Friday, October 28, 2011

Who we are

Aysha- Anastasia Izg  “Founder of My Muslim Veil Magazine” and This is My Story to Islam



I was born and raised in Russia, and lived there until the age of 18. Although I came from a very Christian background, ever since I was young, I’d always believed that there is a God, and that I was in this life for a purpose. I used to pray to one God, without knowing who He was, but knowing that He was there and watching over me. 
At the age of 18 years old, I came to America searching for a better life – but really, not only searching for a better life, but for the way to God. This had always been one of my dreams, to find the right religion and to worship God in the right way. I used to visit several churches in search for the truth, but Allah (the one true God) had other plans for me.
At that time, being a student and doing Summer work I got a chance to meet many other students from around the world, many of whom were Muslims. I ended up working for Muslims and found Muslim friends from Morocco who would teach me about Islam and show me the Qur’an.  I didn’t really take what they said seriously though because even when they showed me these things, they were not proving the religion by their actions and instead showed me the worst side of Muslims.
One day I heard a call to prayer (the Adhan) on one of my friends’ computer. I saw the beautiful image of a minaret loading on the screen and at that moment I stopped and asked myself, “What is that?”
I had no idea what it was but it moved my heart at that time. I took the computer and kept searching and searching, reading and listening to lectures, trying to find anything I could about Islam. I couldn’t stop myself. I had discovered a totally different image of Islam: a true and pure message of Peace and Love for the Creator.
After that I moved a few more times, but wherever I went I continued to learn about Islam. Although it wasn’t easy, Allah guided me to His way – to his beautiful Deen (religion) of Islam and I was happy. My family, who I love and respect are still Christian, but they also respected the choices I have made. Over time, I also came to meet many other Muslims, and ultimately it was through them that I was given the inspiration to start wearing Hijaab, Alhamdulillah.
I currently reside in Memphis, TN with my precious adorable son and very supporting husband. I have been Muslim now for more than 8 years, but in my heart I feel like it’s what I’ve been all my life.
And now, Islam to me is my life. It means everything to me. It is the greatest gift from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala (Praise be to Him the Most High). I pray that we never take it for granted and take our duties seriously, since it is a gift that is not given to everyone, and we have been blessed to be Muslims. We should always remember – we represent Islam and we are the ones who will either attract people to Islam or push them away. So as a last simple advice from my story: be aware of your actions and be aware of your words; you never know when you can influence a person through them.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“One of the best means of da’wah is to be a good example yourself, and adhere to the rulings of Islam, and to its noble morals.”
How the idea of “My Muslim Veil” started
When I was expecting my son I used to be busy with a lot of crafts and artistic activities and it really made me think, there are so many women who are just like me, talented in many things but their voices are not heard.
We see how many misconceptions are out there about Islam and Muslim Women in today’s world, and how we are constantly attacked by the media and portrayed like uneducated, oppressed, sometimes ill-mannered women who have no status in the society. And we all know that this is not true – we are educated, talented, respected and smart, but the only problem is that the people who are being heard the most and being given the most air-time is not us – but other’s who didn’t know anything about who we are. I realized that we need to start speaking for ourselves, instead of letting others speak for us.
We Muslim Women need to be at the forefront teaching about things in our Deen. We should be the ones explaining about Hjiaab, removing misconceptions, being active in Daw’ah and our communities so that we can come together in striving for goodness, uplifting the Ummah and to trying to make the world a better place. 
These thoughts are what pushed me to create a magazine for Muslim Women, where I could finally take a chance to show the world who Muslim Women truly are.

Our Wonderful Writers

Aaapa
I am an American Muslim of Pakistani heritage. I have a love for my faith. I am not seeking a political voice but a celebration of sisterhood.
We have so much potential as a viable social group. When we come together we can make social change to benefit everyone. I am 56 years old. I am the blessed mother of two teenage sons. Currently, I reside in the suburbs of DC. I have been a teacher and soical worker. I am seeking employment at the moment. The bleak reality of the economic crisis has hit the Muslims here, too. But, I have been blessed by my faith.

Jennifer Hebert
We are currently living in the DC metropolitan area. I am a SAHM for 6 children and I have been homeschooling off and on since 2003. During that past ten years we have lived overseas off and on for the purpose of our children learning to speak Arabic as a first language. I have been Muslim since 2000 and feel it has been the biggest blessing in my life. Currently my husband and I are starting a local Masjid in an adjacent town because one doesn't exist there. I am the owner and operator of Jennifer Editing and currently write two blogs, www.chasingchildrenandrecipes.blogspot.com and www.mamma26.blogspot.com
 

Zaynab Ansari Abdul-Razacq
is a native Southerner with Northern roots. She spent several years studying the core Islamic sciences, including Arabic, jurisprudence, Qur'anic recitation & commentary, Hadith, and Prophetic biography in Damascus, Syria at Abu Nour Masjid’s college preparatory program. Upon her return to the United States, she continued her Islamic studies privately with Shaykh Khalil Abdur-Rashid, Imam of New York's Iqra Masjid, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, educational director of SeekersGuidance, Shaykh Jamal Ud-Deen Hysaw, and Dr. Fareeha Khan.
From 2004 to 2009, she volunteered, answered questions, and taught for SunniPath Academy. She currently answers questions for SeekersGuidance Answers Blog, writes for Azizah Magazine's Deen department, and volunteers with the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta. She did her undergraduate work in History and Middle Eastern Studies and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in World History at Georgia State University. She is married and has three children.
Samiha Islam
Our youngest writer and editor.
Bio coming soon...