Dr. Jeffrey Lang was born in Roman Catholic Family in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1954. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Kansas, one of the biggest universities in the United States. He started his religious Journey when he was very young and he spent is first 18 years in Catholic schools, which left him with many unanswered questions.
“Like most kids back in the late 60s and early 70s, I started questioning all the values that we had at those times, political, social and religious,”
“I rebelled against all the institutions that society held sacred, including the Catholic Church.”
When he reached the age of 18, Lang had become a full-fledged atheist.
“If there is a God, and He is all merciful and all loving, then why is there suffering on this earth?
Why does not He just take us to heaven? Why create all these people to suffer?”
Such were the questions that came up in his mind in those days.
When he was a young lecturer in mathematics at San Francisco University, Lang found his religion where God is finally a reality. He was introduced to the religion by few of his Muslim friends at university.
“We talked about religion. I asked them my questions, and I was really surprised by how carefully they had thought out their answers,” Lang said.
Dr. Lang met Mahmoud Qandeel, a Saudi student who was very prominent in his class. Qandeel answered his questions about medical research in perfect English and with great self assurance.
Together the professor and the student went to all the glittering places where “there was no joy or happiness, only laughter.” Yet at the end, Qandeel surprisingly gave him a copy of the Holy Quran and some Islamic Books.
Lang started to Read Quran by his own and also his way to the student-run prayer hall at the university. He says he surrendered without much effort. He was conquered by the Quran easily when read first two chapter of Quran and this encounter was fascinating.
“Painters can make the eyes of a portrait appear to be following you from one place to another, but which author can write a scripture that anticipates your daily vicissitudes?… Each night I would formulate questions and objections and somehow discover the answer the next day. It seemed that the author was reading my ideas and writing in the appropriate lines in time for my next reading. I have met myself in its pages…”
Lang says he performs the salah five times a day regularly which makes his bond stronger with the Allah and finds much spiritual satisfaction. He finds the Fajr (pre-dawn) prayer as most as one of the most beautiful and moving rituals in Islam.
Responding to the question that how he was captivated by the Quran when the recitation of Quran is in Arabic, which is totally unknown to him, he responds; “Why is a baby comforted by his mother’s voice?” He said the reading the Quran provided him a special deal and strength and comfort in his difficult times. From there on, faith became matter of practice for Lang’s spiritual growth.
On the other hand, Lang pursued a career in mathematics. He received his master’s and doctoral degrees from Purdue University. Lang said that he had always been fascinated by mathematics. “Math is logical. It consists of using facts and figures to find concrete answers,” Lang said.
“That is the way my mind works, and it is frustrating when I deal with things that do not have concrete answers.” He said that it is hard for a religious person to try the ideas of religion with critical thinking and testing the factual merits but only followers of Islam enjoy the freedom of questioning and analyzing the the faith This is reason he Islam appealed to his reasoning mind.
As faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association, Lang said he viewed himself as the bridge between the universities and their Muslim students. He holds Islamic lectures after approval from the universities . “The object of being their faculty advisor is to help them get their needs met as far as adjusting to the American culture and to procedures of the university. They appreciate the opportunity to have misconceptions corrected,” he said.
Lang is author to several Islamic books which are best sellers among the Muslim community in the US. “Even Angels ask; A Journey to Islam in America”. is one of his famous book which Dr. Lang shares with his readers the many insights that have unfolded for him through his self discovery and progress within the religion of Islam.