Salam sisters n brothers Believe It or Not: You were Born Muslim! What would you call a religion whose beliefs, practices and followers are being bashed and bad-mouthed in practically every sphere of activity, in almost every corner of the globe, yet it attracts ever-increasing numbers of people? A Paradox? A Miracle ? Or simply, The Truth: Islaam. The fact that Islaam is the fastest growing religion in the world today, is proof that our Creator has taken it upon Himself to perfect the Truth that He sent all His prophets and messengers with -- from Aadam [AS] to Muhammad [SAW]. Studies conducted in the West show that the sheer number of new Muslims is changing the demographic profile of countries all over the world, and not all of them are born into Muslim families. With some 6 million adherents in the United States, Islam is said to be the nation’s fastest-growing religion. One expert estimates that 25,000 people a year become Muslims in this country; some clerics say they have seen conversion rates quadruple since Sept 11. Ironically for a religion that is routinely bashed for “subjugating” and “oppressing” its female followers, the number of female reverts to Islaam outnumber the males 4:1! The fact that more and more people are finding their way to Islaam, notwithstanding the relentless propaganda, deliberate misinformation and outright prejudice against it, never ceases to amaze me. How do these people navigate in the darkness to find the light of Islaam in spite of all the obstacles in the way? The answer is that our Creator has granted each one of us a guiding light -- a pure, undefiled innate nature called the fitrah. Unlike Christians who believe in the doctrine of Original Sin and assert that each baby is born tainted with the sin of Adam’s disobedience to God, Muslims believe that every child is born into a state of purity where it recognizes its Creator and is naturally subservient to His laws. In his book The Fundamentals of Islaamic Monotheism, Abu Ameenah Bilaal Philips writes: Just as a child’s body submits to the physical laws which Allaah has put in nature, its soul also submits naturally to the fact that Allaah is its Lord and Creator. But its parents try to make it follow their own way and the child is not strong enough in the early stages of its life to resist or oppose its parents. The religion which the child follows at this stage is one of custom and upbringing and Allaah does not hold it to account for this religion. When the child matures in youth and clear proofs of the falsehood of its religion are brought to it, the adult must now follow the religion of knowledge and reason. At this point the devils try their best to encourage him to stay as he is or to go further astray. Evils are made pleasing to him and he must now live in the midst of a struggle between his innate pure nature and his desires in order to find the right road. If he chooses to follow his innate nature, his fitrah, Allaah will help him overcome his desires even though it may take most of his life to escape, for many people enter Islaam in their old age. The Qur’aan also points to this phenomenon, where every soul that has been created is asked Who their Lord is, and they testify that it is none other than Allaah before they are born into the world. When your Lord drew forth from the loins of the children of Aadam their descendants and made them testify concerning themselves. Saying: Am I not your Lord? They said: “Yes, we testify to it.” (This) in case you say on the Day of Judgement, “We were unaware of this.” Or in case you say: It was our ancestors who made partners (with Allaah) and we are only their descendants…[Surah Al-A’raaf 7:172-173] Explaining this verse, the Prophet [SAW] said: When Allaah created Aadam [AS] , He took a covenant from him …then He extracted from him all of his descendants who would be born until the end of the world, generation after generation and spread them out in front of Him in order to take a covenant from them. He spoke to them face to face saying: Am I not your Lord? And they all replied: Yes, we testify to it. Allaah then explained why He had all of mankind bear witness that He was their Creator and the only true God worthy of worship. He said: That was in case you (mankind) should say on the Day of Resurrection, “Surely we were unaware of all this. We had no idea that You were our God.” [Silsilah al ahadeeth as Saheehah, Narrated by ibn Abbaas, collected by Imaam Ahmad] This is the reason why people who adopt Islaam are said to revert instead of convert, because they are going back to their original nature -- the one they were naturally created with -- which is automatically aligned with the Universe, its Creator and His Laws; as opposed to simply exchanging one set of beliefs for another.