The negative image presented about Islam since 9-11 here in the states has really given Islam a bad name due to the media as well as people's lack of understanding. The stereotypes about the treatment of women has been rampant in the media for many years with the Taliban and other "extremist" groups. We thought it would be interesting to interview Kizzy, who in the midst of all propaganda has warmly embraced Islam and get her Muslimah's Perspective on Islam...
Muslimah 2 Muslimah: What is your name?
M2M: What made you become interested in Islam?
Kizzy: My first encounter with a muslimah is what made me interested, when i spoke to her i realised that she was not beaten, oppressed, uneducated and she was full of vigour and vitality and an acute fashion sense, at the time i was what you would call a diva extraordinaire and did not want to let go of what I identified as me (acrylic nails, funky hairdos, latest trends etc) I realised she had none of these things and still i envied what she had which was a peace that was within, and even without all these additions she was the most beautiful person i had ever come across.
M2M: What does your family think about your decision?
M2M: What types of reactions have you gotten from your friends or coworkers?
Kizzy: Friends have been supporters ( i have only got 5 friends whose opinions really matter) the acquaintances i'm not concerned about- my party friends dont ask me to go out with them anymore -- (Wonder why LOL!!) I guess after the first 50 times or so of asking they got tired of hearing that I'm not into that anymore. Co workers are okay i see them for 8 hrs and then go home so they don't have much of an input.
M2M: How has Islam changed your life?
M2M: What advice would you give to someone who is interested in Islam?
Kizzy: Go brave!! The sooner you make this step the faster things would flow in your life for you. Start giving back to Allah in your speech your actions its not enough for the things he does for us. Allah (swt) is most merciful and gracious the walk is not easy but its made easy for us. Things just seem to fall into place when we obey his commands and carry out his will.
M2M: Islamically, women are required to wear a hijab. Others say that you must also cover your face(niqab). What are your thoughts on this?
Kizzy: I wear hijab (i work in an Anglican school so I wear a head wrap and tie a bun in the back for work) and i know wearing the hijab is compulsory and i do " cover up" in dress and actions hijab is not just the piece of wrap or pretty fabric we wear its the way we carry ourselves too . For me I have not explored the option of niqab and dont know if i ever will ( I'm taking it all one step at a time). For the sisters who wear niqab mashaallah. For me hijab is quite fine. I love the hijab ( its my will, and choice and my way of submission to Allah)
M2M: How did you feel the first time you wore hijab?
Kizzy: An unbelievable sense of inner peace, peace of mind, fulfillment, gratitude towards Allah (swt) Its an indescribable feeling. I am happy I made the decision to.
M2M: What is your opinion on the common labels associated with Muslims ("terrorists", "extremists" , etc.)?
Kizzy: Just talk for me. I know better. Individuals jump on the bandwagons and say nasty things but... Alhumdulilah Allah gives us the strength to persevere. Some wrong things have been done and unfortunately individuals have not been blamed independently and a religion has been ridiculed, hatred has been perpetuated and our religion allowed to be the brunt of jokes and insulting captions because of this, but Allah is the Judge of all and knows best.
M2M: What is your view on the impression that many non-Muslims have that Islam oppresses the women and the women have no voice in their communities?
Kizzy: I am not oppressed, many sisters I know are not oppressed but i guess when you break the mold of what is deemed right you will always come under close scrutiny and judgement is very easily made.
M2M: The media tends to give very negative views on women and many non-Muslims base their views solely on this. What was your view on Islam and the treatment of women before you converted to Islam?
Kizzy: I thought all the things that all non muslims think, i saw a woman in niqab and wondered why she would allow a man to do this to her, saw a woman in hijab and wondered why she had subjected herself to this. I was so disgusted by some of these sights that i decided there must be a reason why they would want to go "against the grain" and do something that was so unlike the world today, wear loose clothes, long clothes, cover their heads etc then i fell hard for the values and principles that were and still are today ISLAM and was "picked up" and carried by Allah (swt). The love and appreciation for 1 GOD. I started reading to gain knowledge and information and ended up taking shahada.
M2M: How has Muslimah2Muslimah helped you along your journey to Islam?/ How have you benefitted from Muslimah2Muslimah?
Kizzy: Its a beginners guide i searched long and hard for a new shahada sight and bounced up on Muslimah2Muslimah by accident. I have learnt a lot from this site. And prayer Allah's richest blessing on my sisters.
Insha'allah, everyone... please pray for our new sister Kizzy and welcome her into Islam by leaving her your encouragement and wisdom, insha'allah! We are very pleased with her decision as we know she is as well. Kizzy, may Allah bless you and your family in all of your endeavors and may He grant you Jannatul Firdaus! Ameen!
Also check out the New Shahaadah Album on Facebook so you can reach out to Kizzy and other sisters.