HOW does a born Muslim meet a revert American Muslim woman? ‘Wow! Masha Allah, Allah guided you. It’s such a pleasure to meet you.’
Little more than speaking glorifying words do we do. Helping her out in the issues she may be facing hardly crosses our mind. Reverts aside, our attitude gets worse toward Muslims in general.
Meet Umm Ni’mah, an African American woman whose ancestors were slaves and who grew up in the late 1960s in New Jersey under the cult of Elijah Muhammad. She embraced Islam in her early twenties.
“I remember how I’d often pass by a Masjid on the bus and look at how beautiful and clean the sisters looked. I wanted to be like them, I wanted to look like that,” Umm Ni’mah recalls. “I found no real satisfaction from dating and going out dancing. I wanted to submit to something greater to feel fulfilled, not used. I became tired with wasting my life and my time.”
“I started to practice true Islam. I read the Qur’an more and more. I tore down and fought my desires within myself in order to please my Lord, Allah Alone. I cried to Him a number of times to remove the evil filth of shirk from my chest, my mind, and my soul. I tried to follow every rule I could and I loved reading about the religion, Alhumdulillah.”
Reborn with Islam, Umm Ni’mah’s life was filled with peace, contentment and gratitude. She found the purpose of life and the way to success. Then came time for the next stage of life, the desire of every youthful being, the world’s prelude to fantasies – it was time to get married.
“I married at 26. We had a son together.” But marriage is more than a fantasy, it’s about adjusting to one’s role, caring for each other and building a family.
“We argued a lot and our marriage did not last over two years. We divorced, may I add, happily?” Like Umm Ni’mah, her husband was a practicing Muslim and a student of Islamic studies. He left for Yemen with their son, Abdur Rahman, to study Islam and live in a Muslim country. He remarried and settled there.
Two years later, in 1999, it was Umm Ni’mah’s turn to travel to Yemen. It was her own Hijrah (migration to a Muslim land). “After two years of staying away from my only child, I wanted to leave the non-Muslim land and be with my son and support him,” Umm Ni’mah wrote in email to Saudi Gazette.
“At the airport, a couple received me and escorted me to the village where my son lived. I had high hopes that my son would be learning Islam and benefitting from living in the Muslim land. Everyone seemed anxious to meet the sister who’d let her only child go to the land of the Muslims at such a young age. They didn’t know the pain and hardships I faced alone for doing this.” For more read here.