Raphael, a U.S. citizen of Latin American descent, was a leader of the Jehovah’s Witnesses religious group before he changed his belief in the Bible to the Quran after a visit to a mosque.
Texas-born man who works as a lecturer and this buffoon like to say two sentences creed on November 1, 1991. As a former leader of the congregational church Jehovah’s Witness, was difficult for Raphael to preach Islam, so he became a Muslim. So what’s the story until Raphel know Islam and finally decided to convert to Islam?
Since a young age, 20 years, Raphael was entrusted to lead a Jehovah’s Witness congregation. He said, gereka Jehovah’s Witnesses have a system of organization of training programs are very sophisticated, by enforcing a quota system. A cadre of Jehovah’s Witness leaders have devoted themselves, by providing 10 to 12 hours each month, to do the sermons from house to house.
“The system works like a sales management. Management of IBM’s sales alone may fail with a Jehovah’s Witness volunteers are trained as group leaders,” said Raphael provides a sophisticated system of cadre training in a Jehovah’s Witness.
“So, when I’ve become a vanguard cadre, I devoted almost the whole time I travel from door to door. I am obliged to do the sermon for 100 hours per month, and must learn the seven versions of the Bible,” said Raphael.
But over time, Raphael felt no irregularities in the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, including the concept of a quota system. It seems, if someone managed to meet the quota to spread the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, then God will love him. “If you can not meet the quota in the following months, God will not mencintamu. This is really absurd. How can it be. In this month God loves me and in others God can not love me just because they do not meet the quota , “said Rapahel.
Another thing which he said does not make sense is, the belief that the teachings of the Jehovah’s witnesses merelah the only people who would be saved by the new world order established by God. Those who are not followers of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, will not be saved.
“I thought, Mother Teresa was not a devout Jehovah’s Witness, but he spent the time to do what Jesus taught, do good, ranging from keeping elderly people, caring for the sick and orphaned children. But if God does not love her just because he is a Catholic, religion is considered an enemy by a Jehovah’s Witness congregation? ” Raphael asked in surprise.
There are many other things he saw and he heard, which makes it so questioned the teachings of Jehovah’s Witness who was disebarluaskannya. Spiritually, Raphael said he no longer felt comfortable. In 1979, Raphael decided to leave the Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation, grumbling because only then did he realize that he had been a lot of wasting her time by devoting themselves to the church.
“The problem is, I do not devote themselves to God. But the man-made organization,” said Raphael.
Apart from the Jehovah’s Witnesses, are confused about where he is. Jehovah Doctrine mendoktrinnya to believe that all religion is wrong, unless the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses, that idolatry was bad deeds and the concept of the Trinity does not apply.
“I like a man without religion. I am not a man, without faith in God. But when I do not know where to go,” said Raphael.
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In 1985, he moved to Los Angeles and mendatanagi Catholic gereka located not far from his home. Raphael wants to try the Catholic doctrine, but it only lasted for two to three months. Raphael then underwent back without his religious life, while working with starring in several films and became a star advertising.
One day at a mall before Christmas, Raphel saw a woman passing in front of him. He tried to greet her and would like to invite conversation, but he did not get a response. From the woman was also Raphael knew that he was a Muslim and can not be careless talk with a man, but really there is a special purpose.
The word “Muslim” really strange in the ears of Raphael, he also asked the Muslim women had to spell the letters of the word Islam, the religion of Muslims. At that time, that Raphael knew all Muslims are terrorists. But Raphael had kept asking Muslim women about how early emergence of Islam. The Muslim then told that the religion of Islam revealed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH and disseminated by the last prophet of mankind.
After hearing stories about Islam and Prophet Muhammad, Raphael began to do research. Intention at that time just wanted to find out, and had no desire to become a Muslim.
Although not adhere to any religion, Raphel continue to pray. But he felt his prayers were not answered God. Until one day, while clearing the desk drawer of his uncle, who would return after being treated in hospital, Raphael found the Gideon Bible in the drawer, and he felt God answered his prayer that he should become a Christian. Raphael prayed again, asking the Lord so that he could become a Christian. Not to be a devout Jehovah’s Witness again, and not Catholics.
Once, when reading the Old Testament, Raphael recalled saying that he met Muslim women in the mall that the Muslims have a prophet, Prophet Muhammad PBUH. “But why the name of the Prophet did not exist in this book?” Raphael wondered to myself.
He also began thinking about the Muslims, how many worldwide? Raphel also decided to start reading the translation of the Quran. He then went to an Arabic bookstore. The shopkeeper, Raphael said that he bought the Quran because just want to read it, not want to be a Muslim.
At home, Raphael started reading the Quran, from Surah Al-Fatihah and so on, as if Raphael’s eyes do not want to be separated from the Al-Quran reading. He was so amazed to know that the Qur’an also tells of other prophets who met Raphael in Christianity, such as Noah, Abraham, and others.
After reading the Quran, Raphael thought, what else will he do next? He then opened the yellow pages book, and finally found what he was looking for, an Islamic Center in Vermont, Southern California. After a call to the Islamic Center, the Islamic Center asked him to come on Friday.
“I was really nervous that time. I think I’ll go and see an AK-47 armed habib,” said Raphael imagined “Muslim terrorists” which he often read and hear from the media.
Finally, he reached into the Islamic Center in Vermont. When the show, taking place Friday sermon, then Raphael saw people at the Islamic Center perform Friday prayers together.
“Something began to permeate my intellect, even it’s up to the muscles, bones, heart and my soul,” said Raphael remember the feeling.
After prayers, a few pilgrims greeted him by saying “hi” is by Raphael, such as sounding words “Salt and Bacon”. Raphael surprised when many people who say “Salt and Bacon” him with a smile, as if these people already know him.
Do not know what to do, Raphael went to the library and there he met a young boy named Omar, of Egyptian origin. Omar asked, is this the first time that Raphael came to that place. Raphael replied “Yes.”
“Oh, welcome. Are you Muslim?” asked Omar.
“It’s not. I just had a little read about Muslims,” said Raphael.
“Oh, if you are studying? This is the first time you visit the mosque?” Omar asked again.
“Yes,” replied Raphael.
He was then invited to tour the mosque by Omar, who took her hand. Another man, later joined them. “The Muslims were very welcoming and friendly,” said Raphael to himself.
Raphael were invited to see the place of prayer, was told why footwear must be removed when entering into the prayer, then to the place of wudu. “What? Voodoo (witchcraft), I do not know anything about Voodoo,” said Raphael shocked to hear the word “wudu” which sounds like the word “Voodoo” in his ear.
“No … Not Voodoo, but Wudu!” said Omar, who then explains what Wudu.
Raphael finished the visit that day. He excused himself to go home and ask the librarian a booklet about prayer. At home, Raphael studied and practiced the prayers in the booklet’s instructions.
Finally, on 1 November 1991, Raphael determined to become a Muslim and that day he pledged two sentences creed. (In / IslamicBulletin)