Special Report: Woman Abandoned for Embracing Islam, Stranded

Martha Mwenda: Suffering for embracing Islam
Martha Mwenda: Suffering for embracing Islam

“Till death do us apart.” This is a vow which Martha Mwenda made when she was marrying her handsome husband, a father of her children.

Martha was pronouncing these words from bottom of her heart – not just to please her husband.

Like anyone else, she didn’t ever have any plans to separate with her husband.

At first they were all Seventh day Christians before they moved to CCAP church. They enjoyed their faith together. They were enjoying it – very happy indeed.

But it was few months ago when Martha faced another chapter of her life.

Martha, who lives in Bangwe Township, Blantyre was going to buy groundnuts which she sells as part of her daily income when she saw a huge gathering at a place popularly known as Bangwe Desert.

People were listening to the dawah function conducted by Islamic Information Bureau in conjunction with other daees from United Kingdom.

She didn’t just want to pass by, but to see for herself as kandimvelere anamva zammaluwa.

Few minutes had elapsed, Martha was touched with the sermon and it didn’t take her many hours before the following verse came live in her mind.

“And say: “Truth has (now) arrived, and Falsehood perished: for Falsehood is (by its nature) bound to perish.””

Martha finally embraced Islam. Martha became among the best chosen ummah of Allah.

However, it was the same day Martha faced a Litmus test on the promise she made when marrying her husband that “Till death do us apart.”

In fact, it is not her will. She still loves her husband but it is him who is not willing to accept her stance.

When Martha arrived home few hours later, she broke the good news to her husband.

But as expected most of the times, this didn’t go well with the husband who eventually told her that because she has accepted Islam, it is enough reason to end the marriage.

“So, I had to choose one of the two; to keep the promise that “Till death do us apart” which I made so that I should keep my marriage or remain a Muslim,” Martha tells Malawi Muslims Official Website in an interview.

“But I chose the latter because right now I have known the truth. I have discovered that indeed Islam is the only religion on the sight God.

“In fact, at first I thought he was joking but as the days passed by I saw he was really serious. So, I went to Islamic Information Bureau to explain to them if there was any way I can convince my husband to follow me and IIB told me not to allow the marriage to end.

“They told me to ask my husband to come to their office but he refused. He said if it was our plan to force him to come to Islam then we had goofed. So one day, I went out for my business as usual and when coming back I found that he has taken all belongings out of the house going to unknown location. When I asked, my children told me that because I have refused to come back to Christianity their father has left and I will not see him anymore,” she continues.

Martha, who hails from Nkula falls in Blantyre, was not taken from a bar and all protocols were followed when they were tying a knot. That is why Martha her next step was to go to her husband’s relatives to explain the ordeal.

“But when I reached there, they said that is what I wanted. It is a prize of my arrogance because I didn’t want to listen to my husband. I was not surprised with the response because his relatives are die-hard Christians who do not wish to hear anything about Islam because they were brainswashed in their churches that Islam is a bad religion – the thing which I have discovered as untrue,” she said.

Martha has two daughters (one aged 6 years and another one aged 3 years) whom she now raises as a single parent after being abandoned by her husband.

The little child is no more going to nursery school due to lack of school fees and other necessary things that every school going child requires. The capital of her business finished with buying food for her children.

Martha is now stranded. She is even failing to pay a house rent fee of Mk3, 000 ($7.5) per month.

Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) Coordinator for Limbe office Sheikh Ahmed Chienda confirmed Martha’s story.

Chienda said his office has indeed been handling the matter but failed to get in touch with the husband.

“We told her that Allah has loved her and this is being done by a purpose. It is normal that when people preaches or embraces Islam do face this kind of problems. If her husband has abandoned her Allah will guide and support her.

“But things are really not good with Sister Martha. Her life has now become unbearable. Of course, on my part personally, I have tried to talk to other people who have kindly helped her through their zakaat. But still problems are there as you know she is a custody of her two daughters who needs care.

“Spiritually, from few weeks I have interacted with her she seems to have entered Islam with whole heart. Since it can’t be possible to be coming to bureau every day, we told her to be attached with one of the Masjid in her area and the advantage is that her land lady is a Muslim.

“In a space of one week and half, Martha can now read and memorise Surat Fatiha. She is able to make udhu and she can pray on her own apart from knowing some basic things of Islamic faith. She has an interest in Islam and she is eager to know more,” he said.

Reporting by Marshall Dyton from Blantyre

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