Intro

We wanted to post the official conversion story of Atif Mian.  He doesn’t give lots of details however, he seems to have gotten disgusted with Islam after the attacks of 9-11-01, and then converted to Ahmadiyya in haste.  We have copy and pasted the story from ““”””By the Dawn’s Early Light: Short Stories by American Converts to Islam By the Dawn’s Early Light: Short Stories by American Converts to Islam First published in the United States of America in 2009 Published by: Majlis Khuddamul Ahmadiyya USA An Auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community 15000 Good Hope Road Silver Spring, Maryland 20905 USA””” (see page 90).

Atif Mian doesn’t give any proper reason for leaving Islam.  He has been totally silent on Jesus in India, the eclipses and many other classic irregularities with Ahmadiyya.  Just like Dr. Salam.

https://archive.org/stream/ShortStoriesAmericanConvertsToIslam/Short-Stories-American-Converts-to-Islam_djvu.txt

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https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/02/10/eye-witnesses-states-that-ahmadis-has-revolvers-during-the-rabwah-incident-pakistan-times-june-19th-1974/

https://ahmadiyyafactcheckblog.com/2018/07/12/mirza-nasir-ahmad-claims-that-he-was-not-in-rabwah-during-the-train-attacks-of-may-29th-1974/

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The full story 

Atif Mian 
Chicago, Illinois 



"The greatest gift of Ahmadiyya teachings is that they 
introduce you to the true concept and reality of God." 



I was born in Nigeria in 1974 but grew up mostly in Pakistan. Looking back 
at my life, I have to admit that I have been extremely fortunate in many ways. 
I had the most loving and caring parents who sacrificed a lot for the education 
and proper upbringing of their children. I was the youngest in my family, with 
three older sisters. So you can say I was spoiled once by my mother and three 
times by my sisters. 

I would describe our household as moderately religious. My mother 
constantly taught me the value of good morals. I remember having a sense 
from a fairly young age that I was expected to do the "right thing," i.e. tell the 
truth, respect elders, not be extravagant, and so on. My parents paid great 
attention towards their children's education. They commuted long distances 
for six years just so we could go to school in Lahore where education standards 
were higher. 

When I was finishing my high school, my father encouraged me to apply 
to the U.S. for college. Luckily I got admitted to MIT and joined there in the 
fall of 1993 as a freshman. Life at MIT was quite difficult in the beginning. 
Classes were tough, language was a bit foreign, and culture was very different. 
There were adjustments to be made at many levels. It was perhaps the result 
of exposure to alternative ways of life, or perhaps the natural consequence of a 
maturing mind that I began to ponder seriously about the pre-suppositions of 
life that a child grows up with. 

I had been raised as a Muslim with a strong emphasis on the belief in God. 
I had never questioned what I had been taught thus far, but this now turned out 



Short Stories by American Converts to Islam 91 

to be an uneasy compromise. Should I believe in Islam simply because fate had 
me born into a Muslim family? Why should one take religion seriously when 
its primary determinant seems to be the flip of a coin that decides which family 
one is born into? Why should one put so many constraints on life because of a 
God that may or may not exist? 

The questions were many, but I struggled with finding acceptable answers. 
At the same time the conventional understanding of Islam seemed more and 
more intolerant and irrational to me. Muslims who advocated on behalf of 
Islam enthusiastically split hairs when it came to religious dogma, and yet 
seemed oblivious to the basic tenets of justice, tolerance and human civility. 
For example, otherwise sane looking people would actively support the idea 
that anyone who chooses to leave Islam should be condemned to death. I was 
beginning to be put off by religion. 

It was around these early years in college when I found out that an old 
friend of mine from high school, Hamid Sheikh, was an Ahmadi Muslim. I 
had known him for over eight years but never knew that he was an Ahmadi 
Muslim. My impression of Ahmadi Muslims at that time was quite negative, 
formed largely by the general social attitude towards Ahmadi Muslims in 
Pakistan. In my mind Ahmadiyya Community was some weird cult devoid of 
common sense. Therefore, when I found out that a good friend of mine was an 
Ahmadi Muslim, I was quite surprised. 

At this point, however, I was less interested in the finer details of differences 
between Ahmadiyya Islam and Sunni Islam teachings. I had enough trouble 
trying to understand religion at a basic level and did not care much about 
complicated sectarian discussions. So I badgered Hamid with some general 
questions about God, religion and the purpose of man's creation. We had 
some discussions, and Hamid gave me two books to read: Islam's Response to 
Contemporary Issues by the Fourth Khalifa, and his biography, A Man of God. 

I had been searching for a logical and humane approach towards religion 
but was disappointed with what I had found thus far. However, reading Islam's 
Response to Contemporary Issues was a totally refreshing experience. I was not 
yet ready to say that I believed in a particular religion, but I remember saying 
to myself after reading the book that if there ever were a religion worthy of 
following, it must look like the one described in that book. 

I loved the way the Fourth Khalifa approached religion. He spoke with 
the precision of a scientist. He always began with "first principles" and then 
gradually built his case through the rules of logic. There was also a deep sense 



92 BYTHE DAWN'S EARLY LIGHT 

of love, compassion and humanity in whatever he wrote or said. It is hard to 
express it in words, but I fell totally in love with his personality. 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community began to provide me with the 
answers that I had been searching for. But conviction of the heart and mind are 
two separate issues. There were always more questions that I could have asked. 
At what point do I draw the line between skepticism and belief? 

I did not know the answer to this question. I was also perturbed by the 
idea of praying for myself. How could I do that if I were not willing to call 
myself a believer? Wouldn't that be hypocritical? Even selfish perhaps? And 
then there was the chicken and the egg problem. If one needs to have faith to 
pray sincerely, and must pray sincerely to have faith, where should I begin? 

My solution to these conundrums was that I could only pray to a possible 
God. I would pray that if You are truly there then guide me to what is right 
and what is true. In my heart I already had the suspicion that the truth might 
be Ahmadiyya. Therefore, afraid that I might stay away from it because of the 
social sanctions against it, I would add that I was willing to pay whatever price 
it took to find and accept the truth. 

Over the next few years, I continued to read whatever I could on Islam 
Ahmadiyya. I did not discuss this much with others. I preferred to study on my 
own instead. The web was a great tool for me. Alislam.org, the Community's 
website, was just beginning to develop and I must have been one of its most 
voracious consumers at the time. My greatest attractions were the "Q&A" 
sessions conducted by the Fourth Khalifa, as well as his sermons. I could spend 
hours listening to him. 

While I found the message of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community very 
attractive, I was extremely repulsed by the attitude of orthodox clerics towards 
the Community. How could they lose all sense of humanity and prevent Ahmadi 
Muslims from practicing their faith in Pakistan? How could man become 
arrogant enough to decide who is a Muslim and who is not, as a matter of law? 
It was because of such attitudes of orthodox clerics that I never took them 
seriously in their allegations against the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. 

After finishing my undergraduate education at MIT, I decided to pursue a 
doctorate in Economics, also at MIT. I finished my PhD in 2001 and moved to 
Chicago to start my first job as an Assistant Professor at University of Chicago. 
While I was in Boston, I had stopped going to the local mosque for a long 
time because I could not pray behind an Imam who condoned an intolerant 
interpretation of Islam. There was an Ahmadiyya mosque near Boston but it 



Short Stories by American Converts to Islam 93 

was far and I did not have a car. So now that I had a car in Chicago, I thought I 
should look for an Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque. 

Once I found the local Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in Chicago, I began 
going for Friday prayers. I might have done so for the rest of my life without 
becoming an Ahmadi Muslim. I had already acknowledged that the Ahmadiyya 
interpretation of Islam was the only one that made sense. Why then go through 
the hassle of conversion and all the social conflicts that come along with it? 
After all, what is the line beyond which one says, "I believe"? The human mind 
is a specialist when it comes to making excuses. 

However something changed in March of 2002. 1 cannot say how and why. 
The Holy Prophet Muhammad said that the key to a person's heart is in Allah's 
hands. So one day Allah changed my heart. There is no other explanation for 
it. I felt a strong desire that I must sign the initiation form. I had to do it. There 
was no other option for me anymore. Like a kid in the candy store, I had to 
have it. 

My parents were quite unhappy at my decision to become an Ahmadi 
Muslim. This trial has been the most difficult for me since the last thing I ever 
wanted to do was to upset my parents in their old age. It is all the more difficult 
given how much they have done for me. But life ultimately owes its existence 
to God, and I pray that we may all find peace in Him. 

While there are sacrifices in the path of a convert, these are overshadowed 
by the fact that man at his core is a moral being. There is nothing more rewarding 
than being truthful to one's conscience. The greatest gift of Ahmadiyya teachings 
is that they introduce you to the true concept and reality of God. Everything 
that is pure and good is to be found in God. Therefore one can never be truly 
spiritual unless one tries to get closer to God by developing attributes that are 
in His likeness: developing compassion for humanity, being sincere, treating 
everyone with absolute justice, and saying the truth even when it may have 
negative immediate consequences. When one struggles to become better only 
to attain closeness to God, God never leaves such a person alone. This is the 
ultimate lesson of Islam Ahmadiyya and the ultimate gift for a convert. 

I have been fortunate to serve the Community in various capacities. One 
of my greatest joys has been the many friendships that I have formed through 
MKA. I have had the privilege of meeting many remarkable individuals whose 
sincerity, desire to serve humanity, and selfless dedication to work tirelessly 
for the good of others, leaves me awestruck. At a time when religion has been 
distorted to create mayhem in many parts of the world, the Ahmadiyya Muslim 
Community provides a true picture of what Islam is supposed to be.

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