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'A difficult, but most fruitful Journey'.

Muhammad Ishaaq

Muhammad Ishaaq, formerly Girish KS Udupa, an upper caste Hindu, narrates his story about his conversion to Islam. I WAS born and brought up in an upper class Hindu Brahmin family of priests in Udupi, Karnataka, India, a city known for its temples. My learning of Hindu scriptures commenced at an early age through a teacher where I noticed many contradictions and began questioning but could not get any satisfying answers nor the meaning of the scriptures. Such a beginning early in life made me search for the truth about right religion. Owing to my persistent questions, my parents on advice of religious heads transferred me to an Aashram, to become a Hindu priest.After joining the Aashram, my doubts and questions increased to which my teachers had no answers.I was advised to read books from the library to know the answers and hence I got an opportunity to read lot of Hindu scriptures.With no satisfaction in life and unable to get proper answers to the doubts being built up in mind, I left the Aashram and started learning about Jainism and later Buddism but neither had any answers to my questions. Interestingly, Jainism and Buddism advocate 'ahimsa' (non-violence) but both are responsible in increasing idol worship. I left them and started to search the oldest religion and learned about religion of Romans, Greeks, Egyptian and Judaism. When I was studying Judaism I could not find much fundamental difference between Jews and Brahmins. While studying Judaism I came to know about Jesus and started reading the Bible, thinking that Christianity should be the perfect religion and was hoping to get answers to all my questions. After reading Bible over 34 times and visiting church, I developed many doubts on the contradictory methods of teaching in different churches. On finding the real contradictions in the Bible itself, I went to the priests who advised me to take Baptism so that I can see the Holy Spirit, which will clear all my doubts. One fine day I readied myself to take Baptism, where the priest dipped me in the water three times and when I came out of water I looked up to see the Holy Spirit as I read in the Bible, but I could not see anything. Went to different churches and raised the same questions even they baptized me but couldn't find Holy Spirit anywhere as promised. When I openly questioned about it, they were quiet but one of the church members advised me to go to a different church, where all the people used to speak with Holy Spirit. When I went there and asked for the Holy Spirit, they promised thatI will receive it the following Sunday. I was very happy and went to the church wearing good clothes with one day of fasting as per their instruction. The priest came near me and pushed my head in water so hard that I started feeling pain and repeatedly they asked me if I can see the Holy Spirit to which I replied in the negative. The priest then said that I have Satan spirit in me which will first be removed and then fill me with Holy Spirit. Fearing further pain, I pretended to act as if I saw the Holy Spirit and escape from the priest, but he and the believers were more smart than me and said they saw my Holy Spirit. I realized that the whole group of the church was acting with me and I realized that they are fake people of the fake Holy Spirit which led me to lose all interest in Christianity. I continued to enjoy my life till one day while commuting by bus to the office, I saw a hoarding with the message "For a free copy of Qur'an please contact...."a thought came to mind that this could be another book like Bible. However, I decided to call them and get a copy of the Qur'an so that I can read Qur'an to find mistakes and make fun of Muslims. To finally get my copy of the Qur'an I had to call the center 3 times in 9 months, but third time I was little more angry and finally the Qur'an reached me. Alhamdulillah. To be continued next week

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 28, 2014
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