KUWAIT CITY, March 19: Renowned Muslim cleric from the United States of America Yusuf Estes is of the view that some individuals seek to tarnish the image of Islam by attempting to link the religion with extremism and terrorism, contrary to the true Islam, which is founded on total surrender to the will of Almighty Allah and worshipping Him alone in sincerity, reports Al-Rai daily. Estes emphasized the principle of Islam as the unity of Muslims and not splitting into groups and sects, “because Almighty Allah called us Muslims, and He did not call us Sunnis and Shiah”.
Preacher Yusuf Estes disclosed this at a lecture he delivered in Al-Shayeji Diwaniya in Kaifan and renounced the allegations of those who criticize Islam by saying “it’s impossible for Islam to have spread by the power of a sword”. He noted Islam would not be accepted if it is not based on free will or preference of those who embraced it. He considered the major challenge facing Muslims in the US is lack of proper understanding of the proper Islam. For instance, a preacher asked several children in the US about the meaning of “bismillah Al Rahman Al Raheem” (in the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most Merciful), and only five out of 400 children knew its meaning.
He noted such incidents happens despite parents of those children are Muslims and have good knowledge of Islam and even memorize the Holy Qu’ran”. When he asked about the meaning of ‘Al Rahman Al Raheem’ (the Most Gracious the Most Merciful), no one knew, he stressed. Estes explained that the challenge of ‘no understanding Islam’ exists even inside the Islamic countries, giving an example of an incident that took place 20 years ago with several Afghan migrants who were learning in a school at California when they were asked: Where is Allah, and nobody, including the teacher knew the answer.
Preacher Yusuf Estes spoke about divisions in Islam, stating that “Almighty Allah called us Muslims and He did not call us Shiah or Sunnis, but as it appears, we did not like the name Allah called us by”. He narrated an incident that occurred after the 9/11 attacks at a US airport, while he was heading to board a plane. He was stopped by FBI agents and asked “what type of Muslim are you?” meaning, “What sect of Islam do you belong to” I tried to beat around the bush in order to show I did not understand the question to avoid any clash with the agent who might make me miss my flight, so I answered “I am from Muslims who carry blood group B+” but the agent decisively repeated the question while reading from the list of Islamic sects, “I mean, are you Sunni, Shiah or Suffi..?” so I answered “I am a Muslim Christian” and immediately the FBI agent added in his list “Muslim Christian”, and I managed to catch my flight after that.
Yusuf Estes is a renowned preacher from US who was a Christian preacher named Joseph Edward before he converted to Islam. He was hosted by Al-Shayeji Diwaniya after his two lectures together with Dr Zakir Naik— another renowned preacher from India.
They were supposed to be hosted in Jaber International Stadium last Thursday and Friday but the events were cancelled. Estes was born in 1944 in the US. He converted from Christianity to spreading Islam in 1991, after going a long way in the studies of theology and music.