A Journey to Faith: From Nihilism to Islam

A Journey to Faith: From Nihilism to Islam


Mohammad Zeyaan


My journey of self-discovery has been a long and winding road, marked by a series of transformations that have led me to find solace and meaning in Islam. However, before finding my way to Islam, I explored a variety of worldviews and ideologies, including nihilism, atheism, Marxism, and mouism.


As a young adult, I was deeply disillusioned with the world, and I saw no purpose or meaning in life. I embraced nihilism as a way to cope with my existential angst, but this worldview proved to be unsatisfactory. I then became an atheist, convinced that there was no higher power governing our lives. However, even atheism failed to provide me with the answers I sought.


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As I sit down to expound further on my journey of self-discovery, I am reminded of the words of the great Persian poet Rumi, who said, “There are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground; there are a thousand ways to go home again.” This quote resonates deeply with me, for it encapsulates the twists and turns of my own journey, which has led me to find solace and meaning in Islam.

To truly understand my journey, it is essential to understand the path that led me here. As a young adult, I was a self-proclaimed nihilist, disillusioned with the world and its inherent injustices. I saw no purpose or meaning in life, and this existential angst was a constant source of turmoil for me. Over time, my beliefs evolved, and I became an atheist, convinced that there was no higher power governing our lives. This perspective was short-lived, however, and I soon found myself drawn to Marxism, seeing it as a way to bring about social change and address the inequities that had plagued me since my youth.

Despite my newfound political convictions, I remained unfulfilled, and a sense of emptiness continued to plague me. It was at this juncture that I stumbled upon mouism, which sought to merge Marxist principles with Islamic teachings. This newfound ideology piqued my interest, and I delved deep into its tenets, reading voraciously and seeking out like-minded individuals. Yet, even here, I found myself wanting, and my search for inner peace continued.

It was during this period of my life that I became a prolific reader, devouring anything and everything that came my way. From classic literature to contemporary philosophy, I read it all, hoping to find the answers to the questions that plagued me. Yet, no matter how much I read, I remained unfulfilled, and my soul continued to yearn for something more.


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As I reflect on this period of my life, I am struck by the sense of aimlessness that plagued me. I had no clear sense of direction, no guiding principles to anchor my life. It was in this state of mind that I came across the teachings of Islam. At first, I was averse to the idea of religion, having spent most of my life opposing it. But as I delved deeper into Islamic teachings, I found myself drawn to its emphasis on compassion, social justice, and personal accountability.

What struck me most about Islam was its call to action, its insistence that believers take responsibility for their own lives and the world around them. This emphasis on personal agency and responsibility was a stark departure from the nihilistic worldview I had held for so long. As I read more and more about Islam, I found myself drawn to its teachings, and eventually, I took the leap and embraced the faith.

It is difficult to put into words the sense of peace and fulfillment I experienced upon embracing Islam. For the first time in my life, I felt like I had a clear sense of purpose, a guiding light to steer my life. The teachings of Islam gave me a framework within which to live my life, and I found solace in the daily rituals and practices that are central to the faith.

One of the things that drew me to Islam was its emphasis on knowledge. From the very beginning, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) called on his followers to seek knowledge, to learn about the world and the people in it. This emphasis on knowledge has remained central to the Islamic faith, and as a result, Muslims have made significant contributions to fields such as mathematics, astronomy, and medicine.

As someone who had always been curious about the world around me, I found this emphasis on knowledge deeply appealing. I began to read extensively about Islamic history, theology, and philosophy, and I found myself awed by the depth and breadth of Islamic scholarship. The more I learned, the more I realized how much I had yet to discover, and my thirst for knowledge only grew stronger
As I continued on my journey of self-discovery through Islam, I found myself encountering a rich and diverse community of believers. From the bustling markets of Cairo to the quiet streets of Kuala Lumpur, I encountered Muslims from all walks of life, each with their own unique story and perspective.

One of the things that struck me most about the Muslim community was its emphasis on community service and social justice. Whether it was through volunteer work or charitable giving, Muslims around the world were committed to making a positive difference in the lives of those around them. This dedication to service was a stark contrast to the individualistic and self-centered values that had dominated my earlier worldview.

I was also struck by the diversity of Islamic thought and practice. From the mystical traditions of Sufism to the legalistic approach of the Hanafi school, Islam encompassed a wide range of beliefs and practices. This diversity allowed me to find my own path within the faith, and I was grateful for the freedom to explore and experiment with different practices and interpretations.

As I continued to delve deeper into Islamic teachings and traditions, I found myself drawn to the concept of tawheed, or the oneness of God. This central tenet of Islam asserts that there is only one God, and that all creation is subordinate to His will. This concept resonated deeply with me, and I found it to be a powerful antidote to the feelings of nihilism and despair that had plagued me for so long.

I also found myself drawn to the practice of dhikr, or the remembrance of God. Through repetition of the names of God or other phrases, dhikr is a way of connecting with the divine and attaining a state of spiritual elevation. I found this practice to be immensely soothing and calming, and it helped me to cultivate a deeper sense of peace and contentment in my daily life.

As I reflect on my journey of self-discovery through Islam, I am struck by the profound sense of transformation that has taken place within me. From a disillusioned and nihilistic young adult, I have become a committed and devoted Muslim, eager to continue exploring and deepening my understanding of this rich and complex faith.

I am also deeply grateful for the lessons that Islam has taught me about compassion, social justice, and personal responsibility. Through my interactions with other Muslims, I have come to appreciate the importance of community and service, and I have been inspired to do my part in making the world a better place.

In many ways, my journey of self-discovery through Islam has been a journey of healing and growth. Through the teachings and practices of this faith, I have found solace, purpose, and meaning, and I am grateful every day for the gifts that it has bestowed upon me. As Rumi said, there are a thousand ways to go home again, and for me, Islam has been the path that has led me home.


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