French singer Julien Drolon embraced Islam after walking 1000 km to find God

40-year-old Julien Drolon is a distinguished and unique personality, a Frenchman from Nantes, who, during his search for himself, converted to Buddhism, then Christianity, and then embraced Islam in 2012.

Julien Drolon is a French Muslim convert residing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He is a former international reporter and singer-songwriter.

In an interview with Halis Media— (a Malaysian media production), Julien narrates his journey to Islam and how he felt his responsibility towards those around him who did not recognize Islam.

Halis Media belongs to Julien and his Malaysian wife and former Opera singer Zara Shafie. The vision of Halis Media is to introduce the pure message of Islam to the world through the most innovative media platforms.

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Julien’s journey to Islam

Julien grew up in France in Nantes Catholic, and he was spiritual from an early age and wanted to become a priest.

When Catholicism did not satisfy Julien, his mother directed him towards Buddhism and allowed him to travel at the age of 18. He had the opportunity to travel around the world to more than 50 countries, and Islam was the last thing that crossed his mind.

His mother’s generation abandoned Catholicism for many reasons, but they still believed in God or something spiritual, and Buddhism imposed itself strongly in the 1990s with the presence of the Dalai Lama. They used films to promote, and he loved the peaceful meditation part of Buddhism, which is very similar to solitude in Islam.

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What is the thing that made Julien question his beliefs?

“So there was a time when I was a singer for a couple of years. When I was in Hongkong for a concert at a festival, I played in front of my favourite singer. I met him and he attended the concert. I felt very humbled and was thinking there must be something not right in my life.”

“I didn’t know what it is, but I thought, I am not upon the truth. Suddenly something made me realize. I have a good life and everything. But there’s something missing in my life. I know I don’t live my life the right way. I could not say what it was so that was a trigger.”

“I decided to walk 1000 kilometres from the border of Spain towards the west coast of Spain. It took him 30 days. It was a good experience because I started to try to reflect on God. I met a lot of Christians along the way. So that was a big event because I was talking to God while walking and I was asking him to manifest himself in my life. I wanted to find him. And I believe that walking was part of the process.”

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At the end of the 1000 kilometres journey, how did Julien feel?

“Sadly, after walking 1000 kilometres, I arrived in Santiago de Compostela. I attended the ceremony and there was a Brazilian guy who came towards my way on a bicycle and kind of like scared me. And I told him an insult in Brazilian and he also replied with me something bad. When he felt so bad that I just walked 1000 kilometres I thought I was becoming more holy. So after this event, I realized it’s not enough to walk. You need to walk with something that is giving you the guidance to not hurt other people’s feelings.”

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When did Julien hear about Islam?

“When I was in Abu Dhabi, I had to wait to catch a flight to the Philippines. I had six hours to kill. I took a taxi and I heard a song – then I thought it was a song – so I said to the driver What is this song? It truly touched my heart. He stopped the car and said brother, it is not a song. It is the Quran. He immediately began warning me. He said brother if you want to save yourself from the fire of Hell; So save yourself and your family and become Muslim.”

“Every time I heard the call to prayer in Cyprus, Tanzania or in Dar es Salaam, I would feel something telling me, but I thought that it was a religion specific to the Arabs, so it did not occur to me to ask but I thought it sounds appealing to my heart but I’m not gonna pursue that,” he added.

When he lived in the Philippines and decided to settle there, it put him back on the path to God and he went back to the church.

Julien was trying to go back to Christianity, and after Ramzan in 2012, he was studying Islam at the centre. He prayed to God and said he needed to choose one of the two religions.

So Julien went to the Eid prayer with some Muslim friends that he met, but he was not a Muslim at the time, but loved the spirit, and found it very strong.

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Then he pronounced the Shahada online on peace TV and then went to the embassy, ​​attended the sermon, and pronounced the two Shahadas in front of everyone.

After Julian told his mother that he had converted to Islam, she told him directly: ‘This is the worst thing you can go to.’

“The reason is not that she does not mind me being a Muslim and not a Buddhist, but rather because the West does not stop selling the idea that Islam oppresses women when in reality we know that Islam has liberated women.”

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“I haven’t spoken to my mother for a whole year. We had some problems, and I haven’t spoken to my siblings for a few years, but things are better now, Thank God,” said Julien Drolon.

Julien further adds, “The challenge increased after I became a Muslim. I moved to Malaysia; I had to change my country of residence; Because the Philippines has become a great temptation (Fitna) for me. I stopped working after a year, and I had half a million YouTube fans, and I had a lot of followers, but then I stopped everything. I was making videos with Miss World and some other actresses, but I stopped everything, then went to Malaysia and started Dawah work, and as they say: the rest is history. I married a beautiful Malaysian woman who has been supporting me in all my ventures, and she has been my Khadijah from the start. When you give up something to Allah, it is always good for you, but you have to make a sacrifice.”

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Since 2012, Julien has been involved in several Dawah projects including New Muslim Care, which addresses the needs of post-certified converts. Julian is the Business Development Manager for an agricultural trading company presenting investment opportunities in Asia.

Julien’s wife Zara Shafie, a Malaysian, was a former soprano/jazz singer but after she rediscovered Islam in 2013, she left the music industry. She previously worked as an Events Manager for major oil and gas events and left the corporate world to volunteer on Dawah projects.

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