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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Revert Experiences: From Proving Islam Wrong to Embracing Islam


Reading, and sharing, the revert experiences is really educative and enlightening for it shows why people leave their region of birth and come under the fold of Islam. I have shared many such experiences in my previous posts, and each new post has a new experience being shared.

Today's shared revert experience is also unique of dear sister Danielle LoDuca is an American author from Oakdale New York. Since she was a born Catholic Christian, she never aspired to be a Muslim. But at the same time she didn't even like to be a Christian for she was inspired by Bertrand Russel, a British philosopher land Nobel laureate, who believed that that religion and the religious outlook serve to impede knowledge and foster fear and dependency.

It was the 9/11 morning that she says she cannot be sure whether or not she heard of Islam before that date. She says: "My disdain of religions was really validated when I thought about a religion being related to this atrocity. This propelled me to embark upon a project I thought would be groundbreaking. I decided to prove all religions were man made. I was going to do it by methodically comparing them to political philosophies, which I had begun studying that same semester and found strikingly similar to religion. Flawed and conflicting with one another, they provided the perfect medium to show the world what I had come to believe: Religions were human falsifications and religious adherents, dupes."

So she got into reading all religious books from Bible to Hindu scriptures, Buddhism, Taoism. In her quest to know more, she also bought a copy of the Quran. But soon she found that Quran figured out prominently from all other books she had on other religions. She confesses: "Its flow, accessibility and its message was so much more digestible, easy to understand and strikingly applicable. The other books, in comparison, had become a struggle to complete and my interest in them, and my project, slowly faded."

In those times, she also had a chance to visit countries of Southeast Asia, specially Vietnam, where she could still feel the after effects of American war and found misery and poverty on streets, people living a life of suffering, because of a war waged before I was even born. This gave her a feeling of remorse and shame for seeing humanity suffering.





During her stay in Australia, an Israeli who was leaving to go back home for some time owned the apartment she sublet. Prior to that, her knowledge of the conflict in the Middle East was murky. Although she from landlord, she garnered enough information to fuel insatiable curiosity, she needed more to know about Middle East. And this led her to vising Middle East along with a group for  humanitarian initiatives, despite many cautions from friends and family for safety concerns.

While in Jerusalem, she came across many Christians and one day had her first encounter with practicing Muslims. In the beginning she was uneasy with those "all covered up" Muslim women, separate from men but her interaction with them and their kindness to her put her to ease. "Without a common language, I felt their warmth and hospitality. I was taken aback by the generosity of the Muslims I met." says she.

It was there that she first found out the meaning of Alhamdulillah, because nearly every person I saw said it, even when they were standing in front of the ruins of their lives. Even when their child had been killed, even when their existence appeared to me utterly hopeless and helpless. I couldn't believe they were praising God amidst what looked to me, like misery. Not only that, overall, they handled extreme hardship and destruction with such grace. True patience. What is this? I wondered. 

Although she had been reading Quran, bur she had never heard anyone reading it. One day, while walking in the streets, she says: "I heard a beautiful sound. A sound that, to me, was symbolic of the life now thriving where there had previously been desolation. I told a journalist I was walking with, “Ah, It’s so good to hear music!”. She laughed at me and shook her head, “That’s not music. That’s the Quran!”. Her statement stopped me in my tracks. When the Quran I had been reading, connected with the sound of its recitation for the first time, a new burning desire was ignited inside me. That recitation, coupled with my experience living with Muslims in the weeks I spent there, resulted in an insatiable thirst to know more about Islam."

Once sitting with Muslim women, one of them said to her, “You are so nice. You should be Muslim like us.” It was a statement she would have normally scoffed at and repelled, but when she said it, she felt flattered. And back home in New York, she decided to read more about Islam for she thought her wandering out for almost 22 years was finally finding some meaning. 

And then one evening, while reading about Islam in a library she says: "I stared in disbelief at the words on the pages. There is nothing worthy of worship except God, and Muhammad is His messenger. This can’t be happening. I couldn't possibly believe that. I couldn't possibly be certain. My shock culminated in elation. It was true. I gratefully surrendered to the Owner of the heavens and the Earth. It was as if the trees and lights glistened and danced in happiness with me as I continued the rest of the way to my apartment. To my new life."

For detailed account, please click "see more" at the end of text below:

Her account made my quite emotional and my eyes watered for the way she described her last encounter to the truth and beginning a new life as a blessed Muslim. I hope this may mean a lot to others who have some inclination in their hearts about truth and one day, In Sha Allah (Allah willing) their hearts too will melt and accept Islam as a final religion of their lives for as long as they live.

Photo | References: | 1 | 
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