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A Personal Journey of Courage and Open-mindedness

By Hashim Msusa

As the Discover Islam column marks its 17th year of sharing Islamic insights, we welcome you and thank you for your interest in learning more about Islam. Congratulations on your passion for exploring new perspectives!

We applaud your tenacity in attempting to navigate Islam. As you build a desire to take an interest in Islam, guidance is always vital. We know that embarking on a new journey requires courage and an open mind.

Some readers may question why Discover Islam offers congratulations on reaching 17 years, rather than waiting until a silver jubilee. It is important to understand that certain obligations in Islam are not allowed to be postponed or delayed.

The obligations include burying the deceased and personally declaring belief in the oneness of Allah (God) and the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) as a Messenger and Servant of Allah. Hence the haste to celebrate.

It is crucial to recognize that the decision to embrace Islam is a deeply personal one and should not be swayed by external pressures or worldly incentives. In reality, Islam condemns all forms of coercion and disapproves of any attempts to impose the religion on others. Rather, one should be convinced after engaging in thoughtful contemplation and reflection.

We should also note that negative traits or actions of some individuals who were born Muslims should not discourage or block one’s desire to learn more about Islam. Islam should be the host, and you are its guest. It’s essential to approach the religion with an open mind and a willingness to learn.

The Noble Qur’an provides a quick explanation of Islam, where Allah (God) Almighty says, “We have not sent you (O Muhammad) but as a mercy for the Alamin (mankind, Jinns, and all that exists).” (21:107) Discover Islam is convinced that its readers belong to mankind, regardless of any variation or dissimilarity.

We should also keep in mind that Islam is not just a religion but a complete way of life. It offers guidance on various fields of life, including spirituality, ethics, economics, politics, and social relations. Learning about Islam can be a transformative experience that enriches one’s life in many ways.

Finally, it’s essential to remember that embracing Islam is a highly personal decision, and the Discover Islam column is not aimed at making its readers embrace Islam. Rather, it’s a portal for Islamic guidance and information that seeks to promote understanding and mutual respect.

This write-up suggest that you continue seeking more information about Islam. By approaching the religion with an open mind and a willingness to learn, you can embark on a personal journey of courage and open-mindedness. You are advised to take time to reflect and consider what you learn and make an informed decision.