Candian Muslim Dr. Ismael MacDonald: Islam is perfect but Muslims are not [Archives:2000/50/Interview]

December 11 2000
Dr. Ismael MacDonald is a Canadian Muslim living in Yemen for the past 4 years. He is married to a Canadian Muslim lady who has converted 30 years ago. He did a lot of researches in different religions before he finally converted.
After doing his doctorate in America he taught in Canada and ran several private businesses. Presently, he is the head of the National University in Taiz. He has run a group-home for disadvantaged children, established a lending libraries in small communities, built boats, developed an important business charitable foundation.
Q: Some people think that there are plots hatched against Islam and Muslims world wide, what do you think?
A: That is a very complicated issue. and i am uncomfortable with simple answers to these problems. we should unite efforts and aspire for a better tomorrow for our ummah. Muslims should strive hard to defend the dignity of their religion.
Q: Do you preach people from other religions and encourage them to convert?
A: When i was in Canada, i had the opportunity to give many speeches about Islam and i found that there was great positive interest. I believe it is important that i should struggle day and night to please Allah and perform my duty as a Muslim.
Q: What made you convert?
A: I believe in God, and i looked for a continuation of the prophetic tradition. i became satisfied with Islam. i studied about Islam and i accepted Prophet Mohammed( peace and prayers be upon him). When that happened i joined Islam.
Q: How was your societies reaction then?
A: In Canada, changing ones religion is not a significant event. Therefore, my social position wasnt affected.
Q: What kind of future cold you predict for Muslims and Islam?
A: Muslims need to recapture th e spirit of dynamism that was typical of the days of the Sahaba(time of the prophet and afterwards). If we do this, then Islam will be viewed as the real answer the worlds problems. Unfortunately, many Muslims have become passive in their approach to understanding of their religion.
Q: Which is your favorite Sourat from the Holy book?
A: My favorite sourat is Al-Ikhlas and Al-Nas. I feel that Quran is a light from Allah that shows people their way.
Q: Do the violations of Islamic rule by Muslims themselves affect your belief in Islam?
A: No, i dont expect everybody to be perfect. we are all human and i shouldnt seek perfection in others when i myself am not perfect.
but it bothers me when i am with people who say they are muslims and behave in a non islamic way. if it is possible i try and talk to them, but i am aware that i dont act in the best way either.
Q: What is your impression about Yemen and Yemenis?
A: I find that being in Yemen is an exciting opportunity to be able to use my knowledge and skills to help in the development and education of this country. Yemenis are intelligent and industrious. They want to learn and to improve themselves.
Q: Last comment?
A: We, as Muslims must adhere to what we say, what we believe. All of us together must work hard to follow our teachings of Quran and Sunna. If we do this, then most of our problems would be solved.