There are things which i believe are peculiar to Jews. They all seem to be crazy readers and seekers of knowledge. Leaving aside the conduct of Zionists, whose founder i believe was atheist (?); but what i'm certain of as a fact is that the founder professed conversion of Jews to Christianity for their assimilation into European culture! How "befitting" for a "Jew" to proclaim that who for centuries kept things to themselves - notwithstanding the conspiring and warring elements, whose archetype may be those leaving in Madeena who relentlessly fought against Prophet of Islam. And i'm really fond of Jews fond of Arabs! Maryam Jameelah (formerly, Margret Marcus) was one such Jew (who later converted to Islam), fascinated with Arabs and a crazy reader. Other example in your mind is obviously Muhammad Asad; this obviousness creates a curiosity of knowing no less profound "Jewish souls" who might have accepted Islam as the Seal of Religions. Knowing Jeemlah and Asad is very critical for Muslims, who in their honest opposition of Israel go to another extreme of imaging all Jews as those Zio-Nazis who take Hitler as their educational, moral and state-level godfather.
It is very moving to read a American-Jew, now a muslim, in exile in a country alien to her, meticulously analyzing clinically the wretched unIslamic state of Muslims; her compelling diagnosis that any layman reader can grasp, absorb and assimilate; her wholehearted passion for inner re-orientation of Muslims; her call for de-westernization of psyche, for it is that inner, hidden element that is the source, and all the outward diseases are merely its manifestations. Dobrah Baker can go to any length to prove she might have been totally disillusioned, disenchanted with her beliefs and passions, but i doubt that more than she can doubt anything else. More of that later. Don't miss this part.
A brief biographical-literary sketch of her life & works by John L Esposito: Makers of Contemporary Islam, chapter on M Jameelah. I found a factual fallacy in the account by John: Ameer Ali wasn't a Shiah as he mentions, but an Ahmadi. I'd love to read chapter by Jameelah on Ameer's books; the name of chapter tells all: "The Spirit of Unbelief." Although I consider John to my sympathetic to Islam, but he seems more sympathetic to Islamic modernists. I like what Seyyed Hossein Nasr used to describe one of her books in his book Ideals & Realities of Islam: "an uncompromising" defense of traditional Islam (or something to that effect).
How sharp was her criticism of secular fundamentalists and "Islamic" modernists/reformists, who shared a lot common that the ordinary eye could discern:
pioneers of westernization in the Muslims world - Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, Shaikh Muhammad Abduh, Qassim Amin, Shaikh Ali Abd ar-Raziq, Dr. Taha Hussein, Ziya Gokalp, and Mustafa Kamel Ataturk. ... [All] of these men were merely the mediocre end-product of their circumstances and more specifically, the result of an over-whelming sense of inferiority which engulfed the East after its humiliating capitulation under the feet of the imperialist West. [Emphasis mine]
Psychological Analysis of 'Story told' by Dobrah Baker, a western writer
Here's a review of a book by an American writer on her which shows her teenage mental instability, and her later "ultimate disillusionment in a search for impossible certainties about life and death" - basically with Islam. Source of the quotes.
However here's a comment that critiques the logic of the book:
"using the story of this mentally unstable woman as somehow anything but a peek into insanity is absurd. There are thousands of examples of people just as crazy who cut off body parts and other acts of self-abuse and to highlight a story like this because she "converted" to a religion that thought her crazy enough to have her committed to the hell of a lunatic asylum is equally crazy.this film is a sick as the people who made it or watch it."
Want your psychological analysis on the intentions of the writer? And whether her assertions are justified? Sure she would have been critical of Maulana Moudodi, but can "disillusionment" with Islam - in which she sought meaning and justice - because she used to be mentally unstable sometime or as an "old woman full of fears" be a mere polemic by the author?Reply by Rhodara online [link it]
"I certainly expect no objectivity on two highly charged topics (religion and mental illness) from these authors. Confusing the emotional turmoils of a person with psychological troubles with an ordinary course of discovering one's true calling in Islam is also not advisable. Her later disillusionment with the negative aspects of the overall Islamic culture as it stands today (inclusive of terrorism, disregarding the whole debate on the topic) won't be too surprising in any given person. But they will be of huge importance and of turmoil to a person who not only has a history but probably a personal tendency of being extremely passionate with things. "filled with fears" could mean anything. Was she merely expressing her 'muttaqi' fears of forgiveness for sins and acceptance of good deeds in the afterlife like we all do, plus expressing fears for the future of Muslims and the practice of their religion, again, like we all entertain? It could be a fact that she never gained a mental state of peace and contentment which might be not too unexpected given her nature. Let us pray that Allah ta'ala disregards all her weaknesses (and ours when our time comes) and highlight her faith and good deeds, Amen. Many converts that were 'disillusioned' in their ways have 'reverted' happily one example being in my own family; why did she not? That is all I have to say." [italics mine]
******Read her illuminating and thought-provoking articles that can only leave an open minded one changed by her moving prose that operates with the Sword of Furqan/Discernment: Maryam Jameelah.
"Even before i formally embraced Islam, i found the integrity of the faith in the contemporary world greatly threatened by the so-called modernist movement which aimed at adulterating its teachings with man-made philosophies and reforms. I was convinced that had these modernizes had their way , nothing of the original would be left ! As a child I had witnessed with my own eyes in my own family how the liberals had mutilated what had once been a Divinely revealed faith." -- Maryam Jameelah.