Adam Bowden-Black’s life took an unexpected turn when he found himself captivated by the Islamic faith. The 47-year-old British butcher, who was an atheist before his conversion in 2016, says that embracing Islam has brought happiness and fulfillment to his life. His journey began while working at a halal shop, where he was inspired by a customer to explore a new faith. Today, he diligently follows the five pillars of Islam, including praying five times a day and observing Ramadan.
Born in Southall, London, and living in Plymouth for many years, Adam now works at the Plymouth Butcher Shop, a halal store in the city’s West End. He has been a popular figure in the local community for years, having previously run the Costless butchery department in Colin Campbell Court before it was demolished to make way for a new health hub. With over 26 years of experience as a butcher, Adam’s professional journey has been closely intertwined with his spiritual one.
Although his wife and children are Catholic, they are supportive of Adam’s faith. His wife is content as long as their children are not forced into Islam, but they do have their own prayer mats and are free to participate in prayers if they choose to. Adam’s daily prayers and upcoming observance of Ramadan, which begins on March 22nd, have become an essential part of his life.
Ramadan, the month of fasting, can be challenging for those new to the faith. Adam describes the first few days as ‘very difficult’, with stomach cramps and thirst being common experiences. However, he believes that the fasting helps to detoxify the body and brings a feeling of goodness as the month progresses.
The Islamic faith shares some similarities with Christianity, as Adam explains: “We believe in Jesus, but we believe he was only a man, not a God. We believe in Moses, and there are a few other similarities. If people look at it, don’t look at all the bad things and keep an open mind.”
Adam’s conversion took place at the Piety mosque in Plymouth, where he was questioned about his reasons for embracing the faith. After converting with witnesses present, he has since received support from people all around the world, including non-Muslims. According to media reports, around 5,000 British people convert to Islam each year, with a total of approximately 80,000 converts in Britain.
For Adam Bowden-Black, his journey to Islam has been transformative, helping him find the missing piece in his life and filling him with happiness. His story serves as a reminder that keeping an open mind can lead to profound personal growth and self-discovery.