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Christian missionary, eight other 'Muslim women reverts' honored in Jeddah
Monday January 12, 2015 3:29 PM, Agencies

Nine new Muslim reverts of different nationalities, including a would be Christian missionary from Britain who converted to Islam, were honored at a reception at the Maulana Hifzur Rehman Seoharvi Academy, an organization that aims to spread Islam.

One of the reverts hailed from India, and the other eight from the Philippines, while the two guests of honor, Mariam Sani (formerly known as Pauttine Thomas) and Mariya Attarji (Lisa Quiroga), were born in the UK and the US respectively, according to Arab News.

Some of the women reverted recently, while others entered the faith over a year ago. During the ceremony, in which they were showered with gifts, the women recounted their journey into Islam and the obstacles they faced.

"I must say that it was my destiny to choose the right path," Nureman, one of new Muslim women, told the audience at the ceremony.

"Finding a job here in Saudi Arabia was the first step of my journey toward Islam, since it was here where I started reading books about the religion without actually really thinking of converting. But the more I read, the more interested I was, and now I am properly studying Islam at a dawa center", she added.

Sheikh Fatima, another new revert, explained that she was born into a Christian family. When her brother and his friend came to Saudi Arabia, they reverted to Islam and tried to convince her to do so as well upon their return to India.

"My brother told me that if I wanted to come here I had to accept Islam which I did, thinking that in order to come to Saudi Arabia it was a requirement. At first, I didn't accept Islam in my heart," she said.

But a traumatic experience related to her one-year-old daughter made her change her mind about the religion.

"Since then I have accepted Islam from the bottom of my heart and I practice it every day, even my family back in India knows that I am a Muslim now," she said.

Other new reverts also shared stories about their religious journey, and how their families turned their back on them after accepting Islam.

Mariam Sani, the British convert, said that it was Allah's will that she turned from being a Christian missionary to a Muslim convert. She wanted to spread Christianity's teachings around the world but found out she was spreading the wrong religion after learning about other faiths.

"My first books were Mohammed in the Bible and Jesus in the Qur'an, and after that I was researching more about Islam. While doing so, I unintentionally got closer to Islam, and one day I found myself accepting the faith," she said.

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