The story of Maurice Bucaille’s inspiring conversion to Islam

Updated 15 March 2013

The story of Maurice Bucaille’s inspiring conversion to Islam

MAURICE Bucaille was born to a French parent and, like his family, he grew up a Christian. After his secondary education, he joined Faculty of Medicine, France University. Later, he became the most renowned and cleverest surgeon ever in modern France, but a story happened to change his life completely.
France is known for its unique interest in archeology and heritage. When French Socialist President François Mitterrand assumed power in 1981, France asked Egypt, late in the 80’s, for the mummy of Egypt’s pharaoh so that it would conduct a string of monumental and processing experiments. Actually the body of Egypt’s most notorious tyrant was transferred to France, and, strangely, the French president and his ministers as well as senior officials in the country lined up near the plane carrying the pharaoh’s body and bowed down to him as if he were still alive! After the ceremonies of the royal-like reception to Egypt’s pharaoh were over, the tyrant’s mummy was carried nearly in the same red carpet reception way he received. Then the mummy was transferred to a special wing at the French Monuments Center, and renowned archeologists, surgeons and anatomists started to conduct a study on this mummy in an attempt to delve into its mysteries. The senior surgeon and the scientist in charge of the study on this mummy of the Pharaoh was Professor Maurice Bucaille. While the processors were busy making restoration to the mummy, their head (Maurice Bucaille) was thinking otherwise. He was trying to discover how this Pharaoh died when, late at night, he concluded his final analyses. The remains of the salt stuck in his body was a shining evidence that he had drowned and that his body was retrieved from the sea swiftly after he drowned; it was also obvious that they rushed to mummify his body so that his body would remain intact!! But Maurice Bucaille puzzled over a question: How did this body — to the exclusion of other mummified bodies of other ancient Egyptians — remain that intact although it was recovered from the sea?” Maurice was busy conducting a final report while thinking as to whether the pharaoh’s body was recovered from the sea and mummified immediately after he drowned. But one of his company whispered in his ear, saying “There is no need to rush about this issue, since the Muslims say that this Pharaoh did drown.” At first, he vehemently rejected this and did not believe it, citing that such a discovery would be reached only through sophisticated, modern and accurate computers. Another one accompanying him surprised him more when he told him that the Muslims’ Qur’an in which they believe narrates the story that says he drowned and that his body remained intact even after he drowned. He got more surprised and kept on asking” Where did the Muslims’ Qur’an quote these data from while the mummy was not discovered until 1898, i.e. about 200 years only, given that the Qur’an has been recited by Muslims for over 1400 years, and given also that until a few decades ago the entire mankind including Muslims did not know that the ancient Egyptians had mummified their pharaohs?
Maurice Bucaille stayed up all this night gazing at Pharaoh’s body, thinking deeply of what his fellow researcher told him about the Muslims’ Qur’an explicitly establishing that this body was recovered after drowning, while the Christians’ Gospel (Matthew and Luca) narrated only the story of Pharaoh when he was chasing Prophet Musa (peace be upon him) without mentioning the fate of his body at all.
“Is it believable that Muhammad (peace be upon him) knew about this over 1,000 years ago while I have only just known it?” he thought.
Maurice spent a sleepless night, and asked for a version of the Torah. But it only furthered Bucaille’s astonishment; since even Torah did not narrate that the body was recovered and remained intact due to the processing and restoration, which it did undergo.
France sent back the mummy to Egypt in a splendid glass coffin. But, since he knew about the story circulated by Muslims on the intactness of this body, he decided to pack his baggage and travel to Saudi Arabia where a medical conference happened to be held with a galaxy of Muslim anatomists attending.
There, told them about his discovery, i.e. that Pharaoh’s body was kept intact even after he drowned. One of the conferees opened the Qur’an and read out the Ayah in which Allah Almighty said, “So today We will (safely) deliver you with your body that you may be a sign to the ones succeeding you; and surely many among mankind are indeed heedless of Our signs.” (Yunus: 92)
In his excitement, he stood before the attendants and loudly said, “I have converted to Islam and believed in this Qur’an.”
Back to France, Maurice Bucaille spent 10 years conducting a study as to how far the recently scientific facts match that mentioned in the Holy Qur’an, trying to reassure himself that the Qur’an has never contradicted with any single scientific fact, so that he eventually came up with the conclusion that Allah Almighty said of the Qur’an, “Untruth does not come up to it before (Literally: between its two hands) it nor from behind it; a successive sending down from (One) Ever-Wise, Ever-Praiseworthy.”
He came up with a earth shaking book on the Holy Qur’an which jolted the entire Western states, with the title of the book reading, “The Bible, The Qur’an and Science, The Holy Scriptures Examined In The Light Of Modern Knowledge.”
The book sold out and even hundreds of thousands of it were translated from French to Arabic, English, Indonesian, Persian, Turkish and German, extending to include nearly all East and West bookstores; one has come to see it with any Egyptian, Moroccan or Gulf person in the US.
In the preface of his book, Maurice Bucaille said, “These scientific areas which Qur’an established to the exclusion of other Scriptures filled me with deep surprise early on, since it never struck my mind to see such a large amount of scientific issues in such a variable and accurate way that they are a mirror image of what has recently been discovered in a book which has existed for more than 13 centuries.!!
The Bible, The Qur’an and Science, The Holy Scriptures Examined In The Light Of Modern Knowledge was such a marvelous piece of writing that, in the year 1988, the French Academy awarded him its prize in history.

— Courtesy of www.quranandscience.com


The beauty of prayer in Islam

Updated 23 September 2016

The beauty of prayer in Islam

GOING deeper into our spiritual state during prayers (salah) requires that we have a presence of heart and are mindful of the words being said during the prayers.
Our prayer will feel shorter, yet when we look at how much time we actually spent, we will think, “Did I just spend 10 minutes?” or even 15 and 20 minutes.
A person who began applying this said he wished the prayer would never end.
A feeling that Ibn Al-Qayyim describes as “what the competitors compete for… it is nourishment for the soul and the delight of the eyes,” and he also said, “If this feeling leaves the heart, it is as though it is a body with no soul.”

The love of Allah
Some people’s relationship with Allah is limited to following orders and leaving prohibitions, so that one does not enter hell. Of course, we must follow orders and leave prohibitions, but it needs to be done out of more than fear and hope; it should also be done out of love for Allah. Allah says in the Qur’an: “… Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him.” (Qur’an, 5:54)
We often find that when a lover meets the beloved, hearts are stirred and there is warmth in that meeting. Yet when we meet Allah, there is not even an ounce of this same feeling. Allah says in the Qur’an: “And (yet) among the people are those who take other than Allah as equals (to Him). They love them as they (should) love Allah. But those who believe are stronger in love for Allah.” (Qur’an, 2:165)
And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah. There should be a feeling of longing, and when we raise our hands to start the prayer, warmth and love should fill our hearts because we are now meeting with Allah. A dua of the Prophet (peace be upon him): “O Allah, I ask You for the longing to meet You” (An-Nisa’i, Al-Hakim)
Ibn Al-Qayyim says in his book Tareeq Al-Hijratain that Allah loves His Messengers and His believing servants, and they love Him and nothing is more beloved to them than Him. The love of one’s parents has a certain type of sweetness, as does the love of one’s children, but the love of Allah far supersedes any of that. The Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Any person who combines these three qualities will experience the sweetness of faith: 1) that God and His messenger are dearer to him than anything else; 2) that his love of others is purely for God’s sake; and 3) that he hates to relapse into disbelief as much as he hates to be thrown in the fire.” (Bukhari)
Thus, the first thing he mentioned was: “… that God and His messenger are more beloved to him than anything else…”
Ibn Al-Qayyim says: “Since ‘there is nothing like unto Him’ (Qur’an, 42:11), there is nothing like experiencing love for Him.”
If you feel this love for Him, it will be a feeling so intense, so sweet, that you would wish the prayer would never ever end.
Do you truly want to feel this love? Then ask yourself: ‘why do you or should you love Allah?’
Know that you love people for one (or all, in varying degrees) of three reasons: For their beauty, because of their exalted character or/and because they have done good to you. And know that Allah combines all of these three to the utmost degree.

All-embracing beauty
We’ve all been touched by beauty. It is almost fitrah (natural disposition) to love what is beautiful. Ali ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said about the Prophet, peace be upon him, that it was “as if the sun is shining from his face.” Jabir (may God be pleased with him) said: “The Messenger of Allah was more handsome, beautiful, and radiant than the full moon” (Tirmidhi)
Allah made all His Prophets have a certain beauty so that people would have a natural inclination toward them.
And beauty is more than what is in the face, because beauty is in all of creation and somehow has the ability to take our breath away and give us peace simultaneously. The glimmer of the crescent moon on a calm night, the intensity of a waterfall as the water drops for thousands of feet, the sunset by the sea … certain scenes of natural unspoiled beauty stirs something in us. As Allah is the One Who made it beautiful, so what of Allah’s beauty?
Ibn Al-Qayyim said: “And it is enough to realize Allah’s Beauty when we know that every internal and external beauty in this life and the next are created by Him, so what of the beauty of their Creator?”
This fitrah for loving what is beautiful is because Allah is beautiful. One of His Names is Al-Jameel (the Most Beautiful). Ibn Al-Qayyim states that the beauty of Allah is something that a person cannot imagine and only He knows it. There is nothing of it in creation save for glimpses.
Ibn Al-Qayyim says if all of creation were the most beautiful they could be (so let’s imagine, ever single human being looked as beautiful as Yusuf, peace be upon him, and the whole world was like Paradise), and all of them combined from the beginning of time until the Day of Judgment, they would not even be like a ray in comparison to the sun when compared to Allah. Allah’s beauty is so intense that we will not even be able to take it in this life. In the Qur’an, Allah describes Musa’s (peace be upon him) request: “And when Moses arrived at Our appointed time and his Lord spoke to him, he said, ‘My Lord, show me (Yourself) that I may look at You.’ (Allah) said: ‘You will not see Me but look at the mountain; if it should remain in place, then you will see Me.’ But when his Lord appeared to the mountain He rendered it level, and Moses fell unconscious.” (Qur’an, 7:143)
Even the mountain could not bear the beauty of Allah and crumbled, and when Musa, peace be upon him, saw this (he did not even see Allah), he fell unconscious. This is why on the Day of Judgment it is Allah’s light that will shine on everything. We talk about breathtaking beauty, but we have yet to experience Allah’s beauty. While things in this world can be beautiful or majestic or if they combine both they are finite, true majesty and beauty are for Allah: “And there will remain the Face of your Lord, Owner of Majesty and Honor.” (Qur’an, 55:27)
Keeping all of this in mind, the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “Allah directs His Face toward the face of His servant who is praying, as long as he does not turn away” (Tirmidhi).
Remember this in your prayer, and ask Allah to allow you the joy of seeing Him in Paradise.