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Letter


I love you daughter,

I have been trying to find a way to contact you since you left. You have made yourself hard to find, and after what happened with your father, I understand why. If I could see you I would, I don't care anymore what the consequences would be. Family is family and you are family, forever. I pray for you five times a day, I beg Allah you are safe, that you are well, that you are happy and that you are not living in fear. One day we will meet again, I promise. I promise.

NK

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Dad, you can't begin to understand what you did to me. Do you think I had a choice? Should I have carried on pretending, lying to myself and to you just to make things easier. That is not how you raised me. You are the one who taught me to value the truth, you are the one who made me live by the code of honesty. And now you are punishing me for it, and what a punishment this is. If I told what these last months have been like you would not believe it. I will spare you the details. But even if you were to beg me my forgiveness, i don't know if I could forgive you. If I could believe in your book, if it would erase everything, I would. But I can't.

SG

#dearfather #agnostic
My son,

I have wanted to send you this letter every day. But I fear the consequences if anyone at home found out. I want to be cast out myself no more than I ever wanted to cast you out. I want you to know that even though they call you murtadd, I do not think of you as a murtadd. I think of you as my son, whom I love and whom I miss dearly.

Your father
Dear Daughter,

I know that you have struggled since we moved to this country; to remain faithful and strong to the choices you made to wear hijab. I know it has been nothing short of difficult to stand out so boldly in junior high and high school among the bare headed and bodied girls around you, especially during a time in your life when desperately you wanted to fit in. I have struggled, too. I watched as you cried every night because no one wanted to be friends with "a freak," and how you debated in your head whether or not you would continue to wear it, continue to be a Muslima.

My fear has always been that you would give up on Islam and all that you believe. I am so proud that you decided to search within your deen for the answers to your questions, rather than turning to outside sources who may not understand Islam and therefore judge it and us from a place of ignorance. Thank you, daughter, for showing me such courage and strength in facing your daily jihad (struggle) and embracing your beliefs. And thank you for trusting me with your doubts and talking with me throughout. I do not know that I could have been as brave as you were. But I am so grateful that you were. Because I saw the difficulty of your life as an American-raised Muslima and all the challenges that come with it. And I appreciate your daily jihad and you for sharing it with me and allowing me to advocate for you when your baba did not understand your doubts.

There is always hope. I will always love you.
Mama
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