The Story of Conversion to Islam – “Roch Boulvin”


The story of the conversion to Islam – “Roch Boulvin”, a Belgian doctor, the head of the surgery department of Imam Reza Hospital (AS) in Mashhad

So far, many citizens have gone to Khaje Rabi’s tomb to visit the graves, and their attention has been drawn to the writings on Professor Boulvin’s tombstone, but they do not know who the person who rested in this tomb was and what he did. On this page, we take a brief look at the life of this enduring figure of medicine and the story of his conversion to Islam.

Professor Roch Boulvin was born in France in 1912. He started studying medicine in 1936 at the University of Brussels, Belgium. In 1955, Boulvin came to Mashhad at the invitation of the Ministry of the Court of Iran and in August 1955 he signed a three-year contract with Astan Quds Razavi in Imam Reza (AS) hospital.

He served as the head of the surgery department and his contract was regularly extended so that he was the head of the surgery department of Imam Reza Hospital (AS) for 14 years. Boulvin’s important studies were about hydatid cyst, tuberculosis of various organs, gall bladder and bile duct disease, and gastric and duodenal ulcers.

  • Conversion to Shia

Professor Boulvin performed the stomach surgery of Ayatullah Sayyed Mohammad Hadi Milani. After the surgery, when Ayatullah Milani was regaining consciousness, Boulvin asked his translator to translate for him the phrases he said when he regained consciousness. It turned out that Ayatulllah Milani recited parts of Abu Hamzah Samali’s prayer (دعای ابوحمزه ثمالی) at that time, and it was after this incident that Boulvin believed in Islam and became a Shia.

When he was asked the reason for his action, he replied:

“Bodies are in a state of awakening when a person shows his/her existence without being able to play a role for others, and I saw that this gentleman (Ayatullah Milani), his whole being was God. At that moment, I remembered the Bishop of Canterbury Church, whom I stood next to not long ago in the same position after surgery, and I saw him humming the street songs of the youth of that time…! It was at that moment that I understood which religion has the truth.”

He had willed to be buried in the city where Ayatullah Milani was buried, that is, Mashhad.

Professor Boulon’s body is now buried in the First Garden of Khaje Rabi in Mashhad.