Question by John C: Did she do the right thing?
Lost in the Woods
A Young American Convert
By Maryam Abdullah
My name is Maryam. This is the story of my emotional, intellectual, and spiritual reversion back to submission to Allah. Back to Islam.
Many speak of conversion, but I prefer the concept of revert. I knew Allah. We all have. I believe this. But we forget, become disconnected, and confused as we become distracted by the influence of this world. There is a way back, and it is not our own. That is the miracle.
At age 8, I was able to articulate my belief in Allah. I was born and reared in the USA, so I called Him God. I felt quite inspired in those innocent years. I went to many churches on my own. My parents had become disillusioned with the Christian religion, and truly felt I was misguided.
They said that they did not believe in God. But in truth, they were rejecting a false god. Somehow, I could understand this, although I did not have a way to put it in words. Nor did I have access to the Quran. And as a typical American child, I did not know what Islam was.
From about 8 years old, until around 11, I attended whatever church my friends were going to and I learned how to pray. I was taught many versions of Christianity and wondered about each of them.
However, what I was most attracted to was that Jesus was a teacher. And I wanted to learn. I read the Bible, and I read the words that are allegedly spoken by Jesus. It wasn’t until later that I learned of the history of Christianity, and the history of the Bible.
During these young years, I was really attempting to express, and find community that has similar experience as me. That is was the outer expression of my faith.
But my inner truth, I knew that God was real, that no breath could exist except for Him. And I loved God. My parents did indeed think I was strange, because I truly wrapped my world trying to understand the mystery of God.
The Lord’s Prayer
Their line of thought was that if everything they had learned from their churches was incorrect, then there couldn’t be a God. This is a common response to an increased awareness of error in contemporary Western Christianity by many Americans, but that just didn’t make sense to me, because I knew there was. I couldn’t stop trying to explain all this to my parents. And I also had many questions that I wanted them to answer, about God.
My father was willing to listen. Finally, he had compassion for me, and he bought me this little book named “God Is Everywhere”. That’s it! I thought. That explains God! I was so thankful for that little book. My mother too, had compassion for me, and she taught me a prayer called “the Lord’s Prayer.”
I now had a way to feel like I could be connected to God, and I prayed from then on. Those two things, the knowledge that God is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent, and the ability to pray, got me through some very difficult times that were yet to come.
In my youngest years, I was able to find God within the quiet place of the deepest part of my heart. Some call this one’s “center”. There was chaos all around me, family arguments and confusion, but I had this place, and it was home to me.
Yet, I did not worry about where my next meal would come from, and I had a roof over my head, and a piano where I could play songs to help me find that sacred space within my being.
That lasted until about age 12. Without warning, my parents were selling the house and contemplating divorce. I had already been a latchkey child, coming home to an empty house since the age of nine.
All By Myself
But now, no one knew where I was to live. My father bought property and did not have a home. My mother decided to do the same. She put a trailer on a small piece of land in a very rural area, an area where there are more wild animals than people. She invited me to stay in that trailer, and I accepted.
But I had lost my “center”. My connection with God. I was scared and confused. And then she left me there, alone. By age 13 I was living alone in a trailer in the “boonies” with the wolves. Often I did not have food, heat, or light. I had candles to read by.
My parents were living together in a cabin, but too far for me to get to. And they brought me food and water and heat and light when they remembered. But when they didn’t, I was alone.
Without going into detail, I can say some very scary and bad things happened to me during this time. I began to believe that God had forsaken me. I did not know of the Quran yet. But I had a Bible. I read it over and over again. I read the Book of Revelation over and over again, and I tried to make sense of it all, and make sense of my life.
This became a very long “dark night of the soul” for me. But even when I doubted God’s love for me, I knew He was there, things happened. Two times, I was nearly raped. Both times, Allah intervened and protected me.
One time I was walking down the road, and a man jumped out of the bushes and threw
Answer by Ahmed S
Sad story but happy ending. She was lost in this wild wild world but at last found Allah who created us all and taking care of each of us.
Islam is the right way of life and this story proves that.
What do you think? Answer below!