by Karla N. Evans
I was a twenty-eight year old single mother, just out of college when I experienced Islam’s embrace. To me, it was coming home to something I had always known: there is only one God and He connects us all.
My first memories of conversations about God were with my maternal grandmother, Grandma Ruth. I would spend hours on my grandmother’s lap as she read the latest edition of National Geographic to me cover-to-cover. She would read to me about Native American tribes, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and any ‘others’ that were being discussed in the magazine’s pages. We explored the world together through National Geographic. We toured mosques, temples and synagogues. We climbed mountains, explored valleys, sailed oceans and unearthed mummies.
I remember seeing the now famous Afghan girl on the cover of the June 1985 edition of National Geographic and reading along with my grandmother—I was seven. Everything my grandmother read to me always seemed to confirm a truth that I held deep inside: there is only one God and He connects us all.