Reported by Estebsar (Muslim Converts’ website)
My name is Muhammad Elahizadeh and I’m from Baluchistan’s Bent city. I work in Iran Department of Education.
In 2004 and when I was a student, we went on a school trip to Mashhad. We were in two groups: Shia and Sunni. The Shia group had a clergy man who was called Mr. Akbari.
I was never able to accept his words and saying and since I was from a religious family, I would constantly engage him in a debate.
One day I decided to go to Mr. Akbari’s room to question his beliefs, but he treated me with such a kindness and magnanimity that I couldn’t ask anything and got attracted to him.
I didn’t have a good impression on shi’ism, because our clergymen had told us that they were Kafir and infidel, and that we shouldn’t contact them in any ways.
One day Mr. Akbari told me that he had a plan to visit Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine and that if I wanted to, I could follow along. I said:“of course. I’ll come with you.” When we entered the Holy Shrine, The Shia group did some religious rites and started the mourning. I was standing at the back but Mr. Akbari went and joined them. I had never seen Muharram’s commemorations and mourning, because we didn’t have TV at home. And even if we had, we were not allowed to watch such programs. We were told it was an act of fractionalism and we shouldn’t watch them. One moment, I came to myself and saw that I was among them, mourning with them. I was crying hard.
After that, Mr. Akbari told me he wanted to go inside the Shrine and pray and he would be back soon. I said I wanted to go with him. When my eyes fell on Imam Reza’s sanctuary, tears welled up in my eyes. I went close and grabbed the sanctuary with my hands. I prayed then and said to God:“if this is the right path,guide me towards it.And if it’s not, save me from it.” We returned to home a few days later.
Next year, I got accepted at University of Qom in Education sciences field of study. I lived with Shiites for 2 years in Qom. The people of Qom were kind and helped me a lot.
After a while, I started my research in 2006. The most influential book that I read was “Then I was Guided” by Dr. Muhammad Tijani. “Al-Ghadir” was the next important book I read. After that, I gave up my past beliefs.
From 2008 to 2012 no one knew I was Shia. When my family became aware, none of them blamed me for my decision. Although my family were Sunnis, they weren’t at enmity with the Ahl ul-Bayt and they even made Vow (Nadhr) in the Day of Ashura since they liked the Ahl ul-Bayt. I’m proud to say that my biggest supporter in my whole life was and is my family.
Now if God Wills, I want to become a clergyman and study Islamic Science. I want to introduce the Ahl ul-Bayt to all people, especially people in my city and after that my students so that they distance themselves from Wahhabism.
I humbly ask my Shia convert brothers and sisters to not get discouraged by financial stresses and other difficulties, because with every difficulty there is relief. And I also ask my Sunni brothers and sisters to study about religion and sects without prejudice.
At the end, I hope my Sunni brothers and sisters find the best path for themselves and their lives.