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Yuvan Shankar Raja: How I Converted To Islam

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Yuvan Shankar Raja: I converted to Islam in a way because of my mother

What made you convert to Islam?

My father is a staunch Hindu and is so superstitious that even if a

glass breaks, he will call a pandit. Both my parents were ritualistic,

but right from childhood, I used to always have a thought that beyond

all this there is a supernatural power who is running the whole world.

How can God be in any form? That search was always there in me. What

triggered my conversion was my mom's sudden passing away. I had come to

Mumbai for some work. When I returned to Chennai, my mom was coughing

badly and me and my sister rushed her to the hospital. I was driving the

car. We reached the hospital and I was sitting next to her holding her

hand and the next second her hand fell and she had died. I was crying

but wondered where her soul went within seconds as she was alive just a

few seconds back. I was in search of the answers and I should say that I

got a direct calling from Allah. It was a spiritual experience. My

friend had just been to Mecca and he said to me, 'You seem to be really

low. You have to move on.' He gave me the musalla (the prayer mat) and

said, 'This one mat I used in Mecca and it has touched Mecca so if you

are feeling really heavy, just sit on it.' I kept the mat in one corner

of my room and forgot all about it. A few months later I was speaking to

one of my cousins about my mother and I started feeling really heavy. I

entered my room and coincidentally saw the mat which all this while I

had missed even though it was kept in the same corner. I sat on it for

the first time just started crying saying, 'Ya Allah please forgive my

sins.' That was 2012. I started reading the Quran and the translations

and it connected with me really fast. I started practising Islam and

learnt how to pray and by January 2014, felt sure about converting.

Since I am known as Yuvan Shankar Raja in films, I have still not

changed my name officially in my passport and other records, but maybe

later, I might do that too. My father was the last one I told in my

house to. I told him, 'I have started reading the Quran and it gives me a

lot of peace.' He said to me, 'Yuvan, I am not comfortable with you

becoming Islamic.' My brother and his wife were very supportive. It's

odd but in some way I used to get that spiritual feeling that it was my

mom, who held my hand, and said, 'Yuvan, you are alone. I want you to

stand here under the tree called Islam.'




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