I recently received some gifts from a friend who had recently returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia. She brought me back a “Thawb,” a garment worn in many Arab countries, a “kufi,” the brimless, short, and rounded cap worn by many populations in West Africa of all religions and throughout the African Diaspora, as well as throughout the Islamic world, a compass to direct me toward Mecca, prayer rug and some prayer beads.
Normally, one would not give much serious thought to these items but they are of special significance to me.
Islam has always been and will always be between us. More than 40 years ago, it separated us as we pursued different paths. She became a Sunni Muslim and I joined the Nation of Islam. We lost contact with each other. She married. I later left the Nation, but the “rope of Islam” kept us connected.
I would go on and through much independent reading on my own, eventually embrace a purer form of Islam than I originally started with. The beauty in this story is that which initially caused us to separate became a force that was quite apparent when we reestablished our friendship 40 years later.
She is still married and the Mother of five children. I am divorced but the also the Father of five children. The two of us remain better friends today than when we parted. She will always remain in my heart and in my prayers…
I wanted to share this story because most of what I see about Islam is always in the geo-political arena. We are all just trying to find a path to God. I believe there are many paths. This is a human-interest story and nothing more. I hope you enjoyed it.