From temple to Baitullah –
Hamza Chinsamy’s journey from Hinduism to Hajj
Hamza Chinsamy’s journey to Islam began about twenty years ago, as a teenager completing high school. Now, eight years after embracing Islam, he is about to embark on what many call “the journey of a lifetime” – equipped with “lots of baggage and lots of sabr” as he has been advised.
“Allah has been kind to me. In 2012 I was afforded the opportunity to go for Umrah. This will be our first Hajj. The emotions are strong. I mean you’re doing a fard action of Islam and you always have that fear of, will Allah accept the little and broken efforts, and yes, you are excited but at the same time the fear is there. You’re not going to meet just a king but you’re going to your Rabb. It’s emotional for me.”
Chinsamy and his wife recently arrived in Madinah. The last month of farewells, preparations and relocating have been tumultuous for him but Chinsamy says the realisation that Allah Ta ‘ala’s invitation to His Bayt (House) was taking him away from the calamities, made it easier.
“I couldn’t be in a better situation than this. Alhamdulillah, I’m looking so forward to this.”
As a little boy with an enquiring mind, Chinsamy asked his Hindu parents many questions that were, at times met with few answers, and at other times more questions. After converting to Christianity with his mother, he entered a life of more questions.
This all changed upon meeting Umar Hussain. Together they worked at a call centre and shared many conversations about religion. Surprisingly, it was Hussain’s first pilgrimage and farewell words of advice that sparked Chinsamy’s interest in Islam.
“I read a lot of literature by Sheikh Ahmad Deedat, and that inspired me because it brought about a lot of facts. Brother Umar also told me at one stage if you look at Islam in its entirety, everything is based on fact. He left me with these words, ‘if you want to be a better Christian, then you need to become a Muslim’.”
At this stage Chinsamy was receiving the answers to questions he had always pondered about. But his reversion would still come a few years later after marriage, moving to Lenasia and starting his own business. He bought a house a road away from a Masjid, and by being so close, he was able to listen to the adhan five times a day.
“… That invokes a lot of spirituality in itself and for me it was inspirational. I got into the working world again in 2003 and Alhamdulillah I was working closely with a few brothers from the Muslim Response Unit. Faizal Ali has played a big role in giving me advice and in 2005 I started accelerating my efforts in learning and understanding Islam and Alhamdulillah in 2007 I decided that I have to make a firm decision. Still not having accepted Islam, I stole time to read taraweeh because my wife didn’t accept that I could embrace Islam.”
In 2008 Chinsamy took his Shahadah and embraced Islam. The experience was indescribable for him. The very next year his wife also embraced Islam and together they have been committed to Islam.
While he is excited about performing Hajj, he is also nervous and yearns that his efforts be accepted by Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta ‘ala. “Don’t take this Deen lightly,” are his parting words to fellow Muslims.
“Some people work hard to become Muslim and others are born Muslim. Please do not take it for granted because some people can be born a Muslim but they unfortunately die doing things that aren’t right. As a Muslim we need to behave in a way that befits a Muslim. We must take the life of the Sahabah. They didn’t know other languages but just by their mere actions people accepted the fold of Islam and today we have Muslims in China and Russia and these are the works of Sahabah. We need to act like Muslims and be Muslims. We cannot only talk about being Muslims. Our actions need to show it.”