Robert Davila is one of those people who inspire us with their ability to overcome adversity. Robert was born in September 1980 in Bridgeport, Texas. He grew up and graduated from Bridgeport High school in 2000. Growing up, Robert was not religious, leading a life of instability and loss.
At just 20 years old, Robert’s life changed forever. In 2001, in Decatur Texas, Robert was involved in a car accident. When he woke up at the hospital, he found himself unable to move. The accident left Robert paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors’ diagnosed him as quadriplegic, and was told he will never eat, drink, breathe on his own, or walk again.
At first, Robert was only able to eat and drink through a tube in his nose. Soon he started training himself to chew food, and was finally successful. He regained his ability to chew his food and swallow.
Robert has since resided at The Longmeadow Care Center in Justin, Texas. He became best friends with his roommate, Mark. Robert and Mark talked about many things including religion. In 2004, Mark died due to complications in his condition. That was devastating to Robert.
When Mark died, Mark’s sister gave Robert his big cross and Robert asked for the cross to be hung above his bed as a reminder of his best friend and God. Being paralyzed for several years, and with the loss of his best friend, Robert decided to seek help from God. He didn’t know which way to turn. All his family members are devout Christians, and so was Mark.
Robert started reading about different religions; Christianity, Buddhism, and more, until he read about Islam. Islam was the only religion that made sense to him. He read the story of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), read the Qur’an translation, and Hadeeth, sayings and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
In September 2011, 10 years after the accident, Robert had a dream that changed his life.
Robert said, “I went to sleep and it was so real. I was in the middle of the dessert; I saw hills and winds blowing the sand in all directions. At a distance, I saw a man, about 5’ 11” surrounded by other men listening to his speech. He was doing hand gestures. The moment I looked at the man, I knew it was Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). The Prophet pointed at my cross and said, “Look at the Prophet Jesus, he eats food like us, he walks like us, he even uses the restroom like us. He’s human not God.”
Robert suddenly woke up from his dream, and unconsciously said, “I bear witness that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is His messenger.”
At that time in his life, Robert had never seen or been to a mosque, had never communicated with Muslims, and had never held the Qur’an.
After his dream, Robert Davila converted to Islam, and he dedicated much time to reading the Qur’an and studying the religion. After three years of embracing Islam, Robert has become an inspiration to many Muslims living in America and across the globe.