With rumours of Muslims pressuring people across the globe to convert to Islam, a man living in the Scottish Highlands has converted to Islam – without having met a Muslim in his life.
The ‘middle-aged, white Scottish man’ claimed a sense of curiosity arose in him when he heard azaan being recited while he was on a beach holiday in Turkey.
“Back home in Inverness (a city in Scotland), I went to the local bookshop, bought a Quran and started to read. While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on.
“A lot of praying. A lot of time on my knees,” Alan Rooney wrote in the Independent.
Confessing the Quran ‘really shook’ him, Rooney said the Holy book made him realise there was a lot which he didn’t like about himself, thus decided to make changes.
Though it was his personal choice to buy the Holy Quran and read it, he felt if he stopped reading it, he would be “giving up something really important.”
“And I knew what the end result of this process would be: I would be a Muslim.”
“So I kept on reading. I read it three times, looking for the catch. But there was no catch; I was quite comfortable with everything,” wrote Rooney.
About the reservations he had initially, the Muslim convert says he was worried about people looking at him differently, including his family, friends and colleagues.
But the part, during the conversion that troubled him the most was, writes Rooney, was if he would be able to accept or adjust to the changes he was making in himself.
To find out about other people’s experiences, he read through articles in which people described their journey on the similar path as his.
“I turned to these resources when I became afraid I would be seen as an oddball.”
For a person who had no physical guidance, it took the man 18 months before he could pronounce himself Muslim.
“I was praying five times a day, fasting for Ramazan, and eating and drinking only what was considered acceptable according to the teachings of the Quran.”
“Some people take less time, some people more. And I was doing all this on my own, with no-one to help. I still hadn’t met any Muslims,” he wrote.
Determined to complete the journey he began on his own, Rooney claims his key to success was that he “questioned absolutely everything”.
“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.”
After converting, he discovered a mosque in his town.
“They were surprised to see me and didn’t know quite what to do with me at first, except to give me the mosque door combination and to welcome me to their community. I was accepted from the very beginning, however, and am now a constant within the community.”
“I am now a white, middle-aged Scottish Muslim. And happy with it.”