Jesus Christ was also not self sufficient. He had to eat, he had to sleep, he had to go to the restroom, he had to find care from his mother, he had to put his forehead to the ground mission to this creator, and you need to fast onto God for
spiritual protection. So that is fundamentally why we believe that he is a prophet of God, he cannot be God. Because as soon as something is not all powerful, it means that there is something else out there in the universe that is more powerful than it. And fundamentally Once that happens, then this entire concept the names and attributes of God would be pocket. Therefore, the creator is Almighty is maximally perfect. And always names and attributes are also had to understand as to why the Quran is from God. And fundamentally, I want you guys to visualize this with me. Imagine we had all the books in front of us. We had the VEDA, which is the first Hindu scriptures. We have the Taoist
revelation, the Buddhist revelation, the sickest revelation, we had the Quran and we had the Bible, for us to be objective and to look at these revelations, and to the
Which of these books is from God? Both you and I would agree on three things. The first thing is that this book needs to represent God in the right way. For instance, if a Revelation says that, you know, God is a monkey or that God is a human being, or the Goddess, a tree, both you and I would agree that revelation cannot be from God, because a monkey, a human being in a tree is not all powerful, not all knowing and not self sufficient. The second thing we would be looking for is internal and external validity and consistency. Internally, this revelation should not contradict itself, because fundamentally, God would not contradict himself. External consistency means that
when God speaks about his creation within this revelation, it needs to be consistent with his creation itself, because God would not deceive us in that way. So for instance, if a Revelation says that the earth is flat, or the universe is only 6000 years old, both you and I would agree that this revelation cannot be from God, because we know that the earth is spherical, and we know that the universe is billions of years old. The third and final criterion we'd be looking for is some form of divine inspiration. If we look at this revelation, we say undoubtedly, this must be from God, a human mind could not have composed of this revelation, right? Now, if we apply these three points
upon all the revelations in front of us, would there's only one that stands and that is itself the Holy Quran. I would like to give you some examples as to why within the Holy Quran and chapter 21, verse 30, the creator speaks to the unbelievers once again. And he says that do not the unbeliever see that the heavens and the earth was joined together as one unit of creation, we split them asunder, ever we created every living creature from water, will they install not believe? Now this is something we just recently discovered that the heavens and the earth comes from a singularity a complete and hot and dense point, that then splits apart, and that every living creature comes from
an element of water. For instance, the human cell consists of more than 60% of water, the human brain around 75%, when a fetus or baby is just born, they consist of more than 8% of water. Now, objectively, we are we have to ask ourselves, who could have revealed this 1400 years ago, if we've just discovered it in our century? Could have been a human mind? Or was it divinely inspired? I would like to give you another example. When the creator speaks about the working bee that produces honey and pollinate plants, he speaks about them in the female term, meaning that all working bees are female. Now, geologists have just recently discovered that all working bees that produce honey
and pollinated plants that all of them are female. Now, again, we need to ask ourselves objectively, who could have revealed this a human mind? Or was it God? I would like to give you guys one more example. There are hundreds within the Quran. But in the Quran in chapter 78, verse 67, the creator says that we've created the earth as an expanse, and we place mountains as pegs within the ground. Now, if you and I were to take a pay grade, and we were to hit it in the ground, took took took took, we would only see the tip of the peg, and the rest of the peg will be underneath the surface of the earth, it would not even be something that you can see. Now the Creator is saying that he
created the mountains as pegs. And yet, we find that geologists have only recently discovered that when two tectonic plates push against one another, there's a plate that goes up, and there's a plate that goes down that creates the roots of the mountain. And these geologists use the word steaks or pens in order to define what this is like. Now, fundamentally, this is not even something that you can perceive with your eyes. And yet it was revealed 1400 years ago, as a testament of truth. Now who could have revealed this, upon my journey I discovered through going through many of these examples is that this must have been divinely inspired. because fundamentally, a human mind cannot
compose these things. And if we rationally Think about this, every single Prophet came with a specific miracle and assigned for the people. Moses, who struck his staff and the sea seperated peace be upon him, is Elijah the heel Pacific peace be upon them, Jesus Christ, the Costa demons and help us make peace be upon Mohammed during his time he multiplied water, and he healed the sick peace be upon him. And these prophets, when they perform these miracles, many people started to follow them. And they said that surely this must be a prophet of God, let's follow them.
Now, if this God is just, if this God is merciful, which we know he is, and he sent every single generation with a sign that is from him, it would be unjustified not to leave our generation without a sign, and therefore the Quran is the sign from this Almighty Creator. It is the only revelation that is untainted. It is the only revelation that it has no internal external and consistencies is the only revelation that represents this creating the ultimate utmost form. And fundamentally through the signs of creator sent us we know that this is a revelation that is directly from him. Now this revelation itself was revealed by a Prophet and his name is Prophet Muhammad, peace and
blessings be upon him.
He did not come with a new religion. But he came to bring people back to the religion of Abraham, to say worship only the almighty to God, that is all powerful, all knowing and self sufficient. Do not associate any partners with thing. Worship Him alone, pray to Him alone, glorify Him above all else and all things. Because on the final day of resurrection, we will stand in front of him. And we must live a life in righteousness in accordance to His laws and decrees to worship and glorify Him through every action that we do. When we look upon something, look upon things that are pleasurable only to him, we listen to something we do so only to glorify the Almighty Creator, and only to
listen to things that are pleasurable to him. And when we work with our arms, we do so to to glorify and worship the Almighty Creator, and only to work in things that are pleasurable to him. And through these actions that we perform, we also fulfill the purpose of our life, which is to worship this Almighty God and to live a life in accordance to what he wishes of us in accordance to his wall. And so when we submit onto him, that is what we call to be Muslim. And through this, I decided to make my Shahada to declare that there's only one to Almighty God
to declare that Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him as a prophet of God.
Now, I hope this gives you guys an answer.
As to why I decided to embrace Islam, how my journey began, the things that I had to start with in regards to comparative religion, and what the truths are that I had found within the beautiful Quran, and how this has led me to embrace Islam. And I would like to make another episode as well inshallah, in the future regarding comparative Religious Studies. And if you guys want to make contact with me directly, feel free to visit my page, it should be linked in the description. And all the best Blessings to you and your family does Akela head all the blessings upon you and thank you for this opportunity, and thank you for listening to me.