ISLAM VERSUS THE WEST MARYAM JAMEELAH PDF

Click to print Opens in new window To many in the West, Maryam Jameelah formerly Margaret Marcus who passed away on the last day of October remains an enigma. For having been raised in an all-American Jewish family of the s, she defied her background, her environment and her upbringing — all to embrace another civilization, culture and religion as her own: the world of Islam. I felt the unspeakable blessedness of the moment filling up my veins. What then is to be made of the unspeakably poignant moments in adulthood when one confronts the Loss of Permanence in our universe of values, being and moral guidance for a life that is, at once, both material and spiritual? For such, no less, has been the profound loss in the passing of our intellectuals and our revivalists Mujaddids , indeed, the vanguard of an authentic, mature, Islamic response to the steady onset of a cultural invasion that, for all practical purposes, has almost completely robbed this Ummah of its soul. In this burdened firmament of luminaries that has provided the saving grace, the leading light, for the Muslim community in the twentieth century after the disappearance of Christ, the name of Maryam Jameelah will stand out resplendent, a star, in the early morning darkness of a new dawn of Islam in our times.

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Click to print Opens in new window To many in the West, Maryam Jameelah formerly Margaret Marcus who passed away on the last day of October remains an enigma. For having been raised in an all-American Jewish family of the s, she defied her background, her environment and her upbringing — all to embrace another civilization, culture and religion as her own: the world of Islam.

I felt the unspeakable blessedness of the moment filling up my veins. What then is to be made of the unspeakably poignant moments in adulthood when one confronts the Loss of Permanence in our universe of values, being and moral guidance for a life that is, at once, both material and spiritual?

For such, no less, has been the profound loss in the passing of our intellectuals and our revivalists Mujaddids , indeed, the vanguard of an authentic, mature, Islamic response to the steady onset of a cultural invasion that, for all practical purposes, has almost completely robbed this Ummah of its soul.

In this burdened firmament of luminaries that has provided the saving grace, the leading light, for the Muslim community in the twentieth century after the disappearance of Christ, the name of Maryam Jameelah will stand out resplendent, a star, in the early morning darkness of a new dawn of Islam in our times. As is now known, Maryam Jameelah, formerly Margaret Marcus, passed away into the stage past her earthly sojourn of 78 years on 31st October Her life, first lived out as a typical American teenager of Jewish parentage, then through the hallways of a troubled adolescence and youth that saw her through brief periods at institutions for mental health, her discovery of Islam and her migration to Pakistan to settle down to the life of an Asian wife and mother and last, but not the least, her prolific writings on Islam through numerous books and booklets — all cannot fail in casting a spell of awe and admiration in even her most vociferous critics who can always disagree with her, but whom they cannot ignore.

Brought up in Westchester, a prosperous suburb of that city, hers was an entirely secular American education at the local public schools. An above-average student at school, she soon developed into a passionate intellectual and insatiable bibliophile, whom it was difficult to spot without a book in her hand. Even at school, her readings went far beyond the needs of the prescribed curriculum. With adolescence, however, she stayed away from all frivolities, which she held in contempt, her main interests now centering on religion, philosophy, history, anthropology, sociology and biology.

It was while she was a student at the university, that she became severely ill in Her condition deteriorated steadily forcing her to discontinue college two years later without obtaining her diploma. Confined to private and public hospitals for two years , she lived through — and survived — a period of great trauma and stress.

Only after she was finally discharged from hospital did she discover her talent for writing. Reading all the books about Arabs she could find in her early youth, she also fell in love with the recordings of Umm Kulthum.

Most of these books that she followed in her youth were, however, written by Orientalists or missionaries and, even at that early stage of her life, presented to her a very negative view which she felt was unjustified.

She became a vocal spokesperson for the faith, defending Muslim beliefs against Western criticism and championing such causes as that of the Palestinians. Of course, her views created much tension in her personal life, but she continued to pursue her cause.

Through her regular correspondence with prominent Muslims of the time, and her close friendship with some Muslims in New York, she eventually embraced Islam in , at the Islamic Mission in Brooklyn, New York.

In her search for transcendental truths, she sees Islam as the most comprehensive and satisfying explanation of the highest Reality.

From this premise, her exposition of the real danger that confronts Muslim culture and civilization today is, at once, precise and incisive. This Golden Prize the white man dangles before the non-European, has produced in every indigenous society, an elite of native collaborators who for the sake of quick profits ignore the long-range welfare of their people.

In its secularization, it is not at all unique although because of the weapons of science and technology, it maybe the most powerful and widespread. The record of history shows that human civilizations have revolved in a cylindrical pattern between sensuousness and idealism and whenever an extreme is reached by either, there always comes a sharp reaction pulling in the opposite direction. In their revolt against their elders, modern youth is also revolting against excessive materialism, excessive preoccupation with technology and its applications.

These rebellious youth are seeking transcendental truth although they unfortunately do not know where to find it. In her view, few modern writers attacked modern civilization and all that it represents as vigorously and successfully as did Rene Guenon. His proofs for the cyclic, his proofs against progress, the decisive and irrefutable nature of his all-out attack on evolutionism and progressionism — all render the other figures of Islamic revivalism mere pygmies in comparison to him.

Critical of the whole policy and its associated propaganda, she believed that USA under President Bush had engaged in an all-out war on Islam: the same colonialism and imperialism as the British and French employed a century ago. She had once scolded her parents for being focused on the scenery, anticipating with pleasure their next cocktail hour or hand of bridge.

They had scarcely considered where life might be taking them. She told them she was different. She needed to get to the absolute heart of things and it was this restless desire that drew me to her, though our differences were numerous and profound.

To get to this place, she constantly reminded herself that she might die at any moment and would have to answer for the life she had lived. To achieve something enduring with the gifts God had provided her was her dream.

Only then could she be sure that she had not squandered her life, dishonored her limited time on earth by meaningless pursuits or sinful behavior. She planned to give a good account of herself. I think she will. Some of her major published works include the following: — Modern Technology and the Dehumanization of Man, — Westernization and Human Welfare,.

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MARYAM JAMEELAH

Maryam Jameelah "My professor, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Katsh, the head of the department of Hebrew Studies there, spared no efforts to convince his students-- all Jews, many of whom aspired to become rabbis - that Islam was derived from Judaism. Our textbook, written by him, took each verse from the Quran, painstakingly tracing it to its allegedly Jewish source. Although his real aim was to prove to his students the superiority of Judaism over Islam, he convinced me diametrically of the opposite. This book, comprising various essays by her, some of which were written even before she formally, embraced Islam.

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Remembering Maryam Jameelah

As a child, Marcus was psychologically and socially ill at ease with her surroundings, and her mother described her as bright, exceptionally bright, but also "very nervous, sensitive, high-strung, and demanding". Even while in school she was attracted to Asian and particularly Arab culture and history, and counter to the support for Israel among people around her, she generally sympathised with the plight of Arabs and Palestinians. In Spring, , she entered New York University. In the summer of , she suffered another nervous breakdown and fell into despair and exhaustion. It was during this period that she returned to her study of Islam and read the Quran. Finally, on May 24, , she converted to Islam and adopted the name Maryam Jameelah.

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Maryam Jameelah

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