By Abdullah Archibald Hamilton
Since arriving at an age of discretion, the beauty and the simple purity of Islam have always appealed to me. I could never, though born and brought up as a Christian, believe in the dogmatic aspect of the Church, and have always placed reason and commonsense above blind faith.
As the time progressed, I wished to be at peace with my Creator, and I found that both the Church of Rome and the Church of England were of no real use to me.
In becoming a Muslim, I have merely obeyed the dictates of my conscience, and have since felt a better and a truer man.
There is no religion that is so maligned by the ignorant and the biased as is Islam; yet if people only knew, it is the religion of strong for the weak, the rich for the poor. Humanity is divided into three classes. First, those on whom God has, out of His bounty, bestowed possessions and wealth; secondly, those who have to work to earn their living; and lastly, the great army of the unemployed, or those who have fallen by the wayside through no fault of their own. Again Islam recognizes genius and individuality. It is constructive and not destructive. For example, if a landowner who is rich and is not in need of cultivating his land, refrains from doing so for some time, his property ipso facto becomes public property, and according to Islamic Law, passes into the hands of the first person who cultivates it.
Islam strictly forbids its adherents to gamble or to indulge in any games of chance. It prohibits all alcoholic drinks and interdicts usury, which alone has caused enough sorrow and suffering to mankind. Thus, in Islam, none can take a mean advantage of another who is less fortunate.
We neither believe in fatalism nor in predestination, but only in pre-measurement; that is to say the fixity of the laws and the intelligence to follow them.
To us, Faith without Action is a dead-letter; for in itself it is insufficient unless we live up to it. We believe in our own personal accountability for our actions in this life and the Hereafter. We must carry our own cross and none can atone for another's sin.
Islam teaches the inherent sinlessness of man. It teaches that man and woman come from the same essence, possess the same soul, and have been equipped with equal capabilities for intellectual, spiritual and moral attainment.
I do not think I need say much about the Universal Brotherhood of man in Islam. It is a recognized fact. Lord and vassal, rich and poor, are all like. I have always found that my brother Muslims have been the soul of honor and that I could believe their word. They have always treated me justly, as a man and a brother, and have extended to me the greatest hospitality, and I have always felt at home with them.
In conclusion, I would like to say that, whereas Islam guides humanity in the daily workaday life, the present-day so-called Christianity, indirectly in theory and invariably in practice, teaches its followers, it would seem, to pray to God on Sundays and to prey on His creatures for the rest of the week.