My name is Ash Salman. I was born and bought up in Manchester. I was born into a Muslim family of six brothers and no sisters. My parents are practicing Muslims and I was brought up along with my brothers to know and follow the principles of Islam. I hardly ever prayed however occasionally attended Friday (Jamah) prayers and fasted during Ramadan every year. My father and mother encouraged me to memorize many chapters of the Qur’an without even understanding the language as tradition dictates since Quran was revealed in Arabic it must be read in the Holy language.
I started going to the Mosque when I was very small with my brothers. My dad was keen to take me with him, especially on Fridays for the congregational prayers. I also went to Islamic classes every day with my younger brothers during the school holidays as well as weekday after school. I still remember the Imam (Quranic teacher) tapping us on the head with his long stick and striking us hard on our back with his hands and elbow. One of the many punishments where I was forced into the ‘Hen position’ for a lengthy time before being punched on the back and slapped in the face and being hit with a bamboo stick on my hands & bottom for not learning the Quranic lines and not remembering my physical prayers along with verses from the Quran.
Every Muslim hopes to go to paradise. That was my dream too. But how could I get there? My parents taught me that the way to paradise is to work hard and to live as a good Muslim by adhering to the 5 daily prayers which are to be read on time along with the 5 daily pillars of Islam which combines :
Shahadah: sincerely reciting the Muslim profession of faith.
Salat: performing ritual prayers in the proper way five times each day.
Zakat: paying an alms (or charity) tax to benefit the poor and the needy.
Sawm: fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca.
As a Muslim we were taught and believed that there was an angel (Farishta) on each side of me. The angel on the right recorded all my good works. The one on the left recorded all my bad works. On the Day of Judgment, my works would be weighed in a balance. My hope was that my good works would outweigh my bad ones. For that to happen I had to pray a lot in the manner as tradition dictates from standing, bowing and prostrating, fast, help the poor and so on.
They must do their best and wait for the Day of Judgment. Even if their good works outweigh their bad works, it will still be up to Allah to choose whether to let them into paradise.
You have heard Muslim’s in Islam always say the word “Inshaallah“, meaning God willing. In Islam you never have assurance you will ever go to heaven as it all goes back to Allah Willing (Inshaallah).
Paradise in Islam is a place where every man will have many beautiful women to serve him. Wine will no longer be forbidden. There will be a nice river…You can understand why I longed for paradise!
I tried hard to be a good Muslim; I never had peace of mind. In fact I was always afraid of death. To be honest, I had no idea where I would end up. We were taught to fear Allah and obey Muhammad and those who are in Authority.
I had always believed that the universe has a divine Creator. Allah was that Creator. I believed that Allah was all-powerful, all-knowing and present everywhere. But I also believed that he was unapproachable, incomprehensible, and that we should not even attempt to describe Allah with human language. I believed that Allah revealed himself in the pages of the Qur’an, and to a certain extent through creation. But Allah was hidden, inaccessible. He could never be known in a personal way.
Islam (Submission) was being taught as being the one supreme religion and every believer must submit to Allah and his Prophet Mohammad as part of the testimony of faith (Shahadah).
God of the Bible is one being but in three person. Christian’s believe in oneness of God through Jesus Christ and through him they submit to God the father, the Son (Ibn-Allah) & the Holy Spirit (Ruhu-Alqadoos).
A Christian is someone who believes that Jesus died for his or her sins. He believes that he can be saved through what Jesus did on the cross. A Christian trusts Jesus and receives Him as Savior and Lord. Jesus is respected by Islam as a great prophet, but only a great prophet. He is called the Messiah. I believed in His virgin birth and in His miracles, but to say that He died on the cross was a blasphemous idea. I believed that someone else took Jesus’ place on the cross, while He was taken up to heaven. I also believed that the Qur’an, are revelations from Allah.
However, Christians and Jews are accused of distorting and falsifying their Scriptures. Consequently we all Muslim’s do not believe that the Bible as it is today is a true revelation from God even thou we have not read the Bible. These are the basic core teachings within Islam that makes Muslim’s hard to integrate into society. Many Muslims are led by indoctrination along with respect and honor towards their fore-fathers rather than reading the Quran in a language they can comprehend and understand.
My Story and my Journey :
Me and my wife lived a western life and never really cared about our faith in Islam nor where we religiously practicing it to the level of how it is practiced within Islamic nations. We did the norm as many Muslims do is participate in every Friday (Jummah) prayers, Fasting during Ramadan, Celebrating Eid and longing to do Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca & Medina). We lived to enjoy and invest in this life with good MORALS and ETHICS. My wife always dressed modestly without the need of wearing Hijab (Head Scalf), or any loose clothing’s.
My turning point came when in 2007 my wife’s father sadly passed away in America. As i remember It was an emotional day being on the hospital ward in a room alongside with all family members and seeing my Wife’s father lying on his bed and unable to speak. He was slowly drifting away from us all. It was a shocking experience for me to see someone dying in front of me.
More shocking to me was the nurse came in to speak to my Wife’s Brothers and ask for permission to allow to give the father Morphine so he could die peacefully without occurring further unrest and unease has we all could see he was in great pain. The Brothers and the rest of the family refused to allow to give their father the medication due to their Islamic beliefs that it will be considered as suicide and that is Haram in the eye of Allah and Mohammad teachings.
The life I lived has a Muslim came under question within my heart. God is love and how can he see us suffer like this. This led me to believe their is no respect for Human Life and I started to question the teachings of Islam within myself.
After the burial of my Father in Law, I remember my Mother in Law speaking to my Wife and strongly with authority telling her that :
“Your father never prayed his 5 daily prayers, he will abide in the hell fire and it is your duty to follow Islam to the latter and pray extra prayer to get your father out of hell fire into heaven and bring up your little son in an religious environment.
It is written by Mohammad :
“What led you into Hell-Fire? They will say; ‘We were not of those who prayed;’ (Quran, 74:42-43)“
This became the starting point of changes in my life with my wife as her fear in Allah grew stronger day by day.
In 2011 my wife took me to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca. It did not want to go but I went along as an religious obligation towards my wife in being her Mehram (Guardian). As I was unaware how this journey is going to change my life. This was the beginning of a new life and transformation in seeking true knowledge.
I saw and it came abundantly clear that females must cover up from head to toe and they must not mingle freely with males. At the same time, no non-Muslim places of worship are allowed and Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, and others, must not pray openly or speak openly about their faith. I did not see nor feel God’s love but saw fear in people’s eyes has they went about performing their oppressed rituals.
At the Ka’bah i was shocked to see people pushing, shoving and fighting to get to touch and kiss the black stone. The story behind it is that Prophet Mohammad touched and kissed and many blind followers are doing the same without understanding the history behind it. It was a upsetting scene to watch but i continued to follow the rituals for the sake of my wife, mother-in-law & sister-in-law.
I saw followers by the Ka’bah chanting openly and crying for forgiveness. I saw followers pushing, shoving & fighting to touch and kiss the black stone without showing any respect to the women and children’s. I saw followers praying at Prophet Mohammad’s grave.
At this stage i had many questions within my heart and mind and here is where the journey begins in seeking further knowledge.
On my return back I had many questions. I wanted to be free from this burden as it was killing me from inside. I have been married for 10 years and in the last 3 years I have seen my wife go through many changes as she was being groomed by a religious convert to Islam from the Markfield Academy . She became a different person and began to put religious restrictions on herself. She began to adhere to her 5 daily prayers which came with imposed timings. She began wearing the “Hijab” as she was told by religious scholars to guard her modesty by not revealing her hair.
My wife was told by religious scholars that not covering your hair is like being naked.
Slowly many Islamic restrictions Crept up in my life that burdened me and eventually led me being colonized within my own home where we once lived in peace and harmony with the love of God around us.
I remember once I came home and started cleaning around the house as my wife being heavily indulged in her religious duties that superseded my life with her. I found a bag full of Quran’s under my bed, I decided to leave it there but curiosity led me to believe my wife was preaching (Dawah) the Quran to non Muslims, I further discovered a box full of pamphlets saying :
“The corruption of the Bible”
“Muhammad mentioned in the Bible”
“Jesus vs Mohammad”
I have not read the Bible but I am a moderate open minded thinker and this was upsetting as my wife was preaching this message. I challenged her and simply asked her “Have you read the Bible“; the answer was “No“. I asked my wife “why are you preaching (Islamic Dawah) in spreading the corruption of the Bible even though you have no knowledge of what the Bible contains“.
Unfortunately I did not get my answer but I knew as Islam traditions dictates these teachings and many sheep’s will follow the path of corruption without seeking any knowledge from the Bible.
Da’wah is recognized by the majority of scholars as being obligatory upon every Muslim.
“And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.” [Quran, 3: 104]
All Muslims Sins forgiven:
“If a person embraces (converts to) Islam sincerely, then Allah shall forgive all his past sins, and after that starts the settlement of accounts: the reward of his good deeds will be ten times to seven hundred times for each good deed, and an evil deed will be recorded as it is unless Allah forgives it.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol.1, Hadith No. 40A).
Here we read the Quran verse that mentions the corruption of the bible:
“Can ye (o ye men of Faith) entertain the hope that they will believe in you?- Seeing that a party of them heard the Word of Allah, and perverted it knowingly after they understood it… Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands, and then say:”This is from Allah,” to traffic with it for miserable price!- Woe to them for what their hands do write, and for the gain they make thereby“. (Quran 2:75,79)
“There is among them a section who distort the Book with their tongues: (As they read) you would think it is a part of the Book, but it is no part of the Book; and they say, “That is from Allah,” but it is not from Allah: It is they who tell a lie against Allah, and (well) they know it!” (Quran 3:78)
I have a Jewish sister in law who fears this oppression as she was approached by my wife and said “Day of judgment is near, here is the Quran, believe in Mohammed and become a Muslim now or you will abide by in the hell fire”.
These are the true moments of my life that gave me the passion in finding out the truth. I took out a year to study the Quranic & Hadith scriptures but in a language I can understand and comprehend and judge for myself. This was an attempt to save my marriage and maybe I can guide or inspire my wife to be open minded and free her mind rather than following a tradition of psychological oppression that has led many Muslim’s astray.
I began to read the Quran in English as my Wife questioned me in what I am doing. As she was aware I was studying the Quran whilst making my notes on my Blog, she was disturbed by this and try to sway me away from reading the Quran in a language other than Arabic as it is deemed Haram and no blessing from Allah will be received since the words are not uttered in its original holy language Arabic.
It seemed like Allah only understands Arabic hence why Muslims only pray in Arabic. I continued to read the Quran in English translation by Marmaduke Pickthall who was a famous British Islamic scholar.
During my reading of the Quran and making my notes, i raised many questions with Markfield Academy Scholars in relation to Mohammad and why is the Quran holding Jesus Christ in honor & alive in the heavens with Allah and giving him special powers that only Allah the creator has and no other prophet of god has ever done or given the power of Allah. Further to this Quran makes multiple references to the Taurat (Bible – Old Testament) & the Injeel (Gospel – New Testament) and tells Muslims to judge by what was revealed before the Quran.
My spirit was touched as I was determined to know what Jesus relationship with Allah is. I raised many questions coming from the Quran referring to Jesus.
“Who is Jesus”
“Is Jesus the son of God”
“God created Jesus through the word
” Jesus is the spirt of God” (Kallimullah)
“Jesus is the spirit from God” (Kalimatin)
“Why is Jesus the chosen one”
“Why is Jesus to be honored and glorified” not only in this world but in the hereafter
“Why is Jesus without any sin and protected against Satan”
“Jesus is able to forgive Sins.
“Why is Jesus the Messiah to come”
“Why is Jesus mentioned of his second coming”
These questions are coming from the Quran and i need to find the Answers. Upon my finding the Quran does not explain nor elaborates. I showed great desire to learn more about this exalted prophet as the Quran has no beginning and an end and falls short of continuity within it chapters. Quran is a very ambiguous and had no collection of accounts about Jesus life apart from the miracle birth of Jesus and the last supper meal but never completes the whole accounts.
Upon completing reading and fully understanding the Quran along with the saying of the Prophet Mohammad’s Hadith’s, i moved onto studying the Holy Bible. Studying or reading the Bible or even touching it began to cause issues within my Islamic marriage with my wife and with the Markfield Islamic Academy. They all felt i was deviating away from Islam rather than raising professional questions and try to eliminate my misunderstanding of Islam.
One day my wife saw me reading a book and it was referring to the Bible. She questioned me “why am I reading the bible” ‘ are you not aware it is haraam to the bible”. My response was “I need to find answers about Jesus”, Quran falls short of explanation and is very ambitious.
My wife decided to approach Markfield Islamic Academy and speak to the learned scholars and imams and get me enrolled as she felt I was deviating away from Islam. The Scholars and Imams there accepted me into there institution. I was more than happy to attend and open to learning more and more about Islam and the confusion around the Bible. I attended Markfield Islamic Academy and humbled myself and came across as an uneducated follower of Islam. I jkept my knowledge to myself as I did not wanted to offend anyone and when the time is right I will speak and hoping to make a difference.
As I was growing in this inspired wisdom coming from the Bible and getting to know the real Jesus, the Bible has all the answers and the continuity of the passages or chapters flow with great understanding of Jesus and his holy relationship with God. Where the Quran falls short of Glory in explaining the complete accounts, whereas the Bible comes to life with full accounts and explanation.
I was amazed in what i was reading and going back and forth between the Quran & Bible it was evidently clear to me the Bible had all the answers to where the Quran fell short. The Quran was slowly converting me in believing and following Jesus Christ.
I was judged by my wife and the Islamic scholars of deviating away from Islam. I even enrolled myself in an Islamic academy has I thought I was getting all confused and getting all crazy. I questioned many Islamic scholars and I put them to shame has they never were able to answer my questions.
In the Quran, Allah created the universe through the word, through the word.
Is the word is creator or creation?
Quran say’s Jesus is word of God. If the word of God is creator which means Jesus is Creator.
I have come to peace with myself knowing it is the power of the people that is so strong that a common Muslim will not want to fall out of his inner circle of following traditions beliefs & rituals even though the truth comes to them.
My Wife was told by the Islamic scholars the night before she left the family home on the 3rd May 2013 with my 6 yrs old son, was to do a special prayer that night and ask “Allah” to show her sign in a form of a color. If she is to see a white color in her dreams, that is a warning sign and she should leave her husband as I am seen as an Infidel. He will drag you and your child to the hell fire.
This indoctrinated prayer is called “Ishtakara“. Ishtakhara is a special prayer asking for supplication from Allah. Upon my wife completing this special prayer and seeing the warning sign, she left the family home with my son who was 6 yrs old at the time.
My intentions was not to hurt anyone but purely to engage and seek knowledge. I was badly hurt by my wife’s decision to destroy our marriage over these indifferences. As my desire to see my son grew i went down to Markfield Islamic Academy and spoke to the Imam there to please bring back my Wife and Son. Imam threw a condition which was i should stop seeking knowledge from the Bible and totally stop reading the Bible and come back to the folds of Islam.
As i was in an emotional and desperate state of mind i gave in and promised that “i will stop or seize all studying of the Bible and come back the folds of Islam“, “please do bring my Wife & Son back to the family home”.
After the Imam listened to me he called my Wife over the phone and told her the news about my promise to coming back to the folds of Islam. The Wife did not believe me and said “he will return back to the Bible as he knows too much“. At this point i begged with the Imam and to my Wife but nobody was listening. After a while I regathered my emotions and heading out of the Islamic Academy i said to the Imam “i will knock on this nations court doors and apply for my right to see my son and we will see what does your Allah do about it”.
In the Bible i read verses like “there is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10).
It told me that I could never be good enough to go to heaven. Left to myself, I am without hope, because I am a sinner. But it also told me that there was someone who was sinless. He never did anything wrong at all. He alone was pleasing to God in every way.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him, (2 Corinthians 5:21)
And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin, (1 John 3:5)
Jesus Christ, as a perfect man. He lived the life that I should have lived. He died the death which I deserve. He died in my place because that was the only way for me to escape God’s anger and judgment. He bore the wrath of God so that I won’t have to. For the first time I could see the sure way to heaven. There was something else that amazed me: The Bible says that we can know God personally through Jesus Christ. That was a completely new thought to me. I could have a personal relationship with God!
The God of the Bible is a living God I worship and in whom I now place all my confidence who is holy, just, trustworthy, faithful, honest and gracious. I believe in a God who is love; an approachable God who can be known personally. He has revealed Himself in the Bible and in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no moment more joyful than when you first know that you have been saved. I remember how I was beforehand, and I know how I am now, and I see that I am a different person. I have peace deep in my soul now.
I had been hearing the Gospel and studying the Bible for over a year before I gave my life to Jesus Christ. Although I was convinced that the message was true, I was afraid to submit to it. People said that I should pray. But I didn’t really know who I should pray to! Was it possible for me to pray to any God other than Allah?!
I pray to God in a manner of ease whether it’s standing, sitting, lying, walking, bowing or even prostrating. I have an unconditional relationship with God and free to pray without the need of any physical rituals that i once performed within Islam in the mosques or even at home.
To this day I continue to fight for the right for my son to see his loving father. We are slowly making progress and during my journey in seeking contact I have grown strong in faith and feel blessed by God with great patience and given great success in my working career as I fight for contact towards my son. I know my son will go through the process of indoctrination like I did. I will put all my trust in Jesus Christ and grow in faith and will shine my spirit onto my little boy.
One night I prayed a little prayer, saying, ‘Jesus, if you are the true God, help me to give my life to you. Take away the obstacles in my heart. Allah, if you are the true God, please forgive me for my doubts. If you are the true God, I will serve you with more zeal than ever before.’ The next day I woke up with the assurance that Jesus had heard my prayer.
I gave my life to Jesus and got confirmed and baptized at Christ Church in Coalville.
A Muslim who becomes a Christian is seen as an apostate, a traitor who deserves punishment. For a Muslim family, it’s a real shame when one family member becomes a Christian. They also thought that becoming a Christian would make me forget my parents, my family and my culture. They thought I would start getting drunk and live an immoral lifestyle.
They did not know what the Bible teaches. They thought that every European is a Christian, so they also thought that the immorality in Western countries is caused by Christianity! There is widespread confusion about the West and Christianity. The Holy Bible is actually against all forms of evil and impurity.
Every time someone marries, makes a friend, hugs a child, or attends church, he is demonstrating the fact that we are made in the likeness of God.
A word of encouragement for those who are in the same situation?
Perhaps you are convinced that the message of the Bible is true, but you have not yet given your life to Christ. Maybe you fear the consequences that could follow your conversion. Perhaps you fear the reaction of your friends and family. Remember one serious thing: On the Day of Judgment, when Christ will be the Judge, you will face Him alone. Your family and friends will not be there.
What will you say to Him?
The Lord is knocking at the door of your heart now.
Will you let Him in?
During my journey I have created articles explaining where the Quran acknowledges and honors Jesus Christ has the Messiah and is the Word of God and is alive with God in the Heavens.