Brief Bio. of Dr. Dirks:
He graduated from Harvard with Masters in Divinity, became a minister (deacon) of the United Methodist Church, and had a doctorate on Clinical Psychology, authoring over 60 articles in that field. His seminary education made him a biblical scholar and he excelled in his ministerial path. Internally, however, he was fighting a battle of personal integrity: a battle between 43 years of identity as a Christian versus his knowledge about the facts and the truth.
He came to realize that essentially there is no difference between him and a Muslim in belief and practice. But for 43 years “A Christian” was his identity and “giving up that label of personal identity was no easy task”. If asked whether he was a Muslim, he would offer a five-minute diplomatic lecture and would, at the end, leave the question unanswered. “I was playing intellectual word games, and succeeding at them quite nicely.” Then one day while visiting Jordan and walking on a narrow alley, he saw an elderly man coming from the opposite direction. He gave him salam and offered his hand for a hand shake, and then asked, “Muslim?”
Dr. Dirks did not know Arabic and the man knew no English. He was now fully trapped. “My choices were suddenly, unpredictably, and inexplicably reduced to just two: I could say “N’am”, i.e., “yes”; or I could say “La”, i.e., “no”. The choice was mine, and I had no other ...”
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His advice to those considering accepting Islam:
“For those contemplating the acceptance of Islam and the surrendering of oneself to Allah - glorified and exalted is He, there may well be sacrifices along the way. Many of these sacrifices are easily predicted, while others may be rather surprising and unexpected. There is no denying the existence of these sacrifices, and I don’t intend to sugar coat that pill for you. Nonetheless, don’t be overly troubled by these sacrifices. In the final analysis, these sacrifices are less important than you presently think. Allah willing, you will find these sacrifices a very cheap coin to pay for the “goods” you are purchasing.”