ALOR SETAR (Bernama): A former triad member never imagined that a brief encounter with a stranger named Adam would open the way and eventually his heart to embracing Islam.
Abdul Rahman Abdullah, 38, formerly Chee Yin Wei, said the short meeting took place in July last year, during a period of uncertainty when he was feeling down and helpless.
"I was feeling stressed and down with marriage and financial problems, as well as from my involvement with gangsterism, so much so I suddenly found myself at the mosque grounds and met this man, Adam.
"We chatted and I poured out my woes to him.
"He then invited me to join him for the Asar prayers, and although I wasn't a Muslim then, I agreed. He then taught me how to take the prayer ablution and and then asked to just follow the prayer steps and movement, ” Abdul Rahman told reporters on Monday (Sept 9).
He said throughout the prayer, he found himself calmer than usual, and at one point while prostrating in prayer, was overcome with emotions while thinking of the wrongs and sins he had committed, which led to him to seriously think of embracing Islam.
Abdul Rahman, who once was a chef in Singapore, said he began reading more about the religion before officially embracing it two weeks later.
"On Aug 7 last year, I went to meet an Imam at a mosque in Jalan Pegawai and recited the kalimah shahadah (Islamic declaration of faith), witnessed by the mosque committee members. Alhamdulillah, I felt a sense of gratefulness for this priceless blessing, ” he said.
Abdul Rahman, who is from Tongkang Yard, here, said initially his mother was unhappy with his plan to convert, but after a series of discussions and explanations, she understood his reasons, and now even drives him to the mosque for the Friday prayers.
"I may have been someone powerful, fearful and wealthy in society before, but I've left all those behind and have chosen Islam as my pillar of faith.
"It was difficult in the beginning as friends and relatives began abandoning me once I became a Muslim.
Abdul Rahman, who has very good cooking skills, now earns a living by helping out in the catering business.
He is one of 5,800 registered Muslim converts in the state and still attends lessons at the Alor Setar chapter of the Malaysia Muslims Welfare Organisation (Perkim) and several other learning centres run by the Kedah Islamic Council (MAIK). – Bernama