Gypsy


I was raised a Catholic of a not  very religious family in the USA.  I grew up in the 70's and felt that
there was something very wrong with the spirituality of the West.  Even  though the times were relatively prosperous, following current events one  felt that the value system of the west has failed. Many families were  broken, the institution of marriage was being questioned, and other  philosophies and religions of the world were welcomed. Finishing High  School and starting college, I found that I was searching for something  that gave meaning to my life and felt closeness to God.  I searched around and found Islam. During the same time I met my Muslim  husband through a secretary at work. Many people assume that my husband  converted me, but that was not the case. When I met him I was ready to
dedicate my life to the idea of Islam as presented to me by Maudidi, in  Islam in Focus. I was 22, with one semester of college, when I married him.  He knew almost no English, but he gave me many books, especially on How to  Raise Islamic Kids in North America. I was overjoyed and sure that I found
the solution to all the worlds problems.  No one told me to cover  completely, including my hands and my neck all the way up to my face. In  this time my husband was very modern and found me a little fanatical. But  he never told me to uncover because he was pleased at my total conversion
to Islam.  I did it because I wanted to please God more than anything else/  I said that Allah has rescued me from sure damnation.    Everyday I read more and more and by 1 year I could recite the small
surahs in Arabic. I use to go around and talk to the girlfriends of my  husband's friends to see if they would convert.  At that time, I was very  happy with my spouse. We had four kids, one after another. I was in College  and worked, so I thought those bothersome things that I read about women in
Islam did not apply to pure, unadulterated Islam, because my spouse was  very liberal.  But the word liberal meant that he let me study and work.  Personally, he did not associate or talk to any American. He felt  intimidated by the culture of our state and always chose friends from his  own Mideast country. He would not let me talk to any American, except  limited conversation about Islam.  ...promote the complete separation of  the sexes so as to keep society pure. I thought that lack of trust as a
small flaw in which I could overlook.  Years passed and I graduated from college. But instead of helping my needy  family (my husband was so good that he let me study instead of helping out  by a much needed second income). When the Twin Towers episode occurred and other  MiddleEastern situations developed, I noticed that my husband grew a beard  and started acting very seriously. When Americans threw rocks  at our car for no reason, except that I appeared foreign, he decided that  I should go to his small city in the MidEast.  It was an industrial city in which I would  live with his family while he would stay here to make money. I stayed with them for 2 years the first  and it was the beginning of BIG disappointments. 

For example I met this woman crying on the beach. Since she spoke English and  folks are sociable over there, in wasn't long before we were talking. It  turns out that she had worked as a maid in Saudi Arabia. She married  one of the sons of her employer and they had two kids. For no reason whatsoever
on her part (I checked this side of the story with some folks in the Mosque  who knew the case) he divorced her and kept the kids and had her deported.  She had no money to help herself to a legal case. In Islam, divorce is  the worst thing allowed by Allah and there are many recommendations on how
to do it honorably. But what is recommended is different on what is  allowed, and what is allowed is just that. Three pronunciations of, "I  divorce thee," a certain waiting period for the women, and that's it. I was  shocked. It appears that many American Muslims did not know this because  the literature provided to them does not spell these things out.    But, was I going to judge something so great in my eyes by Western 1990's  standards? When a Muslim is not sure of something he has faith that sooner
or later there will be a 'hadith' (written by the Prophet Mohamed and his  companions to clarify the Qu'ran).

Even though I was treated very  well by his family, I became very depressed because there was nobody that  spoke English and our kids were feeling isolated. I went back to the US and  my life went back to normal. This was the first two of the four years that  I was there. I left with memories of wonderful people who, even if I  couldn't speak their language, I did not need to. They welcomed me very
warmly.

    But, after a year I thought that I did not give it enough of a try. The  public schools here in the US had wonderful teachers and ideals, but there  was a certain worldly pressure for the kids to have boyfriends and go to  parties in which cigarettes and alcohol may be experimented. What if we
moved to a better neighborhood in Egypt? So we went back. This time moving
there turned out to be the worst mistake of my life. Shortly after I got  there a nurse who spoke English

introduced me to the book, "Jesus, a Prophet  of Islam." I studied that book and almost memorized certain parts. Now I had  lots of friends and spent the time going to mosques and telling folks
through an interpreter that Islam is for the whole world. I tended to ask  questions that got on people's nerves, for example: "why isn't the Qu'ran  in chronological order, and why does one need so many footnotes to explain  what it says?" Or, "Why were 220 Surahs amended for later ones, God did not
do this on the Taurat or Ingil (Muslim words for the Torah and the New  Testament)." When I took my kids out of regular private school and enrolled them in an American type private school my inlaws got furious with me and things started to change in a drastic way.  An uncle slapped me around.
because the school cost a lot of money and they thought it was  unnecessary. I tried to get help, and even though I was told that the uncle  was out of line when slapping me, they felt I really deserved the "correction."

It is amazing how one feels when one sees that the hitter is defended as being  the one to put order in a female illogical mind. It is amazing when one  sees the TV make fun of women who are hit by spouses. I saw that indeed,  many women were hit regularly. But, we follow Islam and not the ignorant
Muslims, I was told. Islam does allow a husband to hit his wife (in the  fourth Surah, called Nisaa), but never his relatives and the hitting comes  contingent on his trying to solve the problem by better means.
I lived peacefully, but when my spouse came back, he thought I went out too  much and decided to make me more homebound. That wouldn't be bad in itself,  had there been books or something for my kids to do but the beach was very  polluted, the parks were nonexistent, and there was no place for kids to  play. I got very depressed.

When once, I was hit very hard by my spouse and  went to the embassy, I was told that the US embassy follows the law of the  land and they cannot let me take the kids out of that country without my
spouse's permission. Indeed, the kids belong to him. There are many women  who are not allowed to go out much, and that's all there is to it, because  sometimes the pressure to conform to expectations rules a whole life. But,  again, I blamed the culture and not Islam.  I tried to work, but received
no help from my in-laws. Some time passed, and when again, my husband came  to visit and acted violent and different, I decided to leave the MidEast forever.  Let me note that my husband did not want to bring me back in the USA, but  a Muslim man told him about hadithes that say that women must be treated  well and allowed to live where they can be happy.

It was about this time when I had two dreams in which Jesus came to me and  asked me to follow him. I woke up very upset because I am not a believer in  dreams. I did a lot of prayers since Satan can take any shape except Prophet Mohamed.But still I cried a lot because I felt spiritually empty.

I then took a science based Bible course at the local night school. I thought that I would
then prove the Bible wrong and be satisfied with the Qu'ran.  How surprised was I when I learned the facts of the Bible. For example, The Bible does not need a complete book of work  like the 'Ahadith' to make sure we have the right interpretations. Getting  the right meaning is a big part of understanding Qu'ran. For example, you  have the interpretations of some Surahs, and then one sees interpretations
of interpretations. Every time I talked to my friend R. in Egypt and I said  something that bothered me in Islam she said that she read or she asked a  certain sheik and he found such and such. For example, I was bothered by  the wife beating verse of which I spoke of earlier. She asked a well known
Imam and he said that the prophet meant that a wife must be hit only with a  traditional Arab toothbrush (!!!). It was like that for many issues..It  took me a while to know that a Merciful God is able to publish a book that  does not need cross references or amendments. It should be for all people  and for all times. It would be cruel not to have everything we need for  salvation.

Israel in the OT was a Nation in which all nations will be  saved through and in the OT there were chapters talking of the Messiah and  his sacrifice for mankind.  Special knowledge or Guru's go against the
all-inclusive Biblical Spirit. We hear many strange opinions in our day, I  think it would help us to be watchful and ask from where in the Bible it  comes from. This is easy, because the Bible is chronologically written.    In that time, I was lucky to get books connected to major universities  about the Bible, I felt that I could prove it wrong and my need of Jesus  would go away. But as I read, more and more I could see that the Bible was  a book of prophecies, of scientific accuracy, and much more. A book from
God.

It took me four years of studying to become a Christian. And with a lot of pain and tears.
My husband will leave me when the kids are bigger. I have had 60 Christian  books and Bibles thrown away by him. I have had to run thru the apartment buildings  where I live, barefoot and in loungedress, because he caught me with a  gospel cassette tape and wanted to throw it away.  He has prevented me from going to church; followed me when I've gone out; and watched me thru the windows to try
and catch me reading the Bible or Christian literature. Frightened neighbors  have called the police. And, because I am now an apostate, he will be allowed  to kill me if we move to an Islamic country. I have no help from the big  group of friends of his that I had in yesteryear.  So far, I am lucky that my kids  have not been taken away by him.  And he is doing what Allah told him to do to  'murtadhas'(deniers) in the Qu'ran.

Isn't it written somewhere in our Bible that in the last days we will be  beaten and persecuted because we offend people by admitting that we follow  Christ? And that (those that persecute Christians) they would do it  imagining that they would do a service to God? I do not know what will  become of me in this world, but I feel held by my loving heavenly Father  and that is sufficient.

Muslim-Christian marriages: Women telling their story ...


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