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My allegiance to Islam
I was born in a Tatar village in Russia, where my father, a Roman Catholic Pole and an exile from Poland, was a doctor.
Both my parents died early, and I was brought up among the Russian intelligentsia without any religion, principles or traditions. I must say I never gave much thought to spiritual matters until, after having lived in England and America, I imperceptibly became convinced that one must have some guiding principles in one's life and some kind of moral code. I studied Christianity, but, even stripped of all the trappings of ritualism and s\tperstitions, it could not satisfY me because I could not accept the fundamental principles of Christianity--the divinity of Jesus and the doctrine of the original sin and redemption. It seemed to me that the true God was completely overshadowed by the tremendous figure of Christ, and I could not believe that the suffering and death of one person, however saintly, even divine, would redeem the sins of the whole world, especially as the world went on sinning as if nothing happened. So, naturally I turned to Islam. I say naturally because I always had a sort of nostalgia for Islam, brought up, as I was in its atmosphere from my earliest childhood. It was like coming home, and the more I read the Qur'an and the books on Islam by Muslim writers,-the most lucid and convincing of them being those ofthe Khawaja Kamal-ud-Din,-the more I became convinced that it is the only true religion,-a religion for people who think and do not want to shut their eyes to the realities of life and the discoveries of science. I could not help comparing it to the teaching of Jesus which, lofty as it is, either leads to asceticism and virtual denial oflife, or demands an enormous structure of casuistry and sophistry in order to adapt it to the earthly life of mankind. How could it stand in comparison with the pure logic of Islam-submission to the will of God and striving towards His perfection? There, one has not the theological dogmas and magic formulas for salvation, but a perfect guidance and a moral code for the whole conduct of life, which does not demand denying the evidence of one's reason, nor the violation of one's natural feelings. Indeed, I cannot understand how any thinking person can fail seeing it.
That is why, so many critics of Islam fall back on the "bad life" of the people in Muslim countries, willfully shutting their eyes to the fact that their vices are due not to the teachings of Islam but to the dire poverty and ignorance in which they live owing to the physical and political conditions of their countries. My only regret is that I did not see the truth earlier, as it would not only have made me happier, but would have helped me to become a more useful member of the community.
Mrs. C. Sa'eeda Namier
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