Day 1 – Meet Spencer – 19 Year Old Muslim – Vancouver

I met Brother Spencer in the second floor foyer of the MAC Islamic Center in Vancouver shortly before Sunset.

Why was he putting shoes on and getting ready to leave with Iftar time so close?

Turns out he lives a ten minute walk from this masjid, but his father who’s not muslim, doesn’t want him staying out too late. So, Spencer prayed and spent some time here, before heading home to break his first fast of Ramadan 2017.

I quickly learned Brother Spencer was 19 years old and he became a Muslim when he was 16. This would be his third Ramadan.

Wouldn’t it be his fourth?

Not exactly, and here’s where his story becomes very interesting…

Spencer grew up in Christian household. His father was and remains a practicing Christian. His mom didn’t really practice any religion and simply went along with her husband in matters of faith.

That wasn’t enough for Spencer.

By the time he reached 16, questions he had about the Christian Divinity of Jesus [upon who be peace] could no longer be reconciled.

He spent time learning about different religions. Then, rather than follow a new religion, Spencer decided to Start his own NEW Religion !

He decided that Religions need prophets.

So, he decided he was a prophet.

That was March of 2014. He tried for three weeks to get people to follow him.

No luck. No one wanted to follow Spencer and his new religion.

Travelling on the Skytrain going home from high school, one of his Muslim classmates suggested he visit the Masjid by Commercial-Broadway Skytrain Station. It was on his way home anyway.

They might have some answers for him.

They did.

He decided starting your own religion is hard, especially when no one wants to follow you.

So he gave that up and embraced Islam. He joined its followers, who followed the example of Prophet Muhammad (upon who be peace).

That first Ramadan in 2014. Spencer didn’t fast. He wasn’t quite ready.

Today, Spencer is a 19-year-old young Muslim man who does his best to follow Islam. Including Fasting on this first day of Ramadan 2017. He’s still learning.

He has a job in Surrey, and prays at the MAC Islamic Centre when he can.

When he speaks about the three weeks he tried starting his own religion, when no one followed him, Spencer chalks it up to being,

“A crazy 16-year-old. 16-year-olds are supposed to do crazy things.”

I think back to when I was 16… I didn’t try starting my own religion, but, yeah, I have my own list of “crazys” from that teenage year. I empathize with Spencer for a moment.

His mom was not religious at all.

Yet Spencer’s mom’s side of the family are Muslim. Members of his extended relations over in Malaysia are happy he finally found what he was looking for.

I really want to learn more about this very interesting young man, but sunset is fast approaching, and he has to make it home in time to comfortably break his fast.

We wish each other Ramadan Mubarak, and just like that, Spencer disappears down the stairs and out the door.

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