In 1977, when he first made contact with us, he called himself Omar Amin Szwarc. He joined the Missions Islamic Correspondence Course, and with his proficiency in Arabic and English, in addition to the Polish and German languages, he continued his studies of Islam; until he acquired a deep knowledge of various Islamic subjects. Sometime later he changed his name to Hussein Amin Schwartze.
He is of German origin, and he felt suffocated in the communist Poland which had put insurmountable restrictions on foreign travel. Finally when communism began crumbling in that country, he went to Nuremberg which was former West Germany.
He regularly writes letters to us.
The following is a combination of Mr. Hussein Amin Schwartze's two letters. The.first one was written from Lodz (Poland) in 1977, and the latest one is from Nuremberg (Germany) in October, 1998.
Before going any further, I would like to introduce myself to you.
My official name is Rajuhold Heuryk Szwarc and my adopted Muslim name is Omar Amin. I am 31 years old (in 1977). I became a Muslim in 1962 when I was only 17 years old. I was brought up a Protestant, but from a very early age I had doubt in the Christian teachings. I regularly attended the church every Sunday. However, the services and ceremonies seemed to be only theatrical acts. I always had a strong faith in God, but I could not find Him in the church. I was thirsty for God, the only Creator and Sustainer of all mankind. I was searching for the truth in other religions such as Buddhism, Judaism and Hinduism, yet no one could give me the right direction towards the truth. During those days, fortunately, I came across a book on Islam. I found that only Islam teaches the perfect Unity of God. The Shahada: found in that book exerted a miraculous influence upon my God-searching soul. Since then I was determined to know much more about Islam.
In Lodz, there were a number of Muslim students from Muslim countries. I made contact with them and asked them to tell me about Islam. I am sorry to say that many of them did not prove themselves sincere in practicing their faith after arriving in a nonMuslim country. Nevertheless, I was fortunate to meet some really good Muslims who taught me about Islam and how to say prayers.
Thus, knowing Islam better, I convinced myself that I found the God I was searching for. That is, Allah, the only God, and I also found the truth through His teachings revealed upon His last Messenger, Nabi Muhammad (s.a.w).
At that time I came to know Sheikh Omar Al-Muhtady Schuberth of Germany, who had been at that time the President of the Islamic Community at Hamburg. Although he sent some pamphlets: "Islam" by Maulana S. Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, "The Living Imam': "Muharram': "God of Islam" by Sayed Saeed Akhtar Rizvi, he did not write me that he was a Shia Ithna-'Ashari. Knowing only Sunni Muslim students in Lodz, I became a Sunni.
Around 1976 I came to know a Muslim brother, Mr. Yousuf Safar Abol Muhammad Hasan, a student from Kuwait with whom I had long talks on the teachings of Shia Ithna-asheri. One of the topics had been the question of the succession in leading the Islamic community after the death of the last Messenger of Allah (s.a.w). He explained to me that just as the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (s.a.w) himself had been infallible so must also his successors. And he drew my attention to the words of Allah Taala:
إِنَّمَا يُرِيدُ اللَّهُ لِيُذْهِبَ عَنْكُمُ الرِّجْسَ أَهْلَ الْبَيْتِ وَيُطَهِّرَكُمْ تَطْهِيرًا
"Verily Allah intends to keep from you (every kind of) uncleanness, O you the People of the House, and purify you (with) a thorough purification " (33:33).
He also quoted the tradition according to which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) said among other things in the sermon at Ghadir Khum; " ...I feel that I am going to be recalled and I have to return. I am leaving with you two Weighty Things. One of them is greater than the other -- the Book of Allah the Exalted, and my Progeny, who are my Ahl al-Bayt. See how you behave towards them after me. These two will not part from each other till they both reach me at the pool of Kawthar''. I had no alternative but to accept these proofs of the Truth of the teachings of Shia Ithna-asheri faith and thus I became Shia Ithna-asheri. Alhamduli-llah.
That brother from Kuwait taught me also how to say prayers in accordance with the Shia way. Thus, I became the first and the only Shia Muslim in Poland.
In June, 1974 C.E. I finished Oriental Studies at the University of Warsaw from where I obtained my M.A.
From your pamphlet "Fast" by Maulana S. Saeed Akhtar Rizvi I learnt that you run Islamic Correspondence Courses for Primary and Secondary levels. I would like to join such Courses Of Islam as propounded by Shia Ithna-'Asheri sect.
(The Light, April, 1977)