Muslim revert wants to perform "azan" and teach Quran recitation after leaving Puspen
PAPAR - Religious activities during the holy month of Ramadan at the Narcotics Addiction Rehabilitation Center (Puspen) here had carved the way for a Muslim revert to learn more about Islam during his stay at the centre.
Papar Puspen's patient who only wishes to be known as Muhammad, 44, also intends to perform the azan (the call to prayer) at his hometown mosque in Kota Marudu besides dedicating himself to teaching Quran recitation after he completes his treatment at the centre.
According to Muhammad, he reverted to Islam last year when he was detained by the National Anti-Drug Agency (AADK) in Kota Marudu.
"I was a drug addict for 26 years since I was 17. I've been wanting to try drugs and I started looking for friends who are also drug addicts.
"The desire to do drugs has also caused me to try heroin, cannabis, cocaine and horse pills," he said.
Muhammad explained that through all of his years of addiction he was never caught until last year when his mother and a sibling had reported him to the authorities.
"I was admitted here after my mother and my sibling made a report on my drug abuse activities which disturbed public order at that time.
"I disagreed at first but after being remanded and in the process of rehabilitation, I often saw how Muslims performed their prayers to the point of me wanting to get to know Islam.
"Since 2013, I was drawn to Islam when I listen to talks from Ustazs but I was still under the influence of drugs that time and I did not want to convert to Islam in such a situation," he said.
Sharing his challenges in fasting, Muhammad admitted that this was the first time he had fasted by resisting hunger and thirst throughout the day.
"It was fun as there are many things we have to take care during fasting. In terms of our conversation, we have to take care of our manners. I remember that the Ustaz once emphasised that fasting is not only to refrain from eating but also to take care of what we see and say.
"Moreover, the pleasure of breaking fast is also fun apart from the night being filled with various religious programs such as tarawih prayers and Quran recitation and so on," he said.
He added that due to the continuous religious programs held, he became closer to Allah apart from being able to recite the Quran, better.
"In Puspen we have i-Pulih where we are encouraged to be at the mosque to read the Quran. At first, I did not know but now I can read even if it is not entirely well.
"I hope I can finish reciting the Quran one day so that I am able to teach children as well and I intend to perform the azan at my village surau later on," he said.
Muhammad also said he would continue to be in Puspen until he is completely rehabilitated and free from the influence of drugs.