After-death thought drew me near to Muslims

After-death thought drew me near to Muslims
Updated 07 October 2013

After-death thought drew me near to Muslims

After-death thought drew me near to Muslims

Jamaludin Yaakob has posted this story on behalf of a brother, Yusuf Muhammad Ansari, who is now serving his term in a prison in Scotland and hence has no access to the Internet. Ansari narrates his experience of gradual transformation within him after his travel through Islamic lands in the East. This is the second of his three-part story from Scotland prison:

ANOTHER thing that I have always believed in before embracing Islam was pre-destination. Others may call it fate. This had led me to the next encounter of life with the Muslim people. My windscreen had broken and I ended up searching in Quetta for a new one. I was directed to Tradesmen Street. There was where I met Muhammad, a motor body repairer. He kindly let me stay in his lock-up yard for five days until he could locate a windscreen. Everyday without fail I ate at his house or he brought me food. He took me to meet the headmasters of both a public and a private school. He refused point blank that I should put my hand in my pocket to buy anything. He told me stories of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and other Islamic issues. At times I found it difficult to contain my emotions. I could not believe the hospitality I was receiving.
One occasion sticks in my mind, which left me in tears and astounded. I was in Muhammad’s house for lunch. There was his family there including around thirteen children. While I taught them a Scottish nursery rhyme, Muhammad videotaped us together. Within minute the children who spoke no English, mastered it. When I was entering my van I heard some commotion at the end of the street. There were around one hundred children running toward me singing the Scottish nursery rhyme. I was surrounded as the tears ran from my cheeks with joy. It was so beautiful. Here was a stranger in a strange land and they wanted nothing from me except just to stay a little bit longer. I had to go. The following day I visited the local mosque and said my good bye with regret.
On the road to the Pakistani/Indian border I continued to read the Qur’an and still question why these people were being so nice to me but wanted nothing in return. Strange indeed!
As I said before, I was coming from the West where, in the material sense, they have everything. There was me traveling through a land with a house on wheels while around me so many people were living in squalor. If you have never had nothing you do not know what it’s like; or, from my point of view, I had never experienced nothing.
My next encounter showed me the simplicity of man in relation to our Creator, Allah Almighty. As I drove the Sindh region in the desert I began to become anxious to find a place off the road to park for the evening. Suddenly I came upon a simple house of clay in the middle of nowhere. I approached the house and knocked on the door. An old man answered. I said “As salaam alaykum,” he replied in kind. I asked if it was OK to park for the night? He spoke no English but acknowledged what I meant.
He invited me for tea. Immediately I became consciously aware of the simplicity of his dwelling. There was nothing, which did not have a use, and everything was to a bare minimum. As I recalled the items, there was a staff carpet, a copy of Al-Qur’an, a pot and a water skin. We sat on the carpet and drank tea. As he moved to the window, he left without warning with the water skin and a mat in hand. After a good five minutes had passed, I went outside. What I saw next I could only describe as ‘the day the world stopped.’ As the sun dropped out of the sky below the horizon, there was complete silence. The man in front of me dropped to his knees in total obedient worship to our Creator, a memory that lasts with me until this day.
I made it to India, visited more mosques and made it all the way back unscathed. I thought the people back home had changed, they had not, but I had.
It is so easy to allow yourself to be consumed by the method rather than being the method. Please allow me to elaborate. While in the East, I had accommodation, money and for once in my life, simplicity, empathy and understanding. It is not that I don’t have them now. It’s simply a different game with different rules and players. I tend to call it the reverse process. In simple terms, to the wonderful creations in the East, God is the important factor. It was to be my downfall back here in the West, trading religion for money, or you may call it materialism. It seems easy to say now but for me anything with the word ‘ism’ attached should be avoided at all costs.
No! I still had not embraced Islam. Although conscious of what I had learned, I put it on the back burner. The quest for me, which seemed more important, was accommodation, job, flat and car. All of these don’t grow on trees and, really how money becomes available never really mattered. I couldn’t find a proper job. My wife who had been my constant traveling partner became just as disillusioned as I did. We had only been married a short time and even getting married to each other was ever shorter on three and a half-month. We couldn’t get work; we were tired of travel and extremely tired of each other.
As things got progressively worse as we could not find work or accommodation, things were getting desperate. My wife found an advertisement in the local paper asking for a sauna receptionist. In our naiveté we both believed that a Sauna was in fact a Sauna. At the same time she got the job, I got offer for some work dealing and running drugs. The sauna turned out to be a front for prostitution and it was not long before my wife decided to swap answering the telephone for the red light. We both loved the money, we both became drugs users and all seemed fantastic.
This was to be short lived. It tore us apart. We were in a web where there seemed no way out. On the one hand we needed the money to feed our cocaine habit. On the other hand, I got sick of drugs, money, prostitution, in fact, everything. We kept the company of like-minded characters that helped feed the desire for self-gratification. I tried so hard to get off the drugs. In the mean time I tried to get my wife off the prostitution. She seemed by now to love the money more than me. I would sit for many hours staring at this accumulating amount of money before my eyes with total disdain. Little did I realize that all was about to change … for the worst.

To be continued next week

- Courtesy of islamtomorrow.com