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Islamic Voice Logo

JANUARY 2000

MONTHLY    *    Vol 14-01 No:157    *   JANUARY 2000 / Shawwal 1420H
  email: editor@islamicvoice.com

WHY I EMBRACED ISLAM


My transition from Christianity to Islam
17,500 of Intimor tribe come back to Islam
Sierra Leone Bishop Embraces Islam

My transition from Christianity to Islam

By Emad Abu-Aisheh

“ You’re American? Oh, your husband must be from the Middle East.” “ But you weren’t raised that way” “ You better watch out for those men, I saw that movie.” “ But it’s not you, I know you better” “ Why are you trying to look like an Arab?” “ It’s the 90’s, you don’t have to dress that way, modernise.” “ Aren’t you hot with all those clothes on.” “ That’s Enough Already”


I am an American Christianraised woman. At the age of 23, I started learning about Islam, and eventually became Muslim (All thanks and praise to Allah). As a teenager and on into my 20’s, I always made sure I looked my best, and actually I was voted best looking girl by my senior high school class. Full face of make-up, perfect hair, and always the clothes in trend. I had the best looking sports car, a great paying job as a hair designer, and I was always looking to have a good time. I was an independent woman, and was never questioned about any decisions I made, or criticised about anything I did.

When I became Muslim all that changed. Suddenly every one had something to say, I heard it all. I was no longer thought of as being able to use my adult mind the same way again. I was brain-washed, or I was doing it to please my husband. (“You can’t change a person.” isn’t that a common saying?)

As a Christian, I was religious on Sunday mornings for an hour, or when the lottery numbers were being picked I would pray - “Please God let me win”, or when a loved one was hurt I would try to make a deal with God. And of coarse on holidays.

I am 28 now, and Islam is a way of life, my way of living. Everything I do, every minute of my day is now done differently. Especially, I pray 5 times a day. Believe me, you can not pretend to be a Muslim. These days I live a simple, peaceful, very moral life. I have no stress, no worries. My husband’s duty is to make sure I’m well cared for, and to provide for me. I am able to stay home and take care of my son according to my standards, not a baby-sitters’. I couldn’t trade in his smiles for a pay check, his smiles are my pay. I read, I sew, I relax, and I have plenty of time to prepare fresh home cooked meals for my family.

Oppressed? Yes, I was oppressed last week, when my cordless phone broke and I had to use a regular one. I wouldn’t change my life now for anything. And if I were to divorce my husband, SURPRISE, I’m still going to practice Islam in the same manner I do now.

So if you are a friend or a family member of a convert to Islam, instead of being negative or against it, try to understand and respect the person’s new way of life. And remember we are in Islam. There is no question that will embarrass nor offend us. These people who are great scholars of Islam because they saw a movie, are not the correct source of telling you about my life. I saw a few movies about Italians. So should I assume all Italian men are in the Mafia, dealing drugs, killing people, and have girl friends on the side? No!

Believe me, I have a lot more to write about my hardships and hassles of being a Muslim. None of which pertains to the religion itself, but to what even perfect strangers have said or done to me.

Oh yeah, did I mention I was also voted MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED by my high school senior class? I feel as though I have.

A MUSLIM SISTER Emad Abu-Aisheh The University of Melbourne Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. asheh@civag.unimelb.edu.au

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17,500 of Intimor tribe come back to Islam

MADAGASCAR (IINA): About 17,500 members of the Intimor tribe in Madagascar, recently declared their Islam in the hands of Dawa activists of the Kuwait-based Africa Muslim Agency. The tribe, who live in the south-eastern part of Madagascar, have Islamic roots.Sheikh Bin Issa Alawy, director of the project, said the Intimor people had been Muslims, but lost contact with the Muslim world and gradually became ignorant about their faith, and with the advent of Christian missionaries they either embraced that faith or became agnostics. He said this campaign of re-Islamising them took four years of hard work. Sheikh Bin Issa said he expects at least another 50,000 members of the tribe to revert to Islam in near future, and thereafter more and more of them are expected to join, including those tribes in the environs of the areas in which this tribe lives. He said these new Muslims need all they help they can get, and appealed to philanthropists in the Muslim world to help in this endeavour, so as to counter the missionary activities.

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Sierra Leone Bishop Embraces Islam

FREETOWN (IINA): A Sierra Leonean bishop has declared that he has joined the fold of Islam, after he had seen a vision during his sleep that he was sitting with a group of Muslims, and so in the absence of any translation of the meaning of his dream, he decided to embrace Islam. He made his declaration in the presence of a representative of the Kuwait-based Africa Muslim Agency, Sheikh Musa Dambuya.

Bishop Joseph Samba Bondo began his life as a soldier, then became a missionary preacher, and was trained for his ministry at the seminary in the Sierra Leonean capital. But after he had met Sheikh Musa Dambuya, who was himself once a Christian before he embraced Islam, he changed his mind and became a Muslim.

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