|Yusuf Estes Explains 'Beauty of Islam'|
P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News
JEDDAH, 13 April 2008 � The strident smear campaign against Islam and Muslims following 9/11 in the US encouraged many American men and women to study and embrace Islam, Yusuf Estes, a leading Islamic scholar and preacher from, said on Friday night.
�They are doing the job for us,� Estes, himself a convert, said while delivering a lecture on �The Beauty of Islam� at the Saudi German Hospital Auditorium in. However, he reminded Muslims of their big responsibility in spreading the message of Islam among others.
Hamoud Al-Shimimry of the Islamic Education Foundation also highlighted the importance of dawa work. �If a person embraces Islam as a result of your work, it is better than any other achievement in this world,� he told the participants, quoting Qur�anic verses and Sayings of the Prophet (peace be upon him). He said a Filipino had helped 25 fellow nationals to learn and embrace Islam.
Estes said having peace of mind is the ultimate beauty of Islam. �Wealth and luxuries cannot provide the ultimate happiness to human beings. But the peace of mind we obtain through the faith in God and engaging in righteous deeds makes us happy,� he said.
Total submission to God and His will is also the beauty of Islam, he explained. �Amazing is the case of a believer. If anything good happens, he thanks God; while if anything bad befalls him, he remains patient,� he said quoting a Saying of the Prophet. �If any calamity, such as the death of a beloved person, occurs a Muslim says, �We are from God and to Whom we all return.� This is the beauty of Islam.�
Estes described the Holy Qur�an as an amazing book, adding that millions of Muslims around the world have memorized it. �No other book, including the Bible, has been memorized by so many people,� he added.
Estes ridiculed those who make false propaganda that Muslim children are learning how to make bombs at Islamic schools. �Muslims are the first enemies of terrorists,� he said.
He said many people were not embracing Islam not because of the lack of knowledge but because they don�t care. Asked whether he would invite USto Islam, he said: �We pray to God that He may guide him to Islam. Islam gives us the right direction and it removes our blindness about the mystery of this universe. I am very happy to be a Muslim and part of the 1.5 billion-strong world of Islam,� he said.
Estes advised Muslims to be patient in testing times. �Allah does not guarantee the believers a smooth and comfortable life in this world. Hardships in this world will bring them more reward in the hereafter,� he said.
Estes, a former priest and missionary who embraced Islam in 1991, gave another lecture on �Muslim Youth in Today�s Society� at the same venue on Thursday. He advised parents to spent �quality time� with their children. �This will not only help educate them in all aspects of life but reduce their tendency to indulge in bad habits when left alone,� he added. He answered questions from boys and girls from different schools in.
A Filipino declared his intention to embrace Islam during the event and Estes helped him to pronounce the Shahada (There is no god but God and Muhammad is His messenger).
Sheikh Mohamed Subhi and Wajdi Akkari fromDawa Center also addressed the audience. In his welcome speech, professor Mohamed Abubaker of King Abdul Aziz University introduced Estes while Mohamed Ali Chundakkadan gave a vote of thanks. The event was jointly organized by the Indian Islahi Center and Dawa Center.
------------ --------- -------
"The future religion of the educated, cultured and enlightened people will be Islam."
Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."