Who Is Maryam Jameelah (Margaret Marcus) ?

Maryam Jameelah was born in 1934 in New York at the height of the Great Depression – a fourth-generation American of German-Jewish origin. She was reared in Westchester, one of the most prosperous and populated suburbs of New York and received a thoroughly secular American education at the local public schools. Always an above-average student, she soon became a passionate intellectual and insatiable bibliophile, hardly ever without a book in hand, her readings extending far beyond the requirements of the school curriculum. As she entered adolescence, she became intensely serious-minded, scorning all frivolities, which is very rare for an otherwise attractive young girl. Her main interests were religion, philosophy, history, anthropology, sociology and biology. The school and local community public libraries and later, the New York Public Library, became “her second home.”

During extensive correspondence with Muslims throughout the world and reading and making literary contributions to whatever Muslim periodicals were available in English, Maryam Jameelah became acquainted with the writings of Maulana Sayyid Abul Ala Maudoodi and so, beginning in December 1960, they exchanged letters regularly. In the spring of 1962, invited Maryam Jameelah to migrate to Pakistan and live as a member of his family in Lahore. Maryam Jameelah accepted the offer and a year later,married Mohammad Yusuf Khan, a whole-time worker for the Jama’at-e-Islami who later became the publisher of all her books.

She subsequently became the mother of four children, living with her co-wife and her children in a large extended household of in-laws. Most unusual for a woman after marriage, she continued all her intellectual interests and literary activities; in fact, her most important writings were done during and inbetween pregnancies. She observes Purdah strictly.

Her hatred of atheism and materialiam in all its varied manifestations – past and present – is intense and in her restlessquest for absolute, transcendental ideals, she upholds Islam as the most emotionally and intellectually satisfying explanation to the ultimate Truth which alone gives life (and death) meaning, direction, purpose and value.

 Umar Faruq Khan

For Turkish Version please click.

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