Every molecule of body is aching to blog for I have a story to share. An occurrence that really made my day.
But first of all, a few updates.
+I'm now back in Melbourne. It's a cold summer over here. I don't expect the weather to be like this in February. Melbourne weather is such a woman. Can't wait for autumn, my all-time favorite season, it will be my last autumn here inshaAllah.
+I am in my final year of architecture... still remember the first day I got here. The semester is commencing soon. Pray for me my friends for I'm indeed feeling very anxious about it.
So the story....
A friend and I were heading for a lunch in the city. We were walking along Swanston Street when a guy of mid 50 or maybe 60 halted us by his 'Assalamualaikum...'
He started by asking if we speak Arabic. I, who only know a few basic words considered myself don't know the language. We expected him to be a person who doesn't speak much English and needs a little help for direction or anything; (we've previously encountered many a person like that in numerous situations). However the uncle hence proceeded the conversation by asking our nationality. He expressed his happiness of meeting us thus, introduced himself as "I am a Christian".... at this point, I already speculated a few possibilities about him; (forgive me O' God) 1. He may be a Christian missionary, 2. He is a beggar. My speculations were however based on my past experience of frequently meeting such people around the city.
He then asked us a question, which left us dumbfounded for a moment.
"How do I become a Muslim?"
My friend and I looked at each other, not knowing what's the best answer to give. Thoughts and emotions flooded into my brain... I really didn't know what to say... but I knew, I got to say something.
So I asked him, if what he needed to know is a formal process like meeting the imam or finding places to learn Islam. I believe this man is an Arab, I could tell from his accent. So I thought what he meant was finding information 'about becoming' a Muslim. He then further asked...
"Do I have to go to the mosque. I want to become a Muslim. What should I do?"
So I told him, the fundamental things about becoming a Muslim is to submit to God with your heart, say with your tongue "La illa ha illallah, Muhammad rasulullah" (there's no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of God)...then you're a Muslim and must live as one.
"So I only have to say La illa ha illallah, Muhammad rasulullah, La illa ha illallah, Muhammad rasulullah" (the words sound so perfect in his Arabic tongue)
"Now I am a Muslim?"
He covered his hand over his face and said to himself. "Oh God, I am now a Muslim"
We had a little conversation after that. I believe the brother had learned a bit about Islam. He had Muslim friends which he seemed reluctant to say much when I asked about. I told him he should wash himself. Just bathing, then he can perform ablution and pray. Apparently he already learned how to pray, well technically at least. We chatted only for a few minutes. He expressed his happiness that he is now a Muslim, oh and God knows, I too was extremely delighted.
He thanked us and walked away. yeah, just like that. I didn't know what should I say or 'pesan' anything to him, I was still very much awestruck. He left us, with Assalamualaikum.
I was left speechless....then I came back to my sense after passing a few shops on the same street...
"Did he just converted in front of us?"
"Was it real?"
"Was he really, not a Muslim?"
"He testified in front of us, didn't he?"
My friend was pretty much in my state. We were clueless but somehow elated by the occurrence. Well, we don't know his story. We have no idea how did he get to a conclusion of becoming a Muslim while passing through xxx shops and walking in the midst of women in mini skirts.... We don't know what sort of path in that soul searching journey he had taken....We don't know what's behind and after 5-10 minutes conversation we had with him.
But Allah knows all, and He knows best.
Our path may not cross again (I even forgot to ask his name), but I thank Allah for today. It reminds me part of an ayah in surah An-Nur (which many of us have learned by heart in high school)
"..light upon light, Allah guides to His light whomever He wants. And Allah speaks to mankind in allegories, for Allah is knower of all things." (24:35)
Never had a stranger make me smile alllll day long, like he did. Allah...
*I'm feeling a tad guilty for letting he left just like that... should I have more conscience at that moment, I would have directed him to local Muslims or anyone my brain could work on. But I did what I could, I leave his care to Allah.