The Journey Home: Samantha’s Story

May 18, 2022 | Conversion Stories

All my life I’ve been a deep thinker and dreamer, always wondering at my place and purpose in this world. My education and deep love of nature took me down a scientific route, but I’m also very creative and curious. It’s this part of me that was drawn to philosophical and theological matters during my teenage years and beyond. It matters to me to know why I am here, what my purpose is, and how this big, beautiful world came into being. When I look to nature, I can’t help but see miraculous, intelligent design. Science explains a lot for me, but where it falls short, God is the only possible explanation.

With this spiritual viewpoint, it surprises people to know that I grew up with no religion. Apart from a loose Christian culture in school, I was free to choose my own way. Some might think this to be rather liberating, but my soul was restless, and I always felt like I was searching for something. Looking back, it’s easy for me to see that I had a God-shaped hole in my heart that I was seeking to fill. My search took me on a long journey of exploring spiritual paths like Buddhism, Hinduism, nature spirituality and shamanism. I learned important things along the way, but none of these paths led me to any real understanding of the divine or brought me any sense of fulfillment. I avoided organised religion due to the influence of family opinion, but also because I was put off by the patriarchal overtones of Christianity, the dominant faith of my country. After all, I was, by society’s standards, a ‘modern, progressive, and independent woman’. I also knew that most Christian holy days were appropriated and absorbed pagan festivals and I didn’t like the inauthenticity. And so, while I was happy with my life, in spiritual matters I was totally lost and frustrated. I’d tried to understand the concept of God through the philosophical theories of polytheism, pantheism, and animism. I tried to know God as the ‘Great Spirit’ or the ‘Universe’.  Anything to avoid the ‘God’ of organised religion. But deep down I was fighting hard to deny my feelings, and in my most vulnerable moments, I’d catch myself speaking or praying to God. I wanted to belong, to have a strong faith, and I remember feeling jealous of churchgoers. Those who had somewhere to direct their prayer, somewhere to gain comfort and a sense of belonging and peace. I even tried going to church, reading the Bible, desperately hoping for a lightbulb moment. But it never came. That is, until the pandemic.

In March 2020, as the seriousness of the situation became apparent, I was called home early from a holiday as country borders were closing. I remember sitting petrified on a cramped tiny plane, rattling through severe turbulence, desperately praying to God to preserve my life. At this point, a curious thing happened. A part of me seemed to step outside of myself and observe as I sincerely prayed and poured my heart out to God. That part of me questioned, “are you really going to keep denying that you believe and pray to God? Are you really going to keep denying Him?” And then slowly, I felt a deep sense of relief as I realised all I had to do was submit to this truth. Something inside of me shifted and settled then, like a puzzle piece, like a big sigh of “finally”.

After arriving home, I was faced with two weeks of lonely quarantine. A few days in, a Christian colleague brought me a home-cooked dinner. Another Catholic colleague brought me supplies, checked in on me regularly and offered me a prayer. Neither of these women had ever brought up faith in work, never imposed or tried to convert me.  In fact, I didn’t know them well at all. Yet their acts of generosity, and their conviction and faith, even in the face of fear, inspired me and touched my heart. I thought to myself, “what is it about this faith that moves people to such kindness with no expectation of reward?”. And with the risks I faced as an essential worker on the frontline, I questioned myself, “if I die today or tomorrow, am I right with God? Have I done enough to ensure my place in the hereafter? Where will my soul end up?”.

A short time later, when thankfully Australia seemed to be avoiding the worst of covid, I met the priest of the local church. In a whirlwind of six weeks, I learned the basics of the faith, was baptised, and welcomed into the church. Initially I loved the sense of unity and comfort of going to church every Sunday, praying to God and being with people who were at peace in their hearts. I gained a lot of strength and comfort during this time, and I felt I’d taken the first steps in getting to know God. However, the same old questions and doubts kept coming up. While I remained steadfast in my belief in God, I became increasingly uncomfortable with having to pray to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the Blessed Mother or to various saints for intercession. Nobody could satisfactorily explain the concept of the Holy Trinity and instead, it was shrugged off as a mystery of faith that we just had to believe. The deal-breaker for me was the belief in Jesus as God. To me, he’d always been a great messenger and prophet of God, but also just a man. It felt so wrong to place someone else between me and God and I grew so troubled by this that I no longer recited the words during Sunday mass. Eventually, I stopped going altogether. No matter how hard I tried, I was a round peg trying to fit into a square hole and I had to accept that Christianity was not the right path.

I despaired at this point because it felt like I was back to square one. But the solution to my problem came about almost immediately. A few Egyptian doctors had come to work in our intensive care unit. It wasn’t my first experience meeting practicing Muslims, but my knowledge of Islam remained at the basic level of Religious Education classes at school. I’d dismissed Islam as inaccessible due to what I incorrectly perceived as cultural and language barriers. So, when a conversation with one of the doctors turned to faith, and my spiritual predicament, this was the response I gave when he asked if I’d ever considered Islam. The seed was planted however, and I continued to ask lots of questions and receive, what I now know to be, dawah, the invitation to Islam.

I began reading introduction books alongside the Quran and I was shocked by what I read. I couldn’t believe that this faith had existed and that I hadn’t studied it before. So many of my questions were answered, so many of my beliefs affirmed, and so much of what I read aligned with my values. I noticed little synchronicities; little signs that I took to mean that I was on the right path. For example, I’d ponder a question, and then it would be answered in my reading later that day. Or I’d open the Quran and feel like it was speaking to me directly. I remember one rainy afternoon, reading the words “The thunder glorifies His praises” (13:12) when suddenly thunder began to grumble outside.

I was taken aback by the beauty and eloquence of the Quran and marvelled at all the references to nature. I also learned about the linguistic, numerical, and scientific miracles featured throughout, along with its authenticity and strict preservation since its revelation some 1400 years ago. These were undeniable proofs to me that left no doubt in my mind that the Quran is divine in origin. Even my short time as a Christian wasn’t wasted as there were so many similarities. In fact, I found it facilitated my understanding of Islam. Besides, the fundamental message was the same – to do good, avoid sin, and worship God. But the key difference in the Quran was the clear message of strict monotheism and emphasis on the oneness of God. There were no confusing concepts, no Holy Trinity, Jesus was honoured as a prophet, not a god, and there were no other intermediaries like saints or priests. Instead, every Muslim has immediate and direct access to Allah through prayer. The message was simple: “Your God is only One God. There is no god worthy of worship except Him – the Most Compassionate, Most Merciful” (2:163). To paraphrase Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens, “at the centre of Christianity was Christ, but in the centre of Islam I found only God and that was exactly Who I’d been searching for”.

Just a few months later, I found New Beginnings and enrolled in the Firm Foundations course. It was such a beautiful and gentle introduction to Islam. Not only did I gain a deeper understanding of Islam, but I also found a new level of gratitude and love for my Creator.  From the first spirituality lesson, I just knew in my heart that my soul was coming home. I completed the course in February 2021 and, a month later, made the declaration of faith, and began my new life as a Muslim.

It has now been just over a year since my shahada and I’ve never been so happy or more at peace. Islam has become my way of life and looking back, I can appreciate how much I’ve achieved in such a short amount of time. I’ve celebrated every milestone along the way like learning to pray, fasting during Ramadan, going to the mosque, wearing hijab, and meeting other Muslims and making new friends. I’ve been so warmly welcomed by the Muslim community. I continue to push myself with further study and I am so grateful to Allah for guiding me and placing wonderful teachers in my life. Most importantly, I feel content and fulfilled, and my heart is at peace knowing that Allah is at the centre of my being. I feel so incredibly blessed, none more so than when I was able to go to Mecca and perform umrah earlier this year. No words can describe the feeling of seeing the Kaaba for the first time, performing tawaf and praying directly in front of the House of Allah. The whole experience felt like an intimate, loving dialogue between my Creator and me and it’s a feeling I will never, ever forget. A feeling that now dictates my every act of worship. A feeling that allows me to have the conviction and faith I longed for all my life. It allows me to trust that whatever happens in my life, Allah will always take care of me. Alhamdullilah.

Why I Became Muslim

As a child, I was known by my family as the one who never finished things. I was quick to stop things as soon as I started them; I sulked throughout my ballet lessons and left rugby in tears. One thing I was unwavering in, however, was my belief in God. I was adamant...

Not Ready

Islam, you keep pulling me inAllah is pulling me closer And how will I navigate throughThe waters of islamophobia How would I live in a majority non-Muslim Country and thrive as a convert So many worries but also,So much comfort as my path begins to unfold Are you...

Silja’s Story

I grew up in a secure and loving home in a tiny village in the Swiss countryside. This village gave me the best childhood memories and until now, it is the place I call home (pictured above). My family moved there when I was about five years old. My parents wanted my...

Michelle’s Story

I have supported children and adults with additional needs most of my working life and it was work where my journey began. I was brought up in an Atheist family and lived in a 95% White area so never had the chance to meet people from other cultures and religion. I...

Catherine’s Story

My journey to Islam started in a pub on Green Lane, Small Heath, Birmingham. I was seven years old and we lived in a big old Victorian pub that was crumbling even then and eventually knocked down. By the time my family lived there, Small Heath was almost completely a...

Rahima’s Story

I went to the mosque on February 8th 2019, with an inquisitive mind and returned home as a Muslim. As I was about to start a 6 months internship in Nottingham. I reunited with a high school friend, I hadn’t seen for over 4 years after leaving Nairobi, although we were...

Lauren’s Story

Finding Peace in the Holy Land is a perfectly timed memoir told with brisk honesty and sharp humour. Sweeping from the suburbs of North London to the olive groves of Palestine, it explores a life of excess-to-spirituality impacted by the struggle of a distant people....

Khalil’s Story

It is the mid-1970s, Sunday morning, in a comfortable middle-class catholic church in Edgware, halfway through the service, I see a tired, distressed, dirty looking man come up the aisle to the front and try to speak, “Oh father, help ….!” I was born in the early...

Claire’s Story

For the last 10 years, Islam has been in my peripheral as I explored what I believed; steadily finding the confidence and conviction to admit I believed in a higher power, in God. I still remember being at a friend’s family party and listening to an imam recite the...

Na’eema’s Story

For teenagers growing up in the West today, they see and experience things that many people in the Middle East haven’t even heard of. So at age 14, I thought I knew everything, and with this, I felt I had the world on my shoulders. I had an amazing group of friends,...

Zahara’s Story

I took my shahada[1] in September 2010 but my interest in Islam had started about a year before. I always had a connection to God growing up even though neither of my parents followed a religion. I would talk to Him, nothing too deep, it would be more along the lines...

Sofia’s Story

I met my fiancé, Muhammad, four years ago while studying at University, we were both on the same course and got to know each other well. At the time I had very few Muslim friends, I was curious about his religion and we talked about it a lot. Through our...

Jade’s Story

My journey to Islam was a long one. It started (unbeknownst to me) when I became pregnant at 16. When I was 3 months pregnant, I told my boyfriend that I wanted to get our baby christened as I believe religion gives a child a moral compass. He flat out refused and...


  1. Anonymous


    Although I am also a revert to Islam it always amazes me when I hear about how Allah (swt) has guided the sincere searcher for truth to Him in these days of neo-jahiliyya.

    Alhumdulillah on your shahadah and “hold tight to the rope of Allah (swt)” and inshaAllah you will be successful when you face the tests that all believers will face in this dunya.

    • Nadiezhda-Tatiana Duron

      Samantha- thank you for being so open- I feel that I struggle as you did, I still do. It feels so good to be able to relate to someone :/
      I’m still super new on my journey and confused. If you could contact me that would be nice 🙁

      I wish I could be in a circle of woman and not feel so alone and isolated- I have so much to give and I want to be a part of what I feel could be the best decision of my life.


      • Samantha Lintern

        As-salaamu alaykum, I’m so glad my story resonated with you! Feel free to reach out, you can find me on instagram @heartmindjournal 🥰


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *