by Imam Muhamad A. Joban *
During an Islamic event at Santa Ana, California, yesterday, I met a 23 year old woman interested in Islam. Because she was wearing the hijab, I thought she was already a Muslimah. However, she told me that she was still learning about Islam. I complimented her for wearing the hijab and she told me that a lot of her friends wore the hijab.
I asked her what religion she practiced and she told me that she’s Catholic. Knowing this, I explained that when someone becomes a Muslim, they become closer to Jesus. She was surprised at hearing this. I elaborated by explaining that by being a Muslim, you will pray the same way Jesus prays. I asked her “how does Jesus pray?
”She replied that I read in the bible that the way Jesus prayed was similar to the way Muslims pray. I continued by saying that Jesus never stated “I am God, worship me.” Then I told her “If you find in the bible that Jesus said to worship him, I will become Christian. In the bible, Jesus only said ‘I pray to my father in the heaven. My father is greater than me. Without him, I can’t do anything.”
She thought about what I said for a bit. She then mentioned that there’s a verse in the bible that stated, “If you see me, you see God.” I told her to observe the previous verse. It was Peter that asked Jesus, “Master, I want to see the Father.” Jesus was bothered by this question and he was indicating that everything comes from God. Jesus means that if they look at him, the moon, the stars, etc. you will see the Father. People are the one that misunderstands this verse.
She brings up another verse where Jesus said, “ Me and my father are one.” I gave her an example where I asked “if I told you my wife and I are one, does that mean that my wife becomes a man.” And I explained that if you worship the Father like I worship Him (believing He is one), then we are on the same path. So she asked a couple more questions. Afterward,I told her to reach out to me if she has any questions or is she needs help to contact me.
I went inside the building the event was at to make wudhu and got ready to pray. When I left the bathroom, one of the sisters informed me that she was satisfied with the answers and ready to take the shahadah. So I went throught the shahadah procedure asking her how long she studied and whether she was sure it was the right choice. After answering the questions, she took the shahadah in front of all the attendees of the event as observed in the video.
*Imam @Masjid Ar-Rahmah Redmond