Looking back, Moya Grady can remember when she first felt that her life would eventually lead her to embrace Islam;
Moya feels Islam has given her control of her life
“I can remember seeing a Muslim lady walking down the road, obviously going from house to house and dressed from head to foot in black, and the wind actually catching her jilbab and on the bottom it was sort of billowing out along the sand, and looking at that and thinking; one of these days I’m actually going to be like that’.”
The image was to stay in Moya’s mind but it would take another 14 years for her to become a Muslim. It wasn’t until years later when suffering from a serious illness that she turned again to Islam.
Off work and will time on her hands she read the whole of the Qur’an in English, eventually her health returned and she went back to work forgetting about the religion. But that wasn’t the end of it, during what she describes as one of the hardest times in her life, Moya found she instinctively reached out to Islam.
“I had to find an inner-most strength to work out why on earth all this was happening.”
So she boarded a plane for London and took her declaration at a rather large mosque. She felt the experience was a bit impersonal and was disappointed but before returning decided to give another smaller mosque a try.
“I came out of there feeling totally different. I felt really spiritually moved, I actually sat in the car and sobbed my heart out.”
On a high from her experience Moya then spent some time in Tunisia and felt very at home in as Islamic country but when she came home to Jersey she found leading her daily life was difficult.
Moya continues to work in Jersey, which means some of her prayers have to be made up at the end of the day. (Salat, the second pillar of Islam, requires Muslims to pray five times a day. Inevitably some of these times fall within working hours.) As a woman she feels her religion has made her feel more liberated and is proud of her Muslim identity.
As Moya sees it Muslim women are treated as equals and protected throughout their lives. For her following Islam makes her feel she is finally in control of her life and the Qu’ran provides practical guidelines for living in an honest and peaceful way.