Rafed English

Women who Came from a Mode of Commitment

For many of the women, religion was at the heart of their faith journey in their growing-up years. They were active participants in the church as teachers, pianists, soloists, and worshippers and felt deeply devoted to God and the religious aspect of their lives. +I was born and raised the daughter of a Nazarene minister and was very active in church musically. I was the church pianist for years and played and sang in many local contests.

I was raised a Baptist, but studied different religions after leaving home. I was raised in a Christian family that tried to live as Christians, not just pay lip service. +I grew up Catholic. For most of my youth I wanted to be a nun. I even spent time with the parish priest and even contacted a convent for information. I can say I was a devoted Catholic, attended daily mass-the whole works. +Prior to my conversion I was a Christian, going to Sunday school from two years of age and also attending church services with my family every Sunday from about six years of age. I was very devout and was baptized at age eight after being questioned by the minister of our church. At first he was skeptical to baptize someone so young, but after I answered all his questions, he decided that I was ready to become a formal member of the church. I was baptized and remained a faithful member until I met my husband. Then I began to study Islam.

Until eighteen years of age, I was a Methodist. At eighteen, I became a Catholic. Prior to that conversion I had read about all world "religions." I was very active in both denominations and other churches-to the point of receiving awards, medals, certificates, etc. I considered myself very active and religious. I wanted to become a nun. I knew several sisters in a local convent and inquired about nunnery life. For many of these women, religion was a natural way of life. They were often dissatisfied with the answers they received to the questions they asked of church leaders. They were at "that phase" in life when they were trying to decide for themselves who they were and what they wanted their lives to be like; they were young adults making independent choices. It was at that point of searching that they made contact in some way with Islam.

Adapted from: "Daughters Of Another Path (Experience of American Women Choosing Islam)" by: "Carol L. Anway"

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