Why Do People of The West Accept Islam?
What makes people in the West or in rich countries accept Islam? They have much money, welfare, high technology, good education, many ways of entertainment. And many spend their lives as machines who work all the day and have no time to think in any other matter than their own lives. What can make such people think about Islam and accept it?
Before we begin, it is important to begin with the name of Allah and send the prayers and blessings on His last prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.
Bismillah Rahman Raheem, Was-Salatu Was-Salamu Ala Rasulillah
Then it is equally important to mention that it is only Allah who has all Knowledge (Allahu A’lam).
Thank you brother, for a very interesting question. Actually, this is a very good question. I have often pondered this exact same idea. Why would anyone who is so totally distracted with the wealth and success of this world be interested in Islam?
I know I wasn't. In fact, I considered myself as much an enemy to Islam as any good red-blooded American should be. But then I met a Muslim (from Egypt) and I tried to convert him to my version of Christianity. And the rest is history. But that is another story... www.YusufEstes.com
The answer may lie within the question itself. Consider those folks who spend all of their waking hours chasing after the dollar and then throwing it away on the nonsense of the material world and then going after more dollars to do the same thing again, week after week, month after month and year after year until they run out of time. Why do they do this? Could it be they are actually trying to deny the thing inside of them that is trying to remind them of a Day that is coming? (I know I was). Are they looking for distractions and pleasures of this world and trying to make it last? (I was). Do they think they will be able to amass enough wealth and property and position on this earth that somehow they will be able to defeat the Angel of Death? (some have told me they have this notion).
Frankly brother, I cannot speak for all of the non-Muslims even though I was one. But, I feel comfortable to say that you would most likely find a different reason inside the head of each person. Just as there are no two fingerprints that are exactly alike, I feel sure many people are doing what they are doing for different reasons. But generally I think we could say what Allah has told us about people in the Quran, and that seems to fit the question best. Here are some verses from Allah's Book, which you probably know better than me, after which I will make a closing comment:
The mutual rivalry for amassing wealth and worldly things has distracted you,
Until you enter your graves
Woe unto every slandering backbiter,
Who has gathered wealth and counts it,
He thinks that his wealth will make him last forever,
Nay, you prefer the life of this world;
Although the Hereafter is better and more lasting.
As for man, when his Lord tries him by giving him honor and gifts, he then says (puffed up): My Lord has honored me!
But when He tries him, by restricting his means of life, he says, My Lord has humiliated me!
Verily, Allah has created man in toil.
Does he think that none can overcome him?
He says (boastfully): I have wasted wealth in great abundance!
Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself (by obeying Allah and submitting to Him).
And indeed he fails who corrupts himself (by disobeying and refusing to submit to Allah or by being wicked and evil).
but he who is a greedy miser and thinks he is self-sufficient,
And gives the lie to Al-Husna,
Allah will make smooth for him the path for evil (because he desires it);
And what will his wealth benefit him when he goes down (in destruction)
Verily, Allah created mankind in the best of stature (mould),
Then He reduced him to the lowest state of low,
Except for those who come to the correct belief (in La ilaha illal-Lah Muhammadur-Rasulullah) and do righteous deeds, then they shall have a reward without end (Jannah).
Then what (or who) causes you (disbelievers) to deny the Day of Recompense (payback or resurrection)?
But when He (Allah) delivered them, behold! They rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully. O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience of Allah) is only against yourselves, a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Allah is your return, and He shall inform you of what you used to do.
Say (O Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him): Each one (human) does according to 'Shakilatihi' (his own way or religion or intentions) and your Lord Knows Best of those who are on the right path..
O Mankind! Fear your Lord (by keeping your duty to Him and avoiding evil), and fear a Day when no father can avail anything for his son, nor a son avail anything for his father. Verily, the Promise of Allah is true, let not this worldly present life deceive you, do not let the chief deceiver (Shaytan) deceive you about Allah.
O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allah is true. So, let not this present life deceive you, do not let the chief deceiver (Shaytan) deceive you about Allah..
After reading the Quran, I came to better understand a lot of things about myself and perhaps about others like me as well. It could well be that inside all of us have an idea that there is something out there and yet we are trying to deny it for fear it would interfere with what we are doing here in this world.
It clearly seems to me all of us are going through pretty much the same thing here on earth. We all have desires and goals here in a place where we can see, hear, smell, taste, touch and experience what we call reality. It becomes a bit of a test for us to consider giving things up here for something that is in the future that we cannot see, hear, smell, taste, touch or experience.
And to make matters a bit more difficult for the one who doesn't really want to sacrifice here, there is the advocate (the devil) who is unseen and always ready to misguide us all.
Now to your question:
What then would make a person come to Islam after having so much wealth and worldly things?
It seems to me we come to a point in our lives when we finally admit what we know deep down inside of us. That is to say, that we are not gods and we have to make some concessions and sacrifices to satisfy the Real God.
So, I can only give you the same answer that I have heard over and over from every new Muslim when they are asked similar questions, and the same answer I have heard myself say too;
After thinking it over and coming to the conclusion that I would have to call on the One Above for guidance, I asked inside of my heart, O God! Guide me! And He did.
Truly, it is only by the Grace and Mercy of Almighty Allah (Rahman, Raheem) that I was guided to Islam.
It is after all, only Allah who guides to this precious and beautiful Deen of Islam. And it is only by His Grace, Mercy (Rahmah) and Forgiveness (Maghfirah) that we are guided and saved from our own wrong thinking and actions.
Thank you for your interest in Islam and the Muslims. It is our duty and privilege to present the truth and proof about Islam and what it represents. We desire to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings about Islam to help others see the true message that came with all of the prophets from Adam, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace be upon them all. The message is La ilaha illal-Lah (none has the right to be worshipped except Allah).
Sheikh Yusuf Estes