From Heinz 57 to Islam

Heinz 57 ketchup

Before Islam, Mary was a “Heinz 57” of religion Editor’s comment: I want to state clearly that I don’t approve of the way sister Mary went about things here. She and Ahmed carried on a secret affair and were unfaithful to their spouses (in spirit, if not in deed). I understand that she was abused by her first husband, and I’m happy that things worked out for her, Alhamdulillah – if indeed they have worked out. But it could easily have been disastrous. She could have ended up in a secret relationship, not given her full rights, and with a new husband she could not trust. With that said, here’s the story:

By Mary Farrag

Reprinted from

Before reverting to Islam I was, well, let’s say Heinz 57 (Editor’s note: for those of you not familar with American colloquialisms, Heinz 57 is a sauce with a lot of different ingredients – in other words, a mix).

I was baptized Catholic, made my confirmation as a Lutheran, and we attended whatever church was near to our house. Which probably turned out to be a good thing.

I left my family’s house when I was the age of 17. As soon as I graduated from high school, I moved into the one bedroom apartment that my boyfriend had. We only lived there for a very short time. Then we moved to a larger apartment.

At this time I really wasn’t going to church anymore because I was too busy working for God. My boyfriend wasn’t religious at all. Actually he was agnostic. Always, he needed things proven to him.

Well, eventually we married but never had any children. We stayed together a total of 18 years.

I didn’t know anything about Islam at all until my current husband wanted to start chatting with me. We were both using a program called Freetel. I don’t think it is even available anymore.

I was used to chatting with many people but never chatted with an Arab. One night I saw on the top of the screen: Ahmed is Calling. I had never even heard of this name before, so I was reluctant to accept the chat.

After a few times of him trying to call me, I accepted. We started off with the usual chat. Where are you from? Are you married? Do you have any children? Then we continued from there.

We were both very unhappy in our marriages. So we became friends. After six months of chatting everyday, I decided that I needed to know this man that I was now in love with. So I came to Egypt and stayed for 23 days.

It was confirmed that yes, we were actually in love. Neither one of us could imagine this was true. We toured most places in Cairo and some parts of Alexandria. At this time, I still didn’t know very much about Islam.

So after the 23 days, I returned to USA. My visit to Cairo confirmed what I needed to do. I needed to get a divorce from my current American husband.

He was very bad to me. He physically and emotionally abused me. During the next six months I was away from Ahmed and fell into a very deep depression.

Learning About Islam

Also during that time, Ahmed, now my husband, started to tell me about Islam. I was interested in anything he had to say.

I was working for low income public housing at the time of all of this. One day, one of my tenants came into the office to pay her monthly rent. Her name is Aminah.

She said to me “Miss Mary, you look different, something has changed in you.”

I told her about my trip and how I was in love with an Egyptian man who was a Muslim. She said that it was so cool. She said that her mom also is a Muslim and she asked me if I would like to meet her mom.

So I agreed and I met Rashida and we instantly got along. She also was a revert, but had reverted 25 years ago. So we started to meet more often, and she also started to teach me about Islam. So between Ahmed and Rashida, I became very interested in Islam.

I started to also study on my own. I started to go to meet Rashida; she had a shop that sells incense, oils and Islamic clothing. So now I was on my way with Islam.

One day I asked my husband-to-be, Ahmed, if he was going to make me become Muslim? On my trip here to Cairo, we got engaged, even though he was still married. So, he said “Mary, look I love you, but I can not make you become Muslim”.

He said, “That is between you and Allah.”

This is exactly what I needed to hear. So, Rashida started to take me to many places where Muslim sisters were. I loved them. They were so nice and peaceful and loving.

Declaring Shahadah

So 3 days before I was to move to Egypt to marry Ahmed, which was 6 more months after getting engaged to him, I called Rashida and told her that I wanted to become Muslim.

She told me to come to her and bring a hijab. So off I was to Rashida’s house. We stood outside on her balcony and she started to say “Ash Hado An La Ilaha IlaAllah”. I said, “Wait, please.”

She said, “Ahh, you have changed your mind.”

I said, “No, no, wait.” I went into my purse and took out my cell phone and called Ahmed in Cairo .

I said, “Ahmed, I want you to hear something.”

He said, “What is that?”

I said, “Here, listen.”

So Rashida said, “Ash Hado An La Ilaha IlaAllahwa Ash hado anna Mohammadan Rasollah,” and I repeated after her word for word.

I started to cry and heard Ahmed crying on the mobile and looked at Rashida and she was crying, Masha’Allah. So then I left Rashida and went home, took my ghusl (special shower). I am sure I did it wrong but Allah knew my niyyah (intention).

So then three days after, I came off the plane. I didn’t tell Ahmed that I wore the hijab.

I walked past him just a little to see if he would know me.

He didn’t, so I walk back and said, “Excuse me, are you waiting for someone?”

He looked at me and just kept saying, “SubhanAllah”, maybe four or five times. I thought he was going to have a coma. I told his friends to watch him until I came past the people to make sure he wouldn’t fall.

Then we were off to get married.

So that is basically my story of coming to Islam. It was so hard for me in the beginning, but now I am so happy and thankful to Allah for guiding me to the straight path.

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  1. I can’t believe my eyes! Authoo bil-lahi min ayshaytan ir-rajeem! This story is Haram on sooo many levels! While I sympathize that she was an abused wife and non-Muslim, her current spouse on the other hand, should have known better and stopped this before it began! These people both lived with spouses, talked for 6 MONTHS, and then she went to SEE him and stayed 23 days, speaking words of love to each other, unchaperoned, undivorced and from the sound of it, unashamed! I can not believe that you allowed this article to be on this site. Its shameful! This is not an example that we want our young people or new Muslims to follow. I pray that you pull this article from your site, as it is islamically wrong how they went about this marriage.

  2. SubhanAllah, this is unbelievable.

    As shawn pointed out, wrong on countless levels.
    Secondly, if that man “Ahmad” cheated on his first wife, what makes this revert so sure he won’t cheat on her after he’s bored of her?!

    SubhanAllah, this is major problem with so-called “muslim” men all over the world, but mostly among the Arab / Asian as they long for, and secretly desire white women… but subhanAllah, at the same time, I can understand as the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wassallam informed us that hur al-ain (women of paradise) will be like white pearls with blue(?) eyes.

    Nevertheless, this has also happened with my own ex-wife who was called by many random arab men just because she has a feminine western name – also heard the same from her friends and sisters.

    Another thing most “muslims” don’t realise is that yes, you can marry women who are “ahlal kitaab”, or people of the book, but there are strict conditions… i.e. she must believe in God first of all, and secondly, she MUST not have had sexual relations outside of marriage (zina) or be a virgin – sadly our “muslim” brothers are too ignorant of this little fact and too busy chasing after women in western countries.


    How easily women and our own sisters in Islam fall prey to dirty men who entice with sweet but meaningless (cheap) words!

  3. Editor: You may have the best intentions, but putting a disclaimer before such an article, defeats the purpose. I’m sure there are countless stories of people becoming Muslims, but on issues of a Muslim committing adultery, then having a happy ending, it’s not a positive message to readers.

    There is a very crucial reason why Islam forbids extra-marital affairs. In the context of this article, it’s very simple. Let’s say Ahmed and Mary are having problems in their marriage, due to Ahmed marrying Mary in such a way, the suspicions and doubts will ultimately destroy a marriage. Will Ahmed have another extra-marital affair, due to being unhappy in his second marriage? Maybe. To Mary, it can’t be a resounding, ‘No’. She can;t rule that out. This is why the severity of having an affair, while in marriage, is made clear. Stoning to death. If you put the stoning to one side, and focus on what the thinking behind this is. It’s logical. Having an affair while in marriage destroys the lives within the family. (Your wife/husband, and kids). As opposed to if you’re single and having an affair with a single woman/man. So, this is not a feel good story. Please kindly un-publish. Jazak’Allah Khayr

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