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Hisbul_Aziz
11-06-2006, 12:12 AM
Sun. Aug. 13, 2006
Finding Islam in Cyberspace

The Story of a Jewish Boy


By Musa Caplan

Prior to my conversion to Islam, I lived my life as a Jew. Although my family was not traditional, I learned Judaism from traditional Jews. I went to an Orthodox Jewish synagogue, and an Orthodox Jewish school. I lived, and continue to live, in a Jewish community in the United States where there is little diversity. And considering how much Judaism was involved in my life, I did not have any non-Jewish friends. But about a year ago, I began to chat online quite often and my e-mail list slowly began to fill with more and more Muslims.

I developed a strong interest for studying other religions as well as my own. I paid special attention to Islam, for I knew it was a religion not much different than Judaism. We share many similar prophets (peace be upon them all), morals, values, and most importantly, we worship the same God — Allah. Although I knew much about Islam and knew it was a peaceful religion, I cannot say I did not have stereotypes. I was lucky because I knew many Muslims online, one of which was my girlfriend who I consider to be my guide to Islam. She led me to the doors of Islam, and Allah took me through the rest. Regardless, when I heard of a terrorist attack, similar to many others, I figured the cause of it was Islamic extremists.

Many times I was not wrong. But then you must ask yourself, what makes these people go to the extreme? Does their religion really teach to kill innocent people? The reality is that it does not. Prophet Muhammad was a great warrior. Yet he managed to never kill an innocent human being. I realized that Islam is a religion that teaches respect, peace, and tolerance. Never does it say to kill an innocent disbeliever. A true Muslim is taught never to force conversion, but instead, to share his knowledge with the world, which I hope to do in this article. In the Qur'an a valuable lesson to be learned is "to kill a man, is to destroy the world."

[Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for manslaughter or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew all men; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he kept alive all men.] (Al-Ma'idah 5:32)

After realizing Islam was not a religion of war, I decided to look deeper into the faith. By doing so I discovered flaws in my own religion. According to the Old Testament, the great Prophet Aaron committed the worse sin possible. Due to pressure put upon him by the people while waiting for Moses to return with the Torah from Mount Sinai, he built an idol.

How could a great prophet possibly commit one of the three sins that are so great that one should prefer death before committing them? In the Qur'an, Moses comes down and sees the Jews worshiping the Golden Calf. At first he thinks it is the creation of Aaron and is angry at him; later he finds it was other Hebrews who had created this idol. A lot can be learned from this story.

Would a nation of people led by God really be forgiven for such a sin? My view on this story matches the Islamic view that the Old Testament has changed over the years. In the past, there have been many Cohaneem (religious leaders at the Holy Temple) who were corrupt. Couldn't it easily be possible for them to have changed Judaism to make it easier to observe and less time-consuming in order to make more money with their profession?

Another astonishing factor that led me to Islam is the scientifictruth written in the Qur'an. The Qur'an mentions the human embryonic development long before it was discovered by science.

[And certainly We created man of an extract of clay, Then We made him a small seed in a firm resting-place, Then We made the seed a clot, then We made the clot a lump of flesh, then We made (in) the lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, then We caused it to grow into another creation, so blessed be Allah, the best of the creators.] (Al-Mu'minun 23:12-14)

The Qur'an also mentions how mountains are formed and talks about the layers of the atmosphere! These are just a few of so many scientific discoveries mentioned in the Qur'an 1400 years before discovered by science. Here is one of the key factors that led me to explore my heart to find the truth of life. In Arabic, the word Islam comes from salama which means "to submit"; "purity" and "peace" come from the same root. The person submits to the One, the Merciful, and the Most Beneficent Allah; whereas other religions are named after people: Judaism comes from the tribe of Judea, Christianity from Jesus Christ, etc. Islam is a word derived from a verb; anyone who submits to Allah and believes in all the prophets is a true Muslim. Many of the great prophets mentioned in the Old Testament lived prior to Judaism and Judea; they submitted to God, and therefore they were all Muslims. And we shall live as the prophets lived, for they were great human beings.

Considering my situation of being very young and living in an all-Jewish area, it would be difficult to have my beliefs accepted. My parents and relatives are very respectful, but I am unsure how they would react if it is their own son who reverts to Islam. So for now, I am unable to live out an Islamic life to the fullest, but thanks to Allah, I am able to pray five times a day, I am able to study Islam online, and at least I am openly able to believe in one God and express those feelings. In some ways it can be very difficult. I become more emotional than most people would when I debate something involving Muslims, for example the Middle East. When I talk about Israel, my whole family supports Israel and doesn't know the truth of what goes on to Palestinians, but I think they should have proper treatment for the Palestinians. And when they talk about this situation, I become easily offended, especially if they bring up the idea that it is "the Jewish Holy Land" and "Promised Land."

Because I have not yet told my parents of my reversion to Islam, I am unable to attend prayers at a mosque. As I stated before, my area has little diversity and all the mosques are far away. I have never had the opportunity to do Shahadah in front of witnesses although I have said Shahadah for the best witness of all — Allah. When I am 16 in about one year, I will be able to drive to the mosque, in sha' Allah (Allah willing). The most important thing is to improve the person I am. I try to avoid my friends who do drugs, watch porn, drink alcohol, and steal. It is not always easy to avoid close friends, but I try my best for the sake of Allah. And I hope over time my personality will meet what Allah wishes to see from us all.

When studying Qur'an, my advice to you is to read it for yourself. Looking at biased websites, you are not able to see the full content of a verse. "Go forth to war" will be a phrase you can find on prejudiced sites in order to make you think Islam is a religion of war. But if you read on, you will see the Qur'an specifically says only with those who first wage war with Islam. Through this whole experience I have discovered that I did not find Islam, I re-embraced Islam; nor did I convert, I reverted; and on my ride from darkness to light, it has only made me a stronger, more spiritual, and a better human being. May Allah guide us all to the truth that I was led to.

Ash-hadu an la ilaha illa Allah, wa ash-hadu anna Muhammad rasulu Allah!
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IzakHalevas
11-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Although my family was not traditional
So... although he did not follow Jewish law, he prayed with people who did, and learned from those who did, but his family didn't... Hmmm.... is he a Jew by birth, certainly not a practicing one.
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Hisbul_Aziz
11-06-2006, 12:15 AM
Originally Posted by IzakHalevas
So... although he did not follow Jewish law, he prayed with people who did, and learned from those who did, but his family didn't... Hmmm.... is he a Jew by birth, certainly not a practicing one.
I had a feeling this would be the first post :hmm:
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-06-2006, 12:16 AM
MashAllah for him. Ive read this before and still good everytime.
Jazak Allah
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-06-2006, 12:16 AM
Originally Posted by Khalid_Shariff
I had a feeling this would be the first post :hmm:
lol brother me too :)
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Ibn Abi Ahmed
11-06-2006, 12:17 AM
:sl:

Alhamdullilah! May Allah guide others out of the darkness of other paths and into the light of Islam, from the injustice of other religions, to the justice of Islam!

:w:
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-06-2006, 12:17 AM
Originally Posted by IzakHalevas
So... although he did not follow Jewish law, he prayed with people who did, and learned from those who did, but his family didn't... Hmmm.... is he a Jew by birth, certainly not a practicing one.
well he went to an Orthodox school, if that counts.
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Aisha20
11-06-2006, 12:18 AM
subhanallah
very interesting :wub:
thanxs 4 sharing
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IzakHalevas
11-06-2006, 01:54 AM
Originally Posted by Tayyaba
well he went to an Orthodox school, if that counts.
Yet didn't follow the laws. He was pretty much not Jewish following laws wise, to begin with.
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Isaac
11-06-2006, 08:18 AM
What ever he was before, Alhamdullilah he is a muslim and inshAllah on the path of eternal bliss. Lets all pray together that others also find the path of eternal bliss from this boys guidance, and be he a beacon of light for those who are walking towards the path of Islaam.
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north_malaysian
11-06-2006, 08:22 AM
I think the jewsforallah homepage is COOL....
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Umar001
11-06-2006, 08:24 AM
Originally Posted by IzakHalevas
So... although he did not follow Jewish law, he prayed with people who did, and learned from those who did, but his family didn't... Hmmm.... is he a Jew by birth, certainly not a practicing one.
Wait, just wondering, how do you know he did not follow the Jewish law?
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Isaac
11-06-2006, 08:35 AM
Hey my friend, he classified himself as a jew, so is it not harsh of you not to see him as one. We as muslims have been taught not to rigght off another muslims belief unless he openly declares that he worships another God besides Allah and that he sets up rivals. I just thought it would not be in the nature of the jewish belief to right another off.

Anyway, regardless of what you think, he is not the 1st or the last person of jewish belief to step foot on the path to eternal bliss. Lets all pray that Allah keeps us upon the stright and narrow path and that we as ambassadors with and only with the mercy of Allah bring others to the truth. Like our good deeds will not be our ticket into heaven, our words will not be that which changes the heart. It will only be through the mercy of Allah. Obviously accompanied by good words of worship.
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Umar001
11-06-2006, 08:37 AM
Assalamu Aleykum Brother,
Hope all is well :)

Originally Posted by Isaac
Hey my friend, he classified himself as a jew, so is it not harsh of you not to see him as one. We as muslims have been taught not to rigght off another muslims belief unless he openly declares that he worships another God besides Allah and that he sets up rivals. I just thought it would not be in the nature of the jewish belief to right another off.
Well if he isn't a jew no more then he can right him off. :p

Plus, if a person said 'I was a Muslim but became Christian' then you read that they didnt pray and tha they used to fornicate and so on, wouldn't you be annoyed? You'd be thinking 'what type of Muslim did you use to be' I think that alot when I read the last testimony of a "ex-muslim"
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IzakHalevas
11-06-2006, 11:46 AM
Originally Posted by IsaAbdullah
Wait, just wondering, how do you know he did not follow the Jewish law?
He kind of gave it away when saying "Although my family wasn't traditional..." another meaning is "although my family did not follow jewish laws or the torah, i was born from Jews who did before they assimilated into secular society.

In my mind, he may have already been lost to begin with. How do you expect a Jew who doesn't live Judaism to apreciate it...
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جوري
11-06-2006, 06:47 PM
with all due respect who are you to judge considering you yourself are a convert? God guides whom he wills to the right path... he found Islam that is all that matters... not what he appreciated and what he didn't... you don't live inside his psyche-- so it is somewhat of a conundrum to me as to why you'd offer a psychological or a theological insight as to his mode of thinking.... I knew personally a very practicing Jewish woman who converted to Islam... and she was a devout Jew prior to her conversion... fact is she happened upon the Muslim student association once with a query a few months later she was Muslim......... she was shunned by her entire family and community.... but who cares as she found what she believes to be the right path to God
Peace!
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IzakHalevas
11-06-2006, 09:50 PM
with all due respect who are you to judge considering you yourself are a convert?
I'm a convert to Judaism who follows Jewish law. Much more respectful than a born Jew who neglects Jewish law.
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جوري
11-06-2006, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by IzakHalevas
I'm a convert to Judaism who follows Jewish law. Much more respectful than a born Jew who neglects Jewish law.
How do you know it is more respectful? we beg to differ... for us MUSLIMS-- obeying God's law is far more respectful than obeying Jewish law... Judiasm is the right path for you and Islam is the right path for him and us inshallah
Ameen
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Protected_Diamond
11-06-2006, 10:34 PM
:thumbs_up Allah guides whom he wills! May Allah make it easy for all of us Ameen! :)
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Nσσя'υℓ Jαииαн
11-06-2006, 10:38 PM
Originally Posted by IzakHalevas
I'm a convert to Judaism who follows Jewish law. Much more respectful than a born Jew who neglects Jewish law.
No offense, but whatever you were before ur conversion to Judaism, someone could say the same about you. So u r no one to judge.
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IzakHalevas
11-07-2006, 03:43 AM
Originally Posted by PurestAmbrosia
How do you know it is more respectful? we beg to differ... for us MUSLIMS-- obeying God's law is far more respectful than obeying Jewish law... Judiasm is the right path for you and Islam is the right path for him and us inshallah
Ameen
What are you talking about. In Judaism, he is viewed as someone who doesn't follow the Torah to begin with. He may be a part of am-yisrael but when it comes to actually following his religion.... uh.... :heated:
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جوري
11-07-2006, 04:04 AM
Izak try not to get to emotionally involved with who converted to what... just live and let live... you have found your niche... more power to you... he has found his and we are really happy for him.......
peace
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