MagzNetwork


- Prologue -


Adam inserted the key that the Residential Life Manager had given him into the door’s lock. The manager had told him that he would be sharing his room with two new students. Adam went inside and saw some shoes on the rack. “I think they’re probably here by now.” Adam thought out loud and walked into the living room. “Hey… what on earth?!” He took a step back startled by what he saw. Two boys about his age were in the living room both with their foreheads touching the floor. They had small green colored mats under them. Adam watched them as they rose up and down at the same time. He noticed how calm and soothed they looked. When they finished they both stood up and one of them took away the rugs.

“What were you doing?” Adam asked in a state of shock. He had never seen anyone do such movements before.
“You must be Adam.” One of the boys grinned. “I’m Muhammed, and this is my cousin Nuradeen.” The other boy nodded at Adam as a form of greeting. “We were praying.” Muhammed went on.

Oh that, Adam thought. Praying. He had heard enough about religion from his parents. “Oh.” He replied nonchalantly and hurried to the room to change.
The next morning he woke up to find breakfast on the table.
“Good morning.” Muhammed seemed cheerful.
“Good morning.” Adam replied sleepily. They ate in silence for some time.
“So… what are you guys?” Adam found himself asking.
“Hmm? What do you mean?” Muhammed raised one eyebrow and turned his head a few degrees questioningly.
“You know, with that prayer and all.”
“Muslims.” Was the reply.
“So because you’re Muslims, you have to wake up at 4 AM to pray everyday?” Adam asked. He had been awakened this morning to the cousins’ prayer. He was shocked that anyone would wake up that early just to pray.
“We pray five times everyday. Fajr, the morning prayer is just one of them.”
“What about the call you were making?” He asked Nuradeen.
“It’s called the Adhaan; it’s a call to prayer.” Nuradeen answered as he sipped his morning coffee. They were quite for a moment.
“So you guys pray to that guy?” Adam asked breaking the silence.
“Guy?” The two cousins asked simultaneously.
“Yeah, he has the same name as you.” Adam nodded towards Muhammed.
“Muhammed, peace be upon him was only a Prophet just like Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. We don’t pray to prophets. We pray to God.” it was Muhammed who corrected him.
“Jesus wasn’t a Prophet, and neither was Muhammed.” Adam argued.
“Who said that?” Muhammed asked with challenge in his voice.
“What?” Aaron asked slightly caught off guard.
“They were both Prophets from God. And they were both given the same message.”
“What proof do you have for that Muhammed was a Prophet?” Adam surprised himself with his question.

“Listen, in this argument, there can be only two possibilities. First, that Muhammed peace be upon him, was a prophet from God, or second, that he was an apostate, a false prophet. Agreed?” Muhammed asked him. Adam nodded in reply.
“So using what we know of his teachings, sayings, and acts, we can conclude is he’s real or not. First, let’s look at the environment which he was in.” Muhammed stood up to get a pen and paper. “He lived in Makkah, with the highest tribe when it comes to status. If he was going to pretend to be a prophet, he knew he would be challenging their gods, idols, honor, and status. So he has to have a motive because he could get mocked, expelled, or even killed. So what could his motive have been?” It took a few seconds for Adam to realize the last question had been addressed for him to answer.
“Money?” He asked indifferently.
“Money? It can’t be.” Nuradeen spoke up as he stood to take the empty dishes to the kitchen.
“Why not?” Adam asked surprised by Nuradeen’s confidence.
“When his tribe couldn’t take it anymore, they offered that they would make him their kind and give him all the power, wealth, and women he asked for in exchange for him to stop preaching. But…” Nuradeen placed the plates in the sink and came back, “but, he refused. So you can remove wealth, power, fame, and women from your list.” He sat back into him chair.
“Maybe he was crazy or had mental problems?” Only after the words left his mouth did Adam realize how silly they sounded, but they didn’t show any reactions.
“You only have to look at that from one angle, and you can cross that out.” Muhammed reached for a book that was on a small stand. Adam had seen him and Nuradeen reading from it that morning. “The Quran was sent down in a period of twenty-three years, yet it never contradicts itself and it remains consistent. If we assume that he was the one who wrote it, then he couldn’t have been crazy or with any mental problems, because this kind of thing,” he said as he pointed to the book “isn’t and can’t be the works of a crazy or mentally challenged person.”
Adam felt like he was being attacked. Muhammed was so confident with himself that it scared him. What was it that was giving him that self assurance? He didn’t know, but he did know that he had to get away from that table if he feared for his beliefs.
“I have a class I have to get to.” He excused himself while knowing that he didn’t have any classes for another hour.
“Ok, we can finish our conversation later.” Muhammed grinned. Adam only slightly nodded, but he knew that he didn’t want to have another conversation like that one ever again.


Adam leaned against the kitchen counter with a cup in hand, and although he didn’t want it to be, his mind set on the first conversation he had had with his roommates. It had been a month since that conversation. Adam’s interest and curiosity had risen and grown uncontrollable and despite his disinterest for religion, he had read dozens of books on Islam. He lifted his teacup to his lips. The moist steam from the teacup momentarily warmed his face. He stared hard at the box of books that sat on the table. He had asked Nuradeen for some books on Islam and he had given him a box full. Now that he was finished he had to return them.

Sipping the last bit of the tea, he washed the cup and went to the room to lie down on his unmade bed. Adam was pleasantly surprised that he had read them all, but his mind wished that he hadn’t. All his beliefs, everything he had believed in were crushed. All the doubt he had of Islam were not there anymore. He had read everything he could about it, from the prayer to the fasting. All doubts had disappeared, yet he longed for them. He wasn’t ready to submit or at least that’s what he thought. The truth was that his mind had already submitted, had already accepted Islam to be the right religion, the right way, but he was not ready to face the truth, not yet.

“Why me?” He thought. Why did he have to know the truth? He didn’t want to live knowing that he was turning away from the ‘truth’. Not then, maybe when he turned old, sixty, even seventy maybe, but now as a college student. He wouldn’t be able to handle all that stress. What would his parents say? Adam shivered the thought of his parents finding out that he had become a Muslim. He sighed and turned on his bed as he heard the door open and close.

“Are you awake?” Hearing Nuradeen’s voice, he sat up.
“No. Do you need something?” Adam asked.
“Just wondering if you wanted to go somewhere with me.” He remarked as he took a gray colored sweater from the closet.
“Somewhere?” Adam asked surprised.
“There’s a lecture at the local Masjid, I thought you might want to come and listen.”
“Ok.” Adam replied hesitantly.
“Chill, it’s not that scary.” Nuradeen chuckled as he took a turn.
“I’m not scared.” Adam stated even though he knew he was very nervous.
“You look like it.”
“I’ve never been in a Mosque before.” Adam changed the subject.
“It’s ok. It’s just an hour long lecture followed by a questions and answer session. We’ll be sitting down on the floor, no chairs except for the old men and the guys with back or leg problems.”
“Will you guys be praying?”
“No, Maghrib isn’t for another three hours, but you’ll see that people will be praying two units of voluntary prayer when they enter. It’s a practice of the Prophet to pray when you enter the Masjid.”

Adam entered with Nuradeen. There were shoes all around the shoe shelf. Following Nuradeen, he placed his sneakers on a higher shelf and entered with his socks and sat down as Nuradeen prayed. There were many people already there ready to listen. He looked around at the different faces of different colors and races sit together. Men old and young spoke to each other. They seemed like one big family. A part of Adam longed and wanted to be part of them.

“Bismillah Ar-rahmaan Ar-Raheem,” The strange words echoed through the building. Adam turned to the origin of the voice. He was a man with a long dark beard with a little white here and there. His voice had a slight Middle Eastern accent but he spoke strongly and clearly. Nuradeen had told him that he was called the Imam, but his name was Rashid. Adam listened to him intently.

“You ok?” Nuradeen asked later. Adam wiped away the tears that were falling. The Imam’s words were ringing in his ears. “If you don’t submit now, when will you? Next year? Next decade? How do you know that you’ll be still living, walking, and talking by then? You don’t know. That is why, that is why there is no time better than the present. Don’t put anything off to later.”

“Nuradeen?” He looked up. Most of the people had left.
“Yeah?”
“There is no time better than the present. I won’t put it off any more. I want to, I want to become Muslim.” His voice shook.
Nuradeen smiled. “Now?” Adam nodded.

He followed Nuradeen to the front of the room where the Imam was talking to someone, Muhammed. They both turned to us.
“Imam, this is Adam. He wants to take the shahadah.”

3 comments

  1. Saafir // June 5, 2009 at 3:29 AM  

    Alhamdullillah nice story you posted,

    Jazaka'Allah Khair

  2. Asmi's Journal // June 9, 2009 at 3:00 PM  

    Nice - all the way to the end! :) Looking forward to the next chapter

  3. Sadiyah // June 9, 2009 at 3:50 PM  

    @ Saafir; Wa iyaak =)

    @ Asmi; I'm working on it, but this week is finals week so inshallah i'll try to post the next chapter on the weekend or later

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