My parents are both religious, so I was raised in an Islamic household. My father has been very observant from his childhood. He hasn’t missed a single prayer over the past 65 years. Sadly, he passed away last week. The five daily prayers are one of the pillars of Islam.
The five pillars of Islam are: testimony, prayer, fasting, charity and pilgrimage. The Quran is the holy book of Islam and is the most memorised book in the world. My brother and nephew are both Hafiz, which is a person who has memorised the whole Quran. Muslims believe the Quran was revealed in instalments to Prophet Muhammad over 23 years.
Muhammad (s) was actually unable to read or write yet the Quran is accepted to be one of the greatest literary masterpieces in the Arabic language. Though I was born into the faith I have read about Islam and the Quran and found it to be a rational religion which encourages followers to question and research.
Muhammad (s) taught us to maintain family ties, be good to parents, behave well with neighbours, help the destitute, face injustice and to control anger and avoid jealousy and envy.
Muhammad (s) was a great father, a great leader, a great husband, a great teacher, a great general and the greatest Prophet. He has left believers with a treasure trove of sayings called the Hadith. He was merciful even to his enemies and forgave even his worst oppressors. Truly an inspirational man.
The era he was born into was savage, female children would be buried alive and idol worship was rampant. People would worship spirits and they had 360 Gods. The strong would oppress the weak and feuds lasting decades would start over the smallest issues.
There are 1.8 billion Muslims in the world who believe that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad (s) is the final messenger from God. Islam is more than 1400 years old and is one of the major monotheistic religions.
My faith has helped me over the years when I felt depressed and hopeless. Believing in an Almighty Loving God has made me optimistic. Surely He can easily change my situation if He wants.
My father was a good teacher, we were homes-schooled in Arabic and Bangla. We would study the Quran on weekdays and Bangla on weekends. My father gained his Matriculation qualification in Bangladesh, which is quite rare for that time, he could recite a lot of Bangla and English phrases from memory.
My father was born into India, lived as a Pakistani then a Bangladeshi and then he became a UK citizen. I am proficient like he was in three languages.
I enjoy learning about different religions and believe dialogue is important between different faiths. People need to learn about each other’s religions. I particularly like learning about Christianity and Judaism as they are similar to Islam.
I am a big fan of Ahmed Deedat, a famous Muslim debater and Shabbir Ally, a Canadian apologist. Muslims respect and love Jesus and believe in his original message. We also honour Mary as the pure mother of Jesus.
The Bible is an interesting book with many good lessons in it such as turning the other cheek, but which Bible is authentic? There are so many different versions, whether it is the Catholic Bible or the Protestant bible or the Orthodox bible. The Bible has 40 authors unlike the Quran which is believed to have been revealed to Muhammad (s) and has only one author.
I believe if a claim is made, it has to be able stand up to scrutiny, so if I claim the Quran is the infallible word of God then by all means read the Quran and see if my claim is legitimate.
My faith is very important to me and I would love to spread the comfort I feel because of it. I try to pray as much as possible and try to study and recite the Quran abundantly. It doesn’t matter which religion you’re from because you can derive hope and peace from any faith.
Has your faith helped you to cope in difficult times? Please share.