Wednesday, 22 May 2013

I researched every religion: Revert to Islam-Donna Lewis



Donna Lewis – (now Ayesha Lea) was brought up Jehovah Witness, but left that at 13 due to too many unanswered questions, and so often being told “don’t ask questions”   She was an atheist for many years, and then became a Witch, worshiping Pagan gods and rituals for about 15 years.  She also dabbled in Satanism, Hinduism and Buddhism, clearly trying to find what was right, but nothing ever fit.   She reverted in January 2013, as she found all answers to her questions
She is 48 year old female and work as an Accounts Supervisor for a Body Corporate management company in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.  She was born in Australia (Brisbane) to an English mother and Australian father (with German roots). 
Her mother brought her up as Jehovah Witness, but her father never believed in any religion.  She came from a family, with alcoholism a constant part of her upbringing along with several siblings
Interview with Donna  Lewis (Ayesha Lea)

Q: How did your interest in Islam start and what attracted you to Islam?
In November 2012 a penfriend mentioned they were a Muslim, so I thought I would read a simple book on Islam to understand their religion.  I read “Complete Idiots Guide to Islam” and by the end of it, I was taken.  Allah (subhan wa’tala) guided me during this simple book.  I saw answers to so many questions, it made sense, and most of all, I cannot explain further than the fact that I was chosen to find the truth, and it made its way quickly into my heart.
Since learning more about Islam, there is never any question that won’t be answered, proof is always provided.   It makes sense to me about every aspect of life, and what Allah (subhan wa’tala) truly intended in all his books. 

Q: what was the defining moment when you decided to revert to Islam?
I went to the home of Muslims in my area (by invitation) to sit with the children’s lesson, I did this a couple of weeks, and it just felt natural and right to accept Islam.   I was asked did I believe in la ilaha illallah (There is no God, But Allah) which I could say a resounding yes to, and did I believe Mohammad (pbuh) was his prophet, also a hearty yes… and that was enough to take Shahada and then begin to increase my faith and knowledge. 

Q: what was the reaction of your parents/friends/spouse/relatives?
Surprisingly I have found the people you think will have a problem don’t, and those you thought would support you have a problem.  I have dear friends I’ve known for many years, and they saw on Facebook that I had changed my name, and posting Islamic things.. and they said they would have nothing to do with it.  My oldest brother, who has always been the one I’ve been closest to, has disowned me, and telephoned my parents purely out of spite and told them, before I was ready to tell them.  My mother and sister who are Jehovah witnesses, who I thought would be upset were fine, they just said “you can believe what ever you want”.  My daughter has a problem understanding, because it goes against all the things I instilled in her growing up, but she accepts it.  One day hopefully she will feel comfortable enough so we can start to talk about it, may Allah (swt) guide her.

Q: How challenges did you face at your work place or cultural or with any other people?
I haven’t felt able to wear Hijab to work, nor pray at work.  I am a very self-conscious person and I’m scared to do so, even though slowly people around the office have started to learn, I am still scared to turn up in Hijab.  I have a very busy job, and find both the time, and strength (and a place) to pray at work difficult, but I make dua and hope that one day it will be easy for me. 

Q: what level of support help did you get from the Muslim community or Muslims. Was it positive? How can they improve?
The couple who I first met, and where I took Shahada were a fabulous first experience to Muslims.  They are kind and knowledgeable.  I went to a sisters morning tea to welcome me with many sisters in my area.  However I have since felt a little isolated.  People don’t seem to “reach”out much, and I often feel it’s a task I’m doing alone with no guidance or support.  There are functions on for the sisters in my city, which I attend, and its always really pleasurable, but on the learning side, I feel mostly left to my own devices, and that can be frustrating at times.  I think this is exacerbated by the fact that I am not good at reaching out either.. I don’t like to ask for help, so maybe if I did, the help would be there. 

Q: what are your future plans or how do you see Muslim Ummah in the future.
I am saddened to see so many “Muslims” not being true to the guidance of Allah (subhan wa’tala) and living life in sin and against everything they know.  I hope to learn enough to begin giving Da’wah and increasing my own knowledge and pray and hope that our Ummah grows stronger and more committed and focused on what is required of us to make it safely to the hereafter and avoid the hellfire. 

Disclaimer: The photo is not of the actual person, but a file photo.