A Roman Catholic US Marine Discovers Islam ::
My name is Frank Estrada. I was raised a Roman Catholic.
I was so devout, I even hoped to one day serve in the priesthood.
I accepted the churches' teachings even when I didn't agree with them. I even took every chance I got to convert people in the hopes of bringing them to God.
While serving in the US Marines, I did two tours in the Middle East. In a short time, I developed a hatred for Arabs and Islam.
After I left active duty, I took a job with a company as a network administrator in Iraq. I worked with a man named Ahmed. In the beginning I didn't trust him simply because of his background. I'm lucky that he was patient with me.
Slowly, due to my ignorance, he taught me about the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Quran. He didn't teach me with words. He showed me that Muslims are not evil by his actions. More than that, he taught me the truth of Allah's message.
After I came home, I began to study Islam in earnest. I took a world religions course at Mesa Community College. Though I found the course prejudicial to Islam, it seemed to push me closer to it.
I met a young woman named Amal in the class. We would spend hours talking and debating Islam against Catholicism. I found her arguments both logical and reasonable.
I started taking Arabic courses, so I could learn to read and understand the Quran properly. I still have a long way to go.
I spoke to everyone I knew that was Muslim but, more than that, I watched them to see if their actions matched their words. I never saw any hypocrisy. I even went to the masjid in Tempe, Arizona, to talk to other Muslims and the imam.
What finally brought me to my conversion though, was the Shahadah. I read it and tried to see how it fit with my beliefs. I compared it to the first commandment and found them doubles of each other. It was at that point that I had an epiphany.
Catholicism, whatever else it was, was polytheistic. The realization was shattering to me. I knew at that point that I could not obey the laws of Allah and continue to praise Prophet Jesus (peace be upon him) as His son.
I talked it over with my wife. She was concerned, to say the least. We spent hours discussing what it would do to our family. She went with me to the masjid where we spoke with a man named Muhammed. Not only was he able to sway her fears, she decided to convert as well.
Becoming Muslim was no doubt the right decision. My friends and family, save my parents, were very supportive. My father would not speak to me for the next three months. My wife's family, to this day is still unsupportive. I have no doubt that Allah will soften their hearts in the future.
I thank Allah for all the people He has brought into my life to show me the truth. I thank Him for giving me a mind to understand the truth. More than that, I thank Allah for my loving and understanding wife who has come to the truth with me.
I shall end this paper as I began the day. There is no deity worthy of worship but Allah, and Muhammad is His Prophet.