JEDDAH: FOUZIA KHAN
Published — Wednesday 27 November 2013
Last update 27 November 2013 12:50 am
Eight new Muslim women from different countries were honored at a reception in Jeddah recently. Some of the reverts have recently embraced Islam while a few of them are a year old to Islam.
Moulana Hifzur Rehman Seoharvi Academy, an organization that aims to preach and spread Islam in the Kingdom, had organized the welcome reception.
Organizers and attendees welcomed them and gave them gifts. The new Muslims coming from different communities narrated their experiences of their trials and tribulations on their way to embracing Islam. The newly reverted Muslim sisters were Wajida Bano (the old name Vijay Lakshmi), Shaikh Fatima, Zahida Bano, Alia Baker (earlier Jeannine Baker), Fatima Faheem (old name Binu), Dr. Bindu, Zainab (Shruti) and Muna (Mona).
Dr. Bindu (she didn’t change her name) told everyone how she came "from darkness to the light of Islam" and her trials and tribulations while leaving her husband, house and family for the sake of Islam to be a true Muslim.
She shared her miseries and obstacles with everyone "to encourage those who wanted to revert to Islam but are still confused and those who are born Muslims but forgot their responsibilities."
“When I came here I was a very religious Hindu who always looked to worship her lord. I found it difficult to be here, as people I saw don’t pray to many gods, as Hindus do. But when I saw people worshiping only one Allah, it touched my heart,” she explained.
She further said that she developed an interest in her heart to know more about Islam. With the help of a Muslim colleague and friend she start reading the Qur’an and listening to Muslim scholars.
“My knowledge about Muslims was not correct. In fact, many Muslims living in India also don’t have correct information about Islam. I went to India to see my sick mother and I talked with my husband. In the beginning he agreed to my acceptance of Islam. He had no problem, but when we reached India, he changed. I had no other alternative but to leave him and my home and come back to Kingdom with my daughter who was my real inspiration in fighting back to stay on the right path,” she said.
Another new Muslim, Fatima Faheem (Binu) said that she was studying in a university where she had a Muslim friend. One day he asked her about the meaning of 'namaste' (a common greeting in the Subcontinent). As she couldn’t answer, she with the aim to corner him asked about the meaning of Assalamu Alaikum, which he replied by saying it meant 'peace be upon you.' The answer came as a surprise to her.
“I was shocked by the answer. I met his family who were very religious. Slowly I started learning about Islam. It was very difficult to convince my family that I wanted to marry a Muslim man. My whole family was against the decision but later gradually I succeeded in convincing my dad. He gave me to my husband in marriage. I learned about the Qur’an and its meanings from him and his family. I tried to convince my father to accept Islam, unsuccessfully though, but I succeeded in bringing my younger sister to the fold of Islam,” she said.
The program was graced by Alia Baker (Jeannie Baker) as chief guest. Others who attended the function included Seema Malik, Umme Khalid, Ayesha Surati and Chaudhary Shahbaz.
“I never knew how new Muslim sisters sacrificed their families and husbands. I am very lucky because I am married to a Saudi who helped me understand Islam. My family was very accepting, so Allah made my path very easy,” explained Alia Baker.
Umme Fakeha Zinjani, incharge of women’s wing of the academy, gave the vote of thanks.