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Yusuf Estes made some big mistakes - before he came to Islam over 20 years ago.
He was a dedicated Christian, reading his Bible and going along with pastors and ministers to 'preach the Word'.
He said "KORAN is just a made-up book".
He put down Islam and said Muslims "are hi-jackers, kidnappers, terrorists and bombers" and he said, 'They don't believe in God, just pray to a black box in the desert'.
One big mistake was listening to pastors and ministers who said, 'Whatever you do, don't read their book (Quran)' and 'If you read that book (Quran), you'll get a demon (shayton)'.
One day Muhamed, a man from Egypt who did business with the Estes family, brought a large, dark colored volume with gold trim into their shop and layed it gently on the counter top. Yusuf looked up at the book and then to Mohamed and asked him, 'Is that your book? Your Koran?'
'Yes, it is', says Muhammad, 'That is the Quran and you are most welcome to read it. Go ahead.'
'No, that's OK. Not now.' says Yusuf back. 'Well, anytime you are ready, it's for you when ever you want', says Mohamed as he goes on to the backroom of the store.
Yusuf then moves slowly over to the counter to get a closer look at this strange book and notices how beautiful it is and a bit heavy too, he says as he lifts it above the counter.
'It couldn't hurt just to take a look inside'Â he thought to himself, 'But just to make sure, I ask God to protect me from the devil or anything evil while I examine this book.' (sounds like Muslims about to recite from the Quran).
Slowly he lifted the cover and turned it over, to reveal - Â - (nothing?) What? Ok, so what is this all about. Turn another page and then another. All blank, nothing on them. Finally, he comes to some words, but it appears to be the END OF THE BOOK?? And the page numbers are over 1,000+.
'Looks like they printed it backwards', thinks Yusuf to himself, 'Oh my, the numbers are backwards going down as you turn the pages'.
(Arabic and Hebrew read from right to left, not like English books which read from left to right. And of course the pages of the Hebrew or Arabic Bible start from the opposite side of English).
'Let me turn it over and see what is on the backside (meaning the front of the Arabic Quran)' says Yusuf to himself.
Sure enough, after a couple of title pages, the Quran begins with chapter Fatihah (The Opening).Â
Yusuf begins to read the top line - 'In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.' - 'That's really nice..' thinks Yusuf to himself as he reads the next line; 'All praise and thanksgiving to the Lord of the worlds' (very nice), 'The All Gracious, The All Merciful, Ruler on the Day of Judgment. You only to we worship, You only we ask for direction. Guide us on the Straight Path, the path of those who have your favor - and not the path of those who have your wrath, nor those who are lost and go astray.'
'Now that is really nice and makes a lot of sense too,' says Yusuf as he begins to trun the next page'.
Â 'Hmmm,'Â he was thinking,Â 'What if I just read a little bit more...'Â But then he remembered the warning of the preacher . .
'WAIT!' - he thinks to himself, 'I READ THEIR BOOK' - Oh NO!" Quickly he puts down the book, closes it up and moves swiftly away.
'I read their book! I read their book! Oh my, I read their book!' he was thinking in his head, 'What have I done? I don't want to get a demon!'
Yusuf made a big mistake in his thinking about -
Islam, the Muslims and the Quran!
But then something amazing began to happen to him and to his whole family...