Dr. Laurence B. Brown (1959- ) graduated from Cornell University College of Arts and Sciences, Brown University Medical School, and George Washington University Hospital residency program. He is a retired Air Force officer, the medical director and chief ophthalmologist of a major eye center in the Middle East, an ordained interfaith minister, and the author of four books of comparative religion
His country home was crowded with the full array of comforts and toys which clutter the lives of those preoccupied with materialism.
In panic and stress, people instinctively pray directly to God, without intermediary or intercessor.
However, when relieved of their distress, people frequently return to their previously held theological formulas, no matter how strained or bizarre
All converts feel God saved them, and that the miracle of their salvation justifies their beliefs.
But there is only One God, so it makes sense that there can only be one religion that is true in all aspects.
Dr. Laurence B Brown says “In 1990, I was in the last year of my ophthalmology residency at George Washington University hospital in Washington, DC. My second daughter was born October tenth. To my great dismay, she was a dusky, gunmetal blue from the chest to the toes. Her body was not getting enough blood, and the cause was found to be a coarctation of the aorta — a critical narrowing in the major artery from the heart. Needless to say, I was shattered. Being a doctor, I understood she needed emergency surgery, with a poor chance of long-term survival.
A consultant pediatric cardio-thoracic surgeon was called from across town, and I left him in the neonatal intensive care unit to examine my daughter. With no companion but my fears, I went to the hospital prayer room and fell to my knees.
A product of Christian-American heritage dating back to 1677, nonetheless this was the first time that I even partially recognized God. I say partially, for even then I prayed the prayer of a skeptic, “Oh, God, if you are there . . .” I promised that if God existed, and if He saved my daughter and then guided me to the religion most pleasing to Him, that I would follow.
I returned to the neonatal ICU roughly fifteen minutes later, and was shocked when the consultant told me that my daughter would be fine. True to his assessment, within the next two days her condition resolved miraculously, without medicine or surgery. She grew to be a perfectly normal child.
Now, as I said before, I am a doctor. And although the consultant provided a medical explanation for my daughter’s miraculous recovery, I simply didn’t buy it.
For the next few years I tried to fulfill my side of the bargain, but failed. I studied Judaism and a large number of Christian sects. I felt I was on the right track, close to the truth but not upon it.
I never fully embraced any specific Christian formula, for I could not reconcile the differences between Christian canon and Jesus’ teachings. Eventually I was introduced to the Holy Qur’an and Martin Lings’s biography, Muhammad, His Life Based on the Earliest Sources.
During my years of study, I had encountered the Jewish scriptures’ reference to three prophets to follow Moses.
I had concluded that John the Baptist and Jesus Christ were two, but that left one. In the New Testament Jesus Christ spoke of a final prophet to follow. When I found the Holy Qur’an teaching the oneness of God, as both Moses and Jesus Christ had taught, I become convinced Muhammad was the predicted final prophet. Suddenly, everything made sense:
The continuity in the chain of prophethood and revelation, the One-ness of Almighty God, and the completion of revelation in the Holy Qur’an. It was then that I became Muslim.
Pretty smart, hunh? No, I would err greatly if I believed that I figured it out for myself. One lesson I have learned is that there are a lot of people more intelligent than I who have not learned the truth of Islam. It is not a matter of intelligence but of enlightenment for
“…whoever believes in Allah — He will guide his heart” (TMQ 64:11), “Allah chooses for Himself whom He wills and guides to Himself whoever turns back [to Him]” (TMQ 42:13), “And Allah guides whom He wills to a straight path.” (TMQ 24:46)
So I thank Allah that He chose to guide me, and I attribute that guidance to one simple formula: recognizing our Creator, praying to Him and to Him alone, and sincerely seeking His guidance. And whom He guides, none can lead astray.
All the Prophets have visited according to the time and circumstances. They have made decisions according to the circumstances by Allah’s command.
And they have changed the laws by Allah’s command.