Thursday, January 12, 2006

A Lutheran Archbishop Converts to Islam

By Al Hajj Abu Bakr (a.k.a Martin John Mwaipopo), 23 December 1986

Key Extracts:

The Archbishop obtained a BA, a Masters degree and a doctorate as well, in Divinity. He had obtained a diploma in Church Administration in England and the latter degrees in Berlin, Germany. He had been the World Council of Churches' General Secretary for Eastern Africa - covering Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, and parts of Ethiopia and Somalia. In the Council of Churches, he rubbed shoulders with the present chairman of the South African Human Rights Commission, Barney Pityana and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's chairman, Bishop Desmond Tutu.

It was when he began to do his doctorate, that he started questioning things. "I started wondering… different religions claim to be the true religion. What is the truth? I wanted the truth", says Mwaipopo.

He got himself a copy of the Qur'an. "When I opened the Quran, the first verse that I came across were:

“Say, He is Allah, The One and Only; Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He beget not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him? (Surah Ikhlas)", he recalls.

That was when the seeds of Islam, unknown to him, were first sown. It was then that he discovered that the Quran was the only scripture book that had been untampered with, by human beings since its revelation. "And in concluding my doctoral thesis I said so. I didn't care whether they give me my doctorate or not - that was the truth, and I was looking for the truth."

While in that state of mind he called his "beloved" Professor Van Burger. "I closed the door, looked him in the eye and asked him, “Of all religions in the world, which is true”. “Islam”, he responded. So on December 22, he officially embraced Islam.

Read the details here.

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