FROM ASHES TO LIGHT





My
name is Julianne (Noora) Scasny. I was born in the united states to a mother
who is Syrian (Arab) Christian and a father who is a white European descendant.
Both are Catholic. When I was 15 years old I wanted to be a nun in the Roman Catholic
church. So I was close inrelationship with God or so I thought and never really
had this so called personal relationship with Jesus (peace be upon him).



 



Anyway,
in my world history class we were studying Middle Eastern history, which I was
very interested in, and we stumbled on the subject of Islam.  There was a student from Egypt and he was
correcting the teacher on the misconceptions about Islam. I just remember
saying to myself, “wow! he is correcting the teacher. Usually the teacher corrects
the student!”After that day in class I asked him what was the difference
between Catholicism and Islam. He said “Not that much.” I was not satisfied
with this answer so I studied Islam on the computer at school. He introduced me
to his family and one day I asked his mother if I could have a copy of the
Quran in English.



 



Al-hamdulillahi(all
praise to Allah), she gave me an English translation by Yussuf Ali and I
couldn’t put it down. To me when I read the bible it seemed like there was
always some meaning behind what was being read because the words had been
changed, but Quran spoke to my heart and I knew it was from Allah. So I became
a Muslim in my heart al-hamdulillahi.



 



When
my parents found out I was interested in Islam they tried to forbid me from
befriending Muslims. My mom called the lady who gave me the translated Quran
and told her “stop talking to my daughter about Islam, you are confusing her.”
I remember my first Eid Al-fitri(feast of breaking the fast), I told my dad I
had to work as an excuse to go to Eid prayer. Well, he ended up finding out
that I went to the masjid. There was not one located near my home and I couldn’t
drive so I got a ride from my Muslim Pakistan friends. That was the first time
I saw the Muslim all together performing the same ritual.Anyway, my dad brought
me to my friend’s house and told her mom that he didn’t want her to lend or
give me any more literature about Islam. She was very respectful and said I
won’t but when she is in my home she is free to read whatever she wants.



 



Afterwards
my mom took me to the priest of the catholic church to talk about Islam and the
dream I had. My dad started to search my room and took my copy of the Quran,
prayer clothing, literature and threw them out. I used to cry so much about
this. I even had to hide my Quran in the air conditioning vent. My dad took the
lock off my room so I had to pray secret when my parents were sleeping. It was
hard. My dad used to tell me “as long as you are still living under my roof you
will obey my rules and you will go to church and be a catholic” I didn’t know
what to do. I asked my friend’s parent what to do and they told me to listen to
my parents. Well I did and for the next four years my life was a total
disaster.



Four
years later at the age of 20 I called the lady who had given me the Quran to
ask about the new masjid that was being built. She told me,“Come and see for
yourself.” Well, ironically this masjid was in a building that was used
originally as a teenage nightclub and my own sister previously was arrested for
being drunk. So I went to the dinner at the masjid and that feelings all came
back to me.



 



The
power of the Adhan brought me to tears. I told myself “I don’t care what my
parents say. I don’t care what anyone says, I want this feeling. I want to be a
practicing devout Muslim; I am sick of trying to do things my way; I submit to
the will of Allah Almighty ‘Alhamdulillahi.That Ramadan I made Shahadah in the
back of the masjid in front of a group of women because the imam was afraid of
what my parents would do if I made Shahadah out loud in front of everyone. I
started wearing hijab that Ramadan.



 



My
parents to this day will not stop telling me “take that thing off your head.
Can’t you dress younger or wear shorts? I just tell them “look at the pictures of
your people paint of Mary. What does she look like in those pictures? She looks
like a Muslim woman” my own grandparent told me to go to hell my mum used to
cook pork and lie and say it was beef. I would ask my dad “please don’t take
the dog downstairs where I pray” I was living in the basement of my parents’
house and he would say “ this is  my
house “ and he would do it anyway. Then I desperately argued with him” you
don’t bring the dog to church,do you?”



 



 My mom would force me to get a job while I was
in college, even in places where they serve alcohol I used to beg the people in
the masjid for money, crying my eyes out for help to Allah.Al-hamdulillahi,
Allah is so merciful, he gave me husband and I got married at the age of 21.
And now a little over a year later at the age of 22 I am pregnant with my first
baby.Of course my family keeps bothering me about Islam,but I’m so grateful to
Allah. I try to give my parents Da’wah all the time and pray for them but Allah
guides whom he wills



 



I
just sit here sometimes and look at the Muslimand think how you people don’t
really know what it is like to have parent who don’t believe in your religion.
I just look at some Muslims and become sick because I wish my parents were with
me, but then again Muslims are my families now.



 



Muslim
should be united as one in the constant worship of Allah, In Sha Allah (Allah
willing) through prayer, dikri, reading Quran, good
manners and not fighting among themselves. May Allah strengthen the faith and piety
and fear of Allah and good manners of every single Muslim.




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