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Thursday, July 25, 2019

Revert Experiences: A Solo Journey to Islam after Hearing the Call to Prayer (Adhan)


Revert experiences are always unique. I have so far shared many such experiences and personal accounts, but most of these have been from inspiration from others or even with a will to contesting Islam, reverts finding truth instead and coming under the fold of Islam. But today I came to a personal account wherein one Irish man reverted to Islam all by himself - no motivation or no mentor to lead him to Islam but his personal study of the Holy Qur'an.

For Alan Rooney from Scotland, it all started from listening to the call of prayer, Adhan, while on holidays in Turkey. He had otherwise never met a Muslim in his life but the magic of truth embedded in the words he heard of a unknown language still mesmerized him and invoked in him to know about this mysterious religion.
"For me, it all started when I heard the call to prayer from a local mosque while on a beach holiday in Turkey. It woke something up inside me, and inspired me to begin a spiritual quest."
So once back home, he bought a copy of the Holy Qur'an and started his solo journey to Islam. "While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on," says Alan.

The more he read the Qur'an, more scared he became for the Qur'an was talking back and telling Alan who he really was and how could he embark upon a spiritual journey which could lead him to the real truth. "I knew that I could stop reading the Qur’an and halt the process at any time, but I also knew that would mean giving up something really important. And I knew what the end result of this process would be: I would be a Muslim." 





So he kept up with the reading and like any inquisitive non Muslim was always on the lookout for a catch, a spill or something vague that could deter him from further pursuits. But the more he read, the more clear his vision became. All the time wondering:
"The difficult part in all of this was wondering who I would become. Would I become strange, dress differently, speak differently in the eyes of others? What would my family, friends and workmates think of me? Most importantly, what would I think about myself? Would I like who I became?"
But his journey continued, praying a lot for himself to come out successfully. And then he started searching for revert experiences on the net, but every account was a different account, as I mentioned earlier and as can be read from many such experiences I have already shared,
I would spend time conducting searches online, looking for the stories of people who had gone through this experience themselves. Nothing ever seemed to quite fit the bill - each person’s journey, of course, is unique. It is good to know, however, that others have gone down this same path as you. Put simply, I turned to these resources when I became afraid I’d be seen as an oddball. 
But even then he continued his journey for the next 18 months on his own, questioning himself of new things he was learning both by reading the Qur'an and reading the revert experiences. All the time asking himself "If something doesn’t feel right to you, then it’s a clear indication that it’s not for you. You have to listen carefully to your intuition and your heart."

And by then, he was already offering daily five prayers and unknown to him he had become a Muslim. "After those 18 months, however, I considered myself a Muslim. I was praying five times a day, fasting for Ramadan, and eating and drinking only what was considered acceptable according to the teachings of the Qu’ran."

And then he went to a small mosque in his town one day and knocked. He knocked at the mosque door, but in fact he knocked at Allah's door to open him his heart to Islam. The Muslims in the mosque didn't know how to accommodate him as he could not clearly tell them why he was there. But he was accepted from the very beginning - but there was still lot to learn. 
"What is Islam and how do you divorce that religion from somebody’s culture? It’s important to point out that it’s Islam you have to accept, rather than any cultural specification from out in the world. You always retain the freedom to define your own identity, so long as you stay true to the written tenets of the Qu’ran."
A happy Alan Rooney as middle-aged Scottish Muslim

His quest to continue to learn more about Islam finally gave him strength,to take that ultimate decision of his life: Taking shahadah and coming under the fold of Islam. Alhamdolillah. Now Alan is a practicing Muslim and is too happy with his new identity as a devout Muslim.

End Note: On another forum, I usually come across questions about Islam and have been interacting with a 70 years old Christian who claims to have read the Holy Qur'an three times and yet his hate against Islam is yet to diminish and he continues to take out small points that could help him to point a score against Islam. And while trying to appease him and provide him answers to his questions, I continue to think that look here is a man who is not finding the truth becasue his heart is sealed and he is reading Qur'an with a closed heart only to be little Islam. But there are many like Alan who instantly find the truth in Islam and are attracted to it right from outset. This is the power of Islam for it trickles down into a humble heart easily but stubborn and closed hearts are deprived of this blessing.

Photo | Source
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