> Abdul Rashid > Age: 30 > Philippines > Photographer
Dubai - Abdul Rashid, previously known as Jay Colina, recollects his days growing up on the small island of Cebu in Philippines as a Catholic Christian. Working as a photographer in Dubai, he turned to Islam at last year’s Dubai International Peace Convention.
“I came to Dubai to earn a livelihood and support my parents financially. How I found Islam wasn’t actually through someone’s preaching. My journey was very different,” shares Rashid.
Preferring to call himself by his new Islamic name Abdul Rashid, he is grateful to the friend who played the role of an inspiring Muslim in his life.
“Four years ago, when I was in the Philippines I met a lady who was a Muslim. She never really invited me to Islam but we used to discuss religion and share similarities between Islam and Christianity. We never argued but just debated on the different aspects of each other’s religion,” he said.
Having moved to Dubai, he was drawn to the Muslim culture and the sound of prayer call (Azaan) five times a day.
“A year ago that same Muslim friend came to Dubai for a tour and at that time during one of our discussions she shared a YouTube playlist of Islamic speaker Mufti Ismail Menk. It was about the different prophets who had served mankind before Prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him).”
During the same time, Rashid was informed about the Dubai International Islamic Peace Convention taking place in Dubai and he attended it with his friend.
“I went there with an intention to see Mufti Menk in real and the next thing I know was that I had turned to Islam. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I am now a Muslim. Even to this day, I am in love with Islam. Every day I thank Allah for waking me up as a Muslim,” shares Rashid with a smile.
Praying regularly and practicing the rituals of Islam, he finds himself connecting easily with other Muslims at mosques.
“When I became a Muslim, it was the hardest part of my life. I was at the rock-bottom of my life with glaring financial issues. Now when I look back, I feel Allah gives us problems so that we pray to him and seek his help. It serves as a reminder of our creator,” concluded Rashid.
Following his journey to Islam, he later married the same friend who inspired him to discover Islam.— email@example.com
Interviewed by Muaz Shabandri
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