بسم الله ، و معظم الرحمن الرحيم
- Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds,
- The Beneficent, the Merciful.
- Owner of the Day of Judgement,
- Thee (alone) we worship;
Thee (alone) we ask for help.
- Show us the straight path,
- The path of those whom Thou hast favoured;
- Not (the path) of those who earn Thine anger nor of those who go astray.
Less than four weeks to the start of what is surely the Holiest month of the Islamic year; Ramadan.
This year will see my fourth month of fasting. I reverted just 10 days before Eid-ul-Adha in 2012, the summer of the riots over the re-publication of the pictures of the Prophet ., and an anti-Islam film. I found myself having sympathy with those rioting crowds. They were the victims of European double standards. Westerners claimed that the right to freedom of speech. They ignored the fact that the right to freedom of conscience and of religion also existed. Not a secondary right. An equal right.
Having studied many religions over the years, I found myself becoming closer and closer to Islam. September 2012 saw me have some sort of Epiphany or Revelation. Although I started more serious study, I waited. Maybe I had felt not a Revelation of the truth but a heart murmur. I hadn’t.
On October 26 2012 (at 2:15 pm if you want real accuracy) I made my Shahada.
“I bear witness that their is none worthy of worship but Allah , and I bear witness that Mohammed is his slave and messenger.”
So it was that I embraced Islam, submitting to Allah as all Muslims do.
Moving on the the Charlie Hebdo attacks. Under British law the magazine possibly committed an offence. The Racial and Religious Hatred Act of 2006 makes it an offence to stir up hatred against any race or religion, but specifically makes an exception for valid discussion and debate around any religion.
Even if they committed such an offence (or its French equivalent) that does not make them a target for murder. As peaceful civilians, Islam permits protest against Charlie Hebdo, but murder is a sin.
Those who claim to be acting for Islam in committing such murders or who become suicide bombers prove themselves not to be Muslims.
يوسف عبد الغفار
26 Rajab 1437