Ahmad (name changed) was born and raised in a Hindu family in India. He was a devout follower of his religion and believed in its teachings. However, as he grew older, he began to question certain aspects of his faith and started exploring other religions.
During his college years, he often heard his classmates who were Muslim discussing how the Vedas referred to the idea of monotheism or the belief in the unity of God.
“I was intrigued when I heard my Muslim friends mention the concept of Brahma (creator) in the Vedas. I first read the Atharva Veda, Manusmriti and later completed all four Vedas,” told Ahmad while reflecting on his journey. “I came across the phrase ‘Ekam Brahma’- One Creator. “I also wondered about the use of the word Brahma for God in the Vedas because there is no worship of any God called Brahma in Hinduism,” he added further.
One day, he encountered a Muslim man whose words he found so intriguing that he felt a desire to learn more about Islam. As he kept exploring, he was deeply moved by its teachings.
Ahmad was thus introduced to the concept of Tawheed, which is the core belief in the unity of God. “I read the Qur’an in Hindi translation and also read small books of hadith. When you see a proper belief system, it brings a sense of fulfillment to your heart,” he explained.
He found peace and solace in Islam which led him to convert to the religion and incorporate the principle of Tawheed into his daily life. He approached the local mosque and started offering 5 daily prayers with the help of a local Imam, and also performed the Shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith, in front of the Imam.
Despite being a practicing Muslim, he kept his faith a secret because he was apprehensive about how his friends & family would respond. However, after months of hiding his belief from his family, one day he was spotted by his uncle, wearing a skull cap outside a Mosque, as he returned from Friday prayers.
It took him some time to get back home that day, nervously anticipating what he was about to face,” told Ahmad while recounting his experience.
His conversion was not well-received in his family. They were staunch Hindus (Thakur) and could not bear the thought of their son converting to another religion. They tried to convince him to change his mind, but he was firm in his decision.
Despite all the pressure, Ahmad refused to renounce his faith. He found strength in his belief in Allah.
Ahmad says he was familiar with the sacrifices and struggles of Bilal (RA) (May Allah be pleased with him) and other companions of the Prophet (peace be upon him) for the sake of Islam. “I knew that it was now time for me to sacrifice”, said Ahmad.
As time went by, the situation only worsened for him. His family started torturing him mentally and physically. They would insult and abuse him, beat him, and even locked him up in a room for days.
But one day he got lucky and managed to escape his family. He sought shelter in the house of a kind-hearted Muslim who helped him relocate to a different city.
Initially, no one was accepting me as I had run away from home. Even few Muslims were skeptical, as I was not from among them,” he stated.
Shortly after his conversion, he got married to a Muslim woman. There, he started a new life and was able to practice Islam freely. Ahmad studied Islam in a Madarsa and is now an Aalim. He also has a 5 year old son named ‘Abdullah’ & a toddler daughter named ‘Ayesha’.
Sooner, not only his family, but the state authorities also got involved. He was summoned to the police station, where he was questioned and beaten up for his decision to convert to Islam.
They accused him of being involved in terrorist activities and threatened to imprison him. He was subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the officials, whenever he was called for an interrogation.
His life was in constant danger.
Though, he never gave up on his beliefs and remained steadfast in his faith. Following the involvement of police, he encountered immense difficulties in finding employment and accommodation since he left home without any documents and that he had changed his identity.
He moved to Jharkhand to study Islam at a madrasa, but they hesitated to enroll him full-time and allowed him only evening classes. Ahmad believes that despite his integration into the Muslim community, he was still seen as a threat by the community.
The police sometimes would pick him up for an inquiry. “And when Muslims see policemen, they get scared. They are cowards,” he says. Often, when he would return from a police inquiry, the madrasa and masjid wouldn’t want him to preach there anymore. Despite he became an Aalim, he felt let down by the lack of support, be it financial, spiritual, or otherwise, from the community.
“Muslims associating with revert Muslims and providing them with aid and support is usually tapped on by government authorities and they could be unfairly charged with forced conversion or allurement. Fearing this, most Muslims would refrain from providing help and support.”
It was during this time that Ahmad turned to Miles2Smile for assistance. The foundation helped him by identifying for him a work that was safe & suitable, and also catered to his expertise. Ahmad is a computer science graduate and possesses a strong technical skill set.
Miles2Smile provided Ahmad with a computer desktop system to help him set up a workspace at his home. With this computer, Ahmad is now making an income & providing for his small family of four.