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Becoming Muslim in Yemen, Avoiding Political Islam, Seeking Connection With God (French Convert)

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Seeking Connection With God

In this episode, we discuss Maryline's conversion to Islam.

Maryline was raised Catholic, but after moving to Ireland learned more about other religions including Islam. She discusses how her desire to have a closer relationship to God led her to Islam.

Sister Maryline converted 15 years ago and currently lives with her family in Spain.

Some key points discussed:

  • Her religious upbringing.
  • Political Islam
  • Cultural Islam
  • Misconceptions about Islam.
  • Her time in Yemen
  • Taking her Shahada.
  • Building a closer relationship with God.

This is the book that Maryline mentioned:


The course taught by Maryline (99 names of Allah) can be found at Back to the Fitra Academy:


Maryline says:

I converted in 2006, so I have been Muslim for 15 years this year. I am less than a year away from reaching the Islamic age of maturity, 40.

I am French. I grew up in a Catholic family. Some members of my family were/are very committed to their faith, including nuns, priests, chaplains or workers for Christian organisations (particularly L'Arche founded by Jean Vanier) and some are non-believers. I attended a Catholic school from 2 to 18 years old I think this is important to mention as it has shaped my path as a Muslim in some ways (as a reaction to what I grew up with initially) and it has also offered me paths of reflection and inspiration more recently.

I grew up in a small town in Brittany (4000 inhabitants). My grandfather, my father and I were all born in that town, and my ancestors were born in France as far as I am aware.

I currently live in Spain, South of Valencia, after having lived in Sheffield, Belfast, London, Paris and Dublin.

I trained as a translator and more recently, as a secondary school teacher. I am an expert in languages and I am fascinated by the language reflects reality.

I have two young children (10 and 5) and so, I don't have a lot of time for hobbies, but I love swimming, and I started open-water swimming during lockdown, with one of my achievements being to swim about a mile in 12 degrees celsius water. I generally love nature walks, and I would love to have more time for reading and writing.

I am also interested in permaculture and how to build resilient communities, in alternative medicine of all sorts, especially unani tibb. I am not an expert in any of these fields, but I did start training in some of these (hijama and unani tibb particularly)

I am passionate about inclusion, in helping those who feel marginalised in any way, shape or form, to find their place . I am also passionate about supporting mothers, and women in general, spiritually, emotionally, but also in very practical ways at a local level. Covid restrictions had destroyed all the informal social tissue in my neighbourhood: the playgroups, the mum and baby coffee mornings, the breastfeeding advice cafes, etc. Without these, I have no idea how I would have functioned when I first became a mother, and my heart was completely broken for the isolated mums. We need a village to raise a child, and it is the building of this village that I am passionate about (metaphorically and in very concrete ways as well).

I believe this starts by ourselves if we can, in whatever capacity. I am also a Back to the Fitrah mentor, and this means I help Muslims come back to their God-given wisdom, to their fitrah, to identify when they are following their inner compass or not (what we describe as being inside out or outside in). At Back to the Fitrah, I hold a gathering online each week called the 99 Names of Allah from the Inside Out, where we go through each of Allah's names and chat about how this name has manifested itself in our lives or how we can live by this name. In the future, I also intend to offer what I learned at Back to the Fitrah in French.

I am also a volunteer with Rabata, and although I don't have a major role in the organisation, I feel passionate about how it supports women in their pursuit of sacred knowledge.

Both these organisations are headed by converts , and this was one of the reasons I initially approached them, and I found there the support and the understanding I needed.

About the Becoming Muslim Podcast

Do you have questions about Islam? Are you looking for a new direction in life?

The Becoming Muslim podcast at https://untoislam.com is made for those who are in the midst of researching Islam. It also suits newly converted Muslims.

Our podcast offers a wide variety of audible resources. From captivating stories of converts to discussions on day to day Islamic practices, Unto Islam allows for each individual to cater to their spiritual needs.

Find out:

(1) How to convert to Islam

(2) What it means to be Muslim

(3) Why Islam has helped others

As Muslims do not engage in missionary work, our site is only here to help those who want to know more about our faith and creed.

Episode Host: Gina Marie DeBarthe (USA)

Gina Marie DeBarthe converted in 2019

Her mother is from Honduras, a small country in Central America, and her father is from Missouri.

She was born in California.

Her father was in the Navy and then in Civil Service, so she lived all over the US and she spent time in Germany.

She currently lives in Independence, Missouri.

Gina is a Speech language pathologist.

She works with adults and children with communication disorders, developmental disabilities, and those who have had strokes, or traumatic brain injuries.

Gina states, "I feel very blessed for being guided to Islam. I have had a few trials and difficulties in life. More than once, I almost died. When I read the Qu'ran, so many things in my life made sense. Also, after taking shadada, I found I was truly able to forgive and let go of those things from my past that had been encumbering me".

More career details:

Experienced Speech Language Pathologist with a demonstrated history of working in Acute Rehabilitation and with Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC). Skilled in E-Learning, Instructional Design, Tele-practice, Bilingual Speech Therapy, Research, and Science. Strong healthcare services professional graduated from University of Kansas.

See full profile page here.

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Our podcast offers a wide variety of audible resources. From captivating stories of converts to discussions on day to day Islamic practices, Unto Islam allows for each individual to cater to their spiritual needs.


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