MALACCA: Motivational speaker Muhammad Fadhil Husin has a compelling tale to tell about his unsavoury past.
He ended up in juvenile detention when he was merely 12, after he assaulted an older boy during a gang fight.
That was not the end of it.
“I dropped out of school. I got into drugs and fights. I got in and out of jail so many times, I have lost count.
“The last crime I committed was assaulting a police officer two years ago,” the Singaporean said in an interview here.
In between all that, he got a series of tattoos.
The turning point came about a year ago when Muhammad Fadhil, 29, had a dream.
“In the dream, I was having a good time hanging out with some friends at the beach when a huge wave suddenly appeared. I ran and shouted at my friends to run.
“But when I turned around moments later, my friends and the wave were gone. And I was jolted awake,” he recounted.
Muhammad Fadhil, who is known as Abang Long Fadhil among his friends and supporters, said he did not leave home for a month after the dream, fearing he was going to die.
“Then one day, a friend asked me to go to the mosque with him. It hit me because it dawned on me then that I would die anyway.
“I started to change and gradually took the journey of faith and seek God,” he said.
He also joined the Jemaah Tabligh Muslim missionary group in Singapore.
These days, Muhammad Fadhil would still get glances from strangers for his tattoos.
“I know my tattoos are scary and intimidating for some people, but I am not going to bother what people say as long as I am sincere in wanting to be a better man.
“Bygones are bygones,” said Muhammad Fadhil, who has become a frequent speaker at motivational and religious talks in Malaysia.
He is closer to his family now, he said, adding that he is even more determined to lead a spiritual life after a near-death encounter.
He had a close shave last Friday in an accident near Ayer Keroh along the North-South Expressway when he was on his way to Skudai, Johor, to attend an event with two friends.
“Our car crashed into another car. It skidded and turned turtle. I had cuts on my head and hands while my friends injured their arms.
“I managed to crawl out by kicking the rear windscreen before pulling them out,” he said.
As for his love life, he spoke little except to say that an engagement to a woman did not work out.
“Perhaps things were not meant to be. God’s love has no boundary and I believe that in Him I will find the true love of my life,” he added.