Hilarion Heagy, Eastern Catholic monk, renounces Christianity for Islam

A prominent Christian priest Hilarion Heagy, based in California, United States, converted to Islam and changed his name to Said Abdul Latif.

Hilarion Heagy, an American priest who was formerly a Russian Orthodox monk, and was highly respected among his followers.

He joined the Antiochian Orthodox Church around 2003, before leaving in 2007 and converting to the Catholic Church of the East. He graduated from the Convent of the Holy Resurrection in St Nazianz, Wisconsin to become a Byzantine Catholic priest and recently announced plans to establish an Eastern Christian monastery in California.

Hilarion Heagy announced in a blog post about his journey to Islam, expressed his decision as a ‘reversion to Islam’ and that it was ‘like coming home’.

“After decades of feeling drawn to Islam in varying degrees, I had finally decided to take the plunge. It really does feel like “coming home.” my first-born belief. Since before we were even born, we worshipped God alone and submitted to him, according to the Qur’an,” he wrote in a blog post.

According to him, he had felt the spark of Islam for 20 years, but he stated that he truly accepted Islam when he announced it.

“One simply can’t be a priest and monk publicly, and a Muslim privately.”

Abdul Latif said of his conversion that it was “the return to the East” and the return to his “primitive identity”, offering an explanation by quoting the Holy Quran.

“It is for this reason that converts to Islam often do not speak so much of ‘conversion’ as they speak of a ‘reversion’ to Islam — our primordial faith. A long process of Returning,” he adds.

“The future is uncertain for me. There are always fears when you take a leap in the dark. And yet, I feel such peace. A joy. A relief. My pull towards Islam over twenty years has finally led me home. Now begins the work of entering deeper into the faith. A deeper learning. A love for the Deen. A love for the Ummah. A love for the Prophet ﷺ,” he added.


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