Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Last Choice

Dr Lawrence Brown

Today I'll tell you about how I came to Islam. Cut to 1990. I was typical American. Accumulating world was the only objective I knew. I got my second daughter that year and noticed something that I ignored in case of my first daughter who stood up on her feet on her first day. I did not see it as a miracle - only as something interesting. I am a doctor. I did not get the message. Second time it was more dramatic. My second daughter Hanna was born ten months after Christina in George Washington University Hospital - a very famous hospital where I too worked. She was born gun metal blue because of lack of oxygen in blood and the reason was that her aorta, the main artery that takes purified blood to whole body, was pinched in the middle to nearly zero size. As a doctor I understood the implications. Having assisted in cardiac surgeries I knew that they will operate her immediately and there will be grafting of the artery. After few years there would be another grafting as she grew but she'll eventually die. A child surgeon was called from another hospital and being emotional I had to leave the intensive care unit for even as a doctor I was not helping the things. There was a prayer room near the ICU and I sincerely prayed for the first time in my life. Till now I was always in a position in my life where I knew how to get what I wanted. This time I was helpless. I used to be atheist and tried to argue people away from God. There was no symbols in the room and I felt that it was the right place to be there. I made a prayer that is rather infamous - oh God if you are there ... Also I clearly remember praying O God guide me to the religion that is pleasing to you. After 15 minutes I was back to ICU and all the doctors were huddled around my daughter like a football team. The guest surgeon looked up to me and said that she is going to be OK. It did not sink in - and I was not the only one who had gone blank - other doctors also did not understand his assessment. But I had prayed sincerely for the first time in my life and got the feeling that this must be hand of my creator. There was second ultra sound taken and she was declared stone cold normal. This year she has entered college. But then I realized that I had made a promise with God and I'll be blameworthy for not fulfilling it. I was not going die with a promise on my had and so I started searching for a religion that was pleasing to God. Started reading scriptures of religions Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Bhagwad Gita, Judaism, Christianity. At each step it did not take me much time to decide that this is not it. By the time I came to Judaism I realized that there is something to it but not more and I moved on to Christianity. I studied with Southern Baptists, the Quakers, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists. (In Indian words his head was eating circles.) In the end I never got my answers. I did something that Christians usually do not do - reading the Bible. I am not putting down those of my brothers who hold on to Christianity but the truth remains that most of the Christians accept their faith without analyzing it. Jesus Christ calls himself son of man and people call him son of God, why? At three places the most important commandment is that there is only one God and there is no mention of trinity.
I felt more lost than ever.
This continued for few years. In America Islam is the last religion to be considered.
And then the things started falling into place one by one-all of them.
That is how reached Islam - last and conclusion of revelation.
A must listen.