Oct 25 2022
Mrs. Dr. Fazila Qassam Algerian Reborn: I became a Shia; Because I found logical and convincing thoughts in Shiism
She is an Alawite living in France who declared her Shiism 24 years ago. Before that, she was a Maliki Sunni following her ancestors. This religion has been prevalent in Algeria since the distant past.
This conversation was held when she visited Karbala
How did you get to know the religion of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s)?
My acquaintance with the religion was through the popular politics in the world arena, after that the doors of Shiism were opened to me, which began with the Islamic Revolution of Iran, and we read the news related to it from various media of that time, such as newspapers, radio, etc. During those years, I was a student and met Shiite students. They were of different nationalities such as Iranian, Lebanese, etc. It was here that I encountered new thoughts.
Then I entered the stage of research in books to know the hidden truth, like that after the university class, I was constantly on the way to libraries and I used to choose jurisprudence and religious books, which were very rare at that time.
In 1988, I visited holly shrine of Hazrat Zainab (s.a). There and during the meetings I had with the scholars, my certainty about Ahlul Bayt (a.s) increased. The scholars explained the issues that introduced the religion to me, and I came to believe that Shia is the right religion and I converted to the Jafari religion.
After this course, by the grace of God, I married my husband, who was a Shiite, and after that we traveled to France to continue my education, and I managed to obtain a doctorate in physics.
Now I am a professor of physics, mathematics and chemistry. Unfortunately, I could not work there because of the hijab issue.
You entered the discussion of searching for the right religion. What happened that your thought stopped at the shore of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s)?
The problem is not only the problem of thought, study and research, but also the problem of the heart, feeling and conscientious perception. I felt that this is the true religion, because it entered my heart, and what enters the heart indicates the truth.
Considering that there are many difficulties in changing beliefs, what factors caused the change in your beliefs?
During my research, I realized that everything should be convincing and with reasons and arguments. With Ahl al-Bayt (a.s), I found everything logical and convincing, a problem that I never found in other religions, especially the Maliki religion. In the long way of searching for truths and becoming aware of different religions, I came to a conclusion that made me not to abandon the truth I found. Despite the many efforts of my family, who are Sunnis, no one could stop me from this path, which I had secretly researched for years until I was so sure that this path is the right one.
What did you do when you arrived in France?
The first idea that came to my mind was to go to the general mosque and communicate with the sisters there. Because God did not create women only to run the house and raise children, but they should walk in a wide circle. By visiting the mosque, I got to know many people of different ethnicities and nationalities. Alhamdulillah, it was a good move in the field of invitation. At first, I expressed my interest in participating in the works of the mosque and started my activities in this way.
How did you cope with the free and liberal atmosphere in France? And what activities did you have to invite to religion?
In this society, we live in very difficult conditions, especially regarding Islamic clothing. But we used the complete freedom a lot and using it we were able to establish an association in the south of France called “Zienab Teloz”. Considering that we don’t have a special place for the association, we rented the synagogue many times to hold the ceremony of Ahl al-Bayt (a.s) and taught teachings to women. Also, by God’s grace, I managed to translate some books into French and distribute them among the sisters.
We have also had other activities, such as inviting some religion professors to meet Jewish and Christian religious leaders. Also, during the wide communication with the society, we got a discourse opportunity called Islam, from where we point to Shiism as the only true religion with the same way we educate women; That is, we do not directly invite Shiism, but introduce Islam and then step by step and gradually convey to them thoughts that clarify everything.