In the name of Allah most gracious, most merciful.

It is very easy, to say “Laa ilaaha illallaah, Muhammadan rrasuulullaah,” which means “there is no God but almighty God, and Muhammad is His messenger.” It is also very easy to do the testimony to Islam or what we call the shahada and that is to say, “Asyhadu anlaa ilaaha illallaah, wa asyhadu ana Muhammadan rrasuulullaah,” translated “I bare witness that there is no God but almighty God, and I bare witness that Muhammad is His messenger.” Anyone can do that, no problem. But what comes with it, now that’s a different story.

Sheikh Yusuf Estes once puts it like this, when other religions say “join us and you will go to heaven, guaranteed” Islam does nothing like that. It is the only religion in the world that guarantees that it’s followers can go to hell. Well, he’s right, but Islam says there is a way, but it won’t be easy.

Muslims pray five times a day, and must do ablution before each prayer, Muslims fast in Ramadhan for the whole month, Muslims must pay zakah to the poor, Muslims don’t drink alcohol, don’t have sex outside of marriage, don’t gamble, don’t eat pork, and must do this and that, yes, it’s not an easy way of life, especially for someone new to Islam.

So in my mind, I wonder…

What if I decided that I want to choose another religion, maybe they have an easier way to worship God. Okay, there are couple of choices that looks promising, but, wait a minute, every time I look closer into that religion, I found no satisfaction. I studied the basics of it, and just through the basics, I knew that there’s something not right in it, either the holy book isn’t in it’s original form, there are contradictions in it, or the system of belief is not personal, you don’t have a direct relationship with God, or you have to pay money, or the concept of multiple Gods, pantheism, etc. I just couldn’t be satisfied, how can I worship the one and only God that way?

I looked and looked and looked, only to find more and more errors and contradictions and I was disappointed.

What happens after that…

Then I got frustrated, started questioning religion, maybe I should just give up religion, stop believing in God, and start to rationalize everything, and think that religion doesn’t make any sense, and think that God is imaginary. Oh it feels good, I feel freedom, for a while.

When life feels empty…

Then I got confused, I got nothing to hold on to. Why am I here? How can the world possibly create itself, by chance? Who created the universe, the sun, the moon, the planets? Who designed our body to work like this, who programmed our brain, who planned our blood flow, can anything in this whole world create itself? ask yourself that question, and honestly, can it possibly?

Those questions are so much stronger and more torturing than asking why God don’t heal amputees? or why prayers sometimes don’t work? or why there are bad things in this world?

I had no choice but to believe in God…

But I still think that Islam is not an easy faith, so I tried to disprove Islam, I looked for mistakes in the Qur’an, yet there are none, I tried looking in the Shari’a, yet everything makes sense, I tried finding bad teachings of Islam and bad teachings of Muhammad (pbuh), yet I just couldn’t find any.

Okay, so I couldn’t fight Islam, I guess I’ll just take a closer look…

I dug deeper into Islam, only to find beauty, and peace. I found beauty in it’s sincere ways of worship, in it’s traditions, in it’s way of life. Suddenly, it becomes easy to do what Muslims do, because you want to do them.

I had no choice, but to become a Muslim. Not an easy way, but a fair and balanced way. Alhamdulillah.