Al Salamu 'Alaykum.The following is an interview that the famous Pakistani Cricketer Muhammad Yusuf gave after reverting to the Din al Fitrah viz Islam and giving up the name Yusuf Youhana.
The True Call: Assalam Alaykum Brother Yousuf.
Yousuf: Walikum Assalam
The True Call: Can you tell us about your childhood, how and where you spent it?
Yousuf: I spent my Childhood in Railway Colony and have been playing cricket since then, and even now I am doing the same. This is how I spent my childhood
The True Call: What was the importance of Religion during your early days? Where did you gain your religious education?
Yousuf: There was no such thing as Religious education. I used to go to Church on some Sundays but not regularly. But later with understanding I started going every Sunday.
The True Call: How did it all start? What drew you to Islam ?
Yousuf: Since childhood all my friends were Muslims, The place where we stayed was a Muslim locality. Just as you said in the beginning, in this world there is a lot of misunderstanding about Islam. its not the fault of Non - Muslims, we Muslims are not obeying the rules of Allah or following the footsteps of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) this is the reason we are being let down all over the world. Its all our fault.
During my early days, I used to stay with some Muslims, there was no such thing in them that a person can change by looking at them. The things they used to do, even I did the same.
The True Call: What brought about this sudden change?
Yousuf: It was not all of a sudden. Most of the changes in me have come over the period of last Seven to Eight months. When i was in touch with Missionaries, these people who are fulfilling Allah's will and the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). This is the work of Prophets. They are doing such work. I have converted seeing them. They never asked me to convert and become a Muslim. They practice Islam, seeing them many people accept Islam. That time i had gone to play one day cricket, I met a jew who had accepted islam in 1970 / 75 This missionary congregation had gone to California, America. that person converted seeing thier practises.
The True Call: Despite the bad propaganda against Islam. People are still accepting Islam
Yousuf: It is not their fault. It is all our fault. The fault of the Muslims. This is not their fault it is our fault. This is an Islamic country but a person coming from outside he cannot distinguish it as an Islamic country. It is our fault, if we follow Prophet's Sunnah then I feel, that nobody would need to point a finger at the Muslims and say that they are like this or like that.
The True Call: What did you find special about Islam, what appealed you to take this big decision?
Yousuf: I am still new to Islam and learning things. But those people who have inspired me, made me realise that Islam is a complete way of life. It teaches peace, wishing good for everyone we meet, ethics, code of conduct, being good to others, caring for others all the time.
The Missionaries spend their money, their time; they leave their household and travel to invite others to the way of Allah.
This has been the work of prophets. As Muhammad (PBUH) is the last prophet and there is no other prophet to come, so its our job, we Muslims have to call others to the way of Allah. But we sit back at homes. We do not believe in Allah completely, we follow our own way, we decide for ourselves and think we can make things happen, but the fact being that nothing happens without the will of Allah.
The True Call: In the light of recent chaos where there are strikes and protests happening, what according to you should be the stand of Muslims in this scenario?
Yousuf: We have to maintain peace. Protests are necessary, but protests should be carried out peacefully. But we need to rectify ourselves first. Are we leading the lives of true Muslims? Are we leading lives in accordance with the rules set by Allah and the ways taught by Muhammad (PBUH)? We first need to evaluate these. Until we rectify ourselves, others will surely make fun of us.
The True Call: How difficult was the decision? What was the family's reaction to it?
Yousuf: Well, family did react, they were against my reversion. I was speculative that my family members would be angry with me. But the broader thought was, that this world is not our main goal. Success in this world is not the true success, and the failure in this world is not the true failure. Since everyone has to leave the world. The biggest truth in this world is death, and the biggest deception is life.
The True Call: What was your wife's initial reaction when you broke the news of your reversion?
Yousuf: I did not tell her that I have become a Muslim, rather I told her that I am doing a couple of things which in turn are giving me peace and am feeling nice about it. I asked her to go the place where Islamic education is held, and told her if you find anything that is good in it, you can embrace it. Because, there is no compulsion in Islam. Islam has not spread by violence, Islam has spread by love and affection. It has spread for the betterment of humankind. It helps in purifying the thoughts of people so that they get close to Allah.
The True Call: Who deserves the credit of helping you realise this truth? Who played this important role?
Yousuf: I think the people fulfilling Allah's will and following Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), I have come seeing them like Saeed Anwar and many others who are practicing this.
The True Call: MashaAllah ! Pakistani team seems inclined towards Islam as well What brought about this change?
Yousuf: For this very reason... since 8 years I am in Pakistani team but I did not see....
The True Call: What brought about this change?
Yousuf: For this very reason.. for this very reason.. Because of their concern, these people not only in
The True Call: What suggestions do you want to give to people, who want to learn the Truth about Islam, but due to some pressures they are afraid. What message do you want to give to them. Is it really a difficult decision?
Yousuf: Actually I have also felt this fact that and also the wise agree that instead of making a Non Muslim a Muslim it is better to make the Muslims Muslim, because making a Non Muslim a Muslim is not difficult. Because in other religions you do not find this much Peace. Because I have come from another faith, where you do not find this much of peace. So it was easy for me to enter this faith. Because of the family there were a few obstacles. But if you see the reality, Islam is the truth and Islam is the true religion.
It is not difficult for a Non Muslim to enter the fold of Islam but to make a Muslim a Muslim, now this is a difficult task.
The message from me to my brothers is: Obey the orders of Allah and adhere to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). It is not difficult to convince a Non Muslim to become a Muslim.
The True Call: When you were a Christian, What impression did you have of the Muslims?
Yousuf: Seeing the true Muslims one would realise that, Yes! this is a religion.
True Muslims; seeing whom I became a Muslim.
Who obey the orders of Allah and adhere to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
From them it appeared to me that this is a religion.
That this is the true religion.
And this is from Allah.It is not at all a difficult task. It is we who have made it difficult for ourselves.
We just have to correct ourselves.
If this thought appears that "We have to correct ourselves".
I personally feel everything will be fine on its own.
When I am correct then I will find you good.
If I myself am not correct then I will not find you good.We should correct ourselves.
The True Call: What are your future plans? Where do you see yourself Ten years from now
Yousuf: If you are talking with respect to Islam then nobody knows about his future. I would like to see myself in Islam
How much life Allah has granted me I will make an effort to spend it in the way of Allah.
The True Call: Thank you very much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to speak to us.
Yousuf: Jazakh Allah Khair.