T.H. Mc. BARKLIE (Irish)
Although I was Irish and most of the Irish people were adherent
to the Catholic church, I was raised with a Protestant education.
However, I was only a child when I took a hearty dislike to the
Christian tenets I was being taught and began to maintain a healthy
skepticism about them. By the time I reached the university level
of education, which subsequently added quite a few novelties to
my knowledge, my skepticism had already developed into judgement.
The Christian religion would give me nothing. Then, I began to
feel deep repugnance towards it, which, by and by, unfolded itself
in a form of categorical denial. So urgently did I feel the need
to find "a guide to lead me to the right way" that I
had to improvise a credo whereby to satisfy myself pro tem. For
a considerable period of time I had to do with this complicated
mood. One day I came across a book entitled 'Islam and Civilization'.
As soon as I read it, I saw in great amazement and joy that all
the hopes I had been cherishing, all the questions that had been
gnawing at my mind, and their answers as well, were contained
in the book. In contrast with the reciprocal acts of cruelty and
oppression among the Christian sects, Islam's peaceful and lively
principles had been guiding humanity on the lightsome way of truth.
The sources of knowledge and civilization had risen in the Muslim
countries and sprinkled their lights on the darkened life of Europe
which had been moaning under an all-round savagery. In comparison
with Christianity, Islam was by far a more logical and more useful
What made me fall for Islam at first sight was its rejection of
the Christian dogma that "Men are sinful from birth and therefore
they have to expiate their sins in the world." In the process
of time, I learned the other Islamic principles pertaining to
the humanities and civilization and admired the greatness of that
religion. Islam did not differentiate between the rich and the
poor. In Islam, people of all races, colours and languages were
brothers, not only in theory, but also in practice. At one stroke,
it levelled down the differences of wealth, position, race, country,
and colour among people. It was for this reason that I embraced
33 - ABDULLAH UEMURA (Japanese)
Why did I become a Muslim? Well, the Islamic religion states the
unity of Allahu ta'ala, that an eternal life awaits us after death,
and that on the Rising Day human beings shall be interrogated
about their activities in the world. It enjoins honesty, integrity,
and an ideal moral conduct. All these things are the most basic
essentials whereby a person can lead a true-guided, comfortable
and peaceful life. No other religion has put them so plainly and
so concisely. Truthfulness [integrity] is highly valuable in Islam.
Honesty towards Allahu ta'ala and towards the born slaves forms
the basis for Islam. During my quest for truth, I found it in
Islam, and consequently I became a Muslim.
I examined all religions. My conclusions are as follows:
Today's Christianity could never be the same pure religion preached
by Issa a.s.. The commandments which Issa a.s. received from Allahu
ta'ala and communicated to people have been changed completely.
The present copies of the Bible contain others' statements in
lieu of his statements. Islam is the only religion that has remained
pure and intact since the first day it appeared. The Qur'an al-karim
has survived to our day without undergoing even a diacritic alteration.
Today's Gospels contain not the commandments of Allahu ta'ala,
but the so-called statements of Issa a.s., which have gone through
quite a number of interpolations, and the episodes telling about
his deeds. In Islam, on the other hand, the commandments of Allahu
ta'ala and the utterances of His Prophet s.a.s. have been classified
in different categories. The commandments of Allahu ta'ala are
written in the Qur'an al-karim, while the statements of Hadrat
Prophet s.a.s. appear in a different series called 'Hadith'.
In Islam Allahu ta'ala addresses His born slaves directly. Christianity
lacks this genuineness.
The most critical Christian tenet repugnant to people with common
sense is its dogma of 'Trinity'. Christians believe not in one
Allah, but in three gods. No Christian man of knowledge has so
far been able to explain this belief in a logical way. Nor would
it be possible for anyone. For this credal tenet is thoroughly
ungrounded and abnormal. Only one great Creator could create the
world. Belief in a tripartite deity is no different from idolatry.
A person of wisdom will believe in one Creator only.
Moreover, Christians impose the belief that men are born sinful,
that they have to expiate their sins, and that a denial of the
basic Christian belief 'Trinity' will lead a person to eternal
perdition from where there is no rising again. Then, what other
alternative could be so natural for people who are originally
sinful from birth and who are deprived of rising after death as
grabbing their sojourn in this life as a fleeting opportunity
to taste all sorts of enjoyment and pleasure at all costs including
cheating one another and perpetrating all kinds of atrocity instead
of wasting their time worshipping in vain? It is for this reason
that today's Christians lead a life quite independent of religious
morals and principles, which in turn gradually drags them down
to a totally irreligious way of life. Entirely emptied of their
souls, they are all but machines.
Let us take a look at Japanese religions now: Essentially, there
are two major religions in Japan. One of them is the Mahayana
Buddhism,[Mahayana Buddhism is practised mostly in China and Tibet
today. The second form of Buddhism, Theravada, is based on the
teachings of Buddha recorded in the Pali Canon. It is practised
in Kampuchea, Laos, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Thailand.] which is
a mixture of original Buddhism and pure Buddhism. It is somewhat
similar to Brahminism. A closer examination of their creed will
show that Buddha was an atheist. For Buddha makes no mention of
Allahu ta'ala and does not profess a belief in the fact that the
soul will not die when the body dies. The Brahmins' views about
the soul are not so materialistic. Yet they are expressed in such
a complicated language that it is difficult to understand what
they mean. In fact, the Brahmins' views of Brahma, i.e. whether
they look on him as God, as a born slave or as a prophet, are
not clearly explained. The Brahmins busy themselves with religious
philosophy rather than the religion itself. In order to always
imagine seeing Brahma before them, they consecrate things that
they liken to him or which they think would go with him, [e.g.
flowers], whereby they begin to worship things and animals created
by Allahu ta'ala instead of worshipping Allahu ta'ala Himself.
Among all these utterly complicated credal systems, Islam is the
only religion which provides us the truest definition of Allahu
ta'ala. (Allahu ta'ala is one. He is azim (great, glorious). He
is the Rabb (Creator) of all classes of beings. He is not begotten,
nor does he beget. All the things in the world and in the Hereafter
are His creatures. No one except Him is to be worshipped. No one
except Him can enjoin commandments on His born slaves.) The second
religion in Japan is Shintoism [Shintoism is an ancient religion
of Japan. It includes the worships of gods that represent various
parts of nature, and of the souls of people who died in the past.]
which is even worse than Buddhism. This religion has nothing to
do with morals. In addition, they believe in many gods and, like
primitive tribes, they worship them separately. [In other words,
they are idolaters.]
So, I have given you very sincere and concise information about
the world's existing religions. Which one of you, after seeing
and learning them as such, would choose one of them, leaving Islam
aside? Is it possible? You, too, see that amidst the so many extremely
muddled and inane credal systems Islam shines brightly. It is
seen at first sight that due to its perfectly logical and humanitarian
principles it is the only true religion.
And I, in hot pursuit of the path guiding to truth in order to
quench my tearful soul with the peace and happiness it needed,
came upon Islam, which was the very religion I was looking for,
and embraced it willingly, holding fast to it with both hands.