Dr. Rebecca Masterton is a British Islamic scholar, educator, public speaker, academic, author, television presenter, and philosopher of the Shi'ite Sect of Islam.
Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahim -
I was born in the south of England, near the sea, in a small town, and grew up knowing nothing about Islam. I did not even know that Islam existed. However, as a child I had always felt a sense of detachment from this world. I felt as if I had just arrived here from another place, and I could not get used to being here. I have always had a naturally strong attachment to the unseen; the sense of a hidden place from where I have come, and to where I will return. My family were Christian in name, but not really Christian in belief. My mother rejected the idea of God as a Father. She brought me up telling me that God is a ‘force’, or a ‘power’. We never read the Bible, although we had a copy. Our Christian practice was very cultural. When I was a child we went to church on Sundays to socialise, rather than to think about the message of Nabi Isa (as).
My family never really thought about God, or the nature and meaning of our existence in this world, or of sacred knowledge. They are good, moral people, but they live mainly for this world. It is as if the realm of the unseen does not exist for them. I spent my teenage years looking for sacred knowledge. I read books on different ancient religions: the religion of the ancient Egyptians and the ancient Celts, but this did not satisfy me. When I was seventeen, my friends and I began to listen to the lectures given by a teacher was originally from India. He talked about knowledge of the self; of the meaning of happiness and how important it was to put his teachings first one’s life. I became dissatisfied with this teacher, because I realised that he was not genuine. He used knowledge to control his followers. I stopped listening to him, and again began to buy books, as I continued to search for teachings about knowledge of the self and the Divine, but again I could not find anything to satisfy me. I wanted to find a proper path, a path that trains the soul.