In the Name of God; the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful
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I came to God through love.
At first, it was the love of beauty that drew me. All my life I have valued truth above anything else. I had learnt to find beauty in truth. At university one of my friends invited me to attend a lecture on Islam with him and I agreed. At the opening of the lecture, a cleric from the university’s Islamic society read a prayer and his voice, as he sang the words of God, I remember as being so full of beauty. Although I couldn’t understand Arabic, and I had never read the Qur’an, I found the language of those words so beautiful, and I instantly felt that there must be some truth in anything so full of beauty. At that point in my life, I had spent so much time abandoning what I felt were restrictions to thought, that I was not ready to accept being bound by another set of ideas. But even so, that beauty stayed with me, and I always remembered the beauty of the words of God being sung.
The second time I came to God through love was in poetry. I had become interested in the Persian mystical poets, and in the structures and rhythms of Persian poetry, and had begun reading the works of Mowlana and Omar Khayyam in earnest. I found such beauty in the way they combined their system of thought with the artistry of their words, especially Mowlana, and I became more interested in the faith that lay behind the passion of their works. I brought a copy of the Qur’an for the first time, and began to read the word of God, as revealed to the Prophet (Peace be upon Him). The first thing I noticed in the revelations of God was the gentleness in their message. The voice of those words urged you to listen, not as a command, but more as an exhortation to hear the truth within them. All along, they repeated “do you not see?”, and it was such a gentle urging, as only the truth needs to be. And I began to listen, even though I was still not ready to finally accept. When I went to Turkey, and visited the tomb of Mowlana, I once again felt the truth that I had known, as I stood among the faithful and bowed my head to the tomb of one whose words had touched me so deeply. I began to believe in the faith he had believed in, and I began to feel the love that this poet had felt in his own words: for the God that he loved; for the urging to know more of the faith that moved him so deeply.
The third time I came to God through love was the deepest. I met the woman who would become my fiancé. She lived in Iran, in Mashhad, and when I met her I knew that, after I had been searching for so long for the one who I could truly feel so deeply for, I had found her. When we finally acknowledged how we felt for each other, we knew that, as she was a Muslim, if I wanted to spend my life with her, we would have to be married, and I would have to become a Muslim. We talked very seriously about the decision, and I told her that I would have to think very deeply about it. It was important for me, as I could only make such a great decision from the right motives: I would have to believe truly in the choice I was going to make. I thought deeply about my choice. I read the words of God again. The most important thing to me was to remain faithful to truth, and I still wondered whether committing myself to a faith was the right choice, even if it was a faith I found so beautiful. In the end, it was love that convinced me. My fiancé loves God deeply. I had come to know her as a person, and I loved her as that person more than I had ever loved anyone in my life. If she could love God, and be the person that she was, then I would be happy to join her in a life lived for God.
I still needed to wait, even after we had become engaged, simply because I needed to know that I was making the decision to give myself to faith from the right choice. But the more I thought, and the more I read the word of God, then I knew that there was no conflict in the love of truth and the love of God: if all comes from God, then all truth comes from God as well. To give myself to faith would not mean losing that love of truth, only strengthening its love within me. I knew, finally, that I was ready to accept God, and to accept the ways of faith under God. Most importantly, I felt that I was coming to God in the best way possible: through an act of love. But, now having accepted faith, and growing to love my fiancé more and more each day, I have come to understand that perhaps it was God that was showing me the path to truly love.