I started learning Duas and Ziyarats of Shia. Reading those Ziyarats made me feel as if I was actually living around them.

Interview with Fatimah Hoshino

In the name of Allah the most beneficent the most merciful

I am Fatemeh Hoshino from Japan who converted to Islam with the guide of Allah. I was born in a Buddhist family with parents who have good moral value

I came to know that the general ideas and images about this religion in my society were not actually true. I found that Islam is a highly logical religion that covers all areas of human life. I was also thrilled that the Holy Quran that was sent 1400 years ago contains as many as 750 verses related to natural science all of which the modern knowledge has not yet caught up with. I thought that this verse can be key to world peace; O Mankind! We created you  from a single (pair of) a male and a female and made you into nations and tribles, and you may know each other. Verily, the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous  of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted. (49:13)

  In those days, I was excited adopting my new way of life a, I came to know about the divisions among Muslims and its background. I also came to understand that there are some verses of the Quran that are not precisely translated in the Japanese translation and some English translations that I was referring to. Just two examples, “Only Allah is your Wali and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay Zakat while they bow” (5:55) is wrtiten as “ … and pay Zakat and they prostrate. “ “O you who believe! When you rise up to prayer, wash your faces and hands as far as the elbows, and wipe your heads and  your feet to the ankles. “ (5:6) is written as” …. wipe your head and wash your feet to the ankles”. I found more like them.. I was taught that “the best Ummah” mentioned by Allah is the companions of the Prophet so respect and follow them. But it was clear from the Quran that there were his companions who did wrong and bother the Prophet till the extent that some of them were condemmed by Allah.

About the election of Saqifa, many Muslims proudly say that the Islamic society had democracy from 1400 years ago. But I was doubtful when I thought that those prominent companions of the Prophet, namely Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman were occupied with the election while Ali was busy with the funeral of the Greatest Prophet Muhammad. Was the election that urgent? Weren’t they his close people? Didn’t they love him? If the election was a valid one, Ali too must have had right to join it.

1. Do the Shia have a different Quran? No. It was solved very easily.I went on a Shia site and read their Quran by myself. I also learned that the famous Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim took Hadiths from Shia narrators. It must have been impossible if they had had a different Quran.

2. Do the Shia worship stones? No. I learned that they just prostrate on a small block of dust, and there is a hadith even in Sahih of Al-Bukhari that the Prophet was seen prostrating in mud and water.

3. Do the Shia pray only 3 times a day? No. They pray 5 daily prayers but they consider it to be permissible to combine Zohr and Asr, Maghreb and Esha. It solved my question why only 3 different timings are mentioned in darkness of the night and the morning recitation; for indeed the morning recitation is witnessed. (17:78) I also read several Hadiths that the Prophet would combine prayers without fear, travel or rain.

4. What is the truth about Ghadir khumm? Which “Thaqalayn” is the

real one; “the Book of Allah and my Sunna” or “the Book of Allah and

my Ahl al-Bayt”? Is it true or not that the Prophet didn’t appoint a successor and that he left the matter to the hands of the people after him? I witnessed many bitter arguments among people and it seemed like there was no end.

Anyway, I started my own examination, first with “the book of Allah And my Sunnah” Version. Surprisingly, I found that none of their six Sahih books has it although many people mention it as the true one. All the hadiths of this version suffer from incomplete chains of narration and contain narrators that are unanimously considered to be very unreliable.

Then, I examined the “the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt” version. I learned that it is narrated over 30 companions and recorded by a large number of scholars of both groups. I also learned that the Prophet articulated who his Ahl al-Bayt are and their status in many occasions and that there are many verses in Quran in praise of them, which those wrong translations and added words had prevented me from understanding. Furthermore, the relation of the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt is that the one explains the other to guide people,but the book of Allah and my Sunnah both needs to be explained and an enormous amount of knowledge and the sheer submission to the will of Allah and His Prophet are required. I doubted that those companions with sins and mistakes were able to do such a mission.

Moreover, “the book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt” is recorded in many Books of both groups. To be honest, it is after I started this research that I learned what the Prophet said at Ghadir Khumm after his Farewell Pilgrimage. I learned for the first time that at Ghadir Khumm the Prophet Muhammad officially declared to all Muslims by the order of Allah that it is wajib for those who follow Allah and His Prophet to take Ali as Maula.The Prophet also mentioned the 12 Imams to follow, and I didn’ t know that. I became a Muslim, didn’t know the half of Thaqalayn nor Imams and was going to die a death of ignorance. I was deeply sad and even resentful. Why do they hide it? Why do they cause lots of hatred and bloodshed because of that? Why do they prevent people from entering the Gate of the City of the Knowledge and getting on the Ark of Noah? Allah! Forgive us and guide us and mercy us, and make us follow to the Prophet who didn’t require anything from Muslims except their love for his close kin.

I started learning Duas and Ziyarats of Shia. Reading those Ziyarats made me feel as if I was actually living around them made me feel as if I was actually living around them. What a comfort it was for me who was living apart from brothers

and sisters in faith alone while confronting prejudice and difficulties in my own society.With the understanding of Ahl al-Bayt, I came to understand the Quran much more than I could before. I noticed a column spiral exists

That connects Allah, His Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt. When I pour love to Allah, it flows down to the Prophet and then Ah al-Bayt, and when I pour my love to Ahl al-Bayt, it multiplies and circles up accompanied With my gratitude toward His mercy and blessing to the Prophet and to Allah.

October 25, 2021