Najla Tammy Kepler was born in 1971 in Texas, USA, the first child of a religious family. Always questioning since her childhood, Kepler decided to become a Muslim at the age of nineteen. She decided to settle in Türkiye in 2005 and continues to write actively. She is the author of “A Road from Texas to Truth” and “Reflections on the Journey”.

I would like to begin this interview by asking questions about your life before embracing Islam. What was your life like during that time, particularly in terms of your faith?

I was very fortunate to have a father who was dedicated to helping me. Not only, was he physically active, serving as my athletics coach in some sports like track and basketball, but also mentally he wanted me to be stimulated. He would buy little workbooks even before we went to school and once we were in school, there was a constant effort to educate us. But his greatest passion for us was for us to be spiritually aware and enriched. So he would even study the Bible and then teach us lessons to us at the dinner table. So there was a very good opportunity for me to dive into faith and religion at a very young age.

One of the things that my father’s efforts to be a good father taught me was that every person is multifaceted and everything needs to be in harmony, physical, mental, emotional, and most of all spiritual. So that was where I started and it was a very early process and it went on until I entered my teens when I went to live with my mom who was going to a different church and was a part of a Protestant experience where they were celebrating Christmas and even Halloween. I mean the culture of Christianity, she wanted me to have the full experience. So whereas in my father’s church, we were trying to live according to what was in the Bible, which did not include Easter and Christmas nor birthdays and Halloween and these kinds of things that had Pagan foundations, my mom was more concerned about me being involved in society. So seeing these two different sides, it was a very stark difference between them and I needed to process, my dad showed me a perspective that included many profound truths, and they were based on something that was supposedly from God. And then there’s mom, who wants to convey the culture I was growing up in, of the society I was growing up in, as well as some religious aspects. But it didn’t have the depth that my father’s efforts entailed. And the church that my father was going to was trying to teach us. So to be honest, I was more inclined to believe as my father had believed.