(part 1 of 2)
Ph.D (Law) Harvard. German sociologist and diplomat. Adopts Islam in 1980. Dr. Hofmann, who adopted Islam in 1980, was born a Catholic in Germany in 1931. He graduated from Union College in New York and completed his studies at the University of Munich, where he received his doctorate in law in 1957.
He became a scientific assistant for the reform of the federal civil process and in 1960 he received an LL.M. Degrees from Harvard Law School. From 1983 to 1987 he was director of information at NATO in Brussels. In 1987 he was sent to Algeria as German ambassador. And then in 1990 to Morocco, where he served for four years. He did Umrah (minor pilgrimage) in 1982 and Hağğ (pilgrimage) in 1992.Various key experiences led Dr. Hofmann on Islam. The first of these began in 1961 when he was posted to the German Embassy in Algeria as an attache and found himself in the midst of bloody guerrilla struggles between French troops and the Algerian National Front, which had been fighting for Algeria’s independence for eight years. There he witnessed the brutality and massacre that the Algerian population endured. Almost a dozen people were killed every day – in the execution style – just for being Arabs or for advocating independence. „I witnessed the patience and flexibility of the Algerian people in the face of extreme suffering, their overwhelming discipline during Ramadhan, their trust in victory, and their humanity in the midst of misery.“ He felt, that it was her religion that made her do it, so he started studying her religious book, the Quran. „I have never stopped reading it to this day.“
Islamic art was the second experience for Dr. Hofmann on his journey to Islam. From his youth he was attracted to art and beauty and ballet dancing. All of this was overshadowed when he became acquainted with Islamic art, which attracted him very much. Regarding Islamic art, he said: „Its secret seems to lie in the internal and universal presence of Islam as a religion in all its artistic manifestations, calligraphy, room-filling arabic ornaments, carpet patterns, mosques and residential architecture, as well as in its urban planning. I think of the brightness of the mosques, which limits all mysticism, to the democratic spirit of their architectural layout. „
“I am also thinking of the introspective quality of the Muslim palaces, their view of paradise as gardens full of shadows, fountains and streams, the complicated social and social structure of the old Islamic city centers (madinahs), which nourishes the social spirit and the transparency of the market Heat and wind and ensures the integration of the mosque and the neighboring welfare centers for the poor, schools and hostels in the market and residential complexes. What I have experienced is so wonderfully Islamic in so many places … that is the noticeable effect of Islamic harmony, Islamic way of life and the Islamic treatment of the room, which appeals to both the heart and the mind. „
Perhaps even more than that, all that put particular pressure on his search for truth was his knowledge of Christian history and its doctrines. He was fully aware that there was a fundamental difference between a Christian believer and what a history professor taught at the university. In particular, he was confused by the fact that the Church gave priority to the doctrines that „Saint Paul“ had established over Jesus. „He, who had never met Jesus, replaced the original and correct Judeo-Christian view of Jesus with his extreme christology!“ He found it difficult to accept that humanity should be burdened with „original sin“ and that God would have tortured and murdered his own son on the cross to protect His creatures. „I began to realize how monstrous, even blasphemous, it is to imagine that God could have made mistakes in His creation; that He should have been unable to do anything against the corruption that Adam and Eve presumably caused to be able to do without fathering a son just to sacrifice him in such a bloody way that God could suffer for humanity, His creation.
He came back to the basic question of the existence of God. After analyzing the works of philosophers such as Wittgenstein, Pascal, Swinburn, and Kant, he came to an intellectual belief in the existence of God. The next logical question he addressed was how God communicated with people to be led. This made him admit the need for revelations. But what does the truth contain? He found the answer to this question through his third important experience, when he read the following verses of the Quran, these verses opened his eyes. For him, clearly and unambiguously, they reject the idea of the burdens of „original sin“ and the prospect of „intercession“ by the Saints. „A Muslim lives in a world without clergy and without religious hierarchy; when he prays
(part 2 of 2)
“I started to see Islam with my own eyes, as the unadulterated, pure belief in the one and only, the true god, who does not produce and was not created, to whom nothing and nobody resembles .. Instead of the qualified deism of a tribal god and the construction of a divine trinity, the Quran showed me the most obvious, straightforward, abstract – and therefore historically most advanced – and least anthropomorphic concept of God. ”
“The ontological findings of the Quran as well as its ethical teachings impressed me because they were fundamentally plausible,“ as good as gold „, so there was no place for the slightest doubt about the credibility of Muhammad’s prophetic mission. People who understand human nature will be unable to avoid appreciating the infinite wisdom of the commandments and prohibitions of Islam that God has given man in the Quran. ”
For the near eighteenth birthday of his son in 1980, he prepared a twelve-page manuscript that contained the things he considered philosophically unquestionable. He asked a Muslim imam in Cologne named Muhammad Ahmad Rassoul to take a look at the work. After reading it, Rassoul noticed that when Dr. Hofmann believed what he wrote there, then he was Muslim! That became the case a few days later when he declared: „I testify that there is no (true) deity except God, and Muhammad is the Messenger (prophet) of God“. That was on September 25, 1980, Dr. Hofmann continued his professional career as a German diplomat and NATO officer for fifteen years after becoming a Muslim. „I did not experience any discrimination in my professional life,“ he said. In 1984, three and a half years after his conversion, the German Federal President Dr. Carl Carstens awarded him the Federal Cross of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The German government distributed his book: „Diary of a German Muslim“ to all foreign messages in the Muslim countries as an analytical tool, and professional duties did not prevent him from practicing his religion.
The former red wine connoisseur politely refused any offers to drink alcohol. As Foreign Minister, he occasionally had to organize food for foreign guests. He attended such meals in Ramadhan with an empty place setting in front of him. In 1995, he voluntarily withdrew from the State Department to devote himself to Islam.
When he discussed the bad influences that alcohol has on individual and social life, Dr. mentioned Hofmann an event from his own life that was caused by alcohol. During his colleague years in New York, he once traveled from Atlanta to Mississippi in 1951. When he was in Holy Spring, Mississippi, a vehicle suddenly appeared in front of his car that was apparently driven by a drunk driver. A serious accident happened that cost him nineteen teeth and disfigured his mouth.
After undergoing surgery on his chin and hip, the surgeon comforted him by saying, „Under normal circumstances, no one will survive such an accident. God is up to you, my friend.“ When he limped through Holy Spring after his discharge from the hospital with his „arm in a noose, a bandaged knee, an iodine-stained, sewn together lower half of the face“, he wondered what the doctor could have meant by his remark.
One day he came up with it, but much later. „Finally, thirty years later, on the day I testified of my belief in Islam, I became very aware of the true meaning of my survival!“
An opinion on his conversion:
“For some time now I have tried, with precision and brevity, to systematically put down on paper all philosophical truths that I believe can be learned without any reasonable doubt. In the course of these efforts, I realized that the typical type of agnostic is not intelligent; that man cannot escape a decision to believe; that the creation of everything that exists around us is obvious; that Islam is without a doubt the greatest harmony with reality. Then it became clear to me, not without shock, that I had grown into a Muslim step by step within myself and without realizing it. Only the last step had to be done: to formulate my conversion.
So I’m a Muslim today. I arrived.