"There just Had to be a Creator Responsible for All this"

By Dawood Kinney

As far back as I can remember as a child, I was always astounded by this universe in which we live […].  And from that early time, I always in some way knew, there just had to be a Creator responsible for all this.

But then as I segued into my teens, it was much easier to succumb to peer pressure, and I lost interest in the Divine and instead devoted my time to alcohol, sex and the immature games of a young male growing up in America.  Growing into young adulthood, my obsessions became money, power, a better house, a faster car, and a prettier woman--all shallow pursuits.

I lived this way for many years, slowly losing control of my life, thinking I was pursuing happiness when all I was getting was more depressed, more confused, and making more and more of a mess of my life.

life, light, peace, search, religion, Islam

[…]  My immediate response was to turn to God, and, having been raised Catholic, it was to that church that I turned.  At the time, I had been divorced and remarried and came to find out that the Catholic Church didn't want me.  Hurt and angry, but also realizing a need for a spiritual order in my life, I turned to Buddhism.

The Buddhist sect I became involved with followed a Tibetan tradition, where importance is placed on gaining empowerments, which are basically blessings from various Buddhas.  At some point I realized I was not really bettering myself […].  All of a sudden, I realized that one of the last things the Buddha said before passing away was not to worship him.  I realized this whole practice was BASED on worshipping not only "the" Buddha, but also all these other Buddhas.  I became very discouraged and reverted to my old ways of indulgence in alcohol and other forbidden pleasures.  And once again, I became very depressed […].

When I was a young man, I was very much "into" the music of Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam).  When I heard he had embraced Islam, I was in the U.S. Navy at the time and this was during the "hostage crisis" in Iran.  So, I immediately drew the conclusion that Cat Stevens has become a terrorist, and I kept that belief for many years.

A couple months or so ago, I heard he was going to be interviewed on TV, and I wanted to hear about this crazy man who had left a great life to become a terrorist.  Well, needless to say, I was just floored by the interview, because he was certainly no terrorist, but a soft-spoken, articulate, peaceful man who radiated love, and patience, and intelligence.  The very next day, I began researching Islam on the Internet. [...] It all made so much SENSE, the existence of God was so SIMPLE to understand!  […]

Well, the more I learned the more I was convinced that this was truly the path I had been searching for.  It contained the discipline--physical, mental, and spiritual--that leads to true peace and happiness.  […].  Pronouncing my Shahadatain was such a CLEANSING experience, and since this time, I have often just … cried and cried and cried.  How wonderful!

hand, water, peace, Islam, new Muslim

I have received such a warm and embracing welcome from all Muslim brothers and sisters from around the world; I take great comfort in this, knowing that, despite any adversity or setback, I am literally surrounded by my Muslim family that will never abandon me as long as I remain Muslim.  No other group of people has ever treated me in this way.

[…]  Accepting the reality of Islam is the easy part, walking the Straight Path is the hard part, especially once one had firmly implanted himself in a society of unbelievers.  But I pray to God every day for strength and guidance, and I just take it one day at a time, trying to improve in Islam little by little each day.

 

 

To read the complete version of this text, go to

http://www.islamreligion.com/articles/83/dawood-kinney-ex-catholic-usa/