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EGYPT: Forward to the Light

Having suffered deep wounds from years of beatings by her Muslim husband, an Egyptian woman now rejoices in God’s love and the cross of Christ.

Emaan was passionately devoted to Islam.

“I used to love the person of Muhammad,” she said. “I wished in my heart that I was living in antiquity and that maybe I would be chosen to be one of his wives.”

She took six pilgrimages in the early 2000s, travelling from her home in Egypt to visit Islam’s most holy sites. “At the mosque in Medina, the ‘Mosque of the Prophet,’ I would never turn my back,” she recalled of one hajj, a religious journey to Saudi Arabia that Muslims are required to make at least once.

As a fervent follower of the faith, Emaan went far beyond what was required by Islam. “When I went to walk away,” she said, “I would look at the mosque in reverse and walk backward to show respect.”

But eventually, Emaan chose to walk away from Islam. When she learned that Aisha, Muhammad’s last wife, was 9 years old at the time of their marriage, it shook her faith. As her own daughter approached that age, Emaan was struck by the inappropriateness of Islam’s founder taking a child bride.

“It triggered a deep desire in my heart to question his personality, his character, and to search for who he really was,” she said. “I could not accept that from a regular person, let alone a prophet, a teacher. It was unacceptable to me.”

When Emaan shared her concerns with her husband, he was shocked by her scepticism and warned her against blasphemy. Still, Emaan kept searching for answers, hoping to resolve the tension in her heart.

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