Personally, I embraced Islam at the age of 24, in the summer of 1975, while studying medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. After a long day of study, I went to bed on a Saturday night with no intention of becoming a Muslim. However, 2 things happened during that night that would change my life completely. First of all, I had a dream in which I was commanded by a strong and firm voice, to embrace Islam immediately. I was reminded of how I had previously studied comparative religion at Wesleyan University, but refused to accept Islam even though I felt in my heart that it was the most practical way of life. When I woke up the next morning, I sat on the edge of the bed contemplating what to do, when the telephone rang. The call came from my ex-roommate from Wesleyan who had embraced Islam after graduation and was living in Washington, D.C. At that time, he was studying to be an attorney at Catholic University School of Law. This phone call was the second and final thing, that convinced me to embrace Islam immediately.
My friend asked me, "Are you ready to become a Muslim?" I replied, "Why are you calling me this early in the morning with such a question?" He answered in the following way, "Last night, I had a dream. In that dream, I saw you smiling, surrounded by a sort of spiritual light (called Noor in Islam). Then, I heard a strong and powerful voice saying, 'Allah has made this man a Muslim in the night and Allah has given him the name, Bilal Abdul-Alim (3 times). So, your job is to call him in the morning, and invite him to accept Islam and, give him his new name." My friend continued by saying, "Don't play games with me! Tell me what happened!" I then related my experience the night before with tears in my eyes. A few days later, I drove non-stop from Houston, Texas to Washington, D.C to accept Islam in the presence of my dear friend, Attorney Haroun G. Cook.
Dr. Bilal Abdul Alim can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org