He was born and raised in Canada by atheist parents, they are very good and decent people but they believed that religion was the “opiate of the masses.” He grew up not really questioning that point of view.
In his late twenties he was introduced to a woman, she was a Muslim from India but she wasn’t a strict practicing Muslim. Through her he understood that his perceptions of the Muslim world were inaccurate and incomlete. She helped him understand the Islamic mindset and what Islam was all about. He wanted to marry but she didn’t. He knew he would have to convert and make a nikkah with her and he was fine with that. However, he also knew that his conversion wouldn’t have been sincere. She felt the cultural differences would have doomed any marriage. To complicate things even further she became pregnant and they had a son together.
They finally split up because they disagreed about everything. After the separation he felt he failed very badly and that his son was suffering because of this. After the separation he started asking questions about who he wanted to be and where he wanted his life to go. He got a Quran in English and he spoke to many of his Muslim friends. He made dinner for his close friends and they witnessed him taking his shahada.