A graduate of Cornell University, Brown University Medical School and George Washington University Hospital residency program, Laurence B. Brown is an ophthalmic surgeon, a retired Air Force officer, and the medical director and chief ophthalmologist of a major eye center. He is also an ordained interfaith minister with a doctorate in divinity and a PhD in religion, and the author of a number of books of comparative religion and reality-based fiction. His works can be found on his website, http://www.LevelTruth.com
Posts Tagged ‘convert’
Why these born and bred Aussies turned to ISLAM? Let’s hear from them:
Written by MosqueAdin
Friday, 09 February 2007
Macon Mayor Jack Ellis converted from Christianity to Islam and is now seeking to change his legal name to Hakim Mansour Ellis. Ellis, who was raised as a Christian in Macon, a city located in central Georgia, announced that he became a Sunni Muslim during a ceremony in the west African nation of Senegal.
He said he has been studying the holy Qur’an for years, and that Islam was his ancestor’s religion before they were brought to North America as slaves.
“Why does one become a Christian?” Ellis said. “You do it because it feels right. … To me it’s no big deal. But people like to know what you believe in.”
The 61-year-old mayor said he would keep his last name at the request of his two daughters.
Muslim converts usually change their name, though the practice is not typically required.
Ellis, whose mayoral term expires this year, doesn’t rule out future runs for elected office. But he said that he hasn’t considered how his conversion to Islam could affect his political career.
He says he is proud to be an American living in a country based on religious freedom.
In January, Rep. Keith Ellison took office as the first Muslim elected to the U.S. Congress. The Michigan Democrat was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college.
His election raised debate in the United States, especially after he used the holy Qur’an to take oath of office.
Ellis, who was elected Mayor in July 1999, becoming the first black Mayor in the 176-year history of the city, said Muslims shouldn’t be portrayed as bad people simply because of the acts of a few.
“If anybody wants to know about Islam, I can hold an intelligent conversation,” Ellis said. “What I’ve found is how little we know about the religion.”
The history of Islam in the United States starts in the 18th century, with the first Muslim inhabitants. The sizeable Muslim community in the U.S. has increased greatly over the past one hundred years, mainly due to the increase in the number of Muslim immigrants, and the high rate of Americans who convert to Islam.
According to wikipedia, up to one-third of American Muslims are African Americans who have converted to Islam during the last seventy years.
— AJP and Agencies Last Updated
Vlog #10: How did you convert to Islam?
LONDON, February 26 (IslamOnline.net) – Jonathan Birt, the son of Lord Birt and Emma Clark, the granddaughter of former liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, are only two of 14,000 mostly-elite white Britons having reverted to Islam.
In the first authoritative study of the phenomenon, carried by the Sunday Times on February 22, some of the country’s top landowners, celebrities and the offspring of senior Establishment figures have embraced the Muslim faith after being disillusioned with western values.
The new study by Yahya (formerly Jonathan) Birt, son of Lord Birt, former director-general of the BBC, provides the first reliable data on the sensitive subject of the movement of Christians into Islam.
He uses a breakdown of the latest census figures to conclude that there are now 14,200 white reverts in Britain.
Speaking publicly for the first time about his faith this weekend, Birt argued that an inspirational figure, similar to the American revert Malcolm X for Afro-Caribbeans, would first have to emerge if the next stage, a mass conversion among white Britons, were to happen.
“You need great transitional figures to translate something alien (like Islam) into the vernacular,” Birt, whose doctorate at Oxford University is on young British Muslims, was quoted by the Times.
“The image of Islam projected by political Islamic movements is not very attractive,” he said.
Initially, Birt said he had no coherent reasons for reverting, but “in the longer term I think it was the overall profundity, balance and coherence and spirituality of the Muslim way of life which convinced me,” he said.
Meanwhile, it emerged this weekend that Emma Clark, the great-granddaughter of a British prime minister has reverted.
Emma, whose ancestor, the Liberal prime minister Herbert Asquith, took Britain into the first world war, said: “We’re all the rage, I hope it’s not a passing fashion.”
Clark, who helped design an Islamic garden for the Prince of Wales at Highgrove, his Gloucestershire home, is now helping create a similar garden for a mosque in Woking, Surrey, on the site of a car park, said the British newspaper.
Furthermore, fresh evidence came this weekend that Islam has received formal acceptance at the heart of the Establishment.
The Queen has approved new arrangements to allow Muslim staff at Buckingham Palace time off to attend Friday prayers at a mosque.
A member of staff in the finance department is the first to take advantage of it, said the British paper.
Others have come to Islam through love or marriage.
Kristiane Backer, a former girlfriend of the cricketer Imran Khan, said she was introduced to the religion through love but reverted after her break-up.
She has shrunk from speaking publicly about her religion before because of fears it might affect her work prospects.
“Imran sowed the seeds, but when (the relationship) finished (the faith) took on a momentum of its own,” she said.
Drawn to Sufi mysticism, Baker said that white reverts had to overcome prejudice both from those born into Islam and from non-believers.
“In the mosque women come up and say to me, ‘You have hair showing: you must cover up completely.’ I say, ‘Mind your own hair, you’re here to think about God’ ”.
Many reverts have been inspired by the writings of Charles Le Gai Eaton, a former Foreign Office diplomat, it added.
“I have received letters from people who are put off by the wishy-washy standards of contemporary Christianity and they are looking for a religion which does not compromise too much with the modern world,” said Eaton, author of Islam and the Destiny of Man.
Some prominent reverts are even more wary, said the Times.
The Earl of Yarborough, 40, who owns a 28,000-acre estate in Lincolnshire, declined to discuss anything about his faith.
“I have nothing to say to you,” said Yarborough, who has apparently taken the name Abdul Mateen.
Muslim leaders are harnessing modern campaigning methods to promote their faith. Groups have sprung up on the internet publishing “trophy lists” of white reverts.
The state-funded school in London founded by Yusuf Islam, formerly the singer Cat Stevens, has turned to Premiership footballers to provide role models, said the Times.
Sources close to the school say reverts including Nicolas Anelka, the Manchester City striker, and Omer “Freddie” Kanoute, of Tottenham Hotspur, have made visits.
The trend is being encouraged by Muslim leaders who are convinced that the conversion of prominent society figures will help protect a community stigmatized by “terrorism and fundamentalism“.
The Muslim Council of Britain has co-opted Joe Ahmed-Dobson, son of Frank Dobson, the former health secretary, to chair its regeneration committee.
“The community has been unfairly targeted and these developments encourage it in a time of difficulty,” said Zaki Badawi, chairman of the Imams and Mosques Council.
This is the story of how I found Islam.
My name is Abdullah DeLancey. I am Canadian and I am employed as a Patient Service Worker at the local Hospital. I have been married for almost 20 years and we have 3 wonderful children.
Alhamdulillah. I am a now a Muslim. I wasn’t always a Muslim though.
Previously; I was a Protestant Christian for all of my life. My family brought me up in the Pentecostal Church until I was an adult at which time I moved to a fundamental Independent Baptist Church. As a faithful Christian I was very involved at Church, giving lectures for the Adult Sunday School and other duties. I was eventually elected as the Deacon of the Church. I really wanted to further my dedication to God and decided to pursue a career as a Minister. I was awarded a scholarship to help me start taking a Degree in Divinity. My goal was to be a Pastor of a Church or a Missionary.
However, becoming a Minister would commit me and my whole family to the Church full time for life. So just before attending Bible College, I thought it best to look at Christianity critically and ask some very serious questions about my faith. I questioned the trinity, why God would need a son, and why the human sacrifice of Jesus, as stated in the bible, was needed to provide me with forgiveness. I questioned the Christian belief of how all the righteous people in the Old Testament were “saved” and in heaven if Jesus wasn’t even born yet. I pondered serious questions about Christianity that I had neglected to ask my whole life. The answers I received from Christians on these theological issues “which are the basis of the faith in Christianity” defied all reason and were absolutely beyond any logical thinking. Why would God give us a wonderful brain and then expect us to temporarily stop using it? Because that is what Christianity is asking people to do when they say you just must have faith. That is blind faith.
Realizing that I had always accepted Christianity, with Blind faith for my entire life and never had questioned it was perplexing to me. How could I have not realized this before? I could not find the answers in the Bible. Once I realized that the trinity was a myth and that God is powerful enough to “save” someone without the need for help from a son or anyone or anything else. Things changed. My entire faith in Christianity fell apart. I could no longer believe in Christianity or be a Christian. I left the Church for good and my wife dutifully left with me, as she was having trouble accepting Christianity too.
This was the start of my spiritual journey.
I was now without a Religion but believed in a God. This was a very hard time for me and my family as Christianity was all we had ever known. I had to search for the truth.
I began studying various religions and found them as false one after another. Until, I heard about Islam. Islam!!! What was that? As far as I could remember, I had never known a Muslim and Islam was not heard or spoken of “as a faith” in my part of Canada. Unless, of course, it was news stories talking bad about Islam. For me at that time, Islam was not even a consideration. Not on my religious radar at all.
But then I started to read a little about Islam. Then, I kept reading a little more. Then, I read the Quran. This wonderful revelation of truth has changed my life forever. I immediately started to study ever piece of information pertaining to Islam I could get my hands on. I discovered the nearest Mosque was about 100 miles away from my city. So I promptly loaded the family van and drove my family to this Mosque. On the way, I was very nervous but also very excited at the same time..
I asked myself. Was I even allowed in the Mosque because I wasn’t an Arab or a Muslim ? However after arriving at the Mosque I quickly realized I had nothing to fear. I was greeted by the Imam and the Muslims with a most warm greeting. I found them very nice. Nothing like the bad things the news always said about Muslims. They gave me a book by Ahmed Deedat and assured me I could be a Muslim. I studied all the material on Islam they gave me. I appreciated these books very much because our local library had only 4 books on Islam. After studying I was in shock. How could I have been a Christian for so long and never heard the truth. I now believed in Islam. I knew it and I wanted to convert. I was put in contact with the small Muslim community in my city.
On March 24th 2006 I went to the Mosque. Just before Friday prayer started and with most of the local Muslim Community present as witness. I testified that” La illaha ill Allah, Muhammadur Rasul Allah” “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. I was now a Muslim. It was the best day of my life. I love Islam and have peace now.
Difficult times have come since I became a Muslim. When people started realizing I was now a Muslim they would shun me or laugh at me, most of our old Christian friends have never talked to us again. My parents have all but disowned me. I love being a Muslim and it doesn’t matter if some of my fellow Canadians think of me as odd for becoming a Muslim. Why? The reason is that I alone, am the one that will have to answer to Allah after my death. Allah is the giver of strength and all mighty Allah has helped me through all the rough times after my conversion to Islam. I have many, many Muslim Brothers now. I have legally changed my first name to Abdullah, which I like very much. I am now the first and only Muslim Chaplain approved to work at the local hospital in my City.
I am a Muslim and I am truly happy. All Thanks be to Allah.
That is how I became a Muslim. Islam is right for you too. Maybe you are not just randomly reading this article by chance. Maybe you already believe Allah is the one and only true God. Do you want to have life and become a Muslim right now. It is a big step.
But the best step you will ever take. Once you have decided that Islam is the truth. The only thing you must do to become a Muslim is truly believe and freely testify that “There is no God but Allah, Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Testify to this truth with me now. Become Muslim and have life.
Abdullah DeLancey founder of muslimforlife.com
Why Do Westeners Embrace ISLAM? There are various reasons for it. In the first place, truth always has its force. The basic tenets of ISLAM are so rational, so natural and so appealing that an honest truth seeker cannot help being impressed by them. To take, for example, the belief in monotheism.
How it raises the dignity of man and how ite frees us from the grip of superstition! How naturally it leads to the equality of men, for all have been created by the same God and all are servants of the same Lord. For the Germans, in particular, the belief in God is a source of inspiration, a source of fearless, courage and a source of the feeling of security. Then the idea of life after death turns the tables.
Life in this world remains no more the main objective, and [a] great part of human energy is devoted to the betterment of the Hereafter. The faith in the Day of Judgement automatically spurs a man to give up misdeeds, for good deeds alone can ensure eternal salvation, although the wrong deeds may prosper here for a limited period. The belief that none can escape the consequences of the judgement of a Just, Impartial and Omniscient Lord makes one think twice beforeone does anything wrong and surely this internal check is more effective than the most efficient police in the world.
Another thing that attracts foreigners to ISLAM is its emphasis on tolerance. The the daily prayers teach one punctuality and the one month of fasting enables one to exercise self-control over oneself and without doubt punctuality and self-discipline are two of the most important attributes of a good man and a great man.
Now comes teh real achievement of ISLAM. It is the only ideology which has succeeded in instilling in its followers the spirit of observing the ethical and moral limitations without external compulsion. For a muslim knows that, wherever he is, he is being observed by God. This belief keeps him away from sin. As man is naturally inclined towards goodness, ISLAM also offers peace of mind and heart —and this is what is totally absent from the Western society of today.
I have lived under different systems of life and have had the opportunity of studying various ideologies, but have come to the conclusion that none is as perfect as ISLAM.
Communism has its attractions, so have secular, democracy and Nazism. But none has got a complete code of a noble life. Only ISLAM has it, and that is why good men embrace it.
ISLAM is not theoretical; it is practical. ISLAM is not departmental affair, it means complete submission to the will of God.
From “ISLAM, Our Choice”
–taken from the booklet entitled ‘Priests Embracing ISLAM’