The first time she walked into our centre after getting directions from well known Mombasa Imam Sheikh Abu Hamza, she did not strike me as a revert.
Her countenance, humility and all encompassing tranquil nature spelt a Muslimah who had been born and brought up in Islam.
Meet Warda, a 38 year old single mother who reverted to Islam barely six months back. Through her, other members of her family joined the fold of Islam; her 18 year old daughter, sister and two nephews aged 15 and 23 years.
The main reason she had visited our centre was to secure revert certificates for her two nephews and also enquire about class registration for our ‘introduction to Islam beginner course’ which is currently on going at our revert centre in Majengo, Mombasa.
She left briefly to fetch her nephews; only one, Yusuf the younger one was available. Islam, the older one was a bit reluctant to join us; i will tell you why shortly.
For over a month now since schools closed for holidays, Yusuf has been coming to our centre to learn the basics of Islam. We had to organize a class for him other than our regular evening ones for a few reasons.
One, he assists his mother who has a medical condition which puts her in a position she cannot work. Two, he is keen on playing football for his school team with the hope that the administration will at least offer him a scholarship/bursary arrangement due to his immense contribution for the team.
School fees is a huge problem for him since his mother cannot work and his aunt Warda has to juggle different responsibilities; paying house rent for herself and Yusuf’s mum, paying his fees and providing food for all in spite of his meagre earnings.
Yusuf has dazzled his tutor who is full of praise and admiration for him. Ever since we started the basic introduction to Islam course, no student has ever hit 100% to a point even the tutor could not mark his paper coz all answers were precise and just as he had been taught.
His performance in school is equally amazing; he is always in the top three despite his inconsistent attendance due to lack of school fees.
Warda on the other hand works for a cigarette manufacturing company as a sales lady. Now, before anyone goes on the offensive castigating her for working a haram job while she is a Muslim, you need to put yourself in her shoes first and walk a mile in them before pointing fingers.
She wants to quit, she is praying hard and doing all she can to secure a better job.
The responsibilities on her shoulders are immense and her family reprobated them once they reverted.
She is just one industrious, patient woman against the turbulence of this Dunya.
She works hard, prays harder and always puts a smile on her face in spite of the circumstances, never complains to anyone but Allah, keeps encouraging her nephews to seek Islamic knowledge and establish daily Salaah.
Her reversion was quite extraordinary. She told me her story briefly yesterday when she brought her other nephew Islam (suffers from albinism hence the shyness and fear of approaching new people) to our centre.
She had been feeling uneasy and sad regardless of the fact that she attended Mass every Sunday. Church and confession wasn’t giving her the tranquillity she so desired.
She quit Church against her better judgement and the thought of her daughter and two nephews going astray for lack of a spiritual foundation.
Either way, she quit. She didn’t even think of becoming a Muslimah, it never occurred to her that maybe Islam would offer her the peace she sought.
While searching for answers she chanced upon the office of Mvita MP Hon. Abdulswamad Shariff Nassir and met the commodious Member of Parliament. In his endearing nature he enquired how he could be of help, expecting it to be the normal unemployment case.
“I want you to help me find God!” she said. This must have hit Hon. Abdulswamad like a bolt of lightning. I mean, it’s not every day that someone walks into a Parliamentarian’s office looking for God…..
God is found in places of worship…..that’s what many would say.
Either way, he queried further and Warda insisted she wanted t find God so she could find peace. Abdulswamad being a Muslim called one of his employees and asked him to take the lady to a well known centre for Muslim sisters, Ummahatul Swaliha.
It was there she took her Shahada and since then she has never looked back.
And today she has made it her daily duty to be a better Muslimah and role model for her daughter and nephews. Always making sure they are learning something new every day.
And you see the people entering into the religion of Allah in multitudes. Surah an-Nasr: 2