Previously named Nagaraja Rao, an Orthodox Brahmin from a middle-class family, Muhammed Umar Rao embraced Islam at the age of 18.
After reading the Holy Quran, he actually found what he was looking for and eventually decided to embrace Islam at a fairly young age. “I feel blessed with the religion of Allah,” he said crisply.
At a young age, Umar Rao associated with RSS, a hard-line Hindu groups for few years .
I was associated with RSS for few years; I always hated Muslims to the extent that in all public functions I wanted to give high volume for music sound boxes to ensure that the Adhaan [Call to Prayer] should not be heard at all. I used to go round the town visiting all temples to complete my worship everyday. I was liked, appreciated in family for being orthodox and encouraged to do more.
His introduction to Islam occurred when the mother asked him to work for a Muslim business firm during the summer holidays. In order not to disappoint his parents, he decided to work in a firm run by non-Muslims.
His hatred against Islam increases after he came to know that many of the non-Muslim employees who worked at the company embraced Islam.
With the aim to refute it and mock at Muslims, he took to reading the Qur’an and soon realized that the world of Hinduism he once knew had no logical base.
“I realized the fact that whatever I’m doing is wrong, my religion is all about imaginations/myths and false stories.”
“When I questioned my parents that Vedas are against idol worship and why do we still practice it, my mother scolded me saying we are supposed to do it as our forefathers did it, the next day I read a verse in the Qur’an Surah Al-Baqarah verse 170 which reads:
“When it is said unto them, ‘Follow what Allah has revealed,’ they reply: ‘(No), but we only follow what we have found from the (deeds) of our forefathers’. (Whether they will follow as well, although their ancestors did not know any one, nor had a clue? “
“When I read this I was shocked to see something which I just questioned my mother last night. This ayah (verse) hit me right deep inside. I slowly stopped worshipping idols, and stopped doing Pooja, since shirk (Polythesim) is the only sin which will never be forgiven. I started practicing the teaching of Islam in secret. There were few quotes from the Glorious Qur’an in which Allah says:
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favor upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (Al-Ma’idah 5:3).”
“I realized that for all the questions that I have in my mind, the answers are present in the Quran.”