Somewhere in Meguro Park in Japan, a Muslim woman takes us on a Sukura tree hunt. In the midst of the park, spring touches the trees, revealing beautiful pinks, and reds. She finds Japanese imam Sheikh Ahmed Maeno.
She asks what attracted you to Islam?
Sheikh Ahmed: “I used to believe that Islam was such a fanatic horrible religion, and not worth looking at. Although I started my journey searching for the truth at the age of 14, Islam was the last thing that came to my mind, that it may be the one.”
What made that change?
Sheikh Ahmed: “The change was given by Allah through meeting and encountering a true, beautiful Muslim family in Melbourne Australia, I was 17-18. I almost had a key, and a chance to come closer to Islam. The final decision to become a Muslim was made in Japan after coming back to Japan. It was my trial to answer the call of a heavenly nature, fire, by 15 my ego, nafs awoke. My nafs wanted to know where I come from, where am I going, why am I living for? I thought I would take the religion of a Buddhist monk. No family members were religion. I never thought Islam would be the truth. During my study time in Melbourne I met the family, my first time to meet a Muslim family, they treated me nicely, kindly, generously. My heart melted. When I visited them one day, they gave me the English translation of the Quran, he said, read this book and think for yourself. This made me happy as he respected my ability to think, at 18 years old. different from his son, who wanted to show Islam was true through scientific evidence in the Quran. At that time his attitude was annoying, he was trying to persuade me, Japanese people, in general, are very fond of reading books, these people do prefer to persuade themselves, especially matters relating to religion. I came back to Japan and began to study it with my own eyes. The more I studied Islam, the more it matched as the perfect religion.”
Watch the full film here.