During my travels overseas, especially Lefke, and also some personal experiences I had with people, it is one of the most amazing facts that the banner of Islam today is being raised high by those whom we call reverts. It is quite true that these people have reverted back to the state in which they were born. This is a state of Fitrah. All people are born with this; a state in which they accept the unity of God. This means that when they recite Shahadah after having gone through a period in their lives of disbelief or another religion, then such recital is in fact a reversion back to their previous pure state. One is always amazed at the teachings of Islam on these matters, teachings which always prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the truth of this religion. Islam teaches that when non-Muslims recite Shahadah, all their previous sins and transgressions fall away from them. And at the end of that Shahadah, they stand in front of one with purified souls; souls of Fitrah.
If Islam had taught that they retain sins then this would have presented a major contradiction in the teachings of the religion because in a state of Fitrah, one has a purely purified soul; and so one moves from a state of major spiritual impurity to a state of major spiritual purification. How easy isn’t it for a non-Muslim to have a purified soul, in a few minutes; whereas for us, as Muslims, we have to work intensely with all different forms of ibadat to attain that. However, what we attain is so different from what reverts attain. Reverts only have the Shahadah on their records, nothing else. And so they start to walk a path on which they have to acquire so many different forms of worship for themselves. In this way, they fill up their Record. I do not know at which station Allah (ﷻ) places them after they had completed their Shahadah, but I do know that if they should die after that recital, then their abode is Paradise. They go to Paradise with not a single negative thing against their names. My word! Some of us are going to wish that we had entered Islam later in our lives. My word! Allah (ﷻ) gives so much to those who turn to Him, and in the process, they have turned away from all their previous beliefs and opinions. No, it is not like this. It is a thousand times better. Allah (ﷻ) gazed on the heart of that servant, opened the servant’s heart and poured into it His beliefs, and then Allah (ﷻ) made that servant turn towards Him. The actual process of reversion is so much more than what we think. It involves so much more. It involves direct Divine intervention in the activities and the contents of the heart of a human being. It is this direct intervention that makes a revert so special; so more special than us, because we came where we are through birth. Of course, it is always as Allah (ﷻ) wants it to be. And our being born Muslim is also as Allah (ﷻ) wants it to be. But somehow in reverts, I see so much more of my Lord’s activities. I see so much more intensified intervention. If we wish to see the operation of Divine Action, we must sit in close proximity to those who revert to Islam, despite the beliefs they had acquired through their birth. It is to me almost as if my Lord said: “For that servant of mine, no more disbelief.” And He pours into that servant’s heart, the light of guidance so strong that the servant is made to turn to Him even though the servant might be mute and unable to speak.
We have to see the reality of our Lord through His Actions. When we see His Actions, we see Him at work. When we see Him at work, we come to know of His existence. And the only words at that critical moment when one realises that He truly exists, are: “O my Lord, I bear witness that there is no God, other than Thee.” When these words come from one’s heart and not necessarily from one’s tongue then it is also, as if we have also reverted. But there is a big difference. Our reverting is as a consequence of our coming to know of His existence, through His Workings.
So many times we have sat and listened to the words of the Testimony from many poor people. We have come to know, or rather perhaps we have come to realize, how those who say they believe, can only attain the reality of that belief when they look at the face of a servant whose heart has been redirected to his Lord. It is true that we see our Lord in His creation. When we look at His creation, from the most minute particle to massive universes, the only words that can flow from our tongues are: “Subhanallah: Glory to our Lord”. In the face of the revert reciting Shahadah, shines the light of our Lord. It is His Light, His Guidance, and His Mercy that He has poured into the heart of His servant. And the servant looks at me or rather looks up at me and when the servant recites, I know it is my Lord who is busy.
You see, it is not through logical argument or whatever the case might be, or even just deep faith that we come to know of the existence of our Lord. Logical arguments and faith can dissipate, but to have an experience of the workings of Allah (ﷻ) is a totally different matter. When one sees one’s Lord being busy or working then that becomes an experience of the existence of one’s Lord. We are always in the poor areas. We have become minor instruments of our Lord’s Words and Workings. We experience things that others do not know about. When we feed people, or when we help the poor people, we are under the guidance of our Lord’s Will and under the application of His Decree. We become insignificant instruments of that Will and of that Decree. It is a very strange thing that I am saying. When an individual sits in front of one in order to recite the Testimony, who has decreed this? Whose will is operating? And when we ask the individual to recite the words of the Testimony, whose work are we busy with?
The greatness of the Messengers (a.s.) must be seen in the fact that they were the greatest instruments of the implementation of their Lord’s Decrees and what their Lord wanted. In this lies their greatness. They were chosen by their Lord and forged and fashioned by Him to carry out the major historical task of bringing to all others the concept of the Oneness of God. This was His Decree and this was as He Willed. It is not the other things that made them so great. They were great because they were great instruments. We are little instruments for the same tasks, on a very minute scale. And through these tasks we come to experience what our Lord wants.
We must start understanding what we can learn through our work, start understanding how Allah (ﷻ) comes to show us His existence when we do this work. I have said on so many occasions that you must scramble enthusiastically when there is anything to be done for His sake. I want to say again to you: “Do you want to know whether there is a Lord?” Come see how our Lord shows Himself when we carry out simple tasks for His sake. When food is put into people’s mouths, when little children are taught, and when others recite Shahadah, we see our Lord at work and we know that He exists. We come to know of His existence and we come to know about Him, not through fancy lectures, but to becoming involved in the work that He has decreed that we do. When we feed a child, we see our Lord’s Mercy in operation. When a person recites Shahadah, we are little instruments to implement our Lord’s Guidance; little instruments who are busy with major tasks and it is through these tasks that we have in ourselves an everlasting experience of the existence of our Lord. We ask Him that we come to learn more about Him through these experiences, amin.