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A Canadian Teacher
Janet was born in Edmonton City, Canada where her family has been residing for several generations.She described her brief story to me as follows:
My family belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, so I was educated in a Roman Catholic institution. In Catholicism I often wondered how Jesus could be the son of God. The more I looked into it, the more I got confused. Nobody had a clear-cut answer to this question. Ironically, the responder was more confused than the questioner.
Shortly after finishing high school, I met Mr. Khaled, a Pakistan citizen, in Edmonton. Since there was a Canadian law that permitted marriages for immigration purposes, Mr. Khaled married me in order to become a Canadian citizen. After a few years of marriage, I became an expectant mother. I wanted to decide about the continuity of our marriage before the coming of the child.
My husband was highly educated and had exquisite manners. I was surprised that he never compelled me to embrace Islam. He rather gave me total freedom to raise the coming child as a Christian or as a Muslim. Khaled’s open-mindedness and exemplary behavior encouraged me to educate myself about Islam. From these studies I noticed that Islam was very similar to Christianity. Above all, I learned that Jesus(pbuh) was not the son of God. He was a prominent prophet of God. This solved the riddle of my life. Hence, I embraced Islam voluntarily and decided to continue my marriage with Mr. Khaled for good. I thank Almighty God for providing me with this guidance. Soon Allah gave us a daughter. Now I have two daughters and two sons. My husband imparted Islamic education to us daily. He used to tell us Quranic stories using simple language which were very beneficial to us.
It is quite common for there to be some friction between the mother-in-law and the daughter-in-law. However, when Khaled’s mother came to us in Canada, I found her to be a very sincere and loving person. She demonstrated the proper Islamic behavior and manners to me. She raised my spirits very high by being an excellent role model. I concluded that if both the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law follow the teachings of Islam, the conflicts between them will not surface.
A while later, we moved to another town in Canada. I worked at an Islamic school there as a kindergarten teacher and imparted elementary Islamic teachings to young children. It was very beneficial for me since it crystallized the Islamic teachings in my mind. It was also very rewarding to share with others what little I knew.
After a few years we moved back to Edmonton City. We have established an Islamic Information Center there in cooperation with a few friends. It has about three thousand books, along with many cassettes and videos. It also has free internet services for Islamic information. It is like a modern library. Many Muslims and non-Muslims visit it every day. We pray that Allah may provide more guidance to mankind through this facility and accept this humble effort from us. I would like to add that my husband also transmits an Islamic TV program every week. My youngest son very enthusiastically helps his father in this project.
Finally, I honestly confess that after embracing Islam, my life has become extremely peaceful. I am totally satisfied with my life and wish to grow more in knowledge and practice. I don’t mind sharing my Islamic experiences with others. My e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org