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Dr. Wilfred Hoffman-Murad
The veteran German ambassador in Algeria then Morocco Wilfred Hoffman, is a multi-talented man, He is an expert in nuclear defense, and information director at NATO. He holds a doctorate in law from the University of Munich. On top of that, he is a gifted thinker and prolific writer and a brilliant lecturer.
Dr. Wilfred Hoffman has been born in Germany in 1931. He grew up in a Christian environment, and belonged in the Catholic Mariana group.He was attendingits weekly meetings, and a firm believer in its Christian beliefs. However, he quickly left the group after uncovering its corrupted beliefs, and its contradictions with reason, logic and common sense.
His religious experience with Christianity helped him. It has deepened his belief in God and the inevitability of Revelation as well as the necessity of religion to man. However, it has not succeeded in solving an important problematic issue with Hoffman.It is to determine,which true religionfollowed by most humans among the world’s beliefs.
In his youth, Hoffman suffered a traffic accident that nearly ended his life. The doctor said to him: “Wilfred, no one can survive such an accident. God has spared you my dear for something very special.”
Hoffman’s journey to know Islam began in 1961during his work in the German consulate in Algeria. It was during the era of French colonialism there. He witnessed some of the massacres in the country of one and half-million martyrs. “These sad facts have formed the backdrop of my first close contact with the real Islam. I've also noticed how the Algerians endured pain, and saw their strong commitment during Ramadan. These people were certain of their victory against the French. Nevertheless, the human behavior they display amid suffering and pain is incredible.Then, I have come to realize that the role of religion has something to do in all this.”
Hoffman was eager to explore the role of Islam, so he bought a copy of the Qur’an.To this he said: “in order to know these astonishing people think and act. I started to read their book, the Qur’an; I haven’t stoppedreading it ever since.”I have discovered that the secret of theAlgerians’ patience and steadfastness lay in the Book of Allah. In verse 45 of Sura Al-Baqara Allah says: (“And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive [to Allah]”)
Through reading the Suras of the Qur’an, Hoffman stopped long pondering the verse 38 in Sura An-Najm stating: (“That no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another”)Hesaw this verse in utter contradiction to all Christian creeds he believed in. This denies the principle ofguilt-ridden society starting with our father Adam and ending with his descendants. Thus it refutes the belief of atonement’stenet-that falsely claims -that God enabled the Jews to crucify Christto expiate the sins of Adam and his sons. This verse also has falsified all the beliefs that have been formulated around the idea of salvation through atonement.It has deified Christ and claimsthat he is one of the most sacredtrinity. Dr. Hoffman disdainfully asked: “God suffers for humanity?! It isa terrible and horrible, blasphemous [What a heresy] and very insultingmatter.”
During his touring AlgeriaDr. Hoffman’s attention has been drawn to the great number of Berber boys who memorizeby heart the Qur’an or part of it. It is noteworthy though, that the Qur’an isn’t in the Tamazight language.
There isa more impressive matter Dr. Hoffman hasn’t seen. Thatis the memorization of the holy Qur'an by Muslims, who don’t understand the Arabic language.Whoever wishes to appreciate the proof to the great significanceof God to save Hisbook let him memorize a text in a language unknown to him. Dear reader, can you commit to memory one single page in Japanese, Russian, or other languages you don’t master?
The second aspect that has attracted Dr. Hoffman to Islam was his penchant for art,and beauty happened when he visited Spain. There, he saw the beautiful work of art left by Muslims.Their graceful lines and ornamental decoration in mosques and palaces are vivid witnesses to their masters. [These worksof art have] “Theirarchitecture - such as in Alhambra and Granada, and the Great mosque in Cordoba- haveinspired me that they exuded highly sophisticated civilization.”
Dr. Hoffman presented his son Alexander with a strange gift forhis birthday. He gave him a brief research containing a summary of his convictions in religion and philosophy. His mind, conscience and his nature have brought him to this conclusion. He sent the transcript of this research to the publishing house for printing. The press manager, who happens to be a Muslim, told him that heconsidered the writer a Muslim if he believes in what he has written. Generally, thisauthor was consistent with the beliefs of Islam; the book was later reprinted with the title “Philosophical Pathway to Islam.”
Dr. Hoffman says: “For years if not for decades I have been attracted to Islam like a magnet.I have become familiarized with it as if I lived before.” He further says: “I have found that Islam has the purest and most basic progressive perception of God. The Qur’an’s fundamental wordsits principles and moral call seemed to me very logical. Therefore, I no longer have the slightest doubt about the prophethood of Muhammad (PBUH)”
Dr. Hoffman summarizes his philosophical research thus: “through this effort, I have come to realize that the typical intellectual position of those who adhere to agnosticismand atheistic dogmas lacks intelligence. And that man simply cannot escape the decision of believing. The created objects that exist around us are a clear matter.Furthermore, the greatest harmony possible between Islam and the whole truthis not to be denied. Then, I realized- and this truth has shaken me to the core- that I have become a Muslimone step at a timedespite myself, and unaware of what is happening. The metamorphosis has included my feelings and intellect.However, there is one final step remains to be made, and that is to announceofficially my becoming a Muslim.At the Islamic Center in Cologne, I have uttered the testimony of faith.“I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Mohammad is His messenger.” Among the Islamic names I chose for myself was the name Murad Fareed...starting today I have become a Muslim. Thus I have fulfilledmy desire.” This event happened during the summer of 1980.
Dr. Murad Hofmann cautions his readers that Islam is not a new religion to humanity. It is a legacy of the prophets who have come one after the other.It is the sincere extension to what Jesus (PBUH) called for. This has happened before Paul has introduced deviations and radical changes. These have turned Christians into “Paulists”; not Christians per se. Dr. Muradbelievedthat Islam is taking Christianity back to its authentic and original beginning.It is putting Christianity upright after it was standing on it head.
Hoffman has chosen Islam, because it is the“alternative life with an eternal project that doesn’t wear and tear or expires. If peopleconsiderit old, itis also a modern and futuristic. It is timeless and unrestricted by place. Islam is neither a whimsical notion of an intellectual nor a fashion; it will and can continue unabated.”
Murad Hofmann enriched the Muslim Library with distinct works, initiated by scattered memories about Islam; he titled it (Diary of a Muslim German). Later, he detailed his experience in his transition to Islam in his book (the Road to Makkah). He also completed his book about the future of Islam entitled (Islam, 2000).
However, his book(Islam as an Alternative) has caused a great uproar in the media and German partisan circles.He saw Islam as the long-awaited hope and lifeline that would save humanityfrom its pain and sorrow. It is an alternative that will save the world in general and Europe, in particular, from both bankrupt systems communism and capitalism. Hesperian societieshadbecome confident and convinced that Western civilization has failed to satisfy their spiritual needs. In contrary, it had involved them in brutal wars that have reaped too many humans and destroyed materials. All of this comes as a prelude to the possibility that Christians will become Muslims; and that the churches will be turned into mosques. However,the Muslims must succeedin providing the proper image oftheir Islam. Hence,light comes always from the East.
Dr. Hoffman looks ahead in time in the future of Islam and says: “It is no secret to the visionary to see the Islamic March in the twentieth century as a possible dominance. Hence its spread will make it the religion of the majority of human beings. Islam doesn’t present itself as a choice or an option to Western societies. It is already the only available alternative.”
In his interesting books, Hoffman spares no effort to introduce Islam and defend it. He further refutes constantly the false claims of its hostile foes in his writings. Among the most prevailing of these charges, is their accusation that Islam'shas been spread by the sword. This libel has been originally diffusedamong Westerners to keep them away from Islam and justify the phenomenal rapid spread of Islam in the world. Dr.Hoffmanstarts his reply to these insidious accusations by quoting the words of the Almighty Allah. In Sura Al-Baqara, verse 256 Allah mentions the following:(“There shall be no compulsion in [acceptance of] the religion.”)As we all know, coercion calls for hypocrisy, and God abhors hypocrisy. So if the actions are based on intentions, and relyon the heart regarding goodness and faith, no one can be compelled to do that. The acts performed by someone against his will which he dismisses them inside won’t be rewarded for them.They areuseless; God has no need for them. Religion is sincerity as taught by the Prophet (PBUH).
As for their fictitious tales inferring the spread ofIslam by the sword,he gives proof, argument and statement. Islam has entered countries such as Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Chad and Nigeria without a single soldier present then. Many others have embraced Islam in what Dr. Hoffman dubs as the “spontaneous spread of Islam, [which] is a constant feature throughout history. It’s because the religion of natural instinct revealed to the heart of Al-Mustafa PBUH”
Now, here comes the accusation leveled at Islam for being intolerant.Dr. Hoffman rejects such a claim and gives a clear comparison between the history and reality of the Muslim communities with those that follow other faiths. Muslims have neverdemolishedchurchesacross the country, which came under their power eons long.The examples in Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and other countries are vivid testimony to that. Tolerance is a trait of Muslims; established by the Holy Quran and the Sunnah of His prophet (PBUH).
In an interview,Dr. Hoffman wonderedat the mystery behind thedisappearance of mosques in Al-Andalus, Greece and the Serbia after the Muslims have left.
We supplicate God to grant us and Dr. Hoffman to remain steadfast on his religion.
Dr. Munqith Bin Mahmoud Al-Sakkar
Researcher at Muslim World League
Translated by Sadok Salehi
Translator at Muslim World League