In the name of Allah, the most gracious, the most merciful.

My name is Muhammad Abdullah Azis, I was born in Indonesia, a Muslim-majority country, and was born into a Muslim family. Not only that, I spent most of my school years in Al-Azhar Islamic School in Jakarta, Indonesia, from kindergarten to junior high. Does that make me a good, knowledgeable Muslim? Hmm, if you said yes, think again.

As a little boy, I was told to do prayer five times a day, to fast in Ramadan, and to recite the holy Quraan. And so, I did what I was told by my parents and by my school teachers. All I knew as a child was, those are the things that you HAVE to do if you want to go to paradise. But inside, I wasn’t really feeling it, I was only doing it because I was told to do so and everybody’s doing it.

Growing up in the modern world, the video game generation, I slowly began to forget about religion, I felt like God has nothing to do with anything in my life except for when you’re really desperate for something, than you go to Him.

After I finished college (I studied art and design), I studied western music with a music professor from Germany. She was a very straight-forward person and very knowledgeable. Seemed like she knew everything about history, social politics, and so on. I took her as one of my biggest influence. She always taught her students to be critical about everything, and to have a big curiosity, and most of all she told me to read history. Those are the lessons I later found very important.

Then, after 9/11, she started making really bad comments about Islam. She said that Islam is a religion of violence, and that the hijab for women is a tool to make Muslim women stupid so that the men can do whatever and marry several other women, she said also that the history of Islam had been distorted and that the holy Quraan is also distorted, and most of all, the most heart-breaking thing was when she insulted the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) with really rude comments, saying that he was (please pardon me) a sex addict and a pedophile.

That really hurt my feelings, badly. But what did I say to her? nothing. Why, because I had nothing in my knowledge to defend Islam. I knew little about history, let alone the history of Islam, I knew little about the content of the holy book, and I knew very little about the prophet Muhammad (pbuh). You see, even though I studied as a young boy in an Islamic school, but I was only there because my parents wanted me to.

I felt lost, the person I thought knew about everything, a person of my big influence, said those things about my religion, and my parents religion. Being a young man still looking for my own identity, bombarded by the images of terrorism in the media, I even went that far thinking, what if she was right? what if Islam is not the best religion? but I kept telling myself to be strong and keep my iman strong, that’s the least I could do.

A few years later I started teaching music for young children as well as adults, I teach music in an Islamic school, and a Christian university. As an educator I felt that I have a huge responsibility. As an educator, I feel that I really need to fill my head, because whatever you teach, you need sources from all kinds of knowledge. In both places I teach, the Islamic school, and the Christian Uni, I found a really nice atmosphere of faith, and norms of religion slowly creeping back. I also learn that by being an educator, you’re not always right about something.

I still do my prayers, I still fast in Ramadan, but now as an educator, I think differently. No more ignorance! This time I need to know why I do all those things, and I need to know who the prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was before I follow his ways.

Alhamdulillah, God showed me the easy way back to Islam, and that way is through technology, yes, the technology of internet, where I watch many many videos on youtube about Islam, and where I downloaded many resources from audio visuals, to ebooks. I found tons of resources that are free because it is part of a da’wah. Alhamdulillah.

Now, through this blog, let me share with you my journey for the truth.

Wassalamu alaikum,