I was blessed to be born and raised in The Nation of Islam with a personal decision to officially register in 2014. I joined because I saw no other way of life worthy to accept. None proved to be a path I belonged to.
I am a “Nation Baby” so I was raised in the Nation, but I did still choose Islam for myself. Because we are a curious people with free will, we all have that period of time where we wander from the religious beliefs that we were raised knowing. That lasted approximately six months for me. I realized quickly that I belong in The Nation.
I am Zakiyyah Maryam and was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee in the Nation of Islam. My family’s journey to Islam began with my Great-Grandmother, Willie (May Allah Be Pleased with her). She had to pick cotton when she was growing up. She was a sharecropper and that injustice system that kept black people in an economically insufficient condition also kept them away from formal education, which my great-grandmother did not have.When she was allowed to move away from sharecropping, she then began teaching herself how to read and became an avid reader. It was also the truth in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, which is Freedom, Justice, Equality (Islam).
Ta-Neesha and I met around the time of Saviours’ Day 2014. I was given her number by the Captain in Toronto, to see about making arrangements to go down together. We were both processing at that same time, but had not met, she was a few months before me. We were in touch by phone for weeks before we actually met in-person the day we left for Detroit together.