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Challenges Encountered by Muslim Women in the us

I am an American born Muslimah. When I embraced Islam, i was not aware of the challenges i would face and the struggles i would endure. I was only standing on the shore, staring at the ocean that is Islam, deep and wide. I learned from a year spent in Pakistan, the true meaning of life as a Muslimah, my responsibilities and rights. I learned the proper ways to live as a Muslimah, in purity and in piety. As I discovered Islam and what being a Muslimah involves, I began to wonder how it will be possible for me to do these things in America after I return. For example, water and purity. In USA, it is not common to make clothing pure’, we have machines that wash those easily, no need to work so hard for clean clothes. I later understood the difference between clean and pure. With a little extra effort, I now can make my clothing pure on laundry day’
Another example, avoiding pork and alcohol. I thought this will be simple as I do not drink alcohol and I have never eaten pork before. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Alcohol comes in many variations and is found in many ingredients as well as personal care items, such as hairspray and shampoo. Pork and pork by products are also more common than one might imagine. Reading the ingredients is helpful, but knowing the origins of the ingredients is very beneficial as well.
When it comes to wearing the hijab, this personally has not been a challenge at all to me in my community. I wear my hijab and abaya proudly and without fear. I found that occasionally, people will stare, but I assume that is mostly due to my disability, not my hijab. I have received only one comment from a stranger regarding my Islamic clothing, I was asked are you white?’ I had to laugh. Yes, ignorance and lack if knowledge is still in America. I imagine racism and prejudice is too. Luckily, I have not been a victim of any form of racism in my seen years as a Muslimah.
Another challenge, perhaps the toughest yet, has been telling my devout southern Baptist Christian family of my acceptance of Islam. This was difficult and deeply heartbreaking for me. My mother, my brother, my grandparents, my teenage children, my uncles and aunts, cousins, every relative turned from me for my choices. Friends I had known all of my life turned away too. I was left completely alone. My decision was cope without family and accept Islam with all of my heart or return to Christianity and the people I cared about. The results are that I continue to be the strongest Muslimah I can be today. I am still proud to say I am Muslimah, the thing I am proud of most from my life.
Being Muslim in America can be quite difficult in many ways, but with true faith and trust in Allah, on can overcome anything.