Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine

Shaban 1424 H
October 2003
Volume 16-10 No : 202
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Journey to Islam


Saudi Arabia fascinated Abdullah!
TIME TO GO FISHING

Saudi Arabia fascinated Abdullah!

Abdullah is the by-product of the Gulf War and was on active duty in the U.S. Army. How he accepted Islam is interesting.Yet, it is more fascinating to know how he went through the Islamization process.


By Imtiaz Ahmad

During my 26 years stay in America, also as a teacher of Mathematics in Maryland, I had the privilege and honour to interact with many American Muslims on a personal and family basis. It was very inspiring for me and it strengthened my faith immensely. I confess, like many other immigrants in the U.S.A., I became a better practising Muslim in America than I was in my native country. Much credit for this goes to these new Muslims. Most of them are superior in knowledge and practice than I. Most of the Muslims I have described in my stories are ordinary members of the Muslim society in North America. I feel that they have made a great impact on their own lives and the lives of those around them.. It is this positive change at the grassroots level of American society which amazes, and somewhat alarms the followers of other religions there. For example, some of the most violent prisoners became the most well-behaved citizens and peaceful residents after accepting Islam. These new American Muslims are a guiding light for both Muslims and non-Muslims. They very quietly adorn American society with their remarkable character. I present the story of Abdullah here.

Abdullah was a young man with basic high school education. He was on active duty in the U.S. Army for a few years where he learned some technical skills. At present he earns his living by repairing photocopy and fax machines. How he accepted Islam is interesting. Yet, it is more fascinating to know how he went through the Islamization process. During the Gulf War between the United Forces and Iraq, he was posted in Saudi Arabia. Abdullah was shopping in a Saudi market. He picked up an item from the shop and agreed to pay its price to the shopkeeper. However, when he was about to pay for the article, the call for prayer was heard from a nearby mosque. The shopkeeper said, "That's it," and refused to do any business until after the prayer was over. He then closed his shop and hurriedly went to the mosque. Abdullah was stunned and wondered about this incident. Why did this man not take the money when there was a mutual agreement on the price? Abdullah never knew of anyone in his life who refused to take money. Usually in business, everybody runs after money one way or another. What kind of person was this shopkeeper? What kind of religion was it that had so much priority in the eyes of this shopkeeper?

Abdullah was very inquisitive and wanted to know more about this religion. He read more and more about it and finally decided to embrace Islam after his return to America. In New York, he had some good teachers who gave him basic Islamic education and taught him how to read the Quran. Abdullah became a very strict practising Muslim. I came to know Abdullah only when he moved to Detroit. He decided to reside near the Tawheed Center of Detroit and offered most of his prayers in this mosque. I happened to be voluntarily running the affairs of this mosque. Conducting the affairs of an Islamic organization can be a challenging task. Many things happened between brother Abdullah and me, which created some temporary problems between us. We were both sincere in our own ways. Our differences totally disappeared in the course of time. Since brother Abdullah was very regular in all the prayers, I wished to have his participation in some activities of the mosque.

Brother Abdullah had memorized a considerable part of the Quran. His recitation was very charming and effective. I asked him to lead the Isha prayer daily. He was memorizing more and more Quran every day.

One day I saw Abdullah lying on the floor of the mosque on his right side with his arm under his head just before the congregational Fajr Prayer. I got worried and approached him and asked him if there was something wrong. He said he was fine and that Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh) used to take brief rest like this, as he was doing.

Abdullah would try to practice anything he read from the Quran or Ahadith without being shy. His family life was remarkable. His wife and many other relatives accepted Islam through his efforts. He had many children. All were very good in the recitation of the Quran. His oldest son was about seven years old and had memorized a considerable part of the Quran under his father's supervision. His son regularly came to the mosque, even to offer Fajr Prayer. I do not know anybody who would bring his seven-year-old son regularly to Fajr Prayer, even during severe cold, snow or storm. Brother Abdullah used to teach his son Quran after Fajr Prayer in the mosque. Later, brother Abdullah not only had the key to the mosque, but he was also made responsible for conducting the prayers in the mosque. I thought Abdullah was also ready to deliver the Juma' Khutbas(Friday Sermons). He reluctantly accepted one. Brother Abdullah attended some Arabic classes in the local community college offered by Dr. Sheikh Ali Suleiman. Now he speaks Arabic, understands some grammar and recites and memorizes surahs of Quran. He also learns new Ahadith, delivers the Friday Sermons and guides many disbelievers to the light of Islam.

(Abdullah is the by-product of the Gulf War. Many other soldiers accepted Islam after visiting Saudi Arabia).

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TIME TO GO FISHING

Last week a seafood retail outlet “Machli” was opened in Koramangala giving Bangalore the option of shopping for seafood in a world class environment.

“Machli” was conceptualised by Mr. Naveed the Managing Director of Kool Group of Companies. After their success in Kool Nest Pvt Ltd., a leading name in Commercial Air Conditioning business and Kool Komestibles Pvt. ltd, producers of Low Cholesterol Eggs (Diet Eggs) .

Realizing the tremendous growth potential ventured into the Marine Export industry, and the company “ Kool Impex Pvt. Ltd” was formed under the leadership of Mr. Naveed. This company has taken up a processing plant in Visakhapatnam and is in the process of expanding its activities in Mangalore. The companies activity include, purchasing, processing and exporting of marine product to foreign countries which include Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Europe and America.

Having entered into the Marine Exports field, the group and its well wishers felt that there was a lack of quality seafood availability in Bangalore and hence the idea of ” Machli” was born.

“Machli” is an air-conditioned seafood shop located on the 100 feet road in Koramangala, managed by a team of professionals who have got thorough knowledge of the seafood industry. Going to “ Machli” is an experience to anyone in Bangalore. The place is so hygienic and clean that one will think that it is a supermarket.

“Machli” stocks all the varieties of fish, prawns, crabs etc which are sourced from round the coast of India and supplied with the same freshness as one would get in any coastal town.

“Machli” has also started the concept of “DIAL A FISH” and give free home delivery in Koramangala area and deliveries to other area in Bangalore.

For further details visit “Machli” at : #14, 100 Feet Road, 4th Block, Koramangala,Bangalore - 560 034. Phone Nos: - 080- 51217222 , 51217333, 98 443 04440

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Muslim Community Series Amanath Bank Episode Opinion Face to Face Muslim Perspectives Colours of Harmony Islam and Science Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Zakir Naik Interview Question Hour Guide Lines Islam And Astronomy Living Islam Success Stories Islamic History Journey To Islam View Point Matrimonial
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