“But what human judgment outweighs the commandments of God on the scales of opinion? What “person of God” would ever say, “Well, yeah, God forbids it, but I think it’s okay?”[1]

~ Dr. Laurence B. Brown, MD

Author of The Eighth Scroll, MisGod’ed, God’ed, and Bearing True Witness

You can’t say, “I think the earth is square” when there is an established fact that the earth is spherical. You can’t say “I think Switzerland and Swaziland are neighboring countries” when there is an easily reachable atlas indicating that Switzerland is located in Western Europe while Swaziland is in the African continent. You should not say, “I think Obama and Osama are twins because their names closely match.” You can’t say “I think it’s ok to drink sulfuric acid because it looks like water” when you can get a litmus paper to conclusively determine whether the solution is acidic or not. Similarly, you can’t say, “I think all religions are right, they worship the same God”, “I think Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism e.t.c. represent differing paths to the same destination!”, “I think the true religion is . . .”, “I think the purpose of life is to eat, live and die”, “I think when people die, they go to heaven . . . ”e.t.c., when there is an authentic source to factually answer all these questions. Mere opinions which are not backed by scriptural evidences are unreliable. With opinions, you certainly have a right to be wrong but with facts, you don’t have a right to be wrong. This resonates well with Thomas Sowell who said “reality is not optional.”

The true word of God is enough to eliminate the “I think syndrome”. The true scripture contains the words of God. And when God says, it is a fact not a hypothesis/assumption/possibility. God’s Word is truth [Psalm 119:160; John 17:17] and God “. . .  cannot lie . . .” [Titus 1:2]. All doubts are normally silenced in confidence of divine guidance. It is an act of total ignorance to pretend you are smarter than God. By disagreeing with what He informs you through His (authentic) scripture for He is All-Knowing. “Should He (i.e. God) not know,- He that created? and He is the One that understands the finest mysteries (and) is well-acquainted (with them).” [Q 67:14.] The authentic scripture will factually answer what the true religion is? What is the purpose of life? What happens during and after death? Who will go to hell? How to live on earth? . . . and any other dilemma humans have. There is no room for thinking when the right answer is readily available. Ignorance in the absence of information may be excusable, but willful ignorance in the face of the True Word of God is a global disaster. Samuel Johnson said: “Knowledge is of two kinds. We know the subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it.” Now, wanton display of ignorance is when we don’t know the subject ourselves and we don’t bother knowing where to find information on the subject. However, when one is pushed to make an opinion, he should know full well that it is not a fact. He should say “that’s just my opinion,” but he must always end with, “I could be wrong.”

A semblance of success will be seen when we discard the unfounded opinions or attitudes vis-à-vis religion. As it is said, “Assumption is the mother of all screw-ups.” Amazingly, the Muslim Holy book elucidate on people who are doomed by saying that “. . . most of them follow not except assumption. Indeed, assumption avails not against the truth at all. Indeed, Allah is Knowing of what they do.” [Q 10:36] And Prophet Muhammad said, “. . . there will remain ignorant people who, when consulted, will give verdicts according to their opinions whereby they will mislead others and go astray.”[2] There is another story where some knowledge-deficient men gave an opinion which was to be followed by their sick fellow. As a result, the sick man died because by implementing the opinion suggested, it aggravated his sickness. On hearing this, Prophet Muhammad became very angry at these men who gave a wrong opinion. “Why didn’t they ask (from an authentic source) when they were ignorant,”[3]the prophet said.

{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9.  Just click here to buy the book}

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[1]. Brown, Laurence B. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007.pp. 275-276.

[2]. Bukhari, Vol. 9, Bk. 92, No. 410.

[3]. Narrated by DaraQutny.



“Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.”

~ Exclaimed Cat Stevens when his leisurely swim off the coast of Malibu turned into a nightmare. He was busy drowning.

21 of July 1948, Steven Demetre Georgiou who would later be known by his stage name Cat Stevens was born to a Greek Orthodox father and Swedish Baptist mother. “I was born to a Christian family which revered money and I did the same, I felt in admiration for singers to the extent that I made of them my supreme god , then decided to become one of them. I ended up becoming one of the biggest Pop stars, and media made of me an icon, bigger than life itself and will live forever.” He said.

Cat Stevens is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, educator, and philanthropist. He had been a pop star since his teens. Under the name “Cat Stevens”, he has sold over 60 million albums around the world since the late 1960s. The world famous British pop singer used to earn sometimes more than $ 150 000 a night. Cat Stevens had everything most people aspire to achieve: fame, talent, wealth, good looks, and strong magnetism towards the opposite sex, yet he felt something was seriously missing. Living a fast-moving pop-star life, Stevens for once, received a call to spiritual awakening.  He became very ill with tuberculosis and a collapsed lung. Consequently, Cat Stevens got hospitalized for a long period, an experience that made him search for the meaning of life.

In 1976, Stevens received yet another call to spiritual awakening. This time, at the coast of Malibu, California, where he nearly drowned. He shouted in the bid to conform with the constant calls, “Oh God! If you save me I will work for you.” This near-death experience intensified his long-held quest for spiritual truth. Cat Stevens had looked into other spiritual formulas including Buddhism, Zen, and I Ching, Numerology, Tarot cards and Astrology. He writes:

My quest for truth continued in parallel with my artistic career, till the day when a friend of mine who came back from a trip in the East told me that he found serenity inside a mosque which he didn’t in a church, which led me to shift my interest to that religion and bought a translated Koran. At last I found answers to my questions: Who I am? Where I come from? And what is my goal in Life? Through my several readings of this holy book, I concluded that there is only one God with whom we can communicate directly without any interference.

It was the Qur’an that gave him the peace he was searching as he says, “. . . I would like to stress that I did not come into contact with any Muslim before I embraced Islam. I read the Qur’an first and realized that no person is perfect. Islam is perfect, and if we imitate the conduct of the Holy Prophet (Peace be Upon Him) we will be successful.”

He further states:

Everything made so much sense. This is the beauty of the Qur’an; it asks you to reflect and reason….When I read the Qur’an further, it talked about prayer, kindness and charity. I was not a Muslim yet, but I felt the only answer for me was the Qur’an and God had sent it to me.

He formally reverted to the Islamic faith in 1977, and took the name Yusuf Islam in 1978. After reverting to Islam, Yusuf Islam denounced his pop career calling music un-Islamic, auctioning his guitars and gold records and used the proceeds for Islamic charities. He even urged record companies to stop stocking his music, some of which he viewed as “immoral”. Talking about the need for dropping out of music, he said, “. . .  I had another agenda to fulfill; I had to learn my faith and look after my family, and I had to make priorities.”

Estimating in January 2007 that he continues to earn approximately $1.5 million USD a year from his Cat Stevens music, he decided to use his accumulated wealth and continuing earnings from his music career on philanthropic and educational causes in the Muslim community of London and elsewhere such as supporting orphans in Bosnia. In 1982, he and other concerned Muslims were troubled to see their children not getting proper Islamic education in Britain. Hence they founded the Islamia Schools’ Trust, a registered British charity which led to the opening of a Muslim primary school in London the following year and secondary schools later.

Yusuf Islam was famed for publicly endorsing the death sentence issued by Ayatollah Khomeini against Salman Rushdie in February 1989. “Salman Rushdie, indeed any writer who abuses the Prophet or indeed any Prophet under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death,” he said at the time, stating the punishment for blasphemers required under Islamic law.  Showing that blasphemy is a capital offense according to God’s standards, he said; “If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn’t mention Leviticus 24:16.” The verse reads: “And whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land. When he blasphemes the name of the Lord, he shall be put to death.”

Yusuf Islam has been given several awards including 2004 Man for Peace Award presented by Mikhail Gorbachev for his dedication to promote peace, the reconciliation of people and to condemn terrorism; (2005), Honorary Doctorate by the University of Gloucestershire for services to education and humanitarian relief; (2007), The Mediterranean Prize for Peace in Naples, Italy; Honorary Doctorate (LLD) by the University of Exeter (10 July 2007), in recognition of his humanitarian work and improving understanding between Islamic and Western cultures.

He lives with his wife, Fauzia Mubarak Ali, and five children in Brondesbury Park, London and spends part of each year in Dubai. In response to those who take black-sheep’s of Islam as the benchmark for its truth, Yusuf Islam said:

It will be wrong to judge Islam in the light of the behavior of some bad Muslims who are always shown on the media. It is like judging a car as a bad one if the driver of the car is drunk and he bangs it into the wall. Islam guides all human beings in the daily life – in its spiritual, mental and physical dimensions. But we must find the sources of these instructions, the Qur’an and the example of the Prophet. Then we can see the ideal of Islam.





Contact Information:

Mailing address

2 Digswell Street,

London N7 8JX,

United Kingdom.


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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: Islam, Yusuf. “My Journey from Cat Stevens to Yusuf Islam.” Mountain of Light, 2001; Islam, Yusuf.  “Questions for Yusuf Islam.” By Deborah Solomon. The New York Times 7 Jan. 2007; Craig R. Whitney. “Cat Stevens Gives Support To Call for Death of Rushdie.” The New York Times May 22, 1989; Brown, George. Cat Stevens: The Complete Illustrated Biography & Discography. George Brown, 2006; Islam, Yusuf. “Yusuf Islam.” an interview by Nigel Williamson. Billboard magazine 25 Nov. 2006; Paphides, Pete. “Notions of Islam.” The Times 6 July 2007; “Cat Stevens-one man, two identities.” The Sydney Morning Herald 24 Sept. 2004; Schwartz, Stephen. “Why Yusuf Islam was turned away from the United States.” The Weekly Standard.  22 Sept. 2004; “Cat Stevens becomes Yusuf Islam.” video.google.com 16 Feb 2006. <http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6157965900354777626&gt;;”Prince goes pop to praise school.” bbc.co.uk 10 May, 2000. <http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/743894.stm>%5D

“Among Muslims throughout the world, there are many sincere pious men and women; there are also criminals and hypocrites.”

~ Ingrid Mattson

Ingrid Mattson, the sixth of seven children, grew up as a good, middle-class Roman Catholic school girl in Kitchener, Canada, a suburban community about 60 miles southwest of Toronto. She attended a Catholic girls high school and took piano lessons at the convent. Ingrid stopped attending Mass at the age of 16 after inquiring about Catholicism and spirituality to which she was given unsatisfactory answers.

Then as a determined agnostic, Ingrid Mattson went to study philosophy and the fine arts at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Her first encounter with Muslims was in 1986, while studying in Paris. The warmth, dignity and generosity of the Muslims she met must have produced an influence in her life. “What I recognized was that, among their other wonderful qualities, they were the most naturally generous people I had ever known.” She said about the Muslims she met. She then plunged into reading of books about Islam and took classes in Arabic. In her personal study of Islam she came across Fazlur Rahman’s Islam in a bookstore. “It was his book and his encouragement that inspired me to start on the path to scholarship that I have found so rewarding,” She recalls. When she read the Qur’an, Ingrid found herself wallowed in amazement. And in 1987, as a college senior, she embraced Islam. “This religious community was giving me the framework for my spiritual experience, and so I entered into it,” she said in an interview.

After she graduated from college, she volunteered to teach Afghan women in a refugee camp of about 100,000 people in Peshawar, Pakistan. It was there where she met and married Amer Aatek, an Egyptian engineer working to install a water system in the camp. In 1989, she enrolled in the University of Chicago as a Ph.D. student and in 1999, she received her doctorate in Islamic Studies from the University. Presently, she is a professor of Islamic studies and director of Islamic chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary in Connecticut. She is the head of ISNA (Islamic Society of North America), one of the largest Muslim organizations in America.

In 1995, she was an adviser to the Afghan delegation to the United Nations Commission on the status of women. In 2001, she was elected Vice-President of ISNA and in 2006 she was elected President of the organization. Dr. Mattson is the first revert to Islam and the first female to lead the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Professor Mattson is a contributor to The Muslim World Journal. She is the author of The Story of the Qur’an: Its History and Place in Muslim Life [Paperback: 272 pages]. Dr. Mattson lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children.

Some articles, lectures, and reviews by Ingrid Matson include:

►Respecting the Qur’an

►A call for moral leadership: Imagining a new heroism

►Comments on cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad

►Stopping oppression: an Islamic Obligation

►Faith in the Face of Terror – Multi-Faith Reflections on Meaning

►Faith, Justice and Terrorism

Among the lectures she has delivered are:

►Gender Equity-The Islamic Perspective

►Sharia in the Modern World

►Changes Within Us

►Extremism And Moderation

►Impact of Sept.11th

►What is Islamic Law (Sharia)?

►Building The Faith

Contact Information:

Duncan Black Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian/Muslim Relations,

77 Sherman Street, Hartford, CT 06105 USA.

Telephone: 860/509-9531,

Fax: 860/509-9539,

Email: imattson@hartsem.edu; isnapresident@isna.net

Website: http://macdonald.hartsem.edu/mattson.htm


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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9.  Just click here to buy the book}

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[References:  Grossman, Cathy Lynn. “The Face of Islam in America.” USA Today 21 Aug. 2007; Macfarquhar, Neil. “Putting a Different Face on Islam in America.” New York Times 20 Sept.  2006; Mattson, Ingrid. “Finding the Prophet in his People.” whyislam.org. 31 Dec. 2004.] <http://www.whyislam.org/Forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1662&gt;; “Faculty Profiles-Ingrid Mattson.” hartsem.edu <http://www.hartsem.edu/faculty/mattson.htm&gt;; “Ingrid Mattson: What is Islam?” cnn.com 18 Oct. 2001 <http://edition.cnn.com/2001/COMMUNITY/10/18/mattson.cnna/&gt; Mattson, Ingrid. “Finding the Prophet in his People.” pbs.org. <http://www.pbs.org/muhammad/essays/mattson.html&gt;; “A Conversation with Ingrid Mattson.” Penn State Public Broadcasting Lobby Talks Series. Produced by Pennsylvania State University 12 June 2006. <http://www.researchchannel.org/prog/displayevent.aspx?rID=10001&fID=345>%5D

“I need a girl”

~ Loon’s song before his conversion to Islam

His stage name is Loon, his birth name Chauncey Lamont Hawkins, and his Islamic name is Amir Junaid Muhadith. Loon was born on 20 June 1975 in Harlem, ‘The Home of hustlas and money makers’ and  attended the prestigious “Beverly Hills High School” where his classmates included Angelina Jolie, Monica Lewinsky, the Menendez brothers (Lyle and Erik who murdered both of their parents with a shotgun and were later sentenced to life in prison without parole). And of course, Loon was raised a Baptist.

Loon evolved from the ghettos of Harlem, to street-hustling and to the rap world where he became part of P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. In addition, he has performed songs with notable artists such as 50 Cent, Jermaine Dupri, Usher, Snoop Dogg, Missy Elliott, Jamie Foxx, Ginuwine, Busta Rhymes, Faith Evans, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys, Lenny Kravitz among others. Loon enjoyed global audiences and there was no country he could go without people recognizing who he was. Loon has also involved himself in acting and has appeared in films like “Happy Hour,” “State Property 2” and “Death of a Dynasty.” This is a guy whose materialistic ambition is captured in his statement: “I’m gonna get money. I’m from Harlem. Ours is a 24/7 hustle. Gimme an inch, I’m taking a yard. Gimme a rope, I’m a cowboy. . . .” Some of his records are: “I Need A Girl (Part One)” P. Diddy featuring Usher & Loon); I Need A Girl (Part Two)” , P. Diddy & Ginuwine featuring Loon, Mario Winans & Tammy Ruggeri; “I Do Wanna Get Close To You”, 3LW featuring P. Diddy & Loon; “Hit The Freeway”, Toni Braxton featuring Loon. Indeed, bad boy is not for life, and as a matter of fact, all religious scriptures tell us that all bad boys will not enter the kingdom of heaven. In 2004, Loon ended his relationship with Bad Boy and founded his own label, Boss Up Entertainment. With all the fame and the bling bling, there was one thing that was abundantly elusive: Loon could not purchase peace.

Loon left all those lifestyles and embraced Islam in December 2008 whilst on tour in Dubai, UAE. How did he come to Islam? The thing that drove him to Islam was just the adhan (Islamic call to prayer) he heard while touring in Dubai. He says that the adhan was more beautiful than any song he has ever written in his life. The call for prayer  which was recited in the most beautiful, melodious and captivating way from Mosques’ loudspeakers made him study its background, meaning and significance. Studying about Islam, he would sometimes go to bookstores to buy books on Islam; sometimes he would ask questions to people of authority of Islam and at the end of it, Loon thought that it is the smartest decision to embrace Islam. Oh yes, the other thing that attracted Loon to Islam is the way Islamic acts of worship are consistently done in a unswerving formula. “Everyplace I went (in the Muslim world)” Loon says, “I could see one consistent practice and worship of one true God . . . this is something that I want to be part of,  because (in the non-Muslim world) there are a lot of inconsistencies in the way people practice and worship but what I saw in the Muslim (world) was very consistent.”

Since his reversion to Islam, Loon has appeared in various TV and Radio interviews such as on Al Jazeera TV, Al-Shahed T.V, Kuwaiti T.V, The Deenshow and on Talk Radio Show. “Islam brought peace that I couldn’t find in my life,” Loon vibrantly exclaimed in an interview with Eddie of the Deenshow. Fellow Muslims may tell this brother who needed a girl that if, he strictly adheres to Islam, God will not only give him numerous virgins in Heaven, but he can now have four wives on this transitory planet called Earth. In Islam, you are not restricted to just one marital partner, the ‘I-need-a-gal’ mentality is automatically supplanted with ‘I-need-wives’ mindset. Just before the end of an interview, Eddie of Deenshow submitted the following question to Loon: “What advice do you have for those who are trying to mimic the hip-hop phenomenons and the people in your positions?” Since Loon has been in that field, I think it is respectful for the music-lovers to heed the advice he gave:

If you trying to incorporate a love for music just be mindful that there is a lifestyle that comes with the music that kind like destroy the whole positive effort of trying to exercise the love for music … you can’t have one without the other, you do the music you are going to indulge in the lifestyle that come with the Music. And the lifestyle itself is definitely something you don’t want to get involved with. It draws the guts out of you, it draws everything that is pure inside of you, it removes the peace of mind that you might been having before coming into the business….Take my advice.

Currently, Loon grasps any opportunity to learn more about Islam, on one interview with Sheikh Nabil Al-awadh in Kuwait, Loon could recite, from memory, the first chapter of the Qur’an. Being an experienced singer, Muslims anticipate that he may one day be one of the world’s Qur’an top reciters. One of his messages on Twitter was: “My quest for knowledge has just gone into overdrive. May Allah guide us all to seeking the knowledge of Islam!” His seriousness into Islam is manifested in his adoption of Prophet Muhammad’s model of life by keeping a full beard. In addition, he has already performed an important Islamic ritual known as Umrah (lesser Hajj) which is a visitation to Makkah to perform certain rituals of worship. But what’s amazing is that he has become ‘better in speech’ by taking an initiative of calling upon music addicts to abandon such a distressing  life, by calling upon non-Muslims to read about Islam, by calling  upon Muslims to strictly adhere to their religion, by calling people to the religion of Allah. And of course we may wonder if, by becoming a God’s spokesman, he is not better in speech then “who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah, and does righteousness and says, “I am one of the Muslims.”?”[Q 41:33] Or should he go back to the hip-hop world and glorify killing, violence and (pre-marital) sex? To those who are enslaved with music and its lifestyle, they got to hear Loon’s message which was aired by AlShahid TV:

The Music lifestyle was overbearing and overwhelming for me. To be removed from that lifestyle, I would be a fool to return back to the place which I was guided from. In that case, anyone who is involved in Music. . . to the Muslims knowing that the Qur’an teaches us that Music is Haram (i.e. Prohibited by God), I was saying to those who are struggling with this matter (i.e. Music) to try to refrain and invest more time and energy reading and extracting emotions from the speech of Allah which is in the Qur’an.

However much you are loved or revered, the moment you decide to change for the good, you will be sure of becoming a public enemy just in an overnight. Some of Loon’s fans were not an exception. But one big-picture thinker posted the following message on worldstarhiphop.com in order to silence the detractors and boast up Loon’s motivation “As-Salaamu Alaikum brother Amir (i.e. Loon)!” the comment read, “and Salaams to all the other brothers and sisters out there! There are alot of ignorant people on here bashing what they have no knowledge of! If you know nothing of Islam please don’t speak on it!”  Junaid Muhadith  (formerly Loon) is now writing a book whereby he would document his life and his transition to Islam. “[I’m] happy to be accepting Islam,” said Loon, “and finding the peace of mind I was always searching for in the music business . . . Thanks to Islam I was able to complete my search and now I’m very much at peace. Bad Boy days are over, I’m now what you call a good boy.”





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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: “Interview with rap artist turned Muslim.” 5 July 2009.  YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 17 Dec. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZFueqQnops&gt;; “Interview Former Rap Artist Loon accepts Islam –TheDeenshow.” 13 Aug. 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 17 Dec. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhLWOXKlHys >; “Loon Converted to Islam.” 9 Dec. 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 17 Dec. 2009.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SZ6RTD1jXw&gt;; “Muhammad Awadh meets American Rap Artist who converted to Islam.” 13 Sept. 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 17 Dec. 2009.  <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trv5XeE8C6s&feature=related&gt;; AbduSalaam, Ismael. “Rapper Loon Converts to Islam, Changes Lifestyle.”  6 July 2009. allhiphop.com <http://allhiphop.com/stories/news/archive/2009/07/06/21748711.aspx&gt;; <http://www.bossupentertainment.com/article/buy-the-album-now-loon-no-friends&gt; retrieved 5 July 2009; Hall, Rashaun. “Loon Leaves Bad Boy ‘Amicably,’ Forms Own Label.” mtv.com. 14 Dec. 2004. <http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1494820/20041214/loon.jhtml&gt; ;<http://bossupentertainment.com/&gt;;“Amir Junaid Muhadith, formerly ‘Loon’ of Bad Boy Entertainment.” islaam.ca 6 May 2009. http://www.islaam.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=265:amir-junaid-muhadith-formerly-loon-of-bad-boy-entertainment-new-york-usa&catid=63:n-america&Itemid=181>%5D

During the Santa Clara University School of Law Graduation ceremony on May 21, 2005, Nicole Aeschleman was among the many grinning new graduates. Nicole Aeschleman is (now) a 27-year-old lawyer who reverted to Islam in 2004 after emerging from a six-month partying spree–getting drunk and dating men. Admitting that such a life can’t bring happiness, she says, “It was not a good time.”

 Nicole baptized an Episcopalian adopted the Islamic Faith and married Nabil Michraf, a soft-spoken Moroccan studying in France. The two met during a summer law course in Strasbourg, France. They struck up a friendship, started to correspond through e-mails and Nicole began inquiring about Nabil’s religion. She reverted out of her own conviction without Nabil’s insistence. “He never tried to convert me—which was one of the reasons why I eventually did,” she says. Later, Aeschleman flew to Nice for a face-to-face meeting with her e-mail pal—and the two fell in love. “I just realized he was the most amazing man,” she says. The couple wed in March. Drafting her own marriage contract in consultation with Muslim legal scholars—she added provisions that she can divorce Michraf should he ever try to forbid her from working, going to school, studying Islam—or should he ever take additional wives, as permitted by the religion.

Her parents were in complete shock on hearing that she embraced Islam. Her father did not speak to her for a while, though they are now on good terms. Aeschleman has given up some of her previous lifestyles. She no longer celebrates Christmas, and she never leaves her hair uncovered.

Nicole Aeschleman has worked at her law firm, McManis, Faulkner & Morgan. She has also worked as an Attorney at Law Office of Nicole L. Aeschleman, Attorney at Law Offices of Stuart Fishman (Sole Proprietorship) and as a Research Assistant at Santa Clara University Law Review.

Contact Information:


McManis Faulkner and Morgan

Fairmont Plaza – 10th Floor 50 West San Fernando Street

San Jose, California  95113

Phone: 408-279-8700

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: Marquez, Sandra. “Choosing Islam: My Life as a Convert.” People 4 Sept. 2006. Vol. 66. No. 10; www. statelawyers.com]

“In my opinion, he is the most valuable player in the history of the game. No player of comparable size and ability was ever as quick and maneuverable, but his unselfish team play has been equally impressive.”

~ John Wooden


“Why judge anymore? When a man has broken records, won championships, endured tremendous criticism and responsibility, why judge? Let’s toast him as the greatest player ever.”

~ Pat Riley

Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor Jr. was born on April 16, 1947 in New York. He attained high school    education at Power Memorial in New York, and college education at University of California, Los Angeles.

Lewis Alcindor was a Professional basketball player and rated one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA (National Basketball Association) History. He was NBA’s all-time leading scorer with 38,387 points; first and only player named NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Basketball Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player three times (1967-69); NCAA outlawed the dunk shot because of his dominance at the center for UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles); practiced yoga and martial arts as part of overall fitness program, including Jeet Kune Do under Bruce Lee and as  a matter of fact he appeared as a hulking foe to Bruce Lee in the film Game of Death; he gave the game the skyhook, the shot that changed basketball with the help of which he was to score more than thirty eight thousand points in regular; worked on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation as an assistant coach; among other films and TV shows, he acted in Airplane! He had played 20 seasons in the league with the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers and by the time the 7 foot 2 basketball player retired in 1989, he had won 6 championship rings and was a six-time Most Valuable Player; no one blocked more shots, scored more points, or logged more seasons than him; he’s also a writer, a historian, and a worldwide ambassador for the basketball; on February 18, 2000, Abdul-Jabbar was named an assistant coach of the LA Clippers; he has worked as a consultant for the Indiana Pacers, and in the spring of 2002, he signed on to coach the USBL Oklahoma Storm, an NBA feeder league team. In 1995 Abdul-Jabbar was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

His education background goes back to St. Jude’s parish elementary school, where he also excelled in baseball, swimming, and ice skating. Many of the local New York preparatory schools desired Kareem to join their institutions but he settled with Power Memorial Academy, a private Catholic high school. With the abundance of college offers Kareem heeded the advice of notable African Americans such as Arthur Ashe, Jackie Robinson, and the then Undersecretary of the United Nations Ralph Bunche to accept the scholarship from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1972 he was studying Arabic at Harvard. His intellectual capacity is manifest in the six bestselling history books Kareem has authored which were intended to popularize the contributions of African-Americans to American culture and history. Abdul-Jabbar’s books include “Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement”; “Brothers in Arms: The Epic Story of the 761st Tank Battalion, WWII’s Forgotten Heroes”; “A Season on the Reservation,” which chronicles his time teaching basketball and history on an Apache Indian reservation in White River, Ariz.; and the current New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller, “On the Shoulders of Giants: My Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance.”

Before the 1971-72 season, Alcindor converted from Catholicism to Islam and took the name Kareem Abdul-Jabbar which means “noble, the noble one, servant of the Almighty.” But why did he change his name after reverting to Islam? The reason is revealed in Playboy magazine where he said:

. . .[I was] Latching on to something that was part of my heritage, because many of the slaves who were brought here were Muslims. My family was brought to America by a French planter named Alcindor, who came here from Trinidad in the 18th Century. My people were Yoruba, and their culture survived slavery . . . . My father found out about that when I was a kid, and it gave me all I needed to know that, hey, I was somebody, even if nobody else knew about it. When I was a kid, no one would believe anything positive that you could say about black people. And that’s a terrible burden on black people, because they don’t have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote a book titled Kareem, wherein he gives us a glimpse on how he was gravitated towards Islam:

(Growing up in America,) I eventually found that . . . emotionally, spiritually, I could not afford to be a racist.  As I got older, I gradually got past believing that black was either the best or the worst.  It just was.  The black man who had the most profound influence on me was Malcolm X.  I had read “Muhammad Speaks”, the Black Muslim newspaper, but even in the early sixties, their brand of racism was unacceptable to me.  It held the identical hostility as white racism, and for all my anger and resent meant, I understood that rage can do very little to change anything.  It’s just a continual negative spiral that feeds on itself, and who needs that . . . . Malcolm X was different.  He’d made a trip to Mecca, and realized that Islam embraced people of all color.  He was assassinated in 1965, and though I didn’t know much about him then, his death hit hard because I knew he was talking about black pride, about self-help and lifting ourselves up.  And I liked his attitude of non-subservience . . . . Malcolm X’s autobiography came out in 1966, when I was a freshman at UCLA, and I read it right before my nineteenth birthday.  It made a bigger impression on me than any book I had ever read, turning me around totally.  I started to look at things differently, instead of accepting the mainstream viewpoint . . . . (Malcolm) opened the door for real cooperation between the races, not just the superficial, paternalistic thing.  He was talking about real people doing real things, black pride and Islam.  I just grabbed on to it.  And I have never looked back.

In an Interview with TalkAsia, a program aired on CNN, Kareem was asked about the importance of his spiritual journey and he said:

Well as a spiritual journey, I don’t think I would have been able to be as successful as I was as an athlete if it were not for Islam.  It gave me a moral anchor, it enabled me to not be materialistic, it enabled me to see more what was important in the world.  And all of that was reinforced by people, very important people to me: Coach John Wooden, my parents, all reinforced those values.  And it enabled me to live my life a certain way and not get distracted.


Stan Grant, the CNN interviewer then asked: “When you embraced Islam, was it difficult for other people to come to terms with that?  Did that create a distance between you and others?” The response was:


For the most part it was.  I didn’t try to make it hard on people; I did not have a chip on my shoulder.  I just wanted people to understand I was Muslim, and that’s what I felt was the best thing for me.  If they could accept that I could accept them.  I didn’t . . . it wasn’t like if you’re going to become my friend you have to become Muslim also.  No, that was not it.  I respect people’s choices just as I hope they respect my choices.

He was asked whether his reverting to Islam was an intensely political decision as it has been for a lot of black Americans and Kareem answered:

That was not part of my journey. My choosing Islam was not a political statement, it was a spiritual statement.  What I learned about the Bible and the Qur’an made me see that the Qur’an was the next revelation from the Supreme Being – and I chose to interpret that and follow that.  I don’t think it had anything to do with trying to pigeon hole anyone, and deny them the ability to practice as they saw fit.  The Qur’an tells us that Jews, Christians, and Muslims: Muslims are supposed to treat all of them the same way because we all believe in the same Prophets and heaven and hell would be the same for all of us.  And that’s what it’s supposed to be about.

Stan Grant ended the interview with this question: “If you had to impart one piece of knowledge to someone, something that helped you in your career that you could pass on, what would that be?” And Kareem said: “Knowledge is power. Take the time to know what you’re doing and have some commitment to it. And it will not ever be a disappointment and if you know what you’re doing you’ll be able to do it well and you’ll find self satisfaction.”

Abdul Khaalis, a former jazz drummer and founder of the Hanafi Madhhab in Washington, D.C., was one of Kareem’s influences to Islam.  Kareem had been raised to take authority seriously, whether that of nuns, teachers, or coaches. Hence Kareem would attentively take the teachings of Abdul Khaalis, a man who is credited to have given Alcindor the name Abdul-Jabbar. Kareem undertook his own study of the Qur’an, for which he learnt basic Arabic. In 1973 he travelled to Libya and Saudi Arabia to get a better grasp of the language and to learn about Islam. He stated clearly that his name Alcindor was a slave name, literally that of the slave-dealer who had taken his family away from West Africa to Dominica to Trinidad, from where they were brought to America. Kareem is a Sunni Muslim who adheres to Hanafi school of thought.

In a different occasion with a different host, an interview with Kareem went like this:

Interviewer: You were raised Catholic, you went to Catholic schools, and you made a decision in the early ‘70s to become a Muslim. How did that come about?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: My interest in Islam started when I was a freshman at UCLA and I got the opportunity to read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, and it really made me understand that there was a lot more to monotheism than what I knew being raised as a Roman Catholic. I found in Islam that I certainly had a limited view of what monotheism was about, and it made me curious enough to read the Koran and see that it probably was something that I needed to investigate more completely. I was won over by the arguments. The fact that the Roman Catholic Church was greatly invested in the slave trade did not help me want to remain Catholic, and because of that, I changed my affiliation.

Interviewer: What has it meant to you to be a Muslim?

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: I think Islam has given me a moral foundation. It gave me a way of trying to balance my own personal ambitions, what you want and need in the world, with some type of morality and a way of viewing what life is about. It certainly doesn’t help, at this point now, that there are so many problems with the Islamic world. But I think those have to do with politics, and the Islamic world’s reaction to colonialism and being exploited, a lot more than really is based on religious belief. Because all of the religions that come from Abraham basically have the same message. Not very much difference if you can study it objectively, but that is hard to do in this day and age when there is so much politics and nationalism and resentment for things that have gone on centuries ago. It’s kind of hard to overcome.


In a TIME Room, someone asked Kareem the question: “. . . how difficult has it been to be a Muslim in America and that, too, being African-American?” Kareem Abdul-Jabbar begun:

Well, I think race has been a burden for black Americans, a heavy burden. Being Muslim has also been a challenge because so many people do not understand Islam. I feel that there has been progress made since I was a boy on matters of race, but we have a long way to go. I think more people today understand what Islam is about. To make distinctions about radical people bent on terrorism — those people come from every background and every religious group.

Despite being one of the most visible Muslims in the American public arena, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is also a tireless worker for various philanthropic causes and has devoted a large amount of time to helping children and steering them towards getting a good education. He has participated in initiatives that helped fight hunger and illiteracy.

Some of his notable quotations include:

“You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.”


“I’m not comfortable being preachy, but more people need to start spending as much time in the library as they do on the basketball court.”


“One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team.”


“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.”


“Black people don’t have an accurate idea of their history, which has been either suppressed or distorted.”


“I can do something else besides stuff a ball through a hoop. My biggest resource is my mind.”


“I saw Islam as the correct way to live, and I chose to try to live that way.” [Response to the question; Why did you choose to be a Muslim?]


“I tell kids to pursue their basketball dreams, but I tell them to not let that be their only dream.”


“I think race has been a burden for black Americans. Being Muslim has also been a challenge because so many people do not understand Islam.”


“I think that the good and the great are only separated by the willingness to sacrifice.”


“I would suggest that teachers show their students concrete examples of the negative effects of the actions that gangsta rappers glorify.”


“I’m still my parent’s child, I’m still me, but I made a choice. I evolved into Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I think it has to do with evolution.”


“My choosing Islam was not a political statement; it was a spiritual statement.”


“Your mind is what makes everything else work.”


Abdul-Jabbar was married to Habiba Abdul- Jabbar (nee Janice Brown), and they had three children Habiba, Sultana and Kareem. They were divorced in 1978. He has another son Amir with Cheryl Pistono. Adam is yet another son of Abdul-Jabbar.

Contact Information:

Agent: Amsel, Eisenstadt & Frazier,

5757 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 510,

Los Angeles, CA 90046.





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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References:  Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem.  Kareem.  Random House, 1990. (Hardcover: 233 pages); Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2nd ed.;From Lew Alcindor to Kareem Abdul Jabbar (Lothrop 1973); “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar –Interview.” TalkAsia. CNN. 2 July. 2005 <http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/07/08/talkasia.jabbar.script/index.html>; Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem “Kareem Abdul-Jabbar-Online Interview.” Time.com 25 Feb.1999. <http://www.time.com/time/community/transcripts/1999/022599jabbar.html&gt; Smith, Jane. I. Islam in America. Columbia University Press, 2000. (Paperback: 355 pages); Sean Gregory “10 Questions For Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.” Time Magazine 24 May 2004.]

“I explained how Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins.”

~ Aminah Assilmi


Assilmi was raised in a white American family of Southern Baptists in Oklahoma. She was a radical feminist and a broadcast journalist.

Her fascinating conversion story started when the university computer mistakenly registered her for a Theatre class, where she would meet Muslim students.  She found herself with a mission to accomplish. Trying to proselytize the Arab classmates, she preached to them that they would burn in the fires of hell for all eternity, if they did not accept Jesus as their personal savior.” Determined to win converts Assilmi said: “I explained how Jesus loved them and had died on the cross to save them from their sins. All they had to do was accept him into their hearts.” When all the preaching didn’t work, she decided to study the Qur’an to gain insight into Islam for the purposes of converting Muslims to Christianity. “It was a huge surprise for me,” Assilmi said, referring to her experience with the Qur’an. Her mission to convert others led to her own conversion.

Assilmi did an intense study on Islam as she says: “For two years I studied in order to convert Muslims to Christianity”. During this time she studied the Qur’an fully, Sahih Muslim and fifteen other books on Islam. In fact she re-read the Qur’an. While studying Islam, Assilmi encountered questions and objections which were untied by her college mate Abdul-Aziz Al-Sheik. Realizing the truth in Islam, Assilmi had no choice but to utter in front of Abdul-Aziz and his companions: “I bear witness that there is no god but God and Muhammad is His Messenger.” It was May 21, 1977. She chose the name Amina Assilmi. However, she had vowed not to cover her hair and if her husband takes another wife, she would castrate him. Nonetheless, after a deeper plunge into Islamic knowledge she found herself wearing Hijab. “. . . I even came to be a proponent of polygamy”, she added, “I knew that if Allah had allowed it, there had to be something good in it.”

Upon her conversion, Amina lost most of her friends, for she was ‘no fun anymore’. Her ‘mental health expert’ sister thought that she lost her mind so she attempted to put her in a mental health institution. On hearing that she converted to Islam, her father loaded his double-barrel shotgun and started on his way to kill her. “It is better that she be dead . . . .” he said. The day she started wearing hijab, the award-winning broadcaster in the Denver market, was denied her job. After she openly accepted Islam, she was divorced by her husband. Just because she became a Muslim, she was denied the custody of her two little children whom she loved dearly and whose custody should have rightfully been given to her. In fact, the judge offered her a harsh choice, before giving the formal verdict: either renounce Islam and get custody of the children, or keep Islam and leave the children. What added further to her pain was that according to doctors, she could never bear another child because of certain complications. However, she decided to retain Islam. Her two dear children – one little boy and one little girl – were taken away from her and given to her ex-husband. The suffering shifted beyond mental to physical as she says, “I’ve been forced off the road before — beaten up — and I’ve never lifted a hand against anyone.” The defining moment came when she tried to cash a cheque at her bank wearing the face veil when a bank security guard drew his gun preparing to shoot if she made any questionable moves.

Despite her family’s initial reaction, she remained in touch with them and addressed them with respect and humility. Her life had changed to a better her so that so her family started appreciating her. The invisible force of the beauty of Islam exhibited by Assilmi attracted her family towards Islam. The first to become Muslim was her grandmother who was over 100 years old. Next to become Muslim was her father, the one who wanted to kill her after she became Muslim. Years later, her mother accepted Islam. Her sister who wanted to put her in mental institution accepted Islam as well. Her oldest son, Whittney, upon becoming adult at the age of 21, accepted Islam. Sixteen years after the divorce, her ex-husband also accepted Islam. “Relatives of mine are still becoming Muslim right and left,” she said.

Assilmi later married another person, and despite the doctors’ verdict that she could never conceive another child, God blessed her with a beautiful boy. She lost her job because of wearing Hijab, but now she is the President of the International Union of Muslim Women. She delivers lectures nationwide and is on high demand.

Amina is proud to be Muslim. She says:

I am so very glad that I am a Muslim. Islam is my life. Islam is the beat of my heart. Islam is the blood that courses through my veins. Islam is my strength. Islam is my life so wonderful and beautiful. Without Islam I am nothing, and should Allah ever turn His magnificent face from me, I could not survive.

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: “The Introduction and Decision (Testimony of Aminah Assilmi).” thetruereligion.org 22 Nov. 2003. <http://www.thetruereligion.org/aminah.htm&gt;.]

“I had a lot of trouble accepting God as a human being.”

                                                                                                ~ Suhaib Webb.

He was born William Webb in 1972 in Oklahoma, where he grew up in a Christian family. He became a successful local Hip-Hop DJ, making records with various artists and bands.  During this period of his life, he was a member of a gang and turned his back on religion. Commenting on Hip-Hop, Webb had this to say:

Hip-hop was more of a social movement than it is now. Now it’s all, ‘I got girls, I got some nice gold, nice car, I’ll kill you and I love my mamma.’ (Back in the) ‘80s and ‘90s, there was more of a sociopolitical, almost Afro-centric feel, which was kind of laced with the teachings of Islam due to the Nation of Islam and Malcolm X.

Funny enough, his grandfather was a preacher. He recalls:

I had a lot of trouble accepting God as a human being or creation. Even as a young child I would ask my mother questions. Suddenly, God is one of three instead of God just being God. So I became a little confused. How could the prophets before Jesus go to heaven if they couldn’t worship Jesus? If (the criteria for heaven was) worshipping and recognizing him as a deity and (as) the key to paradise?

Webb encountered Islam through some Muslim contacts and after a three-year period of exposure to Islam through local Muslim acquaintances, he reverted to Islam and took the name Suhaib. That was in 1992 at the age of twenty.  In fact, Webb got his first copy of the Qur’an at age 17 and as he says, “I read the Qur’an for three years in the restroom because I was scared my mother would pulverize me if she saw the Qur’an in her house”.

After his reversion to Islam, he left his career as a DJ and studied at the University of Central Oklahoma, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. After studying Islam in the USA and working as an Imam and teacher, in 2004, Suhaib Webb, his wife and children moved to Cairo, to study at Al-Azhar Islamic University. Suhaib has also spent 10 years studying with a Senegalese scholar and memorized the Qur’an under his guidance. He has studied with well-known sheikhs (Muslim scholars) in the US and United Kingdom and traveled to Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia to learn more. He is currently a lecturer at the Islamic American University (IAU) in Santa Clara, California. Suhaib Webb has been an active member of the Muslim American Society. He is the author of the best selling audio CD album Mothers of the Believers. Other lectures by Suhaib include:

►Servants of the Merciful (Ebaad ur Rahman)

►Allah will take care of you

►The Family of Umm Sulaym

►Successful Marriages

►Articulating Our Role as American Muslims

►Message to Those Seeking Guidance: Imam al-Muhasibi

►Living in the shade of the Qur’an

►Some Lessons from the Hijra

►5 Things you can do to taste the sweetness of Ramadhan

►The Implications of The Shahadah

►Life of  Our Prophet (series containing 32 lectures)



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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

…………..     …………..     …………..     …………..     …………..     …………..     …………..

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[References:  Alam, Farzina. “Faces Suhaib Webb.” Egypt Today Jan. 2008; “From America’s Bible belt to the halls of Al-Azhar.” The Brunei Times 8 Feb. 2008; < http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2b8kcb_Wv_M&gt;; “Convert to Islam Suhaib Webb full interview.” buildmyislam.com. 2 Sept. 2008.<http://www.buildmyislam.com/index.php?option=com_seyret&Itemid=76&task=videodirectlink&id=30>%5D

“I found it hard believing that Jesus did not die on the cross”

~ Balqis’ perception after reading Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction! by Ahmed Deedat

Either the sky or the heaven was the limit for Caroline Chelang’at Chepkwony. She was a brilliant student always topping in her primary school. Her father wanted her to become a doctor but a white man, a friend to Mr. Chepkwony (her father) suggested that Caroline pursue Actuarial Science. They heeded the advice.  It is only the top scorers nationwide that are eligible for places in the very few highly selective national government-supported secondary schools in Kenya and Caroline Chelang’at was one of the students selected. She chose Alliance Girls High School. A school reputed as a high-standard institution of secondary learning in Kenya, often attracting news coverage on radio, television, and newspaper. Students at Alliance Girls High School often refer to their school as “Bush” and the students as “Busherians.” Most likely the informal name was because of the dense vegetation that used to surround the school. It is by no way related to the former President of America who was missed by a shoe. The school has consistently excelled in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, frequently earning the position of top 10 best schools in Kenya.

After scoring KCSE score an aggregate A-, with plain A’s in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science and Geography, Caroline automatically qualified for a place in the state-supported universities. University of Nairobi (UoN), the largest university in Kenya, enrolled her in the department of mathematics to undertake a Bachelor of Science in Actuarial Sciences. University of Nairobi was the only University in Kenya offering Bachelor of Science (Actuarial Science). Back then in 2002, University of Nairobi was taking only 16 government-selected students nationwide and Chelang’at was one of those who qualified.

In the second year of her academic study, the then Caroline Chelang’at met Salim, a BA student at the University of Nairobi. Salim’s priority list of conversation included religion. He provoked Chelang’at’s mind regarding her belief systems. Salim invited her to do research on religion and Caroline listened to him. Without much ado, Salim handed her some thought-provoking literatures on comparative religion and a list of websites that scrutinize religions in the light of reason and intellect.

Among the books Caroline read are the works of the great Muslim scholar Ahmed Deedat such as:

►Is the Bible the word of God?

►Crucifixion or Cruci-fiction!

►Resurrection or resuscitation?

►What was the sign of Jonah?

►Who moved the Stone?

►Qur’an Miracle of Miracles

►What the Bible says about Muhammad (pbuh)?

►Christ in Islam

►Combat kit

Ahmed Deedat’s books wrecked her Christianity and Caroline was left with only one choice; to convert to Islam. That was 14 April 2005 at the age of 22 when Caroline made the decision to embrace Islam and traded her Christian first name for a Muslim one, while retaining her Kalenjin names. She had become Balqis Chelang’at Chepkwony. Before her conversion, her mind had been full of negative ideas about Islam and Muslims. “I used to perceive Muslims as weird, disillusioned people who believe in a dead Prophet,” she said. Other books she read before her conversion, included Let the Bible Speak by Abdul Rahman Dimashkiah, Oneness of God: The Ultimate Solution to the Trinitarian Controversy by Marmarinta Umar P. Mababaya and The Pillars of Faith by Jaafar Shaikh Idris. Furthermore, Balqis had watched Ahmed Deedat debating prominent Christian theologians. Remarkably, after her conversion, she took a month and a half to memorize Juzuu Amma, one part (Juzuu) of the Qur’an (i.e 1/30 of the entire Qur’an). Despite her busy program doing her final years’ project, Balqis managed to memorize the 1/30 of the entire Qur’an. This may be equivalent of memorizing the entire Gospel of Mathew, word after word! Kenya’s largest mosque, Jamia Mosque has a department for Reverts where classes are organized to teach the new Muslims about Islam. Immediately after her reversion, Balqis grabbed the chance and graduated from the Reverts Program at the Jamia Institute.

Balqis took Qur’anic teachings seriously, in compliance with the verse, “. . . take the Scripture [i.e., adhere to it] with determination.” [Q 19:12]. After she graduated from the University of Nairobi in 2006, like any other graduate, Balqis ventured into job searching expedition. Her family and friends also helped in hooking her up with lucrative job positions. Her father working as a Chief Accountant at Moi University would definitely have a myriad of business connections with people from different other institutions and Companies. This would be enough leverage to get Balqis a job. With Actuarial Science, Balqis had a 100% chance of being recruited by Insurance Companies* and Banks. In fact, she got many companies willing to hire her at a starting salary of Kshs 40 000 (about 520 $). Despite being financially crippled, Balqis turned down the offers just because the insurance companies and Banking companies were illegal according to Islamic Sharia. “She must be fanatically crazy,” her friends and relatives wondered. But to her, it was unethical to work in an interest-based company while defying God’s words: “Allah has permitted trade and has forbidden interest.” [Q 2:275]. She had strong hope that by leaving something for the sake of God, God would compensate her with something even better than what she left. She took the words of Prophet Muhammad very seriously: “You will never give up anything for the sake of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, but Allah will give you something better than it in its stead.”[1]Balqis was consoled by Islamic teachings which gave her enormous hope and strength. She was putting the following saying of Prophet Muhammad into practice: “O people, fear Allah and be moderate in seeking a living, for no soul will die until it has received all its provision, even if it is slow in coming. So fear Allah and be moderate in seeking provision; take that which is permissible and leave that which is forbidden.”[2]

Instead, Balqis took up a job in an Auditing firm along Mombasa Road which paid her Kshs 10 000 (about 130$) per month. From the salary she was to spend Kshs 2500 (about 32$) to pay rent to her Guantanamo-looking-like room in Eastleigh, a suburb of Nairobi City. The room she rented was around 2.5 by 1.5 square meters, too small to accommodate a bed. She just had a mattress which was suspended to the window during the day to pave way to a sitting room and at night the mattress was spread to the ground for the place to be transformed to a bedroom. Her monthly transport expenses to her place of work was Kshs 3 000 (about 40$) and her food cost per month was around Kshs 3 000 (about 40$). Putting aside other expenses like medical, the Kshs 10 000 (about 130$) salary was not enough but Balqis persevered.

After one month she got another job as a Bursar at WAMY High School earning Kshs 20 000 (about 260$). She worked with the High School for two months before God’s promise started to materialize. She received an unexpected call. “Is this Chelang’at . . .” the caller asked, “could you please avail yourself for a job interview at our offices.” She had got a good job at Nairobi based Hass Petroleum Company as an accountant. Hass Petroleum is the regional oil Marketing company that has fully fledged operations in East Africa and the Great Lakes Region and is rapidly expanding its activities to other areas. Balqis calls the company a great blessing from Allah for it is the only company in Kenya that does not only separate women’s offices from men’s but also women are allowed to wear their Islamic attires including niqab (face veil). In addition, the company has a reserved place for prayers and at the stipulated Islamic prayer times the employees are allowed to pause their work for prayers. Her starting Salary was double what she was earning from WAMY high School. Moreover, the company has given her an interest-free loan to which she intended to buy land in Nairobi. Currently, the figures in her paying slip is not less than Kshs 80 000 (about 1039$). She now understands that whoever leaves something for the sake of Allah will surely be rewarded with something far better. She left interest-based jobs for the sake of God and now she is working with an Islamic friendly Company. Indeed, this lady had the audacity to go to Heaven by becoming God-conscious in denouncing the forbidden businesses. Ibn Masood, a great scholar and disciple of Prophet Muhammad, defined Piety in these terms: “. . . to obey God and never disobey Him, to remember Him and not forget Him, to thank Him and never be ungrateful to Him.”

At this point, it is vital to digress from her story to remind ourselves that all our needs are broadly categorized as something good you are looking for or something bad you fight against.  One solution for the two needs is provided in the two different verses of the Qur’an. If you are working hard to run away from misfortunes/harms e.g. diseases, joblessness, bad boss, distress, insecurity . . . God says: “And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way out.” [Q 65:2]. A way out of your hardships and adversities, a way out of your fears, a way out of your worries, way out of bankruptcy, unemployment, damage to reputation in the market, natural disaster, technical failure, business failure, ill-health, poverty, and most importantly a way out of Afterlife punishment.

The Go-getters will find the path to achieve their dreams so easy if they are God-conscious. The things you want to possess such as a good job, good house, a dream car, outstanding spouse, riches, anything you want it is easily achievable with the help of piety. The Qur’an reveals: “And for those who fear Allah, He will make their path easy.” [Q65:4]. Even your path to Paradise would be made easier. And that is the greatest success.

Success is therefore determined by the level of God-consciousness. All your dreams will be easily achieved if you have piety and at the same time, with piety, God will make a way out of all the misfortunes and worries that harbors your mind. To build the bridge between success and you, piety must be observed. To be pious means that you must search for the true religion/revelation, know the do’s and don’ts of God and keep up to them. There are others who become ‘successful’ without being pious. This transient earth-based fleeting ‘success’ will avail them not in the hereafter. Their abode will be hell. “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” [Mark 8:36].

Balqis is now married, and adding to her stock of blessings, God gifted her with a baby boy. Inspired by the world’s most influential person* and his recommendation: “Give name (to your children) after my name (i.e. Muhammad) . . . .”[3]the couple rejoiced naming their baby Muhammad. If they get another boy, they intend to name him Ahmad*, yet another name of the Messenger of Allah as mentioned by Jesus himself in a Qur’anic prophecy:

“And [mention] when Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O Children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” But when he came to  them with clear evidences, they said, “This is obvious magic.”[Q 61:6].

“Oh wait a minute,” one would question, “did Jesus predict a phenomenon called ‘Holy Ghost’ or a being named Ahmad?” The answer depends on how much we know about the authenticity of the Bible. Whether it was written according to inspiration or according to uninspired human beings. Or whether it was originally preserved or tampered with! Basically, the answer depends on whether we studied the Bible employing a historical-critical approach or the usual devotional-approach to understanding the Bible. Ignorance in its best manifestation is captured when a person who has never read even a single book evidencing the bible to be inauthentic persists that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God. Dr. Laurence B. Brown who did an extensive research on the authenticity of biblical scripture is one person who is qualified in giving the following statement: “In the face of modern textual criticism, we deceive ourselves (as well as invite ridicule and condemnation) if we believe the Old or New Testaments to be the unadulterated Word of God.”[4]Before you unleash a plethora of qualms and quibbles . . .  or rather I should say, a fair and scholarly response to Brown’s statement should be made after you have read either his  book Mis’Goded or any scholarly work on textual criticism such as the best-seller Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why by the world renowned Bible scholar, Bart D. Ehrman. Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was the recipient of the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement. For more about Ehrman, visit his website, http://www.bartdehrman.com. From Jesus, Interrupted, Bart D. Ehrman writes:

Scholars have made significant progress in understanding the Bible over the past two hundred years and the results of their study are regularly and routinely taught, to both the graduate students in universities and to prospective pastors attending seminaries in preparation for the ministry. Yet such views of the Bible are virtually unknown among the population at large. As a result, not only are most Americans (increasingly) ignorant of the contents of the Bible, but they are also almost completely in the dark about what scholars have been saying about the Bible for the past two centuries.[5]

Another statement that might send shockwaves is that of Professor John Rogerson of Sheffield University, in The Expository Times, 113/8, p.255: “Most congregations are kept in ignorance of the findings of biblical criticism.”

Regarding the Qur’anic verse affirming that the Gospel predicted the coming of Muhammad, it is worth educating the fact that in the Bible, there is the word paraclete (from the Greek parakletos) which can mean “helper, defender, mediator, consoler.” It may be by coincidence or by design that  “the word Paraclete occurs only five times in the Bible, and all five occurrences are in the purported writings of St. John: 1st Epistle of John 2:1; and the Gospel according to John 14:16, 14:26, 15:26, 16:7.”[6]Another observation that beseeches amazement is the fact that, also in the Qur’an, Prophet of Islam is mentioned by name only five times (Q 3:144; Q 33:40; Q 47:2; Q 48:29 and Q 61:6). This may be food for reflection.

Balqis is not the only lover of Muhammad, the Messenger of God. The Times reports that “Muhammad is now second only to Jack as the most popular name for baby boys in Britain and is likely to rise to No 1 by next year, a study by The Times has found.”[7]And in January 2005, an article in The Guardian stated that: “In Brussels, Mohammed has been the most popular name for boy babies for the last four years.”[8]Besides, in Religion on the Rise, Hofmann declares: “. . . for years now, “Muhammad” has been the name most frequently given to baby boys in France.”[9]

Back to Balqis’ story. I forgot to mention that Balqis did French at Alliance Française in Nairobi. Also, she is about to be a CPA (K), which is obtained by  passing all the six sections of the Certified Public Accountants (CPA) exams administered by Kenya Accountants and Secretaries National Examination Board (KASNEB). Having passed section five, Caroline is planning to sit for Section six exams as soon as possible. Besides engaging in a perpetual study of Islam, she is also doing some private studies in Arabic. She has greatly progressed to an extent of saying, “No one can now say things in Arabic behind my back.”

Contact Information:

P.O. Box 102489 – 00101



Email: balqischepkwony@yahoo.com

Phone: +254722941896

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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[1] *See Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah li’l-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wa’l-Ifta’, 15/8: {“Life insurance is a kind of commercial insurance, which is haraam (forbidden), because it involves uncertainty, interest and gambling, and consuming wealth unlawfully. It is not permissible to work in commercial insurance companies, because this is a kind of cooperating in sin, which Allah has forbidden, as He says: “Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment”[Q 5:2]}

. Ahmad # 22565.  It was also classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Da’eefah, hadith no. 5.

[2]. Ibn Maajah #2144, Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.

[3] * Dr. Michael H. Hart wrote a book titled The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History and to people’s surprise, he could only (objectively) see Prophet Muhammad fit to lead the list of the world’s most influential persons. See Hart, Michael H. The 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Persons in History. New York: Kensington Publishing Corp., 2000.p.3.

. Muslim Bk. 25, No. 5325. Also Prophet Muhamad had said, “Name yourselves by my name. . . .” See Bukhari Vol. 8, Bk. 73, No. 207; Bukhari Vol. 8, Bk. 73, No. 216;  Bukhari Vol. 8, Bk. 73, No. 217.

* Prophet Muhammad was reported to have said: “I have many names, I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am Maahi (the one who erases-eradicates) through whom Allah has eradicated kufr (Disbelief). I am Haashir, whom Allah will raise first on the day of Qiyama (Resurrection Day), the whole Ummah (Nation) will be judged before my feet on the day of Qiyama. I am ‘Aaqib (the one who comes last), and that ‘Aaqib, after whom there shall be no other nabi (Prophet).” See Tirmidhi Chapter 51, Hadith No. 1 (360).

[4]. Brown, Laurence B. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007.p. 219.

[5]. Ehrman, D. Bart.  Jesus Interrupted. Front Flap. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2009. ; Also see “Cover Content From the Publisher.” bartdehrman.com. Retrieved on 25 Nov. 2009. <http://www.bartdehrman.com/books/jesus_interrupted.htm&gt;

[6]. New Catholic Encyclopedia. Vol 10, p. 989.

[7]. Nugent, Helen  and Nadia Menuhin. “Muhammad is No 2 in boy’s names.” The Times 6 June 2007.

[8]. Browne, Anthony. “The Triumph of the East.” The Guardian 27 Jan. 2005.

[9]. Hofmann, Murad Wilfried. Religion on The Rise: Islam in the Third Millennium. Maryland: Amana Publications, 2001.p. 183.

My Favorite Conversion Story

“Kiss the hand of him who can renounce what he has publicly taught, when convicted of his error and who, with heartfelt joy, embraces the truth, though with the sacrifice of Favorite opinions.” 

                                                                                         ~ Johann Kaspar

In my unfathomable research on conversions to Islam, I was greatly overawed by a story of a unique man called Laurence Brown. I really didn’t want to mention this but I shed tears while reading his story (when a man cries, know it’s serious). I decided to pick his story as the best conversion story I ever read. Maybe there is something in his story that is very common with my life drama . . . (to be revealed in future writings).

Brief Bio of Dr. Laurence Brown as it appears in His Website

A product of Christian-American ancestry dating back to the year 1677, up until his conversion to Islam in April of 1994, Dr. Brown easily could have passed as an example of a man who lived the stereotypical American dream. A graduate from two Ivy League universities with subspecialty training in ophthalmology, Dr. Brown served as a respected ophthalmologist in the U.S. Air Force for a period of eight years.
Midway through his Air Force career, Dr. Brown’s ‘ideal American family’ included a wife, two children, and the requisite two cars and a dog. His country home was crowded with the full array of comforts and toys which clutter the lives of those preoccupied with materialism. Yet Dr. Brown ended up sacrificing virtually everything he had worked for when he faced a religious conviction that overturned his lifelong priorities. Following a personal miracle through which the life of his daughter was saved, Dr. Brown redirected his focus to religious study in an attempt to make good on a promise made to God. In the process, Dr. Brown followed the chain of revelation through the Abrahamic religions from Judaism to Christianity and, in the end, to Islam. It is the result of that study that he relates in this series of thought-provoking books.* In the same manner that Dr. Brown’s choice of religion confronted his slice of the American dream, so too do his religious conclusions challenge the Western religious establishment.

Laurence Brown received his B.A. from Cornell University, his MD from Brown University Medical School, and his ophthalmology residency training at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. His immediate family presently consists of his wife, three daughters, and an ever changing assortment of parrots and hamsters.[1]


Dr Laurence Brown’s Conversion Story as he narrates it

Having repeatedly been asked about how I became Muslim, and why, I have decided to tell the story one last time, but this time on paper. However, I feel conversion stories are worthless unless related with the lessons learned, and it is with those lessons that I intend to begin.

No doubt, there is a certain fascination with conversion stories, and for good reason. Frequently they involve dramatic life-altering events, sufficient to shock the convert out of the materialistic world and into the spiritual. Those who experience such life dramas are brought face to face with the bigger issues of life for the first time, forcing them to ask the ‘Purpose of Life’ questions, such as ‘Who made us?’ and ‘Why are we here?’ But there are other common elements to ‘conversion’ stories, and one of them is that the convert is humbled to his or her knees at such moments, and looking back, most relate having prayed with sincerity for the first time in their lives. I have been intrigued by these commonalties, and have noted some significant lessons. The first, I would say, is that most converts who passed through these moments of trial and panic prayed directly to God, without intermediary, and without distraction. For example, even those who spent their lives believing in the Trinity, when faced with catastrophe, instinctively and reflexively prayed directly to God, and never to the other proposed elements of the Trinity.

Let me relate a story as example. A popular television evangelist once had a lady relate her ‘Born Again’ Christian conversion story, which revolved around a terrible boat-wreck, from which she was the sole survivor. This lady related how during her days and nights of survival against the harsh elements of the open ocean God spoke to her, God guided her, God protected her, etc. You get the idea. For maybe five to ten minutes she told her tale, which was indeed dramatic and captivating, but throughout the story she related how God did this, God did that, and seeking His favor, she prayed to God and to God Alone. However, when she was saved by a passing ship, she described how the minute she landed on the ship’s deck she threw her arms open to the heavens and yelled, “Thank you, Jesus.”

Well, there is a lesson there, and it relates to sincerity. When in the panic and stress of circumstance, people instinctively pray to God directly, but when conceiving themselves safe and secure they frequently fall back into previously held beliefs, many (if not most) of which are misdirected. Now, we all know that many Christians equate Jesus with God, and for those who would like to argue the point, I just suggest they read my book on the subject, entitled The First and Final Commandment (Amana Publications).* For all others, I would just continue by saying that the real question is ‘Who truly is saved?’ There are countless convert stories, all telling how the God of this or that religion saved the person in question, and all of these converts conceive themselves to be upon the truth by nature of the miracle of their salvation. But as there is only One God, and therefore only one religion of absolute truth, the fact of the matter is that only one group can be right and all others are living in delusion, with their personal miracles having confirmed them upon disbelief rather than upon truth. As Allah teaches in the Holy Qur’an, “Allah leaves astray whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]” [Q 13:27] and “So those who believe in Allah and hold fast to Him – He will admit them to mercy from Himself and bounty and guide them to Himself on a straight path.” [Q 4:175] As for those astray in disbelief, they will be left to stray, as they themselves chose.

But the strength of belief, even when misdirected, is not to be underestimated. So who is going to become Muslim based upon my conversion story? Only one person — me. Muslims may find some encouragement in my story but others may be left empty, just as Muslims sigh and shake their heads in despair when hearing others relate the ‘miracles’ which followed prayers to patron saints, partners in the Trinity, or other distractions from the One True God. For if a person prays to something or someone other than our Creator, who, if not God, might be the one answering those prayers? Could it just possibly be a certain one who has a vested interest in confirming those who are astray upon their particular flavor of disbelief? One whose dedicated purpose is to lead mankind astray?

However a person chooses to answer those questions, these are issues addressed at length in The First and Final Commandment, and those interested can investigate. But for now, I will tell my story.
In the winter of 1990, when my second daughter was born, she was whisked from the birthing room to the neonatal intensive care unit, where she was diagnosed with a coarctation of the aorta. This meaning a critical narrowing in the major vessel from the heart, she was a dusky gunmetal blue from the chest to the toes, for her body simply was not getting enough blood and her tissues were suffocating. When I learned of the diagnosis, I was shattered. Being a doctor, I understood this meant emergency thoracic surgery with a poor chance of long-term survival. A consultant cardio-thoracic surgeon was called from across town at the pediatric hospital in Washington, D.C., and upon his arrival I was asked to leave the intensive care unit, for I had become overly emotional. With no companion but my fears, and no other place of comfort to which to go while awaiting the result of the consultant’s examination, I went to the prayer room in the hospital and fell to my knees. For the first time in my life I prayed with sincerity and commitment. Having spent my life as an atheist, this was the first time that I even partially recognized God. I say partially, for even in this time of panic I was not fully believing, and so prayed a rather skeptical prayer in which I promised God, if, that is, there was a God, that if He would save my daughter then I would seek and follow the religion most pleasing to Him. Ten to fifteen minutes later, when I returned to the Neonatal ICU, I was shocked when the consultant told me that my daughter would be fine. And, true to his assessment, within the next two days her condition resolved without medicine or surgery, and she subsequently grew up a completely normal child.

Now, I know that there is a medical explanation for this. As I said, I am a doctor. So when the consultant explained about a patent ductus arteriosis, low oxygenation and eventual spontaneous resolution, I understood. I just didn’t buy it. More significantly, neither did the Intensivist – the Neonatal ICU specialist who made the diagnosis. To this day I remember seeing him standing, blank-faced and speechless. But in the end, the consultant was right and the condition spontaneously reversed and my daughter, Hannah, left the hospital a normal baby in every respect. And here’s the rub — many who make promises to God in moments of panic find or invent excuses to escape their part of the bargain once the danger is past. As an atheist, it would have been easy to maintain my disbelief in God, assigning my daughter’s recovery to the doctor’s explanation rather than to God. But I couldn’t. We had cardiac ultrasound taken before and after, showing the stricture one day, gone the next, and all I could think of was that God had made good on His part of the deal, and I had to make good on mine. And even if there were an adequate medical explanation, that too was under the control of Almighty God, so by whatever means God chose to effect His decree, He had answered my prayer. Period. I did not then, and I do not now, accept any other explanation.

The next few years I tried to fulfill my side of the bargain, but failed. I studied Judaism and a number of sects of Christianity, but never felt that I had found the truth. Over time I attended a wide variety of Christian churches, spending the longest period of time in Roman Catholic congregation. However, I never embraced Christian faith. I never could, for the simple reason that I could not reconcile the biblical teachings of Jesus with the teachings of the various sects of Christianity. Eventually I just stayed home and read, and during this time I was introduced to the Holy Qur’an and Martin Lings’s biography of the prophet, Muhammad, entitled, Muhammad, His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.
During my years of study, I had encountered the Jewish scriptures referencing three prophets to follow Moses. With John the Baptist and Jesus Christ being two, that left one according to the Old Testament, and in the New Testament Jesus Christ himself spoke of a final prophet to follow. Not until I found the Holy Qur’an teaching the oneness of God, as both Moses and Jesus Christ had taught, did I begin to consider Muhammad as the predicted final prophet, and not until I read the biography of Muhammad did I become convinced. And when I did become convinced, suddenly everything made sense. The continuity in the chain of prophethood and revelation, the One-ness of Almighty God, and the completion of revelation in the Holy Qur’an suddenly made perfect sense, and it was then that I became Muslim.

Pretty smart, hunh? No, not at all. For I would err greatly if I believed that I figured it out for myself. One lesson I have learned over the past ten years as a Muslim is that there are a lot of people much more intelligent than I am, but who have not been able to figure out the truth of Islam. It is not a matter of intelligence but of enlightenment, for Allah has revealed that those who disbelieve will remain upon disbelief, even if warned, for in punishment for having denied Allah, Allah in turn has denied them the treasure of His truth. As Allah teaches in the Holy Qur’an, “Indeed, those who disbelieve – it is all the same for them whether you warn them or do not warn them – they will not believe. Allah has set a seal upon their hearts and upon their hearing, and over their vision is a veil.” [Q 2:6-7] But, on the other hand, the good news is that “…whoever believes in Allah – He will guide his heart” [Q 64:11], “Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back (to Him)” [Q 42:13], and “And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.” [Q 24:46]

So I thank Allah that He chose to guide me, and I attribute that guidance to one simple formula: recognizing God, praying to God Alone, sincerely promising to seek and follow His religion of truth, and then, once receiving His mercy of guidance, DOING IT.[2]


You have read Dr. Brown’s own narration of his reversion. Maybe, you may want to know the hardships he went through after the conversion. Like any sincere convert, going through temptations is inevitable. Similarly Dr. Brown didn’t find a formula of bypassing trials; they just kept coming while he persisted with endurance and steadfastness until God brought easiness. And for sure, “. . . Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” [Q 65:7] Within a period of one year of his conversion, his ex-wife divorced him, took his children into her custody, took his house, his wealth and of course a certain amount of his happiness. Even after being asked by the court whether Laurence Brown was beating her or mistreating her, the wife admitted that Dr. Laurence was not a wife-beater but she insisted on wanting a divorce. How sad it was for Laurence when the wife was granted a restraining order on him that he can not go 100 yards of her, of their house and of their children. The court made Dr. Brown hire a security officer to protect the children from him! How could she, a catholic cope with a Muslim! Maybe to her, staying with a practicing Muslim husband was a worrisome, life-threatening and shocking experience! They lived together for all that period but after Dr. Brown made the ‘mistake’ of converting to Islam, divorce became an ideal punishment.

Another blow to Dr. Brown was that his parents disinherited him. They at one time wrote a letter to Dr. Laurence Brown saying that they don’t want to see him, hear from him, no phone calls, no nothing. The problems Dr. Brown faced were not confined to his family but kept on following him even at work. After the conversion, he found his job no longer compatible with his faith. At that time, he had been in the America Air force for a period of twelve years. Working as a military major in the US war machine and being Muslim, it troubled his conscience. He had to leave the military. That’s not all. He faced problems at work, as well as problems of prejudice.

His friends whom he used to hang out with deserted him. He was no longer the fun person in their minds. Who will find fun in a guy who would not shake hands with the opposite sex? Someone who doesn’t party anymore, doesn’t drink! Doesn’t even go to places where alcohol is consumed! Not only did he love to take alcohol but he even used to brew his own beer but after the conversion, he gave up all that because he wanted to please God and not his friends or parents. At one time, his parents told Dr. Laurence that they miss his beer. Dr. Brown says that Islamic values such as not shaking hands are completely in line with Jesus way of life. He says that Jesus was a rabbi, an orthodox Jew. “Show me anywhere in the Bible”, Brown challenged, “where Jesus Christ touched a member of the opposite sex outside of his family please. Show me that. It didn’t happen.” He went on to explain that “Orthodox Jews to this day do not touch women outside their family”. According to Dr. Laurence, it is an article of respect not to touch the opposite sex. This idea is not a monopoly of Laurence, every sane thinker agrees that anything precious should highly be protected. Some people even get offended if you touch their cars because they know full well that you don’t have a right to touch what is not yours. And to Muslims, women are more precious than the cars.

More tragedies were to follow. Dr. Brown had no place to stay and he was forced to live in a pay-by-week studio apartment in a real bad part of town. And don’t ever think the room he rented was good. Just a funny pay-by-week apartment with no guest room yet what he owned before in his property was a real house and a separate guest house. For him to go to his floor of the studio apartment, he had to either use the elevator or the stairs. However, people use to urinate in the elevator and the stairs weren’t any better for he had to hold his nose because people were urinating in the stairways as well.

Everyone admits that Islam is not an easy religion; you have to go through a lot of hardship. Sacrificing your time to pray five times a day, 365 days a year; Fasting for an entire month every year; mandated to go for pilgrimage in the desert land of Saudi Arabia instead of spending your wealth and time on a once-in-a-lifetime-experience vacation in French Riviera or in Caribbean island. In and of itself, Islam has never been an easy religion and on top of that if you dare to convert, you are most likely going to face more hardships from the rest of humanity. Maybe that is why those who know of the truth of Islam hesitate to convert because of these hardships. “If it were a party everybody would be doing it” says Dr. Brown. As an advice to converts-to-be, Laurence Brown says, “If you become Muslim, expect to be tested”. Despite all these trials, Laurence admits that Allah filled his heart with peace and satisfaction.  Probably what gave him strength to go on was his realization of the true meaning of existence as he himself discloses: “. . . Allah showed me what was really of value, showed me that this world [the material aspects of this life] is nothing compared to living upon the path of truth, living upon the path of the religion of our Creator’s design.”

This might sound funny to others but Laurence Brown says that he doesn’t regret anything, he is happy to have accepted Islam and despite all those difficulties, he does not regret his initial decision of becoming a Muslim. Contemplating on Brown’s hardships because of Islam, one would ask questions like: Why is Islam the most-fought-against religion; why are there hardships and obstacles in the path of Islam; why do people find Islam a difficult religion, then you remember Frank A. Clark’s words: “If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere”, and hence it dawns on the thinking person that maybe Islam is that true path which is fought even by Satan.

“I have been Muslim for about fifteen years” says Dr. Laurence, “I can honestly say that I never gave up anything for the pleasure of Allah except that He gave me what was better.” Dr. Brown lost his house in America, but Allah gave him residence in one of the two all-time top places to live in the world. You may want to know the top three world’s best cities to live and you will be amazed that Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Vancouver, and Sydney have no position. Of all the cities of the world, Makkah and Madina always take the top positions. Dr. Laurence Brown after losing his property in USA, Allah replaced all that with a better residence in the best place on earth: Madina. The city with an Anti-Christ guard as Muhammad, the handler of God’s revelation said that “There will be no town which Ad-Dajjal [the anti-Christ] will not enter except Mecca and Medina, and there will be no entrance (road) (of both Mecca and Medina) but the angels will be standing in rows guarding it against him. . . .”[3] Prophet Muhammad, in fact, prayed for this beautiful city saying: “O Allah! Bestow on Medina twice the blessings You bestowed on Makkah.”[4]  For quality living, I recommend Madina. A place where true brotherhood, sisterhood, tranquility, safety, morality and God-fearing is its hallmark. In Madina, you don’t worry about crime, and you can even sleep with house door open and you are sure of not seeing intruders. I have been there, and believe me, it is the best place to live. His wife divorced him but then Allah gave him another wife and as he says “I am happier with my second wife than I ever was with my first wife.” His ex-wife took the children into her custody but then Allah gave him another child with his new wife. Dr. Brown lost his friends but then God gave him many better friends in the Muslim world. As Allah said “The believers [i.e. Muslims] are nothing else than brothers” [Q 49:10], the current 1.57 billion Muslims in the world consider Dr. Brown as their brother in faith. His friends in America deserted him but Allah gave him friends from America and abroad. To Dr. Brown, from Kenya I caringly say “I love you for the sake of Allah.” Dr. Brown’s own brother was that kind of brother who was always fighting with him. They were always at each other’s throats, however this brother also converted to Islam and it was after this conversion that they really became true brothers. His parents are now back on good terms with him; Dr. Brown now communicates with his children on phone and every year, they get together on a vacation; and generally his life circumstance improved greatly. He has been hearing negative statements even worse than the one he narrates here: “Many years ago a Christian bigot described Islam to me as ‘a deviant religion.’” But such parroted slander was the reason for turning Dr. Laurence to be a successful and outstanding author because it made him author his best-selling books God’ed and MisGod’ed. Such books did not only silence the opinionated people but they attracted brain-users to embrace Islam and, with undeniable evidences, showed Christianity as a deviant religion. “We must analyze objectively and embrace the truth, whether it confirms opinions we consider distasteful or conflicts with concepts we hold dear” He writes. To the non-Muslims, Dr. Laurence Brown has the following message for you:

“Anybody out there who perceives the truth of Islam and wants to embrace Islam, do not be afraid for a second. Do not be afraid of what you will lose, do not be afraid of what you will face, do not be afraid of the trials and the hardships. Just pray to Allah to make it easy for you, to give you patience, to give you strength to bear it, not to test you beyond your ability to bear and to bless you with abundance therein. Because I can guarantee you from my experience and from the experiences of other converts I have known that after you become Muslim, Allah will fill you such a sense of internal richness that you will realize that everything that you valued before Islam was for nothing”


For the eager seeker after the true religion, I would highly recommend Laurence Brown’s three great books reading them in the following order:

1. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions

[Paperback: 352 pages]

2. God’ed?: The Case for Islam as the Completion of Revelation [Paperback: 344 pages]

3. Bearing True Witness (Or, “Now that I’ve Found Islam, What Do I Do With It?”)

[Hardcover: 116 pages]

These groundbreaking, well-researched, unbiased and fact-based masterpieces would provide us with the roadmap to the true religion. Why don’t you order them online if the local bookstore has not stocked them? Here are the front covers of the books:

Laurence Brown’s Contact Information:

Email: BrownL38@yahoo.com






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{Excerpted from Salim Boss’ book “They are either Extremely Smart or Extremely Ignorant”. Buy the eBook  for $1.9 and the paperback for $9. Just click here to buy the book}

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[References: American Convert goes through JIHAD – “I lost my wife,house and guest house.” 28 Jan. 2010. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 4 Oct. 2010. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY6tjyEkxyI&gt;; “Top American Surgeon embraced Islam – “I was trying very hard to be a Christian.”08 Jan. 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 9 Oct. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J5_VETwfew&feature=channel&gt;; “Dr. Laurence Brown from USA explains why he embraced Islam. . . .” 27 April 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 9 Oct. 2009.<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Z2L90pK9gI&feature=related&gt;;“Atheist” 19 Feb. 2009. YouTube.com. Online video clip. Accessed on 9 Oct. 2009. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNKZC2DN-KU&feature=related&gt;; Brown, Laurence B. MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007; Brown, Laurence B. God’ed: The Case for Islam as the Completion of Revelation. USA: BookSurge Publishing, 2007.]




[1]. <http://www.leveltruth.org/about.asp > Retrieved 15 April 2009.

*Laurence Brown’s ground-breaking, can’t-put-down books include MisGod’ed: A Roadmap of Guidance and Misguidance in the Abrahamic Religions; God’ed: the Case for Islam as the Completion of Revelation; Bearing True Witness (Or, “Now that I’ve Found Islam, What Do I Do With It?”) and The Eighth Scroll. They are all must-reads.

* The First and Final Commandment has now been rewritten in two separate books; MisGod’ed and God’ed.

[2]. Taken from Dr. Laurence Brown’s official website:  <http://www.LevelTruth.com>

[3]. Bukhari Vol. 3, Bk. 30, No.105

[4]. Bukhari Vol. 3, Bk. 30, No.109