The consequences of hatred

   
I was a Hindu by birth and my name was Roja. I never knew the concept of God. I knew that we were supposed to go to temples, join hands in front of the idols and offer things which are dear to us to those idols. I thought that this was divinity and that they were the only gods. Since childhood, such was my routine and I was never discontented with it. As I entered the threshold of youth, the sweet sixteen, I was given in marriage by my parents. I did not even know the meaning of marriage at that time but I had to go, live with entirely strange people in an entirely strange atmosphere but very soon I got acquainted with them because of their loving, caring and jolly natures.

At my in-laws house, Raju, a relative, used to visit us quite often and make us laugh. We all loved him a lot; no day was left without his visit. In other words I can say that we were addicted to his personality, his jokes and his manners. After one year and a half, I was pregnant and that made us all happy.

 One day, all of a sudden, I heard some noises in the street and I ran to enquire about it. But my mother in law stopped me and told me that she would go out and see into the matter. She opened the door and stepped out but she had to curl herself back in because of a rain of stones outside with filth and cries. She could not understand the situation and she rushed in and slamming the door behind her. She locked the door from inside and I realized that she was trembling. I was pushed in a corner when I tried to enquire about the outside situation. We fearfully locked ourselves indoors and waited for the men of the house to return.

 The whole day passed while we heard the shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Rama Rama’, with  the hurls of stones, and at night passed by the sound of police men’s whistles and their heavy boots. None of our men turned up. And every moment proved to be unbelievably long. At even the slightest thud, we looked expectantly towards the door and were alert to open it; but in vain. Neither the men came nor did we hear any news about them. But after a day and a half’s painful waiting, there was a heavy crowd which made loud noises at our doorstep. My sixth sense was alarming me of some danger. The door was knocked very roughly and we rushed to open it. On opening the door, I saw a huge crowd surrounding a cot which was carried by few men and one or two women of our neighborhood, who were wailing. On seeing this, I lost my bearings and I felt as if someone squeezed away my strength from my legs and I could not stand on them. I found myself trying to hold myself steady on the ground. After a little while, when I came to my senses, I was told by my neighborhood’s women that there was a riot between Hindus and Muslims. It was because a Hindu had dishonored the Muslims at the day of their festival. So the Muslims got angry and it resulted in the riot. As a result, a lot of families, including ours, had to share the consequences. My father in law, who went to console the people not to fight over such slight issues of religion, was killed. It was the first jolt I received, for he was a very loving man who loved me like my very own father.

 At that moment my feelings about Muslims were such that if I were to get my hands upon any of them, I would have slaughtered them without any hesitation. On that day, the barbarism of Muslims didn’t end with killing of my father in law, but Raju was also killed. His death shocked me. I was out of control. I battled for my release from the house, so that I may take revenge with the Muslims, but police intervened and as I was small, they threatened me and I kept quiet for the time being. But the hatred I had for Muslims took root in my heart firmly.

People were keeping me in darkness about the whereabouts of the other family members because of my pregnancy. I was so overtaken by the loss of that boy and my father in law that I forgot to enquire about whereabouts of my husband. All of a sudden when I remembered my husband and started asking each and every person madly about him, the people were reluctant to tell me anything about him. I started panicking and when I became uncontrollable, someone told me that he was in the hospital with wounds and cuts and that he was stabbed by a Muslim. As soon as I heard it, I passed out.

I didn’t know how long I was in that state. So many things happened that I could not understand what was going on. I couldn’t answer why it happened, neither could I figure out what would be the next turn of life. I was afraid and in constant fear that something wrong is going to happen.

My mind stopped working; my parents came and forced me to go with them. In such critical conditions, how could I leave my mother in law alone? I realized that only a heartless person could have left, so I refused to go with them. Moreover I was very much anxious to know about my husband. Somehow I convinced my parents to let me stay with my in-laws.

 When the riots were under control, I managed to get permission to see my husband. I was stunned to see him. I remembered him as a fat hefty person, but now I saw a very weak and unrecognizable man. The moment I saw my husband, I cursed the Muslims with the worst curses I knew! They were responsible for my husband’s condition. The venom of hatred increased by each passing day as my husband’s health was waning. He came back home from the hospital; but he was not like before. One of his palms was paralyzed, he had problem in his chest and he couldn’t lift any heavy object.

 Slowly the happiness evaporated from our life, and dejection and disappointment took its place. Years rolled by. We were running short of money and things. We had to experience the hardships of life. When I delivered, my mother again came to take me, but I refused and stayed with my family. I lost support from my parents because of my disobedience. Meanwhile, I had another child.  Our conditions grew worst. All the money that was saved by my husband was consumed, the gold which was given to me in my marriage and the household things; all of it came to an end. We were literally on the roads. My daily work was to curse Muslims and hate them more and more because of whom my family and its happiness were completely ruined.

         In such a dark atmosphere, there raised a beam of light. I found a chance of going to Kuwait. As I was against of Muslims, it was not at all appealing to me but my conditions forced me to think about the opportunity. My conditions were so bad that there was no time to think much about it. So I decided to go to Kuwait.

After coming here, I didn’t let my feelings regarding the Muslims change but I had to control my thoughts. Slowly I forgot my past because of my busy life. I devoted myself to serve these people because I was regaining my lost conditions, my family was becoming better, I joined my children in school and I got rid of all my debts. Thus, I could mentally relax myself. Then, I started looking around me: the people, their habits, their way of life; particularly their 5 times prayers. Looking at them, I increased my prayers to my gods; but I felt some dissatisfaction that I couldn’t explain nor understand.

Quite often I would think as to why my feelings regarding the Muslims were changing? Why my harsh feelings were disappearing? Instead of taking revenge, why was I feeling good towards them? Why? The answer, I realized was that I personally never saw any wrong in them or about Islam or in its ways and values. I thought of the past incidents. At that time I was so angry that I did not even think for a while about the condition of Muslims. I did not notice how many Muslims were put to death. I was deaf and blind about their destruction. So I could not understand the situation. But when I started peeping into the truth, I came to know that the riots were not started by Muslims but it were Hindus who dishonored their procession and hurled stones at them. In defense, they also pelted stones and it resulted in destruction on both sides. If Hindus lost their lives in single digit, Muslims lost in double digits. In this way, years after the riot, I managed to plunge into the truth and I was able to convince myself that both were wrong.

Then, I started comparing my religion with Islam. I felt that there is something true and great in Islam which I couldn’t find in my religion. In my country I had a very bitter experience of Islam and Muslims but here, I found the religion to be different. After a long inner battle I came to a conclusion that Islam is the best religion but Indian Muslims are among the worst followers because they neither let anyone know about the qualities of Islam nor do they follow it well so that others may get attracted to it. Instead, their behavior is such that it makes others hate Islam.

Once, some one gave me a set of books about Islam. I read them all one by one with great curiosity and interest and I finally found the truth. I then decided to become Muslim and told my sponsor to take me to the Office where I can pronounce my evidence. I was taken to Islam Presentation Committee. After becoming a Muslim, I attended classes and got the opportunity of going to Umrah. When I visited Makkah, my spirit was raised high. I wished that I could die there! I didn’t feel like returning. On my way back, I felt as if I left my heart back in Makkah. I wished that I could return to Makkah.

I thought with dejection as to why wasn’t I born in a Muslim family. Even if I was born in a hindu family, why didn’t I realize the truth about Islam earlier; why had I wasted so much of my life?  Why did I delay in opening my eyes?

But Alhumdulillah, better late than never; I found the treasure of Islam. From now onwards till the end of life, Insaha Allah, I will follow Islam to the best of ability and carry out the responsibility of preaching Islam to Non Muslims. May Allah grant my wish to perform this duty – Ameen!

Lastly, I would like to thank IPC for providing me the opportunity of knowing Islam through its booklets, offering the classes which helped to increase my understanding it in a better way and giving me the chance of going to Umrah. I pray to Allah the Almighty to develop IPC and its work day and night so that the people who are living in ignorance may receive through it guidance to the right way of life. Ameen!

 

                       From

                                                      Roja (Sumayya)

A PLEA OF NEW MUSLIMS TO THEIR

O Ma’am, I am your helper and slave

I survived on the food and clothes you gave

 I was simply a walking figure with a shade

Just a dummy and a creature when I came

 

It’s you who taught me life and made me brave

You carved me out of figure into a dame

 

You colored my life by cultivating with beams of manner

And tailored my personality with seams of glamour

 

Above all you lead me to the path of Islam

While I was taking the names of Jesus and Ram

 

You dragged me out of the cave of bleakness

And then protected and saved me from its darkness

 

You pulled me out of the pit of ignorance

And drove me towards the light of guidance

 

But when I started loving this way

You are trying to keep me, from it, away

Do you think the knowledge you gave me about this way is enough?
Know that to change my polytheist family’s hearts is tough

No, I know it is not sufficient

To make myself efficient

And to fight with the lovers of false Gods

I have to armor myself with weapons of knowledge

 Hope you understand my anguish

And stand by me to fulfill my ‘Learning’ wish

The guilt led me towards Islam

   I am from Railway Koduru Caddapah. I grew under the kind guidance of my parents. They gave me little education and soon after, got me married to a nice man. I wanted to study more but I couldn’t because my parents thought that a woman should be educated enough to read and write letters. Being helpless, I got married knowing nothing yet harboring a lot of dreams.

 

My fate gave me a great jolt with which there was a full stop to my dreams and I was forced to look at the reality of life and face it. The greatest disaster of my life was my husband’s death after 2 years of marriage which shattered my dreams, shackled my life and encompassed darkness all around. I hadn’t matured yet, I had not known life or the world properly. I thought all my ways were blocked; but when all the ways seem to be blocked, one way of the hope always remains open, and that way is God’s. He guided me towards the way of knowledge; He gave me the thought of fulfilling my incomplete dream of achieving higher education.

 

I collected all my lost strength and spirit to acquire any qualification so that I may get a job for my survival. My parents co-operated with me in doing so. And thus I was able to continue my education. I earned a BA, did a poly-technique course and nursing. As soon as I finished nursing, one of my cousins who was working in Kuwait pitied me and brought a visa for me. I was taken as a secretary in Kuwait Home Medical Care. Later I was given the designation of Receptionist cum nursing coordinator.

 

Once I got settled in work, I felt very comfortable. I felt as if after a long tiresome walk in the hot desert I got a cool and pleasant shelter where I can take a long breath of relaxation. I started to look at the life afresh. My dreams of youth came back and I started to fly with them. In the course of time, I met a Muslim man who was very kind and loving, I always felt safe and secure in his company. How our relationship started, I do not know; but we found ourselves living together without marriage under the same roof.

 

When I became self sufficient economically I started looking at the people around me all over Kuwait, where ever I went, whom ever I met, particularly the Muslims, I didn’t see anything except good in them. Then I started looking into their lives keenly: their way of living, talking, behaving with others, dealing with non-Muslims, their piety, way of praying, fasting everything. In all matters, I found them pure. This attracted me very much and my conscious started pricking me as to why don’t I follow their way when I have such a good opinion about them.

As soon as this thought came to me, I started thinking about my responsibilities: my relatives and the society and the relation that concerned me the most was my relationship with the person I was living with. This thought did not let me sleep. I was committing a sin. And I thought how come it’s possible for me to accept Islam with such a great sin, how………………………………………..?

I was uncomfortable with this thought; the guilt of adultery made me shudder. I lived with this man for years but never thought in this way, I never had discomfort in my heart but as soon as my way of thinking changed, the opinion I had about myself also changed. What shall I do? Where shall I go? Whom shall I consult? I tried to talk to my companion but he brushed it away lightly by saying that marriage is the conjugation of two minds and hearts. This statement though being logical, cannot certify in the society and in the court of God. This was my condition. So I took shelter in the religious books. As I was a Hindu, I started praying to all my gods. The upheaval and crisis which ruled my mind was not hidden from my Christian friend. She took the advantage of my condition and offered me the Bible. I read that also, but in vain. I did not get any interest in that. I was blaming myself, why did I get involved in such an act which is blazing my heart and making me ashamed of myself.

At this juncture, some of my Muslim colleagues who saw my condition advised me to read Islamic books and gave me some books and the holy Qur’an. I took them with respect and honored the books by reading them. As I was reading them, the knots of my mind opened one after the other and I found peace in Islam.

Allah is Rahman and Raheem. He is the one who obliterates the misdeeds of human beings on the condition that we do not repeat that sin. So I requested my companion to marry me so that the wound of my sin may be heeled. The person, being a family man, hesitated for the marriage but my burning tears melted his heart and he agreed to marry.

So one fine day, I took leave from my work and came to IPC and pronounced the testimony. Then I went to the court and got married. Now I am free from all negative thoughts and I am hopeful about the future. Islam showed me a new perspective and added beauty to my life. Now-a-days I am keen to learn Qur’an. Insha Allah I will learn the Qur’an and Allah will make it easy for me. I am thankful to all my Muslim friends for their cooperation in guiding me towards Islam.

                                                                                

A sister in Islam

Sharmila Devi

Sharmila Bano.

Date 21-5-2007

MY JOURNEY TOWARDS ISLAM

     My name was Ratna Kumari. I was born and brought up as a good Christian with so many restrictions of do’s and don’ts and belief in Trinity.  I was one of the regular churchgoers and punctual readers of the Bible. Life was very simple and colorless.

     Marriage happened to me dramatically in my life. There lived a Muslim family in our neighborhood with whom we had good terms.  One of the boys of that family proposed to me for marriage through his parents. My parents were against this marriage because of the difference in our religions. I was against it because of his idleness. My parents were afraid of the people around, whereas I was scared about my insecure future. But the boy was seriously in love with me and insisted my parents to agree for our marriage.  At last, he won the hearts of my parents and they agreed, and I halfheartedly. We got married.  I was named Raziya.

  

     Though my husband and his family were not so religious but they tried to teach me Islam and prayers.’ Me! To win the hearts of them all, I used to pretend to bow in submission to Allah with Subhana Rabbiyal Azeem and Subhana Rabbiyal A’ala on my lips and Yahowa and Jesus in heart and mind. This could not last long because there was a serious disagreement between my mind and heart. I could not fake for a long time. I thought that one cannot sail in both boats at once, the sailor will drown. I felt the danger to my religion. So with the fear of losing my religion, I escaped from my in-laws home to my parents. They tried to convince me a lot, but all was in vain. Both the families put all their efforts to patch me up with the new beliefs, but I stubbornly refused to budge an inch from my belief.  My husband waited for my return patiently. He was disappointed of my behavior and joined me in my parents’ home. Later neither he talked about Islam nor did I remember anything about it. Life was passing through with all its hedges and ditches without any joys except the good news of child that also were momentary because a child is burden without money. Slowly I was caught in troubles. There was no peace of mind and no satisfaction in Life.  Life became a burden and my mind was occupied by dejection. There was no way for me to get out of those troubles. I don’t know how I got the chance of getting to Kuwait. Somehow, I came to Kuwait and for three years lived the same dark life. I always felt that life is not bed of roses; instead it’s a bed full of thorns.  Here also, I never left my habit of reading the Bible.

 

      Last year the driver (who was a Muslim), who was working with me in the same house, got some pamphlets which were distributed in the mosque and handed them over to me. As I am a bibliophile, I started reading the pamphlet with the intention of criticizing Islam and its teachings. To my surprise I found some similarities with the Bible. So my curiosity rose. I started reading all the pamphlets and booklets brought by him (May Allah give him the pleasure of both the worlds, aameen). Through these books, I came to know that Islam is the right religion and true guide to the paradise. So I requested my madam to take me to IPC so that I may pronounce the Shahadah and enter into the fold of Islam. (She was also pestering me for that but I never heeded)

 

     One fine day, she brought to the IPC and I bore the witness that There is no true God except Allah and Muhammed (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah. These two sentences made charisma on me and brought a great revolution in my life. The feelings, I experienced are inexplicable. I am completely changed. I don’t know how my way of thinking swerved from Christianity to Islam. Christianity evaporated at once from my mind. Alhamdulillah I am a Muslim now, and trying to be a good one.  For the past one year, I have been experiencing the peace and tranquility in my life which I never experienced since my childhood. I was always under terrific jolts of fate and jostling for survival. Now Alhamdulillah there is no dissatisfaction in life. Even if any difficulty bothers me, Allah is there with me and the Quran is there for my consolation. Though I am unable to read it but Insha Allah I will learn it very soon.( I am reading its translation, so far I read till suratul Anam) My heart is completely opened for Islam. Sometimes I feel ashamed of myself for the past pretensions and crookedness but I think of Prophet (SAW)’s saying for the new Muslims and get satisfaction.

 

     I am very much thankful to IPC for providing classes for the new Muslims; these classes are inculcating good effect on their minds. Before doing anything we are able to judge whether it is

Islamically good or bad. While doing good deeds, we are thinking of the promised rewards; and when committing bad deeds, we are not only hesitant but also thinking of Allah’s wrath which has to come. In this way, Islam gave a purpose to life.

   May Allah make the IPC more effective, may it get more strength so that it may wipe out the Hinduism and Christianity from the face of the earth. May it reach every non-Muslim’s heart and save them from hell fire and lead them to Jannah (Aameen).

 

     Once again I am thanking IPC from the bottom of my heart for providing me the opportunity of learning Islam and going to Umrah which I couldn’t have done in my life. I am looking forward for Hajj also.  I want to say my special thanks to my Madam who encouraged me a lot to embrace Islam and sent me to the classes punctually.  I am indebted to all for making the ways of Islam easy for me.