Thursday, February 25, 2016
யுவன் சங்கர் ராஜா மனம் திறக்கிறார்.
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.'