Series: Female Models of Luminance #9: Maryam Jameelah

Abū ‘Āsim, An-Nidā Publications

Maryam Jameelah was one of the torchbearers and erudite scholars of intellectual Islam in the 19th century – may Allah be merciful to her – She was without a doubt one of those who sought for guidance, opened their hearts to it and accepted the Guidance of Allah when it found them. She, today is a model and an example of Truth Guidance and Steadfastness on the Path of Allah.

She was born Margaret Marcus in New Rochelle, New York in 1934 to a Secular Jewish family of German Origins. Right from childhood, she had been studying religions and the history of religions particularly Jewism and Islām and she grew sympathy for the [light of the Palestinians over the years. She would marvel at the way fellow Jews took their religion for granted and treated their festivities as mere celebrations and not religious observations. Her interest in Islām grew further by her interest in Arabic Culture which grew because of her attraction to Arabic Music.

While she was only 12years of age, she began a novel called “Ahmad Khalīl: The story of a Palestinian Refugee and His Family”. In her university days at the New York University, she would engross herself into the study of Religions and Faiths, engaging in research and attending seminars that discussed Islām particularly. One of the courses she took was on “Judaism`s Influence on Islām”, this course further convinced her of the truth in Islām. In 1956, she was hospitalized and couldn`t continue her education in the University. In 1959, when she returned home, she intensified her study of Islām and was particularly influenced by Muhammad Asad`s “The Road to Mecca” and Marmaduke Pikthall`s “The Meaning of the Glorious Koran”.

On the 24th of May 1961, at the age of 27, she embraced Islām and adopted the name Maryam Jameelah, and she said: “I have, I believe, always been a Muslim at heart by temperament, even before I knew that there was such a thing as Islām. My conversion was mainly a formality, involving no radical change in my heart at all but rather only making official what I had been thinking and yearning for many years”. One of those who immensely contributed toward her guidance was Maulānā Sayyid Abū Ā`ala Al-Maudūdī – rahimahullāh – with whom she had correspondences with for 2years which was crowned by his invitation to her to migrate t Pakistan as a Muhājirah. She obliged and in 1961, she migrated to Lahore, Pakistan where she lived in the residence of Maulānā Al-Maudūdī until her marriage to Muhammad Yūsuf Khān in 1962 at the age of 28. She was his second wife. They lived in Lahore and had 5 children together.

Maryam Jameelah dedicated her life to studying, reading and writing. She became a fervent writer and a leading proponent of Intellectual Islām. She authored over 30 beautiful books of Islām and passed away on the 31st of October 2012. May Allah be merciful to her, Aameen.        



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