Ms. Malaak

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I  am a new Muslim woman from Richmond, VA. I had never even met Muslims before last year, and had no idea that there was an Islamic  center  in  my  own  city.  However,  at  that  time,  I  was  very interested  in  Islam,  but  I  could  find  nothing  to  read.  I  read encyclopaedias  and  any  books  I  could  get  my  hands  on,  but  they were all written by non-Muslims. They said that Muhammad (saws) wrote  the  Qur'an  in the 7th century, that Muslims worshipped the black stone, and that Islam bred hatred towards women. They also said that Muhammad (saws) copied the Bible, that Islam was spread with the Qur'an in one hand and the sword in the other, and implied (if not stated directly) that all Muslims were Arab. One book even said that the word "Allah" came from al-lot, the moon god of the pagan Arabs. These are just some of the lies I read.

Then,  one  day,  two  Pakistani  Muslim  women  (who  were also muhajjabas [wearing Hijab-ed.])  came  to  my  college.  I  befriended them,  and  then  I  started  asking  them  all  kinds  of  questions. I had already left Christianity when I was 12, so I felt no challenge to my personal beliefs. I was a biology major and had basically no religion. I was  amazed  at  what  they  told  me,  and  I  realized  that  all  of  my previous knowledge was lies. Then, I came home for the summer. I got  my  own  apartment  and  started  working  at  7-11.  While  I  was working, a black muhajjaba came in the store. I asked her where she worshipped and when she told me there was an Islamic center on the same street I was working on, I was amazed.  

I went the next day, but no one was there. So I went the day after that day (which happened to be Friday) and found some people there. A man told me to come the next week at noon so I could meet some of the ladies. But when he said "noon," he meant "dhuhr," not

12. I didn't know that. So I came at 12 the follow ing week, but no one  was  there.  For  some  reason,  I  decided  to  wait, Subhan-Allah. And wait I did, for an hour and a half (jumaa' [Friday prayer -ed.] is at 2), and finally I meet some people. A lady there gave me a copy of Maurice Bucaille's The Bible, Qur'an, and Science. When I read it, I knew that I wanted to become a Muslim. After all, I was a biology major.  I  knew  that  the  things  in  the  Qur'an  had  to  be from Allah (swt), and not from an illiterate, uneducated man. So I went the next week and took shahaada [i.e. stated and accepted the creed of Islam -ed.]  When  my  dad  found  out,  he  went  crazy.  He  came  to my apartment and tore up everything in it, including my Qur'an. I called the police, and they came out. But they refused to help. They said "Don't you think he's right?" and so on. So I fled to Nashville, TN.  

I  have  continued  to  talk  with  my  dad,  though,  because the Qur'an says to honour your parents (it does not distinguish between Kaafir (a  non-believer and  Muslim  parents),  and  because  I remember the story of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (raa). He hated Islam so much that he used to beat his slave girl until his arm grew tired. Al-Hamdu Lillah, Allah (swt) has rewarded me for my efforts. I saw my father  for  the  first  time  this  summer,  he  accepted  it  without  too much commentary. I think he realizes now that he can't bully me into renouncing Islam. 


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