Sameeha is a mum from Vredenburg, who has shared with us her amazing journey thus far. She tells of her challenges in reverting to Islam, being half of an inter-racial couple, and the everyday situations that involve explaining Islamic rules to a non-muslim family, especially in relation to her young daughter. This is her story:
As a white girl, who grew up with an English mother and Afrikaans step father, both Christians, my childhood was pretty the same as any other christian family. Except my biological father believed in adult baptisms, so I was never baptised as a baby. I would go to Sunday school as my mother wished… My mind was never really fully there. Even now, many years later I still recall my discomfort at sitting in a church, and hearing the sermon. It just didn’t sit right with me.
In Std.9 or as is now called, Grade 11 we usually “graduate” from Sunday school. Well I never did. My life was all about partying and socialising. Never mind the fact that the pastor never could answer my questions in a way that I accepted. In October of 2006 I met my now husband. A muslim. It was new, fascinating and intruiging. He never wanted to “teach” me anything due to the fact that the people in our town were already up in arms because he is a Coloured and they didn’t like the idea of an inter-racial couple. The fact that he was muslim made it even more of a scandal.
However, I’m not a person who gives up or gives in easily, so I started to google, ask on facebook, do my own “studying”.. The more and more I read, the more I felt “at home”… If I look back now, google is very dangerous in the sense that different countries follow different customs and sometimes that line between custom and religion gets blurred. As with anything, we all learn everyday.
Anywho, I embraced Islam in April of 2011. That September we got married and in November I fell pregnant Alhamdulillah. A baby girl. She was born in the month of Ramadaan, the 7th August 2012 . Her life started pure, innocent, blessed. My husband and father-in-law softly recited the Azaan and Iqamah in her ears. 5 days later we had her ‘doopmaal’. A traditional cape malay namegiving ceremony. The Imaam who married us gave her name. Naa’ilah – winner; aquirer; one who succeeds 🙂 and so I became a mother!
Everything about her life so far has been perfect Alhamdulillah.
As for friends and family? Well I’ve never really told my parents in so many words that I’m a muslim. After all this time, they must know it, but its not a conversation we’ve ever really had. I’m sure it hurts them though. But this is my life, my choices, my happiness. My small family makes me happy, my deen makes me happy. I’ve made it very clear from the start that Naa’ilah is muslim, that certain foods are prohibited, that she eats only halaal. My parents aren’t that stern when it comes to religion for themselves and so there they don’t understand my rules either, and at times don’t quite adhere to it. There were times they wanted to give Naa’ilah food that I know isn’t halaal, and I would just remind them. Same with my husband. They don’t do it intentionally though. Its a long learning process for all involved.
The hardest part was to choose my inlaws over my parents to raise Naa’ilah should something ever happen to my husband Fagmie and I. It hurt like hell knowing I was giving my moms only grand child away to a woman who has 10. But when I sat down and thought long and hard, I knew it was the best decision for my child as a muslim! I’m actually very interested to see what will happen when she is bigger, in madrassah, in school, starts talking…if she will know to say thank you to my mom but shukran to my mother-in-law, salaam to my husbands family and hello to mine? The unknown is so exciting but on the other hand I’m scared I wont be good enough to raise a pious muslimah… Her father can teach her a lot, but I’m the mother, the person who is supposed to know everything and make everything better. In my heart I know Allah will help me each step of the way InShaAllah, and I humbly request your duaas on this journey as well…