Jun 8 2019
Fedrick Rib Ret, French Christian priest converted to Shia
Categories: Autobiographies of converts(of those converted to Shiaism)
Fedrick Rib Ret is a Christian priest “Newly-Muslim” (born in 1974), poet, painter and story writer from French. He was an Orthodox Catholic in the past and is now a Shiite Muslim.
Fedrick Rib Ret is 38 years old and is not fluent in Farsi. He says I have not yet gotten married and have enough time to study Islamic content. when I was reading the theory of Christian Theology, tendency to Christian texts was not interesting to me and the adjacent to a mosque attracted me to Islam.
- how is the image of Islam for the French people?
The image of Islam in the 20th century has been violent to the French people and it’s not very clear and this is the tendency of truth to Islam that has brought French people to Islam.
When I was reading the Qur’an and discussing with the Muslims, was feeling that, what I learned from Christianity, did not create motivation and transformation in me, but with the study of the Quran, an inner revolution was created in me, and what I was expected is present in Quran. By studying and asking the Islamic scholars of Morocco, I gradually converted to Islam.
- What was your main reason for tendency to Islam?
One of the main reasons for tendency was my Jordanian friend “La Ila Khalifa” which was an educated and Muslim that fascinated me with Islam.
- Is Islam, in your opinion, a mythic religion?
I live in the heart of France, Paris. Common people who have contact with me, there is no any interest in their ideological beliefs “means their religion.” In my opinion, what’s inside the humans is innate and if religion has been defined as a religion of few hundred years ago and by advancement of society, the religion is not applicable, I have to say, it’s not at all.
In addition, the image of the French media from Islam and Muslims was a picture of wild people, terrorists and bombers. But, is this the true face of the Muslims? The media dishonesty has made people look for truth.
- What image of Islam do you have in mind?
For a while I was reading the various texts of different religions at the Center for theology of Christianity and it was my first encounter and image of Islam. And gradually, studying the Qur’anic sciences made me now to be a Shia Muslim.
- When you become Muslim, how was your family’s encounter with you?
They did not have a good image of Islam in their minds, I did not supply my religion suddenly to them. I was Muslim and did not impose myself on them. In the ceremonies and parties, I was not using the alcohol and haram (حرام) meat. My father was saying to me jokingly “Have you become Muslim?”, and gradually they got habited on me.
- What did you become Shia?
In my opinion, Shia school has two superiorities to Sunni. Amir al-Momenin (a.s) is an individual character and a light derived from the Prophet (s.a.w.w), which is the true meaning of Islam. Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.w) offered true Islam and Amir al-Momenin (a.s) explained it to the people. The second reason is that the richness of the hadith in Shia, that in Sunni is less. Shia Hadiths are authentic and I found it in the books of these two schools. In my opinion, these are Shiites who were able to spread real science and scientists were Shia. In my opinion, Shia sources are much stronger.
- What books have you read from Iranian scholars?
Nahj al-Balagha has a good translation to France and I have studied it. Because in France there is not much translation of Iranian books, so I turned to learning Arabic language.
- When did you leave the church, how did the clerics of the church deal with you?
Their dealings were not very good and positive. Because the image to the sacred texts in the church is the personal attitude of the pastor, bishop and religious scholars. When they study the Qur’an with their superficial vision, they will not understand anything and when someone says I have become Muslim, they are not attractive to them.
- What is your description of Islam?
The answer to this question is difficult and it is inside the human beings. It cannot be express, but what I read in Islamic texts, learned that I can speak to God and every day, I repeat it five times, it is very attractive to me.
- How much you are familiar with Ahlul Bayt (a.s)?
Despite the fact that the population of the Shiites in France is not high and all the restrictions that exist, every time I hear the story of Imam Hussain (a.s) and the Ashura event, I’m heavily affected.
- What do you know about the absent Imam (a.s)?
We need to make the preparations and background of the epiphany. I know a Shia couple in France which have closed their suitcase and they want to accompany him when he comes.
It has to be mentioned, he was invited by the community of “Martyr Edoardo Agnelli” to participate in the program of this community.