العربية   Français  English

The Deacon (Mohammad) Fouad Al-Hashimi

It wouldn’t be proper to talk or write about the stories of popular people who reverted to Islam without talking about Dr. Mohammad Fouad Al-Hashimi. This scholar holds the highest academic degrees in the philosophy of religions. He has left behind a very useful legacy to the Islamic library. Such assets were worthy of his academic status before and after Islam. His comes as a true testimony to the words of the Prophet (peace be upon him) who said: “the best of you in Jahiliya is the best of you in Islam, when they are guided”Fouad has been born into a devout Christian family. His mom took extra care in his religious upbringing. She has urged him to frequent the church and memorize the church’s hymns and prayers.
Before going into public school, he has been enrolled in a pre-kindergarten. There, like many other Muslim preschoolers, he has learned some small chapters of the Holy Qur’an. One day, a priest went into a rage after hearing the child chanting some verses of the Qur’an. He started a class to teach the Christian kids and educate them away from Muslim schools.
Fouad studied primary education in a regular school.He would skip Sundays to study in the church’s Sunday school. However, this hasn’t preventedhis attachment and loved to join the Islamic education class attended by Muslim students and exemptedChristianstudents.
Fouad became actively involved in his school, and formed a Christian Students Group.And, with subtle support of the church, he started raising issues of religious dialogue with Muslim students.These Muslim students, who have fallen victims to alienation and colonialism, only know Islamby its nameand the Holy Qur'an byits print.
This early religious activity has qualified Fouad to get the rank of deacon in the church. He will be groomed to become the pastorin the village church later. He began receiving seminary and theological education at the hands of specialized priests. He embarked on his study with utter devotion.
No sooner has he started acquiring this knowledge than he has faced issues of creed and recurrent questions. The young man with such overflowing enthusiasm couldn’t find answers to his questions. He isn't mature enough to wade into these deep waters.He must wait until hehas acquired sufficient knowledge in this field, then perhaps he will find answers to his queries.
    An idea crossed his mind. Why shouldn’t he take a short cut and spare time by asking those who are deeply rooted in Christianity? They are after all well versed in the Christian books, doctrines and various denominations. He put the questions to his teachers, the priests and chaplains. However, their answers haven’t quenched his thirst.
    Al-Hashimi termed the increasing questions in his minds as “enigma and mysteries.” And, an import and positive decision ensued. Let hear what he has to say in his own words: “I have decided to look for the true God. Life has no meaning without a genuine doctrine, forsuch a creed will put the mind at ease, and comforts the heart. It stems from sound human nature as given by God to all creatures. A belief that is free traditional nonsense parroted by men without will and thought. From this moment on, I began my quest for a creed or a religion that would lead me to the true belief in God to whom I will be most sincere.”
    In his book entitled “The secret of how I became a Muslim," Fouad Al-Hashimi narrates the story of his transition from Christianity to Islam. He said: “The beginning has started with doubt; the start of belief. And from research sprang faith. The way human and jinn have believed.”
    The details of Fouad’s doubt about Christianity are a long story. We will cite here some of thesefeature.Throughout his extensive reading, Fouad discovered that Christianity is an improved version of past pagan religions. For instance, the cross has represented love and sacrifice to the pagan Egyptians. So is the case with today trinity.The latterhas been practiced by ancient paganism that had preceded Christianity that has adopted those creeds. The improvement added to the fait didn’t even exceed the mere change of the names of gods worshiped by the pagans. The God of the pagan Egyptians consists of threepersons (Aton, Amon-Ra). The Indian also worshiped their trinity in the form of (Brahma, Siva and Vishnu). And, this is precisely what has happened, when the Emperor Constantine                  has distorted Christianity. In the fourth-century AD, the church councils (Synod) have claimed that God is the (Father, the Son and the Holy spirit). The pagan trinity repeats itself in Christianity with the change of namesonly. Allah says in Sura At-Tawba: (The Jews call 'Uzair a son of Allah, and the Christians call Christ the son of Allah. That is a saying from their mouth; (in this) they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah's curse be on them: how they are deluded away from the Truth!(30) They take their priests and their anchorites to be their lords in derogation of Allah, and (they take as their Lord) Christ the son of Mary; yet they were commanded to worship but One Allah: there is no god but He. Praise and glory to Him: (Far is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him). (31))
    The deacon Fouad has discovered that the clergy and church synods are the major reason for misleading his people. They have been mistaken. However, they have persisted on passing this gross mistake in many of the bible’s texts,in particular, those texts that have mentioned the Christ (peace be upon him). They have considered his parthenogenesis birth without fathersignand evidence of his divinity. It is after all an obvious blunder. Adam was created without parents, and no one in this universe considers him divine, or God incarnate.
    Hence, when some biblical texts call the Messiah “Lord”; this term should not imply recognizing his divinity; it simply means “teacher.” This phrase must be extremely and plainly clear to the bible readers. These, must have certainly had understood the meaning of the words in their original languages. The biblical word “Lord” is often derived from Aramaic word (Raba); the Hebrew word (Rabbi), and finally the Arabic (Rabbani). All of these words mean (teacher). To this Allah says in Sura Al-Imran: “Be ye worshippers of Him Who is truly the Cherisher of all: For ye have taught the Book and ye have studied it earnestly. (79)." The meaning is as clear as the day. In John's Gospel (20/16) Mary Magdalene turned to the Messiah and told him: “Rabouni, which means teacher”. Also in John’s (1/38) she told him “Rabbi”, meaning teacher." Furthermore, this is the real meaning of the word“Rabbi,” when addressed to Jesus peace be upon him. It doesn’t entail his divinity as the priests of the church claim.
    When Fouad started reading his Bible and Torah closely and carefully, he found the Messenger (PBUH) mentioned clearly therein.
Strangely, this fact has survived the onslaught of tampering and distortion on the two holy books. The Torah has spoken about the advent of a messenger who will be sent from what it calls the “Mount of Paran.” {And he said TheLORD(i.e., the messenger of God) came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from mount Paran. Deuteronomy: 33/1-2}. Again in the Book of Habakkuk the Prophet 3/3, the Torah says: “God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth.” Who is the one who filled the earth with praise? And where lays Mount Paran that the prophecy is gleaming on its top?
    These questions have troubled the mind of Fouad the deacon. He has found the answer in the Book of Genesis 21/21. The Torah has mentioned that Ishmael (PBUH) has “dwelt in the wilderness of Paran.” Since Ishmael (PBUH) grew up in the valley of Makkah, called Paran in the Torah, then Mohammad is the promised prophet (PBUH). He has been called to Prophethood over its mountains.
    Thus, Fouad Al-Hashimi reached the truth that has appeased his mind after long research and studies. He believed in Allah as the true God, and Mohammad as a prophet and a messenger.He swore and testified to the truthful belief, and called himself Mohammad Fouad. The values and principles found in Islam that have overwhelmed his mind attracted him to embrace it. He has summed up his decision to revert to the religion of Islam by saying: “I believed in it, because it is the religion of pure monotheism... it calls people to worship Allah alone. I believed in Islam because it doesn’t subjugate humans.This religion doesn’t hold anyone accountable for the original sin, inherited from the father and grandfather.” Allah says in Qur’an, Sura Al-Isra, verse 13: “Every man's fate We have fastened on his own neck: On the Day of Judgment We shall bring out for him a scroll, which he will see spread open.” I believed in Islam because it has never diminished human dignity. It hasn’t granted religious dominanceto anyone to the extent of telling his followers: Follow me blindly without thinking. I believed in Islam because it consists of canons and social systems that have made a wise balance and equilibrium between communal and worship matters. However, most important I believed in Islam because it has encouraged science and education. It has made seeking knowledge a sacred duty….”
    In the book, he has authored “Religions on the scale,"Fouad analyzed twelve contemporary religions. In his quest for answers, he has put their belief, canons; values and systemsto the test.Then he found out that Islam is the only religion that is consistent with the human mind, his conscience and nature. “The Religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His Will)” Sura Al-Imran, verse 19. The former deacon summarizes his experience in testing religions and differentiating between them. He said. “I have embarked on this adventure for the sake of detecting defects in the Qur’an asinspired by my teachers. I have come to realize that, what they termed and claimed as flaws were, in fact, advantages. Islam swept me away; I couldn’t resist its appeal, and I didn’t see any reason why I shouldn’t follow it. I have believed in it through deep reflection, study and scrutiny. These elements have tipped the balance towards Islam and lowered the others.
    Mohammad completed his studies and received a PhD in comparative religions. He started his journey in annunciating his new faith. He has enriched the Islamic library with twelve books in which he has never spared any effort in defending Islam.Within the pages of his books, this erudite and prolific writer has expressed the secret of his love of this religion. He expounded his favor of his new-found religion over that of his forefathers and ancestors. He has explained the great facts and truths he has discovered in Islam and has missed elsewhere. He has written such books as “Mohammad in Western books," “Man in religions," “Dialogue between a Christian and a Muslim," and “the True Messenger." These publications and other useful ones have shown his great knowledge of religion in general and Christianity, in particular. This hasn’t come as a surprise; after all, he has been a deacon for many years leafing through various religious books. He has left a great impression clearly visible in the era of comparative religion and argumentative debates.
    We implore Almighty Allah to bestow His mercy upon him and grant him ample rewards. Hence, the services he has rendered to the Religion of Allah are invaluable.

Dr. Munqith Bin Mahmoud Al-Sakkar

Researcher at Muslim World League


Translated by Sadok Salehi

Translator at Muslim World League


Share this