My Journey to Islām –  By Musa Islam (Lee Clarke)

Bismillāhi Raḥmānir Raḥīm

I was born in 1959 in England. In those days England was a very Christian country, you were either Church of England, Catholic, Baptised or Non-believer.

My parents were believers that God and Jesus (peace be upon him) but only ticked the Christian box in forms, I never new them once to go to Church.

I believed in God from a very early age. I had at that age and still do a very scientific brain. In my mind I knew that the Universe was a vacuum well before freezing temperature and in the beginning the planets were immensely hot. As this was the case how could life form. This was a question I asked all my teachers, the answer I was given every time was when the Earth cooled down after millions of years bacteria formed and developed into life.

This made me smile because even the most untrained scientist knows hot=sterile, cold=sterile, vacuum as in space=sterile. And time does not change a thing, so the Scientists answer the question ‘God’ exists, it’s like writing on both sides of a piece of paper: “Please turn over”, every time you do it you get the same; how frustrating for them.

As I grew and went to school, I read the Bible and learned as much as was available in junior school at that time in England. When I was older, I started to go to a Christian Church, I felt I was looking for answers but I never felt anything; the most I felt was lost, why did the people who attended only liked the other people who attended. This I also felt was on the surface because they had not brother and sister feeling, no warmth for each other, apart from the warmth they found in the Church to make others feel they themselves were good. Outside the Church, most acted as if it was a class thing and I often heard people say “We go to Church” in a way that expressed they themselves were Good and above the rest of society.


At the age of 6 our family led by my father emigrated to South Africa as he had building contracts there. When we arrived and my father started working, he was appalled at Apartheid and the callous treatment of non-white people (I cannot bring myself to say coloured because white is coloured and I do not understand why we evaluate persons by colours as we would not anything else, we are all one) my father made sure all workers had boots and hard hats, lunch and toilet facilities. This treatment was unheard of amongst the rulers of that time and before Nelson Mandela. A good deal of attention was drawn to this and also the fact that the people working for us in our house were always with us at dinner and spent evenings by the television as part of our family.


As time went on my father’s building contacts stopped coming which was an obvious reaction to how inclusive he was with everyone; he also got involved in protests against Apartheid. Late one night the police and authorities came to our house and he was arrested and we were removed from the house, forcing my mother, sister and I to sleep at a railway station for 3 nights while she found out where he was being held – it was a prison in Johannesburg. The British consul were alerted and after 4 days we were reunited – my father had been held on false charges and badly beaten. Within hours of being reunited, we were put on a ship bound for England with just the clothes we wore and every bit of property we owned was taken from us. In the years after, my father was a changed man completely different from the man I knew and became an ordinary worker. Perhaps this experience also shaped the person I am.


Around the age of 14, I was lucky to have a school teacher who had an interest and knowledge of other religions. The Dead Sea Scrolls had been found and my teacher talked extensively about the findings, she taught us to seek out knowledge and not be afraid to open ourselves to other religions, to explore. She said we were on a Path of Discovery and to stay on it.

As I grew older, I followed her advice but I do not think this was in a way that I could or would say I was consciously doing so, it was more an unseen path I was following.

As I experienced Catholicism, the Baptist Church, I still did not feel anything deep, meaningful and each one was much of the same as the Christian Church except the Baptised and Methodist felt a little closer and the prayers and talks had more sincerity towards God and each other.

As life went on and I grew older I was exposed to all of life’s experiences – good and bad, growing in a country where you are free to do whatever you want as long as it does not violate the Law.

Where religion is a choice in your early years you feel this is a good thing because you know no better, but in reality, if you are only stopped doing bad only by laws and education on accesses like drugs, drink, gambling and promiscuity. The harm you are able to do to your inner self is not good. If there is no guidance from parents who have not been guided as Prophets (peace and blessings be upon them all) have guided us, there is no reason to do any different.


As my life went on, I have had hard times, good times, seen war, been happy and been lost, if only I could have had the guidance that I have just written about, I think things would have been easier, and some choices would have been different.

I made the decision to get married and had two children – a boy named Rowan and a girl named Morgan. When they were young my wife decided she wanted to be single again; she was not unkind and left the children with me saying I was the best out of the two of us to bring them up.

The next twelve years or more I did this, I decided not to have a new wife but to be both Mother and Father to them. I aimed to give them good values towards themselves and all of God’s Creation. I wanted them to enjoy the Gift of life and be happy.

We did attend Church but I still felt nothing and from what I saw they did not. When both children had grown, I met Sarah (British and Christian). We did get married and are still.

At this time, I was employed in Sales for the R.A.C. (Royal Automobile Club) and spent a year doing sales in the Beaumont Leys Shopping Centre. During this time, I became very aware that Muslim people had love and respect for each other that was different to the other religions I have encountered. There is not that feeling that respect is shown for worthless reward of people thinking I am doing this so I am above others. It is done for genuine reasons above simple explanations, often it is done without on-lookers and is not told to others so the reward only comes from Allāh Ta`ālā.

During my time I became friends with many people, however one man who became a good friend is Gulam. On particular day when I was at work, ISIS were in the day’s news for a big attack. When Gulam walked by R.A.C. stand, I felt worried as the news was portraying ISIS as Muslim. I asked Gulam how he felt about this, Gulam gave me a big smile that penetrated my soul and simply said, “they are not Muslim”.

I had never discussed his religion with him before, but found myself saying I wanted to visit a mosque. I did not discuss any reason and Gulam did not ask; he arranged for me to do so that day after our work. After a talk about the Prophet of Islam and other basic Islamic teachings, Brother Isa who prays at the Academy in Leicester asked if I would like to accept Islam. Without any long thought I said ‘yes’; all of us walked down to the mosque and I accepted Islam and chose the name Musa. All through this and when I did my first prayer, I finally felt what I had been looking for all my life. Inshā’allāh I am a better person.

Since accepting Islam and becoming a Muslim I have had many challenges – firstly, the ongoing persecution from my in-laws that started before I married Sarah and before I accepted Islam has intensified, as they have never accepted me as they wanted their daughter to marry a man, they could boast to people about his status such as a Solicitor, Surgeon or Mayor, as they value their public standing. This would probably be increased if they knew of my religion. Secondly, I have an ongoing battle with cancer and ill health that started last year.


I will always cherish the day Gulam smiled his smile and I later accepted Islam. The peace, happiness, brothers and sisters I now have – I thank Allāh Ta`ālā for all of these gifts. I also thank Him for all challenges, whether good or bad, because all are gifts of His and I will accept them with gratitude and patience. 


Footnote: When I returned home and told Sarah my wife the events of that memorable evening, she replied “You have always been a Muslim.”

Comments from ‘Īsā:
I have been blessed by Allah the Almighty to be able to walk with Brother Musa in his path of learning about Islam for a number of years now. He accepted Islam on 29-11-2015 at the Islamic Da ‘wah Academy at the hands of Mawlana Ayadh Sidat sahib who very kindly accepted to do his shahādah in the absence of Khādimul Ḥadīth, Shaykh Muhammad Saleem Dhorat ḥafiẓahullāh. I beg from the readers to pray from the bottom of their hearts for this lovely brother who is handling what it seems a terminal cancer in his life in a most admirable way. He has truly submitted to the Will of Allah S and now considers it a blessing in his life. Brother Musa is an extremely humble man and has a most beautiful sense of humour. If I could give him my health I would do so and I truly believe his story of accepting Islam and his coming into contact with people around him would make all the people around him accept Islam as a way of life. Please allow me to share one incident of his to show his wholeheartedness. Once out of the blue, when my family and I went to visit him to his home, he said – ‘Me and my wife have been talking, and I want to tell you something. Not that we wish anything bad for you or your wife, Allah forbid, but if anything were to happen to both of you, please do not worry about your children. I and Sarah have talked about it and we have decided that if ever your children were needed to be adopted because they don’t have parents, we would adopt all of them so they stay together and live happily together with each other.’ This feat of his was very heart touching as at times one’s own brother or sister does not show this much love and thoughtful considerations to nieces and nephews on a regular basis, let alone in these times when everyone suffers from a busy life. How many of us are ready to take care and love our own brother’s and or sister’s children, and not only consider and treat them as our own but also to look after them. Brother Musa and his wife were ready to do this for Islam, because he had understood the meaning of the renown hadeeth ‘A true believer is the one who loves for himself what he loves for his Muslim brother.’  

Brother Musa’s wife Sarah, is a lovely and admirable woman, big-hearted and selfless. Our family has grown close to them to the extent that Sarah said to Brother Musa that, if and whenever something were to happen to Musa, she would like that we keep in touch with her and visit her. The readers are requested to make du`ā that she continues to learn about Islam with sincerity and an open heart so one day she decides this is the path she wants to follow and Allāh Ta`ālā blesses her with Islam.

Brother Musa, in his own time and his own private way, continues to strive in becoming a beacon of light making Islam glow though his example and fair and kind treatment of everyone he comes into contact with so that others could realize Islam is a religion of peace and mercy of God to all – and this is his life’s daily goal. May Allāh Ta`ālā be pleased with Brother Musa always and bless him with His most favoured blessing in this world and the Hereafter. Āmīn.