Jake Matthews Converts to Islam: In a surprising move, Jake Matthews, a 10-year UFC veteran and army reservist from Suburban Melbourne, shared with his friends that he had reverted to Islam, mashallah. Despite initial belief from his mates, Matthew says that it wasn’t a sudden decision but a gradual process. As he learned more about the ethics and values of Islam over a year and a half, Matthews explained that he felt connected to the morals of Islam for a long time. Growing up in a multicultural Melbourne, he had Muslim friends but there were no religious discussions. His Friends’ character and brotherhood attracted him, leading to a natural curiosity about their way of life.
How Martial Arts Brought Him Closer to Islam
In his early days, Matthews had a typically Aussie upbringing, playing sports and being an active martial artist, especially Brazilian jiu-jitsu brought him closer to his Muslim friends, erasing any cultural differences. according to him, martial arts break down barriers, creating a bond among practitioners.
Here are some excerpts from the Blood Brothers Podcast,
“So you went to a mixed school? do were you from a mixed neighborhood where you had Muslims?” asked Dilly Hussain
“Melbourne’s very multicultural, and um in the early days it was a typical Aussie kid growing up. I played Australian rules Football for 9 years, played at a very high level, always active you know, I used to swim in school um, used to you know, played rugby in school. just a very active kid, and that led to me getting into martial arts. and obviously, martial arts on top of growing up in Melbourne, which is very diverse, martial arts is very diverse and um that’s a great part about martial arts. there’s no, there’s no race on the mat, you know what I mean, and um met most of my Muslim friends through martial arts through Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and yeah I guess, once you bring martial arts into the equation, we’re all on the same journey together. and all trying to get better and training to get on the mat in very close proximity.” – Jake Matthews replied.
How Podcasts Helped Jake Matthews in understanding Islam
While potentially having a Catholic influence due to his Scottish-Irish background, he emphasized that there was little influence from his family. Matthews admitted to believing in a higher power from a young age, but he was uncertain about its nature. around 2 and 1/2 years ago Matthews listened to a podcast named The History of Christianity. little did he know that this choice would set the stage for a remarkable Journey. months later he decided to switch gears and listen to the History of Islam by Hadad.
“We reached a certain point where it’s not enough, the things around us are not enough to motivate us and keep us on, on the right path. and keep us disciplined there needs to be something else, and for me, it was guidelines on you know ethics and morality. and you know, obviously believing that there’s something else out there and, man the story of how I became Muslim, it’s probably a shock to some people but um and to others is not, it comes down to a podcast I put on the History of Christianity and I listen to it and you know I already knew, you know, part of the History of Christianity but I was never, I was never baptized when I was born. never really pushed towards a certain religion. then the next time, so months down the track, I played it again and I was like I need another podcast. so I was like “oh this is the history of Islam, different religion, completely separate, something new.” I put it on, I was like hold on a second. I’m like this is not separate. so I already, already knew a bit about Christianity, so I started really looking into Islam” Jake Matthews continued.
Abrahamic Religions and Islamic Way of Life
The revelation struck him as he noticed these similarities between Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, all categorized as Abrahamic religions. this realization ignited Matthew’s curiosity, prompting him to delve deeper into the history of Islam. he started by studying the stories of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and other prophets from Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S.) to Musa (A.S.) and Isa (A.S.). Initially, Matthews approached this exploration as a historical study, but as he delved further, he discovered that Islam offered more than just stories, it provided practical guidelines for daily life, from personal hygiene to conflict resolution, Islam encompassed a comprehensive set of principles that intrigued Matthews, implementing these guidelines quietly in his life.
Jake Matthews’s Acceptance of Islam as Truth
Matthews observed positive changes. despite his friends’ unawareness, they began to notice his knowledge of Islam yet the thought that he might be genuinely interested didn’t cross their minds. surprisingly, Matthews shared an interesting story about his best friend’s mother who years ago predicted that he would become a Muslim. this subtle thought hinted at the amazing journey Matthews was about to embark on for about 2 years. Matthews gradually transitioned from studying the historical aspects of Islam to incorporating its principles into his life.
Jake Matthews Converted to Islam after taking Shahada
The positive impact led him to embrace the worship side of the faith resulting in his Shahada at the start of January 2023, mashallah. Jake Matthews Converted to Islam officially. despite his small circle of friends being mostly Muslims, Matthews kept his journey private to avoid external influence. he sought guidance by listening to Islamic channels during his frequent drives for training, ensuring his understanding was rooted in self-discovery. the following six months after taking Shahada became a period of deep exploration and dedication to Islam. Matthews expressed his happiness noting that he had never been happier in his journey.
Positive changes since embracing Islam
As he describes, it may seem quiet and uneventful, but the subtlety and sincerity in his approach make it profound. Since Jake Matthews Converted to Islam, Matthews has noticed positive changes in both his family life and his fighting career. career according to him, it’s like when he’s tired during training he doesn’t give up. there’s a new energy pushing him forward. what according to you is the most difficult thing that a person faces after taking Shahada? For Matthews, it was how his family and fans would react to his reconversion. he admitted that he was hesitant at first to talk about his reversion on Instagram but was encouraged by friends who thought it could positively impact others going through a similar Journey. Matthews received many messages from people interested in Islam after hearing his story.
“Um, it’s something I was very reluctant to do. um I’ve got, I’ve got some close friends that you know, they said it would be, you know, they sort of talked me into doing it in a good way um you know. we mentioned earlier that you know it’s something that can help other reverts seeing, you know, another UFC fighter revert hearing their story and hopefully they can relate and if, if they want to, they can reach out to me and, and message which I, I received dozens and dozens and dozens of messages. um, people that I would never have thought that I’ve known for my whole life actually messaged me and, and said that they were thinking about reverting and they were interested in learning more about Islam. so it was, it was a good thing that we did it.” said Matthews.
Reaction of Fans, Friends and Family.
Luckily, the family had his back in this decision of Jake Matthews’s Conversion to Islam, and the support from his partner further solidified his decision. Matthews acknowledges his luck in having a supportive environment as he continues to navigate his newfound faith. Matthews who wasn’t sure how the public would react was pleasantly surprised by the overwhelmingly supportive response on social media despite the prevalent stereotypes surrounding Islam. due to media misinterpretation and geopolitical events, Matthews received minimal negativity among thousands of comments. only a handful were negative and interestingly they primarily revolved around his tattoos. Matthews addressed the misconception by explaining that cleanliness in Islam is not compromised by tattoos, highlighting the need to change stereotypes.
Jake Matthews’s Experiences with Islam
Matthews in the podcast talked openly about his experiences with Islam, how Jake Matthews Converted to Islam, and discussing how he adjusted after his first Ramadan. As we know, Matthews has been in the UFC for a long time, so fasting for him wasn’t too difficult because as an athlete, he’s used to different diets and fasting. however not being able to drink water was a bit new for him. overall he felt good and refreshed after Ramadan. Matthews also mentioned dealing with injuries during Ramadan, surprisingly he healed faster than expected. and he believed it was because of the positive effects of fasting on cell healing. despite being reluctant to justify his faith to others, Matthews recognized the positive outcomes of sharing his story publicly. he expressed gratitude for the support he received especially from the Muslim community, the Ummah.
Matthews has built close connections with famous athletes like Sunny Bill Williams and is even considering training with Khabib’s Nurmagomedov’s Team. talking about Sunny Bill Williams, Matthews said that Sunny has always been learning and trying to follow the guidelines of Islam. it’s inspiring for him to see how he has been a Muslim for years and still wants to improve. Matthews believes that accepting Islam has positively affected his fight preparation, providing a focus and determination he didn’t have before. he looks forward to continued growth, guided by the principles of Islam, both inside and outside the fighting arena.