Muntasir Shaban Saleh al Farsi –
Oliver Allan who had his childhood and schooling in Muscat now works at a media office in Muscat. In an interview, he tells what made him embrace Islam a few years ago?
Allan was born in the UK, spent time in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf , and since childhood Oman has been his home.
Despite graduating from the American British Academy, his Arabic is unbelievably fluent with no foreign accent. “Interactions with the Omanis helped him understand their lifestyle and learn about the Omani culture, which very few other expatriates would ever bother to do so.”
He added, “I have almost no experience of living in the UK and therefore I would consider it as my second home.”
But, what made you embrace Islam? It is easy for one to jump to a conclusion that it was probably to marry a Muslim girl. “I spent a great amount of time learning about Islam and decided to give fasting during Ramadhan a try. It was during this period that I felt conversion is the right thing to do,” he said confidently.
Allan has never looked back in the last three years and he is even considering adopting an Arabic /Islamic name.
To a question, how did his parents react when they got to know
about conversion into Islam, he said, “They were supportive and so my other non-Muslim friends. Muslim friends, of-course, were more welcoming. I am not from a religious family so we celebrate Christmas only because it is a British tradition that symbolises the homecoming and reunion. I did not consider myself a Christian before conversion.”
Do you think that the organisations like the IS are on the right path? “Of course not, they are evil and far away from the Islam that I know. I think their deeds are a political tool whose origins lie in the policies of certain governments.”
Would you reveal your Faith if great danger comes your way and if there is no way of escaping or getting help from fellow Muslims ?
Allan’s answer to this, “I think it depends to what extent my life is in danger. Then I wouldn’t hesitate to reveal that I am a Muslim. When people are being persecuted it is very important to stand up for them.”
He would have been open to marrying a Christian or any other woman, but found the right woman about three months ago who happens to be a Muslim.
“I never visited the Ministry of Awqaaf when I converted but once had an audience with His Eminence the Grand Mufti. I was required to obtain a document as part of my marriage process. So far I have never received anything in ridicule since my embracing Islam and I get along well with my wife’s family.”
He said, “I wish to visit Mecca ( and perform a pilgrimage ) sooner than later… I also wish to end by saying that both Muslims and non-Muslims who don’t have strong faith need to explore this religion for themselves and hopefully this will help them strengthen their faith.