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
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
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
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
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
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
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