From Kabul to the ultimate truth

Category: Featured Topics: Women Values: Honesty, Truthfulness Views: 5636

Islam is by far the most misunderstood religion in the world today thanks to centuries of medieval-style propaganda successfully peddled by bigots and Christian zealots. So I should not have been entirely surprised by the almost hysterical reaction in the mainstream media to news that I am considering becoming a Muslim. Some of the comments were (nasty) and snide, other journalists asked me stupid questions showing a distinct lack of research or understanding. One even accused me of suffering from Stockholm Syndrome as a result of spending ten days in the hands of the Taliban!

My spiritual journey, like that for many converts/reverts, was meant to be a personal affair between myself and God. Sadly it has now become a very public issue and so I have decided to share with Q-News readers my feelings and thoughts on Islam to prevent any more misunderstandings or misconceptions.

Yes, my journey did begin in the unlikely surrounds of an Afghan prison where I was being held by the Taliban facing charges of entering their country illegally disguised in the all-enveloping burqa. One day, during my captivity, I was visited by a religious cleric who asked me what I thought of Islam and if I would like to convert. I was terrified. For five days I had managed to avoid the subject of religion in a country led by Islamic extremists. If I gave the wrong response, I had convinced myself I would be stoned to death. After careful thought I thanked the cleric for his generous offer and said it was difficult for me to make such a life-changing decision while I was in prison. However, I did make a promise that if I was released I would study Islam on my return to London. My reward for such a reply was being sent to a ghastly jail in Kabul where I was locked up with six Christian fanatics who faced charges of trying to convert Muslims to their faith. (After being bombarded with their bible readings, happy-clappy Christian songs and prayers twice a day, I think we can discount the accusations of Stockholm Syndrome).

Several days later I was released unharmed on humanitarian grounds on the orders of Mullah Omar, the Taliban's one-eyed spiritual leader. My captors had treated me with courtesy and respect and so, in turn, I kept my word and set out to study their religion. It was supposed to be an academic study but as I became more engrossed with each page I turned I became more impressed with what I read. I turned to several eminent Islamic academics, including Dr. Zaki Badawi, for advice and instruction. I was even given several books by the notorious Sheikh Abu Hamza AI-Masri whom I spoke to after sharing a platform at an Oxford Union debate. This latter snippet was seized upon by some sections of the media in such a ridiculous fashion that outsiders might have thought I was going to open a madrassa for AI-Qaeda recruits from my flat in Soho!

Thankfully the support and understanding I have been given from my brothers and sisters (for I regard them as that) has been unstinting and comforting. Not one of them has put pressure on me to become a Muslim and every convert/revert I've spoken to has told me to take my time. One of the big turning points for me happened earlier this year when the Israelis began shelling The Church of the Nativity in Manger Square, one of the most precious monuments for Christians. Every year thousands of school children re-enact the Nativity at Christmas time, a potent symbol of Christianity. Yet, not one Church of England leader publicly denounced the Israelis for their attack. Our Prime Minister Tony Blair, who loves to be pictured coming out of church surrounded by his family, espousing Christian values, was silent. Only the Pope had the guts to condemn this atrocity. I was shocked and saddened and felt there was no backbone in my religious leaders. At least with Islam I need no mediator or conduit to rely upon, I can have a direct line with God anytime I want.

While I feel under no pressure to convert/revert by Muslims, the real pressure to walk away from Islam has come from some friends and journalists who like to think they're cynical, hard-bitten, hard-drinking, observers of the world. Religion of any form makes them feel uneasy, but Islam, well that's something even worse. You'd think I had made a pact with the devil or wanted to become a grand wizard in the Ku Klux Klan.

Others feared I was being brainwashed and that I would soon be back in my burqa, silenced forever like all Muslim women. This, of course, is nonsense. I have never met so many well-educated, opinionated, outspoken, intelligent, politically aware women in the Muslim groups I have visited throughout the UK. Feminism pales into insignificance when it comes to the sisterhood, which has a strong identity and a loud voice in this country. Yes, it is true that many Muslim women around the world are subjugated, but this has only come about through other cultures hijacking and misinterpreting the Quran (Saudis take note).

I wish I had this knowledge (and I'm still very much a novice) when I was captured by the Taliban because I would have asked them why they treated their own women so badly. The Quran makes it crystal clear that all Muslims, men and women are entirely equal in worth, spirituality and responsibility. Allah ordained equality and fairness for women in education and opportunity. Fair property law and divorce settlements were introduced for Muslim women 1400 years ago; maybe this is where Californian divorce lawyers got their inspiration from in recent years! The Quran could have been written yesterday for today. It could sit very easily with any Green Party manifesto, it is environmentally friendly and it is truly an inspiration for the 21st century, yet not one word has changed since the day it was written, unlike other religious tomes. "It's more punk than punk," musician Aki Nawaz of the band Fun-da-Mental recently told me. And, of course he is right. 

"The British journalist seized by the Taleban..", BBC News 29 September, 2001

This is the story of Yvonne Ridley's journey that started in a Kabul prison and put her on a quest to discover the truth.

Source: Q-News

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  54 Comments   Comment


    asalam aleikum,my dear sister thank you so much for bringing to the world the ultimate truth.we need people like you to tell the world what the western media is trying so much to hide.i wish you could carry out crusades allover the world like other faiths please think about it.

  2. Asiyah Bibi from United Kingdom


    i read the article on yvonne and i was nodding my head all the way though. i feel that people are afraid of Islam, feeling that it is a violent backward religion etc, but i believe if these people studied it and got to understand, they will just like our sister Yvonne that it is beautifull religion, encouraging peace and freedom. i would also just like to state that the word 'Muslim' means peace and is now misinterprated. when i tell people im a muslim they feel threaten even though some may try not to but i can tell, and it saddens me because the way islam is protraited in media, is exactly different to what i believe in islam. finally i would just like to welcome our sister Yvonne, into our sisterhood and i hope Allah full fills her and blesses her with happiness and good.


  3. BAk Tanus from USA

    My dear sister in Islam, Sister Ridley. I and my family pray for you. May God grant strength to your pen and may he guide and protect you. I do not know if this means anything to you but the door of our home is always open to you. May Allah Subhanotallah bles and protect you and give the best in this world and the best in the next world.


    Bak Tanus

  4. Abdulwakil from Canada

    My dear sister in Islam Asalam_u_Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wabarakatu.

    It is the blassing of Allah(swt) to put the light in your hearth, to choose you from million. Your story brought tears to my eye. As a Muslim brother I would like to welcome you to our family.

    I am from Afghanistan, I left Afghanistan 25 years ago. I have'nt been to my home since. I miss my mudi home and people very much.

    If you come to Canada Ottawa PLEASE come to visit us.

    I would love to keep in touch with you to share idea and chalanges that we Muslim are facing in the western society.

    God belss you

    Abdulwakil Zazay

  5. Syed Jamil Husain from USA

    sura-41. Ayah 34


  6. Nimco from Denmark

    Mabruk my beloved Muslim sister..

    Asalamu aleikum wr wb

    Masha Allah!! Allah loves you, because that He showed u Islam.." The person wich Allah loves, He showes the Deen" From that day on u became my heart sister and my mirror. Go on with the Quran and Sunnah on your hand and be patience on what every u meet. Mabrhaban bika ya ukhtal ghaliyah..Allah ya izak wa thabit qalbak ala deen al-islam,

  7. rob from USA

    Your characterization of the Christians you encountered in the prison is testimony to your own inability to recognize their sincere belief

    in and recognition of their Savior Jesus Christ.

  8. just a gal from usa

    asalam alekam muslim brothers and sisters, I realy liked this article, and i certainly sympathize with mrs.ridley here.Many people will treat you like youve lost your mind or been brainwashed when you choose islam. I had the same response,but remaining strong and unbending on this is what makes us stronger muslims and a voice to be heard here in america,as well in the uk,or wherever one may be, may many more discover the peace from islam, Allah hafiz

  9. SR.D.Albizu from USA

    Alhamdulillah! Allah is the most Gracious. I understand first hand.I was a soldier when I met Islam.A year later I am a free servant of Allah. Is hard your family, friends and co-workers treat you like if you have a contagious disease. But he knows best to give you strenghth to go through it.

  10. halima omar from canada

    asalamu aleikum warahmatullahi wabarakatu,dear sister yvonne iam happy and in tears as i write this.happy that ALLAH ta'ala has bestowed a favour so immense upon you and all other muslims (may HE increase us in number-amin)in tears for all the emotions that am feeling right now, alhamdulillah.i believe totally in the one-ness of ALLAH and that muhamed is his messanger(s.a.w).although ALLAH tests us in many ways i know if we stay steadfast in our belief in HIM the way is easy for nothing happens but with the will of ALLAH so sister stay with us in patience and perserverence and may ALLAH bring us all together in jannah where HE will be the reigning supreme the throne holder and us forever greatful and with no disputs.amin

    waaleikum salaam warahmatullahi wabarakatu

  11. May from .

    I wish Yvonne Ridley, her little girl & family all the best. Yvonne is a fine example of honesty, good morals and principles. Qualities found in all muslims. She promised she would learn the faith and she did. She didn't not go back on her promise & she did not write lies to gain fame & $. Instead she told things as they were. Including the kindness of Taliban towards her. Unfortunately in 2003(thanks to born again christian "drunk bush" & his other crusader friends in the whitehourse) associating with anything islamic & muslims will be considered as an act of evil & treason punishable to imperisonment(john walker). People like Yvonne are considered traitors & mentally ill, because they don't follow orders of a gov'ts who love to keep their citizens as subjects that are like sheeps. Mindless! Then they talk of freedom of choice, & speech when they themselves try to shut up people like Yvonne. Anyways, another interesting topic, Taliban. The western media & their gov't leaders have always painted any nations that they dont' like as "evil". Taliban were supposedly evil and oppressor. Yet, the same taliban, treated with respect as a result of their faith, the 6 christians who broke law of a gov't knowingly which said, please respect our Faith/religion & not preach your religion to us, since we do have a religion thank you very much! Yet these haters of Islam went ahead & preached their faith, broke another gov'ts laws & the list goes on. Yet, the taliban who are considered evil didnt' kill them. Instead give them a chance to be tried in the courts. Yet,american gov't didnt' give the same chance to taliban whose nation they invaded illegally & killed them like the germans did in World wars(murders of taliban POW's in Qalai jangee by americans)also took them to cuba in cages like animals. Then they talk of goodness + values? B.S. Bush welcome & hugged his fellow Islam hater christian missionary friends!(he laughs at clinton for touching loved his Hug.:

  12. Ali from USA

    A few questions and points to ponder for my Christian friends. First, the questions:

    (1) Did Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him),who was an orthodox practicing Jew, ever say that that he came to re-affirm and revive the original teaching of Moses?

    (2)If so, are Christians following his teachings, the laws given to Moses?

    (3) How did Paul, who used to prosecute the early followers of Jesus, and who had never met Jesus, be allowed to reverse the laws given to Moses, and introduce into your beliefs the (Greek) pagan concept of Trinity, etc.?

    (4) Why are your beliefs based on only four Gospels written by men who didn't travel around with Jesus?

    (5) What happened to, about, 300 Gospels that were written by the people that were actually around Jesus?

    (6) Why did emperor Constantine, while a pagan, stongly advocated Trinity; yet, he died beleiving in One-ness of God?

    Points to ponder:

    (1)The earliest Gospel, of Mark, was written about 60 A.D.

    (2) Matthew did not travel around with Jesus.

    (3) Luke, who was Paul's physician, never met Jesus, just like Paul. Luke's Gospel was drawn from the same source as Mark's and Matthew's.

    (4)The 4 Gospels prevalent in Christianity today were selected at the Council of Nicea "miraculously." How? all the Gospels (300+) were laid on a table in a locked room, overnight. The following morning, only 4 Gospels,remained on the table. These were the Gospels that were advocated by Constantine, a pagan at that time, to strengthen his polical hold over the Roman Empire.

    With all due respects, my intentions are not to criticize your beliefs but to examine your explanations and, thereby, learn more about you and about the truth.

    May God guide us all to the right path.

  13. husna

    alhamdullilah... Allah is the greatest. I believe u will find the truth in Islam. And i hope western will understand what is Islam is all about. Its about love and peace. Allah promised heaven for obedient muslim.

  14. romelia palacios

    wonderfull, someone actually talking the time to educate them selves about a religion , the understanding the individual is experiencing is due to the fact that her mind and heart was opened to begein with, thats when god steps in and if he takes pitty on youre soul you are welcomed to serve him,the rewards are countless, even if the person desides not to join (because after all GOD gives every soul free will)they come out with knowledge and understanding of cultures and peoples and the reasons of many things.when i ask some one what religion they are and i havent studdied it i ask them about it to educate my self about other beliefs but it doesnt stop there in a religion people should educate them selves especilly if you wish to pursue it im shoked to find that the most fanaticall and that includes many many religions , have no idea about there own, but yet they argue as loud as possible and with as much hatred as possible about how bad other religions are with out of course having any inderstanding of theirs as everything in life if you dont know something educate youre selves ,and as far as whos going to heaven and hell only god kwnows , thats why he is all mighty,if you have to convince any one its him and him only , at least thats what i understand from the first commanment.and those must be followed by muslims christians and jews ,theres no such thing as part time religion you must live it everyday and try to be pleasing to god and his creation human and everything in between. i wish everyone in their quest to find GOD to find him and hang on to him.

  15. MARTHA E MANTILLA from u.s.a.






  16. A. Sheikh from Egland

    Well, I just want to give an advice to that lady... I would say to her in order to understand islam and the Koran you should learn Arabic language which is very easy to learn. then, after then would you understand what islam really means.

    after that, I wonder what Tony Blair intended when he start the war on the day she was expected to be released...did he wanted to be killed then say..look how bad Talibans are?

  17. matt

    well..did somebody read that BBC news? ah..forget it.Mrs Ridley used to marry an arab whom I believe is a muslim, so,her ignorant about Islam,arabs,muslims just caught and shooed by the taleban was good for her as a rude wake up people,stop awing her shock and awe experince.

  18. Farad from in U.S.A.

    Wonderful article about a women muslim comment being captured by the taliban. This article took me by surprise because I thought she would hate the religion because the taliban held her captive. Allaham'dullah, she is okay and safe and wrote a wonderful article about her interpretation of the religion. What was it like being captured by taliban and how do you intrepret the meaning of islamic extremist?

  19. Emad from USA

    Mrs. Ridley i admire your courage and you are a brave sole indeed.

    I think her reversion to Islam is a natural reaction to what have Jesus (pbuh) said in his Gosple.. "..Seek ye the truh and the truth shall set you free.."

    That is exactley what this brave sole (Mrs. Ridley) did.

    May Allah almighty (SWT) showers you with his love and mercy, ameen.

  20. nuur from uk

    salamu alaikum

    very good article masha'allah but i have to comment on the bit where she says "Yes, it is true that many Muslim women around the world are subjugated, but this has only come about through other cultures hijacking and misinterpreting the Quran (Saudis take note)."specially the last bit

    she has chosen here saudi arabia from all the muslim countries,in fact ALL the world countries and this is where she starts to trabble because unjust is everywhere.and it is not merle in one country.

    unjustness doesn't have a boarder where by it will end and chosing saudi arabia as a place where their is unjust going is a bit too exaggerating, and i see it as an unjust statement from Yvonne Ridley.

    and in fact Saudi Arabia, whereby here she states or points here argument to it as a a place where they "hijack and misinterprete the Quran"

    is the most practised islamic country in the world.

    and their is no country that you will find in soo much scholars who ascertain and scrutiny the Traditions of the Prophet as in saudi arabia.

    most probably she heard it from the western media or is influenced by them.........

    And Allah knows best

    wa salamu alaikum wa rahmatu'allahi wa barakatuhu

  21. Salwa Rashad from USA

    I admire Yvonne Ridley's courage in making such a brave decision at this time. In her journey to the ultimate truth, she decided to embrace Islam, which is the most misunderstood religion in the west. I pray to God (Allah) to give her strength to stand for her freedom of choice.

  22. Ahmad Rasool from USA

    I really like this article and I honor Mrs. Ridley

    for her open mind. I wish that others would

    have the capability to open their minds and

    read before they make judgements on what

    they know not. I know very little of the christian

    faith and I refuse to make jokes at the people

    or the religion. It is awkward that one would

    think that Islam would be closer to all people

    compared to any other religion because I

    believe we are the only religion that

    recognizes Jesus, Moses and Muhammad

    (peace be upon them) all as the best of

    people. May we all God willing be guided to

    the straight path of Allah in the simplicity in

    which it came. Assalamu Alaykom brothers

    and sisters

  23. Raza Noman from Pakistan

    I wish you all the best in learning about Islam, there is one thing I wanted to ask you Miss Ridley why do you keep on saying that the Taliban treated their women badly, have you met the Afghan women for yourself? Just beacuse they ordered their women to draw veils on their faces does not mean sabjugating them.

    Besides if they treated you (a Western) with such respect I dont see any reason for them to sabjugate their own women.

  24. Michael Hollifield from USA

    I believe that at its core, a conflict between two visions of the truth exists here. One, the

    current Islamic version, as featured in the very title of this article "ultimate truth" is hierarchical and authoritarian,

    in which "revealed truths" are constantly threatened by heresy, apostasy, and critical reflection. The other is

    democratic and tolerant, thriving on innovation and criticism, in which truths about the world and the human

    condition are always incomplete, always subject to revision and improvement. In science and philosophy only one

    of these ways works and provides hope for humankind. Muslim fundamentalists, like their Christian and Jewish

    counterparts, cannot accept anti-authoritarianism, openness to criticism, and the belief that reason and evidence

    are the surest guides to truth. But these epistemological virtues happen to be the core values of modern secular

    democratic societies and they are the path to scientific progress, more prosperous societies, and improving the lot

    of humankind in general. I would suggest that little contribution to knowledge or human progress has been made

    by Islam in the last several centuries. This is also the case for the other main religions but at least, for the most

    part, they have had to accommodate these values, accept separation of church and state, and give science its due

    place in the twentieth and twenty first centuries for the benefits of science based technology and medicine.

  25. Michael Hollifield from USA

    I found myself wondering if Ms. Ridley's article satisfied your first two conditions for the posting of comments in this public site:

    1. Do not make personal attacks on others.

    2. Do not condemn or degrade others beliefs.

    Remarks about "bigots" and "Christian zealots" seem to me to constitute such ad hominem attacks,

    as do countless other remarks that I read in these posts when Christians, Americans, Jews, or Israelis, and heaven forbid, atheists or "infidels."

  26. Javed from India

    As-salam alaikum Yvonne.

    Thank God!!! This is what I thought, the day that I heard of your release on BBC and your subsequent statement after release that the Taliban didn't harm you in anyway.

    If muslims follow Quran & sunnah, only then will be able to attain success in this life and the hereafter.

    Allah grant us all the understanding and wisdom to know your deen the way it should be known, and to follow it the way your Rasool ( peace be upon him) followed it. Ameen

  27. Yazid from usa


    How truely wonderful! To think one would even consider reading Al Qur'an after encountering some of the most misinformed and screwed up Muslims on the planet.

    It reminds me of a story I read some time ago that the Isreali gov. commisioned one of it's best minds to study Islam and make recommendations to the gov. about how to deal with it's followers. The professor CONVERTED!!!

    I wish you the best in your study of Islam and would like to encourage you to continue speaking out...not just about your feelings about Islam but, about the creeps who hijacked Islam and warped it's practice and teachings with their cultural backwardness.

    Islam can use someone like expose it to the planet. Help all humankind understand what Islam is....ESPECIALLY....those who currently consider themselves Muslim but cannot seperate their warped and twisted CULTURAL practices from the ways of ALLAH!



  28. Mawarti P. Adams from USA


    Insya Allah, you are one of the most lucky people that God leads you to find the truth about Islam.


  29. hussein m. from tanzania

    Read Suratul Ad - Dahar (In Arabic) Or Time in English. Verse 2.

    It Says; In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.



    - One day, I woke up in the morning and looked at my face in the mirror. My heart was beating fast and faster. A chill ran all over my body and my saliva tested bitter in the mouth. I looked at my face, my eyes swelling with tears.

    I was shocked by the fact that Allah has taken a lot of care to fashion me into the looks that I carry. I saw His inteligence on my face, I felt His power behind my face. It is in His devine design that he fashioned me like this. He knew me very well even before he fashioned me? Yes He did! I was in His mind even before He made me.

    I feel very very much preveledged.

    But now, how can I give my thanks to Him? Tell me my brothers and sisters.

    My eyes are swelling with tears again.

    I know I have a duty to serve Him and Him alone.

    Yvonne, Allah has shown you the secret light, follow that light and at the end of it you'll find Him. I wish you good luck.

    excuse my english brothers and sisters.

    Aslaam alaykum.

  30. loubna lazrak from morocco

    ouaw, this is umbelievable.

    it s really an amazing story. i am so happy for this woman who found the truth. i am so proud of her.

  31. John Fordgon from u.s.a.

    I really like this article and I will tell all my friends about it.

  32. Khadijah Amatullah from U.S.A.

    What a wonderful thing it is to be called home. In Sha'Allah you will learn more and more about the goodness of Al-Islam. Sister, you are in a position to be heard. Here, in usa, 4 times as many people were taking Shahada after 9/11

    because of people like Oprah doing shows on the goodness of Islam. Al Humdu Allah!!! Out of a tragic event some good things occurred. People ask now more about Islam. As the comment earlier to you said, "... the pen is mightier than the sword." All our talents and gifts are from Allah(SWT). I pray that you use your gift and exposure to glorify the One True God!!! Or maybe you will get out of the limelight and find a good Muslim husband and have many children (smile). Wherever Allah(SWT)leads you from here on your journey, May it be easy for you. With the help of Allah(SWT) even trials and tribulations do not seem awful. Sister, you are an inspiration to all of us. And I personally do not think that you have any syndrom. Your eyes have been opened-Suphan Allah!!

    Khadijah Amatullah

    As Salaamu Alaikum wa Ramatullah wa Barakatu

  33. Yasmeen from USA

    Salaam alaykom,

    I will call you sister for I feel that you are already. I feel that you have Islam in your heart. I am also a convert/revert to Islam. This has been a trying year but I always marvel at the new brothers and sisters who have taken the courage to enter into a faith that is, as you said, so misunderstood. We welcome you to Islam if you decide to convert and if you do not, we welcome you as our friend.

    Fi Aman Allah (Go With God)


  34. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Why not invite missionaries (and other invaders) to revert to Islam - or at least to rid themselves of shirk? I think that if someone is willing to travel a long distance to spread shirk around, it would be nice if they at reverted - or at least better for them if they rid themselves of shirk.

    In a manner of speaking, these people are trying to make changes in some other location. As long as they are in that other location, why not help them to change? After they return home, perhaps they will continue to change - and to continue making changes.

    As Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

  35. Umar Ali from United States

    This is a great article and it shows if one reads and understands what Quran is, no one can ever doubt that Islam is the perfect relegion and a true way of life for all humanity. May Allah shower his blessings upon all of us.


  36. peacemonger from uk

    Dear Brothers and sister, She is infact right. All muslims have to realise; the implmentation of islam in their life. And try to project true image of islam; our prophet(P.B.U.H) and his shabah did. First of all be away from evil; speak evil, hear, evil, or do evil. At the end of the day evil is not our friend. It bring great pleasures in short-time but agony, pain in long time. As sister ridley said media portray; what makes difference to their propaganda. It is true that truth is hidden under the banner of free media. I pray that Allah(SWT) guide all those lost muslims and born non-muslims with the knowlege of true belief (wisdom of islam).

    This is for non-muslims(christians; visit and listen to ahmed deedat; you may understand what religion is.

  37. Sheila from UK

    I agree with Yvonne completely. Islam is very much misunderstood and its a real shame, because when you really get to know what its all about you can't understand how this has happened. I used to be a Catholic, and come from a staunch Catholic family from Ireland, and was introduced to Islam by my husband who is Turkish. He hadn't known any other Catholics so he was curious about what Catholicism is about, and when we discussed it, I began to realise that Islam was the religion for me, especially when I read the Quran for the first time. A lot of even Muslim communities are doing lots of things incorrectly and as a result giving Islam a bad name in the West (apart from the Christian/other religion denouncers). Islam to me, is a very compassionate religion, which governs every area of life. I am very happy with Islam since I converted and I never regretted for one minute converting, even though I gave up pork and alcohol. I feel more in control of my own destiny both in this life and in the next. If people just read the Quran once, then they might understand.

  38. Mahmud from Canada





  39. Altaf Hussain from India

    As-salaam-wa-alaikum (peace be unto you) my dear sister in Islam (Peace, Purity, Surrender and Obedience).

    By Fitra every one is born Muslim (one who submits to the will of God), that is in the state of purity every one is born Muslim. Islam means to testify that there is no God but God! Mohammad is the messenger of God. When anyone testifies this, he/she is actually returning to the state where everyone is born equal in the state of purity with no differentiation. Hence the appropriate word would be Revert not Convert. I am pretty sure you know this but I am just refreshing myself with knowledge.


    /| /|

    / | / |

    / | / |

    ---|----------- |

    | | g | |

    | -----------|---

    H | / | /

    | / | /W

    |/ |/



    L = length = Muslim (in the state of purity every one is born Muslim)

    W = width = Ehsan (the making of beauty)

    H = height = Faith (making yourself safe and secure)

    g = gravity= Belief in hearafter

    Knowledge is the birth right of human being. In the very first verse of that first five verses that were revealed of the Quran put greater emphasis on reading.

    ie. Read in the name of your Lord who creates.

    Allah Hafeez.

  40. Ahme Asgher from Bahrain

    Dear Yvonne

    Welcome to Islam. As the Quran says become a muslim first until faith enters your heart. Iman is darajat (faith has various levels). Thus it is clear that becoming a muslim is the beginning of a long (and arduous) journey in self discovery and thus the final communion with God.

    Every word of this religion indicates above philosophy as there is no escape from His final government, which is culminated in death. And that is another subject which the Quran deals with in such a great manner, thus depending what life we have led that we either welcome it or despise and fear it. The Quran gives comforting words to those with faith and admonishes those with no faith.

    But the ultimate road leads to Him and you have taken that road. So, blessed be your journey and blessed be your deeds and may you find comfort in the One Creator and Sustainer of this universe for to Him we shall all return and how wonderful it is when this journey is made with such peace and comfort of absolute faith in Allah, subhanahu wa ta'ala.

    It is not in His nature to let us down, except we must remain steadfast for this life is full of stuff to amuse us and make the soul go on extended holiday!

    Your brother in faith

    Ahmed Asgher

  41. zahid from uk

    What people fail to realise is that Islam is a Religion, no....actually it is a way of life, which in essence is "the peaceful way", but the west unable to understand the intricacies of the faith disregard it as extremism. Propoganda by the western media look on muslims asa fanatics if they practice islam openly. People are intimidated by what they don't understand. Learn and you will know all.

  42. Kamarul Hussain from Canada

    Dear Sister in Islam,

    Your article and experience you shared are real inspiration to every body. While reading this I almost cried.

    Being a journalist, you have a great responsibility in your hand. Please use all your talents and strengths to educate others about true Islam.

    May Allah help and guide you to succeed in the never-ending mission


  43. Hisham from Sungapore

    Selamat datang(welcome)Yvonne, you're indeed a brave woman. Islam does not force on anybody but it is the faith that truly comes within.

    Masya Allah.

  44. Yahya Bergum from USA

    As Salaamu Alaikum, Hussain Khodabacksh, please consider Quran 3:64 and similar verses, with regard to your concerns for your "Catholic" spouse - may Allah guide us. Allah (who is without partner) has provided this and similar verses in the Quran for the benefit, I believe, of those who refer to themselves as Christians.

    I doubt that the following expression (in quotes) is a real word but: "Lashirka" might be somewhere on the road to Al-Sharia, so to speak. That is to say that by our politely discouraging shirk (by our family and friends, for example) we might be encouraging those, for whom we have concern, to surrender to Allah - even further. (Insha'Allah.)

  45. amir jafri from canada

    Allama Iqbal, the poet-philosopher of pakistan almost prophetically saw the rejuvenation & revitalisation of Islam by "westerners" like yourself.

    Indeed we "easterners" have become rotted,corrupted, and complacent over the centuries. Allah rewards only those who deserve it.

    Beautiful Sister welcome aboard!

  46. mohammed Iqbal from UK

    Dear Ms Ridley (Sister Ridley)

    Thank you for your wonderfull article and I am very happy that you have chosen the true path and I congratulate you.

    Islam is a beautiful religion that one has to dive into this ocean to really find the true meaning of life and your purpose in this world. If every non-muslim person trully opened their mind and read the Quran I sincerely belive we will have many people like you coming to reality as it should be.

    May Allah wish you success in your work and I hope you can produce good written work to make people aware of this beautiful Islam. In this world of media propaganda the pen is mightier than the sword and the pen is in your hand.


    Mohammed Iqbal.

  47. Firozali S. Malik from U.S.A.

    Dear Ms. Ridley,

    Thank you for your short article. It is eye-opening for majority of non-muslims who have no concept of true Islam.

    The daily doses of bad publicity by news and media cements the wrong notions about Islam in non-muslims.

    You gave a good example of churches being silent when there was an attack on Nitivity Church.

    I request you to please bring out more articles to enlighten the clogged minds. You may encounter publishing some of your articles in the media due to prejudicial censorship.

    With kind regards.

  48. Yusuf from Australia

    Bravo, for having an open, intelligent mind, Yvonne. I wonder how many of those Genocidal Invaders in Iraq have even thought, let alone contemplated the real issues of life. All I hear those US soldiers saying is "I wanna kill some ragheads" or "Iraqis attacked the food convoy like stray dogs". God gave them a mind - they are to blame if they don't open it up to the truth of what's going on around them, be it good or bad.

    All one asks of them, in terms of culture change, is to simply stop believing everything they are told and to think for themselves.

    I pity people who travel halfway across the world, kill and/or be killed without any idea of the reality of the situation.



  49. zee from nigeria

    congratulation am happy for you u are welcome to islam the religious of peace,love,sincerity,whatever you know that is good,it gives me so much joy to know that someone has accepted islam as his/her true religiou

  50. Hussain Khodabacksh from UK

    Praise be to Allah.I am overjoyed for you not because you have decided to become a muslim but for your conviction in trying to find the truth for yourself.You are corect when you say Islam is misunderstood.This is partly as a result of our blinked leaders and in some instances religious guides.I wish I could lead my wife who is a catholic into the staight path of the real Lord.Assalamoualiaikoum.

  51. Yahya Bergum from USA

    Masha-Allah! (As Allah willed it!) Jazak Allah Khair to Sister Yvonne and her new family as well as to IslamiCity. May Allah bless them and bring them peace.

    I still have high hopes for the heroes of her story. May their dreams be realized. Now they I am happy to admit are the sort of extremists I consider worth listening to! May Allah bless them and bring them peace.

    Yours (extremely),

    Yahya Bergum

    Thanks be to God, who is the master of all of the worlds, who is unequaled and without partner. The Prophet Muhammad (God bless him) is God's messenger.

  52. Melissa Finn from Canada

    Assalamu Alaikum Yvonne,

    Your article made me want to cry. You are a source of inspiration, thank-you so much for your strength. Your story is one of great interest to skeptics and Muslims alike.

    While many western media and religious pundits like to underscore the injustices perpetrated in the name of Islam, thousands of people are waking to beauty of this inspirational, empowering, and dignified way of life. I am so proud to be a Muslim woman.

    Becoming a Muslim was a life-changing event that is the root of all good in my life today. People must know that this religion is incredibly beautiful and that the depth of the intellectual tradition in Islam is astounding. My experiences in this religion have not only sharpened my intellect, but also softened my heart.

    Everyday, I meet people who are searching endlessly for the way of life found in Islam. It is a fact, as one speaker mentioned, that many people have trouble thinking about thinking about Islam. Many people of diverse backgrounds, when searching for greater meaning, often scour the earth and all religious approaches before finally discovering Islam.

    I have heard people equate the Islamic faith with an ocean. The surface waters seem challenging and the waves harsh, but any rendering of this tradition with such limited knowledge is superficial at best. Real knowledge and awareness are found below the surface. It is only by diving into those restless waves that people realize the profound depth of the abyss and the profound peace to be found therein.

    Thank-you for allowing me to share these feelings.

    With each passing day, I pray that Allah uplifts the souls of all humanity through eman (faith) and trust (tawwakal).

    May Allah also continue to shower mercy on all of His creation. Ameen.

    Wa'alaikum salam, Melissa.

  53. B. Trikomara from Indonesia

    May Allah swt bless you, and always guide you forever. Amin ya Rabbal 'alamin.