This is the first post in our new blog series "People of SHUKR" where we profile some of our most interesting Customers all around the world. If you would like to be featured, contact us!
Loyal SHUKR Customer Juan Antonio Ruiz Cotán is a psychologist from Sevilla, Spain. Take a glimpse into his life to see the beauty and challenges of a Muslim Revert in southern Spain:
How did you choose Islam? Tell us about your Journey.
I grew up as a Christian. First, I was a Catholic boy. But I found myself still looking for answers; I had a lot of doubts. I was considering other options: Mormonism, Evangelical, other Christian groups. I thought I'll have the solution in the bible. At this time in my life I saw a documentary movie called "Inside Mecca" (by National Geographic) eight years ago. I felt amazed and I had a lot of questions (Do the Muslims believe in the bible? Do the Muslims have faith in Ibrahim, Adan, and other prophets of the Old Testament?).
Then I met with other Muslims, Arab people from Morocco, living in Spain and I asked a lot. I began to read Islamic books (for example, “Jesus, prophet of Islam", by Muhammad 'Ata ur-Rahim).
I took my Shahada some months later, in September 9th 2006 and I began my new life like a Muslim. But I think I was Muslim all my life, I only returned to Allah (swa) at that point.
What's it like being a Muslim in Spain? What are the challenges and benefits?
It's amazing being a Muslim in Spain, but you have a lot of issues to overcome, especially as a revert. Your family doesn’t understand your "choice", your friends think you are a mad man, in in workplace the bosses are paying extra unwanted attention to me.
But I'm proud about my new relation with Allah (swa) and I can see the beauty of the creation of Allah (swa). I also have a lot of new friends (brothers and sisters in Islam).
Can you tell us more about your job? Why did you go into that occupation
I'm a psychologist working with intellectually disabled people. I love what I do because I love helping people. My job can be a bit challenging because I have to deal with unstable behavior from some of my patients. But I love working with people. I definitely prefer it to machines
How do you give Shukr (gratitude) in your day-to-day life?
Thanking Allah for everything.
What is the greatest piece of advice someone has given you?
Allah is your Lord. Know Him every day.
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Juan's Hometown of Seville, Spain[/caption]