‘Islam is about real love, not just lust’: The party girl who’s embraced a new life as a Muslim convert

November 12, 2012 2:36 pm 0 comments Views: 292

Her conversion from Ibiza party girl to hijab-wearing Muslim in barely three months may well raise a few eyebrows – and she admits that her friends probably think it’s another one of her fads.

But trainee teacher Heather Matthews, 27, says Islam has brought her ‘love and happiness’ that she never found in her old ‘shallow’ lifestyle.

Mrs Matthews, a mother of two, converted to the faith four weeks ago – two months after returning from a holiday in Ibiza. And she says that the photographs of the ‘old her’ taken on that trip show all that is wrong with Western images of beauty.

She said: ‘I thought I needed to act and dress in a certain way to feel good about myself. I see girls now and think about what image they are portraying to other people, especially men.

‘It is about self-respect. If you dress and act in a certain way, rightly or wrongly, you’ll be treated in a certain way.

‘Islam has taught me about real love, not false passion and lust. I can even see the logic in arranged marriage.’

A study by multi-faith group Faith Matters found the number of Muslim converts in Britain has now passed 100,000, doubling in ten years.

The report estimated nearly two-thirds of the new converts were women, with an average age of 27 – like Mrs Matthews.

Her path to conversion began when she tried to convince her ex-husband Jerrome, himself a Muslim convert, that the religion was wrong. She was ‘very suspicious’ of the faith, and began reading up on it to support her arguments.

Although they separated last year, she continued to learn about Islam – and identified with it more and more. Then, four weeks ago, she completed the ‘revert’ process. She said: ‘I underwent the ‘Shahadah’ ceremony of conversion to Islam by repeating a declaration of faith in front of the Imam at my local multi-faith centre.

‘I had several Muslim sisters with me and they bought me a hijab and Islamic books to celebrate. It was wonderful.’ 

A study by multi-faith group Faith Matters found the number of Muslim converts in Britain has now passed 100,000, doubling in ten years.

The report estimated nearly two-thirds of the new converts were women, with an average age of 27 – like Mrs Matthews.

Her path to conversion began when she tried to convince her ex-husband Jerrome, himself a Muslim convert, that the religion was wrong. She was ‘very suspicious’ of the faith, and began reading up on it to support her arguments.

Although they separated last year, she continued to learn about Islam – and identified with it more and more. Then, four weeks ago, she completed the ‘revert’ process. She said: ‘I underwent the ‘Shahadah’ ceremony of conversion to Islam by repeating a declaration of faith in front of the Imam at my local multi-faith centre.

‘I had several Muslim sisters with me and they bought me a hijab and Islamic books to celebrate. It was wonderful.’ 

A study by multi-faith group Faith Matters found the number of Muslim converts in Britain has now passed 100,000, doubling in ten years.

The report estimated nearly two-thirds of the new converts were women, with an average age of 27 – like Mrs Matthews.

Her path to conversion began when she tried to convince her ex-husband Jerrome, himself a Muslim convert, that the religion was wrong. She was ‘very suspicious’ of the faith, and began reading up on it to support her arguments.

Although they separated last year, she continued to learn about Islam – and identified with it more and more. Then, four weeks ago, she completed the ‘revert’ process. She said: ‘I underwent the ‘Shahadah’ ceremony of conversion to Islam by repeating a declaration of faith in front of the Imam at my local multi-faith centre.

‘I had several Muslim sisters with me and they bought me a hijab and Islamic books to celebrate. It was wonderful.’

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