From a practicing Hindu, Girish KS Udupa to a practicing Muslim Muhammad Ishaaq, who now devotes his time giving dawah to non muslims.
Muhammad Ishaaq, an upper caste Hindu, narrates his story about his conversion to Islam.I was born and brought up in an upper-class Hindu Brahmin family of priests in Udupi, Karnataka, India, a city known for its temples.
My learning of Hindu scriptures commenced at an early age through a teacher where I noticed many contradictions and began questioning but could not get any satisfying answers nor the meaning of the scriptures. Such a beginning early in life made me search for the truth about right religion.Owing to my persistent questions, my parents on the advice of religious heads transferred me to an Aashram, to become a Hindu priest. After joining the Aashram, my doubts and questions increased to which my teachers had no answers. I was advised to read books from the library to know the answers and hence I got an opportunity to read a lot of Hindu scriptures. With no satisfaction in life and unable to get proper answers to the doubts being built up in mind, I left the Ashram and started learning about Jainism and later Buddism but neither had any answers to my questions.
Interestingly, Jainism and Buddism advocate ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) but both are responsible in increasing idol worship. I left them and started to search the oldest religion and learned about a religion of Romans, Greeks, Egyptian, and Judaism. When I was studying Judaism I could not find the much fundamental difference between Jews and Brahmins.
I continued to enjoy my life till one day while commuting by bus to the office, I saw a hoarding with the message “For a free copy of Qur’an please contact….” a thought came to mind that this could be another book like Bible. However, I decided to call them and get a copy of the Qur’an so that I can read Qur’an to find mistakes and make fun of Muslims. To finally get my copy of the Qur’an, I had to call the center 3 times in 9 months, but the third time I was little angrier and finally, the Qur’an reached me. Alhamdulillah.
I began reading the Qur’an with the intention to find fault in it but amazingly started to get answers to my questions one by one as if the Qur’an is answering and clearing all my doubts. Although I decided to read at least four pages every day and to complete it quickly, to the shock of my life, I could barely read more than half a page daily. As I moved on, I started getting answers to all my queries; why I am here, why I was created, what is the purpose of life, and by the Grace of Almighty Allah I was getting closer to Qur’an and my Creator.
The brother who gave the Qur’an would call and ask whether I am reading the Qur’an. One day he asked me to perform Salah (prayer) with him and I refused. However, we started meeting very often to discuss over coffee/juice on Islam. One day while having juice, he asked me a question; if he dies now, before completely drinking the juice, he might enter paradise because he is a Muslim as he tried to follow the commandments of Allah. What would I do if I die before I finish my juice, because, there is no guarantee of lifespan for anyone? I was shocked for a while and could not drink the juice and felt as if I am going to die any moment. I went home, sincerely prayed to Almighty Allah for the first time in my life that if I die today please forgive my sins and slept. When I got up in the morning I was afresh and deciding not to waste more time, called the brother and informed him that I would like to accept Islam. In fact with the discussion of the previous evening, Allah opened my heart to truth and thought that accepting Islam would be a big function like in Hinduism. The brother called me to the center and in front of two people, asked me to declare in Arabic and English the “Shahada” — La ilaha ill Allah Muhammadur-Rasul Allah.“I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Prophet Muhammad is his Messenger (peace be upon him)”.
I swear by Allah that when I took the Shahada, I felt an amazing sensation as if a huge, physical weight had just been lifted off my chest; I gasped for breath as if I was breathing for the first time in my life. Alhamdulillah, by reverting to Islam, my journey to find the true religion ended with immense pleasure, happiness and utmost satisfaction.
I want to convey one humble message to all those who are looking for a true God and religion. It is only when you take the pain of learning about all religions, you will know the beauty of Islam. The message of Oneness of God Almighty in its Purity and the way of life taught and practiced by Prophet Muhammad (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) as Islam is the only way of life which could keep you pleased with your existence as a human being.
LIFE IS A TOTAL WASTE WITHOUT ISLAM..ISLAM IS THE ONLY WAY OF LIFE.
Alhamdulillah, Allah had given me a new life, a clean slate and a chance for Jannah, and I pray that I live the rest of my life dedicated to spreading the message of Islam and to die as a Muslim.