Islam Aptitude Test (IAT):
Assignment of the Day
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time.
Trying to Take the Qur'an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It --
And Which One Does Not?)
So, you want to be a Muslim? Not just run-of-the-mill Muslim, but a super-duper-Muslim of some kind?
Great! Let us get started.
You were born in a Muslim home, maybe, and have been having a comfortable and effortless ride on the Islam Train ever since?
Or, maybe, you were born in a non-Muslim home, and you chose to convert to Islam in your later life.
And let me make this quite clear, right at the outset. Perhaps, no one is really a Muslim till, at some point in their life, they consciously and deliberately choose to "convert" to Islam.
That is, till they seriously evaluate their bearings in life and decide who they really are and where they really are headed, and then willingly choose Islam over all other things. Over all other life-options and choices available to them.
So, from this point of view, in a real sense, which Muslim is not a convert? And that means every Muslim should be a convert.
For, till you make a personal decision to "convert," Islam is likely to be mostly game and fun, and habit, for you. And it is likely to be mostly social relations and normative group behavior.
And not a consuming passion and overriding personal commitment.
And then talking about "converts," I hope you are not one of those who have no respect for the integrity of the English language, and are stuck on the expression "Revert," for whatever reasons.
Oh, I know the reasons that are touted all right. But I find them somewhat egregious. And in poor taste. And maybe even self-serving. And I will try and address them in greater detail when Allah permits.
For now, let us just go with "Convert."
So, regardless of whether you were born in a Muslim or non-Muslim household, here is your Assignment of the Day. It is your Islam Aptitude Test (IPT) as it were.
And it comes in several parts.
A) Part One.
Carefully and systematically study the life of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam. But prior to his becoming Rasul. That is before he got his first Wahy.
B) Part Two.
Carefully and systematically identify and document his personal qualities, personality traits, and behavior patterns -- BEFORE WAHY -- in a special column that you create for that purpose.
For example: Sadaaqat. Meaning the quality of speaking Truth -- every time.
He was widely recognized as the Most Truthful Man on Earth. People called him: As-Saadiq: The Truthful Man.
C) Part Three.
After you have compiled your column of attributes, qualities, traits and behavior patterns of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam -- prior to Wahy -- stand before a mirror and ask yourself how ready you are to become a Muslim.
To become a real no-holds-barred "Convert" to Allah's Way of Islam.
D) Part Four.
Create maybe a 10-point scale of measurement for each quality and behavior you are able to document about the Life of Sayyidina Muhammad, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam, prior to Wahy, and rate yourself on your scale on that particular quality or behavior.
Give yourself a number from 1 to 10, 1 being the lowest and 10 being the highest.
E) Part Five.
Those are some of the pre-requisites -- Islam Aptitude Test (IPT) Scores -- for entering the fold of Islam.
Depending on the score you get on these qualities and behaviors, you can decide for yourself how ready you are for Islam.
F) Part Six.
Don't forget to report back to me on how you did on your Assignment.
G) Part Seven.
Or the Final Part. And it trumps everything else.
The real, and only, reason for anyone ever becoming a Muslim, and for staying inside the fold of Islam for any length of time, is The Grace, Mercy, Rahmat of Almighty Allah.
For, if you ever end up becoming a Muslim, regardless of whether you were born in a Muslim or a non-Muslim home, and if an iota of Iman ever entered the darkness of your heart and illumined it, the only reason for it is that Allah's Mercy smiled at you.
Yamunnoona Alaika An Aslamoo.
Qul: Laa Tamunnoo Alaiyya Islamakum.
Balillahu Yamunnu Alaihim An Hadaahum Lil-Iman.
In Kuntum Saadiqeen.
"They want you to be grateful to them.
And they want you to appreciate and
admire the fact that they embraced Islam.
"Tell them: Stop it right there! And don't you dare flaunt your Islamic Credentials before me.
For the facts are quite the contrary!
And it is Allah who wants you to be grateful to him
for the enormous favor that he did to you when he made
the Radiance of Iman dispel the darkness of Kufr from your hearts.
And it was this fact that enabled you to enter the fold of Islam as you did."
So, don't you dare ask or expect me to appreciate
or admire the fact that you converted to Islam."
That, Ladies & Gentlemen, is Qur'an for you!
Straight up and without frills, and without endless hours of labored commentary.
If you understood that, and you are more likely to understand it if you got a respectable score on your Islam Aptitude Test (IPT), and you do wake up to suddenly find yourself in the fold of Islam, you will, instead of stoking the Fire of your Ego with a debate about whether you are a Revert or a Convert, you will take your enormous tail of Nafs and Arrogance and tuck it between your legs and throw yourself in the most humble Sajdah -- Sajdah, not Prostration mind you -- and rend the sky with your cries of pain and delight.
Pain at the realization how close you were to eternal damnation and the Fire of Hell when you were enveloped in the multiple layers of the darkness of Kufr and Shirk.
Delight at the thought that Allah picked you up, while none other could, purely out of his Mercy and Rahmat, and brought you to the safety of Islam.
What a lucky break, as they would say!