I always felt close to ‘God’ and prayer was a way of life for me. Deep in my mind, for I could never voice any doubts, I had some misgivings; some things that didn’t make sense to me but as a missionary I felt I was calling to God, not to that particular church.
I was raised in a house where we prayed every night and morning. We were not taught set prayers but to pray from the heart. We went to church every Sunday and were active participants in the activities held there. By the time I was in my late teens I was a missionary.
I always felt close to ‘God’ and prayer was a way of life for me. Deep in my mind, for I could never voice any doubts, I had some misgivings; some things that didn’t make sense to me but as a missionary I felt I was calling to God, not to that particular church. I knew God, to be the Infinitely Powerful Being Who had created all there is. I could recognize a harmony and structure in all the nature around me, yet I found an absence of order wherever I looked around people. I learned to love Jesus as a messenger of God but it seemed strange to me, that God would require a sacrifice in order to forgive us. I believed that God was above having any need. I felt I could communicate with God as I was, without the necessity of an intermediary because, again, God didn’t need any help to hear what I said.
One day I moved into a flat and met my neighbors who were Muslims. I thought I would try out some missionary work on them. They listened to me patiently and then I too, listened to them . They didn’t try to explain any complicated issues, they just read to me from the Qu’ran. First they read in Arabic, then in English. It was Sura (Chapter) Maryam. I listened in silence. The beautiful sound of the Arabic recitation touched my heart and then the plain and direct language of the English translation struck a chord within. The beautiful story of Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) and his miracle birth to the virgin Mary was a marvel of simplicity. God, or as I learned to call Him, Allah s.w.t. had provided mankind with Prophets and Messengers since the beginning of time. From Prophet Adam (peace be upon him), Prophet Abraham, Prophet Moses, Prophet Jesus and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon them all) and many others. They were all sent with God’s message to disdain all worship except, worship of the One true God and to submit to His Will. Such is the meaning of Islam. A Muslim is one who bows to the will of Allah s.w.t. refusing the worship of anyone or anything else and seeking to establish piety on earth.
From the Noble Qur'an - Surat Maryam