Abu Hurayrah Abdur-Rahman bin Sakhr converted to Islam in the year of the battle of Khaybar. That was in the 7th year of hijrah. So he spent 3 years as a Muslim with the Prophet peace be upon him and narrated 5374 ahadith - the most than any other companion. He also became one of the most knowledgeable companions.
Ibn Umar and his father said about him, "...you were the most knowledgeable of the Prophet's salAllahu alayhi WA salam hadith." -Ahmad in his musnad 8/21
Bukhari said, "Abu Hurayrah was the best memorizer of those who memorized hadith in his time." -al-Isaabah 7/353
The point is this...just because you converted or started practicing at a later age doesn't mean you cannot memorize quran, hadith, or become a scholar. Abu Hurayrah only spent 3 years with the Prophet and he became from the most knowledgable by the permission of Allah.
It is Allah who raises individuals and gives and takes from whoever He wills. So if you work hard, are sincere, and seek aid in Allah you too can achieve these goals.
“Make things easy and do not make things difficult. Give glad tidings and do not repel people..”
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