Trying to get by...

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Meet Roba Qewar

Salam, I first read about Roba through Qwaider. I was touched by her story and would like to share it with my readers. _________________________________________
Al Salamu Alaykom wa Rahmato Allah wa Barakatoh (Peace, Mercy and Blesses be Upon you from Allah) السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
From the Churches to the Mosques!!! من الكنائس الى المساجد
I was born in Denmark and was raised Christian in Jordan all my life (Learn More), my father was a pastor of 4 churches, my mother is one of the strongest Christian woman leaders in the Jordanian society. I was a youth leader in the church and I was a supervisor in the church community for the Christian theology and I know a lot about it but never narrowed my mind and put that dark sheet on my eyes, I was seeking because I never found my peace till I became a Muslim. And it took me a long process to be convinced in Islam. It started since I was a kid, I hated Islam, when I was in the 10th grade, I saw one day a girl is praying, I kicked her and pushed her while she was kneeling down (sajedah), I have fought with girls in high school and I wanted to show them how educated I am, so I used to bring the Bible with me all the time and read in loud, or write a verse on the board as (today’s tip). When it’s Ramadan, I used to eat in front of the girls while fasting (I ask Allah to forgive me and give me Mercy), I was a serious trouble maker. In the eleventh grade, I remember one day we had an Islamic class in Zarqa High School, and I wanted to stay and listen to the teacher, they said that the Bible is Muharraf (interpreted and altered) I started to become mad and I explained to them that the Bible has been written as 4 different books in the same time different places from 4 different people (Mathew, Mark, Luke and John), so one of the girls said: “So you’re saying that the evil spirit have written the books!” I got really angry and I left the class and I didn’t want to talk to any of the girls. The girls in the class were wondering about me and they wanted to know what’s my deal, so they came and started asking me questions about my religion and I was answering them and showing them in the Bible and give them proofs to convince them about Christianity, until one day, the teacher called me and asked me to stop talking about my religion because it’s illegal, I told her that I have nothing to do with it, she said: “I have a recorded tape of your voice talking to the girls about it” that made me really mad, and I started to have not only hate but anger and I wanted to bring all the Muslims to Christianity, I even invited my Muslim friends to the church many times to convert them to Christianity. I graduated and went to study Chemistry in Muta University in Jordan, and I knew that this university is one of the strongest Islamic Movements in the whole Kingdom. I finished one year there and then registered for Islamic class as a requirement and I was so ready for it. I remember it was in a theatre contains 150 student, I am the only one Christian there proud of myself. Every time the Professor (Dr. Mohammad Rawashdeh) say something, I had to raise my hand and argue with him, I remember we talked about Hell and Heaven, we talking about the Women’s right, we talking about the Bible itself, and I used to bring the Bible all the time and get proofs for him to contradict his words. Until one day he called me to his office and he said that I have great knowledge and by now I supposed to be convinced about Islam, I told him: “listen Professor, I was born Christian, my father Is a pastor of 4 churches, my mom is a very important person in the Christian community, I was raised Christian, and I have a well knowledge about Christianity, so there is no way on earth can change me to Islam. No way!” he sighed and said: “Allah Yehdeeki” (May Allah show you the right path) After a while, I started to attack my Professor by judging on Islam and telling him how wrong he is and how wrong the Islam is. The students started to be curious about what I am saying and they were amazed of my braveness, so they started to come in private after classes and asking me about my religion, I used to sit down in a public place with them and argue about religious issues, until one day, my Professor called me back to his office. He said that I am doing fetnah (Division within Islam) in the university because I am talking to people about my religion and trying to convert them. I told him what do you mean?? He said: “Next semester, you will not be here anymore” I didn’t say anything and I just left, until I came next semester to register for my classes, and they told me that I am out of the college and I am not even exist in the system, I became really mad and I left the university because I knew that time, I am very close to go to the USA, and have a better opportunity than Jordan. Yes, I immigrated to TX, USA year 2002, trying to start from the scratch, I was going to the Arabic Dallas Baptist Church, and my uncle is the pastor of this church. I didn’t like living there so my family contacted a certain Christian family for me to go to Arizona and try to build myself, but once I couldn’t find a financial support, the family asked me to go back to Texas and stay with my family. So I went back home and my parents with my little brothers went back to Jordan in order for my father to continue his ministry in the churches, but I stayed with my brother and my sister and I am the oldest. I found a job and I started to study in the college. I kept myself going to the church, doing some activities, even sending some programs to the church in Jordan and help them out with the Bible studies for the Sunday Schools. In December 2003 my father died – diagnosed by the Cancer, but that didn’t stop me from keeping myself going in life. I tell you that I came to USA to make some Christian ministries .. and my aim was to reach the Arab Muslim and bring them to Christianity since the USA is a free country and you have the right of thoughts and talk So .. I met some friends in the college and we started to talk about Islam .. And I know the Bible from the beginning to the end, I was arguing hard trying to convince them about Christianity. Until they brought me the guy Mostafa Belhour - who is my husband now - to debate .. And it started to be like a race with him since he has great knowledge about Quran and Sunnah .. And I didn't like him at all. Most of the time, we were adding gas to the fire and sometimes we reach to dead ends, he was a real good speaker .. And I am the stubborn. I finally got tired and exhausted. Anyway .. My mom was coming on Sep 2005 and I thought it's a good excuse to get away from the debate because it started to make me so agitated .. For me it would be really insulting if I loose the debate .. So I told my friends .. I need to go!! but that guy called me by my name and said: "I need a proof" I asked: what are you talking about? He said: "search the whole Bible .. You will never find one verse that Jesus says about himself that he's God .. He never said(I am God)" .. I found that it's my opportunity to tell him about Christianity and bring him to Jesus (who I believed that he's the savior and the son of God) I asked with a sarcastic method: "what are you talking about.. Of course there is tens of verses say that Jesus is God" .. He said: "show me the proof" I went home and that question stuck in my mind. I opened the Bible and started to search, then I went to some internet resources, then to some books. Then I asked my mom and I went with her through a discussion .. she said: "well there is no specific verse laterally saying that Jesus said about himself he's God, but he said; (whoever saw me saw the father)" I said: "but the father and the son are not the same" she said: "but you know that they have the same level in power as they are a part of the Trinity (The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit)" So the 1st one has no proof .. Now let's go to the second one: Jesus is the son! I started to search more .. I found that it's written in the Gospel - in the Bible - called "John" this Equation: "in the beginning, the word was with God ..." ok?? So the word is Jesus who is created from the beginning and he was WITH God .. Then the same verse says: "and the word was God" John 1:1 so hold on!!! God = (equals) Jesus and God WITH Jesus ohuh .. Wrong mathematical statement .. How the heck would Jesus be God and with God at the same time? This is not something can make any kind of sense So I left that verse for a minute and went to another one .. To the 1st letter of john chapter 5 and verse 7 says: " 7For there are three that bear record (witness) in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three ARE ONE. " I said yeay .. Here is the proof, The Father=The Son=The Holy Ghost (Spirit) Then the next verse 8 says: " 8And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree IN ONE." The Spirit (Holy Spirit), The Water (The Father) and the Blood (The Son). How would it be 3=1 and 3IN1 at the same time .. It’s just completely different meaning. 3=1 means they are all in the same level, the same power, the same content (i.e. The water has 3 different mentalities liquid, solid and gas) and 3in1 is like 3 relative people carry the same family name but they are completely different people with different mentalities and personalities. In addition, if I believe that God is 3, then why would I have one creation? For example if I get 3 artists to draw a tree for me, each one will have his own style and way of drawing that tree according to his way of thinking, and if the 3 in one God are creating the creature, then each one of them will create it in a different way, even if they have the same aim, but they would create it in their own way! Anywho! I said there are some conflicts in this Bible, where did I get this book from?? I know that Jesus called himself the son of God because he's Jewish and it's not something new that the Jewish call themselves the "children of God" and they are humans Jesus was sitting by himself and pray! Who was he praying for? For himself? He was calling God, and the scripture of the Bible show that in different places, for example: “ 25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent” Mathew 11:25 “39And going a little farther, He threw Himself upon the ground on His face and prayed saying, My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from Me; nevertheless, not what I will [not what I desire], but as You will and desire.” Mathew 26:39 “42Again a second time He went away and prayed, My Father, if this cannot pass by unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Mathew 26:42 “23And after He had dismissed the multitudes, He went up into the hills by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was still there alone.” Mathew 14:23 “44So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, using the same words.” Mathew 26:44 “35And in the morning, long before daylight, He got up and went out to a deserted place, and there He prayed” Mark 1:35 “46And after He had taken leave of them, He went off into the hills to pray.” Mark 6:46 “21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized, and [while He was still] praying, the [visible] heaven was opened” Luke 3:21 “16But He Himself withdrew [in retirement] to the wilderness (desert) and prayed.” Luke 5:16 “12Now in those days it occurred that He went up into a mountain to pray, and spent the whole night in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12 In additional I had that memory flashed in my mind when I was studying the Christian theology .. A British professor came to our college and he was teaching us the history of the Bible script .. And I remember he said exactly: "well ... I went to the museum in England to see the Bible manuscripts and all what I saw torn, burned lost papers spread allover the place" so what is that in my hand? And where all those words came from???? If I am going to worship A PERFECT GOD who is the complete of everything how would I believe in imperfect book??? This is not right!!! I started to think .. If one day lost all the holy books in the world .. and we asked people to get a new exact book. There is no body can get an exact book of the Bible because we have too many versions, and they are still discovering new different scripts till now .. But I can find may be a million Muslim can bring me an identical Quran who is kept from the beginning .. Isn’t that amazing!! Then I went through the theory of crucifying Jesus on the cross .. Did he really die?? I started to think of the Gospels that we have between our hands is it the real Bible?? The ones who wrote the Bibles are Jewish people who followed Jesus Christ and wrote a biography about him .. They saw him dying on the cross .. Is it necessary to be the same person on the cross?? The verse in Quran says: "shobbeha behi" “157. That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah.";- But they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:- 158. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise” Quran 4:157-158 so the people who saw Jesus is someone who looks exactly like Jesus .. So what we have in our hands is only a biography of Jesus 75% or more of it is altered And now I got the result in my hands: Jesus is not God, not even the Son of God .. I got scared and I started to panic, All those years ... 24 years in my life that I was studying is only a theory 24 years worshipping the wrong God 24 years went as a lie!!! I wanted to kill myself and I felt that the ground that I am standing on is just shaking and I felt so scared I wanted to go back from the beginning and start my search all over again to prove the opposite .. I went so quiet .. Don’t know what next!! I am destroying my life .. I started to think .. I believe in Jesus now that he's only a human and he's a prophet from God and I believe in all the prophets .. I have one problem with Mohammad (Peace be upon Him) I never exposed about his life and all what I know is things that the Christian planted in my mind .. But how the people praise him all the time as the greatest prophet?? I said.. How could be a problem and the holy book Quran came from heaven through him (Peace Be Upon Him) .. He must be really special .. So it's not a problem to believe in one more prophet.. In addition that I know there is an illegal Gospel called Barnaby that the churches don't believe in it because there is the verse were Jesus talk about the next prophet called Ahmad!!! I left my room after great meditation and thinking about it and searching .. And called my old friends who didn't see me for 2 months .. I went to see them at home and I was praying to Allah and crying: "if that's the right way, you change my life .. If it's not so let me die now in an accident before I reach my friends and take me to heaven .. I am looking for the truth and I am calling you to take me to heaven whatever happens" So I reached to my friends and I have tears in my eye .. And they thought something happened .. And there were my husband (the debater) .. They were waiting a word from me to tell them what happened .. I said: اشهد أن لا اله الاّ الله .. واشهد أن محمد رسول الله Ash-hadu Anna La Elaha Illa Allah, Wa As-hadu Anna Mohammad Rasool Allah I declare that there is no God but only One Allah, and I declare that Mohammad is the prophet of Allah (Peace be upon Him) For 2 minutes they were quiet with no word They looked at me and my husband started to laugh like crazy He said: shut up .. Don’t lie It was October 3rd I believe I said I am not lying and I started to cry He said.. You said the other day that if you say the shahdatein (the Islamic declaration statement) with no believes that won't let you be Muslim!!! Don’t be lying I said: I am not lying .. Tomorrow is the first day of Ramadan .. You are going to teach me how to pray and make wodoo2 (The washing method) and everything When he heard me saying that .. He hugged me and started to cry like a baby And really I learned all that in one night .. And I bought a hijab (vail) and my other girl friend showed me how to put it on and everything I hide my Islam for two weeks .. During that time I went to imam and had the shaahdah (announced my Islam) and I was learning from the Quran and trying to make some comparison from both books and it was hard for me at the beginning to leave the Bible .. But il hamdullelah (Thanks Allah) I am over it now I hid my Islam from my family and I was praying at night 2am or 3 so no body can see me doing anything suspicious .. One day I was going to school and I had my backpack with me and have my Quran and hijab .. Suddenly my hijab fell down from the bag on the stairs at home and my sis was behind me, she saw it but didn't know what is it till night when she woke up and saw me praying, so she told my family members .. And here comes the trouble They yelled at me, insulted me, called me words and used the fraud language. They hit me to death and threatened me and I was calm, but leaved the house praying that Allah lead them to Islam. I lived about 2 months with my girl friend .. Until my husband Mostafa and I got married il hamdulellah (Thanks to Allah) .. I lost my family but I gained a new Muslim family at the mosque who took care of me and really helped me .. I went through a lot of depression aftermath because of that beating .. Till now I still receive at least 25 phone calls and emails – daily - from all over the world insulting me and threatening me and all that Other than the phone calls that I receive .. I even have debates with the biggest Christian Professors (in the Christian Theology) from Jordan and the USA on the phone .. debating about religions and trying to bring me back to Christianity. subhan Allah (The praises are for Allah) ... I used to hold the Bible in my hand and they have the Quran .. now the table has been turned around! However I learned a lot from this very short time .. I learned something called patience and humbling .. and I meditate now and think of the stories of the prophet Mohammad (Peace be upon him) who was insulted and how did he take all that .. my story is nothing to him and wow .. I learn a lot.. I probably lost my sharaf (The Noble honor of the family) and honor in front of some people but I am so proud and I have the sharaf coming from Allah .. and amazing! You can’t imagine what kind of happiness and peace that I am living in even all that insulting .. I really changed than before .. I am a completely different person .. even my husband noticed that. I learned how to be quiet and patient with people even to the ones who insult me all the time .. I learned how to smile in the worst and hardest times .. even if lost my jobs .. but Allah is compensating me with everything it's all about to have the intern peace inside you .. you really can't find peace from people around you, not even by your environment .. it has to be by your convention and by your mind .. by loving Allah and giving him your heart. If you worship Allah and follow his orders, you are certainly going to be happy because the sins make you feel guilty and they take your peace away I look at the people faces and see their tears, sadness; because they are away from the Creator.. sometimes I see their hearts are dark and they can't let that candle burn in them because they are so much caught with their problems and busyness in life. All what I know now, my aim in this life is to worship and pray for Allah and follow his orders and rules, and make good works for His Sake. I hope you enjoyed my story and be strength for your soul .
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You can read more about Roba from her website: http://www.creativeruba.com/islam/story_english.html

4 comments:

kinzi said...

Palforce, I know this story will probably bring joy to you any many Muslims who read it.

My husband knew Roba's father and we prayed with them and stood with them through her dad's long and painful death. Roba's conversion is not a source of joy for her mother.

I just want you to take a look at it from the other side, not as a Muslim, but as a son and a father. I know you are a man of very strong faith and would not change that, but imagine just for a minute how your mom would feel if all that she raised you to believe and love was denied. If your own daughter decided to believe differently.

Don't stay there long, just long enough to remember the other human side of the story.

PALFORCE said...

Dear Kinzi,

I do not find joy in this story, but rather sadness, I feel bad for Roba, she has been seeking the truth (her truth) and she found it on the other side. She made the brave decision to cross over.

"And the truth shall set you free."

Roba feels that she reached the end of her quest, which is her own definition of the purpose of existence, and we all have our own interpretation.

I don't feel bad for her parents; if they love their daughter they would have treated her a lot better than that.
Let's assume she became homosexual. Would they react the same way? I seriously doubt it.

I believe that my love for my kids is unconditional, I would accept them for what they are regardless if I agree with it or not.

I might get mad and take a stand but will never hate them for it.

God bless us all.

kinzi said...

Khaled,

Your comment caused me to re-read her story, and re-interpret what touched you about Roba's story. I then sent it to my husband and even called some people who knew their family just to complete the picture. We don't feel as bad for her parents now, either.

We were both very sad, not as much for her conversion, but for the common theme of abandonment by her mother and father and even the church. For the sake of successful ministry, it seems she was often left caring for her siblings, and her needs secondary to the church's needs. It is strange that her relationship with her father warranted only a brief sentence.

I too hope that true grace and unconditional love can be shown her by her family, and will be praying for them all in a different way than before.

It was interesting that you quoted Jesus himself from John chapter 8, as he says just before it "If you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set yu free."

I'm glad to see the kind of love you have for your children. Most of the Muslims I have heard of that became Christians in Jordan have been thrown out of their families.

Thanks for unpacking your thoughts in a way I could understand better, an dI agree, may God bless us all.

PALFORCE said...

Kinzi,

You are a great person and I'm glad to see you see through my words.

I hope you have a nice day Kinzi.

Peace