We're merely a few days away from Hari Raya/Eid, which means Ramadan is coming to an end. We hope your Ramadan has been nothing but fulfilling and peaceful! We're wrapping up our Ramadan Experiences series with Ali, a 27-year-old training manager, who has been a Muslim for 12 years! ? His story of how he found Islam and how he keeps the faith despite facing difficulties, in particular, is truly a heartwarming one, which is a perfect way to end this holy month on a sweet note ?
P.S. Here are all the articles from our Ramadan Experiences Series so far!
- This Is How A SG Hijabi Powerlifter Navigates Ramadan
- Here's How My 7-Year-Old Son Fast During Ramadan
- Here's What I Learned As A First-Time Mum This Ramadan
- This SG Muslim Woman Shares What’s It Like Fasting With A Chronic Condition
- This Mother In SG Shares How Her Son With Autism Approaches Ramadan
- This Syrian-American Student Shares His First Time Fasting In Madinah
- This Singaporean Chinese Convert Shares His Experience On Finding Himself Through Islam
- This Singaporean Student Shares Her First Time Fasting In Melbourne
- This SG Chinese Muslim Hopes To Help Fellow Converts Navigate Through Their Journey In Islam
- Our Non-Muslim Colleague Tries Fasting For A Day And Here's Her Experience
Converting To Islam At A Young Age Of 15: Ali's Story
1. What motivated you to convert to Islam?
He was second for Musabaqah Tilawatil Quran when he was 19. Credit: Courtesy of Ali
It was in the month of Ramadan, that I was attending some prayers in a temple, next to Masjid Jamea Chulia. While I was passing by the mosque, I was approached by a friendly imam. He was giving out some brochures about Islam. While chatting with him, he invited me to the mosque to join him & the congregation for iftar. I was totally amazed by his hospitality. Despite being a Hindu, he invited me to join him for iftar. After having our meals, he said he'll be heading off for his Maghrib prayer and told me that I can take my leave. However, out of curiosity, I stayed behind to see how Muslims pray.
When I heard the imam reciting Surah Al Fatiha, something penetrated my heart & made me want to embrace Islam. After the prayer, the imam saw me & asked me why have I not left for the temple. I was so curious & asked him what was he reciting in the first part of his prayer. He told me its Surah Al-Fatiha, the opening chapter of the Quran. I explained to him how I felt upon listening to his recitation, and that I would like to become a Muslim. He was happy to hear my decision, and invited me to the main prayer hall & guided me to recite the shahadah in front of the congregation after Isyak prayers ?
2. What are some difficulties you faced when you first converted?
In my early days as a Muslim, while my family wasn't aware of my conversion, I used to hide in the kitchen to have my sahur while everyone are asleep. I had to pray in the dark, or sometimes even at the staircase so that my family doesn't wake up and see me. I lost many close friends who were not able to accept the changes in me. It wasn't easy to overcome the moment when my friends didn't like me becoming a Muslim. However, I kept telling myself that I have Allah and that is sufficient for me. I started seeking lots of Islamic knowledge. I felt closer to Allah when I started learning more & more Islamic knowledge ?
4. What keeps your faith strong despite these difficulties?
Credit: Courtesy of Ali
Verily, Allah tests whom he loves. Hence, it was a pleasure to face all these challenges knowing that Allah's love for me is greater than the challenge ?
5. Since Ramadan is coming to an end, many converts, especially first-time converts, might have some worries or concerns about celebrating Eid/Hari Raya. What are some tips you would like to share with them?
Credit: Courtesy of Ali
My first Eid was a pretty simple one. I went to the mosque in the morning for my Eid prayers. However, I didn't have many Muslim friends in my early days as a Muslim. I would usually go back home after the Eid prayers & rest throughout the day & prep myself to fast the following 6 days of Syawal. I understand that many converts may be alone on Eid, but my teachers used to advise me that it is indeed bliss to be alone, for there is none, but Allah with me. When you apply this hikmah in your life, you'll overcome loneliness ☺️
Ali has made a video sharing some tips for new converts celebrating Eid this year, so stay tuned!?