Return to Journalism 181 Home

ISLAM IN AMERICA: The Story of One Sister's Welcome into the Triangle Muslim Community

Assalaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu! Peace be upon you, and the mercy of God, and His Blessing! This Arabic phrase is the thread that ties every Muslim on Earth together -- all one billion of them. It is used as a greeting by Muslims from every imaginable nationality; no matter what language a Muslim speaks, he will greet his brothers and sisters in faith with these words. This is not an exception among Muslims in America, the great "melting pot" of cultures and faiths. The number of people converting to the Islamic faith grows daily, and Islam now has a strong presence in the United States. Islam being a religion based on unity and brotherhood, almost every Muslim community has a masjid (mosque), Islamic Center, or Islamic Association through which the local Muslim families can meet for prayer, Sunday school, religious festivals, and other activities. The Islamic Center of Raleigh, North Carolina is one such masjid which serves all these purposes for Muslims in the Triangle area and beyond. It was here that Candace Watson, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, came to convert to the religion of Islam. She learned about the faith from her brother in high school, and after a few years of study and questioning came to the conclusion that Islam is the truth. Candace made her decision to convert after fasting throughout the Muslims' holy month of Ramadan, during which no food or drink is taken between the dawn and evening prayers for all thirty days of the month. In her last few weeks as a non-Muslim, Candace increased her awareness of the religion by attending the Friday prayers held at the UNC-Chapel Hill Student Union, and by attending the meetings and activities of the Muslim Students' Association (MSA) on campus. Her conversion took place less than a week before the celebration of 'Eid al-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, at the Islamic Center of Raleigh.



Please mail comments to:

Copyright © 1997
Ayesha Ahmad
All Rights Reserved