In the Name of Allah, most Compassionate, most Merciful

Becoming Muslim

Dr. Umar Rolf Baron Ehrenfels (Austria)
Professor of Anthropology

The essential features of Islam which impressed me most and attracted me to this great religion are as follows :-

  1. The Islamic teaching of successive revelation implies in my opinion the following: The source from which all the great world religions sprang is one. The founders of these great paths, prepared for peace-seeking mankind, gave witness to one and the same basic divine teaching. Acceptance of one of these paths means search for Truth in Love;
  2. Islam, in essence, means peace in submission to the Eternal Law.
  3. Islam is, historically speaking, the last founded among the great world religions on this planet.
  4. Prophet Muhammad is the messenger of Islam and is thus the last in the sequence of great religious world-prophets.
  5. The acceptance of Islam and the path of the Muslims by a member of an older religion thus means as little rejection of his former religion, as for instance the acceptance of Buddha's teachings meant the rejection of Hinduism to the Indian co-nationals of Buddha. It was only later that schools of thought within Hinduism rejected the Buddhist way as heretical. The differences of religions are man-made. The unity is divine. The teachings of the Holy Qur'an stress this basic unity. To witness it, means acceptance of a spiritual fact which is common to all men and women.
  6. The spirit of human brotherhood under the all-encompassing divine fatherhood is much stressed in Islam and not hampered by concepts of racialism or sectarianism, be it of linguistic, historic-traditionalistic, or even dogmatic nature.
  7. This concept of divine fatherly love, however, includes also the motherly aspect of Divine love, as the two principal epithets of God indicate" Al-Rahman - Al-Rahim, both being derived from the Arabic root rhm. The symbolic meaning of this root equals Goethe's Das Ewing-Weibliche Zieht uns hinan, whilst its primary meaning is womb.

In this spirit the Church of Hagia Sophia at Constantinople has been made the principal source from which the great Muslim architects in the Near East took their inspiration when building mosques like that of Sultan Ahmad or Muhammad Fatih at Istanbul.

In this spirit the prophet gave these unforgettable words to his followers:

"Paradise lies at the feet of the Mother."

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