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True Stories of American New Muslims

I left Maryland school system as the chairperson of the Mathematics Department and joined the Islamic School of Seattle as Principal. Kathy was the Principal’s secretary and very active as a Muslim worker in the community. She accepted Islam in her own unique way. This is how she narrated her story:

“I was only in Elementary school when I went to the public library with my mother. These libraries do not throw away duplicate or discarded books. They sell these books for petty coins. There was a sale of books in the library. I had a few coins in my pocket. I bought one book for a nickel or a dime. This book was my property since I paid for it from my own pocket. I stored it in my room. The usual life activities continued. I went from elementary to middle school. In due course of time I went from middle school to high school. Finally, I graduated from high school. I was lucky to join a college. I studied arts instead of science. My emphasis was on comparative studies of religions. My professor offered a very extensive course work in this area. Comparative study of Christianity, Judaism and Islam was major theme. None of my teachers happened to be Muslims. I passed all these courses with no difficulty. In this way I accumulated enough credits and became a college graduate.

As a fresh graduate I started looking for a job. In this part of the country jobs were very few. It was a miracle for an art female graduate to find a job. I got exhausted, bored and sat idle at home most of the time. To minimize my boredom I started looking at various items that I had in my house. I came across the book which I had purchased years ago from the library. It was covered with dust. I cleaned it and picked it up. It is human nature to value those items on which you have spent your pocket money. It was a precious personal property for me.

I started reading it. It happened to be an English translation of the Quran. It was fascinating. The more I read the more curious I became about Islam. It was totally different from what my professors taught me in the University. I said to myself, “Were my professors lying?” Anyhow the true Islamic values offered by the Quran satisfied my mind and conscience. I said to myself, “If this is Islam, it is wonderful I want to become a Muslim.”

I inquired about how I could become a Muslim. The process was extremely simple. I embraced Islam. Alhamdo Lillah. Soon I married a young man from Afghanistan. We both offered our services to the Islamic community and worked hand in hand with the local Muslim leaders. We never wish to change this way of life. May Allah accept what little we did?”

Imtiaz Ahmad