Alan Rooney from Scottland shares the story of his conversion to Islam without ever meeting a Muslim. The following are his own words:
How does a middle-aged, white Scottish man living in the Scottish Highlands end up becoming a Muslim - especially when he hasn't properly met a Muslim in his life?
For me, it all started when I heard the call to prayer from a local mosque while on a beach holiday in Turkey. It woke something up inside me, and inspired me to begin a spiritual quest.
Back home in Inverness, I went to the local bookshop, bought a Qur'an and started to read. While reading, I always asked God to guide me on the journey I had set out on.
A lot of praying. A lot of time on my knees.
The Qur'an really shook me. It's quite a scary book to read because it tells you so much about yourself. Some things that I found out about myself I didn't like. So I decided to make some changes.
I knew that I could stop reading the Qur'an and halt the process at any time, but I also knew that would mean giving up something really important.
And I knew what the end result of this process would be: I would be a Muslim.
So I kept on reading. I read it three times, looking for the catch. But there was no catch; I was quite comfortable with everything.
The difficult part in all of this was wondering who I would become. Would I become strange, dress differently, speak differently in the eyes of others?
What would my family, friends and workmates think of me?
Most importantly, what would I think about myself? Would I like who I became?