By Fakeha Neelofar
I am so thankful to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) for helping me complete my BA in Islamic Studies from Islamic Online University (IOU), Alhamdulillah. It was a wonderful journey Masha Allah, Tabarak Allah, and when I look back, I don’t seem to recognize myself….
I was born and brought up around non-muslims and I loved to see how “liberated” they were as compared to the women in muslim households. These women looked like slaves and had no time for themselves. I felt sorry for them…sorry for the muslim women. As time passed, I developed images of muslim men and muslim women to the extent that I never wanted to identify myself with them. I went one step ahead of non-muslims in considering myself “liberated” and reached a point where I hated men and never wanted to get married. So much of a negative portrayal of my beautiful religion! Those were my days of ignorance.
Then Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) picked me up and raised my status, Alhamdulillah. The King of Kings (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) guided me to attend Qur’an classes where I learnt to recite the Qur’an with Tajweed. Then He, Al Haadi, guided me to take the BA course in Islamic Studies with Islamic Online University (http://www.islamiconlineuniversity.com).
I have changed so much, and Alhamdulillaah for the better. IOU changed me through education, and this was the real education.
I had been getting educated since childhood but it is only now—after spending more than 4 decades of my life—that I realized the true meaning of it. This is the first time I enjoyed being educated so much that the years just flew by and I didn’t realize that I had been studying, after marriage and children, for more than 5 years now. This education was special. This education was about getting to know my Lord, about why He created me and what I should do while I am here. This was about being conscious of Him and doing things to please Him alone. Though it is/was not easy to break the habits that I am/was used to for the past so many years, I have changed- Alhamdulillah. IOU gave me the noor of deen, which will Insha’Allah not only light up my path in both worlds, but also illuminate the path of others around me bi iznillah. IOU helped me groom the fitrah that Allah had gifted me, and taught me how to make it stronger. IOU! I-owe-you. May Allah reward each and everyone involved in this blessed work. I thank all my teachers, seniors, family and friends for helping me fulfill this dream. I feel so liberated!
There is no religion on the face of this earth which liberates women more than Islam. I consider myself a Queen!!
Alhamdulillah for Islam and Thumma Alhamdulillaah for being a woman!!