Channel: The Deen Show
She was almost shot in the Jungle for Islam but now wears Hijab
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Salam aleikum, guys. How you doing? You're about to meet Marian. She's studying law
at the University of Southern in Boston. And she comes from a powerful tribe in Uganda. She was raised of a family of Christians. And she was a practicing Christian. And she got a hold of a book, a book talking about people's experiences, and how they came to Islam. She accepts Islam. The persecution begins. Her story begins, but it hasn't ended yet. And we're going to share it with you here on the deen show in Bosnia. With Marian
credible story where we can all inshallah God Willing benefit from anywhere.
Salam Alaikum, guys. So we got Marian practicing Christian, she hated Islam. And the persecution begins I can't begin to tell you I'm gonna let her get in to her story.
While they go,
can we can we start off the beginning of your journey you actually hated actually hated this long. Let's Let's start from there. On the left, I'm a little slim now. And my journey into Islam started in 2010. Ramadan, I honestly as I was growing, I never liked Muslims. I was, I grew up from a community where they hate Islam so much. And from a family where Islam is never tolerated in such a surrounding. It was really, I mean, dream for you to even think of becoming a Muslim in such a in such a family. So I never liked Muslims. And I never even wish to talk to any Muslim at all in my entire life. But even though aside the hatred I had for Islam, I always feel something deep in in me
that I just like the dressing of the Muslim women. I like the hijab and other stuff that is done by the Muslim women. I just didn't like the religion KC by just the dressing of the Muslim women. And being a Christian for some time, I had my own doubts about Christianity, even though it wasn't really allowed for me to ask about those problems I didn't really like about Christianity, but deep down within me, I felt it wasn't right for us to do that. But that was the religion I grew up from. And it was hard to, you know, comment negatively about those practices. I just, I just needed more. I wanted more in terms of salvation. And Alhamdulillah.
Allah got me here. Now. Now we're actually, if you guys don't know, we're in Bosnia, right? You speak any Bosnian?
Dr. Cox rocks to the sea. So your family comes from one of the most powerful tribes in Uganda
and Ghana and you were raised by a priest. Was that right? Can you tell us a little bit about that? I actually wanted to be a subject of the church. So when I was growing, when I was 10 years, my parents actually gave me to the priest, I can stay with him and learn about the church more to become somebody who is connected to the church. So I was just going through these different phases of training to become somebody was connected to the church. I was really a good singer in my church, and I used to lead the car in my church also, I never missed Christian church activities. I never missed them. I was so devoted to Christianity, to the extent that I never taught I mean, I will
become a Muslim never even if Allah himself had, you know, come to me to tell me you want to become Muslim Subhanallah I wouldn't have believed it. It would have been hurt. Accept that but you know, those who may Allah guide to the right path Lankan industry I love reading what they mean Islam and
now for you guys tuning in, I mean, you hear this word a lot. It's simply the name of God in air make Jesus Aloha. So for the not yet was
to tune in and they're just amazed, or they're about to be even more amazed by the story. When she's saying Allah, this is just the Creator God Almighty. Not tell us system Marian,
how did things take a turn? At what point you went from hating listen to because talk about, you know, the Muslims are supposed to be the best of examples. They're supposed to be those who are living Islam. They're really supposed to be a pet at a higher level of morality of you know, of character manners, and everything that is just, you know, the best.
But tell us what were you saying?
Practice, honestly, if I hadn't looked at the behavior of the Muslims that I saw, or the behavior of the Muslims in the society, I wouldn't have become a Muslim, I realized that Islam is not what
people actually are talking about. There is it's runs deeper than that there is something really about the religion that people who talk about it negatively do not know about, there is so much more intimate than the seed outside. So
I read a lot about their religion, and I asked so much questions. And gradually, it was, you know, pulling me from Christianity into their religion, which I couldn't assess, initially, and I couldn't even believe it myself. But Alhamdulillah through my studies, I realized that everything I had about Islam, or those misconceptions that I had about Islam, as I was growing, were all lies. And that was not exactly Islam, that Islam is real, that Islam is peace, the Islam that Allah has prescribed for us is beauty. His love is totally wrong. His obedience is complete submit, to Allah Himself. So it was kind of contradicting with what I actually knew. And it's turned my life upside down, you know,
like, it was like, a clear cut for me, to all of a sudden start to read about Islam and you know, start to change my dressing, and also acts in a different way, receive people in a different way, feel differently, communicate to God differently. Everything just changed from his in Islam to love in Islam so much. Tell us about that experience that happened. Your neighbor was a Muslim. And you got a hold of a book called our why Islam. It was in 2010. Ramadan, I finished my junior high school by then. So I was just at home doing nothing. And I just had this feeling that let me just, you know, read something about, I should just read something. So I'm the lead. There was a man, a Muslim
guy who was staying in my house. I got a book from his room, which was titled, why did they embrace Islam, which is a story of people who invaded Islam, their struggles and their beliefs now. So I took the book, and I, I literally read everything in that book. And I took the second book, which was about Hutch. And that night, I had a dream. And in the dream, there was a man dressed in a white jungbub with a calabash in his hand. And I was just quoting by the river, I mean, Samsung, actually. So he mentioned the name Mario, drink this water, it will purify your heart. And I looked at him and I was like, This water is for Muslims. I'm not a Muslim. So why would I drink this water?
And he told me, actually, he didn't say anything. When I asked him he didn't. So I just took the water and I drank it because my entire life I was always so concerned and interested in issues related to purification, religious love. So I took the water and I drank the water.
So from there, we went to a different stage where they slaughter animals. So one man came with a boiled meat, and he told me to eat the meat, the meat will make me stronger when I'm weak. I think in that particular dream, Allah was preparing me for whatever was going to happen in my journey to Islam, because naturally, I was very rich. I had a very big personality. So Allah through everything, he prepared me
spiritually through that dream, and it's, it's manifested physically. So the next day, I
With that guy, I was like, Whoa, I had this dream and you know, I was trying to explain whatever happens in the dream so him. And in his room, he has his computer desktop with the lens linings of Allah, which which were flipping one after the other beautifully.
So I saw it and Subhanallah I couldn't believe that something so beautiful, such beautiful names actually existed. So I got so much interested in I went closer to read actually everything, all the needs Names of Allah. So I read them all. And
I just, I just felt like like something I felt so heavy within me, I felt so heavy that I found something really like, this is what my life is, like, my life depends on this is all I've ever been wanting to have, you know.
So I took more books from him, I took really a lot of books, and I started to read about Islam. Unfortunately for me, at that time, I didn't have Muslims as friends. So I decided to, you know, roam in the Muslim communities and find some Muslim friends and discuss with them about Islam, ask questions and get answers from them. So fortunately, I got a lot of friends who helped me with my answers. And
gradually, I was moving on from one stage to the other with my studies about
three weeks after my studies, I decided to revert to Islam, but I knew the consequences of my decision. Even though it was scary to me and I was really young, I was just 15 years by day, to take such a decision. I couldn't, you know, just imagine taking such a decision. Because where I'm coming from Islam is like taboo, it's like an abomination, a big, you know, thing for you to ever do. So I just couldn't think of leaving Christianity to Islam. So gradually, my my, my activities in my church was dwindling. I was not attending church as I used to attend, and I was not active at my church anymore. So my parents got to find out that I was not attending church, and you know, the,
the late on used to make sure I go to church, because they found out about what I was planning to do, and they will never really allow me to, you know, do that as a kid at that.
And it wasn't something that I just read, and I wanted to practice, it was something that was weighing on me, I could feel it, I could, I could feel, feel really, it's hard to express this to explain that feeling. You know, I could feel a deep deep down in me that if I don't get this, this particular then I can't survive. I need this in my life in order to be able to survive, and that is small.
So gradually, I gathered my courage to tell my family that I wanted to become a Muslim and
that everyone was like the greatest disaster in my home ever. It was a big shock. And a surprise to everybody in the family, it was really hard for them to accept that. So my family after that tried to do everything possible to stop me from taking such a decision. Like they were thinking that it was something wrong with me psychologically, oh, you know, or maybe there is this position. I believe that Muslims, those Muslims who ascribe Islam with idol worship, and You know, maybe they are you, they are actually using Juju or me to think like that, to try to practice Islam.
But honestly, it was nothing like that. As we all know, in Islam, there is nothing like either worship and so it was just Allah who wanted to bless me with Islam. Sometimes I do ask myself, did I really do something to deserve Islam, but Subhana Allah because I never really thought of becoming a Muslim ever in my entire life. But Alhamdulillah
It was a long struggle. And finally I took my Shahada, and after my Shahada, a whole lot happened. I went through a lot of difficulties, from family to friends, my my church, my society, my school and everything. It was really a tough time for me but Alhamdulillah Allah so mystery, or from hunger, in tests and being on the streets and me, struggling all alone, the loneliness, the emptiness and
the timing, everything I'm having to learn. It wasn't easy for me, and it's
It's a little easy, but I think that there is there is pleasure in every difficulties that I went through in order to get this law and it's surely worth it. Talk a little bit about
experiencing the jungle and you talk about your experiences with your your family, really,
that had a great impact on you, but you still didn't give up. I mean, most people, when they would have got that kind of backlash, most people they agree that there's nothing worthy of worship except the Creator, the heavens and earth when you explain them. You know, the fundamental beliefs of Islam makes sense. It connects, it really connects. I mean, if you take a time off, you're sincere. People will agree people have a really a block when it comes to accepting this Trinity God, etc, etc. But the belief system is Islamic theology. It just makes sense. But now, sticking to it, when the heat gets turned up, many people run, you got to be really courageous. You went through some just
amazing. No, I mean, just just some struggles beyond, you know, comprehension for some people, but you still held.
I spent some time in the jungle with my family, my parents, because they wanted me to forget about Islam. They wanted to take me away from the society from the people so that we didn't be able to interact with the Muslims to ask them about Islam in front of the religion. It was the jungle. It's
in the western parts of Ghana. I went with my parents. And they say then every day in nature, there is this force of priests, who visits the jungle and comes to me and telling me all that is about Islam, about Prophet Mohammed, Salah Javi, sola. And I would just stare at him, I mean, because I knew that everything he was saying was a lie about the religion. So I just, I knew the truth I found and I didn't, I was never ready to allow anybody to corrupt it with information of any kind. So before they took me to the jungle, I had this personal diary, which I would have zero financials, right, if plus and minus in
the transliteration, so I used to read it every night, every time even before I sleep.
In 2010, Edo theater in my country was on Friday. So the night before that Friday in the jungle with my parents, I was reading those series before I sleep and my dad had it, it was really serious. I mean, incident that happened, he really wanted to shoot me at that particular moment, because he was not ready to accept me to break you know, for me to bring disgrace into the family. Because in my family, they see Islam to be like the greatest abomination somebody can ever come. It's like you, you become like a stigma, you become shamed for your family sensing while you are Muslim. So for them not to live with that stigma of people, you know, not, they were not ready to assess me with my
religion. So my dad wanted to shoot me and my mom actually interfered to stop him. And they actually did talk throughout the night. And for me, I was just a kid. 50 years, by the way, I didn't really caught up on what was going on. So I slept. And the next morning, my dad actually called my family members, Mrs. z, and he told them with this own you your normal part of this family, you know, go and stay with the Muslims and the rest of your life with them, you know, a whole lot, you know, it was a painful moments. I mean, I really understood, I understood everything that they had to do during that time, because I don't know what I would have done if I'm in their shoes, but I think
every parent's wish to see their children in the right please enter them I was actually at the wrong place. And MIT just that maybe the measures they use to direct me towards back to Christianity was wrong, but I think they love me and they care for me and they wanted to see me doing the right thing. And since Islam is, you know, framed with all the negativity in the world, I mean, no parents would wish for the child to go to such an extent. So they try it and Alhamdulillah my mom actually helped me and after they disowned me, that's Friday morning. I found my way back to the CDC. And it was so painful that I didn't really know where to go. I was in a big city, but I didn't really know
where to go. There is this Islamic Center.
In my country, one subject called EPA, and there is this model is called modeling of the reservoir. I went to them, he and his friends. And they helped me really a lot. They helped me to stay with some people for a while. And later, I had to go back to high school, district struggle in high school, they hunger, they test the loneliness, I developed a really huge stomach ulcer.
And it was really, really frustrating. Because almost every two weeks, I'll collapse on in school, and I'll be admitted at the hospital, because of hunger. I could, it was really hard time, but I was really active in school. So people could hardly find out, I was going through that particular, you know, problems and all that. I used to keep things to myself, because I didn't like to share my personal problems with anybody at all. And it was a school, it was an institution. So you don't, you don't have to think that somebody is going to sympathize with you, and you share your pains with you. They're just there to study, you know.
So it was really hard. And later on, my teachers found out about my reverse story, and they decided to help me financially and also care for me, Misha was okay.
I finished high school with all the difficulties of Hamdulillah, I finished high school and I went to university, and Alhamdulillah even though being a Muslim, within all these institutions hasn't been easy. Because sometimes you feel like you need family, you feel like you need to talk to someone, when you're sick, you need to talk to your mother, because I'm the type that no matter how I fall sick, if I just hear from my mother, if I just hear the voice, I feel good, I just feel good all of a sudden. So it's really hard to live with our family. I mean, because of faith, you know, it's hard. But I realized that
my family is in this dunya. And if I miss this period, and I follow my family, and I don't worship Allah Subhana Allah on the day of Yama, my family cannot save me from the Wrath of Allah. So with the help of Allah was able to make a strong decision for myself to stand and fight for what I believe in. It was an easy, really, for 60 years old to you know, revert to Islam and leave her family, leave life on her own struggle, up and down, you know, meet good people, bad people, money, spend some time you know, falling sick, you know, recovering everything, it was an easy, supporting myself financially, taking care of myself without without any parents actually, it was really hard.
But I believe that anything that Allah takes from us, he will, he will give it back to us in a better way. So I think that it was really a gift to me. And sometimes I do ask myself, did I do something to deserve Islam? Because it's, I feel that it is the best thing that can ever happen to anybody. And after I became a Muslim Subhanallah
I feel Islam in everything that I'm doing. I just sit down and I just look at everything. And I see Islam in everything we are doing. I asked myself, if I if I hadn't had Islam, I knew what would happen to me.
Where would I be on the deal? Am I what will happen to me?
But alone is not to me. And now it has been my life. It has been my family. It has been my friend. It has been my everything. This mom is really not what people think it is. Islam is more than what people think is Islam runs through our things. It's runs through our minds. It's it runs through our actions, our speech, our dress and our everyday life, there is Islam in it. But we rather as humans seek to ignore the signs of Allah in our lives. And we do not want to obey. But ultimately the light thank Allah for granting me I
really am grateful for Islam. And I feel that even though it's hard, but I feel like I'm the most happiest person in the world. Because I have a smile. Whenever I feel down I think about the gift of Islam and it's, it brings me back on my feet. So I think Allah so much for Islam and really, Islam is not what people think it is really people knew what Islam is. Nobody will ever criticize their religion because it's really so much peace and comfort. Just a couple more questions because
You are right, many people, they get the impression from the media that now. And that's understandable, the parent thinks that now you're going to be some in some cold and extreme and you're going to do some suicide attacks and terrorism. But obviously, when you really get to know Islam, it's the opposite. You know, it could cause you to be the best towards your parents, you know, not to even harm an animal that of own a human being. So talk a little bit, just in a minute or so we're almost out of time, about the teachings, what do you actually believe now, you know, from the theology, you know, to some of the daily practices, so maybe, who knows, maybe your your
parents, we can get this to them. And you know, they will kind of you know, that wall will come down, and maybe a lawsuit a lot greater. Because a lot of times there's these, these, these misconceptions that push people away, but when we let them know, look, your name,
you're trying to follow Jesus, his mother, Mary, right? You love We love her. We love Jesus as a mighty messenger of God. So when people and Islam just calling you to connect directly with God, not his creation, right, to worship to create another occasion. So when when they hear a lot of these commonalities, you know, their defenses come down and open some of the hearts Can you can you elaborate on on a few of these.
In Islam, Islam teaches us that our agenda, our Heaven, it lies under the feet of our mothers. And if you try to interpret that, it means we should love our mothers, we should respect our mothers, we should be obedient to our mothers, we should care for our mothers, we should do everything good for our mothers, and with us, if our mothers are happy, not just our mothers, if our parents are happy with us, Allah Subhana, Allah will also be happy with us. And when I was a Christian, sometimes I used to get confused as to whom I'm praying to, am I praying to Jesus? Or my friends? God, you know? And who is he really? I mean, that time there is this contradictions all over, you know, you don't
know really, because you go to this church, and this priest is preaching, maybe Jesus is God, and you're going in here, and you're like, Jesus, you know, Son of God, you're just getting confused. So sometimes I used to get confused. I'm like, I don't know, whom am I praying? So you know, I just want i just wanted something authentic, you know, that will direct me you're praying to just God, you know, just got him. But
all those, you know, confusion is gone is gone. Because I know that I'm praying to just one guy. And I feel like there is nothing blocking my communication with Allah. If I want to talk to him. It's just straightforward. You know, I'm just, if I want to ask him for forgiveness, just treat. But when I was a Christian, I'm praying, like, you know, I'm praying like, kind of, through Jesus, you know, even though that is not the Jesus that Islam, you know, talks about, the prophet Alayhi Salaam,
he was a prophet of Allah, he wasn't the son of Allah, as I used to believe when I was a Christian.
And to talk more, to talk a little about this negative perception about Muslims, and ideas about becoming a Muslim.
You know, if people human beings you know, like something, regardless of how you make it beautiful to look to them, they will they still wouldn't like it. And that is how Islam isn't there is there is a miracle about Islam in such a way that Allah has made it so beautiful in the inside and on the outside. But he takes people who reflect people who found the people who have a heart, a heart without, I mean locks on it, to feel it, to see it, and to practice it. So you will only be able to feel this Islam we are talking about early if it is by the rule of thumb.
That is what I can say you cannot feel Islam, and you cannot talk good about Islam, if Allah has not put the light of Islam in your heart. You only feel it when Allah helps you with it. Because it is only Allah who guides people to the right part. Who knows these people out there who who attached negativity to Islam, maybe one day these people are even reverting to Islam. Because it time will come back to you revert into Islam Anyway, now people are reverted to Islam. And the most part about this is that most of these people who are reverting to Islam, there are the people who never liked the religion. There are the people who actually
Talk about the religion, but Alhamdulillah now most of them are embracing Islam. And if you if you if you talk to them, you really feel that there is a spiritual understanding to what they are saying than the physical aspects, even though Islam talks about physical and also inner part, but you cannot say you're practicing your religion just inland. I mean internally, it has to reflect and that is the problem The world is having with us now, since our religion says we are practicing their religion exactly as Allah tells us to do. They find problem with it and they see us to be like extremist terrorists and you know everything but at the end, it is only the Word the Word of Allah
which will succeed or thank you very much maybe the Creator of the heavens and earth Allah continue to bless you and ease your journey and reunite you with your with your family. Thank you for sharing your story with us here on the show.