the "Islamic Voice" * DEC '97
person who covered two continents seeking the truth, found
it in a London bookstore and is now trying to make it available
for someone else to find it on the shelves of bookstores.
young man finally found the answer to the question that bothered
him after a year-and-half of continuous search, covering two
continents at a bookstore in London.
star of this story of determination and the non-stop search
for truth, is Othman Ajunsun, an American Muslim from New
York who converted to Islam 20 years ago.
father passed away when the son was a year old and he was
brought up as an atheist among people who believe in no God.
had a small family that consisted of his mother, a sister
and himself. He also had relatives whom he used to see every
now and then.
a kid I used to have a lot of woods and open area around my
house where I played. The first thing that God placed in my
heart was the certitude that He existed,” Othman explained.
his first grade he was doing a school report about cavemen
and he remembers reading some of the articles he was supposed
to report on, “Cavemen did not believe in any supreme being
and believed that there was nothing after death,” he recalled,
adding that although his family members were atheists and
had the same beliefs, the idea of absolute nothingness after
death all of a sudden terrified him.
was weeping and screaming and my family couldn’t help me because
they did not believe in after-death. My grades went down in
school in this period,” he said.
to the deterioration in Othman’s condition, his family decided
to send him to a psychiatrist.
do not worry. Just because everyone else had died does not
mean necessarily that you will die,” Othman recalled mimicking
attended religious education classes just to get out of school
early and at one of those classes he asked the teacher a question,
“When did Jesus know that he was a God?”
teacher, who was hammered by the enquiry, replied, “That is
a good question and there exist a lot of different opinions
hectic stage of childhood with all of its confusion and suffering
passed and the little kid grew up and his questions grew with
him and it was essential for Othman to find the answers.
started reading different books but they were misleading.
He met some people who mentioned briefly about Islam, but
nothing really about Islam itself.
day he read, “If you seek you will find” in the Bible. It
was the spark that started his long trip of search for the
I am going to travel. Please make me find,” he prayed before
he started the trip.
travelled around America hitchhiking from one city to another
in a confused state of mind. At one point during his trip
he was hitch-hiking in Ohio when he was asked by two men in
a truck if he wanted to work.
said, “yes.” “I wanted to work on a farm for a few days to
see how it is like, so I went with them,” he said.
are you looking for, son?” Asked the driver. Othman was shocked
to hear that question because he had not told anybody about
the purpose of his travelling.
was impressed in the beginning, but replied, “I am searching
for God.” The driver immediately looked at the other man and
said, “See, I told you so.”
are from New York. So what are you doing here in Ohio? If
you cannot find God in New York, you are not going to find
Him here,” the driver remarked.
spent five days working on the farm with the old man. The
old farmer was an interesting man. Despite his suffering Othman
never heard anything but praise of God.
Ohio he went back home and then to Europe, where he spent
a month in London.
his stay in London, he did not know what to do and went to
bookstores and restaurants. All along he asked God for guidance.
was afraid of making a misstep or running into the wrong person
who might mislead me,” he said.
day he went into one of the book stores and looked around.
He saw a book which had the title Muhammad. He grabbed the
book to find out what it was about.
men were watching him. They approached him and asked, “So,
you are interested in Prophet Muhammad .” Othman did not know
what to say for he did not know the contents of the book he
two Muslims-one American and the other British-took Othman
out to a coffee shop and explained Islam to him.
had a strange feeling that I finally found what I have been
looking for. They explained the entire theory of Islam in
a very polite way and I was fully convinced,” he said.
two men took Othman to their house and offered him a place
in their apartment and there he learned more about Islam.
was an impressive experience. They did not force any knowledge
into me; they only practised their Islamic obligations before
me and that is how I learned,” he said.
converted to Islam after his first week with the two new friends
and he was keen to know more during the one month period he
spent in their company.
that he spent three years propagating Islam (Da’wah) in different
European countries, “I was told that I do not have to wait
until I knew every thing about the religion to go and spread
it around. What I have is enough and besides that I am in
the company of some well-educated Muslims who can provide
necessary guidance when I need it,” Othman said.
England, he lived with the Pakistani community in the North
and then he travelled to Pakistan and lived there for 9 years
and that is where his kids were born.
Pakistan, Othman started writing and his only aim is to provide
nice, decent stories that would contribute to entertaining
and teaching children and youth good manners and to substitute
the useless reading items present in the market.
my books, I wanted to set an example for our kids to follow
and teach them honesty, faith and more things as well as entertaining
them instead of the material available in the market which
could only waste their time,” he pointed out.
started writing in Pakistan 12 years ago and released a number
of novels and short stories published all over the world.
Abdullah’ is a series of novels highlighting a Muslim kid
from England who goes through adventures and tough times and
the thing that gets him out of his problems is his faith and
also wrote around 36 short stories in 18 books and they have
also attracted great attention and gained popularity especially
in the US.
who lives in Madinah now, teaches English in Al-Manarat School
and is currently working on his fifth novel of the Invincible
Abdullah series and his writings are available in local book
the end it seems that the circle is complete. The person who
covered two continents seeking the truth, found it in a London
bookstore and is now trying to make it available for someone
else to find it on the shelves of bookstores. (The Message)