Canadian solo traveller Rosie Gabrielle, who spent a notable amount of time in Pakistan last year has announced that she has converted to Islam.
Taking to Instagram, Gabrielle shared what led her to this big decision.
"This last year was one of the hardest in my life, and all life’s challenges have led me to this point here and now. From a young child, I’ve always had a unique connection with creation and special relationship to God. My path was far from easy and I carried a lot of anger in my heart from a lifetime of pain, always begging God, why me? Until ultimately coming to the conclusion that all is meant to be, and even my suffering is a gift," she wrote.
"Never resonating with what I was brought up with, I denounced my religion 4 years ago, going down a deep path of spiritual discovery. Exploration of self, and the great Divine. I never let go the sight of the Creator, in fact, my curiosity and connection only grew stronger. Now no longer dictated by fear, I was able to fully explore this righteous path."
As time passed, she said she didn't want to be consumed by anger and hurt.
"I wanted peace in my heart, forgiveness and the most profound connection with all. And thus started my journey. The universe brought me to Pakistan, not only to challenge myself to let go of the last remaining traces of pain and ego, but also to show me the way. Through kindness and humbled grace of the people I met along my pilgrimage, inspired my heart to seek further," added the biker.
The travel blogger also shared how traveling through Muslim countries for the last decade has shown her how Islam is a religion of peace. However she feels like it is one of the most misinterpreted in the world.
She concluded, "Like all religions, there are many interpretations. But, the core of it, the true meaning of Islam, is PEACE, LOVE and ONENESS. It’s not a religion, but a way of life. The life of humanity, humility and Love. For me, I was already technically a “Muslim”. My shahada was basically a re-dedication of my life to the path of Oneness, connection and Peace through the devotion of God."
In an earlier interview with Images, Rosie had mentioned doing her part in changing the stereotypes attached to the Muslim world.
"After my series in Oman went viral, I saw what a difference my videos could make especially for the Muslim community on an international level. This really inspired me to want to come to Pakistan because I knew what a negative view the media has on the country, and I wanted to change that."