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SALAM - Eesa Ashby - A Muslim at 13

Web posted at: 5/14/2009 1:2:56

Source ::: The Peninsula


Eesa Ashby was thirteen when he became Muslim. Before then he did the usual things boys do; he went to school and hung out with his friends. When he went to secondary school, his cousin, who was fifteen, embraced Islam and would come around to the house and tell his family about it.


The family members all had different opinions and there were many debates but he was quiet and just listened.


One day his cousin called and asked him to come to her house. She showed him the Holy Quran and asked if he knew what it was. He said no and so she explained that the Quran is to the Muslims what the Bible is to the Christians – a Book of Revelation from Almighty God, Allah. He admitted that he did not know anything about Muslims. He only knew what his mother had told him about Christianity. His cousin spoke to him about Allah and His Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him); saying that he was given the Quran like Jesus was given the Gospel.


It was the scientific miracles in the Quran that caught his attention. He mentioned how other people talk about a spiritual experience when they embrace Islam, but for him it was facts and figures.


What stood out in his mind was that a book revealed so long ago could so accurately describe what today science is only just understanding; such facts as how the baby forms in the mother’s womb, the position and movement of the stars and planets, how the oceans and seas meet but don’t mix and how there was a Big Bang to start it all.


At first, he did not tell anyone he had become a Muslim because he felt he was not ready to face the comments and criticism. He still did not know exactly what Islam meant. He did not know anyone other than his cousin who was Muslim and so he took books from the local Islamic book shop and read.


Growing up a Muslim got Eesa through school and college without getting into trouble. He noted that it was very easy to get involved in the wrong crowd but all he could think of was if he had wu’du (ritual ablution) or when it was time to pray! Such concerns filled his mind and not the thoughts of his peers who always seemed to be talking about the next rave.


He was fifteen when he started to talk about Islam. He had a friend who also became a Muslim and the two of them became close, spending time and going to the mosque together. They often got into trouble for leaving the school in order to attend the Friday Prayer.


Despite his young age, Eesa did not think Islam was strict; he found that it just made sense. He understood why alcohol was forbidden. It made sense to him that people should not drink because he could see all the harm that came from it.


Eesa said that he was not isolated from non-Muslims but there was always a line he would not cross, because there were things they were doing that he would not do, like raving. He learned about the kind of places and environments a Muslim should be in, and what he should and shouldn’t do. Eesa saw that there is nothing wrong interacting with non-Muslims until it comes to doing something wrong. He said that he and his non-Muslim friends talk and have fun and are nice to each other but when they want to go out he makes lots of excuses.


Eesa suggests that new Muslims should research the lives of the companions of the Prophet to see how they put Islam into practice for it was they who received Islam from the hands of the Prophet. Islam is a complete way of life and if an issue affects a human being Islam will explain the right way of dealing with it. Eesa believes looking at the life of the Prophet Muhammad, (PBUH), and his companions and how they dealt with everyday issues such as cleanliness, travel, sickness, divorce, war, marriage and death will help us through our own trials as well as appreciate the comprehensive nature of the perfect religion.


Eesa acknowledges there is often a lot of anger and negative emotion when it comes to issues like divorce but sometimes it is the only merciful outcome to a relationship – and looking at how they did this and how we are doing it will help us to correct our own behaviour.


We should ask ourselves if we are living life as Allah has asked us to – as was lived by Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon them all – and if not we should consider our destination after death.


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